Valley People

by AVA News Service, April 13, 2011

LIKE EVERYONE ELSE who knew Fritz Kuny, I'm really sorry to see him go. Another old logger who began his long life in the Mendocino County forests woods as a kid, and went on working hard until what became his final illness, Fritz Kuny was a quiet man with a robust sense of humor who never let life's body blows get him down until he finally got the one that floored him. Fritz will be missed, really missed.

A RELIABLE young local family, meaning a young of the upright type who are employed and unaffiliated with drugs, is seeking a one or two-bedroom house to rent or caretake for rent. Please call 894-3881.

LUCILLE ESTES of Airport Estates isn't all the way home yet, but The Valley's premier senior gardener said Monday she's darn near out of her walker and can almost smell her roses, smell them all the way from her son's house in Lake County. Lucille broke her leg in January and expects it to be May before she's home. She also commented that her faith in the male half of the human species has been fully restored by the care lavished upon her by her son and grandson.

THE 29TH ANNUAL Boontling Classic 5K footrace will be held Sunday, May 1 at 10am at the Anderson Valley Elementary School across from the Museum on Anderson Valley Way. Race day registration is $10 (8:30-9:30). Pre-registration is $8 before April 30. Send payment to North Coast Striders, POB 805, Boonville, CA 95415. Further info call Jan at 895-2701 or Bruce Hering at 895-3589.

WHEN I ENCOUNTERED him the other morning at Mosswood, Mr. Bruce Hering reminded me that “the three Bruces” had finished one, two and three among male walkers in last year's race, with the newspaper Bruce third after ambulance Bruce Longstreet and Uncle Sam Bruce who finished first. Uncle Sam Bruce has been beating newspaper Bruce in foot races for twenty years now, and is likely to beat him again this year in the walk part of the race. Newspaper Bruce is also worried about old friends Bob Deines and Jim Gibbons who are right now putting in long hours out on Sherwood Road getting ready for this year's Classic where, as I recall, Deines won the master's division last year and Gibbons, who was still holed up in Kona last spring and refused to leave, has won it so many times in past years there was once talk about banning him from the event because people were tired of him driving off with all the trophies and the wine. Gibbons will of course be tough to beat when he re-appears this year. The world-class master's distance runner also has the added incentive this year of a post-race push-up competition, and knowing him, he'd rather die before he lost that or any other contest to a Yeast Person.

FRACKING on Mountain House Road? I called around, asked around, went around, and looked around, but couldn't find anybody who had any idea of what those pipes were for in the area of 49110 on the old Hopland Road. But according to one guy I asked, fracking is not on for Mendocino County although, as he put it, “As far as I know, the anti-fracking movement in Mendo is designed to protect us from a threat that does not exist locally. I asked Charles Cresson Woods, the anti-frack guru, if he had any knowledge that the geology of the County or off shore areas leant itself to fracking technology, or even if there were natural gas reserves to justify it. His answer was 'I'm not a geologist, but....' The 'but' was the take off point for a stream of consciousness riff that fracking is used in the Central Valley, fracking is bad, there is an oil seep at Petrolia, another one near Point Arena, the Koch brothers are evil, the Koch brothers are heavily invested in Georgia Pacific, Georgia Pacific owns the old mill site at Fort Bragg, Georgia Pacific is a corporation, corporations are evil, and therefore, fracking under the streets of Fort Bragg and off the coast of Mendo is an imminent threat.”
THAT SPEEDING lawyer rightly denounced by Colleen Kobler for hurtling at an unsafe speed down out of the hills of Deer Meadows, is justly contrite. She nearly wept her mea culpas when we encountered her the other day at Mosswood. There were extenuating circumstances, the guilty party explained as she conceded that they weren't that extenuating and apologized for driving so heedlessly down that road.

SARA IVEY corrects last week's mention that she's office manager at Boonville Unified. “I'm only an administrative assistant, not a manager,” she modestly demurs. But whatever Sara's title is the rest of us know she's irreplaceable.

WHICH REMINDS ME: You're getting to be an old timer if you remember when Frances Lytle functioned as “administrative assistant” at the high school. Frances watched every nickel. She ran the place, really, as school secretaries do to this day. I remember the football coaches going helmets in hand to Frances to explain to her why they needed more rolls of ankle tape at about a buck a roll. But Frances, rather than turn over cash, would grudgingly hand them a single roll she'd pre-purchased in anticipation, and tell them to use it sparingly. The formidable Frances and her husband owned the ranch above Floodgate at Navarro.

ON THE SUBJECT of school people who do things right, Mike Foucault, high school maintenance guy, has quietly converted what for years was a rock-strewn, gopher-holed mud and dust bowl out behind the gym into the most beautiful little ballpark in Mendocino County. If you haven't seen it for yourself you'll be amazed at what Mike has wrought. Give that man a raise!

OAKIE JOE MUNSON, whose wife and daughter have just returned from Japan, writes: “Atsuko and Millie are marking origami for Japanese Disaster Relief! Their fine designs and paper artwork can be picked up at the Happy Thai restaurant, the Redwood Tree Gas Station and the Head Room in Ukiah. For more information or to find out how you can help, call Atsuko at 279-8765. All proceeds will be personally delivered to a charity in the tsunami damaged area of Japan.”

A NEW state social host law went into effect Jan. 1st. The goal of the new state law is to keep kids safer by acting as a deterrent to adults who might otherwise provide alcohol to teens. AB2486 states that if a “social host” 21 or older knowingly gives alcoholic beverages to someone under 21 years of age, the host may be held legally accountable if that person is injured or dies, and may also be accountable if other persons are injured or die, or if their property is damaged or destroyed, as a result of the underage person drinking the alcoholic beverage. (Save Our Deputies Task Force urges AV residents to contact supervisors about prioritizing law enforcement at bos@co.mendocino.ca.us) — Lupita Guerrero

A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held for Richard Johnson on Sunday, April 17 from 2 - 5 p.m. at the Sat-urday Afternoon Club, 107 So. Oak in Ukiah. People are encouraged to bring photos and memories to share, as well as food and/or drinks for a pot luck meal. Please bring your own plates, cups and utensils to have a trash-free event. Richard Johnson died on March 16th in Ukiah of congestive heart failure. He started and operated several news and entertainment papers under Mendocino Country publications, and worked tirelessly on environmental, peace and social justice issues. Info at 895-3243. — Lynda McClure

ACE! Dick Browning Writes: “The young Panther tennis team is continuing to develop as we reach the mid-point of the season. With only three returning players from last year, the team has a record of two wins and four losses. The squad is led by Drake Mezzanatto playing first singles and posting three wins. Esmeralda Espinosa with four wins has won the most matches. Kristen Andersen, Chavo Elijio and Alondra Espinosa have all won three matches. The team plays at home this week after school on Wednesday against Willits and Friday against Fort Bragg. Come on out and support AVHS tennis.”
GENE HERR WRITES: “For a truly comprehensive web site of Mendo Coast logging and railroad history, take a look at this. One of the best; easy to navigate and endless fascinating sub-topics, with old and new pictures. mendorailhistory.org”
JOIN AUTHOR and radio show host Karin Uphoff as she talks about renewing mind and body with herbs and natural healing using the guidance of her book, “Botanical Body Care.” Karin is an herbalist, yoga instructor, and educator in Mendocino and is happy to answer questions during this informal presentation. Tea will be served! Saturday, April 16, 1-3p.m. at Laughing Dog Books. Also on Saturday, from 1-5 p.m., the Philo Ridge Vineyards Tasting Room, sharing the patio with Laughing Dog Books, will be hosting their Grand Opening Party, with music by the Bob Day Quartet. It all happens in downtown Boonville!

LAST MAY, local law enforcement, Fish & Game, and North Coast Water Board officers responded to a major mess on Nash Mill Creek. Thomas and Patricia Plowright (brother and sister) who maintain a cabin on land in the northwest corner of Nash Ranch, had bulldozed dirt, trees, and brush into the creek, and had stalled and apparently abandoned the tractor in the middle of the creek. Locals, needless to say, were beyond irate and clear into apoplexy because lots of restorative work had been done on that stream and now this. Subsequently it was reported that Thomas Plowright was alleged to be in possession of stolen property, and drug manufacturing materials discovered at the site during the raid. Legal action against him is pending in two separate jurisdictions, here and in San Jose. The Mill Creek site is the subject of an active criminal case with the Mendocino County District Attorney's office, relative to Fish and Game violations associated with the dumping of dirt and operations of heavy equipment in and adjacent to the creek. The State Attorney General's office is pursuing Plowright. The case will be heard on May 6th in Ukiah. Plowright, who was on parole for other adventures, remains in custody in the Mendocino County Jail. In a welcome cooperative action between local resource agencies this January, the Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a Cleanup and Abatement Order requiring Plowright to get an approved remediation plan to restore the creek and the surrounding damaged banks, and to have the work completed by next October. Now, “The Discharger” (water board speak for the offender) has petitioned both the State and the Regional Water Boards for reconsideration of the cleanup order. Persons interested in expressing concerns (and that might be anyone with downstream water rights, anyone interested in fish restoration in the Navarro, anyone who just doesn't want this type of blatant scofflaw to get away with it) may write to: ckuhlman@waterboards.ca.gov. Ms. Catherine Kuhlman, Executive Officer, North Coast Regional WQ Control Board, 5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 and ask her not to drop or delay the implementation of the order, and to follow up until the site is repaired.

THE MAJOR Crimes Task Force will be collecting your old prescription meds at the Boonville Fairgrounds parking lot between 10 am and 6 pm this Friday, April 15th and again on Saturday from 10 am and 3 pm. The point is safe disposal of the old drugs you have lying around the house. Pill donors are asked to please remove labels from bottles or pour pills into plastic bags. No syringes or aspirin please. This service is free and is confidential. For more information please call 895-2146.

JACOB GOWAN got in a lot of playing time at Stanford's intra-squad game at Kezar Stadium last Saturday afternoon. Jacob, one of two locals in big time football, is presently Stanford's number three nose tackle. Jacob is the son of Don Gowan of Philo and Sharon Gowan now of Santa Rosa. Anderson Valley's other big-time pig-skinner, Martin Teveseu, is a nose tackle with the New York Jets, and what other community our size can make the claim of two guys in the big time at the same position yet?

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