Valley People (Aug. 16, 2017)

by AVA News Service, August 16, 2017

KEVIN DAVENPORT, the DA’s prosecutor, ordinarily works out of Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg. The Clark Kent-lookalike was in Judge John Behnke’s Ukiah courtroom a week ago for the arraignment of Michael Saner, who is charged with the murder of William Martinez in Navarro. Saner and Martinez had been living on a rented property at Rancho Navarro.

SANER had been on probation, so that status was revoked as a result of the new charge of first degree murder, Count One, and, Count Two, willful discharge of a firearm resulting in great bodily injury, death; bail was set a $500,000 for Count One, another $500,000 for Count Two, and $5,000 for the violation of probation. The Office of the Public Defender was appointed, and further arraignment was set in the Ten Mile Court for August 21st, at 9:00 am.

DEFENDANT SANER faces what seems an open and shut case — which, incidentally, is a fate he shares with about half-a-dozen homicides stalled these last few years in the Mendocino Superior courts. For instance the jury trial of the Covelo guy who used a bat to brain a fellow low-level pot pharm employee, has decided to go NGI (Not Guilty by reason of Insanity.) Devoted readers may recall that murder was revealed when the dead man’s loyal dog dug up his grave, thus revealing his master and his fate. (Bruce McEwen)

THE MURDER of Willie Martinez at Rancho Navarro certainly had its macabre aspects. It occurred on Fritz Ohm’s place as Fritz and the soon-to-be deceased Martinez were enjoying a bite to eat. If there’s a more gentle, peaceful soul in the Anderson Valley than Fritz Ohm we are twice blessed. Fritz is Navarro’s go-to guy, always available to his neighbors for emergency help, and for years he’s been the Rancho’s primary maintenance guy. Never known to turn anyone away, Fritz and Martinez were eating when Saner appeared and blasted Martinez with a shotgun. Martinez was not killed instantly. He made his way from his last bite to wedge himself between two vehicles in a vain attempt to escape his assailant, who’d already fled the property for Comptche where he was soon taken into custody. Martinez died despite the efforts of Fritz and nearby neighbor and AV emergency services stalwart Val Allen to keep him alive.

INCUMBENTS Kathleen McKenna and Kirk Wilder have signed up for another term on the Community Services District Board.

SCHOOL BOARD incumbents Natalie Maston and Kerry Sanchez are staying on while Craig Walker, deputy Sheriff, and Saoirse Byrne mother and artist, have signed up to run for the board’s vacant seats.

THE NEWS that The Valley’s resident deputy, Craig Walker, had signed up to run for the Anderson Valley School Board inspired loud cheers in the offices of the Boonville weekly. We are also encouraged by the candidacy of Saoirse Byrne (pronounced, I think, Sair-Schah) whose thoughtful presentations to the present school trustees we’ve twice witnessed.

MEASURES TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS consist of one measure: Measure B - Mendocino County Mental Health Treatment Act (Sheriff Allman’s badly needed in-county psych unit)

THE ELECTION is November 7th.

WE THINK the Supervisors should make a legal distinction between property owners who take a whole house off the rental market to rent to visitors, and property owners who merely rent a cabin out back or a room in their own dwelling to tourists. Whole houses ought to go to families who live and work here, not to the hot tub hordes. It’s the wholesale conversion of houses to the tourist traffic that is shrinking Mendocino County’s already tight rental housing supply.

CASE IN POINT: My old house on Anderson Valley Way, which now rents for an astounding $450 a day while the rest of the red tag cabins on the half acre at 12451 Anderson Valley Way are rented to working locals. The main house draws the saps paying $450 a night to an undistinguished (except for its distinguished pedigree) three bedroom tract job whose sulpher and iron-laden water you can smell coming out of the tap. (We did laundry up the hill and hauled our drinking water from the run-off tap on Mountain View Road.) If I even suspected that my old place would be rented out to tourists I’d never have sold it, especially now when whole families cannot find homes to rent. In fact, I tried to buy it back but got outbid by a city guy with no connection to this place.

Visiting family members stand at entrance to New Ideal City Ranch, Boonville, California, April 4, 1977. (AP photo)

THIS PHOTO is for sale on Ebay for twenty bucks. It depicts several Moonies at the gate of their Boonville "International Ideal City Ranch," circa 1977. Those were the days! I bought a dozen non-laying hens from the zomboids, having been assured they were good layers. At their Boonville "open house" they were selling tiny paper cups of coca-cola for fifty cents each. On clear summer nights we could hear the group chants of the converts from several miles away. The “ideal city,” Boonville, consisted of sheep barns and a couple of ancient chicken coops, all of it comprising a kind of anti-Gotham where ideals consisted of jamming as many saps onto the place as possible. Eventually closed by the county for multiple code violations, the Ideal City served as a kind of way station for prospective cult brains who were lured north from Bay Area airports and bus stations, and often simply hustled off the streets by fast talking recruiters who first took them for a free meal at one of the Moonie houses in San Francisco. At Boonville, the Moonies deployed classic brainwash techniques such as sleep deprivation, irregular meals (mystery slop ladled out of surplus mess hall vats), constant group song, and lectures claiming the lunatic Korean was divine. After the camp closed, a residual Moonie crew ran a chinchilla farm on the property. The high school kids who worked at the place often smuggled the charming little creatures down into Boonville where, at least for a time, they were saved from being turned into fur coats. The couple who ran the chinchilla operation were a German national married via one of Moon's mass marriages in Yankee Stadium, to an Italian national, both of whom, a couple of generations earlier would undoubtedly, given their mentalities, have been eager fascists. There were many poignant scenes at the Boonville gate seen in the photograph. Parents would beseech the Moonie thugs to see their wayward children only to be turned back. Many young people simply fled the place for sanctuary at the Boonville Assembly of God Church, which was quite helpful in re-uniting young people with their families.

KATHY JANES, NAVARRO: “I am a member of the board of directors of the Rancho Navarro Association, a subdivision in the town of Navarro. Rancho Navarro consist of 135 separate parcels which have at least 150 full-time residents. I come before the board in support of the adoption of a zoning ordinance allowing discretionary cannabis cultivation in recognizable, definable areas of the county such as a subdivision with CC&Rs with a defined boundary. Our subdivision, Rancho Navarro, near the town of Navarro, is currently experiencing an unwanted and unwarranted expansion of cannabis cultivation. We feel this is in part due to the county ordinance related to cannabis that allows commercial cultivation in residential parcels of 10 acres or better, even without a legal residence. Our subdivision consists of 10 acre parcels. It is a very remote area. Therefore, many growers have flocked to our residential neighborhoods for the sole purpose of cultivating cannabis. Most of these large commercial grows are operated by absentee landlords who do not live in the community and are not involved in managing our homeowners association. This creates a lot of transient traffic along our roads, a lot of unwanted noise, environmental destruction and heavy impacts to our road network and shared water resources. Our board has met numerous times to discuss this issue. We feel that the county regulations related to cannabis contradict our desire for our subdivision to be first and foremost a residential neighborhood as specified in our CC&Rs. We would prefer not to allow large commercial cannabis operations in our communities because such operations violate the provisions of our CC&Rs that our parcels are restricted to residential and recreational use. We appreciate the response we have seen so far from county staff and the resource agencies regarding our previous recent complaints. We look forward to seeing that this issue is addressed via a zoning overlay which would allow a more permanent solution. Thank you."

GREEN PARTY MEETING IN BOONVILLE. “Help develop a strong and viable Green Party. Now is the time for you to join the momentum toward a progressive and Green political future. Come join us on Sunday, August 20th, from 2pm to 5pm at Anderson Valley Brewery, either inside or outside, 17700 Boonville Rd, Boonville, CA 95415. No food but drinks for sale. Bring your action agenda! Hope to see you there! Robin Sunbeam”

AS, AHEM, the co-founder of the Mendo Green Party with Dr. Dave Colfax back in ’84 when we issued a county wide call to action convened at the Boonville elementary school, and were astounded that every loon for miles showed up, I lasted about three months, unwilling to spend hours in lunatic hippie rituals only tangentially related to political issues, being more focused on what might be called outpatient therapy. The Greens, small in number on their best days, were totally hijacked by crackpots led by the late Richard “One True Green” Johnson, and just as quickly co-opted by the local Democrats who move fast on even a hint of political energy to the left of Bill and Hillary, hence today’s Northcoast Democrats, as politically debauched as their big brothers and sisters at the national level. Maybe a revived Green Party will take on the local Democrats, but I doubt it. Here’s hoping, though, and I’ll get around to re-registering Demo to Green any day now so long as I never, ever have to attend a Green meeting.

JERRY COX of Navarro reports: "Today, I received the second call telling me that the IRS is filing a suit against me and to call this number. This is a ‘scam’ on Senior Citizens to get into their credit card and bank accounts. WARN SENIOR CITIZENS!"

SENIORS are duly warned. Speaking as a person who often feels the Reaper's breath on his neck, I haven't seen or heard a neo-scam yet that got me to bite, but some of them are pretty good. The most prevalent, and apparently the most successful, is the one that persuades the elderly that a grandson or daughter is in a foreign jail and needs money fast for a lawyer. The cops in the Bay Area regularly issue warnings about that one. (A friend told me he got that call, and told the scammer, "I'll pay double if you torture the no good dope head, too." The scam I do fall for regularly is movies, but that one only costs me a few bucks and a tub of popcorn. Wait. There's one more scam that hooked me: NPR. I belong to Mendo Kinda Public Radio.

KZYX: WORST EMERGENCY BROADCASTING WARNING EVER

MSP pulled to the side of SR-128 when we heard the EMERGENCY Broadcasting System alert go off.

Was it an earthquake? Tsunami ? Nuclear War?

We have no idea because the message was intelligible.

Glancing to the east, however, we noticed blossoming thunderheads so have to "guess" that was what the warning was for. Thanks for nothing KZYX!

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

WELCOME TO AV HIGH SCHOOL! That list of Don’ts and surveillance warnings at the head of the high school drive way is kinda like driving into a medium security prison. Not very welcoming.

(Click to enlarge)

THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM

Colorama...

Heirloom, Early Girl & Cherry Tomatoes

Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bell, Pimento Sweet Peppers

Padrons, Jalapenos, Anaheim, Poblano, Criola Sella Chilis

Italian & Asian Eggplant, Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash

Walla Walla Onions, Garlic, Cucumbers, Basil, Parsley

Strawberries and Butter Lettuce in August!

Sunflowers & Zinnias

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 707-895-2071

ABOUT THIS TIME every year the garden bounty really kicks in, and I don't mean just the zucchini. Right now it's possible to find a real peach, a peachy peach, such as the beaut local farmer Darius Richman handed me the other day. It not only looked like a peach it tasted like a peach, and try finding a peachy peach in a supermarket. They'll have peaches that look like the greatest peaches to ever fall from a tree but, blindfolded, supermarket peaches, apples, plums, apricots all taste the same, or watered-down versions of the fruit God intended.

AND WHO ROLLS IN Thursday afternoon with his own impressive bounty straight outta Arbuckle, but Patrick Kalfsbeek, beekeeper to the stars. I'd forgotten what a beefsteak tomato tasted like until Patrick handed me one of his. And his honey? The Anderson Valley has never been sweeter.

ROBERT PINOLI JR. has been appointed to the Mendo College Board of Trustees. He represents the people of the Fifth Supe's District, with some boundary adjustments to accommodate the college district. Robert Pinoli Sr. is athletic director at Anderson Valley High School, and if you're wondering why tiny school districts require athletic directors you wonder not alone.

THE REDOUBTABLE PAUL McCARTHY of the indispensable MendoSportsPlus immediately took issue:

“I have to disagree about the Athletic Director post – it’s a difficult & thankless job and involves a LOT more than people know – team scheduling being the least of the headaches. Referees have to be scheduled, coaches hired, uniforms ordered, school grades for eligibility monitored, the physical plant /field has to be up to standards, etc. Being an AD is no walk in the park; they’re the focal point for parent/ resident complaints – and the only time they’re ever noticed by the public is when something goes wrong.

And one other thing – they have to put up with me.

My hat is off to these unsung heroes who (for the most part) keep high school sports operating seamlessly.”

A TWO-PAGE PUFFERO on the Anderson Valley as wine theme park in the Sunday Chron concluded with this frightening sentence: “….My advice is to get up to Anderson Valley before too much changes, and experience the unspoiled charm of a world class wine region that is just hitting its stride.”

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