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Valley People (Feb. 22, 2017)

A MEMORIAL SERVICE for the late Don Bissattini (March 4, 1942-December 20, 2016) will be held on Saturday, March 4, at the Boonville Fairgrounds Dining Hall from 2-6pm. Potluck/BBQ.

A FACEBOOK POSTING on Graciela Torres’ employer’s facebook page said the following: “It is with a broken heart that we say goodbye to our beloved angel, Graciela Torres, VP of Luxury Maids, Inc. who passed on February 14, 2017. My sister was a wonderful mother, aunt, sister and friend. She is survived by her husband, three children, mothers, sisters and brother. Words cannot describe how empty and broken our family feels at this time. Celebration of her life (Visitation and service) will be held at Aycock Riverside Funeral Home in Jupiter, Florida at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 19, 2017. In lieu of flowers we ask that you send donations to her family trust.”

GRACIELA is the second young person to die this month who, as children, shared the same Boonville address. Graciela and her family lived at Lady Porter’s Garden Apartments on Anderson Valley Way a few years before Michael Ferreyra and his family lived there. The premature deaths of these two vivacious young people has shocked the Anderson Valley.  And me as much as anyone. I lived across the street from Lady Porter’s for many years, and my most vivid recollections of Graciela and Michael is of them as children, which make the memory sadder yet.


CALEB DAIN SILVER, 25, is set for a pre-trial conference on March 6th. We had reported that Silver had been determined guilty of the murder of Dennis Boardman of Fort Bragg. Silver remains the sole suspect in Boardman's death but has not been found guilty. We regret the error.

SILVER was arrested near Ventura a year ago in April and brought back to Mendocino County where he has since been held as Boardman's presumed killer. He is also being held for several felony burglaries along the Mendocino Coast and in Lake County.

BOARDMAN, thirty years Silver's senior, had lived in Boonville for many years on the same properties as Silver when Silver was a child. After many years as a hopelessly impaired alcoholic, "Dennis," as we all knew him, had been sober for nearly ten years when he was found bludgeoned to death in his Fort Bragg home on January 2nd of 2016.

CALEB SILVER was soon identified as "a person of interest." He had been staying with Dennis in Dennis's modest Fort Bragg home. When Dennis's truck, with its distinctive handcrafted camper, was found abandoned in Ventura within two weeks of the popular Fort Bragg man's death, Silver was arrested in Ventura soon after.

SHERIFF ALLMAN said late Friday afternoon that the prevalent Ukiah-area rumor that ICE is poised to do mass round-ups in Mendocino County is untrue. ICE is not in town. The Sheriff reminds everyone that all people have the legal right to demand identification from anyone who claims to be an immigration officer. He said there may be pranksters out there posing as agents as a cruel joke, but they can be revealed as frauds simply by demanding their credentials. The Sheriff said he hopes that people are not spreading false information by social alleging imminent ICE raids because they aren’t true. Nor is it true that the National Guard is being mobilized to deport undocumented persons.

PATRICK GOMES has become my favorite KZYX personality. By default. He's the one I hear every Wednesday as I peddle my papers the length of the Anderson Valley. I really, really like Gomes's selections of classical music, much of which I haven't heard, and I appreciate his knowledgeable comment on the music, which I can play full blast, the way a lot of it should be heard to get full import, as I drive along without someone yelling, "Turn that down!"

QUICK CAVEAT, Mr. Gomes. On your show last week, during which I got to hear, among other treasures, a stirring rendition of "God Save the Queen," not that I've ever been inclined to save either her or the Brit monarchy, you said that Mendocino "is a crazy county. We had a DA who cheated on his income taxes."

MENDOCINO COUNTY isn't any wackier than any other place in a country wackier by the day. And DA Vroman didn't "cheat" on his income taxes, he fought the federal government out front from the quixotic (or cockamamie, if you prefer) stance that he simply couldn't see any place in the Constitution where it said he had to pay income taxes. Vroman parlayed his singular failure to decode the sacred document all the way into the federal pen for a couple of years. Our late DA was a principled guy, even when he was the only guy who could see the principle.

SUNDAY NIGHT’S RAIN BEGAN in downtown Boonville with a massive lightning and thunderstrike that somehow didn’t take the power with it.

AS THE RAINS continue to fall, CalTrans and County road crews also continue to do yeoman's work keeping the roads passable. Biggest slide yet occurred Friday morning on 253 about two miles up from Boonville when mud slid across the entire roadway. CalTrans had it clear in about an hour.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN—the Anderson Valley Grange’s 26th annual Variety Show is, as always, the first weekend in March.  This Friday the third, and Saturday March forth, I mean fourth, to the Anderson Valley Grange for another two evenings of the most unique and irreverent acts found anywhere this side of the Navarro River.   I wonder if our local variety might be one of the things that make life here in the valley so very special.  Haven’t you all wondered what it is that makes this place so cool?  Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 12.  This year, a limited number of tickets will be sold for either Friday or Sat., to ensure that ticket holders get inside.  They are available at the door, and also during the week before the show at Lemons’ Market in Philo and the Anderson Valley Market in Boonville.  Proceeds from ticket sales go to the AV Grange.  Show starts at 7, doors open at 6:30.  Friday night, AV Teen center will be providing tacos, and Saturday night,  the Fair Booster Club will be serving Jay’s famous rib dinners, both available in the parking lot before the show.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY Panther basketball team defeated Point Arena in overtime in Boonville a week ago Tuesday night, but dropped the rematch with the Fog Eaters in Point Arena the very next night, 49-47, ringing down the curtain on a season where they weren’t blown out by anyone, and if it weren’t for, a  missed two here, a free throw there, they’d be beat in playoffs.

STEVE SPARKS has resigned after 15 seasons as high school soccer coach, a long tenure which has seen the Panthers continue as the dominant small school futbol power on the Northcoast. The coach said Monday he wasn’t packing it in out of pique with school management, but that the endless travel and associated long hours simply caused a definite waning of enthusiasm. Sparks said he’ll be available to help out, but won’t be available to drive the team to distant venues like Middletown and San Francisco. Remarkably for a high school coach of any sport, Sparks said he was proud to be on good terms with “all my players, past and present.”

JEFFREY PARKER is the new manager at KZYX, Mendocino County's perennially troubled public radio station. Parker inherits a quarter century of mismanagement, none of it his fault, of course, because he has not previously served the station in any capacity. John Sakowicz and Scott Peterson have immediately jumped the new guy’s bones. Peterson circulated a hit piece on Parker before Parker assumed his unenviable duties in Philo, claiming that Parker's work in China for Reuters was faulty. We didn't post or print the attack because Peterson's bona fides to comment on Chinese politics are the same as mine — non-existent. I think a smart, brusque kinda guy like Parker (my impression of him after a single, brief meeting), is just what the station needs after years of jaw-dropping incompetence.

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