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Valley People (June 28, 2023)

SARAH SUMMIT: “I just wanted to let everyone know that, although I cannot respond to all of your messages, texts and comments. I am reading them and I appreciate all of the love. Please continue to pray for us. We are beyond devastated. We are making arrangements now and it’s looking like we will celebrate our girl’s life on July 1st at Barra in Redwood Valley. We will let you know more details when they become available.”

SARAH SUMMIT is the mother of Savannah Logan, who died suddenly in Boonville on Sunday. I've known the Summit family for many years. Our families have been close since Sarah was a toddler. The Summit’s loss of Savannah, 28, herself the mother of two children, has saddened all of us.

SAVANNAH’S (Logan) “celebration of life” will be on Saturday, July 1st at Barra in Redwood Valley at 1:00pm. To those who have offered to help, please contact us at the number below, and I will let you know what you can help us with. (707) 391-8614. Thank you all. I hope to see you there to celebrate our sweet girl. (Sarah Summit)

BOONVILLE LOCAL, Saturday morning: “So I’m one of those people that wonder if I paid the bill when the power goes off. Lol. I called in and the outage didn’t even show up in PG&E’s system until I had been talking to them for 10 minutes. I kept saying FaceBook was blowing up with outages all over the Valley and your system shows nothing?! Finally, just before I hang up, oh, I see an outage in your area. Really? No kidding! Guesstimation power back at 2:45 pm. We’ll let you know if it will be after 9 pm.”

POWER WAS OUT IN BOONVILLE from about 10:20 to 11:15 Saturday morning. Early attempts to get restoration info produced mixed results until PG&E finally acknowledged the outage, said it was “being investigated” and would be back on by 2:45pm. But power was restored in an hour. No info as to why. 

THE AV SKATEPARK PROJECT has raised $36,000 to date and is looking for  an additional $10,000 to complete their Phase 1 goal. If you or  someone you know has the means to help the Skatepark become a reality  for the youth and young families of Anderson Valley please contact Noor Dawood at This is not a pipe dream. Willits, Ukiah, Fort  Bragg, and Laytonville have all succeeded in getting very real  Skateparks built for their kids. Keep an eye open for notice of a big  fundraiser on September 16th. Together we can make this very worthy dream  come true. (Terry Sites)

THE ANDERSON VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY board  of directors will be hosting a festive gathering at the Little Red School House Museum on Sunday, July 9, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. This year we are pleased to have Eileen Pronsolino as our featured speaker. As many of you know, Eileen and her husband Angelo are lifelong residents of Anderson Valley. Eileen will focus on the history of vineyards/wine in Anderson Valley. The Pronsolino family still resides on Vinegar Hill, one of the earliest vineyard/wine regions in the valley. Eileen will be speaking at 2pm. The speaker and complimentary food and drinks will be set up in the Rose Room. All buildings on the museum grounds will be open for your wandering pleasure. Members and Non-members are welcome. A chance for all to get fed and feted while supporting the AV Historical Society.

LAST WEEK, somehow or other, a couple of notes I’d written to myself on my untamed computer got printed as items. I’ll spare myself the embarrassment of identifying which ones, but the two of them were probably obvious to close readers. They were true enough but blunter than I’d had in mind. I read what I wrote and, often, wince as I go. In this business, you write fast and hope it’s true and coherent, and if it turns out not to be, amusing.

FROM SUPERINTENDENT SIMSON:  We are trying to plan a little kid-centered septic ground breaking on Friday, June 30 at 9:00 a.m. I am awaiting confirmation from the contractor. If you can attend at the elementary school site it would be a festive moment as we start our bond construction and celebrate all of the local support we have had for our kids. Good stuff.

I will keep you posted. It will only take 15-30 minutes.

AND we’re liberals, too! No, the AVA didn’t know Juneteenth was a federal holiday until we went to the post office on that holiday Monday only to find it closed.

SIGHT sure to fill locals with dread is that young mother with two small children riding bikes on 128 near Jack’s Valley Store. That’s not a family outing, Mom, that’s death roulette.

NOTE FROM A READER: “When are you going to lobby for new trees in front of the Fairgrounds?” Right now. Fairgrounds! Plant some trees where once those marvelous old cedars stood. I’m for elms myself but I’ll settle for almost any long, green growth in that spot.


Excellent Quiz last week that resulted in ‘The Three Greys and a Ginger’ winning with a top ten all-time score! Now, with a fourth and fifth Thursday in June, we have a break until the first Thursday in July on the 6th. Hope to see you then, if not somewhere else before. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster.

I WONDER what happened to these Boonville school beautification plans described below. It’s always seemed to me that a big contributor to the prevalent, and growing mass insanity we suffer in our crumbling country is school architecture. Lock kids up in medium security-like prison structures for 12 years and… 

UKIAH HIGH SCHOOL, a windowless Kafka-esque tube that seems to go on for miles, is an extreme example of crazy-making school design, not to mention the campus’s rounded off shrubbery and its big lawns. The total aesthetic of the place is a silent scream.

AT THE DECEMBER, 1997 MEETING of the school board, big plans — very big plans — for all three school sites were discussed by the school board and its lively, articulate architect, Mark Quattrocchi. Intelligent, witty presentations are such a rarity in the school board setting it’s always surprising when one occurs. 

QUATTROCCHI, who spent his formative years in Mendocino where he was a classmate of AV’s ace teacher, Mitch Mendosa, took about an hour explaining what he had in mind in the way of enhancements. The crumbling and dispiriting classroom complexes at both the elementary and junior/senior school sites would have been transformed if Mr. Q’s plans, assuming they were approved and funded, would have been a giant step forward in school visuals.

THE LOCAL IRONY being that as late as 1956, the entire Anderson Valley school effort was housed in graceful old pre-war structures complete with arches, an oval for the high school marching band, big museum windows. Then the Gradgrinds took over, and from there on it was boxes — little boxes, long boxes, squat boxes and, of course, cancer-causing interiors.

MR. Q’S plans also emphasized a long overdue series of basic repairs to existing structures, much of which is just now being addressed by Superintendent Simson. The estimated cost in ’97 for all of it, including new construction of a combination gym and assembly room at the Elementary School, and a new community-friendly library building between the high school and the junior high, all to be completed in phases over a period of several years, was 16 million dollars, sources to be named later, but some of which will automatically be directed our way by the state out of existing upgrade funds.

WHAT SOLD ME on Mr. Q’s plans is his constant emphasis on making both school sites look and feel good while at the same time making them work in the mechanistic sense.

THE AVA, Mendocino County's Only Geriatric Newspaper

ODD OCCURRENCE Tuesday morning cost me twenty bucks. Herewith: So, I'm trucking along deep in my early morning aerobics, the walking part, earphones tuned into the highly irritating shill for the Democratic Party, Thom Hartmann, when suddenly a frantic young woman appears at my right shoulder, startling hell outta me. It’s 6:20am. She was young, her pretty face disfigured by tattooed scribbles. “Sir, excuse me sir, but I have to get to Ukiah and I need money for gas. Can you lend me some money? [Lend?] What time do these guys next door open?” She was waving a ten dollar bill in the direction of the Redwood Drive-In, so why was she asking me for money? She was a straggler, I assumed, not quite all the way down after the excitement of Rasta Fest. “All I got is a twenty,” I explained, “nothing smaller.” “That's ok,” she said, grabbing it out of my hand. “I really have to get to Ukiah. What time do they open over there?,” she asked for the second time. “7,” I said for the second time. “I really have to get to Ukiah,” she said again. “Thirty bucks ought to get you there,” I said. The whole time I'm walking and she's scurrying right along beside me. I had the feeling if I hadn't given her the money she would have followed me all the way into my house. She was either nuts or loaded or both. Here I am, the only guy awake in the whole town except for Charlie Hiatt who drove by just as I was accosted, and I get tapped for twenty bucks before the sun's up. As soon as young Scar Face had the twenty she took off, but she did say thank you.

THOM HARTMANN, btw, has replaced the unlistenable The Takeaway, which was so bad it was actually painful, a psychic pain that made me think I might have masochistic tendencies because I kept on listening every morning as I walked, striding through miles of  Ms. Petty’s audio mawk. But Hartmann, who has replaced The Takeaway in the 6am slot, is almost a lateral move. (Nothing is too lame or boring for KZYX.) Hartmann uses his callers as props to solo on into his own tame views. And never a critical caller. He must screen out his critics, and he's got to have a lot of them. The other morning one of his dupes mentioned Matt Taibbi, and Hartmann said dismissively, "Oh, Taibbi. He's been thoroughly discredited." No elaboration. Discredited by whom? Hartmann casually slanders a great reporter and moves blithely on. Taibbi's sin among the middle-of-the-road extremists of the Hartmann type is his criticism of Biden et al and the media that serve Biden et al — MSNBC, CNN, NPR.

MR. RICARDO SUAREZ puts in long days at the Redwood Drive-In, as does Mrs. Suarez. By 11:30pm last Friday night, just as they'd cleaned up for the day and were ready to turn in at their home to the rear of their business, Anthony Suarez, the couple's son, couldn't help but see a large, scruffy white man climb out of his own truck parked at the Drive-In and climb into his father’s truck and drive off, the first car theft in Boonville in many years. Anthony, alerting his father that “a fat guy” had just driven off in dad's truck, father and son were soon in hot pursuit, but not before Mr. Suarez had placed a 911 call only to be told by the dispatcher that she didn't know where Boonville was! Anthony headed south where he'd last seen his father's truck headed, while dad headed north in case the thief had headed towards Mendocino. Then, to the astonishment of both Suarezes, the portly southbound truck bandit was now a portly northbound truck bandit. Anthony Suarez was instantly in hot pursuit, frantically signaling the thief to pull over, which he soon did at the high school where young Anthony calmly advised the thief to return his father's truck to where he'd taken it from. Which the thief did but not before wondering out loud, “What did I do?” Anthony Suarez explained what he'd done and darned if the guy didn't meekly drive back to the Drive-In where he got out of Mr. Suarez's truck, got into his own truck and drove off south where he soon made a right turn onto Lambert Lane. No fuss no muss. Mr. Suarez said later that he will never again leave his truck keys “where I usually just throw them under the seat.” The disoriented fat guy was lucky. There are many addresses in Boonville where he'd not have escaped unharmed. 

RAY’S RESORT: A READER REMEMBERS: I first went to Ray’s Resort in 1955 and went yearly until about 1963 when, by then, I was married and had an infant. I hung out with Lenore while she cooked and sang along with all the pop hits of the day, and have fond memories of Avon baking bread and cooking breakfast. Everyone was concerned that the resort would close when Avon died, but after a bit Lenore married Frank Falleri and they continued for some time to manage the resort. Will write more about my life-changing visits to Ray’s Resort and appreciate hearing from others about their remembrances as well.

NO DUMPING, PLEASE. We recognize it may be confusing but please do not dump your unwanted play equipment — or trash? — at our local park. It is never fun to be picking up junk while trying to enjoy a day with friends and family. The Boonville Transfer Station is actually just a tad bit farther up Mountain View Road. If you do want to donate towards the park, feel free to contact our AV Community Services District (AVCSD). Thank you! PS. Anyone inspired to throw these items in their truck and do a dump run on behalf of the local Park this week?

A THANK YOU to Gary Miles of Ukiah for the gift of Edward Abbey’s amusing collection of shotgun opinions and aphorisms called, ‘A Voice Crying in the Wilderness.’ Abbey was crying for wildernesses lost and, as we know, inspired millions of others to not only cry with him but defend wilderness at the risk of jail and worse to themselves. This little book is the first I’ve read from the Abbey oeuvre, but I read somewhere that he recommended taking out billboards, which I thought was a right-on suggestion. When I was more mobile and energetic I removed some roadside blight myself as a form of night time exercise.

PEACHLAND ROAD has always been a preferred destination for illegal dumping. The County really should devise a scheme for subsidizing free trash disposal for those unable to pay the nearly extortionate price of $7.50 a yard at the legal transfer stations. Don’t litter-free roadsides have value in themselves? 

GUALALA AND HOPLAND have undergrounded their utility lines. Boonville’s? We’ve been on a nebulous promise list for years, but no action.

WE ALL MISS Elk's Queenie's Roadhouse, and will go on missing it, but on the same premises a new eatery will eventually appear called Between Wind and Water, the work of Elyse Hopps, co-owner of Point Arena's popular, Izakaya Gama. 'Between Wind and Water,' a perfectly poetic name for the site, too.


More Sun Means More Beer

We’ve got good news and bad news. Starting with the good: Wednesday was the longest day of the year. And the bad: Wednesday was the longest day of the year. Whether you’re basking in the light, or already preparing for the shorter days ahead, make a toast today with our Summer Solstice Ale.

Goes with Gose Headlines

According to our google news alerts, we’ve been in the news recently. Ok, not necessarily for the third one, but we suspect Barkley was involved. What else goes with Gose? Anything, apparently.

Sometimes it feels difficult to choose between a cold beer or a cocktail — but is it? What if you can have both? And at the same time? Join us as we travel through the magical world of Beer Cocktails.

THE 128 CORRIDOR, off which sits my acre in central Boonville, has been billed as “the next Napa Valley” for 40 years, as if there is something alluring about becoming the Napa Valley. Lately, the Anderson Valley is advertised as “the unhurried Napa Valley,” but the Napa Valley remains the wine tourist's gold standard. We certainly get more than our share of Range Rover people moving around town in vacant-eyed shoals slurping ice cream cones. Why it seems like only yesterday Boonville was a fascinating human nexus of bar fights and unique rural pathologies, what with the hippies running straight into the rednecks, but soon to produce a whole new beast in the hipneck when the inevitable marriages between the two camps were consummated. So, what is there to see? Hendy Woods and Hendy Woods. People who live here and love it will truthfully say there's still community of sorts, but it's more a community of affinity groups than a community in the old sense of everybody knows and despises everybody else.

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