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Valley People (Oct 1, 2014)

AV FOOTBALL is 5-0 this season so far and is ranked 130 in the nation, 9th in the state. Prior to Saturday's game against Rincon Valley Christian, which we won (76-40), the team was ranked 270 in the nation and 13th in the state. The boys are doing wonderfully. Head Coach Danny Kuny and Defensive Coach Ryan Jones are doing a terrific job.

THAT THEY ARE. Coach Kuny cited the terrific play against Rincon Valley of the Natareno Brothers, Cesar Soto (unstoppable as usual), quarterback Tony Pardini Jr. who threw for 3 touchdowns and ran for another, that rock of a lineman, Will Lemons, and all-purpose Jared Johnston, as always a force on both offense and defense.

OF THE EIGHTEEN 911 calls from Anderson Valley over the past two weeks, only one resulted in an arrest. Another guy, a frequent flier, was hauled over the hill on an alleged theft.

LAST WEEK’S RAINS, two nice downpours, sweetened the air, tamped down the dust and even brought the Navarro up a bit...but, welcome as it was, it's now back to fall heat, late baseball, early football, and more drought.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE is predicting below average rainfall for the next several months. The Service says it expects rainfall to be 40 percent of normal. The season's first rains this week were light, with a little more than 2 inches for Willits; 1.5 for Fort Bragg; less than an inch in Ukiah and Hopland.

RARE BREED LAMBS raised with love using low-stress livestock handling methods! I am selling whole, half, and individual cuts. Whole lambs are between 30-35lbs $11/lb. Individual cuts include ground, shanks, legs, roast, chops, ribs, and stew, and are priced by weight. Also selling sheepskins, black, white, and multi-colored. Machine washable! Call Alice (310) 490-7524

LIZ DUSENBERRY alerts us that the A.V. Library will reopen on Tuesday, Oct. 7th. "Time to return all your summer reading, and get something new to read." Library hours are: Tuesday 1:30 –4:-30 and Saturday from 2-4.

BUS AND WALKING TOUR of Boonville and Anderson Valley Transportation Wachamacallit. Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Dining Hall, 14400 Highway 128, Boonville. 9:45 a.m. Meet for tour at Fairgrounds. An MTA bus picks up tour group passengers and from 10am to Noon will conduct an Anderson Valley tour and review of State Route 128 Corridor and proposed Valley Trail and Engineered Feasibility Study proposed project locations, Safe Routes to School, county road and state highway plans and projects. Regular MCOG Board meeting to follow at the Fairgrounds in the afternoon after lunch at the Fairgrounds.

SHERI HANSEN of the AV Historical Society writes: "We hope folks have noticed our freshly painted Little Red Schoolhouse and Open/Closed signs. Dunn Right Painting of Ukiah did the work, including a very generous donation, which helped make it all possible. In addition to the schoolhouse, the Tuttle building has a new roof, thanks to the generous donation we received from the Wee Deek Foundation following the AV Brewery Brew Fest. With the addition of several new docents, we are ready and waiting for visitors. We are open Saturday and Sunday 1-4p February-November. Hope to see you soon!"

BOONVILLE BIKE GUY JESSE RATHBUN says, "I have a business called Boonville Bike Works which is a mobile bicycle repair service. I have a business license, a resale permit and wholesale accounts in the bicycle industry. I arrange to meet customers either at their home or a mutual location somewhere. Usually I can do the service on the spot and if I can't, I take the bike home and return it when I'm done. I also do race support and have worked recently on the Reno to Mendo adventure ride. I'm looking for the right place in Boonville to open a shop. The overhead has to be low but it has to be on Highway 128 in town in order to survive. In the meantime, I do farmers markets in Mendo and Boonville and will drive from North of Westport to Point Arena to service a bicycle. I have a facebook page here."

SIGN ME UP, JESS. I gotta bike I need to get streetworthy. I'm driving a mile from my nightly bower to my office here high atop the Farrer Building in downtown Boonville when I should be pedaling. But my bike, a renta-bike, multi-speed retread I bought in Frisco from a fast talking dude who convinced me it was better than the handmade job I was riding, is busted. Call me at 895-3016. Fix it, dude, and no charge for your ad, plus cash.

PAUL MEILLEUR OF PHILO: "The big California drought finally affected me when the local Laundromat ran out of water. So… I am eagerly watching the doppler radar animation of a hopefully incoming storm that may get us all of half an inch of rain, not enough to reopen the Laundromat, but a start on the season."

WATCH FOR INFO out soon about AV Foodshed C'mon Home to Eat in October. There will be activities all month highlighting the bounty of local food in our area. And a Local Food Challenge!

AS REPORTED here weeks ago, weeks ago I tell you!, the Jackson Band of the Miwok Indians have bought a nice hunk of central Elk, and without so much as a by your leave from Charlie Acker. The Miwoks say they intend to convert the Greenwood Pier Inn, the Griffin House and Bridget Dolan's Pub to create a "single resort." Ka-ching!

LAST WEDNESDAY MORNING, a little after ten, I had just delivered newspapers to Boont Berry Farm and was sitting in my car preparing to cross the highway to drop papers at the Redwood Drive-in. Traffic moves fast through Boonville, much of it faster than the posted speed limit. Ordinarily, traffic isn't a word that conjures speeding bicyclists, but it did Wednesday.

JUST AS I turned my key in the ignition to cross the street, I glanced in my rear vision mirror to see a sudden rush of hurtling black lycra. On bicycles, one man slightly ahead of the others. He raced past me and…

A WHITE VAN pulling a trailer had begun to inch out of the parking spaces on the north side of Boont Berry when the lead lycra hit the van broadside. I judged the impact akin to an NFL running back running head-on into a 300-pound lineman. Lycra Man got seriously popped.

THE GUY went down and out, not moving, his (presumably) $3,000 bike crumpled beside him. I ran into Boont Berry to ask Kevin to call 9-11. People hustled out of the Redwood Drive-In at the sound of the impact.

THE DOWNED LYCRA soon began to move and, a few minutes later, surrounded by other furrowed-brow lycras, was soon on his feet taking tentative steps. AV Ambulance and emergency arrived as I departed.

ASSESSING BLAME for this one, I put it on the lycras. They were pedaling hell-bent through Boonville as if they were on open road. Then, apparently to avoid a vehicle stopped in the road to make a left turn, and without slowing down, the lead lycra squeezed between the parked car in front of Boont Berry, a narrows maybe thirty feet long and less than five feet wide. He was moving much faster than any vehicle out on the street, and much too fast for that particular cluster of commerce, vehicles and pedestrians. The van driver could not have seen them coming.

SPLAT! If Lycra Man hadn't braked at the last moment before impact, he might have been killed. As it was, he hit hard.

GIVEN their speed, it occurred to me the lycras were racing, maybe racking up trip-points on that crazy Strava website where the lycra people register their times between various points. The speed of this crew as they raced through Boonville and followed Lycra Man into the narrow gap between vehicles and Boont Berry's front door, a heedless shopper exiting the store would have been mowed down.

ALMOST AN HOUR later the lycras were still milling around at Boont Berry, their mothership of a van collecting bicycles. Sure, bicycling is good for you, good for the planet, good for the lycra and bike industries, but bicyclists often do take major liberties with road safety and basic prudence, which they did on Wednesday in downtown Boonville.

IN OTHER NEWS from Mendocino County's most happening venue, my old house in Boonville is for sale. It functioned as home and newspaper office for many years, a work-live half-acre that I bought in 1972 for $23,500 with a thousand down I wheedled out of a handful of credit cards. I sold it in 2004 for $350,000, a miracle of capitalism that only seemed miraculous until the little woman brandished a stack of accumulated debt in my face and told me to calm down. The old homestead is again for sale at $585,000.

RUNNING A NEWSPAPER out of the place you also live is contraindicated unless you can live with no peace. Ever. Drunks showing up in the middle of the night wanting to argue about the Kennedy Assassination, a steady parade of chronophages (time-eaters) all day every day way into Miller Time, which was always my Miller and my time. Kennedy and beer can serve as metaphor for the daily experience of 12451 Anderson Valley Way. Still, I've always missed the place, and if I happened to find $585 grand I'd buy it back, especially now that there's reliably good water (I hear) and it's been generally tuned up.

BACK IN '72 the County had no local building code, an omission that led to bitter political battles when conservative Mendo demanded that hippies, who were already universally regarded by conservatives as harbingers of The End Times, get into line with standard building practices, i.e., linoleum, shag carpet and two-car garages. Today, years after the Class K compromise was worked out — Supervisor de Vall was especially good on accomplishing the grandfathering in of thousands of remote homes, most of them minor marvels of aesthetic placement and construction, the hippie shacks of the big, naked pile days go for a lot more than $585,000 today.

I COVERED my half-acre with non-code structures out of necessity; I needed to house family and friends. And since I did it in plain view of what passes for authority in Mendocino County I was often red-tagged, the practical effect of which was to bump up my property taxes a little bit. I ask you: Rather than approach a government office full of people hostile to me to ask their permission to build a little shack for a relative or friend, a request certain to be denied, wasn't it wiser to simply build the sucker and take the minor tax increase? Of course, and that's what I did. The county, especially this county, wants property tax revenue; they aren't about to bulldoze anybody.

THINKING ABOUT THIS these many years later, I might be the hippie shack building champ of Mendocino County. I built at least six of them apart from the inner sanctum, plus a tower, and maybe a couple more habitable hovels depending on how the total, maze-like space is regarded. All on a half-acre! But, but, but.... What about septic tanks? How did you accommodate all those people? You aren't ready to hear that one, dear reader, but it was always workable.

AND HERE we are forty years later and the place is valued at over half a mil? What might appear to the unimaginative as a kind of low-rent, horizontal Winchester House is now regarded by the architectural cognoscenti as the very essence of half-acre chic.

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