UNCONFIRMED reports say the Boonville Brewery is in escrow, with the sale valued somewhere between $7 and $10 million. The Boont brews were first concocted in downtown Boonville in the middle 1980s by Ken Allen and David Norfleet, a chiropractor and a carpenter respectively. Soon, the beer was winning awards and distributed throughout the United States. From humble beginnings with a nice public low-interest loan to private millions in a mere thirty years.
A CONFIRMED REPORT has two Boonville high school students under arrest for selling ecstasy at Anderson Valley High School. A Ukiah youth and 18-year-old Joel Renteria, a former resident of the Anderson Valley, are alleged to have supplied the Boonville boys with the drug. They've also been arrested. It was long rumored that ecstasy, or “phizz,” was available at the local high school.
The drug is apparently part amphetamine, part hallucinogen, and was apparently consumed the late November night of the infamous, and famously energetic vandalism of the school that did thousands of dollars in damage. The recent arrests came soon after the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department inserted a very youthful looking 27-year-old officer into the Anderson Valley student body on the pretext that he was a transfer student. The officer wore his hair in a Mohawk and dressed, in the description of a local youth, “in skateboard grunge.” The deputy had no trouble finding the students who'd been selling the drug, and when they sold him some they were arrested. Their cell phones led police to their Ukiah suppliers. Sources say this is only the second time in the County an undercover officer has been used to stop drug sales on a County high school campus.
THE MOTHER of a local high school student writes of the high school's undercover ops: “Some of the kids have said he [the cop] wasn't very 'cool' about it. He immediately started asking for large quantities like 300 pills or a pound of pot etc. Maybe he was on a time constriction. I don't know if they suspected he was a cop or not, but most of the kids figured out there was something up with this guy. I like to consider myself a well informed parent and I try to stay involved as much as I can, but this thizz-fizz thing wasn't on my radar. I was worried about meth because it's so nasty, and I've seen so many good people become addicted to it. I understand that thizz-fizz and prescription pills like vicodin, codeine etc. are popular. Maybe the kids don't see them as street drugs and tell themselves it's medicine so it's okay. It's easy to just pop a pill. It's not messy like snorting a line, rolling a joint, shooting a needle. Some of the kids selling it are finding this is quick way to put spending money in their pockets.”
THE TROUBLE with film festivals, especially the really good ones like Steve Sparks puts on here in the Anderson Valley every winter, there’s so much to see that it’s impossible to see everything. But Maestro Sparks solves a big part of that dilemma by scheduling everything twice. Mark Weaver sent us a copy of his terrific little film, Sheepdog, featuring Yorkville rancher Kevin Owens, which played to a rapt audience here in the AVA offices. I dropped in Sunday in time to see the Hiatt's wonderful home movie as they took down a giant redwood on Cliff Ridge. Sparks, for the fourth year in a row, had rounded up a wonderful collection of stuff with, as always, an emphasis on local. Bravo, Steve!
SWEETHEARTS, to your chocolates! The Anderson Valley Health Center is sponsoring a Sweetheart Dance this Saturday night (13 February) from 7:30 to 11:30 at the Anderson Valley Grange, music by Dean Titus and the Coyote Cowboys along with Catfish Jack and Friends. Ten bucks at the door or at All The Good Stuff, Boonville, and Lemons Market, Philo. The musicians are donating their time and talent, all proceeds to the Health Center. Wine, beer, desserts and other homemade snacks.
THE BOONVILLE LODGE’S liquor license is for sale, another sign that it is unlikely The Lodge will appear in a new venue. Sunday night, I spotted Tom Towey and Olie Erickson inside the denuded premises, apparently removing the last of their fixtures.
PEBBLES TRIPPET is a resident of Navarro River Road at the floodplain end of the river where it meets the Pacific. Pebbles writes: “In my weather report last week from the flood plain, I meant to emphasize the fallen alder that saved the people from falling into the river. The lowly alders, known as the rabbits of the tree world because they reproduce so fast, litter the river area in abundance. The don’t last long — 5-10 years — and when they fall in multiples they take with them a lot of the soil that shores up river banks into the river. This eats away at Navarro River Road, the main artery we are all dependent on. We can plant willows whose long roots solidify the hillsides leading from the river to the road to make up the erosion, but there are too many alders to keep up with. Today’s truth is that the fallen alder saved people from certain injury or worse by stopping the car that ran off 128 two weeks ago. Praise the alders. Everything in Mother Nature has its rhyme and reason.”
CONGRATULATIONS to Anderson Valley High School's Garrett Mezzanatto, the first student in his Driver's Ed class to pass his driver's permit test at DMV, Ukiah.
THE JIM BALL WINERY, Philo, has risen from what many locals assumed was a fatal morass of creditors to open for roadside sales across the road from Goldeneye. Ball’s miraculous resurrection is positively inspirational.
MEADE WILLIAMS of the local Teen Center writes: “The Teen Center is gearing up for the Snow Trip set for February 12-15th. The teens will be snowboarding, skiing, or snowshoeing or some combination of the three. Most do not have waterproof clothes. Wanting to keep them all warm and dry, I am phoning, emailing, making PSAs and now putting out a call in the newspaper. Without sounding too desperate: The Teen Center needs snow clothes for our upcoming Snow trip. If you have ski pants, jackets, hats, goggles, gloves, socks, or anything snow savvy that you would like to donate or lend out for the weekend please contact Meade at 391-6958. Only you can help keep our teens warm and dry! Call today to arrange pick up/drop off OR drop by our Packing Party Wednesday, February 3rd between 4-6pm at the Teen Center. Thank you!”
A PHILO READER WRITES: “Sadly, Elvis has left the valley and not of his own accord. Some time between Friday, the 29th evening and Sunday morning the 31st, someone or someones absconded with a statue of the rock and roll crooner that lived across highway 128 from Jack’s Valley Store on the road that bears the new Philo Fire Substation. Patrick Miller, current owner of the property, said, “He (Elvis) was definitely there Friday afternoon.” The statue appeared when Elvis fan Nathan Scholfield lived on the lane and in a special salute to The King, Nathan had the statue carved and placed on the road at the overlook where some unsuspecting folks who passed by had the bejibees scared out of them. I discussed this with Captain Rainbow who said that Nathan performed Elvis impersonations at the Anderson Valley Variety shows many years past. The redwood icon had the crooner wearing his white jump suit holding a guitar in one hand and a microphone in the other. Pat Miller and his wife Jane noticed that Elvis had left his hill side perch and sadly grieve his absence. They hope a reward might bring him home. The sheriff report did not mention the amount of the reward, only some footprints. The missing Elvis is four feet tall. He's affectionately called the 'Black Elvis,' because the dark redwood transformed his skin. Jane lamented, 'We just gave him his annual sprucing up and were considering sequins for his lapel. And now he's gone.' A small but important artifact of AV history has gone with the vandals. We wonder if perhaps a Oak Michael Jackson with one white glove, might be in these hills. Might it be called the White Michael? Perhaps an Anderson Valley reader can update us.”
LONG-TIME RESIDENT of the Holmes Ranch, Dave Broadbent, is fighting off cancer. Dave is presently confined to Adventist Hospital, Ukiah. Dave and his wife, Barbara Johannah, were among the first persons to settle on the Ranch when it was subdivided in the early 1970s. Barbara said Monday they may have to leave The Valley to be closer to medical care, and I'm not the only one who will miss them if they do leave.
DAVE EVANS says he can't thank Anderson Valley's firefighters and resident deputy Craig Walker enough for their prompt response to his frantic calls for help Saturday night when the store's pizza oven “darn near burned the whole place down. It was close. We almost lost it.” Dave says he was in his quarters, which are attached to the store, when he smelled smoke. “I opened the door and there were the flames. I grabbed a couple of bath mats and started beating on the fire. Funny thing was, there was absolutely no one else around. Usually, there's all kinds of people in Navarro, but not last Saturday night.” The fire started about 8:30. “I was watching the Sharks game,” Dave says. He had the flames beaten into a smolder by the time Judy Long arrived with the Navarro truck. And then the rest of the force arrived to beat the flames clear into a bad memory, with Chief Wilson staying until almost midnight checking the 100-year-old landmark structure to make sure it wouldn't go up again. “These people are amazing,” Dave said. “The Navarro Store was open for business Sunday morning.
WELCOME HOME Natalie Marcum! The toddler spent a few nights in ICU last week with pneumonia and bronchitis.
HOOPS FANS say last weekend's junior high girls tournament at the high school gym came with some really good games. Mendocino won the big trophy by beating Fort Bragg in the final seconds while our girls won one, lost two, with Juana Manriquez, Aileen Eligio, Marisol Jimenez, Grecia Herrera, and Danielle Andersen playing particularly well.