Valley People

by AVA News Service, October 12, 2011

ARTISTIC COMMENT on medical marijuana dispensaries found in downtown Boonville.

CONGRATULATIONS to Gus and Shelly Arredondo (nee Squires) with the birth of their daughter Kathryn (Katy) Elizabeth Arredondo. Katy was born on October 7 at 15:20 hours, weighing in at 8.9l pounds and 21" head to toe. Katy was welcomed by two big brothers, Nicholas and Benjamin and her Boonville grandparents, Keith and Debbie Squires. Mrs. Squires, unfortunately, while helping her daughter with little Kathryn fell and broke an ankle!

MIKE BROCK of Boonville's Brock Farms recently drove back over the hill with a first place from Ukiah's annual Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Mike's big beauty weighed in at 1,039 pounds.

THE GRACE HUDSON MUSEUM always features exhibits worth the trip to Ukiah, exhibits far superior to those at the much better funded California Historical Society in San Francisco if you'll pardon an invidious comparison. Opening this Saturday (15 October) at the Grace Hudson is "Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly with a bona fide expert, Susan Snyder, featured at the opening reception on the following Saturday afternoon, 2-4:30pm. Ms. Snyder has written a book on the history of the Griz, fearsome creature once found everywhere in the state.

EASILY THE MOST ANNOYING story of the week anywhere appeared in Sunday's Chronicle. Called "Anderson Valley Grows Up" the two-page provocation was complete with color photos of a portly sybarite called Burt Williams, a wine bigwig relocated from Sonoma County to Boontling country. Another pair of newcomer Sybs, Peter Knez and Anton Filiberti, are also pictured, as is a wholly obscured Mexican toting a load of grapes, the last visual saying all you need to know about the industry. The thing rambles on for a thousand clunking words haphazardly strung together by Jon Bonné, accent mark over the 'e' of course, and is all about how these really cool wine people have arrived in Anderson Valley to grow us up. Bonné writes, "Ever more vineyards are being sold to those who live afar." Afar? Blonk clonk gronk. "Anderson Valley was once California's little secret, a remote Mendocino nook protected from the sea but still drawing in the coastal chill." Nook? Cronk stronk fronk. Not a word anywhere in all this bushwah that so much as hints at how a clear majority Valley residents really feel about the wine invaders which, I daresay, ranges from skepticism to outspoken hostility. Forty tasting rooms and counting? Vineyards on precipitous runoff hillsides? Industrial scale application of dangerous chemicals? Wholesale raids on the finite waters of The Valley's battered streams? It there something to celebrate in all this, this, this disproportion?

STEVE SPARKS WRITES: "I am hoping to interview the five candidates for School Board over the next few weeks before the election on November 8th. I have a number of questions already prepared but if anyone wants to add their own please contact me at upinthewoods@earthlink.net and I shall certainly consider all reasonable suggestions for inclusion. Thanks in anticipation."

THE SIXTH ANNUAL Anderson Valley Film Festival invites film submissions for the festival in January 2012. These must be in DVD format and requests submitted before October 31st, 2011. Contact Steve Sparks.

REPUBLICANS! You are not alone! Stan Anderson of the Mendocino County Republican Central Committee invites you to join the other three at Jensen's Restaurant, North Ukiah, 7-9pm, on Wednesday, October 19th.

MARY PAT PALMER of the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce tells us that Jim Taylor Roberts of The Madrones at Indian Creek, Philo, has lived in the Anderson Valley for 22 years. Roberts' Madrones iteration, however, is new. The graceful Spanish-style compound houses four wineries as well as Jim's store, Sun and Cricket. Sun and Cricket offers garden implements, books on gardening and related subjects, foraging items, and even antiques. "The compound itself," Mary Pat says, "reminds me of a California Mission or a Spanish hacienda." The wineries and Sun and Cricket are open Thursday-Monday. Contact Jim at info@madrones.com (still room for one more shop!) or jtroberts@me.com. Mary Pat Palmer, AV Chamber of Commerce Secretary.

ADD BOB MAKI to your long list of local heroes. At all hours, weather fair or foul, Bob is there with his Triple A rig to fire up your dead battery or give you a tow and condolences. Thank the goddesses for this guy.

COMPELLED to do some lunchtime entertaining last week with dessert being my responsibility, I hustled over to the Boonville General Store where I bought four gallettes which, until about a year ago, I thought was pronounced "I'd like one of those, please." Anyhow, one of my guests asked, "These things come from Frisco?" Nope, Boonville, I said. "No way," persisted the skeptic. "Boonville?" Boonville, I repeated, Mendocino County's most happening community. Come on over and taste for yourself.

HAD TO LAUGH at the statement by organizers of Tuesday night's school board debate that the Brown Act would be a focus of questions. California's open meeting laws have been routinely violated by the Boonville School Board for many years. Ditto, I daresay, at every other school board in the County. It's very simple, really: the public's business is supposed to be conducted in public. It often isn't, and it seldom is in Boonville. Things are simply presented to the school board by the administrators the boards theoretically employ and supervise, and the school boards vote 5-0 for whatever their administrators hand them.

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