Valley People (Feb. 15, 2017)

by AVA News Service, February 15, 2017

FORMER Boonville resident, Luis Miguel “Mikey” Ferreyra, 30, was killed last week in a single-car accident on Pacific Woods Road in Gualala when his pick-up unaccountably left the road and struck a tree. The CHP said there was no indication that Ferreyra was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. He leaves a wife, Leah Kirby, and daughters Janessa and Alexa. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for them at gofundme.com/help-leah-and-her-girls and the Mikey Ferreyra Memorial Fund has been set up at West American bank branch in Gualala.

STEVE SPARKS WRITES: The tragic death in a car accident of Luis Miguel “Mikey” Ferreyra in Gualala at the age of 30 last week saw 300-plus people, including several 3-Dot regulars, gather in remembrance at the St Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Philo last Sunday afternoon, almost half of whom had to follow the service from outside the compact little building. Mikey was a very much loved young man who will be sorely missed by many Valley folks and his wife’s family (the Kirby’s) and friends on the coast. He is survived by his wife Leah and two young daughters, Alexa and Janessa, plus parents Domingo and Marta and brothers Eddie and Domingo Jr. For those of us who had known him well at some point, it leaves a very significant feeling of emptiness and sadness that a fine man has died so young and that his great smile will no longer greet you.

STORM NOTES. Dave Severn writes: "Thursday, mid-morning, a large oak fell in slow motion in my yard, just missing the shop and Glad's car. Six pin oaks were down across the Van Zandt Resort Road approaching the Shenoa bridge, and a bay laurel was down on the far side of the bridge. My son-in law told me of a 15 foot diameter Redwood tree that fell in Hendy Woods, taking a few other smaller but still large trees with it. The Blackbird kids on the hill are still sleeping in yurts in the middle of the woods. I sent out yet another call for Child Protective Services to implement some child protection. Or for somebody really smart and persuasive to assure me that our Building Codes that forbid even mature adults from sleeping in yurts out on open ground are in place and enforced without any reason or safety merit.

FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila told the Fire Department’s Fire Protection Committee last week that when crews responded to a recent medical aid call at Blackbird Farm on January 16 he “found that the road was in terrible shape thanks to some ill-advised grading work.” AV Fire Department also went on a structure fire call to Shenoa Resort (‘The Land’) on January 20 and got good support from residents there. Neighbors said that the fire in the straw bale house was caused by someone soldering a leaky shower head and inadvertently (and unknowingly) starting a smoldering fire in the wall. That fire at Shenoa was difficult to extinguish because it occurred in dense hay bale construction. Shenoa has donated $5,000 to the department.”

IN JANUARY the Community Services District authorized Fire Chief Andres Avila to begin work on procurement of a new fire engine for Holmes Ranch at a cost not to exceed $320,000 which would be paid for out of several years worth of accumulated apparatus reserves (mostly from strike team reimbursements), and donations from the Volunteer Firefighters Association’s fundraising campaigns. However, this month Avila announced that volunteer firefighter Kris Kellem had come across a used CAL-Office of Emergency Services engine in excellent condition available for $85k. Upgrades for rural firefighting will bring the total cost of the vehicle to around $120k. Avila and his procurement team are now considering using some of the savings for the purchase of a new or used water tender.

COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD MEMBER Paul Soderman said last week that the rainwater catchment project for the Philo fire station is now fully plumbed and electrical wiring nearly complete. A convict crew did a good job of clearing some overgrown blackberries to make room for two more 3,000-gallon storage tanks, bringing the number of storage tanks to seven. Needless to say, the tanks have been filled by recent rains.

CHIEF AVILA also announced last week that the Department’s long-time mechanic Steve Weir (a retried CalFire mechanic) was planning to also retire from his local duties. The invaluable Weir will be hard to replace. He has been a staple of the fire department for well over a decade, keeping the firefighting equipment in top notch shape without running up costs. A search for a replacement mechanic for the irreplaceable Weir will soon begin.

MARSHALL NEWMAN points out: Those who have only lived in Anderson Valley during the past decade or two may be surprised to learn that this year’s rainfall was essentially the norm during the 1950s and 1960s. Indeed, the average rainfall from 1937 through 1998 in Boonville was 40 inches, and that average was pulled lower by several dry years from the late 1970s through the 1990s.

THE WORK OF YORKVILLE'S talented artist, Paula Gray, is on exhibit at Mendocino College. Her show is called “eXplorations: taking the X out of anxiety and other stories.” Ms. Gray is freshly retired from the college where she taught for many years. She is a graduate of the Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles, and UCLA.

DURING THIS VERY WET RAINY SEASON, February got off to a drenching start. Over the eight day stretch of February 2 through 9, Yorkville received 12.5 inches of rain (Boonville got 8.3 inches over the same stretch). The season total for the High Rollers rose to 64.5 inches.

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