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Valley People (January 5, 2022)

BOONVILLE’S NEW YEAR was eerily unenthusiastic, perhaps echoing the ennui that has engulfed the Country from the accumulating bad news. Not only were the local festivities minimal, but they were noticeably tardy. About ten minutes after midnight there were a few pop-gun gunshots spaced over about five minutes coming from the north end of Boonville; then about an hour later there was one good boom as though from a shotgun to the south. That was it. Not much to celebrate, so not much of a celebration as an exhausted, “Whew! Glad that one’s over.” (MS)


Anderson Valley Grange, Philo

Sunday January 9th 8:30-11:00

Wowza, this snuck up on us fast, just in time to recover from the holidaze. It's the 2nd Sun. of the month and time for The Grange Pancake Breakfast.

As ever and never before

Flapjacks Galore

Come enjoy fabulous hot cakes (David Norfleet secret recipe and gluten-free upon request), scrambled eggs, bacon, and all the fancy fixin's, coffee, tea & orange juice.

There will be LIVE music, NOT elevator stuff, the local real deal. Leslie and Michael Hubbert had such a good time in Dec. they will be back, not singing for their supper but definitely playing for pancakes. Plus ,if luck is with us, Frannie Leopold coming all the way from Caspar to play for pancakes too.

Breakfast served in the big hall, with social distancing, and we'll be supplying disposable plates and utensils but feel free to bring your own, and that mask that you'll be smiling behind! By the way, if you would like to flip a few cakes or get scrambled up in eggs contact the crew, and there might be an opening.

More Grange News 

January is election month. Renew your membership or join the Grange to vote in the election. It's at our regular monthly meeting the 3rd Tues. of every month. Beginning at 6:00pm on Tues. Jan. 18th, there will be a potluck. please bring your own utensils,(we will have sealed plastic if you forget) and if you bring something to share have it ready to be served individually. The business meeting starts at 7:00. We will be following covid protocols.

At any Grange event we ask you to be considerate of your fellow community members. Please get vaccinated with the booster and or be tested before coming. AND for sure, indoors, wear your mask!

Even More Grange News 

After a very unscientific poll, it seems for the best to move the VARIETY SHOW to the first weekend in MAY. It gives us two more months to get our acts together so to speak, plus if need be, to do the show outside it'll be warmer and less chance of getting rained out. Contact Cap Rainbow 895-3807 with your ideas, energy and acts. (Always looking for those animal acts.)

CAN ANYTHING BE DONE about speeding traffic and other road hazards in downtown Boonville? An impromptu committee of local residents has been discussing the possibilities of safety improvements for the last few weeks.

LAST SUMMER the Community Services District received positive responses from the Sheriff’s Office, the Highway Patrol and Caltrans about traffic slowing strategies, but although there are anecdotal reports of a little more enforcement in Anderson Valley by both the CHP and the Sheriff, the basic problem of heedless drivers remains. 


  • Rumble strips at entry both ends of town. 
  • Radar speed displays (like Philo)
  • License plate camera(s)
  • Elimination of diagonal parking and paint shoulders to encourage parallel parking instead. 
  • Traffic calming, striping, lane width reduction in town.
  • Better signage/warnings at either end of town. 
  • Enhanced Enforcement.
  • More Crosswalks 
  • A new speed survey with an eye for pedestrians, bicycles and speed reductions.
  • More public off street parking.

Of the options considered, two seem like the most doable:

1. Have Caltrans change the striping along the three blocks of downtown business where cars traditionally park diagonally (“angle parking”) thus creating a major traffic hazard when they back out; encourage parallel parking like everywhere else in town. A letter to Caltrans to this effect is being prepared.

2. Install automated license plate reader cameras downtown. The committee has reviewed the technical options and it looks like the relatively new “FLOCK” camera systems are the best available option. These cameras have the ability to identify plates and car features in real time and can be programmed to flag cars and plates as they appear on the video. They have been described by law enforcement as “a force multiplier,” which, given the Sheriff’s low patrol staffing, would probably be welcomed at the Sheriff’s Office. The cameras are solar powered and transmit their data wirelessly so not much infrastructure is required. If anyone has other practical ideas or if they want to volunteer as a possible site for a flock camera installation, contact me at or at 895-3016


 “Where I grew up, an old (retired) CHP rig was parked on a pullout on a notorious stretch of straight road that was prone to speeders. It worked. The tourists thought it was real and slowed down.” (Kathy Wylie, Mendocino)

 “There is a type of speed bump that is almost smooth at 30 mph but substantial at 40. Port Road in Point Arena approaching the wharf comes close.” (Whyte Owen, Sea Ranch)

DON SHANLEY, white courtesy telephone, please: “This afternoon I decided to go thru my boxes of writings and came across ‘Dear Santa,’ by Donnie Shanley from Newport Chute, Mendocino County, December 1, 1977! I would like to send him his profound poem. I am Madame Chinchilla of Triangle Tattoo and Museum. 707-357-0033. Isadore Press”

THE BOONVILLE BASEBALL ARCHIVE. Brad Wiley Writes: ‘A couple of weeks ago in your Valley People column Charlie Hiatt reminisced about The Valley’s “adult” softball league days. He reminded us of a fine ballplayer and wonderful man, Bill Fleisher. I remember Bill well, because he was an elegant, high performance in field and at bat softball player and good co-worker friend at Philo Mill. I had forgotten the part of Bill’s grace Charlie noted; he played the game bare-footed, no mean feat on the unirrigated High School baseball field. Going through our old newspaper coop Anderson Valley Advocate archives the other day I came across some articles about the start of a women’s softball league in 1974. Participants included Pam Edmeades, Karen Weirauch, Betty Sanders, Berna Walker, Joan Mauceri and many others, including Denise Hammond. Who was Denise Hammond? I have a photo of her rounding third base in perfectly balanced, arms wide full stride while looking home to decide whether to go for it. Clearly the photo shows Denise was barefooted. Wanna see it? Bill? I still think about from time to time. In fact, I have on display in my archive here his fielder’s glove, courtesy of Bill’s girlfriend, Jennifer Flaccus. When after Bill died, I asked Jennifer was she sure I was the appropriate person to be honored with this gift, I didn’t understand her reply. If anyone would like to be the successor beneficiary of Bill’s well-maintained glove, I would be please to pass it on to them.”

ED NOTE: I think Bill’s glove belongs in our museum, along with whatever photographs and memories of the old softball weekends can be found. Bill Fleischer was such an alive young guy, a truly joyous spirit. When he died his terrible death everyone who knew him mourned, and still mourn. I think about him every time I drive past that first turn in 128 after the bridge over Highway One where Bill drowned when the car he was in plunged over the side into the winter Navarro. There’s a traffic guard there now.

ATTENTION BOONVILLE: The phone at the transfer station is not working and you must call the administration offices or messenger for any needs. Our estimated date for it being repaired is January 18, 2022.

FROM SCHOOL SUPE, Louise Simson:

Happy New Year and Return to School January 10

Dear Anderson Valley Community,

I wish you a happy and joyous 2022. I hope your family is enjoying renewal and all wonderful things as you reconnect with those that you have been able to see after such a long time. We are looking forward to welcoming back all of our students and staff on January 10th. I wanted to let you know that I have ordered an extra testing pool for the Monday that we come back. This will allow us to test PCR on Monday and on Wednesday with follow-up testing available, as needed if any pools come back positive. As you know the new variant is spreading rapidly. The good news is that it's less virulent in effect, but, unfortunately, much more communicable. We will not be able to eradicate Covid in schools. Our job is to mitigate it. We will make every effort to keep all students and staff safe and comfortable. There will be new quarantine guidance being released by the California Department of Health and the Mendocino County Public Health Officer coming out upon our return to school.

On another note, I want to encourage you to embrace rigor and expectation in this New Year. Kids have been out of school a long time. Some of them have a lot of material to make up. Some of them are less motivated than they used to be. However, we must still expect excellence (and that includes behavior expectations as well) and demand and support their efforts and achievement. My goal for this District is not to use Covid as an excuse, but to have our kids excel and thrive in spite of it. Check in with your student. What are they doing? Where are they excelling? Where did they need support? Reach out to their teachers and let's find some common ground about how to support kids to reach their dreams.

I want to let you thank our Wellness Committee. The volunteers will be sampling some special foods coming back to the New Year. Sometimes, just the opportunity to try a new food when a peer is enough to spark a new interest! Thanks to Donna Pierson-Pugh and our fearless Cafeteria Manager, Terri Rhoades, for making these opportunities possible!

Enjoy the week ahead and HAPPY NEW YEAR! We will see your students on January 10!

Take care,

Louise Simson


Anderson Valley Unified School District

Cell: 707-684-1017

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