Valley People

by AVA News Service, June 20, 2013

NO DETAILS as we went to press Tuesday, but a female pedestrian was struck by a car in downtown Boonville about 10am. She was taken by ambulance to Ukiah.

SAVE THE DATE! The Hendy Woods Community invites everyone to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Hendy Woods State Park. On Sunday July 21, 2013, Day Use entrance will be free beginning at 12:30. Plan to bring the family and enjoy your park. More information coming soon.

IF YOU'VE SEEN RUDY, a three-and-a-half-year-old grey and white male pit bull wearing a purple collar, please call 707 357-2768. Rudy is quite friendly and responds to his name. He was last seen in Comptche on Saturday, June 8th.

TWO SUSPECTS, as yet unnamed, are believed responsible for the thorough burglary two weeks ago of a home on Gschwend Road, Navarro. Among the items taken were two computers, a TV, furniture, a small amount of cash, and jewelry. The intruders entered the home through a back window left ajar. Burglaries are rare anymore in the Anderson Valley, and the young men who committed this one are likely to be caught soon.

THE AUTOPSY and final police report on the suicide of Raul Malfavon are not complete. But it is known, that contrary to a rumor prevalent in the Mexican community, the young man was not murdered. He apparently hanged himself over an allegation that he'd molested the child of a close relative.

RICHARD BLOYD of Navarro was due home Friday. The retired logger, a native of Anderson Valley, is still not fully recovered from a long series of operations and hospital stays in the Bay Area. During Bloyd's absence drug people looted his house and stole money from him via forged checks and credit cards. Elle Marteeny is charged with orchestrating the looting. She remains in the County Jail awaiting trial.

CYNDEE HOLLINGER of Boonville forwards the latest news of her talented daughter, Cassidy. A year ago, Cassidy, AVHS class of 2009, and Vassar 2013, had no intention of going to graduate school. But in the summer of 2012, having been selected as a Ford Scholar and student research assistant to a professor’s project. A visit to an academic conference in Columbus, Ohio changed her mind about graduate school. “After attending the conference, I was inspired to keep researching and studying, and I kind of fell into the perfect grad school program for me,” she wrote. Cassidy applied and was recently accepted into a MA program in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of Arts at NYU. By continuing her education, Cassidy's justly proud Mom says, provides the young scholar with a clear post-grad direction in a time many 20-somethings struggle in a depleted job market. “I don’t know what I would have done with a gap year or years and there was something comforting about the idea of a long five year Ph.D. program. At the very least it would mean I knew where I would be living,” Cassidy wrote.

THREE BOONVILLE MEN are coaching football at Ukiah High School. Logo Teveseu; John Toohey; and a new name to us, Ron Capazuto, Tom Brady's high school coach at Serra High School back in the day. Ukiah seems to have an almost a one-on-one coaches to players ratio. When I was a 160 pound lineman and emergency quarterback back in another lifetime, we had one coach. He seldom spoke to me except to tell me to shut up. As I recall we had maybe six plays, one of which was an emergency, last ditch job where I, a baseball pitcher over-hyped as strong-armed, threw the ball as far as I could downfield in the general direction of a sprinter named Fred Thomas. Fred could cover a hundred yards in 10.5 with all that heavy 50's era equipment on. We only tried it once but Freddy outran my longball pass. Our quarterback, Dave George, went on to play at Cal, and one of our linemen, Willie Hector, was all-everything at UOP and played a few seasons with the Rams. We knew nothing about training, less about weights. The coach was a math teacher named Miller. He'd have us run around the track a couple of times then do push-ups. Practices were like torture, the games exciting, although we never had a winning season in my high school years. Vallejo was the league powerhouse. Anymore, it's a professionalized enterprise at the high school level, with armies of coaches, headphones and all the rest of NFL-ness of it. Anthropologists a thousand years from now will never puzzle it all out.

FISH ROCK ROAD will be getting some long-overdue “sediment reduction” treatment (presumably gravel and rock) in “multiple locations” later this year and into next year as part of the slow-moving “TMDL” (Total Maximum Daily Load) program for the Garcia River which mandates various kinds of attempts at reducing the amount of sediment in that fish-bearing river. 75% of the money will come from a state grant and 25% from the County road fund. Specific costs, schedules and locations will be announced after the contract is awarded.

REVEREND DAVE KOOYERS alerts us to an intriguing presentation called “Dinosaurs and Fossils: Amazing Evidence for Creation!” The lecture will be held this Sunday, June 30th, at 6pm at the Valley Bible Fellowship, 14251 Highway 128 in Boonville. The speaker will be Scott Gillis from Creation Ministries International. For more information contact Reverend Kooyers at 895-3212 or e-mail him at dkooyers@gmail.com

NATURE WATCH, MIKE KALANTARIAN WRITES: “Wednesday morning, rolling along Highway 128 just east of Navarro, I was startled by the vision of a large white deer descending off the roadway. I pulled over to get a better look. (I'd seen the fabled White Deer of Bell Valley, but compared to this apparition you'd want to rename them off-white or kinda grey.) The doe was vivid albino white and leisurely heading south, through the brush, with two little fawns in tow. The spotted fawns had all their regular brownish stripes and light spots, and weightlessly sprang away when they heard me approaching. Their mom, glowing in the morning light, calmly looked up from her grazing, and I marveled at her ability to, thus far, elude all predators.”

REGARDING last week’s item about mega-tycoon Jeffrey Skoll’s Philo property known as Shenoa where Skoll is pumping directly from the Navarro during record low flows, a knowledgeable local writes that Skoll’s pumping is probably legal: “The Shenoa property has had permitted riparian water rights to Rancheria Creek since July 19, 1956. The permit — though hard to find — can be seen on the internet. Water from the river was used for pasture irrigation from the late 1950s through at least the late 1980s. This permitted use predates every current vineyard on the floor of Anderson Valley and certainly predates the wholesale granting of riparian rights in the 1990s to some 50 or 60 vineyards (or, in some cases, individuals) that were pumping water illegally from the Navarro River watershed before they were caught. Although there has been a long hiatus between the previous use of the riparian right and the current use, it is permitted use. In short, Shenoa and Jeff Skoll have done nothing wrong here. I think acknowledging such would be a nice gesture.”

NEVER OPPOSED to nice gestures in theory, but just because a draw on the river is legal doesn't justify doing it, especially during a drought for frivolus purposes, which seems to be the case here. Shenoa is apparently occupied full-time by one person, and where all the water Shenoa is taking is going isn't known. Maybe this lady takes a lot of showers, but whatever the reason this year isn't a good time to be sucking up river water from already half-dead streams. The Shenoa pump at the confluence of Anderson Creek and the Navarro was going full blast Tuesday morning. Natch, the entire area is defiled by No Trespassing signs where malicious trespassers or even ordinary litter-slobs are virtually unknown.

THE ADVANCE RASTA UNITS presaging the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival were already drifting into Boonville last weekend. Co-billed as the “Summer Solstice & End Under the Super Full Moon,” this year's event is the 20th annual Festival at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville. With 2 stages, along with a “Jamaican-style” Late-Night Dancehall, Rasta-Fest, its capable organizers assure us, “is a great way to kick off your summer. Our festival is very 'family-friendly' with an extensive array of children's activities, including arts and crafts, bounce houses, dance & music workshops, a festival parade and family and alter-able camping. With its beautiful streaming colors and exotic aromas, the international festival village is an attractive marketplace of food and craft booths. The vendors are hand picked to provide an exciting selection of international cuisine and arts. The 2013 Festival Village will be offering foods, crafts and art from Indonesia, West Africa, Jamaica, Ethiopia and India.”

QUITE A MIDNIGHT drama Sunday, begun when a man later identified as Kurk (sic) Poehlmann, 52, called from the Philo gas station to say he'd badly injured himself in a solo car accident, the site of which was a good three miles from the phone booth. The vehicle, a 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser, was so completely destroyed the CHP marveled that the man driving it had not only survived but had hiked three miles to report his injuries. Ukiah Ambulance eventually appeared to lift Iron Man over the hill for hospital treatment where he remained Tuesday, likely to be arrested and charged with driving under the influence when he's released.

FAR AWAY in the auld country during the production of last week's paper, I returned to read in the publication I edit that Michelle Hutchins of Hayford, Trinity County, had been hired as principal at Boonville High School. Ms. Hutchins has been working as principal at Hayfork, not Hayford. There isn't a Hayford in Trinity County. We wish Ms. Hutchins well in her new assignment, and stand ready to contribute to a kevlar vest for her, which she should wear backwards to protect her when the Smiley Faces run up from behind with their tiny kill knives. She won't have any problem with students, a fine selection of well-behaved girls and boys; it's the faculty she'll have to watch out for, especially if she tries to evaluate and supervise them, which they haven't been for years, hence their deep mourning for the purged and departed.

EASY MONEY? Big Orange has plans to install an unsightly guardrail on Highway One where One meets Highway 128. Residents of the area are rightly unhappy with the aesthetics of the new railing. They complain that “easy money” projects of this type are changing the landscape of Mendocino County. During the first “easing” in the Elk area, Caltrans tore out perfectly functional culverts and replaced them with new ones. Caltrans has also extended guard rails that block views to protect drivers from plunging into areas where no driver has ever gone. CalTrans is making these decisions without any input from Mendocino Council of Governments (the local transportation planning organization) and most of the alleged safety enhancements are a total waste of tax money.

JIM MARTIN, manager of the widely supported Navarro By The Sea Rehabilitation Project at the Mouth of the Navarro River, has written a letter to the California Coastal Commission objecting to Caltrans’ plans to install the guardrail and widen the intersection of Highway 128 and Highway 1, the coastal highway. Martin writes: “…This is the first point inland visitors experience the open stretch of the Navarro River and have views to Navarro Beach and the ocean, before they even begin to climb the Navarro Grade. And a guardrail along this entire stretch would unnecessarily greatly compromise that aesthetic experience. And widening the road towards the river as proposed would provide no safe options for pedestrians along the straight segment of Highway 1 where a guard ail is now proposed. The same guard rail system that will compromise views of the Navarro River Estuary, Navarro Beach, and Ocean…” And so on with a series of rational objections to Caltrans proposed “improvements.”

ALL MARTIN HAS RECEIVED BACK so far from a Ms. Gedik at the Coastal Commission is a link to some Caltrans technical files.

JUST IN. The mystery of the Willits Coca Cola bottle has been solved. Boonville guy Jim Gibson tells us that he remembers visiting a relative in Willits way back in 1949-50 where he recalls the Willits Soda Works standing prominently on a corner of Main Street. Jim also recalls “a huge pile of sawdust behind the place like they used to use to keep bottled drinks cool.” Jim says he has a beautiful old seltzer bottle with the little faucet dispenser on the top inscribed “Willits Soda Works.”

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