Valley People

by AVA News Service, August 17, 2011

XAVIER FRANCIS, 19, of Boonville and Ukiah, was arrested  at Mendocino College last Thursday on a $50,000 felony burglary warrant. Dogged police work by resident deputies Squires and Walker led to Francis's arrest. He and several other graduates of LifeWorks Group Home in Boonville are suspected of stealing the guns, which have not been recovered, while the Sanchez family was on vacation. The investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.

MELISSA MEADER hopes to get a planning grant for a bike trail that would run the length of the Valley. Ms. Meader and her fellow bike-trail advocates call themselves “Cycked.” They've started a Facebook page to promote their dream. A planning grant obtained through the Mendocino Council of Governments would provide funds to define the trail which, of course, would include Caltrans rights of way and, perhaps, at the Navarro end of The Valley the long abandoned narrow-gage logging train routes that run out to Albion.

LAST WEEK, the enterprising and dynamic Ms. Meader appeared at the Community Services District Budget Committee meeting to request that an account be set up to handle the grant funds. Fire Chief Colin Wilson, agreeing that a bike path would undoubtedly make local roads safer by keeping bikes out of traffic lanes, went on to somewhat harshly say that he didn’t want his tax dollars spent on planning a project that might never happen. The bike trail subject was not on the Budget Committee’s agenda and required a vote to even take action on Ms. Meader's request. Two of the Budget Committee members — General Manager Joy Andrews and Director Kathleen McKenna — voted to put it on the agenda, but the other four members — Director Valerie Hanelt, Secretary Joanie Clark, Fire Chief Colin Wilson and Mark Scaramella said they didn’t have enough information from the Bike Trail group to seriously consider the idea. Scaramella suggested that the Bike People prepare an outline of what the project might involve and a map showing its proposed route.

ON AUGUST 6 at about 11:30pm, while on Patrol in the Navarro area as the Charlie Musslewhite concert wound down, Deputy Walker pulled over a swerving Silver Chevy Tahoe. While Walker was speaking with the driver, Shaun Branch, 32, of Texas, Walker could smell a strong odor of marijuana. Further investigation revealed three pounds of processed and packaged marijuana. In defense of his cargo, Mr. Branch produced an expired Proposition 215 medical marijuana card, so Walker  proceeded to seize Branch, his vehicle and his marijuana. Branch was then taken to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and saw his bail set at $25,000. The next day a young woman flew in from Texas to put up the money and, as a corrections officer later reported, “Mr. Branch was last seen heading south on Highway 101 in a rental car.”

HIGHWAY 128 near the Mendocino-Sonoma county line has reopened to traffic in both directions in the wake of a fatal August 2nd crash involving a fuel truck and a Toyota Camry. Traffic through the area may still experience delays because of pre-existing road work in the area. A Santa Rosa man, Luis Armando Pacheco, 22, died in the crash when the tanker's trailer crossed into his lane and crushed his vehicle. Some 4,000 gallons of fuel was spilled, as well.

STANFORD'S DEFENSIVE LINE COACH Randy Hart said last month that he expects sophomore Jacob Gowan of Philo to provide crucial back-up this season and could move into a starting nose tackle position.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY'S other big time nose tackle, Martin Tevaseu, will see plenty of action this season with the New York Jets. Look for big number 95 on the NFL's Game of the Week.

IT LOOKS LIKE the two Community Services District Board seats being vacated by Diane Paget and Andrea LaCampagne will be taken by Fred Martin of the Holmes Ranch and Henry Gundling of Signal Ridge. Martin is a retired physicist and has served as a member of the Anderson Valley Volunteer Firefighters. Gundling is a retired banker active in timberland management. Current Board member Valerie Hanelt expects to stay in her position uncontested, unless somebody else signs up before the August 17 (today) final filing deadline. Directors Kirk Wilder and Kathleen McKenna are not up for election this year.

THE FOLLOWING comments appeared on a local woman’s Facebook page after she posted a note about being held up by roadwork on her way to Philo from Boonville last Wednesday: “Seriously, took me an hour to drive from Boonville… Still waiting… It took me 40 minutes just to get home from work! Crazy!! They need to do a better job with the roadwork traffic. Maybe it is slower in the evening.  O happy they are fixing the road!!!! I only waited 10 minutes around 4 pm. A dump truck wrecked.  Damn… good thing WT is on the job! He stood there and waited for a bigger tow truck… Yeah, good thing he was there to BS everyone. LOL. There was a page for the fire department, and my husband tried to respond, but the flagger dude wouldn't let him pass… Lame. Well, at least our roads will be smooth and hole-free. … I appreciate the road being fixed, I think Granite Construction could do a better job of traffic control, and yes, try to keep their truck upright! And that flagger dude was cussing people out as we drove past. … I was frustrated because I was less than 50 yards from my driveway — empty road the whole time I waited. It took me an hour & a half to get from Navarro to home. … I was 1st in line & I have to say there was a woman about 20 cars behind yelling at the flag guy. It's not his fault & patience is a virtue. … True —patience, and gratitude. … Sometimes roadwork is frustrating, but being married to a road crew worker, I have a heightened respect for those guys. They have a job to get done and their and our first concern is/should be their safety. It doesn't make it any less frustrating, but the end result will benefit our community greatly. … Maybe if they just had gave us a little more or any warning that this was starting and would have long waits it would have been nice. The longest waits were at the evening commute time too. I just think the timing was pretty lousy. … I had a bunch of errands throughout the day, and waited only about 20 minutes here and there, but waiting an hour to get from Indian Creek to Blattner Road at 6pm was really frustrating! But, I get the whole other side of the story. … Ok, I agree. Getting on the road in a few and hopefully we aren't too late to the car wash! … Well the evening commute problem was due to the dump truck that over turned. It is a blessing that no one was injured or killed. … A dump truck went to dump his load into the paver and a bed pin broke and made his whole bucket of his truck that was filled with about 16 tons fall over and off of his truck. Look at Starr Automotive's Facebook page and there are pictures. If someone had been standing on that side of the truck they would have been killed. … That long of a wait shouldn't happen again — we hope.

IN FACT, let’s all hope that such waits will be avoided when Caltrans begins storm damage repairs on Highway 128 next year. The California Transportation Commission announced last week that Highway 128 will get $1.54 million of the $2.2 billion going to road, transit and rail projects around the state next year.

ROGILIO GUERRERO is sprucing up his family's Tire Shop in downtown Boonville with a nice new coat of paint, white paint, virginal white, clean slate white.

AS ALWAYS TERRIFIED that there could be anything but 5-0 approval on any matter before the Boonville School Board, old faithfuls Marti Bradford — 10,000 consecutive yes votes — and Dick Browning — 2,000 consecutive yes votes — have registered to run for another term on the Board, the assumption being by school Maestro and Superintendent Collins that a pair of auto-affirmatives are certainly safer than insurgent candidates Ernie Pardini and Ben Anderson.

SONOMA ACTION for Equine Rescue has apparently taken serious interest in a horse on Greenwood Road that they view as seriously neglected. The elderly equine is skin and bones, hence the recent appearance of one of Equine Rescue's reps to take incriminating photos with a view to taking legal action.

AL JAZEERA ENGLISH, as of Monday, can now be heard on KZYX at 6:30pm following Community News with Dave Brooksher. Al Jazeera provides the only consistently reliable audio and television news from the Middle East.

ANOTHER GREAT SHOW at the Navarro Store last Saturday attended by none other than the District Attorney himself, David Eyster. The always popular Pink Floyd tribute band was better than ever, as was their laser light show, as promised by Impresario Dave Evans. Hundreds of people enjoyed the evening, which was further enhanced with the light show's projections into the moonlit clouds where silhouettes of giant redwoods were superimposed. “Like dude! It was just gorgeous,” as one delighted concert goer expressed the unanimous opinion of his fellow attendees.

DA DAVE EYSTER liked the House of Floyd show too: “Thumbs up to Dave Evans and his Navarro General Store for hosting another great concert. Last Saturday night's group was the 'House of Floyd' playing Pink Floyd music. Really enjoyed House of Floyd's rendition of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' ... The music was well done and accompanied by laser lighting that was fun to watch. Glad we made the drive.

PHILO RESIDENTS report “many” sitings of what appears to be an albino buck. The distinctive animal, according to one witness, “really stands out.”

ALONG WITH support from the A.V. Historical Society, and with a very significant contribution from Valley old-timer, Wes Smoot, the AVA's Steve Sparks is slowly but surely putting together a book featuring photographs of the Valley's old houses and buildings — how they looked originally and how they appear now, or what is there instead! It is hoped that each one will appear with some brief historical text and help on this aspect of the project is being sought from the likes of Donald Pardini, Emil Rossi, Ben Van Zandt, Eva Johnson, Eva Holcomb, Bo and Bobbie Hiatt, Clyde Price Jr, Pat Hulbert, and others. The houses/buildings must be pre-1940. Steve is asking Valley folks for any old photographs people may have of these and any accompanying information that might be added. Please contact him at 895-2460 or by e-mail at upinthewoods@earthlink.net ...

THE MENDOCINO County Fair us September 16, 17, and 18th.  Pick up entry forms at the Fair Office or download them from mendocountyfair.com/. Enter your animals, vegetables, and flowers… your artwork, baked goods, and jams and jellies.  There are also Junior categories.  Get your entry forms, and get ready.

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