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Valley People (May 25, 2022)

CENTRAL BOONVILLE was advised to “shelter in place” Sunday evening [May 22] at approximately 7:30 as law enforcement converged on a Lambert Lane property abutting the Boonville Fairgrounds where Boonville native Stacey Rose had reportedly burned the property of his wife, Bronwyn Rose nee Hanes, and was threatening to shoot responding officers. Rose was subsequently spotted by aerial surveillance pacing the area armed with a rifle. An Army veteran, Rose was described as possessing multiple firearms and threatening “suicide by cop.” Shortly before 8pm law enforcement said they had a “visual” of Rose with his hands up in surrender and he was taken into custody without further incident on charges of brandishing an imitation firearm, obliterating markings applicable to an imitation firearm, criminal threats of death or great bodily injury and resisting arrest. 

FOR ANYBODY INTERESTED in the the permit request for up to 300 or 500 “glampers” with cars and 13 hours of amplified music on Ray’s Rd. Philo 10 times a year, we are going to hold a meeting at the CSD Board room of the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. in Boonville Thursday evening, the 26th of May at 5:30pm. The permit applicant has been invited, so all aspects of the proposed project hopefully will be covered. If you would like more information you may call me at 895-2011 or email (David Severn)

SKATE PARK GETS SCHOOL BOARD SUPPORT. Last Tuesday, AV school board members heard a presentation by Service Learning Team students Kellie Crisman, Aster Arbanovella, Ananda Mayne and Onawa Keller regarding their proposal for a skatepark in Boonville. There was a surprisingly large crowd there in support of the skatepark (about 15-20 community members and 10 students), and a few people spoke in favor during public comment. CSD Recreation Committee member Donna Pierson-Pugh introduced the student group, explaining that the project fits within the CSD’s broader mission to create a vibrant recreation space for the community. Several community members also spoke in favor of a skatepark during public comment, each highlighting the critical necessity for safe public spaces for AV youth to recreate. School board members expressed enthusiastic support for the project, and they asked Superintendent Louise Simson to move ahead in exploring details for potential transfer of the park area to the CSD to make the project possible. Stay tuned! (Noor Dawood)

ELIZABETH JENSEN: Looking for volunteers to help recreate the fenceline by our beloved Arch gate at our local Community Park in Boonville (aka Airport Park or Health Center Park). I would love to collaborate with members of the community to replace the wooden fenceline framing the arch to better highlight its beauty and celebrate our growing community! Do you have a vision for what this could look like? How would you like this entrance to be improved to better welcome our community?

A LOCAL ASKS, “Anyone interested in rebuilding the local TBall/Little League Team? Returning this equipment to the Fairgrounds today but would love to know it won’t be resting unused for too long!”

MORGAN BAYNHAM COMMENTS: “The community built that ball field, 'Squires Stadium' 1980's. I helped rake rocks many weekends, my kids played little league baseball there, had many hot dogs and burgers. Special thanks to Tom who put too many hours in maintaining the field and giving equipment. Would love to see it come alive again BUT it takes a communty effort to do that. Will help again if it comes alive. The County Fair would love to see that field come alive again. It's there for the playing.”

PUZZLED that so many younger people clutch their pens in odd grips not taught in traditional penmanship classes, I asked the young woman writing out my receipt at CostCo, “I’m wondering about the way you grip your pen.” Like so many people, she grasped her pen with her whole fist as if she feared that if she didn’t enfold it in her whole hand it would fly away. “I don’t know how I started writing like this,” she said, “but I’m used to it.” She went on to say she remembered a male classmate gripping his pen like the handle of a baseball bat, that he wrote like he was sculpting without a hammer. Versions of these uncomfortable grips seem prevalent. I remember being taught penmanship.with the writing instrument held gently between forefinger and index finger, Que pasa? I asked my go-to edu-informant, Boonville’s superintendent of schools, Louise Simson, “Is penmanship still taught at the elementary level?”

THE SUPER ANSWERED, “Yes, penmanship in grades TK-2nd is taught with a traditional tripod grip and emphasis on correct letter formation and spacing. Specialized curriculum such as Handwriting Wthout Tears is very helpful. Unfortunately, cursive (which has benefits relating to calming and thoughtfulness) is not as rigorously taught as in decades past. In my prior district, we taught it with fidelity in third grade and the students viewed the experience as a “treat”! There are some very unusual grips that I have seen adults use, particularly if they were raised in other areas of the country, as an alternative to the tripod grip with the pencil resting in the middle of the hand. Many variations are out there, and there have been studies done on effectiveness. Most importantly, we want to students to produce legible handwriting with stamina to craft their assignments.”

TAYLOR BALSON: Found someone's Dodge keys by the soccer field. Hit me up if you know who's they are…

LOCAL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS and first responders have noticed a growing problem stemming from a diminishing supply of tow trucks/drivers in the County. Locally, the impact is felt most at traffic accident scenes when it can take hours for a tow truck to arrive from Ukiah as volunteer first responders have to stay on scene for traffic control for extra hours waiting for a tow truck, even though the only thing left to do is move a damaged vehicle off the road. (Mark Scaramella)

THE LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE MUSEUM board will be hosting a festive gathering at the Little Red School House Museum on Sunday, June 5, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Admission is free! For your enjoyment, the afternoon will include music by Bob Day and Erica Zissa, Brad Wiley telling entertaining Stories of Yesteryear, and complimentary snacks, local beer & wine and lemonade. The party will be outdoors, with all museum buildings open for your wandering pleasure. We’re combining our get together with this year’s AV Historical Society annual meeting. In years past, the annual meeting has included a presentation of financial statements and a run-down of the previous year. This year, we’re simply making that information available via handouts so we can get right to the festivities. Non-members who would like in on the fun are welcome. So tell your friends that this is their chance to get fed and feted while supporting the AV Historical Society & Museum. Come see your friends and neighbors at the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum. (Jerry Karp)

NORM CLOW: “Do you remember in the ‘90’s when Ukiah was named the ‘Best Small Town In America’ by some organization or another, especially for seniors? My dad sent the Press Democrat news article to us out on Guam with a couple of humorous comments noted on the clipping, as he was wont to do. Strange choice then, a town seemingly irrecoverable now. We were there overnight in 2015, 2018 and last year. Indescribably depressing and run down, nothing like the town we remember from the ‘50’s and 60’s, although that might be only wIshful thinking, to cite Carole King.”

YES, I REMEMBER when Ukiah was regularly on 'Best Of' lists, but agree with Comrade Clow that the town's steady deterioration over the years since. One reason is a lack of civic leadership. Another is the withdrawal of Ukiah's monied families from civic engagement. The scruffy town's moneybags ancestors cared about the town and what it looked like. You wouldn't know it to look at it, but there's a lot of money in Ukiah.

AND NOW, the final nail in Ukiah's downtown coffin is being sprung on an unsuspecting Mendocino County by our over-many and over-paid Superior Court judges who are poised to destroy the town's center with a brand new County Courthouse nobody but them wants, a new County Courthouse three long blocks from where it is now and, by the way, designed only for the judges and their gofers. This appalling project slides right on by Ukiah's management and the County's inattentive supervisors, the very people who should oppose it.

AND, like most municipalities in our battered land, Ukiah permits its public spaces to be occupied by people who should either be hospitalized or jailed. The town's become an open-air asylum.

AV AMBULANCE MEMBERSHIPS for 2022-2023 are now available! Hard copies are going out to Anderson Valley addresses today, and on-line applications are available on our website. AVFD+AirMedCare or AVFD only - choose your household's coverage level. Memberships are one of the main sources of funding for our ambulance service. Your membership ensures the availability of this vital resource in AV. With an AVFD Ambulance Membership, any portion of bills for emergency transport not covered by other insurance is waived.

TOM WODETSKI OF ALBION WRITES: “I asked a friend in AV about who to vote for for Super of Schools. I voted for Michelle [Hutchins] and recommended people do the same, but I thot you should see what I heard back.”


 (1) Lynda McClure was supporting Hutchins when much of AV was ready to run Hutchins out of town on a rail. I like Michelle as a person but I did not like working with her or for her. I was going to work a couple more years part time but decided I preferred to retire earlier rather than work under her. She was not collaborative and she had no interest in what her staff thought — about anything. She also mismanaged finances. She burned through all of the surplus that had been built up under JR in under two years and the school got nothing for it. She spent a lot on additional administrative staff, attending conferences, and bringing in consultants. I guess that doesn't mean she's necessarily a poor superintendent, but my imagination doesn't see how she'd be a good one.

(2) X's opinion is very similar to the above, except I didn't have any info on Glentzer. I, too, retired earlier than I had planned to because working for and with Michelle just made me angry all the time. She was quite impulsive on spending, demeaning to her staff, volatile in her emotions, manipulative in the extreme, and very ambitious. I felt sorry for her sometimes because she didn't understand why people were angry at her; she assumed it was because she was a woman boss, not because she was acting like an asshole. I'd rather she be the county superintendent than a high school principal, because the further from students and teachers the better, but if there's another viable option I would vote for that person.

(3) From the perspective of a parent/grandparent I feel negatively about Michelle Hutchins for some crazy idea she had about getting less expensive pre-prepared institutional food delivered to students instead of having freshly prepared food available at the school sites — maybe someone else remembers the details about that. I am voting for Glentzer.

ED REPLY: There was in fact much local support for Michelle. She was never anywhere near getting “run out of town on a rail,” but Linda McClure stood up for her publicly and deserves all due credit for doing it. Michelle succeeded the over-long and, imo, undisciplined regime of JR. Collins, nice guy but a guy who loaded the staff with old pals while the whole lazy, nepotistic show went pretty much unsupervised for years. Imagine a new person brought in to supervise a club-like loosey goosey school district that had drifted along, rudderless, for nearly two decades. Michelle Hutchins brought with her much higher standards and found herself immediately disliked by a segment of the elementary staff and its principal (not re-hired when her contract was up), who resented the badly needed changes Ms. Hutchins instituted. Hutchins conceded, btw, that the food program referred to above was a mistake and returned to the old program. And she was supported by the school board and the high school staff. A handful of local women have pursued Ms. H. for purely subjective reasons until this day. When a critic says H. wasn't “collaborative” she/he probably means H. disagreed with them. H. made a lot of changes that were long overdue. There have been no complaints about her as County superintendent, although her opponent has brazenly circulated an ad for herself claiming MCOE employees are backing her. I tried to find out if there indeed is an MCOE employee union, who is its rep, what was the employee vote, when was the vote taken etc. to no response. I think the Ukiah-focused opposition to Hutchins boils down to the resentment the Ukiah Unified feels for how edu-funds are distributed. Under Superintendent Tichinin, Ukiah got lots and lots while the outlying districts were shorted. Odd, isn't it? that the MCOE race has generated this much heat and a whole lot of secret slander aimed at the incumbent. Never have seen anything like it in Mendo.


It’s a gorgeous spring. The 4” of rain we received throughout the month has turned everything green and blooming. And though I’ve had 10 rose plants in the front yard for the past 15 years, never have they looked so beautiful or bloomed so prolifically. Roses were never my favorites because I thought they took too much care, but now I get it...the weather was too hot and dry. No wonder they grow so well in England! We have such an abundance that at the suggestion of a restaurateur in SF, we started making rose petal jam both with and without walnuts. It’s delicious and a big hit. We would never have thought of it!

For the past 4 months I’ve been sowing and tending our year’s crop babies. Up until today, the greenhouse was packed with six packs and 4” pots full of starts on heating pads. Two weeks ago we started moving some outdoors to tables in the breezeway (a covered area between the house and garage) so they could “harden off”. Today we finished planting all 500 tomatoes of nine different sorts (them’s a lot of tomatoes!) into their beds. After last year’s very poor production, we’re hoping at least some of them prosper. We then moved the peppers, around 300, and cucumbers also 300, from the greenhouse to the tables the tomatoes vacated. In a couple of days, if nighttime temps allow, they too will be planted out. The okra and the ghost peppers are all that’s left in the greenhouse...and the Espelette peppers which will all be planted in the greenhouse.

This is a very busy time of year, sowing, planting, weeding, watering, feeding and generally tending to what we hope will be a fruitful season. No guarantees €” ever - but we feel lucky to be living in a relatively peaceful and still functioning part of a devolving world.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones and all other living beings to the best of your ability.

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig

EVACUATION ORDERS WERE LIFTED late Friday night [May 20] after being ordered for an area just southeast of Point Arena due to a wildland fire being called the Owens Fire which broke out a little after 3pm Friday afternoon. Twelve engines, five tenders, two choppers, four hand crews and three dozers were dispatched and had achieved major containment by late Friday night as conditions quieted down some. 

YORKVILLE TEENS ATTEMPT ARMED ROBBERY: On Thursday, May 19, at 9:40 PM, Cloverdale Police responded to report of an armed robbery where shots were fired at a witness. The persons involved occupied a silver Honda Accord, license number 4VZM327 whose owner was soon identified as Angel Marron 18, of Yorkville. Marron was soon under arrest along with three teenagers, all assumed to have been involved in the Cloverdale event. Marron and one juvenile were arrested for attempted murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm with no serial number, and assault with a deadly weapon. The other two juveniles were arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime. 

CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN was in Boonville last week to celebrate the Anderson Valley Affordable Housing Initiative Community Project funding, out of which the feds awarded the local charity $400,000 to make an offer on  fifties-built apartments on Anderson Valley Way to preserve them for affordable housing.  Once known as the Boonville Apartments, and located across the street from the former home of the ava and owned by an Oakland woman who, drunk, once screeched out a threat to murder the editor of Boonville’s beloved weekly, the property will sell for far more than $400,000. The death threat seemed to have its origins in an ancient police report faithfully reported here, and investigated by Deputy Squires, that the property owner’s boyfriend had sexually assaulted another guest on the property. As I recall the boyfriend, an MD, was not prosecuted.

FROM YESTERDAY'S MCT: “An on-line reader called Wednesday to say that he would prefer that the AVA's daily collection of news, Mendocino County Today, be organized more like a conventional news website with sports, weather, local news, national news, events, etc. because he doesn't like having to scroll through the collection to see what's what on his smallish mobile phone.”

MCT DOES HAVE A LOOSE ORGANIZATION, mostly in the order listed above (with the omission of sports). It looks like this: weather, local news & announcements, ed notes, yesterday's catch, national news, essays and opinion — all interspersed with graphics to help break up the gray. We also provide a clickable table-of-contents at the top, to navigate to a particular item and provide an overall sense of each day's content. We sympathize with the difficulties of viewing all this material on a tiny screen and do our best to accommodate, but there are limits and choices that must be made in this regard. (Mike Kalantarian, webeditor)


Love your local park by volunteering for your Hendy Woods State Park! Share your knowledge of the redwoods and love of your local community with visitors from all over the world! The Hendy Woods Community (the non-profitthat supports the park) is looking for volunteers in our visitor center and to lead forest walks on Saturdays this summer. In the spring we also need volunteers to help remove invasive plant species - Please let us know if you would like to join our team of volunteers! 

Email: — Our Website:


On the Second Sunday of every month in 2022, the Hendy Woods Community is covering the Hendy Woods State Park’s Day Use fee ($8) for local residents from the following communities: Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche and Elk - Know your zip code. Enjoy a free visit to the park on us and stroll the old growth redwoodgroves and beautiful meadows, hike the trails, and unwind along the river! 

Note: Day use is from sun up to 1 hour after sunset.

The Park Website:

BOONVILLE’S AMERICAN LEGION POST #385 will observe Memorial Day with a service this Sunday, May 29, 2022, 11am, at Evergreen Cemetery, just north of Boonville on Anderson Valley Way. 

GREGORY SIMS, a veteran, prompted by the forthcoming Memorial Day weekend, writes of another veteran: “Darryl Wright lives in Oakland with his wife Robin. I met him when I was teaching at College of San Mateo, a friend of a student friend. We've stayed in touch over the years, many family gatherings, etc. Not a local except for visiting. His was one of those heroic war stories and miracle survival which now seem to be in the news since Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. He deserves recognition and thanks for his service, friendship and love.” 

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