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Valley People (Sep 30, 2015)

Veterans Jerry Kuny, Darlene Cordiero (Comptche) and Ken Hurst were honored at the Apple Bowl at the Fair a week ago Friday.

Veterans Jerry Kuny, Darlene Cordiero (Comptche) and Ken Hurst were honored at the Apple Bowl at the Fair a week ago Friday.

WE UNDERSTAND that the grape yield this year in the Anderson Valley was so small that the usual crews who work our vineyards simply went home because they're paid by weight and there wasn’t enough weight to make the harvest worth their while. Also, some of the locals who pick this time of year didn’t pick for the same reason — lack of remunerative heft. This left most vineyards, wineries and contractors with only their year-round employees and anyone else they could round up willing to work to bring in the grapes. At least one contractor had to bring in outside labor crews via labor contractors. This year’s harvest was low compared to previous years, but all the vineyards came in at the same time making the labor situation even more dire in terms of labor availability. Normally, the harvest is a bit more staggered, but that last heat wave, the wine people say, ripened all the valley's grapes just about simultaneously.

SAD FIASCO in Mendocino last Saturday. The refs didn't show up for the homecoming game and related ceremonies. Huge disappointment for everyone with all the pretty girls stranded with no half-time ceremony and no half-time because there was no game with Point Arena. How it happened, who is responsible not yet known.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY LIBRARY will reopen on Tuesday, October 6th. We have many new books by some of our favorite authors, such as, Daniel Silva, Lee Child, Sandra Brown, Catherine Coulter and many more. We will be accepting book donations once again. You can bring your donations when we are open on Tuesday from 1:30-4:30 and Saturday from 2-4. We are located in the Home Arts Bldg. at the Fairgrounds. Starting Tuesday, October 20th from 3:30-4:30, we will be having Story Hour led by Noor Dawood. So bring your child and check it out on the 20th. (Liz Dusenberry)

LAST THURSDAY AFTERNOON, the “exploratory” committee initiated by the AV Ambulance Service met to discuss the possible merger of the Ambulance Service with the Community Services District/Fire Department. Nobody could come up with a serious downside to the plan to join forces because the ambulance and a fire department, especially in a small community, are often both at accident scenes sharing functions. Several benefits of combining were mentioned, not the least of which was local autonomy in the event that the Ambulance Service finds itself caught up with whatever private company gets the contract for the inland ambulance “Exclusive Operating Agreement.” There are obvious and important questions about finances, operational protocols, categories of volunteers, memberships, retention, recruitment and training, etc. which need to be researched and the ad-hoc members volunteered to "explore" them. A joint meeting of the two boards of directors of the separate organizations is likely, but the timing of the process remains open. Questions or comments can be addressed to AV Fire Chief Andres Avila (895-2020) or Ambulance Service manager Clay Eubank (895-3123).

GRANGE MASTER GREG KROUSE: "The Anderson Valley Grange and AV Film club offers documentary, “Salt of The Earth” for this month’s It’s the First Friday Film and Social Nite. That’s this Friday, Oct 2nd: 6 PM Social and 7 PM film @ Anderson Valley Solar Grange, 9800 Hwy 128 Philo. Salt of The Earth is a biographical and documentary of photographer Sebastião Salgado’s life work directed by Wim Wenders & Juliano Rbeiro Salgado. Salgado’s remarkable master photography reveals the austere life of Africans and the wildlife and beauty around them. The potluck Snack Social event before is a great meet up.

KATY AND DAVID TAHJA of Comptche celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a small family reunion. Son Matti Tahja and partner Emilie flew in from Chicago and were joined by Fern Tahja, partner Brian Davis and grandson River. Asked how they managed to stay married so long, the Tahjas replied, "Patience".

JIM YOUNG WRITES: "I read your analysis of Boonville football in the paper after the Apple Bowl. In sports, I figured you like to be accurate. Mendo and Boonville and the other teams in their league do not play football. They play 8 man football. This is a game on a smaller field with different rules. There are no regional playoffs (or what ever you suggested) for 8 man football. Boonville, with the 4 best athletes I’ve ever seen at the school at one time, will not be tested during the season, and will play the 2nd place team in the same league they are in for a made up playoff game called the Redwood Bowl and will beat them just as bad as they do during the season. Same old, same old as last year except Mendo will not be the second place team. I hope to surprise Cesar, Johnston, and Co. in basketball. You heard it hear first."

I PREFER to be accurate whatever the subject, Jim, and I was aware of the diff between 8-man and 11-man football. I've thought for a long time that the small schools of Mendocino County should combine for one football team and play up a league. Every small school in the County always has a few guys who can compete at a big school level, but most small schools, except Boonville this year, can barely field football teams, or not field teams at all, as is perennially the case with Covelo. (Which used to be a small school power until, well, the worst impulses of late capitalism took over the minds of young people, urban and rural.) The small schools of the big island of Hawaii, I believe, meet to play games against larger schools as one team, and I'm sure there are areas of this country where the small schools combine for the purpose of team sports.

THIS SEASON, Boonville is wiping out all small school competition so easily it can't be much fun for the players and it's certainly uninteresting for spectators. AV's most recent victim was Laytonville at Laytonville last Friday. Score? A lot to zero. Or next to zero. But Coach Kuny said Monday the Laytonville game was close — 14-2 — at the half, but AV quarterback Tony Pardini Jr. came out firing in the second half and Laytonville had no defense against his pinpoint passes. Coach Kuny also mentioned he's had some disciplinary probs with a couple of his players who seem to think they're exempt from the rules, but was miffed that AD Robert Pinoli wanted a mediation between him and the teen prima donnas. Count me with the coach: mediate what? Your football coach, the adult, is supposed to negotiate with his players?

I'LL BET our starting 8 could give Fort Bragg a pretty good go, 8 on 8. But Boonville is going to romp through this season's schedule unresisted. To repeat: If you took a half dozen of the best (or only) players from the County's far-flung small schools for one eleven-man team, the small schools would hold their own against big schools, sparing us an entire season of small school mismatches like we suffer most years. I'd like to see this year's dynamite Boonville team tested, really tested against tough competition.

OUR NEWLY ELECTED County Superintendent of Schools, Warren Galletti, is a sports guy. He ought to make viable small school team sports a priority, not only because sports are good for kids, but because he and his office could make it happen and because it ought to happen. (Covelo always has a handful of good athletes who don't get to compete in much of anything because the wider community has gone to hell, and seems like to stay there for some time.)

JIM YOUNG, by the way, has developed an impressive water collection system at his Rancho Navarro home. The guy could give lessons. He says he "increased to 36,000 gallons his rainwater collection. Plenty for My acre garden. My house usage has plenty from our well. Nice not to worry. I get 3000 gals per inch of rain. Be full by 2016." Jim advises: "Water collection 101:

1. Put your tanks below your house. As Yogi B. might say, “If water flowed up hill we wouldn’t need tanks. "

2. If your tanks fill up before December 1st. add more tanks.

3. If your tanks never fill up, add collection surface area.

4. It always rains, even when it’s dry.(Maybe Yogi Berra again.)"

SCANNER EXCITEMENT SUNDAY. This being the season of agricultural tensions in the Mendocino County outback, the scanner crackled Sunday with a 7.20am report of a male gunshot victim "near Mountain House Road." It took a while — a long while — to find the guy, who had said he'd been shot "multiple times" but had no precise idea where he was other than "in a field near a dried up creek." That didn't exactly narrow down his location, but much was lost in translation over the ensuing three hours. With the medi-chopper waiting at the Boonville airport, a 25-year-old Mexican, bloodied and indeed shot multiple times, was finally located not very far from Highway 128 and Mountain House Road. Deputies subsequently found a dead man in the garden where the almost dead man was finally located, and have since arrested Isidiro Lopez-Bernal, 26, of Ukiah, and Mario Godinez, 25, of Cloverdale on suspicion of murder.  The wounded man, still not identified, is from Windsor. He was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he remains in serious condition. He seems to have identified his would-be killers.

TESLA MOTORS plans to install 8 superchargers in central Ukiah near Alex Thomas Plaza, a sure sign that Elon Musk's electric vehicles are turning out to be a lot more viable than the experts predicted. There's a supercharger in Petaluma and one in Crescent City, but Crescent City is a long way from anywhere, and almost out of electric car range from Petaluma. (There's an interesting piece on Musk's various enterprises in the current New Yorker.) And darned if we don't have a couple at Al Green's Greenwood Ridge Winery right here in Philo. That's Al, always ahead of the curve, and a perfect placement for the touri with the money to afford a Tesla.

SUNDAY NIGHT'S rare super-moon eclipse prompted such a fear of an apocalypse among the primitive sectors of our population that the Mormon church issued a statement cautioning the faithful not to get too het up about any possible coincidental calamity. Sunday's “blood moon” and the usual array of mass murders and natural disasters have caused a noticeable blip in emergency supply sales.

A READER WRITES: "We took a day off - the plan was two days but we stayed only one - to a local State Park for some R&R in a nearby "outback". Usal campground is on the beach from the main road 30 miles north of Fort Bragg. The way in is six miles of very steep, rutted and narrow logging "road" and thankfully we were warned to take a high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle which we borrowed from my son and as a result, had no problem driving in. The campground is part of the Sinkyone Lost Coast King Range which is comprised of nearly vertical, heavily wooded mountains jutting straight up from the ocean to as high as 4,000 ft. At Usal Camp, the cliffs curve inward enough to have created a cove with a 2 mile long black sand beach and a flat wooded area behind it in which the camp sites are situated. It's a gorgeous spot...trees, birds, elk, beautiful black sand beach, mountains, sky...and horrible. It quickly became clear that it is the gathering place for feral guys (mostly) to hang out and do reckless illegal things like shoot off guns and fireworks (M-80's, bottle rockets, etc, all illegal in CA) that echoed off the canyon walls sounding like we were in a war zone, play "music" at any volume, drink and drug, and drive recklessly onto the beach or up the vertical mountains. The fireworks and the music happened during our one night stay, but most disturbing to us was the wanton destruction of the natural beauty of the place. Since no one polices the campground there were campsites everywhere in the woods, not just at picnic table or firepit spots, and on the beach. Everywhere the woods were trashed, slashed and hacked. Most disgusting of all (the outhouses are ancient and unusable) there was toilet paper and what goes with it, everywhere along with all other forms of garbage. We have written a letter to the State Park Director suggesting that something be done...either close the site or fix it up and hire a park attendant to keep order...since the parks and we, the taxpayers, are liable for anything that goes wrong there. And more importantly, it's a wilderness area, not a playground, and its wonders should be protected from the depredations of ignorant humans . It's certainly sad that in some humans the impulse to destroy is stronger than the impulse to create."

IT'S ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING that the State has allowed Usal to become a rural sanctuary for morons —destructive, high energy morons. Your average moron pretty much stays close to his big screen tv and his bud and his Bud, with slurpies handy for his obese junior morons. He'll occasionally do a moron drive-by with his primitive tunes cranked up full volume to let us all know he's an untamed dude, although away from his herd he's supine and utterly lost. Fortunately, the generic moron seldom strays from the pavement. (cf Ukiah) But Usal, one of the most beautiful spots in the country, isn't easy to get to, so it attracts the non-sedentary, high-rise-truck, dope and drunk, armed morons who tweek all weekend and shoot up the sky, and, natch, do it all to sonic sound tracks audible from Westport. Usal, on a Saturday night, with a hundred remedial readers stumbling around in the dark with their guns and surround-a-sound din might be the most comprehensively awful site in the world, including combat zones.

MIKE KALANTARIAN NOTES: "I’d recently been thinking about the three supervisors who voted against the mild resolution (last April) that attempted to reign in Hack & Squirt, the timber industry practice of poisoning millions of hardwood trees, annually, and leaving them standing in the woods to die. And, mind you, these three supervisors (McCowen, Woodhouse, and Brown) voted that way after hundreds of citizens filled the chambers and waited hours to speak strongly, passionately, and convincingly against this industrial practice. I finally came to the conclusion that these supervisors probably voted that way because, underneath it all, it was better for business. They probably view their job, primarily, as being good stewards of the business operations in this county, essentially as economic cheerleaders and enablers. It’s the same chamber-of-commerce approach to the world that our culture has been deeply steeped in these past few decades, as if making money was the primary reason for taking breath on this planet. So, anyway, the discussion of "industry capture" in today’s on-line "Mendocino County Today" (September 24) aligned perfectly with these reflections. Our political leaders really need to start thinking in terms of what is best for people, not just what is best for "the economy." There is much more to life than making money. It’s important for people to remember that -- especially in this country, the greed capital of the world."

One Comment

  1. Keith Bramstedt October 2, 2015

    Sorry to read about feral people at Usal campground on the Lost Coast. Was there many years ago, it’s beautiful.

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