Valley People (July 12, 2017)

by AVA News Service, July 12, 2017

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY CARE-A-VAN will be in Anderson Valley on Monday, July 17, at the Grange in Philo. Spay & neuter surgeries are by appointment only. Please call in advance: 707/888-7698. Rabies vaccine will be at cost: $6.00. Other vaccinations are $10-$13 each and do not need an appointment. Stop by the Care-A-Van for vaccines, heartworm testing, feline combo testing and microchipping, 10am to 2pm. “Working to save lives.” Sponsored by Anderson Valley Animal Rescue.

THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM: Walla Walla Onions, Santa Rosa Plums, Strawberries, Corno di Toro, Gypsy & Bell Peppers, Zucchini & Culinary Herbs, First Cherry, Early Girl & Heirloom Tomatoes, a few Sunflowers & Eggplant (late, late season!). 3301 Holmes Ranch Road, Philo 95466 (707) 895-2071.

SURE, you can go home again and displaced Anderson Valley people often come back for visits. Just last week Robert Kraft and family, now living in Bandon, Oregon were in town for a visit. Locals will remember Robert as the 24-hour Samaritan who rescued them in their stranded vehicles for Starr Automotive. Among his many talents, Robert is quite an archivist. He brought us some fine photos of the 1970s charlatans, Otter and Morning Glory Zell, they of the touring unicorn — a goat with a horn super-glued in the middle of its head (available at our website — the photos, not the goat). When the goat went missing, the Zells claimed it was worth $37,000 although it was uninsured for any amount. The unicorn couple said their absconded animal was descended from a unicorn they’d “created through a lost secret formula” and had sold to Marine World. The Zells were a familiar sight at the county’s counter-culture fandangos, then, like the counter-culture itself, they disappeared.

ANOTHER VALLEY OLD BOY, Henry ‘Bugsy’ Arevelo, stopped in with his wife, Elizabeth. The Arevelos are just back from a visit with Bugsy’s father who now lives in Cabo San Lucas. Bugsy has worked with Oracle for many years, and is now employed with Oracle’s office in Seattle.

SAD NEWS from Butte County. Sunday, Laurie Michael Muchowski and her husband Russell lost their home to the rampaging Wall Fire. Laurie, a 1986 graduate of Anderson Valley High School, is the daughter of prominent local Democrats Val and Stephen Muchowski of the Holmes Ranch. Laurie’s sister Mary is organizing help for the couple via a GoFundMe account.

KEEP YOUR DOG out of it whatever it is. The ominous-looking, greenish sludge we see at the convergence of Anderson Creek and the Navarro might be the toxic cyano-bacteria, or blue green algae. The internet tells us that “Cyanobacteria can expand into a harmful algal bloom under certain environmental conditions that allow it to take over other algae. Some of these conditions include too much sunlight and warmer temperatures, calm water, and excess nutrients. Once a harmful algal bloom grows, it may last for a few hours or weeks.” Our now annual visitations seem to occur from a combination of low flows and chemical run-off from vineyards.

THE RE-TRIAL of Chris Mulcahy has resulted in the former head man at Brutocao being found not guilty on all counts of charges that he embezzled roughly 200,000 from the winery by forged checks. Mulcahy’s first trial ended in a hung jury. DA David Eyster saw Mulcahy’s acquittal this way: “Over the course of two trials, 12 jurors thought Mr. Mulcahy was not guilty, 10 thought he was guilty, and two couldn’t make up their minds. We will never know what the alternates from each trial thought. That said, we accept the second jury’s ‘not guilty’ verdicts and the matter is now concluded in the criminal courts. Those who still believe that they were wronged by Mr. Mulcahy can now pursue their civil lawsuit in earnest, a civil case which has been pending but stayed during the pendency of the criminal case.” Bruce McEwen’s account of Mulcahy’s first trial can be found at

SAY CHEESE! Learn to make it, too. The Farm Bureau’s cheese-making workshop is this Thursday (July 13) at Pennyroyal Farmstead right here in Boomsville, 2-4:30pm. The FB further informs us, “Part of the Farm Bureau’s Homestead Series, Mendocino County Farm Bureau is partnering with Pennyroyal Farmstead to bring this class to our members and community. We will begin with a tour of the farm and creamery. Then we will be taught how cheese is made. Finally we will finish with a demo of recipes. Join us for this tasty afternoon activity.”

I GUESS the new term for waitress or waiter is “server,” but if I had to make my way carrying food to stranger's tables I'd prefer waiter, which seems to me to come without the servile implications. And if I were a waitperson, as some establishments prefer their waiters be called, I'd find it hard to resist an impulse to crash the plate down over the heads of the haughty diners I’ve seen in our local eateries. Boonville has become a kind of rural food ghetto, with eight sit-down restaurants, plus a food wagon and an ice cream kiosk, not to mention the source of many of my hurry-up meals, the excellent sandwich counter at Anderson Valley Market. So we have a lot of our local people working as servers, one of whom told me the other day that a couple she described as "entitlement people" had urged her to be sure their meal was served hot, which it duly was when it was presented to them. The hot fooders then chatted for a good 45 minutes as their food went from hot to cold, then Imperiously summoned the waitress to their table to complain that their food was cold. And? "I told them their food had been hot when I brought it to them, which seemed to offend them and off they went." You get a lot of them? I asked. "No," she said. "Most people are nice."

LOCAL SPORTS FANS will recall the Mendocino High School football player, Reed Carter. Chris Smith has brought us up to date on the indomitable hard luck kid. “….In a 13-month period that started when he was 12, Reed’s mother died in a car accident, his brother spent six months in a body brace and his father was diagnosed with cancer that required him to live apart from the family for five months. Reed has gone through hell and back and he didn’t do it for money or fame or acclaim. He refused to submit because he wanted to make something of his life. And he has, stunningly. Reed, a two-time North Central League III MVP who in 2013 was elected Mendocino’s homecoming king and his then-girlfriend Shanti Marecello the homecoming queen, is 21 now. He’s closing in on a degree in construction management from Chico State University. And he’s still moving his life forward while confronting extreme crisis in his family. When we spoke by phone Friday he was at the home in Mendocino that his father, Mike, has been ordered to vacate. The 75-year-old cancer survivor hasn’t made mortgage payments since about the time he fell off the roof during his son’s freshman year of college and was paralyzed from the waist down. Reed is doing what he can for him. The former Mendocino Cardinal said of his dad, “As much as he wants help, he doesn’t at the same time.” Reed has invited Mike to live with him, though such an arrangement would be especially tricky just now. This summer before his senior year, Reed works as an intern with the Ghilotti Bros. construction company and lives both with a cousin in Windsor and with a friend in San Rafael. …… Dad said he’s thinking he is mobile enough to move out of his foreclosed home and onto a boat and sail somewhere, perhaps the Philippines.”

I HAD THE HICCUPS for two days end of last week, a low-intensity affliction for a fact but sleep-depriving and generally annoying nevertheless. Mention you've got 'em and here come the cures: "You gotta pinch yer upper lip; hold your breath for thirty seconds; a tablespoon of vinegar will stop them right at the hics; honey and water and they're out of business."

SO, WHAT HAPPENED? Why thank you for asking. I finally knocked them out in the middle of night two with a fearsome dose of gargled vinegar. The first two vinegar attempts didn't stop the serial mini-quakes, and I was twice roused by them from the deep sleep of the righteous and the true I typically enjoy. The third time, in pure desperation to permanently rid myself of the pesky irritation, I pounded down a drunkard's gulp of the searing liquid, gave it a prolonged esophageal churning and accompanying Niagra-like rumbling so loud it roused my long-suffering wife, and announced to the neighborhood, "Got the bastards this time." I'd had panicked thoughts that dying of hiccups would be the final indignity and promised myself to be more respectful of my body bag.

RONNIE JAMES of Woodlands Wildlife on tracking mountain lions:

Woodlands Wildlife would like to start recording mountain lion sightings. I've got a map of the coast, I want to put colored pins in and dates for sightings. There should be interesting data in about a year as to where their territories are, and when they are in which part of that territory. I'll take info from the postings on the list serve, but if you have a sighting but don't want to post, you can also email or Try to describe the location of the sight--i.e. an address, or mile marker, and give the date.

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