Valley People 7/1/2009

by AVA News Service, July 1, 2009

PAPERS were delivered a day late most places last week because of a techno-mix-up at our usually infallible Willits printer, Printing X-Press.

A COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE will be held at the Boonville Firehouse Saturday, July 11th from 11am to 2pm. The Blood Bank of the Redwoods will be tapping AndersonValley's highly coveted Boont Royal Blue, the purest life stuff in all of Mendocino County. The Blood Bank Bloodletters, in the interests of planning, prefer donors notify them in advance at 545-1222. Walk-ins are of course also welcome.

ALEXIS MOYER and Susan Spencer are the featured artists at Scharffenberger Cellars Tasting from June 26th to August 6th. Ms. Moyer, proprietor of the Pot Shop in Philo since 1988, specializes in clay and ceramics; Ms. Spencer has lived in The Valley since the 70s where her quirky, highly recognizable watercolors have graced various local venues.

YEARS AGO, nostaligic for The Valley's mostly extinct frogs, I bought an on-sale, pot-fired blue bud vase from Ms. Moyer for about five bucks on which Ms. Moyer had affixed a tiny ceramic amphib. I treasure it yet.

AND I'M SURE Grace Minton at Anderson Creek Inn will be pleased to learn that her poinsettia has fully recovered from Christmas's serial traumas and is already a luxurious tropical green here at the Poinsettia Rescue Center high atop the Farrer Building, downtown Boonville. Millions of these versatile plants are thrown away every year when their brilliant red fades, but if Americans would simply keep them warm and watered the rest of the year they'd enjoy a plant that will give them more shades of green than they thought possible.

AT LAST WEEK’S Board of Supervisors meeting, Boonville's very own supervisor, David Colfax, offered his colleagues this assessment of the recent music festival at the Boonville Fairgrounds: “The third [actually it was the fourth] Sierra Nevada World Music Festival concluded on Sunday night. I understand there were less than a half dozen arrests, maybe six or eight, maybe nine arrests, relatively minor items. When it started a couple of years ago there was some anxiety about how it would be received. Now it's one of the most popular events in the Valley. The locals have kind of embraced it. The organizers have become even better at public relations. So that's a good sign. It brings some diversity into a community that doesn't have all the diversity it perhaps could use. It was a successful show. I had to go and sit through a number of sessions. It’s part of my job. That's why I get the big bucks, right? All weekend.”

COLFAX'S ALLUSION to “diversity” is a reference to black, as in black people and, of course, patronizing in that he suggests us Boonville rubes two hours north of Frisco are diversity-starved, that we don't enjoy the rainbow range of ethno-sexual acquaintanceship the supervisor does. In fact, Anderson Valley has a black-owned group home serving mostly black kids, half our population is comprised of immigrant Mexicans, there are numerous same-sexers, several South Sea Islanders, a half-dozen Native Americans, a pair of ethno-celebs in Angela Davis and Alice Walker and, when my wife's in town, a Chinese-American. Anderson Valley is more “diverse” all the time than most neighborhoods of San Francisco.

IF I WERE COLFAX I don't think I'd poll downtown Boonville on the festival's popularity, at least in the immediate neighborhood of the event where the festival's merits break down mostly along generational lines. Older people tend overwhelmingly to see the weekend as a kind of noisy infestation, something to be endured for three days until it goes away. The young are mostly thumbs up or oblivious. But most local people outside Colfax's rarified civil servant income bracket can't afford ticket prices even if they wanted to attend. At over fifty bucks, well, you have to really, really want to be there. The truly big annual event for people who live in the Anderson Valley remains the Apple Fair, with the Wild Flower Show running a strong second.

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