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Valley People (March 13, 2019)

BUSY WEEKEND for the Anderson Valley as local crowds turned out Friday and Saturday nights for the annual Variety Show, always a much anticipated community event. All praise to Captain Rainbow and crew for again bringing off this truly various show featuring the abundant talent of this unique place. Then, on Sunday, a crowd estimated at some 70 persons (a super-large turnout for us) packed into Lauren’s Restaurant to hear Sheriff Allman and Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila answer questions as to how best cope with emergencies. The versatile Allman, btw, also performed in Saturday’s night’s edition of the Variety Show, surprising the SRO audience with a tuba solo!

UPDATE on that multi-agency raid in downtown Boonville two Saturdays ago when 15 government vehicles disgorged at least that many agents led by Fish and Wildlife. Please understand that F&W is a state entity that never, in our experience with them, answers their phone or deigns reply to requests for information. Supervisor Williams also tried to get a report on their big Boonville raid out of them and was unsuccessful. F&W’s armed swoop down was accompanied by sheriff's deputies and, it seems, people from Mendocino County’s Planning and Building. A number of fighting roosters were confiscated and the property owner was cited for presiding over an unpermitted subdivision housing some 23 persons, including children. I can say as a next door neighbor the unpermitted subdivision seems like a little Mexican village transported whole to Boonville. The only complaint I have is the occasional burst of unreasonably loud music which, in its way, is rather charming so long as it’s autentico Mexican ballads and not the depraved din young Americans seem to prefer these days. I would hope some kind of temporary stay on evictions can be worked out because there are a number of young children involved whose parents are unlikely to find shelter any other place in the Air BnBee’d Anderson Valley which, without Mexicans, would come to a screeching economic halt.

SOME RUMORS simply cry out to become public, and this one derives from an impeccable source who says the Mendocino Redwood Company has curtailed private removal of tanoak (“junk” trees to the lumber barons) — very bad news for Frank’s Firewood — while the Company steps up its defiance of the local vote to declare hack-and-squirt a “public nuisance” because standing dead trees represent an enhanced fire danger. The 2016 measure passed by a large margin but is in abeyance while the CA State AG's office ponders whether the impertinent Mendo vote is enforceable. MRC has also refused to pay its fair share of local firefighting out of the Albion district and, natch, resists paying its fair share to support Coast Hospital. MRC is owned by the Fisher family of San Francisco, who amassed a clothing fortune from Asian sweat shop labor and who now own one full tenth of vast Mendocino County and one full tenth of slightly less vast Humboldt County. Can we spell 'oligarchy,' class?

WHO SAYS the County can't move fast? Why, right here in central Boonville a diligent County road crew is installing a Bailey Bridge over presently impassable Lambert Lane made impassable by the rampaging Robinson Creek during the recent big rains. Supervisor Ted Williams explains further: … "MCDoT is deploying our Bailey Bridge to reopen Lambert Lane, as soon as we can, but we expect no later than the first week of April... five weeks. The Fairgrounds access will allow limited access until we install our temporary bridge." We understand the work is proceeding even faster, that the Lambert Lane temporary bridge will be in place well before the end of March. 

Happy Birthday Roy Laird


The Anderson Valley Historical Society welcomes one and all to Locals Night at the Anderson Valley History Museum, a.k.a. the Little Red School House, Wednesday evening, March 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Celebrate the first evening of Spring with friends old and new at this free event. Some tell us they haven't been to the AV History Museum in years. Some folks tell us they've never been there! Well, here's your chance. We'll have snacks, wine and other beverages, too. No guided tours, just mingle and wander as you wish through our rearranged, spiffed up and otherwise improved displays, with docents on hand to guide and explain as needed. Check out the Rose Room, our recently refurbished meeting space. All free! All invited! The AV History Museum is located just north of Boonville at 12340 Highway 128. (As if you didn’t know!) 

LORI LAIWA WRITES: "I am looking for any articles or personal interviews conducted with Anderson Valley residents who mentioned the Mashumaks or Danokeya Indians of Yorkville (Late)? I am writing my dissertation on the connection between people and place through language and stories in central Pomo territory. I’ve contacted the Anderson Valley Historical Society, purchased a few publications from them and just finished reading Indian Summer. If you know of any resources or individual in the area who might be willing to speak with me I would really appreciate it. I grew up in Point Arena and am enrolled at Hopland Rancheria. My great great grandfather was born in Yorkville and I have those field notes."

Ms. Laiwa can be reached at (707) 272-4879 

THE EARLY HISTORY of Anderson Valley's native people, like the early history of Mendocino County generally, remains opaque, to put it mildly. I suggested the Held-Poage Library in Ukiah as Ms. Laiwa's best bet for way back information. The Mendocino County Museum in her hometown of Willits is a long shot for early history but she might also profit from a visit there. I always point people to "Genocide and Vendetta" (if you can find a copy of this very rare book) as the one and only reliable history of the first local Indian-Gringo interface, and which, to save yourself the unhappy details, is neatly summarized in its title. But I'm sure Ms. Laiwa has already read it. Anderson Valley's early history is surely a version of Genocide and Vendetta, although G&V's focus is more inland. In 1850, the new state of California hired a fellow named Jarboe to hunt Indians throughout the Eel River Basin, but fired him and his “rangers” after a year for inflating their head counts. Also, the outside world was beginning to complain that the wholesale contract murders of Mendocino County’s native peoples was, well, at a minimum, unseemly. Jarboe later became Mendocino County's first lawman operating out of Ukiah. The fate of Anderson Valley’s native people isn’t difficult to deduce.

SPEAKING of a local native person whose ancestry goes back 8,000 years in the Anderson Valley, we are happy to report that the indomitable Violet Renick has beaten back The Big C and is fully restored as her feisty self, alive and well in Ukiah.

AND WE’RE DELIGHTED to know that Diane Hering is back in The Valley after a prolonged stay in a Ukiah rehab facility following a difficult surgery. Friends report that Diane’s as “mentally as sharp as ever but is still on a long road to recovering the ability to walk.” The Anderson Valley looks after its own, and Diane’s full recovery is bound to be successful at home and among her many friends.

DEPRESSING NEWS from the East Bay Times:….It should be alarming that Santa Cruz (90.4 percent) is below the desired vaccination level to prevent an outbreak of measles. And seven rural California counties are markedly worse, including Calavaras, El Dorado, Humboldt, Mendocino, Nevada, Sutter, Trinity, and Tuolumne. In other words, and not to be too harsh about it, but wherever there are communities of neo-hippies, aka irremediable dumb asses, vaccination is seen as some kind of government conspiracy aimed straight at them.

BOONVILLE, as reviewed in the SF Chronicle: “Cruise along scenic Highway 128 to this Anderson Valley hamlet known for its Boontling-speaking residents and its tasty libations. (Drive time: 2.25 hours)” — (SF Gate’s “Our favorite must-see small towns in Northern California”)

WE'RE NUMBER TWO! Nosed out by the "village" of Mendocino, but over the years Boonville and the Anderson Valley have moved steadily upwards in the touri rankings. The above story, of course, is the same story that first appeared in 1972 and has appeared three or four times annually ever since but with different authors, the mob of them cadging free accommodations, booze, meals and…. in return for the usual feeble few lines of promo-prose.

One Comment

  1. Debra Keipp March 15, 2019

    Ms. Laiwa, I’m sure you’ve probably seen these of Essie Parrish, a remarkable Shaman. “There will never be another like her”, they say…


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