Valley People

by AVA News Service, November 6, 2013

DISASTERS large and small, Tuesday, the largest being a vegetation fire on Guntley Road, Navarro, which would place the blaze on the Holmes Ranch. First reports reached us at 1:30pm. “Send everything you have,” an urgent voice begged on the scanner as a low-flying CalFire helicopter sped over Boonville headed northwest in the direction of the fire. A few minutes earlier, at about 1:15pm, a structure-house fire near milemarker 43, Yorkville, was reported. At 3:30am a mile west of Dimmick (outside the AV response area, but…), a single vehicle accident was called in to the CHP, and at 8am Tuesday morning “a collision” on Airport Road, Boonville. We'll have full reports next week, being right up against our deadline for this week.

ON MONDAY afternoon of 28 October, Lucio J. Escobedo-Barrera, 44, of Philo, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of marijuana for sale and for being armed with a handgun. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail by the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force on bail of $65,000. Maria O. Fernandez-Delgado, 43, of the same Indian Creek Road address in Philo, was arrested on identical charges. Her bail was also set at $65,000.

ESCOBEDO-BARRERA and Fernandez-Delgado possessed a pound of this most destructive drug, a plague and a curse on the land, and seem to have been Anderson Valley's primary suppliers. Unfortunately, someone else will soon own the local dealership.

A READER WRITES: “You wrote about Johnny Schmitt's need to market sweet red chili peppers. There may be a monumentally wonderful solution. I recently read a piece in the London Independent about two ways to promote brown fat, and therefore lose weight. Way number one is to be exposed to bouts of very cold temperatures. The alternative way, infinitely more fun for me, is to eat sweet red chili peppers. Preferably lots of 'em. If Mr. Schmitt can really get these things to market, he might do very well. I know I'll buy kilograms. Some asides, do I understand he's the Prop. of the New Boont Hotel? And, gee, he hasn't departed in the middle of the night with the wine cellar in tow and the employees unpaid. What a coup. And he's growing the pepper on the old Falling Star property? You know, you turned me on to Stella Cadente years and years ago, and I regularly bought their oils (and had them shipped down here) until the founders retired…”

ON A FACEBOOK page called, “You Know You're In Boonville…” Patty Walker wonders if her painting of Octopus Mountain is any good. It sure as heck is, Patty, and I hope you'll display it some place where we can all enjoy it.

FIRST DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN Spike Huffman concluded Dan Rather’s recent show on AXS TV about outlaw marijuana grows on the Northcoast with this statement, the most sensible he's made: “How do you feel about people getting all that marijuana that's everywhere you turn in this country and has been for years — from an underground economy that includes violent criminal elements, that has no public health controls, no environmental controls, no taxation or regulation of any kind. Can you really justify that status quo? Because that's a choice. It's not between some idealized scenario where marijuana just goes away. It's a choice between a highly dysfunctional policy with all sorts of negative consequences and maybe a more enlightened policy, where we have to accept some tough tradeoffs, but we will find a way to regulate and manage marijuana, as we did with alcohol, when we learn that prohibition lesson.”

DEPENDING on this weekend's showdown game between Mendocino and Point Arena, Panther Football 2013 has probably concluded with a huge varsity victory over Laytonville last Friday night at One Goal Stadium here in Boonville. Conceivably, the Panthers could get a playoff shot if PA knocks off Mendo, which is unlikely.

WE'D LIKE TO SEE a small school all-star team that could advance to the Division 5 championships, but given the prevailing administrative inertia at Mendo County's schools, it's unlikely. Anything that involves even the smallest innovation and the fatheads burst into tears and cry out all the reasons it can't be done. But the best players from Boonville, Mendo, Laytonville, Covelo, and Point Arena would make one formidable squad that could play up a division without fear of embarrassment.

OUR JV'S lost Friday night to a suspiciously aged Covelo JV team, 38-16, but the Varsity team pounded Laytonville 62-16, placing us third in league play behind this year's big two, Point Arena and Mendocino. Three seniors were honored at Friday night's game — Andrew Espinoza and Jesus “Chuche” Hernandez from the football team, and Danielle Andersen, captain of the cheerleading squad.

COACH DAN KUNY has done his usual excellent job with a group of mostly very young, inexperienced players, inspiring several of them to get in the best overall condition of their young lives. Football is a major net-plus for Anderson Valley High School.

KIRK WILDER, Boonville Airport Manager, clarifies: “Those helicopters buzzing Boonville much of Tuesday (29 October) were helping PG&E, but were only refueling at the Boonville Airport. Replacement power poles were transported by truck to two staging areas, one on Deer Meadows and the other on Mountain View Road. The helicopter was used to lift the poles from those staging areas to replacement sites that were not accessible by truck. There also is no neighborhood known as Airport Estates. The correct name of that neighborhood is Meadow Estates. No poles were replaced in the Meadow Estates neighborhood, and poles needing to be replaced there, as has been done in the recent past, do not require use of a helicopter as they can be accessed by motor truck.”

THE SHEEP DOG TRIALS this weekend at the UC Extension grounds in Hopland are expected to draw as many as 140 dogs, testimony, Kevin Owens tells us, to the growing popularity of the sport. Owens' dogs will of course be competing in contests “a little bit different than the ones we're used to here in Boonville,” he says, with the sheep some 500 yards distant when the dogs dash out to round them up and bring them back to their handlers. Contests begin Friday and run through Monday.

HALLOWEEN came and went in the Anderson Valley with the big event being the Dark Carnival in central Boonville east of the Farrer Building. Valley people turned out in large numbers, many creatively costumed, for an evening of live music and tranquil merriment.

FERMENTATION FEST — Fermentation is a skill used around the world for preserving food. It is basically the transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi and enzymes they produce into a healthful form that renders the food more digestible and full of healthful benefits. On Sunday November 17, the Anderson Valley Foodshed Group is hosting a Fermentation Party. This is a perfect time of year to think about fermentation because it is a good way to preserve many vegetables that are in abundance at this time. If you are already making sauerkraut, kimchee, or any of the various other fermented vegetables, please come with your expertise to share. If you have never fermented, then be prepared to learn a skill that will greatly benefit you and your family. We will begin the Fermentation Fest at about 3:00. If you would like to go home from the event with a jar of fermenting kraut, please bring a wide-mouth pint jar with lid and some vegetables from your garden or organic vegetables from the store. Any vegetable can be shredded or chopped up and fermented. It’s a good way to use up the last of the produce from your summer garden. (Tomatoes don't do well.) Bring what you have. We'll be doing lots of shredding, chopping and slicing. Bring your own knife if you'd like. Herbs and spices for flavoring are nice, too. We will also be Celebrating Abundance, so, if you have too much of anything in your garden or orchard, please bring it to share. You might go home with someone else's abundance. The produce that isn’t snatched up will go to the AV Food Bank. (If there is any food item you would like to bring specifically for the Food Bank, please do so. The following Tuesday is their Thanksgiving food distribution.) The Apple Press will be there if you have apples you would like to press into juice. When we are finished preparing the ferment (about six), we will all share another delicious Anderson Valley Local Food Potluck. Fermenters are asked to bring krauts for tasting. Also, don't forget to BYO (bring your own dishes) and a serving utensil for your potluck dish. You will also have the opportunity to learn about how you can connect with AV Foodshed Group projects. We have lots of dreams for our local foodshed. We hope you will want to be more involved with making Our Local Food Dreams Come True. We will also be having a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to Aquarelle Café and Wine Bar, which was donated by Petit Teton Farm. See you at the AV Solar Grange in Philo on Sunday November 17. 3:00ish for Fermentation 6:00ish for the Local Food Potluck

ON THE OFF CHANCE you want to drive to Covelo, pick up a ten dollar permit at the Forestry office, drive up into an “authorized area” of the Mendocino National Forest and cut yerself a Christmas tree, the permits are now for sale.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: “I quit changing clocks a few years back. Too much effort for what is nothing but somewhat subtle authoritarianism by the government (look, we can even make those idiots change their clocks for no really good reason). I don’t believe the “energy saving” stats, either. As reported, they’re just too precise to be anything more than part of a bad joke, or an exercise in just how to control people. It’s easier just to add an hour during that period of supposed daylight saving. People are such sheep. I’ve been against daylight saving since Nixon imposed it full time during the first “energy crisis.” There was a cartoon then, by Oliphant if I recall correctly. The cartoon showed a guy in bed with a blanket that was too short, so he pulled it up, only to expose his feet. Can’t remember the caption, but the cartoon, depicting the stupidity, made me howl with laughter.” — Harvey Reading

THE PLANET may be dying, but it's been a good year for salmon, with the winter run on the Sacramento estimated double last year's numbers, which weren't all that great but better than they have been. Pretty good catches out of Fort Bragg, too.

DAY OF THE DEAD remembers all the family and friends who have gone before, complete with the visuals reminding us that even the most joyous occasions — weddings, the births of children, youthful vigor — are fleeting. To remind us exactly how fleeting, Mexican artists present these occasions in skeletal tableaus. “You're living it up now, big boy, but sure as hell you're headed for the boneyard.” I've got a Mex-crafted skeleton figurine in an A's baseball uniform with a bat in his hands, which, every time my eyes fall on it, takes me back to when I was young and death was something that happened to the old or the unlucky. Having just come off Halloween 2013 with its packs of sugar-driven children, and more than a few adults also helping themselves to the Tootsie Rolls (didn't they used to be bigger?), Halloween has no meaning at all beyond the usual one of costumed consumption. Gringos can learn from Mexicans about honoring the dead in the form of annual remembrances, and already have here in Boonville, where there was a cross-cultural Day of the Dead altar on the deck below our office. It reminds us of The Valley's departed in the form of obituaries, photographs, even letters. I printed out a photo of my late friend, Mr. John Stott, and hustled downstairs to include it, but the altar, the work of Melinda Ellis, had already been dismantled. I trudged back upstairs, summoned up Bocelli's haunting rendition of Con de Partiro, pounded down a commemorative shot of Irish whiskey in honor of Scotsman Stott, and thought back on the people I knew who are now gone. There are more of them every year, and I sometimes hear the Reaper's pursuing footsteps myself.

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