Valley People

by AVA News Service, October 2, 2013

CORRECTION: IN LAST WEDNESDAY'S print edition of the AVA, we incorrectly reported that Michelle Hanes, of the Hanes Ranch, Boonville, had died of a heart attack. Ms. Hanes mother died of a heart attack, not Michelle.

JOY ANDREWS, manager of our Community Services District, informs us that the position of Fire Chief for the Anderson Valley Fire Department has been filled. Andres Avila of Yorkville has begun training and will officially take over the position on November 1st. Please join the community in a farewell retirement party for Chief Colin Wilson this Sunday, October 6th, at the Fairgrounds at 4pm. The Lion’s Club is hosting with a tri-tip BBQ and fundraiser for The Department. Tickets can be purchased at Lemon’s Market, The AV Market, and All That Good Stuff. Joy assures us that "it’s sure to be one of the season’s best events."

WE THINK MR. AVILA is a wise choice to succeed Chief Wilson, a man long synonymous with Anderson Valley's emergency services, and a hard man to replace. Avila has long impressed locals with his calm efficiency at fires and accident scenes. For purely selfish reasons, we'll miss Colin at the Chief's desk because, whenever we heard a siren, whenever our scanner crackled with fragments of an emergency, he unfailingly filled in the details so we could relay them to the entire community. Although The Chief is retiring we expect he'll be on duty for years to come.

BURN BAN LIFTED. As of Tuesday noon October 1st burn permits are available at the Boonville Fire Department office. Chris Rowney of CalFire says although we've had a little rain fire season has not officially been declared over.

ALL MONTH at Goodness Grows Nursery (formerly Ludwigs and Tin Man) the pleasant and knowledgeable new owner, Sarah Larkin, will offer 10% off on any food producing plants, fruit/nut trees, berries, culinary herbs.

SPEAKING of ace gardeners, Lucille Estes, Boonville's senior authority on growing things, confirms what we've all been saying around The Valley, "My tomatoes are very late; melons, too."

THE KNIFE SHARPENER will be available to sharpen your edges at this Saturday's Saturday Market. Be there or remain dull.

WE'RE INFORMALLY polling locals on how ObamaCare is likely to affect them. This respondent answered: "Currently, all the Affordable Care Act will do for me is make sure that a hospital or MD will be paid (at least something) if I am forced to use their services. It will cost me about $100 a month to insure that I will not be a medical care freeloader. (I qualify for the tax subsidy and one of my employers gives me $80 per month to spend on any health care item I want.) Even though I have hit 60, the chance of me needing any costly medical care is very small for the next 5 to 10 years. I have been blessed with very good health my entire life and have never needed much care beyond rare occasions for prescriptions for antibiotics. If I do need an antibiotic, I go to Consolidated Tribal Health Center in Calpella because I adore the ever-changing young Indian Health Service doctors who work there (and other Indian health clinics) to pay for medical school costs. It costs me about $60 to see an MD for an hour and about $100 to $150 for an antibiotic or whatever prescription at a pharmacy. I also pay $30 for an annual flu shot so I do not infect my hospice clients. My 23 year-old- son has inherited my healthy genes and is likely to also not need medical services (beyond an antibiotic) for many years. In addition to the $1200 per year for the ACA health insurance, we both would need to pay about $2500 out-of-pocket deductible to a doctor or hospital in any given year before the ACA insurance will cover any care we might need. Even though I smoked for 40 years, the chances of me getting lung cancer are about 15% now that I have quit. So odds are that my $1200 a year will subsidize the insurance company covering those who do need immediate high cost care such as my friends who have been denied coverage (or pay an outrageous $500 to $700 p/month) due to their pre-existing HIV positive, re-occurring breast cancer, or diabetes conditions. (These friends are ecstatic about the ACA and will be purchasing $100 to $200 per month coverage today – Oct 1) Should I be diagnosed with a catastrophic disease (cancer, etc.), I would qualify for Social Security Disability which includes free-to- me Medicaid health insurance (MediCal or Medicare depending on my age. Both provide excellent health care coverage.) The medical care I desperately need – dentistry ($10k) and vision ($1k) – is not covered by the ACA and the funds I have to put toward these high-ticket-for-me items would go to paying the ACA insurance. So I am not - purchasing that is. I am not thrilled with the Affordable Care Act. I am taking a wait-and-see stance the first year and will be paying the $95 fine on my 2014 1040 for not purchasing the insurance. I do need to get a couple of teeth pulled and saving for and procuring this care is my priority. I really have no other financial choice, I just barely get by and if the car needs new tires or malfunctions my dentistry will wait another year. I cross my fingers that my teeth do not get infected and I end up in the ER for care that I cannot pay for. But what-the-hell, my credit will then be ruined like many others. Oh, well. Bottom line, I find the Affordable Care Act is currently about simply redistributing some not sick poor people’s money to sick poor people via an insurance company so that the “medical industry” can make more money. But maybe it’s a foot in the door for moving forward to socialized medicine (e.g., expanded MediCare coverage for all)?"

OUR VIEW is nicely summed up by the inimitable Jim Kunstler: "The merits of the case for or against Obamacare are almost impossible for even well-informed and educated citizens to parse. You start with a law roughly 2,000 pages long, cobbled together largely by lobbyists for the insurance and medical industries, both of them hideous rackets, and move to a labyrinth of 50 different state’s systems for administering the darn thing, and then consider the supposed beneficiaries, namely young people so burdened by college loans in an economy that only offers minimum wage scut-jobs that, from one day to the next, they probably don’t know whether to shit or go blind. They don’t even have the scratch to pay the opt-out tax, let alone purchase an insurance policy."

GREG KROUSE reminds us that the Grange is sponsoring the Cops & Robber Ball on Saturday, October 26th from 7-11:30 at the Grange, $15 for costumed guest, $18 for uncostumed. It's a benefit for a new pulmonary evaluation device for the AV Health Clinic, and the Lion's Club will run the speakeasy bar.

WHAT WITH THE Ball and other distractions, the Grange's organic Pancake Breakfast will be cancelled this month. "We’ll be back in force in November."

OCTOBER IS STATE GRANGE Convention month. This week 187 California granges are meeting in Sebastopol to share their bounty, catch up, and talk about concerns they have in their organization, state and country.

"INCIDENTALLY," Greg continues, "the National vs. State President issue continues." It seems that the National's pressure to redirect some dues directly to them has disrupted the State Convention and created trouble in an organization noted for fraternal harmony. "Our State President says the resolution is sadly left to the State courts...."

CINDY WILDER BUZZES: "Our AV Bee Club meeting didn't materialize - too much going on. So, we are planning to meet Friday October 11 at 2:00 pm at the hive of Cindy Wilder, 13461 Airport Rd Boonville, just past the Health Center on the left. We are going to open up the hive, so bring your gear and any extra for those who don't have any."

ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE CHIEF Colin Wilson writes: "The incident you're requesting information on was pretty interesting. A truck operated by Pine Valley Power based in Utah, who contracts to PG&E, was working on a project to replace poles on the Old Chatham Ranch on Haehl’s Grade about seven miles east of Yorkville. The truck was traversing an area that was still muddy from the rain on Saturday and slid off the hill, rolled five times and came to rest in a dry creek bed about 200 feet from the nearest road. The driver was transported to Healdsburg hospital where he was treated and released. Amazingly he returned to the incident to provide whatever assistance he could, still dressed in scrubs he’d borrowed from the hospital because his clothes had all been cut off during his assessment. The truck was leaking hydraulic oil, which was a concern due to the truck’s location in a creek bed. CalFire and AVFD crews siphoned the remaining oil into buckets, which mitigated the spill aspect of the incident. It was a miracle that the driver was not seriously injured or killed."

"ON MONDAY EVENING," the Chief continues, "one of our units, driven by Don Gowan from our Philo station, was returning from another call and stopped to investigate a car parked along the highway west of Philo. He found an adult male in the vicinity of the vehicle who initially stated he was fine and didn’t need assistance. Upon further questioning it became apparent the gentleman was less than fully oriented, so the ambulance was requested for a patient evaluation. The crew at scene felt that this was probably not a medical incident and was able to contact the man’s home and spoke to his wife who was very glad to hear from them. Apparently the man was normally under his wife’s supervision and had not been allowed to drive for some time. He had gotten out of bed earlier than usual for an unknown reason decided to go for a drive. His wife discovered him missing and the car gone shortly after he’d left and she contacted the local 911 system who’d issued a “Silver Alert” describing the man and the vehicle. Somehow he was able to leave the area (Napa) without being seen and just drove until he’d run out of gas here. He’d apparently been here for something over 12 hours and fortunately remained in the immediate vicinity of the car, which was what first drew Don’s attention."

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY RCD and Natural Resource Conservation Service are offering the second workshop in a series on Staying Current in the Navarro watershed. This workshop will be geared for Forest Landowners. Workshop topics include: Navarro Watershed Forests, Past and Present- Greg Giusti, Forestry Advisor, UCCE Mendocino/Lake Counties; Fuel Reduction Strategies to Reduce Wildfire Hazard and Build Healthy Forests- Tom Schott, NRCS Forester; Oak Woodlands; Restoring a Shrinking Resource- Mathew Cocking, NRCS Forester; Conservation Resources for Landowners — CalFire, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Mendocino County Fire Safe Council; Afternoon field trip to the Maillard Ranch and Gester Property — participants will see shaded fuel breaks, defensible space and homeowner fire protection projects. “We will carpool to sites approximately 15 miles from the Grange Hall.” Registration is $15 and includes coffee, pastries and a sandwich lunch. Questions? Contact Linda Macelwee, MCRCD lsmacelwee@hotmail.com, 707-895-3230.

A STONER DUDE tells us that the Hopland dope store, Collective Conscience (sic) Apothecary, is selling marijuana for $55 an eighth of an ounce, which works out to $9,500 a pound. "That's more than they charge in Hollywood! And they're selling last year's outdoor grow!" he exclaimed. Local growers say there's a major glut, that desperate sellers will sell a pound for $500. Er, then how does Hopland stay in business at $9,500?

SUNDAY'S FINAL GIANTS game was an absolute jewel, even if the season has been a disaster. Four runs down in the 6th, our heroes came all the back in the ninth to defeat San Diego 7-6 on the great Hunter Pence's base hit after Francisco Peguero tied the game with his first big-league homer. Barry Zito threw his last pitch, striking out Mark Kotsay, who is also retiring, and Zito walked triumphantly off to a huge standing ovation. And there was Bryan Stow, still impaired by a thug beat down in LA three years ago, up on the big video board, waving and saying, "Thank you" to the Giants and the crowd. A great day in Frisco.

DOUG MCKENTY has been fired by KZYX. An affable young family man who lives in Elk, McKenty was offed ostensibly because someone dropped the F-bomb during McKenty's twice-a-month Open Lines program, the only two hour-long opportunities listeners have each month to say whatever's on their minds. The true reason McKenty, a former station board member, was fired seems to be his affiliation with station dissidents who are launching “KZYX Members For Change,” the title a reference to the many station members unhappy with the station's crude management, specifically station manager John Coate and long-time station staffer, Mary Aigner. Many more Mendo people have simply given up on KZYX, dropping their memberships and only occasionally tuning in. A statistic station management, supported by an uninformed, apparently disinterested board of directors, seems oblivious of, is this one: More than 400 Mendocino County residents belong to KMUD out of Garberville in Southern Humboldt County while about 20 Humboldt County residents are members of KZYX.

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