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Valley People (August 10, 2022)

ALBERT EARL ‘SAM’ PRATHER

Age: 80

Scion of early Mendocino County Pioneers.

The Prather Ranch was established in 1854. Sam Prather raised sheep and cattle in Anderson Valley for over 70 years. Some of his sheep were shown far and wide and won many awards and accolades.

Sam was well known in the ranching community of Mendocino County. Sam will be missed, especially for his annual BBQ at the Mendocino Co. Apple Fair.

Donations can be made to: Anderson Valley Historical Society.

KAREN BAILEY: I met Sam in 2003 when I walked up to his door and knocked on it, saying “somebody at the Buckhorn said you might have a place to rent.” Jason and I rented from him for five years, he was a great landlord and eventually a great friend….. He had such a deadpan sense of humor it took me a whole year to figure out if he actually liked me or not. So many great memories. he taught me how to prune fruit trees and fix a fence. I’ll remember him forever. RIP. To an Anderson Valley Legend.

TEACHER WANTED! NOW! BOONVILLE! Superintendent Simson explains: "Should have a Preliminary or Clear Credential. We have flexibility with Necessary Small School Credentialing, so a credential in any subject is appropriate.It could be a retiree willing to help for a month or two until we identify a candidate. Anyone who has a Bachelor's and a preliminary or clear credential IN ANY SUBJECT, have them call my cell at 650-996-3290." (AV Superintendent Louise Simson)

MARSHALL NEWMAN: Another ebay AV find:

Riley Barn, 1975

FAIR TIME APPROACHES

Mendocino County Fair in Boonville 9/23-9/25/22

It's time to be thinking about the Fair!!

Get your registration in for Vegetables/Floriculture/Home Arts by this Friday 8/5 if it's a hard copy or by Sunday 8/11 online.

The registration for Feature booths in Vegetables/Horticulture and in Floriculture are due by Friday 8/5. 

Thanks for your support and see you at the FAIR!

All Paper Entry Forms are due August 5th

Online entries close September 5th for Home Arts and Fine Arts.

Online for ”almost everything else” is September 11th . 

Gina Pardini 

Business Assistant

Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show

PO Box 458, Boonville, CA 95415

707-895-3011 - mcofair@pacific.net

Old Maple Basin Swimming Hole

MAPLE BASIN. Can you imagine a more pristine swimming hole and overall rural dream spot? A local treasure enjoyed by generations of Valley people is no more because it's silted up from a rip and tear Mendocino Redwood Company culvert project. The pool, which used to be about 20 feet deep, fed year-round from a bracingly cool flow from deep in the bowels of Signal Ridge, is now about three feet deep. MRC has told shocked neighbors “the state” made them do the culverts. If it ever rains again, the pool might be blasted clean of the dirt and debris presently clogging it. But for now the barbarians have destroyed a natural treasure going back hundreds, maybe thousands of years.

PG&E Line Clearing At Greenwood Bridge

THE VALLEY seems under assault from large, outside forces. We've got more and more industrial vineyards, PG&E's laughably unfunny “line clearing” attack on previously attractive rural vistas, too many single family homes given over to tourist rentals while locals scramble for housing, hard drugs gaining a harder foothold among the young, and our rivers and streams dead as fisheries. This golden goose seems cooked.

THE PICTURED BLACK 2022 ROLLS ROYCE carefully backed into a diagonal parking place at the Redwood Drive-In about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, the 2nd of August. Three men emerged from their high end vehicle, one of them a very large, fit-looking man who appeared to carry a pistol secreted in his inside breast pocket. “I'm pretty sure that bulge in the big guy's jacket was a gun,” said the intrigued local woman who snapped the photos. The big guy and another man waited outside while a third man entered the Drive-In, which is where our scant story ends because we couldn't find anybody who knows who they were or why they stopped at the Redwood Drive-In. A second passer-by said he thought they looked “like those guys from Reservoir Dogs.” Drive-In proprietor Ricardo Suarez said he usually takes a break about that time every afternoon but certainly would have otherwise noted the unusual (for Boonville) tableau. “Once in a while someone will back in,” Mr. Suarez said, “but not very often.”

I PASSED ALONG this para from the Washington Post to Boonville’s Superintendent of Schools, Louise Simson: “America’s schools are in crisis, with some districts facing tremendous staffing shortages as the fall creeps closer. “I have never seen it this bad,” the executive director of the School Superintendents Association said. “Right now, it’s number one on the list of issues.” While it’s unclear precisely how many classrooms are without teachers, local reports indicate shortages ranging from the hundreds to the thousands. In Houston, Texas, alone, the five biggest districts are all saying that anywhere from 200 to 1,000 positions remain unfilled. The Washington Post reported that experts attribute the crisis to a number of factors, including pandemic burnout, low pay, and a newly virulent school culture war that has left many educators feeling unappreciated. Districts are employing a number of band-aid fixes, from higher wages to ballooning class sizes. And some areas are getting creative, ranging from a four-day school week to having veterans with zero teaching experience lead classrooms.”

SUPERINTENDENT SIMSON promptly responded: “We are in much better shape than many school districts. We do have two staff members out on leave. We have reached out for retiree and long-term subs to support these leaves. One of the challenges is that our upper level math courses will be delivered in a computerized format with an educational services company due to a year-long half-time leave. However, there is a credentialed teacher responsible for the student while they are on-line and the student can ask for immediate help and a teacher “takes over” their screen to support their learning. Is it ideal? No. Are we going to give kids a rigorous and robust education, yes.

“I am also delighted to announce that retiree, Kim Campbell, is rejoining the district in a limited. capacity with a new 7th-12th grade writing focus. We will be using our Wednesday advisory period for EVERY student to complete a required writing prompt EVERY week. This will be collected and each one read by me, and 20 samples read and graded by Kim. My belief is if you can create a well written and thoughtful written composition, you will be successful in college and career. This is also a spot check for me on student input, achievement, and areas of growth and concern. Kim is creating the prompts and expectations for each assignment. 

We are also delighted to welcome our dual enrollment English Teacher from Mendocino College! Her bio is below:

Ginny Buccelli, MFA

English Professor, Mendocino College

I was a first-generation and non-traditional college student. My mother managed to finish high school on time, but my father dropped out to run off and join the circus (true story). I was raised by my grandparents who never believed they were smart enough for school. As you can imagine, this had an impact on my view of my own scholarly pursuits. I tried attending college directly out of high school and hated it. I tried a few more times, but life choices and family responsibilities didn’t mix well with college pursuits. Once I was really ready to dive in, I was more successful. 

I earned an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Rosa Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Sonoma State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Antioch University-Los Angeles. During grad school I taught as a substitute teacher for the Petaluma City School district. 

I began working at the community college level in 2007, reading English placement essays, then running the English Department Writing Center at Santa Rosa Junior College. I transitioned into the classroom as an adjunct professor (often referred to as a freeway flyer) there and at Contra Costa College. I taught in the Gateway to College program from 2013-2014 at SRJC before I accepted a full-time position at Mendocino College in 2014. 

Looking forward to welcoming students back on August 15. 

BETH SWEHLA reports from the Ukiah Fair: 

What a great end to a super day!

The poultry meat show was fantastic!

Jose Alvarez was the FFA Champion and the Overall Reserve Supreme Champion!

Nathan Burger was FFA Reserve Champion. Carmen Malfavon placed fourth. It was a great show and these members worked very hard raising their chickens.

In the Novice FFA Poultry Showmanship class Carmen Malfavon placed 1st, Nathan Burger placed 2nd and Jose Alvarez placed 4th.

Carmen went on to place second in Advanced Poultry Showmanship.

Great job by ALL!

AV SENIOR CENTER NEWS

A lot going on in August at Anderson Valley Senior Center...

• We sadly say goodbye to our student chef, Allen Ford. It’s back to school he goes! We enjoyed a great summer with him and really appreciated all of his help. Hopefully he is taking away savvy kitchen skills he learned from our cook, Bob Vaughan and will come back to us next summer. Thanks for your hard work, Allen! 

• Save the date! The AV Lions will be sponsoring the senior center with a Tri-Tip and Chicken BBQ on August 20th. But it’s more than just a dinner! There will be a silent auction, raffles (including Giants Tickets), no-host bar, a corn hole tournament, ping pong and live music by Jeff Moss & Cruise Control. A great family-friendly Saturday Summer evening and all proceeds benefit the AV Senior Center! Festivities kick off at 4 pm at the center, 14470 Hwy. 128 in Boonville! See you there!

• We will have our first post-pandemic evening meal on August 23rd. Dinner is at 6 pm but come early at 4:30 pm for a free planetarium show sponsored by NASA. Vaccinations/Masks required. 

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