Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley People (June 14, 2023)

MOSSWOOD MARKET AND CAFE has celebrated its 13th anniversary under the evanescent Pilar Eccheveria. Tourists may rave about Mosswood, and they do, but for us locals Mosswood is absolutely essential, an early morning oasis of perfect coffee and pastries, including the cafe's now famous empanadas, the work of the remarkable baker, Noella Sanchez.

BOONVILLE QUIZ THURSDAY, JUNE 15: The Big Boonville Brain Exercise returns Thursday night, June 15th. That will be the last one in June as there is a 4th and 5th Thursday to follow when we don’t have a Quiz. You know it all makes sense. Cheers, Steve Sparks, Quiz Master

I'VE ADDED to the endless list of things I didn't know about the Anderson Valley this revelation from Pete Boudoures that “Cliff Ridge Road, which runs through Beacons, was the county road before Greenwood went in.”

A FACEBOOKER WRITES: “This bear has been hanging around our house in Philo. It’s been making a mess wherever it goes. Any tips to deter it from coming every night? Not sure if electric fence is a good idea considering we have a toddler. Thanks”

A SECOND FACEBOOKER SUGGESTS:Get rid of any compost outdoors, and secure your garbage cans if they are outside. If the bear doesn't find any goodies it'll move on. Also a motion sensor light could be a big help . When I come across bears at night I usually shine my phone flashlight in their eyes and speak in a stern but steady voice until they leave. Also, could get an air horn or something else that makes a loud noise and surprise it. They are pretty timid animals.”

BACK A WAYS, a bear took up residence in the carport of a home just below the old Boonville Dump which, at the time, was a literal dump where all of Boonville and a big slug of Philo simply heaved whatever over the side, leaving the mounds of whatever to burn and smoke and fester day and night. This shocking situation, especially shocking given modern disposal methods in most places, lasted well into the 1980s until an elderly woman tumbled over the side, her elderly companion in a rescue attempt with her. The rather haphazardly planned pavement and bins we have now were installed in the aftermath. 

THE BEAR? I believe Deputy Squires, always a gifted problem solver, dispatched the bear to bear heaven. Bears got so outtahand at the Willits Dump a few years ago that the dump attendant hid out in his truck between customers. Those bears were relocated to the deep Yolly Bollys. And then there was the elderly Laytonville woman, a zealous anthromorph even more zealous than Jon Spitz, fed a whole bunch of bears at her home in the hills, not only fed them but shared her home with them. Relatives finally rescued the old girl before the bears mistook her for a meal.

DUNCAN JAMES WRITES (commenting on Marshall Newman’s brief history of Yorkville): I’m always interested in Yorkville since my great-great grandfather Benjamin Franklin McMurtry died there in “Rancheria Valley, County of Mendocino, California,” “in the morning of January 7, 1859,” according to probate court records in Alameda County, California. At the time of his death he was 29 years old. I am not sure how long he had been in the area but on December 7, 1858, he had signed his will that was witnessed by J.A. McGimsey, J.E. Hankins and J.B. Samez and a part of the probate court record.

On August 25, 1916, his son Leslie Bailey McMurtry became the owner of the Van Arsdale Ranch, presently a portion of it is known as the Ridgewood Ranch.

HOW MANY COUNTRY LANES have seen two major FBI raids? Ray’s Road, Philo, got its second Tuesday (June 6) when an FBI-led strike force of ten black SUVs stuffed with G-men and women accompanied by a helicopter hovering overhead roared west on the sleepy, mile-long, haphazardly paved path to “The Land,” 160 settled acres on the far bank of the Navarro River, where a cultish group called One Taste sells what it calls “orgasmic meditation.” A witness to the raid said the FBI team was headed up “by the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

ONE TASTE’S customer base seemed primarily to be well-heeled sexual neurotics and old fashioned voyeurs who engaged in supposedly instructive public sex sessions with comely tutors. One Taste has always angrily denied that they were running high end whorehouses. 

THE FBI arrested Rachel Cherwitz, believed to be second in command to One Taste’s founder, Nicole Daedone. Ms. Daedone is being sought on charges of what amount to a lush variety of frauds. The group also has presences in New York, where it began, and in Texas, where guns remain the primary orgasmic meditations. 

THE PREVIOUS FBI appearance on Ray’s Road occurred in 1983. The federal target then was a pair of soon-to-be mass murderers, Leonard Lake and Charles Ng. The feds learned that the pair had assembled a large cache of weapons in Philo stolen from a Marine Corps armory in Honolulu, and had them stored in their rented property, a former group home, on Ray’s Road. Choosing not to shoot it out with an FBI swat team, the two thieves were soon out of custody to commence kidnapping and murdering young women, and an occasional man, mostly at a remote property in Calavaras County. Lake, incidentally, while in Anderson Valley, functioned as a volunteer fire fighter and the department’s recording secretary. “Yeah, yeah, Bruce, he was a nut but he had beautiful handwriting.”

THE ONE TASTE saga is an international story today (Wednesday of last week), being featured in the New York Times and the London Guardian, to name two media with international reach.

THERE are interesting local angles to the One Taste saga, one being their association with the Adventist church who lent One Taste $2.4 million dollars to help buy the pricy Philo property, which One Taste, with its impressive cash flow, repaid in full.

ONE TASTE — One taste and you’ll be back for more! — also owns 160 acres at Ten Mile north of Fort Bragg, registered in the name of an One Taste associate where, much to the annoyance of neighbors, One Taste is operating a transient campground, with its attendant traffic and noise in an otherwise tranquil area much like Philo.

THE ONE TASTE property at the west end of Ray’s Road, now accessed by an all-weather bridge installed by the previous owner, internet mogul Jeff Skoll, was originally developed by the Newman Family who operated a popular summer camp on the property for many years. Then came a Findhorn-based collective of wealthy auslanders organized as Shenoa, who built expensive homes and developed impressive summer gardens. As most collectives, Shenoa dissolved in a welter of lawsuits and recriminations.

AFTER SHENOA the property was still linked to Ray’s Road by an old swinging foot bridge winter and summer, and difficult to impossible to traverse the raging Navarro in the winter months. The County had demanded Shenoa build an all-weather bridge, without which the County would not allow full-time occupancy.

BILLIONAIRE SKOLL of eBay bought the property from Shenoa with a view to establishing a retreat center for other hard-charging executives of Cyber-Land, among whom retreats are all the rage. Skoll subsequently sold to One Taste. 

WITH each purchase after the Newmans, the property became ever more grand, the houses larger, the facilities more lavish, with a hotel-size commercial kitchen and the obligatory swimming pool.

AND WITH EACH SALE of the property, the asking price rose, reaching its present $10 mil. All offers considered.

THE FBI RAID probably spells the end of One Taste. You’re on your own with your orgasms.

NOTE: Ray’s Road was named after Ray Falleri, the owner of the modest resort now known as River’s Bend.

MARSHALL NEWMAN CLARIFIES: “I believe Ray’s Road was named for Avon Ray, who founded Ray’s Resort (now River’s Bend Retreat Center) in the 1930s. Avon’s second wife was Leonore Falleri (previously married to Frank Falleri) which may be where the confusion started. Avon Ray’s first wife was Edna Van Zandt, whose brother Don Van Zandt founded Van Zandt’s Redwood View Resort, also off Ray’s Road.

Bill Kimberlin should be able to shed light on this name issue.

ED REPLY: I'm sure you're correct, Marshall. I'll leave the final word to Mr. Kimberlin. When I knew the Falleris, I assumed Leonore and Frank were a couple and that, if memory serves and it's hit and miss these day, they were together one day when I visited them at what was then Ray's Resort. The highlight of that visit for me was watching Frank feed the catfish he maintained in a pond across the road from the main house. The feed created an impressive feeding frenzy as what seemed to be a whole school of very big fish leapt high in the water for the chunks of the hamburger Frank was tossing them. I have a dimmer memory of Leonore lamenting that her heirs and assignees intended to log the redwoods on the far bank of the Navarro.

DELIVERING BOONVILLE'S beloved weekly this morning, a groovy guy — porkpie hat, pony tail, neatly trimmed gray beard — approached me outside the Navarro Store. “Are you Bruce Anderson?” Most of the time, I replied. “Jesus! I thought you were dead!” Looks can be deceiving, I said. “Congratulations,” Groovy Guy said, smiling like he'd said something funny. I stared at him without saying anything. Give 'em the old passo-aggresso. And it was early. “Well, I gotta go,” he said, like I was detaining him. “Good seeing you.”

BUDWEISER BEER is suffering what the media claim is an effective boycott for their sin of putting a changeling in its advertising, a fundamental mis-read of their market, heavy as that market is on manly men. But asking around the markets of the Anderson Valley no one at any of the cash registers reported the slightest fall-off in Bud sales.


We are opening the stand back up for the season this weekend! We will be open this Friday from 2-5pm. For fresh produce we will have: kale, chard, beets, cabbage, pac choi, garlic scapes, sprouting cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, hakurei turnips, herbs, and kohlrabi.We will also have dried fruit, tea blends, olive oil, fresh and dried flower bouquets, and some everlasting wreaths available. Plus some delicious flavors of Wilder Kombucha! All produce is certified biodynamic and organic. Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (with Market Match)!

SIERRA NEVADA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND, with 12 hours of sweet reggae and world music each day. We're just 2.5 hours from San Francisco and 3 hours from Sacramento. Come for the day or for the weekend! Purchase tickets now while you can! On site camping low ticket alert! Buy your on site camping now before it sells out.

THE DEATH of Ukiah's Dr. Werra reminded me of how much we've lost in basic, accessible medical care. I met Dr. Werra long before the Adventist octopus ate Mendo-Medico. Call up his office and you were in. Everything medical in the county is now routed through the vegetarians. 

A COUPLE of years ago I was medically curious about suddenly urinating great rivers of blood, complete with clots. Nothing painful, but I thought I might be melting, so rather than go all the way to the city, I tried to make an appointment with a Ukiah urologist, of which there are several. The receptionist just laughed. Literally. “Maybe in three months,” she said.

I'D sign up with the VA if I hadn't been hauled off to St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco twelve years ago when I nearly bought the store from sepsis. I liked the no bullshit efficiency of the emergency room on Stanyan and the hospital above it, and I liked Dr. Yoss, who became my regular doctor. No pursed-lipped piety about diet and drink from him.

PRIOR TO ST. MARY'S, the last doctor I remember seeing were the old guys who did high school and college sports physicals. Cigarettes dangling from the corners of their mouths, and often smelling of whiskey, they'd give your nut sac a cursory chuckety chuck-chuck, hit your knees with a little rubber hammer, and, “You're good to go, kid.” 

FORTUNATELY FOR ME, I've always enjoyed robust health because, I think, as an obsessive-compulsive personality type, I've always demanded of myself routine exercise, which in my case has always meant at least an hour first thing every morning, including mornings with bad hangovers. 

AND I WAS RAISED by a mother, a registered nurse, who took the austere position that if you weren't bleeding, you weren't hurt. I never saw a doctor as a kid. My mother hated them. “Don't tell me about doctors,” she'd say. “I work with the bastards, and I can tell you they're all a bunch of drunks and drug addicts. Nurses do all the work.”

THE GREAT red rivers only lasted a few days, but they made for exciting trips to the bathroom while they lasted, and by not getting an appointment over the hill I probably eluded endless medical trips to Ukiah. 

One Comment

  1. Marshall Newman June 14, 2023

    To be fair, both the swimming pool and the commercial kitchen at The Land were there in 1957, when my parents purchased El Rancho Navarro and turned the resort into a summer camp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *