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Valley People (Dec. 19, 2018)

AV FIRE DEPARTMENT FIRST RESPONDER AWARDS FOR 2018 (as voted by the firefighters and EMTs themselves):

EMS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: JOSH MATHIAS. A new addition to the EMS Branch who is growing quickly and has put forth good effort, is committed to training and responding, and is “An up and coming” individual.

FIRE FIGHTER ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: EDDIE PARDINI. A new addition to the Fire Branch who is growing quickly and has put forth good effort, is committed to training and responding, and is “an up and coming” individual.

DRIVER OF THE YEAR: WAYNE HOWARD. A steady hand, reliable for shift coverage, drives safely and smoothly, and assists the EMT proficiently as needed (can get EMTs over the hill without throwing them out or getting them sick.)

ENGINEER OF THE YEAR: FRED EHNOW. A water tender or engine operator that drives safely, consistently responds their apparatus, takes pride in their engine through maintenance and training, and is proficient with their apparatus and pumping operations.

OFFICER OF THE YEAR: OLIE ERICKSON AND ANGELA DEWITT. An officer that shows leadership with the crew, ownership of their station and apparatus, is committed to training, listens and communicates with their crews, and adds a proactive energy to AVFD.

EMS LEADER OF THE YEAR: AARON MARTIN. An EMS individual who is committed to the success of our medical branch capabilities and crew through training, response, committees, outreach and equipment checks. One who is steady on scene and promotes growth of the entire team.

EMT OF THE YEAR: ANTOINETTE VON GRONE. This award is for the individual who has exhibited exemplary dedication to the EMS within Anderson Valley through personal commitment, talent, and emergency response. This is the Highest of all AVFD EMS awards!

FIRE FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR: OLIE ERICKSON. This award is for the individual who has exhibited exemplary dedication to fire and emergency response within Anderson Valley through personal commitment, talent, and emergency response. This is the Highest of all AVFD Fire awards!

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ANGUS LOOP, AVFD'S NEW FLEET MECHANIC, is also a relatively new resident to the Yorkville community. He moved here about two years ago from the Rockpile Ranch in the Cloverdale area and is retired from a career of maintenance and repair on law enforcement and fire service equipment in the East Bay. He comes to us with a significant background and knowledge of emergency equipment and mechanics. We are hoping that he will be able to serve Anderson Valley with quality maintenance, on call repair and fleet inspections for years to come. Just like the rest of our crew, he joins our team of locals serving our community with the skills that they can contribute.

(AV Fire Chief Andres Avila)

FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE, a video of the lively water-sewer meeting convened recently in Boonville is now available on YouTube. According to the Anderson Valley Community Services District, the posting of the video was quite a challenge to upload, which created the delay in posting it.  The film is divided into two parts:

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS are merrily blinking out against winter’s glomming everywhere in the Anderson Valley. So far, I’d say Boont Berry Farm’s display is the most spectacular, modest though it is.

WORD OF MOUTH is a nicely produced quarterly by Holly Madrigal of Willits and Torrey Douglas of Boonville that celebrates all aspects of Mendocino County’s food, from eating out to farm production. Issue 10 is available free at many food and drink venues around the county. I picked up mine at Boont Berry Farm, and found much of interest in it, from a feature story on Schat’s Bakery to Dick’s Place, “Mendocino’s Oldest Watering Place.”

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A HOLIDAY GIFT, the Yorkville Market has a wide selection of local handmade products, one item of which I bought for its uniqueness for a family member. I’m probably not alone in doing all my Christmas shopping right here in Boonville, Mendocino County’s most happening community.

THE JURY COMMISSIONER – and it’s hard to believe most AVA readers have not already met her, professionally, shall we say, having been summoned to jury duty, you report directly to her — is Kim Walker. And while she’s new – only a year or so, if I’m not mistaken, on the job –she’s so adroit at it in such a short time, and you can hardly grasp the scope of what she has to do to entertain – there’s no other word for it -- huge crowds of disgruntled voters, summoned out of their private lives to do “the public good” they grumble, grumble, grumble, “for some damn fool knucklehead that needs to get a life.”  I say entertaining is what Ms. Walker does because any other approach to such recalcitrant audiences could lead to revolt, riot and mutiny. She must have obtained her training at Lucifer’s Own Complaint Department, because she answers the most poisonous insinuations with the sweetest anecdotes, neutralizes acidic remarks with polished manners, and far from having an I’ve-heard-it-all attitude, she listens carefully as each would-be truant finds fault with the system, blames her either openly or privately for the inconvenience, and recites a novel need to be excused – then Ms. Walker snaps her lion tamer’s whip and sits all the big snarling cats up to wait, with a promise they can tell it to the judge, all in good time.  In the meantime (sometimes as long as a few days) Ms. Walker has to keep them entertained:  And so ladies and gentlemen of the jury pool, we hereby present Ms. Walker with this full-bust Lion Trophy, an alpha male specimen, just back from the taxidermist, suitable for display on a styrofoam pedestal in the foyer of this remarkable woman’s office. (Bruce McEwen)

DRIVING SOUTH last Thursday afternoon, the usual vehicular mosh pit commenced just south of Healdsburg, and was totally moshed by Windsor in full stop and go mode. The radio said there had been an accident near Petaluma at ten that morning. It was now 1pm and traffic was still slowed to stop and start all the way to San Rafael. A country with all the techno wizardry we are said to have. but we're still only a couple of wrecks away from total gridlock, not to mention the plethora of all the other unaddressed, rolling catastrophes becoming more dire by the day.

BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS claim that ATMs increase "customer convenience," but in reality they cut costs for banks. By placing ATM's all over the place, especially in tourist-oriented gastro-ghettos like the neo-Healdsburgian Anderson Valley, ATM networks help banks reduce human employees by replacing them with technology. Because almost all their traditional bank services can be done by these machines, banks view ATM's as both a cost cutter and a way to expand themselves via their ATM customers who are charged mightily for each transaction. Viewed as an amenity for tourists,  a selling point negated by the fact that most tourists arrive armed with credit cards, ATM's are fast being made obsolete by cell phone tech. Most of us, I daresay, can do just fine without them. 

HARVEY READING DISAGREES: “I have used ATMs since the early 80s when I got my first one, and I like them. I hardly ever go inside the bank. I always hated bank teller lines. And I have NEVER been charged a fee for any ATM transaction that I have made.

The assertion that banks save money with ATMs is probably true. So what? I save time and gain convenience with them, counter to the argument made in the short piece.

As to the assertion that ATMs serve only a few, I disagree. Where I live, the ATM at my bank is used constantly. Not everyone has a smart phone, and, just how does one make a deposit with a radiotelephonecameracomputer anyway?

My only real complaint (other than difficulty seeing the LCD screen in bright light) with the ATM at the local bank branch is that it is a drive-up affair, and the device sits at monster-truck height. If I drive up in my old Probe, I have to park just short of the device, get out, and make my transaction while standing, which isn’t a that much of a problem for me.

The last time I entered the local branch of the bank I use was a couple of months ago to get a document notarized. There were no lines of customers awaiting tellers, none at all.

ATMs have been, and are, great for me.”

ON THE KZYX NEWS the other morning I heard a promo from, I think, a branch of the County's privatized psych services offering, among presumably more crucial services, "gender affirmation." If you’re in doubt, call Health and Human Services for an appointment, but to spare yourself a trip to Ukiah you can probably find a local person who will do it for no charge.

A READER WRITES: “A few months ago friends told me I should have a mole on my face looked at it because they knew of cases where moles became cancerous. My brother had had a few moles removed years ago because a dermatologist told him they were ‘precancerous.’ I didn't pay much attention to the friendly advice about my mole until the area around the mole seemed to itch or tingle a little. The mole itself seemed painless and benign. Then I made the mistake of going on the Internet to look up various symptoms related to moles and cancer. Malignant melanoma. Metastatic skin cancer. Brain tumors. Prognoses. Symptoms. Headaches. Dermatologists. Oncologists. Carcinoma. Biopsies. Surgery. Radiation. Chemotherapy. By the time I finished my 'research' both from conventional medical websites and chat-style forums specializing in terrifying anecdotes, I had myself convinced that I might be a dead man walking. So I made an appointment to see a dermatologist in Ukiah. They have a walk-in clinic for one hour one day a week which takes hours of waiting to get into. Lots of pre-visit paperwork. Many signatures on multiple forms saying I promise to pay for whatever testing and treatment is required. Page after page of checking the "no" box on lists of medical conditions which I don't seem to be experiencing. Interview with receptionist. Interview with nurse. Pulse. Temperature. Height. Weight. More waiting. Finally into the doctor's office. More waiting. Doctor enters, introduces himself. Minimal chitchat. Pulls out magnifying glass. After less than a minute of skin inspection: "You're fine. Nothing’s wrong.” It’s a “seborrheic keratosis,” aka “age spot.” Offers a piece of paper describing what I could do for cosmetic purposes, but there is no medical problem. “You can go." No biopsies. No tests. No appointments. No big medical bills. Nothing to do now but wait until another friend points out another problem.”  

One Comment

  1. Marshall Newman December 19, 2018

    A salute and “thank you” to all the members of the Anderson Valley Fire Department.

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