An Afternoon at C.V. Starr

Cutler Crowell, 71, has lived in Fort Bragg for many years where he’s raised a family and enjoys an unblemished reputation. Age has taken its inevitable toll, especially on Crowell’s back. Swimming is the only vigorous exercise left to him. He gets that necessary daily workout at the C.V. Starr Community Center, a large swimming […]

A Brief History of Early Mendocino County

Feliz Creek today, where it passes beneath Highway 101 at Hopland is, in the summer, a parched expanse of dry streambed that is barely discernible as a watercourse. Only when it comes alive in the winter as it runs off from its headwaters in the west hill and on into the Russian River can you […]

Marijuana Imperialism & Patrick Fourmy (Sep. 19, 2007)

When the Drug Enforcement Agency raided a large-scale marijuana grow three weeks ago on Navarro Ridge Road, neighbors of the pot gardens were very pleased. The owner of the gardens, a Santa Barbara man named Patrick Fourmy, his neighbors say, has not been a good neighbor. Most of the year Fourmy isn’t a neighbor at […]

Mrs. Hannah Hori-Piggott of Fort Bragg

If there’s an old, old timer in the house who remembers Hannah Piggott nee Hori, we would like to know more about this most intriguing Fort Bragg woman. In broad and often confusing outline, she was Japanese married to a well known and much sought after American jockey named Harry Piggott, who raced at least […]

Deputy Walker Says Goodbye to Anderson Valley

By the time you read this our resident deputy, Craig Walker, is already policing the sedate streets of Moraga. Deputy Walker’s departure is a big loss for the Anderson Valley where he’d become a crucial member of our wildly diverse community.  A ten-year resident of Philo, the popular deputy sheriff had successfully filled the huge […]

Yorkville Highlands, 1971

Two nights after we’d established our raucous brood in Mendocino County’s serene summer hills, not far from the unsuspecting hamlet of Boonville, we got our first lesson in the psycho-pathology of the pre-pube criminal, the immutable psycho-pathology of the pre-pube criminal. The delinquents occasionally acted like the children they were, and when they did we […]

Boonville 1987

Arturo Flores might be Boonville’s least known serial killer. In 1987, Flores would tell his friends that “all anglos should be exterminated.” Then he exterminated one. Maybe he’d exterminated others, too, but we knew from the cold, dead fact of Gregory Evans, a 27-year-old softball player from Rohnert Park, that Flores exterminated Evans because two […]

The Octopus Mountain Fire

CalFire called it the Peach Fire. Locals, depending on their community seniority, called it either the Tarwater Hill Fire after an old timer family named Tarwater who lived at its foot, or the Octopus Mountain Fire, its more contemporary designation inspired by the landmark’s tentacled topography. When the fire broke out about 3:15 last Thursday […]

Mobile Homes For Mobile People

Pieter Kruit is a San Francisco painting contractor and a noted documentary filmmaker.* John Kennaugh is a San Francisco furniture maker. One day, Pieter Kruit was painting the building next door to John Kennaugh’s house on Russian Hill. “I looked over,” Kruit remembers, “and there in the basement I was surprised to see a complete […]

Secret Assassins

“The Lottery” is a famous short story by Shirley Jackson about an annual small town drawing whose winner is stoned to death. The story makes the point that small towns can be mean places. Lately, some major meanness has afflicted the local schools. A portion of Anderson Valley’s school staff — the biggest payroll in […]

The Perpetually Re-Invented Mr. Sakowicz

There are lightning rods and then there’s John Sakowicz. Sako, as the ubiquitous County gadfly is widely known, regularly pops up in the local media and he has been the subject of national news stories. He is synonymous with controversy, the latest in Colorado. A March 30th letter to the editor of the Denver Post […]

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