Valley People (Dec. 6, 2017)

by AVA News Service, December 6, 2017

THE ABSENCE of big rains is beginning to be worrisome. November came and went with less than a couple of inches, and December is sunny and clear with the frigid nights of early spring. The sandbar at the mouth of the Navarro has silted closed again, still awaiting the serious downpours to blast it open. Rain dances are in order. (But remember: The Secret to a Successful Rain Dance: Timing!)

DECEMBER 12th, 6 pm, at the High School Cafe the two new school trustees, Craig Walker and Saoirse Byrne will be sworn in. A third board member is still being sought for this thankless but necessary task.

HEALTH CENTER administrator, Chloe Guazzone, informs us that the Center “has hired two temporary medical providers; Bernie Brass, Family Practice Doctor and Luiza Savin, Nurse Practitioner. Both providers are hired temporarily, both speak Spanish, one through March, the other not confirmed but we are working on confirming through March as well. Also, we hired a new permanent psychologist, Stephanie Shreve.”

A SINGLE-VEHICLE crash early Sunday in rainy weather on Highway 128 injured one man seriously, the CHP said. According to CHP, a 1994 Dodge Ram driven by Eddy Joseph Jones II, 54, of Navarro, was eastbound at mile marker 38 at an unknown speed when it ran off the road and hit a tree about 2:20 a.m. Jones, who was wearing a seatbelt, suffered minor injuries. His passenger, Luis Armando Borja Jr., 56, of San Francisco, was not wearing a seatbelt, and was thrown from the truck, suffering major internal injuries. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. Alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been a contributing factor.

KAITLIN ESPINOZA, student tournament director for the Redwood Classic, sends along the crucial Classic info:

All Tourney Team:

#32 Alejandro Soto - Anderson Valley

#10 Sammo Franco - Covelo

#32 Jordan Pearsons - Cloverdale

#23 George Navarro - Hoopa

#20 Cache Fields - Pinewood

#21 Adison Cramer - Argonaut

#23 Lucas Harris - Woodside Priory

#5 Miles Amos - Stuart Hall

#3 Alex Byrd - Stuart Hall

#11 Kwentyn Wiggins - Branson

MVP - #10 Viktor Rajkmovic - Branson

AV LOST the first game to Fort Bragg with a final score of 37-36. Into the consolation bracket they played Tulelake and won with a final score of 57-41. At 10:30 on Saturday morning AV played Round Valley, they lost 67-59. During that game, Alejandro Soto broke a school record and tied for most points at Redwood Classic in a single game with 51 points.” Kaitlin then signed off and more informal Classic comment commenced.

NEVER BET AGAINST BOONVILLE, NEVER! Boonville High School, student population 150, lost by one point last night to Fort Bragg High School, student population 539. As previously stated, and no insult intended, Boonville can't shoot, but boy o boy o can Boonville play D. Boonville plays a tenacious, man-to-man, full-court, old school defense via which the Boonville boys drive bigger, much more skilled teams absolutely nuts. Imagine a giant squid in your puss from the time you in-bound the ball. That's the Boonville basketball experience. Fort Bragg squeaked out a 37-36 victory, and they were very lucky to drive back into the fog with a win.

THE USUAL MISMATCHES characterized the 60th annual Redwood Classic and, as usual, two Bay Area teams, heavy on recruits, played for the championship, one of which was Branson of Ross in Marin County, a community with the highest per capita income in the country, and the alma mater of the famous chef, Julia Child, when the school was for girls only at a time when the ruling class kept its daughters as far from the rabble as possible, although in 1967 the girls started running off with rock and roll musicians and other undesirables, but at least the hairy beasts had money, and then Branson went coed and began fielding sports teams which were initially so bad people burst into tears at their mere appearance, embarrassing the wealthy school’s donors who began giving athletically talented non-readers scholarships and presto! magico! Branson was a sports powerhouse, almost annually retreating from a weekend of Boonville slumming with yet another big trophy. In their first game of this year’s tournament Branson 65, Tomales 12, which is the annual way it goes.

TOURNEY TIME brings out the nostalgia in the Anderson family, two of whom were all-tourney back in the day, Zack Anderson and Robert Mailer Anderson, as the latter comments,  "I was all-tourney at the Classic, and it is top ten of AVHS sports memories for me. If only Eddie Huron, Lyle Wilhite, Nick Lee, Chato Mendoza, Mike Arevelo and Mike Jones would have passed me the ball more. Send me in, I’m hot, coach!" (The coach was JR Collins.)

SPEAKING OF SPORTS,  the 2017 World Series Champion Sonoma Dragons, with Anderson Valley’s very own Al Green roaming center field, has racked up another national Old Guys Baseball championship.  Al, best known locally for his 100 percent Pinot, got a crucial RBI single against the Puget Sound Mariners as the Dragons crushed the old salts from the far north.

A LOCAL DEMANDED, “Why don't you write about local restaurants and wineries? Well, uh, ah, er, to be blunt about it my gastro-credentials are pretty thin. I'm a food as fuel guy with simple tastes — meat loaf, pot roast, fish and chips, chicken chow mein, burritos. Devoting two or three hours to a fancy meal? I don't get it, and strictly avoid the experience, not that I could afford even if I went nuts and desired it. There's some great food writing by people like the late MFK Fisher and Anthony Bourdain, and maybe there's some interesting prose about wine, not that I've ever read any. There’s certainly reams of absurd wine prose of the “Essence of apricot with a faint whiff of jive” type, as we all know. But I can say without exaggeration that it's impossible to get a bad meal in the Anderson Valley. The only restaurants I haven't eaten at are Pennyroyal Farms here in Boonville and the Bewildered Pig in Navarro, about which I've heard only raves. I certainly don't keep food and drink reviews out of the mighty ava, it's just that we seldom get them, probably because the trendo-groove-o’s of food and wine world think we’re hostile to them.

ACCORDING to the Fandango website a nighttime movie at the Ukiah Theater is $11.90 for adults and $9.40 for kids and seniors, which seems awfully expensive for Ukiah and even the Bay Area. But a friend says she went to a matinee a couple of weeks ago and the senior rate was $7.50, "and three family members went to a matinee during Thanksgiving weekend and it was $10 each."

REBECCA JOHNSON, the talented sculptress whose work in on display, indoors and out at Wylie’s Barn, Navarro, invites the many admirers of her work “to please stop by and see my show at Mendocino Art Center. I am particularly excited about the interplay of my stone bench and the paintings. My bench offers the viewer the artist’s vantage point, a place to ponder and by sitting on the art you actually become part of the show. Come join me on December 9.”

KZYX IS TOUTING its fire coverage, but I thought it was not particularly informative, with updates placed after an hour of banjo music, or whatever other audio filler was occupying the station’s frequency. I got the feeling that if an earthquake had severed the Northcoast from the rest of the California land mass, we’d have to wait for the tunes to die down before we knew why there was six feet of salt water in downtown Boonville. The first day of a catastrophe on the unprecedented scale of the Big Fires, the phones should have been open the entire morning for hard information, and available to on-site persons to call in. This periodic listener didn’t have the patience to wait an hour or so for updates, which he inevitably got from other sources. I’ve heard even inland AM stations put their cowboy love yawps on hold for more timely news than we got from Mendo Public Radio. MendoSportsPlus was quite good for breaking news updates during the fires. On KZYX, only Sarah Reith’s longer interviews with emergency personnel and fire vics were consistently informative.

WHEN A GROUP of coyotes sound off for about 30 seconds in the evening, have they caught prey? If not, what triggers the outburst? Tom Stienstra, the Chron’s fine nature writer answers, “The louder the howl, the bigger the prize, often a fawn.”

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