THE INVESTIGATION continues into that tractor loader abandoned in Little Mill Creek, Navarro. The tractor is only one of several pieces of stolen construction equipment, which includes a cement truck, found on the property. Names of the suspects have not been released, but their crude attempt at stream work in what looks like an attempt to create a pond to water a marijuana garden, has badly damaged Little Mill at a time when fish restoration work in the battered stream is beginning to show promise. Several law enforcement agencies are now involved in the matter.
GARY AND GINNY ISLAND have begun a total rehab of the former Ox Restaurant and bar in central Boonville. The Islands are offering the premises for lease; they bought them from Ken Allen who began his wildly successful Boonville brewery at the site. Allen sold the place to the Islands several months ago.
THE BOONVILLE LODGE remains closed as rumors fly of local investors re-opening it fairly soon purely as a bar.
BUT IN A FEW months, with the two local institutions revived, central Boonville will again be the lively commercial hub it was a year ago rather than the forlorn ghost town it's been since. We'll have everything we need except a bank and a pharmacy, and it's downright peculiar, given all the money in The Valley, that we don't at least have a bank. We used to have one when there was no money around here, but it always turned a small profit. Redwood Valley has a bank, and there's not a nickel over there.
NAVARRO resumes its improbable role as the night life capitol of Mendocino County, impresario Dave Evans presiding. Dave said Monday his amazing summer series of live music acts kicks off Saturday early evening the 15th of May when "everyone is invited" to hear Mendocino County's hottest new band, the Estrellas. With Pablo on the grill and the weather warming, Dave is bringing us an array of talent seldom presented outside the urban orbs, acts that include Hansen & Raitt on the 23rd of May and, later in the summer, Asleep at the Wheel, the SubDudes, and the David Nelson Band.
CONGRATULATIONS to Anderson Valley High School's star athlete, Omar Ferreyra, who has garnered an All-Empire honorable mention as among the top prep basketball players on the Northcoast. It's quite an honor, especially in an "up" year like this one when the competition was intense among a plethora of talented hoopsters, including, as it turned out, Jerry Young of Mendocino High School, the son of Jim Young of Navarro.
THE VERY SAME OMAR FERREYRA made what everyone who saw it says is a major league play at his shortstop position last week in a game against Tomales, a game we lost by a couple of runs, Omar notwithstanding. On a blue darter smashed to his right at shortstop by Tomales clean-up hitter, Omar, reacting at the crack of the bat, instantly and apparently instinctively, dove for the ball and grabbed it. Even the home town Tomales fans applauded, knowing they'd just seen something special.
THE ANNUAL BREWFEST at the Boonville Fairgrounds is set for this weekend. It's pretty much a self-contained event, with the dudes and dude-ettes drinking themselves schnozzled within the fenced confines of the Fairgrounds where many of them also camp, a perfect setting for alcohol-fueled festivities.
GARDENERS and plant people generally won't want to miss Mary Pat Palmer's open house. Mary Pat grows a startling variety of medicinal herbs, grows them from seed, at her beguiling Philo acre just off Highway 128. The inventive Ms. Palmer also produces a limited edition absinthe, which put me under the table one memorable recent evening, as I topped off an hour at the 540 Club, my neighborhood bar. Mary Pat is one more living reminder of how many talented, inventive people there are in this very special little valley.
MTA TICKETS go to $75 a month for a round trip ride Boonville to Ukiah, which is way too high, so high it discourages public transportation right down to the idea of public transportation, not that MTA's bumbling Ukiah-based management seems to care. It's a terribly run agency. Please read KC Meadows' excellent assessment of MTA's lunatic plans to build its management people a sort of Taj Mahal in which to shuffle their papers. If ever a public agency needed privatization, it's this one.
JEAN DUVIGNEAUD appeared at Sunday's Boontling Classic in a Classic t-shirt from 1986. It looked like Jean had worn it since 1886, but I think '86 was the first year t-shirts came with the race.
CAN SOMEONE help us locate Grace Pinoli? Her paper keeps coming back but we're pretty sure Grace still lives at Oak Manor, 700 East Gobbi, Ukiah.
THE AREA AGENCY ON AGING will meet next Thursday, May 13th, 1-3pm, at the AV Senior Center when the Senior Farmers Market nutrition booklet will be distributed at the bargain price of $20.
CHRIS CJ JONES, formerly of Boonville, and well known in Ukiah where he sold the AVA every week, continues to thrive in his Eugene, Oregon home. His many friends in the County often ask how Chris is doing. He remains a vivid figure in local memory. A lady called the other day with an anecdote about Chris, a dedicated MTA traveler. "I was going to Ukiah through Boonville with my son. On the bus was a man in a cowboy outfit with his son. This man proceeded to sing Christian spirituals not very well. The whole bus was very quiet except for the singing cowboy. Chris got on in Boonville with his bundle of AVAs and sat down in the front. The cowboy sang all the way to Ukiah. When the cowboy and his son got off the bus in South Ukiah, Chris said, “Let me shake your hand and thank you for all the music.” Chris is not given to sarcasm. The cowboy Christian looked at Chris and sneered, 'Why would I want to shake *your* hand?' The cowboy was white, Chris is black. The entire bus reacted in rage. Everyone started started yelling at the guy. The driver, a woman, told the cowboy, 'Find another way back because you’re not riding this bus again.' Then she said, 'I apologize to the bus for having to endure that person.' I wanted you to know how your newspaper travels sometimes."
BRUCE HERING REPORTS: "The 28th annual Boontling Classic 5K Footrace took place at the Anderson Valley Elementary School on a breezy, sunny Sunday morning. This one was a record—188 official entries. It was a festive atmosphere. The school was preparing for their “Day of the Child” celebration while the runners were warming up. Kira Brennan was leading warm up exercises and there was a lot of jumping about. You can tell a race is getting popular when “outsiders” come in to take the top prizes. This year Jimmy Bailon of Cloverdale did it in 19:55 and Holly Enzler of Ukiah clocked in at 21:01. Three new records were set this year — also by non-Boonters. Aaron Martin of Boonville drew some attention. He ran the race in home-made running shoes! And he finished second in 20:10. Look out Nike! (Aaron, also known as "Cob," can be seen running Mountain View Road regularly in those special shoes.) If you look at the “Walkers-Men” results you’ll see that “Bruce” won — but it was Longstreet! Hering and Anderson are the “Bruces that loses”! Big thanks to Flick, Jan and a flock of teachers at the Elementary School for great race day management. Also thanks to the businesses that donated the prizes. Classic sponsors include: All That Good Stuff, Apple Farm, Anderson Valley Advertiser, Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Anderson Valley Elementary School, Anderson Valley Farm Supply, Anderson Valley Market, Boonville General Store, Boonville Hotel, Boont Berry Farm Store, Brutocao Winery, Mosswood Cafe, Claudia Springs Winery, Foursight Wines, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, John Hanes Gallery, KZYX/Z, Lauren's Cafe, Lemon's Philo Market, Libby's Restaurant, Handley Cellars, Hoyman-Browe Studio (Ukiah), Navarro Vineyards, Raye's Hill Winery, Redwood Drive-In, Roederer Estates, Rookie-To gallery, Stella Cadente Olive Oil, Wendy Read Massage.
BAKE SALE! Philo Methodist Church will hold a Bake Sale on Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m. on the porch of Lemon's Market. Pat Hulbert will host the event. Offered for sale will be huckleberry pies, tarts, cookies, huckleberry cake, and more. The sale will last until everything is sold. Pat says to get there early if you want to buy a huckleberry pie because they go fast.
THE AMBULANCE people are unhappy, to put it mildly, with the guy who faked a heart attack at Navarro just to get a ride out to the Coast. When the alleged victim arrived by emergency vehicle at Coast Hospital's emergency entrance, he hopped off his stretcher and walked off towards downtown Fort Bragg.
UNWITTINGLY STRIDING through a conversation outside All That Good Stuff between Steve Derwinski and Cecil Ball the other afternoon, I heard Cecil ask Steve, "How long you lived here anyhow?" Steve answered, "Thirty years." Cecil said, "Ain't never seen you before." Cecil's the friendly old guy in the red baseball cap. He arrived in Boonville shortly after World War Two when he served in the Army, winding up assigned to the occupation of Japan. He worked in lumber mills up and down the Mendocino Coast. Cecil and Steve have probably seen each, and even been in close proximity hundreds of times over the years.