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

President Abraham Lincoln

Two things this week... First - I’m going to endorse the candidates running to keep their seats on the Fall River Joint Unified School District’s board.

All three have done a good job. Teri Vigil is the most experienced with 13 years, multiple years as board chair and a commitment to education that takes her all over the US.

Ignacio Venegas is Native American well recognized and thought of in the Indian and White communities. He has been a strong bridge between the two and brings a unique perspective with him. Randy Oller is a retired teacher, coach, and experienced strong board member.

The challenger is Craig Knoch, a Fall River Rancher and husband of Chris Knoch, the principal of Fall River Elementary. He is also heavily involved in the community and youth activities.

While I really like Mr. Knoch I can’t get past the perception of conflict. There is absolutely nothing illegal with his running for the board as long as he recuses himself from financial decisions that might affect his wife. But, a large amount of the decisions made by the board affect either his wife directly or indirectly through staff or school.

I’d vote for Craig in a heartbeat if he was running for any other board in the area. I just feel that board and family should not mix and is a recipe for potential problems.

Second - Loretta Carrico- Russell did an outstanding job researching and interviewing people regarding the Fatal Crash on Highway 299 below Round Mountain that occurred in September. Mrs. Russell’s work was excellent, but the answers received sounded like they came from the same school of disinformation that the White House staff took.

The authorities PG&E, Department of Transportation, Highway Patrol and several others all said it was perfectly all right to haul hazardous materials containing asbestos from a decommissioned nuclear power plant up a roadway without placards which would give emergency personnel a warning that there was a potential problem. They said the load was essentially not dangerous.

Let me ask why, if the load is not dangerous, did the trucking outfit have to adhere to a specific route? Why did PG&E pay to haul “nonhazardous material to a special hazardous waste site in Idaho? Why did the CHP Sergeant go over the load with a Geiger counter if there wasn’t a potential for danger?

Additionally, they said the asbestos coated bricks had been painted with a special paint to keep the asbestos from becoming airborne.

Following their logic, that would mean that they felt that the paint would remain intact when the huge metal bin somehow slid off the trailer of a big rig with enough force to shoot into the opposing traffic lane and taking the impact of another big rig traveling at approximately 55 mph in the opposite direction.

Give me a break. They are insinuating that no bricks were damaged, none of the paint was scraped off by the fall, the impact, or banging as it was hit by the other truck.

It makes me wonder if the real reason there was no placards (legal or not) is that they didn’t want the people living or doing business along the hazardous waste transportation route to know what they were hauling.

It also makes me wonder if, in reality, the emergency crews, including firefighters, coroner, law enforcement and Cal trans, were exposed to friable asbestos.

What an amazing weekend! So much so… it is what I need to write about. This weekend I was able to be a part of one of the greatest things ever. What started out as a simple idea grew into a display of teamwork and dedication to honor the memory of a great lady. It is an example of what I mean by Blue Skies.

Here is a little background…

It was the summer of 2013 and I was preparing for my first half marathon. I was feeling unsure and very nervous. I don’t know if she sensed it, but a co-worker came alongside and offered me encouragement every time she saw me at work.

Julie McCullough was an EMT at Mayers Memorial Hospital. She was also an avid runner and had completed many half marathons. Her kindness, compassion and advice were a significant part of me being able to complete my first half-marathon.

After the race weekend, she was the first to ask how it went and congratulate me on my accomplishment. She asked if I wanted to participate in a run she really liked, the Biz Johnson Half Marathon. That fall it wasn’t going to work for me, but I thought, yes the next year (2014) I would definitely participate.

During the next year, Julie was diagnosed with brain cancer and we lost an amazing co-worker and friend at MMHD this summer.

On the way home one evening, I had an idea and took it to the administrative team at Mayers. Everyone was on board so we put out the word to our staff...

We asked them to consider and BEFORE YOU SAY NO “I Don’t Run…” Think about this…

This is a large challenge – something hard to endure and probably not something most of us want to do. It won’t be easy. For these reasons it will be a meaningful tribute to a person who loved to run.

In honor of Julie and her love of running, over 20 people representing MMHD participated in the Biz Johnson Half Marathon last weekend. Many of the participants were not truly runners and was a big feat to tackle. Runners have collected pledges to establish a fund to establish a scholarship in memory of Julie.

We came together to complete those 13.1 miles...with Julie whispering words of encouragement each step of the way. It was an amazing display of love, compassion, determination and teamwork. Way to go TEAM MAYERS…I was blessed to be a part of it.

Lets start with Mayers Memorial Hospital. According to state statistics they handled 4,563 patients in 2012 and 4,245 patients in 2013. They opened their doors to another facility’s patients when called on to do so and hold the federal designation as a Critical Access Hospital.

We have a variety of experienced, good doctors. Those Doctors don’t hesitate to refer patients to specialists and are kept busy by patients who do like them.

The schools are lousy? That must be why we have a student in Harvard, another whose research is published, another who is trying out for a pro ball team - not to mention the ones who have played pro ball and the kids who had a chance to play in high school that never would have been allowed on the field in a big school. We have Annapolis and Air Force Academy graduates, Officers and top enlisted people in the armed services. We have heroes, business owners etc.

We have excellent businesses and professionals. Businesses depend on volume for ordering and pricing and for customers to whimper at the prices that don’t quite meet Walmart’s, I suggest you figure in the cost of gas, the time spent driving into the “city,” the impulse buys you make there and the trips you have to make to take care of problems.

Then there’s the “there’s nothing to do up here.” Those who don’t want to get involved with their kids in little league, flag football or soccer. People play softball, golf, go fishing, go hunting, get involved in the Lions, the Rotary, the Soroptomists, the Chambers, the church groups, the American Legion or VFW or Auxiliaries, Hospice, Interpretive Society, Historical Society, Quilters, Pit River Pioneers, AAUW, Masons, Shrine...

There is a variety of restaurants, two theaters, beautiful scenery and things going on in neighboring towns.

Give me a break!


Proposition 47 adds to crime problems

Proposition 47 attempts to deceive voters. The proponents of Proposition 47 conjured up the name “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” for a collection of bad ideas that will produce the opposite of what that title portends.

Proposition 47 will release up to 10,000 felons from prison and decrease penalties and sentences for crimes like gun theft, burglary, possession of date rape drugs, and identity theft. California’s courts will be jammed with hearings with requests for “Get Out of Prison Free” cards, burdening a court system that can barely handle its current case load.

Criminals must face meaningful consequences for violating the law. The penalties for serious crimes will be reduced and felons already in prison for their crimes will be entitled to resentencing to county jail or outright release. These early releases will be virtually mandated by Proposition 47. These are felons who have prior convictions for serious and violent felonies. Shasta County is suffering the impacts of AB 109 and a full jail, Prop 47 will make these matters worse!

Current law recognizes the severity of stealing a gun. However, Prop 47 would turn gun theft into a misdemeanor. Stealing firearms can only make a community less safe, but Prop 47 decreases the penalty for that crime to a slap on the wrist. By converting felonies to misdemeanors, criminals who would otherwise be prohibited from possessing a firearm would be allowed to own guns. Misdemeanors generally do not carry the same gun ownership restrictions that felonies do, so the passage of Prop 47 will lead to the increased arming of convicted criminals.

Prop 47 severely decreases the penalty for drug possession. I’m not talking about possession of marijuana, but hardcore drugs like cocaine, heroin, and GHB (a date rape drug). So a sexual predator possessing date rape drugs will only be charged for a misdemeanor under Prop 47.

The measure presents the potential to cripple California’s recovering economy. By reducing the penalty for commercial burglary to a straight misdemeanor, Prop 47 declares open season on retail businesses. This misguided measure reduces the available sanction for the theft of crops, livestock, and other agricultural crime. California rises and falls on the strength of our agricultural economy; Prop 47 invites theft targeting our farmers and ranchers. As long as a criminal steals less than $950 worth of goods at one time, no matter how many times he or she steals from the same store, even if previously convicted of robbery, it will always be considered misdemeanor conduct. Fencing that stolen property will be just a misdemeanor if caught with property valued under $950.

There are many reasons to oppose Prop 47. I know as thousands of felons leave prison, this measure will create even more pressure on our aged and overcrowded jails. Putting another unfunded mandate on front-line law enforcement officers who will be forced to deal with the criminals released by Prop 47 is bad. Shasta County certainly does not need additional impacts on an already full jail and financial impacts on our local budgets.

Proponents will tell you that all this measure does is give first-time offenders and petty criminals a second chance while saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars. The truth is, those types of offenders rarely end up in jails or prison. By law, first time drug offenders cannot be sent to jail or prison and most counties have diversion and probation programs that allow judges and prosecutors to appropriately sanction minor crime by rookie criminals. The savings generated by Prop 47 are illusory; a cheap, political trick designed to con voters into thinking schools and students will be showered with all of the money saved by releasing felons on to the streets and into our neighborhoods. It all boils down to the fact that Prop 47 will result in more crime, new victims, and less safety.

No on Prop 47 is supported by the California State Sheriffs Association, California Police Chiefs Association, California District Attorneys Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, and many other law enforcement organizations. Please join me and law enforcement statewide and VOTE NO ON PROP 47. Tom Bosenko, Shasta County Sheriff


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.


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.

Guest Opinion

There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second-best time is now.

The same holds for building reservoirs.

California is enduring its worst drought in 200 years, by some measures. The agricultural belts of the Central Valley are the driest and suffering the most from shortages, with fields fallowed and groundwater drawn down severely to make up for shortages, but nobody is immune from the drought’s effects. Cities are strictly rationing water. Treasured runs of salmon are at risk of die-offs.

And much as I’d like to say otherwise, at this point there’s not a lot anyone in Sacramento can do about it, other than triage the crises. The solutions – more water storage and smarter management – require investments California should have made 20 years ago.

But the next big drought? Californians might just have a fighting chance to make it through more smoothly, thanks to the bipartisan legislative agreement on the water bond that will go before the voters this November. If Californians agree about the urgency of action, the state will commit to its first major investments in new reservoirs in decades. The bond directs $2.7 billion toward new storage, directed toward projects first identified in 2000 as the best investments the state could make to improve the water system.

They include Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley, which would store water off the river, in the Coast Range in Colusa County. Holding up to 1.4 million acre-feet of water, or about one-third the size of Lake Shasta, Sites would allow the state to store additional winter floodwaters for productive use. It would make 500,000 acre-feet of new water available in normal years, with even higher benefits in droughts. The state has talked about Sites for more than a decade. With this water bond, we take a concrete step toward pouring the concrete.

New storage is a critical breakthrough in the bond, but it also provides money for other needs: groundwater cleanup, drinking water for struggling communities, investments in healthy watersheds. What it doesn’t include is pork.

In 2009, the last time the Legislature attempted to craft a bond, they won the votes the old-fashioned way – they bought them, one pet project at a time. The result was a bond so bloated and overpriced, $11.14 billion, that the Legislature never even had the courage to present it to the voters, who would have had the good sense to reject it.

Taking a different approach, over the past two years the Assembly Water, Parks and Committee has traveled the state – including a December hearing in Redding – so members could learn firsthand about the needs of the state’s diverse regions and craft a package that would meet those needs in a balanced way. The final deal came at the last possible minute to make the November ballot, in classic Sacramento fashion, but it won nearly unanimous support even as it would spend billions of dollars less than the bond it replaces. Yes, a whole building full of politicians agreed to spend less of the taxpayers’ money, while making the fundamental investments the state needs.

This drought is tough. Farms are fallowed. Cities are rationing water. Mountain springs are drying up. Treasured fisheries are dying off. The one upside is it’s finally woken the state up to the need to build a water system that will serve the next generation. And when the next drought hits, we will be ready.
Brian Dahle - California State Assemblyman, District 1


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!


It has been almost two weeks since the fires started in the area and thankfully it appears that the immediate danger of catastrophe is over - for all but eight families.

The firefighters did a great job and deserve a big thank you, but I do have a question for the fire management team.

I know that back fires are a major tool in fire fighting and are successful in a majority of the cases, but I’d like more information about them.

1. Are back fires an art or a science?

2. Do those making the decisions to have ground crews set the backfires have extensive education in exactly how a backfire in a given area at a given time of day under given circumstances will act and what the results will be?

3. Does the management team consult with people in the immediate area of the planned back fire to confirm and verify such factors as wind behavior in the area they plan to burn?

4. If the above is affirmative, does the management team take the local observations seriously and act accordingly?

5. Is there any additional precautions taken when a backfire is set in the vicinity of residences or other structures?

6. Is there adequate resources committed to the immediate area where each backfire is to be set, to keep it from getting away from those setting the fires?

Thank You
Thank you so much everyone for making the Celebration of Life event for Janet Bentz in McArthur was so wonderful. Family and friends made for a lovely day with a very emotional display of joy for the remembrances of a special lady. It was truly an afternoon of appreciation for all to remember. Also, the “One for the Road” celebration after words was fantastic , as we had a full bar and a great time. Jan would have been proud. She was a great daughter, mother, friend and wife and will be greatly missed. Thank you again for all the support, love and emotion in our time of need.
Sincerely Andrew Bentz

Thank You
We, the family of Emma Perkins, would like to express our sincerest thanks to friends and neighbors in the Inter-mountain area for caring thoughts, food donations and cards on her passing. Words alone will never be enough to express our appreciation. To Mayers Memorial Hospital and staff, thank you for taking such good care of our Emma. For the last year of her life, you helped her keep her dignity in tact and made her feel loved and cared for. To our church family at Fall River Community United Methodist Church and the kind people that make up the small but mighty congregation, thank you for your love and care before, during and after Emma’s passing. Having Emma’s celebration of life July 19 in our home church meant so much to us all. Thank you to Shirley & Don Bickett of Redding for handling behind-the-scenes details with Allen & Dahl so that we could spend our time with family and friends celebrating Emma’s life. Thanks also to those who made donations to the Ft. Crook Historical Society and the CUMC in her honor.
Blessings on you all. Milt Perkins Ann Perkins Spain & Family Amy & Bruce Dickinson & Family Herb & Annie Perkins & Family


I had a few subjects planned for inclusion in this week’s weeks editorial, but the fires have obviously taken precedence.


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


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!

When we moved up here we all understood that we were moving into rural California and as such we traded the ability to walk down the street to Walmart or the mall for our own little piece of God’s Country.

The problem is, like everything else in life, there are no guarantees. In this case the County, State and Feds have figured out just how easy it is to dump on us and are doing it.

The very latest is, of course, the county court’s decision that it makes more sense for anyone needing court services to travel to Redding instead of one judge who gets paid $100,000+ a year whether he or she drives up here or not.

They cite cost saving and expect us to buy into that without taking time to think about it.

The Burney Court is in a building the county has depreciated out years ago. The building isn’t being shut down - thus they can’t claim to be concerned or that they will save on repairs - if the roof leaks over other offices, they’ll still have to repair it.

They aren’t going to save on personnel - they have said if there are any personnel they will be transferred to Redding to help the Redding people.
They have only had to pay for janitorial costs for two days a month and some utilities.

So just exactly what is it they are saving? The Judge’s drive to our area and back.

I have to admit it is not just the judges. It is also the private attorney’s who charge $200 an hour and plead for extensions, who don’t really care what happens as long as they are paid for it. It’s easier for them to do that in Redding because they live there.

Of course rural cuts aren’t restricted to just the courts. The Sheriff’s office is closed to the public in Burney so if you need a deputy you have to call and hope there is a deputy available to answer the phone. If not, you have to flag one down on patrol.

The services they used to provide in the office are all now done in Redding.

But the crooks aren’t. They are brazenly strutting down Main Street in each one of our towns at all hours of the day and night. Not only that, there are a bunch more of them than there were. There aren’t any more deputies and even when they arrest someone chances are the person they picked up will be strutting down the street with a smirk the next morning because the state and feds don’t want to have to do anything with them and the county can’t find the room.

Of course there is also the other side of the coin. We in Rural California now get to pay an annual tax (they try to call it a fee) so Cal Fire can “educate” us not to burn things down - but they don’t tax the people in the city. They don’t use the money to fight fires and they haven’t spent money on grants for things like Fire Safe Councils like they promised yet.

Oh well, I’d still rather live here than there.
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!

Happy Anniversary!

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

Supervisor Dave Bradshaw
155 Co. Rd. 90



Supervisor Glenn Hawes
1815 Yuba Street

Redding, CA 96001