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Valley People

DEPUTY SQUIRES will be honored by the Sheriff's Department as “Deputy of the Year” at the Elk's Lodge, Ukiah, this Saturday night, an honor well-deserved and long overdue.

PAUL MEILLEUR of Philo writes: On Monday, March 21, 2011, at 1:42PM PDT a 3.5 earthquake struck 3 miles north of Philo 5km (3.1 miles) below the surface. The epicenter was at the base of Clow Ridge below the headwaters of Mill Creek at 1250 feet of elevation in undeveloped timber country which is steep and rugged. Apparently it did not damage any structures or belongings. Dozens of people logged their experiences at the USGS website from as far away as Santa Rosa, Willows, and Brookings, Oregon, with 40 from Ukiah and 9 from Philo, resulting in an official “light” categorization. A few locals were within a mile of the epicenter. All but one were indoors and were not sure what, if anything, had happened. The one, chopping firewood outside, talks about how the ground jumped. Those indoors generally had no doubt the single sharp jolt accompanied by a loud noise was an earthquake. It was over by the time one realized it was happening. A person who was indoors mused about a possible sonic boom until recalling how much the entire cabin had shaken. Another looked outside to see if a big tree had fallen nearby. Please let me know if your experience was different from these. Comparing Google Earth satellite images with the topo map, it appears very difficult to get down there until the creek mostly dries up in late summer. Ya know, it's one of those places a guy with a hiker's GPS might just wanna stand on.  Thanks to fellow nerd Loren Amelang for sharing his research.”

JAN WALKER, The Mail Lady, reports that last week's big rains were no big deal for her. Short of a Japanese-quality calamity this intrepid and utterly fearless lady is going to get the mail delivered no matter how much rain is falling or how hard the wind is blowing. Jan does 172 miles a day over rough road in all kinds of conditions. Six days a week she sets forth from her Yorkville home early in the morning to drive to Cloverdale to pick up the day's consignment of Netflicks, junk mail, bills, and even the occasional hand-drafted letter — the entire day's dispatch for a hidden hill population spread over the vastness of about half Mendocino County, the southern half. By the time Jan The Mail Lady's back in Yorkville she has twice visited Boonville and Philo, twice driven the length of the Greenwood Road, twice visited the Manchester and Point Arena post offices, and even trundled all the way up to the old Air Force Radar Station at the top end of Windy Hollow Road. Last week, as media jabbered apocalyptically about the mother, or at least the step-mother of all storms pounding down on us, Jan yawningly informed us that her journey into the very jaws of rampaging March were ho hum uneventful. She did say that like many of us she has noticed that certain stretches of road are deteriorating but that had nothing to do with the storms. Jan said Caltrans' road crews on Highway One kept that leg of her trip in passable condition. However, on March 11, the day of the big tsunami far away in the land of the rising sun, Jan reported that fire and rescue crews had closed Highway One where the Garcia bubbles up over the roadbed even though the river that day was flowing harmlessly beneath the highway. The Caltrans and CHP boys let male-driven garbage trucks go through but would not permit Jan to pass for the longest time, their thinking apparently being, “We gotta spare this poor little gal the risk.” Of which there was none. The mail to Point Arena and Windy Hollow was delayed a full day, much to Jan's annoyance and undoubtedly much to the surprise of Point Arena and Windy Hollow where she's never missed a single day.

BRUCE HERING writes: “The 29th Annual Boontling Classic 5K footrace (and walk) will take place Sunday, May 1st at 10:00 am. at the Anderson Valley Elementary School. This is a low-key run/walk for all ages and abilities. Ribbons are awarded to the winners in each age group, but the real draw is the drawing for prizes donated by local businesses. All entrants are eligible to win wine, gift certificates, etc. Last year’s winners included Jimmy Bailon of Cloverdale who clocked a 19:55 and Holly Enzler of Ukiah at an impressive 21:01. This event is sponsored by the North Coast Striders. Entry forms can be picked up at the Boont Berry Farm Store, All That Good Stuff and the General Store in Boonville and Lemon’s Market in Philo. For info or entries: call 707-895-3589 or email”

SONIA GILL'S always impressively beautiful paintings will be on display at Laughing Dog Books, Boonville, the entire month of April with a reception for the artist this Saturday, April 2nd, 1-3pm. This kid can paint!

HOW WOULD I KNOW who can paint and who can't? Well, I read all of “Essential History of American Art” once and I go to different museums a lot, mostly though, like you, I know what I like, and I don't like Chuck Close and I don't like to pay $11 to get into SF MOMA to look at a bunch of rocks hauled down out of the Sierras by some wacky Englishman and arranged on the floor in a V. Pretty thin credentials, I admit, but there they are. I even buy a painting now and then if I can find one in my price range that I really, really like and I can talk the artist into an E-Z payment plan. I am the proud owner of two Mary Robertsons and one Nikki Ausschnitt which, if I think you can be trusted, I might let you see some time.

JUST SAYIN' but the schools were out for three weeks at Christmas, then another week to go skiing (as if most Boonville kids can afford a week on the slopes), took three days off for “President's Week,” and this week there's no school for “Spring Break.” Break from what?

THOSE LITTLE ORANGE cardboard bug catchers you see around represent another government handout for out friends in the wine industry. The bug traps, paid for by us fellow taxpayers, are aimed at stopping the latest vineyard pests, the tiny ones with wings, not the big fat ones on two legs.

STARR AUTOMOTIVE, aka Bob the Indefatigable, is offering free junk car removal from Navarro to Yorkville, and if you'll call 895-2425, Bob will haul your junker off. Got to have a pink, though, or you get charged a lien fee.

LAST WEEK, The Major, who's beginning to slip a bit as he grays at the temples, his footsteps occasionally falter on the twenty steep stairs leading to the office, who was wrong 15 times in a single hour last week on a wide variety of matters it usually takes him a full work day to be wrong about, incorrectly reported the date of the Board of Supervisors’ meeting scheduled for Boonville. According to the Board's “Master Calendar” an “off-site board meeting” is scheduled for May 3, 2011. That's us. Boonville Fairgrounds. It is hoped that the Board will dispense with its usual “public comment” format to engage the public in an open discussion of the problems facing the County — particularly ways to ensure funding of the Valley’s two resident deputies. Boonville, incidentally, is one of the few venues in the County where it's possible to hold a public meeting without enduring many minutes of outpatient antics.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH from Wes Chesbro, the eternal Wes Chesbro, career officeholder, begins “Dear Constituent” and goes on to say that if we want to communicate with Wes “your comments must be provided via my public website.” So I went there, hoping to wing off an insult Wes's way but the techno process was so onerous I didn't even bother.

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