A GUN INCIDENT at Anderson Valley High School two weeks ago has reminded us that even a rural crossroads like Boonville is not immune to the frightening episodes that now occur regularly everywhere in the country. A gang-influenced youth had apparently been carrying a pistol on to the high school campus for at least several days prior to being disarmed by the Sheriff's Department. There's a video of him brandishing it in a joking manner at other students. The boy had been bringing a gun to school became known to school authorities when another kid wrote on the bathroom wall of the boy's bathroom, "Watch out on Monday. School shooter." This boy is now assumed to have written his ominous message to alert school authorities of the potential for serious harm that could result if the gun kid was not disarmed and suppressed. As he duly was, and transported to juvenile hall where he awaits a hearing. Presumably, he will also be expelled.
EMERGENCY SERVICE AND FIREFIGHTER AWARDS FOR AV’S VOLUNTEERS of the Year were presented at the holiday Awards Banquet last week at the Fairgrounds to: T.J. Holsten, Firefighter Rookie of the Year. Regine Boudoures-Bemesderfer, Emergency Medical (Ambulance) Rookie of the Year. Mike Mannix, Ambulance Driver of the Year. Moy Perez, Firefighter of the Year and Engineer of the Year (and also the volunteer who responded to the most calls for the year). Martha Hyde, EMS (Ambulance) Volunteer of the Year. Roy Laird, Firefighter Officer of the Year.
JIM YOUNG, long-time hoops coach at Mendocino High School, corrects my false impression that the Boonville boys lack a scorer. I said they played ferocious defense but lacked offense. "They do have one scorer who can score as well as anyone in the league and as well as anyone they have had the last 15 years. Name Soto, brother of Cesar." And son of Antonio Soto, an unhittable right-handed pitcher back in the day. We're talking about Alejandro Soto who has already been named to two tourney all-star teams this season.
THAT TERRIFIC car crash on Ornbaun Road on Friday, December 8th about 11pm, woke up the neighborhood. It involved, fortunately, only one person, Gunnar Hollinger, 23, who was transported over the hill by ambulance, his vehicle was destroyed and he was the recipient of a DUI charge. Gunnar emerged from his wild night more or less intact and is recovering at his Ornbaun Road home.
DAWN BROKE one morning last week in spectacular shades of red, heralding the predicted light rain that had not fallen as the sun sank much less spectacularly hours later over the west ridges. About 8am, a Yellow Cab inscribed “Fairfield” drove slowly through town, a to-and-from trip likely to run the passenger somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 bucks. The next vehicle of note was Gary Huntington's white PT Cruiser, a festive mini-Santa fixed to the hood.
BIG ORANGE has a battle on its hands. A determined, and savvy group of Albion-area residents are struggling with CalTrans to preserve the Salmon Creek Bridge and the Albion River Bridge. CalTrans says the two spans are antiquated, the preservationists and their lawyer and environmental consultants say both are perfectly serviceable, and point out that the Albion Bridge is protected as historically significant.
ODD OCCURRENCE the other morning. As I strode along Anderson Valley Way on my early morning aerobic shuffle, a thin white cat suddenly charged at me out of the pre-sunrise dark. For some reason, perhaps the animal's sleek appearance, I assumed it was a female. I wondered if hostility for males had spilled over into the animal kingdom? But just as I assumed a defensive posture the creature, instantly purring, began rubbing up against my legs like we were old friends. I thought of my friend Fred Gardner's line, "Choose who chooses you." Maybe I should take the cat home as a companion for Skrag. But this girl belonged to someone. She was used to people, and sure enough, as I walked off she jogged on into Buster Farrer's old place.
ANOTHER SIGN that the Apocalypse nears, this one from the Daily Beast: "Who and what is a ‘sharent’ exactly? If you have both a child and a smartphone, it’s probably you. Sharenting, a term to describe parents who actively share their kids’ digital identities online, is rampant in the United States, with 92% of toddlers under the age of 2 already having their own unique digital identity. As 2017 comes to a close, it appears to be a phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down…"
THE MAJOR ENJOYED a holiday visit to the snug Philo home of Kevin Burke and Robin Quirk. As a former tenant of the ex-pat British artist and all-round good bloke, the Major got an update on Kevin’s increasingly complicated water treatment system before enjoying some jazz and conversation with several Philo friends, including Stella Day, daughter of local painter/musician Bob Day and AV Elementary teacher Linnea Totten. Stella is visiting from Los Angeles. An ace tennis player and straight-A student in her days at AV Unified, Ms. Day shares an LA apartment with her friend Olivia Allen, also an outstanding AV Unified graduate. Ms. D is working towards obtaining her license as a school psychologist. Robin Quirk, aka Mrs. Burke, works the urban front lines as an emergency room nurse in San Francisco, retreating to Philo's tranquil embrace on her off days.
WHAT’S UP WITH THE COXES (EYES ONLY, ANDERSON VALLEY)
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year From The Coxes!
by Kathy & Jerry Cox
Best wishes to family and friends wherever you are for a blessed Christmas season and a fulfillin’ New year of 2018. We are hoping to get this out to you all in time for the Babe of Bethlehem's arrival. Lots of exciting things have happened in 2017.
First: We have moved from our forest covered home in Navarro, which some of you have visited, and have settled into the town of Boonville. Yes there is such a place! We rented out our house and are renting a 3-bed =room home from our friend Ron Verdier, a local architect who lives adjacent in a small house. Our house sits in back of a small vineyard and the faraway hills of our Anderson Valley. The great advantage of our move is that we are 5 minutes to town for grocery shopping and local restaurants compared to a 30 minute drive from and to Navarro. Our new address and phone are included at the end of this letter. Hope this reaches you before you contact our old address.
KATHY: Still “Ms. Activity” as a Board Member of the Anderson Valley Health Center. She's been successful in recruiting several very active people to the Board. She is dedicated to the organization, attending Board and Committee meetings. Two nights weekly she teaches an English As A Second Language at our nearby Adult School which is 5 minutes from the house, another bonus of our move. She walks daily with lady friends, shares novels with her book group, and still cooks up succulent meals.
JERRY: Physical activity somewhat curtailed, gets around with a walker, but spends most of his time working on his memoirs “Shamrocks and Salsa,” based on his Irish ancestry and his Mexican activism. He keeps in touch with a few friends, still tells jokes, and recently did a comedy show at a local cafe with young Sam O'Brien, a longtime friend. May will bring him to his 93rd birthday. He's usually happy and interested in world events.
THE ROCHAS: Rebekah is Principal of a dual language immersion charter school in Santa Rosa, the Cesar Chavez Learning Academy where she's having a good year. Jose is presently Maintenance Supervisor at Manley Auto, Santa Rosa. He still maintains his passion for fishing. Both of them stay in shape with bike riding and trips to the gym. Son Jerry now 12 is into Technology and would be happy to spend his life in front of a computer. GiGi, now 9, receives a lot of therapy, has a part time Special Day teacher as well as spending a half day in a regular classroom. Mercy now 8, is a whirling dervish in her speech and activities such as gymnastics, riding her bike, talking to MiMi (Kathy) endlessly on the phone and mothering her dolls.
MARY ANN & BOYS: Mary Ann is now a thriving Health Coach as well as a Birth professional and mom of two active boys, Cadence 13 and Milo 9. Two years ago she launched her own business, The Driven Soul, has also become a Health Coach for Purium, a health food and nutrition company used with clients to increase energy or lose weight. Jerry can vouch for the product which gave him boosted energy. Cadence, now a Jr. High student, went to his first dance, joined a football team that is supposed to go to a national playoff in Ohio. However, he recently suffered a hip injury. Milo is a smiley guy, also into football, sports, and the fourth grade.
Our families are planning a two day jaunt to Monterrey with a stop at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
So, we all send you our best wishes for a blessed Christmas season and a Happy New Year
VERIHEALTH STRIKES AGAIN
Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.
Leonard Winter, CEO of MedSTAR Ambulance in Ukiah:
We have some grave concerns concerning the ambulance service in Ukiah. Through the Freedom Of Information Act we have discovered that our competitor is planning to post, I suspect only 12 hours a day, I don't know that, in our locations, approximately 100-300 feet from our doorsteps in our three locations in Ukiah. I think that's a horrible thing that could happen. It will hurt the system. If that happens, the first ambulance to go will probably be the one in Redwood Valley which is the most critical ambulance in the 101 corridor. It covers Ukiah valley and well it's and Redwood Valley. We go to Potter Valley. Our most recent tragedy we were the first ones on the scene in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley. We were there for days. I know this is coming up today at our providers needing. We tried to get that meeting changed to another day. We tried not only us but our hospital and a few of the Chiefs also tried to get it changed but it did not happen. So when I get through speaking here today I have to rush over to another meeting. I don't know if I have the answers on what can be done about this. Maybe we will find out today at 10 o'clock. I'm not sure. It seems that they are going to take the green right off the top of all these calls within the city of Ukiah.
Supervisor John McCowen: Just to make sure I understand, you have three ambulances stationed in the Ukiah area. And are those 24/7?
Winter: We have two in Ukiah and one in Redwood Valley. They are all 24 hour ambulances. We don't do any 12 hour coverage.
McCowen: And your competitor is coming in and they are stationing ambulances in close proximity, three additional ambulances in close proximity to where you are?
Winter: I don't know how many ambulances or what they're going to do. I know that they have one now, they have taken one of their —
McCowen: I am getting into more detail than I need to. The point I'm trying to make is it looks like we are saturating the Ukiah area and the intent would seem to be to cream off business rather than to provide a higher level of service.
Winter: That's what I feel. They're going to take to the cream off the top and go home at night which they do already in their centrally located ambulance. It's my understanding that they took their 24-hour ambulance that was stationed at the Ukiah Fire Ukiah fire station and changed it to a 12 hour and got rid of that station; from the 24 to a 12 and got rid of that station.
McCowen: Thank you. I've got the information and I would expect the executive office would attempt to follow up on it.
KZYX'S $600k budget is more than the entire combined Anderson Valley Fire and Ambulance budget. AV Fire and Ambulance's budget is a tangible work product reviewed line by line, bill by bill every month, with members of the public and staff reviewing and questioning everything, even the small expenses. Boonville's Fire and Ambulance Services also do a bottoms up budget review and revision in January of each year. For less than KZYX's $600k the AV Fire Department maintains five employees, 40 highly skilled volunteers with stipends, training, physicals, personal equipment, insurance, and expenses paid), more than 20 pieces of large fire apparatus and a full complement of admin and overhead to cover over 140 square miles 24/7 with medical responses, traffic and collision responses, and fire and search and rescue.
JIM UPDEGRAFF wonders: "As one who spent his life in banking the interest charge item on the MCPB budget jumped out to me. That has to be a loan – no way could you have that amount in service charges. But isn’t a statement of condition available? – that would show the loan. Also, the 990 which is available from the AG also would show the loan."