WE ARE ALL SADDENED to learn that David Charles Bloyd, familiarly known as Dee or Deed Bloyd, has died. A native son of the Anderson Valley, Dee died of complications related to stroke. A full obituary will appear in next week's paper.
RECENT STATION RETIREMENTS at Mendo Public Radio seem to me not only long overdue, but their replacements have radically improved the KZYX vibe, so to speak, and any enterprise fortunate enough to have the lovely and brilliant Angela DeWitt, even as an interim staffer is mos def headed in an upward direction.
RAOUL VAN HAL, headed south from Oregon, is replacing Angela as interim program director, as Angela's other obligations as mom, bookkeeper and Anderson Valley emergency services volunteer meant work overload for her. Station manager Lorraine Dechter said last week that the station will soon be posting job announcements for a permanent program director and operations manager. Van Hal assumes his interim duties on Monday.
JERRY FRALEY is functioning as interim operations manager. Ms. Dechter said that Fraley has "already fixed our signal connection from Willits to Philo, and now is working on the Mendocino to Philo link. I expect our connections and quality to those studios will be better than ever when he is done. He worked up at KMFB when it was operational in Fort Bragg.” Ms. Dechter explained that the flurry of interims is aimed at determining exactly what the station's staffing needs are.
WE CONFESS that we're surprised and pleased to have enjoyed only the second civilized exchange with a KZYX management staffer, Ms. Dechter, we've had since the station's inception a quarter century ago. Nicole Sawaya was the other one.
WHEN A SMALL delegation of station critics went to KZYX a few weeks ago prior to regime change, management called the cops. Post-regime change, Ms. Dechter, the new station manager, met the same critics with cake, coffee and unimpeded access to the information they sought. A major change for the better has happened here.
KIRT MORSE and crew are hard at work on a major re-do of that central Boonville landmark, most recently called the Live Oak Building, owned by Timothy and Michele Mullins of Philo.
HUGE CROWD Saturday night at Lauren's Restaurant as locals turned out big time to celebrate the enormously popular proprietress's twentieth year in business. Not only is the honored Ms. Keating a wonderful restaurateur, she's a talented singer, as she demonstrated yet again Saturday night. Dean Titus's Coyote Cowboys provided much of the music to the delighted throng, so many of them they spilled outside into the brisk night air.
PAYSANNE, center of Boonville town, began life early in the first quarter of the twentieth century as a filling station, part of the sprawling Farrer Building which is now home to an antique store, a seamstress, a coffee shop, high end mercantile goods, two bookkeepers, and Boonville's beloved community newspaper. Paysanne, featuring coffee and ice cream, is undergoing plumbing and wiring upgrades, the first in a hundred years darn near.
MERE MENTION of "seamstress" hardly does justice to the highly skilled Suzan Topales, "Sewing Susan," as she modestly describes herself. Ms. Topales is an artist, really, so talented that she's wayyyyyyy past mere stitchery.
A GROUP OF UC IRVINE STUDENTS gathered at CNN headquarters in Los Angeles last Saturday to protest the network's scant and dismissive coverage of Bernie Sanders' campaign. The protest was organized by UCI senior, Olivia Allen, of Philo. The irrepressible Ms. Allen is a 2012 graduate of Anderson Valley High School.
AMERICAN PICKERS to Northern California in March! The heavily-watched tv show is looking for "eccentric characters" with private antique collections who are encouraged to contact the program at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 855-old-rust. I'd say we've got eccentric characters coming in the windows around here, and a bunch of them have all sorts of interesting stuff. Prediction: Mendocino County will have at least one featured hoarder, er, collector.
WILDLIFE NOTES, a reader writes: "Saw a HUGE Mountain Lion at mm 10.5 outside of Boonville a coupla weeks ago. It was as long from nose to tail as the highway was wide in the other lane. He was stalking something and walked across the road in front of me. Wow. What a beauty. Nutmeg red like I've never seen. I've seen about seven mountain lions in California over the years — all in Mendo County. Once I saw a mother with two cubs jump onto Hwy One at Irish Beach. Another crossing the road by Montgomery Woods State Forest. All were tawny colored — not red like this one. Maybe it was more of a winter coat, what with the rain and no sun to bleach out. What a beauty. Shocked to learn how many had been killed. As far as I'm concerned, they can eat all those tick-laden deer that keep running into cars on the highway. Also, the alleged bear damage? Wake up! Did you also notice that stupid bear article was in the paper with the same headlines the day after CCC voted out Lester. What I've noticed is that after the last great gail/gale (!!??) WIND — all the willows were lain down on their sides. The wind was pelting from above and all the willows around Point Arena, the Stornetta's, etc., look like they've been lain on by a bear! I'm thinkin' it's not bear damage at all they are seeing, but wind damage which has lain down a lot of the low-lying trees and bushes around the Coastal areas and inland from there. Trying to make room for multibillion dollar homes? Get rid of the wildlife first. So they get into bad rep in the paper — bad press for our berry-eating bears in California?"
PG&E HAS FILMED a neat-o television commercial at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, showing both our photo-spectacular Valley and fully solarized Brewery to full advantage. See it for yourself at https://youtu.be/uIi35jIk3VQ
KEVIN BURKE rightly complained that a recent characterization of Boonville's Big Band concert at the Philo Grange as "Lawrence Welkian" and "in full denture-clacking swing" misrepresented what was in reality a lively event. "My own dentures may be clacking while I'm on the drums, but it was far from sedate," Burke said, adding that the horrendous head-on the night of the concert occurred only a few yards from his Philo home near the Balo Winery. Burke said he hurried to the scene when he heard the impact, and that the flugelhorn thief had been headed towards Philo, not towards Boonville. That very point is among the many stemming from the near fatal accident presently being contested in Superior Court.
A SECOND CANDIDATE for the Anderson Valley School Board, a mom with children in the local schools has emerged for the selection process on Friday, March 4th.
BOONVILLE'S BOY'S BASKETBALL TEAM breezed past visiting North Hills Christian (Vallejo) 88-55 a week ago Tuesday night in the first round of NorCal's small school hoops playoffs. Abraham Sanchez lead the Panthers with 18 points, 12 of which he hot-handed in the 1st quarter. Cesar Soto contributed 11 points to the lopsided victory as Will Lemons went 8/10 from the free throw line. Every player scored for the high flying homies, including three JV players competing in their first varsity game.
THE BOONVILLE BOYS also had no trouble with St. Elizabeth's of Oakland last Saturday night, thus advancing deep into the small school regional play-offs. Local sports fans will recall a joyous upset of St. Elizabeth's pulled off by a scrappy Anderson Valley squad last year but this year? No problemo.
BEFORE A PACKED HOMETOWN HOUSE in Boonville, the Anderson Valley boy's basketball team came out strong against the visiting St. Elizabeth Mustangs, corralling the Mustangs with little trouble, 72-48. AV led start to finish, with the big win putting the homeboys into the semi-finals of the Division 6 Northcoast championships. Abraham Sanchez knocked in 17 points to lead the Panther scoring, Tony Pardini came off the bench to toss in 15. Dependable Jared Johnston added 13 points, Cesar Soto 11 and Erin Perez 10 points. AV takes on Sonoma's Archbishop Hanna Hawks this Wednesday night, 7pm, in the Boonville gym.
SO, YOU WANNA teach school? Anderson Valley Unified, 506 students K-12, pays an annual average salary of $53,897. Point Arena, with 370 young scholars, whose schools have been in and out of a kind of educational receivership for years now, has boosted teacher pay 12.5% over the last three school years to $55,874 which, you might say, is a nice stipend for perennial failure. Mendocino Unified pays best at $57,296 a year.
OLD TIMERS are saying it looks and feels to them like the drought is ongoing, predictions of El Nino deluges notwithstanding. The Ukiah City Council is considering raising water rates over the next five years by as much as 17%, and every community in the County is talking about another summer of liquid austerity.
THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT of Water Resources is sounding even louder alarm bells. They say water shortages throughout the state remain critical because this rainfall season has been disappointing.
MY OWN rain gage is the Navarro River. It's already very near to being closed at the mouth. If it's silted up as severely as it is right now at the end of February, well, we're no doubting still droughting.
I PITY THE SPORTS FAN who missed Saturday night's Warrior's game. It had everything, including the most amazing individual performance by the extra-terrestrial, Steph Curry, who won it with less than a second to go in overtime with his 12th three-pointer in the game. He's the best ever, a human marvel. Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0HtFvZC5W8