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Valley People (May 3, 2023)

ROB GIULIANI of Signal Ridge Road, Philo, died this week. He and his wife Lee Serrie were long-time fixtures on Signal Ridge. Rob and Lee were former tv producers from the Bay Area. We hope to have an obituary in the near future.

OLIVIA ALLEN: My family is finishing our fourth month of the worst nightmare we’ve ever had… and it’s one that doesn’t end with sunrise each morning. On December 29th, 2022, my parents’ truck went off the road near their Philo home in Northern California, and crashed into a row of trees. Thankfully my mother was largely unscathed, but my father was badly bruised, broke one clavicle, suffered a fracture to his skull and severe brain trauma.

He was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he spent three weeks in the ICU deep in a coma from his traumatic brain injuries. It was the worst three weeks of our lives, seeing him in such a devastating state, completely unresponsive and unstable, with no idea what was going to happen. (click “see all” for the rest.)


[1] Over the following weeks after dad finally opened his eyes, he was able to make eye contact and eventually began to quietly speak. He can now sometimes answer questions or say things rooted in present space and time. Much of the time, however, he is in some dreamland away from reality, or not awake at all. He has very little control over his body, as in he has successfully given a thumbs up, one time. He can sometimes move his legs and arms in a very subtle way when asked, although his arms cause him a great deal of pain. He has daily physical, occupational and speech therapy to help him regain function. Perhaps the most heartwarming (and heartbreaking), is he can now offer us very small but very warm smiles.

[2] Wow! We are so moved by how much support we are receiving to help with dad's recovery. There have been a few medical setbacks, but he is recovering and doing well now. He is back on track to soon take the swallow-test to get his trache removed and begin to drink water and swallow liquid food on his own. Thank you all so much for your prayers, your donations, and your love.

ED NOTE: Please share this fundraiser for Bill Allen and his family. They need the support, financial and otherwise! As far as a donation goes, no amount is too small…

MAY DAY! Dawned in the Anderson Valley un-May like, overcast, cool, windy. Used to be an important day of recognition for laboring people everywhere, and still is in many countries of the world. Not here. May Day is as forgotten as Arbor Day when, older old timers will recall, primary school students were given a tree seeding we took home to plant.

FILIGREEN FARM and Boonville Barn Collective are teaming up for a Mother's Day sale! Swing by Velma's Farmstand at Filigreen Farm on Saturday May 13th from 11am-3pm. Shop Filigreen's everlasting flowers, fresh flowers, dried fruit, and olive oil and Boonville Barn's chile powders, chile flakes, mole kits, and maybe even strawberries! Velma's Farmstand is located at 11750 Anderson Valley Way. 

QUIZ RETURNS THIS THURSDAY. May 4 is the First Thursday of the month so we go again tipping off at 7pm. Hope to see many of you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster.

NORM CLOW: Where Ruth held the helm as General Manager of Thrifty Car Rental of Guam and Saipan, next door was Hertz, and one day a young man washing cars there came over and asked, “you're Ruth Clow, right?” Turns out he was Christopher Mike, from Truk, who had been an FFA exchange student at Anderson Valley High School several years earlier when Ruth worked there in the agriculture department and I was chairman of the advisory board. Chris lived with Kenneth Jones and Pat Jones during his school year at AV. He had a commercial boat license and was completing his helicopter license while working at Hertz and Chuck's Steak House, where he treated us all to a great dinner one evening. A really sharp young man. (It was our activities with the agriculture department and Future Farmers that got us out to the islands in the first place.)

HEDGEHOG BOOKS in Boonville is closed until mid-late June. We hope to see you then!

MIKE GENIELLA SUGGESTS that Mendo supervisors note that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors have moved to limit the pell mell conversion of vacation rental regulations by making it harder to convert single family homes to B&B’s. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors “have voted to change vacation rental regulations, create caps and exclusion zones for vacation rentals and to define fractionally owned housing as timeshares. The first action involved creating a business license program that standardizes operating requirements for vacation rentals to protect neighbors from nuisances, while the second action placed caps and exclusion zones in specific neighborhoods in the first, fourth and fifth supervisorial districts to reduce over-concentration of vacation rentals in these areas.”

BUT WHEN DON SHANLEY of the Anderson Valley, silver star combat veteran of the Vietnam War, appeared before our Supervisors last week to ask for a crackdown on similar conversions here, our Supervisors, looking on as placidly as five cud-chewing cows, not only failed to address Shanley’s concerns, they failed to thank him for making the trip over the hill to appear before them. Shanley shouldn’t take the Supe’s rudeness personally. They do it to everyone. 

Don Shanley: “I have been a resident of the county for over 55 years. I don't understand this fear from real estate lobbyists about a use permits. The purpose of a use permit is to inform the neighborhood, addressing fire considerations, safety -- all the basic considerations you would expect from someone building something. So I don't get the fear about that. My wife and I are opposed to the appeal of the resolution from the Planning Commission. On November 21 of 2019 my wife and I presented a 25-page document to the Planning Commission hearing in opposition to the use permit for a short term rental on a private road passing through our property on Highway 128 in Navarro. Our neighbors and my wife and I devoted hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to oppose this use permit application that never should have been considered if the Planning Department had completed basic due diligence. Later it was determined and proved that it was already an illegal structure. There were three kitchens on the property and the application should never have come before the Planning Commission. So we got to spend five grand and get our neighbors together for the appeal. Every single person on our road opposed it. In the words of former County Counsel Terry Gross, A major use permit for a short-term rental application allows those individuals most affected, the neighbors, to voice their concerns about fire safety, invasion of privacy, liability, destruction of quality of life, nuisances, and not meeting the requirements of Mendocino County code. These were the specific reasons that the Planning Commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, too deny the permit. We urge you to watch the November 21, 2019, hearing appeal to understand the details of our opposition. We are not suggesting short-term rentals never be approved. We keep hearing the shrill references: Oh my God! Property rights! They can't possibly have this! Please. They can still be approved in a residential neighborhood. We submit that individuals do not move to a rural zip code to wake up to a commercial hotel operation next door where perhaps there isn't even an owner or a manager on-site to attend to transient renters' needs and safety. One need only look at the real estate ads posted in office windows to understand that the proliferation of short-term rentals on private rural roads is a sales pitch to wannabe absentee owners who needn't even be present to manage the renters who are paying their mortgages. We appreciate local residents needing to supplement their incomes, but not at the expense of their neighbors. Thank you.”

AS USUAL, the Supervisors rudely ignored Shanley not even giving him the courtesy of a “thank you.” Then they proceeded to turn down the Planning Commission’s modest proposal unanimously.   

AV SENIOR CENTER has an immediate need of a dishwasher/janitor. Approx. 15 hours/week. Work on Tuesdays & Thursdays from approx. 9am-2pm and 1 other flexible day of the week for other cleaning needs. This person also assists with meal prep. $16/hour. Call 707-895-3609, email or stop by the center at 14470 Hwy. 128, Boonville.


Congratulations to Carmen Malfavon!!!

She has won a National FFA Scholarship in the amount of $5000 sponsored by TSC!!!

Carmen plans to become a large animal veterinarian!

We are so proud of her!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALEC ALARCON AND SAM DOUGLAS for passing their firefighter academy!

Alec was honored for his achievements today during his graduation ceremony in Windsor, and Sam graduated similarly earlier this year. Both started out as AV Fire Department cadets in high school and have continued within the fire service career path and education since. Alec is currently working for Life West Ambulance in Sonoma County for now, and Sam is currently a Reserve firefighter with Healdsburg Fire Department. Well done, we are proud of both of you! Carry on and stay safe!

(Anderson Valley Fire Department)


The Boontling Classic is this Sunday at 10am at the Elementary School! Thanks to the generous donations of our sponsors, amazing prizes await in the post-race drawing, including bottles of wine, beer, and gift certificates from local businesses such as the AV Brewing Company, AV Market, Mosswood Cafe, Rossi's, Foursight Winery, Goldeneye, Lichen, Roederer and even a gift basket from the Mercantile! All proceeds go to the AV Food Bank. This is going to be a fantastic community event and we can't wait to see you all there!

BURN PERMITS. On Monday, May 1, 2023, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Mendocino Unit will require CAL FIRE burn permits for residential burning within Mendocino County. Property owners can access this website to obtain a free burn permit. Burning can only be done on permissive burn days and is prohibited on non-burn days.

CAPTAIN RAINBOW and I were reminiscing about memorable Variety Shows over the years. I'm still wincing at the one where a babe in a mini-skirt and mogambo blouse to match strolled on stage, perched herself on a stool and sang a torch song about how she stole the man of the jilted woman sitting directly in front of her in the first row. Rainbow and I agreed that one had left the audience gasping.

TURN THIS FOOL IN: Sunday afternoon — All white Mazda 3 with Texas license plates whipping donuts on school property in front of the tennis courts as the Sunday soccer games were wrapping up.


On Tuesday, (April 25th) at 8am, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called by medical staff at the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Hospital. Deputies learned there was a 30 year old woman in the emergency room who had been badly beaten  throughout the night during an argument with her boyfriend, Arcadio Mateo Diego, 35, of Ray’s Road, Philo. 

Arcadio Mateo Diego

Deputies arrested Diego for Felony Domestic Violence Battery, Felony Kidnapping, Felony False Imprisonment and Felony Robbery. He is being held in the Mendocino County Jail where he was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

ON THURSDAY, APRIL 27TH, locals were warned: “Be careful with a lady walking on Hwy 128. Slow down because she runs to get in front of the cars. Or report her to 911. She may cause an accident or get run over.” I saw her Thursday at several locations on 128 between Philo and Boonville. Last spotted lying in the brush near the elementary school.

EVERY YEAR the Anderson Valley is discovered. And rediscovered. I lost count years ago, but just in the fifty-five years I've lived here, we've been discovered around ten times a year, unleashing annual human wave invasions by small armies of gastro-maniacs. Often, the discovery is sub-titled “The Unspoiled Napa Valley,” which must annoy the padrones of Napa's conversion to booze-fueled cash registers pegged to industrial grape production. We'd be Napa by now if we had the infrastructure, and thank the goddess that the roads in here deter some of the less intrepid invaders who fear the great wilderness north of Geyserville. Spoiled or not, the battered Napa Valley packs 'em in, probably because people under the age of 60 have grown up being herded around and standing in lines. To a Bay Area person trapped in a suburb, I'm sure the Anderson Valley looks like one of those unspoiled little valleys deep in the Himalayas. 

I'M STILL WAITING for one of these intrepid explorers to write an interesting take on The Valley, but the stories are all the same, beginning, “There's so much to love about the Anderson Valley” as the Magellans of the roadside booze boutiques set out to trade their print promos for free meals and bottles of wine. 

THE TRUE FACT of the Anderson Valley wine experience is a battered, pest and herbicide-soaked landscape bereft of natural life — seen a frog lately on the Valley floor? — bisected by dead streams, once lush with fish, siphoned off by grape ponds.

GRAPE LABOR? Provided by underpaid, under-housed Mexican immigrants.

HOW MANY WINERIES are there in the Anderson Valley?  Many. Every time I read one of these discovery pufferoos, I see names and wineries I've never heard of. Note to self: Get out more. Second note to self: Why? Wine memory: The time my brother and I, as a righteous experiment to demonstrate the hazards of wine tasting and driving 128, but with Pilar Duran as our DD, we started out in Yorkville — this was when wine tastes were still free, and called it an afternoon by the time we got to Husch where we were slurping direct from a bottle of whatever it was that Pilar had brought along. There are many more wineries today, more than 90 at last count, but so far only an occasional stretch limo, a sure sign that we’ve gone full Napa.

IN THE travel section of the Pacific Sun, a free weekly out of Marin, under “new wineries and wine experiences,” I learned about Fathers & Daughters Cellars, a pleasing family values kinda connotation and there was Brashley Vineyard, “offering a fun and casual experience and environment, including unique features such as a giant chess board and corn hole.” Uh, excuse me, Miss, did you say corn hole? Corn hole used to have rather unwholesome associations when I was a kid, so I'll stick to the giant chess board. Also at Brashley, they've got a “CIA-trained chef” making pizzas. Yo, pizza man. Hold the cyanide. 

One Comment

  1. JOHN SHULTZ May 3, 2023

    i got off the pot and wine train about a decade ago,certainly it was fun and emotively distractive,i was a casual but daily user of both: providing a release at the end of the day ,i grew my own cannabis and bought generic box wine for $8.99 at the Willits Safeway so the financial drain was minimal, but i simply became tired of the up and down cycle of inebriation.My landlords sold my 18 years residence in Willits and i ended up in the psychological backwaters of lake County,a region i was warned about inhabiting,Ive been here 5 years and it seems like the majority of the populace (especially the north side of Clearlake) are awash in drugs,alchohol,psychiatric issues and homelessness abound,lots of Bad Stuff flourishes here,and the only financially successfull humanoids here are the winery owners and hard drug dealers.

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