Valley People (Dec. 12, 2018)

THEIR MANY friends in the Anderson Valley are saddened at the news of Dave Papke’s passing. Dave and Helen Papke have been long-time residents at the Cheesecake collective on the Navarro near Philo.

GRANGE HOLIDAY DINNER 2018 — Thanks to the community for coming and participating in another well attended Holiday Dinner at our local Anderson Valley Solar Powered Grange 669. Thanks to the Grange and Food Shed Group for their generous contributions and for those who volunteered to decorate and serve our community Holiday Dinner on Sunday Dec. 9th. It's a wonderful Valley tradition full of conviviality, song and really great food in abundance. The holiday community dinner at the Grange is open to all. Long may it run! Become a friend of the Grange and keep up with community events at the Grange on our facebook page: Anderson Valley Grange#669. Join the Grange or Sign up and Become a 'friend' of the Grange. Call Babs to sign up. 895-2996 (Babs)

KATY TAJHA of Comptche: “The joys of living in the country...phone was out...ask hubby to go see if the line is OK to county road...he says go to the store and call in the outage...I do that...BUT AT&T's landline is our only phone...cell phones don't work here because there's not enough customers to build a cell tower...SO the computer voice at AT&T wants a second phone line to call and report on the problem...except we don't have one! Then the voice says the problem will be fixed by Dec 14th! Thanks a bunch...meanwhile hubby goes out with a chainsaw and cuts the skinny tree down that is leaning on the utility wire...Fixed? Kinda...we can get internet and call out but no one can call us...one ring and the call ends...anyone know how to get past AT&T computer and get to talk to a real human being? Thanks…” 

THE BOONVILLE General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz is at Lauren’s Restaurant for two more evenings in 2018 – December 13th and 27th. That’s this Thursday at 7pm. Bring friends, family, any somewhat informed folks that you know, and enjoy delicious food, fine wine, excellent beer, and fun banter. Steve Sparks, Quiz Master.

EYES ONLY, BOONVILLE: Laura Diamondstone posted this jewel:

Re: Full Service ATM for the valley. 

Redwood Credit Union is willing to provide one. 

We need to locate a rent-free space with the following requirements. Please comment with ideas and preferably with landowner contact info. 

Suitable site for an ATM needs to meet the below criteria:

  • Provided approximately 50 square foot of space for the machine
  • Has adequate power
  • Has access to either wired internet services or 4g Cell Service
  • Is safe and secure
  • Is accessible to the public 
  • Is in a serviceable area (cash delivery & ATM servicing)
  • Is supported by the community (members)

BUT WHERE TO PUT IT? Fairgrounds? Redwood Drive-in? Boont Berry? AVA’s front porch? Hours of operation? Seems from here that RCU ought to pay something in the way of rent, given they'll turn a nice profit on it. Security shouldn’t be much of a challenge given the skills of Mendo criminals, but the machine would still have to be protected against vandals.

HULBERT'S XMAS TREES next door to the Yorkville Post Office will sell you a yuletide centerpiece at a reasonable price during regular office hours.

YES, TWO CRAB FEEDS are scheduled for the Anderson Valley. The Senior Center will throw the first on January 19th at the Fairgrounds, happy hour at 5:30, cracking 6:30. The Catholics are on for the middle of February, date and time to be confirmed.

WALKING PATHS for the Boonville area would be most welcome, although Anderson Valley Way, Lambert Lane all the way to the end, even Peachland for the more strenuously disposed are pretty much car-free. A path up and down Mountain View would definitely get your aerobics charged, but I have to agree with Jeff Pugh who says: “The problem with something like this is that it is highly unlikely you are going to get landowners onboard. I believe that a state highway is actually owned by the state which gives them some wiggle room. Mountain View road is a county right of way through privately owned property. Most landowners are scared of losing control of their property and liability issues. I think that you could go to the county and find out who owns those properties. Good luck.” 

BUT MOUNTAIN VIEW PATH ADVOCATE Jeff Malnick, undeterred, maintains, “Once we get agreement of who is in, then we can design where it will go, then we can build it. I think the first part is going to be the most difficult. That being said, I have 13 acres on MVR that border Faulkner part to the east. We have an access road that connects up with Faulkner and runs parallel with MVR. I'm more than happy to make that available for this effort.”

LAUREN KEATING of Lauren's Restaurant, does much good for the Anderson Valley community, insofar as it is a community in the old sense. Like much of America, forces greater than us mere citizens have left us stranded as a series of unrelated clusters of singles arrayed in what might be called affinity groups, some of us gathered around this or that shared pursuit. About all we have in common is our shared geography. Many of us are growing old in a place where we want to stay but, as we weaken and the wolves circle, we need help staying where we are. 

LAUREN is now also the prime mover of a local Village, a national movement wherein older people, for a small annual stipend that funds a coordinator, are put in regular contact with persons in similar circumstances to get the services and help they need to stay where they are instead of being shuffled off to full dependence in some strange, uncaring place. 

IN THE WORDS of Susan McWhinney-Morse, the founder of the neo-Village concept, "It's a grass-roots movement on the part of older people who do not want to be patronized, isolated, infantilized. That's what we felt was out there for us. And we felt quite competent in taking care of ourselves and staying in our own homes, which in 2000 was absolutely revolutionary."

LOCAL PERSONS interested in the Village meet the second Sunday of every month at 4pm, Lauren's Restaurant, Boonville.

THINKING about the people I know who live alone, and prefer to live alone, I could list twenty or so I know of who are Valley old timers but prefer what to most of us would seem like isolation. I keep track of a few I've known for many years, and I will encourage them to sign up for our local Village when it's underway if, for no other reason, than their own physical safety.

TWO SAD instances of local isolatos will always remain vivid to me, both of whom might have been helped by a Village. The first was an elderly woman whose home gradually became overrun with cats, a feline infestation several of us couldn’t help but note had overwhelmed her. I only knew her to say hello. At first when I occasionally saw her outside puttering around in her yard, she and her premises were orderly, but then a sort of slow motion deterioration set in. She became more and more reclusive, and I saw more and more cats. One morning I knocked on her door to see if she was ok. An alarming screech met me. "No! Go away" came from within. Accustomed to violent rejection I mentioned my experience to other neighbors. As it turned out, I wasn't the only person noticing that the old woman was no longer capable of caring for herself, and then, to my utter horror, and I think I was the only witness to the last act, a youngish couple soon showed up and forcibly removed my neighbor as she screamed at them to leave her alone. The geriatric clean-up crew weren’t relatives. They drove a County car. I didn't even want to think about Mendocino County's dispatch of the dependent elderly, but a grimmer fate is hard to imagine, and similar ones cross all our minds when we reach that certain age.

THE SECOND CASE was a man I'd known for a long time, a man lots of us knew, but an impossible man, impossible in his unrelenting unpleasantness, over which he spread a progressive political coat. No one, however, least of all the editor of the local paper, met his lofty standards, which weren't standards at all but random slogans unsupported by real knowledge which gave him an identity as a radical. In his Mitty-ish head anyway. But always unyielding and devoid of even pro forma social graces (which he denounced as bourgeoise of course) the guy was to be avoided, avoided to the point where he apparently starved himself to death and lay undiscovered in his bed for at least two weeks before it occurred to anyone that he'd hadn't been seen for some time, and maybe someone should have a look-in.

WITH THE ANNOUNCED DEPARTURE of Jeffrey Parker, the invisible manager at KZYX reminiscent in his phantom-like movements of Major-Major in Catch-22, Parker's in when he's out, out when he's in, there’s an opportunity to save the club-like radio station a few bucks by combining the gm's redundant position with the program manager's redundant position into one grand redundancy. Kidding aside, neither job is a full-time position, obviously, since the on-air line-up is virtually unchanged over thirty-plus years, so what's to manage and what's to program? Here we go, off for another of Mendocino County's patented "national searches for excellence" for a new manager… when whaddaya know, his excellency has been sitting right next to us all this time! KZYX has had what? Forty managers since its dubious founding by a transient hustler named Donovan? And an enemies list that goes back to the station's founder, and arguably the only legacy enemy's list in the County.

GIVEN the givens of the enterprise it's probably impossible to finally install a smart, personable, accessible human-type person in the top KZYX job, although the task is easy for the money at roughly 60 grand a year. And right there’s one-sixth of the annual $600,000 budget. 

I'VE ONLY HEARD ONE of KZYX's Back to the Land interviews conducted by Kate Magruder and Sarah Reith, and that was the one with David Raitt. I thought it was interesting and hope to hear more interviews with the back-to-the-landers. Raitt told some amusing stories about his early adventures on Greenfield Ranch and, in his way, is probably fairly typical of the city people who fled the urbs for the outback in the late 1960s - early 1970s, in that he came from a well-to-do family. Most of the hippies I knew got regular cash support from their home fronts, and most of them reverted to conventional upper middleclass public jobs as lawyers, helping professionals and so on when the hippie interlude went out of fashion. But there was definitely a dark side to the counterculture. If I have one enduring memory of that time it was of a totally stoned young woman, so stoned she was unaware that her under-dressed child, a boy of about three she'd named 'Further,' was whimpering from the cold of the frigid winter air. I'll bet that kid grew up to become a hedge fund manager and a registered Republican. A lot of hippie children did a 180 from their, uh, scattered, parents.

SOCIAL NOTE: Last Friday night at the Albion River Inn, Kris Kristofferson was a dinner guest. Kristofferson owns property near Elk, and in recent years performed in Mendocino to a packed audience on behalf of the continued funding of local and state parks. Readers might recall that the state official in charge of funding for parks said the state was out of money to fund them, but shortly after Kristofferson’s charity performance, the state money miraculously showed up after the state official in charge confessed it wasn’t really missing in the first place. Naturally, in accord with public employment’s can-do-no-harm rules, she was replaced without censure and put into another job.

MONDAY (DEC 3) AFTERNOON'S power outage caused techno chaos at the mighty ava although it lasted only an hour. Without sharing the tedious details, we had to short our on-line edition, and all-in-all another reminder how dependent we are on an ever more centralized technology most of us don't understand beyond enough basic computer moves to keep us dependent on it.

EVEN MORE DISRUPTIVE, to us anyway, was last Wednesday’s decree that the Post Office close to mourn the passing of Bush the First. That shutdown cost our outbound newspapers a whole day before Jan The Mail Lady could get them to Cloverdale and hence to Oakland where the Mendo papers are put on trucks and planes for distant subscribers in an array of improbable destinations. When we’re delayed a day leaving Boonville, our more distant subscribers tend to be delayed at least a week in getting their papers. 

A READER NOTED last week: "Wednesday, tomorrow, all Post Offices in the US will be closed in honor of George W.H. Bush's death, an occurrence that has not been observed for any other past president that I am aware of." And an unwelcome one, in my opinion. 

PAUSED at Anderson Valley Market to deliver papers, I watched as two people in as many minutes tried the locked door at the Boonville Post Office. Ditto for the Philo Post Office. I'm sure if I'd staked out one or the other all day a steady stream of citizens would have been similarly frustrated. If it’s any consolation, Humboldt County government shut down for the day at an estimated cost to itself of roughly a half-million dollars. I was surprised that Mendo County and all our schools stayed open. 

GEEZER TIP. The Duluth Trading Company is an on-line store that sells a range of useful stuff for men, including toe clippers for big, gnarly nails, roomy clothing including underwear, knives up to machetes, seductive gizmos of all kinds. I just got a pair of non-prescription reading glasses, magnitude 5. The store-bought jobs only magnify up to 2.5. The 5.0’s blow up small print like most of us wheezes need — big. I also bought a couple of knives that was a pure impulse buy. My wife hides the catalog from me, and every time I order something she says something like, "How old are you, anyway?" (A reader said he didn’t think Duluth was all that great “and everything’s imported.” Got a point there but finding the little stuff that isn’t imported isn’t easy.)

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