|Published every Tuesday Phone/Fax (530) 336-6262 P. O. Box 224, Fall River Mills, CA 96028|
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
President Abraham Lincoln
I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. The weather was beautiful and there was plenty to do around the Intermountain area.
We were out to dinner over the weekend and met some people who were here with a large group. There were 60 of them total from Fort Bragg. They have come every year for the last 22 years to golf and spend a getaway weekend. What I noticed right away was the fact that they went to the edge of the deck and started taking pictures. Later in conversation they expressed how beautiful it was here and how much they enjoy coming to our area.
It made me think about what we have in this beautiful place we call home. How often I take for granted the beauty that surrounds me every day. When you think about a group of people that choose to come back here every year for 22 years; that says a lot. We should all be extremely proud of our beautiful area, what we have to offer and that people feel welcome when they come to visit.
Speaking of golfers, the 8th Annual SNIPPP Golf Day will be on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at the Fall River Valley Golf & Country Club in Fall River Mills. Golfers will play for the animals’ benefit in an 18-hole Shotgun Scramble starting at 9:00 a.m. Please call 530-336-6006 or go to www.snippp.org for more information or to sign up.
Looking ahead for golfers the annual Bulldog Sports Foundation golf tournament is coming up soon. It is scheduled for Saturday July 11, 2015, 9:00 am at the Fall River Golf and Country Club. For your August calendar, the Mayers Intermountain Healthcare Foundation Tournament is scheduled for August 15th.
Our little towns were very busy over the weekend and it is going to continue. I can’t believe graduations are just around the corner. It is exciting to see what all of these students are planning.
I have said it before, but it is worth saying again…we have exceptional students in our communities. We had the pleasure of attending the IM Free Youth Group steak dinner fundraiser the other night. What a fun event with GREAT food. The kids did an amazing job putting the event together. We were provided a relaxing atmosphere, great service and amazing food. I know there was a lot of behind the scenes work and a lot of donations. Thank you to everyone that helped these kids accomplish a great fundraiser. They will be using the funds they raised to attend a youth camp this summer.
As things get busy and we get in a little bigger hurry, please remember to be safe. Farming will be in full swing and there will be a lot of slow moving vehicles on the road. With the warmer weather, there are more walkers, joggers and bicyclists out. So simply put, please pay attention. I have to say I was driving from McArthur to Fall River the other day and I literally saw 3 cars come from the other direction where the driver did not look up from their phone as we passed. Please don’t drive distracted.
Calendars are full, activities are many and it is a busy time of year. I hope you all take the time to enjoy each other, our surroundings and the many wonderful things in our communities. Be safe and enjoy!
On behalf of the Willis Hollenbeak American Legion Auxiliary Unit 369 I would like to thank all of you who came and supported our “A Heart for Veterans” fund raiser on Mother’s Day at Spinner Falls. There was a great turnout! Over 196 people were served the delicious prime rib and chicken BBQ. A special thanks to Paul Voltura for volunteering his time and expertise in making and serving a wonderful meal. He has an amazing staff that kept everything running smoothly from the kitchen and the bar. Thank you Toni Gonzales, Donna Chandler and Katie Burnes, we couldn’t have done it without your help.
The opportunity drawing was very successful too. One couple took home three of the prizes. Herb and Colleen Schmidt took home the plane ride with Paul Kerns and stay at Val’s Cottage and the Gift Basket. Kathy McAlerney got the gift certificate to Crumbs and Stacy Schneider the hanging basket from Big Valley Nursery.
The drawing took place at the end of the evening by our youngest guests. Mikaylee Watkins (3) was asked to draw out the sub for the wine barrel cooler. We stood her up on a stool. She looked up at the ceiling, stuck her hand in the jar and pulled out – her great grandfather’s name – George Ingram. He was thrilled when he got the news. His grandson, Garrett Ray made it and donated it to our cause. There is talk of making this an annual event. If so, we hope to see you there.
President American Legion Unit 369
I was really disappointed to find out that four people were all that stood between the folks of Big Valley and the necessary medical capabilities it takes to save lives.
They lost lives last year that they might not have had those services been available. How many will they lose in this next year? Shame on all of those who voted no!
A few years ago, a group of folks under the leadership of Rick Morris and the Burney Chamber of Commerce got together, formed the town beautification committee and went to work. They didn’t sit around waiting for someone else to do it - they did it.
Over the ensuing years, weeds disappeared downtown and were replaced with flowers, bark and other landscaping. Old West wagons, farm equipment, benches and more appeared. Christmas Tree Lane became the showpiece of the Burney Basin.
First, we as a community need to recognize and thank them. The town really is attractive and clean in appearance giving visitors and residents a good impression of our town and thus area.
Second, they have started a new program, “Adopt a Plot,” (see Page 3), to encourage the community to become involved. It is set up so it won’t take that much time from a person’s busy life, and it will keep Burney looking as pretty as does now. Get involved.
Thank you Committee, you did great!
This week is National Hospital Week and it is a good time to take a look at your hospital.
Mayers has gone through a lot of growing pains since the late 1950’s when everyone recognized the need, got together, donated, worked, and (unlike Big Valley and its need for an ambulance) accepted a tax to help keep it alive and save lives.
Mayers has grown from one little wing to three and its leadership is now working to build and rebuild, upgrade and become even more state of the art.
In the old days CEO Everett Beck, his wife Judi, board were able to work their way through the growth, needs, and modernization needed at that time. The laws were fewer and not as complex. The economy somewhat better, building codes not as strenuous and nothing was as expensive as it is now.
Now, CEO Matt Rees and his team have managed to get old debt almost paid off, fought for legislation and help in getting favorable payments from a government that seldom understands or cares, backed up and punted when the game changed, as it often has, and is now walking through the minefield of roadblocks with getting the latest construction that is needed, done.
In the meantime, folks in the district have a new ambulance coming, an excellent staff, from ambulance and emergency room, to long-term care.
Take a good look at them this week -you’ll be surprised at how well they are doing.
Yes, former LAFCO Chief Executive Officer Jan Lopez got a lot of work done before the board declined to renew her contract.
In fact, she got a massive amount of work done before they pulled the plug but there were a number of things that you don’t normally have that raised flags to me. She had already pissed off Cal Fire years ago in a very public battle with them as a consultant for fire companies.
Then after a number of years of flying below the public radar, she was as vocally vicious to her predecessor and appeared to work tirelessly in an effort to destroy her credibility and get her fired.
Second, at the time of those attacks and shortly before being hired by LAFCO, she was the consultant to the Fall River Valley Community Services District, which involved a portion of the same people who were after the old Executive Officer.
Whether rightly or wrongly, she was tied to the former general manager of the CSD and the board who blessed him, known for an attitude of trying “to take over the entire Valley and beyond.
So when it finally came to doing a sphere of influence for the combined fire services, guess what, the maps blatantly cut into fire company, and thus Cal Fire (contracted county fire) turfs which really excited people who believe that you “Don’t tread on me.”
Add that to the fact that when the former executive officer left her position, there was a surplus of funds. When she left, Lopez was already under a cloud of spending money for expenses such as staying and eating, in county, at places like the Fall River Hotel, when she lived in county herself, then went public alleging that LAFCO was not only broke, but was so far in debt that they were not going to have any choice, but to raise the fees they charge the special districts.
Well, in a recent finance meeting (See page one), the e-mails she sent were apparently misguided, as the financials now show they don’t have much, but they are still in the black.
It strikes me that something isn’t right - I have no idea what or where, but someone needs to take a good hard look at the situation and either demonstrate that there is or is not a problem and clear the air.
I got my bell rung Friday when I received an irate call from an irate individual with an issue with the way Mountain Echo covered what, to him is the most important issue ever to face the Intermountain Area, because he is sure we’ll be biased.
Looking at it dispassionately, there are at least four issues of the same importance with the same level of interest and the same potential for goring someone’s ox on my table right now. We don’t make the issues, we report on them. That is the world I play in.
Like my father-in-law who was also a newspaper editor, owner said, “At least 50% of the people are going to hate you 50% of the time and it won’t always be the same people.”
It generally isn’t any big deal. If they are rational, I talk to them. If not, I hang up on them. This time the caller made the mistake of insinuating that I ran a yellow rag because I knowingly ran stories written by a reporter who was married to a former LAFCo Commissioner who had the audacity to get up and tell the commission why he didn’t think this guys ox (project) was a good idea.
In essence what the caller was saying is - How dare someone who had spent over 20 years on the LAFCo board have an opinion and what gave him the right to voice that opinion? Worse yet, how dare Caldwell have a reporter on staff, covering meetings that her husband had once been a commissioner on and who had an opinion about a project that hadn’t even been before the board when he retired. Worse even yet, how dare Caldwell publish her story.
Well, the real world doesn’t work that way.
In the first place I run a small weekly newspaper. The number of people who want to be a reporter is limited. The number of good reporters are even fewer and the excellent reporter like the one in question, is rarer.
In the second place, in scarcely populated rural areas such as ours there are a limited number of people with an infinite number of choices as to what, if anything they want to become involved with. I’ll guarantee you that leadership positions, and positions on boards aren’t high on a whole lot of people’s agendas.
My reporter’s reporting is not limited to LAFCo. She has contributed a number of other stories and they have all been accurate and well received.
It has been my position from the outset that if you are going to write about something, it is a good idea to know something about what you are writing about.
I’ve been involved over the years and still am. My reporters have been and often are involved - I encourage it.
There is two things that I and my reporter have to keep in our minds - is what I’m writing accurate and am I keeping my personal biases out of it.
We have a check and balance system that goes beyond the writer. The writer has an editor - me. I have an editor, Donna - my wife.
The other important thing to realize is that the reporter is not writing about the issue at hand. The reporter is writing about the meeting or whatever and what was said, or came up or the history involved. The opinion isn’t the reporter’s, it is the person who was saying whatever. If the person fails to make the point or is inaccurate or acts stupid, that is on them.
If we write opinions it goes on this page - the opinion page.
The term “Yellow Journalism” came about when Pulitzer and Hearst are said to have brought about the Spanish American War by writing inaccurate stories for their own gain, not because one of their reporters was married to a man who had stepped up to the plate and been involved in something for a number of years.
Moral of my rant... Don’t attack the messenger, write a letter to the editor about the issue - that way the side that doesn’t agree with you can call you names or try to get you fired. Just have the courage to sign the letter for print.
Editor: The Big Bend Community Club’s 34th Almost Annual Trout Derby was a great success. We would like to thank the communities of McArthur, Fall River Mills, Burney, Big Bend, Montgomery Creek, Redding, Round Mountain, Anderson and Cottonwood for the great raffle prizes.
The winners of the Trout Derby were: • First Place - Ken Randolph with a 24 1/2 inch, 5 lb 1/4 oz, German Brown;
• Second Place - James Anderson with a 17 9/16 inch, 1 lb. 5 oz. Rainbow;
• Thomas Hardy with a 16 3/4 inch, 1 lb 9 1/2 oz Rainbow.
Thank you to all fishermen and fisherwomen for your participation. The club would like to thank Rogue and T. F. Carabajal of Sweeties Cafe for the great food.
The music of Heavy Dose of Blues ended the evening on high note.
Thank You All,
Joyce Hebert, Chairperson
The family of Chuck Simmons wish to thank everyone for their love, support, kindness and prayers during our time of loss.
The Chuck Simmons family
I’ve got to give the readers a heads up on this editorial. First, I am not a fan of Cal Fire leadership, in my opinion it borders on a philosophy of taking no prisoners and operating as an absolute dictatorship.
Second, I have absolute loyalty to our local fire departments and companies.
Third, while I understand the reason for forming Local Agency Formation Commissions, their purpose, and needs, I have been an alternate commissioner, and I have observed them for years.
I am left with the opinion that the LAFCO laws, like any laws, are “one shoe fits all,” the commissioners for a large part are simply politicians who, like windmills, turn in any direction at the slightest breeze, and the whole outfit is rift with power struggles, and ulterior motives.
Fourth, as a semiindependent commission, there is far too little oversight in how they conduct themselves.
With all of that said, I should have really studied the Fall River Valley Coordinated Fire Protection District Sphere of influence map instead of looking at it as a casual observer. Additionally I should have put more thought into the immediate past histories of some of those involved. With those items in mind and the caution to remember that I’m far from being an expert on LAFCO or on this particular problem. However it appears logical that the SoI go back to the drawing board.
It isn’t because anyone in what was or is the SoI going to be short changed for service. They are not. In reality, the departments and company involved already have agreements to assure the affected area’s safety and response. However, territory wise, Soldier Mountain is an apparent satellite of McArthur, not of the Shasta County Fire Department and that was not anyone’s intention.
It needs to go back because Soldier Mountain, McArthur or Shasta County Fire, or a combination thereof scewed up in the beginning.
Soldier Mountain started following the Chalk Fire. It was logical. It was needed. It was formed as a satellite to the McArthur Department. Then it became more feasible for them to go under County Fire’s wing.
At that point, if the map LAFCO is using is correct, most or all the niceties were taken care of, except that instead of Cal Fire carving out the portion of territory where Soldier Mountain is headquartered it remained in the service area of McArthur.
To make matters worse, the Commissioners accepted petitions affecting Soldier Mountain which aren’t verified as legitimately coming from the affected area. Those petitions probably skewed commission votes one way or the other.
My guess is that before it is over, the SoI, which was already pretty shaky, will be overturned.
That Shasta County Fire will do what should have been done long ago and make sure that Soldier Mountain’s territory is included in their kingdom.
That process will include petitioning LAFCO and the agency to do whatever has to be done, by the book, pass it, and then go back to the Joint SoI and go through the process again and pass a new one.
Personally I can’t see where any of them are, in reality hurt by the present arrangement, but it would be tidier, with less feelings hurt by doing it right.
It is only a sphere, it isn’t even going to affect any of the agencies pocket books and any annexation into any district could be forced into a vote of those in the proposed boundaries.
Editor: I have heard it said that the “Big Valley” area already has ambulance service so why should we tax ourselves for something we don’t need.
Let’s be clear, the area that will be served by the Southern Cascade Community Service District does not already have service.
Yes, there are ambulances that come when you call 911, the closest ambulance legally has to respond. They, however, do not have to come if they are already committed on another call or transport. Mayers routinely staffs only one of their two ambulances. When they are committed elsewhere they are not available to come here. Mayers is also not routinely staffing with an ALS crew. This means, if they come when you call, they are not qualified to do everything you might need. A BLS crew, while better than nothing, is not the same. There have been at least two cases where Mayers was committed and Modoc was dispatched. Modoc refused to come stating they were also committed elsewhere. The ambulance that responded came from Burney. Burney covers a huge area and is a very busy station.
I appreciate everyone who responds to emergency calls no matter where they come from, including the first responders of the Fire Departments. However, I am not willing to gamble with the lives of my loved ones to save $130 a year. Those lives are priceless to me.
Cost of one parcel tax for SCCSD $65
Cost of two or more parcels tax for SCCSD $135
Cost of a life of a loved one saved PRICELESS!
It appears to me that someone shot from the hip at last week’s Mayers Memorial Hospital’s board meeting and caused Mayers management staff unnecessary embarrassment.
It is one thing to do that when you are a member of staff, it is another when you are a consultant being paid millions of dollars to develop plans for the hospital and should know better.
Consultant Charles Dandy told the board that they had to meet a deadline in early May which for all practical purposes was impossible to meet and intimated that the deadline was cast in concrete.
Shortly after his statements the board unloaded on staff and began to pick various items apart, saying they weren’t being thorough.
Maybe the board was right, maybe not, I’m not in a position to know.
However, when a member of staff makes a simple phone call and verifies that the data staff was relying on was right and consultant was wrong I think that if I was on the board I’d be taking a good hard look at the consultant.
On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, our greatgrandson was brought to the Emergency Room at Mayers Hospital. He had a fractured ankle due to a sporting accident. The emergency room was full with a variety of dire emergencies being addressed.
On duty that night were four exceptional professional people. The following staff at Mayers are as follows: Dr. Dan Dahle, nurse Lauann Wellemeyer: and EMT’s Deanna Cater and Dusty Do etch. Their consideration for us was amazing. They answered every question that both the child and adults asked. They gave him physical and emotional care. This can be a very trying time for a child and his loved ones. Their patience with all of us was profound.
The child’s injuries were such that Dr. Dahle contacted Dr. Guthrie at Mount Shasta. The two doctors concurred that he should have immediate surgery. It was about 9:30 p.m. when the youth arrived at Mount Shasta and the surgery was performed around that time.
The following morning Dr. Guthrie had scheduled surgeries. We did not have the opportunity to meet him that morning: however, we are most appreciative and grateful for his abilities. In retrospect, we observed that the nurses and staff at Mt. Shasta Hospital were also kind, considerate and helpful.
We are proud and pleased with the employees of both hospitals, for their abilities, talents and consideration. May God bless all of you.
Diane and Rick Phay
You have to read Mrs. Russell’s report on LAFCO to believe it. Misuse of public funds is a serious charge and those allegations get lost when the various commissioners are embroiled on or off stage in what can best be described as a circus. When they are busy muddying the waters with political posturing and verbal fisticuffs it is all too easy to lose sight of those things that should be the commissioner’s objectives, i.e., making sure staff performs their duties in a lawful manner and making sure the organization does what it is chartered to do.
They are also on shakey ground when they violate employee privacy rights.
The commissioners aren’t there to host their rather vicious version of “Saturday Night Live.”
My understanding of the laws is that when a public agency is investigating, and/ or, considering charges against any employee, whether it is a janitor or the executive director, the investigation and possible charges are, under the Ralph M. Brown Act, other state and federal laws, and just plain human decency, is to handle the charges in closed session.
Charges, whether real or imaginary, have the direct effect of damaging a person’s reputation.
In my opinion the Commission’s performance in the last year of the previous executive officer’s tenure was outrageous and it hasn’t gotten any better with the latest executive director.
Shasta County Supervisor Les Baugh has an absolute right and justifiable moral duty to resign from a committee which he feels is allegedly acting illegally or condoning illegal action. But the charges he is referring to involve an employee and thus should be private until such time as the board decides to formally pursue the matter, if they decide to do so.
Along with that, for the commissioners to attack each other on a personal level in public is far from being professional - political, maybe, but Shasta County isn’t the congress or executive branch and I for one, expect better of them.
As far as I can remember this is a first – the first time
I’ve written an editorial the day after the current issue
hit the streets.
I met with Shasta County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mark
Lillibridge, commander of the Burney Patrol Division last
week and he added a few tips to suggestions I had heard
before regarding self protection from burglaries and thefts.
If you are driving or out at night and see something suspicious, call 9-1-1 and report it. You may save someone a whole lot of money and cause some jerk a whole lot of grief.
A Personal Note
Bob was a tremendous newspaper man in his own right, with a
career that took him from small weeklies to major
metropolitan papers. He was a wonderful mentor, with the
skill of Ben Bradley, the patience of a saint,
We have suddenly developed a major problem in the
I’m sure that if you’ve been around long
enough you’ve noticed how government and big business works for you.
First and foremost — MERRY CHRISTMAS from Donna, our entire
crew, and myself !!
Donna and I got to talking on the way home from the Ham dinner
The Burney Fire District and its Auxiliary send a great big THANK YOU to all of you who so generously donated money, toys, and time to this year’s Santa’s Workshop.
The children were delighted to receive their gifts from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
We would like to recognize those businesses and individuals who once again helped to make this year’s toy drive a huge success by their contributions: Burney VFW - Post 5689, Pit River Casino, Mountain Cruisers Car Club, Soroptimists, Tu- Bit Enterprises, Burney Sporting Goods, Tri Counties Bank, US Bank, Burney 4H Group, Donna Schechla & Friends, Dave Gilmore, and the Secret Santas that wish to remain anonymous.
Many thanks to our Santa’s Workshop elves who helped to make this year’s event successful by donating their time and talents, decorating, baking, sorting gifts, and so much more: Daryl & Gayla Conover, Kim & Aaron Golczynski, Laura Hodge, Kortney Maranto, and the Burney Fire District employees who helped pull it all together!
Wishing everyone a very safe and happy holiday season! Burney Fire Protection District.
When fact and hearsay get mixed up its as bad as making
assumptions without checking my facts - I walk away with egg on
my face and owing someone an apology.
Thanksgiving from all of us at Mountain Echo!
Thanksgiving week appears to have been a quiet, enjoyable week
for most. I know it sure was for Donna and I.
healthcare is concerned it all appears so simple.
Call it Karma, call it connections, call it what you will, but what goes around, often comes around, history repeats itself or comes back to bite you in the fanny.
What a person does about it is up to them, but if the
connections are obvious and your ego has teeth marks in it, my
suggestion is to review the situation dispassionately and work
around it to solve the problems before you’ve been the guest of
honor for dinner,instead of at dinner.
When the manager of LAFCO at the time didn’t bow to the Manager
and Lopez’s demands the manager and the board began a vicious
campaign to demonize her and because that manager didn’t get a
lot done in a timely fashion, eventually won.
facing some real problems, undoubtedly short term problems
because they are on top of the situation and doing what is
necessary to correct it.
I was browsing through Facebook the other day and ran across a comment from an individual about how the cops had nothing better to do than pick on this innocent, meek and mild friend.
I’ll admit that I chuckled when I read his comment, in reality the police responded to a disturbance call. The guy was allegedly threatening to bite a woman (brave man). When they get on scene he’s fighting with some guy (meek and mild) and is stupid enough to jerk away from the officer who tries to break it up (rocket scientist).
As a retired bailbondsman and a hard news reporter for more years than I care to remember I can’t help but reflect on how niave (a polite way to say stupid) both these folks must be.
There are a lot of things that young people who want to live on the edge need to know.
First: It isn’t the brightest idea to make a public spectacle of yourself when you have outstanding warrants for your arrest. It is even worse if those warrants, etc. have led to your face being plastered all over the media as one of Shasta County’s most wanted.
Second: If you are going to get in a disurbance of some kind there are a few realities you need to be aware of - Disturbances generally create noise, commotion, or otherwise become visible to other people. That generally can result in a 9-1-1 call.
9-1-1 dispatchers radio police officers and the police officers respond to fight calls because there’s a good chance that if they didn’t they’d be responding to a major assault or murder.
Third: On-duty police officers are men who are not drunk or high on drugs. They make it a point to work out and be in good shape. They are also trained in breaking up fights and arresting uncooperative people.
The police wear belts that we called a “Sam Brown” when I was a kid. On it they have a pistol, a pair of handcuffs, mace, a Taser, and quite often a baton. They know how and when to use each. Some of them also have trained police dogs with them.
Either way, when a police officer arrives on the scene and notifies his dispatcher that he is there, it generally only takes seconds for the second officer to pull up and every other on -duty police officer in the county knows what’s going on and where.
Four: Have enough common sense to realize that struggling with a police officer or officers is ill advised
One of the first commandments of living in a civilized society, whether you are law abiding or otherwise, is and always has been that if a police officer comes on scene and starts giving orders - follow them. Guilty, innocent or whatever, the officer isn’t there to pick on you and he doesn’t have time to worry about what color you are. He or she is there to solve the problem, defuse the situation or arrest someone before he, she or someone else gets hurt. He or she doesn’t have the time nor is he or she in the mood to worry about your feelings or arguments.
If an officer says “Stop” you stop immediately. If the officer says “put your hands on the top of your head” don’t look around and say “Who me?” You do it and do it immediately.
The police are out to solve the immediate problem and enforce the law. Situations change on them so fast that they don’t have time to say “would you please put down the knife...” and they won’t be nice if you don’t.
So...to the young person on facebook and poor, picked on friend, grow up, try to be productive members of society.
If you don’t want to do that, then don’t bitch when you get nailed.
I was set up last week.
Not that I’m complaining. I took the story I got at face value and while I thought the name I was given wasn’t exactly newspaperish, I shrugged and figured “What the dickens” and put it in.
I had no doubt that “Cutie Pie” was a real person when listed as what I thought was one of the patients brought over in the evacuation. It wasn’t. It was a local staff member, nicknamed by one of the patients as “Cutie Pie.” After getting ribbed at the board meeting I checked into it and found a patient had been extremely unhappy at being transfered until seeing Cutie pie.
Now Cutie Pie is anything but my idea of a Cutie Pie. In fact ... Oh well, we won’t go there.
Be that as it may, Mayers, including Cutie Pie, did just exactly the kind of job we’d expect - excellent and I’m proud of them...
That includes Cutie Pie.
When it comes to straightening out the curves on Highway 89/44 there are a lot of things which just don’t add up, not to mention drilling bore holes in an extremely fragile ecological area.
In the first place straightening out curves on a steep mountain road isn’t going to stop either ice or speed problems.
If an idiot is going to drive too fast on a curvy road you’d better believe that a straight one will only make it more enticing. Ice doesn’t care if the road is straight or curved, it will form whenever and wherever the conditions are right.
Curves, if anything help because, by their very nature, they limit the distance a driver has to build up speed.
Regarding Big Springs, why would anyone trust an agency that is too sloppy to do the proper investigation on a project and too arrogant to listen to the locals and other experts once they’ve made up their minds.
The Caltrans engineers don’t have to live in the area, the residents of Old Station and Hat Creek do - it is extremely important to give serious consideration to their concerns, not slip things through with as minimal notice as possible.
We are only a couple of weeks away from elections and I’m having a hard time getting enthusiastic.
The only politician I feel strongly about is Assemblyman Brian Dahle. He’s done a fine job for the folks up here. He’s been a staunch supporter of legislation for the hospital, He’s been able to nibble around the edges of the SRA Tax and gotten a lot accomplished.
Additionally he hasn’t forgotten he’s from this area, supporting and attending events and making himself acessable.
I have no trouble endorsing him.
Doug LaMalfa also got my vote for Congress.
The only other thing I did do when I sent my ballot in was vote against every single judge they had on the list and by far most of the propositions.
It is really disheartening to go to the trouble to vote and for the most part feel that you’ve just wasted your time.
It is a newspaper’s job to inform people about what is going on. That way, it gives the readers an opportunity to do something about situations they read about.
The problem is that they have to get the information. It is difficult if not impossible to get information on their own so they rely on people like me to get it for them - and I like to.
A typical example is the Sheriff’s log.
I fully understand and sympathise with victims of sex crimes not wanting information out that would give their identity away.
That said, I have used the log since 1978 as a reporting tool and since 1980 as a feature in the paper.
In the old days we got the information on who called it in, where it occurred, what had occurred, and often who the victim thought the person was.
Laws have changed and probably rightly so. I have no business putting in names of “suspects” until an investigation is conducted and they’ve been charged.
I don’t mess around with potential, tried or actual suicides intentionally because I don’t want to chance causing already dispondent people to go over the edge.
I don’t report victim names because 1. Too many are too vulnerable and if I don’t report them it wouldn’t be fair to report the others. 2. The Sheriff’s Department censors some of them.
But the Sheriff’s Department finds more and more lame excuses for not putting information in.
Here are two typical examples:
September 7, 2014 - 9:28 a.m.
Beat 15 (Burney area).
An annonymous caller reported an unfamiliar male wandering through an unspecified neighborhood this morning and is currently in the “listed,” but not shown on the log, address... or on September 13, 2014, at 12:34 a.m. - Beat 16 (Fall River Valley area).
An annonymous reeporting party made a report of three subjects, 1 male, two female in a fight. Doesn’t want to go outside and look. Advises suspect male is on playground area of censored loction. Ongoing problem being drunk and causing fights.
One of the reasons people read the logs in the paper or on the Sheriff’s website is so they know where the crimes occur. They also want to know if it is sAfe to go outside alone at night in their neighborhood. People like to know if there are burglaries or vandalisms in their neighborhoods.
There was no logical reason for withholding at least loctions and probably names in the two incidents I just listed and there have been dozens of them.
There is certainly no reason for the Sheriff’s to list bookings without names or indicating they were juveniles like they did last week.
The system, any system, is far from perfect, but the willful withholding of information that should be shown for people’s safety and information that is public for Joe Blow, but not public for someone else is wrong. Publish what you are supposed to publish, don’t play favorites, and be equal handed.
Just one more thing especially important when it comes to sheriff’s logs - I’m human. Sometimes I make mistakes and if I find out, I correct them. But call me when it first happens don’t let it sit there for a long time so any correction would be meaningless.
The 4-Hers who took the time and energy out of their already hectic fair schedule on Parade Sunday to walk in front of the parade with signs reminding folks to stand and show respect to the United States Flag deserve a big thank you!
My casual observation is that there appeared to be more exhibits, more animals, and more people. That makes for a great success for the Fair Board, Heritage Foundation, workers, volunteers, participants, exhibitors, and those who came to enjoy a great fair.
The Sheriff’s log didn’t show an unusually high number of calls or arrests which is another good sign.
Now that summer is over we can concentrate on water issues, school issues, and the other day to day things that seem to take a back seat when we are busy having a good time.
We had a wonderful time at the fair. Had a lot of fun visiting with folks we hadn’t seen in years.
It’s amazing the great kids who grew up here that aren’t kids anymore and we got to visit with several.
Beautiful exhibits, fine food, great entertainment, and the amount of time and effort that staff, volunteers, and exhibitors was amazing.
Everyone who had anything to do with putting the fair on or putting things in it did an unbelievably good job!
Fair board and staff, Heritage Foundation and volunteers, “WAY TO GO”
May every fair be as successful!
We had a wonderful time at the fair. Had a lot of fun visiting with folks we hadn’t seen in years.
It’s amazing the great kids who grew up here that aren’t kids anymore and we got to visit with several.
Beautiful exhibits, fine food, great entertainment, and the amount of time and effort that staff, volunteers, and exhibitors was amazing.
Everyone who had anything to do with putting the fair on or putting things in it did an unbelievably good job!
Fair board and staff, Heritage Foundation and volunteers, “WAY TO GO”
May every fair be as successful!
When it comes to “why newspapers” I can be serious or flippant.
A weekly newspaper is a record with a special meaning to the reader and it is a personal meaning.
I have saved more than a few newspaper clippings in my life and my daughter will get them when I’m gone. I have our wedding announcement from the paper. I have the little article the Modoc Record did on me when I went in the Marines in the 1950’s. I have articles about our Marine Air Group picking up Allen Shepard and John Glenn and their space capsules when they landed in the ocean. I have my Mom’s obituary and more. Somehow an article printed off like a letter or something on regular paper just wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t have the aura of legitimacy that a real newspaper article has.
Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but those yellowed pieces of newsprint with ragged scissor cut edges mean a lot to me - always have and always will and as an editor I enjoy it when I can put things in Mountain Echo for someone else to cut out and some day be able to pass it on to their kids or grandkids.
If it is on newsprint it’s real - if it is on computer paper, as far as I’m concerned, it loses something in the translation.
I attended a rather lengthy Fall River Valley Community Services District (CSD) meeting last week.
It wasn’t the first long CSD meeting I had ever attended, but I was impressed.
It was well run, all business, a lot of questions, a lot of topics, no flare ups, and easy to tell that a lot of district business was moving forward smoothly.
It left me with a desire to make the next monthly meeting so I can see the progress the district makes as it continues to move forward.
On another subject, School is starting, watch out for the kids when you are behind the wheel!
I had a few subjects planned for inclusion in this week’s weeks editorial, but the fires have obviously taken precedence.
DONNA, I AND STAFF WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO NOT ONLY ALL OF THE FIREFIGHTERS BUT TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN GETTING THE FIRES CONTROLLED AND PROVIDING SAFETY AND OTHER SERVICES!
The firefighting crews are always magnificent, rising to the challenge and doing a superhuman job in impossible terrain over an unimaginable number of hours and nasty conditions. They are and must be recognized as true heroes.
But don’t stop there. How about the Highway Patrol, Sheriff’s Deputies, Police, Game Wardens And other who save us from ourselves by evacuating, putting up with us when we are less than cooperative, and working command posts? What about the ambulance personnel who go into the areas to help the sick, the incapacitated or injured.
Don’t forget the fairgrounds or school’s, all of which are gearing up for things like the fair and the start of school.
Don’t forget the Red Cross folks who first, take the time and go to the effort to be trained and then spend countless hours working shelters so those who are displaced will have a safe place to stay, eat, sleep and more.
It is obvious that I’ve just scratched the surface. So those not mentioned, I’m sorry, it wasn’t intentional.
There is a real community effort involved and if you take a look around you, they aren’t all from the communities affected
THEY ARE HERE TO HELP US - HELP THEY DO!
We are saying thank you and hope you do also.
AAdditionally I would like to thank Ron Mosher. He is a marvel, not only covering the fires but getting them on his website so people were informed when I couldn’t get them on mine. Thanks!
The residents of the Fall River Valley have a real crisis on their hands. It is pressing and needs to be solved before major break-downs force the closure of the Fall River Cemetery.
The Fall River Valley has at least four cemeteries, two of which are primary cemeteries, all within the boundaries of two districts, The Fall River Mills Cemetery and the Pine Grove Cemetery.
One of those districts is perpetually broke. One is “well to do.”
There are undoubtedly a number of factors for the condition of the two, but the fact remains conditions at the Fall River Mills cemetery are dire and the conditions at Pine Grove are good.
One of the major factors, if not the major factor, in the two is tax revenue. For whatever reason, the Fall River District’s taxable property is small and thus the tax revenue is dismal. The Pine Grove District is much larger and thus so is its income.
The Fall River District used to be able to borrow against its future tax revenues to get the cash flow to operate. Unfortunately, the district’s well pump broke down. The board was able to get it patched, but the well is pumping sandy water which damages the well and the sprinklers. It is only a matter of time before one or both give out. Either way it will cost several thousand dollars to replace them.
That district is now depending on donations and hope to raise money with a bingo night, 7 p.m., August 1, at the Fall River Veterans Hall (see page 5) to get enough money flowing to pay their PG&E pumping bill and keep the cemetery lawn green.
Shasta LAFCO Executive Director Jan Lopez met with the Fall River board recently and made some suggestions. They can merge with Pine Grove. They can combine their operations with Pine Grove’s. They can adjust their boundaries with Fall River taking over much of the Glenburn area. Finally, there is the option of going to the people of the Fall River District and seeing if two-thirds or more are willing to vote in an increase in property tax to support the cemetery.
Looking at the situation with detachment, the Fall River District got itself in the position it is today, just as surely as Pine Grove did. Most if not all directors on both district’s boards who were responsible for laying the groundwork for their current conditions are now gone and it doesn’t do a lot of good to pat any of them on the back or kick them in the rear. People don’t get on these small boards to screw things up or cost the district’s money. They get on the boards for which they don’t get paid, to do the very best they can with what they have to help their community. They are human, circumstances including law, population and the economy are ever changing. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose.
All four of Lopez’s suggestions make sense. All four takes negotiators from both boards looking realistically at what the various proposals would do to their district, how they can ascertain that the citizens of both districts will continue to be well represented, and how can any agreement come out without hurting either district.
Each of the suggestions has different consequences. Each has different benefits. Needless to say, any solution is going to be complex.
The Valley is lucky in that it has two mature boards which represent different portions of the same valley. Almost everyone who has raised a family in the Valley has friends or relatives buried in both cemeteries.
I am hoping that the two district’s can get together and start working something out before everything comes crashing down around their ears.
Pat Baremore was not one of those who took center stage.
Pat was a doer - a worker, fiercely loyal to her family, her profession, her employer and patients. She was also one of the hardest working and kind people I have ever known.
When I first met Pat, she was on the job in one of the long-term wings - I want to think it was the second one built, but it has been well over 30 years and I can’t remember for sure.
I do remember she and Lou Schroeder were the ambulance attendants. Both, were EMT’s, Lou in mainenance and Pat, I think was in housekeeping, but again, I can’t remember for sure. The idea was for them to be immediately available for the ambulance and also be able to make a living.
She worked full time at Mayers and went to school at the same time, earning her RN.
She was one of the first nurses at Mayers to complete training and become a MICN which made advance life support on area ambulances possible through Mayers. She also headed the Emergency Room.
Several years ago she came down with Cancer. The rumor at the time was that she was in a lot of pain and had thought about throwing in the towel. But, even if the rumor was true, that wasn’t Pat’s nature.
She fought back. She came back and, as before, she contributed so much to those who needed her.
It takes a special person to be a doctor or nurse for hospice, to love your patients, care for them and do everything in your power to make their last days as peaceful and comfortable as possible, knowing that you are going to lose them.
I can’t even imagine how tough it must have been, knowing that, like those she helped, her time was limited.
She worked close to the end and I doubt that too many folks knew her cancer had caught up with her.
She was a brave and dedicated woman who wouldn’t quit and there are legions of folks in the entire Intermountain Area whose lives she touched and made a lot better by her and because of her.
Thank you Pat - I’m just one of a legion of folks who will miss you!
Our anniversary is over as is Burney Basin Days and I’m exhausted.
I’m extremely happy, but pooped.
On a serious note, the temperatures are exceptionally hot, the rainfall well below normal, the weed are brown and dry.
Thanks to a massive quick response from Cal Fire, the local fire departments and company’s we dodged the bullet.
History has proven that had the response been less or slower, the fire would have been on the outskirts of Fall River Mills as I write this Monday morning.
We owe all the firefighters a tremendous thank you!
I’ll say right up front that I’m not a taxpayer in the Fall River Valley Community Wow, how time flies!
This Saturday will be Donna and my 50th wedding anniversary.
I’ve been telling everyone that I just got married - and it really feels like it was last week.
I remember a lot of the details. It was really nice weather in Riverside.
Donna and I would just as soon have gone to Las Vegas without a lot of fluff and flutter and at a fraction of the cost, but Mom and Dad Davis weren’t having any of it and they were paying for it. We ended up in the beautiful chapel at the Mission Inn. Donna was beautiful in her gown, but that wasn’t unusual, she was very pretty in anything she chose to wear.
I actually squirmed into a tux for the first and only time in my life.
I remember saying “I do,” and exchanging rings.
Beyond that, I don’t remember anything except that we were anxious to get into real clothes and go on the honeymoon it had taken us a year to save for. I do remember a guy at a gas station telling me it sounded like all my lug nuts were off on our old Pontiac. Turned out to be pebbles my best man had put in the hub caps.
If we didn’t have to look in the mirror the wedding could just as easily have been yesterday. But reality is reality. Our hair is a lot whiter and we’ve got a lot more aches and pains than we had 50 years ago.
I wouldn’t trade those 50 years for anything. It has really been a nice ride and if our bodies hold out I’m looking forward to at least another 50.
Love You Hon!
I’ll say right up front that I’m not a taxpayer in the Fall River Valley Community Services District or the Fall River Cemetery District. However, I do pay a water bill through my business and I have a lot of friends buried in the cemetery.
When I was a kid in Cedarville I thought the cemetery there was a beautiful one. As I remember it, there were tall, old trees and lawn.
Since that time things have changed. Yes, it is well maintained and I’m sure the Valley is proud of it. However, there are no trees and there is no grass.
Again, I no longer live there and I don’t pay taxes there so I don’t have a lot of room to complain. I will say that I was disappointed when I saw it.
Back to the Fall River Cemetery, they get a negligible amount of property tax. Their endowment money is tied up by state law - they get to use the interest earned on it, but if you have a savings accounts at any of the banks you know how much money they give you for putting your money with them. The money charged for the grave liners is used to pay for the grave liners and the rest of it pays to have the graves dug and refilled.
LAFCO takes a small percentage of their tax dollars and I’m sure the County also does.
They pay one parttime employee. The directors don’t get paid anything and haven’t.
There has not been, and is not, enough left over to pay PG&E to pump water even if the district had the money to fix the switch to their well. They have been trying to get grants and have been turned down.
They need help and they have asked the CSD for it. The CSD board appears to be sympathetic.
However, the CSD also is in an extremely tight financial position and have to seriously consider costs associated with being a good neighbor and fiscally responsible district at the same time.
There are a lot of factors to weigh and I’m just awfully glad I’m not on either board. The directors of both have a tough job and should be thanked for being willing to take it on.
I am amazed at the community’s response to the flag given to VFW Post 5689 by the family of Lance Corporal Tyler Roads after he was killed in Afghanistan and the theft of that flag a couple of weeks ago. People care and it is awesome!
The reward for the return of the flag has grown from the original $100 put up by the post, to $500.
A tip has been received about the theft and is being followed up on.
Amee Mack is coordinating with Assemblyman Jeff Gorrell, who is also an active duty Navy officer. She has explained what took place and asked him if he could have a flag flown over a military base in Afghanistan donated to the post.
Additionally, by coincidence, Lance Corporal James E. Jarrell, USMC, who is currently stationed with the R4 Operations Group aboard Camp Leatherneck, in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan, had been working on a flag flown over the base as a thank you to the post. That flag was dedicated March 27.
We have to admit that it is beyond explanation that a Marine Lance Corporal from Burney would send such a gift to the post at a time that the a flag from another Lance Corporal who had been stationed in the same province and given his life in the same province was stolen.
In his letter to the Post that came with the flag, he writes “I just wanted to say thank you forthe package that you all sent a few months back, sorry I did not send anything earlier.”
What a community we live in!
What kind of low-life scum would stoop so low as to steal the flag that flew over Lance Corporal Tyler Roads’ Post in Afghanistan where he was shot and killed?
What kind of a lowlife S O B would steal the flag presented to the Burney VFW Post by Tyler’s mother so it could be displayed in her dead son’s honor?
What kind of callous jerk would take it off the post’s wall and walk out with it?
I sure hope he or she is proud and can look at his or herself in the mirror each and every morning.
Next to desecrating the hero’s grave that is the lowest, most despicable act imaginable. It falls right in there with spitting on the family or the veterans who were willing to lay their lives on the line so scum like the thief can be free to desecrate their memories.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I had to go back through the 2010 pictures of Tyler’s funeral. I had to see the anguish on Tyler’s grandparents faces, on Tyler’s mother’s face and on his sister’s face. Every time I went through them I choked up.
If there is someone out there that knows of a person who suddenly came or comes into possession of what appears to be just a used American Flag or goes around bragging about how he or she got even with the Road’s family, with Tyler or with the Vets please let the Burney Post know.
Or, if you were in the post and for whatever reason decided you just had to have that flag it would be not only the honorable, but the right thing to do, to return it.
Post 5689 is offering a $150 reward, no questions asked, if it is returned.
If someone has the flag and wants to return it without going to the VFW, they can drop it on the counter at the Burney Post Office. The Post Office will make sure it gets back to the Post.
That flag is not a rag or a plaything. It is an American Flag. The thief can never prove that flag flew in a combat zone and was saluted by Lance Corporal Tyler Roads and other Marines risking their lives.
That flag has special meaning to the family of the Marine who laid his life down to protect it and the veterans who have been willing to lay down their life for it. It has no value to the scum who stole it!
Ray, formerly of Shipwrecks, dropped by this morning to say hi.
He’s doing great in Idaho, has a new business and loves it.
He says living is a lot cheaper, taxes are lower. Everyone carries a gun so you don’t do the stupid things you do in California - It might just get you shot.
He’s put on a little weight and looks happier than the dickens.
It is too bad they don’t need another cantankerous newspaper editor, We’d move there.
While I’m sure they’ve got their share, I doubt that every third car or pickup carried a gun and badge, whether it was Cal Fire or dental inspectors - In California everyone’s got to be a cop. When you look at things, it makes sense. The more cops, the more crime. In California you turn them all lose anyway, but look at the number of people it keeps who can push their weight around to piss generally law abiding folks off. Generally they’ll move to Idaho to get away from having to put up with the crap.
I would have suggested Nevada, but then you’d have to put up with Harry Reid, that’s as bad as putting up with Nancy what’s her face.
It would, however, be nice to be able to live in a state that believed in a modicum of common sense and didn’t have to take everything you own so they could become millionaire legislators or get retirement after one term - specially when a lot of real people here don’t have enough money to retire regardless of how long we work.
It is generally real easy to be an outsider looking in. Opinion comes pretty easy when you don’t have any responsibility, penalty or reward for the outcome of an opinion.
The ambulance measure in Big Valley isn’t really one of those.
I drive the Big Valley roads with some frequency. I used to drive them all the time.
I’ve been extremely lucky, I haven’t taken on any deer, car, cycle, cattle etc., but it was always comforting to know that if I did, there was an ambulance, manned with dedicated individuals who would get me out of the vehicle or what was left of it, and get me or the other guy to a hospital.
And yes! I would pay for it. Ambulance rides aren’t cheap. Taxes generally cover housing the vehicle and possibly an on-duty crew, maintenance and upkeep of the building, insurance, etc.
The funny thing about it is that I didn’t and don’t really care, and I can’t understand why any of the folks in what will be the district would care.
How do you tell your Dad, who’s having a heart attack, that you’ll load him in the pickup and drive like a madman to the nearest hospital without any medical attention on the way?
How do you listen to your baby having trouble breathing while you drive like a madman for the nearest medical facility?
The people who are pushing for this ambulance have made it as fair and equitable as possible. They have jumped through the hoops - yes, partially for themselves - they want an ambulance to come when they need it. But they are also thinking about you folks and maybe even me, because accidents, illness, major medical emergencies and so forth are, first, pretty random and second, pretty unforgiving if people don’t do everything they can to minimize the impact.
On April Fools Day I challenged folks to find errors in the paper and send them in, along with $20 bills for each mistake. Right off I was the recipient of (unfortunately) a counterfeit item of currency for several thousand dollars.
There have been a number of excuses resulting in three or four bad ones since then that I have taken care of, but last week I screwed up the date on page one and no one noticed. That should have made me a millionaire.
I apologize and am taking steps to curtail many of these. Can’t do much about painful emotions at any given moment, or any given story, but I can get more hard nose about trying to get things in the paper well past deadline which cause the bulk of the problems.
Again, my apologies.
It is subtle for the most part, but it is there and it isn’t getting any better. Small communities depend on its members and its community members rely on each other.
Donna and I came to the area in 1976 and the slide, even though not as pronounced had already started.
The community center in Montgomery Creek was basically a pipe dream. Now their marque sports the plea for folks to show up and get on the board so they can keep it open.
Their Lions club was never huge, but it was active turning out at least four district governors, busy with bingo’s, BBQ’s and a variety of events that gave folks a place to meet.
Burney Basin Days was dominated by Lions and Rotary events, now the watermelon eating contest, frog jumping contest, sack races, bike races and kiddie events are all but gone because there aren’t enough service club members to go around and more and more become endangered.
The Fall River Lions took over the Grange Hall, now there is a rumor that they want to see if the Burney Rotary will take it over.
The Chamber’s Monday night monthly meetings were packed with school officials and the county making reports. it is a lot better than it was a few years ago, but it is far from packed.
Big Valley has its own set of problems.
What’s the answer? The younger folks need to look around. Those they depended on when they grew up and when a lot of their kids grew up aren’t getting older - They are older and many, so many, are dieing.
It is painfully apparent that if the young, want an active community, one with the ability to govern itself, to have a variety of things to do, to have a sense of community, you’d damned well better do something about it.
Course, you can always move to the city where somdeone else will be more than happy to take care of you - Been there, done that, Don’t want that type of care.
Senator Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery St. St 240,
San Francisco, CA 94111
Senator Dianne Feinstein
One Post St. Ste 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Rep John Doolittle
4230 Douglas Blvd, Ste 200
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa
2865 Churn Creek Rd. Ste. B Redding, CA 96002
Senator Sam Aanestad
777 Cypress Ave.
Redding, CA 96001
Rep Wally Herger
55 Independence Cir, Ste 104, Chico, CA 95973
Supervisor Brian Dahle
155 Co. Rd. 90
Supervisor Glenn Hawes
1815 Yuba Street
Redding, CA 96001
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