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Valley People (December 14, 2022)

IT WAS A REAL STORM: A mega-storm hit Northern California on Saturday bringing with it 50 mph winds and rainfall as well as 11 inches of snow in some areas, including 3-5 inches on the ridges above Boonville. More than 30,000 NorCal residents lost power. A National Weather Service bulletin had predicted, “High winds, heavy snow and heavy precipitation would reach the Pacific Northwest today, then impact California.” Sure did, although the Anderson Valley was unscathed other than a few downed trees and a traffic accident at Greenwood Road and 128 that had nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with a drunken oaf behind the wheel of the innocent vehicle he struck, no serious injuries reported.

ANNUAL GRATITUDE to the Boonville-based CalTrans crews who withstood the frigid weekend weather to keep both the Ukiah and Cloverdale roads free of down trees, rock slides, snow, and stranded travelers. Ditto for WT Johnson and his County road crew.

ACCORDING to the on-line bizarchive, the Anderson Valley is 48% White; 27% Hispanic; 1% Black; 1% Asian; 21% Other.

There’s some oddballs around here but not 21%’s worth!

SPEAKING of local businesses, see if you know when Boont Berry Farm was founded, and see if you can remember when Mr. and Mrs. Suarez assumed the reins of the Redwood Drive-In from Cheryl Schraeder: Times up! The indefatigable Burt Cohen opened Boont Berry in June of 1982, the equally industrious Suarez family has been in charge of the thriving Redwood Drive-In since January of 2008.  

KIRA BRENNAN: We delivered the 1,000 pounds of canned goods collected by AV students to the Food Bank at the Philo Grange. The folks who volunteer to provide food for our community in need were Amazed!!!! They said 'How did you do this?' We said 'the whole student body contributed, 1 can at a time!' That is truly community service. We should be proud of our giving. Thank you to our Service Volunteers yesterday: These students did an awesome job!: Orion Chagoya, Miguel Hernandez. Tristan Reilly, Wayne Gunther, Nathan Burger, Juan Alcantar, Jose Lagunas, and Jamal Swain. We are hoping to do this every other week in the future. Wednesdays 10:30-12:30. Let Ms. Simson know if you are interested or have students who might be interested in this service work. Thanks to all and Ms. Simson for this vision.

We are very happy with this hay feeder built by Anthony Fashauer! He with some help from Daniel Garibay made feeding some livestock so easy. No wasted hay too! Anthony, a junior, has really stepped up this school year. He is our chapter Treasurer. He recently volunteered to collect brush twice for our wreath project. Great job Anthony! (AV-FFA)

BRUSH CLEARING, defensible space, I run a midsize excavator with a masticator attachment that grinds up brush and small trees into mulch, this machine is very effective at reducing biomass and wildfire fuels, it leaves all the ground up mulch in place to hold moisture and compost back into topsoil. There's no need for wood chippers or burn piles. I'm the owner and operator of a small family business located in the Anderson Valley area. Bushfire inc. License # 1085029. Call with any questions, Tim 707-496-7116

MALCOLM MACDONALD: “Add Hedgehog Books in Boonville to the locations where you can pick up copies of my Mendocino History Exposed. Hedgehog Books is located in Train Car #3, across from the Redwood Drive-In, 13975 Highway 128. Check out their website at, give them a call at 707-621-3227, or drop in to see how many books they have stashed in a small space.”

“ON MONDAY (December 12th) ,” promises School Supe Louise Simson, “I’m going to the regional CIF San Ramon meeting to talk about their credit card fee policies and their exorbitant gate fees. There’s an article coming out in an educational magazine on January 9 that goes to all school administrators. Let’s see if we can get some movement on that.”

AND, “You may also notice some porta-potties in front of the high school. With all this rain our leach fields are not working at the high school. We brought in the porta-potties just in case, and the contractor started marking the lines Friday, so we could open up the ground and see what we've got.”

US RUSTICS know all about septic systems and leach fields, especially those of us who live on small parcels where there's little space to create a leach field that leaches at all times of the year. The Great Mike Lucchetti of Hopland got 'er done for us, got 'er done fast, got 'er done at reasonable cost, and that sucker has flowed perfectly ever since. Typically, though, if your system is properly installed, the leach field will drain in a day or two after a big rain.

BILL KIMBERLIN: Since I live near San Francisco and also have other residences, like my house in Boonville I have been thinking about the discussions with friends that I get into in different cities. In the city house I once got into a discussion with a man at my barber shop about paleontology (the study of early man). He turned out to be one of the most important paleontologists in the world and was a professor emeritus at U.C. Berkeley. He invited me over to a get together at his house where I met what I call, famous people that you have never heard of. One was the inventor of potassium-argon dating, the technique for dating fossils and other things. In Boonville, I had a totally different discussion, but to me, just as important. A fellow there told a story about how he had had this nightmare where he was driving a huge road grader and he lost control and was going downhill at an ever increasing speed. The other men at the table said, “Did you put the blade down? And the story teller said, “Of course, I put the blade down. But it didn’t do any good.” I thought it funny that everyone at the table knew what to do except me. Put the blade down, of course. I love the contrasts between both places.

EL RANCHO NAVARRO (later Shenoa and more recently the Land), Philo, California, circa 1949

Photograph from the UC Davis Library Digital Collection (part of the Eastman's Originals Collection of postcards). (via Marshall Newman)

Happy Birthday, Olie Erickson, Premier AV Volunteer Firefighter!

GEEZER NOTE: For muscle pulls and other persistent aches associated with one's aged limbs, I go to either Tiger Balm or Voltaren, the latter a corporate cure “for arthritis pain.” Last year some time, Pebbles Trippett, the famous groundfloor pot advocate, gave me a little jar of marijuana salve, with an assurance that “It'll get rid of your arthritic hand-pain.” Deeply skeptical of marijuana in all its manifestations, I put the stuff aside and went on using Tiger Balm, trusting ancient Chinese strategies more than… and not to put too fine a point on it, hippie bullshit. But darned if the old girl wasn't right! The other day I slapped some of Pebs' miracle goop on my thigh, where I've suffered a muscle pull, and by the next day the pain had greatly subsided, not gone but noticeably better, fer shure, fer shure.


I am offering Fruit Tree Pruning and Chainsawing to the coastal area. I am also offering other Garden and landscaping maintenance such as hedge trimming, drip irrigation install and repair, weeding, planting, bed preparation and more. My rates are $25/hr - $40/hr depending on scope of job. (Negotiable). Please reply to my personal email with any requests or inquiries. Give thanks! JahSun, Jason Greenberg <>


100 % organic elderberry juice.

16 oz bottle $22 ~ Next bottle $18 if you return the first bottle.

1 pint ~ $18 if you will bring a wide-mouthed jar to swap out.

I had to remove the original post. I posted it to other places and, the loonies came for me. Er'body so thirsty for my phone number. Apologies if you saved the other post. I hope everyone sees this one. Great juice! It should be mixed 1:1 with the sweetener of your choice. Honey is the classic sweetener when making syrup. I mix it with honey and use it to make a nightly cocktail. 'Tis tasty. (We don’t understand why people post these things without contact info, but we think this is from the Farm Shed / Boonville Barn Collective people who are somehow associated with the Boonville Hotel. But we are not sure.)


Hello Anderson Valley, We are excited to announce a new relay with sweeping views of the valley. Our Internet service area is from southern Navarro to Boonville. We have more relays under development, which will further expand our service area. We currently offer plans in the valley starting at $70 with capacity up to 200Mbps (up and down). If you want to learn more about our service or check if we can serve you, please call 707-278-8899 or visit us at

A VALLEY MUST-SEE is Jan Wasson-Smith's night time Christmas tree on Anderson Valley Way. 

The Valley's American Legion post saw a good turnout for their annual dinner at the Veterans Building last week, and the older old timers will remember when the Legion sponsored youth baseball teams, on one of which, Mill Valley Legion Post whatever it was, the editor of this fine publication once played, losing big to the Bill Irwin Post of Oakland, national champs, most of whose members went on to star in the major leagues. Another Christmas sight for merry yuletide eyes is the Navarro Store's annual display, the work of the year-round ebullient Dave Evans, proprietor. 

And a big gift to the entire community is the return to life of Starr Automotive, Philo, under new auspices, but shuttered for most of last year, now back with a new coat of paint and seemingly open for automotive business.

A READER WRITES: “A current peeve of mine is people's disinterest in constructing coherent paragraphs anymore. We see this in both personal postings and in the local news. Lots of sentences, or even sentence fragments in the worst cases, all separated as if they were paragraphs (sentence, return, sentence, return…). I suspect it is partly due to sheer laziness on the writer's part, somewhat akin to writing in all caps so we don't have to think much about what we're doing. Just bang away and hope for the best.”

MY FAVE PROSE is sprinkled with random commas, as if the writer stood back from his computer and hurled a bunch of commas at his screen, to land where they might.

Sean Donovan, Then-Now

KZYX'S MOVE from Philo to Ukiah shouldn't be necessary. The cringing, club-like, semi-public, tax-funded radio station should have been located in Ukiah from the get, as many inlanders argued at the time given that Ukiah is our county seat, location of the Superior Court and county bureaucracies. So, why wasn't it? Because a Republican hustler by the name of Sean Donovan set the thing in motion under his one-man auspices, as in, “I'm gonna do you libs a huge favor — your own radio station! Think of it! Never a dissenting opinion, maybe even uniforms! Most importantly, no negativity! Nice radio for nice people!”

UNLIKE genuinely public radio stations like KMUD outta Garberville that grew out of a series of community meetings, KZYX was a one-man show with the sketchy one man charging the station around thirty grand for his dubious efforts. Of course, and knowing Mendolib, he set the thing up so it was impervious to change, handpicking a squad of local stoners as his “board of directors,” and to this day the institution is so extremely inbred it threatens to break the incest laws.

A READER WRITES: “Sorry, Mr. Editor, but a lot of guys say they did this, did that in high school. You told the reporter you pitched a 13-inning shutout? I don't quite believe you.”

OH YE OF LITTLE FAITH. I did, and here's the proof. I also think I was the first high school kid to hit a homerun out of that ballpark, Albert Park, San Rafael, but I don't have confirmation of that singular and perhaps imaginary feat. I was mediocre at the college level, but by then I'd stopped working on my game and was writing bad poetry hoping to become a beatnik. Then, suddenly, everyone was in on that beatnik act as the hippies jumped off and I went back to prose, prosaic prose, but I've usually been able to get my point across.

GARAGE SALE, Saturday, Dec. 17. Rain or Shine. 10am-4pm, 13151 Airport Rd., Boonville (Last house at end of street). Supporting Boont Tribe Community School Scholarship Fund.

CREATIVE WRITING for Older Adults. AV Adult School, Winter/Spring 2023. Teacher: Ginny Buccelli. Tuesdays 2-5pm, Jan. 31-May 16 at the AV Adult School (behind the Elementary School, next to Peachland Preschool. $12 for the entire semester. Register at or contact the adult school at 895-2953. 


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