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Valley People (Dec. 7, 2016)

AS MOST VALLEY RESIDENTS are by now aware, Dr. McGhan has resigned his position at the Anderson Valley Health Center. The following two letters are (1) the Health Center’s board of directors obfuscating adieu to the doctor and his family, (2) McGhan’s equivalently obfuscating letter of resignation:

“AFTER much consideration, Dr. Logan McGhan has decided to resign from his position as Staff Physician at the Anderson Valley Health Center, effective immediately. Dr. McGhan has been at the AVHC for the past 28 months and we appreciate his service to his patients and our community in helping the clinic provide the best health care we can. We all wish the very best for Dr. McGhan, Rocio, Carmelo and Aria in their future endeavors. We will immediately begin searching for additional medical staff to help Dr. Apfel and Cindy Arbanovella in providing services to all of our patients. We will also begin a search for a permanent medical staff member for the AVHC. There are many resources available to the AVHC through relationships with other medical professionals and programs and all of these will be contacted to help. We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we work towards bringing on a new provider. Anderson Valley Health Center Board of Directors”

DR. MCGHAN WRITES: “Anderson Valley and the AVHC, It is with great sadness that I announce my immediate resignation from the Anderson Valley Health Center. After much difficult consideration, Rocio and I have decided to move our children closer to family in Oregon. The past two years have been an incredible experience for me, Rocio, Carmelo, and Aria. We have made life-long connections with many people, and will be forever grateful for the wonderful time and many lessons we have had. Furthermore, I will be forever grateful to the wonderful AVHC staff, who no doubt will continue to provide the kind, compassionate, supportive care that the AVHC is known for. I would also like to thank Chloe, Mark, Ric, and the AVHC Board for their graciousness and understanding during my tenure in the Valley. I have been treated very well during the past 2 years, and would very much like to continue but the circumstances of life have called us closer to ailing family members. The clinic is in excellent hands, and we ask for the community’s trust, respect, and understanding during this time of transition. Though we are leaving, our hearts will hold onto this beautiful Valley and its people forever. We will miss everyone. Sincerely, Logan and Rocio McGhan

IT IS KNOWN that Dr. McGhan had been unhappy with Health Center management. The dispute between management and him over a loan repayment seemed to be resolved, but when the doctor, who'd already walked out, discovered that his return depended on his pay being docked for the week he was gone, he decided to resign. It was clear that McGhan’s many accumulated grievances with management led to his departure, not the single issue about a three thousand dollar loan agreement.

PERSONS close to the situation describe the AV Health Center as "dysfunctional," lacking in procedures to hear employee complaints about management and "no peer review of staff." Our source says that “the board of trustees is kept pretty much in the dark." Additionally, the insider says. "There's a boycott of the clinic by several Mexican families who claim that the clinic is releasing medical information to unauthorized persons. This was brought to admin's attention and they have tried to keep it a secret from the board and rest of staff."

THE YOUNG, BILINGUAL DOCTOR'S departure leaves the busy AV Health Center with the retirement-aged Mark Apfel as its sole doctor. Apfel’s caseload is now double what it was before McGhan left.

HISTORICALLY CONSIDERED, the Center's board of trustees is not what anyone would describe as "forthcoming." There have been several entirely avoidable personnel controversies over the past several years that the trustees have exacerbated by in-house bumbling. McGhan’s resignation seems entirely preventable, but there it is. (The letter from the board announcing McGhan’s departure reads like a joint project of Stalin’s politburo and the Borgia family. Murder? Are you referring to the dead man in the corner with the knife in his back? Self-inflicted. Obviously.)

A READER WRITES: "Such a typical Boonville fiasco. They should be doing everything possible to keep him. What’s wrong with the damn Board? If I were on that Board I would be doing an exhaustive interviewing process with everyone to get down to the reality of exactly how dysfunctional the place is, firing incompetent and crooked staff people, stomping around and making waves and finding more money to keep him here. That Board is breathtakingly incompetent to have this happen so soon after the other fiasco. I am more than sorry to see that wonderful young doctor go. He was absolutely the best, brightest, most engaging and caring doctor I’ve met in the last 30 years.”

SHORTY ADAMS, as always, is the man to beat in the Anderson Valley’s Christmas decoration sweepstakes, with several homes in South Boonville coming on strong. Shorty’s display lights up the winter drear and wintry souls with it, as do the twinkling displays against the menacing dark of the night sky throughout the Anderson Valley.


SYNAPSES snapping slower by the day, it didn’t occur to me when I encountered Paula Gray and Sandy Rubin at Sarah Larkin’s Goodness Grows Nursery yesterday (Sunday) that I’d encountered two of NorCal’s finest painters, both of whom reside in the talent-rich Anderson Valley.

ANYBODY missing a chocolate lab puppy? The pup was found on Anderson Valley Way last week. I encountered the dog and the lady who found him at Pic ’N Pay last Wednesday morning, but darned if I can find the name of the pup’s rescuer. The owner of the animal will have to sleuth it from here, but Irene, the fill-in clerk at the store is a good place to begin the quest.

YOU’RE getting to be a Valley old timer if you remember the Mannix Building in downtown Boonville, and you mos def are an old timer if you remember Judge Homer Mannix’s courtroom in that very same fascinating, labyrinthine structure.

SHENOA, the large resort property off Ray’s Road, Philo, has sold. Sale price was $6.5 million, not that Jeff Skoll, the owner got that amount.

UP THE HILL from Shenoa at Blackbird, opposition grows to Blackbird’s preposterous application to install accommodations for 292 visitors, access via heretofore lightly traveled Ray’s Road. Blackbird proprietor, John Hall, made his fortune off the privatization of public education called charter schools. With the Trump administration all for privatization of the education system, and a privatizer as his Secretary of Education, Hall, conceivably, could wind up owning Anderson Valley Unified.

CHECK TO BE CERTAIN of time and place, but the Blackbird fandango will be heard by the Planning Commission on Thursday morning, 9am, December 15th.

WELCOME RUMOR of the week has a local family, in full possession of Libby’s Restaurant recipes, will open a Libby’s-like eatery in the long-vacant Boonville Lodge building, central Boonville.

HARRUMPH! The Ukiah Daily Journal’s Sunday columnist, Tommy Wayne Kramer, in an otherwise accurate assessment of Mendocino County’s ramshackle towns and villages, writes of us, ”Boonville’s downtown is a collection of old garages, warehouses and metal sheds camouflaged as tony shops and eateries." Over the past thirty years, Boonville has been revitalized and dramatically upgraded, visually considered. We’re doing pretty well, aesthetically speaking.


1924-25 “A” team. Marion “Mike” Prather (captain) with the ball
1924-25 “A” team. Marion “Mike” Prather (captain) with the ball

NORM CLOW NOTES: This was an era with a center jump after every basket. Not a lot of scoring, no such thing as a “jump shot,” two-hand underhanded set shots and long hooks from the corner were the order of the day. The backboards were very large, and you’d bank it on a hook shot from the top corner.

FIREFIGHTER AWARDS for 2016 went to:

  • Firefighter of the year: Moy Perez;
  • Officer of the year: Angela DeWitt;
  • EMT of the year: (retired Fire Chief) Colin Wilson;
  • Engineer of the Year: Paul Lasiki;
  • Recruit of the Year: Jimmie Johnson.

We had two well earned promotions also. Both Angela Dewitt and Fal Allen were promoted to Captain positions, Captain Dewitt for the Boonville Station and Captain Allen for Navarro Station. (— Fire Chief Andres Avila)

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