Valley People (Aug. 23, 2017)

by AVA News Service, August 23, 2017

THE GOOD NEWS: Tracy Anderson, Anderson Valley born and bred, has been appointed as principal at our elementary school. Tracy’s mom, the late Terry Anderson, was crucial to the founding of the Anderson Valley Health Center. Dad Jim still lives in Philo. Tracy graduated from Anderson Valley High School, worked her way up through the ranks at Safeway, went to college to get her credentials, and here she is, always a hardworker, always a striver who has learned first hand from the world of work. We think Tracy is an excellent choice to instill the basics in the little ones.

HEADLINE of the week from the ICO (Gualala): “Moon’s shadow to cross America,”  and darned if it didn’t do just that.

KNOTS of Boonvillians stood gazing skyward as the moon briefly eclipsed the sun Monday morning. So far, no reports of solar blindness.

HARVEY READING OBSERVES: “Was that what just happened? I noticed that it kept getting darker and darker, and now it’s getting lighter and lighter. Overall, I’m glad I got to see a total eclipse of the sun, with only a little smoke and a few clouds to interfere with the experience, and especially glad because I got to do it at home. If I had lived a few miles away, I’d have died never having seen one. Now, I’ll die having experienced one, for whatever difference that makes… Let’s see, Halley’s Comet in ’85, total solar eclipse in 2017; what’s left? Nuclear war?”

JUST IN from the Buckhorn. “We are hosting Boonfire at the Buckhorn on Friday the 25th, with all drinks at Happy Hour prices.”

I’VE ENJOYED TWO FINE MEALS at the revamped Horn, and I wholeheartedly recommend you visit if you haven’t already. The excellent local band, Boonfire, is all the pretext you need to hie yourself forth. The Condon family, not so incidentally, the new owners of the Buckhorn, is the very definition of graciousness, and their staff is welcoming and attentive.

THE SMOKY HAZE blanketing the Anderson Valley on Saturday, comes from fires in the Six Rivers National Forest in Trinity and some big ones burning up Modoc. As hazy as it was in Boonville on Saturday, we were told it was worse in Ukiah, where bad always manages to be worse.

THE PENNANTS  heralding the annual County Fair have been strung across downtown Boonville, the pink ladies have been up for two weeks, there’s a nip in the early morning air, footballs and futballs are flying, the grapes and the Gravs are in, and all’s right with our little part of the world. If only we could somehow sever it from the rest….

THE RENTAL SQUEEZE is everywhere. Chatting with a young mom the other day she said she has been forced over the hill to look in Ukiah: “Even there there’s nothing,” she said. Her job certainly doesn’t pay enough to live on, and she and her husband with their combined incomes barely get by. One upshot is that “entry-level” work is on offer in several places in the Anderson Valley, but the young people who would ordinarily take it have been priced outtahere.

AV FOOTBALL has kicked off another season under head coach John Toohey. Look for those Friday night lights to flicker on soon at the Boonville Fairgrounds.

CALFIRE BOONVILLE was impressively quick at clearing a tree that fell across Mountainview Road about  4:30 Monday morning. The CHP said the tree was “the size of a telephone pole blocking both lanes about two miles up from Highway 128.” CalFire had the road open by five.

NICE DESCRIPTION of the season from Petit Teton Farm: “It's already deer hunting season - again.  Summer's checking out soon; the county fair is gearing up; the chickens head to bed right after dinner instead of keeping us up late; our week off is coming soon; fires are burning all around us, mainly north and not in the valley although the air is yellow; the buckeyes are dropping leaves; the poison oak is turning red; birds are pecking holes in all the apples and pears; our packrat is pulling all the ripe hazelnuts off the trees by the garage... Whoa, wait a minute..."our packrat"??  Well sort of.  He took up residence in the top corner of the garage because we stupidly left a small opening.  We first noticed his presence when he ran down and up the wisteria next to the hot tub we were occupying.  Then we'd see him in the heat of the day at the roof line lounging with his tail hanging and butt exposed (from whence we determined he was a "he") because his "home" right under a corrugated metal roof is a bit hot midday, so we'd tease him until he awoke and turned around to peer down at us.  Oh, so cute he is.  He's called a dusky footed pack rat but his paws are pink like his nose.  See the attached photo if you don't believe me.  Can't have him living with us though, so we bought a small have-a-heart trap and caught him with a bit of peanut butter then let him go at the edge of the fence line a quarter mile away.  A couple of days later we're cleaning up his nest from which we extracted more hazelnuts, still whole and probably intended for his winter stash, than we had collected for ourselves from the trees, and much shredded plastic, gnawed wood, wisteria flowers and leaves.  We were about to close the hole in the roof we had so carelessly left open when we looked up and I'll be damned, there he was peering down at us from the gutter with a bit of a smile on his cute puss.  Now what?!  We've left the roof open, set the trap again and are hoping he's not as smart as we're guessing he is!  We'll keep you posted.”

LOCAL ELECTION CLARIFICATION: According to the County Elections Office, incumbents Natalie Matson and Kerri Sanchez have not refiled to continue as trustees. Former trustee Eric Arbanovella resigned in July. That means there are three seats up for election on November 7: Two long-term (Matson and Sanchez seats) and one short-term (Arbanovella).

BY THE AUGUST deadline, resident Sheriff’s deputy Craig Walker has filed for one of the two long-term seats and Saoirse Bryne filed for the short-term seat. So for now we have deputy Walker and Saoirse Bryne joining returning board members Richard Browning and Wynne Crisman. The deputy and Mrs. Bryne assume their responsibilities in January.

IT’S NOT CLEAR who will appoint the fifth trustee. It has happened that County Supervisors, the County Board of Education or the AVUSD Board itself does the choosing, usually the local school district, although in the distant past the appointment was made at the county level. However by whomever he or she is appointed he or she will be selected from among persons applying for that coveted (sic) fifth seat between now and January 1.

ANDERSON VALLEY’S reigning authority, the Community Services District Board, will suffer the unfortunate retirement of incumbent Kirk Wilder, always a sensible voice on this crucial local body. No one has filed to fill Wilder’s vacancy.

INCUMBENT Kathleen McKenna, unchallenged, will continue as a trustee, joining current trustees Joanie Clark, Valerie Hanelt and Paul Soderman on an unchanged board save for Wilder’s retirement. As far as we know, the Board of Supervisors is the appointing authority for the Community Services District so the Supervisors will presumably select from whoever applies between now and January 1, 2018.

CSD TRUSTEE KATHLEEN McKENNA WRITES: “Since Kirk Wilder is retiring from the AVCSD board after 14 years of service and no candidates have filed for the November elections, there will be a vacancy on the board starting in December. The vacancy can now be filled by appointment. Directors typically spend from 5-10 hours a month on CSD business. In addition to the monthly board meeting (3rd Wed @ 5:30), directors are expected to serve on at least one subcommittee. Information about the district can be found at Interested persons should apply to the County Board of Supervisors. Contact Joy Andrews (895-2075) for details.”

THE RECENT open house at the Boonville Airport was a success, and Kirk and Cindy Wilder thank all those who assisted in providing another spectacular community event at that memorable Saturday of August 12. Entertainment was provided by “The Ukeholics and The Tiny Orchestra of Boonville.” 116 people were provided free airplane rides around the Anderson Valley by eleven volunteer pilots flying a wide variety of airplanes. The evening was highlighted by a delicious pot-luck dinner. Thanks to one and all and hope to see you all again next year!”

REBECCA JOHNSON WRITES: “Save the date Sept 10, art lovers, studio visitors. I am having an open studio, September 10, featuring 7 barns, my new work in which I create bas-relief constructions integrating salvaged barn siding from local structures, set against simple and quiet pastoral scenes. “As a review put it, “Through her evocative work, Johnson breathes new life into these once-integral parts of the human landscape. Every piece of barn siding carries its own history — in the patterns of the weathered wood, remnants of long-worn paint, and nicks and scars that make up their individual topography. Johnson gives these fragments of the past a new home, pausing time temporarily, and placing them in a Zen-minimalist vision of the rolling hills found just outside her studio door — sky, land, horizon, and barn.” Hope to see you, Ms. J signs off. She’ll see me, a long-time admirer of her work, which I think always manages to evoke the color and “feel” of Mendocino County.

GAZING OUT my office window thinking grand thoughts, I watched a couple of trailer jocks maneuver around each other to get at the drive-in’s gas pumps. I don't get it. Put all your stuff in a fifty-foot tin box then drag it all over America? Eventually, a couple of wheezes dressed like small boys dressed in 1950 emerged from their tin sarcophogi to totter off into the store. Their presumed wives were gender-neutral but for their long hair, but if they’d worn the Fatty Arbuckle outfits of their husbands there’d have been no telling them apart.

THEN TEN UNIFORMED, armed motorcycle cops peeled off 128 and drove into the drive-in oasis. They were from Santa Rosa. I asked one why they were in Boonville. "Training run," he explained. Training for a nice, long drive to Boonville and back on a summer morning. There is worse work.

CHP in Boonville

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