Valley People

by AVA News Service, January 15, 2013

THERESA AVILA has been squatting at the Navarro Store for months, but she rightly points out that she's not homeless, she's landless. The poor thing isn't alone in being landless, but that's hardly consoling to a person who's homeless and landless. Theresa continues to look for a place to park her car, her trailer, her husband, her dog, and herself. Once she has a fixed address, Theresa can retrieve her husband, Mark Worley, from a Marin convalescent hospital and become his paid caretaker. Theresa had lived at George Gowan's unsanctioned homeless camp on Gschwend Road, Navarro, but the County of Mendocino has abated George's property, and now those Valley people who have fallen, nay plummeted, through the cracks of our see-through social safety net have no place to go. If you have a spot for Theresa to make a home for herself and her Mark, please call 895-3016 and we will relay the good news to her.

WE ARE RELIEVED to hear that Harold Perry of Boonville is recovering at a Ukiah nursing home from surgery and the infection he incurred while hospitalized.

FOR THE FIRST TIME since the crash of 2008, Anderson Valley's property taxes, in terms of total take, have declined. At last week's Community Services District Budget Committee meeting, CSD General Manager Joy Andrews reported that property tax revenues were down by about 2% (around $4,000). Lucy Simonson, a staffer at the County Auditor's office, confirmed that the reduction was primarily from lower property values, meaning less money for CSD. Fortunately, this year, fire strike team revenues from the Valley's engines and crews summoned to beat back last summer's conflagrations, helped make up for the property tax reduction.

A SIGN in the window of the Boonville Saloon says the business is for sale.

ASSET DEVELOPMENT for Anderson Valley youth is scheduled for Tuesday, January 29 at 6pm at the Anderson Valley High School cafeteria. According to the announcement “Asset” is loosely defined as “simply something that is helpful.” We therefore suggest a regimen of study, three hours a day of strenuous exercise, and no media of any kind, from which the young person will emerge ready for whatever our imploding, lunatic society can throw at him. Our ideas on the fortification of youth having been duly ignored, we resume Asset Development as defined by the Community Action Coalition.

“EVERYONE is invited to bring their own helpful ideas. We will put all these ideas in a big pot with a pinch of Anderson Valley creativity and stir. One idea already proposed is a recreation room for the Valley that could hold physical fitness equipment and be used for fitness classes. Let's take a look at our natural strengths. Students from the high school will give us a peek into their ongoing 'photo/voice project' using photography and poetry as assessment tools. We hope you can come. It is going to be lively! This note will serve as the Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition's quarterly forum originally scheduled for January 15.”

THE MOST USEFUL thing done for local keen teens in years was that film called “The End of Silence” starring local young people who had succumbed to the lure of white powder. It was powerful stuff, and young people were riveted by it and, hopefully, deterred from succumbing themselves. We'd always hoped that Heidi Gundling, Lee Serrie and Mitch Mendoza would produce a follow-up film using the material they didn't use in End of Silence. Deputy Squires, for instance, was interviewed but didn't make the film's final cut, maybe because the deputy, not one to evade the facts of drug matters, was a little too candid.

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S CEO, Carmel Angelo, will be the featured guest speaker at the February 7, 2013 meeting of the Anderson Valley Unity Club, which will be held in the dining room at the Boonville Fairgrounds at noon. Ms. Angelo will speak on “The state of county government in present and future.” For $10 per person, attendees will get a nice turkey lunch with stuffing, ham, mashed potatoes, salad and various desserts provided by the hostesses. Payment must be received by January 23, 2013. (No refunds after January 27, 2013.) To sign up, write to the Anderson Valley Unity Club, c/o Joanie Clark, P.O. Box 394, Philo CA 95466. If you prefer to pass on lunch and just want to hear the CEO, show up at 1pm and you'll get coffee and cookies and Carmel. Info at 895-2847.

WHOA! A black coyote? On Greenwood Ridge? That's what we hear.

LAST THURSDAY afternoon, many of the Valley's nonprofit and volunteer organizations introduced themselves to the Anderson Valley Unity Club at the Boonville Fairgrounds. People representing about half of the organizations in the Valley delivered brief summaries of what they do and what their memberships looks like as Unity Club President Valerie Hanelt introduced them. In a number of cases the same person represented more than one organization. The Major noted that one of The Valley's premier volunteers, Steve Sparks, was not present because of a prior commitment and, he said, “Fortunately, no one was there from KZYX either,” which might seem a gratuitously churlish remark but is explained to no one's satisfaction a couple of paragraphs down from here.

UNITY CLUB PRESIDENT Valerie Hanelt was pleased with the turnout, describing the audience as “appreciative,” taking notes as the various volunteer groups were introduced. “These volunteers spoke passionately and knowledgeably about filling a valley need. People were willing to apply for grants, wrangle with federal and state and local layers of bureaucracy, go to many meetings to pull off projects, serve on boards and oversight committees, and frequently doing the less attractive but necessary work to serve the Valley. Boontling was spoken! Kimmies of the Codgy Moshe (machine lovers) — Bob Fowler spoke about getting old machines up and running for people to enjoy at the fair. They are always looking for old machinery to get working again. One of the best laughs of the day was from Christine Clark of the Cemetery District who said, “We're waiting for you.” Kirk Wilder described the end of the high school balloon experiment (part of the Boonville Space Program) with the student finding the balloon and calling him for description. Another big laugh.

THE SCHOOLS were well represented. Donna Pierson Pugh pointed out that many in the audience were regulars at the schools as well. Many services are made available to the community through the Family Resources Center and Adult Ed. (Terri Ryder, Mitzi Wagner and Christy Kramer are good resources here.) It occurred to me that anyone with a problem should check in to the Family Resource/Career Center or Adult Education to get advice. If they can't help you they certainly can tell you what to do next! They even have high-speed internet computers avail free on walk in.

MANY PEOPLE COMMENTED on the Hendy Woods crew of volunteers manning the entrance kiosk and visitor's center. Bill Sterling was eloquent about Valley Housing and pitching the need for more building sites. The Lion's Club helps many of the represented organizations, the American Legion supports the Senior Center, and just about any community project can call in collateral help from other groups.

BECAUSE OF THIS interconnectedness of volunteers, if you are a member of the Unity Club you are no more than two degrees of separation from any other volunteer group in the valley. Ms. Hanelt estimated there are some 45 actively committed local women always trying to find ways to improve life in the valley for everyone, and reminded the audience that the Adult School's fiesta on Feb 23rd.

JUST as a reader demands, “Why are you guys always raggin' on KZYX?” I think the adverb we want here is 'periodically' ragging on KZYX, not always. When the subject comes up, as it did with Shiela Dawn's report on the meeting of KZYX's somnolent board of management-selected directors last week, this is what we say: “We don't listen much except for Women's Voices every Monday night which we find endlessly endless. Our main beef is the absence of local news and the scant opportunity the public has to call in. We also think management is aggressively rude and incompetent, the board of directors the usual rubber stamp Mendo-ninnies, and the station generally does not resemble public radio in any known sense, a fact borne out by its steadily declining membership. The music is swell, though, and some of the talk shows are also swell. (Jeff Blankfort every other week represents the only learning op the station offers on a regular basis.) But there's no LOCAL talk about LOCAL issues except for Norman de Vall's occasional shows. We think Paul Lambert, the news guy, does ok with the few minutes allotted to him, but overall KZYX is a typical Mendolib operation — tediously pious, terrified of offending local authority and mostly uninteresting. If you had a couple of smart people running the place we might have something, but that's unlikely to happen because of the way the thing is structured and, let's face it, there's always the obstacle to smart and lively management presented by the suffocating demographic one always finds clustered at public entities, especially in Mendocino County. (See KMUD out of Garberville and KQED and KALW in San Francisco on how to do public radio.)

WE ENJOYED a visit from Mendocino's Banjo Bob late Sunday afternoon, a lively wit of a guy and among this country's top banjo musicians, and a living reminder that for a small population of people, Mendocino County sure is home to a lot of talent.

BOTH THE BOYS and the girls basketball teams seem to be picking up league play steam, with Ed Slotte's boys racking up a big win over Covelo last week, 68-45 while Brian Wyant's girls also triumphed, 64-48. All four Boonville hoops teams are in action tonight (Wednesday) against Jim Young's Mendocino in the Boonville gym. An eyewitness fan says, “Yep, I made the trip to Covelo. Got snow on the way home but it wasn't sticking. It was so beautiful. Just like in the movies. Lol. JV Boys and Girls lost. Both varsity squads won. Mirla Gaxiola, Juana Manriquez and Grecia Hererra led the ladies. All scoring in double figures. I think Mirla hit three or four 3-pointers. Mia Gowan is ferocious on the boards and defense. Boys' Varsity were led by Scott Johnston and Abrahm Sanchez.”

THE 2013 Little League season is fast approaching and, Shauna Espinoza says, “We are already planning for a great year! Local sign-ups will be held January 22, 24 and 29 at the Elementary School from 5-630pm. All kids ages 4-12 are welcome to play. Please bring your child’s birth certificate and three proofs of residency. We are also looking for more coaches, umpires and team sponsors, so if you are interested, please give us a call. Contact Shauna @ 684-9126 with any questions.”

YES, IT WAS COLD Monday and Tuesday mornings, somewhere between .22 and .25 degrees depending on where you woke up, and it was still cold when I ordered up a hearty bowl of anti-freeze, a hearty cup of chicken-tortilla soup from Mosswood Market, and just the thing on a frigid morning.

THE SCHOOL BOARD met Monday, with the primary matters for consideration being a “contract review” for Superintendent J.R. Collins and “staff evaluations.”

GÜNTER RUSSLER expresses his gratitude to all those who attended his winter greenhouse affair last weekend at Nash Mill. Günter said he received “lots of good ideas” from attendees, and reminds us that his greenhouse is still for rent, with preference being given to a single person interested in greenhouse work.

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