Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley People (November 10, 2023)

LEMONS MARKET, PHILO, is getting hit hard by shoplifters. This morning, Matt Lemons, showed me a clip from the market's security camera that shows a van carelessly, or drunkenly, or stoned, or all three, battering up against the store's porch, then several young people spilling into the store to help themselves to the goods. A couple of the thieves have been identified. Matt and I agreed that we need a resident deputy. Bad. We were spoiled by having Deputy Squires for many years, followed by the just as intrepid, Craig Walker. Either Squires or Walker would have identified the thieves immediately, and the thieves would have already made restitution. And wouldn't do it in the first place because they knew the deputies would nail them pronto. Our resident deputies always knew who did what, but when Squires retired and Walker left for a cop job in the Bay Area, the Valley's petty crooks were unleashed. Sheriff Kendall is short of deputies, and suffers the ongoing problem of deputies leaving for much better paying jobs in other counties, even leaving the Sheriff's Department for better paying jobs in Ukiah (!). The present supervisors, being in a state of disarray of their own making, it's unlikely that pay for Mendo deputies will be improved until these supervisors are replaced by capable, conscientious people.

The Poplars At Indian Creek Bridge, Philo, A True American Beauty Spot

RANDY BURKE of Gualala writes: Say, I finally got around to reading ‘Walking Tractor’ by B. Patterson. I recall in days gone by that he was headed to Oregon/Washington. I don't do Facebook or Instagram, but thought I would check in with you and the Maj on how the old boy is doing.

ED NOTE: Last we heard, Patterson was living in Prineville, Eastern Oregon.

BOONVILLE OLD TIMER: Anyone remember these plates of the old high school? I think they were used to raise money for something. Brings back memories.

ANNE FASHAUER is my go-to person on housing policy, so I went to her for her perspective on whatever short-term rental ordinance may be forthcoming from the Supervisors:

I actually don't have a huge problem with short term rentals. For a property owner it is a great way to pay off any loan because long term rentals just don't bring in as much income. Tenants for short term also do less damage typically to the property than long term ones do. I do think that the way the town of Mendocino has set it up is good because they kept the town from becoming only short term rentals and really less of a town than a resort. 

What I would really like to know is how many there are out there and how much they are actually impacting the housing shortage. I think there are more vacant homes (I can think of at least four on Anderson Valley Way) that the owners are not using and not renting at all to anyone and I think that is likely more of a problem. 

Do we need more regulation re short term rentals? Probably. But do I think you should have to get a major use permit to do one? No, that is onerous. If the taxes are enforced, these should be bringing in more money to the County (which should be a good thing, if only the money wasn't so poorly managed, but that's a different issue).

My solution for the housing shortage is to allow for more than two homes on any parcel, so long as there is sufficient water and septic for more homes. The caveat would be that the third home (assuming allowing more than three is probably a non-starter) has to be rented for 30 or more days. That way you could do a short term rental if you wanted and make some good income and also provide housing.

Unless someone has the data that shows the short term rentals are in fact causing the housing shortage, I don't think it should be limited. 

Another concern I have is that if buyers couldn't use their property as a short term rental they will look elsewhere to buy, impacting an already tough market for folks trying to sell, likely devaluing properties as well. I think housing is more of an issue, but I also think anything that impacts property owner's ability to sell should be considered. 

Finally, I think that while there are some folks who don't live here that do short term rentals, I also know people who live here who do them to supplement their income. We need to be wary of how this regulation could impact what are in fact good neighbors who are vital to our County.

By Fits And Starts, Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, Rises


D. William Jewelers (Retiring After 41 Years!)

508 E. Perkins St.,

Ukiah, California. 95482


Rod's Shoes (Retiring After 37 Years!),

520 E. Perkins St.,

Ukiah, California 95482

Pear Tree Center.

Hurry in for best selection


The Mendo County DA calls himself the “chief law enforcement officer” (CLEO) and your paper keeps repeating that line. But is that correct? | always thought the CLEO was the Sheriff. Law enforcement is in the executive branch of government. Surely District Attorney is the judicial branch, no?

I haven’t found a definitive answer to this, as it relates to California, in an online search. However Sheriff Brigades of Pennsylvania has posted an article that is very clear.

Perhaps you can write something about this?

I admit I’d love to see the blowhard DA “taken down a peg.”

And thanks for your great work keeping after the Supervisors. What would we-the-people do without you?

From Brigades’ article:

“The District Attorney (DA) is the chief prosecutor in the County. Though elected, the DA: must be an attorney; holds the “Office of attorney at law” (Title 42, Section 2521); is an officer of the courts and reports to the State Supreme Court. (Article V, Section 10 ( c ) of the “1968 Pennsylvania Constitution’); cannot arrest anyone; etc. The District Attorney is clearly a member of the Judicial Branch of government. If there is any “separation of powers” today, the DA could not possibly be part of the Executive Branch of a constitutional republic.

“The Sheriff is the lawful Chief Executive Officer and highest Peace Officer of the entire County in which he or she was elected. Unlike the State Police and Municipal Police, the Sheriff reports directly to the Citizens of the County. in today’s terms, the Sheriff is the “Chief Law Enforcement Officer’ (CLEO) of the County.”

ANDERSON VALLEY football takes care of business in Potter Valley 57-30. The playoffs await - stay tuned.

— Coach John Toohey


AV football has earned its first postseason game since 2016 - and will be competing in its first playoff tournament since 2008. We will be heading once again to Crocket to take on John Swett this Friday at 7pm. Earlier this year, we travelled to Swett High School (Crockett) during the regular season and after sitting on the sideline for over two hours awaiting the refs, and being forced into playing ten minute quarters, we lost by just four points as time ran out on our final drive. Our Section Championship run begins NOW.

(Coach John Toohey)

The Elementary School's New Look, Brought To Us By District Painter, Miguel Rodriguez 


SF Waldorf 1 - Anderson Valley 0

It was a gritty, hard-fought battle that epitomized the essence of our soccer season. Facing off against San Francisco Waldorf, a formidable opponent from a larger population center, our team showed unwavering determination and the true spirit of AVHS as they fought to the bittersweet end of an amazing season.

The challenges were immense, but our players displayed unparalleled resilience. Each pass, each tackle, and every shot on goal was a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence on the pitch. In the face of adversity, our team once again proved that they belong among the best.

Soccer at AVHS has become a symbol of our dedication and our unyielding pursuit of success. With a championship pedigree, we have not only etched our names into the history of the Northern Coast Section, but also fostered a culture of continuous improvement.

This season, we witnessed the rediscovery of that commitment to excellence, a blazing passion that never waned. It's not just about the wins; it's about the heart and soul our athletes pour into the game. They've shown that soccer is not just a sport at AVHS; it's a way of life, a symbol of our school's resilience, determination, and undying spirit.

Our team's performance at Tom Smith Field was more than just a soccer game; it was a reflection of the values and character of our school. The end of this season is not an end at all; it's the beginning of a new chapter in our journey towards greatness. Soccer continues to stand as one of the premiere athletic programs at AVHS, and the legacy it has built upon is a testament to the power of unity, hard work, and the pursuit of excellence.

AVHS Soccer Ace, Eric Perez (photo by Leilani Bucio)


Wow! The Chili Cook Off exceeded our expectations! Great turn out! Thank you to the contestants, AVSC Board, Bob V., SBMC crew: Violet, Ericha and Rhonda and of course everyone who came out to support! This may be a new annual event. Extra special thanks to Savings Bank of Mendocino County and Larry Liebig for their sponsorship!

— Renee Lee, Senior Center Director

FROM THE MENDOCINO BEACON of July 1st, 1899: “Superintendent Barbee has furnished the following figures regarding the number of children in Mendocino County: Number of white children between five and seventeen years of age: Boys, 2607; Girls, 2,373. Number of negro children: Boys, 1; Girls, 3. Number of Indian children whose parents or guardians pay taxes or who have severed tribal relations: Boys, 69; Girls, 46. White children under 5 years, 1743; Indian, 41; Mongolian, 1.” 

‘Mongolian,’ circa 1899, meant anything from Asian to Down’s Syndrome, but this glimpse of the ethnic preoccupations of those times is a measure of how far we've come in matters of ethnic identifications, rhetorically anyway. 


As we move into the cooler months... we hope you'll come join us for some beautiful new drinks from our bar on nights the restaurant is open.

Along with Friday and Saturday evenings 4-6, we are offering a simple bar menu, perfect for a light meal.

You should all know about our Sunday Evening Dinner Series:

Ramen Night!

Five courses highlighting the talents of our own Luis Peña. Sunday, November 26th

Minus Tide Winemaker Dinner

Join us for 4 courses paired with some of our favorite local winemakers: Brad and Miriam Sunday, December 3rd we're serving our prix fixe menu Fridays thru Mondays during the cooler months.

Perry posts the menu online Wednesday afternoons for the upcoming weekends.

Save your table

Little bits of joy for the holidays 

Thursday, December 7th @ 5:30 we're hosting our annual tree

lighting party to raise funds for the Anderson Valley Food Bank's Holiday Season.

Gather around the fire with cups of soup, cheese biscuits, and cookies while The Real Sarah's sing their sweet holiday carols. And a bit more good cheer ~

Boonville Hotel gift certificates are available online . we are sweetening the gift giving by adding 10% more value to each certificate purchased between Thanksgiving day and the first day of 2024. Certificates can be used for future room stays, the restaurant, offspring, Paysanne, gifts, wine retail — anything the Boonville Hotel has to offer.

We've been here 35 years, and are planning for another 35 ~ thank you for being part of it all. Hope to see you soon!

Little bits of joy for the holidays 

Thursday, December 7th @ 5:30 we're hosting our annual tree lighting party to raise funds for the Anderson Valley Food Bank's Holiday Season.

Gather around the fire with cups of soup, cheese biscuits, and cookies while The Real Sarah's sing their sweet holiday carols. And a bit more good cheer ~

The Boonville Hotel and Restaurant

“It's about people, food, drink, and a well-made bed” 

The Boonville Hotel and Restaurant

14050 California Highway 128


PO Box 326, Boonville, CA 95415

EARLY LAST THURSDAY MORNING, before we could get the week’s generous helping of pure truth to a thirsting world, we received this message: [Investigating] We're currently looking into an issue affecting the connectivity to the DreamHost Web Panel and all services on our PDX1 datacenter. We are closely monitoring the situation and will be posting periodic updates as further information becomes available.”

WHICH translated to me as, “The mysterious and often malign forces who have us all in their merciless grasp have, for reasons I'm unable to decode, shut us down.”

BOB ABELES put it plain: The AVA website is down, but it's not just you. Your hosting service, Dreamhost, had a power failure at their Portland datacenter that has taken down thousands of websites. No ETA on when they'll be back up.”

THE MYSTERY WONKS, or wanks, had us re-attached to cyber world by about 2pm. Two hours later we're still attached and confident — check that — prayerful we will remain attached.

WILDLIFE FIGHTS BACK. Years ago, a Deepender told me about a hummingbird that attacked him so relentlessly over a period of days that he couldn’t sit on his porch without the bird hurling itself at him, eerily aiming at the guy’s eyes. Finally, in utter exasperation, as the darting bird hovered ominously outside that vic's door waiting for him to emerge so it could get at him again, the besieged deepender blasted his tormenter with his ten gauge from behind his screen door. “I had to buy a new door, but that damn thing was scary!”

WHEN I had the energy, I used to run for elected office simply to get a few rhetorical shots in at what I and my fellow ten percenters regarded and still regard as The Enemy. I ran for the local school board a number of times, each time making what my mother was kind enough to describe as a “respectable showing.” 

WAY BACK, I was actually elected to the Boonville school board when a drop-fall drunk by the name of Peterson was installed as superintendent although he had turned up loaded for his interview, a fact noted by yours truly and Joan Burroughs. We were nevertheless outvoted 3-2 by our fellow trustees who thought it was impossible that a professional “educator” could be so heedless of the impression he made that he'd turn up staggeringly loaded for a job interview.

THIS WAS YEARS before a couple of professional educators at the County Office of Education were packed off to jail for making pornographic films starring Ukiah teenagers, and the Superintendent of Schools himself did some county time for various forms of theft and credit card fraud. Among other thrilling crimes, he ordered a full-sized printing press for the school district’s print shop from his brother in the midwest, paying top dollar, of course.

ANYWAY, the drunk was placed in charge of Anderson Valley’s tiny contribution to Our Nation’s Future. I felt kinda sorry for the guy, frankly, but as one of five persons responsible for the local educational mission it didn't seem “appropriate,” as the liberals deem everything from mass murder to bad table manners, that the school system should be funding the guy in charge while he drank himself to death.

OUR BESOTTED LEADER passed most of his work hours locked in his office at the high school pounding down fifths of whiskey, a fact soon noted by the student body. 

THE DRUNK'S masochistic wife had quickly ingratiated herself with the local power structure — the Methodists — and even the sot pulled himself together to attend weekly services, probably sending silent but fervent prayers to Bacchus to keep the booze flowing, as the rest of the congregation embraced his suffering wife and their slippery Methodism. 

I IMMEDIATELY clashed with the drunk and the teachers who were the kind of people who would support Charles Manson in the top spot so long as he didn’t interfere with them. The faculty backed the drunk although he was oblivious to the local educational mission while an exasperated Lovella Sand, the school secretary, valiantly ran the district in lieu of the superintendent. 

THE SUPER and his missus had no trouble convincing the Methodists that I was a dangerous bolshevik, not permitting me to explain that I was to the left of most communists but had always admired John Wesley. 

THE TEACHERS, organized by a pudgy hysteric called Mr. Burble Gurble, joined the Methodists for a recall election and my fling with public office was over. I’d lasted about six months. The charge against me was “negativity.” 

SOON AFTER my removal from one-fifth elected responsibility for the Boonville schools, there was a student uprising during which a number of teen insurgents climbed onto the roof of the high school from where they sprayed their classmates with water hoses through the ceiling vents as their ground floor peers, all male, ran the school’s single hallway merrily thumbing their noses at the teachers vainly attempting to restore order. An alarmed school person called me to come to the campus to help restore order. “I'm busy. Sorry, good luck.” 

THE SUPERINTENDENT was of course passed out behind the locked door of his office, most of the teachers had fled, although a student told me two of them were “making out behind the gym,” which was entirely likely at the time as all manner of untoward on-campus occurrences were routine at Boonville Disunified in the early 1970s. 

A POSSE of administrators had to be summoned from their day beds at the County Office at Talmage to take charge of the Boonville premises. 

DURING these uproarious days a large segment of the county's residents were still in their hippie phase, which partly explains why for years I had a very difficult time keeping a straight face in the presence of Mendo authority, one of whom mooned me, inadvertently but memorably. She of course went on to become a local school board trustee, proceeding from there to a lush career in school administration. 

LIFE went on, as did our schools where, today, we seem to have lucked into what has to be one of the most capable, if not the most capable, school superintendents in the state. I have to wonder how much of this tumultuous history she knows, or cares to know. Mr. Burble Gurble is still around. I'm sure he'd argue with most of it.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *