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Valley People (September 29, 2021)

A RATHER STARTLING permit application has arrived at the Anderson Valley Community Services District, which asks that the Yorkville Market be converted to a “cannabis manufacturing facility.” The applicant is the Walsh family, Lisa Walsh, her mom Mary Lou and dad, Dennis Walsh. Lisa Walsh, the charming proprietress who has managed to keep the store going in a difficult time while raising a pair of active toddlers, explains her situation and plans:

There has been rampant gossip and assumptions flying around for the last few weeks, and very, very few people have thought to ask for clarification “from the horse's mouth” as it were.

To preface, the last year+ has been incredibly difficult with the effects of COVID - not only has there been significantly reduced business, it has been almost impossible to find suitable employees, and the cost of products has increased while availability has gone down. These are the main difficulties, but there have been other challenges as well. Although running the Market for the last (almost) 7 years has been a true joy, there has also been a lot of blood, sweat and tears trying to keep it going, mostly on a very narrow margin. With this in mind, I have been trying to think of the best way to move forward considering COVID is not going away, business has not picked up, and I believe we are heading into a recession. 

While considering my options, I was approached by two different parties who expressed an interest in purchasing my building if I was able to acquire the appropriate Cannabis permits for manufacturing and processing. This would be a closed business, not open to the public, following all of the county and state requirements for such facilities. I have also had a few other people express interest in investing in such a business. Since it appears there is more money in the cannabis industry, and a need for such a venue in this area, I started the application process with the county a few months ago. Approval is a long process, and I have just completed the first of several phases. Although I would love to keep the Market open, and intend to for as long as I possibly can, I believe there is a point in the future where it will no longer be viable, and at that time I will need an exit plan. This license is intended to give me more options when that day comes so that I can continue to take care of my family. Unfortunately the ship is sinking, and I do not want to go down with it.

As a side note, I have put it out to the community that if there is any group or individual that would like to purchase the Market I would be happy to discuss this further with you if you are interested and I appreciate you reaching out directly to me for information.

— Lisa Walsh, Yorkville Market

JUST IN FROM NORMAN DEVALL: KZYX Station to move… Follow the news: KZYX has applied to the City of Ukiah for a 90 foot broadcast tower. If/When approved the station will begin the move from Philo to Ukiah. No mention thus far if the “studio” will include space for program host and guests.

I WONDERED where The Valley's thriving colonies of feral pigs had gone. Hadn't seen so much as a loner in the deep hills, but I knew they must, like all the wild things, be suffering for lack of water, what with all the streams and springs dried up. I wasn't surprised but certainly share Ernie Pardini's dismay when a pack of the missing beasts — four-footed rototillers — turned up at his place: “I've put a lot of time and effort into keeping my yard nice this summer and my youngest daughter was to get married in it this Saturday. This morning at 4:30 I walked out my back door, got into my work truck and headed out. When I came home today I couldn't believe my eyes. Sometime during the night a herd of hogs had rooted up my whole yard including the beautiful vegetable garden in back. I'm not a vengeful man but if you have a pet pig it probably would be a bad idea to take it for a walk past my house anytime soon. The wedding has been moved to the fairgrounds so all is not lost.” 

AND then a tame pig complaint from Albion: “Who’s missing their pigs on Albion Ridge?!? C road behind “the farm” — please come get your pigs out of my garden , they will not be run off.”

WORK HALF THE YEAR on a garden and then this? Every gardener everywhere commiserates.  

THE GOOD NEWS from AV Unified's delighted superintendent: “We also received the good news today that all of our pooled Covid testing samples collected Wednesday for more than 225 kids and staff came back negative.”

ARTHUR FOLZ, AV Unified’s Athletic Director: “Boys soccer had their first game away against Roseland Collegiate. They lost 5-1, but will be playing two home games this week on Wednesday against Credo and on Friday against Calistoga. 11th grader, Stephen Torales scored our first goal of the season during the second half. Both our junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams swept their games against Point Arena at our home gym on Tuesday afternoon. We had to reschedule our game against Potter Valley on Thursday. Volleyball will host Laytonville on Tuesday starting at 4:00 and will have a bye on Thursday. Also, this Saturday, at 12:00, our football team will be hosting a preseason game against Tomales at the fairgrounds.”

A NOON FOOTBALL GAME in perfect Fall weather at the Boonville Fairgrounds? A sports dream made in heaven!

STEVE DERWINKSKI, Anderson Valley’s builder-of-uniquely attractive structures and boats, a genuine renaissance man, has lately branched out into creative lit, his latest being “One Hundred Haiku” just in time for Ukiah’s annual haiku contest. This nifty little book should be available generally but, for now, is available specifically from the author.

I FIRST MET KELSEY HARNIST when he was a little homeschooled kid living behind three locked gates wayyyyy up on Clow Ridge, Philo. If you look up kinda northeast from the Philo Post Office you're looking at Clow Ridge. Getting there takes the better part of an hour. Kelsey came down off the mountain for his high school years which, academically, seemed a wash for him since his skills already qualified him for the faculty. My home schooling theory has always been that homeschooled children, contrary to the myth of teen socialization, tend to be better educated and more socially adept than their public school peers simply because the home schooled aren't raised as a separate species from adults. We enjoyed having Kelsey as an intern at the AVA because we could take advantage of his proofreading skills, and trust him to do basic newspaper stuff extravagantly compensated editors at places like the Press Democrat have not quite mastered.

SO THE KID from Clow Ridge went on to Stanford and is now Vice President, Mainstreet Card at Capital One Washington, DC. Managing products and services for millions of existing Capital One customers. (2 years in this position, 14 years in financial industry.) Graduated from AV High in 2003. Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford in 2007 in International Relations.

I HAPPEN to have a Capital One card for which, like all Americans, I pay an extortionate rate of interest, usurious and one of the mortal sins back in the Moses days, and maybe if Kelsey sees this he can give me the same rate the big banks get for their loans — zero percent. 

ANYWAY, In August of 2012 Kelsey married fellow Stanford student Monica Bhattacharya, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who is now a civil rights attorney/administrative law judge with the US Labor Department.

WOW! A DC power couple! And to think it all began on a ridgetop in the always surprising Anderson Valley.

WHILE WE'RE UP on Clow Ridge, the remaining Clow from the branch of the Clows the ridge and other Valley landmarks are named after, Norman Clow himself, now of Spring, Texas, stopped in for a Fair weekend visit. The only happy Republican I know, Norman and wife Ruth, were catching up with old friends and relatives, of which they have many from their many years in the Anderson Valley.

I WAS INTRIGUED by the chin-up bar concession at the Fair. The sign said if you could hang from it for “100 seconds” you would win a hundred bucks. “Heck, even I, in my state of advanced decrepitude could do that. But it would cost me ten bucks to do it, and Anne Fashauer had already walked by so there was no one to show off for. “Yo, Anne, watch this!” Then it occurred to me there must be a hook, a trick. Anybody, darn near, could hang from a metal bar for less than two minutes. Fortunately for me, the booth was unattended or I would have lost a quick ten bucks. The trick, I learned later, is the bar spins, making it impossible for all but the super strong to hang on.

FLYNN CREEK CIRCUS will be performing at Anderson Valley Brewing Company from September 30-October 3rd! 

BILL KIMBERLIN: “If you have a problem in the Valley, you might want to talk to Bill Holcomb. I did when I first returned in 1990. I also talk to him today. He doesn't know everything, at least I think he doesn't. In any case the fair parade had a problem, the Grand Marshall didn't show up. What to do? Better call Bill. New Grand Marshall drives his 1956 Mercury Montclair convertible at the head of the parade and all is well. Thanks Bill.”

ENJOYING LUNCH with a friend at Boonville's always enjoyable General Store in last Tuesday's wilting heat, I couldn't miss an odd couple, the larger of whom pushed past me to the counter as I fetched an ice coffee for my friend, who was already immobilized at our table outside. The pudgy man who'd pushed past me wore a tent-size Hawaiian shirt. He reminded me of Fatty Arbuckle without the humor vibe. He placed a complicated plate with lots of precise directions for this and that as the young Mexican woman at the counter patiently nodded agreement and wrote everything down. Then, when the same young woman appeared at his table outside a few minutes later, Arbuckle suddenly snarled at her, “Why are you so rude?” The young woman seemed nonplussed because inside the store she was polite and outside the store she'd just arrived when Arbuckle went off on her.  Arbuckle followed up with, ““I'm never coming here again,” as if his loss just had to be crucial to the survival of the restaurant and maybe even Boonville itself. The woman mumbled an apology for a crime she hadn't committed and went back inside. The man had annoyed me disproportionately, I guess, because I was prepared to do an intervention if he’d kept complaining, but he plunged his florid face into his food and didn't say another word. His companion, or catamite, was buried in his telephone the whole time, never looking up even when Arbuckle loudly bullied the server.


  1. Rye N Flint September 29, 2021

    RE: the Yorkville Market be converted to a “cannabis manufacturing facility.”

    Yes, we are all very sad to see it come to this, but if the market is struggling and locals haven’t helped keep it going… They gotta do what they gotta do.

  2. Marshall Newman October 1, 2021

    Re: Feral pigs. Back 35 years ago near Philo, feral pigs were a reoccurring problem on my family’s property, one which we addressed by shooting them at every opportunity. When the main portion of the property sold, the mindful “back to the land” new owners soon called my father to ask how we dealt with the problem. “We shoot them,” was my father’s reply. Aghast, the new owners said they could never do that. However, after additional damage to the landscape, they opted for an alternative: they hired a professional hunter to shoot them!

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