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Mendocino County Today: June 16, 2012

2011’S SCHOOL RANKINGS ARE OUT. According to the state's Academic Performance Index testing program here's how Mendocino County's schools are doing.

“THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE INDEX is a key component of California's school accountability system. The results are based primarily on tests measuring student progress in English, math, science and social science. API data released last fall showed which schools had met their state goals. This release on June 14, 2012 based upon the same tests, provides school rankings.”

BOONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL comes out looking pretty good, comparatively considered. Boonville's 802 API is the second highest in the County after  Mendocino High School. Mendocino also has a small enrollment but it's a concentration of students from relatively affluent families. AV has the second highest percentage of “economically  disadvantaged” students in the County and the highest percentage of English language learners.

ROUND VALLEY AND POINT ARENA, perennially teetering on the edge of a state takeover, and some years tottering over the edge and into full state rescue mode, score the lowest in academic achievement in Mendocino County. There was a time, pre-1967, when both communities could guarantee their children adequate educations, but the future for the young of both places, academically considered, looks grim. Pick your reason and it's probably true.

UKIAH AND WILLITS don't test well either, relative to schools their size in the state. Fort Bragg High comes out kinda in-between, better than Ukiah and Willits, worse than Mendo and Anderson Valley.

THE LEAD SENTENCE from this week's Fort Bragg Advocate/Beacon:  “Last Tuesday, June 5, the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco upheld the 2009 conviction of Kenneth Rogers, 54, of Westport, in his murder-for-hire case in which Alan Simon was shot multiple times on June 17, 2005 at 10:26 p.m.”

SIMON WAS NOT SHOT. His front door was shot. He might have been shot if he answered the door when the shooter knocked on it, but that's not what happened. The Advocate's unsigned story also left out those facts that work in Rogers' favor, including the one that Rogers was offered a much less severe deal that would have given him a few months in the County Jail, meaning the whole affair was regarded as relatively unserious until, well, we've already gone into that at length. The shooter was a hard man, as the Irish call tough guys, named Peacock, He has never said why he emptied a .22 hand gun into Simon's door, but may have done it simply out of loyalty to Rogers for Rogers' many kindnesses to him, an ex-con who otherwise would not have found post-release work. The case was circumstantial front-to-back, not that circumstantial cases are necessarily weak, and Tim Stoen of the DA's office put the circumstances together in a much more coherent narrative than Rogers' attorneys, who were weak and only marginally competent.

INTERESTING STORY by K.C. Meadows in Friday's Ukiah Daily Journal on Hubert Germain-Robin, creator of Mendocino County's finest booze product, Germain-Robin brandy. Back in the mid-1980s when Hube was just starting out in Ukiah, I got a sample bottle for Christmas from Hube himself who, needing appreciative notice of his fine product, certainly got that appreciation from me. I wrote it up as the best hooch ever to make its way on down into my indiscriminate gullet. Hube was so pleased with my review that for a few succeeding Christmases I received free bottles, which retail for upwards of forty per and outta my price range. Germain-Robin soon caught on and, sob, the Boonville newspaper was left behind as the booze world rushed in and the high-end mags and newspapers were touting the stuff, and presidents served it at state dinners. Ol' Hube sold the still to whatever conglomerate owns it now but he still lives in Redwood Valley, venturing out as a consultant, and good on him for all the success he has had. Not many people can say they started something as good as Hube's brandy from a little copper still in the hills above a dying town in Mendocino County.

LOOKS LIKE THE UKIAH GOLF COURSE is about to be privatized. Ukiah says the course is not self-sufficient and presently operating under a “significant deficit.” Ukiah's managers are fuzzy on exactly why this should be so other than the city is still paying off its back nine when it went to 18 holes a few years ago. Maybe fewer people are playing, maybe it's not particularly well-managed. Whatever the reason it's probably going to be raffled off, and three workers are likely to lose their jobs.

THE MacCULLUM HOUSE of Mendocino is proud to present the Bob Ayres Swingin' Boonville Big Band, plus special R&B Guest Band at this year's MUSE Bar-B-Que and street fair on Ukiah Street in Mendocino, Saturday, June 30 from Noon to 4. Admission is free. Proceeds to help keep music in the schools.

JASPER HERE  — a youngish neutered male Rhodesian Ridgeback mix weighing about 50 pounds — somehow has turned up missing after being lost in the vicinity of Nash Mill Road in Philo last Tuesday. Jasper is reportedly a bit frightened of new things and people so don’t expect him to come when called. If you spot Jasper please call Ms. Sage Mountainfire at the Ukiah Animal Shelter, 467-6453, or Jasper’s foster family Anjez and Tom at 895-9189.

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