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Valley People (July 5, 2017)

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS to the two delightful ladies at the Navarro Store, Erika Mendoza and Crist Perez, the beating heart of Navarro whose unfailingly pleasant service at maestro Dave Evans’ always lively venue makes Navarro, Navarro. Yes, birthdays. Plural, as coincidence would have it. Same day.

CORRECTION: We wrongly identified Matt Barnes of  the excellent Stone and Embers restaurant, Philo, as the proprietor of the also excellent Bewildered Pig restaurant in Navarro. Matt is more of a case-by-case guy, Ms. Weaver of the Bewildered Pig does not allow dogs into her establishment. Me? I prefer not to risk the wrath of Monika (Fuchs) but I see dogs in restaurants and stores as one more imposition of the Me First generations.

JUST ASKING, but if you host for pay regular bacchanals that come with with loud music into the early hours, as do the proprietors of Groundswell six miles south of Boonville, at what point are you considered an “event center”? Or a hotel?

The events at the Boonville Fairgrounds, for instance, are required to turn the music off at midnight Friday and Saturday nights, Sundays at 10pm. But the Fairgrounds are in the middle of town, and the calculation is that the nabes can suffer through a couple of weekends a year. But if you’re not in town, with only a few neighbors , do you get to play loud music deep into the night most weekends and go unregulated? In Mendocino County, where the ink on the rules is never quite dry, and always depend on who you are, if you’re a vineyard with frost fans there is no illegal decibel level. If you’re an unaffiliated mope who wields decibels as a weaponized expression of your contempt for what’s left of social standards, you will get shut down right away. If you’re a gay retreat center at the old Mathias Ranch? Stay tuned.

ATTENTION BOOK DINOSAURS, have we got a deal for you! Elizabeth Dusenberry writes: “Our Book Sale has started at the A.V. Library. Books are on sale for $4 a bag and the sale will continue until July 29th. We will not be accepting any more book donations until we reopen in the Fall. Our last open day will be August 1st, so come in and stock up on your summer reading. Library hours are Tuesday 1:30-4:30 and Saturday 2-4.”

OUR FREE LIBRARY right here in the Anderson Valley at the Boonville Fairgrounds is as good as many public libraries, especially now that public libraries have made books low priority.

I STOPPED in recently to off-load some books of a very high quality….. check that. Quality? Who dares define quality in a time lots of people think that the very pinnacle of quality is a weekend at Mar-A-Lago?

LOATHE to further burden a valuable free library with books no one is likely to read, I donated twenty or so titles I thought just might interest other local book dinos.

AND, once he’s in the cavernous hall at the Fairgrounds where the library is housed, what book dino can stop himself from having a look at the bargain table? Not this old pterodactyl. And there it was in the one dollar collection, a first edition, I think — nicely bound, cut pages etc. — “The Wapshot Chronicle” and “The Wapshot Scandal” by John Cheever.

I FOUND this handwritten inscription on the inside page: “This is the sixteenth book of the Best Seller Collection, which the County Library Club board of directors has presented to the Anderson Valley Lending Library, April 28, 1981.” The presentation was noted and signed by Velma Farrer; Beth Tuttle; and Elinor Clow, all of whom are gone but fondly remembered by many of us.

SO, for one dollar I not only bought a fine novel I’d never read, I bought a piece of Anderson Valley history in the signatures of three locally prominent women once central to the life of this place. And I’d bought a piece of book history in that the donation of a finely wrought novel (in every sense) was once an occasion to be remarked on. According to the old library check-out card at the back of the book, two persons read the novel in 1981; two in 1982; one in 1988; and one person in 1999. I wanted their names, I wanted to know what they thought of the book, I wanted to know what other books they’d read that year, and if they’d still found books more satisfying than the six City television channels then beamed into the Valley from the translator far and away on a ridge top in the hills east of Boonville.

OF COURSE I didn’t have a dollar to make off with my treasured artifact, but Ms. Dusenberry, perhaps experienced with blustery deadbeats, said I could come back with the dollar the next week. Did I? That’s between me and Liz.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD, lately conducting school business in serial closed sessions, met again in closed session Monday night. The law says the board has to "report out," i.e., tell us what they discussed in their super-secret cloisters. Cyber hat in hand, I asked for the report out and got this back: "The report out of closed session from the Board meeting on June 26, 2017 was: The Board chose to non re-elect a probationary certificated position, regarding employee #2299198966."

WHEW! That was close. I thought maybe it was employee #6669010 who’d been offed. Or my old friend #0079052016.

A CALL to the edu-oracle at the district office for numerical clarity elicited this explanation from school board president Dick Browning: "How would you like your name in the paper if you'd been fired?" Then why identify the person even by bar code? Myself, I’d prefer to be humiliated by name than number.

BUT THE OLD BOY has a point, but we'd certainly like to hear from #229919866 because, for all we know, #229919866 got the old Kafka Shuffle, axed for no real reason at all, hustled out the door, down the street and on into edu-oblivion for reasons as obscure as his pull date. Fired persons have the right to contest their executions in public session, but I can't remember the last time someone did that. In fact, I can’t remember the last time anybody was fired, except for the Cloverdale drug guy who was hired then fired when the school board discovered he’d been arrested for selling oxycontin pills. But he’d never stepped foot in a classroom. Two recent principals didn’t have their contracts renewed but both had the option to return to a classroom position, which isn’t the same as the sack. Goodbye #229919866. Happier numbers to you down the road.

ANOTHER ZEN BULLETIN from the Boonville school district last week:

Report out from closed session Board Meeting on June 29, 2017

Richard Browning reported out of closed session:

The Board Approved a Settlement Agreement in regards to a Special Education Expulsion Case.


June 26 and June 29, 2017 Board Meeting Continued

Notice Of Adjournment of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Anderson Valley Unified School District

Pursuant to Government Code section 54955, the Board of Trustees adjourned the regular meeting on June 26, 2017, and June 29, 2017, to the date, time, and place set forth below:

July 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.

Anderson Valley High School Cafeteria

18200 Mountain View Road

Boonville, California.

LAWYERS have taken over Boonville Unified, and lawyers have one standard piece of advice they learn at the Matchbook School of Law: Don’t say anything to anybody, at least until you get paid. We do know two administrators are in, or soon will be in, litigation. They are former high school principal St. Jeor and former Elementary School principal Reddick. Present superintendent Michelle Hutchins lost her lease over a dispute with her landlord and is looking for a home for herself and her family.

MARILYN PRONSOLINO still isn't back from Italy, where she and her family traveled last month for a visit to the motherland. Every American who's ever been there is tempted to stay, but we need Marilyn back at Lemons Market. She's been gone too long.

NICE NEW FENCE at the Philo Methodist Church, complete with a simple but gracious flatline arch.

ALSO IN PHILO, the Lemons, pere and three fils, continue to redo the former Libby's Restaurant.

Former home of Libby's restaurant
Carlos José

STOPPED in at the graduation celebration at the Apple Hall for Carlos José Saturday night thrown by Carlos' justly proud mom, Veronica. As a high school kid, Carlos did odd jobs for us, and we knew then from his smarts and ambition he was going to do just fine. At Chico State, the personable young man played on the university rugby team while preparing for a career in, well, for now Carlos is working with "at risk youth" in Lake County, but seems to be headed for work with law enforcement.

BROOKS SCHMITT'S FOOD TRUCK, got off to a roaring start Wednesday afternoon, with a line of local gourmands waiting patiently for their inaugural  eats.

THE YOUNG CHEF will be serving a constantly changing menu featuring, according to Steve Sparks, "Vietnamese to Israeli street food cuisines — weekly menu via social media. The food truck will move between the AV Brewery Visitor Center (Friday and Sunday, noon to 7pm), the Boonville Hotel (Wednesday, noon to 8pm), and perhaps a spot in Philo, possibly Thursday."

PICK UP the pace, Anderson Valley! We all know bee populations are way off, and here comes a totally reliable, totally amiable guy looking for places to put hives. You can do your bit to bring the bees back. All Patrick needs is a spot. He and his crew do the rest. Small farms should be a natch, but so far haven't much volunteered. Sam Prather stepped right up for the bees. He’s taken several hives, which you can see in Sam's pasture off Anderson Valley Way. We took four hives ourselves right here in the middle of town. And there are a bunch down at Riley Heights. You can't go wrong with this deal while you do your bit for the bees. Step up, Mendo! Save the bees!

AV HOUSING ASSOCIATION FUNDRAISER: Sunday, July 16th the Anderson Valley Lions Club is firing up the grill for a classic tri-tip barbecue to benefit the Anderson Valley Housing Association. Our hosts for this event are Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn at the lovely Navarro Ranch, 5601 Highway 128 in Philo. On the menu are tri-tip, baked beans, coleslaw, & watermelon, plus appetizers and desert by chef Jared Titus. Tickets are $35 and include your first drink. Tickets for kids 12 and under are $10. We'll have a great afternoon (4-7pm) chatting with friends and neighbors under the oaks, listening to a little live music, and supporting affordable housing in Anderson Valley.


County Board of Education

  • James L. Snell, President, Fort Bragg
  • John W. Taylor, Secretary, Ukiah
  • Roy Good, Willits
  • Owen A. Cruce, Point Arena
  • Wildia Richmond, Boonville

Anderson Valley Union High School Board of Trustees

  • Wayne Lowery, Chairman, Yorkville
  • Lenora Ray, Clerk, Philo
  • Ernest Pardini, Boonville
  • Alex B. Willis, Boonville

Cash balance $8,658.14

Less current liabilities including payment due on bus, $2,403.27

Total available balance $6,254.87

State apportionment $10,014.35

Transferred from other districts, payment by elementary district for music and transportation $500

Total estimated current receipts and balances:

Estimated amount to be raised by special tax, $9,937.62

Total receipts and assets, $26,706.84

* * *

Proposed expenditures and appropriations for the school year of 1946-1947

Operation and maintenance of administration: $150

Other expenses of instruction including textbooks, supplies etc. $2,000

Salaries of teacher and principal $13,700

Maintenance of school plant, $700

Operation of school, including janitor’s salary, fuel, supplies, utility services and other expenses $2,750

Transportation including bus driver salaries, fuel, bus repairs $3,465

Fixed charges including insurance retirement contributions etc. $610

Capital outlays including improvements in buildings, payments on new bus $300

Undistributed reserve not an expenditure but available for expenditure $2,000

Total expenditures $23,376

About 58% of the estimated expenditures are for teacher salaries. The second largest single expenditure is for transportation at almost 14%. Operation of school plant about 11%, capital outlays a little over 10%.

The assessed valuation of property in high school district is approximately $2,125,000. This is an estimated tax rate of $.46 per $100 of assessed valuation. Allowing 10% for uncollectible taxes the high school tax rate was set at $.49. Our receipts are distributed as follows: State apportionment, 28% District tax 37% Balance 26% miscellaneous 7%

(Via/Courtesy, Norm Clow)

* * *


(From for Spring 2017)

Number of students: 558

English Learners: 208

Socioeconomically disadvantaged: 463 (83%)

Students with Disabilities: 59

Hispanic: 419

African American: 6

American Indian: 3

Two or more races: 2

White: 128

High School Graduation Rate: 38 out of 40. (37 of the 38 were socioeconomically disadvantaged. 32 where Hispanic, 6 were white.)

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