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Valley People (July 20, 2022)

SOME POLL or other has confirmed that more than three-quarters of Americans believe they will be tightening their belts until at least the end of the year. Close to home, at its distribution last week, the Anderson Valley Food Bank ran out of certain staple items, including meat. More and more working families are turning to food banks for help as inflation shows no sign of easing. 

AS A VOLUNTEER EXPLAINED, “We gave out over 100 bags of produce and 100 bags with fresh meat, peanut butter, beans, rice, canned goods, eggs, etc. Depending on family size, each family gets at least one each of those bags. Ran out of the veggie bags first, then the fresh meat. We scrambled and made more bags with leftover cartons of eggs and non-perishables in stock.”

DONATIONS can be made through the Food Bank website:  Or, Food Bank, PO Box 692, Boonville CA 95415

ELIZABETH JENSEN: A great big thanks you to Robert Lane for reviving one of the most well-loved structures at our dear AV Community Park! 

With the help of donated LUMBER from two generous local wineries, he was able to create a SAFER play space for our kids.

Here’s to many NEW imaginary adventures for our littles, setting sail to far off lands from our humble little town of Boonville!

How can you help? If you have an interest in improving our local park or have resources that could help us make improvements, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Call me at 415-713-3833 or email!

Dear Rancheria Families,

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  We look forward to welcoming your student back to class on August 15. I wanted to explain that we do have some changes underway with the Rancheria program next year.  However, PLEASE BE ASSURED that your student’s graduation requirement DOES NOT change with these new program policies.

The students currently enrolled in Rancheria will be “grandfathered in” under the old regulations and be able to obtain the diploma with the State minimum requirement of 180 units.  In the future, the Rancheria program will be combined with the CTE program and the new requirement for graduation will be 220 units and Capstone Project completion.  AGAIN, IF YOUR STUDENT IS IN THE CURRENT RANCHERIA PROGRAM, THERE IS NO CHANGE TO HIS/HER GRADUATION REQUIREMENT.

I am delighted that with the restructuring of the program, Ms. Ewing, Mr. Corey-Moran, and Mr. Toohey will be team-teaching together to create new work and learning opportunities for our students.  The program is FULL DAY; however, if your student has a job the afternoon can be credited for work experience.

Please contact me or Ms. Ewing with any questions that you may have about your students’ participation in this graduation pathway.  We are delighted to provide more real-world mentorship opportunities along with structured and targeted learning support to ensure our students meet their goal of a high school diploma.

Louise Simson, Superintendent, AV Unified

ERNIE PARDINI: My 91 year old father just shared something with me that I feel compelled to share with all of you. He was standing at the checkout counter at the A.V. Market yesterday with a basket of groceries. There was a nicely dressed young man waiting for his turn after my father. When it was time to pay, my father got out his wallet and whoever was working at the time told him to put his money away. He asked if they were giving away free groceries and she said no, this young man behind you paid for them. I wish I could find this young man to say this to him personally, but since I can't I'll say it here. Thank you. Not only for your generous gesture to my father, but for giving me a renewed faith in the human race. I hope your act of kindness comes back to you a hundred fold. You have inspired me to follow your lead instead of complaining about hopelessness of our species.

SHALL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN! Searching KZYX's on-line personnel roster for signs of the apparently disappeared Hispanic man recently hired as “News Director,” I saw the name, Eddie Haehl. Mr. Haehl functions as “production director,” whatever that entails, but he's got to be descended from the way-back 5th District supervisor, Ed Haehl, after whom Haehl Street in Boonville is named, and somehow also related to retired Ukiah attorney, Dan Haehl. Patriarch Ed Haehl made his home in Yorkville, I think. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE. Eyes only, Boonville. The school district's main office has been moved back to the high school where our dynamic superintendent, Louise Simson, will function as both superintendent and high school principal. Which is the way it used to be, and always should have been because a small district like hours doesn't need both positions, especially given Anderson Valley's declining, tiny and mostly docile high school population. As I recall, it was Phil Crawford, aka Wobbling Eagle, who cajoled his school board into separating the two functions, with him in his own office at the Elementary School where he wouldn't have to see or even hear a person under the age of 60. Superintendent Eagle may have been clinically nuts, a sad fact Boonville belatedly realized, and soon departed for two larger school districts where he managed to immediately unite students and staff in massive walkouts. When W.E. became a major media case for sabotaging public ed wherever he went, the state finally lifted his admin credential. Prior to him, the Boonville superintendent was a guy named Peterson who often locked himself in his office to down a fifth of whiskey, such was the stress of the job. Ms. Simson is clearly made of sterner stuff, and it's reassuring to have her in the dual job.

SKUNKS or other wildlife out during daylight: This time of year all animals have young in a den or nest somewhere. It's hard to find enough food at night, so you may see them out foraging during the day. Just leave them alone, if you see one in your vicinity, keep your pets inside for a while. Don't try to chase them away, it will only confuse or startle them. Skunks are very nearsighted, and will only spray if you startle or scare them. When I see them on my deck or near my door, I speak in a normal speaking voice and they just turn and waddle away. (Ronnie James)

A CDC study reported in The Guardian, strengthens the case for organic farming. The study found that more than 80% of its urine samples contained glyphosate, the weed-killing, cancer-linked chemical found in products like Roundup. The Chron's ace wine writer, Esther Mobley, concluded that “in light of health concerns, more and more wineries are seeking alternative and natural methods.” 

WE LIVE IN HOPE. The vineyards of Anderson Valley, most of them, are annually basted in chemicals with unknown long-term consequences for our flora, fauna, rivers and streams. And frogs, which have mostly disappeared from The Valley floor. Remember how after the rains thousands of tiny frogs hopped and bopped along Anderson Valley Way, so many of them locals would conscientiously try to steer around them, crying out as they went, “Good luck, Froggy. We're with you, dear little amphibs!” Not quite, but you get the point. The effects of chemical compounds on the hazmat-suited guys you see applying the stuff? We'd probably rather not know.

ANITA SOOST: Roadside vegetation clearing is happening in my Philo neighborhood this week. This project is coordinated by the Elk CSD, and encompasses Greenwood Road and Signal Ridge Road. From what I can see it looks good.

THE DEEPEND (Navarro) was busy over the weekend with a music event called Redwood Ramble at Camp Navarro, a site most of us Boonters remember as the Boy Scout Camp. 


An evening of Stand Up Comedy at the Junction 226 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Call 415-888-3544 for tickets

2 nights! 3 shows! Special guest opening acts- get ready to laugh!

July 23, 7:00pm & 9:00 pm shows

July 24, 8:00pm show

Come early and eat dinner before the show. 

The Junction Beer Garden & Bottle Shop

Good People + Good Beer 

(ED NOTE: Mo Mandel is the performance name of Mo Mandelbaum, Boonville born and raised, son of Dan Mandelbaum and Benna Kolinsky of Boonville.)

JEFF BURROUGHS I ran across this map while looking for well I can't remember what I was looking for but anyway... 

I found this interesting, it shows the town of Comfort on the Mountain View Road and it shows the town of Hermitage between Yorkville and Cloverdale both of which I am aware of but I've never seen on a map, which is cool but there's a reference to some place called Fairbanks between Boonville and Ukiah that has me mystified.

DEB SILVA fills in some historical blanks:

Jeff Burroughs wondered about a “town” named Fairbanks on a 1916 map he found. I did comment that Fairbanks was associated with a man named Mandal Whipple Fairbanks but there is more that Jeff might be interested in knowing. I'm attaching a couple of articles [which the AVA will publish next week], one is the Fairbanks obituary and the other is one of those “days gone by” things that is interesting. Besides reporting on Fairbanks post office there's a little background on MW Fairbanks who was a total gun nut, and even had an armory and a gun patented! MW was featured in a number of newspaper articles back in the day. He was a sheep rancher, he apparently had a dicey divorce from his first wife Ella as there were a number of public notices regarding that, and his wife at the time of his death was Isabel (Gallagher) Fairbanks. Valerie Hanelt might be interested in MW's obit. Fairbanks is buried on his ranch alongside his young son. 

* * *

Attached historical articles:

M.W. Fairbanks Was Old Pioneer…

(A short sketch of his history written for the Dispatch; Ukiah Dispatch Democrat, Nov. 12, 1915)

Last Sunday the following members of Abell Lodge # 146, F. and A.M. motored to Anderson Valley to perform the last services for a deceased brother, M.W. Fairbanks, viz: Hale McCowen Jr., W.S. Van Dyke, J.R. Mathews, P.W. Handy, William Bromley, Neil Auker, Jr., George Richardson, Archie McGimsey, William Chessall and George McCowen.

Mandal Whipple Fairbanks was born in Springfield, Vermont on October 25, 1888. He came to California in 1859 and engaged in hunting for the market Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. In the early 1860s he trapped and killed bear for the Shafter Brothers in Marin County and is credited with having killed 50 bears on that range.

In 1871 he came to Mendocino County buying the ranch which bears his name near Anderson Valley where he carried on the business of sheep raising and wool growing which was familiar to him in his boyhood days in Vermont. But hunting was his chief interest and he delighted in taking a party of friends on deer hunts through the forests of his mountain home.

In later life he had a fancy for collecting old style firearms together with the new variety of which he had a large collection and would relate the history of each valued pistol or gun to a circle of interested listeners. For some four or five years his health had been failing and he went to Santa Rosa for medical attention last summer accompanied by his devoted wife. He gradually grew worse when all the time he remained cheerful and kept making bright plans for the future almost to the very last.

He died in Santa Rosa on October 28, and the remains were taken to the ranch and their interned with Masonic ceremonies on a point within sight of the home and beside the grave of his little son who died years ago. It seemed to him that the child was nearer to him when a few steps were taken within sight of the grave.

Mr. Fairbanks was honest and upright in all his dealings. An enthusiast, he was ever willing to divide his possessions and nothing was good enough for those he considered his friends.

He affiliated with Abell Lodge # 146 on April 29, 1877 having been previously a member of St. John's Lodge # 41 of Maine.

He leaves a wife, a daughter by a former marriage in Springfield, Vermont, and two sisters residing in New York City.

* * *

A Backward Glance Through Early Files; Anderson Valley Pioneer Reminiscences -- A Locality Full Of Attractive Features.

(from a reprint in the Mendocino Coast Beacon, Aug. 25, 1972)

Boonville, January 18, 1897 -- Boonville and surroundings embracing Anderson precinct rating in 1890 a population of 285 now numbers about 675 souls.

it claims the oldest voter in the county in the name of the vivacious John Conrad at the patriarchal age of 94 years and whose ripe experience directed him to vote for women's suffrage at the last general election. He is still hale and hearty and makes his accustomed daily rounds.

Anderson Valley has two churches, two hotels, two stores, two blacksmith shops, two public halls and always and every time two or more candidates for the same public office whether local or otherwise -- and competition generally.

The McKinley and Bryan votes cast here if paired would leave a credit to the Republicans of one vote so it must be admitted that we are well balanced.

One of the stores owned by the late lamented R.E. Armstrong has just passed into other hands and a new incumbent is wrestling as agent for the express company which has an office in the building.

The village has generally a butcher shop, but it is provided with a solitary shoemaker and cobbler shop and a ten-cent drinking saloon.

Miss Olive Fry who, with Miss Burger successfully conducted the local public school, is now gaining an enviable reputation for efficiency as an instructor of the private school.

The Mendocino mail stage bound for Ukiah stops here overnight but the passengers are comfortably provided for, entertained etc.

This place is the terminal of a small route to Fairbanks, an office admirably managed, beyond which is a stretch of 7 miles of mail-less road which the Post Office Department on questionable grounds was induced to boycott. John Lee Rector, contractor and mail carrier in the Boonville and Fairbanks Road, never fails to connect on time, rain or shine.

Court Laurel AOF # 8224, a lodge of about 60 members, meets in the Armstrong Hall and engages in spicy debates which occasionally are somewhat demonstrative.

Dr. H. Thompson seems to be appreciated by all those requiring his professional services. Adjoining his drugstore is the post office of which he has charge.

Henry Beeson, a member of the first white family who settled in Anderson Valley in 1852 and for whom the valley was named, lives in Boonville and is the hero of some notable episodes. He is one of the three remaining survivors who assisted in the raising of the Bear Flag in the town of Sonoma in 1846 and joined in the celebration of its last semi-centennial anniversary at that place where he was the lion of the hour. He is also a veteran of the Mexican-American war. He was a resident of that settlement in Lake County now called Kelseyville when Mr. Kelsey for whom the town was named was killed by a hostile uprising of the local Indians against the white settlers and with relatives and others had to flee for safety, proceeding to where Cloverdale is now situated and thence by slow stages to where the Anderson family is located adjoining the present village of Boonville. Henry Beeson is now 68 years old and he and his younger brother were sons of Mrs. Anderson previously Mrs. Beeson and both are well preserved and happy, living two miles from town.

T.E. Rawles, whom the writer had the pleasure of meeting lately possesses a copious fund of information, political and otherwise, is up to date with current news and events and is of rare intelligence and a walking encyclopedia of all matters discussed.

A visit to the armory, gun shop and Sportsmen's Emporium of M.W. Fairbanks is most interesting. Specimens of all kinds and styles of rifles, muskets and pistols, ancient and modern, with every variety of ammunition may be found in his repository. There also can be seen here the "Fairbanks combination" gun invented and patented by the owner and embracing both rifle and pistol with telescopic sights. Sportsmen crack shots of game or targets and other gun experts from the surrounding country and from a distance resort thither to have their firearms adjusted and repaired. The leading sportsmen's journals and magazines in the United States are to be found here on file also.

From Fairbanks to Yorkville, a distance of 7 miles, there is a gap or missing link in the mail route, in a circuit of 80 miles via Cloverdale, Ukiah, Boonville, etc. A letter addressed from Fairbanks to Yorkville or vice versa has to be transported 73 miles to reach its destination instead of seven direct miles by reason of the break. It is hoped that the sufferers will represent their want to the Post Office Department and that at an early date the mail route will be extended or restored as it was before to complete the circuit.

* * *

VALERIE HANELT ADDS: The last paragraph in the 1897 article refers to a gap in the circuit from Yorkville to Fairbanks. This is because you could get from Cloverdale to Yorkville, on to Ukiah, then over to Fairbanks and Boonville, but you couldn’t travel beyond Yorkville directly to Boonville until the McDonald-To-The-Sea stretch was built a few years after this article. 

As to the names in the article contributed by our wonderful researcher Deb Silva: Richard Armstrong, Olive Fry Busch (parents William and Mary are in Evergreen B), and Dr. H Thompson are all in Ukiah Cemetery. Jesse Burger (married Eugene McCarty the following year) is in Evergreen B, John Lee Rector (husband of Icaphena McGimsey) is in Evergreen C, and Henry Beeson (wife Molinda Beebe) and his brother Ike are in the Rawles Babcock Cemetery. 

If you are interested in the old valley names, be sure to look them up on Also, every grave in the Valley has a GPS pin so that you can click on the name in the Findagrave app and then drive to the cemetery, get out of your car, and then walk directly to the grave of the person you are interested in, all by following the directional prompts on your smart phone. If the grave is unmarked you will at least be standing pretty much where I think the grave is. 

If you have family buried in one of the cemeteries in the valley, be sure to check the entry for them on to make sure it is accurate. You can upload photos, suggest edits, or (Please!) take over maintaining the entry of your family member. I am maintaining close to a thousand of these entries and love turning them over to family members.

I still have quite a few mysteries about who is buried in unmarked graves. Let me know if you would like a mystery assignment!

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