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Valley People (July 11, 2018)

NO ERROR is more regrettable than a botched obituary, and I truly regret failing to have written that Cindy Fashauer is the mother of the late Jason Abbott, a young man sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

YOU'LL CERTAINLY feel good, doctor, if you stop in at the Navarro Store for outtasight grilled hotdogs and hamburgers from Guy's Grill, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 5pm. I know there are some great burgers in Mendocino County, but these babies at the Navarro Store are mondo boffo!

I WAS PLEASED to see a Highway Patrol presence in the Anderson Valley for an entire day a week ago Tuesday. Through traffic, and plenty of locals, bomb through here at all hours every day and all night, too frequently moving at dangerously high speeds. All of us locals can tell plenty of our own vehicular horror stories. I'll never forget the afternoon I was sitting at an outside table at Boont Berry Farm when a large Mercedes, illegally passing on the right, hurtled past, missing me by a couple of feet, and throwing dust and gravel onto my plate of Eggs Mogambo. Anybody exiting the store would have been killed. And just the other day, pulling out for Boonville from the Navarro Store, a lunatic behind the wheel of a battered black pick-up raced up behind me at such a speed that if I'd even touched my brakes he would have crushed me. And he stayed right on me until I could pull over to let him pass. The guy was simply malicious, a manchild indifferent to human life, a man who deserves to be locked up.

IF THE SHERIFF put a full-time, strictly traffic officer, on 128 between Yorkville and Navarro, the County could make a lot more in speeding tickets than the County will ever make licensing marijuana.

SHAUNA ESPINOZA COMMENTED via facebook: “Ok, truth time. I don’t understand the CHP warnings on our local pages. Half the time I’m always getting complaints about there never being an MCSO or CHP presence here, and then people complain when they are here. A quick story: yesterday morning I was driving to Ukiah, a black car tailgating me passed me on the double yellow going up the hill and then passed the car in front of me by using the gravel turnout on the right hand side. I doubt that driver even knew he was there, and they almost crashed when he was getting back on the road. You don’t think we need CHP here? Drivers like that one yesterday, make me believe otherwise.”

GOWER AND ROBYN SMITH of Elk have purchased the former home of Karen Altaras’s Rookie-To Galley in central Boonville, and you’re an old timer if you remember when Roy Zane made his home on the property. I believe the house pre-dates World War Two.

FIRE THURSDAY, EARTHQUAKE FRIDAY. The USGS reported Friday a 2.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter on “Hulber Road” in Yorkville. The minor rumble occurred at 3:53 am. (That would be Hulbert Road named after the late Austin Hulbert.)

FORMER AV FIRE CHIEF Colin Wilson writes:We just had our second earthquake today (Friday). The first was at about 0455 (a.m.) and was strong enough (2.4) to wake my dog and me up. It was centered in the headwaters of Dry Creek on the Hulbert Ranch Subdivision according to the USGS site. The second felt about the same strength and I suspect was located at about the same place. It just happened at about 1555 this afternoon.”

ELK FIRE’S ANNUAL BBQ! The Elk Volunteer Fire Department invites you to its 14th Annual Summer BBQ to be held Saturday, August 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Greenwood Community Center on Highway 1 in downtown Elk.

THE CURRENT SUNSET MAGAZINE includes a feature called "Back to the Land," with photographs of, among others, our very own Kendra McEwen and Nacho Flores with a short piece of prose on the Scamming’s Bucket Ranch up on Signal Ridge. Anderson Valley averages about a feature a month in distant publications, running a close second in outside media attention to the Mendocino-Fort Bragg area. Although Ukiah paid $25,000 to an ad agency to come up with the town slogan, "Far out, nearby," or something like that, our county seat remains far off the tourist path while we bask in unwanted attention.

IMPATIENT MALE CALLER: “Can you put me in touch with your historian Bruce Levine?” I don’t have his contact information here. “Is he dead?” If he is I definitely don’t have his contact info, but I think Bruce is still with us. “Did you know that a skeleton with a buccaneer’s hat and sword was found in a sea cave near Westport?” No, but I’m not surprised. Strange things happen in Westport. “Any idea who I might contact for historical information?” The Held-Poage Library in Ukiah and Katy Tahja in Comptche. “Katy what? Held Comptroller?” No, Katy Tahja. “How do you spell Katy? Oh, here she is. She’s written a lot of books. Thank you. Goodbye.” 

ANOTHER BIG WIN for Mendocino County's fastest distance runner under the age of ten, male or female, Ahilmar Perez, age 6, took first place in the recent "Legend of the Redwoods" foot race, remaining undefeated in her age group since she began entering organized competitions. 

I WAS LISTENING to the KZYX news one morning last week — always an excruciatingly irrelevant experience with seemingly endless fire and weather reports sandwiched in between bursts of National Government Radio — when Sheriff Allman came on live to announce that the alleged shooter in a recent murder and attempted murder on the Willits Grade was in custody. Allman said he wasn't yet at liberty to release the suspect's name. Funny thing was I'd also just received a presser from the Sheriff's Office containing the names of the victims and the alleged perp. The Sheriff seemed to be at least a half-step behind his detectives and press release writer. I checked MSP whose hyper-vigilant editor, Mr. McCarthy, already had the complete presser up, as did Kym Kemp at Redheaded Blackbelt where she said she’d also received it from the Sheriff’s Department. Two websites beat the Sheriff's news live on KZYX. The mighty ava tossed the names and the presser up on our website a few minutes later, our scanner usually being off. (We depend for breaking news on a dog pack next door that unfailingly begins a group yowl just prior to the faint sounds of sirens. We'll turn on our scanner only to find out where and why first responders are headed out of Boonville, monitoring the thing round the clock being out of the question.

SHERIFF ALLMAN called Wednesday (July 4) to joke that he wanted to “defend my honor.” We had reported that the Sheriff seemed to be a few beats behind his office’s comprehensive press release naming the shooter when he reported on KZYX on Monday that the Willits Grade killer was in custody without naming him. 

THE SHERIFF said he'd been pre-recorded long minutes before the show aired, well before the far more comprehensive press release from his office had already been devoured by early rising hill muffins thanks to Mendo's and SoHum's carnivorous, all-seeing on-line media. The presser identified the shooter and his victims, who were the shooter's father and brother, a new Mendo homicide standard of a parricide and fratricide in one murderous moment. KZYX subsequently repeated the Sheriff's tardy statement, lending each of the Sheriff's statements a quaint Rip Van Winkle effect.

SPEAKING OF THE BOBBLEHEADS, the station’s lockstep board of directors is meeting at Anderson Valley High School on Monday, July 16th, 6pm. Which room? Who could possibly care, but look for grayish, gender-neutral people vaguely reminiscent of funeral directors or the opening scene of a zombie movie. The meeting? Interesting only as a study in organizational obliviousness. The true state of Public Radio Mendo? Stagnant membership, overpaid staff, fundraisers not meeting goals, failing equipment. Report out of the July 16th meeting? “We’re doing real good and doing gooder every day.”

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