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Valley People (March 27, 2019)

LAMBERT LANE is again fully accessible, and hats off to the County’s road crew for its fast work installing the temporary Bailey Bridge above a tricky bend in rampaging Robinson Creek. And major kudos to CalTrans for their remarkable work shoring up the roadbed at the foot of Highway 253 where it threatened to wash away.

MONDAY’S RAIN (from 3am to noon): Navarro 1.2 inches; Boonville 1.3 inches; Yorkville 1.4 inches.

Freda Fox, 101

FREDA FOX is by far Anderson Valley’s senior Senior Citizen at age 101 as of this week. The popular long-time resident of Boonville will celebrate her remarkable longevity with family and friends on Monday, March the 25th. 

A TWO-LADY cat-napping crew seemed to be attempting to herd the fecund feral felines gathered at their informal feeding station at the old June place on Anderson Valley Way. The pair was spotted at their difficult work late Saturday afternoon, the two of them having arrived in a cat rescue van. Counting feral cats is almost as futile as herding them, but this particular population seems somewhat reduced as of Monday.

ERIN LANE is holding a Silent Auction at Lauren's Restaurant as part of her Senior Project. She is raising money to support a Wild Horse Sanctuary that took in Nacho, a horse very special to Ms. Lane. The auction has been extended until March 30th, so come in and check out Erin's project and bid on art, massage, horseback rides and a whimsical "book" lamp donated by friends.

A CONTROLLED STRUCTURE BURN is planned for March 30 on Elkhorn Road outside of Yorkville. Chief Andres Avila says that they plan to do three training structure burns this spring before fire season begins. The first one on Elkhorn Road will be a single-story woodframe structure which "will provide a good opportunity for our troops to get real live firefighter training. New firefighters will be brought in under the guidance of a senior instructor to demonstrate fire roll over and thermal layering in a structure." Firefighters completing the training will receive a Fire Control 3 Certificate from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Planning for the training burn is underway in accordance with the district’s standing training burn policy developed years ago when neighbors complained about training burns and associated hazards at a training burn in Philo. The fire department is working out a formal agreement with the property owner, doing various asbestos testing and preparation, notifying neighbors, preparing a training plan and determining what equipment and supplies should be on hand. Chief Avila did not provide the specifics for the other two training burns under consideration. 

CHIEF AVILA also updated the Community Services District board about the district’s fire inspection policy: "California fire code inspections throughout the district are in full swing. Over the last month I have been spending a great deal of time inspecting winery and tasting facilities. I am now starting to transition into the reinspection phase. Although I must go back to the same facilities, this round should be quicker because it only involves verifying the cited code violations have been fixed. Any business that has not completed the corrections upon the second inspection will be billed according to the CSD fee schedule for previous inspections and any additional inspections that may be needed." 

THE MUSEUM open house drew a good number of locals last Wednesday late afternoon with knowledgeable docents posted at each of the Museums three buildings to answer the questions of the curious. My youngest son was a member of the last kindergarten class to graduate from the Little Red School House under the kindly tutelage of the late Barbara June, a family fact I never fail to recall whenever I pass. The landmark structure then became a museum. I hadn’t visited the Museum for years, a lapse a patient docent gently pointed out as too typical of us Anderson Valley people. “You don’t visit often enough,” she said. The collections have been greatly expanded over the years, and nicely organized by the current group of volunteers to whom all of us are greatly indebted for keeping our history alive. 

CAMP NAVARRO continues to add positions available on our website for our upcoming season including bartenders (we have a new wine and beer permit), servers, cooks, dishwashers, housekeepers, facilities and night hosts. Also, if you are certified in massage, tai chi, or other wellness/recreation activities, we would love to hear from you. Please send a note to Thanks.

THE HOT CLUB of Comptche swing jazz band's free live show at Anderson Valley Brewery in Boonville, Friday March 29. 

SIX OF US enjoyed a fine dinner Saturday night at the Poleeko Road House, a first for me and my missus. How good is the food? I don’t see how it could be better. The chili I had was the best chili I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve downed literal tons over the years. Everything about this place is first-rate, from the food to the service to the remarkably low prices. The re-do of Poleeko’s venerable premises by Tommy Lemons and Sons is a work of art in itself. Anderson Valley has become a kind of gourmet alley where, from Yorkville to Navarro, it’s impossible to find a bad meal.


A SLOW DAY at the office Saturday when my colleague, as he culled the letters-to-the-editor suddenly exclaims, "Boy, this is a dumb letter." After all these years the guy still seems to think we're living in the Golden Age of Greece.

ANDERSON VALLEY got off to a pre-dawn start Sunday morning when frost fans roared into life about 5am, which is when I heard the first ones. And for some reason known only to the noble sons of the soil, a couple of fans went on roaring all day! Frost fans, as Anderson Valley discovered only after getting slam dunked by our wine-friendly Superior Court, are exempt from the County's anyway un-enforced noise ordinance of greater than 50 decibels. Why the exemption? The judge found the sleep-destroying din was necessary to successful grape growing and, as Philo wine magnate Ted Bennett put it, "My grapes are more important than your sleep!" And there it is, Anderson Valley, so quit yer whining. PS. I have moved farther down the highway from a triangle of frost fans that once surrounded me. The fans are still highly audible but not painfully so as they were and are in South Boonville. I seriously thought about testing the fans against rifle fire but wussed out, mostly because to get a good shot at the propellers I'd have to abandon cover and, given my marksmanship (untested since 1958), I would need to crank off at least a half-dozen rounds to even hope de-commissioning them. And then I was told by a guy who would know, "You gotta shoot the generator, not the blades. You'll only bend the blades but you can kill a generator." Here's to anyone who gives it a shot.

AV VILLAGE MONTHLY SUNDAYS. Planning Tomorrow, Enjoying Today! This month: Blue Zones — Exploring why people who live in them enjoy such long and healthy lives. Sunday, April 14th at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. 4:00-5:30pm. Refreshments provided!

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