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Valley People (Sept. 14, 2022)

BOONVILLE, eyes only: JJ Thomasson told me today her family's purchase of the former Pic 'N Pay site (which, along with the Boonville Lodge and Lizzby’s Restaurant, burned to the ground in December of 2019) is complete. Which is good news for them as the third-generation owners of the adjacent Anderson Valley Market, and good news for the community because the Thomassons can be depended on to build something nice and useful in the center of our town. 

JJ did say the T's are still wrestling with the authorities over fuel contamination beneath that lot, a subject that hadn't come up for years since the old Standard station there was abandoned in the middle 1970s. Then, tested fairly recently as evidenced by the testing barrels stored on-site for a year or so.

BOONVILLE FAIR STAFF, circa 1980s: Cecelia Pardini, Jim Clow, Jim Wellington, Bill West.


We are open Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. The farm stand will be stocked this week with: apples (Honeycrisp and Ambrosia), prune plums, pears, plums, table grapes (Venus, Jupiter, California Concord), tomatoes (heirlooms, cherries, and new girls), eggplant, sweet peppers, shishito peppers, potatoes, green beans, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, chard, kale, spinach, lettuce mix, little gem lettuces, turnips, celery, onions, garlic, herbs, dried fruit (prunes, apples, raisins, peaches), olive oil, quince apple butter, and fresh and everlasting flower bouquets! 

Tomato seconds are also available for sale in 10 lb ($20) or 20 lb ($36) flats. Please email Annie to reserve in advance! 

Multiple flavors of Wilder Kombucha available as well. All produce is certified biodynamic and organic. Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email Annie at with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (with Market Match)!

INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATIONAL SPANISH classes at the Adult School this fall

Hello Adult School community!

Intermediate Conversational Spanish classes this fall at the AV Adult School! Please see the attached (below) flyer for more information. We are hoping to offer more levels of Spanish in January 2023. Partial scholarships available, free childcare during class hours.

Call 895-2953 or email for more info or to register. Please spread the word. Nos vemos en septiembre!

Maggie Von Vogt, School Co-Coordinator & Language Teacher, Anderson Valley Adult School


This Thursday is September 15 and therefore it’s Quiz Night (1st and 3rd Thursdays) at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn.

We start at 7pm and brain exercises will last about two hours during which dinner will be served, along with beer, wine, and finally - cocktails and liquor too! Hope to see you there. It’s always fun. Cheers, Steve Sparks - The Quizmaster.

THOSE ELONGATED WHITE vans you see at the crack of dawn are carrying vineyard workers from over the hill. And back over the hill about 4pm, a daily reminder whose shoulders the wine industry rests on.

Panthers on the Beach

WHEN IT'S 105 in Boonville at 2pm the only thing you can do is drive to Ukiah where it's 117 to see if you can tell the diff. I couldn't. 

A DOZEN CROWS spent the afternoon lingering by our birdbath, which I freshened several times on the probably vain and wacky anthropomorphic notion that they, like us, prefer cold, fresh water on hot days. No other flying thing dares intrude while the crows hog the bath.

A FEW FEET AWAY, an industrious squirrel spent the afternoon digging a hole. Why? According to google they're either looking for seeds or burying food for later consumption. There's no sign this squirrel was thus engaged, but the wild things know what they're about, so I'm probably also wrong about them.

NOT TO BE too skeptical about these ancient clean-ups, but there's never been a single case of anyone being harmed by the ancient dino juice deep beneath central Boonville other than the owners of the properties repeatedly forced to pay for what seems like endless testing. The fuel contamination at the Elementary School went on for years and cost several million dollars. (The old joke around town was that AV grads, having downed allegedly contaminated water at our primary school could get part-time work as fire breathers.)

BOONVILLE SCHOOL SUPE, Louise Simson, who has wrought minor miracles in re-energizing the local educational effort, now faces the even more daunting fiscal problems presented by our aged school facilities, most urgently requiring immediate action being a failed septic system at the Elementary School, which has to be pumped weekly, a very expensive proposition.

FORTUNATELY for the Superintendent, she has a capable, supportive school board likely to agree with her on priority spending on the most pressing structural repairs.

YES, we just passed a school bond measure, but now comes the tough decisions on what projects to address in what order without exhausting the first round of bond money before everything that needs doing gets done. A failed septic system can't be endured, so it will have to be re-done, but with state reimbursement for the work taking the state a full year to pay, means other work nearly as pressing will have to be postponed.

AV SCHOOL SUPE, LOUISE SIMSON: “I have had a few people reach out to me about the situation with the extreme heat and school activities. School is in session, UNLESS we have an unforeseen PG&E outage. Please send your student to school with water and fluids, have them dress appropriately for the conditions (please follow dress code, but shorts instead of pants etc…).  We are modifying p.e. schedules, and some sporting events and practices may be rescheduled.”

REPUBLICANS are blaming Democrats and teachers’ unions for keeping classroom doors closed through much of the covid pandemic. Reading scores saw their largest drop in three decades and math scores fell for the first time since records began, according to a new report from the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

PETER LIT on last weekend’s Great Day In Elk: 

“Shout out to the Anderson Valley contingent. The auctioneer at the Great Day in Elk annual cake auction sends a huge Thank You to the Anderson Valley consortium that braved the (Philo) Greenwood Road and helped to make the cake auction a tremendous success! Recognizable to me among the plotters were Lauren Keating, Heidi Gundling, Mark Apfel, and, the probable instigator, Captain Rainbow. I’m sorry I can’t place names on the rest of the participants, but Thank You as well. Thanks also to the dedicated cake-makers! Sunshine all day; another Great Day in Elk!”

CASTING my admittedly jaundiced eye at the Republican’s charge that the little ones aren’t reading too well, I’d say that any adult person claiming full reading comprehension who thinks either Trump or Biden is presidential material is reading a stutter step, if that, ahead of the nation’s third graders.

I NEVER DRANK much in bars even when I was drinking. I couldn’t afford it anyway, and I always wondered how the barroom juicers could. But I do have one wish  left in the old to-do bucket — Bobby Beacon’s nationally famous Beacon Light By The Sea, just south of Elk. The proprietor won’t remember, but one hot summer day, a cadre of juvenile delinquents in tow, we hiked due west from up on Greenwood, destination the Pacific Ocean. It was an effort, with the delinquents threatening to turn us in for child abuse much of the way. As we finally got to where we could smell the sea, here comes a big guy on a four-wheeler with a rifle strapped across his chest and a pistol in his hand. He wasn’t happy to see us, to put it gently. He yelled about trespassers and private property for a few minutes then, and I’ll never forget this, he said, “What the hell. Walk on down to my place and I’ll give you people something to drink.” The guy will always get high marks from me for his generosity that day.

WHILE we’re at my awards ceremony on this scorcher of an afternoon, I’ve also got a trophy for Barry Vogel, the long-time Ukiah-based attorney whose interviews on KZYX represent an audio history of the county from 1991 until today. I encountered Vogel esquire at the Murray sentencing last week as he exited an adjacent courtroom where he said he was helping out with the defense in a landlord-tenant dispute. Because his interviews are always interesting, KZYX plays them at 6am on Saturday mornings, saving most of the chronophagic talk the station specializes in for the hours most people are awake. Vogel has recorded many local luminaries for a body of work crucial to the memory of this unique county. (Chronophage, n. Time-waster)

WELL, SHUT MY MOUTH. Ukiah has not only opened a cooling station, it’s at the Ukiah Civic Center! I’d assumed (1) it wouldn’t occur to city management to share their AC with the rabble and (2) they’d share their AC at the Civic Center.

PAINTINGS BY VIRGINIA SHARKEY at Partners Gallery 12:12: Approaching Light - Paintings by Virginia Sharkey

September 8 - October 3

Second Saturday Meet the Artist, September 10, 5-7pm

In September Partners Gallery is exhibiting the work of Virginia Sharkey in a show called 12:12: Approaching Light.

The subject of Virginia Sharkey’s large-scale abstract paintings is time; a presentation most specifically of a series of tone poems to noon and midnight meant to convey, in vivid color and simple line, the energy and feeling of these opposite 12’s. The subjects are mystery, radiance, surprise and the search for perfection. A re-reading of Dante’s *Divine Comedy *and his three stages of the soul’s progress towards heaven inspired, in paint and collage, the large “Commedia.” The gallery is located at 45062 Ukiah St in Mendocino. Hours are Thursday through Monday 11am - 5pm.

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