Valley People

by AVA News Service, February 9, 2011

GARRETT MABERY, 18, is recovering at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital from a terrible accident late Monday afternoon. Garrett was airlifted to the hospital with injuries described by one witness as “serious but not life-threatening.” From all accounts, the young man, on his bicycle, unaccountably swerved into the Philo-bound traffic lane of Highway 128 where he was struck by Mitchell Holman of Philo who could not avoid him. Holman was driving at a speed estimated at 50 miles per hour, well under the legal limit. A professional musician who has lived in the Anderson Valley for many years, Holman, who was not cited, was understandably distraught, although he clearly could not have avoided hitting young Mabery. The collision occurred just north of Boonville on the stretch of highway opposite the Caltrans yard.

RENEE LEE writes: “What can I say? We are all disappointed about the Point Arena game last week. The Pirates handed the Varsity Boys their first league loss this year and it wasn't even a close one. The Panthers lost by 29 points (58-29) by a team they beat by 5 points at home just a few short weeks ago. AV's combined points was a figure that typically one of the leading scorers made—alone. It's true, the stunned Panthers weren't playing up to par in this parallel universe riddled with the bizarre antics of Pirate Coach Warren Galletti rolling around on the gym floor like a Southern Baptist preacher speaking in tongues. AV Boys were also psyched out, outplayed and battered by fouls that were ignored by the officials. Several drunk and rude home crowders were shouting profanities, flipping the bird at players during free throws, chanting insults, carrying offensive signs wasn't creating a warm and fuzzy, welcoming atmosphere either. A big “T” was called on AV's Coach Slotte for simply questioning a call when he could at least stay in the upright position during the game. At once point he did holler down to Coach Galletti that “it's hard to win a game when a fair game won't be called.” The moment Point Arena's Trace Yaeger hit his career 1000th point, the picture of what the evening was really about became a whole lot clearer. The officiating turned around a little in the second half but by then the damage was done. No offense to Yaeger. He's a great basketball player. After the game, fights broke out, there were thefts in the locker room and AV fans were blocked in and terrorized in the parking lot. Mike Blackburn led the Panthers with 11 points and Jason Sanchez added 4 points. We're proud of our Panthers for hanging in there. Hopefully, we'll face the Pirates at home in play-offs and we'll be ready. Our JV Girls lost 53-9 and the JV Boys lost a very physical game 48-42, and the Varsity Girls lost 51-34. Rubi Peña had 13 points and Itzel Perez had 11 points. The Varsity Boys had the only game on Friday. It was a welcome and easy win when the Panthers jumped to a 24-4 lead in the first quarter and outscored the Geyserville Broncos in the each consecutive quarter; 45-8 in the second, 62-13 in the third and 82-15 in the fourth. It was a great night for Panthers that usually don't get to share the limelight to really shine and all Panthers got their share of the action. Anthony Shield game off the bench to hit a three-pointer and he hit four more buckets before he was through. Elio Gonzalez converted some great steals into points and Jason Sanchez was unstoppable in the fourth quarter. Garrett Mezzanatto led the team with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds; Mike Blackburn had 15 points and 4 rebounds; Jason Sanchez had 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals; Anthony Shields 11 points; Hunter Saigaga 10 points; and Elio Gonzalez had 7 points.

RENEE LEE'S excellent account of last week's memorably raucous basketball game in Point Arena perfectly depicts what happened. A constant din of verbal abuse from the Point Arena fans with the Boonville fan consensus being that the fogbelters who weren't drunk or drinking out of their backpacks in the stands were “tweeked out of their skulls.” Some Boonville fans blamed our big loss on the refs, but when you lose by 29 points the relative competence of the refs is a minor consideration. We just got beat, and beat bad, and we'd beaten PA here on the home floor. Boonville is now tied with Point Arena for the league lead. Assuming the Good Guys beat Laytonville tonight in Laytonville, and wrap up with victories over Covelo, Potter Valley and Mendocino, the GG's will meet Point Arena here in Boonville for the championship game. And that will be one hot ticket.

IN MORE POSITIVE HOOPS news, Coach Erica Lemons' junior high girls, all 8th graders, walked out the door with the championship trophy at last Saturday's tournament in Mendocino. Ms. Lemons, an all-league player herself not that many years ago, tells us that the 7th grade girls host a 7th grade tournament here in Boonville this Saturday.

WHILE THE REST of us were snacking on Ritz crackers and Cheese Whiz, according to Marilyn Campbell of the Ukiah Daily Journal, “Cindy Adams of Willits is a die-hard football fan. Though her beloved San Francisco 49ers did not make the playoffs this year, she will host a Super Bowl party for tomorrow's game. On her menu: raw oysters on the half-shell with mignonette sauce and cavier.” Cavier In Willits? I don't believe it.

PRESENTLY on display at the Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah, “American Masterpieces: The Artistic Legacy of California Indian Basketry.” On Saturday, February 12th, “basketry scholar Ralph Shanks” will lecture on the lost art form at 2pm meaning one of those rare local opportunities to hear all about this ingenious but lost tradition of Mendocino County art.

EMMA SALGUES, Anderson Valley High School class of 1995, went from Boonville to Yale where she soon obtained a PhD in, I believe, linguistics. She has since been in great demand as an interpreter of dead Arab languages and often lives in the Middle East for long periods of time as a consultant on archeological digs. To say that she's brilliant hardly begins to describe her abilities. Emma is presently in the middle of millions of live Arabs as she and her husband report live from the center of Cairo, reporting that will soon include Emma's account of her adventures in this week's newspaper.

ANGELICA CONTRERAS, 22, and Gerardo Mendoza Figeroa, 24, both of Boonville, have taken out a license to be married.

I'VE ONLY known her all her life, but I still managed to spell both Terese and Brendlen wrong in last week's paper, and if I've got the spelling wrong again this week will someone please get me some Alzheimer meds?

SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN’S appearance at last Thursday’s Unity Club meeting generated a large crowd but little new information about what is on everyone's mind — the possible layoff of our popular resident deputy, Craig Walker. Allman is an experienced public speaker quick on his rhetorical feet. Most of what Allman relayed to the audience of some one hundred is well known to AVA readers — his dire budget situation, policing difficulties in Covelo, the fluid marijuana laws, the difficulties in beating back the widespread use methamphetamine. etc. Fifth District Supervisor Dan Hamburg was also on hand, prompting Allman — who had launched a somewhat testy exchange with Hamburg at a Supervisors meeting a couple weeks ago — to tell the audience, “I get along with Dan and I like him.”

ALLMAN SAID he pays 48¢ a mile to the County’s General Services Department for his patrol cars, and that rather hefty fee was the primary reason he had recently cut back on patrols throughout the County. Allman assured the audience that he planned to resume patrols in May, all be them not at previous levels, when our warm weather criminals become annually more active than they are in the winter months. The Unity Club’s generous offer to pay for gas for deputies in the Valley was dismissed without discussion. Allman said that even though the Unity Club had provided the funding for a “K-9 unit” for Deputy Craig Walker, the dog assignment was still on hold until the Sheriff has “a long-term assurance” that Deputy Walker will be staying with the Department — an assurance that may be a long time coming given the County’s and the Sheriff’s fragile budgets.

ANOTHER interesting prediction by the Sheriff was that he expects the County’s marijuana dispensary program “to bring in $600,000 to $800,000 in 2011 — if it works out.” Many people find it 1. ironic that the Sheriff is expecting to close his budget gap with marijuana money, and 2. that the optimistic income he expects — upwards of $800k — just happens to be what his budget gap is currently estimated to be.

ALLMAN said that the Highway Patrol will probably be increasing their patrols in Anderson Valley since they recently hired six new patrolmen for Mendocino County.

ASKED about his opinion of newly elected District Attorney David Eyster, Allman said he expected Eyster to be aggressive with commercial growers but “perhaps less aggressive” than his predecessor with medical growers, the only possible way to prosecute in the context of Mendocino County where every third person is engaged in marijuana production. Under DA Lintott, low-level pot prosecutions ate up huge amounts of public time to no visible social good as pot production steadily increased and Lintott chose not to prosecute several serious crimes including the obvious murder of Fort Bragg's Katlyn Long.

THE HIGHLIGHT of Thursday's meeting was the Unity Club's presentation of Certificates of Commendation to local deputies Keith Squires and Craig Walker, as the popular pair received a  well-deserved standing ovation.

THE MEETING ended before your faithful reporter, M. Scaramella, had the opportunity to interrogate the Sheriff. Several people after the meeting wondered at my reticence. If there had been time for my inquiries, I would have asked: 1. Is it true that the Unity Club is considering formation of a Gun Club  affiliated with the NRA? 2. How much money is actually being saved by the recently implemented patrol restrictions, and if it’s not that much, at least in Anderson Valley, why not take the Unity Club up on their offer to pay for the gas? 3. How much money is being saved by requiring deputies to double up in patrol cars? 4. Why hasn't the County aggressively pursued an arraignment court at the jail to save money on prisoner transport to and from the County Courthouse? 5. What alternatives are there for handling the non-criminal public drunks and other nuisances? 6. If the DA is being less aggressive on medical marijuana why don’t we see corresponding budget adjustments in all aspects of the criminal justice system? 7. Why doesn’t the Board of Supervisors (and the public) get regular crime statistics reports by category of crime and disposition? 8. Why doesn’t the Board of Supervisors re-activate their Criminal Justice Standing Committee to deal with law enforcement issues that cut across all law enforcement offices: Sheriff, Jail, District Attorney, Public Defender, Alternate Public Defender, Probation, Juvenile Hall and, to some degree, Mental Health?

OF COURSE if The Major hadn't been pre-emptively suppressed from launching his interrogatory the meeting would now be in its seventh day.

COUNTY FAIR MANAGER Jim Brown tells us that Governor Jerry Brown’s financial hit list includes the elimination of funding for support of the many county fairs in California. According to a press release from the Western Fairs Association, the cuts will affect small county fairs much more than it will the large fairs. The fair people point out that county fairs generate much more revenue for the state than they cost for staff and maintenance. The Mendocino County Fair — which gets about $200k a year in state subsidies — is considered to be one of the 29 county fairs “most at risk for temporary or permanent closure,” which would cut the heart right out of the Anderson Valley. The impact is expected to be felt most significantly in 2012. The 2011 fair funding is already in place.

THE GOVERNOR has always been a great one for fake frugality. His recent move to eliminate cell phones for lots of state workers is typical of his grandstanding, as he makes a popular move that saves a couple of mil while he whacks essential services of many more millions.

THE BOONVILLE Farmers Market is looking for vendors for the upcoming summer market. The market will open May 7th with a plant sale and run through October. If you grow more food than you can use, are interested in selling prepared food at the market or want to sell crafts that you make, you are invited to a Vendors’ Meeting at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville on Saturday, February 12th from 1-3pm. People who would like more information about becoming a Farmers Market vendor and are unable to attend the meeting can call Diane Paget at 895-3354 or email her at dpaget@mcn.org. (— Diane Paget)

DEEP in study and prayer Sunday evening, I was startled to full alert by what seemed to be an impromptu fireworks display. Which it was, maybe seven multi-colored explosions over the center of Boonville.

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