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Valley People (February 24, 2021)

BOONVILLE/AV FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA has 2 FFA members earning their California State FFA Degree this year. This is the highest award given in the California FFA. Congratulations Kaitlin Espinoza and Alex Tovar!

WELL, that was a fast winter, wasn't it? Half the needed rainfall, Lake Mendocino looking like the crater for the Mars Landing, bikers already pit-stopping at the Redwood Drive-In as a week of 70-plus days begins. In February. The water delivery trucks are already backed up in their orders for deliveries, and the hill muffins begin dreading a very long fire season.

BARN SALE! We sell used items: clothing, linens, household items, furniture, books, CDs, DVDs, art, frames, games, puzzles, hardware, some tools and more. Saturday March 6, 10 am - 3 pm, Sunday, March 7, NOON - 3 pm. At 12761 Anderson Valley Way Boonville. Wear a mask and social distance. We are now accepting donations on Mondays from 10 am - 12:30 pm. No mattresses, couches, car seats or appliances.

LOCAL LANDMARKS: “I’m curious about the home made sign over the road on the Sonoma County side going down to Cloverdale by the WPA water trough. Couldn't quite make it out.”

ON LINE REPLY: That sign has been there for awhile. It used to say “wear your mask and social distance.” I hadn’t noticed that they changed it though.

AND I’m wondering why the water was turned off at the WPA water trough on 128. Used to enjoy a cup once in a while because it’s increasingly rare that one can enjoy a swig of God’s elixir as God made it.

MY LONG LOOK at the talented Debra Eloise’s art currently on display at Mosswood was so rewarding it made me hungry for more, but I was happy to settle for one of Mosswood’s incomparable blueberry muffins.

THE VALDEZ FAMILY and the Boonville Hotel: 

“My mom’s family settled there in the 1850s and another of her relatives came to California as a scout for General Fremont in the 1840s, from whom he received a large Spanish land grant. He founded Upper Lake and was a deputy sheriff and the discoverer of Tice Geysers, and was reported to be the first white man to see them, after coming across them while hunting grizzly bear and thought he had found the gates of Hell.”

GET YER ear plugs ready, Anderson Valley, it’s frost fan time. Frigid after midnight, baseball days, and here they come from Midnight to 7am.

PHONE PESTS, a reader writes: Medicare hassle —Do other people resent the invasion of their privacy on the part of Medicare? I have had TEN phone calls just this week, & at least 7 last week, wanting to SELL me a new Medicare policy! I got a brand NEW Medicare policy last Winter, before Christmas, that didn't come into use UNTIL January 1st, so I have NO NEED of more pressure from insurance salespeople! I'm a disabled elderly woman, & currently don't have a cell phone, so when I'm sitting at my computer, which I do for several hours each day, & the phone rings, it takes me five rings to GET to my phone, & half the time whoever is calling hangs up by then. People who know me either e-mail me, or wait for six rings, cause they KNOW it takes me time to get there! Sometimes Medicare sales people phone at 7:30 in the morning, too, when I'm a night owl who doesn't go to bed til 2am! So I'm getting really FED UP with the calls about Medicare. Any advice???? 

CHUCK DUNBAR WRITES: Update on Coast vaccine delivery: Got my first shot, as an above 70 guy today at C.V. Starr Center, run very nicely by the Adventists. A long, long line–lots of folks there to get this done– but wait was just 20 minutes or so, with volunteer staff collecting and providing info while we were in line. Maybe 10 or so staff giving the actual shots, then we waited for 15 minutes to insure no immediate, serious response. The Adventist web site was very user-friendly, and got an appt in less than a week. Really a relief to get this started and really a fine job by the Adventists. Have a slightly sore arm and an appt for the second shot on 3/18. May we all get this done as quickly as possible, and be safe and help get us all back to normal and good.

AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila told the Community Services District Board at last week’s monthly meeting that as reported last month CalFire intends to stop responding to emergencies in Anderson Valley through the CSD’s long standing “Automatic Mutual Aid Agreement” because, Calfire management said, “it reduced firefighter stress.” 

NEVER MIND that the long-standing practice has elicited no reports of stress from local Calfire staffers, and that Calfire responses have many benefits for Calfire, such as training, knowledge of the local area, coordination with local departments, plus, of course, faster local response in many cases because Calfire staff is on duty round the clock when many volunteers are at home and have to drive to the nearest firehouse to respond to an emergency call.

CHIEF AVILA CONTINUES: “As I was looking into reasons for this unexpected change to find any possible solutions for the situation, I was again surprised by CalFire when they contacted me to expedite the dissolution process for an implementation date starting March 1, 2021. During the [County Fire] Chief’s meeting last month we learned that other local fire departments are also having difficulties with Mendocino CalFire Unit. 

“REPORTEDLY, some departments are not receiving full payment for their extended services in assisting CalFire during this last fire season. Others have stated that they are not being allowed to receive their portion of the Assistance By Hire Agreement (ABH) during their deployments. This recent change and lack of cooperation triggered a response from the Mendocino County Fire Chief’s Association (MCFCA) to write a letter to the CalFire Region Chief, our Assembly Member James Wood, and to our County Board of Supervisors.”

SO FAR, Chief Avila added, there has been no response from anyone in authority.

“AVFD has a good volunteer fire and EMS crew,” continued Avila, “and I believe we can hold the load [i.e., continue responding mostly to medical and traffic calls], but we will need to hastily modify to any response gaps that will occur after March 1. My guess is that we will see our largest impact at night when volunteer responders are at home. CalFire’s Boonville station is staffed at night which gets a unit responding within three minutes of a dispatch. AVFD’s volunteer model will cause extra time at night for the first out engine due to personnel traveling from their residence to the fire station. 

“AGAIN, as I stated in last month’s Chief’s report, this is coming from upper management and not our local engine companies or local Battalion Chief. I could only imagine it would be difficult for the CalFire crews to listen to calls nearby without being allowed to respond and make a positive difference.”

IN OTHER CSD NEWS, arrangements are underway for the County-approved “perc test” at the Boonville Fairgrounds back lot to see if it will allow for injection and disbursement of treated wastewater from the downtown Boonville sewer project, now in the final planning stage. “Fair Manager Jim Brown will get a [confirming] letter from the County,” said CSD Board Chair Valerie Hanelt last week. Ms. Hanelt said she’d already been in contact with the consulting engineer and that Mr. Brown had been cooperative. An initial visit will be for familiarization with the area and the terrain; a second visit will follow with the actual perc test. “We’re still looking at the Shapiro property” [across Anderson Creek], added Hanelt, and, to make sure all the options are explored, they’re going to take one more look at the airport and high school areas to see if the technical limitations they’d previously identified there still apply or can be mitigated.

(Mark Scaramella)

PETIT TETON’S Monthly Farm Report - January 2021

We have entered our 17th year of “living with the wild” in Anderson Valley and are more than ever convinced that it’s the perfect place to be. In the first years we spent many days hiking the property and identified areas that needed cleanup, some of which we remediated awhile back, e.g.: mattress springs in a watercourse and oxygen tanks in a field far from the house which have made great gongs. But the ones we put off because they were so daunting, were the dump sites which looked as though they had been used for generations; everything from glass bottles, car parts, mounds of rusted cans, tin foil, plastic everything, and jugs, much of it buried in mud, and huge rusted through oil drums used to burn the garbage now half buried in the creek bed, and all dumped off a steep slope into a seasonal creek in several places. Well, we sure waited for the perfect time to tackle the clean up! When we told the grand kids, now 12 and 14, what we wanted to do and asked whether they’d like to join us, they were excited. An adventure and mining for unknown treasures, what could be better. We’ve been out several times now and have unearthed enough garbage, all sorted by glass, plastic or metal, to fill six or seven barrels. We even dragged the 3 rusted oil barrels up the hill from the creek. The girls have found “treasures” to help decorate the bunkhouse they’re building—old colored glass jars...and a few items that have gone to the “old tools” collection accumulating in the cactus garden—a lopper and some huge pulleys. The best item is an old CA license plate dated 1956. Sixty years at least of dumped waste.

It turns out there was one more unexpected result of the adventure, an unsolicited but very welcome essay by twelve year old Zoey which is as follows:

Us or the Planet?

by Zoey Crisman (granddaughter) 1/2021

Have you ever wondered why people pollute the planet? Well here’s your answer right here! Sometimes, people are just too careless and lazy to throw their trash in a trash can. Instead, they just toss it on the ground or in a stream and forget about it. I used to live around that sort of thing all the time. But when I finally opened my eyes to what was happening around me, I had the bright idea to write an article about it. And so here I am, sitting at my desk, writing away. Ok, so you’ve read about what lazy people do. But now it’s time to talk about trulyevilpeople. You may be wondering why I’m using the word “evil.” That’s because these people are harming the planet and know what they’re doing! These people know what they’re doing to the earth, and yet, they keep doing it. The funny thing is, most of the people who are doing this, already have a ton of money.

Then why do they still hurt nature, you ask? Some people are greedy and want more money! Which is pretty ironic, considering that money is just green paper. And do you know what paper comes from? Tree bark. People are destroying nature for tree bark. And what happens when there are no trees left? What then? When there’s no more money to be had, will people finally see what they are doing? If so, then it's already too late to do anything. Without trees, this planet will lose its main source of oxygen. And when everyone’s crying about how stupid he/she was, nature isn’t going to help us. After all, we never helped nature.

Now that you’ve read my article, you can see what people are doing to our planet. And for people who still don’t believe me or who choose to not listen, if our planet dies because of pollution or deforestation, the only people we can blame are us. Some people are so greedy for money, that they’ll do anything to get it.

So before it’s too late, open your eyes to the real threat. Not just a threat to us, but also a threat to all the creatures living on this planet and even the planet itself. Be glad that Covid is at least something we can survive.

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