FOR YOUR CRUMB BUM FILES: Boonville High School's newly appointed principal, Jim Tomlin, told Dan Kuny and Rick Wyant they could sign up prospective junior varsity football players the first day of school. Tomlin was all smiles. “Great to have you back. Great to have a jv team again.” Kuny and Wyant didn't know that their return depended on one condition, that condition being that the varsity coaches, Logo Tevaseu, John Toohey, and the inevitable Pastor Bill, approved of Kuny and Wyant as coaches of the younger boys. Kuny and Wyant went to the high school cafeteria Monday during noon hour and immediately had 18 kids signed up, kids who had previously expressed no interest in playing football this year or any other year. Suddenly there was enthusiasm, life where there had been no life. Kuny and Wyant had assumed they would be welcomed as jv coaches. After all, the 18 boys who'd signed up wanted to play for Kuny and Wyant because they'd played for Kuny and Wyant as little kids. And jv players, young players, need their own coaches because they're too green, too physically immature to compete against 16 and 17 year olds. But, a few hours later Kuny was informed by Pastor Bill's triumvirate, “We'll take 'em, thanks. Maybe you two guys can fill in for us when we need some extra help.” Which was a nice kick in the teeth for two guys who have devoted many, many volunteer hours to the young people of this community. For simply trying to re-interest local kids in football at the high school level they get this casual kiss off? The boys who signed up to play junior varsity wanted to play for Kuny and Wyant. If they'd wanted to play for the LifeWorks Group Home, for whom Logo works and for whom Pastor Bill does what he's told, they'd already have signed up to play, there already would have been 18 kids out for jv football. Logo T and John Toohey are popular with young people, so maybe the kids who signed up to play for Kuny and Wyant will stick around to work out with the big boys, maybe they won't. But even the big boys the last few years, being drawn mostly from the group home whose proprietor enjoys unique veto power over Anderson Valley High School's football and basketball teams, have faded long before the season was over, and the football schedule has not been completed. We're now like Covelo. We start out with a team, albeit a team of strangers, then, halfway through the schedule, Boonville disappears. In years past, for many years past, all the way back to 1920 when the game was played at the Elementary School oval, football worked quite well in the Anderson Valley when both group home kids and local kids comprised the football teams. The community turned out in large numbers for Friday night football. As it stands, the community could care less. Football is dead in the Anderson Valley. Tomlin, with a great big assist from Jack Graves of LifeWorks Group Home, killed it. Kuny says, “That's it for me. I'm through.” He shouldn't be through. It isn't right.
WANT SOME SALT with those wounds, Mr. Kuny? Tuesday morning, we received this e-mail from our school correspondent, Terry Ryder. “Jim Tomlin asked me to send this in. I know it's late but since you know Danny I thought you might squeeze it in: “A special 'thank you' to Danny Kuny and Rick Wyant for their lunch time visit to the high school Monday at lunch. (sic) Danny was signing up kids for the depleted junior varsity football team from his Pop Warner alumni. The football coaches were delighted and hope to incorporate the new boys into practice ASAP.”
THE BLOOD BANK will be at the Boonville Fire House Saturday morning, 10:30am to 1:30pm. Walk-ins welcome.
A RED-HEADED MAN, who said he was going to Philo, and exhibiting all the twitching, hyper-verbal signs that he was loaded on methamphetamine, was bad-talking Mexicans on the Boonville-bound MTA bus last Thursday afternoon. Our reporter, Bruce McEwen, asked Red to calm down, that his wild talk was scaring the little kids on the bus and putting a serious damper on everyone else's ride. But Red kept it up and even stepped it up until the woman driving the bus pulled over at the Boonville Brewery and told Red to get off. Which he did, but not without a lot of huffing and puffing aimed both at the bus driver and McEwen. All of which we have noted, assuming there won't be a re-occurrence.
WE STILL don't know who baked the most beautiful blackberry pie, but the prize for tastiest went to Meade Williams at last Saturday morning's Farmer's Market at the Boonville Hotel.
BY THE WAY, local author Katy Tahja's crucial books Northcoast history — Humboldt State University; Early Mendocino Coast; Rails Across the Noyo; and All Roads Lead to Comptche — are available at Boonville's wonderful new book store, Laughing Dog Books.
VISITING THE AVA this week was Andrew Rebori of Houston's justly famous Just Dinner restaurant. Mr. and Mrs. Rebori were working their way south from Oregon on a vacation tour when they paused in Boonville to snap a few photos of AVA headquarters and its dramatically un-photogenic staff, me and The Major.
ALSO stopping by was Lawrence Livermore, music impresario and founding father of the Green Day band. Larry still owns land near Laytonville off Spy Rock Road but these days splits time between London and Brooklyn. A fine writer whose work has often appeared in the Advertiser, Lar is completing a memoir of his years on Spy Rock.
UNDERCOVER law enforcement was in The Valley early Monday morning in an effort to throttle sales of methamphetamine. Deputies Squires and Walker seem to be doing a good job in keeping the drug under control but it's still around. Local tweekers, however, aren't nearly as visible lately as they were a couple of years ago.
A LOCAL GUY was startled Sunday when he was charged $150 for a small load of trash he off-loaded at the County-run Boonville Dump. That same morning he'd driven to the privately-owned Ukiah transfer where the same load would cost no more than $50 to off-load. The Ukiah transfer station is closed Sundays. He didn't know that, but the stuff he was hauling around had to be dumped that day. You can read Major Scaramella's comprehensive account of the County's ongoing garbage fiasco in this week's paper, but all you really need to know is that the County of Mendocino, which is us, brothers and sisters, and even though we subsidize the County's transfer station at Boonville and transfer stations at five other locations to the tune of three to four hundred thousand tax dollars a year, dump fees at the County's transfer stations are so high lots of us drive our trash all the way to Ukiah. Or toss it on the side of the road, an ongoing problem everywhere the County operates transfer stations because lots of people simply can't afford to legally unburden themselves of their trash. The solution? Give Jerry Ward of Willits our transfer stations. He says he can run them better and cheaper, which is what Ward already does in the North County. Nor have I heard any complaints about either the efficiency or the cost of Ward's present trash pick-up in The Valley where lots of us are his satisfied customers.
ANOTHER local guy took his son up for a free airplane ride over The Valley last Saturday as part of the wildly successful Boonville Airport festivities, but couldn't help but notice a very large marijuana garden “Right out there in the open somewhere around the Vista Ranch.”
I DON'T KNOW about you, but I miss Biker Bill at the Boonville Dump. Biker Bill commuted here from his home to the east, and had become part of our community, an unfailingly helpful and friendly presence at one of our most crucial local institutions. He's now unemployed because the County laid him off before the privatization deal with Solid Waste of Willits was all the way done. Biker Bill, assuming the Willits-based company picks up the smaller transfer stations as the County stumbles forward with its botched trash pick-up policies, will probably be re-hired by Solid Waste of Willits.
CENTRAL BOONVILLE was alive with children and parents Monday morning, the first day of school. Here in the Anderson Valley, we start the school year early, and end it early with a long holiday break in the middle to allow many local families to return to their country of origin which, of course, is Canada.
DON'T FORGET the big soccer fundraiser Saturday night, 7pm, at the Philo Grange. Advance tickets available at Lemons Market, Philo, and All That Good Stuff, Boonville. Lotsa good fun, lotsa good company, lotsa good music. Coach Steve Parks needs to buy uniforms, traditional brown and gold uniforms. The old ones are very, very old and even if they weren't very, very old there aren't enough of them, hence Saturday night's Grange event.
THIS JUST IN! Ass Knife, the popular band out of Laytonville, is touring Belgium while its former bass player, our very own Wyatt Gibson, now assaults his bass with Dirt Squad, also out of Laytonville, Mendocino County's most creative musical venue. Dirt Squad is fresh off an acclaimed appearance at the prestigious Gilman Street Project, Berkeley. How to describe Dirt Squad's sound? Imagine the Lawrence Welk Orchestra just as the Champagne Lady launches into Moon and Shadows getting hit by a Bart train in the Transbay Tunnel.
STEVE SPARKS' TUESDAY NIGHT bingo fundraiser at the Senior Center could barely contain itself last week, with 70 locals turning out for a fine dinner followed by lively rounds of the popular game. It was so crowded that a few folks had to sit next door in the Vet's Annex. Too bad Bingo's only a once-a-month; if it were every week we'd get the whole Valley out, and the Seniors would be awash in cash. But Steve, a gifted emcee, is stretched pretty thin, what with his interviews, his coaching of the high school's soccer team, his once-a-week preparation and hosting of Trivial Pursuit at Lauren's Restaurant every Thursday night. (Bingo at the Senior Center is the second Tuesday evening of the month.)
GET READY! The 20th annual Yorkville Labor Day Ice Cream Social is only three weeks away. The highly anticipated annual fundraiser and community get-together will run from 10 in the morning to 4:30 on Labor Day, September 6th, a Monday, at the Yorkville Community Post Office and Firehouse. Supplementing the ice cream and root beer floats will be fresh produce, barbecued oysters, hamburgers and hotdogs. Yorkville will also present a large selection of books and a cake raffle. Proceeds benefit the Yorkville Community Benefit Association which funds Yorkville firefighting provides scholarships to Yorkville scholars.
JUST RECEIVED a public service announcement from the County of Mendocino's Health and Human Services Agency. “Mendocino County Older Adult System of Care invites volunteers to become Senior Peer Counselors,” meaning, it seems, a buddy system for old guys. Call Darren Smallen at 463-7885 if you're interested.
THE MAJOR enjoyed a chat with the school district’s financial consultant Miguel Rodriguez of the East Bay Financial outfit, Caldwell-Flores after last Wednesday night's school board meeting. Mr. Rodriguez's outfit also advises other school districts in the County on the financing for their facilities upgrade bonds. After the Major told Mr. Rodriguez that he was for the facilities upgrade but against borrowing to do it, Mr. Rodriguez asked, “So you’re against mortgages?” Rodriguez had a point there, the Major conceded. But still, it would be a lot cheaper if the school district maintained a reserve fund for facilities projects so that they don’t have to pay twice the total amount — with interest — for construction projects.
MR. RODRIGUEZ told our school board that because they applied for clean/renewable energy bonds last year they were approved for up to $2.2 million in low interest loans for the solarization portion of the facilities upgrade project. Presumably this will save the district and the taxpayers a nice chunk of change.
IN THEORY, if the District spends less on the bond than is expected — which should certainly happen if interest rates remain low and construction bids are competitive — the nominal $60 per $100,000 of assessed value parcel tax might be reduced towards the end of the bond payoff period — 30 years from now.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, working with their lawyer had prepared a draft of some “bylaws” which are supposed to apply to the legally mandated Bond Oversight Committee. In answer to a question from Oversight Committee member Mark Scaramella, Superintendent J.R. Collins said that they would not be voting on the bylaws until the Oversight Committee had the chance to review them.
THE DISTRICT is looking for a long-term temporary employee to replace the bus driver Manuel Soto who has been suffering from some strange affects of Lyme Disease. The District will provide training, but applicants with existing Class A or B truck-driver licenses will need less training.
WHEN THE School Board’s student reps, the vivacious duo of Olivia Allen and Lily Leighton, told the Board that this year’s graduating class motto is “Decisions today affect tomorrow,” Board Chair Marti Bradford gushed, “Awesome!”
GREAT DAY IN ELK — The 36th annual “Great Day in Elk,” , will be held on Saturday, August 21 from noon until dark. Starting with a parade through the North Coast village of Elk, the day's festivities include carnival games and crafts for children, live entertainment, belly dancing, a watermelon-eating contest and sack races, fortune-telling, cake auction, raffle, a $100 grease pole contest, and much, much more. Food and drinks will be available all afternoon. Entertainment includes “The Blushing Roulettes,” Circus Mecca, and belly dancing. A barbecue dinner will be served from 4-7pm. The festivities are a benefit for the Greenwood Community Center. Admission is free. Elk is 5 miles south of the Highway 128 intersection on Highway 1. For more information go to www.elkweb.org or call 877-1105. — Rosi Acker