Valley People

by AVA News Service, November 20, 2013

GREG LUDWIG is raving about his conversion to yoga, which he now faithfully practices at Kira Brennan's SoBo (South Boonville) studio behind All That Good Stuff. Greg, a guy who does a lot of heavy lifting at his landscaping business, has had a range of physical probs associated with manual labor, which the medical profes­sion treats with a variety of often ineffective, and just as often, addicting drugs. But Greg says yoga has set him free! No more meds, no more pain.

TONY PARDINI lives at the foot of the old Hulbert Ranch property in Philo. He called to say he was very pleased (and perhaps relieved) at the way the HumCo bomb squad, local deputy Walker and some of our fire­fighters dispatched a large cache of dynamite discovered in the ranch barn. As we've mentioned, right up until World War Two, dynamite was sold over the counter at local hardware stores, including Rossi Hardware of Boonville. Ranchers used the explosive to blow up tree stumps, among other useful deployments of the stuff.

THE AVA'S FAVE sculptress, Rebecca Johnson, will open her studio at Wylie Barn, Navarro, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 29th to December 1st.

BOONVILLE'S VERY OWN Hannah Woolfenden will perform the role of Clara in Mendocino Ballet's Nut­cracker this year. The Anderson Valley seventh-grader is sure to make a perfect Clara. For details, let your gaze explore other areas of this page.

PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT: Sheila Leighton, our longtime office neighbor here at the Farrer Building, has replaced Gwen Smith, our longtime friend, at AV Uni­fied's District Office. Gwen, we understand, is retiring. Sheila, now that's she's gone over to the dark side, will probably never speak to us again, not that Gwen's famous amiability has ever excluded us. We're delighted she's emerged from the dark, sunny charm intact.

NOTE TO ALICE BONNER. Your story on Grace Espinoza, nee Gowan, in this week's blast is simply super.

BOONVILLE'S BOY'S soccer team, coached by Steve Sparks, has racked up another small school champion­ship, and we're definitely in dynasty territory here where Anderson Valley soccer teams have regularly either become champs or runner-up champs. The girl's volley­ball team, coached by Flick McDonald, achieved dynasty status years ago. Our girls win the top spot year after year.

CAVEAT! Playoff ticket prices. High school athletic director, Robert Pinoli, is quite generous at the gate, but CIF demands that he charge $9 per adult, $6 per child, for playoff matches, which would be quite a whack for a working family if Bob didn't wave the larger families on in for the price of one.

NICE FEATURE STORY on our friend and Navarro River resident, Pebbles Trippet, in the fall edition of Skunk, a quarterly magazine devoted to Devil Weed. Pebs is a long-time agitator for sensible drug policies, and continues to patiently argue with me about the issue, never once losing her temper. My side of the discussion is that I don't like the assumption among too many peo­ple that marijuana is a harmless drug, a view that seems dangerously prevalent among people too young to make rational choices, young people like high school kids. Myself, I think pot makes you dumb and slow, conced­ing that lots of people don't need dope to get that way. Pebs thinks pot is good for everyone however it's applied, but agrees young people should not do it on a regular basis.

IN ANOTHER EDITION of Skunk, a lead story is called "Boonville Boyz," mostly about the dope championships called the Emerald Cup. The writer laments that the excellent Laughing Dog Book Store in downtown Boonville doesn't carry many books on marijuana. Pot people are at least as monomaniacal as sports nuts, aren't they?

MEANWHILE, at Point Arena High School, the school board is considering a drug testing policy, releasing as they go, these unencouraging statistics: 76 percent of PAHS ninth graders and 75 percent of juniors said they had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. (Maybe it's encouraging that one percent of the school population got smarter in the two-year interlude between their freshman and junior years in high school.) But 40 per­cent of Fog Belt ninth graders, and 11 percent of juniors, said they used marijuana in the past 30 days, which is a much more dramatic IQ leap forward but still nothing to brag about. Here at Boonville High School? The assumption we hear is that a goodly percentage of stu­dents toke the bazooka, not so many drink.

THE MADRONES, Philo, is hosting an olive oil work­shop this Saturday, complete with a presentation by Madrones chef Patrick Meany on how to cook with the stuff.

DESPITE the mild rains of this week, nearly half an inch in Boonville, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency, the West Coast stands to be in drought conditions for the rest of the month and lots of people are starting to wonder if water rationing will be required if the predicted low winter rainfall persists.

EQUIP MANYATTA Friday November 29th -Sunday December 1st. 11am-6pm All proceeds from the Signal Ridge tasting room Thanksgiving weekend benefit the Manyatta Youth Resource Centre of Kenya. Sparkling wine will be $25 each or $99 for 6. Rose bottles will be $12 each or two for $20. Kenyan handcrafts and jewelry also available. Philo native Keevan Labowitz established the US non-profit Equip Manyatta and the MYRC, which provides sports, music, dance, and drama activi­ties for kids in Western Kenya’s largest slum. He’s going back in December—your donation will make an imme­diate impact! For photos and current information about the project go to www.GlobalGiving.org and search for Manyatta; keevan.labowitz@gmail.com. Signal Ridge is at the Madrones south of Philo 9000 Highway 128, phone: 707-895-3588.

PG&E of Eureka is doing the tree trimming at Monte Bloyd Road and 128 that began Monday. Anticipate 5-minute delays for the rest of your life. Er, until the trees are trimmed, whenever that may be. CalTrans bulletins tend to lack specificity.

MAJOR SCARAMELLA suggested “Obama Doesn't Care” for his team’s name at last week's Trivial Pursuit Quiz At Lauren's Restaurant. The Major's female team­mates — Terry Ryder, Beverly Bennett and Murial Ellis — told The Major that Obama does indeed care, and that the Major's negativity was in bad taste. Only teammate Bob Sites agreed with The Major, albeit half-heartedly. After several other unsuccessful team name proposals, the team ended up with the less imaginative, but much more acceptable name “Team Muriel,” which stuck, and Team Muriel went on to win the night by a wide margin.

MENTION of Mr. Sites reminds me that I spotted the Yorkville bon vivant at the intersection of Sutter and Gough last Saturday, 3pm, in San Francisco, additional confirmation that Frisco is merely a suburb of the Ander­son Valley. I'm always running into Valley people in the city, and darned if there wasn't Bob. I was headed west on 2 Clement after watching a very good film called the Dallas Buyer's Club. It's based on the true life story of an aggressive homophobe called Ron Woodroof (brilliantly played by Matthew McConaughey) who contracted AIDS from a couple of female floozies. He initially assumes that AIDS is strictly confined to homosexual men, and his friends forever after assume he's a closet case, as his gradual education to full humanity com­mences and Woodroof becomes a hero to gays by fight­ing and defeating the DEA, smuggling the first effective AIDS drugs in from Mexico.

THAT BUS TRIP, incidentally, featured a memorably creepy passenger, a guy I pegged to be about 40 who wore hospital scrubs and a purple stocking cap pulled down over his face to just above his mouth, which he maintained in an ominous, Joker-like smile. Any SF Muni car more than half full contains at least one obvi­ous lunatic. This man was our designee. I assumed from his scrubs that he'd just walked out of a psych ward and was now getting his jollies scaring old ladies with his mirthless, rictor-mouthed grin, and it was old ladies he was interested in, getting up several times to change seats so he could bum out another one. Thing is, El Creepo got off at California and Laurel and walked briskly on in to the hospital. I guess he works there, probably as an anesthesiologist.

CELEBRATE the beginning of the Holiday Season at the Holiday Open House Studio Event! Colleen and Marvin Schenck along with Nancy Macleod and Bill Allen, are hosting a Holiday Open House Studio Event: Friday & Saturday, November 29 & 30, from 11-5 p.m. at the Barn, 3400 Clark Road, Philo, just off Highway 128. All are invited to come see the latest jewelry, sculpture, paintings, and furniture by these artists. Shop local and find that special holiday gift at studio pricing!

AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila wrote last week: “I have elected to not issue Air Quality Management District burn permits until the fire hazard has been reduced. Cal Fire is still in town but has reduced the manpower here and throughout Mendocino County and there is no defi­nite rain in the forecast. We will start issuing permits once the ignition component has reduced with future rain.” The half-inch overnight Monday into Tuesday probably means the local Fire Department will begin issuing winter burn permits.

JUST when we thought the out-of-the-area deliveries of your beloved community newspaper had resumed more or less on schedule, papers didn't get to many addresses in Fort Bragg, anywhere in Humboldt County, and showed up in the Bay Area, on average, two weeks after they left Boonville. The untamed vastnesses east of I-5? Most of those sorely put upon subscribers are resigned to, "Like, whenever." Boonville Post Mistress Collette tracked down a couple of misplaced bags, and we live in hope.

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