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Valley People (Sept. 28, 2022)

LAST WEEK’S big rain was not quite a trash mover (Boontling for deluge), but it was met with delight by everyone on the Northcoast, and dropping from 2 to 3 inches of much needed moisture on the Anderson Valley. Con Creek, my personal rain gauge, had been dry for nearly two months, but as of the Monday after, the little stream had been revived and was burbling merrily along. As was I, walking around rapt in the sweetened air, gazing upwards as Old King Sol dodged in and out of the parading great white cumulus fattus clouds. More! More, Rain Gods!

LA NINA AGAIN? Are we in an El Nino or La Nina year? What this winter could mean for California weather… California’s upcoming winter is forecast to be mild and drier than normal, according to experts, as climate patterns steer the state. We’re in for another year of La Nina. A La Nina occurs when the temperature of the sea is cooler than average in the Eastern Pacific, resulting in less evaporation, weaker storms and less moisture in the atmosphere. Its counterpart, El Nino, is when warm water moves toward the West Coast. Paul Ullrich, professor of regional and global climate modeling at the University of California, Davis, said we’ve been in a La Nina weather pattern for two years now. This upcoming La Nina winter will be the third consecutive year. The effects of the weather pattern will vary by region, with California seeing less rainfall. But it appears to be weakening, Ullrich said. According to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions, the La Nina will continue through the Northern Hemisphere to winter 2022 to 2023. 

MORE WINTER BLUES? A brief note about the winter to come…

Alas, despite the good news in the short term, I have no such good news to share regarding the winter outlook. There is quite strong ensemble agreement, at the moment, regarding elevated odds of a drier than usual winter across most of California and the southern Colorado Basin—two places that could really, really use a wet winter about now. The usual caveats apply: this is a probabilistic, vs deterministic, prediction; seasonal outlooks are only modestly skillful; and there are some factors (including random good/bad luck) that the seasonal models can’t capture. That said, we’re going to be in the third consecutive year of a “Triple Dip” La Nina event, and the reliability of ENSO teleconnections does seem to increase in successive years (so predictions for persistent North Pacific ridging are not surprising). This is especially true in light of continued very warm ocean conditions in the far tropical western Pacific, which also favor northeastern Pacific ridges in winter (on top of the La Nina influence). So, I’ll continue to follow this in the coming weeks and months—but right now I’m not seeing much indication of medium term drought relief (if anything, the opposite). — Daniel Swain

TWO NEW FACES attended last Wednesday’s Community Services District Board meeting, both of whom are slated to take their seats replacing Board members Paul Soderman, who resigned last month, and Larry Mailliard who will finish his term in December. We’re not sure of the timing, but the two prospective new Board members are Williams Nayes of Yorkville, a retired Pharma exec and former Army Lt. Colonel, and Steven Snyder, loosely associated with the Land Trust and father of former high school principal, Jim Snyder. Mr. Nayes was the only candidate to file for one of the two open seats, and Mr. Snyder was the only applicant for appointment to the other vacancy. The two new trustees will join Chair Valerie Hanelt, and directors Kathleen McKenna and Francois Christien.

(Mark Scaramella)

THE AV SENIOR CENTER NEEDS HELP NOW: the large freezer is suddenly failing. Anybody have a chest freezer we could borrow PDQ call Philip-707 972-5620. Thank you to all the good people who called and offered freezers. We have a loaner until we can fix or replace the senior center freezer. Vickie Brock rocks!


Fentanyl project update:

After having spent the summer trying to get funding for a Narcan vending machine to place here in the valley, to no avail, (thank you so very much, Ted Williams, District 5 Supervisor, for doing absolutely nothing), I have elected to go another route. I met with a representative from the County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, who supplied me with a few doses of the opioid receptor blocker to have on hand in the event that I know someone in need.

If you, your child, or anyone you know uses drugs, you owe it to them and yourself to obtain and carry this life saving antidote. It can be obtained, free of charge, at the Mendocino Public Health Office located at 1120 S. Dora St in Ukiah.

I have contact information for the representative that I met with today. She can provide a greater volume of Narcan, and the nominal training requirements to administer the drug if you prefer. Shoot me a PM and I will pass along her contact information.

The life you save could be your child, your spouse, your neighbor,..

Let’s get this done.


After spending the past four months doing everything I can think of, (beyond prostituting myself), to obtain funding/location for a Narcan vending machine to place in the Valley, (a very special thank you to Ted Williams, District 5 Supervisor, for doing absolutely nothing), I’ve taken another route.

For those who may remain uninformed on the issue, Narcan and Naloxone are opioid-receptor blockers. In the event of an overdose of any type of opioid, (heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, etc., and Fentanyl in particular), these drugs immediately counter the effects of the opioid in the user’s system, thereby saving a life.

The Fentanyl crisis that we’ve been hearing and reading so much about is now here, in our valley, and it’s killing our children. I, for one, will not just sit here and watch kids die. Or anyone else, for that matter. Short of identifying and lynching those responsible for the distribution of this poison, there is something that we can all do to prevent needless loss of life; keep a dose or two of Narcan close at hand at all times. It comes in the form of a nasal spray and can be easily administered by just about anyone, with no fear of liability or reprisal due to AB 472, California’s “Good Samaritan Law.” In a nutshell, if you are in the act of trying to save the life of a suspected overdose victim, you will NOT be held legally, financially, or morally responsible for the outcome. Period.

In my search for assistance with this problem, I was connected with the amazing staff of the County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Together we have implemented a program of education in the local school system and are working to distribute as much Narcan as possible to anyone who is willing to help save lives. The drug is given, free of charge or stigma, to anyone who wants it. It can be obtained at the Mendocino Public Health Office located at 1120 S. Dora Street in Ukiah, along with a very brief tutorial on how to dispense it. Literally, a five-year-old child could do it.. God forbid that ever be necessary.

Should you wish to have a larger supply, I am happy to put you in contact with the County Health representative I’ve been dealing with. Email me at, or call/text me at (707) 489-2915.

What we have seen thus far is only the tip of the iceberg. Believe it or not, our sparsely populated county of Mendocino ranks SECOND among all the counties in California in opioid overdose fatalities. Think about that for a moment. I’ll wait…

We trump San Francisco and Los Angeles, put together. WTF?!?

Together we can, at the very least, try and bring someone back from the abyss. The life you save may be your own child, your spouse, your neighbor… Perhaps even your Board of Supervisors’ representative.

As always, very sincerely yours,

Robbie Lane


TERRY SITES: Special shout out to Vicky Johnson who dropped everything she was doing at a moment’s notice to drive Terry Sites to Trader Joe’s in Santa Rosa for a truckload flowers (when all Terry’s car were down) and then back to the fairgrounds where a crew of ten transformed them into more than twenty beautiful arrangements. Congratulations to Wynne Nord first time arranger for her “Best in Show” right out of the chute. Also congrats to her Mom Helen Papke on her blue ribbon for a Luscious creative kimono. Finally thanks to Cathleen McKenna who posted request for heroic flower dash in Valley Hub for Terry- Vicky’s daughter-in-law Cece saw it there and the rest us history.

GOT TO THE BOONVILLE FAIR early Friday morning while the exhibits were still fresh. Downed my annual slice of pie served up by, I think, Mrs. Gowan-Espinoza. Pleased to see the high school potato booth up and running again, hustled past the delusional array of the Democrat's booth occupied by Rob and Barbara Goodell but didn't see Stan Anderson, the only visible Republican in the county besides Al Kubanis. I wanted to see if Anderson had again hauled out his cardboard Trump in front of the Republican booth, but Stan and his totemic doppelganger hadn't arrived. An affable dude aside from his lamentable political views, Stan Anderson is no possible relation to the Anderson writing this because there are not now nor has there ever been a Republican in our family. Since Lincoln, that is, although my mother confessed she would have voted for Nixon, “but I don't like his jowls.” The main body of my family arrived mid-morning Saturday. My heirs and assignees, the little ones, love the Fair. We all do. But I like to get in and out early before the crowds, although the crowds are the most wonderful exhibit of all, a free show inside the authorized displays.

AV, EYES ONLY: A burglary on Gschwend Road netted the burglar two guns, rifles, we understand. The name of the alleged perp, a drug person, is on all Deepend lips.

AS THE ANDERSON VALLEY emerges from the plague, the Apple Fair emerges with it in the traditional Apple Bowl football game at the Boonville Fairgrounds, this year with Potter Valley's visiting Bearcats taking on Coach John Toohey's Panthers. Ordinarily, the Apple Bowl football contest is played on Friday night, opening day of the adjoining Fair. But the refs, we learned, couldn't make it Friday night and high school games require four of them, all paid, soooooo to accommodate the quartet of officials — four extremely well-nourished, not particularly mobile dudes — the Apple Bowl was Thursday afternoon, 5pm.

PANTHER FUTBOL now occupies Friday night. And this Friday night it was the futbol Panthers versus Tech, a Santa Rosa tech school, it seems — and Saturday night the rodeo thundered onto the soft, green grass of the busy oval, freshened by the recent rains, and then, on Sunday morning, the popular sheep dog trials took center stage.

POTTER VALLEY brought 13 Bearcats to Boonville where the same number of Panthers awaited them. The kickoff, scheduled for 5, was slightly delayed because the timekeeper couldn't be found, but Drake Mezzanato, a former Panther freshly sworn in as a County probation officer, gallantly filled in.

ERNIE PARDINI, a pro quality announcer, was at his annual post, the Panther cheerleaders were, as always, pretty and lively, and the game commenced on an achingly beautiful late summer afternoon between two evenly matched 8-man teams, with the Boonville boys supplemented by Miss Kenzie Zacapa, listed as a lineman (!).

COACH JOHN TOOHEY, a former Panther who went on to play football at the college level, has done a miraculous job keeping football alive in the Anderson Valley. He's managed to keep spirits up on his mostly inexperienced team, who absorbed their second loss but had a lot of fun en route.

A PLATOON of loggers was gnawing away at all those dead trees on the northwest hillside visible from the Ukiah Road as it levels out on the Ukiah side of the hill. I'm sure I'm not the only one who imagines that whole area going up in flames, the dead trees like giant candles.

AV FIRE: We had a good turnout for the Mendocino County Fair parade today! Ambulance 7420, Engine 7471, Engine 7484, Water Tender 7491, and Engine 7466 got a little extra polish this morning.

ABEJA HUMMEL: Handmade buckskin bag with metal water bottles--Stolen at the fair. Thief was seen and described as a young male who appeared to be of east-Asian descent. Not Cool, dude. Left 7 kids thirsty, and my son tanned and sewed that buckskin bag. Please return--no questions can leave it at Boont Berry with my name on it. Or I can pick up somewhere in Ukiah or on the Coast if it's out that way.

RD BEACON of Elk: Remembering the old days,

Today I noticed that the Mendocino County Fair and Apple show is underway for its last day of the three day session.

For many years I rode in the parade proudly bringing in a trophy haul riding a horse.

Over the years less and less of my friends would be there either because they moved away, or because of the downsizing of the timber industry. Most that I knew worked in the woods, or sawmill somewhere.

As the city people drove the timber industry out, so did a lot of my friends go away, faces I was used to seeing. I looked down often from the top of the horse as I rode through the streets of Boonville.

Old and young alike, mothers, fathers and children that I knew for all my life had either passed away or moved away. The dynamics of the county have changed. The last time I went to the county fair I hardly knew anyone there, no one except a handful of people, and then a few of them up and died, and now have passed to the great heavens above,

Sure there are more people there who do not like locals. They are tied to the new grape industry that has moved in, or just plain uncaring tourists with little or no manners, shoving, pushing people around in a crowd.

No more the days of the respectful citizenry that inhabited the bulk of our County.

Even though it's supposed to be the County fair, it's not represented by members of the Board of Directors from all over the county. It is a select political group that inhabits Anderson Valley. It should be called the Edison Valley Fair and Apple Show. Leave the county out of it. For the last half dozen years I have decided not to go to these events for I don't know anybody there and there is no longer the respect given to the locals as it was in the old days. When I was younger it was more enjoyable but as I got older I found it's easier to stay home and not have to deal with the crowd, except on Fridays and Saturday nights when I can deal with them up in the bar, the only bar in Elk where you could get hard liquor and I can entertain them by playing the piano. It seems to be a better crowd than what you will find in the Valley. A few locals show up and we talk of days gone by, but no longer our local horsemen in the parade only the transplants that of come in from other countries. No longer is there the hometown feel that we all used to have where people would speak a special language that was in Boonville. It was called boontling, there is hardly anyone that understands it now. When we hopped into the new century and look back at the old most of our friends are passed away, and have taken a large part of the fabric of history with them.

WE’RE TOTALLY IN LOVE with the new Spicy Tomato Preserve. It's chunky. It's rich. And it's got the right amount of heat from the addition of our Comapeño chile powder. Honestly, we're not sure what else this is like on the market - and we think that's a good thing! It's much different than a tomato sauce, ketchup, or sweet tomato jam. It's spicy, incredibly tomato-y, and we keep finding new things to spread it on. 

Here's some ideas to get you started:

Slather it onto a piece of crusty bread for the perfect appetizer!

Spoon it over a piece of pan-seared fish!

Put it under a fried egg on a piece of toast!

Add it to a charcuterie board!

Spread it on a grilled cheese sandwich! 

Swirl it into a bowl of pasta!

This preserve is made with peak season early girl tomatoes from Windrift Farms in Petaluma and does have a bit of sugar in it (not too much!). Other ingredients include apple cider vinegar, pectin, and Comapeño chile powder.


Want to learn how to grow shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms? Want to learn how to find local mushrooms? Small classes (beginner & advanced) and forays are being formed for Fall-Spring 2022-2023. 

Natural Products of Boonville

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