Valley People (Nov. 29, 2017)

LISA WALSH-HALE of the thriving Yorkville Market has given birth to a baby girl who joins a brother, William. Lisa, and her husband Judson, are now a family of four. Congratulations to them.

ENJOYED a too-brief telephone hello with Diane Herron, formerly of Airport Estates, Boonville, now of Medford, Oregon. She sends along her best to her many friends in the Anderson Valley.

THE 2017 REDWOOD CLASSIC kicks off Wednesday, November 29 and will run through Saturday night. The games tend to be uneven until the Saturday playoff rounds but the event, as an event, is a lot of fun and highly recommended. This year’s tournament, the 60th annual, will begin at 4:30 Wednesday with a mismatch between Tomales and perennial Marin County powerhouse Branson. (Marin has turned out excellent basketball and baseball players for a hundred years. Look for a Marin high school team to take the floor with a bunch of skinny, unathletic-looking little guys who proceed to shoot your eyes out in fundamentally perfect basketball. Ditto for the girl’s teams. Marin sponsors baseball and basketball teams for children ages 4 and up. Football has long been the exclusive franchise of Marin Catholic High School. Look for Marin Catholic to run all over Cardinal Newman this Saturday night in Cotati for the regional championship.) At 6pm Valley Christian will take on an always strong Cloverdale quintet which, depending on how good the Christians are, just might be a game worth the price of admission. At 7:30 Fort Bragg will play home-team Anderson Valley, and right here is probably an interesting game given that Anderson Valley, brilliantly coached by Luis Espinoza, will lack shooting ability but make up for their serial offensive bricks by playing a ferocious, full-court man-to-man defense. Old school fans will absolutely love to watch defensive basketball as it should be played. On Thursday Round Valley will play Argonaut, whoever they are, but here’s to Covelo, once upon a pre-dope time, a small school force the equal of schools three times its size. Hoopa will play Clear Lake at 3:30. Always a well-coached squad out of the far reaches of Trinity County, one year Hoopa featured a giant German kid out of Argentina, arguably a youngster with a fascinating but perhaps unspeakable pedigree. It remains a mystery how this lad came to be enrolled at Hoopa High School. Laytonville v. Woodside Priory (monks play basketball?) is at 5pm. Tulelake, known solely as the site of a World War Two Japanese internment camp and duck hunting, plays Stuart Hall at 6:30. And California School for the Deaf (CSD) will play Pinewood at 8:00. On Friday commence the elimination games until the championship game Saturday night. Hoops note: The best all-round high school basketball performances this ancient fan has ever seen were those of the Oropeza Brothers for Point Arena High School back in….

(Click to Enlarge)

THE RECENT deaths of Kay Clark, Jim Colling and Bob Kirkpatrick saddens everyone who knew them, me included. I looked forward to annual conversations with Kay at the Boonville Fair, and her husband Burton before her, too, and ongoing but periodic association with the Clark’s logger son, Brian. The Clarks were long-time residents of the sunny side of Navarro at Nash Mill, Brian a resident of Albion. Kay was a native of Finland, managing to cheerfully recount tales from her youth in that perpetually Russian-menaced country. I recall Jim Colling’s efficient installation of the miraculously transformative Monitor heater at my previously frigid wood and coal-heated house on Anderson Valley Way. He sold and installed many Monitors in The Valley with nary a complaint from a single customer. Bob Kirkpatrick made his home in Willits but was known throughout the county for his work with school districts. He won my admiration when he became superintendent of the County Schools when that agency functioned as an edu-kleptocracy; Bob managed to re-establish its reputability in the teeth of opposition of its remaining kleptos. Bob’s brother, Don, was superintendent of the Mendocino schools for many years. The both of them were true old school gentlemen of the type long-gone from school systems.

(Painting by Jim Colling)

WEIRDLY WARM WEATHER in Boonville last week with highs reaching 75 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Light showers returned to the area on Thanksgiving and over the weekend accompanied by temps returning to seasonal norms in the 50s and 60s as the winter crispness kicks in.

MARSHALL NEWMAN: "Miracle of miracles, the NOAA (National Weather Service) Boonville rain gauge began working again on November 24 and currently seems in general agreement with the Weather Underground Boonville rain readings. I doubt anyone will come forward to take credit for putting things right, as he or she likely is the same person who hadn’t noticed it stopped working roughly a month previous." (Don't be shy, Marshall. You got 'er done.)

WHY THE NAVARRO BACKS UP. Jim Heid wrote: “It’s an annual tradition! Here are some great details from a State Parks scientist about why the sandbar shouldn’t be breached by anything other than Mother Nature. I post this every year when sandbar-related flooding questions arise.

RENEE PASQUINELLI State Parks clarified:

“State Parks is responsible for management of the Navarro property. We too have received questions regarding the closure of the river mouth. This situation has existed for decades; the difference is the previous tenant of the Mill Keepers house artificially breached the mouth (sometimes in the middle of the night) to protect his chemical shed. Below is a recent response that I wrote to Superintendent Loren Rex regarding the Navarro breaching question:

River breaching is subject to regulation by the Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, State Lands Commission, and CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. State Parks does not have the authority to simply breach the mouth.

Also, past studies have concluded that artificial breaching without adequate rainfall can be lethal to estuary species. Estuaries contain salt and fresh water; the heavier salt water sinks to the bottom forming a highly saline lens beneath a somewhat freshwater upper layer. Breaching siphons off the top freshwater layer, leaving the highly saline layer beneath. Organisms that were able to escape the toxic saline layer prior to breaching have been trapped at the bottom and killed by the saline “brine.” I have literally seen thousands of dead fish, crabs, and other organisms at the Navarro after an illegal breaching incident several years ago. Unfortunately, the Navarro discussions escalate only when people see the closed river mouth and want access to the beach. This stimulates a perception that something has to be done now. Ideally, we need a long term management plan for the Navarro estuary. As I recall from my past work in the Russian River area, Sonoma County Water Agency ultimately worked with Army Corps, the public, and the other regulatory agencies to develop a river mouth plan that included breaching — but the work was justified to prevent flooding of private residences on the lower Russian River. Also, as I recall, the compromise was that the river had to be monitored such that breaching could only occur when certain ecological conditions existed. I would welcome the opportunity to work with CDFW and the other regulatory agencies to pursue funding for a long term plan. For now, there is little threat to the Navarro facilities from the high water level (the Inn was raised a few years ago), and as I understand, there is a great potential for die off of sensitive species if illegal breaching occurs.”

ZO ZOMALA ADDS: “Thank you for this info, but.... water is taken out of the Navarro every year and has been for decades!! Of course breaching should only be done at the correct time, i.e. when there is plenty of water, which there is now, the flooding is the false situation because the shape of the beach has been defined by drought and low river water because of human intervention in use of river water. Complex yes, but not entirely a question of preservation of natural conditions. scientific and common sense maybe useful here, closing the road because the river is so full, so ready to flow into the ocean, not sensible. And, earlier simply moving some sand would have been the fix. Don't even touch the river! Just move the mounds of sand that were displaced during the drought to help the river not spread out quite so much. state parks has not been so terrific about preserving natural conditions. Yes, some human frustration here.”

DEBRA KEIPP WRITES: "Saw this lately and had to comment on local pagans… Not Manson followers. Will the first Valleyite who wasn't friends with Treefrog Jones or Charles Ng when they invaded Valley, please stand up!?!?!”

WELL, I can certainly stand up and would claim to be among the majority of Valley people who were definitely not friends with either Tree Frog Johnson or Charles Ng, or any other of the world class maniacs who briefly made their murderous homes in the Anderson Valley. I did get ripped off by the Moonies when I bought about thirty elderly, non-laying hens from them. And, on still summer nights, everyone in Boonville could hear Moon's novitiates' hypnotic chanting as they deep-cycled on brain wash. Frog I would see riding through town with his captive child catamite on a too-small motorcycle. The hippies said he was a great babysitter, always ready and eager to spend quality time with the kids. A friend gave me an old step-van I quickly put up for sale because I had no use for it. Frog appeared with a friend to have a look but refused to acknowledge my presence. I remember being so irritated with his rudeness I wanted to give him a swift kick or two. The friend later explained, "He doesn't talk to straight people." In light of Frog developments and his capture in a step-van with a little girl that he and the catamite, by then an adolescent, had kidnapped, I was relieved that Frog's sordid chomos adventures hadn't occurred in my step-van. Ng I pegged as retarded. He had that look. I had no direct experience with him or his pal, Leonard Lake. I'd see them walking along 128 in camo gear, and I knew Lake worked at the Boonville Hotel as a dishwasher and served as a volunteer fireman. Another fireman told me, "Yeah, yeah, he was a psycho alright, but we didn't know that then. And you know what? He was our recording secretary. Had the best handwriting you'll ever see." Lake's wife, a teacher's aide at the Boonville Junior High tried to recruit girls, who happened to include my daughter, to Lake's hot tub so he could "photograph" them. I was among several parents who got her fired. No personal knowledge of Jim Jones other than meeting people close to him, and the Manson gang was gone by the time I arrived in the Anderson Valley. Kenneth Parnell lived way the hell out Mountain View Road where his kidnapped catamite, Steven Stayner, attended Point Arena schools. Parnell and Stayner also lived in Comptche. No Mendo school person, incidentally, ever inquired about Parnell's relationship with Stayner. The maniacs, it always has to be said, stuck close to the counter-culture, anything goes sectors of the Mendo community. "Straight people," then and now, pegged creeps as creeps.

GRANGE HOLIDAY DINNER, Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 5:30pm. It's a free dinner open to all in the community to meet, greet, and eat. The Grange with help from the AV Foodshed combine to provide turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy grown as close to home as we can find. It's a potluck so they ask that you bring the "trimmings," salads, desserts, appetizers and…?

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