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Valley People (Oct. 19, 2022)

A NAVARRO READER WRITES: “…and another beautiful morning. It's been a long indigenous summer. One benefit of that substantial September rain has been a good start to mushroom season, I'm finding many early autumn edible varieties.”

THE FLYNN CREEK CIRCUS played Boonville over the weekend to rapturous full houses. The big top at the Boonville Brewery was reminiscent of a time in America when traveling circuses were a common sight. One attendee summed up the experience for everyone: “I saw the show last night, and it was incredible! If you’ve never gone, you owe yourself this treat. I saw a little girl about three years old, spellbound with their astonishing feats. Show ends tomorrow with a couple of matinees. We are so lucky to have this amazing group of performers bring their show to our front door!”

CALFIRE has announced it will ignite “a control burn east of Fort Bragg” commencing Monday (October 17th). “East of Fort Bragg” is the entire United States, but specifically the fire will be in the area of Parlin Fork off Highway 20. I bring it up because in the recent past these “controlled” fires have a marked tendency to go disastrously out of control, and would seem to be unwise given how dry the landscape is at this time. 

HELLO, YORKVILLIANS AND FRIENDS: Last Call for the 2022 YCBA Virtual Farm Stand!  We still have some great items left, including a NEW plum butter made by Jill Hannum. Deadline is Tuesday, October 18.  All purchase proceeds go to the Yorkville Fire Station.  Last year, the Virtual Farm Stand raised over $3,500. To order, let Adrian Card or Peter Brodigan know what you'd like.  You can list items in an email, attach a copy of the attached form, or give a call: - - (707) 894-9210

Please submit your order by Tuesday, October 18.  Order quickly!  Most items have limited quantities, and we sold out last year.   We'll schedule delivery times at the end of October when you can pick your goods up at the YCBA/Post Office.  We'll be back in touch with those specific dates and times. Preferred payment is by check payable to YCBA at time of pickup.  Please feel free to forward on the order form to anyone who might like a copy.

Many thanks to all our wonderful cooks and participants who donated time and ingredients: Tina Walter, Lisa Bauer, Becky Perelli, Kathy Borst, Linda Nayes, Marti Lawrence, Nancy Armstrong-Frost, Jill Hannum, Val Hanelt, Whitney Cookson, Deb Wallo, Doug Labat, Sue Marcott, Margot Rawlins

— Adrian Card and Peter Brodigan

TEACHERS OF EXCELLENCE: Beth Swehla from Anderson Valley and Kelly Brakett from Willits were chosen as the Northeast California Agricultural Teachers Association Teachers of the Excellence this year. Beth has done so much to educate our youth. She is old school in her commitment to her students and they can feel her dedication and respect her for it. (Terry Sites)

THE SEPTEMBER EXPENSE REPORT for the AV Community Services District Fire Department included an expense item under “Recruitment and Retention” entitled: “Rubber Ducks, $28.40.” It fell to yours truly to ask what that expense had to do with firefighting or recruitment and retention. AV  Fire Chief Andres Avila explained that the Fire Department had purchased a few dozen small rubber duckies with cool dark glasses to be handed out to emergency responder-volunteers who seemed to be showing signs of stress on fire and ambulance calls. The idea seemed to be to inject some humor into situations which can certainly be stressful with vehicle accidents and medical situations that understaffed emergency volunteers have to deal with almost daily. We said we had no objection with the intention but that it seemed like it would be more appropriately handled as a donation instead of a public expense, and that we’d be happy to pay for it. Chief Avila quickly found one of the rubber ducks in his office and handed it to me, saying that it seemed like I was experiencing some stress myself and could benefit from a rubber duck. I replied that there weren’t enough rubber ducks in the world to ameliorate the stress of handling the daily AVA incoming and covering the Board of Supervisors, especially at my age, but that maybe it would help others in the Department deal with my budget questions in the future. My fellow budget committee members had no comments and the rubber duck expense was approved over my objection and offer to pay for them. (Mark Scaramella)   

ONLY ONE FOR MENDO? Wine & Spirits magazine has announced its top 100 wineries in the world, and Elk’s Drew Family Cellars was the only Mendocino County winery named to the list. Molly and Jason Drew grow organic pinot noir in the Mendocino Ridge American Viticultural Area. They have a tasting room at the Madrones in Philo. Visit for more information. Their tasting room in Anderson Valley is now open Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 11am - 5pm primarily by appointment. “Walk-ins can be accommodated as well most often. However, we do advise making an appointment to insure we will be able to accommodate you.”

HAZMAT! Locals wondering at Hazmat’s Boonville schedule, a closely held secret since Mike Sweeney, un-indicted car bomber, ran the agency, which he also created, will want to know Haz will be in Boonville at the Fairgrounds parking lot on Saturday, Oct 22, 9a.m. to 1 p.m. 

ERNIE PARDINI: “I don't know if there are any of you out there who live in Boonville or Philo are looking for a wifi provider, but if you are I would be doing you a mis-service if I didn't share with you the name of my provider, Ukiah Wireless. They were recommended to me when I was living in Boonville and I couldn't have been happier. For $55 a month, in over a year my wifi never had even a hiccup. After moving to a place in Philo that no one had any luck getting a signal, The young men at Ukiah wireless went to great lengths to find a way. They even went to one of my neighbors to see if they could bounce a signal off their dish to hit our place. When that was not successful, many would have given up. But the young man at Ukiah Wireless had one more idea. They had a special powerful antenna at a remote location that wasn't in use, but he had to hike in to this spot to retrieve. It now stands proudly in my back yard providing us flawless wifi for the same low cost of $55 a month.”


by Coach John Toohey

JAN WAX: The excitement about the Anderson Valley Open Studio Artists' Tour is growing. The dates are Nov. 11, 12, and 13 and we look forward to seeing visitors, old and new.


Very large black cat with a blue harness at the Anderson Valley Farm Supply

I will try to trap him today. We noticed him last week and I just set up the feeding station today to track him and noticed he has a harness. On the other side of his body you can see it’s around his leg. He is skittish. Please contact me if you’re missing your black kitty or if you maybe live near and he’s been visiting? Hoping he has contact info or a chip. I’ll update the post.

AV Farm Supply: 895-3884

YES on Measure O - Citizen's Library Initiative (County-wide)
Shall the Citizens of Mendocino County amend Chapter 5.170 of Title 5 of Mendocino County Code, adopting a permanent one-quarter cent (0.25%) sales tax, raising approximately $4.2 million annually, for the specific purpose of maintaining and improving library services in Mendocino County; and create a special fund to ensure these funds cannot be used for any other purpose. At least 40% is reserved for capital investments such as building improvements. 

THE AVA ALSO RECOMMENDS a YES vote on Measure P - County Essential Services Sales Tax
Measure P, Shall Ordinance No. 4510 be adopted to impose as general tax, an additional transactions (sales) and use tax of one quarter cent (0.25%) within Mendocino County to fund essential services, including fire protection and prevention. Such tax is estimated to raise $4,000,000 annually for ten (10) years, after which it will expire or be represented to the public for renewal. 

A SOUTH COAST man named Nicholas King tromped the Mendo outback searching for pioneer apple trees. He propagated quite a few, which he sold out of his farm near Point Arena. I've also seen what I assumed were ancient apples and roses at abandoned back country homesteads but never seemed prepared to take cuttings. Mendocino County's patterns of 19th century settlement left many traces of life where there is none now.

MR. KING was quite a guy before and after he settled in Point Arena. According to his 2012 obituary, he was an actor and one of two men who bought the famous the Watts Towers, which led to the formation of a citizens committee in 1959 to preserve and exhibit the walled complex of spires — the tallest is nearly 100 feet — and other structures decorated with broken pottery, seashells, glazed tiles and pieces of colored glass. (The Watts Towers, erected over a life time by Simon Rodia, are now a National Historic Monument that attracts international visitors. “Without Nicholas King’s participation, the towers would have been destroyed under the city’s demolition order” after they were deemed a potential safety hazard in the late 1950s. Rodia, who has been described as a cement finisher and construction worker, began building the towers in 1921. He stopped working on them in 1954, signed his property over to his neighbor, Louis Sauceda, and moved to Martinez to be near relatives.) King became a partner in a land cooperative on the Garcia River in Point Arena in Northern California, where he moved with his wife, Kate, and their two young children in 1969. King was involved in logging and started a nursery business in which he grafted apple trees and sold root stocks and apples. He also helped organize the river preservation group Friends of the Garcia and was active in the group Save Our Salmon. His photographs of a massive storm that struck Point Arena in 1983 were compiled in his book “The Great Disaster at Arena Cove.”

THE GRANDMA STUBBLEFIELD ROSE, mentioned in Brad Wylie’s history of the first settlers in the Anderson Valley, inspired Beth Swehla to comment, “I purchased a rose from Ken Montgomery, at the Anderson Valley Nursery. He said it was the Stubblefield Rose. I planted it on a fence behind the Domes classrooms at the high school. Not sure if it is truly a Stubblefield. Ken was usually right on with his plant ID.”

ELIZABETH JENSEN: Anyone got a mini-excavator that they’d like to show off to the community and place 40 boulders along our AV Community Park parking lot? I can only imagine the fun it will be for the kids to watch this project in action. 

THE AV FOODBANK has a few changes in our distribution schedule for November and December. To better fit the timing of the upcoming holidays, we will be supplying food on the first and third Wednesdays instead of the second and fourth. In November, that will be the 2nd and the 16th and for December, the 7th and the 21st. Additionally, on December 7 we will have toys for the kids. At the Grange from 2:30 to 5:30pm, as usual. Any questions, or if you wish to help out, give us a call at 707-397-0716. Thank you for the generous support we receive from the AV community.

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