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Valley People (May 4, 2022)

COME THANK DR. MARK APFEL for over 40 years of service to our community. Picnic This Saturday, May 7, 2-5pm Boonville Fairgrounds. Everyone is invited — food and beverages provided.


Measure M school tours scheduled:

If you would like to tour the school sites and look at the current needs of the properties, please join a school tour. Dates are as follows:

High School, Thursday, May 12 at 4:30 PM Architect Don Alameida will be present for this tour.

Elementary School, Thursday, May 19 at 4:30 PM--Hosted by Louise Simson

Free yard signs are available upon request. Stop by at the district office to pick one up. The signs were not paid for with district funding.

We hope to see you at a tour!

Important Dates:

May 7th: Plant Sale

May 24th & 25th: Senior Project Presentations

May 26th: FFA Drive Thru Dinner

May 28th: PROM

May 30th: No School

June 3rd: FFA Awards Night

June 7th: Senior Awards Night

June 8th: 8th Grade Promotion

June 9th: Last day of School and HS Graduation 7pm

June 22nd: 1st Day of Summer School

HERE’S as good a place as any to say that in my opinion Ms. Simson is the best local superintendent of schools I’ve seen, and I go back to Mel “Boom Boom” Baker fifty years ago. We’ve been blessed with a number of capable supers, certainly, but none who have brought the energy, clarity and all-round leadership this lady has brought to a very difficult task in a very difficult time. Ask her a question and back comes the answer, pronto. And name another school leader anywhere in the county who publishes regular letters to parents and the wider community. As Ms. Simson assumes the dual jobs of both superintendent and high school principal she seems undaunted not only by the added responsibility but the fiscal difficulties presented by declining enrollment and two physical plants that need serious work. The Anderson Valley has a real jewel in this lady.


Sunday May 8 from 8:30 to 11:00 at the AV Grange is your big chance. After all it IS Mother’s Day. Perfect, these Grange mothers are raring to go. So give your own mom a break and come on down to the Grange. Still the best deal in town. Scrambled eggs, bacon and the secret recipe Grange flapjacks (gluten free on request), extra toppings and who knows but the moms plate may get a little extra. Don’t forget coffee tea and orange juice too. And the extra treat of the Deep End Woogies or members thereof playing all your favorite Mother’s Day songs from around the world (maybe).

AV HIGH SCHOOL students on the Service Learning Team are working together with the CSD Recreation Department to explore developing a skatepark in Boonville! A skatepark would help to fill the void of public spaces for AV youth to engage in physical activity and positive social connection. The proposed site is adjacent to the community park (near the Health Center), and students will present a proposal to School Board at their next meeting on Tuesday, May 10th at 5:15 in the high school library. (Noor Dawood, AV Adult School)

DOUG MOSEL COMMENTS: “About the fine Low Gap whiskey and local grain, any modesty on my part is well-placed. Reintroducing grain production in our County was inspired by the work of the Anderson Valley Foodshed group. It happened because of the support and encouragement of many dozens–and because old grain varieties are magical, miraculous. Countless small-scale farmers have done so much more to demonstrate the possibility and, increasingly, the importance of local food independence–to name just one, the late Stephen Decater, who with his wife Gloria, produced food for hundreds of people locally and in the Bay Area for about four decades.”

I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT that Doug's grain growing projects and the many small mom and pop farms of the county were the brightest lights burning in Mendocino County, harbingers of a time probably not far off when they'll be central to feeding us rural dwellers, as they were in the 19th century.

ON A HOPEFUL NOTE that there remain more encouraging human-type beings than not, I was happy to encounter April Gonzalez in the checkout line at Safeway this morning. Locals remember April as the friendly counter lady at the Navarro Store and, by the way, a highly skilled jewelry maker. April, a grandmother several times over, now makes her home in Ukiah.

THE TIRELESS Renee Lee reports that she and her cadre of Senior Center staff and volunteers served more than a hundred breakfasts Sunday to the hungry hordes of Beer Fest attendees, raising over a thousand bucks for the Center.

THANKS to the anti-vaxxer who called up to denounce Dr. Fauci I was reminded to get my second booster at the AV Health Center this morning. That makes four jabs and counting.

ENOUGH RAIN over the past week to set the Navarro free at its mouth to the Pacific!

TALKING with a social services worker the other day she said, “The only difference between the people we allegedly serve and us is the counter.” 

SHALL-WILL: For first person use at any rate, “shall” and “will” surely have become interchangeable. “Will I come in” a hesitant young reporter teetering at the door of his busy London editor. ”God knows!” is the impatient reply. — Conrad Natzio

AT THE CHECK-IN stand next to mine, a guy lined up with eight (count-em) carts of many varieties of potato chips. My checker had to call for reinforcements to process the buy because grumbling patrons were suddenly backed up. I tried to diplomatically ask Chip Man what he had in mind with his year's supply. “Excuse me, sir, what are you planning with all those chips?” I took a closer look at the person only to see that he was a woman. Too late. “Sorry,” I said. "My eyesight isn't what it was.” She was nice about my gender misidentification. “That's ok,” she said, but spoke no more as she piled pile after pile on the checkout conveyor. 

I ASKED my checkout guy, “Do you get giant purchases like that one very often?” He said, “It happens, but not very often.”

SAFEWAY has posted on its entry doors a fairly long list of job openings, all of which, I think, are union-protected.

MY MOTHER remembered when there was cocaine in Coca Cola, which would have been up through most of the 1920s. She said there was a man in her small Southern Illinois town who was locally famous for downing multiple Cokes a day. She said townspeople just thought he liked the stuff.

DAVE SMITH, fit as a fiddle, shares his magic fitness formula.

Longevity: What I’ve learned about health so far:

1. I walk an hour almost every day.

2. Most strokes are triggered by dehydration. I drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning and always have it nearby during the day.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide kills Coronavirus and Flu, freshens the breath, and whitens teeth. I gargle HP and rinse every morning and evening and after being around people and especially if I notice a sore throat or feel “out of sorts.”

4. After my body told me to stop drinking alcohol I seldom indulge.

5. Caffeine makes my heart beat irregularly so I seldom indulge in coffee or chocolate.

6. I try to be a pescatarian most of the time. (Dave Smith)

ED NOTE: I've gotten pretty far into old age without knowing much more about health than the five food groups me dear old mum drilled into my head. But seizing the opportunity to lay out my responses to Dave's sensible regimen…

1. I also walk for an hour a day, plus I do exactly 300 push-ups in sets of 60 over twenty-thirty minutes, and a few curls at night with twenty-pound dumbbells. I'm confident I could walk to Cloverdale if I had to.

2. I drink a lot of water because I get thirsty. I didn't know dehydration was associated with strokes.

3. Hydrogen what? Gawd no. First I've heard of it.

4. My body may have advised me to give up alcohol but my head says, “Go for it!” I still binge occasionally, meaning five or six shots of Makers, but only three or four days a year.

5. I can't live without coffee. I down five or six cups a day with no effect on my metabolism.

6. Pescatarian? You mean fish, Dave? I eat whatever's put in front of me except fish unless it's disguised beneath layers of batter and grease as fish and chips or tuna in a tuna sandwich. I don't trust fish because you can't know its provenance anymore unless you're buying it right off the boat. And even then the seas are so fouled its creatures probably are, too. I'll never forget one of the cops on the SF dive squad — the guys who bring out the bodies and swim down into the murk for weapons — saying that “Anyone who eats anything that comes out of this Bay is nuts.”

YOUTH WANTS TO KNOW, Mike Williams wonders, “It would be interesting for regular readers of the daily on-line edition to know how it all comes together. When does the Editor or the Major begin the process? Who assembles the content? When does the daily edition go live? How many combined hours go into a typical edition? Are there others behind the scene?”

THE PROCESS is unending, and begins every morning at dawn when the editor prufs (newspaper shorthand for proof-read) the on-line edition, which has been posted around midnight by The Major. The Editor notes the most egregious errors and sends them on to another crucial early bird, Mike Kalantarian, for correction. (Mike lives in Navarro.)

THE EDITOR takes all of the day shift, which begins around 5am and ends around 9pm, assembling the cyber-edition as he goes. Of course there is much unrelated activity and even bursts of merriment in between what may seem like a grueling regimen on the face of it. 

THE MAJOR, whose day begins at 9am, posts the cyber edition between 11pm and 1am. He has responsibility for the night shift, but backing up the whole cyber-show, day in and day out, all day every day, is Mike Kalantarian, the AVA's crack web guy and all-round tech expert who also handles web subscriptions which, lately, have outstripped the paper-paper's subscribers.

I DON'T THINK it is mere braggadocio to say that the cyber-edition of the AVA has become Mendocino County's morning newspaper. We've been told that often enough to believe it is true, and the cyber-subscription numbers bear it out, making me confident we have more subscribers overall than, say, Philo's NPR affiliate, for handy local example. But then we're the only daily newspaper operation in the county, although there are a number of facebook ops and a couple of soporific kind of, sort of on-line papers like the Mendocino Voice. 

AT THE END of a cyber-week — Sunday 5pm — a certain amount of copy is assembled for the Thursday print edition, which is packed off to the super-competent Renee Lee (of Boonville) by The Major, who has sent her what he estimates to be 12-pages (typically) of copy for her to array in a paper-paper format. Renee then sends it back early Tuesday morning to The Editor and The Major for a final go-over before she dispatches it in pdf files to Folger Graphics in Hayward, from where it is retrieved in neatly tied bundles early Thursday morning by Zack Anderson, retired filmmaker — Will, Windows on the World, Fujimori, Pig Hunt — who drives it to Boonville where it is packaged for postal delivery hither, thither and yon

KEEPING a vigilant eye on both the print and cyber productions is Ling Anderson, whose canny fiscal magic has kept the operation solvent over the many years. Because the AVA is largely a geriatric enterprise, how much longer it can be kept alive is, of course, unknown. It requires extremely uptight, ocd personality types to endlessly roll the AVA rock up the hill, but those personality types are not only hard to find, they're even harder to find when recompense is minimal.

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