GUN BATTLE ON PEACHLAND. Last Wednesday, a little after midnight, shots were heard in deep Peachland. Soon after, a couple returning to their home was startled by the sudden appearance of "two unidentified white males" who explained that they'd been robbed during a marijuana transaction. Other persons glimpsed furtively moving about Peachland that night were described as "cartel Mexicans."
THE PAIR of white men said they'd valiantly fought back against their assailants by shooting out the bandit's tires and then chasing him or them on foot. The two men reporting what turned out to be an inexplicable and almost certainly fanciful version of events then disappeared into the night.
TO SUMMARIZE first reports: Upper Peachland is the site of large-scale grows conducted by people with no other association to the Anderson Valley, although one or more otherwise vacant properties are owned by locals who may be in the pot business on a shares basis.
A GUN FIGHT broke out in or around one of these sites late last Wednesday night. The shooting involved an unknown number of persons, some of whom made their way on to uninvolved properties lower down the hill. They included the two unidentified white men subsequently reported to police.
AS MATTERS developed, a rather infamous blue Jeep was found on Peachland Road approximately seven miles east of Highway 128. It had been shot to death, with all four tires flattened and a final shot administered to its engine block.
THE NEXT DAY, resident deputy Craig Walker, as diligent as he is tireless, examined the dead Jeep. In it he found a receipt from the drive-thru window of the Ukiah Burger King time-stamped 4pm. And since the Jeep had already been linked to a named individual spotted on upper Peachland, Walker soon knew who he was looking for to explain the gunplay earlier in the week.
THE JEEP is well-known to local law enforcement, and known to be driven by a man even more well-known to law enforcement than his distinctive vehicle, which is owned by his love interest, Miss Alexandra Long.
DEPUTY WALKER was soon on the trail of Miss Long's boy friend, Trevor Jackson, who fit the description of one of two men who were driving around the same neighborhood of the gunfire this past Saturday, a mere three days after the mysterious gun battle. His Jeep being dead, Jackson was now driving a white Ford pick-up pulling an empty U-Haul trailer.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, a local had alerted Deputy Walker that a strange white pick-up was cruising Upper Peachland. Deputy Walker waited at the foot of Peachland Road for the pick-up to emerge from the hills. The deputy followed it to the Redwood Drive-In, noting that the white pick-up (of course) did not have a front license plate. Deputy Walker pulled the truck over and, with the formidable deputy Massey still twenty minutes out from Boonville where he'd function as back-up, Walker slapped the cuffs on Jackson and his companion, a man with a lengthy criminal history named Lewis Dishman, and began questioning the pair.
JACKSON AND DISHMAN said they had indeed been in Deep Peachland last Wednesday to install an irrigation system on an unnamed grow. They said their Jeep had gotten a flat tire, forcing them to walk from out of the hills some seven miles. They denied any knowledge of gunfire or any confrontation with anyone. They told Deputy Walker they'd returned with a trailer simply to retrieve their dead Jeep. They said they were sorry to learn their Jeep was dead.
DEPUTY WALKER couldn't help but see that Jackson and Dishman were tweeked to pulse-rate max, a visible fact they both readily conceded. Jackson had $3934.39 in cash in one of his pockets. He said the money was payment for his irrigation work in the Peachland. Were Jackson and Dishman the two men who appeared on the uninvolved Peachland property soon after Wednesday night's gunfire? Odds are…
JUST IN. The spring on Mountain View Road is again flowing with its traditional vigor. A month ago it was down to a trickle. Yesterday, it was magnifico! Speculation is last week's minor earthquake near Philo shook the earth just enough to free it up.
LYDIA EDISON has died. Bill and Lydia Edison lived part-time for many years on the Elk end of Greenwood Road. They arrived in the early 70’s, built a uniquely designed house about three miles out on Greenwood from Elk. A neighbor remembers Lydia this way: "Lovely lady. She was an avid reader and conservationist. Quiet and kind. Old money liberals, but they stayed out of the lives of others and kept their political opinions to themselves. Bill has always been a big Elk supporter and founded the annual “Pepper Martin” baseball game in Elk. I think Bill’s family was originally from Saint Louis. Not exactly sure, but the family business may have been founded on shoe manufacturing. They have a summer home in Martha’s Vineyard. She was a truly nice person."
THERE'S ALWAYS A LOCAL ANGLE: Omar Mateen, the shooter responsible for the Orlando massacre, was an employee of the Security giant G4S. The local connection is that G4S is another iteration of Falck Ambulance Services, the mega Danish outfit that has invaded Mendocino County and is threatening to disrupt the long established EMS services available here. Could be a "so what" coincident but it is interesting. (— David Severn)
AND we regret neglecting to credit Tom English's fine work with the late Wayne Ahrens who, together, painted the oak on Boonville's landmark Live Oak Building. Encouraging to note that the structure's current owners, Tim and Michelle Mullins of the Balo Winery, Philo, intend to re-install the painting on the freshly remodeled building's street-facing facade.
AS AN ANNUAL participant in Boonville High School's graduation — my function is to pass out scholarships awarded by the Miner-Anderson Foundation — I can't help but notice the changes over the past 17 years since these scholarships began. The graduates are as bright and handsome as they've ever been with the girls more like young women, the boys like boys, the age-old maturity gap. The spectators, sartorially considered, run the gamut from men in wife-beaters to women whose shrink-wraps are downright provocative. As one babe strutted across the gym floor with an inflammatory and perhaps illegal amount of breast and bun on full display, I thought to myself, "Look away, old horse! This is way too much excitement for you at your age."
A QUARTER OF A MIL later, my task was done. A friend approached. "I didn't know your newspaper made that kind of money," she said. Millions flow through the Boonville weekly, millions, I tell you!
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT Michele Hutchins is a gifted organizer. The three graduations she's been responsible for in the three years she's sat in the boss chair have been perfectly timed to be not too long, not too excruciating. Over the years, especially under the auspices of the non-thinking types now mercifully retired, graduation ceremonies have been more like torture contests — let's see how many people we can stuff into the gym on a 90-degree day with all the doors closed before people start screaming and passing out. Ms. Hutchins keeps things moving along, with the usual graduation uplift kept to a minimum. Not to be too cynical about graduation speeches, student and adult, I suppose it would be misunderstood as "negativity" if the adult speaker at least suggested the reality the young ones will face: "Good luck, young people. You're sure as hell going to need it in the minefield of the world you're stepping into. My advice? Learn to have a good time on no money."
APART from some fashion excess, the most striking part of the ceremony for me was the film produced by one of the students, Alexandria Johnson. It was a subliminally fast moving montage of the graduate's lives, from infancy through high school hijinks. The teen brain is apparently able to make sense of these fleeting images as evidenced by their laughter and pure enjoyment as the images sped along. To this old guy it seemed bewilderingly speeded up, and I wondered if the capacity of the young to truly focus hasn't been permanently damaged.
BOONVILLE PLAYS BY THE RULES, no exception! A carpenter we know appeared at the Boonville poll after a long day's work wearing his Bernie shirt. "You can't come in here wearing a partisan statement," he was informed. Chastened, the guy went outside, turned his shirt inside out, walked back in and voted.
BOONVILLE BOY MAKES GOOD, real good. Anderson Valley native Jon Wax, son of Jan Wax of the Holmes Ranch.... has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Original Programming, WGN America and Tribune Studios. Jon is the man behind the highly popular "Underground" and "Outsiders," the latter the most-watched program in nearly 18 years on the network. Wax will continue to oversee all scripted series development for WGN America and Tribune Studios.
JUST IN from the SF Weekly: "Philo — Distance from S.F.: 121 miles. One good way to know you're in a tiny town is if the elevation exceeds the population. Philo — elev. 331 — somehow manages to retain the feel of a hamlet even though it's home to 349 souls, however. (Clunk, blonk, gronk.) This beautiful bend in the road in inland Mendocino County, three hours north of San Francisco on Highway 128, can be a rainy place in the winter. But it comes alive in the summer, especially at the Madrones, a complex of tasting rooms and guest quarters that's neither a hotel nor a B&B but rather a working winery with sleeping accommodations (as well as Stone and Embers, Chef Patrick Meany's intimate restaurant). It's a great place to do absolutely nothing, but summer events like the Barrel-Tasting Festival and the Not So Simple Living Fair draw plenty of city dwellers to the area. Plus, can you ever really get tired of smelling redwoods? (Yes.) Bonus add-on: Boonville, a slightly larger hamlet a bit further south on 128, is home to the Anderson Valley Brewing Company and its famous sour beers plus a disc-golf course."
CORRECTION: Anderson Valley's most intriguing winemaker and all-round ace intoxicants entrepreneur, Kelly Boss, has not settled with the DA as previously reported here. Boss goes before a jury on July 18. Boss's attorney, the formidable E.D. Lerman, had been in negotiations with the DA to settle his case, but the DA said no dice to Boss's proposal. In May, 2014 Boss owned two parcels — 14 acres on Cameron Road in Elk, and 20 acres on Chardonnay Lane in Philo in the Holmes Ranch subdivision. There were combined mortgage payments of $13,000 per month on the properties. For six months prior to his big bust by the County Drug Task Force, Boss's monthly PG&E bills were averaging $4,500. During the subsequent raids on Boss's two properties, $31,111 in cash was seized along with processed and packaged bud. Another $8,100 in cash was found in another building stuffed in a manila envelope. In a downstairs laundry area, a rotating bookshelf was found, concealing a steel door leading to a hidden drying room many more pounds of dope were found.
YORKVILLE’S TRAFFIC DANGER. Everyone aware of “downtown Yorkville” knows that speeding traffic presents a major hazard to residents of core Yorkville, especially people pulling in and out of the boomingly revived Yorkville Market. Yorkville’s “high rollers,” as Yorkvillians are called in Boontling, have been quietly attempting to get Caltrans and the CHP to do something about the problem for months now without success. The High Rollers have torqued up the pressure on Big Orange:
To: Darren Hill, Transportation Engineer, Caltrans District 1, Eureka.
Subject: Speed Reduction/Area of Conflict.
May 30, 2016 — Dear Mr. Hill,
It is apparent that interested parties took the wrong approach. Yet the underlying point is being missed — a dangerous condition exists not apparent to motorists traveling eastbound on Highway 128 past milemarker 41.35.
I am aware of all previous letters sent to you/Caltrans and the Ukiah office of the California Highway Patrol regarding the above said subject. I have read all corresponding responses from each party.
The "root issue" addressed by the Anderson Valley Community Services District, board chair Valerie Hanelt, and the Yorkville Community Benefits Association is there are present very real dangers in the area in question and separately, a blind spot at westbound mile marker 41.35 which prevents motorists from knowing about possible vehicles entering the roadway up ahead (area of conflict).
On hindsight, due to our lack of knowledge about how to address a matter such as this (the area of conflict previously mentioned), maybe our approach should have been simply to ask Caltrans for your assistance in addressing the said very real danger that exists. To be clear, a majority of the residents of Yorkville see the problem. I have three pages of signatures of Yorkville residents (over 50) supporting the initiative to solve this problem. Can you help? Will you help us reduce the real potential for damage to property and person?
Here are quotes from the California Vehicle Code, California Manual for Setting Speed Limits and Effective Speed Zoning — all of which speak directly to the issue at hand: that most drivers on Highway 128 westbound through Yorkville are not aware of possible vehicles entering the highway just at milemarker 41.35.
Advisory warning signs — "they advise the driver of roadway conditions" … "notify drivers in order to negotiate upcoming existing roadway features…"
Areas of Conflict — "conditions are not readily apparent to motorists" … "every attempt should be made to make the motorist aware of non-apparent conditioned."
Basic speed law — is founded on the belief that most motorists will on their own adjust and modify their driving behavior as long as they are aware of the conditions around them.
The former is the very issue, the very real danger we are speaking of.
All of the above quotes point to the very issue Yorkville wants and needs to correct: the area of conflict previously mentioned — most drivers passing milemarker 41.35 westbound on Highway 128 are not aware of motorists possibly entering the highway.
What can we do to mitigate and/or eliminate the inherent hazard?
Please do not respond without solutions. That would be unacceptable. Something has to be done before damage to person or property results. We would very much like your assistance in addressing this matter.
Sincerely, Gary E. Margolis and the Yorkville community
WHILE we're visiting Yorkville, Colin Wilson is in for major attaboys with a good guy cluster. Colin has officially retired as Anderson Valley's fire chief but he's as active as ever and, as a resident of Yorkville, he keeps a watchful eye on the welfare of his fellow High Rollers, among them Bev Burger. Last week, Bev, back at her Yorkville home after suffering a nearly fatal stroke, was suddenly aware that her two full-time canine companions were missing. Colin to the rescue and, long story short, Colin, with an efficient assist from the staff at the County Animal Shelter in Ukiah, Bev's dogs are again at home.
CORRECTION. Community Services District Manager Joy Andrews writes: "The article on the front page of last week’s AVA about our water/sewer research stated ‘A draft application to …LAFCo has been prepared which would activate “latent powers”…’ Absolutely nothing has been prepared or started on the LAFCo application. The Boonville Planners will know when we do as it might be quite a time-consuming process and may require the group’s involvement, but I’m hoping less so than the ambulance.”
VETERANS MEMORIAL. Bobby Kuny's justly proud mom, Lisa, writes of her son's much appreciated high school senior project: "I just sent a few pics from the Memorial Day ceremony that took place Sunday, May 29th at the Evergreen Cemetery where Bobby presented his memorial to the American Legion. It was then placed permanently at the American Legion Hall/ Senior Center. Bobby had a lot of help from all of the Legion members, especially Kirk Wilder, Mark Fontaine, Patrick Burn's and Patrick Ford. Robbie Lane was Bobby's Senior Mentor for his project so Robbie did a lot of one on one time with Bobby and we are very grateful for his help. And we are also grateful for all the donations Bobby received to help pay for his project."
PANTHER BASEBALL AWARDS, 2016!
Jared Johnston: Team MVP award, and NCL3 League Co-MVP. Hit league-leading .650. 5-1 as pitcher with 1.7 league ERA with 58 strikeouts.
Cesar Soto: Team Silver Slugger Award with .625 avg. 1st Team All-League.
Tony Pardini: 1st Team All-League. 5-1 as pitcher. 1.58 era. 30 strike outs.
Second Team All-League:
Jonas Lane: .500 League batting avg.
JT Carlin: .500 avg.
League Honorable Mention: Isak Parra: Batted .450
BLACKBIRD FARM OPEN HOUSE…Blackbird Farm in Philo invites you and a guest to our 2nd annual open house. June 22, 2016 from 11am to 3pm. 18601 Van Zandt Resort Road, Philo. There will be live music, delicious food, wine, garden tours, and a petting zoo! This will be a great time for us to connect with our community members and for our neighbors to see all that Blackbird Farm has to offer! Please RSVP by June 17th 2016!
VARIOUS MEMBERS of my family have held season tickets to the Warriors all the way back to when the Warriors played at the Cow Palace. We've also logged thousands of mostly happy hours at Niner's games beginning at Kezar Stadium. Giants? Ditto. The last Warriors game I saw in person, when tickets were still affordable, was the Rick Barry-Al Attles Warriors, just before the games became a kind all out assault on one's cognitive intake apparatus — terrible music played constantly at full volume; pelvic thrusts from a squadron of hoochie coochie girls at every time-out; ten dollar hot dogs; that insane scoreboard looming overhead in anticipation of the next big earthquake; major freeway battles getting to and from the Coliseum. One family member has retained season's Warrior tickets.
SO, WHEN that family member was quoted in Leah Garchik's SF Chron column last Wednesday, he was expressing a third generation family opinion, and an opinion we unanimously hold today: "A longtime season ticket holder for the Golden State Warriors was dismayed by the playoff opener's pre-game video for fans. 'To get the Roaracle crowd inspired,' e-mailed RA, 'a montage of film clips began with the chest-pounding scene from The Wolf of Wall Street featuring criminals gleefully bonding over their greedy money scams. The clip then moved through mostly comedies, Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly NASCAR hijinx, but also included Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Meanwhile on the court, nine out of 10 of the players competing and sweating were people of color. Nothing from Selma, or Ali or 42 or Race. No funny men Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and no women. The montage may reflect a new audience, but it sure isn't a reflection of the loyalists."