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Valley People (Sept. 21, 2016)

FAIR SUNDAY was marred by the death of a young motorcyclist on 128 near Navarro. He is identified as Andrew Robert “Drew” Dziki, 23, of Ukiah. The investigation of the accident, which occurred about 11am, is still underway.

MONDAY AFTERNOON a Yorkville resident asked us if we knew why a helicopter was flying low and slow around central Yorkville late Sunday night with all its search light on.  We started asking around and heard one guess that police were looking for a missing person. Another guess had it that it was a medevac helicopter trying to find a safe place to land. KZYX reported that the helicopter was being used to search the area for survivors of a vehicle accident. That report seems to have confused a Santa Rosa disaster with a helicopter in Yorkville. Safe to say it was a medical flight, but we’re still looking for confirmation of what it was.

DEPUTY WALKER reports that Fair weekend was “without issues” of the law enforcement type. No arrests at the Fair, one arrest for under the influence in Boonville. The deputy, as the rest of us, is a great fan of the annual event. “I’d attend on my own time,” he said Monday. “It’s a great little Fair.”

ON SATURDAY, the 24th of September,  at the Anderson Valley Fair Grounds between 1 and 4, the friends and family of Loretta Jean Houck are invited to gather to celebrate her amazing life. There will be food, beverage, cigars, pictures and more. We will tell our favorite stories and remember how blessed we are to have known her.

SHERI HANSEN & TIM MATHIAS, sister and brother, posted the following comment on the AVA’s website last week in response to Briana Burns’ recollection of Freda Fox in which their father, the late Bob Mathias, was mentioned: “Brianna, It seems like you didn’t learn the lessons that you speak of in your article as your comments reached the ears of valley residents who take ‘great’ offense to your story. Your article was riddled with inaccuracies and the notion that rumors drove our Mom and Dad out of the valley is silly.”

DEPT OF WRETCHED EXCESS, a neighbor writes: “Somewhere around the middle of last month it was reported on the Philo grapevine that at Timothy and Michele Mullins' occasionally occupied home above their Balo Winery a huge "cesspool" was being installed with lots of re-bar and water pipes. It was not until the first week in August that the Building Dept. files were checked to find out what was going on. Turns out that on September 31 a permit was issued for an un-dimensioned swimming pool with a drawing that placed it in the same area as the reported "cesspool." A surreptitious evening inspection stepped off the pool at approximately 16 by 42 feet in size, 8 feet deep at one end. Now the grapevine is speculating that the water to fill it when completed will come from Indian Creek along with all the other appropriations that the Mullins' Balo wine industry makes. The pool will undoubtedly be therapeutic after the rare travails in Michele's $750,000 remodeled kitchen or the long road trips for Timothy in his multiple Lamborghinis.”

THE USGS reported a 2.7 magnitude earthquake @ 7:38 pm Sunday night with an epicenter located three miles south of Boonville. The quake was a surface quake - 0.3 miles deep - and generated six responses from four zip codes of "feeling it." There were three responses were from Boonville, one from Gualala (8 miles from the epicenter), one questionable response (to say the least) from Healdsburg (36 miles from the epicenter) and an outright liar from San Francisco (95 miles distant from the epicenter).

BACK in April, young Bobby Kuny, then a senior at Anderson Valley High School, was forced to shoot a knife-wielding drunk named Lorenzo Rodriguez who’d threatened Bobby’s mother and Cathy Gowan in their home near Hendy Woods. As Lorenzo clouded up and was about to commence storming, Bobby herded the 8 young children in the home to safety before confronting the raging Rodriguez whom Bobby soon shot point blank with an antique .22 pistol. Responding police immediately determined that Bobby Kuny had shot Rodriguez in defense of the two women. Rodriguez, who miraculously not only survived his several wounds, one of them to his head, but was on his feet and out of the hospital and back in Anderson Valley in two days was arrested on several mayhem-related charges. The apparently invincible Mr. R has since been sequestered at the County Jail where, poised to take a sweetheart deal that would get him time served and probation, jail house lawyers convinced Mr. R that he’s not only completely innocent of all wrongdoing but, you, Mr. R are the victim! Take your case to a jury! Which Lorenzo will do on Monday, the 26th of September. And get himself more jail time when the jury finds against him after twenty minutes of deliberations.

THOSE official-looking government green on white “2 hour parking” signs you see all over Boonville are a hoot — a double hoot when one notes that they’re enforced (not) by the “Anderson Valley Traffic Commission.” Which does not exist, but is devised by the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce whose members lament that certain visitors camp out all day in front of local businesses.


LOCAL BUSINESS. We’ll never achieve your secret master plan to be Healdsburg until we have a sidewalk running from Boont Berry to Haehl Street, and until we have a public restroom, their absences being a good thing or a bad thing depending on one’s views on “progress.”

SERIOUSLY, and no insult intended Swami Chaitanya of Laytonville, but neo-Hindu endorsements of American pot initiatives by Yankee converts are unlikely to have much success at the ballot box. And, not to be too much of an imperial boob about it, but I’ve always wondered why so many of my fellow citizens look to a country as screwed up as India for enlightenment, when all India has to offer is lessons in chaos, and who needs more of that? (Actually, they also have an excellent educational system, thanks to the British.)

ROBERTO LOPEZ-YOCANA-GUADARRAMA of Mountain View Road in Boonville was arrested on Sunday, September 4th for reckless driving, pot cultivation and pot possession for sale. His case is still under investigation for more serious drug activity. Can we say ‘crank’ class?

STRIDING up Lambert Lane the other morning at the literal crack of dawn, who should I see lumbering up out of the mists? None other than the mayor himself, Tom Cronquist. We exchanged mutual compliments on our commitment to exercise and moved on, the only two fully ambulatory residents of Boonville at 6 ayem.

THERE will be a memorial gathering for Herb Ruhs at the Caretaker’s Garden, Lambert Lane, Boonville, on Sunday the 25th of September, time to be announced.

A FRIEND reports: “Saturday afternoon at the Fair, I happened to be talking to four, young Mexican guys who are my neighbors in Philo. We were standing in front of the Democratic Party’s cardboard cutout of Hillary. The guy manning the booth jumps out with a camera and asks the Mexicans to stand still with Hillary for a picture, as if Hillary supports Mexican-Americans any more than Trump does. I was so disgusted I walked away before I knew whether or not my friends went for it.”

ENCOUNTERING Sheriff Allman at the Fair Friday afternoon, the Sheriff mentioned that the department’s on-line photos of arrests get more than 11 thousand “hits” a day, which means it’s probably the most visited website in the county. (Where’s Grandpa? Check the book log, Billy.)

WE CAN’T be the only people mystified at CalTrans pre-Fair dust inducement program, as Big Orange’s giant street sweeper swept up and down Boonville Thursday morning as pedestrians scurried for cover and everyone else wondered que pasa? Boonville is relatively litter-free thanks to Mayor Cronquist and other individuals who clean up the areas in front of their properties every morning, but we’ve got plenty of dust so, like, why stir it up? Why not throw some water on it instead?

WE TRY to leave national affairs to better informed people, but gotta say I don’t understand why the candidates appear late night with comedians. Well, you say that’s because the candidates are comedians. Yes, but still. Call us old school when we hold out for gravitas, even from these two candidates. You expect high seriousness along with their crimes and misdemeanors from people running for the top spot don’t you?

AV FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA told the Community Services District Board this week that volunteer firefighter staffing is down and he plans to institute a recruitment drive to try to bring staffing back up. “AVFD is lacking the necessary volunteer staffing in several areas throughout the district. Boonville is a major concern due to this low staffing and it provides the highest call volume.  We have historically leaned heavily on several steady hands, but they have either retired or are entering into retirement.  AVFD will be moving into a much needed recruitment drive as we enter October to see if we can improve the numbers of volunteers on our roster.  The largest recruitment challenge is the decreasing number of willing volunteers due to time and capabilities.  Ideal volunteers are young adults who are engrained into our community with an in-district job and who own an in-district property.   Individuals who fit this category and are willing to spend the required time in training and participation are difficult to find.” Avila told the Board that a food-based recruitment event is being considered as well as some as yet unspecified increase in fire department publicity. Anyone interested can check out the Fire Department’s comprehensive website at

THANKS from the Boonville newspaper to all you readers who visited our open house over the weekend. If there’s a smarter, better looking, more charming group of people anywhere than AVA people, give me their names!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Boonville’s Ross Murray who just turned 98. Anderson Valley’s most senior citizen? Freda Fox is 99.

THE WATER CATCHMENT SYSTEM at the Philo Station is under construction. The pump, tanks, and underground plumbing was delivered last week. Local contractor Jeff Wall, of  Wall Construction, has volunteered to provide the manpower and the equipment to level the ground, dig the ditches, and build the base foundation for the ten 3,000-gallon tanks that will (eventually) be positioned behind the station.  Mr. Wall’s generous contribution and his crew’s willingness to start right away quickly put this important project into motion.

FRIDAY NIGHT, Anderson Valley’s fast and scrappy Panthers beat the visiting Laytonville Warriors, 36 to 16 in the traditional Apple Bowl. After a close first half during which the Panthers dropped several catchable, likely touchdown passes thrown by our all league quarterback, Tony Pardini Jr., the Panthers’ overall hard-hitting defense and speedy offense wore down the visitors, as Boonville pulled away for the win. The Panthers will face Laytonville again at 7:30 Friday night in Laytonville for a rematch.

COACH TOOHEY summed up the victory over Laytonville this way: “It was the consensus of the players and coaches alike that we severely underachieved during the Apple Bowl — far too many turnovers, some mistakes in blocking assignments and a break down of gap integrity on defense. I'm fortunate to have a group of kids who are holding themselves to a high standard. Their reserved attitude after the victory speaks to their bigger aspirations for the season. That said, Tony Pardini added two more TD passes to his stat line, one to tight end JT Carlin and one to wide receiver Christian Natareno. Manuel Franco had another big game rushing, earning player of the game honors on offense, and our two defensive tackles, Ethan Reed  and Miguel Barajas, played with great leverage all game and took away Laytonville’s ability to run up the middle."

A SHARP-EYED Yorkville resident called 911 after seeing lights on his otherwise darkened property a couple of weeks ago. Responding Fish and Wildlife and Sheriff’s Department staff found only a large dead buck that had been shot by spotlighting poachers. Law enforcement rightly suspected that the poachers would return for their trophy kill, and sure enough the next night the unsporting sportsmen came back for their ignobly taken deer and walked straight into the trap laid for them by deputies and Fish and Game wardens. The arrest team spotlighted a Rohnert Park father and son, and soon the poaching pair was booked into the Sonoma County Jail.

DEPUTY WALKER has cited two drivers for driving past a school bus with its lights on and stop signs out. The deputy had said that too many drivers were ignoring school buses stopped to disgorge their young cargo. One of the drivers arrested was hauling a visiting crew of Mexican grape harvesters. This driver didn’t speak much English, but flashing red lights on a school bus is virtually a universal directive to passing motorists to stop until children are safely off and away from the bus.

THE AVA’S PHOTO MONTAGE called “The Faces of Mendocino County” (awarded a blue ribbon, btw) was prominently displayed as visitors entered the Arts & Crafts building at the Fair this weekend. Groups of people pointed to people they know amid merry shouts of recognition. (Now it can be told! The display was the work of the talented Annie Kalantarian, a student at Mendocino High School. The tripod of lashed sticks on which the exhibit rested was hand-crafted by Annie’s father, Mike Kalantarian. The AVA merely supplied the photos.)


SUNDAY’S FAIR PARADE was a disappointment to most observers. No floats to speak of and most of the entrants were undecorated pick-up trucks with local people in them, hardly worthy of special attention in a parade. The Mexican horseback riding contingent was its usual entertaining self, but they’re imports from Sonoma County who specialize in parades. And even they didn’t bother to dress up and only appeared in depleted numbers of less than a dozen. The popular and ubiquitous Sheriff Allman, probably on a first-name basis with most County residents, waved from a new Sheriff’s Department jeep, a silent argument against pot legalization as everyone, from the cops to the courts to the growers themselves make money from illegality. Legalize and here comes the Marlboro Man with his phactory pharms.

A LONG-TIME FAIR WATCHER COMMENTS on the sparse parade: “It’s the same story everywhere, the volunteers are getting old and the younger folks are not rushing forward to be involved — fewer families who feel they have a long term investment in the community and more pot growers out to make a quick buck. Not to say there aren't lots of pot growers who are fine people, but the experience of volunteer organizations all over the county is that fewer of them are interested in volunteering with the local fire department, coaching soccer or helping with the Fair or other civic events. No county supervisors in this year’s parade? Rumor has it that Fifth District supervisor Hamburg had other plans and the rest of the Supes, who usually show up, didn't want to upstage him.”

THE ANDERSON VALLEY GRANGE, KZYX, Navarro and Roederer Estate Wineries are sponsoring a Zydeco Dance Party on Saturday, Oct 1st 7-11 PM at the Anderson Valley Grange at 9800 Hwy 128 featuring Delta King Mark St. Mary and his band.) The event will also feature Zydeco dance instruction by Ted Sherod at 7 PM and at intermission. Navarro and Roederer Estate wines will be served with Anderson Valley Beer and nonalcoholic drinks, Cajun sausage, Shrimp and vegetarian Jambalaya and sweet treats. The event cost $15 advance (Ukiah Natural food, All that Good Stuff, Harvest and Brown Paper Tickets dot com) o $20 at door. More info at Zydeco Dance Party on Facebook, or 895-3842. (Greg Krouse)

LANDING ON HER FEET: Former head honcho at Mendo Public Radio, Lorraine Dechter, will be hosting a new television series for KIXE-TV, Redding.

TERRY RYDER REPORTS: The People's Choice Award for best garden in the Hall of Flowers floriculture display went to Brenda Hodges for her impressive "Cinderella's Coach."


  1. Maria Jones September 26, 2016

    Christian Natareno, not Natereno

  2. Mary Zeeble September 28, 2016


    So in your singling out of Tim and Michele Mullins with your misplaced invective, you admit to trespassing on their land, then make many assumptions and shame them for being successful. Whatever improvements they want to do to their property is their business. Tim and Michele are good people who enrich our local economy, are generous donors to a great many organizations in the Valley and employ a lot of locals both at the winery, vineyard, and with the contractors working at both their house and the wonderful restoration they are doing at the Live Oak building in Boonville.

    Why does this paper constantly write negative things about good people? The paper should be celebrating all of the fantastic things that happen in the Valley, not picking on people who have a positive effect on so many others. That kind of small minded pettiness and boorish bullying does not have a place here. It is simply not ok.

    Tim and Michele Mullins are by no means the only people you’ve written about in this manner. Sadly, they are just one of your many disrespected and unfairly targeted members in this community and I’m not the only one who is fed up with your negative attacks on stand up residents of our Valley.

    Please print this in the printed paper as well as online.

    Mary Zeeble

  3. James Roberts September 29, 2016


    I am also going to have to chime in here about the Mullins who I have grown to know as great neighbors and very supportive of the valley and as well as the community.

    Over the years I have seen so many good people run out of town just because they’re new, better off than others in the community or because they work hard and become successful. I know exactly how it feels, because it happened to me over a failing business I had in a troubled industry. I was shamed out of the valley. It also happened to my neighbors that owned the Balo property before the Mullins. They simply wanted to open up a fruit stand, but were bullied by a long standing establishment and opposed because of a vision that might have been different than others. They finally ended up selling to the Mullins. What happened to that live and let live spirit that I once knew in the valley years ago? In my opinion this type of personal gossip is not only in bad taste, but is unproductive and erosive to quality of inclusiveness that our community should strive for. Since when is a persons character tied to their net worth or financial means? This is the ugly side of country life fostered here by a group folks that like to think of themselves as liberal and do gooders……be warned that if you disagree with them or don’t share their views, you’ll find that the dynamic is not very different than a small Baptist community.

    As for the issue of pulling water from the creek, you need to get the facts straight. From what I know as a neighbor close by, you are pointing the finger at the wrong source. In fact your source maybe part of the problem. You should talk to the Balo Folks and asked them about their dry farming practices. Also speak with the Nature Conservancy about their cooperative work with many of the local wineries (including Balo) to restore our natural water sources and change how riparian rights are structured. I have the same concern as many of our locals regarding the tapping of water reserves by a booming wine industry. The trend of corporate buy outs of our small family wineries is even more troubling since they have absolutely no investment in the community.

    We should look for solutions instead of ostracizing some perceived evil empire or community member that might be more financial well off then ourselves. More importantly, what I am reading in your column is not about the Valley People I know as my friends and neighbors.

    *feel free to print this if you choose to

    Jim Roberts
    The Madrones, philo

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