Valley People

by AVA News Service, January 22, 2013

JIM LEVINE has died at age 73. The highly regarded South Coast resident was well-known in Mendocino County (and the Anderson Valley) for his years of work with various County non-profits. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 2nd in Point Arena. Unlike many of his colleagues affiliated with Mendocino County's non-profit-government-school complex, Jim was a genuinely good person, bringing an altruism that never left him to helping groups otherwise notorious for their focus on the money for themselves but inattentive to the persons they're allegedly helping. He was also a book guy, which also set him apart from the non-profit-government-school complex, even going so far as to open his own book store in Point Arena, which prospered until books went extinct in 2000. Sorry to see this guy go. He was a good one.

NOTHING GOOD comes in over the scanner after midnight, and sure enough, early Tuesday morning, about 2:30, we heard that Richard Bloyd, 72, of Navarro, was carried over the hill with a possible stroke. Mr. Bloyd remains in intensive care at the Ukiah Valley Medical Center.

THE GOOD NEWS. The Valley's many parishioners of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church have raised enough money to begin taking bids for construction of their new church off Anderson Valley Way, Boonville.

FROM HEIDI DUNHAM of the County's CEO office: Funding the Boonville Fair. Introduction: “Before the Board today [Tuesday, January 22] is a request to approve the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show 2013 Budget. The Operating Budget is submitted annually to the Board for review and approval. Background: Each year, through calendar year 2011, the Fair received an allocation from the State Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Fairs and Expositions. This funding is used to supplement revenue generated each year by the Fair to cover all operating expenses. The allocation amounts were often more than needed and the Fair was able to build a reserve over the years which they estimate will be $1,530,595 after all 2012 revenue and expenses are included. The 2013 Fair budget is the first that will significantly reduce the reserve. The estimated cost above revenue generated at the Fair in 2013 is $200,300. Should the Fair continue to utilize the reserve at that rate, it would be depleted in six years. The Fair Director, James Brown, is well aware of the situation. A plan is in place to increase Fair revenues. This plan includes grant writing and development of a marketing plan. The intent of the marketing plan will be to increase use of the grounds, and acquire donations and sponsorships. Marketing activity has already begun in the Anderson Valley area and will be expanded in 2013. In the event marketing activities and fair income fail to bring in the necessary revenue to break even in 2014, actions may include salary reductions and/or layoffs. Summary: Although the Fair is operating at a deficit, there is a plan in place to generate additional revenue. Executive Office staff will continue to monitor the budget and communicate with the Fair Director. An update will be provided to the Board with the agenda item for the 2014 Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show Operating Budget.”

NOTE: The Fair Budget attached to the agenda item shows a loss of $179k from State funding (which was down from $199k two years earlier) bringing operating revenue down to about $356k for Calendar Year 2013. Operating expenses are expected to be about $503k. The difference is budgeted to be made up by a reduction of about $200k from reserves from about $1.53 million down to about $1.33 million.

DOPE GOSSIP. A local ag entrepreneur tells me the going rate for bare land on which to grow devil weed is $300 per plant. The way it works, and has always worked, you let the grower grow on your place but if he gets busted he's a trespasser. “Never seen him before, officer.”

CLOUDING UP TODAY, (Tuesday), but if you can see the sky tonight you'll see that the brightest objects up there are the moon and Jupiter. They won't be this close again until 2026.

RIC & ALICE BONNER are looking for a good home for a female boxer mix dog whose owners relocated overseas. Easy going and sweet, this dog gets along with all people and animals. She’s ten years old and very healthy. Call Alice or Ric at 895-2545.

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN: “Rocket to stardom in the Anderson Valley Variety Show. Ladies and Gentlemen and the rest of us: Start your engines, put on your thinking caps, and polish up those tap dancing shoes. The 22nd annual AV Variety Show needs YOU — or your skills, or your animal or child — on March 8th and 9th. We are accepting acts now. Are you ready for your four minutes of fame? You can be part of a sterling cast of … many. Act now, places are filling fast. We are awaiting your call: Bill Meyer, 895 2318; and Captain Rainbow 895 3807.”

NOTED, LAST WEEK, the very first bloom on a flowering quince, which seems early to me but someone out there probably knows for sure.

LEARN THE RECIPE for play! Mendocino Baby, in Ukiah, will host two unique Mendo Free Skool classes. On February 12th learn some fun recipes and potions for play with young children. Then on February 19th learn to turn activities like sorting socks into learning math and shopping for food into pre-reading experiences. In the Mendocino Baby classroom starting at 4pm. Contact Kristi from Blissful Teacher at 707-360-7334. Or visit

AN ENTYMOLOGIST might confirm that freezing weather drives ants out woodwork into the warm. Never had seen an ant here in our luxury suite atop the Farrer Building overlooking downtown Boonville until the frigid nights descended on us two weeks ago, and here came an advance guard, a recon patrol of the intriguing little critters. I leave them unmolested. Even whole divisions of ants marching six abreast leave after they've found what they came for.

A SENSE OF PLACE, an exhibit of paintings by local artists, kicks off Saturday, January 26th with a reception at Scharffenberger Cellars Tasting Room, 5:30-7:30. The flier sent to us by Scharff's Sharon Sullivan is illustrated by a wonderful painting of a rural road that is so good I plan to hustle down to Philo myself for a close-up look at it. Ms. Sullivan said she'd get back to me with the name of the artist, but I hadn't heard from her by press time this week.

I WASN'T soliciting gifts for my granddaughter when I ran her photo in a recent edition of the paper, but her parents want donors to know that they are both grateful and touched at your interest. Myself, I think babies are indistinguishable, their squat features as alike as infant possums until they're three or four months old. If my granddaughter was placed among other children a couple of months old I would be unable to pick her out of the line-up, which is why, I guess, hospital maternity wards constantly check to see that they have the right kid with the right parents. I ran the picture because I want to remind locals that we're always interested in photos and updates on how your kids are doing, even if they're doing 3-5 for felony mopery.

BY 11:40am last Sunday the streets of San Francisco were emptying as everyone hurried home, or into the 540 Club, to watch the Niners squeak out a riveting, down-to-the-last-seconds victory over Atlanta. Saturday, thousands of premature diabetics were wandering around the city in Niner jerseys. Sunday noon everyone disappeared. The whole town was inside watching the 49ers. Seal Team Six and Joe Buck couldn't have kept me away from this one, even though outside it was sunny and a balmy 66 degrees.

THE NINERS got every break except on a disputed catch, and after the ruling on that one Coach Harbaugh, the only coach I've ever seen who has foamed at the mouth in frustration, threw an absolutely hilarious sidelines tantrum, which has since become a YouTube sensation. Harbaugh might actually be certifiable, but the guy can coach. Kaep, even though Atlanta took away the run from him but not from Frank Gore and LaMichael James, was brilliant by air, and the Niners are on their way to the Super Bowl, the Giants are world champs and even the Warriors are showing signs of life. Life has never been better for Bay Area sports fans. The funniest pre-game comment I saw was from a Niner fan who speculated that Atlanta had dispatched the woman who told the police the Niners great wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, had assaulted her in a downtown hotel after the previous Saturday's big victory over the Packers. But apparently there's a witness to Crabtree's alleged crime — not Pablo Sandoval, who beat an assault charge last baseball season — who said the woman is lying.

JAMIE HOLLAND, formerly Jamie Trubia, Anderson Valley High School Grad and former AVA Intern (who now is married and has two kids and lives in Maryland) has just published her first novel, “An Affair of Vengeance” under her pen name “Jamie Michelle.” Mrs. Holland describes her book as, “Undercover agent Evangeline Quill knows the dangers of getting personally involved in her cases. But this one is unavoidable: someone murdered her parents, and she’s sure she knows the killer. To hunt him down, she’ll need evidence…and someone to lead her straight into the murderer’s lair. Enter handsome and elusive Oliver McCrea, a man with ties to the criminal world. Although McCrea wears a tough outer shell, Evangeline senses something vulnerable beneath his wounded, golden gaze. He’s the one man she shouldn’t want, but she’s never been big on resisting danger. McCrea knows he should turn Evangeline away, but there’s something about her that calls to the man he used to be before the underworld disintegrated his humanity. Evangeline is determined to draw out a killer, and McCrea’s going to stay right by her side to keep her safe. But will their passion lead to love…or death?” (Available only on Amazon Kindle.)

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