Valley People

by AVA News Service, September 30, 2010

5-YEAR-OLD Leslie Bucio Solano of Philo has been diagnosed with leukemia. This Saturday Oct. 2nd 4-11 PM at the Philo Grange there will be a dinner and dance to help the child's family meet expenses. The Estrellas (Stars) will play, Alex Favela will D.J, many people will cook, and everyone will have a good time while saving this kid's life. If you can't stay for dinner drop by and make a contribution. Or mail one to Leslie Bucio, c/o Felipe Malfavon, Navarro Vineyards, Box 47, Philo, Ca. 95466.

IT'S TRUE. Ground Zero deVallia, Elk, has achieved both unimpeded ocean views for several of its better placed but normally eco-minded homeowners, including the former supervisor, but State Parks has been persuaded to do the deed on the grounds the old cypress aren't native. Anyway, the trees are down, the Elk eco-gentry can gaze directly out to sea, and ancient sea cypress that went way, way back, so far back they are native, are gone.

MIRANDA BRENDLEN was a star participant in last Sunday's Tour de Fat bicycle event in San Francisco where Miranda, class of 2005 Anderson Valley High School, traded her car for a bike. And here the ironies begin to frolic. Miranda is from Boonville. The city's bike lane guy, Nick Carr, is from Boonville. The city's premier anti-bike lane activist, one of two, Rob Anderson, is more or less from Boonville. And Rob Anderson's lawyer in his great crusade to squeeze more automobiles into Frisco's finite spaces is Mary Miles of Potter Valley and Ukiah. Few people had understood how inimical bicycles were to San Francisco's (and the nation's) well-being until Anderson and Miles launched their winning lawsuit to stop expansion of San Francisco's bike lanes. One can only hope that when they've finished off bikes Anderson and Miles will do something about children's laughter. And we all know that bird song is another national irritant just waiting for organized opposition. Then of course there are those annoyingly beautiful ocean sunsets, millions of repulsively happy family picnics, gloriously resilient sunflowers that appear in vacant urban lots without anybody doing anything to suppress them, and who knows how many other crucially bedeviling but unaddressed problems troubling America's sleep.

OLIE ERICKSON is in Alaska where his ancestral home on his dad's side is only a couple of houses down from Sarah Palin's.

AND PATTY ZALPIS, lately of Comptche, stayed home and won a million bucks on a scratcher, $25,000 of which Patty immediately handed to the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department.

THE BOONVILLE 9-man football team got off to a good start last Friday night at the Fairgrounds against visiting Tomales, but the Panthers turned out to be no match for the visitors as they ran up a large margin of victory, 56-14. Michael Blackburn had another big night on offense, Omar Benevides' usual ferocity was not enough to anchot the defense, which got run over. This Friday night at the Boonville Fairgrounds the Panthers take on Point Arena in the Homecoming game.

THE MARK HUMMEL & Friends Harmonica blowout — the final big bash of the summer at the Navarro Store — was a real gas. When we first got there the Blackhorse Blues Band was playing out in front of the store. Randy Peters on bass and vocals, Rick Parish on guitar and Al Gonzales on drums. The crowd started flowing in and Pablo was putting the famous meat to the heat and it was sizzling on the grill while Randy Phillips was sizzling on the harmonica. As the sun went down, the crowd wandered back to the big stage. Lee Oscar was there with Rusty Zinn on guitar and RW Busby on bass doing a tune called Talkin’ Shit. A crowd of dancers filled the area in front of the stage, a girl with a Hula-Hoop was swinging to the beat. The big lawn filled up. The band was playing “Ain’t that a Funky Way to Treat Somebody,” the guitar needling and squeezing the high notes. Then Mark Hummel got down on his horn, the crowd was clapping their hands and the band was “Doin’ That Funky Hand Jive” — as were most of us. There was about a 20 minute break, then Rick Esterlin came on in a fancy red suit, his hair slicked like Elvis and a pair of cool-o wrap-around sunglasses. He ripped out a smokin’ hot version of “Jump That Chump.” Then he moved into “Baby Don’t Squeeze Too Tight,” and finally “Too Close Together,” with his harp honking like a flock of geese. At some point the other band members wandered off, Rusty Zinn was seated backstage changing a guitar string. It sounded like the whole band was still playing – but it was just Rick and his harmonica! The moon rose full over the redwoods at about 9:30 and it was time to go after five hours of fine blues at the Big Harmonica Blow-out. Summer’s officially over. Navarro Impresario Dave Evans has delivered another season of top-notch stage performances with Saturday’s great Blues Blow-out as the capper. Keep ’em coming, Dave. (Bruce McEwen)

DAVE EVANS of the Navarro Store, the Northcoast's hottest live music venue, says Matt Rowland, the Mendocino tent guy, saved The Animals show when it rained a little Fair weekend. On very short notice, Matt came up with a tent big enough to keep the whole show out of the rain, which was more like a mist but hazardous to the electric gear musicians depend on these days. Dave says the second saviors were "the sound guys," Hal Wagenet and Steve Rowen" who stayed all day to get things hooked up, not knowing whether the show would have to be cancelled. It wasn't and, as Dave says, Eric Burden and his menagerie "had this place absolutely off the hook!"

MONDAY MORNING just before the sun came up, it was 47 at my house. At 1pm, with the sun all the way up, it was 98 in the shade, at my house and everywhere else in The Valley, except deep in the old redwood groves. The hot weather is good for the grapes. The marijuana crop, too, although one grower told me the mostly cool summer put a lot of mildew on the outdoor crop, much of which was hauled in in a panic when it rained a little last weekend.

WE COUNT our multitudinous blessings here in the Anderson Valley, and I added another to my count the other day when I enjoyed the tastiest brownie ever in a life time of heedless consumption, and I got it from Melinda Ellis herself at Paysanne right downstairs from the office, next door to Leslie's All That Good Stuff. Perfect coffee, baked goods like grandma never made. And if you ever hanker for an old fashioned maple donut straight outta 1959, they still make them that old fashioned way at the Redwood Drive-in, Boonville.

MARY PAT PALMER says she's "still seeking a land partner here at the Philo School (Herbs, Herbalism, healing) 16 acres, 13 of them protected redwoods, the rest wonderful gardens and rustic buildings." I happen to know the place, and I'm here to tell you it's a beaut.

JOHN SCHARFFENBERGER of Philo was featured on the front page of Sunday's Chronicle in a long piece describing his latest venture, this one into tofu. If Scharffie does for tofu what he did for chocolate, tofu is surefire likely to become a lot more beguiling than it has heretofore been.

ALL THE BUZZ on Greenwood Road is about the looming foreclosure applied to the Berry Ranch by the mortgage holders, Mike Shapiro, Norman deVall, Charlie Acker, and a couple of other investors who loaned the Berrys some$400,000 the Berrys have been unable to pay back. And the buzz is bitter, replete with charges and counter-charges that the persons foreclosing have engaged in loan-sharking at excessive interest rates which, at 14 percent would certainly be excessive if that's the figure, and the whole deal being entered blindly into by a Berry allegedly incapable of rational decision-making. Some 240 acres and a home are involved The whole sad show seems headed for court.

THE BOONVILLE WOMAN being foreclosed on might want to know that the required formal notice has appeared in the Ukiah paper, not the Boonville paper where it is supposed to appear. By appealing on the basis of faulty notice you might be able to stave off the repo jackals long enough to work something out with the bank to stay sheltered for the winter.

CAROLYN SHORT sends along a couple of articles originating with the Merced Sun Star about a memorial statue just erected in a Merced park honoring native son, Steven Stayner. Stayner was kidnapped as a child by a pedophile named Kenneth Parnell who lived with the captive child for several years in Comptche and then on Mountain View Road some 15 miles west of Boonville. Stayner was seven when he was snatched off a Merced street near his home by Parnell, so young that Parnell was able to convince the boy that he was his father. Stayner, having grown up among the behaviorally elastic Mendocino County counterculture where deviant behavior either went unchallenged or was seen merely as "doing your own thing," was a teenager when he realized dad was a major pervert. When Parnell brought home a new little boy to the Mountain View Road cabin Parnell shared with Stayner, Stayner soon took 5-year-old Timothy White, abducted in Ukiah by Stayner and Parnell, and hitchhiked to the Ukiah Police Department, thus returning both himself and Timothy to the land of the living. The Merced statue depicts the teenage Stayner and Timothy, both of whom died prematurely, Stayner in a motorcycle accident, Timothy of an embolism. It was a sad interlude, the period of 1972 to 1980. All sorts of maniacs roamed Mendocino County, the common denominator being an insane, often murderous tolerance for deeply aberrant behavior among wide sectors of the population, hippies mostly, but law enforcement was pretty lax, too.

THE TWO FORMER VALLEY RESIDENTS who raped the young girl featured on Ameirca’s Most Wanted (as described in last week’s Valley People), are Jose Lopez Garibay, now 31, and Julio Rengal Ceja, now 20. These are the wanted photos of the two, unlikely as it is that they’ll ever show up in Anderson Valley again. (And the photo of Mr. Ceja is when he was a young teenager; we’re told he’s pretty ganged-out now.)

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