Valley People (Sep 24, 2104)

TERRIBLE HEAD-ON COLLISION just before dawn Monday, the 15th, on 128 opposite the Anderson Valley Elementary School. One person medi-vacced outtahere, another hauled over the hill by AV Ambulance. The CHP report, just obtained, reveals that Erika Damian-Lopez, of Anderson Valley, driving a Chevy pick-up, didn't see the oncoming Toyota piloted by Fermin Verrales of Ukiah, when she made a sharp turn in front of him. Both drivers sustained injuries, his more serious than hers, neither life-threatening.

THE WRECKAGE was, as always, hauled off by Bob Maki of Starr Automotive. Bob's often called out in the middle of the night to pick up the pieces of grisly collisions, and just as often rescues stranded motorists standing forlorn at 3am in our foggy redwoods, as Deliverance and hungry bear visions dance through their urban heads. A reader was confused about an item last week that may have suggested that Mr. Maki was the “passenger who ran away” prior to the CHP arrest of a local young man standing beside a broken down jeep. That jeep had been parked at Starr's, but Bob Maki was mos def not the guy who ran away.

THE LATE-NIGHT BURGLARY of the Navarro Rock Shop a month ago was committed by two still unidentified transients who'd stolen a vehicle in Asti. The vehicle was recovered in Fort Bragg, the two robbers presumably having faded into Fort Bragg's ever larger and all-embracing demimonde.

A PHILO READER reports: "Spotted on Rays Road this morning a bobcat eating on the hind leg of a deer someone must have hit and thrown over the fence. The book says bobcats rarely eat carrion, so this guy must have been hungry - an idea that was supported by the fact that it didn't run away from me even when I said 'Good morning' to it. I went back by it a half hour to 45 minutes later and it was still there gnawing away."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA! Our mother, grandmother and friend Carolyn Eigenman is celebrating her 80th birthday October 4th. Carolyn has been a resident of Anderson Valley for 38 years. Originally from Oklahoma City she moved to California by herself at 17 years old and so her life of adventure began. Loved by family and friends for her winning smile, incredible sense of humor, overall kindness and graciousness. She carries herself with dignity and is generous and compassionate to everyone she meets. Mom, thank you for being such a wonderful person. YOU ARE SO LOVED BY US ALL. Happy birthday to you!

NONE OF US who have the pleasure of knowing this truly gracious lady hesitate to second the Eigenman Family's tribute. Carolyn is a true jewel.

DAVE SEVERN revives his crucial Vine Watch duties to report, “After being out of town for three days I was surprised to find the Navarro River actually trickling in a few spots where it had been underground most of the summer. This could be the result of early leaf fall from the trees which usually happens in October - they transpire less water and the river rises a tad. The Sunday afternoon walk I took with with my granddaughter extended a bit further up Rancheria Creek than I have usually gone this summer and I was also surprised to find that the Wentzels had repositioned their Rancheria Creek pump to a deeper hole than it had been in this spring. The repositioning is a certain indication that they have been pumping out of the drought challenged watershed. This discovery puts the Wentzels in the same care-less empty bucket of responsible environmental stewardship as Goldeneye and Husch. Wentzel's vineyards are located out the Tumbling Mc D Road by KZYX that also serves The Philo Saw Works and are admittedly considerably smaller than the other two.”

ALEXIS MOYER WRITES: “Anderson Valley will be joining the countywide celebration of American Craft Week with events happening on the weekend of October 11 -12. Events throughout the valley are: The Pot Shop, Philo, Art in Action and You’re the Artist! Come try your hand at the potter’s wheel. Be prepared, you might get a little messy. Marvin & Colleen Schencks’s Barn Studio, Philo, will be featuring Colleen’s metal smithing and jewelry and woodcut prints by Marvin Schenck with ongoing demonstrations throughout the weekend. Handley Cellars, Philo, will be hosting Monika Schulte-Bisping with her ceramic garden treasures. Rookie-to-Gallery, Boonville, will be featuring local art. Bink Wines, Philo, will be hosting an artists Marketplace with Debra Beck Lennox, Josh Latkin, Diana Hershey Bill Allen and Nancy MacLeod. We hope you will join in the celebration of local handmade crafts. Grand prize for the free drawing will be provided by The Madrones, be sure to enter at each location. For a complete listing of events happening throughout the week visit www.MendocinoCraftWeek.com or pick up a brochure at any of the participating locations.”

WE LIKE THE LOOK of the Carsey House, like the way it looms up as the first thing you see coming down the Ukiah Road. It's big, simple and solid-looking as a landmark structure should be big, simple and solid-looking. (A visitor reading over my shoulder says I also fit the description, except for solid looking.) Mullin's horse barn or whatever it is at the Philo end of Anderson Valley Way is also on its way to landmark status. So far so good on it, too.

AFTER literal years of back and forth with official Mendo, Mike Shapiro has gotten approval to develop four lots on the old Schoenahl place near the center of Boonville. The County doesn't make it easy to build the moderately-priced housing so needed in the Anderson Valley.

EVERYONE'S COMPLAINING about the condition of the Fairgrounds playing field. “Never seen it this bad,” Coach Kuny says, an opinion echoed by soccer coach, Steve Sparks. Kuny's football team has it double-bad. They practice on a concrete-like dirt expanse adjacent to the lushly green and smooth Tom Smith soccer field at the high school. Then Coach Kuny's undefeated Panthers have to play their games on the pitted and brown Fairgrounds field. Used to be that the Fairgrounds field was the best small school field in the County. No more. Budget shortages at the Fair, water shortages everywhere seem to be the reason for the sorry state of the Fairgrounds field.

LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S Community Services District Board meeting here in the totally happening Anderson Valley was mostly routine business: addressing an update of the district's conflict of interest policy (thus putting the CSD far ahead of the County of Mendocino), giving final approval to the winning runway paving contractor at Boonville International, the impending first rain of the year, and a short update from Chief Avila about the status of Exclusive Operating Agreement for ambulance service in Mendocino County. (Apparently Coastal Valley EMS of Sonoma County has been retained by the County to prepare a Request for Proposals; there's some chance that an Exclusive Operating Agreement could be in place within a year and a half, in some form or other. Whether it will affect the local volunteer ambulance service and whether the ambulance service management is involved in the RFP preparation is not known at this time.)

THE MEETING became interesting toward the end when director Fred Martin suggested that the Board invite Dr. Gorchoff, the phantom advisor to the embattled and tumultuous Anderson Valley Health Center, to address the CSD, a generally representative Anderson Valley body. Gorchoff, who no one in the Valley has met or even laid eyes on, is now Medical Director of our Health Center. Martin suggested that the mystery man be invited to the next CSD board meeting to answer questions from the public about the latest developments at the Health Center.

DIRECTOR Kirk Wilder said that he didn't think that Health Center activities were a CSD function and that CSD Board involvement would be a “no-win situation.”

BOARD CHAIR Valerie Hanelt was also nervous about making an official Board invitation, saying that it was a “tricky situation.”

FRED MARTIN noted that the District had invited Health Center Board Chairman Ric Bonner to the CSD Board meeting in the past and other individuals have given presentations and this would just be one more presentation.

DIRECTOR Kathleen McKenna pointed out that the Health Center has its own board and their own forum for such things and it wouldn't be very productive. “People just vent,” said Ms. McKenna, “but nothing is done.” (“Vent” is the trendy, slightly more polite term for “rave” or “rant.” It's inevitably invoked by persons who disagree with the vented opinion. But it's only the occasional outbreak of real feeling that saves the sonorous proceedings of public meetings from becoming the utterly false reflections of true public sentiment that they mostly are.)

“I THINK it would be kind of a setup,” said Director Hanelt. “It would make him uncomfortable and put him on the spot.” (Assuming he'd show up.)

“WE ARE NOT HERE to make people comfortable,” responded Director Martin who, by this single statement, shot to the very top of the AVA's approved personalities roster.

NOBODY objected to individual directors inviting Dr. Gorchoff to a meeting and speaking during public expression, but only Director Martin seemed interested in putting Dr. Gorchoff's name on a formal district board agenda.

DIRECTOR WILDER then suggested that the Board write an official letter to Sheriff Allman asking when the Valley is going to get its resident deputy back. “He's spending most of his time in the Ukiah area these days and we don't have much coverage,” said Wilder. Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea and Director Wilder will draft a letter to the Sheriff and put it on the October agenda.

THE NEXT MEETING of the Anderson Valley Health Center Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, September 30, at 5:30pm at the Health Center Conference Room.

AND, just in from Lanny Parker: “The Anderson Valley Health Center will be hosting an Open House for the community on Thursday, October 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please come meet our new doctor, Logan McGhan, and the entire AVHC team. There will be activities for the entire family. Take a tour of the clinic. Participate in the raffle for prizes. Learn more about AVHC services. And there will be games with prizes for the children. Hope to see you there.”

ONLY if I get to dance with Diane Agee, and only if someone will tell me why Dr. Apfel is being forced out.

CONNOISSEURS of wacky public meetings might want to attend the Health Center's meetings as its overlarge board of trustees goes all sphinx on locals trying to pry info out of them. This is what happens: The locals "vent" as the trustees look back at them as if they're not there. The eight sphinxes don't look angry or amused or haughty or anything at all other than blindly disinterested. It's weird, and twice as weird when you know that the 8 Health Center sphinxes have known everyone in the audience for many years. It would be as if your family and friends suddenly began looking at you as if you weren't there. Kinda eerie, actually, like out of a horror movie.

THE HEALTH CENTER board, like the Ambulance board, all the school boards since time began, and almost every other board you care to name here in Amnesia County operates, of course, on a self-selecting basis with, in this case, a student and an Hispanic thrown in as window dressing. ("We love the kids and of course we aren't racist dog-pigs like a lotta you gavachos out there.")

MY COLLEAGUE, Major Mark M. Scaramella, USAF (ret), refuses to condescend to youth. Myself, I tend to pat them indulgently on the head while trying to think of more important matters like who's pitching today for the Giants. The new uptalk and adverb overkill rhetorical styles of the young make them even more painful to listen to: “So, like I know you're like old, but like here's what I think about Neitzche and Camus and whether life has meaning…” That kind of thing. So, this kid, a senior at the University of Oregon, says to The Major: “I don't think you're paying attention to what I'm saying,” to which The Major replied, "Of course I'm not paying attention. Why should I? You can't tell me anything I’m particularly interested in or that I don't already know.” The kid blurted, “Well, like, you’re just an old [bleep],” and stomped off. “And it was just getting interesting at that point,” added the Major.

THE MENDOCINO Council of Governments (MCOG) will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, September 29 at 1pm. Usually held in Ukiah, MCOG says it will meet “on location” in the Fairgrounds Dining Hall, 14400 Highway 128 in Boonville. All MCOG meetings are open to the public. The Council will visit locations of potential projects identified in the State Route 128 Corridor Valley Trail Feasibility Study, a community based planning effort completed by MCOG earlier this year, as well as county road work, Safe Routes to Schools efforts, and state highway projects. At 9:45 a.m., MCOG council members will gather at the Fairgrounds for a tour from 10:00 to noon. The group will ride an MTA bus along Route 128 and then briefly walk the downtown area before convening the meeting. Community members are welcome to ride along on a space-available basis. When posted, the complete agenda may be viewed at the Fairgrounds, at www.mendocinocog.org, or by contacting the MCOG office at 463-1859. MCOG is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for the countywide region, as a joint powers authority among the four Cities and the County of Mendocino.

A NAVARRO READER WRITES: “We had a few decent (although short-lived) downpours last Wednesday night into Thursday, featuring the big drops, and then a steady gentle rain most of this morning. The ground is wet, leaves are falling, mycelium thankful. I didn't realize how much I've missed the rain.”

AND WE MIGHT get nearly an inch this week, a rather ominous repeat of last year's rainfall pattern — a couple of good rains early, then not much at all the rest of the season.

DO YOU WANT TO TASTE the BEST tomato of 2014? The annual tomato taste off will take place at the Boonville Farmers Market on Saturday, September 27th from 10-12:30. Call Bill McEwen at 895-9348 for info on how to enter your own home grown tomatoes to compete with yearly regulars, including Brock Farms, The Anderson Valley Community Farm and McEwen Family Farm. Come taste this year's bounty and cast your vote! — Thank you, Kendra McEwen

C'MON HOME TO EAT in October is just around the corner. We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of AV Foodshed this year. Watch for the calendar of events posted around the valley and at http://www.mendocinolocalfood.org.

DATELINE BOONVILLE — If you've noticed all the refurbishing at the corner of Haehl and 128 in SoBo, Cub Reporter Bruce McEwen has the scoop: What was for a long time Pecluculia's Elegante Video Rentals has closed and will shortly be the home of an “upscale repurposing” clothing boutique/art gallery, featuring on-site sewing room, personalized re-adaptation and fitting of classy stuff that everyone can afford, and very exciting furniture and sundry other elegant appointments for your bod and your pad. The Frosted Owl is the brain-child of Stephanie Frost and her dear old Auntie D'Ann. Hold your breath NoBo — SoBo is the new Greenwich Village of our bourgeoning metropolis!

COACH DAN KUNY'S powerhouse Panthers are on a tear, undefeated after three games. A stout line anchored by Matt Lemons, a running game led by the unstoppable Cesar Soto, a pinpoint passing attack and sure-handed receivers like Jared Johnson, the 2014 Boonville gridders are on their way to a banner year. Soto and Pardini have racked up more total yards than any two offensive football players in the Redwood Empire, and they are only two weapons in Coach Kuny's formidable arsenal. The Natareno Brothers, Tony and Christian, can run the ball, as can Jared Johnson, Juan Pablo Segura, Erin Perez, and Joshua Chavez. Big, fast Cedric Johnson at 6'2" 260, ordinarily a two-way lineman, darn near dragged the entire Potter Valley defense last week a good twenty yards the one time he carried the ball. (Note: During the Fair game against Mendocino, we saw two perfect open field ankle tackles by Jared Johnson, and we would say that Cesar Soto's combination of speed and fullback-like ferocity, is probably unmatched by any running back, large school or small, in the Empire. This kid can play with anyone, and he's only a junior.)

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