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Valley People (November 16, 2022)

AV SENIOR CENTER DIRECTOR Renee Lee writes: Really? Is that what this world has come to? Stealing from non-profits! I received a call from the AV Senior Center bus driver this morning aka the amazing Lindsay Clow. He informed me that somebody stole the catalytic converter off the senior bus over the weekend! Grrrrrr!!!! If anyone saw any suspicious activity near the Center please give us a call at 895-3609.

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. (For a longer explanation see Auditor Cubbison’s presser in this week’s Letters to the Editor.)

YORKVILLIANS ARE MOURNING the loss of Maria D'Amato who died suddenly on  Saturday. Maria and her spouse Stacy Alberto have given a lot to our  community. They made the old “Oaks” on Hwy. 128 into a community  gathering place with fun, food, music and laughter. Maria was an avid  sports fan but her real passion was flying. She was a top rated flight  instructor and a commercial airline pilot. Last weekend she flew a 737 to Hawaii and back. Maria lived every day to the fullest - a lesson for  all of us. Stacy asks for your patience as she grieves privately and  figures out how to move forward. Please send condolences to P.O. Box 91, Yorkville CA 95494. (Bob Sites)

NO MORE GATE FEES FOR ANY AV SPORTS. From Superintendent Simson: We are going to discontinue collecting gate fees for all sports (except what is required for playoffs).  Leigh is allocating money to pay officials etc... in some of our community engagement funds.   My hope is this will allow greater community participation, drive up our snack shack revenue, and alleviate some hassle for the office staff in getting all of this ready, counted, and deposited. We still need staff to supervise the games as that is required by the league, but by not being tied to the front gate, you can cruise the gym, occasionally the outdoors and not be tied to the front door.  I hope that helps folks being willing to sign up too.

THINGS ARE HAPPENING at the AV Grange. Saturday the 19th, 7pm, the Anderson Valley Film club will be screening The Boys Who Said No, a documentary on draft resistance and the Vietnam war by Oscar nominated director Judith Erlitch, who will be there for a question and answer session. WOW, pretty rare in Anderson Valley. Next, the comeback of the Foodshed and Grange Holiday Dinner Sunday December 4th. A community favorite over many years, we provide the turkeys and mashed potatoes and count on everyone else to bring everything else, breads, salads, desserts and more. It's all free and everyone is welcome. we aim to have music and that wonderful feeling of breaking bread together... it's about time don't you think? If you want to be help out setting up, serving, decorating or would like to cook a turkey or potatoes which we supply, please contact Captain Rainbow at 472-9189. 

LOCAL VETERAN needs housing in the Philo, Navarro, or Boonville area. Low cost, sub-standard is OK. HUD qualified housing is also OK. If you have something or know of something please call 650-814-5917 or or email:

STUDIO APARTMENT FOR RENT in Philo. Available Dec. 1. Call Kevin: 895-2865.

WITH THE RECENT RAINS also came the vain hope that they were sufficient to flush out the Navarro, clearing the sandbar at the mouth, opening the battered stream for a thorough Pacific cleansing of its summer-long trapped waters, waters basted in chemical runoff from the industrial vineyards draining into it. Nope, as a reader writes, “If you were hoping the recent rainfall was enough to blast open the mouth of the Navarro--sorry, it has not happened yet. It didn't even look close to blasting open the channel.”

SCHOOL BOARD SUPPORTS THE SKATE PARK. Last Tuesday the Anderson Valley School Board voted unanimously to  support the construction of a Skate Park in Anderson Valley. They agreed  to sell the land needed that sits in the Community Park next to the  Health Clinic for $1.00. This generous gesture will put in motion grant  writing etc. by the hardworking long time supporters of the park lead by  the Service Learning Team, Noor Dawood and other skatepark advocates  with the Community Services District. It looks like there really will be  a park! See article in this issue for details. This example of a  community pulling together for the common good is so inspiring. Margaret  Mead famous anthropologist wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of  thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing  that ever has.” (Terry Sites)

NOOR DAWOOD WRITES: On last Tuesday, November 8th, the AVUSD school board voted unanimously in favor of transferring ownership of the AV Community Park area to the AV Community Services District (CSD) -- for the explicit purpose of developing a skatepark on the property.

More than 90 AV community members showed up to the public hearing to show their enthusiastic support for the Skatepark Project . Many sported hand-printed AV Skatepark t-shirts and buttons (designed and made by SLT students), purchased at the door. 14 Jr/Sr High Service Learning Team students participated in the formal presentation (along with their facilitator Noor Dawood, AV Skatepark Project Grant Coordinator Jamie Umble and Donna Pierson Pugh on behalf of the CSD Rec Committee), and several community members were invited to speak on behalf of community groups with an interest in skatepark development.

The Board's commitment to transfer the property is a huge step forward for the AV Skatepark Project! Skatepark development would not have been feasible on school district land, so sealing this transfer was critical for the project's viability.

The Technical Details

The school board voted to approve that “Anderson Valley Unified School District file an application with the State Board of Education seeking a waiver under Education Code section 55030 to permit a land transfer to the Anderson Valley Community Services District for development into a skate park.” What this means is that as a result of this vote, the school district's attorney will file an application with the California Department of Education to waive regulations that would normally make it very difficult for a school district to transfer ownership of its property. The waiver process is easy and straight-forward (the state is obligated to approve our application once our school board has given its blessing), but it will take three to four months for the process to be completed. Once that waiver process is completed (hopefully by March 2023), we will work out the property transfer details with the school board and county and complete the transfer of ownership. In the current meeting, one school board member brought up the possibility of the board imposing contingencies on this transfer (for example, a requirement that certain development take place by a target date or that a certain standard of maintenance be upheld), which could result in the property being returned to the school district if certain expectations are not met. We will return to this question after the waiver process is completed, in the process of finalizing the transfer.

Huge Thanks To:

AVUSD board members for generously volunteering your time and energy to serve our community; for thoughtfully considering our proposal over these many months; and for enthusiastically supporting this transfer for the betterment of our community. 

Superintendent Louise Simson for investing so much time and care to provide counsel and facilitate the many technical aspects of our proposal.

The AV Community for SHOWING UP when you were needed, and for showing your support in the many ways that you did at the meeting. It was hard not to feel pride in our little community last night. 

Next Steps:

Now that we have the site secure, we can move ahead with: expanded local fundraising campaign, grant applications, community-centered custom design process

The AV Skatepark Project Working Group will resume biweekly meetings, and AV Jr/Sr High Service Learning Team students will continue to meet weekly. 

How You Can Help:

Visit to DONATE to the project. Share the website and encourage others to donate and sign the petition. Stay tuned for a list of current needs and sign up to help!

YOU QUALIFY as a Valley old timer if you remember Madge Gibson every Veteran's Day without fail out in front of the Boonville Post Office exchanging paper red poppies for Vet donations.


Covid and Flu Vaccinations/A message from AV Health Center: Coming into winter, we expect a rise in viral illnesses like the flu and COVID. Masking and vaccination are the best tools we have to prevent infection. The new bivalent COVID boosters are reformulated to protect against the latest COVID strains and are available from 6 years old and up. Take advantage of the holiday on Friday to get your child vaccinated Thursday from 9-11:30 am and 3-5 pm at the clinic. Dr. Leah Collins

BOONVILLE POLL WORKER Kathleen McKenna reports: The Boonville precinct, which is formally named “Bear Wallow,” includes Boonville and Philo and has 1065 registered voters. There were 300 ballots available on election day, even though all registered voters had been mailed a ballot. There were 68 ballots voted at the polls. Of those, about half were people who brought their mailed ballot with them to surrender before being issued a fresh ballot. The rest were people who lost, forgot or never received a mail-in ballot. For those voters, we had to call the office in Ukiah, so they could verify the voter's identity and suspend the ballot that was mailed to them. There were 14 provisional ballots issued to voters who were not in our precinct. A few of these were same-day voter registrants. There were 320 vote-by-mail envelopes in the box at the end of the day. This included around 70 from the drop box that had been at the fairgrounds office for a few weeks. One ballot had no envelope and will not be counted. 

JOHN TOOHEY on the Redwood Classic: We are bringing it back this season and unofficially dubbing one the “half-classic” as we are having an 8 team tournament rather than the usual 16. Next year we plan on returning to the 16 team format and bringing it back to its former glory (and hopefully beyond). Basketball season is fully underway now that Soccer has completed their season with the NCS Division 3 Championship. One cool thing I heard from San Francisco Waldorf's Athletic Director” “There's something about this field - everyone knows you don't travel to Anderson Valley and win a soccer game. Ever.”


On Anderson Valley Way in Boonville

We are open Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. The farm stand will be stocked this week with: chicories, leeks, celery, winter squash, carrots, apples, pears, kale, chard, potatoes, napa cabbage, green/red cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli (limited), onions, garlic, herbs, dried fruit (prunes, apples, raisins, peaches), olive oil, quince apple butter, and everlasting flower bouquets/wreaths! We will also have a few evergreen wreaths for sale. We have an incredible inventory of dried flowers grown from the farm this season and are excited to offer beautifully hand-crafted wreaths, bouquets, and single variety bunches at the farm stand for the fall/winter season. If you would like to custom order a wreath, bouquet, and/or arrangement please contact Annie for more details! Same goes for evergreen wreaths!

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)!


Regular unleaded is $4.99 in Ukiah today.

$20 says it will jump back up to almost $6 after midterms.

ELIZABETH JENSEN: Interested in indoor health + wellness resources thru the fall and winter season? Reach out today to learn more about The Pilates Nook in Boonville and how to incorporate Pilates into your self care routine. Solo and group sessions available!

Looking for early morning (before 9am) or evening (after 5pm) classes? We are gathering interest to create classes outside the 9-5 workday. Let me know what days/times best for you and with enough interest, we could start in the next few weeks!

WHEN AL GREEN owned the Greenwood Ridge Winery he placed a sign out on the road near the entrance that proclaimed “100 Point Pinot,” a wonderful little joke on an industry that takes itself very, very seriously. The spirit of the fleet-footed centerfielder lives on. The present owners have a sign on the road that says, “We take walk-ins.”

EARLY MENDO RETURNS for noteworthy County races (as of 8:22pm Tuesday evening.)

Fort Bragg City Council

Jason Godeke: 24.31%

Marcia Rafanan: 16.51%

Michelle Roberts: 13.12%

Tess Albin-Smith (Write-In): 10.72%

Blanca E. Pena: 8.89%

Mary Rose Kaczorowski: 8.85%

Scott Taubold: 7.63%

Richard Mohr: 5.14%

Richard Garcia: 4.84%

“Short Term”

Lindy Peters: 76.31%

Alberto Aldaco: 23.69%

* * *

Ukiah City Council:

Susan Sher: 23.75%

Mari Rodin: 21.94%

Juan V. Orozco: 20.80%

Jim O. Brown: 19.71%

Thao Phi: 13.81%

MEASURE O, the quarter-cent Library sales tax, with more than 11,500 votes counted, is ahead by about 61% to 39% — but it needs 67% to pass.

MEASURE P, the quarter-cent “Essential Services” General Tax (for Fire, presumably) with almost 11,600 votes is ahead by about 56% to about 44% — it needs 50% to pass.


Friday night: Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie announced that as with every election, there are ballots left to be processed and counted as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 17,080 Vote By Mail ballots to process and count, and 617 Provisional / Conditional ballots to review, process and count. 

By law, any ballot that is postmarked by Election Day (Nov 8) will be accepted thru Tuesday, Nov 15, 2022, which may increase the number of ballots to process.

Ballots left to count in the “Hot” contests are: 

The City of Ukiah – 2700; 

City of Point Arena – 64; 

City of Fort Bragg – 1200; 

Willits Unified School – 2950; 

Potter Valley Unified School – 580; 

Round Valley Unified School – 500; 

Mendocino Coast Health Care District – 4450; 

Brooktrails Community Service District – 700;

Hopland Fire – 350; 

Redwood Valley/Calpella Fire – 1450; 

Redwood Valley County Water – 1150.

For the past 4 years we have updated our count (unofficial results) within 2 weeks of Election Day on our website and provided those number to the Secretary of State’s office. We will update our numbers again this election in the same manner.

Per State law, we have 30 days to complete the canvass and certify the election. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819.

SURPRISED that only one person, Brigette Mansell, among the candidates for Healdsburg City Council, is committed to putting an emphatic period to that overwhelmed town's crazy development, as what was once an attractive, coherent little town suffers massive development at its north and south ends. 

From the PD: “Mansell is a retired public school teacher and environmental activist battling what she and others see as Healdsburg’s drift toward becoming a luxury destination. Hers is the loudest, clearest ‘community-first’ voice in the field. Mansell is a fierce advocate, not surprisingly, for public schools, and also has the backs of locals, Latinos, workers and many others from middle- and lower economic backgrounds. She is deeply concerned about water and the drought, and would act as a check on development plans because of it.”

THE REST of the candidates are a weird combination of “bring us together”—type smiley faces and people who want more development.

AT LAST WEEK’S AV Community Services District budget committee meeting we learned that some big ticket items, such as the $300k-plus new water tender, that are on order from last year are still months away from delivery and billing. Also, some strike team bills submitted last year that for fires that occurred back are not only complicated to compile and submit, but can take months before payments are actually received from one or another state agency. 

WHICH BRINGS US to the much large books-closing process now underway at the County admin center. The Supervisors want to blame Auditor-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison for this year’s unusually delayed closing. But the Auditor can’t be blamed for delivery and billing delays. And what about orders for big ticket items where the money isn’t spent yet, but is committed and will be spent when the bill is received? What fiscal year do you apply that to if it was budgeted for last year but delivered and billed and paid for this year? What accounting and bookkeeping systems are in place to account for the fact that the money for a costly new customized vehicle, for example, is still in your pocket, but can’t be spent because it’s earmarked for when the bill arrives? And nobody knows when the bill will arrive?

SIMILARLY, there are revenues that are supposed to come in that were billed last year (or earlier, in some cases), but are still “receivable” until some understaffed state agency gets around to reviewing and approving the bill and then sending the money. 

This is on top of the well-acknowledged staffing shortages and lack of experience in all county offices and particularly the Auditor’s office and you have a difficult situation that calls for cooperation, not finger pointing.

YET WE STILL HEAR STATEMENTS like this one from Supervisor Glenn McGourty at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting: “Our Auditor Controller Tax collector Treasurer is an elected official. She does not answer to us. We have to have good information provided by her. She has not done it! We are waiting! That's what's holding us up! That's all that's holding us up!”

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