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Valley People (October 29, 2023)


Wonderful News for Anderson Valley. Hospice of Ukiah, having served the valley for 42 years with one “volunteer,” a RN nurse coordinator, is expanding services. It has been difficult for our Ukiah based medical staff to cover the large area.  As the community grows and ages, more comprehensive Hospice and Palliative Care is needed.  

A group of dedicated volunteers lead by Judy Nelson, RN and Dr. Mark Apfel, have been raising money and training to be Respite Volunteers. We are ready now to employ a very part time RN or LVN as nurse coordinator, and a part time Personal Care Assistant. Both positions could be filled by the same person.  

Neither job will provide enough hours or salary at first. But, the rewards to the heart are great and the job will grow with the needs of the community.  There is immense satisfaction in giving comfort and practical assistance to our aging neighbors, or those with long term illness.  

Please call if you have an interest in either volunteering or applying for one or both position.  707 462-4038. 

Janet Denninger, Executive Director, Hospice of Ukiah. (707) 621-4307


Calling all crafters and holiday elves! The Anderson Valley Unity Club is now accepting vendors to sell their wares at the Holiday Bazaar on December 9th, 2023 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville.

Rent a booth for only $35 to sell your crafty creations and unique gifts to eager shoppers who are looking to buy local goods.

Space is limited, so reserve your space soon. First come, first served.

Reserve with Elizabeth Wyant at 707-272-3192

WHAT EVER HAPPENED to Arlene Lind of Little River? She came up with an effective deer repellant she called “Not Tonight, Deer.” The purely organic mix of dehydrated, aged eggs and white pepper is mixed with water and sprayed on the vegetation backyard gardeners most want to protect from the four-footed marauders and, according to a gardener I know, did what Ms. Lind said it would do. Maybe she made so much dough she retired up the road in Mendo.

This vehicle fire today in Philo was stopped quickly, thanks to quick thinking on the part of the driver and passenger, who noticed the issue and pulled over immediately, and thanks to an anonymous UPS driver with a fire extinguisher. When AVFD and CalFire arrived, the fire was stopped. 

(AV Fire Department)

BETH SWEHLA: A colleague of mine was at the Evergreen Cemetery today eating her lunch. This kitty just jumped in her car. It purred and purred. It was very affectionate and very hungry. This is not the first time she has seen the cat. She did give it some cat food. Anybody recognize this kitty?

DENISE MATTEI identified the cat as “Cemetery Cat,” that CC had been a regular presence at Evergreen Cemetery for several years.

LESS THAN TWENTY YARDS to the south of Evergreen is a feral cat feeding station. The wild things live full-time across AV Way at the old June property.

FROM FRIDAY'S CHRON: .... Authorities are offering up to $150,000 for information about two separate incidents where robbers targeted mail carriers in San Francisco’s Mission District. On Thursday afternoon, multiple suspects confronted a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier near the intersection of 23rd Street and Hampshire Street and took their postal keys, according to Matthew Norfleet, a postal inspector and spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s San Francisco division....

THAT WOULD BE Matthew Norfleet, AVHS graduate and the son of the late David Norfleet and Linda Filer of Philo. Mathew married Maya Durrett of Yorkville, also a graduate of AVHS. Maya and David make their home in San Francisco.

USED TO BE we had a branch bank in Boonville, and a drug store, and a fightin' bar, and a high school marching band, and a resident deputy, and a justice court with our own elected judge. Take all of the above away and the question is, are we a community or merely affinity groups strung out along Highway 128? 

I ASKED Chloe Guazzone, the administrator of the Anderson Valley Health Center if the HC's drug store was available to walk-ins: “No, we are classified as a dispensary and can only dispense to our patients. It's a much bigger operation to keep a full service pharmacy running. We try to limit the amount of drugs we dispense.” 

SHERIFF KENDALL, shorthanded as always, has assured us that Anderson Valley will eventually get a resident deputy. His problem is that soon after he gets a likely prospect, the prospect, having been trained and having gotten some on-the-job experience, leaves the Sheriff's Department for a much better paying job with Sonoma County or even Ukiah, the latter paying nice bonuses for new officers. 

STATE TEST SCORES reveal that only about a quarter of County students are up to state standards in language and math proficiency, but Anderson Valley's English scores have improved since the arrival of our remarkable superintendent, Louise Simson. She has also managed to get the funds for a major rehab of our aged school facilities and, to top off her recent accomplishments, Ms. Simson has obtained a major CalTrans grant for an all-weather playing field and track, this last a boon for the entire Anderson Valley community.

IS THERE A HYDROLOGIST in the house? A reader writes: 

“It is incomprehensible to me that the State Water Resources Control Board has not followed such critical parameters as fluctuations in the water table and transpiration volumes of the vegetation. At present the total acreage in vineyard in The Valley is about 2500 acres, which might represent 200-300 acre aspiration feet a year. This is a very rough estimate based on about 500 wicks per acre. Grapes are much less work than apples and can be dry-farmed because of their very deep main (tap) root. There are a few surface roots that compete for moisture and nutrients, hence the use of herbicides.” THE APRIL 21st 1899 edition of the Mendocino Dispatch-Democrat reported that “Ukiah now has two daily trains to and from San Francisco. The evening train came in Saturday night at 8:30. The morning train leaves at 5:20.” 


We received unfortunate news last week: the AVCSD's AV Community Park Development Plan (including skatepark) application for the CalTrans Clean California Local Grant Program was not granted. 

(Anderson Valley did, however, receive one of the largest Clean CA grants in the state, with $4.7 million granted to AV School District for development of an all-weather track and field, which will serve as a wonderful resource for the community.)

While disappointing, this setback does not mean a skatepark in Boonville will not happen! The AV Skatepark Project has raised nearly $300,000, and community support and excitement for the project has been tremendous. We'll keep riding the momentum and find funding elsewhere to make this project a reality.

Next steps: We are currently working on reformulating projected costs and will establish new phased fundraising goals. We will then initiate a renewed fundraising campaign in hopes of securing funds through a combination of private donations and grants. Stay tuned! (Noor Dawood)

RICK HINDMAN: “Not sure if this was general knowledge, the model train museum (next to The Skunk station) has a small library you can check books out from. Just finished a couple of small historical books dealing with the history of the town of Mendocino and the Point Cabrillo Light Station. Both had some fascinating info about this area. Fun fact… the streets in Mendocino were named for the local townships (east/west), and the first settlers (north/south ).”

DON’T THROW AWAY PUMPKINS after Halloween. Find woods or a field near you, smash them open and leave for the wildlife to eat. Pumpkin is safe for them and the seeds act as a natural dewormer. (Be sure to break them up so the deer don’t get their head stuck inside!) 2.5 billion pumpkins produced, only one fifth gets reused. The rest end up decaying in landfills. So recycle those pumpkins to the wildlife (or even to a wildlife rehab if there’s one near you)

THERE are lots of interesting monographs by Mendo old timers still available from the County’s various historical societies. One of my favorites is, “The History of Alderpoint, A Narrative by Ray Mathison.” Mr. Mathison, whose family lived in Anderson Valley for a few of the Depression years, describes life on the Eel River at the turn of the century up through the 1960s. Mathison’s descriptions of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in the period before World War Two were especially interesting; the line served as inland Mendo’s primary means of north-south travel between Eureka and San Francisco with two trains a day both ways and full-time maintenance crews of a dozen or so men posted every twenty miles in the Eel River Canyon. Most intriguing of all, Mathison informs us that at one time near the turn of the century the Eel’s flow was great enough for a supply scow to navigate it all the way to Scotia. A horse pulled the scow over the summer low spots in the mighty river. 


The AV Adult School is partnering with First 5 Mendocino to offer a series of positive parenting seminars starting on Thursday, November 2nd.

These are free sessions, and dinner and childcare will be provided!

This series covers parenting strategies including the power of positive parenting, raising resilient children, and raising competent, confident children. Come to get tips on dealing with some of the challenges of parenting, ask questions about specific issues, and learn about the Positive Parenting Program. Parents and caregivers of children of all ages are welcome!

Thursdays- November 2, 9th, and 16th 5:30-7:15 at AVES in room 18. For more information or to confirm your attendance, call or text Cora Hubbert at (707) 515-8440 or email

Please note: This series of workshops will be held in English.

One Comment

  1. Irv Sutley October 29, 2023

    Great advice on pumpkins. being repurposed on the upcoming Pagan holy day and with only 2 daydreaming days remaining before Mendocino’s witch worshipping take down their gourd accoutrements. it is time to spred the word of this potion to neighbors, clans, and your email distribution lists. Others who worship the skygod ELON45 should chant XXXXXXXXXXXXX forward and backwards 13 times. Maybe some of those us remaining peasantry can contact pumpkin stand operators to pass out missives and perhaps poster the stands with posters. And up at the dump, the eldest of the Mannix brothers speak to the incoming to act as an advocate fr the new Prayer Book. –

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