Valley People (Sep. 6, 2017)

by AVA News Service, September 6, 2017

PICTURES of two guys in the act of committing a burglary are floating around on Facebook. The so far unidentified pair is believed to be responsible for several break-ins in the Upper Greenwood area. If you recognize the pair from this grainy game-cam pic, call the Sheriff’s tip line at 234-2100, or leave a message at the Boonville Substation at 895-2257. Or email:

NORCAL TEMPERATURES set records everywhere, including Boonville last Friday when the mercury climbed to an unheard of 112 by 3pm. And the next day, Saturday, it was 112 again, the whole of it turning the sun, then the moon, blood red.

CLIMATE CHANGE? According to the San Jose Mercury News: “Not exactly, say scientists. Heat waves, droughts and hurricanes like Harvey, which brought historic floods to Texas in recent days, have always been part of the weather in the United States. But climate change — the steady warming of the Earth from the burning of fossil fuels, which traps heat in the atmosphere — is making them worse.  And brutally hot weather like this weekend’s heat wave is almost certain to become more commonplace in the coming decades.”

YORKVILLE'S TRIPLE-DIGIT TEMPS over the past nine days, began on Saturday, August 26th with 105 at 3pm, and 100-plus days continued through Sunday, September 3rd with a high of 106. Saturday, September 2nd, at 4pm, it was 111 in Yorkville. But just in time for the big annual Yorkville Ice Cream Social on Labor Day, September 3rd, it was suddenly a positively chilly 96 in High Roller country.

THERE WAS A REPORT OF A ‘HEAT INJURY,’ suffered by a 38 year old AV male Saturday afternoon. The guy was choppered outtahere for re-hydrating. Friday night, after a very hot day, even deep in the Navarro redwoods, an 87 year old woman living alone on Appian Way, had fallen two full days prior. She was carried by air-ambulance over the hill. No word on her condition, but that hot weather admonition to check on the well-being of your frail neighbors applies here.

EQUIPMENT BREAKDOWNS have also made local emergency responder work more fraught than it already was from the heat. An AV firefighter strike team engine on assignment to the Helena Fire in Six Rivers National Forest broke down and was still broken down as of Saturday night because arrangements to obtain a replacement for the specialized component is time consuming. Somebody, probably Fire Chief Avila, has to drive to Redding, get the part then drive it up to Trinity where a mechanic will have to be found to install it and test the repaired fire engine. Meanwhile the Strike Team crew is out of service deep in Trinity County.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY STRIKE TEAM has been assigned to night shift. This picture is from Friday night on the Helena Fire outside of Weaverville. Beneath all that protective gear we have, left to right: Angela Dewitt, Clay Eubanks, Moy Perez, Abraham Sanchez, and Hector Sanchez.

OUR CRUCIAL AV Ambulance has collapsed several times lately, taking it out of service for days at a time. Our stalwart crews have been operating with a loaner from Medstar Ambulance in Ukiah. Money to replace the aged ambulance has been set aside in anticipation of a new medic-rig some time in 2018.

AV SOCCER, coached by Abel Maldonado continues to rampage undefeated up and down the Northcoast, with side excursions east to whomp on Lake County teams. As of Tuesday, August 29th Maldonado’s Maulers were 5-0 having beaten Willits, Kelseyville, Tomales, Middletown, and Clearlake. As we went to press, the roaring Panthers were at Rincon Valley for a Wednesday afternoon match.

THE AV PANTHER football team was scheduled to play Potter Valley last Friday, Sep. 1. But it was a hot and hazy day and the game was cancelled due to "air quality" in Potter Valley.

GIRL’S SPORTS remain a rumor, confirmed last week by MSP who reported the Boonville lasses had lost a soccer game to Mendocino, 2-0.

THE AVA'S NEIGHBORHOOD does not resemble Mr. Rogers’. Four successive gun shots had us jumping at exactly 10:37pm Thursday night, a work night. The gunfire punctuated an angry Spanish-language argument, all of it playing out against a sound track of bad music played at top decibel.  The gunfire property is home to at least one pregnant woman, toddlers, young children, respectable old ladies. Wild gun fire is never a good thing, but doubly bad in the context of a neighborhood of working people who, heat or no heat, have to get up early and work all day.

BRIAN HERNANDEZ, class of 2017 AV High School honors grad. Brian has received a scholarship from the FFA as well as a Robert Mailer Anderson scholarship to attend UC Davis starting in September. Hernandez plans to enter UC's viticulture and enology program and pursue a career in the wine industry. Brian’s father Juventino Hernandez is a long-time vineyard crew leader with a local vineyard management company. To the best of our knowledge he is the first AV High grad to enter UC Davis’s viticulture and enology program even though the wine industry is AV’s main crop and employer. Hernandez began FFA when he was a tenth grader and has raised livestock — mostly chickens and goats — for entries into the Redwood Empire Fair and the Mendocino County Fair. He now has a prize Boer Goat which he raised on all-organic feed and is now “market ready” at 75 pounds. Very smart, pleasant young man whose first year at Davis will be slightly more enhanced if his prize goat can be sold before classes begin. Brian can be reached at 707/380-5777

THE ANDERSON VALLEY FILM CLUB will host Jesse Wakeman for the screening of his latest film, “Donald Cried,” 7:30 PM, Friday, September 22, at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo. Wakeman has a lead acting role in the film and, along with Kyle Espeleta, were part of the creative team that made the film. Both young men grew up in Anderson Valley. “Donald Cried” was selected as a “Critic’s Pick” by the New York Times and Washington Post. Admission is free. There will be an opportunity to meet Wakeman and ask questions after the film. The film is rated for mature audiences.

CODE ENFORCEMENT, MENDO STYLE: Property Owner: Pathways in Education (aka Blackbird Farm, 18601 Van Zandt Resort Road, Philo)

Parcel Numbers: 026-392-21, -22, -23, -24, -25, -30, -31

Zoned: TP (#24 zoned FL)

Date: August 15, 2016. Case #BI_2016-0075

“You are hereby officially notified as the owner of record for the above referenced property that the following structures and/or uses have been found to be in violation of Mendocino County Building and/or Zoning Codes……

AN ENUMERATION of violations follow, so many that it’s obvious that Blackbird is a major scofflaw operation, so obvious, so flagrant, so contemptuous of the county’s Planning and Building Department, that that department’s refusal to crack down is simply inexplicable.

PLANNING AND BUILDING’S toothless woof-woofs to “stop all unpermitted work” and fix everything else “immediately” or within 30 days of September 12th last year seems to have inspired Blackbird to commit more violations.

BLACKBIRD’S NEIGHBORS report that all the buildings and structures mentioned as being in violation continue to be used without modification, including the use of the unsafe zipline by student campers and the rental of the unsafe Yurts via airbnb.

AND YOU WONDER why some pot growers are expanding their operations and facilities without permits, thus generating numerous neighbor complaints that go un-acted upon?

“WHATEVER EXCITEMENT was generated for local students in the initial rush of Back to School Fever is long since passed and in fact was extinguished by mid-morning on the first day. Now comes endless drudgery and boredom until next June, which will take eight years in teenage time. Burdened by heavy backpacks, surrounded by dull instructors and forced to bury their noses in books that cause frontal lobe paralysis, yet another generation of kids is being mistreated and abused. By us. No matter how bad you think it is, it’s worse. I recently strolled over to Pomolita Middle School to inspect the grounds. I have personally visited medium security prisons with a more inviting ambience. Go check it out. It’s definitely worth a walk around the campus, although the word “campus” is misleading. Pomolita is not a lush, leafy, inviting place. It is, in fact, mostly harsh pavement with some cheap trailer-style boxes joined end-to-end at its western edge. Classrooms, I guess…”  — Tommy Wayne Kramer, Ukiah Daily Journal

HERE IN BOONVILLE, circa 1955, Anderson Valley Unified abandoned, then demolished, its graceful old high school for the medium security prison architecture in which our nation's future is now confined for 12 years, emerging at the other end to commence wage slavery in buildings similar to the ones they’ve spent their formative years in.

AS FAR BACK as the Acropolis, the assumption was that learning is enhanced by the aesthetics it takes place in, that learning was central, that the school was a crucial community institution that reflected the priorities of everyone who lived in it. Beauty being a primary value to be instilled in young savages, and care was taken with the "learning environment."

THE PIONEER FAMILIES of Anderson Valley, for instance, like pioneer American families everywhere, erected modest but beautiful schools, many of them the one-room affairs like the one we have in Anderson Valley, lately preserved as a museum.  A century hence, why would it even occur to anyone to preserve, say, Anderson Valley High School?

SIMPLY entering a modern school is a dispiriting experience. Long, unadorned hallways with maybe an idiot cartoon character placed here and there, cancer-causing materials, the whole of it comprising a kind of desensitization chamber without a single sight that might so much as hint that there's intelligent life anywhere on the premises. The modern school is a kind of house of the dead where a young person's every instinct screams, "Get me out!"

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