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Valley People 1/20/2010

A FIRE at Highland Ranch destroyed a cabin and a vehicle parked beside it Saturday night. The blaze was reported about 11, sending fire trucks speeding along Ray's Road, across the Navarro, through Shenoa, and deep into the west hills where the resort is located. Chief Wilson said by the time the first crew arrived the cabin “was fully involved.” Efficient work by the AV Volunteers saved an adjacent cabin, but was unable to save the vehicle parked between. Wilson said he believed the fire started in the structure's attic, perhaps because of a design flaw which placed an addition up against the cabin's chimney. The destroyed cabin had been occupied by what the Chief described as “an extended family of six.” A young teenager was taken by his parents to Ukiah to be checked out for possible injury due to smoke inhalation. The boy was uninjured.

EARLIER IN THE AFTERNOON, a young drunk managed to careen off 128 into the fence at Goldeneye Winery, Philo, taking out a power box along with a length fence. Identified as Naum Reyes, 22, Philo, Reyes was arrested at the scene.

THEN THERE'S the guy who suddenly reappeared in The Valley 30 years after he graduated from Boonville High School where, as I dimly recall, he was an honor student. Described as “completely tweaked out” by an old classmate, the guy has required almost constant baby sitting by our resident deputies. His old classmate says, “It's only a matter of time before he's arrested.”

LIVE AT LAUREN'S Saturday night at 9, only $5 at the door, you've got The Blushin' Roulettes, a popular band with roots on the Mendocino Coast, and a band certain to bring a crowd with them.

WE'RE REMINDED that Mendocino's Temple of Kwan Tai's annual fundraising banquet will be held at Crown Hall, Mendocino, on Saturday, February 13th, 6:30pm. Money raised goes to maintenance of the temple, founded in the 19th century when there was a large neighborhood of single Chinese men in Mendocino who did much of the heavy labor lifting around here, especially tunnel and cistern work. Seating is limited. Call for tickets at 937-5123.

LOCAL ARTISTS Xenia King, Judy Nelson and Jody Williams will exhibit their work at Scharffenberger Cellars beginning with a reception for the three ladies the evening of Friday, January 22nd, 5:30-7:30pm. The show’s theme is Gotta Have Heart, and features renditions of that crucial muscle as it appears in the imaginations of the artists.

THE RAINS of the last few days were heralded by dire El Nino warnings from NASA, or what was headed as being from NASA on the e-mail we received. The bulletin, in most unscientific language, said we could expect rains “as powerful as they come, on this planet anyway.” So far, we've experienced ordinary pre-drought precipitation of no special distinction whatsoever.

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY Sheriffs Office is committing to a second resident deputy in the Valley so they are asking for a commitment from our community. They are seeking fundraising ideas and/or community contributions to obtain a police dog for Deputy Craig Walker. Deputy Walker has made appearances on behalf of MCSO at several of the local organizations such as Unity Club and the Lions Club seeking support. He has explained how important a police dog is in rural areas where back up is at least a half an hour away. There is also the fact that Deputy Squires' dog, Brick, is 11 years old and is unlikely that he will be replaced when Deputy Squires retires. The MCSO has secured funds to help with training costs for the dog and officer but cannot cover the purchase of the dog. Police dogs come from Germany and run about $9,000.

RUMORS are still swirling around the Valley regarding the demise and the possible resurrection of the Boonville Lodge. One rumor is that the landlord, Dave Johnson, has reconsidered the lease option upon learning that a liquor license is hard to come by in Mendocino County, something most savvy business people would have investigated prior to being so nasty to a good tenant. Another is that local businessman, Charlie Hiatt, has expressed interest in purchasing the liquor license to open up a bar of his own. And yet another rumor or suggestion is that Tom Towey and his team lease the abandoned Taylor Roberts establishment. Who knows where this will end up. Stay tuned!

WHILE the undetermined fate of the Boonville Lodge is still hanging, Alicia's Restaurant may possibly offer and alternative hang-out for adult Valley socialites. She may extend her hours until 2 a.m. and install a big screen TV. Alicia's, like most other restaurants, can only serve beer and wine, so if you're interested in the hard stuff, you gotta drink it at home.

AMANDA HIATT’S Shear Elegance Hair Salon is now opened at it's new location across the street from the fairgrounds near the former location of the Moya's Taco wagon. Shear Elegance is a full-service salon and now has a tanning bed too. Amanda will be hosting a grand opening once she settles in.

THE HIGH SCHOOL VANDALS, have been handed their punishments and are now enrolled in a very structured independent study program for the next year. It is unknown if they will ever return to AVHS.

WT JOHNSON and Robert Mackey, Starr Automotive towing guys, will be sharing space with Hiatt Inc. located just behind Alicia's Restaurant. The guys at Hiatt have been busy clearing up shop space for the new home for the towing service.

ANON WRITES: “What happened to Mike Langley? Wasn’t he your neighbor?” Mike and Patti Langley, and their daughter Beth, were my neighbors for thirty years. Good neighbors, too, undoubtedly better neighbors than our raucous crew deserved. I also knew Mike's parents, Denver and Zola, for many years, knew the whole family so well they could have been my family. The rest of this, for many of us, amounts to a kind of local tragedy. Strictly considered, it's nobody’s business but the Langleys, but it seems to me some explanation is necessary that explains how a man we all know is no longer with us, may not ever be with us again, a man we were fond of. What happened is this: Two years ago, Mike suffered a stroke, a series of strokes, which caused a personality change in him, and caused him to lose full movement of the right side of his body. For an active person, a working contractor, the physical debilitation was devastating enough, although he got to where he could move around pretty well. Worse, though, was the mental impact of the stroke. Pre-stroke, Mike was affable and easy going. Post-stroke he became irrational and, on occasion, violent and threatening towards Patti, his wife of nearly forty years. Mike also began to denounce all his old friends as having betrayed him because they wouldn’t take his side in the war he, in his irrational state, launched against Patti. All along, Mike resisted rehabilitation , a course of physical and mental therapy that doctors were confident could help regain himself. When the threats against his wife commenced, Mike became the object of the usual array of legal restrictions, including a court order that prohibits his appearance anywhere near his former home. Since he resists treatment it is likely his persecutory delusions will persist. We all hope he somehow becomes rational again, but how many irrational people do you know who have become more rational as they age? It's all terrible, one of those sudden living tragedies that remind us how precarious life is, that one minute you can be looking out at the sun coming up over Octopus Mountain and the next you're strapped down in the Boonville Ambulance headed east, banned from everyone and everything you've known most of your life.

FROM THE MINUTES of the last Community Action Coalition meeting at the High School Career Center: “We have young people in our community who aren't doing anything productive with their lives. This is where we can do an intervention. A couple of these youth are not here legally so they have very few options. They can go to junior college for two years, but that is all. This group is partying with younger kids. They are a magnet for our younger kids. We spoke with the sheriffs to put some pressure on these people. This needs to be multi-level approach, not just law-enforcement. M is concerned about drugs — his daughters tell him about some guys who spend lots of money. Where do they get the money? That is pretty suspicious. Having lots of money is a red flag. What can we do with the parents of these kids? What about some kind of incentive to get them to attend parenting classes or counseling? The problem reflects the parents’ attitude and that is why the youth are at risk. That makes it difficult to get parents’ attention. These young adults are really in trouble.”

HOW ABOUT (1) Putting them in jail where they belong for selling dope to underage kids? (2) Persuade the high school to stop putting down the Army as an option for high school graduates who aren't going to college?

AND THIS: “[School Superintendent] J.R. [Collins] updated parents on the vandalism and steps that the school district has taken. There were suggestions on how to improve security. Many parents were concerned about the unauthorized party in the gym and that adults may have been part of the party as well as drugs and alcohol. These people need to be caught. Deputy Walker updated on law enforcement progress. There was a good exchange with parents. As a result, the school district sent a letter home to parents about [the drug] ecstasy and what to watch for. A Signs & Symptoms workshop is planned for January 26th: there will be 4 people on the panel to talk about physical, behavioral signs & symptoms, and update on current drug trends in the valley. A staff workshop will take place after school on the same day. We need to start using End of Silence again. We have a whole new generation of students who haven’t seen it. Also there is a student presentation on ecstasy in the planning stages. There was also a response in the coalition newsletter encouraging people with information to contact the sheriff’s tip line. This is what AV is known for; taking action. But so far no information is forthcoming. There was a lost opportunity to get names from the vandals.”

A MORE INTERESTING question might be, “What is it about the educational process that makes young people want to destroy its facilities?”

FOLLOWING FRIDAY'S grange groove, lots of people stuck around to dance to the popular local band, The Mermen, ten bucks at the door for an event colorfully billed in the flier as “A Capricorn Party Extravaganza,” which depicted four baby-faced satyrs following a mermaid to a psychedelic bulls eye.

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR Laura Essayah, has “finally” finished putting up her photos of Morocco and other related subjects at Mosswood Market in downtown Boonville. The photos will remain up until mid-February 11 so Laura invites everyone to please come take a look. The photos will be for sale and the proceeds will go to the same school she visited and donated to this year in El Jadida, Morroco, for next year’s trip.

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