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Valley People (July 6, 2016)

HUGE and unique collision at the intersection of 128 and Mountain View Road about 2am Monday (July 4th) morning. A very young man hurtling southbound on 128 managed to lose control of his vehicle on the mild bend in the road on 128, careening into three (count 'em) parked vehicles belonging to Robert Rosen, aka Container Guy. Rosen's property sits on the southwest side of the junction and, along with the old Philo Pottery Inn in Philo, is a frequent landing place for careening vehicles of the late night type. Rosen, incidentally, has worked long and hard to beautify his place, and we think he's done pretty well considering the number of shipping vaults he houses there. (Old timers will remember when Charles 'Perky' Perkins ran a fleet of log trucks from that smallish acre.)

INCREDIBLY, no arrests were made. The kid doing the careening was not drunk, did not flee the scene, was polite throughout his CHP interface, must have been rolling in insurance, and the adjudication, for now, is no harm, no foul.

BE THERE! AV GRANGE Work Party, Friday and Saturday, July 8 & 9. 10am-? Both days. Landscaping, painting and general minor repairs. Free pancake breakfast for all who participate. (David Norfleet)

A CREW from the popular tv show, American Pickers was in Comptche last week to the visit the electric accumulations of Cosmo Knoebber, a most interesting fellow.

MIKE AND LEE MONTANA have sold their long-time home at Rancho Navarro and moved to New Mexico. Hate to see them go. Lee was known to many Valley people through her notary services, which she offered in mobile form, often driving deep into the hills to place her irrefutable seal on legal docs. Mike was the best mechanic I've known. Always pleasant, unfailingly neighborly, the Montanas will be missed by all of us.

AV GEOLOGY Hike near Blue Rock:   On Sunday, July 10th from 9-1, Anderson Valley Land Trust will host an interpretive field hike on the Navarro River near the site of the 1995 Floodgate landslide and temporary dam. Geologist Julie Bawcom will discuss the landslide and the geologic history of the Navarro River. Julie is a licensed Engineering Geologist who worked for 28 years with the California Geological Survey in their Timber and Watershed Program in Mendocino County. She retired in 2014 and continues to teach geology classes part time for Mendocino College.  The level of the walk is moderate. There is no fee for this event, but we request that you contact us to reserve a space at or 707-895-3150. This event is made possible thanks to a grant from the Pearson Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. Thank you!

THE LIVE OAK BUILDING in central Boonville is coming along, and looking good, and will look positively boffo when Mr. Mullins, the owner, gets the late Wayne Ahrens' and the present Tom English's vivid logo painting back up front. We further understand the fitful, stop and start rehab construction at Live Oak has been made even more fitful by the County's sewage disposal demands.

SPEAKING OF FRUCKING STRUCTURE in hitherto anarchic communities like ours, we think the County should be flexible, creative even, when new people come to town and put money into old structures for new commercial purpose, employing locals and generally enhancing downtown Boonville. Given that the Anderson Valley is now its own tourist destination, and tourism, like it or not, is the economy we have, the County should make it easy for the new money to do good things. Four of the five sitting supervisors are dependably constituent-friendly while our supervisor, Lord Hamburg, shows up for meetings but is otherwise disengaged, to put it gently.

WITH OUR COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT'S water and sewage plans for SoBo (South Boonville) come endless complications for the present property owners in the neighborhood. Mr. Ricard, for handy example: His sprawling wreck of once thriving commercial space, in light of the neo-water and sewage standards being talked about, can't possibly be brought up to contemporary standards, meaning Ricard can't fix it up or sell it.

ON THE OTHER HAND, there's the pending Blackbird Farm project in the hills west of Philo. Blackbird, a non-profit whose money, lots of it, derives from an edu-loophole discovered by the Hall family that allows private individuals to establish for-profit storefront alternative schools funded by the public. The Halls want to expand their Philo farm from accommodations for 38 transient occupants (tourists) to accommodations 292 transients of the paying type. And they want to use Ray's Road as ingress and egress. Ray's Road can't handle that kind of traffic volume, and nobody living on Ray's Road wants any more traffic traveling up and down it than travels up and down it now.

IT'S NOT LIKE BLACKBIRD can't enter and exit off Greenwood Road but they'll say, "Greenwood takes people a half hour longer to get here." Boo hoo. Greenwood is a County-maintained road built for lots of traffic, Ray's Road isn't.

BUT WOULDN'T you just know that Planning and Building has already issued Blackbird a preliminary green light, both for its major expansion and access via Ray's Road. That green light comes in the form of a "draft mitigated negative declaration" that the schemes are fine with the County.

BLACKBIRD'S big expansion on the late Charmian Blattner's birthplace and 19th century family homestead, which then became an upscale retreat presided over by Gentleman George Gaines, and now Blackbird.

ADAM LYON is staying with friends at Rancho Navarro, where the Lyon family lived for years before decamping for Los Angeles. Adam and his friend, Alexis Duckett, are looking for a permanent rental and the permanent employment to pay for a permanent home. Both are formidably skilled, young, pleasant, responsible. If you've got shelter and/or work, call us and we'll put you in touch.

DROUGHT SAVVY STRATEGIES for Farm and Garden: At Anderson Valley Community Farm Tim Ward, Amanda Bontecou, and Matthew Gammett are all farming, gardening and raising livestock with limited water. Come join AV Foodshed on July 10th for a farm tour and potluck where Tim, Amanda, and Matthew will show their farming, gardening, and ranching strategies to cope with the current drought and still produce food. The tour will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the entrance to AV Community Farm off Lambert Lane. After the tour will be a local food community potluck and an opportunity to discuss the presentations and share your techniques. Please bring a potluck dish, your place setting, and a beverage. No fee and please no pets. For more information call 895-2949 or email

ME AND THE PITTIE. I keep avian hours. It gets dark, I sleep. It gets light, I get up. My hours, then, are 9-5 and 5-9. The other morning, after the usual two cups and a quick internet cruise of the previous night's catastrophes, I went outside in cool of the dawn to shovel wood chips over a large and unsightly skein of bare dirt that was dusting my castle when the saving afternoon winds come up, blowing straight down the Anderson Valley from the Pacific. Over the hill in Ukiah it's at least ten degrees warmer in the summer time. I have to go there later in the morning to peddle my papers, always a dread prospect. Suddenly, from behind, there's movement. It's a pit bull, a large-ish one. Mother of God! The light brown creature is standing about ten feet away, staring at me. I wave him off. He doesn't move, but he isn't growling or in any other way demonstrating hostility. I again shake my shovel at him to go away. He skitters off a few feet. I realize he's shy, a puppy, not yet one of the twisted beasts trained to attack anyone they don't recognize, animal of choice for love drug farmers. A friend calls pit bulls, 'pitties.' I think it would be a pity if this one separated mainstem Anderson from one of his tributaries. For a pit bull he has an appealingly friendly face. I want to pet him, make friends with him. But he skitters away when I approach. He's got a collar and lives next door. The other people on my property say he gets loose all the time. I'd better make friends with him in that case. I make a note to myself to buy some dog biscuits. I just met him but I like him. As I resume shoveling, he starts jumping around and yipping. He wants to play. "I can't play with you with a shovel," I tell him. He seems to understand, and jogs off down the street. I'll buy him off with some biscuits tomorrow morning, and think of some way to entertain him.

THE ESSENTIAL TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER writes in his must read Sunday column in the Ukiah Daily Journal, "I’ve been advised second and third graders in Ukiah schools are being taught knitting and crocheting. It’s clearly meant to help local teachers prod youngsters along in the evolution toward enhanced gender fluidity. Educators are giddy anytime they can sand away the differences between boys and girls; local parents might have different ideas. Dads, pay attention to how the schools are instructing kids, because next thing you know teachers will have your son designing a cocktail dress to wear to his sixth grade graduation. I’d like to suggest subjects to help little girls embrace their inner masculine side. How about all students attend “Introduction to Swordplay” classes, along with “Catapult Construction Basics” and “Firearms Safety for Beginners.”

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