FROM DAVID HELVARG’S new book, “The Golden Shore,” an AVA recommended read: “North of Gualala is Anchor Bay and its beach where rumrunners used to drop their loads during Prohibition.
Another half hour up the road is the town of Point Arena, a place author Stephan King would appreciate. There’s something insular and vaguely threatening about what some tourist books call ‘this sleepy hamlet.’ I remember a night my late love, Nancy Ledansky, and I couldn’t find a place to stay driving south down Highway 1 on a foggy Saturday night and finally we found a cheap motel here. The town was empty, cold and clammy and the taciturn innkeeper acted insulted when we pointed out there were no towels in our room and we walked under the marquee of the empty theater to a café where we were the only customers and a waitress who’d been crying served us soup from a can. Today Point Arena’s population is around 450 and its local politics have turned toxic as a result of a two-year campaign to recall the mayor and city council. Main Street is a hilly affair with the only movie theater for about one hundred miles….”
THINGS DO SEEM inclined to the sinister when the fog rolls in, but just up the road at Elk, even in the full glory of King Sol, I’ve always had to suppress an impulse to scream, “I don’t care if Charlie Acker lives here! There’s something fishy about this place!” Ferndale, a larger version of Elk, does that to me, too. Creeps me out. I’m not sure what it is about these places that’s so infuriating. Maybe the tidiness of everything, the architectural exhibitionism, the suffocating smugness one senses in the residents. Of course anywhere that the Northcoast’s groove-ocracy comes to dominate, as it has in Point Arena, Arcata, Elk, neighborhoods of Anderson Valley, the West Side of Ukiah, a civic pathology takes hold and intense little wars are always breaking out, wars about nothing at all beyond personalities. That’s why at election time the different sides take out newspaper ads with all the names supporting their candidate, just like back in the 7th grade when Johnnie ran against Debbie for class president. Natch, the groovies dominate public employment — the whole show — from school boards to local municipalities to the courts, as unvarying in their assumptions of superiority over the rest of us slobs as the suburbs they came from.
HIGH SPEED GANG GIRLS, Tracy Lynette Cox, 34, of Redwood Valley, and Kamara Marie Page, 24, of Ukiah, have been was arrested in connection with the recent high speed chase that saw one fugitive shoot at a pursuing Sheriff’s Department deputy. Miss Cox, a veteran of many rides in the back seats of police cars, is looking at charges of suspicion of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a crime. She’s also charged with harboring a fugitive and committing a crime while free on bail.
THAT’S QUITE A LOAD of charges for simply being in the car when Walter Kristopher Miller, 42, of Ukiah, and Christopher Skaggs, 30, of Redwood Valley, sped off after being stopped for no registration tags and, it seems, were soon shooting out the radiator of Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Brewster's patrol car during the ensuing high speed chase.
MILLER AND SKAGGS were at first assumed to be the only persons in the fleeing vehicle, but Miss Cox was in the car, too, when Miller, a Third Striker, is believed to have leaned out the window of the car to shoot at the pursuing deputy.
MISS COX and Skaggs were strolling down South State Street the next day when they were arrested. Miller surrendered a day later after a dramatic four-hour standoff when he walked out of a Ukiah motel with his hands up and Sheriff Allman himself arrested him and took him to jail. Skaggs, incidentally, is lighting up the facebook pages with vows of undying love from several ladies. Well, the guy certainly does seem to be an exciting date. Not many local girls can look forward to high speed chases and shootouts with the cops when they say at the door, “Good night, mom. Good night, dad. I’ll be home early.”
MISS PAGE comes into the picture because she allegedly drove into the hills west of Ukiah to give Miller a ride back to town when he, Skaggs and Miss Cox bailed out of their car and ran into the woods off the Boonville-Ukiah Road. She’s charged with suspicion of violating felony probation and aiding a fugitive from police.
THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION has rejected the Navy's cockamamie scheme to test underwater sonar and explosives off the Southern California coast. Friday's Commission ruling was unanimous.
WHILE WE'RE at sea, Saturday morning as I walked down the overlook stairs above Baker Beach (in the SF Presidio), about 40 commando-looking dudes were climbing up the stairs, several of them carrying comrades fireman-style. As any veteran of the regular military can tell you, everyday troops come in all shapes and sizes, few of them in sizes identical to those of NFL running backs. But these guys were obviously an elite force of some kind with the professional athlete physiques that go with Seals, I guess. I've only met one Seal and he wasn't burly like these guys. I've seen smaller groups like these paddling into the beach in the early morning in inflatable rafts but no sign of a mother ship. They all stood aside as I walked past, even the guys carrying the other guys, which I thought was excessively courteous in the circumstances considering they were working and I was simply out for some aerobic sweat. “At ease, corporal,” I said to the guy at the foot of the stairs. “Captain, actually,” he said, with a laugh.
RAND PAUL'S a crank, and so's his old man, but Rand did us all a big favor with his filibuster last week, pinning down the Obamaniacs on the use of drones on Americans on American soil. He'd written to Attorney General Holder specifically about that question, and Holder had written back: “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.” But after Paul smoked out Holder and the President on this most crucial issue, Holder wrote to Paul again: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil? The answer to that question is no.”
THE PRODUCERS of the 2014 movie “Need For Speed” have invited The Citizens of Boonville, Philo and Navarro to attend a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the filming on Wednesday, March 13th from 4-5:30pm in the Dining Hall at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. The producers will open with a brief outline of filming activity and a question and answer session will follow.
PERMIT CONDITION #2 of the County’s film permit for the production (signed by the County and the Production Company) states: “When filming within a public road reservation, Permittee shall minimize interference with public traffic (vehicular and pedestrian). Traffic flow permitting, Permittee may close the requested public roads or sidewalks for a period not to exceed five minutes. A minimum interval of two minutes shall be provided between successive closures. When requested by County, Permittee must post Mendocino County streets for parking or shooting 24 hours prior to call time.”
BUT THE TEXT of the permit request from the production company calls for “full closure” of Highway 253 on April 4 and 5 from 3am to 3pm. And “full closure” of the westernmost 14 miles of Highway 128 on Friday, April 12 from 5am to 9pm.
FROM THE COUNTY’S “Need for Speed” filming permit:
Cast & Crew: 150. Automobiles: 110. Trucks: 32. Generators: 5.
Filming activity includes car chases, low flying helicopters and controlled stunts. Road closures will be required. No explosives will be used but small controlled sparks will be used to assist in mechanical effects.
4/1-4/2 All Day Lighthouse Road at Hwy 1 to Lighthouse.
4/1-4/2 7am-8pm: Mountain View Road (1 mile up from Coast)
4/11: Flynn Creek Road (1 mile up from Coast)
Intermittent Traffic Control (ITC) on all County Roads intersecting Highway 128 from milemarkers 0.00 to 30.57. However, the main filming area is between milemarkers 16.91 at Handley Cellars to milemarker 20.15 at Philo-Greenwood Road, and from 29.74 at Highway 253 to 30.57. Intermittent traffic control is also requested on County Roads intersecting Highway 253 between milemarker 2.0 and 12.00.
Intermittent traffic control of all roads will be maintained by professional flagging teams and monitored by CHP. Individual periods of intermittent traffic control will not exceed 20 minutes.
Filming will take place on Monday April 1 through Friday April 12. No filming or road closures on weekends. Filming will be from dawn to dusk, but support activities will be begin as early as 3am and last until 10pm. (Catering, advance crew, and set-up crew, vehicle positioning.)
Two helicopters to be used on every day of filming including airspace directly above Lighthouse Road, Highway 128 and 253 as required. Landing zones [for the helicopter] will be established out of the public right of way. (No mention of Boonville Airport, but we assume it will be used.) Base of operations and staging: Boonville Fairgrounds.
Wednesday, April 3: ITC on Hwy 128 near the coast from 5am to 9pm.
Thursday April 4-Friday April 5: Full closure of Hwy 253 from 11.62mm to 5.90mm from 3am to 3pm. After 3pm ITC. All vehicles will be detoured to Highway 20 and Highway 128 during the closure period.
Monday April 8-Tuesday April 9: Intermittent traffic control on Highway 253 from 10mm to 1mm from 5am to 9pm.
Thursday April 11: Temporary closure of Flynn Creek Road from Hwy 128 to Coast from 5am to 9pm. (Local access permitted on Flynn Creek Road north of 1mm; Closure will be released as soon as filming is completed and will not require the entire length of time requested. Detour will be offered via Philo-Greenwood Road.
Closure of Highway 128 from coast to 11.78mm from 5am to 9pm. Intermittent closure of Highway 128 from 11.78 to 13.97 from 5am to 9pm. Philo-Greenwood road is detour.
Friday: April 12. Closure of Highway 128 from coast to 11.78 from 5am to 9pm. (Semis will be escorted through closure via pilot car.) ITC on Highway 128 from 11.78mm to 13.97 from 5am to 9pm.
No car racing will occur through the towns of Elk, Manchester, Irish Beach, Point Arena, Navarro, Philo or Boonville.
“We have spoken with local logging companies to discuss our filming activity and ensure them their trucks will continue to travel on Highway 128 during our filming period.”
ODD INSTANCE OF VANDALISM, if that's what it was, is being investigated by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. Early Friday morning, two hours apart, thousands of Suddenlink customers lost cable, telephone and Internet services when vandals broke into underground vaults and cut fiber optic lines in Ferndale and Trinidad. Customers in Big Lagoon, Trinidad, Scotia, Ferndale, and parts of McKinleyville and Rio Dell were affected but back on-line by Friday afternoon. The damage is estimated at $10,000.There's no known market for internet cable.
WARREN GALLETTI, Point Arena’s popular High School Principal and coach has submitted his resignation effective the end of this school year in June. Unofficial word has it that Galletti was increasing frustrated in his dealings with his boss, Point Arena Unified School Superintendent Colleen Cross who came in to replace the breathtakingly incompetent former Point Arena Superintendent Mark Iacuaniello (with an intermediate Superintendent in the interim who only lasted a few weeks before having a heart attack and resigning). It’s probably a coincidence that Galletti is quitting the same time that Anderson Valley Principal Jim Tomlin’s contract runs out in June, after having been un-renewed in a dramatic 3-2 vote of the Anderson Valley School board a couple of weeks ago. Galletti is well known to Anderson Valley school officials, more as a sports coach than as a principal. But now he’s available and he has the credentials…
SPRING FORWARD, fall back. If I hadn't been listening to NPR this morning I wouldn't have known I had these two options: "Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday. You can put your clocks forward an hour at 2am Sunday or you can do it before you go to bed Saturday night."
PIE IN THE SKY THEATER Presents a pair of John McNamara comedies Banned in Potter Valley* directed by Phil Baldwin march 15, 16, 20, 22, 23 Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse, Church & Oak streets, downtown Ukiah, 8:30pm, $10 General & $5 Students. Advance tickets on sale at Mendocino Book Company (*After six sold out performances in 1998 and 2000, under two PVHS administrations, a third administration disallowed production of “Personal Effects” in 2008. This will be the first Mendocino performance for “Present Tense.” Both John McNamara one-acts are presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. Intermission Refreshments on Sale by Ukiah High School Environmental Club.)