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Valley People (October 7, 2023)


Coach John Toohey Reporting:

We lost 32-38. Our last shot from about the 15 yard line hit the dirt just beyond our tight end’s reach. 

We gave up two crucial turnovers, one right before the first half ended and one right as the second half began. Those both turned into points. 

Tomales runs a grinding methodical offense, our boys run a home run at any point offense. That’s exactly how the scoring was shared today. A slow drudging from Tomales answered by fireworks from AV. 

Tomales looked like they were going to grind the game away in the 4th. But on their own ten, Jack Spacek punched the ball free from the fullback and into the hands of defensive end Ivan Camarillo, who returned it 15 yards before being tackled. That set up our push to try and tie, ending in a pass just out of reach. 

The kids are showing incredible growth playing the world’s most challenging team sport. For many, this was only their fourth game. Yet we have players like first year center Dominic Sanchez identifying defensive fronts, and freshmen nose tackle Alexis Valencia filing through a catalogue of defensive techniques to get an advantage. 

Luis Perez went from a defensive liability last time we played the Braves to completely shutting down Tomales’s right side. Eric Perez and Jack Spacek gave the Tomales defense fits all day chasing them around the field. Omar Anguiano caught a touchdown pass and solidified himself as the team’s number one safety. 

We as a team, we are at a point where we are beyond moral victories. And that was a game we should have won. We expect to win every game we play, and the league title is now realistically within our reach should we play at our potential. 

I am incredibly inspired by these student athletes. 

Our next home game is this Friday at 6pm at the Fairgrounds against league rival Round Valley. We’d love to see a big crowd. It’s sure to be an entertaining and competitive event. 

Coming up: Roseland (away game) at 1pm on Oct. 14. John Swett (in Crockett). Our last home game will be on Friday, October 27 at 6pm against Cornerstone Christian out of Antioch. The last game of the season will be Friday, Nov. 3 in Potter Valley at 6pm.

A FEW MINUTES BEFORE 3pm last Monday afternoon (September 25), Anderson Valley firefighters were dispatched to a vegetation fire near the intersection of Philo Greenwood Road and Highway 128 on property just above Frank’s Firewood. Early reports said the fire was about half an acre and spreading slowly, but wind gusts were threatening to blow it into a nearby home. Apparently the wind had toppled a power line sparking the blaze. Calfire immediately dispatched a fire helicopter as locally-based ground crews converged on the blaze with six or seven units including two new local water tenders. The fire was soon contained then extinguished after burning about three acres. No structures were burned and firefighters emerged unscathed. no injuries. The Calfire chopper had landed on the beach on the nearby Navarro to supplement ground crews. This was the first significant wildland fire of the year for AV firefighters and they responded effectively. Now they are looking forward to beneficial effects of the predicted rain showers expected. to arrive later Monday night to dampen the tinder-dry Anderson Valley. 


Last Monday, September 25, the power went out on Greenwood Road. I happened to be standing at my kitchen window, thank God, looking down my driveway, and saw a huge plume of smoke and within seconds the 100+ foot tall fir tree went up like a torch, with smaller trees erupting soon after. I called 911, and waited for the longest 15 minutes of my life for the trucks to come. With the gusty winds, the fire raced up toward my house, and came within yards of my property, which is full of oaks, firs, and redwoods, as is most of the land around me, all the way to Elk. This had the potential of becoming a major forest fire with my house being the first of many destroyed.

Our fabulous AV volunteers, and Cal Fire, four fire trucks, command trucks, a water tender, along with a helicopter dropping water, a couple of planes, one with retardant, and a bulldozer worked like a well-choreographed team and kept the fire from spreading, then putting it out. It was not the drizzle that we got later that day, but the brave first responders and their quick reaction who kept this event from becoming something we all dread, but live with almost year round.

And so I am sending a huge THANK YOU to those brave folks who raced here, and worked so hard that day to save my house, and prevent any further destruction to my neighbors up the road. I also thank all my wonderful friends who texted me their concern and offers of housing or anything I needed as soon as they heard of this unfolding event. Country life is hard sometimes, especially living alone, but being in such a wonderful community far outweighs any negatives. I am beyond grateful. 

On a final note, I have learned that the engineers who make the decisions for PG&E regarding the installation of the new and highly effective devices that cut power instantly if anything touches the line in order to prevent fires do not deem this area a high fire risk. Really?!!? This is a FOREST, with many homes, as well as a State Park close by.


Dear Friends of The Quiz,

After much deliberation, and even angst, I have decided to take a break from producing and presenting 'The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz' here in Boonville at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn. I am not sure for how long at the point, but certainly a few months, although I may do an occasional ‘Pop-Up Quiz’ in the meantime.

I have been presenting The Quiz here in Anderson Valley for 17 years, since starting in 2006 at The Highpockety Ox through periods of time at The Boonville Lodge, the original Lauren’s, and The Buckhorn. It has been a labor of love and I shall certainly miss the fun and banter of those many nights, but I need a break from the demands of creating such a “show” on such a consistent basis.

I greatly appreciate the support for those evenings by many Valley folks and hopefully such times can be enjoyed once again one day.

“You know it makes sense.”

Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster.

WEDNESDAY WAS OPENING DAY at Geiger’s Market! We truly appreciate the community support and excitement celebrating opening weekend. We were overwhelmed to see so many familiar faces and made lots of new friends. We continue adding more great product choices and expanding our fresh deli, meat and seafood (coming soon!) offerings. More to come at Geiger’s Market! Hopland Has A Grocery Store!!

ROBBIE LANE: I have a guest speaker who is coming to the valley from October 23-26, in order to speak to our High School students about life in the penal system. I’m looking for a place for him to stay. If anyone has some space and is willing to discuss terms, you would be doing the young people of Anderson Valley an invaluable service! Please PM me if you can help.

HELP WANTED. We have three picnic tables at the park that may be eligible for revival if the right volunteers are available to lead the charge! Are you experienced with building tables? - Do you have some available wood boards (and/or nuts and bolts) that may fit the job? - Would you like to be a part of the creative team to repaint the tables when reconstruction is finished? Would you like to donate $$$ to the project?

Please send your contact info to Elizabeth at or text/call 415-713-3833.

It Takes A Valley!

Elizabeth Jensen


You may have noticed the painting on the left on display at Mosswood Market in downtown Boonville. I did, and I would have bought it but it was not for sale. Note the way the neck attaches to the body in both. On the right is the original, "Portrait of Juan Gris by Amedeo Modigliani."


Farm to Table harvest and prep today.

Eggs! So many eggs! Buy some eggs. 

We get a dozen and a half each day! They are so pretty!

Two big bowls of bell peppers and cucumbers that will go to the cafeteria.

Ancho peppers that will be used to make Chile Relleno casserole next week. We have lots of ancho peppers if you are interested.

Apple harvest is coming!

Beth Swehla

Anderson Valley High School

Agriculture Dept.

Boonville, CA 95415

FFA Advisor

707-895-3496 Ext 116 Classroom

707-621-0268 Cell

AVA PHOTOG JEFF GOLL: The sandbar at Navarro Beach has built up so the Navarro River no longer flows to the Ocean. Recent large surf along with all the silt the river brought down has created a substantial bar. Thursday was very nice on the Coast with Friday bringing fog and light rain. The Harvest SuperMoon rose at sunset with a tinge of Orange from the ambient smoke but became clear later on. In National news, the childishness of our wacky representatives in Congress was on display when Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm moments before a vote on a stopgap funding bill to avert government shutdown. You've got to wonder what sane people around the world think of this behavior. Nice but breezy in Mendo. 

AVA PHOTOGRAPHER JEFF GOLL, justly proud of his big wins at the Boonville Fair: 

Yowza, I had a buddy drive me out to the Fair yesterday to see (partially) that out of my five photo entries I had won a First, Second, and Third. The bright, contrasty light was tough but I did get some decent photos. I feel like Donald Pleasence the forger, in the movie “The Great Escape” where he's using a little magnifying glass to see his work. Eye(s) are slowly improving so that's good, though reading anything on a screen is difficult.


Internationally acclaimed Flynn Creek Circus returns to Boonville with a super star line up in their all new show, ‘Desert Myth’! Come enjoy the spectacle under the big top tent at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, October 20th through 22nd.

Featuring wild stunts and mind blowing skills, 'Desert Myth' is an acrobatic thrill ride that draws on a rich history of traditional folklore. Flynn Creek Circus’ distinctive presentation marked by high comedy, modern creativity and playful absurdity promises to exceed expectations.

Follow the Nomad as he journeys into an imaginative desert land looking for an oasis. The Tourist, The Cacti, and the Vultures are some of the colorful characters he meets along the way. This light hearted, comedic tale reflects a thirst for truth in a desolate land of well meaning ‘mis-guides’.

World renown circus artists from Ukraine, Canada and the United States will captivate audiences of all ages. Flynn Creek Circus’ enchanting performances dazzle with unforgettable, animal-free entertainment.

In addition to the family friendly showings, Flynn Creek Circus also presents the wildly popular ‘Adults Only Show’ boasting outrageous acts, dark comedy and an infamous party atmosphere at selected showtimes.

Spectators for all showings are invited to the tent to experience the magic up to 40 minutes before each show. The event will offer beer, wine and light concession for purchase and include a 15 minute intermission during the two hour show.

Tickets for Flynn Creek Circus are now available for purchase online at Individual ticket prices start at $23 or table reservation options start at $84 for two attendees. Early booking is encouraged for this highly anticipated event.

I WAS SURPRISED by a float dedicated to the presidential candidacy of RFK Jr. The Democrats are of course putting in a lot of OT devising ways to keep him out of their dependably rigged “debates,” which Jr would easily win because he's smart, articulate and his Kennedy-ness also makes him kinda charismatic. He's very good on the issues except for his unsupported vaxx opinions and, natch, the usual blind support for Israeli fascism that comes with the Democratic Party in its presently degraded state.

THERE was a third o-dee at the Boonville Fair, and another narcan save. Anderson Valley's emergency responders were kept hopping all weekend with three o-dees, one of them fatal, and a bunch of minor calls. Deputies broke up a fight that might have developed into a melee except for their quick intervention.

BY FAR, the most popular animal was those odd mini-ducks. Every little kid, and a bunch of big kids of the adult type, wants one.


Our Sept 16th fundraiser @ the AV Brewery raised $19,490 for the AV Skatepark Project!

Thank You To the Anderson Valley community (and extended family) who came out in droves to show their support.

Thank You To Assemblymember Wood and his staff for making the event extra special with your presence and presentation of a giant gift for the project.

Thank You To all of the many event sponsors who donated resources to make the event a smash success!

Thank You To the many community volunteers who gave their time and energy to make this event run smoothly.

To get involved or donate go to the Skatepark facebook page.


Dianne Feinstein came to Mendocino twice.

Once for the oil drilling hearings.

Mike G. also recall her walking into the Fort Bragg hearing on offshore oil. She was resplendent in a dark lavender suit, thick hair, and her then regal bearing. “Oh my,” exclaimed a woman near me. “She is a force to be reckoned with.”

National Women's Political Caucus had a Fundraising Event at the Grace Hudson Museum in 1996 when she ran for her 2nd term in the Senate.

MIKE GENIELLA RE FEINSTEIN: As a reporter I can say one thing about her. She personally returned every call I made to her, was direct, and seldom evasive even in the face of tough questions. I remember asking her directly what she thought about Hurwitz. “I have wondered why I am dealing with a Texas wheeler and dealer about old trees.”

He just doesn’t fit into the traditional image of Pacific Lumber, an iconic California company, does he?’ She asked with a throaty chuckle. I also recall her walking into the Fort Bragg hearing on offshore oil. She was resplendent in a dark lavender suit, thick hair, and her then regal bearing. “Oh my,” exclaimed a woman near me. “She is a force to be reckoned with.

A READER WRITES: San Francisco authorities forced Elon Musk to remove a new “X” sign from the front of one former Twitter building because neighbors complained the flashing strobe lights were so bright that it lit up their apartments. But frost fans can disturb thousands of neighbors sleep without our “authorities” making them shut down? As frost fans in the Boonville area did this very morning of October 2nd of no frost. 

ATTENTION PARANOIDS! If a man driving a gray Toyota pulled into your driveway leisurely surveilling your premises and taking pictures, what would you do? Happened here at the mighty ava Tuesday morning.

THINKING BACK about the superintendents of the Boonville schools, a true adventure in memory, our schools have survived the guy who pounded down a fifth of whiskey a day behind the locked door of his office, the guy who was just straight up nuts (Phil Crawford, aka Wobbling Eagle), Mel Boom-Boom Baker was my favorite. Every time I saw the guy, he’d lay a whopper on me, once regaling me with one about how he’d fought Carmen Basilio to a draw. If his stories weren’t so implausibly amusing I’d have been insulted by his assumption that I believed them.

A READER remembers Boom-Boom. “A fellow I met in Boonville really had the answer to indulging in actions which would be classified as verboten on state or federal property. The circumstances which led me to meet this chap in Boonville began when I had the idea to build a homebuilt plane in Little River. I’d been collecting plane components for some time, but when it came to assembling them, I was at a loss. Nobody at the nearby Little River Airport had hands-on experience in building planes, but one fellow suggested I contact the Boonville High School as they had a pretty good aviation program, and what with the principal being an ex-military man, perhaps in the Air Force. 

SO I CALLED the Boonville principal, outlined my interest in visiting the school and accepted his invitation to visit anytime during school hours. Identifying who was the principal walking down the hall was no problem as there was only one person in jump boots and attired like someone who’d just bailed out of a P-38 moving down the runway at a speed known as too fast to taxi and too slow to fly. Obviously his threads weren’t from Botany 500. 

HE WAS AN AMIABLE FELLOW, and after clueing me in on his aviation experience, he gave me a Cook’s tour of the facilities, which included a real good runway adjacent to the school grounds and a shop for repairing dinged planes — they even had a licensed A&E mechanic on the staff (John Merriman) to oversee engine and airframe repairs. I believe he also was a flight instructor. (He was.) However, if he wasn’t the latter, it wouldn’t change the story one way or the other. 

THE WALK AROUND the facilities didn’t last but 20 minutes and we returned to the main school building, at which time the principal suggested we have a cup of coffee and a cigarette. This sounded good to me; I assumed we’d get a cup of coffee and walk out to the sidewalk to smoke as it’s against the law to smoke on school grounds (state property). So I sure was surprised when he opened a door off the hall and inside the room sat a few adults smoking and slurping java to their heart’s content and unconcerned about the principal popping in. No surreptitious smoking in a stall of bathrooms, not with these guys! They had “come out of the closet.” 

READING MY MIND, the principal said he knew the law against smoking on school grounds. But the room the people were smoking in wasn’t school (state) property as he and some of the teachers had BOUGHT the room from the state and they could do with it (or in it) as they damned well pleased! Wow! I can’t vouch for the veracity of the room being legally sold to the aforementioned folks and not being subject to state laws, but for damned sure they were lighting up and I wouldn’t say this unless I had actually been in the scene. “

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