Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley People (June 3, 2020)

THE FIRST FIRE of the season broke out Monday afternoon about 3 roughly five miles up Nash Mill Road. CDF called out aerial support units — spotter plane, two tankers and a helicopter with bucket. An inmate ground crew was also summoned to supplement the fast response of the Anderson Valley Fire Department. The blaze of unknown origin began near a dwelling described as a yurt which was burned down. AV Fire Chief Andres Avila estimated that 7-10 acres would be burned before containment. Nash Mill resident Kathy Bailey described what she saw: “And we’re off. Units on way to grass fire off Nash Mill Rd near corner of Clow Ridge. This is where there was a 3 ac timber clearance exemption. They burned most of April. All things considered this is not likely to be a planned burn. On the upside I was alerted to this by our neighborhood fire safe council phone tree. If your neighborhood doesn’t have one yet, do it now!”

BOONVILLE VIRUS TESTING. The Anderson Valley Clinic did another round of surveillance testing for COVID19 on Tuesday, 5-7pm. “We are trying to prioritize front line work but anyone interested in testing can send an email to Luiza at  Location of testing to be determined.”

ON THE SUBJECT of testing, Dave Evans, the ebullient proprietor of the Navarro Store, is justly proud that all four of his staffers, including him, have tested negative. “We went to the drive-through process at the AV Health Center and got the good news right back.” And this from a guy whose thriving little store has seen more than 21,000 customers since January, and right on through the Great Shut Down.


On Monday, June 8, from 11 am to 5 pm, the Anderson Valley Education Foundation will be doing a Summer Enrichment Big Give for students of Anderson Valley Elementary School. When the parents come to the elementary school on June 8th, they will find a supply of free age-appropriate summer reading books, art supplies and recreational items (soccer balls, jump ropes, etc.). Parents can select one gift from each category for their students (there will be display tables where parents can look but not touch before choosing the gifts to bring home to their students).

A Summer Enrichment Big Give was also held at the high school for junior high and high school students on June 1. Though the Scholarship program is still on for graduating seniors, the Ed Foundation's usual summer enrichment programs (the Fellowship, Internship, and Summer Camp programs) were cancelled this year due to the coronavirus, and the Summer Enrichment Big Give is the AV Ed Foundation's way of trying to make up just a bit for that loss with some screen-free fun and enrichment options for the summer. AVEF would like to thank Dawn of Hedgehog Books for ordering the books with a generous educational discount. Dawn really supports our students!

EVEN HERE. A small group of Anderson Valley residents assembled near the Boonville firehouse Sunday afternoon to protest the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd. There was no looting, no arson fires, perhaps because there’s nothing left to loot or burn after the December blazes burned through Boonville, followed by the sequestration wrought by the covid virus.

SONYA NESCH, Comptche updates us on our sister city: “Culvert's are being replaced on Flynn Creek Road Monday through Thursday from 6 am to 4:30 pm. Right now they are doing section from Comptche Store to Fire Department. June 1st, they start work on section after the Fire Department. Wait time for me today was 10 minutes. 

Our easy to break into Comptche P.O. Boxes that were supposed to be replaced April 29th were not replaced. Now the Post Master says she doesn't know when they will be replaced as the P.O. is understaffed. So, those of us with the large boxes have to be handed our mail between 10 am and 2 pm Monday through Friday indefinitely.” 

83-YEAR-OLD woman, retired journalist, English educated, neither smoker nor drinker and no pets, seeks close-to-town rental anywhere in Mendocino County. (Her criminally cruel mortgage holders refuse to refi her West SoCo property.) If you have something, please call Johanna at 707 847-3190.

JOAN BURROUGHS writes: "The photo of the kid jumping off the Greenwood Bridge gave me a start. I remember one very sad casualty from a jump off that same bridge, it was remodeled some time ago, but is located in exactly the same spot as the original. Harvey Whiting, when just a young guy, jumped off the Greenwood bridge. He landed hard and received a brain injury as a result. He and his sister Grace lived on Lambert Lane where she took care of him until he died. When they needed groceries or had some errands to run they loaded themselves on top of an old tractor in the yard that backfired on occasion; they hauled outta there about once a week to take care of business. Grace and Harvey were related to the Gossman family in Philo through their mother's ancestry. Those kids do not have any idea of what can happen from just one jump. Harvey's youth was taken away and any hope of ever leading a normal life was gone."

I'M SURPRISED there's enough water to jump into. About a thirty-foot drop? And a couple of those kids were doing fancy back flips and other acrobatic dives. The things we do as keen teens! I remember Deputy Squires being called out one night to that bridge where he found a bunch of kids from the California School for the Deaf hurling themselves over the side in the dark. Had a helluva time convincing them their derring do was dangerous. I've also heard of kids jumping from the bridge over the Navarro on Highway One at Navarro-by-the-Sea. Haven't heard of kids doing for-the-hell-of-it dives off the Noyo bridge. It's probably a mistake to even mention it because, sure enough, some young glory hound will do it.

A LOCAL MAN who holds liberal opinions but drives an old pickup, admits he “looks like a redneck.” The enlightened Boonville redneck happened to be driving past the Ukiah Courthouse early Sunday afternoon as several hundred protesters were assembling to protest the killing of George Floyd. A smaller crowd of maybe a couple dozen counter-protesters had formed across the street from the County Courthouse to shout taunts and insults at the protesters. When our guy stopped for the light he honked and gave a thumbs-up to the liberal protesters, which prompted the maga-hat counter- protesters to start calling our guy names, apparently assuming he was some kind of redneck turncoat. Then they attempted to pull him out of his truck. Just then the light turned green and our guy drove off, steaming, muttering to himself that there certainly would have been some serious violence if the magas had managed to yank him out of his truck. He later noted that he was surprised that there was no law enforcement in the vicinity even though his misadventure occurred  directly in front of the County Courthouse and the situation at that early point in the competing demonstrations seemed quite volatile.

"THE LOVESICK ALIEN and Other Poems" by Stevan J. Derwinski. Stevan is more familiarly known to us in the Anderson Valley as Steve Derwinski, the omni-talented house builder, sculptor, metalworker, sail boat builder, musician, and now poet. With the end of the world right around the corner, this is the highly skilled man you want to be friends with because he can do it all. Reading through Mr. D's collection is fun, not a slog or a pretension anywhere, but the guy couldn't be too awfully lovesick with a beautiful wife like Mrs. D, and this nicely presented (and healthy) collection comes with the added bonus of Steve's well-known humor:


My stocks went thru the roof

Without leaving a big hole

Women love my fake tan

I got an A in all the classes I never attended

Sometimes God leaves me alone

I can read my own writing

The kids next door ask for my autograph

Someone keeps sending me poems

My ducks lined up all by themselves

All my numbers are lucky

Hurricanes and locusts

Don't know where I live

My immune system sends me love letters

My bathroom scale is a big fat liar

I made the angels laugh

When I tried to be a saint

I walked away from Facebook

Just in time

ALBION-LITTLE River Protection and Auxiliary announces: Due to the corona virus outbreak and associated warnings, our annual barbecue in July has been cancelled.

LOCAL GUY Robert Mailer Anderson writes:

"I hope this email finds you well, despite the morning news and the ongoing pandemic. We all may be needing some distraction and stories of hope at this time. Some of you may know that our film, ‘Windows on the World,’ was also made into a graphic novel that will be released this week by the esteemed publisher in this medium, Fantagraphics. We were looking forward to a national book store publicity jaunt to help support the release, but here we are in the age of COVID-19, so in lieu of that, we are very pleased to come to you VIRTUALLY, thanks to our amazing friends at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. 

"This coming Tuesday, author Robert Mailer Anderson and his friends, including illustrator Jon Sack, actress Jacqueline Obradors and musician Jay Walsh of the Douglas Fir, will all be joining in to tell tales, sing songs and dive into the making of this graphic novel and film and why stories like this are so important right now. We do hope that you can join us for what will be a one-of-a-kind evening. This event is FREE but we ask that you please follow this link to register now. I believe that these things run smoother when they have a clearer idea of how many people to expect. Please support us and CITY LIGHTS LIVE by tuning in and helping to spread the word.

Again, as always, thank you for all the support on this project."

COUGH UP, LIB LABS. KZYX will hold 4-day Fund Drive Thursday, June 4 through Sunday June 7. Goal is make up fiscal shortfall from Covid-forced postponement of March drive.

Public radio station KZYX’s work keeping the Mendocino County community informed about the Corona Virus pandemic has continued unabated since the outbreak of the virus. Daily updates from county officials and health professionals, on-air press conferences, interviews and call-in programs have all been part of the station’s daily, unwavering campaign to keep listeners up to date about the latest scientific findings and ever-evolving health regulations.

The pandemic, and particularly the shelter in place and social distancing guidelines, have not left the station itself unscathed. KZYX had to postpone its on-air membership drive, scheduled for March with a goal of $100,000. The station’s expenses, of course, remain undiminished and listener support is more essential than ever.

In light of these factors, KZYX will be holding a 4-day Fund Drive from Thursday, June 4 through Sunday, June 7. For the most part, show hosts will be in the studio, with guests most often connecting via telephone or Zoom. So while the atmosphere may be a bit more subdued than during normal fund drives, listeners will still be able to enjoy the special enthusiasm that helping to support our county-wide public radio station brings to its members and volunteers.

For the past several weeks, the station has been running a “silent fund drive,” whereby each show host mentions the funding situation and asks for new memberships and/or donations. This has brought in approximately two thirds of the funding needed to keep the station afloat during the coming six months, but that final amount is still sorely needed.

KZYX can be found on air at 90.7 FM in Anderson Valley, 91.7 FM in Ukiah and 88.1 FM on the coast. The station streams online at and has a smart phone app free for downloading.

For more information, please contact KZYX General Manager Marty Durlin or Membership Coordinator Renee Wilson at (707) 895-2324.

THE CATASTROPHE has inspired a creative and memorable occasion for the graduates of Fort Bragg High School's class of 2020, consisting of the matriculators' parade from the Pacific through the downtown streets where stores and householders will salute them with expressions of good luck. The irony of stepping into a wildly uncertain world in the symbolic clarity of 2020 won't be lost on some of the young ones.

THERE'S MUCH ON-LINE comment concerning heedless visitors to our beautiful county, and as much negative comment about the many locals who go about their public business unmasked and un-distanced. But here in Boonville my impression is that people are adhering to the basic precautions. My office window looks out on the busy Redwood Drive-In where the passing parade is invariably masked, even people one unfairly assumes from his or her slovenly appearance wouldn't bother, but they are.

TAKE IT AWAY, Esther Mobley, Chron wine writer: "Smith Story ‘The Boonies’ Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2017 ($58, 13.5%): I realize I’ve been writing only about white wine and rosé lately, but I promise I’ve been drinking red wine too. Here’s a great example of why Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley does Pinot Noir so well. This wine, from husband-wife team Eric Story and Ali Smith Story, comes from the so-called “deep end” of Anderson Valley — the valley’s northwestern stretches that are surrounded by redwood trees and get a lot of cool air from the Pacific Ocean. It’s a wine of simultaneous lightness and depth. Translucent and delicate, it nevertheless has a strong, firm frame, with intense notes of black cherry, wet earth and orange peel."

O ESTHER MOBLEY, Esther me luv, take my hand and together we'll gambol the golden summer hills of the Anderson Valley, pausing only to toast the setting sun with $58-dollar pinot, savoring you, us, the wet earth, black cherry pits, and orange peels!

WHILE SHOPPING in Ukiah the other day, I noted the razor wire atop the fence at the homeless camp at the north end of the Ukiah Airport. Is that to keep them in? The city strategy seems to be fencing them in makes the homeless easier to monitor, what with the homeless day center also in the immediate neighborhood and the Plowshares cafe also a step away across South State Street. These people are valuable funding units for Mendocino County's helping pros who, as we've seen, have steadily resisted getting them permanently settled and the transients among them down the road. Small towns, big cities, everywhere civic paralysis. 

ALSO in Ukiah I noted while noting the long line at the Panda Express takeout window where the Chinese food is the worst in Mendocino County (and the United States) when there's quite a good Chinese restaurant in Willits, another one that at least bears a resemblance to Chinese food in Fort Bragg, and three or four quite good Chinese restaurants in Ukiah. And the long line at Starbucks added to my mystification. Three bucks per?

I UNDERSTAND the science and the sentiment, but all these LOCALS ONLY signs still strike me as unnecessarily rude and terribly sanctimonious. The county is already closed to visitors, so, like lighten up some.

MONTHLY PRECIPITATION for the 2019-2020 rain season (thus far):

Month | Yorkville | Boonville
May 2020 - 2.36" - 1.85"
Apr 2020 - 1.60" - 1.05"
Mar 2020 - 1.84" - 1.80"
Feb 2020 - 0.04" - 0.04"
Jan 2020 - 4.76" - 3.97"
Dec 2019 - 12.96" - 7.28"
Nov 2019 - 3.12" - 2.19"
Oct 2019 - 0.04" - 0.07"

YTD Totals (Oct 1 - May 31): Yorkville 26.72"; Boonville 18.25"

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.