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Valley People (November 4, 2023)

COACH JOHN TOOHEY'S ROARING PANTHERS: AV defeated Cornerstone Christian from Antioch 58-40 on Friday night. Cornerstone played within six points of undefeated inevitable league champs Roseland last week, but last night they could not keep up with us.

Captains Jack Spacek, Sam Guerrero, Gus Spacek

Jack Spacek was an absolute terror on both sides of the ball. He and Ehndy Perez defensively set a physical tone to the game that felt like we had stepped through a wormhole back to the 1990s. To Cornerstones credit, they battled and chased us all night. Our kids were just far too relentless and far too consistent on offense to allow them within less than 2 possessions at any point in the second half. 

Eric Perez snagged two interceptions and was dynamic on the perimeter as a runner. Trenton Rossi, active for his first game after missing most of the season with a broken finger, recorded a successful conversion run, a 40 yard catch on a skinny post, and a big QB sack at an important point in the game. Our guards Sam Guerrero and Greg Para, punished their ends and linebackers on our powers and long traps. Gus Spacek cleared our off tackle lanes giving our runners a clear open canvas to paint themselves a masterpiece in offensive football last night. 

The defense is beginning to make a claim for the stingiest in the league. I’d be willing to make that claim outright had we not missed some open field tackles against Swett. And last night we had some mental lapses over pursuing from the back side allowing Cornerstone to score three consecutive times on a what is their version of a split zone cutback. We were unable to adjust with technique so we adjusted with alignment and their last offensive gasp dissolved. 

We are playing our best football right now. I am truly hoping we get some post season games because this team is executing on a technical level I’ve not had in AV since probably the 2011 squad down in Kezar on Halloween night. 

Friday night was special. Given our new sports complex that will be built where the current soccer field is, that could very have well been the last exclamation mark on the story of football at the fairgrounds. It’s an appropriate one, as it was a fourth quarter forfeit to Cornerstone in 2018 that laid this program down to rest for what I thought was for good. Now half a decade later these seniors have avenged that collapse. 

STOPPED in at Geiger's new market in Hopland last week, and I'm here to tell you it's quite impressive, a full-service grocery store which should save Hoplanders long round trips either north or south to do their basic shopping.

A LOCAL WRITES: I pulled over 3 times on my way to work today…. A rainy day in the Anderson Valley after harvest is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen…. This is the stretch between Navarro and Philo on Hwy 128

THE ANDERSON VALLEY volleyball team, a perennial small school power, is again in the playoffs, with a match against Ferndale Wednesday in Ferndale. I'm assuming our soccer team is, as always, winning a bunch.


Congratulations to Anderson Valley Junior High Volleyball Team and coach, for becoming the Champions in Sunday’s tournament.

It was a very close game against Mendocino but I’m glad they pulled through with the win! It was a fun day watching the girls play all the teams on Sunday!

The AV varsity Volleyball team wrapped up another amazing season in the second round of the NCS championships, falling to the number one seed private academy St. Bernard’s in Eureka. An amazing day to punctuate an amazing season.


We are hiring! Part-time position to start - please pass this to anyone you think might be interested. Thank you all for the tremendous community support for our work.

Conservation Director Job Opportunity

Anderson Valley Land Trust (AVLT) seeks a dynamic and experienced Conservation Director to move the organization to a new and more proactive conservation phase. This individual will be responsible for the core work of conservation and community engagement with a focus on conservation easement management, development and acquisition; will be the lead in grant writing to seek conservation easement funding; and will support the organization’s fundraising and donor development efforts. The Conservation Director will be the ambassador of the organization and must enjoy being part of the community and working directly with local and regional partner organizations. Initially this position will be half-time with potential to expand to full-time.

You can find more specific information about the job opportunity and our organization at If interested, please send a cover letter and your resume to Application deadline is November 17.

AL GOFF: Looking to stock up on wood for the winter? Remember: A cord is the amount of wood that, when “racked and well stowed” (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching, and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 square meters)… width times height times length. A pickup truck cannot hold a cord of firewood. An eight-foot' truck bed can only hold one-half of a cord, while a six-foot bed can barely hold one-third of a cord. Most consumers get grossly ripped off.

A READER WRITES: This past weekend we went looking for mushrooms, what we found was a huge pile of trash on the way to the Fishrock dump site. Whoever’s doing it: you think you could take it all the way and pay the fee next time instead of blighting our beautiful coast!

AV CSD NEEDS AN Admin Assistant - 20 Hours/Week

The Anderson Valley Community Services District (AVCSD) is a small government entity located in Boonville. We serve the small towns of Yorkville, Boonville, Philo and Navarro. We are made up of a Fire Department, Airport, Street Lighting, and Recreation Department and are also potentially adding water and wastewater services in the next few years. We are seeking a part-time detail-oriented candidate to fill the position of Administrative Assistant. Qualified applicants will possess a knowledge of Microsoft programs, good communication skills, and be comfortable interacting with the public. Bilingual applicants encouraged to apply. For a full job description go to

Please email resume and cover letter to


Dear Friends of Hedgehog Books.

As you likely know by now, Hedgehog Books will not re-open, primarily due to a projected long recovery after my surgery 6 months ago. I wanted to let you know that I will be selling sale books as long as the sign is out and the weather holds.

The books are stellar, and the bargains are fantastic! Books outside on the deck are 50 cents each or $5 per bag. Inside books are 1/2 price - most used books will be $1.50, and new books will be 50% off the cover price. If you still have shop credit, even better! Come on in and use it up! Or come on by to say farewell to the hedgehogs. I have loved every moment of the past 5 years of Hedgehog Books, and I'm so sad to say goodbye.

I will keep my hand in the book business by continuing to procure books for folks, so if you have any special orders, feel free to drop me an email, and I will be happy to find what you're looking for.

Wishing you all the best. With gratitude for your support and book-ish enthusiasm,

Dawn Emery Ballantine 

Hedgehog Books 


BILL KIMBERLIN: Driving down to Boonville for coffee this morning I tried to capture the fog lifting in the Valley. Sometimes there is nothing more dramatic than nature itself.


Huge Arker Day. After twelve long months spent barrel aging and acquiring the superhuman strength of 15.5% ABV, Huge Arker Day welcomes back the Huge Arker on November 4th. Mark your calendars and get ready for Huge Arker!

The Origins Of Barkley

Barkley has been our mascot for as long as we can remember, but we still get asked about where exactly the “Boonville Beer” originated from. We dug into the archives to bring you everything we know... One thing we know for sure is that Halloween is their favorite holiday!



Holiday Fun: Sunday November 5th and Sunday November 26th, 2023 1-4p:

Welcome the Holiday Season with Candle Making festivities. Bring your family and create a festive candle for your holidays. Cookies and Cider will add to the fun on these winter afternoons. Little Red Schoolhouse museum, 12340 Highway 128, Boonville FREE

Upcoming Oak and Thorn Presents Concerts

November 5 - The Tannahill Weavers at the Caspar Community Center


February 16 - Cantrip at the Caspar Community Center March 13 - Kevin Burke, Nuala Kennedy, and Eamon O'Leary at the Little River Inn April 11 - Genticorum at the Caspar Community Center April 18 - Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas at the Little River Inn

October 4 - Daimh at the Caspar Community Center

WAYNE McGIMSEY. I was thinking about Wayne the other day because his passing was one more link to a vanished Anderson Valley. A kind and gentle man, Mr. McGimsey was among The Valley’s most knowledgeable historians and perhaps its most precise geographer. “Wayne,” as he preferred to be called, knew every spring, creek, Indian village site, every old trail in Anderson Valley and seemed to have a story about each of them. He had worked at a wide variety of jobs in purely local industries which have either disappeared — such as tan bark harvesting — or are no longer done the way Wayne learned them. The lean, perpetually amused descendent of pioneer settlers, Wayne carried his work history in his hands, which were as large and gnarly as old catcher’s mitts. Wayne had worked as a faller when there were still old trees to be taken down; he’d herded cattle through the middle of Boonville to the Cloverdale train station; he’d run sheep in the days ranchers camped in the hills with their flocks and had bred famous lines of the amazing dogs that worked the sheep; he’d hunted bear not far from the Yorkville Post Office; and he’d fished in the not quite mythical days when the salmon ran in Anderson Valley’s streams “so thick you could walk across them to the other side.” And he was still cutting his own firewood and rolling his own Bugle cigarettes until his last housebound months. Many artifacts of the old days now on exhibit at the Boonville Fairgrounds (directly across the street from his house) were donated to the community by the old outdoorsman who’d spent many hours of his life roaming The Valley collecting everything from Indian spear heads to old logging tools. Wayne was as generous with his time as he was with his marvelous collections of local history’s tangibles. His passing is mourned by people throughout Mendocino County who knew him as one of the last true old timers, born, raised and buried in Anderson Valley.

“THEY” SAY there are only six degrees of separation from someone we know. Applying this dubious standard to our population of 332 million people, have some association with every sixth person. Bill Boger at Jack's Valley Store, has considerably narrowed these odds. A graduate of Carlmont High School in 1967, and U.C. Santa Cruz in 1971, since buying the store in Philo from the original Jack Clow, Bill has encountered a group of locals who came to the Anderson Valley from the same area of the San Francisco Peninsula.

WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN? Not in Anderson Valley it won’t. Mike Reeves, long-time resident of Boonville, wrestled on the same Serra High School team as Rick Rajeski, also of Boonville. Mike wrestled at 135 pounds, pounds, Rajeski at “unlimited.” Rajeski also played varsity football as a sophomore at Serra High School. Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann was one year behind Reeves at Serra High School. “Swann was a great guy!,” Reeves recalls. Rajeski went on to play football at the Division One college level, later becoming a career CHP Officer. Officer Rajeski retired in Boonville. after over 20 years. 

FRITZ OHM. Bill Boger met Fritz in Anderson Valley but knew of him when they both lived in the Pescadero/LaHonda area. Bill and Bill Meyer, a graduate of San Carlos High School, had friends in common in Half Moon Bay. Mike Reeves derives from San Mateo County and is a graduate of Serra High School where he probably knew, or certainly knew of, Rick Rajeski, a football star at Serra, with whom Bill had friends in common. John Phillips of Deerwood Meadows is a Palo Alto High School graduate. Bill had friends in common with the late Hayes and Linda Brennan who came north from LaHonda. And there's Mark Rawlins of the Mailliard Ranch and a graduate of Menlo/Atherton High School, and Jim Boudoures and Dennis Toohey, also of the fertile Peninsula. Most unusual, and much closer than 6 degrees, Bill rented a room from local guy David Butler in San Diego in 1971 and, wait for it, shared a girlfriend with David Skilman. But not at the same time, Bill hastens to add.


We are pushing for the playoffs - with late season games come weather. With weather comes mud.  Here’s the issue, modern cleats are designed for turf fields and cake in the mud.  If you have any old replaceable 7 stud detachable style cleats in the bottom of a closet somewhere or in storage and could donate them to our team, it may be the difference in a game.  Again - these are 7 stud cleats that can be screwed in and unscrewed. 

Thank you! (Coach Toohey, AVHS)

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