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Valley People (Apr 15, 2015)

MariannePardiniA DEATH IN THE FAMILY. Mourners packed the Apple Hall last Saturday to say goodbye to Marianne Pardini whose sudden passing has left so many of us saddened, and left those us who knew her well, absolutely bereft, my family among the bereft. Our clan grew up and grew old with the Summit and Waggoner families, with whom we were and remain close. This one is beyond sad for all of us and everyone else who knew Marianne because Marianne was one of those rare persons who really was loved by everyone who knew her. I just hope Marianne's immediate survivors are not beating themselves up over her death, but the people left behind always do blame themselves even though they shouldn't. I saw her three weeks ago. Marianne was the same Marianne I'd always known, the same Marianne all of us had always known — ebullient, happy to see me. I know that's the way we'll all remember her because that's the way she was.

“WHAT AN INCREDIBLE CROWD showed up to say goodbye to our beloved Marianne today. Not only was it standing room only, but there was barely room to even stand. Pastor Dave delivered a beautiful eulogy, we were blessed by the flawless, beautiful voice of Kim Morgan (Slotte), watched a beautiful video presentation, put together by Cardel Wagner and Debbie Summit, and heard a heartfelt farewell by her best friend, Shirley Hiatt. Afterward, friends and family enjoyed a great buffet meal outside. The tri-tip was grilled by Bob Maybery, Gary Abbott, and Steve Rhoades with help from Mike Owens and Kevin Lee. The whole day was coordinated by Erica Lemons and Terri Rhoades, who also did the bulk of the work setting up, Peggy McFadden and Marilyn Pronsolino helped with the floral arrangements. I know I must be leaving someone out but I am a senior citizen now so that's forgivable I've been told. Anyway, it was a beautiful sendoff and everyone involved did an incredible job. Thank you, one and all. — Ernie Pardini”

JERRY PHILBRICK, the good news. The popular Comptche logger is not only at home, he's back at work after a twenty-day medical ordeal that began when he had to be choppered outtahere when he was immobilized with breathing difficulties. Those difficulties turned out to be pneumonia, which carries off lots of us seniors if we just keep on walking around with it. Wife Terri tells us that when Jerry landed at the hospital his heart suddenly came to a halt, as in cardiac arrest, hence the assumption by many of his friends that Jerry had suffered a heart attack. And we're talking a very big heart in a guy who has donated incalculable amounts of time, labor and money to youth sports in this county. But when a heart of any size stops it is, as they say, a matter of grave concern. But fortunately for him, Jerry's heart stopped as he was surrounded by people who could get it started back up. All-in-all, though, the guy had a very close call, and all of us are hugely relieved he's up and at 'em again.

THE AV HISTORICAL SOCIETY held a very successful History Roundtable Sunday afternoon with about 65 people attending. This year's discussion was focused on “AV In The 70s” and included a panel of twelve — some who came and some who were here to greet them. There were a lot of fun stories told and a lot of laughs — eliciting the comment from a couple of Society members that it was the best Roundtable yet. The “snacks” provided afterwards were truly scrumptious and filling and well worth the $5 donation requested by themselves. Those who missed it might want to put a post-it in the back of their mind not to miss next year's AV In The 80s. Mary O'Brien moderated the panel which consisted of Kevin Owens, Captain Rainbow, Gary Johnson, Ernie Pardini, Beryl Thomasson, Jimmy Short, Carolyn Short, David Severn, Linda Brennan, J.R. Collins, Karen Ottoboni and Morgan Baynham. (—David Severn)

AVHS GOES TO UCLA: A local youtube video.


CEASE FIRE! If Valerie Kim keeps up her truly excellent reporting — thorough, smart, fair, nicely rendered in a pleasantly modulated radio voice — Boonville's beloved community newspaper is going to have to call off its Thirty Years War against KZYX. Given the lame-o management of the place we hope Ms. Kim isn't some kind of weirdly accidental hire. And we hope our praise of her work won't imperil her employment, but she really is a good reporter.

AMONG LAST WEEK'S emergency calls was "a 50 year old male" who showed up at the Boonville Fire House complaining that he had a headache. Whichever volunteer had to get out of bed to hand the guy the aspirin probably had a bigger one.


4/5 12:27am An AV Way resident complained about the noise from a nearby vineyard fan.

4/7 8:18am A civil warrant was served at 18595 Philo-Greenwood Road at or near Cheesecake.


BOONVILLE'S BEEN QUIET FOR MONTHS, and suddenly a single Boonville address racks up the arrests of a house full of tweaking misdemeanants for everything from routine violations of court orders to drug possession to possession of stolen property to violations of probation.

THE MONDAY-TUESDAY RAIN last week amounted to about an inch and a half for most places in the County including right here in the totally happening Anderson Valley, Mendocino County's coolest venue.

GOT YOUR GOAT? The First Annual AV Goat Festival is all the way on for Saturday, April 25th at the Boonville Fairgrounds, meaning in one go we can take in the annual Wild Flower Show, our favorite event of the year and, at the same time, inaugurate the first formal recognition of local goat farming.

AS THE GOAT PEOPLE put it, the event "is really coming along. An excellent crew of local food activists and goat enthusiasts are working hard to create a full day of Family Fun, Goat Education, and Goat Celebration, along with such fun events as 'Best Dressed Goat Contest' and 'Celebrity Goat Milking Competition,' we are developing an all day schedule of workshops on two themes: Goat Dairy Products and Goat Husbandry. We are also hosting a Birria Cook-Off and a dance at The Apple Hall (the Zumba fundraiser has been canceled for this event. Did I say full day? 10 am to 4pm If you are interested in being a volunteer, a presenter, or a vendor, please use one of these ways to connect:, on Facebook at Anderson Valley Goat Fest, call Jim Devine (707) 496-8725.


DOUGLAS STEWART, "Secretary of the Anderson Valley Wine Growers Association and a winegrower for Lichen Estates" (formerly Breggo, formerly the Rawles Ranch), a vineyard and winery in Anderson Valley, told KMUD's Christina Aanestad on Thursday that Mark Scaramella's attempt to quiet the vineyard fans “is a bunch of hooey. It's much like the sound of a tractor in the middle of the night. People spray in the middle of the night with their tractors. Tractors are loud. People who are in rural areas— they chose to live next to a farm and farms have some things that are great about them. They are beautiful to look at and they produce wonderful things but they also sometimes have noise. And yes, noise can be a nuisance but it's something that is part and parcel of being next to a farm in my view. If we have frost and we don't protect against it we do not have crops and so there are only a couple of ways to protect against frost. One of them is water. And we have been getting hammered as an industry for using too much water or for using water at all and this is an alternative to water and we are getting hammered for this. And in my view it's one thing or the other or we cease to exist as an industry and we cease to provide jobs. We cease to have families. We go to school here and pay taxes here so in my mind, this is— it's critical."

THE WINE BRIGADE'S position, as expressed by this particular hysteric — "We do what we do. Complaints threaten our existence."

"THE SOUND OF A TRACTOR in the middle of the night is comparable to frost fans." Not even close. Frost fans are much louder, much much louder. Vineyard neighbors, including AVA staffers, have snoozed right on through the minor racket of the occasional late night-early morning noise that a tractor emits, just as we were able to ignore the nutty pest-fighting strategy of simulated gun fire the noble sons of the soil occasionally resort to, the latter a day time noise. Hell, random gunfire is now a fact of American life anyway.

WE "CHOSE to live next to a farm." Wrong. Everyone who has lived in the Anderson Valley for more than two years was here before the frost fans were installed. The wine industry is not farming. It's a highly industrial process that produces a non-essential consumer product.

WATER and fans are the only ways to protect grapes from frost. Wrong again. There are quieter fans and related frost protection technology that would not disturb vineyard neighbors. Moreover, in the Anderson Valley this year, vineyard ponds are full to overflowing, thanks to the late rains.

"WE PAY TAXES HERE." Everyone pays taxes. This guy seems to think because his industry is dominant in Mendocino County that it's exempt from ordinary standards of civility.

AT FRIDAY MORNING'S hearing, one of the industry's attorneys again suggested that the plaintiff, Scaramella, check into a motel on frost nights! O yea. Abandon one's home because a grape grower thinks he's got to destroy sleep for everyone around? Scaramella's attorney, Rod Jones, wondered if the industry was prepared to buy overnight accommodations for all the people disturbed by frost fan noise.

A BUNCH of Anderson Valley vineyards have not installed frost fans. Lots of Anderson Valley people grumble privately about frost fan noise but are reluctant to complain publicly. Non-wine industry property owners in the Anderson Valley don't seem to have yet realized that this so-called farming has radically reduced the value of their property.

IN AN AVA EXCLUSIVE, plaintiff Scaramella told the Boonville media late Friday afternoon that inviting him to abandon his home and his cats for x-number of nights in distant Ukiah was unreasonable on its face. He did say, however, he would agree to "a remodel of my home along the lines of Marcel Proust's cork-lined bedroom. Marcel never lost a night's sleep to noise," Scaramella said.


      • Whyte Owen April 17, 2015

        That there are many known ways to mitigate frost other than water and fans. Europeans have been doing it for centuries.

        • Mark Scaramella April 17, 2015

          Thank you for the clarification. I thought you were implying something else. I might add that there are locations to grow grapes that are not so prone to frost too.

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