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Valley People (Sep. 26, 2018)

ERNIE BLATTNER. A memorial service for Ernie Blattner will be held in Ukiah on Saturday, September 29th at 11 o’clock at the First Baptist Church, 300 West Smith Street, Ukiah. A lunch reception will follow the service.

CALLED the coroner twice and wrote him once to find out the name of the man accidentally killed nearly a month ago on Highway 128 when his log truck, stopped for a repair, suddenly rolled over him. No response. We finally discovered a brief obituary for  Guadalupe “Lupe” Becerra on the Chapel of the Sea, Fort Bragg, web site, then a full obituary for the poor man in the Fort Bragg Advocate, re-printed in this week’s paper.

A CELEBRATION OF LIFE for Bonni Davi will be held at River’s Bend (formerly Wellspring) in Philo on Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 2-7pm. For more information call Seasha at 533-5094.


AN INTERESTING ITEM appeared in the minutes of the Anderson Valley Fire Protection Committee’s September 5 meeting concerning the Fire Department’s recent order for a new wildland fire engine. The engine order (for upwards of $300K, paid for via accumulated reserves, strike team reimbursements, and donations) was placed through CalFire’s existing fire vehicle contract with a few minor specifications for Anderson Valley. “Price increased several thousand dollars after signed contract due to steel tariffs. Concerns about future discussions and price advantages with the contractor were discussed. An email about these concerns was to be sent out to the contractor’s sale rep.”

AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila added Wednesday evening that negotiations with the sales rep continue. His reading of the engine purchase order allows for a limited set of circumstances for price increases and surcharges, but they do not include tariffs.

TRUMP’S tariff war with China is much more likely to negatively affect the wine industry since California wine is near the top of China’s retaliatory tariff increases. This particular war, like so many others, has kicked off without even an attempt at negotiations.

JAN WAX OF PHILO WRITES: “Hi. For accuracy's-sake, the fish on sticks carried by elementary students [in the parade] weren't plastic. They were hand-sculpted and –painted papier maché in Mr. Bing's art class and made by his young students.”


From Bad to Worse: Caltrans and the Coastal Commission Dump on Boonville

Earlier this month, Caltrans and the California Coastal Commission conspired to begin destroying the historic Albion River Bridge. Now they’re gunning for Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, too.

At its September 11 meeting in Fort Bragg, the Coastal Commission approved Caltrans’ illegal and incomplete application to begin a “geotechnical investigation” development adjacent to the last remaining timber trestle bridge on California’s Highway 1. The development involves the destruction of between 90 and 227 eucalyptus trees as well as significant grading and drilling of a steep, fragile coastal bluff. The trees serve as Coastal Commission-certified environmentally sensitive habitat for the great blue heron.

All that debris – trees, leaves, roots, soil, and rock – has to go somewhere. On Friday, we learned where: Boonville.

Caltrans plans to haul tons of material inland—out of the coastal zone, conveniently for the Coastal Commission—and dump it at a “Caltrans disposal facility” in Boonville. The location is at mile post 31 on Highway 128, just south of the intersection of Highways 128 and 253.

That’s right: Caltrans wants to cut down eucalyptus trees located in a moist marine environment, and then dump their flammable remains in the heart of the dry Anderson Valley – at the height of fire season, within a tossed cigarette butts’ distance of the state highway.

And the staff of the Coastal Commission, which receives a million dollars a year from Caltrans to expedite its schemes, bought into this crazy plan.

Now that the Coastal Commission has rubber-stamped Caltrans’ plans, the countdown to the destructive geotechnical investigation begins. Caltrans could start cutting and grading as early as October 5. Litigation to stop the development is pending in San Francisco Superior Court.

The Coastal Commission next meets in San Diego on October 10, 11, and 12. The public should make itself heard by writing to the Coastal Commission at, referencing “Stop Abusing Mendocino County”.

By expanding their proposed radius of destruction into the Anderson Valley, Caltrans and the Coastal Commission have proved that their mutual interests far outweigh the concerns expressed by the public and by the courts.

It’s time for inland Mendocino County residents to join the Albion Bridge Stewards in the fight to prevent this environmental damage and pointless waste of taxpayer dollars.

AV FOODSHED’S 13th annual C’mon Home To Eat in October 2018 is about to be in full swing.  While the harvest is at its height, C’mon is a month-long celebration centered on eating local food at home and in town. For a preview, there will be a First Friday Farmers’ Market event (10/5/18) at the Boonville Hotel parking lot from 4-7 p.m. replete with music, local food/craft vendors, the apple press and fresh cider, food, and local businesses staying open (including wine tasting).  All during October our local eateries will be highlighted, creating a myriad of community celebrations and serving especially local food.  At each C’mon event there will be raffle tickets available (when you purchase an item or a meal) for a drawing at the Grange Holiday Dinner.  You can also enter a raffle ticket each time you shop at a local farm stand during the month. Raffle prizes will be dinners at the Bewildered Pig and the Boonville Hotel/Table 128 plus gift certificates to local farm stands. There will be “shelf talkers” at the grocery stores — little signs that indicate locally sourced food. And there will be two opportunities to go gleaning for your own consumption or to donate to the Food Bank. If there is time left after the gleaning, the fruit, veggies, nuts, olives, etc. gleaners will preserve it too. AV Feed and Grain will be giving a 20% discount on plants and packaged seeds on Saturdays during October. Our local grain purveyor, Mendocino Grain Project will be featured all month and you will also be able to purchase MGP flour from heritage grains at Boont Berry Store.  The real challenge is How Local Can You Go?

FOR THE FIRST WEEK in October C’mon Home To Eat features the KZYX Farm & Garden Show on October 1st with Ruthie; Mosswood a special local soup special on October 3rd; October 4th the Boonville Hotel/Table 128 community night (please make a reservation); on October 5th the First Friday Farmers’ Market; on October 6th Lauren’s community night, on October 8th the KZYX Farm & Garden Show with Gowan; and on the 9th the Senior Center dinner with pineapple pepper chicken (local peppers and mushrooms), local squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and local apple cobbler for dessert. The Boonville General Store will have daily and weekly local specials all month. On Wednesdays Mosswood will have a special. Throughout October Boont Berry will feature local apple desserts, Paysanne hot apple cider, and the high school cafeteria will have its local salad bar. You can find the whole calendar and more information at

NO NAME YET for the 32-year-old man knocked unconscious last week when he fell from a ladder in a vineyard across from the Anderson Valley Elementary School. In a time of  amok officiousness traded for what used to be community, it is unlikely we will ever know his name unless he dies. The vineyard across from the Elementary School is the Elke Vineyard, but then there’s another vineyard just to the east, too.

NOW AND THEN someone outside The Valley asks me if our elementary school has a name. Nope, I have to answer, naming the school has always been beyond generations of school boards, and I defy you to name the members of even the last three boards. I’ve agitated for Blanche Brown Elementary after our famous local teacher and self-taught genius of a botanist, not to mention founder of the annual Wildflower Show, but….

FUNDRAISER the Anderson Valley Land Trust. Please join us for a special farm tour and food presentation at beautiful Filigreen Farm. Please click here to buy your tickets.

First Friday Evening Market October 5th!

Boonville Hotel Parking Lot, 4:00-7:00ish

As part of C’mon Home to Eat this October, the AV Foodshed is organizing a First Friday Night Farmers’ Market on Friday October 5, from 4:00-7:00ish. The Boonville Hotel has graciously offered the use of their parking lot for this one-time market event.

Mark your calendars, and be sure to come buy fresh produce, processed foods, and crafts from our local farmers and artisans, while enjoying live music and a delicious meal provided by local food vendors. To make for an even more festive evening, some downtown businesses plan to stay open later.

We will have the Apple Press at the market as well for anyone wanting to bring fruit for pressing (please be sure to bring your own jars for the juice, and a container for the refuse). More details to come!

MENDO’S CHIEF BUILDING DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL, Michael Oliphant, returned our call Tuesday about the availability of pre-approved house plans. Oliphant said the Building Department had indeed prepared the plans — one set for a 2 bed/1 bath home and another for a 3 bed/2 bath home — but they have not been released pending a review by the County Counsel’s office where good ideas go to die. But there’s at least some chance they’ll be available before the end of the year. The unfailingly personable Oliphant (in a department where people skills seem in short supply) said it was the County’s “goal” to provide the plans at no cost to people whose homes were lost in last year’s Redwood Complex fires, adding and that it would be “great” if they could be provided to the general public. Oliphant added that he’d let us know when the plans were ready for distribution. Oliphant’s message did not say, however, whether use of the plans would translate to reduced or no-cost permit fees, which was the context in which Supervisor Gjerde raised the subject of the free plans and specs in the first place. — ms


Board of Supes Agenda September 25, 2018

Agenda Item 5a) — Discussion and Possible Action Including Acceptance of Informational Presentation Regarding Koff & Associates’ Base Salary Study and Evaluation of the County's Classification and Compensation Plan

(Sponsor: Human Resources)

Recommended Action: Accept Human Resources' informational presentation regarding Koff & Associates' evaluation and study of the County's Classification and Compensation Plan.

From the Presentation:

“Despite point values assigned, market trends require higher level pay to attract and retain staff…”

“Establish/memorialize a practice of measuring the market to attract and retain staff…”

‘LOTS OF STORIES,’ watercolor on gessoed board, varnish, by Susan P. Perin, 2018 winner of the Mendocino Art Center’s “Best Harbor Scene” award. Sponsored by Silver’s at the Wharf. (More fine works of art at Mendocino Art Center’s Facebook page and on display at the Art Center itself, many of them produced from the recent plein air event on the Mendocino Coast.

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT WONDERS, “Is Petaluma the new Healdsburg?”  And describes Petaluma as a homespun farm town and pit stop for travelers bound for the coast or the wineries to the north…” Petaluma? Homespun farm town?

THE LOCAL ANGLE: Segar's son and heir, Tom Segar, owned a ranch six miles up the Ukiah Road where he operated Soda Creek Press, aka Mysteries By Mail. Segar and his wife Lucinda lived out their final years in Ukiah. Their ranch is now owned by the Miner-Anderson family.

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