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Valley People (November 17, 2021)

AVHS Football successfully raised the cash-money to motor down to Santa Clara Monday night to watch the 49ers take on the LA Rams, the first big time football games our fledgling athletes have seen. Coach John Toohey made the arrangements, the Anderson Valley community did the rest. 

OUR AV GIRLS GOT GAME. Fans filled the west bleachers last night (Wednesday) to watch Anderson Valley’s High School’s girls volleyball team take on the visiting St. Bernard girls for the small school area championship. St. Bernard’s is a Catholic high school in the center of crumbling, drug and crime ridden Eureka, once a thriving port town in Humboldt County. Watching St. Bernard’s go through their warm-up drills, I couldn’t help but notice a lithe, 6’4" girl who looked and moved like a ballerina. “Uh oh. This kid is going to spike and spike and spike our much shorter Boonville girls all night.” But, as it turned out, no matter how hard the St. Bernard’s ballerina powered the ball over the net at our girls, one or another of our lasses, often diving to the floor, managed to keep the ball in play and, eventually, wore the visitors down in three straight sets. Coached by Mike ‘Flick’ McDonald, the winning-est volleyball coach in the West, or right up there, our girls next take on Big Valley Christian of Modesto, “a Christ-centered secondary school” where parents pay $26,533 a year in the vain hope that their little sinners will be spiritually fortified against the prevailing decadence. This crucial match will be played far, far from home — Modesto this Saturday night. 

ALAS, THE AV GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM, having advanced deep into the regional play-offs, fell Saturday night in Modesto to Big Valley Christian. The matches were hard fought but the combination of an all-day drive from Boonville and the BVC’s home court advantage could not be overcome by the visitors who have finished yet another winning season and will now take their determined grit to the basketball court.

THE ANNUAL AV TOY DRIVE is underway, conducted by the AV volunteer firefighters in conjunction with the Food Bank and Unity Club. Drop of your new unwrapped toy(s) — ages 0-12, about $10-$15 — or a donation at the Yorkville Post Office, AV Market, Lemons Market, the Farmhouse Mercantile or the Boonville Fire Station. Toys will be collected on December 6 and handed out at the Food Bank at the Grange in Philo on Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 3-6pm. For further info or questions call 1-707-895-2017.

CPR TRAINING IN BOONVILLE. Do you need an AHA CPR card? AV Fire Department offers CPR instruction for the public and for first responders. Call 707 895-2020 or email admin@andersonvalleyfire.org to schedule a class.

KATHY BAILEY reported on the current effort to forestall PG&E’s attempt to ravage Faulkner Park on the pretext of power line protection: “Hearing from the four PG&E staffers at the meeting Ted Williams arranged at Faulkner Park yesterday was both instructive and cautionary. PG&E outlined the steps they are taking to move our concerns up the bureaucratic ladder. They understand that we believe undergrounding the line through the park is the only reasonable alternative. And they seemed to indicate they could see our point. But the most they could promise us now is a pledge not to operate without first notifying Mendocino County, and that, for sure, no big trees would be cut before the end of 2021. That’s seven weeks. 

Community advocacy is the only reason the company is considering alternatives to cutting many of the old growth redwoods at Faulkner Park. We will have to keep up the pressure. When they conduct the planned minor line maintenance over the next few weeks, which is supposed to be no more extensive than the sort of clean-up they have been doing for years, we will have to make sure there are no misunderstandings or confusion on the part of the contractors. Thanks for keeping your eyes open. And thanks to Ted Williams for arranging the meeting and to the four PG&E staffers who made the effort to join us for a discussion at Faulkner Park."

IF WE SOMETIMES forget we live in a rural area. this report from Vista Ranch, Boonville: “We have 2 goats attacked by a mountain lion. We scared it off before he killed them but they have pretty bad punctures on their necks…”

ALSO LAST WEEK: “Big mountain lion spotted just North West of Mill Creek bridge (128 and Nash Mill Road area) just now. Keep your pets accounted for!! Stay alert!”

ALMOST WEEKLY we see a plaintive cyber-plea like this one: “So, as someone desperately looking for a house to be able to remain in Anderson Valley and also as someone who walks AV Way quite often, I’m curious who owns all the empty houses and how is it acceptable to just leave them sitting empty while there is a housing crisis in our community and long term AV families are constantly having to move away? I need answers and solutions .”

THE SUPERVISORS have tentatively, too tentatively, begun talking about limiting B&B conversions, at least on the Mendocino Coast. The conversion of housing in the Anderson Valley to transient cash registers is not as widespread as it is on the Coast. More of a factor here is the large increase in local population since 1980. But the lack of housing here, there and everywhere is a major political problem that should be addressed at the federal level but, as a visit to Ukiah or San Francisco or New York City establishes housing is not being addressed. Local case in point: Former supervisor John Pinches wanted to establish trailer parks on vacant, county-owned land. He couldn’t even get a second to discuss doing it. Here in Anderson Valley there are property owners who would build in-law units but lack the capital, and dealing with the county’s planning and building department is a second deterrent. The squeeze is on so many people, from the radical increase in food and fuel prices to shelter, but there’s nobody home at Leadership House. 

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