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Valley People (June 21, 2017)

JUDY WAGGONER’S memorial gathering is this Saturday, 24 June, 3pm, at the redwood grove at the Navarro Store. Pastor Willie Roberts will preside at the inurnment at Evergreen Cemetery, Boonville, preceding the potluck assembly of family and friends in Navarro.

LONG-TIME BOONVILLE RESIDENT ROSS MURRAY died Thursday in Ukiah. He was 98.  An interview with Murray by Steve Sparks can be found at the ava on-line at

HOT! If your body’s thermostat happens to be on the fritz, temperatures in the Anderson Valley have been in the high 90s.

THE AV Library will reopen this Saturday June 24th. On Tuesday, June 27th all of the sale books will be available for $4 a bag. Please bring your own bag. The sale will continue until July 25th, but come early to get the best selections. The Library will be closed Tuesday July 4th. Library hours are Tuesday 1:30-4:30 and Saturday 2-4.  We are located in the Home Arts Bldg. on the Fairgrounds. (Liz Dusenberry)

THE RASTAFARIANS and their fans and bands arrived in Boonville in great numbers Friday and even greater numbers Saturday and Sunday. Businesses throughout Mendocino County’s most happening venue, the Anderson Valley, were packed throughout the weekend, although the restaurants noted not much of a customer increase, probably because so much food is sold inside the event.  Lizbby’s Mexican restaurant in downtown Boonville arranged outdoor dining beneath a canopy in front of the restaurant, and inside dining for regulars. Saturday, with temperatures soaring, large numbers of concert goers availed themselves of the cooling and re-hydration tents. Attendance seemed up all weekend. One arrest for drunk in public, and one ugly, low-energy incident at Pic ’N Pay where a Rastafarian stood at the counter for a good twenty minutes trying to cheat Irene over a twenty dollar purchase. People in line were yelling at the oaf to get it moving, but he wouldn’t leave until his sadistic little game was completed.

GANG FIGHT in downtown Boonville Thursday night? The scanner said there was a "physical 415" (disturbance) at 9:44 pm in front of the Boonville Post Office "between about 20 youths."

MINUTES LATER BOONVILLE’S emergency services crews were dispatched for a 60-year old male who’d fainted at an address we couldn't make out due to cross traffic on the scanner. The REACH 18 air ambulance was soon dispatched to the Boonville Airport, but we don’t know if the patient was flown outtahere for treatment.

NO SIGNS OF TRUCULENCE at Thursday night’s high school graduation in Boonville before a packed house in the high school gym. Nor did graduation ceremonies show any signs of the administrative turbulence roiling AV Unified as the district's brass carried out their responsibilities with professional aplomb. The truly gifted Riley Lemons, a graduating senior, roused the crowd to a prolonged standing ovation with a song she’d written for the occasion which,  delivered in her inimitably beautiful voice, marked the long journey she and her classmates had made together from childhood to high school diploma. As was remarked, the Anderson Valley offers more in scholarship assistance to graduating seniors than any other public school in Northern California. Thursday night, Tony Pardini, a straight-A student headed for U.C. Davis to study engineering, was the leading recipient of college assistance. Jessica Lopes, to name one beneficiary of Anderson Valley’s generosity, has just earned a degree in psychology from UC San Diego.

JIM SNYDER has been appointed principal at Anderson Valley High School. The youthful math teacher graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 1993 and UC San Diego in 1998. Snyder began work in Anderson Valley as a substitute teacher, became an instructional assistant, and is in his tenth year as math teacher at the high school. He holds a master's degree and is working on an administrative credential. The position pays $96,609 annually.

MILLA HANDLEY, winemaker and owner of the landmark Handley Cellars, has announced her retirement and plans to pass on the Anderson Valley winery to her two daughters. Taking over as co-owners will be Lulu McClellan and Megan Handley Warren. Ms. McClellan, a graduate of Anderson Valley High School, will function as  national sales manager. “My sister and I are thrilled to be carrying forward the legacy that my parents started, and as Handley Cellars enters its 36th vintage, we could not be more proud of our past and excited for our future,” said McClellan in a public announcement. “My mom has made extraordinary wines with Handley Cellars, and her principles have led her to do so much more with her winery. She has fostered an atmosphere here that supports dynamic and creative people while making beautiful wine that respects and celebrates our environment. Our vision for Handley Cellars is that it always continues to be more than just a winery — we are a family, part of a larger community, and stewards of our land.”

Lulu McClellan, Milla Handley and Megan Handley

Assuming Milla Handley’s role as winemaker will be former co-winemaker Randy Schock. Travis Scott will become associate vice president. Milla Handley’s 36-year career was notable from its beginning. She was one of the first female graduates in fermentation science at University of California, Davis, in 1978. Along with her late husband, Rex, and the support of her parents, the winery opened in 1982. She made 250 cases of chardonnay, becoming the first woman winemaker and owner to establish a wine label with her own name in the United States. In 2003, she applied for organic certification, which was granted in 2005.

MENDOCINO LAFCo has formally approved the AV Ambulance Service merger with our Community Services District as of June 5. Existing memberships with the former non-profit AV Ambulance will be honored by the CSD. Ambulance Service Manager Clay Eubanks will continue in essentially the same role but under Fire Chief Andres Avila. Ambulance Service Assistant Manager Aaron Martin has resigned for unspecified reasons and the CSD is looking into replacing him with a part-time employee hired from existing emergency responders.

MENDO LAFCo (The County’s Local Agency Formation Commission) has also refunded $2850 to the Community Services District for time LAFCo spent on ambulance service annexation. The CSD had been required to advance $6,000 to LAFCo to cover their staff costs before they would even consider the annexation/merger. After a lot of back and forth at the June 5 LAFCo meeting, the $2850 was approved as a compromise amount after Supervisor John McCowen led the way to compromise.

MENDOCINO COUNTY HAS PAID the AV Fire Department almost $1000 for an out of district emergency response way up Mountain View Road in the vicinity of Hanes Ranch, a first in recent memory. Apparently a County employee, presumably sober, driving a County vehicle during one of this winter’s rainstorms ran off the road. No one was injured, but AV Fire responded and assisted with traffic control. Technically, the area where the incident occurred was in what is known as “County Responsibility Area,” and therefore “out of district,” hence the reimbursement.

ON THE OTHER HAND, the Community Services District paid a whopping $1200 for an ordinary legal opinion by the County’s somnolent County Counsel’s Office that the District did not have to put its fleet mechanic service out to competitive bid.

THE COUNTY'S "Cannabis Track and Trace Program's informational workshop" this afternoon (Wednesday) in Boonville, impressions of:

THE COUNTY CREW responsible for aspects of what is essentially a registration and hefty fee process with, as County CEO Carmel Angelo put it, "No County authority over public safety" numbered about 8. Translation: We have no control over what the cops do whether or not you jump through the County's hoops.

MS. ANGELO'S TEAM had been in Fort Bragg this morning from ten to noon, meaning a leisurely tax-paid lunch and drive to Boonville for Boonville's 3 o'clock meeting, which started twenty minutes late and went on until…. I don't know. (I don't do public meetings that last more than an hour.)

MS. ANGELO suggested her frustration with the law enforcement end of the County's marijuana licensing project. This is not a coordinated effort in Mendocino County between the registration program and law enforcement.  In other words, not much has changed. You, the producer, can negotiate a lengthy and expensive process with no guarantee you won't be busted either here at home or on the road by other police agencies.

AS A NON-CANNABANOID, I see no advantage in going quasi-legal in this context, but from the questions asked by thirty or so other persons in the Boonville Vet's Building, a number of people do seem to intend to pay their money and take their chances.

MS. ANGELO pointed out that adding to the confusion are pending state regs which, it seems, may supersede Mendo's rules which themselves, are a work in progress. She said she hoped it was all moving in the direction of respectability and acceptance, "like any other industry."

THE ETHNIC COUNT: No Mexicans, two Chinese, one of them a portly fellow with a large knife strapped to his belt, no sinister aspersions intended. Few stereotypical hippies in attendance, lots of "straight" people, whatever that term implies anymore or ever did.

MY FEELING, as a non-participant, insofar as anyone in the County can be a non-pot participant, was of one of those police stings where the cops rent a big room and invite all the crooks in for a party and free Super Bowl tickets. I'd say a solid third of the attendees did not sign in.

THE COUNTY may have over-reached. They've hired a half-dozen people or so to carry out the licensing, but preliminary sign-up figures indicate not enough signees to cover the cost of the new employees. Most Mendo grows will stay "illegal."

INTERESTING LOCAL ITEMS from the (Draft) Project Evaluation And Pre-Design Engineering Report For A Proposed Public Water System In Boonville, Anderson Valley Community Services District, June 2017 by Brelje & Race:

“….. The owners of four parcels at the end of Farrer Lane submitted a written request to AVCSD to not be included in any proposed water service areas. They indicated that their wells and septic systems are relatively new and should have many more years of useful life. Anderson Valley Brewing Company was not included in any service areas as the company has its own public water system with treatment. …”

“…..According to the 2010 United States Census, Boonville’s population was 1,035 people and 372 of the 413 household units were occupied.”  (That many empties?)

“…. There were four domestic wells in the vicinity of the clean-up site that were contaminated with MTBE due to the leaking underground tanks. One well serves the Mi Esperanza Market (convenience grocery store), one well serves the Anderson Valley Fire Department (AVFD), and the other two serve private residences. Well head treatment systems were installed on two wells: the AVFD well in 2011 and the Mi Esperanza Market/tire shop well in 2013. “

“…. Based on the potential demands presented in the preceding sections, a secure source supply of approximately 100 gpm (includes a 10% design allowance) would be required to satisfy the estimated maximum day demand of 123,000 gallons …. “ (Which will come from where?)

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