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Valley People (November 9, 2022)

ANDERSON VALLEY TAXPAYERS were shocked by their November property tax bill this week when they saw that the “Anderson Valley Unified Bond” tax add-on was a whopping 16% increase over their base property taxes. Measure M, the June 2022 ballot measure for School Facilities that was approved by a large margin by local voters said that the Measure would impose a $60 per $100k of assessed value. Which would be an increase of about 6%, not 16%. What happened? As we understand it — and the County Auditor tried to explain it in a confusing presser a couple of weeks ago, but nobody really understood it or its dollar amount implications — the old school bond measure, Measure A, is still in effect, but because of glitches in the implementation of the County’s new property tax software, the Measure A taxes were not billed or collected for last year. So now, basically, this year’s bill is a “catch up” bill for the amount the County — not the School District — failed to bill for last year. We still don’t know the details of how this screw up occurred. The current county tax bill lists the local school district office phone as the number to call about the bond measure tax — which is wrong because the County made the mistake and the County should answer for it. They didn’t even include an insert or number to call for the County. No matter how you slice it though, a 16% tax hike, even if it’s just this year, is going to produce a lot of unhappy property owners in Anderson Valley.

A 30-YEAR OLD man from Santa Rosa, still not identified, died Saturday afternoon [November 5th] a little after 5 when his southbound Lexus unaccountably left the pavement of Highway 128 two miles south of Boonville and collided with a tree, apparently killing the driver on impact. There was no one else in the vehicle. The accident remains under investigation by the CHP. 


Observed At The Evergreen Cemetery Boonville, California 

11:00 AM, Sunday, 13th November, 2022 

Presented by American Legion Post 385 of Boonville, California Please join the American Legion on this special day to pay tribute to all VETERANS past and present. 

ARTISTS OF ANDERSON VALLEY OPEN STUDIOS TOUR Veteran’s Day Weekend, November 11,12,& 13, 2022

Have you ever looked at a work of art or a finely crafted piece of jewelry and wondered how the artist made that? You can get the answer to such questions while visiting the studios of some of Anderson Valley’ best artists throughout the Veteran’s Day Weekend, November 11th, 12th and 13th, 11 am to 5 pm. The Artists of Anderson Valley Open Studios event includes eight locations stretching from Boonville north to Navarro. This self-guided tour is free to the public and open from 11 am to 5 pm. An online tour map at and signs along Highway 128 will guide the way.

This twentieth anniversary of Anderson Valley Open Studios again offers the unique opportunity to meet the artists and see the personalized environments in which their art is made. This year’s tour showcases the work of eleven artists working in a variety of artistic media, including: ceramics, jewelry, photography, textile, painting, printmaking, collage, and sculpture.

The artists participating this year are in Boonville and along Hwy.128 between Philo and Navarro. In Boonville, follow the map to the studio locations for Rebecca Goldie (paintings and found object sculptures) and Martha Crawford (collage works). Next, going north on Hwy. 128 take the second turnoff for Anderson Valley Way (at the history museum red schoolhouse) then turn left to visit the studios of Antoinette von Grone (paintings and photographs of animals, people, nature and whimsy) and Saoirse Byrne (intriguing one of a kind cordage works). Heading north past Philo, the action fans out from Hwy.128 at the intersection with Clark Road and Holmes Ranch Road. A turn onto Clark Road quickly brings you to the historic barn studio of Colleen and Marvin Schenck (jewelry, collage, painting and printmaking). Nadia Berrigan (photography) is also showing with them as her own studio is too isolated. Across the highway, about a mile up Holmes Ranch Road the visitor will find the marker for the forested driveway that takes you over Mill Creek to Jan Wax and Chris Bing’s porcelain and stoneware pottery studio. Back on Hwy.128 again, head north, after a mile, start looking to the left for Rebecca Johnson’s big studio barn filled with sculpture and paintings. A little further north on the highway, also on the left, Doug Johnson’s Pepperwood Pottery is marked by a large colorful ceramic mural.

For the artists, opening their studios is an opportunity to showcase their creativity and share the studio spaces lovingly developed to foster the creation of their art. Hopefully, you will take some of that creative energy home with a special new artwork for your own collection. — Marvin Schenk

WAXING NOSTALGIC as the Anderson Valley wanes, becoming just another dusty interlude on the way to somewhere else on the Pacific. it wasn't all that long ago that Boonville had a drug store, a print shop, a garage with a full-time mechanic, a bank, a justice court, a doctor unaffiliated with the Adventist octopus, an unaffiliated dentist, a resident deputy, a place to buy lottery tickets, better vibes than the transient population rushing through here can manage. We were a town, a nice little town, a specific place with an interesting history, and interesting people to match. There are still interesting people but you gotta ferret them out, but nothing to bind them to this place, which has become much like every other place. 


Symphony of the Redwoods opens its 2022-23 Season with a large-scale full symphony orchestra concert on Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 pm at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg! Preconcert lecture one hour before each concert. These concerts will feature guest conductor Dana Sadava. Known for her elegant technique and broad expressive range, Ms. Sadava enjoys a varied career as a conductor of opera and symphonic music. The musical selections Danzon #2 by Marquez, and Brahms' Symphony #2 featuring horns and a full brass section. This opening concert will also feature our own brilliant flutist, Kathleen Reynolds, in Mouquet's Flute de Pan. Tickets at, Out of this World in Mendocino and Harvest Market in Fort Bragg. 

More information at

This will be a fantastic concert!!!

Symphony office



(from the October 19, 2022 Board meeting)

The AV School district voted to consolidate the Elementary School well into the project, so we now have our final boundary. Jack Locey, Brelje and Race engineer, has about 90% of capacity covered by new and existing wells that are in negotiations. He has recently had some additional offers of private wells and is looking into those. We have a new team from the California Water Board DFA (Department of Finance) that is tasked with helping low-income communities who lack safe, adequate, and affordable drinking water. SAFER stands for “Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience”. They will work with us to develop an educational campaign, public meeting, and a participation survey to give us data about which parcels will be signing up. We will use approximated rates in the informational material

FROM Fire Chief Andres Avila: Another AVHS student started his internship with AV Fire Department last week. He will participate with AVFD every Tuesday from 0900 to 14:15 as an off-campus class activity. Station cleaning, engine cleaning and checks, daily training, and other small tasks will be a part of his daily activities. Since his parents have already signed him off as a tier 3 Cadet, he can respond to calls during that time. In addition, the school has approved him and a different student to respond during regular school hours as long as their grades are not impacted and other rules are respected.

WARNING! On November 1, 2022 Anderson Valley Senior Center's email was hacked due to a breach with our provider, Pacific Internet. False emails that appeared to be from Renée at AVSC were sent out to our contacts with various requests such as Apple gift cards, Amazon account info and other financial queries. We apologize if you received one of these fraudulent emails. It most certainly did not come from us! Please delete the email immediately, empty your trash and change your password for your security--especially if you did in fact respond to the email and engaged with further dialog with these ruthless hackers. 

A million apologies for this inconvenience. Trust that we are equally frustrated about this and are working towards reinforcing our security protocols. 

Thanks for your understanding!


Renée Lee

Executive Director

Anderson Valley Senior Center


HERE IT IS, FOLKS, America's premier beauty spot, the fall poplars at the Indian Creek bridge, Philo. Catch the annual show before it leaves (sic) for another year.

$240 A WEEK. That's what it will cost you to live in your trailer at the Boonville Fairgrounds, and one more reason lots of people are unhoused and living wherever they can shelter themselves.



I have asked our district’s attorney to look into the requirement that parents must purchase playoff tickets on a credit card and the game fee is exorbitant for our poor parents. This is my kind of equity issue. I may not grant independent study because I think it’s bad for kids achievement, but I fight 100% for parents to have access to the kids extracurriculars. Here’s my note to the district superintendents. I will keep you posted on the outcome. 

I have an issue with the playoff structure and the requirement for parents to pay for a playoff game ticket with a credit card. Many of my families don’t have a credit card and they certainly don’t have Internet. The exorbitant ticket prices combined with the requirements for credit card, are an equity issue reeking of white privilege that are impacting my families’ ability to participate in their students extracurricular sports. I grew up in a ghetto. My parents had no money. The ability for parents to support their students in viewing extracurriculars is a passionate belief that I hold. I have contacted our attorney to lobby on a change to a cash gate for playoff games. I hope you will support this effort. Equity isn’t just about what we do in classrooms, it’s about what we allow our parents to experience as well.

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

Cell: 707-684-1017

SWAPPING DREAM STORIES with another geezer, both of us stipulating to one each in full recognition of how boring the subject is, he said the most recent dream he could remember was going to Boont Berry to buy a cucumber that somehow became a crook-neck squash when he peeled it for a salad. The only recent dream I could remember was one so crazy I made a note of it. I'd encountered Winston Churchill shuffling along in a walker — Homberg, suit, cigar, the full Churchill — who said to an unseen someone, “I want Bruce to help me with this.” WTF as the young people say.


Part of me grew up on this old summer resort, and my other parts grew up elsewhere. The author, John van der Zee wrote about re-visiting “Ray's” in an article from the S.F. Chronicle that I saved. John's family had stayed at the resort when he was a child and when his article was published, the whole Bay Area chimed in with their memories of that special place.

“There were other resorts like this all over Northern California once -- rustic retreats whose minimal accommodations -- my father once turned on the shower in a Ray's cabin and a toad popped out of the spout -- were part of their charm for middle-class city people before they took to the suburbs. But for us, there was no other Ray's.

I never had enough of Ray's. Much of my life since has been, I realize, an attempt to return. Yet I resisted going back to the original from simple fear that, like so much of the best of California in these years, it would be too good, too tempting to resist change. Someone would see possibilities. Develop. Improve. Incorporate it into what Tom Wolfe has aptly dubbed 'the big shopping plaza of life.'

The life that Ray's and resorts like it represented -- modest family joys, indulgence within limits, an inward-looking husbandry of summer freedoms -- has all but disappeared from the California of these years, obscured by clouds of speedboat spray and camper dust. Yet it's restorable, through work and love, like a woody station wagon forgotten in a barn. It's about time for people to rediscover the pleasures of going to a place you don't send postcards from, and the joys of going away and staying home at the same time. It's a good life to bring back -- if indeed it ever fully left us. “There is no present or future,” Eugene O'Neill, that most family-ridden of writers, once wrote. “Only the past, happening over and over again -- now.”

— Bill Kimberlin

I VOTED YES on both local tax measures, fire and libraries, although the county's fire brigades better bird dog the supervisors to make sure the money raised goes to firefighting. But, but, but… Are you saying the supervisors can't be trusted to do the right thing? Watch them in action and report back on this question: Should these five people be responsible for 342 million annual public dollars?

I POPPED into the Ukiah Library the other afternoon, my first visit in a couple of years. I'd heard complaints that it had become a kind of bum oasis, that it wasn't particularly safe for vulnerable people, that the bathrooms were not only fetid but inhabited by menacing lurks. Etc. Untrue. It's as pleasant a multi-purpose space as could be hoped for, quiet and tidy and clean and still designed around books. Vote Yes on Measure O.

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