LUIS CERNA, 13, died Monday night surrounded by his family at the Cerna home on Anderson Valley Way, Boonville. The valiant little guy had fought for his life against a recurring brain tumor most of his thirteen years, but right up to the last insisted on attending school every day, never giving in, as a family friend put it, "to the angels who kept wanting to carry him off." A mass will be said for Luis this afternoon (Wednesday) at 4pm at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, Philo.
THE AV HIGH School class of 1961 is planning their 50th class reunion on September 16, 17, and 18, 2011. Four classmates from that class have not been located. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Joanne Brosmire, Ralph Edward, Ann Johnson and Bill Wilson, please call Linda (Tuttle) Stewart at 707-743-1844 or Sharolyn (Tolman) Bierman at 530-662-8261, so they can be included in the celebration.
A CONSERVATIVE GUY with Tea Party leanings asked how I thought newly-elected supervisor Hamburg was doing. I said he's only been in office for a couple of weeks, but everything I hear around Boonville about him is positive — the new supervisor returns phone calls; he's often personally accessible because he attends a range of local social events; he follows up on questions; and he's unfailingly polite. Hamburg's already a major step forward from his invisible predecessor.
COMING UP on national ABC television on Sunday the 23rd, and check local listings for the specifics, we have our very own Amy Soderman and her dog Nicholas. Nick has just been named Best of Breed among Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, and seems to be well on his way to the national dog championships.
JACOB GOWAN is best known for his football prowess as a Stanford redshirt freshman likely to see considerable Division One gridiron action over the next four years. Jacob is also a very good student, perhaps, as I recently joked with his mom, "the smartest kid ever to come out of the Anderson Valley." Anyway, Jacob's Jet Engine's professor has nominated Jacob's paper on this complicated subject for The Stanford Introductory Excellence Award. It's quite an honor to even be nominated for the recognition and Jacob's a finalist.
RENEE LEE REPORTING: "The AV Varsity Boys basketball team traveled solo to Geyserville last Tuesday and sent the Broncos out to pasture in uneven match up ending with AV winning 77-19. Hunter Saigaga dominated the game with his quick, cat-like, or I should say panther-like, hands leading the team in steals and putting up 30 points on the scoreboard. Other double-digit scorers were Garrett Mezzanatto with 13 and Jason Sanchez and Omar Benavides with 10 points apiece. Kudos go to Sergio Gutierrez, Carlos Mendoza and Hector Cruz for putting in solid games as well. AV versus Point Arena Pirates. The AV-JV boys played a hard game against a very tough and tall Point Arena (PA) Pirates at home last Wednesday night. Losing by only a few points. Christian Mendoza and Brandon Wiard shared leading scorer honors with 8 points each. Robert Rubidoux chipped in 6 points, followed by Carlos Espinoza and Scott Johnston with 4 a piece. Since PA handed AV their only league loss last year, the Panthers were hungry for a win but they knew it wouldn't be easy. Coming off of a stellar win the previous night, AV jumped to a small lead at first but the Pirates were starting to look like they were going to run away with the game with a 21-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. AV started clawing their way back into the game with Mike Blackburn sinking a couple of three-pointers and Hunter Saigaga and Sergio Guitierrez making some key steals, allowed AV to claim the lead 33-30 just before the half-time buzzer. Offense credits should go to Saigaga as well for posting 14 points in the first half. The Panthers maintained a fairly comfortable lead throughout the third and fourth quarters and then the Pirates creeped in like the fog and suddenly were within a 3 points in the final minutes of the game. The Panther held it together long enough to run away with a 61-56 victory. Hunter Saigaga led the team with 30 points, 7 steals and 8 rebounds. Mike Blackburn scored 18 points and had 4 steals. Garrett Mezzanatto had 7 points and 5 rebounds. Sergio Gutierrez (4 assists, 6 steals), Carlos Mendoza and Jason Sanchez (5 rebounds) had 2 points each."
COUPLA strange calls came in early Tuesday morning. The first said that the public defenders were on strike and besieging the County Courthouse. Not yet. They probably will strike, though, for more money from the county that doesn't have any money, which is not preventing a certain Fort Bragg supervisor from trying to get an office remodel so she and her appalled colleagues won't have to walk from their offices along a common hallway with, you guessed it, us common folks.
ANOTHER CALLER wanted to know if "Mr. Banfield of Philo had passed away." There is no Mr. Banfield of Philo. Turns out someone was trying to scam a local business by representing himself as a relative of the mythical deceased.
LITTLE LEAGUE Baseball sign-ups are scheduled for this Friday, January 21 at 5pm at the Elementary School cafeteria. Players or their parents must bring a birth certificate and three pieces of mail with a physical address. Fees $110 per player or $170 per family. Scholarships are available, no one will be turned down.
BILL HARPER, a smart and witty guy, will be on KZYX Thursday morning (the 27th) at 9am with Doug McKenty, the subject being Bill's work to spare the Mojave from solar development.
ANDERSON VALLEY Panther Girls basketball's seventh and eighth graders beat Mendocino last week with dominating play. The B-team (7th graders) beat Mendocino decisively 27-10 and the A-Team (8th graders) won 21-16. It's always good to beat Mendocino, and good on our girls for pummeling them.
LAST WEEKEND'S big Senior Center crab feed at the Boonville Fairgrounds, music by Craig Titus, was a smash hit, with 262 tickets sold and the Anderson Valley cheerleaders doing a fine job getting the crabs to the crabbies, you might say. The girls raised some money for themselves by working the tables for tips. More than a few eyebrows were raised, and raised so rapidly in pure astonishment they flew to the ceiling, when Grubby George of Gwschend Road and two friends won four of the most coveted raffle prizes. No, the trio had not dressed for the occasion, but they went home with a cord of madrone firewood from Larry Mailliard, several bottles of expensive wine from Roederer, and two picnic baskets containing all manner of gourmet edibles.
ANDERSON VALLEY Teen Drama presents a live stage performance of "The Breakfast Club" written by John Hughes, directed by afterschool teacher Marcus Magdaleno. The characters in the play are described as "A brain, A basket case, An athlete, A princess, and A criminal." The cast for this local performance stars Olivia Allen, Chris Balson, Alex Farber, Mayte Guerrero, Amelia Hubbert, Oren Klein, Samantha Villamor, and Maxence Weyrich. The play will be performed twice: on Friday, January 21 and Saturday, January 22 at the Grange in Philo. Curtain at 7pm. Tickets $5. Kids under 17 and under are free. Parental advice: "Contains mild language and material, may not be suitable for young children."
APPARENTLY the reference to "mild language" means mildly profane, which could inspire inconvenient questions from the one four-year-old in The Valley who hasn't already mastered the complete vocabulary.
A PG&E representative will be Norm deVall's guest on deVall's KZYX Access Show this Friday morning (January 21st) to talk about smart meters, an announcement that has probably already caused a run on tin foil as the Tin Foil Hat Brigade, Mendo Branch, gears up to bad vibe the PG&E guy. Not that anybody's asked, but I think the reasons to oppose these things amount to three: (1) They'll throw meter readers out of work (2) It will be easy to manipulate power bills upward, and they only go up, from a central site (3) The real beef with PG&E is that it's supposed to be a public utility but it's owned and operated as a cash cow, a very big cash cow, by private individuals and the usual cadre of wildly overpaid executives. The Tin Foil Hat people, of course, say radon emissions will make them crazier, er, harm them. And crimenently, the poor things are already dodging contrails and here comes a physicist who just announced that the earth wobbles so much that astrological charts have to be re-aligned! Seriously, ever notice that the most shrill among protesters of technical innovation tend to be people who didn't even get by high school chemistry and physics? Bottom Line? Life causes death.