Valley People

by AVA News Service, September 28, 2011

WHOEVER started the flattering rumor that the old ambulance barn has been remodeled certainly has a lot of gall. This individual passed the misinformation along to my editor who inserted it in my report of a couple of weeks ago, and it stands in need of correction. In fact, I don’t think Ms. Hamburg has even bothered to sweep the floor. An ‘architect’ came over one day with a tape and took some measurements. While the door was open I noticed a couple of dusty antique display cases, but these belong to the landlord. Mostly, so far, the discussion has been about the location, and very little has been said about the products to be vended. But an anonymous Anderson Valley pot grower tells the AVA that if Laura thinks she is going to bring weed from over the hill to sell here, she’s in for a fray. Our source points out that AV buds won in every category at the Emerald Cup, and if local strains are not going in those display cases the Mendocino Generations pot store will be about as welcome as another wine tasting room.

THE RAIN Saturday night put Valley weed farmers in a desperate scramble. Hammers resounded off the hills all night as tarpaulins were hastily tacked up over the ripening bud. The crop is running a little late this year, the summer heat was somewhat low and late, the spring rains having lasted well into June played havoc with the first planting, many of which had to be abandoned and re-started. The Annual Celebration of the Autumnal Equinox at the Caretaker’s Garden on Lambert Lane in Boonville apparently did little to appease the Goddess of Weed because the rain came cracking on right on schedule regardless.

A FREE HANDOUT at all the Valley businesses this past weekend reads: Complimentary Wine Tasting for Two. Come by and taste our newly crowned Gold Medal Winner ’09 pinot from the 2011 Wine Competition – 15% off wines! Richard Berridge Wine Company located in the Madrones outside Philo at milemarker 23.5.”

KZYX REPORTS (via a Sheriff’s Press Release) that the Aaron Bassler manhunt is costing a king’s ransom in overtime for the sheriff’s office, but they can’t get any definite figures. After all the cost-cutting and wrangling with the Board of Supervisors, this one-man crime wave has pretty much thrown the proverbial spanner into the fine-tuned gears of the already mangled County budget.

AND FORT BRAGG, according to some Valley People who commute there for work, is like a town under siege; tourism is dead, even the business at Sport Dodge is off because nobody’s driving. Sunday was the last day of deer season and many Coast hunters were unable to fill their tags. Bassler's holed up somewhere in the area northeast of town, well away from Fort Bragg's many attractions. Nobody should feel beseiged except Bassler.

THE SEARCH for Bassler went high-tech last week, with the introduction of some state-of-the-art surveillance cameras on nearly every tree in the area. Former Coastal Deputy DA Holly Harpham’s “worst nightmare” has come true! In a Fort Bragg trial she once said that the worst possible scenario she could imagine would be surveillance cameras in the trees with people watching her put on her make-up while driving her car.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY Theatre Guild is narrowing down options for next year’s play. Since the actors are aging, they’re looking for a play with lots of senior citizens in it. I suggest Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot.’ They usually do their reading in the fall and begin rehearsals in January, but that was back when Rod Basehore was director, and he could readily assign roles, whereas the new director is going to require auditions. Also, Mr. Basehore used to do all the set design and construction. In short, the theater guild could use some help. Contact the new director Marcus Berringer at the B-Ville Hotel if you’d like to get involved.

SUPERVISOR DAN HAMBURG reported last week that State Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Caryl Hart of Sebastopol “is determined to find a way to keep Hendy Woods open.” Hendy Woods State Park is one of dozens of state parks slated for closure to save the state a few bucks. “Hendy Woods is very important,” said Hamburg. “It’s not only $240,000 [of state money that comes into Mendocino County for operation and maintenance] but the spin-offs from that park revenue are felt throughout Anderson Valley.” Hamburg said he’s “trying to see if there’s some creative ways that we can keep these facilities going to whatever extent is possible” which might include non-profits, volunteers, grants and fund-raising. “Water system maintenance is a big issue,” added Hamburg, “as are pot gardens, illegal timber harvesting, homeless encampments, and other health and safety issues.” Supervisor John Pinches had a couple more suggestions: “Maybe we could have nearby Calfire stations pick them up in some way” for any parks which are near a Calfire station, said Pinches. “And maybe there’s a way to put some of these non-violent inmates [that the state is returning to County jurisdiction] to work on park maintenance.” Hamburg added, “In some cases CHP officers can stay overnight in state parks.”

SOME OF THIS is obviously far-fetched. Given the very limited capabilities of these officials and the sclerotic nature of state bureaucracies, even if some of these ideas are pursued it won’t be any time soon. And the more conventional ideas (non-profits, grants, etc.) will be very slow in coming, if they arrive at all.

BORN on Tuesday, September 20th in San Francisco to Jessica [nee Anderson] and Ryan Lafrenz, a son, Anderson Xavier Lafrenz, 9.3 pounds at birth. Grandparents include Robert and Margaret Lafrenz of Portland, Oregon and Bruce and Ling Anderson of Boonville.

AT THE APPLE BOWL, the Anderson Valley football team ran into the toughest opponent they would see all season: themselves. Jumping out to a big lead early against visiting Point Arena, the Panthers let the Fog Eaters back into the game with multiple turnovers in their own territory. A game which started out with signs of being a runaway victory for the Panthers, ended up in an embarrassing loss for a team with championship aspirations. (— Coach John Toohey)

LAST FRIDAY, the Panthers looked to clean up their mistakes and get their confidence back against the always tough Laytonville Warriors. 76 points later, they did just that. With touchdowns coming from seven different players, it was a true team effort. While 76 points were scored, the offense had only 300 offensive yards to show for it. So the return game must have been on fire — and it was. Omar Benavides, AV Football’s player of the week, ripped through the Laytonville return coverage team, scoring once, having another score called back, and crossing midfield on every return. Two key game-changing interceptions on defense, coupled with a rushing touchdown and a ten-yard per carry average on offense, made Omar’s contributions to this total team effort stick out just a little bit higher than the rest. Marcos Espinoza had 18 tackles on defense — an absolutely ridiculous number — while Jason Sanchez had 13, and two receiving touchdowns on Offense. Chava Gutierrez also added two receiving scores of his own, and Junior Scotty Johnston had two more on the ground. Senior Linebacker Eduardo Torrales contributed with a strip of the ball from Laytonville’s QB returning it for a defensive touchdown, and Quarterback Garrett Mezzanatto finished the day 7 of 9 for 188 yards and four TDs, with a QB rating of 159. The Panthers will take their show on the road to Potter Valley to take on the Bearcats, this Friday night at 7:30pm. (— Coach John Toohey)

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