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Valley People (Oct 22, 2014)

MOST WEEKS all goes well with your beloved community newspaper. The news is gathered, basted with a tart opinion sauce and shoved into a production oven for an overnight electronic roast before it appears in print form for Wednesday morning consumption. At least in Boonville. The Post Office takes over from there. Distant subscribers may or may not receive their weekly banquet, but we accept this dereliction as part of the general collapse.

OTHER WEEKS everything seems to go wrong. Last week was a Go Wrong Week. We announced a Boonville man as dead. He's alive. A guy called up to say he was suing me. Crazy people left uniquely weird messages on the office nut screener. I forgot to put the coffee pot under the brew, which ran out onto the floor. Walking into the coffee shop downstairs, a transient loomed up out of the dawn gloom to ask me if I could “loan” him twenty bucks. We spelled “Turbulence” wrong on the front page's lead story. And so it went.

THE DEAD MAN got to watch Game Four of the Giants-Cardinal playoff and remains with us. The guy who called to say he was suing me said a friend of his had told him he'd been “libeled in the Alexander Advocate.” I told him he and his friend were both morons. “And now you've been slandered, too,” I said, hanging up. A male voice on the nut screener asked if we knew that “the Mossad killed Lincoln. Please call me back.” I'd asked the transient when I'd see him again. “Right here, tomorrow morning same time,” he replied. Which made three morons on the week, because I waited for him the next morning for ten minutes. And it was only Tuesday.

SHELLEY HULBERT ACTON OF BOONVILLE is justly proud that it was her nephew, Steven Alvarez (Harold Hulbert’s grandson) who was carrying the Army flag during the Color Guard Ceremony prior to tonight’s game. Alvarez joined the Army after graduating from Anderson Valley High School and has served in the Middle East.

ABOUT 9 am Monday about four miles up, there was "a single vehicle traffic accident. The driver was identified as a male piloting a White Ford Expedition — who suffered a head injury.

AT 11:15am Monday "a 93-year-old female" at 19000 Appian Way, Rancho Navarro was confirmed as having passed.

LOCALS INTERESTED in residential solar energy are invited to attend a Solar Open House Party in Philo on Saturday, October 25th from 3-5pm. The party will be held at the home of a customer of Mendocino Solar Service. The home is close to Highway 128 near Philo. Come meet your neighbors and see what solar has to offer! This is a casual & friendly gathering: enjoy food & beverages, take a Solar Tour & join in Q & A with Mendocino Solar Service co-owners Bruce Erickson & Maggie Watson. You may also enter a free drawing to win raffle prizes. For directions and to RSVP call John Huxsol at 937-1701 or

EDDIE SLOTTE, the popular Boonville logger and basketball coach, was airlifted to Santa Rosa last week where he was treated for a heart attack but remains hospitalized. Dude! We're all pulling for you and want to see you home soon.

UNSOLICITED PLUG. Jesse Rathbun's Boonville Bike Works is the absolute goods. Mr. R made a house call to get my old bike street-ready, and got 'er done lickity-split. "All done," he reported. "I inflated the tubes and looked for holes with the soapy water trick, inspected the tires for thorns and all seems well. I think they just went flat with disuse. 50# in the rear and 40# in the front. If they do lose all the pressure again, I'll replace the tubes." This is a wonderful service this guy provides. Jesse Rathbun, Boonville Bike Works 707 499-1960.

IT'S NOT YET KNOWN if the Health Center's inept board of directors, a living, breathing argument for democratically elected non-profit boards, signed off on Dr. McGhan's dismissal, which was conducted by another new hire, Shannon Spiller, on the job for about two years.

COMMUNITY ANGER over recent developments at the Anderson Valley Health Center has all of Anderson Valley in an uproar.

WE CAN'T HELP but think all of this is related to the recurrent rumors that Diane Agee of Redwood Coast Medical Services based in Gualala really wants to close the Anderson Valley Health Center.

Shannon Spiller
Shannon Spiller

IT'S CLEAR that Shannon Spiller is Agee's surrogate, her Boonville listening post cum hatchet person. We don't ordinarily tend to paranoid thinking, but given the way Agee, Spiller, Gorchoff et al are throwing our Center's money around they are sabotaging the economic viability of the Anderson Valley Health Center. Add the turmoil and community unhappiness, and we have an imperiled institution.

THE HEALTH CENTER often tells us they need money, that they're on fiscal life support. It must be a lot broker now, what with Dr. Gorchoff, the newly installed “Chief Medical Officer” pulling down better than a hundred thou a year for tasks that don't even add up to nebulous. And now the ruling troika has hired Ms. Coursey of Ukiah to do their public relations for them. (I'll be interested to see how Ms. Coursey spins this one.)

THE CENTER is, to say the least, administratively top heavy. There are eight people shuffling paper for the eight “line” staff at the Clinic, or seven if you don’t count Dr. McGhan.

THE SHOWDOWN between McGhan and Spiller occurred when McGhan e-mailed complaints about administration of the Boonville clinic to Dr. David Gorchoff, the $100k-plus consultant formally listed as Chief Medical Officer. (Gorchoff does not see patients. He does whatever he does from far, far away.) Gorchoff e-mailed Spiller to snitch off McGhan, and a couple of days later she fired McGhan who, incidentally, is solidly supported by staff at the Boonville facility. There are indications that a significant segment of that staff may walk out in support of McGhan if he isn't immediately reinstated. And the rest want to walk too but they can't afford to.

Dr.GorchoffIT'S CLEAR, and it's been clear for months now, that people distant from Anderson Valley are making decisions, all of them destructive, about the Center. We have three administrators based in Gualala at the Redwood Coast Medical Center, led by Diane Agee, who are clearly hostile to the Boonville clinic — after helping themselves to lush stipends for allegedly straightening things up administratively. Then we have this Gorchoff character pulling down an enormous annual stipend for doing whatever invisible tasks he does from wherever he's based, which is not anywhere near the Anderson Valley or even in Mendocino County.

SPILLER, GORCHOFF, AGEE, & TURNER have to go. They are killing the Anderson Valley Health Center, and one has to wonder what kind of shape the Gualala facility is in with these people in charge of it.

WE CAN'T REMEMBER a time when the Anderson Valley was more united in a single demand arising out of community shock and outrage. Dr. McGhan must be re-hired. And of all the piss poor performances by The Valley's self-selecting boards of directors — drawn from the same small pool of self-important bozos and bozettes, the Health Center Board takes the all-time prize for pure incompetence. And most of them are “friends” of Apfel!

WE AGREE that Dr. Mark Apfel should immediately be re-appointed Center Medical Director, although he has plenty of local critics who would like to see him retire. Backed up by new energy, Apfel should be able to again be our lead medico. And we join the rest of the community's demand that Dr. McGhan be immediately reinstated. The guy's a true breath of fresh air, especially in a community dominated by… well, no need to pile on the insults, but the Nice People really ought to take a close look at themselves, preferably in a group setting — Lauren's? — then boot each other in the ass.

Dr. Logan McGhan
Dr. Logan McGhan

McGHAN'S a good one. The pure sadism meted out to him is simply astounding, as was the firing of Kathy Corrall, marched out of the Center like a criminal. Dr. McGhan was similarly escorted off the premises. Bring a young family guy to Anderson Valley then proceed to destroy his life? The Nice People have really outdone themselves this time.

WILDLIFE UPDATE. Dave Severn writes, "About a week ago I stumbled across a dead deer down along the river by Shenoa. It was lying on the dry gravel riverbed with its rear end toward a deer trail coming down the bank just a few feet away. A close examination showed a beautiful, healthy smallish doe without a disturbed hair on its body save a gaping hole in its left-side ribcage and all it's vital organs missing. It was fresh without stink but stiff and cold. A google search made me guess a mountain lion had got it. Sam Prather guessed a dog. Both Eileen and Marylin Pronsolino separately thought a coyote. Two days later the buzzards had drug it 25 feet toward the river and pretty much picked it over. And boy did it stink. Just this morning I found another dead deer maybe 300 yards upstream below Van Zandt's. This one was a bit smaller yet and about in the same stinking shape as the first though with some meat still attached to the hindquarters it might be a couple days fresher (?). There was no way of telling what the injuries were with this one. These two are curious enough but added to the deer two/three weeks ago on Rays Road by Van Zandt found being feasted on by a bobcat makes one wonder. A couple of people have surmised that the drought might be bringing both prey and predator down to the dwindling river water source. The river itself maxed out at about point seven cu/ft per sec following the little rain we had and has now dropped back to about point four five cu/ft per sec. - but it's still there."

One Comment

  1. debrakeipp October 26, 2014

    Counting chairs, there must have been 125-150 people in the grange seated and standing at the back of the room for the meeting regarding the AV Health Center. Such a showing of community coming forward to speak to the importance of these issues was encouraging.

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