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Valley People (Nov. 2, 2016)

WETTEST OCTOBER ON RECORD — Monday at 5pm the Department of Water Resources rain gauge in Yorkville tallied 9.92 inches for the month of October, thus surpassing the previous record, set in 1945, of 9.87 inches. With seven more hours of rain still forecast this Halloween night, we'll most likely total over ten inches for the month. Average October rainfall for Anderson Valley is 2.16 inches. For context, here are the October precipitation totals for Yorkville over the past 15 years:

2015 0.12"; 2014 2.36"; 2013 0.00"; 2012 2.64"; 2011 3.84"; 2010 8.12"; 2009 6.00"; 2008 2.96"; 2007 4.44"; 2006 0.56"; 2005 2.36"; 2004 5.56"; 2003 0.00"; 2002 0.00"; 2001 1.44"

THE HIGH SCHOOL football team ran over, under, through, and around visiting Tomales at the Boonville Fairgrounds last Friday night, thus concluding another successful season for the Panthers. And a winning return for Coach Toohey. There’s no justice left in all the Redwood Empire if Tony Pardini Jr. isn’t named all-empire. He had a great year. Tony Jr’s old man was a pretty darn good country quarterback for Anderson Valley himself, back in the day.

NOBODY monitors the mouth of the Navarro more closely than Paul McCarthy of MendocinoSportsPlus. Paul said Sunday afternoon, "Just drove by it on the way to Mendo — 4pm — still standing like a stone wall. Last year, for the first time in the 22 years I've been here — Highway 128 was closed in December due to ocean ‘slop over’ — plus rain. That proves the sandbar height has increased.” Paul lives just up the road in Elk. But it broke Saturday night, Paul said. “It looks like it let go around 10:00 pm Saturday night. I had a friend call to confirm it Sunday morning. I couldn't make it down for photos as I was chasing down my hogs who rooted their way out of their pen - just about an all day affair. Three-hundred pound swine can go, and do, pretty much what they want - it took me a while to outthink 'em and get 'em back where they belonged."


UPSTREAM, Dave Severn reported, “Sunday evening the River is flowing dark and murky — not cafe latte. Even though the USGS gauge at the five-mile mark says it was higher yesterday it wasn't in my neck of woods. In fact the gauge said flow rates were higher yesterday than the last two days by a 100 or more cubic feet per second. Yet at the Shenoa bridge to my eye it looked about the same as the day before at about 30 cubic feet/second. I don't know what to think of that government gauge. Admittedly the parking lot at the river mouth was flooded Saturday evening but the sand bar was still in place. One explanation might be that it rained a lot harder in the North Fork watershed north of the community of Navarro than it did in Anderson Valley proper. Anyway it has been a nice warm and much appreciated rain. I hope it is foretelling of a wet winter. Mallards and Mergansers seem to be happy diving in the murky water and mushrooms are popping up all over. I ate some chanterelles with my Sunday morning eggs and potatoes. Yum.”

COME ONE, COME ALL. Blackbird Festival Invite. The following email invitation was forwarded by the Anderson Valley Food Shed people. While many of us are thoroughly disgusted with Blackbird Farm's surreptitious "monetization" tactics and are therefore disinclined to go, I feel it offers an excellent opportunity to discover just how perilous the roads are as well as being able to see close up how they use their "students" as a corporate logo. Their ridiculous Use Permit application for expansion has nothing to do with student experience and everything to do with for-profit enterprise. Like Donald Trump, John Hall is expert in commingling nonprofit gloss with lucrative and exploitive undertakings. Let's make November 18 a celebration of transparency — but be sure to drive very, very carefully.

Blackbird writes:

Hello Anderson Valley Community,

You are invited to attend the Blackbird Farm Fall Festival located in breathtaking Philo. The festival will be November 18th from 3pm-6pm and is free to the public. Our students will be leading games and activities that showcase the unique character of Blackbird Farms. Handmade food and treats will provided. We would be honored with your presence. No RSVP required, but if you have any questions, feel free to give me a call or send an email. Thank you,

Catlyn Gilman
Office Administrative Assistant
Blackbird Farms — Pathways in Education

REMEMBER MT. FUMA, the large mound of fuel-contaminated earth piled up behind the Elementary School? It’s still there, although festooned with solar panels these days. Way back, in the first days of school buses in the Anderson Valley, (circa 1920s) fuel was stored in underground tanks at the bus barns to the rear of the school premises. Eventually, those tanks became so porous that leaked fuel drifted south onto the neighboring property whose owners, the Addisons, complained, and the school district commenced a clean-up. Part of the clean-up involved the removal of contaminated earth and the piling up of less contaminated earth. The latter became Mount Fuma. Superintendent Michelle Hutchins told us the other day that the clean-up continues, and that the district is in line for a large grant to “research to see if there’s another undiscovered underground tank” whose residual contents are drifting south over the property line. There is an immobile detectable fuel plume to the south which, eventually, will be neutralized. Ms. Hutchins said the neighbors have been patient and helpful, and that the school drinking water is unaffected and fully potable.

A CLOSE READER of his home town publication, Jim Gibson noted the reference to Walkup Trucking in an excerpt from seminal beat writer, Jack Kerouac, in last week’s paper. Jim’s dad worked as a teamster for Merchant’s Express out of Oakland, which the Walkup brothers called their East Bay affiliate. Used to see Walkup Brothers trucks and bobtails all over the Bay Area. Jim showed us a finely wrought silver and gold belt buckle awarded his father for safe driving, as we reminisced about our youths beside San Francisco Bay.

JUST IN FROM PHILO, Dave Severn reporting: Quinceañera. At just about one o'clock Saturday afternoon while on the porch at Lemons Market in Philo with five Family Tree tree-service workers, out from the driveway beside the store came a procession of formally dressed Hispanic people followed by a playing 10 or 12 piece Mariachi band in maroon outfits and another contingent of revelers. In the lead group was a beautiful young woman in a white gown on the arm of a young man in a black suit. Since they were headed toward the Catholic Church down the way I assumed it was a wedding procession. I hollered and clapped my delight and was returned a smile and wave by the young woman. I remember wishing there had been more of us witnessing the occasion. A few minutes later two gentlemen came from the trailer park behind the market in Sunday clothes, one of them still in the process of tying his tie. I asked, Who's getting married? And was told that it was a Quinceañera, the tradition being that family and friends gather at the young woman's house with food and music and then proceed on foot to the church for a blessing.

From Wikipedia: In Spanish, "Quinceañera" literally means "Fifteen-year-old female." In English, primarily in the United States, the term is used (most often by non-Latinos) to refer to the celebration; this is not the case in Latin American countries, where only the girl, and never the celebration, is referred to as quinceañera. (La Quinceañera)…..

CHRIS SKYHAWK OF ALBION WONDERS: Elk antler on Navarro Beach. “On Tuesday I was walking with my wife Samantha at Navarro Beach. We were approached by a fellow Albion resident who told us that he found an Elk antler. I was certain that why he was waving in the air was really a piece of driftwood with an unusual shape to it, but as he handed it to me it was obvious that what he said was true. Its base was intact and it was broken 2 points up. It was washed very smooth and was very heavy. I would be fascinated to hear any speculation about how such a specimen arrived at Navarro Beach, many miles and several watershed from any Elk populations.”

RAOUL VAN HALL briefly functioned as program director at KZYX. He soon left, as did newly hired station manager, Lorraine Dechter. Lorraine isn’t talking, but Raoul had a few discrete observations, prefacing them with a comment that he’s happy with his life in Portland where “I am easily able to support myself, just doing the kind of radio work I truly enjoy, without politics, drama or mismanagement to contend with.”

THE OLD RADIO PRO said he thought he had a viable turnaround plan that “didn’t betray the mission and values of the station,” but the “calcified internal politics based on personal friendships seemed valued more than professional expertise.”

“THERE ARE MANY talented people there,” Raoul said, “who could benefit from strong leadership and mentorship, but there are also some untalented and toxic people at the station and in the station’s orbit.”

CONCLUDING, Raoul said he hoped “strong, highly experienced leadership with vision” would become the norm at the perennially troubled public radio station. “I hope that's what's in the future for KZYX. The station's volunteers, staff and listeners deserve it.”

I’D SAY we’re getting exactly what we deserve from Mendocino County Public Radio. KZYX should be dissolved and re-organized with its base in Ukiah, the seat of local government. It could be a lot better, but the odds of new blood being invited in to do range from slim to none.

PEBBLES TRIPPETT  is the grande dame of the marijuana legalization movement. I'm very fond of the old girl, although she's seems quite miffed at me lately. Lots of pot people are mono-maniacs. The slightest deviation from the party line, the merest hint that the drug is less than miraculous, and they slam out the door. Forever. While I was still in her good graces, which is when I asked her if she thought it was too late for me to fire up the bazooka, she had climbed the stairs to our old office, wheezed through the door, collapsed in our visitor's chair and asked if she could fire one up. I said sure, but my colleague, The Major, shouting as if he was about to be shot, “No! It makes me nauseous! Please don’t smoke it in here, Pebbles.” As an old school guy, my position is if a lady of a certain age wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette in my office or do cartwheels or fly a kite out the window, what the hey, she’s got seniority. Go ahead, old girl, the smoking lamp is lit! The Major was violently opposed. "We're running a business here, not a goddam dope den," he argued. We went back and forth. “This lady could be your mother, Major,” I said, “and she’s our guest.” The Major replied, “My mother wasn’t a drug addict. She was a respectable person, a Druid, a Point Arena Druid!” We finally arrived at a compromise suggested by our visitor. “I’ll only take one hit,” Pebs promised. As The Major buried his head in his hands and groaned, “No, Pebs, please, no,” Pebs produced a bomber as big around as my wrist and, in what seemed like a single almost subliminally rapid move, lit it, took a drag, extinguished the dragon, and staggered backwards into her chair, exclaiming, “Wow! Thank you,” and that was that.

ANDERSON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS are looking for adults to job shadow in the community. This is a brief opportunity for each senior to learn about workplace duties and conditions, opening doors for them to possible careers. In addition to observing a worker on the job, the student will interview the worker and write a reflection. Job shadows are five to ten hours long and need to be accomplished by the end of May 2017.

AVHS is also launching Senior Project 2017, a graduation requirement. Seniors are beginning to plan their projects, which can be in a variety of categories, including Community Service, Learning a New Skill, Hands-on, Technological, or Investigative.  In early December, seniors will submit a general letter of intent. In mid-February, seniors will submit a project proposal that reflects planning and goal-setting done with a mentor. Senior Projects are usually accomplished in March and April. Students will present their projects in May.

If you are willing to participate in the Job Shadow Program, or if you are willing to mentor a Senior Project, please contact Kim Campbell at, or call into the classroom at 707-895-3496 x118 on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays from 10:00-11:00 a.m. We have a large graduating class this year and will need the help of many community members in order for each of our seniors to accomplish both a job shadow and a senior project. As well, if you have an idea for a senior project, whether you are an individual or part of a service group, we would appreciate hearing from you. Students may begin their projects early if there is a convincing need. More information about the Senior Project may be found on the school’s web site, under the “Students and Parents” link.

Kim Campbell

AVHS Senior Project Coordinator

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