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Valley People (Aug 10, 2016)

ALTHOUGH formal confirmation is pending, Kathy Hulbert, 57, of Philo, was found dead Saturday morning in her van, which had unaccountably careened off a steep section of the Ukiah-Boonville at the 9.6-mile marker and fell some 200 feet from the roadbed. It is speculated by emergency services personnel that the accident that killed Ms. Hulbert and her dog may have occurred several days prior to the discovery of her vehicle and remains.

ACCORDING TO THE CHP, Ms. Hulbert was headed toward Boonville in her 1994 Chevrolet Gladiator when, for unknown reasons, her van left the road. The accident is still under investigation.

KATHY was a resident of Gschwend Road. She had lived most of her life in the Anderson Valley and is survived by two children, Luke and Dallas Nelsen of Ukiah and several grandchildren. Ms. Hulbert was much in demand as an in-home care worker. A kindly woman much admired for her knowledge of and devotion to animals, Ms. Hulbert had struggled to regain herself after succumbing to drugs as a younger person. Kathryne's family and friends will gather at the Apple Hall, Boonville, this Saturday (August 13th) at 11am to remember Kathryne. Potluck lunch to follow.

Kathy Hulbert3

GILLES d’AYMERY, a former resident of Vista Ranch near, died on May 9th, 2014, in San Francisco at age 64.  We have just now learned of d’Aymery’s death. We found him, ahem, difficult, but are nevertheless saddened to learn of his death. Our condolences to his widow, Jan Baughman.

BOB DEMPEL of Hopland popped in Monday, fresh back from the Ukiah Fair where he said that Beth Swehla and her Future Farmer class from Boonville High School made an impressive presence. Bob reported that the animals raised by 4-H kids had garnered a record $700,000-plus in sales to sponsoring organizations. Bob marveled at the 700k taken in by the much smaller Ukiah Fair to the just over a million in livestock sold by Sonoma County 4-H at the much larger Sonoma County Fair.


LATE SUNDAY NIGHT, early Monday morning, a man described as “tall, lean, wearing a watchman’s cap and riding an old fashioned red bicycle,” startled guests at the two Boonville Hotel cabins unattached to the Hotel itself by pounding on and trying their doors. The “old fashioned red bicycle” will soon have the tweaker riding it answering to Deputy Walker.

RETRACTION-ISH. The live music presented at the Navarro Store by the enterprising Dave Evans has become a highly popular summer event in the Anderson Valley. Dave, a natural promoter whose persuasive ebullience draws first-tier musicians to appear under the store's redwoods, has been ordered by the office of Alcohol Beverage Control to fence his modest venue, a venue that draws everyone from senior citizens to passing tourists who can't believe that Charlie Musslewhite, for one, is playing live just down the road from their campground. (Last weekend’s Subdudes concert was a huge success.)

THE FENCE, you see, has been imposed on Dave by the ABC to keep under-21's apart from the adult persons enjoying a beer while they watch the performers. The ABC's barrier is a see-through cyclone job. It destroys what had been the most pleasant family entertainment ambience anywhere on the Northcoast, converting every few weeks a corner of redwood forest to a live music stage reminiscent of the old fashioned outdoor dance floors of gracious days gone by.

SO, who sicced the ABC on the Navarro Store? Patrick Pekin, a Fort Bragg lawyer? Maybe. Motive seems to exist. John Wolfe? Motive doubly exists. Readers will recall that Pekin was narrowly defeated by Keith Faulder for Superior Court judge in the recent election. Dave was and is a Faulder supporter who had diplomatically refused Pekin permission to erect a Pekin For Judge sign at the Navarro Store. Dave had explained to Pekin that he fully supported Faulder for judge and felt it would be disloyal to Faulder to also advertise Pekin’s candidacy.


PEKIN is also representing John Wolfe of Navarro. Wolfe claims he struck a Navarro grandmother, Ann Knight, in self-defense two hours after that night's concert at the Navarro Store had ended and more than an hour after Dave had closed his store. The assault occurred in an area that is assumed to be part of a CalTrans right of way, not Navarro Store property.

HAVE PEKIN AND WOLFE teamed up to suggest that Dave Evans is somehow responsible for Wolfe's vicious attack on Mrs. Knight, and Pekin gained a measure of petty revenge on Dave for Pekin's failed judicial ambitions?

THE NAVARRO GRANDMOTHER was struck with such force by Wolfe, the gallant self-defender, that she required 14 stitches in her face and is still not fully recovered a month later.

WOLFE has alienated the entire Anderson Valley community, has lost his job at the Boonville Brewery, and his preliminary hearing on felony assault charges is set for August 17 at Ten Mile Court, Fort Bragg. Wolfe is not in custody, having posted bail soon after the event.

PEKIN responds:

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I have never reported anyone to ABC. I did not report the Navarro Store to ABC and no one from my office reported the Navarro Store to the ABC. My wife and I enjoy the Navarro Store and we have absolutely no problem with them.

As regards the recent judicial campaign which I lost, I was never vindictive towards anyone. I never threw mud at my opponent or any of his supporters. I never engaged in any duel with your paper. I understood starting out that you might pick a side, and you did, and you would zealously support your man, and you did that too.

Your man won, and I congratulated him and all of his supporters for that. It was a fair win and a fair election, I requested no recount. I made it quite clear that I have no hard feelings. I’ve been a good loser. I think it’s time you, Mr. Anderson, worked at being a better winner.

Please be so kind and print a retraction for the August 8, 2016 Anderson Valley Today article regarding the Navarro Store.

Yours, Patrick Pekin, Fort Bragg

RETRACTION? I am retracting, but only because the ABC, Santa Rosa branch, in the best snitch tradition, won’t tell me who the complaint came from. It’s possible, I suppose, that it’s all coincidence.

IS HERB DEAD? Herb Ruhs? Not that the Coroner can tell. Reacting to a rumor that the former Boonville resident and medical doctor had died at his new home in Fort Bragg, we called the County Coroner’s office to see if Herb was still among the living. As of Monday morning Herb lives, at least as far as the Coroner is concerned.

REGULAR visitors to the Boonville Farmers’ Market will want to know about Market Match, California’s healthy food incentive program for Calfresh/EBT (“food stamp”) benefits. When you use your EBT card at the farmers’ market, you’ll be offered $15-$20 extra to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. The income limit to qualify for CalFresh/EBT is roughly 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. (This is about $2,000 per month for a household size of 2, or $2,900 per month for a family of four.) Using your EBT card at the Boonville Farmers’ Market is simple: go first to the information table at the market to swipe your card and get tokens for your EBT and Market Match incentives. Spend the tokens/script just like cash with vendors that sell the same items you can purchase with EBT at other stores. The Boonville market is on Saturdays from 9:30 to noon at the corner of Highway 128 and Lambert Lane. For more information visit:

ANNE FASHAUER ASKS: There's a photo in the paper, under Flynn Washburn's piece. It’s of a bunch of Mendo High kids, all a couple of years older than I. I can't see any reference to it though - can you shed some light?”

THE KIDS look familiar, like Boonville kids back in the 1980s, but I can’t say for sure.  We’ve been going through boxes of old photos. I doubt we’d have pictures from the Mendocino schools, but his pic might memorialize some kind of intra-school adventure.

ANNE REPLIED: “Those kids are definitely from Mendo – I recognize them though I can’t put names to them all – I’m going to look tonight at yearbooks. The tall gal third from left is a Curti and the third from left is Shufina Knoebber.“ Anne said she thought the guy I pegged as Richie Wellington of Boonville was Tom Whiteside.

THE NEXT DAY, yearbook research concluded, Anne wrote: “The two I mentioned – Lori Curti and Shufina Knoebber — are for sure, but the rest I did not find in the yearbook, so it could be a mix of AV and Mendo students and that could be Richie. It will be interesting to see if anyone else comes up with any names.”  It’s up to you, Anyone.


CSD TRUSTEES Valerie Hanelt and Kathleen McKenna on the status of the downtown Boonville water/sewer project(s) which continue to move down the planning path:

“First of all, watch for our fantastic Water Project Poster designed and printed by Dan Sanfrey, Johnny Schmitt, and Katie Williams. Dan is now getting them printed and will be taking them around to local establishments. Thank you Dan and Katie, for bringing your professional artist skills to the effort, and thank you, Johnny, for support and funding. What an amazing poster! Our next job is to work further on the FAQs on the website as they are very incomplete and outdated. Val and Kathleen and Karen McBride will tackle this. But please submit questions that we can field.

Send to Val & Kathleen at or

“Sewer is finished with paperwork for the planning grant applications. Drinking Water is extremely close. The engineers and the State and local Waterboards have hammered out their planning grant agreements. We are just about to the point in the process where both sides (State and CSD) have “legal" look the agreements over. Hopefully it will not be terribly complicated because there is only one source of money (State grants) for the planning grants. We have an attorney who is highly regarded (Matthew Emrick – recommended by Charlie Acker, Elk Water District). He will not charge unless it requires more work/effort than just reviewing. Once the legal is done then two planning grants for $500,000 each will be funded. The CSD will get an admin fee from each grant.

“LAFCO: the GOOD news is that planning funding can proceed with our original Charter document, which lists water and sewer powers as possible powers. We must continue with our application to LAFCO to activate them, but it can be a parallel process and, of course, must be done before construction funding. Timeline: If legal gets done by Oct/Nov then actual Planning and Designing can start. Plan on 18 months for that (unless lawsuits or other complications, etc.). If that goes fairly smoothly then we are hopefully using shovels by sometime late in 2018 or early 2019.

“Our Boonville Planners have to recommend an option that the state will fund for actually building the systems. Meaning it has to fit into their “affordability” formula for ratepayers. Right now we are planning for all of Boonville (Hutsell Road - through Airport/Estates area including High School and Clinic) for drinking water, and downtown Boonville (Hutsell through Mountain View Rd area) for sewer. This means we are planning for all the parcels up and down the small side streets as well as the 128 corridor.

“We had four parcel owners from the north eastern area of Farrer Lane opt out as they have large outlying parcels and existing systems that would not affect the projects. The engineers will let us know, but at this time this does not appear to be a problem.

“Also, Michele Hutchins, AV School superintendent, is interested in extending a line for drinking water and fire suppression (but probably not sewer) to the Elementary School and is starting to work on separate State funding for that. If any of you officials know how to proceed with Education Department funding or what should be her first steps, please contact her.”

SPEAKING of our dynamic and vivacious school supe, she sends along the cv’s for our new high school principal, Keri St. Jeor, and our new elementary school principal, Katherine Reddick;

KERI ST. JEOR grew up on an almond ranch outside of Modesto, California, where he worked hard and learned all the aspects of farming. In high school, he participated in the FFA program and showed steers at the county fairs. Following high school, he lived in Ecuador for two years where he served the people and became fluent in Spanish. He then attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and obtained a BA. After college, he became a pilot in the Marine Corps, flying helicopters. He was stationed mostly at Tustin, California and Okinawa, Japan. Upon leaving active duty, Keri did crop dusting for a season and then returned to school to get his teaching credential. He taught high school Spanish for 15 years, levels I through AP. He also coached football, wrestling, track, and soccer. He has been a school administrator for 9 years, 4 of which were in the Bush of Alaska. While in the military, he met and married his wife, Debi. They have 6 children and 5 grandchildren (so far). His favorite things to do, besides spending time with his family, are skiing, backpacking, mountain biking, and reading. He is an avid football fan and also enjoys singing and participating in theater.

KATHERINE REDDICK worked in elementary education for 17 years in Nevada, Texas, and California, as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, instructional coach, and school administrator. Her education includes a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from University of Nevada in Reno. She completed her teacher certification at Sierra Nevada College, a Master's in Educational Leadership at American InterContinental University and her administrative credentials at Concordia University. Most recently, Dr. Reddick completed an MS and PhD in Organizational Psychology at Capella University. Katherine has two sons; one employed as a Paramedic/Firefighter in Nevada and the other will attend AVHS as a Sophomore. Katherine is often found cooking, gardening or traveling when spending time outside of school.

A FRIEND WRITES: “If someone had asked me 30 years ago what Mendo County town would be the last to succumb to fashionable trends I’d have quickly picked Boonville. Seems impossible that it has changed so much, so fast. No local bar offering a shot and a Budweiser? If I’d been told that was the way Boonville would be in the 21st century I’d have assumed an earthquake had swallowed it whole.”

GOOD! FOOD! EAT! HERE! NOW! A visitor assesses Boonville’s restaurants:

• Aquarelle Café bills itself as “downtown in the middle of nowhere,” this particular outpost of nowhere being my old hometown, Boonville. Playing tourist for the weekend I had dinner at Aquarelle on the patio a couple Friday nights ago. The balmy evening was made more delicious by Aquarelle’s garlic fries and a verdant salad starring forget-me-not lettuce pulled screaming from the blushing soil, and spiked with asteroid-sized chunks of blue cheese and crisp pecans sweetened with the honey-smoke of Friday night glories beneath the fairground lights. Please know that I am not a food writer, and generally detest gastroporn, but when confronted by Fortune’s most savory embrace, I am honor-bound to bite my lip and sing the praises with a most grateful tongue.

• And thus no description of my most recent journey home would be complete without mentioning the Juice Bar at the Boonville Hotel. In fact, I hadn’t strolled Johnny Schmitt’s oasis of luxurious simplicity for too long. Both the fresh squeezed beet and carrot concoction and the perfectly designed garden space provided a double dose of health and tranquility. Charmingly rustic cabins fringe a drowsy harbor of leaf and bloom, and one feels like a happy pirate, as if stealing summer’s soft breath from a sleeping princess, as her barbarian sentries snore in blissful ignorance a mere bouquet’s toss away, in angular late-model gas-spewing coffins trekking up and down Highway 128.

• Across from Johnny’s Juice and Grub Eden is the General Store, where I bought a still-warm slab of their country bread. Maybe it’s a sourdough. Or a rye of some kind. I have no idea except it’s love at first hot bite, as the butter pat melts against its spongy flesh. This is the kind of bread I’ve spent months searching for in the outback wilds of San Francisco. But to no avail. If you are desperate need of true succor, both for your soul and gullet, then get thee to the General Store and beg the kind and pleasant ladies there to sell you an oval of God’s own loaf. (Note: Johnny makes equally ethereal bread, but the Hotel doesn’t sell retail. Yet.)

• A few steps north of the General Store is Mosswood Café, where I take my lattés or, if feeling especially continental, a cappuccino or even, gasp, a macchiato. Best breakfast panini money can buy.

• Finally, we stopped at Pennyroyal, a park-like encampment at the southern border of town that recalls a Kublai Khan hunting lodge, though the yurt felt replaced by a graceful wooden barn-like structure that is more similar to an Etruscan palace than Gobi Desert beast and feast. Featuring goat and sheep cheeses created curd by curd from local free-ranging herds, Penny Royal is yet one more golden spike nailed into the vampire of my own youthful Boonville. I’m not saying it’s worse, I’m not saying it’s better; I’m only saying that after living in Boston, New York, London and San Francisco for most of my life, Pennyroyal had the strange even ghost-like effect of making me feel both comforted and at home, though intellectually it represented everything that my own Boonville of the 70s was not. The Penny Royal is airy and cool. The staff is attentive without being cling-filmy. There is a tasting counter for nips of their own wines, and shelves of cheeses and jams and gourmet canned coffee, of which I shot-gunned two. Outside is a shaded picnic area from which to gaze at the eminently gaze-able vineyards and trees and hills. Ironically enough, I found myself admiring the view I’ve long taken for granted, and pleased with my own cleverness at how beautiful the valley really is, I bought a two-piece satchel of chocolate wrapped prettily with a violet ribbon. Somewhere Deputy Squires is grabbing his whistle and yelling, “Anderson, get your candy ass on the goal line. Summer’s over and we’re gonna see if you can even become a boy before you can think about being a man.” Sure coach, but have you tried this Velvet Sisters camembert… mmm-mmm… OUCH!  (ZA)

THINGS I LIKE: Valerie Adair’s note cards on sale at the Yorkville Market. Sent one off as a thank you card, and darned if the recipient didn’t write right back thanking me for Ms. Adair’s vivid garden photo.

ULISES GARCIA of Anderson Valley High School is among the top soccer players on the Northcoast, big or small school. Ulises was all-league as a sophomore and just keeps on getting better until…..just last week the kid, who is also an A student, went down with a severely dislocated knee and is out for the season, a clear case of a bad thing happening to a good person.

A CALLER says the Filigreen Farms blueberries now on sale at the Co-Op, Ukiah, are "unbelievably good." And from Boonville where Filigreen maintains a farm off Anderson Valley Way supervised by the Tebbutt family, who've worked this and many other agricultural miracles before our very eyes. They will soon open a roadside stand, also on Anderson Valley Way where they've re-done an old garage into a minor architectural beauty.

A READER WRITES: "Yesterday afternoon we passed the BIG DIG (which has now lost almost all of the almost full status it miraculously collected in a very brief time early this year from "rainfall" or "runoff") and saw a large number of workers (very large, shoulder to shoulder) working in the one bare patch of the surrounding vineyard. They appeared to be planting new vines from gallon (long skinny) containers. Who plants new plants in summer? With the temp in the high 90s? Going into a hot August and hotter September? There were a lot of cars parked along AV Way near the operation. But…there were also three shiny, big, new busses pulling out of the east Fitch Lane exit. One of them passed me while parked at the Boonville Post Office. It was called Kenny or Kerry Lines, or similar, I think. I could not see if it was full or empty, nor did I see anything more of the other two. But, given the accident on Hwy 99, which involved charter busses taking passengers from Mexico to Washington (obvious destination to pick apples?) I wondered if there is an organized rent-a-transit picker/planter effort in AV? Any clue?"

“BIG DIG” refers to a huge irrigation pond near Boonville. Any bigger, the crater-size insult to nearby Anderson Creek would be legally classified as a lake. It has recently been emptied and re-filled, why no one knows and the water wasters who did it aren't saying. The area is mostly in vineyard and, I believe, is owned by the Cakebread Wine outfit.

MANY COUNTY VINEYARDS now import Mexican labor from the I-5 corridor, as does MRC to do its hacking and squirting and replanting.

AS WE OFTEN COMPLAIN here at Boonville's beloved community newspaper, the chemically dependent wine grape industry is doing huge damage to the natural life of the Anderson Valley. It's wine grape chemical runoff that now annually poisons our rivers and streams, causing the state to issue warnings re toxicity to humans. As of right now, for instance, even though it is barely flowing and is silted up at its mouth, grape growers (and billionaires like Jeff Skoll) are pumping water from the poisoned and depleted Navarro. (Slob marijuana growers are another hazard to the natural life of all areas of Mendocino County but aren't as prevalent in the Anderson Valley as they are in the North County.)

MANY OF THE WINE GRAPE operations in the Anderson Valley inherited riparian access to our year-round streams and our one river, the Navarro, by buying old farms and ranches bordering streams that feed the Navarro. The old timers used water sparingly for modest orchards and gardens. The wine industry simply helps itself without regard for God or even their fellow despoilers. Riparian rights are now, fundamentally, a huge loophole of unintended consequences through which industrial grape growing sucks up finite waters and poisons what's left.

AS FOR SUMMER plantings, why not? The industry has been doing it for years now, as acres of new vineyard proliferate everywhere in the hills.

FREE DAY USE entrance to Hendy Woods State Park for local people will return again next Sunday, August 14. The Hendy Woods Community will pay the Second Sunday of the month day use fee for park visitors from Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche, and Elk. Hendy Woods is Anderson Valley’s only large public open space and we hope to ensure community residents can enjoy our park with its ancient redwood groves, miles of trails, lovely picnic area, and access to the Navarro River.  See you there!

MOVIE MAKING IN YORKVILLE? Tuesday morning two CHP officers were posted at the entrance to the Pronosolino Ranch as a couple of big show biz buses rolled in. Yes, the CHP gets reimbursed for officer time and, yes, the scenic areas of Mendo and HumCo are often movie (or advertising backdrop) venues.

THE BOSS DROPS BY. Steve Dunnicliff of the County's Planning and Building Department, stopped in recently and, truth to tell, he impressed us as smart, articulate, and knowledgeable, qualities we don't often associate with local bureaucrats or elected officials. A young family man, Dunnicliff is a native of Healdsburg, a graduate of Cardinal Newman High School whose family once owned Healdsburg Printing. We see this guy as County CEO material, hopefully sooner than later.

MANY RESIDENTS of the Anderson Valley have complained that the Anderson Valley Advertiser has created a major eyesore in the middle of Boonville by locating its offices in an industrial trailer astride Highway 128, the conduit to the revered village of Mendocino. Community members say it is downright hypocritical of the AVA to constantly complain about other unsightly local structures while creating the ugliest vista of all across the road from quaint Boont Berry Farm. We have heard those complaints loud and clear! As always sensitive to public opinion, and eager to do our part in creating a tourist destination right here in Boonville rivaling in pure beauty any on the Northcoast — move over Ferndale — we've worked for months on a beautification plan we are confident the entire Valley will be pleased with. We are, therefore, proud to announce the enhancement pictured below, along with the  “before” photo depicting the abject sterility presented by our office prior to our beautification effort.



We thank the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Anderson Valley Wine Growers Association, local aesthetes, and the community at large for your forbearance while we've labored on our upgrade.  Please know that by next summer we hope to mount a welcoming fuchsia basket over our front door, the second of three improvements to come. Onward!

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