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Valley People (Feb. 7, 2018)

ASKED if the dread flu has affected local school attendance, Superintendent Michelle Hutchins replied, “Yes the flu is affecting attendance at both schools as absences are higher this month than they were this time last year. Specifically for the month of January, AVES went from 94.4% average attendance last year to 91.65% average attendance this year, and AVHS went from 94.43% last year to 93.87% this year. Schools generally average 96% attendance when everyone is healthy.”

THE ANDERSON VALLEY Health Center’s Chloe Guazzone-Rugebregt on the dreary subject of the flu said, “We’re not seeing it here, that locally it’s not appearing as it is in the larger hospitals in larger populations.”

ALAN RODIER, candidate for 5th District Supervisor, appeared in Boonville on another warm Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Rodier sat in the shade behind the candidate's table and banner, but bounded forward to endorse her husband with unfeigned enthusiasm. "He's an honest man. That's why I married him," she laughed. The Rodiers, a couple in their early 70s, reminded me of the older Gowans. They look like the farm couple they are as grape and olive growers in the Alexander Valley but make their home in Russian River Estates south of Ukiah. The Rodiers had set up in front of the late Mike Shapiro's office complex directly across the street from our office. The candidate seemed surprised that Boonville had a newspaper. “A blank slate,” I thought, beating back an impulse to burden the poor man with my opinions on the functioning of County government. The Rodiers had arrived with a table, a banner, bumperstickers, and fliers outlining the candidate's ideas. (His statement follows.) "Mike Shapiro was a friend of mine," the candidate explained, and I got permission from the family to set up here." We chatted in the 78 degree February heat as the Sunday traffic rushed south. The candidate was born in Australia, raised in San Francisco. "When I saw that Hamburg was retiring I said, 'I want to do this, do something for Mendocino County.' Today? I wanted to get a feel for what it's like here and will be back after next Sunday's pancake breakfast at the Philo Grange." The candidate mentioned that he'd been invited by Val Muchowski to last week's presentation at the Unity Club by Anne Molgaard. He said we would be seeing a lot of him as the campaign grinds forward to the June elections.


Common sense prosperity for Mendocino County — Economic Development

Mendocino County is a magnificent place to live and work. We are on a new horizon with development in our county. Not only are businesses becoming stronger and more demand for numerous new technical products, we have a doorway opening for common sense development. Jobs are needed and businesses are needed to add markets to our local economy. Housing is needed to provide the people to live. This picture looks favorable for the future.

How can Mendocino County prosper? We need forward thinking and imaginative planning. Our traditional businesses have flourished in the past. Why not have flourishing business now? Lumber, vineyard, pears, and cattle are businesses still viable. We can lure new business and give them reasons to be here, providing a strong economic environment. Mendocino County needs to look to businesses that might want to come here. We need to make it favorable for them.

We now have a new cannabis industry that is a perfect fit for our county. Let’s treat this new industry favorably, with room to grow and operate.

Many other factors for our economy include maintaining the coastal activities for fishing, crabbing, and other ocean production.

Also there is tourism. There are thousands of people that visit our county each year. As a community effort, we should make it a wonderful place to visit. We want them to come back.

Let’s move forward to allow Mendocino to prosper.

Respectively submitted,

Alan Rodier

Candidate for 5th District, Mendocino County

THERE ARE FOUR candidates for the 5th District supervisor’s seat: Alan Rodier, 74, from the Ukiah-Hopland area; Arthur Juhl, 75, of Gualala; and two Albion whippersnappers, Ted Williams and Chris Skyhawk.

THISTLE PARTY! You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point this Wednesday, Feb 7th, from 10am until noon. You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary, altho gloves and clippers would be helpful. (Tom Wodetzki, aka "Thisyphus")

PERSONNEL FILES: Former AVHS principal, Keri St Jeor, is now assistant principal at the high school in Delhi, which is near Merced, not the equator.

THE AMIABLE TOM TOWEY, known to many of us as the former proprietor of the Buckhorn Saloon, is staying busy as a local handyman. “No job too small,” Tom promises. He can be reached at 489-1711.

NICE TO SEE the friendly smile that Claudia Jimenez always wears and the Claudia who wears it, playing now at the counter of the Philo Post Office.

NEXT DOOR at Philo, another reassuring sight as Bob Day applies the finishing touches to the spiffy re-do of the Philo Cafe, a project carried out by the omni-talented Tommy Lemons and Sons.

TORREY DOUGLAS dropped off recent editions of the nicely produced, Word of Mouth, a quarterly magazine devoted to local farms and restaurants. Published by Holly Madrigal of Willits and designed by the talented Ms. Douglas out of Boonville. Lots of interesting stuff, brilliant photography. And free! You can find Word of Mouth most public places around The Valley.

A SAD STORY I’m unable to pursue because the people who know its particulars won’t talk about it. So far, anyway. It began when I encountered a young woman from The Valley who suggested I look into “the murder of Robin Matheson.” I was unaware of any Mendocino County murder that I didn’t already know about. The young woman said this murder had happened in Humboldt County, and that Robin Matheson had lived with her family in Yorkville in the middle 1980s and had attended two years of high school in Boonville. From all accounts Miss Matheson, as a student at Anderson Valley High School, was popular with her classmates and locally famous for her good natured personality. The Mathesons then lived almost  directly opposite the Yorkville Market. A  Boonville woman who’d known Robin in high school said she remembered seeing an infant at the Matheson home in Yorkville, meaning that Robin had a much younger brother or sister.  After Robin’s sophomore year at Anderson Valley High School, the Mathesons then moved north to Humboldt County where, still a young woman, Robin met a terrible end. Her friends say her death was ruled a suicide, but the local people who knew Robin don’t believe she killed herself. They all assume she was murdered. I checked the HumCo death records for Robin Matheson. There wasn’t one, but I don’t know her married name, and she must have been legally married or her death would have appeared under her maiden name. I asked around all last week. I discovered only more unhappiness. I heard awful stories of Robin being sexually assaulted by several basketball players from the tony LA private school, Brentwood, whose team was in Boonville for the Redwood Classic Tournament of 1987. The episode was not reported to the Sheriff’s Department, but three different persons who were in high school at the time said it had occurred at a “party” on Anderson Valley Way. I haven’t found anyone who remembers the Matheson family other than Robin Matheson. According to her local friends, Robin, desperate to escape the man she was involved with, may have been trying to get back to the Anderson Valley to the safety of a friend’s house the very day before she died. If anyone out there can provide specific information regarding Robin Matheson I do want to write the rest of the story.

FOOTING IT UP the steepest hill in the area, the sun rising at my back, a sudden shadow approached rapidly from directly behind me, causing me, in a reaction of pure paranoia, to whirl to confront whatever it was. I've never seen another soul on this stretch of mountain. The looming shadow turned out to be a woman of about fifty. I startled her as much as she had startled me. "I'm sorry," I joked, "I thought you might have been the Reaper." As she bustled past, she asked, "The Raper?" She was already so far past me as I frantically tried to clarify that I had to shout, "No, no. I meant the Grim Reaper. You know, death?" "Whatever," she yelled back over her shoulder, which I took as, well, whatever.

CANDIDATE applications for the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting board of directors election closed at 5 p.m. on 30 January 2018. The following candidates qualified for the ballot:

District 2 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one candidate): Dina Polkinghorne

District 3 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one of the two candidates): David Hulse-Stephens, Patricia Kovner.

District 5 Board Member (one open seat; members vote for one of the two candidates): Tom Dow, Len Tischler

At-Large Board Member (two open seats; members vote for two of the four candidates): Bruce Anderson, Bob Bushansky, Robert Vaughan, Renee Vinyard

Programmer-Elected Board Member (one seat open; will not appear on general-member ballots): Jerry Karp

Ballots will be mailed by the end of February to all supporters who were members in good standing as of 31 December 2017, and must be returned in a station-supplied envelope by mail and received by the independent election auditor by 31 March 2018. Please do not deliver ballots to KZYX.

Thank you for your support!

Promoting Community Through Public Radio

(Jeffrey Parker, KZYX Station Manager)

SHALL THE CIRCLE be unbroken! It won't be broken by me, certainly. As a candidate for the KZYX board of directors I'm like the bar drunk who starts a fight with Mike Tyson. If I'm lucky I might get in half a punch before I'm knocked out. Which is why I'm running, to get in a punch or two at what amounts to a secret society, complete with a blacklist, an unreadable budget undoubtedly hiding fiscal imprudence if not fraud, life-time programmers, virtually no opportunity for listeners to talk back, press release "news," and an administration that costs somewhere upwards of $250,000 out of an annual take of about $600,000.

PAT KOVNER of Laytonville, an old friend from back in the Cahto Mountain protests of the late 1980s, is the other dissident candidate. We're both members but not members, you might say. We're members because we paid our dues but we're not members and couldn't possibly be members because we don't share the assumptions of The Circle. The Circle, of course, has put up shoo-in candidates of its own. One guy is a programmer whose wife, Meg Courtney, just went off the board but remains forever in spirit; another guy is a hyphenate with its implications of Scott Simon-ism; and the third candidate is a lady named Vinyard, and who better to oversee wine propaganda than a Vinyard?


1. An end to the station’s lengthy blacklist.

2. An honest, fully explained budget.

3. The combining of the positions of general manager and program director into one position for one salary.

4. A morning news hour focused entirely on local matters, thus giving locals a reason to tune in, thus expanding the membership (static for years now).

5. Increased visibility of the station beyond the lib-pwog echo chamber it presently is.

6. Prompt, candid replies from management to all inquiries.

7. A requirement that each board member bring in at least one new member every month.

8. A working person’s membership at $20 a year. (You can join KZYX for $25, a fact the station, opaque every which way, doesn’t advertise.

9. Basic civility from all employees.

COURT BEAT: Anthony Gonzalez of Ukiah, known throughout the County, as ‘Tone Dogg,’ has been sentenced by Judge Moorman to eight months in state prison. Tone entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of making criminal threat.

RICKY OWENS of Boonville will be sentenced at 9am March 2nd. He has entered a guilty plea to felony charge of endangering the health of a child.

ACCORDING TO AN MCOE “Williams Settlement Agreement” report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday’s agenda (Tuesday, February 6th) most of the school districts in Mendocino County have teaching and facilities problems that need attention. The Williams Settlement was imposed on California schools after the ACLU successfully sued the state saying that poor schools were being neglected and underfunded and teaching and learning was thus compromised. The settlement called for County Schools offices to assess each “Decile 1-3” school (i.e., in poor districts) annually and report their findings to the County Supervisors.

BUT, as is typical with these things, it’s just a report, no reference to prior years, no indication that districts are dealing with the problems, no deadlines for responses, etc.

For example the report says that Anderson Valley Elementary is deficient as follows: "Multiple lights out. Many rooms have containers marked ‘Keep out of Reach of Children’ under sinks. Referred walk-in freezer problem to Intercounty Mechanical for estimate. Rainwater intruding into classrooms 16-19 is a safety hazard and will damage flooring. Playground needs more engineered wood fiber in safety zones around equipment. This area also drains under portable buildings eventually creating rot.”

THE COUNTY OFFICE of Education piled on: “Teacher Misassignments (sic) & Vacancies During the 2016-2017 school year, there were fifty-three teachers (one at Anderson Valley Elementary, three at Laytonville Elementary, eight at Arena Union Elementary, one at Point Arena High, one at Calpella Elementary, eleven at Eagle Peak Middle School, one at Grace Hudson Elementary, one at Nokomis Elementary, two at Oak Manor Elementary, twenty-two at Pomolita Middle School, one at Blosser Lane Elementary, and one at Willits High) who lacked the appropriate authorization for their assignment. All assignments were rectified by reassignment, retirement, or applications for appropriate credentials within 30 calendar days. 2017-2018 teacher misassignments and vacancies are monitored throughout the year and will be summarized in next year’s letter to the Board of Supervisors.”

WE ASKED AV SUPERINTENDENT Michelle Hutchins about the AV portion of the report, adding that although the report is signed by then-County School Superintendent Warren Galletti (who has since hired himself as the highest paid superintendent of schools in the County at Point Arena, that all these alleged deficiencies are clearly a much bigger problem at Mr. Galletti's Point Arena school district.

SUPERINTENDENT HUTCHINS REPLIED: “What you are referring to is the Williams Report that is completed each year. The county uses a Facility Inspection Tool to determine the condition of the District's buildings. The few items noted for Anderson Valley have been rectified. New light bulbs installed, walk-in freezer repaired, installation of a new french drain in front of rooms 16-19 completed and new engineered wood chip fiber purchased. Teacher mis-assignments for AVUSD remains at one. We do not have a credentialed Math Teacher teaching some of the math classes. The Principal is a Math Teacher and is assisting the substitute with curriculum development so that the students receive a strong math foundation. We continue to advertise for a credentialed teacher to fill the vacant position. I am sure Mr. Galletti has a plan to address the issues in Point Arena.”


The Swingin’ Boonville Big Band, formed in the year 2000 as an AV Adult Ed. class, will return to Lauren’s Cafe in Boonville on Saturday February 17th. This is the 18th annual show at Lauren’s, and the band considers it sort of home base since its first public appearance was given there. The band currently is 20 musicians strong. It features outstanding musicians from all parts of the county. Among the local musicians we have Bob Day tenor sax; Joe Petelle trombone; Mary Aigner piano; Nadia Berrigan piano; Dave Martin trombone; Kevin Burke drums; and Alice Woefle trumpet. Susan Archuleta, who for many years was a regular feature piano soloist at the Boonville Hotel, returns after a long hiatus to play alto sax. The band plays mostly classic hits from the Great American Song Book: The show starts at 9:00 PM and runs to 11:00 PM. Admission is $10 and all proceeds for Benefit of AV Adult Ed. Music. Singin’ sensation Sharon Garner will headline the show. Break out your dancin’ shoes and join in the fun.

ALEJANDRO SOTO did it! Scored his thousandth point as a AV High School hoopster, joining an elite Panther club that includes such as Anderson Valley greats as Tony Sanchez; Jerry Tolman; Don Summit; John Stevenson; Eugene Waggoner; Zack Anderson; Pete Boudoures; and Justin Johnston. Alejandro hit the big number early in the third quarter vs. Point Arena. From all accounts the modest young man seemed startled that he'd broken the record and doubly startled that the game was stopped briefly to recognize his achievement.

(click to enlarge)

MENDOCINO SPORTS PLUS drew out attention to our old friend and former AVHS teacher Ken Jones’ pier fishing blog in which the Point Arena Pier is prominently featured. Ken’s son, Michael, often pops up in movies these days as an extra. Michael is a graduate of AVHS. Dad’s blog is at


  • Lettuce, Spring Mix
  • Red Russian & Lacinato Kale
  • Broccoli & Broccoli Raab
  • Narcissus & Daffodils
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo, 895-2071

One Comment

  1. Debra Keipp February 8, 2018

    Kens blog is about the Marin Rod N Gun Club across from San Quentin! Not the Point Arena Pier!!!!!!!

    And good on ya Bruce for running for kzyx board!

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