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Valley People (September 13, 2023)


September 24th 2023, 8:30 AM 

Apple Hall Auditorium, next to the Fair Office 

Pastor Dave Kooyers from Country Bible Church will present; 

‘What did Jesus mean by “born again”?’

Free admission/Everyone Welcome 

Please come and worship with us, and then enjoy the fair for the rest of the day. 

For additional information, please feel free to call Pastor Dave Kooyers (707) 895-2325, or the Fair Office at (707) 895-3011, or visit their website at; hXp:// 10:00 am Sheep Dog Trials - Rodeo Arena, and Car Show 2:00 pm CCPRA Rodeo Finals - Rodeo Arena 


The 95th Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show is September 22 through September 24 in Boonville. Please refer to the attached document in Word and PDF formats highlighting the Fair. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 707.696.6973 or email

Thank you.

Charlie Barboni

YOGA starting again in September! I'm trying 3 time options--vote with your feet! Times that get folks showing up will keep happenings!

Mondays at 7pm: Sept 11, 18, 25, Oct 2

Tuesdays 11am: Sept 12, 19, 26 and Oct 3

Thursdays 9am: Sept 7, 14, 21, 28

$15/class or $50 for any 4 classes.

Studio SoBo: 707 895-3979

IN ANDERSON VALLEY, Lauren’s at the Buckhorn offers something different. According to Mendocino Voice reader Jo, instead of offering customers plastic or wax-lined to-go boxes – which are also not compostable or recyclable – takeout customers at Lauren’s put a $5 deposit down on a reusable eco-friendly green box for their to-go food. Customers return the box on their next takeout pick-up, receiving a clean green box for their new takeout order, and the cycle continues.


Thursday night, Anderson Valley Soccer made the nearly three hour trip up to South Fork High School and took a 7-0 victory over the Cubs! GO PANTHERS!


More than 500 California public schools are being audited by the state because they reported that more than 10% of their kindergarten or seventh-grade students were not fully vaccinated last school year. Schools that allow students to attend school without all their vaccinations are in jeopardy of losing funding.

The audit list, released by the California Department of Public Health, includes 450 schools serving kindergarten students and 176 schools serving seventh graders with low vaccination rates. Fifty-six of the schools serve both grade levels. Another 39 schools failed to file a vaccination report with the state.

“Schools found to have improperly admitted students who have (not) met immunization requirements may be subject to loss of average daily attendance payments for those children,” the California Department of Public Health said in an email.

Students who are overdue for their vaccinations or who have been admitted to schools conditionally while they catch up on vaccines are not fully vaccinated, according to the state. Students who are in special education or have a medical exemption are not required to be vaccinated. 

SUPERINTENDENT of the Boonville schools, Louise Simson, responds: “We are diligently working to ensure all students are vaccinated and eligible to attend school. At the Junior/Senior high school, we only have two students who don't have the correct paperwork on file.”

I'M SHARING IT. As a person whose script is barely legible, I'll concede I'm not the best person to wish that cursive was still taught in our fagged, fragged schools, but the death grips with which younger but adult people grasp their pens to create child-like, big bloc “writing” looks like they're grasping chisels to leave their messages in granite. 

ONE OF THE MORE HELLISH afflictions of old age is the passing of most of one's human ecology. My entire childhood cohort is gone, as is much of the peoplescape of the Anderson Valley I knew as my children were growing up here, one of those way back persons being the late Mike Owens, son of the legendary Billy Owens and Wanda Owens, a family I've known all of my days here in this vividly peopled community. My strongest memory of Mike is a windy afternoon at the old Point Arena Air Force Base, circa 1975. Point Arena, via an energetic fogbelt guy named Al Montgomery, who had fielded a little league team. The base on the distant ridge above PA was still functioning, its function being a radar station guarding us snoozing Americanos from foreign attack. The base was a self-contained village of 300-400 people, including Air Force families, consisting of a mini-sprawl of suburban housing, a swimming pool, a gym, and a ball field on which the Boonville junior nine took on Al Montgomery's nine. So there's Mike Owens in right field circling — staggering, actually — under a long fly ball, and me thinking no way Mike's going to make that catch. But darned if he didn't shoot a gloved hand into that wind-driven torment to make the play. There was a joyous tumult on the Boonville side at the pure improbability of Mike's catch. I saw Mike at AV Market the Thursday before he died. He told me a joke I can't repeat here — like his dad, Mike, at heart, was an entertainer, and a day or two later Mike was found dead, it's said, of congestive heart failure.

WE WANTED TO GET A LOOK at how the spiffing up of the Elementary School was going on Friday afternoon so we drove down to take a look. We ignored the “buses only” sign in front of the newly painted building for the moment to get a good shot. But before we could even get our camera out, a woman rushed out to tell us we were in the “buses only” lane and a bus was about to arrive. 

“Ok, I’ll be gone in a few seconds,” I replied. “I just want to get a shot of the painting. Is that the final color?” “No, that’s the primer; it’ll be like that,” the woman replied, pointing to a nearby newly painted building. She then quickly added, “The bus is here, sir. You have to move.” I took a quick pic and departed to get the shot of the next door building, duly chastised for not heeding the signs. We left impressed at the cool but courteous authority the woman used in our casual encounter.

ON THE WAY BACK, we stopped for a pic of the progress of the construction of the new Boonville Catholic Church. 

In just a few days the substantial framing was completed and ready for Phase 2. More impressive local progress. 

(Mark Scaramella)

THE BOONVILLE PANTHERS were scheduled to prowl Laytonville's storied football field tonight (Friday) under lights that once shone over the old Seals Stadium in San Francisco where, as a member of Knot Hole Gang, I got into ball games for a nickel, enjoying from the bleachers with other feral children many a magic ball game. 

BUT THE REFS didn’t show up, and we learn that they’ve been privatized. The old ref’s association is now a private business, which deserves to go broke given Friday night’s no show.

COACH TOOHEY: Due to a lack of officials at the game, AV football had to return home from Laytonville last night without playing. We are awaiting a possible update on refs for tonight and will be heading back up if a sanctioned officiating group agrees to do the game. There is a terrible shortage in officiating in our area. If you or anyone you know has any interest in becoming a referee to make some extra money and help out your local communities, please contact AV’s athletic director and football coach John Toohey to get you information on how you can help.

SUPERINTENDENT SIMSON: I had a long conversation with the owner of the officiating company. He related to me that officials are assigned on a first come, first served basis when teams present their schedules. Schedules are requested in May but most schools don't turn them in until just before school starts. I asked if it was possible for the visiting team to view the referee assignments for an away game in the Arbiter system. He related that that was a good idea but had never been requested before. He is going to look into it. My point is that between the two Athletic Directors one of them would catch that there were no refs assigned and stop the arrangements early. He is going to look into the software and get back to me on Monday to see if that is possible. He swore up and down that 11-man teams were not assigned refs before 8-man teams and that it is strictly a first-come, first-served basis for schools presenting a schedule. He is highly interested in partnering with local districts to develop referees and will be sending me more information related to that.

ANDERSON VALLEY SPORTS: The football game vs. Laytonville was not be rescheduled for Saturday.. Our next contest will be this coming THURSDAY against the California School for the Deaf in Fremont. Then we will be HOME at the APPLE BOWL for Fair!!

LAYTONVILLE FOOTBALL was always a spectacle under coach Grover Faust. To an amplified Ring of Fire as sung by Johnny Cash, the Warriors would come charging out of the rural dark and on through an actual burning hoop ignited under the west goal post, a wonderful prelude to a football game.

FAUST was an excellent coach. For twenty or so years, his teams pretty much ruled the Northcoast's small schools, with Laytonville often battling Fred Austin's Potter Valley Bearcats for the championship. Austin was another truly excellent football coach, and both of them too often feasted at Boonville's expense. 

GROVER always seemed to have one kid who could throw, and one or two very fast kids who could also catch, and his passing offense was just too much for opposing teams unprepared for a sophisticated passing attack. Last I heard, the old coach had retired to his ranch in Covelo, and everyone who remembers those days of outback football is certain to wish him well.

A READER REPORTS: FYI: Philo-Greenwood Road going over to the Boonville area has been resurfaced from beginning to end and it is FANTASTIC! We went over today and they did a great job on it. Beats Mountain View Road any day of the week…

THE READER seems to be referring to the freshly re-surfaced Greenwood Road from Elk to Philo. You aren't a full-fledged Mendo Person until you've driven Fish Rock to the Coast and back, a long, lonely road but beautiful all the way.

$379,000 AND PEARL THOMASSON'S BUILDING in the virtual center of Boonville is yours. 

Way back, and I'll hear from an older old timer if I'm wrong, the antique-stuffed structure served as Zittleman's Market. We also had a bank and a drug store and other amenities we don't enjoy these days. 

THE NORTHCOAST WATER CONTROL BOARD is allegedly zeroing in on vineyards and vineyard runoff to do extensive testing and monitoring. 

MAYBE the board can get out of its Santa Rosa office to eyeball the dying, fish-free rivers and streams of the Northcoast, starting with the Navarro here in the Anderson Valley, again an enslimed turgidity hostile to human and aquatic life. 

WHY? In a word, vineyards, chemical runoff therefrom. Pinot killed our frogs! Some of my fellow nostalgics will recall the millions of tiny frogs frolicking after the first big rains on paved surfaces the length of the Anderson Valley. But each rainy season there were fewer, and now there are none. In fact, if you want to see a frog anywhere in The Valley you've got to hike deep into the hills where their remnant populations are hunkered down. 

THE VINEYARDS spray literal tons of herbicides and pesticides on their grapes to produce a superfluous product. Let me know the next time you see someone at Safeway buying a $40 bottle of Blood of Michoacan. 

IT'S FAIR to mention that there are a few wineries that are honestly organic — Frey and here in Anderson Valley, Handley Cellars, and a few others, but mostly in Mendo we get industrial processes wed to Better Living Through Chemicals. According to the latest (2021) Mendo Crop report, about 29% of the 17,100 acres of grapes in the County are “organic.” (But even the organic growers are allowed to say that tons and tons of mold-prevention sulfur dust is “organic.”)

ADAM GASKA, a Redwood Valley farmer and candidate for 1st District supervisor: “Wine grapes don’t generally need much in the way of fertilizer, especially nitrogen. Phosphorus and potassium don’t easily leach but can be carried into waterways with eroding soils. Septic tanks are definitely a source of nutrient runoff, especially if they are not maintained. Sediment from roads make a contribution.

Temperature change is also a factor. The warmer it is, the more algae grows. Insufficient riparian barriers contributes by letting in more light.

Ideally we would develop a Total Maximum Daily Load for waterways, do testing at differing points on the mainstem for sediment, nutrient, temperatures, turbidity. When we find a problem area, go upstream to find the offender(s) and fix the problem through mitigation.”

KURT VODOPALS responded below to our on-line comment of the day. Every day we post a lively random comment on Mendocino County's only morning cyber-newspaper, a daily one at that, available to anyone who buys a paper-paper subscription, otherwise a huge bargain at $25 a year.

THE COMMENT: I like how people who have never studied science beyond high school think they know more than people who devoted their whole life to it. We have entered the era of arrogant stupidity, no need to present a theory, then spend years researching and then proving your theory as true. In the modern era a YouTuber, who has spent no time researching and proving their theory as true, says it and people will believe it. Apparently scientists are nothing more than pawns of every government in the world to lie to and fool the people for a middle to middle upper class salary.

MR. V. RESPONDS: The online comment of the day really hits home with all the comments about the “poisoning” of the Navarro River watershed by (only) vineyards. Don’t need to mention weed plantations, leaky septic systems or decades of people just dumping their garbage in riparian areas.

The Navarro, like most American watersheds, has legions of non-profits, governmental and non-governmental organizations stewing around trying to fix the problems. There is even a Navarro River Watershed Group supported by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District.

Most of these organizations are now focused more on water quantity than quality. But my suggestion is to engage them, particularly those organizations and people that are subsidized by your tax dollars. You might find many of your questions answered already. Or you might find new approaches to an existing undiscovered issue.

Or, like the online comment of the day, you might prefer to just sit there and point fingers without having the slightest clue about that which you speak of.

There are thousands of struggling watersheds all over the North Coast that don’t have vineyards.

VERILY, VERILY. I'm still in deep mourning for the disappeared frogs whose annihilation I blame on the vineyards because frog-loss, l think, can be blamed primarily on chemical run-off from vineyards. But I agree with Mr. V that all the watersheds on the Northcoast have been badly damaged, each, I suppose, in their own way. Write it off as Old Guy pessimism, but we seem to be doomed as a species ourselves given the damage that has been done, plus an elected leadership of sociopaths at all levels of government, and domination by the super-rich who don't seem to know or care they're going to disappear with the rest of us. This brilliant cartoon perfectly sums it all up.


We know harvest can be tough, long days (we’ve been watching it go by for the last 35 years) and we’d love to help. If you are working Harvest this year, ask your winery or Anderson Valley Winegrowers for the “secret” password. Say the password when visiting our taproom and get $1 off draft beer throughout September and October.

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