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Valley People (Jun 3, 2015)

TERRIBLE HEAD-ON IN PHILO Saturday night about 10:30pm near the Madrones when a 1999 Chevy Cavalier crossed the yellow line and collided with a 1998 Subaru. Both parties required extrication from their vehicles by the Jaws of Life operated by the Anderson Valley Volunteers. The as yet unidentified 36-year old Ukiah man, Stephen Hunter, driving the Chevy Cavalier was flown via Calstar helicopter to Enlow Hospital in Chico with major injuries including a broken femur. The 26-year old male driver of the Subaru, Colter Millehrer, a resident of Corvallis, Oregon, was transported via ground ambulance to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with major injuries, also including a broken femur. Both drivers were drunk.

THE MAN who caused this accident, Hunter, was lurching drunk at Saturday night's big band concert at the Philo Grange. At least one concert goer said the guy had lunged off into the night with a band member's trumpet.

LOTSA FRISCO PEOPLE are unhappy with SF's mayor for his plan to catch speeders via radar guns. We'd like to see speed guns in both Boonville and Philo. All of us have horror stories of heedless visitors (mostly visitors) rocketing through town as if no one lived here. And given the neo-congestion of weekend Boonville… Well, passers-through drive wayyyyy too fast for conditions.

HOWSOMEVER, LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON, Deputy Walker and at least two CHP officers had corralled several drunk drivers in the center of Boonville. And there was a flurry of scanner-generated excitement Thursday afternoon when a poacher (of deer) was spotted at the east end of Indian Creek.

DEPT OF PREVALENT local rumors: The Sheriff's Department has no report of an armed robbery alleged to have occurred in Boonville a couple of weeks ago. However, Deputy Walker is on the case, if there is one.

LIZ DUSENBERRY: "The AV Library will be closed for the Sierra Nevada Music Festival from Saturday June 13 through Tuesday June 23. The Library will reopen on Saturday June 27, from 2-4. Come to the library before the 13th and stock up on your reading. We continue to get book donations, so we have lots of books for sale. We sell hardbacks for $1 and paperbacks for $.50. The library will also be closed Saturday, July 4th. Library hours are Tuesdays from 1:30-4:30 and Saturday from 2-4. Hope to see you soon."

FOR THE PURE heck of it, I like to write back to junk e-mail. I'm surprised how many write back. Monday morning began with one that said the "Top 100 Most Livable Small Towns in America Announced." I asked if Boonville was on the list. Some guy wrote back to say no, but Sebastopol was among the top hundred. Last time I was out there Sebastopol seemed to be slurbing in all directions and not anymore livably distinguishable from any other place. If you have the dough, Healdsburg is still coherent and livable but that's about it for SoCo. Boonville has its amenities but property here is now almost as expensive as Healdsburg and rents here are impossible. For pure livability I'd say Fort Bragg is the most all-round attractive community in Mendocino County, although I like Point Arena for pure wackiness and Covelo for a rare combination of beauty and life on the edge, as you might call the random mayhem characteristic of the place.

ANDERSON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE is hosting their annual Home Run Derby / Tri-Tip BBQ in Sunday June 7th starting at 11am. There will be raffle prizes of all kinds and the chance to win a set of Giants Tickets (and bragging rights) for the most home runs. Come on out and support our Little League and have a fun day at the baseball field!

ERNESTO CONTRERAS was only 19 and had just completed a successful first year in college when his car unaccountably left the road near Philo two weeks ago and struck a tree, killing Ernesto instantly. Services were held last Thursday at Saint Elizabeth Seton's Catholic Church, Philo, a church much too small to contain the many people who turned out to mourn the loss of a hugely popular and promising young man.

IT'S A FACT, if an uncomfortable fact, that the Anderson Valley remains racially divided. Ernesto's services were confirmation. Many Anglos who knew Ernesto wanted to attend his memorial but had no idea of where and when it would be. That information was mostly circulated privately and in Spanish. Maybe it will take another decade of ethnic co-habitation in the Anderson Valley to create something resembling a real community.

AS AN INTEGRATIONAL START, however, we do have bi-ethnic Zumba, a bi-ethnic Health Center and the encouragingly bi-ethnic Mosswood Market.

THREE VACANCIES for the Anderson Valley School Board. Had to laugh when I read, "The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of their communities…" One of the "five major responsibilities" of a trustee? "Ensuring accountability." If that somehow happens it will be the first time in forty years it has.

A NEW PUMP belonging to Balo Vineyards, Philo, has been installed on the south bank of Indian Creek's depleted flow not far from the Indian Creek Bridge. And promptly boxed and padlocked. It had been briefly at work sucking up what's left of Indian Creek through a three-inch pipe. Dave Severn, our designated stream watcher, hustled around trying to find the person or persons responsible for the pump, but the winery had closed for the day. But Severn's search by itself seems to have convinced Balo that pumping out of Indian Creek in a drought year was, to say the least, ill advised. Balo is owned by a mostly absentee family called Mullins.

IT COMES UP OFTEN. "Don't you know how divisive it is to always be ragging on the wineries?" Excuse me, but the grape juggernaut's drawing off water from public streams in the fourth year of a drought is a psycho-social problem? I know the fuzzy-warms out there dream of a day we'll all wear uniforms of organic hemp and dance down the streets hugging each other, but in the mean time it's probably a good idea not to kill off what's left of the natural world.

UNKNOWN PERSONS have attempted to breach the sand bar where the Navarro River ordinarily runs into the Pacific. Looks to us like they came in late at night with a backhoe. The trench work would be too much for a couple of guys with shovels. Vehicle access to Navarro Beach, as well as to the State Parks Campground, has been prohibited for the past month because the road and parking lot have been flooded from the “dammed up” river.

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STATE PARKS’ biologist, Rene Pasquinelli, says that breaching the sandbar can change the salinity of the estuary and negatively affect certain aquatic species in the process, which is why State Parks doesn't do the unplugging.

CREATIVE USE of an old propane tank by Jim and Gloria Ross on Anderson Valley Way, Boonville

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