Valley People

by AVA News Service, June 10, 2010

SATURDAY NIGHT, June 12th, Anderson Valley's Community Chorus presents its annual Spring Concert at Lauren's Restaurant, 9pm. If you get out to one event all year, you won't go wrong with this one.

LAST THURSDAY evening's high school graduation ceremony passed with no more mention of Tom Smith than Superintendent JR Collins reading a stumbling commemorative letter from an unnamed 8th grader. But Smith, through his devotion to youth soccer, was a significant figure to generations of Valley students. The high school soccer pitch is named after him. With much of the community assembled in the gym, one would have expected a few adult words and a moment of silence in Smith's memory, but… Smith died last week. He'd been struck head-on by a drunk driver in a traffic collision on 128 near the Day Ranch the week before.

SALUTATORIAN Noe Klein delivered her commencement address in three languages: English, Spanish and Hebrew, mystifying the English speakers when she spoke Spanish, the Spanish speakers when she spoke English, everyone in Hebrew.

VOLLEYBALL STAR and straight-A student Sydney Frazer gave a snappy valedictory address. Sydney will attend Dominican College in San Rafael.

THE COMMENCEMENT speakers were Julie Honegger, a social studies teacher at the high school, and an energetic professional comedian from San Jose called Mark Lundholm.

JASON PAGE of the high school faculty presented the scholarships from the Miner-Anderson Foundation. These awards ranged from numerous $1,000 scholarships to $5,000 stipends and finally one for $20,000 to student-athlete Domingo Ferreyra who will attend UC Santa Cruz.

A PHOTO MONTAGE showing the graduates morphig from infants to high school graduates was followed by a short film produced by Chevi English wherein each graduate delivered optimistic messages enscribed on surfaces ranging from skateboards to foreheads.

BY OUR COUNT there were 36 graduates, 19 males, 17 females. The girls were beautiful, the boys handsome, the public address system audible.

WOODEN NICKEL-GATE: Deputy Walker has spent several weeks investigating the alleged abuse of the Boonville Brewing Company’s bonus tokens, concluding that the spending occurred over such long a period of time and was so haphazardly monitored that specific abuse by specific employees was impossible to assign. The tokens, valued at a dollar each, were distributed among employees for redemption at local businesses. Employees earned one token per day. With up to 40 employees helping themselves to the tokens, well, good luck with the accounting. An office worker had belatedly observed that the unsecured, unmonitored container in which the tokens were collected was being depleted out of all proportion to one per worker. Some people were clearly taking more tokens than they were entitled to. By the time Deputy Walker began looking into the problem, the brewery had been sold and the tokens written off as a loss.

TWO PEOPLE called us last week to complain that KZYX had postponed a drawing for $5000 in food at the Ukiah Co-op. KZYX has been promoting the raffle for more than two months at $20 per ticket. The drawing was supposed to be held at the end of May but has been extended because the station apparently needs to sell more tickets to come out ahead on the deal. One woman who called us to ask about the delay complained that KZYX general manager John Coate had hung up on her when she asked him about the postponement. The caller said that Coate, before he cut her off blamed the delay on the Co-op, but when she called the Co-op, the Co-op, without being rude or hanging up, said the delay was on KZYX’s end.

SO FAR Mr. Coate has not responded to our inquiries on the subject.

THE FRESH EGGS produced by the high school's chickens are available fresh from the nest through the summer at Gowan's Oak Stand.

SHELLEY (MABERY) SCARAMELLA stopped in Monday to file the required notice of liquor sales prior to Shelly and her business partner, Marcia Martinez, breathing new life into the Boonville Lodge. The personable and energetic Shelley said she expects to the bar and restaurant open for business by mid-July. She's looking for old photos and related memorabilia of old Anderson Valley to display, particularly old photos of the Anytime Saloon, as famous in its day as the Lodge.

HIGH ROLLER'S Wheat Beer from pristine Boonville well water is the latest beer produced by our internationally renowned brewery.

IN CASE you hadn’t noticed, Caltrans has started work on construction of a retaining wall from Singley Cattlepass to the Soda Creek Bridge several miles up the Ukiah Road. Work hours are 7AM to 5PM, weekdays. One-way traffic control will be in effect. Caltrans says drivers can expect up to ten-minute delays. Mendocino Construction Services of Willits is doing the work.

ON FRIDAY, June 18th, at 5pm, “The Caretaker's Garden will be hosting their third Annual Summer Solstice Ritual at the Community Altar on Lambert Lane in Boonville. The Caretakers Garden hosts Rituals with Wendy Read eight times a year on the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter Holy Days. All religions and spiritualities are included. All are welcome.”

THE CELEBRATION of the founding of Anderson Valley's Community Services District at the Fairgrounds last Saturday was rather sparsely attended but, its organizers said Monday, “a bunch of people came late so we did come out ahead a little.” The CSD is forty years old.

REMEMBER the Simple Living Fair of yesteryear? It's being revived, and revived in rather more serious form than the hippie fests back when there were still hippies. Not to belittle the first simple living gatherings which, after all, have proved prescient given today's crucial emphasis on ecologically sensible ways of living. The hippies told us it was unsustainable, didn't they? If they hadn't been such appalling doofi more people might have paid attention. People will pay attention this time around. The times are right for simple living. The Not So Simple Living Fair scheduled for the Fairgrounds for July 31st and August 1st occurs at a time of real crisis, a time when much of what will be presented is of real use to real people.

WE RECEIVED this change of address envelope from the Postal Service on Monday —

THE INVALUABLE local phone books are out, and will soon be generally available at Valley stores.

STEVE SPARKS reminds us: “It's that time again, the 2nd Tuesday of the month means dinner and Bingo at the Vet's Hall, Boonville, benefiting the Senior Center. Dinner ($7) is served at 6 Bingo at 7. It's a lot of fun with excellent prizes and with me doing the calling. See you there.”

THE DAY RANCH, lately known as the Standish Winery, has been sold to the Ordway family of adjacent Philo Foothills Vineyards. Several other Valley properties are in escrow, including the place I and many other locals still think of Wee Suggin', the ancient Boont property next door to the Redwood Drive-In where John Hulbert lived for many years. John lives in Philo these days.

RONI McFADDEN'S children's story about a Seabiscuit colt is brilliantly illustrated by Sierra Gaston with much of the proceeds from the already popular book to Howard Hospital Foundation and the Ridgewood Ranch TRAIL Program. free books to children's hospitals avail at Mendo Books Farm Supply in Ukiah

ALL DUE RESPECT to Gene Herr's opinions regarding CSD, but when you spend $250,000 on a fire truck for the three and a half people who live in Yorkville there isn't much money for anything else even if a hundred grand of the truck money is donated. Water and sewage? Well, gee, when you have a water meeting and no one shows up how the heck is the CSD board supposed to accurately gage community opinion on the subject? Boonville beautification? 110 questionnaires went out, about 40 came back, most saying things like, “Maybe some planter boxes. A public restroom?” One would think the Housing Association might agitate for a Boonville water and sewage system, but they haven't affiliated themselves with CSD. Anderson Valley ran better when Homer Mannix ran everything, from the court to the school house. There really hasn't been a community since Homer. Homer founded CSD, and when CSD needed an office Homer just happened to have a trailer he'd found down around Dimmick somewhere. Homer got 'er done! What we've got now, really, is a series of transient eccentrics spread out along twenty miles of 128 who wouldn't agree on anything even if you could find them to ask them. Every time I go to the Boonville Post Office I see someone opening a mail box I've never seen before. The other day a guy stuck his head in my office door and said, “Who the hell are you? I told him I was the mayor and he went away. For all I know he's the mayor of Philo. There is no community, Gene. It left with Homer.

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