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OPINIONS




"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

                                           
President Abraham Lincoln


The worst fears of folks in the Intermountain Area are coming true.

The Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency emailed us a news release right after our paper went to press last week when there was no way we could publish it, about a hearing they are having at the Burney Veteran’s Hall at 5:30 p.m. today (Tuesday).

Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is developing permanent supportive housing options in the Eastern Shasta County for permanent supportive housing for adults with severe mental illness and/or youth and children with severe emotional disturbance.

I don’t want to sound unfeeling or that I have the “Not in my backyard” syndrome, because that isn’t the case. It is the country that is being unfeeling for everyone concerned and “not in my backyardish because they are trying to hide their problem up here instead of taking care of it where he services to do so are available.

Lets look at the facts.

1. The Burney - Fall River Valley area has one hospital. That hospital is not staffed or equipped to handle severe mental illness or children with severe mental problems. They have to call their maintenance personnel in as backup when they have anyone that is unruly in the emergency room. I know of at least three incidents in the past year and a half where the mentally ill have been brought in and subsequently escaped. In one such case the man was nude, left nude and was picked up several miles away in the Pit River Canyon, nude.

There have been a couple of people who have been found wandering down the road.

The hospital also depends on the Sheriff’s Department which usually, especially at night have two deputies and maybe a sergeant on duty and they may be anyplace in Eastern Shasta County on another call.

The medical community has a couple of mental health personnel, as far as I know, only one is an MD.

Mentally handicapped people in general don’t have a lot of money or Insurance which means that the State and Feds are only going to pay a small portion of the costs associated with any medical treatment, making it even less attractive for the Clinic to attract doctors and even harder for the Clinic and hospital to break even, further damaging the community’s service.

There is inadequate public transportation - RABA makes an early morning and late evening trip to and from Redding. The jail, the trauma centers, most medical services are all in Redding, 50 plus miles away. For whatever reason this area has become attractive to drug addicts and the homeless. We’ve already got one hell of a problem with people who are out of control. It is not uncommon to see young adults digging in trash cans around the supermarkets, slamming the lids, throwing trash, swearing or otherwise harassing customers.

It is not uncommon for the fire departments to have to go into the forests surrounding town and put out fires started by the homeless. It is not uncommon to see one or two of them wandering down the highway talking to themselves and flailing their arms.

The weather is icy and snowy in the winter. Temperatures dip below freezing. Everything is stacked against those who can’t care for themselves properly.

I know - the county can get some money to spend on the problem. What happens when the money runs out or the focus shifts? Those folks who have the problem will be abandoned up here.

Look at the history.

The state and federal government had facilities to properly take care of the mentally ill. The Supreme Court in its wisdom forced the facilities to shut down.

The county had a general hospital that had facilities to handle the mentally ill. The county ran out of money and closed it.

We have one Child Protective Service officer who handles a huge area including ours.

We had or may still have one Adult Protective Service officer who handles the area.

Years ago we had good home health service. The funding was cut and it disappeared.

Our fair had state funding, that disappeared and if it hadn’t have been for a large group of local citizens stepping in to take it over, that would have disappeared.

We had a branch of the court up here. That disappeared.

We had a jail up here. That disappeared.

We had a branch library in Fall River Mills. The funding went away and if it hadn’t have been for a group of citizens stepping in, that would have disappeared.

We had lost our 24- hour Sheriff’s patrol and it took years and the persistence of our supervisor and Sheriff to get it back.

We are losing government support left and right or having to put up major efforts just to maintain what we have and now the county wants to add another burden - one that doesn’t already exist.

That doesn’t make any sense at all.

Yes, the folks, adults and children with severe mental and emotional problems should have every right in the world to have decent lives including decent places to stay. But they also deserve to have all of the services they need at their fingertips, not 50 plus miles of questionable roads away in an area that is having a difficult time providing decent services to those who can take care of themselves.

Give us a break! Give them a break! Don’t try to house them in the Burney- Fall River Valley areas, or in Igo, Ono, Shingletown, Old Station or Hat Creek.

Place them in areas where they can get the services they need, when they need them.


I almost didn’t write what I am about to. Every time I started to think about something else to write. I saw these three words. I will apologize right now if I offend anyone. It is not my intention. In fact, I am “guilty as charged” when it comes to what I am going to talk about. Where will the Blue Skies be in this column? Well, it is my hope that it will help us all to realize how we can show a glimmer of a blue sky through the dark clouds when someone needs it. Here goes…

Thoughts and Prayers. How many times is that our automatic response when someone is facing a hardship, there is a tragedy or loss or a community (local or worldwide) is dealing with a disaster. How many times have you heard our political leaders stand at a podium and say “Our thoughts and prayers are with you?”

What does that mean?

I never really thought anything about it. I have written it in cards, I have said it in emails, texts, Facebook and in person. It seems like the right thing to say, especially when you don’t know what to say.

When I went to Alabama in January for FEMA Public Information Officer(PIO) training, I learned a lot. But there is one thing that affected me personally and has never left my mind. We had this great instructor from Louisiana who spoke to us about how to handle media during disasters. He also addressed how to communicate with families and those involved in the situations. He is the one who spoke to us about “Thoughts and Prayers.” He is a firm believer in NOT using those words. His claim is that in most cases they are just words, empty words and just merely said, rarely with action. That really struck me. My intentions were always there when those sentiments were expressed, but truly I could have said more.

Instead of just saying those words, he recommended really putting some substance to what you choose to say. What are you thinking about? What are you praying about? Be specific. If we expand on what we say, we are more likely to put the action behind our words. Don’t be afraid to share memories, feelings and expand on how you feel.

Our instructor gave an example of a time he was a PIO during a big natural disaster. He made sure to plug himself into what was going on so when he spoke he had something to say that would connect with victims and families. He was able to say more than “thoughts and prayers.”

The sentiment of our thoughts and prayers is a good one, it is just we really need to make the words full of intention.

This last week I lost a friend, we lost a member of our community. I haven’t been able to talk to the family yet, but I want to be able to say more than “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” I want to say I cherish the memories of being moms together and supporting our daughters. I want to say I am thinking about the family and what I can do to help them. I am thinking about the selfless contributions this woman made to our schools, community, her friends and family. I am praying for comfort and peace. I am praying for each of us to cherish the moments of our lives and live each day to the fullest. I am praying that there will be blue skies to come and the community will, as it always does, wrap their arms around this family in their time of sadness.

Thoughts and prayers are a good thing. It is up to each one of us to determine what we mean when we say them. Personally, I want to be able to say more. I want to really mean what I say. Our kinds words are important. I can tell you that was one of the biggest comforts when my grandfather and my mother-in-law passed. Don’t be afraid to say a little more…the time you take to express those words will make someone’s sky a little bluer.

Editorial
I was asked to judge senior projects at Fall River High School again this year. That is a privilege that anyone lucky enough to be invited to participate should jump at.

It gave me a lot more than just a chance to look at a few students’ work.

It gave me the same things it has given me in years past, a chance to get a look at the students themselves, indirectly a look at just how good the teachers who taught, mentored and guided them are, the quality of their education and a chance to see just how prepared they are to go on to the next level of their lives.

When the school district first put the concept into practice I thought it would be a waste of everyone’s time, just one more thing the kids had to do.

It quickly evolved into something very meaningful.

I have been impressed with the depth of the student research, the thoroughness of their papers, their use of mentors and their ability to present.

When I left the school that evening I left with the impression that we can send our students off to college and they will fare just as well as the students coming out of the big schools. They are ready and they have the confidence to succeed.

My congratulations to the young men and women in the Class of 2016. You are good and you will succeed if you want to succeed. Go for it!
Editorial

A couple of things this week.

We lost a really great guy Friday when Randy Bassett died. I knew Randy since he worked for his dad, Roy, at the gas station across from the “Swallow Cliffs” in Fall River Mills.

He started having physical problems years ago, but you’d never have known it. He was alway up, always had a grin and a joke or two and would laugh at your’s. He never burdened you with his problems. He was a good guy and a good man and I’ll miss him.

On another subject, the world flat refuses to do its thing in an orderly fashion so we can do ours conveniently.

I’ve driven the Pit One Grade for 40 plus years now, almost on a daily basis, at all times of the day and night and in all kinds of weather. While I always watch the cliffs above the roadway and dodged an occasional small boulder in the roadway, I’ve never witnessed one coming down. I did a 360 in the snow up there one year and while I looked at the guard rail for a split second as I slid past it, I’ve never hit it or gone over.

This year Caltrans employees had to go over the side and fill in an area directly under the road that had disappeared.

Yep, its time to do a little work up there, but with the Fall River bridge blocked off, Mother Nature could have waited a few months - but I’ll put up with it, I like to have a roadway under me I can stay on.

Editorial
Can’t even plant flowers to make the office look pretty without some jerk stealing the plants! THANKS A__ H____!

Every vote may or may not be important at the state and federal level, but at the local level it is crucial!

May 5 is the last day that folks in the proposed ambulance district, primarily in Big Valley, can vote to have and finance such a district or not.

It is an irrefutable fact that people have died in that area because it took too long for ambulances to arrive.

It is also a fact that even if that wasn’t true, the fact that you have an ambulance available will better the lives of numerous people who would be sick or injured and in immediate need of medical attention.

Those who need to use it will pay for using it, the tax payer won’t be underwriting them.

The small annual amount, fixed by the ballot measure and impossible to be increased unless it goes through another vote of the people with another 2/3 majority, is $13.75 a month per parcel with a two parcel cap.

Isn’t the peace of mind knowing you are saving lives, possibly those of you or your loved ones worth it?

Mail your ballot back by Thursday May 5.

Editorial
I was asked to judge senior projects at Fall River High School again this year. That is a privilege that anyone lucky enough to be invited to participate should jump at.


It gave me a lot more than just a chance to look at a few students’ work.

It gave me the same things it has given me in years past, a chance to get a look at the students themselves, indirectly a look at just how good the teachers who taught, mentored and guided them are, the quality of their education and a chance to see just how prepared they are to go on to the next level of their lives.

When the school district first put the concept into practice I thought it would be a waste of everyone’s time, just one more thing the kids had to do.

It quickly evolved into something very meaningful.

I have been impressed with the depth of the student research, the thoroughness of their papers, their use of mentors and their ability to present.

When I left the school that evening I left with the impression that we can send our students off to college and they will fare just as well as the students coming out of the big schools. They are ready and they have the confidence to succeed.

My congratulations to the young men and women in the Class of 2016. You are good and you will succeed if you want to succeed. Go for it!
Editorial
I haven’t found any evidence that the liberal judges have their hands in the cookie jar which means their actions must come from a lack of common sense.

Back when crime was a punishable offense, we put murderer’s to death after they were convicted. It saved the taxpayer a lot of money, gave those who were left a sense of closure and acted as a deterent.

When I was in the service in North Carolina, they had real chain gangs with prisoners chained together working alongside of roadways, a shotgun toating guard at the front and the back.

There were penalties for shoplifting and other petty crimes. You quickly saw that you would get hard time for burglary, embezzlement, forgery, auto theft, and things like that so unless you were too stupid to take the hint, you learned your lesson.

If you were a kid you went to school. The school didn’t have special classrooms or classes because of you. They solved a lot of problems with the paddle - It made a believer out of me. If you were incorigible you went to juvenile hall.

You didn’t call a police officer a cop to his face and you sure didn’t call him a blanking Pig because you would have ended up getting dentures, and not because you smoked too much meth.

So what if prisons are overcrowded. If you thought the ones in the 1970’s and 80’s were overcrowded, you could always think about the Yuma Territorial prison in the 1800’s where both top bunk and lower bunk prisoners were chained to the floor, where you barely had room to move in the cell and you worked from sun up to sun down and either didn’t have time to think about rioting etc. or you were just plain too tired.

Now, our high-paid judges who are Alaw unto themselves, work hard to find ways to rehabilitate folks that don’t want rehabilitation and punish society for their crimes. They even give them better medical care than most normal working people get.

Yes there are some people who have been or could be rehabilited. There are some innocent folk caught in the system. Most of the population, however, is innocent and in most cases they are the ones paying to give the trash in our society more benefits than those of us paying for it. They get in trouble because they know there isn’t any penalty.
Not good!
Editorial
There is apparently some concern about the $65 a parcel tax for an ambulance being raised willy-nilly once it is passed.

Can’t happen folks. We voted in Proposition 13, the Howard Jarvis Tax Initiative in 1978.

Taken from the Ballotpedia The encyclopedia of American Politics.

California Proposition 13, or the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation was on the June 6, 1978 statewide primary ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

The official ballot summary said: (the) Official Ballot Summary limits ad valorem taxes on real property to 1% of value except to pay indebtedness previously approved by voters. Establishes 1975-76 assessed valuation base for property tax purposes. Limits annual increases in value. Provides for reassessment after sale, transfer, or construction. Requires 2/3 vote of Legislature to enact any change in state taxes designed to increase revenues. Prohibits imposition by state of new ad valorem, sales, or transaction taxes on real property. Authorizes imposition of special taxes by local government (except on real property) by 2/3 vote of qualified electors.

In other words it takes a 2/3 vote of the voters in a district to put in (which is the issue at the moment) or for the district to raise property taxes.

For full information on Proposition 13 go to WWW:\\Ballotpedia.org. and find Proposition 13.

Editorial
There is apparently some concern about the $65 a parcel tax for an ambulance being raised willy-nilly once it is passed.

Can’t happen folks. We voted in Proposition 13, the Howard Jarvis Tax Initiative in 1978.

Taken from the Ballotpedia The encyclopedia of American Politics.

California Proposition 13, or the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation was on the June 6, 1978 statewide primary ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

The official ballot summary said: (the) Official Ballot Summary limits ad valorem taxes on real property to 1% of value except to pay indebtedness previously approved by voters. Establishes 1975-76 assessed valuation base for property tax purposes. Limits annual increases in value. Provides for reassessment after sale, transfer, or construction. Requires 2/3 vote of Legislature to enact any change in state taxes designed to increase revenues. Prohibits imposition by state of new ad valorem, sales, or transaction taxes on real property. Authorizes imposition of special taxes by local government (except on real property) by 2/3 vote of qualified electors.

In other words it takes a 2/3 vote of the voters in a district to put in (which is the issue at the moment) or for the district to raise property taxes.

For full information on Proposition 13 go to WWW:\\Ballotpedia.org. and find Proposition 13.
Editorial

I have seen a number of odd individuals walk up and down my block recently.

Instead of now having just one house that has strange visitors at all hours we have two.

I talked to the deputies about the one house years ago several times and while we continue to have night time traffic which pops into their place, stay a short time and leave, as they have for years, nothing was or or is done.

The homeless lounge outside the Vets Hall, they go through their dipsy dumpster, they lounge in front of restaurants and on other benches. They cut through people’s property.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spot the over abundance of tattoos or the type of tattoo on many of these people. It doesn’t take a pro to see the unkempt, filthy, appearance and yet nothing is done - probably because of “profiling.”

That is a pretty lame excuse.

I understand the trash come up here because they are harassed by the cops in the city of Redding.

If that’s not enough a Burrough in New York proved years ago that it was cost effective to pick up those causing crime the minute they showed up, even if it was for spitting on the sidewalk.

Yes, they got out shortly after being booked for all the usual reasons, but they sat in prowl cars or on benches for awhile in cuffs, got their picture taken and generally were treated in a manner they found annoying and they moved on.

It would be nice if the powers to be would get off their duffs and do something here. If they don’t care for my suggestion, find their own.
Vote Yes on Measures E & F
Editor: I am urging the voters of Big Valley to vote Yes on Measures E & F on May 3rd.

As an owner of a central business, Big Valley Market, I have many patrons using my store and worry about that one person who has a potentially devastating critical problem while in my store. I also own and operate an agricultural service. Working in Agriculture always has the potential for devastating injuries, injuries that could be minimized with prompt and adequate emergency scene treatment.

The delay in ALS response, including the sometimes un-passable Big Valley Mountain or just the long arrival time, will contribute to the outcome of an elderly fall victim, or traumatic agricultural accident. I support the formation of the Southern Cascade Community Services District and the tax to help run it. Vote yes on Measures E&F!
Tammy Babcock Bieber


Editorial

People who are so cheap that they can’t put a few bucks a year out tp save the lives of loved ones and neighbors never cease to amaze me.

Big Valley needs its own ambulance instead of ones 30 plus miles away.

This is the third time in as many years that people in Big Valley have the opportunity to save lives by voting in an ambulance district and the money it takes to run one.

This is the third year in a row where a small number of people have ignored or poo-pooed the fact that people have died who might otherwise had a chance to live because they were too cheap to cast a vote that would make an ambulance available in their valley to immediately respond to medical emergencies. Without the ambulance they will continue to die.

The problem is that the way the law reads it takes 25% plus one vote to kill a tax measure and thus allow people to die because they can’t get an ambulance to them in time to save them.

The professionals in the medical profession, in law enforcement, in two counties leadership, along with those who have lost loved ones because they couldn’t get the rapid response needed, have made their case over and over to no avail.

A message to those who are so cheap they put money ahead of lives - give your community and those who are so vulnerable a break - vote yes this time

Editorial
I attended the Candidate’s night in Fall River Mills Saturday. Unfortunately it wasn’t as well attended as it should have been.

It was a fairly telling event, not so much because of what was said, but of the candidates that took the time and effort to come to a small, rural area to campaign. We know that we were important to those who were there.

I know that Giacomini had tried but for whatever reason missed the presentations. The congressional candidates, LaMalfa and Reed... well guys I wasn’t impressed by your absence and your competition made good points while you didn’t.

They say they’ll do a better job of trying to get things done in Washington. Maybe they will.

I did pick up a tidbit while there - someone stole at least one candidate’s signs and replaced it with another.

Two points - first a candidate or representative has to get permission to place a sign on property that doesn’t belong to them and two, It is not just a dirty trick to steal a candidate’s sign - it’s a crime.

You might want to keep that in mind.

Anyway it was a well run forum with candidates who conducted themselves well and had interesting points to make.

If there’s another one in our area I suggest you try to make it.

At least it’s not the circus the national debates have become.


Editorial
I’ve noticed what I consider a flaw in the system when it comes to voting in general elections in the state of California. It was created unintentionally by our forefathers, but none the less, is there and needs to be corrected.

I first noticed the problem back in the 1970’s and ‘80s.

I would be a politically correct editor and remind everyone how important it was that we all exercised our right to vote and did so.

Then I’d finish work on election Tuesday and go to the Fall River Lions Hall for their meeting. Most everyone had also already voted even though the polls didn’t close for another hour or two.

We’d turn on the television without paying a whole lot of attention to the talking head doing the news cast from the East Coast.

The talking head would dutifully report that the East Coast polls had closed an hour or so before and the exit poles, combined with the early returns indicated that candidate so-and-so had won the popular vote and would undoubtedly be our next president.

After a few years I began to wonder why I was bothering. But I also assured myself that there was still the electoral college or a possibility of a real close call where my effort might make a difference so I kept up the routine.

Then, as has amply been pointed out this year, the various candidates are really counting the Electoral College votes, well over enough to assure the presidential election will all come from the East Coast.

So I put two and two together and have decided that the West Coast has little say in the Presidential election because,

1. The president will probably have been elected by popular vote before the first vote is counted on the West Coast.

2. The president will probably be elected by the electoral college because of the East Coast block.

I have no idea how to fix it, nor do I expect that it ever will be, but it does give the West Coast voter something to think about.

Editorial
It is dangerous to reflect on the past - you might remember what you are missing now.

When we moved up here in 1976 we didn’t lock our cars or houses for that matter.

Donna actually had three or four “homeless” people make nuisances out of themselves at the store, because she did Western Union and she also had a bench outside.

One made a little too much of a nuisance out of himself and the deputy, who will remain nameless, gathered him up and put him in the back of his prowl car.

The deputy drove him as far as Bella Vista. Stopped his car, opened up the back door, let him get out, uncuffed him, pointed westward and told him that Redding was that direction and he didn’t want to ever see him in our area again.

If someone camped in the woods around town, they were camping. They didn’t crap in the open, start fires carelessly, they cleaned up their messes and didn’t go through neighborhoods stealing everyone blind.

The courts actually halfway did their jobs, making it uncomfortable and it didn’t take up to a year for the District Attorney’s office to get off their fannies and do something.

The interesting part is that the Sheriff’s office, District Attorney’s office and Courts did their job more efficiently in those days with less money and less manpower.

Law enforcement didn’t have a “most wanted” category and if they would have, it wouldn’t be for a bunch of yo-yo’s who finally figured out that it didn’t matter whether they made their court appearances or not.

Those were the days when the “Most Wanted” were real criminals and the jail (thanks to all the bleeding hearts) didn’t have revolving doors.
Editorial
A couple things... First, regarding the “Wolf lives matter” matter...

I’d hate to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this summer, because obviously if you can’t protect yourself or your property against predator’s your life doesn’t matter.

Secondly - I’ve finished looking at the windmill money situation and I have a couple of observations.

1. A lot of us were led to believe that since it was the citizens primarily in the community of Burney who have to look at the stubble on the top of the mountain ridge every day and it was primarily the town of Burney’s tourism that could be negatively impacted, that the windmill developers were trying to appease the citizens of the town of Burney and at the most the Burney Basin.

Obviously it didn’t happen that way. There was a lot of money involved and for whatever reason the people setting the whole thing up weren’t interested in making that much money available to only Burney.

Right, wrong or indifferent contracts were written to the contrary. I’m not a lawyer, thank God, but it will take a lawyer to straighten that situation out and get it changed, if it can be changed.

As far as I can see, the Shasta Regional Foundation is following the contract they signed and hasn’t intentionally strayed.

The County on the other hand would use every cent of the money on any county program that they could under the guise of Burney being a part of the county and thus anything done in the county meets the letter of the contract. That includes money for the Burney substation staff and equipment. A noble and worthy project, but they forget to tell you that the Burney sub cover is responsible for Oak Run, Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Big Bend, Burney, Hat Creek, Cassel, Fall River, McArthur, Glenburn, Dana and parts of Day.

I’m not saying that many, if not all of the projects in or out of the area, aren’t worthy and that they need the money.

But, in my book, that isn’t what the intent for the money’s use and thus is wrong.

Editorial
There is no common sense or human compassion when it comes to the fanatics who decide they are the great white saviors of whatever cause they believe in. Unfortunately it is generally the people who live in the cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles and have way too much money and too much time on their hands to do anything constructive or to really think things through.

A few years ago it was the Mountain Lion – that poor, endangered kitty who only ate an occasion jogger, coop full of chickens, flock of sheep, dogs, cats, deer or other animals. Now we have an abundance of the poor kitties – up here.

Now it is the Gray Wolf’s turn.

As with most other “rural” problems, the various commissions which are in charge of everything but common sense, are made up of political types who want to appease the city folk because there are more of them. The hell with the long range consequences.

I have a compromise. We don’t have to kill these poor, hungry, misguided critters. Instead lets tranquilize enough to fill several moving vans. Once the vans are full, half should be sent to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and the other half to Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

By the time the vans arrive at their destinations the animals should either be awake or waking up. They will probably be hungry and a little cranky. Open the van doors, let the critters out to find food.

After a few of the city dogs, cats, children and other folk are eaten maybe the attitude of “We have to save everything but rural people and animals,” will change.

There was a reason the state assisted in the removal of the wolves from California in the early 1900’s.

Letter to the Editor:
Editor: Coming back from Mount Shasta Ski Park at sunset I was treated to a cloud of white feathers circling to land. It is amazing that so many birds could fly so close to each other and not have a mid-air accident. Love nature and the rare sights it can give for one’s enjoyment.

My hybred wolf barked at Chainsaw the beaver on an opposite bank. Chainsaw slid into the creek and disappeared only to come up and floated sideways at less than three feet. Tina sat and did not growl, or bark, while I “talked” to the Beaver. How rate is that?

God put animals on earth for a reason. It is up to the most dangerous animal to hear now to get along with nature, and each other. Sadly man is slow to learn anything that is uplifting like watching a wolf huff and puff and blow the local drug pusher’s house down. You say a wolf doesn’t blow houses down! And, there is only one known attack by a wolf.

Ah yes, there should be a fund to pay for losses of livestock. One must learn that government does not function at the “We the people” level most of the time.

I would enjoy seeing a wolf, or a pack of wolves, in nature. Actually I have in Michigan getting the bones out of my garbage – she had a pup. That was in the 1960’s. Michigan had about 40 wolves in the wild back them, If I remember right, with not the panic expressed by California.

Predators tend to hunt the sick, old, and injured, thereby improving the herd. They balance nature. Man hunts everything including man – sad, but true. You might say man is out of balance – some of my best friends are way out of balance. Some think I am.

I have petted a coyote in the wild three times. I think I could pet a wolf. Animals have what I call a “dumb” period where they can be approached. Humans have dumb periods too – some last their whole lives.

I can only hope man can learn to live with nature and not wipe it out one species at a time.
Dale Mollenhauer

A Brief History Lesson
Editor: Thank you for your common sense Editorial on how us country people are treated by laws that are made by others that affect our lives adversely without affecting them. My question is: “How can one segment of a society put in affect a law that inflicts danger and possibly death on another segment of a society without their permission.” I’m speaking of protecting the Mountain Lion and now the so-called “Endangered” Gray Wolf. I can’t believe the lack of experience and ignorance that surrounds and is embedded in the minds and actions of most of these people. They don’t and won’t understand reality. They haven’t learned from history. They must see a repeat of history play out before their eyes before they’ll believe it. I believe a brief history lesson must be presented here:

1) During the mid- 1800”s the pioneers found no game from the North Fork of the Pit River to Redding. (Reading back then) They nearly starved on their trip south.

2) 1898 My grandfather saw four deer on his ranch in DAY. After his report of seeing the deer my Dad asked, “What’s a deer?” At six he’d never seen a deer.

3) 1890”s thru 1920’S ALL LIVESTOCK had to be locked up at night within safe places and herded during the daytime by men with rifles in hand to protect them from the predators.

4) 1893-4 My grandmother sat up all night with a coal-oil lamp to protect her husband and children from Mountain Lions. One night she saw seven sets of Mt. Lion eyes and listened to their loud purring that sounded like a chain being dragged across a board. Their tails wagging wore 2” dips in the soil. 5) 1910-1915 Kitchens in logging camps and homes destroyed by Grizzly bears.

6) Predator control measures and protection put in place. (Bounties, hunting, etc.)

7) 1930’s deer numbers start to come back. Late 1940’s 1,100 bucks (3 points or better) killed in mountains around Fall River and Little Hot Spring Valleys.

8) 1950’s -5,000 + - deer counted often between McArthur & Oilar Ranch in Day.

9) Late 1940’s 1950’s Hundreds of people come to Little Hot Spring Valley to look at the deer, to count and photograph them. Our front yard was a good turn around place for these tourists. When these people were asked, “Why did you come up to the ranch?” They all said, “We came to see the beautiful DEER!” Not a single soul ever said they came to see a predator of any type.

10) 1972 to 1983 deer numbers in Surprise Valley hovered around 3,400.

11) Trapping outlawed, Mountain Lions protected now, 2016 deer numbers have dropped to fewer than 800 head, about 23%of normal.

12) 2016 Little Hot Spring Valley “0” not a deer seen! Several 1,000 deer gone!

Now we are being FORCED to receive the WOLF! We can’t even protect our animals, our families, our wildlife and ourselves. The mountain lions have already devastated our deer herds, The PORCUPINE has virtually disappeared WE ARE NOW GETTING A FEW ELK, so why feed them, our remaining deer and our livestock to the WOLVES! I wonder how the deer would vote on the wolf issue? Our forefathers had predator control for a reason. The WOLVES are not and never were an endangered species. The Endangered Species Act is unconstitutional and should be repealed! We should be allowed to live normal lives again! One rancher said, (after attending the “Big Wolf meeting” about our choices as livestock producers) “I guess all I can do to the wolf that kills and eats my cow is give him a tooth pick and a breath mint. This whole scenario is taxation without representation!
Sincerely, Clayton Oilar
Thank You
It is with sad hearts that we laid to rest our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Bob Green. However, we were blessed that he passed so peacefully when the Lord called him home. We are very thankful for all of the prayers, love, and support extended to our family. This is indeed a wonderful community. Thanks to Pastor Henry Winkleman for the moving funeral service. Thanks to the church families at Grace Community Church, First Baptist Church, and friends for all the food at the reception. A special thanks to the Burney VFW, American Legion Honor Guard and the team from Beale Air Force Base for the graveside ceremony honoring Bob’s service to our country. Many thanks to all.
Nancy Green and family
Editorial
If you can’t trust the government who can you trust?

Well, if you believe that I’ve got more than one bridge I’d be glad to sell you at bargain rates.

I just got through doing the page one story on the pay a tax by the mile for gas.

Can’t say I was really surprised but in all the hype, Caltrans propaganda, and other P.R. pieces, and there were hundreds of pages, I couldn’t find a proposed charge, nor did I see anything that indicated who could raise the rate or how often.

I did learn a lot though, the committee and staff who put this thing together, I’m sure at taxpayer expense, were extremely thorough. They figured out that some Californians make more money and others and thus discussed the possibility of setting a tiered rates based on income.

They discussed several ways to account for the money, all of which would cost money to produce and a huge bureaucracy to run, manage and account for.

They were extremely concerned about the user’s right to privacy, something that is unusual for government of any kind, but again it will generate more bureaucracy.

They were up front about the reasoning for doing what they are doing, they want more money than they are getting.

One of the major things the whole concept is missing is cutting the waste and unnecessary money being currently spent by the agency.

Then there was a lot of discussion on how to make sure that out of state folks pay their fair share, and the collection systems involved in the plans.

I’m no expert, but the committee spent over 110 pages in one document identifying everything that could go wrong with their plan and dreaming up ways to stop the wrongs from happening. But I didn’t see anything anyplace that I looked that talked about an in depth study or plan that addressed where the current money goes that they are currently receiving.

Not too long ago I seriously questioned that agency’s wanting to clutter the highways up with a sign at each end of towns reminding people not to run over Caltrans workers. That was a noble gesture to the Caltrans employees but an extremely expensive and scenic polluted way to tell the public what is already emblazoned on signs, bumper stickers ect.

As an impartial observer I also question the use of a heavy truck and its driver at the start of a construction zone.

I am not privy to the department’s records and have no problem with the practice if the statistics demonstrate that it saves lives or injury. That’s just one of a whole bunch of practices that might or might not improve the financial picture of the state’s roads department and thus adjust or eliminate the need for new ways to stick it to the people, most of whom drive miles to and from work because they have to, not because they want to.

While I won’t be happy, I will understand, if the government does its job across the board, reduces existing waste and gets the multi-billion dollar annual bureaucracy completely out of the picture.
Editorial
I’m making a couple of assumptions here. I have a public notice in hand that was run by Shasta County’s Larry Lees in the Modoc County Record in Alturas January 21.

Since it is strictly a Shasta County legal notice I’m going to assume it was also run in one of the three legally adjudicated newspapers in Shasta County, but I have no proof of that.

When I called County Executive Officer Larry Lees, about it he didn’t mention running it in Shasta County, but I didn’t specifically ask him either.

He said he was going to check on why it ran in the Record, but assumed that since it was a Shasta County Housing Authority notice, it was because Shasta County also handled the Siskiyou and Modoc County’s Housing Authorities for them.

The major problem as I see it is that it was advertising a public hearing to be held March 22 in Redding. If anyone wanted to view the proposed annual Plan they had to call a specific lady at a Redding phone number to make an appointment to view the document in her office by calling 225-5160 in Redding and asking for Christy Coleman. The review is preparatory to making input at a hearing before the Annual Plan for the Shasta County Housing Authority is adopted.

I have a couple of problems with that notice.

In the first place it doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with Siskiyou or Modoc Counties and if it does, representatives of those counties certainly aren’t doing their citizens any favors making them call and travel to Redding and then make any input in Redding.

If it is what it appears, a notice to Shasta County residents about a Shasta County Housing Authority hearing which it pruports to be, then what in the hell is it doing in the Modoc County Record and which Shasta County paper was it published in?

Editorial
Ron usually gets to see the colorful, awesome Indian Dances, so it really tickled me when Jack Potter Jr. called and asked me if I could cover the Indian Heritage assembly the Rancheria was putting on at Fall River Elementary Friday.

The Thundering Moccasins were awesome and they held the cafeteria filled with young students and staff spellbound.

But it was a lot more than just the dancers. I’ve always considered myself fairly well versed in the day to day household items of the various tribes. But I learned how much more I had to learn.

As an example I’ve always seen depictions of Indian women grinding various nuts and seeds with a mortar and pestal. While I’m a fair cook, It isn’t my primary duty so I take it at face value.

Just two of the things I learned:
I was surprised to learn that, yes, they used the mortar and pestal, but they had a “blender setup of their own. It was a beautifully woven conical basket without a bottom.

They’d put it on the mortar, put the pestal inside and pour the acorns or whatever in the basket. They ground them just like we “modern” folk do with carrots and a motorized steel blade in the bottom of a glass bowl.

There’s a lot more. I learned to make arrowheads years ago, but what it taught me was respect for the arrowhead. Did you know that it is the arrow that is more valuable? The obsidian breaks and can be thrown away. The arrow shaft can be reused.

Editorial
I researched, interviewed, checked my facts, and bent over backwards in an effort to be fair in writing the article on Los Colinas Mobile Home Park’s pending rent hike last week.

I did send them a pdf copy of the issue with the stories and editorial in it.

It was no surprise that Sherrie Fuqua, property manager for Partners Real Estate handling Los Colinas didn’t like it.

However I was surprised to receive an e-mail from a tenant who wrote:

I am a resident of this park. I read your article. One paragraph was very interesting. If I may quote; “To help alleviate this problem, management will be instituting a rental subsidy assistance program to help those of you truly in need.” The paragraph goes on to list some perimeters. So I called the management office in Stockton, (209) 932-8747. The receptionist could not connect me with Sherrie Fuqua. However she told me: 1) they were unaware of the article, 2) unaware and to her knowledge never had or planned on implementing a rental subsidy program, and 3) never spoke to anyone at the newspaper. So, my question for you is, where did you get your information? Did you check your facts before publishing? We were hopeful when we read this. Now what?

Well, it so happens that I not only checked my facts and asked Ms. Fuqua questions and received answers, but I kept a copy of my correspondence.

Ms Fuqua responded to the e-mail I sent after receiving the tenant’s letter by saying in part... “Also I did not give you permission to send the letter to anyone as I had let you know it was an unfinished copy and I was trying to adhere to your demand of getting everything back to you on your timeline.”

I was sure she had given me that letter to use as I saw fit (after all I am a reporter, was doing a story on the subject in question and she knew it). So I went back and checked our correspondence.

On 3/8 16 at 3:41 p.m. I received one which read in part... “Just waiting on the final OK from my Boss to send you what I have. I will be in tomorrow and will send it prior to your 5:00 1/9/2016 turn around. Enjoy your Friday!

“Take Care,

“Sherrie Fuqua”

Ms. Fuqua was able to get the information I requested by 5:22 p.m. 3/8/16 and forwarded it to me. Most of the information was for background and not direct quotes and I honored her request as I understood it.

In the second line of that letter, however, she writes... “Attached is a letter written last week to the residents and scheduled to be mailed out early next week. You can consider the letter “on the record.” Some items are in draft form so there may be some further tweaks prior to mailing.”

The letter was on the record and only some “tweaks” were needed. Most people giving out material on the record would not be surprised if the reporter used it.

In her latest response to my correspondence she did say... “She does have a point about checking facts though, I have a running tab of about 5 things you posted that were false, maybe have your “editor” check better with the next article.”

Since I am not a perfect individual I am always more than willing to admit my errors and after the proper review and verification, correct them.

I haven’t received the list to date

Editorial

Prices go up every day.

We are spending a lot more in the grocery store, for food, and just about everything else than we did a year ago.

The difference is that if we don’t like it we can turn around and walk out of the store.

When you purchase a mobile home either already in a park or you have it placed in a park, you pay rent on the space.

While none of us like the rising cost of living and increased prices in most instances, we expect them as a part of life and live with them.

Tenants in mobile home parks are in a tough situation. Once the home they own is put on the space they rent, it becomes darn near impossible to move it. Thus they can’t just turn around and walk out if they don’t like the price of the rent.

Counties, cities and other jurisdictions have recognized this and because some park owners have demanded excessive space rents, have put rent controls into effect.

It is counter productive for business people to take a loss on their property. But it is also incumbent on them to do their homework when they purchase property.

It is simply not right for a buyer to come in and buy something they feel needs extensive repairs and then raise the costs accordingly.

The tenants at Las Colinas weren’t consulted about the purchase or if they were willing to pay more. They were, as I understand it reasonably happy with the arrangement they had with the old owners.

I would strongly suggest to the tenants that they get involved in the Golden State Manufactured Home League, lobby the county supervisors - no I’d hound them if necessary for rent control.
A gripe about New Years Eve and Day... I hate to rain on some people’s good times, but they need to grow up and consider those that their antics affect.

As an example, I have a little dog. My dog was a perfectly normal happy dog until last winter’s wind storm snapped two large pines off in our yard and destroyed our deck.

Like a lot of humans, she now panics when anything reminds her of the event.

Well someone on Second Street in Johnson Park, a couple of blocks from where we live, decided to set off professional sized fireworks - not just once, but twice, once on both New Years Eve and on New Years Day evening.

My dog was absolutely terrified and it took an hour to settle her down.

By the looks of the Sheriff’s log, I wasn’t the only person that was unhappy or that it disturbed.

In the first place, most of us go home to relax, especially in the evening. We don’t really appreciate rifle, shotgun, or semi auto fire - all of which the idiots shoot off fairly regularly.

In the second place, no one should have to put up with someone’s desire to set something off that falls someplace between automatic weapon fire and dynamite.

Grow up and be considerate of others!
Editorial
The Intermountain Area lost a great man December 21, when Lawrence Agee died.

He was one of the first men I met when we came to the Valley in 1976 to start Caldwell’s Corner in Burney. We had a rather old car with lots of miles which wouldn’t start one morning. Not knowing my neighbors and living at the Dabill Complex outside of McArthur, I looked in the yellow pages and called the closest business I knew could give me a jump. Lawrence rolled out, gave me a jump and bracing myself for Bay Area prices, I asked him how much I owed him.

He looked at me and seeing the look of pending panic said “nothing, don’t worry about it.”

Several years later, I really needed his service again. It was a cold, wet, morning with snow melting in the darkness along the muddy side of the dirt road at the curve just before the first house in the Indian Mission complex. I’d delivered a paper and backed up too far trying to avoid the soft soil obviously in front of the car. It was around four in the morning. Having no choice I gritted my teeth, and got Lawrence out of bed. Twenty minutes later he pulls up, kneels in the mud, hooks up the cable and pulls me back onto the dirt roadway. I tried to pay him. Again, he declined. I was mighty grateful but wondering how he got enough money to feed him and Eleanor.

I live a little too far away in Burney to cover all the McArthur and Fall River accident calls, but I can’t remember a one of those I did photograph that Lawrence wasn’t there. In fact I can’t remember a whole lot of anything going on in the Valley that Lawrence wasn’t there someplace.

I’m not the only one. The stories about his helping friends, strangers and travelers are legend.

I also don’t know of too many people who have an unkind word to say about him.

His death leaves a hole in the fabric of what makes the Intermountain area such a wonderful place to live and I as well as many others will truly miss him.

God Bless you Lawrence.

Editorial

 The Fall River Valley Community Services District rate study is in and to no one’s surprise who has been involved with or watched the district for any amount of time, the proposed rates are high.

The board just got the study and I doubt that they’ve had time to study it in any detail and won’t, I’m sure make any decisions for some time.

That board is made up of five diverse individuals, all of whom are reasonable and believe in being transparent.

In the long term they have two options.

They can either adopt an increase schedule that will assure a viable district or they can adopt a much more popular increase and one of these days people will wake up and won’t have water come out of their faucet or shower.

Inflation has eaten us all alive. Our spending power is far less than what it was in years past. Almost everyone else has already jumped on the bandwagon, raising rates, lessening services, and forcing the consumer to tighten the belt. The CSD hasn’t and it shows.

It is headquartered in a building with a lot of problems. It has been replacing sections of pipe that are split and terribly rusted. It is paying through the nose for electricity and (by the way) couldn’t get grants or low interest loans in most cases until they got this water study, which in turn, will mean they’ll have to do something about it.

I suggest folks come to the district meetings, ask intelligent questions, and listen to the answers. The directors are charged with doing what’s right for the district. They aren’t out to screw anyone. Try to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

Person on the Street
What’s your New Year Resolution?

“My resolution is not
to have a resolution.”

Taunya Ross
Burney



To be happy and to
visit Fall River more!

The Kramers
Severance, Colorado


“I didn’t make a New
Year Resolution. There
are 365 other days in
2016 to change my life!”

Dave Shoup
Fall River Mills

If you have a topic suggestion call us at 336-6262

Editorial
I don’t know about you but I can’t be negative on a full stomach.

Thanksgiving was wonderful and so was the rest of the week for that matter.

The Burney Lions Club served 12 turkeys to 250 hungry folks, received enough donations to cover their expenses and over 50 of the meals went to shut-ins. Thanks to the Lions!

Then there was Firefighter Trevor Babajan! It takes a special kind of person to take the time and effort to try to save someone’s pet and he’s that kind of person!

The Burney Chamber of Commerce, Burney Lions, Burney-Fall River Soroptimists, Burney- Fall River Rotary, Burney Veterans’ Honor Guard, Pastor Henry Winkelman and family, Santa Claus, Burney Fire and the Burney Basin Days Royalty not to mention all those who helped string the Christmas lights on the Christmas Tree Lane trees.

It was mighty cold but a mighty good time. You all showed the world what Burney Community Spirit is all about.

I didn’t keep up with the weather - well I can’t say that... I did. Last week was Brr cold with the last three days being inhumane.

I did glance at the temperature gauge in the truck a few times and, as I remember it we were in the mid to low teens.

Today it was 15 all the way from Johnson Park to the Pit One Grade. I know Calvin Beebe would argue my figures.

The thermometer on his porch read nine degrees a couple of nights ago. It is Block F time which means sports fans get to sit in bleachers in a warm gym and enjoy the excitement.

You all have a great week and I’ll try to find something to raise cane about by next week.

 
Editorial
I’m on a mosquito abatement board and have been for somewhere around 35 years, so I’m fairly passionate about making sure those folks in my district get the best control and fewest mosquitoes possible.

I’m also a reporter and nothing makes me madder than to be stonewalled or kept from getting facts that the general public really needs to know because it is politically correct.

When West Nile Virus came on the scene, Mike Churney, then manager of the Burney District explained just how devastating the virus can be. Since I know Mike and know he doesn’t exaggerate or lie, I took it to heart.


Then the Shasta County Health Department became involved in hording statistics.

In the following years they would, on occasion tell us there had been a case in Shasta County.

That really fed the flames because other counties would routinely say what city or area it was in when they had a case.

I’d tell them that the County was a big area, that I reported for a rural portion of the county and could give a damn less what happened in Redding. I needed to know if the case was in Eastern Shasta County.

Their approach was that it was too bad, they didn’t even tell the manager if it was in his district. I wasn’t going to get it either.

In the last couple of weeks there was a list of the water abusers, primarily large corporations and billionaires who don’t give a damn and who can afford to pay the fines.

Then I turn on the TV and see the news clip of a tourist bus running wild through downtown someplace in the cities. It had apparently had a malfunction and the driver tried to stop it by steering it into road barriers at a construction site.

It didn’t work because the barriers were actually plastic water containers and whoever was supposed to have maintained them hadn’t. They were supposed to be filled with tons of water but had sprung leaks.

That did make me fairly angry. Instead of using concrete barriers it had been okay for the company to use water filled barriers when people have to let their lawns die and can’t raise crops Every one of those barriers at one time filled by enough water to have kept my lawn and every other lawn in the Intermountain Area green, and had allowed it to leak out.

Then they wonder why we have so little use for our government, its officials, and its laws.

Shame on them!

Editorial
I’m on a mosquito abatement board and have been for somewhere around 35 years, so I’m fairly passionate about making sure those folks in my district get the best control and fewest mosquitoes possible.

I’m also a reporter and nothing makes me madder than to be stonewalled or kept from getting facts that the general public really needs to know because it is politically correct.

When West Nile Virus came on the scene, Mike Churney, then manager of the Burney District explained just how devastating the virus can be. Since I know Mike and know he doesn’t exaggerate or lie, I took it to heart.


Then the Shasta County Health Department became involved in hording statistics.

In the following years they would, on occasion tell us there had been a case in Shasta County.

That really fed the flames because other counties would routinely say what city or area it was in when they had a case.

I’d tell them that the County was a big area, that I reported for a rural portion of the county and could give a damn less what happened in Redding. I needed to know if the case was in Eastern Shasta County.

Their approach was that it was too bad, they didn’t even tell the manager if it was in his district. I wasn’t going to get it either.

Finally, when I didn’t bother to report on it, they began to tell us if it was in the city, I-5 area, western or eastern area.

I heard on the grapevine that we had a case in the Fall River Valley. That the man, who happened to be a customer, had been admitted to the hospital and finally transferred to Redding which fell in a plausible scenario. I checked with sources at Mayers and they claimed not to have heard anything.

I checked with Rick Dougherty, now manager of my district and he hadn’t heard anything.

Then I went to a meeting Wednesday and Dougherty told me he had heard from sources in the Redding area that indeed we had a case in Fall River Mills.

I kinda came unglued.

So Friday I called Dr. Deckert who heads the Health Department and true to most county departments on Friday got answering machines.

So I told the answering machine who I was, what I wanted and what I thought of them and the situation.

Then, finally desperate enough to do my job the right way, called the victim of the virus.

He had no problem with me using his name. Told me everything I needed to know. That was when I found out he had contracted the virus in Magalia and had been hospitalized at Enlow in Chico.

Needless to say I then called Deckert’s office back and actually reached a real person, a pleasant young woman who thankfully hadn’t heard my message, but promised to convey my apologies to Deckert.

However, HIPPA be damned, the Shasta County Health Department is hiding behind it, saying they might violate a patient’s privacy by saying a victim is male and lives in the Intermountain Area. That is silly and the problem is that if people know that there is a case in the immediate area they will undoubtedly take precautions they might not otherwise take. It is absolutely ludicrous that they won’t tell the managers so extra attention can be brought to bear on an area the manager wasn’t aware of.

Person on the Street
How long should it take to build a bridge?

“Due to the humanity side of the issue we need federal attention brought to it some how due to the potential harm due to the lack of (emergency) response time.”
Javier Chico
Day Road


“I watched them build the Benicia Martinez Bridge over the San Francisco Bay in three years. So the Pit River should take a private contractor four months.”
Toby Corder
Pittville

“No more than a year! However, when you are dealing with the goverment and state it will take a lot longer”
Donna Hamilton
McArthur


If you have a topic suggestion call us at 336-6262

Thank You
Thank you to all of you who offered thoughts and prayers to all of us at the passing of Lois Brown.

We want to thank the staff or all of the patience and thoughtful care they gave her during her stay at Mayers.

Thank you, Dr. Dahle, for everything you did for Lois and her family.

We want to say thank you to the Hat Creek Fire Department for making the reception so nice.

It makes us appreciate living in a small community and knowing there are so many caring people offering support of a loved one and their families.
Dave & Jim Brown and extended families
Judie Carpenter and extended family

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