LIKE EVERYONE ELSE in The Valley I was shocked to learn that Eric June had passed away unexpectedly on Friday at his home in Truckee. The family goes way back in the Anderson Valley. Eric's father, the late Jack June, was a forester and presided over the family's considerable holdings collectively called the June Ranch, some of which became the Wasson Ranch. Eric is survived by his mother, Janese June, of Ornbaun Road.
WE WERE LONG-TIME neighbors of the Junes on Anderson Valley Way. Eric was a contemporary of my oldest son and often visited our home. I functioned as Eric's little league coach, and knew him throughout his youth through his high school years. Quiet and gentle as a young man, and always a brilliant student — and brilliant applied to Eric was never an exaggeration — Eric's brilliance was fully developed at Cal Poly from where he went out into the world to do so well he was able to retire at a young age. Eric's death pains everyone who knew him.
WE KEEP UP with the Navarro River mostly through the invaluable MendocinoSportsPlus, an interesting daily compilation of local news assembled by the indefatigable Paul McCarthy, a resident of Elk. McCarthy is perfectly placed to monitor the river's mouth, which he does almost on a daily basis. We've had enough rain to blast open the sandbar at the mouth, thus enabling steelhead and some salmon to get upstream, but the flow into the Pacific because of that massive sandbar is always shifting. As McCarthy put it this week, "The original breach of the 'mega-sandbar' at the Navarro River mouth was on either side of Pinnacle Rock - the rock was nearly in the middle...." McCarthy appends photos that show that "the channel through the sand has wandered a considerable distance south of the rock." The sand bar re-builds so fast that even the mighty flow from all of the Anderson Valley can't preventing it from moving steadily south before it silts up and closes all over again.
EXPECT your garbage rates to go up again, Anderson Valley. Solid Waste of Willits says it's losing money all over Mendo, including Boonville, at present hauling fees.
THOSE BLACKHAWK helicopters seen over Humboldt County lately are taking part in government maneuvers of some kind. Our military keeps on practicing but can't quite subdue medieval Mohammedans holed up in Afghan caves. Three flying troop carriers buzzed Hopland last week and, according to a caller, an "F-15 Hornet flying at mach 2 speeds is seen over Hopland every afternoon about 4pm." Of course these are terribly worrying times for paranoids, what with contrails, gmo's, infanticide via vaccination, Bush and Cheney blowing up Building 7 from a detonator on the Grassy Knoll, and Obama confiscating all our guns! And now Seal Team Six aerially poised to take out Garberville! Where will it all end?
TRIMMER'S HANDS. That's what local doctors are calling a new and very difficult-to-treat dermatological condition showing up among marijuana workers, at least those workers who clip-clip with the scissors all day long.
LOCAL BOY makes good. Otto Fraser has graduated from Santa Rosa JC's firefighter academy. Otto has been enrolled in the intensive training course since August where he's absorbed more than 400 hours of firefighting instruction. Otto is a 2014 graduate of Anderson Valley High School and the son of Saffron and Scott Fraser of Philo.
THE TERRIBLE MURDER of Dennis Boardman in Fort Bragg came after nearly a week of complaints from neighbors that a steady stream of transients was in and out of Dennis's house while he was undergoing medical treatment at the VA hospital in San Francisco. One of these transients bludgeoned Dennis to death when Dennis returned, in a weakened condition, from the city. And I'll bet whoever did it got him from behind.
THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT has not confirmed it, but a young man with Boonville connections, has emerged as the primary suspect in the murder of Dennis Boardman.
THE ANDERSON VALLEY PANTHERS VARSITY BASKETBALL team won Friday's home opener conference game against long-time rival Mendocino by a score of 52-45, coming back to win the game after being behind at half-time. See Coach Luis Espinoza's excellent account in this week's paper for the happy details.
EL NINO, EL SCHEEMO. Rainfall totals for December are about normal for this time of year. The Department of Water Resources says rains in December added 293 billion gallons — to 154 major state and federal reservoirs in the state, but that only brought them to an average of 31% of capacity. It has rained enough, though, so that water is beginning to run off into the big reservoirs like Shasta, Oroville and Folsom. The agency says "things are looking fine for a normal year,” but there’s a very big hole to fill.
BOONVILLE FIRE CHIEF AVILA writes: "I will be skipping this week's report. Glad to report that we have only run three calls in the last two weeks. Not worth the column space." We love this guy. He gets on and gets off without a lot of hoorah. CalFire could take lessons.
THE FOLLOWING MENDO SCHOOLS are described as failing (“low achieving”) by the State Department of Education. We've appended a link to a Press Democrat story describing Sonoma County educators whining about how unfair the rankings are, the gist of which, as always, is, "We teach real good but they don't learn nohow." Mendo's edu-heavy hitters haven't yet been heard from, but they are certain to place blame everywhere but themselves.
Mendocino County's flunked schools include:
- Anderson Valley Elementary.
- Arena Union Elementary, Arena Elementary. (Perennial edu-basket case. PA's gutless school board teamed up with Mark Iacuaniello, then functioning as superintendent, to fire the only administrator, Matt Murray, to ever get the school off state probation. Stupidity and cowardice have long reigned at PA Unified.)
- Fort Bragg Unified, Dana Gray Elementary
- Mendocino Unified, Mendocino K-8, Elementary.
- Round Valley Unified, Round Valley Elementary. (Like Point Arena, an ongoing travesty.)
- Ukiah Unified, Grace Hudson Elementary.
- Ukiah Unified, Nokomis Elementary.
- Willits Unified, Baechtel Grove Middle.
- Willits Unified, Brookside Elementary.
- Laytonville Unified, Laytonville Elementary.
RIVER’S BEND RETREAT CENTER (Formerly Wellspring at Ray's Road, Philo) says it "is growing and seeks an Associate Director! Do you know the perfect person for this position? Our ideal candidate: Brings operational and financial expertise, as well as a passion for innovation, social and ecological justice, to strengthen River’s Bend Retreat Center’s organizational systems and to help develop and evolve our strategic business plans. This person has a heart for people and the skills and experience to work independently and as a team to help us fulfill our mission to nourish the movement for regenerative culture in the San Francisco Bay Area..."