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Valley People (Oct 15, 2014)

AT LAST the four-mile stretch of Highway 128 between Boonville and Philo is being repaved. Nearly two years ago, Caltrans had scraped and pitted the roadbed then, for mysterious reasons known only to Big Orange, left it that way. And left us with cracked windshields and worn down tires.

LOTS OF PEOPLE are hauling water in the Anderson Valley at upwards of $300 a load, while everyone else holds daily vigils around their wells and springs. Another year of drought and…

JENDI COURSEY, a Ukiah-based public relations person, has been hired by the Anderson Valley Health Center “to help them share their news with the community. I would like to keep you informed of newsworthy activities, starting with the hiring of a new CEO and family doctor.”

MS. COURSEY duly produced a sis boom bah press release that deftly ignores recent turmoil. It begins merrily and bubbles on to the giddily optimistic conclusion that the Health Center's prospects in an actual context of insurmountable debt, the usual incompetent board of self-selected and admin-supine trustees characteristic of public life in Mendocino County, a purge of long-time employees, and a declining customer base, many of those customers permanently estranged from the Center because of recent, thug-like orchestrations, is rosy indeed.

(EVER SEE that hilarious movie from the 1950s starring the wonderful Vincent Price? Whenever things get unpleasant we hear the muzak-like pluckings of a harp as Price zones out in a self-induced trance until the unpleasantness passes. Ladies and Germs, your local boards of directors.)

THE PRESS RELEASE equivalent of the movie begins, “Long known for its commitment to the community and its residents, Anderson Valley Health Center (AVHC) has overcome a challenging transition and is on its way to a bright future…”

WHICH WE'VE PARED down to its essentials: AVHC has hired a new CEO and a new doctor. Shannon Spiller is the new CEO. Before joining the AVHC staff, Spiller worked in health care administration as the Assistant Medical Director for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Health Service in Cass Lake, Minnesota.

THE NEW DOCTOR is Logan McGhan, a board-certified family practice doctor. McGhan finished his residency earlier this year and began working at AVHC in late August. His wife is from Michoacán. She and the doc have a son. Dr. Mark Apfel, the main man at the Center since its inception, “shared his enthusiasm at finding someone to help him care for the people in the community he loves. ‘I’m not ready to retire yet, but I’m glad to know the community will be in good hands when I do’.”

TRANSLATION: THE DOOMED MAN read from a statement prepared by his captors minutes before his decapitation.

MUCH INDEBTED to Bonnie Clark Johnson of Rancho Navarro for her professionally rendered photographs of Friday night's big homecoming game between arch-rivals Mendocino and Anderson Valley. Bonnie, a part-time resident of Rancho Navarro, is a retired police department crime scene photographer.

FREE EYE EXAMS FOR ALL. At the AV Elementary school preschool building on Wednesday, the 15th 7:30-11:30am and 5:30-8:30pm. Prescription check and medical exam for any adults who walk in. Vouchers available for low-income people who may need glasses or full optometry.

MENDOCINO SOLAR SERVICE invites locals interested in residential solar energy, to attend their Solar Open House Parties in October. Fort Bragg on Saturday, October 18 from 1-3pm -or- in Philo on Saturday, October 25 from 3-5pm. These are casual & friendly gatherings. Enjoy Food & Beverages. Take a Solar Tour & join in Q & A with Mendocino Solar Service co-owners Bruce Erickson & Maggie Watson. Enter to win raffle prizes. For directions and to RSVP call John Huxsol at 937-1701 or

WE DIDN'T KNOW until we read the essential Elk-based blog, mendocinosportsplus, that Mendocino High School, for the first time in 29 years did not field a soccer team. The late Jon Shepherd would not be pleased. He moved mountains to get soccer established at the school, and devoted thousands of hours to it.

C'MON HOME TO EAT in October is becoming quite a busy month this year, according to our local farmers. The Farm and Garden show conversation on KZYX, perhaps archived, was a conversation about the history of local food in Anderson Valley, beginning back in the 80s with the Mendocino Permaculture Annual Fall Chestnut Gathering at Zeni Ranch. We talked about AV Foodshed's beginnings, current activities and what's going on this month. We were followed by Ruthie King from the Mendocino Farmers' Guild.

HARVEST PARTY Benefit for AV Community Farm. Free Party on Friday October 10, 5 PM to midnight. Live Music, Food, Beer/Hard Cider, Farm Games, and more!! AV Community Farm: 18500 Lambert Lane in Downtown Boonville. Contact Tim for details: (831) 332-5131

AN AV Foodshed 10th Anniversary Party at Lauren's on Sunday Oct 19 at 6pm. We hope to have our founders in attendance. Bring a potluck dish to share BYODish & utensils (Kitchen will be closed)

TUESDAY, October 21. Cocktails at 6 PM, Dinner at 7 PM. $100/seat. Farm to Table Dinner: Mendo-Asian Fusion at the Buckhorn (Rented Venue). 5-course dinner of local meat, grain, and vegetables with local wine at each. Farmer-Chefs involved: Mendocino Heritage Pork, Jim Boudoures and John Bemesderfer. Anderson Valley Community Farm, Tim Ward. Wine Pairings by Greenwood Ridge Vineyards (!) More details to come. Tickets are already selling fast. RSVP with Tim Ward: (831) 332-5131,

THE BOONVILLE HOTEL'S Farm to Fork Dinner for the Foodshed will be Sunday Oct 26. The flyer for this event will be out soon.

DONNA PIERSON-PUGH, principal at AV Elementary, expresses the gratitude we all have. “The community park continues to have community members who make improvements and clean it up. Some people who do this regularly are Juana Reynoso and Viridiana, Amanda Hiatt and Jace, and Martin Quezada, Ana and Pati Carrillo, Mario Lara. We are very appreciative of their efforts and help!”

SNEAK PREVIEW last night (Sunday) at the Redwood Drive-In of a feature-length film about a 12-year-old girl who grows up in Boonville. Described vaguely to us with a judgmental tsk-tsk as produced by “Christians,” Sunday evening's showing was up against that great Pagan festival known as the National League Playoffs. Even so a goodly number of local old timers turned out to see the picture, and if anyone out there knows something about it, beginning with its title, please transmit that info to your beloved community newspaper.

A SPORTS FAN WRITES: “It was another exciting evening of Boonville High School Football. Seems fans weathered 47 degree temps with runny noses and frozen toes, but that didn’t stop the foot stomping cheers of joy as Boonville stomped Mendocino. ‘It just doesn’t get better than this,’ said Dave Johnson of Big Bear Lake who tonight traded in the Hot Dog for Hot Chocolate. Between the tireless Panthers and the parade of cars filled with students hoping for a chance to become this year's crowned Home Coming King and Queen, we sure got our money's worth tonight, and, thanks to the Panther Cheerleaders who rounded out the final chapter of the evening. Don’t we just love our Anderson Valley kids!”

THE LOCAL ANGLE. Joe Cervetto, a San Francisco businessman who spent many happy hours at his Boonville place on Redwood Ridge, was best known for his enthusiastic portrayals of Christopher Columbus in the city’s annual Columbus Day celebration. Cervetto developed an early interest in his fellow Genoese, Christopher Columbus, becoming an authority on the life and times of “The Greatest Navigator” and, in 1958, assumed the role of portraying his idol in San Francisco's Columbus Day Parade — a role he played with gusto for the next 30 years, wading ashore at Aquatic Park in annual re-enactments of the big event.

GLEANING PARTY at Blue Meadow Farm:  Come help pull out summer plants from the field  & take home whatever produce & flowers you find.   Thursday, October 16, all day.  3301 Holmes Ranch Rd Philo, CA. 895-2071

SAVE THE TA-TAS — a fun fundraiser for the cancer Resource Center of Mendocino County. Hang your bra, make a donation at Starr Automotive, 8350 Hwy 128, Philo. For more information call Sandy at 707-895-2425, all donations will be entered into a drawing for a free oil change (synthhetic oil extra).

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