Valley People

by AVA News Service, July 13, 2011

ABOUT 7:30pm Monday night a Jeep SUV crashed head-on into a redwood about 300 feet east of the Navarro Store. The driver, a Chico woman said to be about 50, was traveling west to the Mendocino Coast. Eyewitnesses said she'd lost control of her vehicle just as she approached the area of the store. The SUV was smashed beyond recognition and the Chico woman trapped in the wreckage. Anderson Valley emergency personnel were soon on scene. They freed the badly injured driver using the Jaws of Life device, and she was soon airborne to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. She's expected to survive but may suffer permanent disabilities.

DAVE EVANS of the Navarro Store said Tuesday morning that he has lobbied CalTrans to slow traffic through Navarro but to no avail. "The Eureka office told me there haven't been enough deaths at Navarro to warrant a slow down."

SEVERAL LOCALS asked us last week if we knew anything about a strange supersized white van with some high-tech gear attached and something like “Road Analyzer” inscribed on it. The tin foil hat people were especially concerned. They thought it might be a combined PG&E-Government surveillance unit. Nothing so exciting, unfortunately. Turns out the vehicle is indeed a "Road Analyzer,” an "Automated Road Analyzer" manufactured by a Dutch company called Fugro Worldwide. Caltrans recently contracted with Fugro to evaluate selected California roads, and these vans are equipped with “ground penetrating radar” which takes computerized snapshots of the depth and layers of road surface (up to two meters deep) sparing the expense of drilled core samples. The snapshots are correlated with GPS coordinates to determine road surface and subsurface conditions. Caltrans then uses the digital information to select which portions of Highway 128 to resurface.

POSTSCRIPT: 50% of Caltrans resurface projects will use “rubberized asphalt concrete” for future resurfacing projects which uses “150 old tires per mile of resurface material.”

LOCAL ARTIST Coco Moon Chilcote, 8, won the "Bike Critter" drawing contest held by the Santa Monica Museum of Art. A Jury of well known LA artists and the SMMoA curatorial staff chose Coco's drawing over the many submissions for their 3rd annual cultural bike event "Tour da Arts". Her work will be used in all of their promotional materials for the cycling and arts event in which hundreds of Santa Monica residents ride through the city visiting art exhibits. Congratulations Coco!

GENE HERR WRITES: “A heads up. Starting July 1 if your car registration is due you will no longer get a 60 day advance notice. As a matter of fact you will no longer get much advance notice at all. (In my case, registration was due on July 8th, DMV mailed my notice from Sacramento on July 6th, I got it on Saturday, July 9th, impossible to pay before overdue.) And your penalty payments are due if you have not paid on the date due .Although the DMV states that the new legislation establishes a 30 day grace period before penalties are due, their billing makes clear that THERE IS NO GRACE PERIOD. Your penalty payment will be about 30% of your fee. The benevolent DMV will allow you to pay on line, but they don't tell you that you will pay an additional $33 in "convenience fees" to do so. This change was enacted by your legislature on May 4th, a shell game which will through a combination of late noticing and hidden fees result in a probable fee increase of around 50 % for many. So mark your calendar ten days before your vehicle renewal date, go on line, calculate your fee, and be prepared to grab that notice as soon as it comes in, write the check, and get it postmarked the day you receive it.”

SAD to see my neighbor Troy Huron and family evicted from their Boonville home of two years. "The landlady wanted us out," Troy said Sunday night, "so we're getting out." Troy enjoys a reputation as one of the hardest workingmen in The Valley; he is presently employed by Burroughs Construction. He said for now he was putting his belongings in storage while he looked for a rental for his family. If you have shelter for a responsible family man who has lived in the Valley all his life, please call the paper at 895-3016 and I'll pass the good news along to Troy.

RE THE NAVARRO RIVER trespassing dispute involving the Van Zandts: reasonable people can certainly understand the Van Zandts' concern for the stretch of the river bordering their place. There are so many pure slobs among us anymore that unless you've got a full-time attendant picking up after them a small but destructive minority of people will wreck every public place. The stretch of the Navarro is no longer easily accessed via Ray's Road. It's been fenced off. But committed vandals of the unconscious type do park at the Indian Creek parking lot and walk to the Navarro, a distance of maybe a half mile. If they could drive to the water's edge the Navarro would soon be a Super Fund site. "Pack it in, pack it out" is an alien concept to the true slob, just as it was thirty years ago when a previous generation of barbarians wrecked Dr. Marsh's swimming hole at Indian Creek, a beautiful pond the doctor created by partially damming the stream every summer. But, when Marsh's swimming hole became the scene of drink and dope "parties" the swimming hole quickly became a self-renewing trash pit, and that was the end of it. The ten percenters had ruined it for everyone.

ALWAYS GOOD to see Robert Kraft and family. The Krafts stopped in the other day on their way to their home in Bandon, Oregon. For years Robert was the man on the Valley's Triple-A tow truck, and his wife Yvonne served as an Ambulance volunteer and otherwise also did more than her share to put the "c" in community. We lost a family of good ones when the Krafts were driven north by the indiscriminate chemical practices of the vineyards.

IRREPLACEABLE as Robert was, his successor, Bob Maki, the Flying Finn, now serves the same invaluable function as Robert once did with Triple-A. Call him up and Bob is there, day or night, just as Robert was, and we count our blessings.

REMEMBER PANGAEA, the fine Point Arena restaurant? Its proprietors, Robert and Jill Hunter, took a break in 2009, but they're back in town with a new place called Uneda Eat. Sure do, and this is the place to do it at 206 Main Street, PA. The Hunters, apparently not interested in catering to the gastro-maniacs who flocked to the Pangaea to squeeze out locals, are only open Wednesday through Friday for "family-style dinners." If Uneda Eat is half as good as Pangaea, and it's gotta be with this couple running it, the place is worth a long drive over the hill to Boonville people.

YES CAMP, the introductory emergency services training course for young people organized in Willits by Rick Paige, was partly disrupted by the bad behavior of several youth from Boonville who were booted out after a day or two. The bad boys wasted several hundred dollars in donated fees for the course, none of which was put up by their parents or guardians.

WAYWARD YOUTH also assembled for a 4th of July "rave" at the Boy Scout Camp in Navarro. Those revelers who can remember the festivities are still raving about it. Nude nymphs, enough drugs to supply a pharmaceutical supply house, all-night music — the whoop de doo works. It's unlikely the Boy Scouts would have approved, but they rented the place for the big event and so far don't seem to be complaining.

TRY TO IMAGINE the surprise of a Valley person who opened a US Postal Service-sanctioned parcel containing a very large amount of cash money in it, and by large we're talking many multiples of a thousand. The cash was neatly rolled up in rolls of hundred dollar bills. The recipient must remain anonymous because the accidental recipient clearly wasn't the person the cash, now in possession of the Sheriff's Department, was intended for.

PLEASED to encounter local guy Willie Housley, lately in charge at the Boonville Dump. That crucial facility is much better managed and much cheaper to customers since it was taken over months ago by Jerry Ward of Willits. Under the dubious management of the even more dubious Mike Sweeney and Mendocino County, dump hours previously were brief and expensive. Sweeney, by the way, remains the sole viable suspect in the 1990 car bombing of his former wife, the late Judi Bari. You might say that Sweeney is Mendocino County's version of Whitey Bolger, but then Mendocino County, intoxicant capital of America, is the kind of place where you are whatever you say you are and history starts all over again every morning.

DAVID JONES tells us he was surprised and delighted when he read in Afar, a famous travel magazine, that in the section of the mag called 'Wander' "Four destinations to explore" listed "1. Zanzibar, Tanzania; 2. Rome; 3. Anderson Valley, California; and 4. Mexico City, Mexico." As Dave puts it, "I've never been to 1, 2 and 4 but I know number 3 is great."

NO FOURTH OF JULY parade, no fireworks, no nothing in Ukiah, the seat of government, Mendocino County. But in tiny Boonville, and in the village of Mendocino, celebrations and celebrants galore. Ukiah anymore radiates a kind of civic death vibe. A dying, treeless downtown encased in miles of fast food franchises, Ukiah only seems to come alive on days court is in session, and it's all-the-way dead every day by 5pm, court or no court except for the shoals of walking wounded shuffling up and down State Street like the remnants of a defeated army. Contrast the moribund County seat with vibrant Boomsville — a humming half-mile of booming enterprise deep into the night, with throngs of sated gourmands merrily strolling our stretch of 128.

STAN ANDERSON informs us that the Mendocino County Republican Central Committee will meet Wednesday, July 20th, 7pm at Jensen's Restaurant, Ukiah.

ANDERSON VALLEY BREWERY'S has been named the bahlest steinber in the world! The Boonville brewery picked up several medals for its beers, considered among the finest there are.

JAMIE LEE WRITES: AV High School Garden Work Party and BBQ. This Sunday, July 17th from 2-6 p.m. @ AV High School. Please come join Master Gardener Charlene Rowland, who will be hosting a work party and BBQ at the AV High School garden next to the Geodomes. The AV School Garden Project is in its second year of growing healthy organic food for the AV schools as well as giving students hands on experience and education on growing local foods. We could really use your help to keep the effort going strong. BBQ and refreshments will be served as well as locally grown produce. No fee. For further information, please contact Charlene @ 498 -3230.

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