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Valley People (April 29, 2020)


Age 93. Passed April 18, 2020 Ukiah. Ethel was preceded in death by her husband Jim and her son John, son-in-law and three great grandchildren. Ethel is survived by her daughter Helen (Rick), daughter Carol, son James, 9 grandkids, 17 great grandkids, and 6 great great grandchildren. Due to the pandemic, there won’t be any services.


As some of you may have already heard, my father Richard Herr passed away on the morning of April 22nd from Covid 19. 

My sister Serena was with him at his bedside (in full protective gear) for most of the night, and reports that he was being well cared for, with oxygen and morphine, and that he was not in great discomfort, despite the breathing difficulties. That night Serena put me on her speaker phone so I could talk to Dad, and she said he could definitely hear and understand and "perked up a little" during the call. Later she set up a face-time call for Mom, so she could talk to Dad as well, and she and Serena sang some songs together. 

For the past two years, my father had been living in a small nursing home in San Rafael, where he was receiving care for Parkinson’s disease. This facility was hit hard by the corona virus, and we were informed of my Dad’s positive Covid test on 4/15/2020. 

Initially, his symptoms were mild, and we were hopeful that he would be able to fight off the virus, as he had overcome many other health challenges in recent years and had always been strong and healthy during the majority of his long life (he turned 91 last month). But Tuesday night his condition got suddenly worse, and despite the nursing staff’s best efforts, he did not survive. At least we can take some comfort from the knowledge that in the end, he passed away peacefully. As of now, our family has not yet developed plans for a memorial service (and of course under the current corona virus conditions all gatherings would be impossible), but we will let everyone know if some sort of celebration of our Dad's life can be pulled together in the future. 

I have included my Mom's contact information below, for anyone who would like to get in touch with her (please forward to others who knew my Dad that we may have missed). As soon as the corona virus threat diminishes, we are looking forward to resuming our regular trips back to my parent's property on the Holmes Ranch, so my Mom will hopefully be able to visit with some of you in person at that time. 

Eugenia Herr c/o The Redwoods
40 Camino Alto Apt. 5205
Mill Valley, CA 94941
 (415) 888-2156

(John Herr)

BETH SWEHLA of the high school’s invaluable Ag program: “We will start shining the light on 2020 SENIORS graduating from the AVHS Agriculture Dept. Some seniors have completed the Agriscience Pathway. Some have only taken one year of agriculture. They are all important to us!

Trivia - There are 11 seniors in the AVHS Agriculture program. Eight of those seniors have completed the Agriscience Pathway, and two, Tsy Quintanilla and Zachery Whitely have one FFA’s highest honors."

Zachery Whitely, Enrique Anguiano

GOVERNOR NEWSOM says struggling restaurants — a dozen in the Anderson Valley if you include deli counters — will soon begin providing millions of subsidized meals to senior citizens who need some help. Called “Restaurants Deliver: Home Meals for Seniors” program, Newsom didn't say when it would kick off but “will be available soon.” He said decisions on the specifics will be made by local officials, which means for Mendo it may never get off the ground.

DON'T mean to embarrass a modest person named Sharon Shapiro who has quietly not collected rents on the store spaces at Boonville's Boxcar complex. It's downright faith-restoring how many people are stepping up to get US through what is shaping up as an unending affliction, medical and economic.

HAD TO LAUGH when I read that "elderly people with the virus may seem tired and confused but don't have a fever or cough." Hey, that's me, not that I have the virus, not that I'd know anyway without the testing we don't have. Tired and confused fit pretty well.

SOME COASTIES are asking, Where are the bees? I was wondering, too. Late frosts killed the blossoms on my fruit trees, and from my not-too-close observations I hadn't seen any bees prior. But just today bees were busy among the early-blooming flower bushes, and there were lots of them. The late Patrick Kalfsbeek said the Anderson Valley was perfect for his bee hives, which he hauled over from his farm on I-5 and distributed at locations from Boonville to Navarro, where they thrived.

NIKKI AND STEVE at Petit Teton write: "A toast to us all! It's been nearly a month of "sheltering in place" and only a few things are different here...the road traffic has been reduced by at least 80% so we can hear nature much more clearly — the birds, dogs, chickens, roosters, pigs, bees, wind — and our accidental social life aka our visitors, are now mainly locals or folks who just needed to get out of the house and take a drive, either with or without the kids. Mother nature has been trying for awhile to get our attention in more subtle ways than through this virus — floods, fires, tornadoes, ice caps melting, obvious overpopulation issues — but to no avail. This time she set it up differently. First she had many of the world's countries elect moronic/evil dictators or dictator wannabe's to office, then she started ramping up the global warming disasters, and now she's sicced the first of probably many deadly viruses on us. She knows she has to get rid of us to save the earth and its creatures. Since we've been grade A torturers of her and her creations for quite some time, she's going to pay us back in kind. She probably feels a little foolish having created us in the first place. Maybe the shutting down of our entire world economy is what it takes to force us humans to change our trajectory, our impact on the world, what we view as important. Personally, I'm doubtful. Our swallows are back; the dogs are happy hunting mice; the chicklets are healthy and the roosters loud as usual; our new piggies are well behaved; the bees are at work; the wind has been tame. Enjoy the lovely spring, sniff the flowers, taste the food, watch the birds and connect with how you feel. Our best wishes to all of you."

“Safe” office in Boonville at SoBo!
Need to get out of the house?
Rent your own small private office building.
Opening rent during pandemic $225.
($300 after) 707-895-3979

THE TWO BOONVILLE drive-by shooters? DA Eyster writes: “Violent Gang Members Heading Out Of Town On The Bus To San Quentin … When CDCR Resumes Accepting Sentenced Inmates. Two gang defendants convicted of trying to randomly shoot a man that neither knew and neither had ever seen before were sentenced to state prison this morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court. From a brief glance at the victim as the victim drove in the opposite direction past them towards Boonville, the two defendants mistakenly came to a quick conclusion that the victim was associated with a rival gang and needed to be pursued. Defendant Alfredo Asher Knight, age 18, of Redwood Valley, stands convicted by plea of attempted murder in the second degree, a felony. He also admitted the truth of two sentencing enhancements, the first being that that he was personally used a firearm in the commission of the attempted murder. Co-defendant Marshall Leland Stillday, age 20, of Hopland, also stands convicted by plea of attempted murder in the second degree, a felony. Defendant Stillday admitted the truth of the same sentencing enhancement that he also participated in the attempted murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang. According to the probation department’s investigation, Stillday and Knight claim to be associated with local subsets of the Norteño criminal street gang – a local criminal gang subset known as ATC, an acronym for Aztec Tribal Cholos, and a local criminal gang subset known as UNLV, an acronym for “Us Northerners Love Violence.”


A Boonville Reader Writes: "I was just informed that Jan Wasson Smith is putting in a cell tower across the highway from the Elementary School. I talked to the building dept. And they said that it has been approved and the building permit is in, but not approved at the moment. But it is too late to do anything about it most likely. The building/planning office said that we were informed in the Newspaper. But I never heard a thing. Not that I am combing through the newspaper regularly.. Was this posted in our local newspaper? I feel like there are plenty of families that would consider this a dangerous location for a cell tower. looming over the elementary school. (I know that they get away with this in city, etc. But I have some strong concerns with what damages it can cause. EMF is not something to keep pushing under the rug). Can you please let me know how Boonville was informed of this proposal, and passed without so many people knowing? Shouldn’t parents be informed with children in the school?"

THE WASSON TOWER was approved by the Mendo Planning Commission in May of 2019, the same day towers were approved for Comptche and Navarro Ridge Road. All three were legally advertised well prior to their installation.

HERE at the ava's command bunker, we get a lot of Facebook referrals, as in, "Go to Facebook. It's there somewhere." The prob I have with Facebook, apart from the grand ones involving its well-known sinister aspects, is that I invariably get sidetracked watching the funny stuff, like young guys pranking people. (I've always been easily amused.) My fave is a kid walking up to groups of unsuspecting young men and saying, "I just want you to know you don't intimidate me. I'm not afraid of you." Most are simply puzzled and say, "Huh?" Or, "That's good," and keep on walking, usually laughing about it. But occasionally, the kid approaches some rough-looking gangsta types who say stuff like, "You better be intimidated, mofo," and I keep on watching to see if the prankster's going to be attacked. These vignettes are very seductive, and when I look up to get back on task, twenty minutes are gone.

WAVES of noisy bikers passed though Boonville Saturday, not that I begrudge the simple souls their fresh air outings, but what I don't get is their blaring music, a lot of it that deep base pounding sound that must somehow soothe the primitive soul. They make a lot of racket, for sure, but it's the much younger daredevils on those smaller bikes who are into the truly life-threatening behavior. I've been passed by three in succession on the Ukiah Road, all three nearly horizontal with the pavement. Startled hell out of me. A local guy commented on the passing parade, "Maybe the tattoo parlors are open in Fort Bragg today."


We had a medical aid in Philo on Blattner Rd mid-morning on Sunday and the patient was transported by AVFD's 7420 to Ukiah. While the ambulance was transporting the patient to AHUV, a second medical aid on Ravens Pike Road was dispatched. The call was an alpha level medical (no life threat). Fire units responded and remained at scene until an ambulance based in Ukiah arrived after approximately 40 mins. The occurrence of our single ambulance being committed when a second incident gets dispatched is happening more frequently and is the exact scenario that our new additional ambulance will soon be able to assist with. 

Later in the evening around sundown we were dispatched to an escaped control burn near the corner of Philo-Greenwood Rd and Hwy 128. Units arrived to find an illegal burn that escaped into the surrounding vegetation by approximately 75' by 100'. AVFD and CalFire extinguished the fire. The illegal fire was reported to Mendocino County Air Quality Management District due to the improper materials being burned prior to the escape. 

During the initial fire response, several AVFD units we were diverted to a new incident being dispatched as a vehicle rollover on Hwy 253 on the final Boonville Grade. Units arrived to find a vehicle on its roof with the driver out of the vehicle and requiring no immediate medical attention. AVFD provide traffic control while CHP conducted a field sobriety test and the vehicle was removed by Starr Auto. 

One Comment

  1. Beth Swehla April 29, 2020

    I appreciate your helping to spotlight AVHS Ag Dept Seniors. I am not sure who collected the information about the AVHS Ag Dept Senior Recognition. You have some information mixed up. Zachery Whitely is the only Ag. student to earn the CA State FFA Degree. You have him pictured correctly. He is in the FFA jacket. The other young man is Enrique Anguiano. Tsy Quintanilla is a young lady. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. Beth Swehla

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