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Valley People (Nov. 14, 2018)

BRIAN MENDOZA, 17, died early Friday evening when his car unaccountably left the pavement and hit a tree off Old River Road, which runs between Hopland and Ukiah. Brian is the son of Jose “Chato” Mendoza and Olga Mendoza, long-time residents of the Anderson Valley. Brian was a senior at Anderson Valley High School.

photo courtesy of Hopland Battalion Chief Ron Roysum

LOGGING? DOWNTOWN NAVARRO? MRC is marking out a large-scale cut for the redwoods that make Navarro, Navarro. Deep Enders are already complaining, and praying for rains, heavy rains. Much more about this one to come.

DARKNESS AT NOON. Blood red sun, fires raging at both ends of the state, suffocating smoke for miles, mass shootings, stock market gyrating, a 3.7 earthquake in Willits, Trump. The great beast of the apocalypse stirs in his troubled sleep. The disastrous fire out of Butte County created a deathly pall of suffocating smoke on Mendocino County beginning last Thursday afternoon that has still not fully lifted on Monday.

AIR QUALITY in Ukiah last Friday afternoon was the worst in the world, ahead of perennial champs New Delhi and Beijing. The Ukiah air monitoring station showed small particulate matter for an air quality rating of 367, meaning it’s bad. Any reading over 250 is described as: “May cause respiratory impact even on healthy people, and serious health impacts on people with lung/heart disease. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity.” Many people on the streets in Ukiah wore medical grade masks on. Traffic was light for a Friday. Business seemed to be down, and the thick layer of smoke kept temperature to a cool 70 Friday afternoon. Temps seemed to be cooler than the weather people predicted due to smoke cover.

SCHOOLS WERE CLOSED throughout Mendocino County, including schools in the Anderson Valley. Smoke was heavy in The Valley and especially tough on allergy sufferers. Ash was visible on cars, and the hills couldn’t be seen from the valley floor. Smoke was much heavier than during the Valley Fires. The County admin office closed for the day.

THE AV HEALTH CENTER has a limited stock of N95 masks available for anyone in need of a face mask. Stop by to pick one up or call ahead. The air quality is poor, please stay protected!

AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila reported no AV Fire units had been requested to fight distant fires so far. But, “the Mendocino Unit is stripped down, we could end up staffing the CalFire Station in Boonville if needed.” The Chief continued, “I am very happy to have little to report. We received a dispatch for a traffic collision with fire in Yorkville that had spread into the vegetation. Considering the current CalFire engine and dozer drawdown [for the Paradise/Camp fire], along with smoke creating a limited visibility hazard for aircraft, we would have had a challenge on our hands. We arrived to find a single van overturned off the roadway with the patient self-extricated and no fire! The patient was released at scene with no injuries and CHP remained at scene to remove the vehicle. This is the way we like our emergencies to end up!”

NOT A HINT of election monkey business in Boonville. There couldn’t be what with Carolyn Short, Linda McClure, Bob Vaughn, and Kathleen McKenna monitoring the local vote. Ms. McKenna commented on the turnout: Not just "pretty good," but “pretty good!" And indeed at noon the Fairgrounds polling place had more than a dozen voters in it, so many that three or four had to use side tables to fill out their ballots because the four fold-out privacy booths were occupied. There were also four or five people in line waiting to get their ballots. Bob Vaughn directed me to drop my mail-in ballot into "the side pocket." "I already sank the nine-ball," I said. “Doesn't matter," said Vaughn, "all those go in the side pocket." The side pocket of the ballot box was reserved for mail-in ballots being turned in on election day. I did as instructed, and, having completed my citizen’s obligation, shuffled back down the street to my work station. (MS)

THE ANDERSON VALLEY AMBULANCE SERVICE will hold its annual meeting on November 19, 2018 at 7 PM at 13325 Estate Drive in Boonville. The Anderson Valley Ambulance Service Board of Directors welcomes anyone interested in attending. (Nancy Charles, Secretary)

EYES ONLY, ANDERSON VALLEY Joan Burroughs writes: “The whole area from Ornbaun Road to the Fairgrounds was once home to Indians who camped in the areas for thousands of years. Frank Luff (from the Yokayo Indian tribe) said the area where the Canaris family put in a “pond” (just west of the high school) is near the Indian burial grounds, or under it as the case might be. My grandmother, Blossom told me many times about visiting the Pomo Indian children in the late 1890s across the creek from Missouri house. Arrow heads and shells are still occasionally found; the area in Boonville was called Lemkolil (tree burned creek place). The Indians camped there all summer and went over a trail to the coast that became a large part of today’s Mountain View Road. Is David Severn busy these days? I know he is involved in helping Indians preserve their sites. Might some attention to the sacred Indian areas in the project plan save us all from this massive intrusion and also honor the Indians who were here before any of us savages arrived?” 

A READER SENDS US a rather frightening water and sewage rate increase mailer from the Westport Water District. Addressed to its customers, the sender notes, “I’d guess that Westport is roughly the size of Boonville but, unlike Boonville, has an existing centralized water and sewage system. As you can see, customers of the Westport Water District went from $185 a month for water and sewage disposal to $196 a month, as of July 1st. If you're a Westport commercial business you now pay $308 a month. This is per month. Sure hope you can do your systems for less or have deep pockets."

ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER IS HIRING! Contact us at 707-895-3477 for more information on the available positions.

NIKKI DAGGS had recently moved to Anderson Valley when she saw a flyer for the EMT class at AVFD. Between her work taking care of elders through IHSS and living relatively far from medical services, she thought it would be good to have EMS skills. After taking the class Nikki didn't feel ready to for patient care but enjoyed being part of the team and driving the large equipment - so she signed up as an ambulance driver. "I enjoy it and jump in on shifts quite a bit." My (9 year old) daughter sees me running out on calls and she thinks that's pretty cool. I like to be part of something and helping. I've met some cool people and made some good friends."

JOSH MATHIAS joined AVFD last year in order to give back to the community where he's able to earn a livelihood in the family real estate business. He first signed up as an ambulance driver and was quickly recruited for firefighter duty. "It feels good when people thank you for helping them get to the hospital on their worst day. It's a serious commitment but it's a lot of fun and there's a lot you take away from it - namely, those life skills that you learn. And a sense of community. Boonville feels bigger since I've become a member of the department. I have two more buildings [the firehouse and the ambulance quarters] that feel like home and more friendly faces to say 'hi' to."

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