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Valley People (March 14, 2018)

ANDERSON VALLEY WILL WALK. Maya Kehl writes: “I am a senior at Anderson Valley High School. On Wednesday, March 14, students will be doing a walkout in protest of school shootings. It will start at 10:00 and last 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims who lost their lives in the recent Parkland shooting in Florida…”

WEDNESDAY’S 17-minutes of solidarity at Boonville HS will coincide with a national walkout of high school students.

MEET THE CANDIDATES, Barbara Goodell writes: “If you want to meet the Mendocino County candidates Anderson Valley will have to vote for in the June 5th election, come to the AV Grange on Monday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m. There are now five candidates for 5th District Supervisor—Arthur Juhl, David Roderick, Alan Rodier, Chris Skyhawk, and Ted Williams. The final date to apply for County Superintendent of Schools and Assessor/Recorder/Elections is Wednesday, March 14.”

SHERIFF ALLMAN has named Sgt Matt Kendall as Under-Sheriff in place of Randy Johnson who has retired after 30 years of service. Kendall is a native of Covelo whose family roots go deep in Mendocino County — the Kendalls were among the very first settlers in the Anderson Valley; Boonville was first called Kendall City after the Kendalls who subsequently made their home on the South Coast. Under-Sheriff Kendall is the married father of a daughter who makes his home in the Ukiah Valley. His father is retired CalFire, the present employer of both his brothers. We think Kendall is an excellent choice. He’s a personable young guy whose visits we always look forward to. Name a profession with more interesting stories.

JUST IN: Dan Kuny tells us he has been hired as football coach at Potter Valley High School. Kuny, the famous logger who survived a widowmaker a couple of years ago and was previously Anderson Valley's popular eight-man football coach, is looking forward to the forthcoming season. With a real gift for inspiring young people, Kuny reports he’s already got a couple dozen kids looking forward to padding up. A native of the Anderson Valley and a graduate of Anderson Valley High School where he probably still holds the record for open field tackles — on kickoffs the Boonville stands resounded with cries, “Get ‘em, Kuny!” — we’re sure the old coach looks forward to Potter Valley vs Anderson Valley.

A ‘WIDOWMAKER’ is a falling tree branch that coldcocks a working logger. Kuny, struck by one three years ago, fell unconscious on top of his running chainsaw, darn near making a widow out of his wife, Tammy. Doctors told him if hadn’t been the model of middle-age fitness that he is, we’d be talking about the guy in the past tense.

COMPTCHE ARTIST PATTY SHANAHAN exhibits her Plein Air Paintings of Mendocino County at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville in March and April. Opening reception for the Artist is set for St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17 from 3-5pm. Readers may recall that Ms. Shanahan lost her Comptche home in a fire last January. Her studio survived. Ms. Shanahan is not only a fine artist but the focus of her 30-plus year career is primarily based in Mendocino County.

A VAN LOAD of exuberant young people from Blackbird Farm appeared at last Thursday night’s Quiz at Lauren’s Restaurant, too many to make up a single team to trivially pursue so they divided themselves into two teams, “Probably A Cult” and “Definitely A Cult,” laugh out loud references to speculation from some locals that the ridgetop summer camp is one.

FOR CULT-LIKE BEHAVIOR, take a look at the current management of Mendocino County Kinda Semi Public Radio. Or maybe I’m the only one getting that particular vibe, but try, just try, getting basic info out of the Philo bunker, where the putative new boss, Jeffrey Parker, is out when he’s in, in when he’s out, and the whole show is dominated by an EST fellow called Stuart Campbell.

WANTED! MATURE WRITER AND HEALTH PROFESSIONAL wants shady option for parking RV in Valley. (No communes, please!) Opening new full-time office in Boonville and want a private, quiet, peaceful place to sleep over 4-5 weekdays, as I live an hour's drive away from Valley. Have small RV with solar panel/collector in very good condition which serves my creature comforts nicely. Would be peachy to have availability of added electrical plug-in during cloudy periods. Can pay or trade. Can do grounds and gardening, burn piles, pruning fruit trees, mowing 7-10 hours/week. Good with animals and feeding. Also can help with correspondence and phone calls for the elderly. References available upon request 707/357-3068.

A WEEK AGO Tuesday night, a packed house celebrated the 25 years of Larry Tunzi’s service to the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department and the community of Comptche. Mr. T is retiring, not that we don’t expect to see him on the local fire lines. As one admirer put it, “Larry's gift to the Comptche community was the time, expertise and dedication he gave and never failing to perform his duties.” We’d always hoped that this smart, versatile, modest man would run for supervisor someday, and he’s still pretty young….

DAVE RODERICK is a last minute entry into the 5th District Supe’s race that now includes the merry Rotarian from Gualala, Art Juhl; Alan Rodier, a working farmer; Chris Skyhawk of Albion; and Ted Williams, also of Albion. Roderick is a graduate of Anderson Valley High School and a successful contractor also active in the Hopland Volunteer Fire Department. Candidates Williams and Skyhawk are also volunteer firefighters. Juhl, 75, and Verdier, 74, make for as various a field of candidates as we can remember. And all five are running hard. No recreational politicos in the bunch.

I TRY to be a polite driver. I routinely pull over for vehicles moving faster than me. The other day, driving over the hill to Ukiah, I was tailgated three times, twice dangerously, I mean, on my bumper. Maybe there was a meth sale in the County seat, at least that's what I suspected in one guy's case whose car I recognized. The only reason he'd be speeding was, well, speed. The trip over the hill from Boonville is about 25 minutes. Driving like a lunatic you can do it in twenty. But there’s no need to drive like a nut to save a few minutes.

EARLY MORNING ETIQUETTE: Every morning for three years I’ve passed the same man in the street near my house. I put his age as anywhere from 50 to 70. Fit people can be deceptive, can’t they? He refuses to acknowledge my greetings. He doesn’t respond to anybody’s greetings, so it’s just not me he’s ignoring. (I could understand his silent hostility if he knew me, but we’re strangers.) Quizzing a couple of other early morning people they confirm he ignores them, too and, by extension, ignores the unstated rules of basic civility. So? Why should he acknowledge any of us? It’s an anonymous suburb, a quiet stretch of streets where, especially early in the morning, the only signs of life are a few people walking effete dogs — small, white fluffy things mostly — and a few of us obsessive-compulsive 7am on the nose exercise types, mostly women. It’s not some kind of ambulatory meet and greet, I remind myself, but everyone else, despite the early hour, is friendly. We unfailingly flash each other phony smiles and mumbled greetings. Then there’s this Rumplestiltskin-looking guy, an intense, wiry, totally accoutered little man togged out in the latest outdoor exercise gear — head to foot lycra, water bottle, commando watch, and one of those heart monitors affixed high on one arm. And ear pods. In the afternoon, he mounts an expensive mountain bike with the same gear plus a bulging back pack, undoubtedly stuffed with emergency rations. Hell, you never know when you might be stranded in San Anselmo. With all this stuff he could manage a hundred mile hike in mid-summer Death Valley. Of course in Marin, and everywhere else in the Bay Area, there are thousands of people similarly equipped, but I’ve studied this one guy because I see him almost every day, and in all the many mornings we’ve passed each other he has steadfastly refused to return my merry, neighborly “Good morning.” A couple of months ago, on a frosty dawn as the sun came up, the stealthy little solitary, this dogged enemy of standard American bonhomie, literally brushed past me on a narrow stretch of sidewalk, startling me. Or sparing me my tiresome new day reveries, more likely. “Hi,” I yelled at his back. The guy can move, and he moves in a furious crab-like scuttle, periodically breaking into side straddle leaps like he’s jumping over a small stream, all the while looking straight ahead. Gradually, he began to seriously annoy me, and fascinate me, too. I admit I’ve stalked him a couple of times. I wanted to see where he lived, how weird or how normal his habitat might be. But he’s too fast for me, nevermind the legal implications of deliberately following a stranger might be. At first, I assumed he couldn’t hear me through his pods. I asked around. “Oh yeah,” a pod person assured me, “he can hear you. Ear pods don’t blot out all the sound.” I found myself thinking about break-through strategies, some way to bust through the rude barrier. I couldn’t just grab him. “Hi, my name is Raskalnikov. I see you out here all the time and just wanted to introduce myself. And you are, sir?” Not a good idea. He probably had some kind of weapon on him given his level of preparedness. So, I decided to call him by a different name every morning until I hit the right one and/or he in some way responded. Of course I understood the mathematical odds against stumbling upon his patrynomic, and given his commitment to avoiding all human contact even if I got it right he might just grind on, ignoring the intrusion. But I’d settle for any acknowledgement, from a violent shout of “Leave me alone” to the slightest twitch in my direction. I decided I’d start out with ‘Larry.” He was just coming down the hill as I was going up. “Hiya, Larry. Great to see you out here this morning.” Nothing. He plunged on. Next morning, “Hi, Lar. Good day for it, huh?” Not even a hint of acknowledgement. And on it has gone for two months now. “Harry, how are ya?” “Looking good, Bill.” “Kick it on in, Bob.” You’d think after fifty mornings of this the guy would react one way or the other. Nope, nothing. A week ago a lady walking her little Muffy said to me, “I don’t think he wants to be bothered. I see what you’re doing but it won’t work.” I said, “What you don’t see is what it’s doing to me.” Thing is, no matter what route I take, there he is. And never so much as a glance in my direction! Yes, it has occurred to me that maybe Rumple is stalking me, testing me as to how far I’ll go to get a ‘Good morning’ out of him. I’ll keep you posted.

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