Valley People

by AVA News Service, June 5, 2013

JESSICA CEJA is a student at Anderson Valley High School where the school's Junior Prom was held last Saturday night.  Jessica, a gregarious girl popular with her classmates, had previously bought a single ticket to the dance for $15, but when she arrived at the door of the gym where the Prom was held, Andrew Settlemire, a teacher at the school told Jessica she couldn't come in because she was not dressed "appropriately." It is true that some kids were togged out in tuxes and formal dresses, but it is also true that some weren't. Boonville is Boonville, not the Marin Town and Country Club. Jessica was dressed as she always dresses, in a baggy sweatshirt and trousers. Formal dress is expensive, and Jessica wears what she can afford. Barred by the resolute Settlemire, Jessica asked for her money back which, after some back and forth with Settlemire, was finally returned to Jessica by Superintendent JR Collins. It wasn't the money so much as it was the humiliation. To be turned away at the door of a Junior Prom isn't an easy rejection for a teenager, but that's what happened to Jessica.

THE BOONVILLE HOTEL is celebrating its 25th anniversary under the famously successful management of Johnny Schmitt. The beneficiary of many remodels and cosmetic enhancements under Schmitt and his predecessors, the stately 19th century landmark offers reasonably priced rooms with an absolutely first-class dining room.

FRANK JAMES, Jesse James’ brother, once stayed at the Boonville Hotel and, late on rainy winter nights the old place fairly sings the stories of what it has seen over its 150 years.

FRANK JAMES, incidentally, was in town visiting old friends from Missouri who'd settled in the Peachland area.

IN THAT DEPRESSING Philo case where Mom, 22, and Boyfriend, 21, were charged with felony child abuse, Mom has pled guilty. Samantha Delvalle’s 2-year-old son had been rushed to Ukiah Valley Medical Center by Ms. Delvalle’s mother where the baby was found to be dangerously ill from methamphetamine and a life-threatening amount of alcohol in his system. Ms. Delvalle will be sentenced June 28th where she could get anything from probation to four years in state prison.

THE ALLEGED BOYFRIEND, Raymond Mabery, has also been charged with child abuse, being under the influence and possessing drug paraphernalia. Mabery’s preliminary hearing was continued Wednesday. He’s due back in court June 20th for either disposition of his case or setting of a hearing. Mabery is represented by Justin Petersen of Ukiah. Mabery’s involvement in the grim episode has never been clear. He appears to simply have been present when deputies arrived to investigate the case.

AV YOUTH BASEBALL'S annual Home Run Derby / Tri-Tip BBQ will take place on Father's Day, Sunday June 16th at noon.  This is the only fundraiser we do in order to pay for all the kids to play baseball.  Everyone is welcome, there are some great prizes for our winners!  We hope to see everyone there!

ANDERSON VALLEY is this month's feature story in the industry-influential Wine Spectator, and local wine people inform me that Anderson Valley is presently the "hottest" appellation in all of Wine World. Same informants tell me of a local pinot vineyard for sale at $80,000 an acre. You're getting to be an old timer if you remember when you could have bought most of downtown Boonville for 80.

DAVE KOOYERS WRITES: "4 Bar K Ranch in Boonville is offering premium grass fed beef for sale. This is local grass-fed beef, raised in rural Anderson Valley, in Mendocino county, with no shots or hormones, just excellent, lean beef. We added the Murray Grey stock to our traditional Brangus cross, beef herd because of the Murray Grey’s ability to produce quality mild tasting grass fed beef. Murray Greys originated in Australia, they excel in finishing on a diet of grass only, making them very attractive to the emerging US market for grass-fed beef. Murray Grey grass-finished beef is a healthy heart alternative to fish and chicken meat. Plus, these Murray Grey cattle have an inherent ability to efficiently use pasture and to consistently finish Choice on grass. Our beef is slaughtered at a USDA facility, USDA inspected, then hung, cut and wrapped by a state inspected, professional butcher shop to our specifications. We sell live beef by the quarter, and the cost is between $3.25-$3.50 per pound of hanging weight, plus one-quarter of the cost of slaughtering, hanging, cutting and wrapping. This usually amounts to approximately $6-$7 per pound of packaged, premium, local, grass fed beef. The beef we are offering is smaller which reduces your cost to try some premium beef and will be available soon. If interested please contact Dave Kooyers at dkooyers@gmail.com (707) 895-2325."

UNSOLICITED PLUG for Kooyers' beef. My family bought a quarter of Dave's finest, and its simply wonderful. And oddly gratifying in another way, too — I can look out east from my office window and watch next year's t-bone grazing contentedly on the hillside.

THE GOOD NEWS. Dan Kuny is back as football coach at the high school, which is only right since Kuny also founded Pop Warner football for little guys, thus reviving the game in the Anderson Valley. He also creates an enthusiasm for both the game and healthy living, and such is that enthusiasm for next season that 44 kids have signed up to play for Coach Kuny at the high school level.

LUDWIG NURSERY, on Anderson Valley Way between Philo and Boonville, will soon be placing its bare root fruit tree order for the upcoming year. These fruit/nut/ornamental trees, vines and berries will be arriving next January. In order to improve ordering and better serve the needs of the community, the Ludwigs are offering those interested a chance to pre-order or state a preference ahead of time. This will help them to get what people want. If you are considering planting next bare root season and would like to communicate your preference to them, they'll move mountains to include these varieties in their order. Most varieties need to be ordered in multiples of five or more, so ordering of multiples would be helpful, but they will take into serious consideration what ever is requested and notify you (in advance if possible) if that will be coming. There is a large potential availability of tree and vine fruits, berries, nuts and some ornamentals such as lilacs. Call 895-9037, or stop by the nursery on Anderson Valley Way any day between the hours of 10-5. For best availability, get your order in before June 15th.

GRATIFYING to see Point Arena squeeze by visiting powerhouse Ferndale in a North Coast Section playoff game at Point Arena two Saturdays ago. Justin Sundstrom slid across home plate with the winning run for a dramatic 10th inning victory for PA, 4-3. Point Arena then played Tomales for the regional small school championship but fell to their Marin County hosts, 5-3. Point Arena is coached by Trevor Sanders.

I THINK THE DESIGN for the new Philo-Greenwood Bridge is perfect. While not exactly a replica of the old bridge we all loved and admired these many years it's the kind of improvement that will delight our descendants for many years to come. Bravo to Quincy Engineering!

RAN INTO an old gyppo logger the other day who had a few things to say about the Mendocino Redwood Company. MRC now owns what used to be L-P's vast Mendocino holdings. "G-P was a lot harder on the land than L-P," the logger commented, "and MRC's Habitat Conservation Plan they just got for 80 years is way too long.  But there's not enough inventory information in an HCP to seriously review so they can cut at whatever rate they want, and they will to get their money back from their investment."

MENDOCINO REDWOOD is owned by the Fisher family of San Francisco where various of them are often found on the society pages. The Fishers also own The Gap clothing chain.

"PEOPLE are being bamboozled by MRC’s public relations. MRC is very good at PR, with lots of nice words about sustainability and habitat, but on individual THPs, they’re cutting more percentagewise than L-P did, which was under stricter CDF review back then," he said. "MRC controls the mills and thereby the price they pay and thereby the timber yield tax which has not increased much because the tax is based on the (lower) price at the mill. Also, MRC pays on net; whereas L-P paid on ‘adjusted gross,’ which means more trees are cut but fewer are counted as millable after deducting for flaws, fire damage and breakage. There’s less forestland available to cut now because of set-asides, setbacks and formerly blitzed areas. But on the areas they do cut, they’re hitting them very hard. Certification is a joke. The Fisher family has connections with the certification outfits from their National Resources Defense Council days.” (As Will Parrish has also pointed out.)

THE LOGGER added, “CDF is understaffed and is doing fairly light review both before and after Mendocino Redwood's THPs (timber harvest plans) because they believe the hype and they are focusing more on smaller landowner THPs. MRC (and their sister company HRC in Humboldt County) controls most of the major milling capacity on the north coast and they can set their own prices and acceptability standards."

MRC OWNS 229,000 Mendo acres. And they certainly are good at public relations. The company invites interested persons onto any area of their holdings for a first-hand look. L-P's policy was, "Die, hippie, die!" Our overall impression is that MRC is backing up their pr with sound practices on the ground, but an operation as large as MRC is bound to be under-regulated, and government agencies, greatly reduced anymore, are much more likely to back off the big guys while holding the little guys to strict account.

THE FIRST WEATHER forecast that pops up on Google says it will be 113 in Boonville this Saturday. 113? Doubt it, but what with That would have to be a local record if it happens.

LATELY, even our first class mail is taking three days to get from Boonville to Frisco. Most weeks, the AVAs dispatched Wednesdays in Boonville get to San Francisco the following Monday or Tuesday. The rest of the country? Like, whenever dude, maybe a week, maybe a month. No, I don't think we're being singled out for deficient service. It's both a sign of the times — mass, relentless incompetence at all levels of American life — and the deliberate strangulation of government services by elected loons who don't think the government should do anything for anybody, including mail delivery.

I'LL BE GONE to Scotland for two weeks for a family reunion, stomping huge carbon footprints across the Atlantic. If I can find a translator, I'll be filing from the olde country. The Major is in charge of Boonville while I'm gone, Bruce McEwen the rest of the county.

THAT was a 68-year-old man who dumped his motorcycle in central Philo on Sunday. Couldn't brake hard and fast enough to avoid a car turning in to Scharffenberger Winery, missed the rear end of that vehicle, but the old guy's bike went one way he the other, face down in the pavement. Injuries severe enough to get him hauled outtahere to Ukiah for treatment. The injured man's wife was following him on her motorcycle but was able to avoid any and all mishap.

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