Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley People (Aug 17, 2016)

Loretta Houck
Loretta Houck

LORETTA HOUCK has died. Loretta was a lovely, vivacious woman we’d all hoped would miraculously recover from the terrible accident she suffered in April of last year. We are saddened at her passing, and our deepest condolences to Loretta's husband, W. Dan Houck, and Loretta's daughter, Jennifer, who were constantly at Loretta's bedside all the days she lingered.

AV FIRE CHIEF, Andres Avila, said Monday that none of our fire people have been summoned to the ongoing Lake County catastrophe, but that he and Clay Eubanks expected to lend their services soon.

HERB RUHS WRITES: “Rumors of my demise are not exaggerated. I left this plane 08/07/16, departed from Woodland, CA. Future address not yet fixed. Sincerely, Herb Ruhs, M.D. The Great Beyond.”

Herb Ruhs
Herb Ruhs

WE HEARD that Herb was gone, assuming he’d died in Fort Bragg where he was last heard from. The Mendo Coroner said last week that nobody by that name had passed. But Herb really did die in Woodland. Nice to hear from him, certainly. Wish more people would write from The Other Side.

AS THIS YEAR’S grape harvest picks up momentum, industry people and the casual reader are certain to enjoy Darren Delmore’s “Slave to the Vine — Confessions of a Vagabond Cellarhand.” Delmore’s a witty writer who tells us what it’s really like in the industrial bowels of an enterprise that runs on pure myth.


AS A PAID-UP MEMBER of Public Radio Mendocino County, I’m not happy that Lorraine Dechter has resigned as general manager. As per ancient custom at that particular viper’s nest, it’s not known why she quit, but it is known she’d stepped into a financial death spiral and as off-putting a collection of entrenched “personalities” as can be found anywhere north of KPFA. I suppose Ms. D will be succeeded by Stuart Campbell, est grad and a plump version of his fellow capon, John Coate, who, with big boosts from the usual self-selecting board of directors, has brought the station to the brink of collapse. Ms. D, in her brief stay in the top spot, had totally purged the neg vibes at the Philo headquarters, but in the process seems to have succumbed to their noxious fumes. She has said she’s staying on but not as boss. Which is good news offset only by her likely successor.

JOHN TOOHEY, a former Panther who went on to play college-level football, has succeeded Dan Kuny as Anderson Valley High School’s head coach.

WE WERE SURPRISED and delighted when the new Elementary School principal stopped in Tuesday afternoon. We’re not accustomed to basic civility from the public school axis let alone an old fashioned, mannerly intro, at her initiative, from a bright, charming person who also functions as a school administrator. Ms. Katherine Reddick, for our part, is an excellent hire.

USED TO BE the start of deer season sounded like gun battles everywhere in the hills of the Anderson Valley. Deer season 2016? All I heard were 15 shots at dusk Sunday, and 15 shots aimed at one deer? More likely an exuberant drunk.

JENI BENVILLE has closed her popular chocolate shop next door to Boont Berry Farm. I won’t betray what she told me in confidence, but Jeni had her reasons, good ones, too. She’ll be commuting to Healdsburg from her Boonville home to work at Big John’s Market at Healdsburg’s north end.

JENI’S DEPARTURE had nothing to do with her landlord, Mike Shapiro who, I understand, is in failing health. Always admired the guy. Talk about a work ethic! Mike always seemed to have ten jobs when I first met him in ’71 at a school board meeting. We’d both been told to sit down and shut up, although we were complaining about different matters. Mike was hippie-ish, I was straighter-than-straight, on the surface anyway, but always lumped in with “the hippies.” As Valley newcomers, you see, we weren’t supposed to challenge “our way of doing things.” A few years later, the hippies had completed their takeover of Valley institutions — everything except the Fair Board and the Cemetery Board — and were telling everyone else to sit down and shut up. A female school board member and semi-retired flower child had casually mooned me in her driveway one day, and here she was with the bare-assed effrontery chastising me at a school board meeting as “irrational.” That one, my friends, still smarts.

IN LOVING MEMORY. Please join us for a memorial service to celebrate the life of Linda Peterson Brennan, Sunday August 28 at 3:00 pm. At The Shed (across from the Boonville Hotel)

A 5.1 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE shook Lake and Mendocino counties a week ago Tuesday evening, a day past our deadline. The quake, centered about 12 miles north of Upper Lake, struck just before 8 p.m. Anderson Valley felt it as a sharp jolt, although some people said it seemed more “wave-like” while others say “rolling.” Which is the way of earthquakes.

MIKE KALANTARIAN IN NAVARRO: "Interesting that you got a sharp jolt. It was big waves for us (sister in Ukiah said it was similar motion there). Yes, two aftershocks now listed (2.7 and 3.0) but unfelt here (or in Ukiah).

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *