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 hills into the Russian River can you get some […]

Bleecker’s Cabin

Julie Cook retired to what she assumed would be the bucolic peace of 22 acres at Third Gate, west of Willits. She jokes that she’s “the only person at Third Gate who isn’t in the marijuana business.” But the marijuana people don’t concern her. She likes her neighbors, likes Willits, likes Mendocino County, but does […]

There’s Fish in the Yorkville Hills

Lots of fish. But these fish aren’t found in the occasional streams that meander down to the Rancheria, fighting their way to and from the distant Pacific. No sir, these fish have it easy. They pass their days swimming unmolested in the protected cool of polyethelene tanks in a commodious barn resting on land once […]

Pearl Harbor Survivor

Count me as one. I was two, my brother one, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. My brother and I were born in Honolulu where our paternal grandfather, a Scots immigrant, was a principal in a successful business called the Honolulu Iron Works. My father, a graduate of the Punahou School, […]

Welcome Home, Sgt. Berry

Steven Berry is a Marine. He barely survived heavy fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, suffering such horrific injuries in Afghanistan that he was medically retired after ten years of service, four of those years as a Marine recruiter. The young father is now classified as one hundred percent disabled. Barely emerging from the Middle […]

The Health Center Meeting

DISGRUNTLED locals filled the high school cafeteria late Monday afternoon for a meeting of the Anderson Valley Health Center’s board of directors. Complaints about the ominous direction of the Center, which seems to be lurching inexorably in the direction of bankruptcy, echoed those expressed in a recent public letter by Eric Arbanovella, a volunteer with […]

My Grapes Or Your Sleep

Sleepless people are unhappy people, and there are lots of sleepless, unhappy people in the Anderson Valley these days. Many of Anderson Valley’s grape growers, large and small, have installed giant propellers that raise vineyard temperatures a few degrees to protect budding vines against frost. There are now about 50 of these propane-fueled machines strung […]

Mendocino County Today: December 27, 2013

WE HAVE LEARNED that our friend Dannie Martin has died. Many of you will remember Dannie from his column in the San Francisco Chronicle, the first by a prison inmate to appear regularly in a major American newspaper. Some of you may also remember the writer from his letters to the AVA describing life in […]

Johnny Pinches’ Last Act

Johnny Pinches has announced he will not run for another term as Third District Supervisor. Pinches, a Laytonville rancher, has always put the broader interests of Mendocino County ahead of personal advantage. He wants to do one more big thing for the County before he retires, and it’s a very big thing indeed. Lake Sonoma […]

Lenny Leum’s Dope Dossiers

Mike Biaggi runs Manchester Storage. Some people don’t pay to store their stuff, so Biaggi, after proper notice, auctioned off the contents of several abandoned storage units. On September 5th a certain Point Arenan bought the contents of Leonard John Leum’s locker. Inside was a kind of snitch’s mother lode, and a big surprise that […]