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Valley People (March 15, 2023)

BIG NEWS: MARK BOUDOURES: Recently I have seen Cal Trans survey crews in Boonville. I knew something was in the works so I investigated further and learned of a planned project approved by the county and scheduled to begin this summer.

The planned project will create round-a-bouts and street lighting from the 128/253 intersection to Mountain View Road with round-a-bouts at each location and one more at Lambert lane. The project is in the Mendocino budget with a federal grant and is expected to slow traffic, benefit businesses and improve safety. Further funding will be provided by the addition of parking meters.

ROUNDABOUTS for Boonville? Yes, and a chorus of hurrahs for CalTrans for taking the first steps to making them a reality, a surefire way of slowing down Boonville's dangerous thru-traffic. 

ANYBODY SEEN MONTE HULBERT LATELY? The last time I saw him, and I think my Monte sighting was almost two years now, the Anderson Valley mountain man was living deep in the Indian Creek back country and looking, as always, hale and hearty.

GETTING IT DONE: With the high school baseball field trenched for new septic lines, AV Athletic Director John Toohey and high school baseball coach Matt Burlington quickly moved to line out an alternate field at the Boonville Fairgrounds. Not that much baseball has been played yet due to the constant rains.

KATHY BAILEY: If you are experiencing a power outage or other storm-related situation, you are welcome to take a shower at Hendy Woods State Park without being a camper or paying the Day Use Fee. You will still need quarters or tokens, available at the kiosk when open, to have hot water. $1 buys 5 minutes of hot water. The showers that are currently open are at the Azalea Camp Loop.

A READER WRITES: I took advantage of Hendy free day yesterday and was blown away by this gem we have in our backyard. I've lived here 25 years and this was the first time I thoroughly explored most of the trails. The size of the trees there is stunning. I'll be back!

Y RANCH ACCIDENT: Scanner traffic beginning at 11:28 a.m. said a 30-year-old man, still not identified, was injured when a tree came down on him near the intersection of State Route 128 and Yorkville Ranch Road, mile marker 38.21 Highway 128.

LARRY WAGNER: Stopped by Lula Cellars the other day and found four bufflehead ducks swimming on their pond. The pond has a red algae that gave an interesting background. (Lula plans on taking the algae off the pond and using it to fertilize the vines).

WATER FOR BOONVILLE. In 1974, representatives of the State Water Resources Board came to town to hear what Valley people thought about its plan for a multi-purpose dam on Anderson Creek above South Boonville in the area of the Johnson Ranch. The dam, the state promised, would provide “a dependable water source, wildlife enhancement, flood control, and recreation.” Think of it! Water skiing in Boonville!

LOCAL opinion ranged from some enthusiasm from property owners whose holdings would, they assumed, increase in value from a big lake in their neighborhood to a much larger opposition who feared the end of Boonville as a small, peaceful hamlet undisturbed by jet skis and drunks hurtling around a lake in their speed boats. Moreover, opponents said, flooding is not a problem anywhere in the Anderson Valley where everyone is already on water wells, and wildlife enhancement was too vague of an alleged benefit for a project the size of what the state proposed. And with a lake would come development, which many people moved here to avoid. And that was the end of that, although a prominent local ranching family — the Bradfords — regularly renew a lake permit they apparently envision for the area opposite the CalFire station south of Boonville.

FAST FORWARD TO 2023 where we find a pair of smart, determined Valley women — Val Hanelt and Kathleen McKenna — who have put in hundreds of hours of research and arranged grant funding in the hopes that Boonville will adopt a central sewage and water system under the auspices of the Anderson Valley Community Services District.

MUCH of central Boonville, especially the Haehl Street neighborhood, presently consists of small, modest homes, each of which has its own well and septic system, meaning, in many cases, that the water they flush is also the water they drink.

ED NOTE: If my friends and neighbors, even my many enemies, vote for the dual projects, I will also sign up, although I have abundant clean water from perhaps the most productive well in the Anderson Valley to go with an industrial-scale septic system installed by the infallible Luccheti of Hopland. As the aged owner of a dying, antiquated business who lives mostly on the dual social security benefits grudgingly dispensed to him and his wife by the oligarchs, to pay a water bill of $80-$90 a month would be, on my part, an act of pure charity, what with the county steadily raising my property taxes every year in return for invisible services, and all the other accrued fees and mystery impounds that seem to grow larger in direct proportion to my increasing years. (The wolves circle.) 

I VISITED THE AV HEALTH CENTER Wednesday for a knee shot of cortisone, deftly administered by the always amusing Dr. R, prior to which I had to fill out a lengthy and quite silly questionnaire asking me, among other things, my pronoun preference — he, she, they, her/him polymorphous perverse, and what all, and whether or not I was a heterosexual. (Check one.) The curse of sexuality having been lifted from me some years ago, I am hetero, ret.

HOW MANY gd genders are there for the goddess's sake? Jeez. And I had to mask up at the counter, me a guy who was up to date in all his preventive (alleged) inoculations who still got covid, which has cost me my voice. (Much to the relief of my Sig Other.)

ANYWAY, as a clinic customer all the way back to the barefoot doc days in the Ricard slum, and my wife a former trustee (female, Asian, and another box checked for the H.C's non-profit status), why do I have to answer a lot of purely trendy and, I must say, intrusive questions, devised by the berserkos of the Biden Administration?

(THE ORIGINAL barefoot medico at the first clinic in Boonville was Mark Apfel's cousin, Phranklin (sic), whose eccentric spelling of his given name seemed to be his nod to the counterculture then fairly prevalent in The Valley, and the primary supporters of Clinic. Phranklin also functioned as doc for the County Jail where inmates immediately rechristened him, ‘Phucking Phranklin.")

SO I ZIPPED off an e-mail to Chloe Guazzone, the Health Center's impressively competent administrator, who promptly replied: “Great questions and I wish it wasn't so! Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of the federal government's reporting requirements since a large portion of our funding comes from them. Our intake form matches exactly what they ask us for annually and yes, the gender and sexual orientation questions change often, making our lives quite difficult. As for the mask requirement, it sounds like that will change April 1 in CA but for now masks are still required inside health facilities.”


It might be wet this Sunday March 12! It might be wild from 8:30-11:00! But you can count on Pancakes with all the fixings, eggs, bacon, coffee, tea and juice at the AV Grange. It's the monthly 2nd Sunday AV GRANGE PANCAKE BREAKFAST, and remember to set your CLOCKS an hour ahead on Saturday night or you might be an hour late for breakfast! 


A Summer Solstice & Peace Celebration

June 16-18, 2023

Mendocino County Fairgrounds


And we're working hard to bring out something really special for you, our Sierra Nevada World Music Festival family! 

Since 1994 Sierra Nevada World Music Festival has been an iconic part of the California festival circuit, bringing music lovers together in a family-friendly setting for three magical days.

Our founder and programmer Warren Smith created a unique mix of the very best Roots Reggae & World Music, with so many memorable performances over 25 years. With Warren’s passing in 2021 and the pandemic, we have been on hiatus. 

This year, the time is right for us to gather again in celebration of Peace, Love & Music in the beautiful forests and rolling hills of Mendocino. We look forward to welcoming you back! SNWMF 2023 is for Warren.

For more info go to

GOTTA AGREE with Kurt Vodopals comment: “S.T.E.A.M.? Who snuck the ‘A’ in STEM? Typical Mendocino County… just shove arts into it. Gather round. It’s poetry circles and feelings time. Or how about we watch a homemade video of the teacher doing half-assed kung-fu? Does that count? Arts? Do the schools even have real music programs anymore with real instruments? Spoken word poetry doesn’t count. Hey, kid, gimme a beat. Count it off. One, two, three… math… engineer me a band.”

NOT THAT LONG AGO, Boonville High School was fortunate to have the wonderfully talented Bob Ayres as a music instructor who taught the basics with actual instruments to a couple of decades of lucky Valley youngsters. Ayres even managed to create a marching band for our little high school.

AND EVEN FARTHER BACK in the 1930s, Anderson Valley featured a marching band complete with uniforms, photographs of which can be seen on the grass oval in front of the old high school, the gracious architectural predecessor of today's medium security prison designs of contemporary public schools.

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