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Your legislators
U.S. Senate
Barbara Boxer

1700 Montgomery St.
St 240,

San Francisco, CA 94111


Dianne Feinstein
One Post St. Ste 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104

U.S. House of Representatives
Lassen/ Modoc County

John Doolittle

4230 Douglas Blvd, Ste 200

Granite Bay, CA 95746


C.A. State Assembly

Doug LaMalfa
2865 Churn Creek Rd. Ste. B
Redding, CA 96002

State Senate
Sam Aanestad
777 Cypress Ave.

Redding, CA 96001


House of Representatives

Wally Herger

55 Independence Cir, Ste 104,
Chico, CA 95973

Lassen County Supervisor
Brian Dahle


Modoc County Supervisor

Dave Bradshaw

155 Co. Rd. 90



Shasta County Supervisor
Glenn Hawes
1815 Yuba Street

Redding, CA 96001



Mountain Echo learned that PG&E is in the process of installing a gate, which they plan to keep locked in front of the Pit One Picnic Park.

The utility plans to keep the gate locked, but give keys out to the Fall River Lions Club.

I understand their reasoning. Vandalism has been bad there and has already started again this year at the Fall River Lake Park.

They want to stop the vandalism.

I haven’t gotten the official version of it yet (5:21 a.m., Monday, but it leaves me with very mixed emotions).

My Father-in-law Darrell Davis was among the Lion Club members who worked on that park when it was first okayed by PG&E.

I worked on that park in the 80’s with the Lions.

I understand the company’s reasoning, Vandalism is rampant. It costs the customers, thus the users, as well as those trying to maintain nice things for the communities dearly.

But locking it off is hard to swallow. Giving out keys to it is even harder. It creates Caste systems and I don’t know about you, but I’m no better and no worse than anyone else in the Intermountain Community. I don’t expect nor do I want a key to what should be public land that someone else can’t have.

Get the scum bags that are tearing up the property and punish them. Don’t take it out on the rest of us.

If I’m not mistaken that park was part of the reason PG&E got its FERC license. The Lions have also agreed to maintain it, People do use it. If it disturbs a few endangered fish  that’s tough. let them build and flag the area or make it hard to access. The idiots who are destroying the the area parks are lazy, drunk or high and it is more than likely that they find it will be too much effort to mess with. It it isn’t then call the Feds and let them stake the area out and catch em. But don’t punish the rest of us.


Forests ( lots of green trees) are crucial to the development of oxygen which makes the earth habitable.

The environmentalists and “scientists” have long been lobbying to kill the timber industry. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 200 of them gathered recently in Reno to figure out a strategy to lobby Congress to slow down the cutting of burned trees in areas like Yosemite.

“Big deal?” Yes, it really is. If burned timber isn’t cut quickly it can’t be turned into good lumber so it won’t be cut.

In addition, the animals and other critters who survived will have to compete for food, shelter and protection in other parts of the forest which will raise their mortality rates.

No timber harvest means no replanting and will leave vast expanses of manzanita and other brush where new trees could have been planted.

Brush is prime fire fuel. Even if it does support bats, bugs, etc., those gains will be lost when a new fire roars through consuming the critters that weren’t fast enough to get out of the way.

In the meantime, the timber industry, once a dynamic force in our overall economy continues to decline. Either fewer people are employed directly or indirectly in the industry itself or more living “green timber” has to be cut to meet the demand, further damaging the development of oxygen and contributing to global warming.

The tourist industry, often touted by the elite as “the industry” which should revitalize once viable timber towns will suffer because the area’s beauty is gone.

Other bugs, critters and wildlife which depends on a healthy forest environment also declines.

Stopping the logging of dead trees in large areas destroyed by fire isn’t logical and it is, for the most part, a power trip by the over- ducated few who spend most of their time contemplating their navels, creating more problems than they’ll ever solve


Let it be said that I really like Modoc County and enjoy its people and its resources. In that regard, I read with great interest, Mr. Curtis’ article in the Modoc County Record of October 31, 2013, where  he explains the use of/or misuse of Title III funds. My goal is to save the County from its own wrongdoings in regard to the misuse of Title III Funds. First, Modoc County receives approximately 30% of its  funding from federal sources. If Modoc County misuses federal funds, it could be cut off from receiving further federal funds in the future. This would be disastrous to Modoc County. My sole goal is to protect the County from this potentially disastrous possibility   which could arise if Modoc County continues its misuse of Title III funds.

Sean Curtis has accomplished many achievements and should be applauded for them. HOWEVER, the fact that these accomplishments are applaudable  does not make them appropriate to be paid by Title III funds.

Is it appropriate that Mr. Curtis be paid with Title III funds?; Has the Board of Supervisors used Title III funds appropriately?; and have they followed the proper procedures to utilize Title III funds? The answer is NO to all 3 questions.
Tom Gifford
Attorney, Alturas


The current board, staff, volunteers and management of the Fall River Valley Community Services District have been busting their tails to work their way out of the financial hole they inherited, along with aging infrastructure.

Their hard work has paid off, their debt is going down and with the new rate structure is predicted to get them through this year, the tough one. That in turn sets the stage for financial stability in the future.

Manager Bill Johnson, already feeling much better about the district’s finances got another piece of good news, one which will give them enough money to do the studies, upgrades and purchase necessary equipment, all from grants and without putting any of the burden on the district’s water and sewer users. 

Good Going, and Good Luck!


For those of us who don’t live in the real world it was a real joy to enjoy the new digital movie projection at the theatre.

There was even a red carpet for  my beat-up shoes to soil – I stepped over it.

The movie had Tom Hanks as Captain Phillup – based on a true story. The movie is a thousand times better with great detail and clarity and vibrant colors. If you have not seen a movie in a decade or so, I would suggest going and really enjoying the big screen.

It was a real treat to see the improvement over film modern technology has provided. It comes with a high price, however. Some really nice individuals came forward to help Donna pay the cost of the upgrade. This will allow me to keep dreaming and not having to deal with the real world.
Dale I Mollenhaurer


Halloween is Thursday. I can remember when I was a kid, I’d go trick-or-treating, not so much because I liked the candy - which I do have to admit, I never turned down, but because I loved to get into costume.

I must have been in the seventh grade or there abouts, when I gave it up.

I was Wyatt Earp, had two “six-shooters” and a phony mustache.

I knocked on this door and a beautiful young lady, probably eighth grade, answered.

She looked me up and down and in distain gave me a piece of candy and said, “Don’t you think you’re a little old to be trick-or-treating?”


Living without a bathroom for a week was an interesting experience, but boy was it worth it.

Contractor Hal Gilmore and Tile man Tony Pelegrino did a magnificent job.

This was not proof for those who accuse me of being full of it,. Actually Lynn Miller loaned us “The Hinchcliff House,” one of her vacation cottages on Main Street in Burney. It was beautiful, comfortable, just everything we could desire and she did it on her own, making the offer when she learned about the project.

Thank you Lynn.

We had planned a trip to the Surprise Valley Hot Springs and were able to work that in also.

Hal, of Dall Construction, gutted the bathroom, removed the old commode and shower-tub combination replacing them with a new, standard size commode and preparing the shower and walls so Tony could do a full-length shower.

 Tony, tiled the shower from top to bottom, including the shower’s floor. He also tiled the bathroom walls and trimmed the shower to really make it pop.

Those two guys went out of their way to not only do a top professional job, but they did it quickly, came in under estimate, were creative, consulted us as they went, cleaned up after themselves, and did it all in an unbelievably short time.

Not only that, Hal and Tony were extremely easy to get along with.


Donna and I were able to go to the Burney Booster/Baseball Crab Feed and Raffle Saturday night. I left stuffed, impressed by the turn out and delighted by the attentive service of the  baseball team.

I couldn’t help but reflect that a large number of the adults in the room had been kids the same age as the baseball players serving tables. had bought music or books from Donna at Caldwell’s Corner and who I had covered in sports, plays, Burney Basin Days or other events.

Now they were there to support their kids or already had kids who had graduated and who had kids.

I was also impressed with the school’s principal, Mr. Guerrero and his staff.

Burney has been working on their school spirit for years and it appears that under the leadership of Mr. Guerrero they have it nailed down.

On another issue - Regarding Mayers, Memorial Hospital is facing a real threat to its survival when it comes to possible Medi-Cal cuts.

The CEO, board, staff and citizenry have been waging a war to save the income and thus, likely, the hospital as we know it.

Yes, the facts remain the same. Mayers is not twisting facts, forgetting things they would rather not remember, or doing things behind closed doors that should be done in public.

They are waging their all-out war in a way that will, with continued community support, win the day.

Yes, you are being asked to write another letter with the same facts and the same message, possibly to the same people.

Those letters help. They show that we want our hospital. They show that we are concerned. They also let the hospital association, MediCal agency, along with Mayers staff and patients know just how important the survival of Mayers and thus their survival is to each of us.

Sample letters and the addresses of the legislators are available on the Mayers web site or by stopping by Mayers. I urge everyone to send another one. You aren’t wasting your stamp.


I would really like to comment on the LAFCO meeting but I wasn’t there and I have better things to do with my time. My reporter is experienced in covering meetings, well versed, a good writer and I can take what she says to the bank so there’s no need ...

I’m putting this issue to bed a day early because I’m having the other half of my cataract surgery Monday (tomorrow morning.

I thought I was going to have one near-sighted and one far-sighted and I’m not. Both will be geared to the longer distance and I will probably need reading glasses to see the computer and read.

It will really seem strange to spend most of my time without glasses. I won’t recognize myself and others may not know me either. It will be fun, but oh, if one eye was as great as it is, I can only imagine what it will be like with both fixed.


Donna and I were able to go to the Burney Booster/Baseball Crab Feed and Raffle Saturday night. I left stuffed, impressed by the turn out and delighted by the attentive service of the  baseball team.

I couldn’t help but reflect that a large number of the adults in the room had been kids the same age as the baseball players serving tables. had bought music or books from Donna at Caldwell’s Corner and who I had covered in sports, plays, Burney Basin Days or other events.

Now they were there to support their kids or already had kids who had graduated and who had kids.

I was also impressed with the school’s principal, Mr. Guerrero and his staff.

Burney has been working on their school spirit for years and it appears that under the leadership of Mr. Guerrero they have it nailed down.

On another issue - Regarding Mayers, Memorial Hospital is facing a real threat to its survival when it comes to possible Medi-Cal cuts.

The CEO, board, staff and citizenry have been waging a war to save the income and thus, likely, the hospital as we know it.

Yes, the facts remain the same. Mayers is not twisting facts, forgetting things they would rather not remember, or doing things behind closed doors that should be done in public.

They are waging their all-out war in a way that will, with continued community support, win the day.

Yes, you are being asked to write another letter with the same facts and the same message, possibly to the same people.

Those letters help. They show that we want our hospital. They show that we are concerned. They also let the hospital association, MediCal agency, along with Mayers staff and patients know just how important the survival of Mayers and thus their survival is to each of us.

Sample letters and the addresses of the legislators are available on the Mayers web site or by stopping by Mayers. I urge everyone to send another one. You aren’t wasting your stamp.


It isn’t a matter of do the users want another rate increase or when. It is a sad reality that without it the community services district won’t be able to operate. The amount is still up in the air. The board has  formed a committee to do an updated budget. The board is looking at ways to obtain an influx of cash to catch up, and the committee is then going to look at the rates and make their recommendations to the entire board. The board will then initiate the full process required by law to go for a rate increase.

This is something that will take place in a very few months. In fact they hope to have the new rates in place by July 1.

They listened closely, asked questions, formed committees and appeared to understand that they are at least $102,000 in a hole that even a massive increase in rates can’t get them out of. I am hoping against hope that they understand that they are only in a position to accept grants if they are totally free to the district. They cannot afford low interest loans or no interest loans. There is no way that they can pay them back. There is no money to bail them out of the pickle they got themselves into. This district treasurer is not ignoring the bottom line. By the time they are done, this board may well have to mortgage the district’s buildings to pay off part of the debt. The district doesn’t have an immediate need for a water tank. It doesn’t need parks, buildings, expanded areas or duties. Yes dreams are nice – if you can pay for them. The CSD cannot pay for anything, including fixing major problems in the system. They really need to understand that and concentrate on paying off the debt the last manager and board incurred, getting the water and sewer and their finances on solid ground before venturing into other services.


I find it difficult to understand why anyone, and I could profile them in a heartbeat, would tear up planters and steal them from an elementary school.

What are you guys? Are you jealous of children having fun? Are you jealous of children learning something?

I doubt it. You are young males with too much time on your hands. Your parents, if you still live at home, have no idea where you are at in the middle of the night and tearing something up for the sake of tearing something up sounded like fun. You didn’t think beyond that, If you don’t live at home, or maybe, even if you do, pots represented money – money for another fix or bottle of booze.

Nice going guys.

I hope the teachers teach their classes what kind of low life does this sort of thing and how to recognize them, underweight, too many tattoos, hanging around because they have nothing to do and they have a tendency to glare at people and not smile.

I hope the high school students take a look at losers like them and realize that they aren’t happy. and that they don’t have a fulfilling lifestyle. They are losers, not winners

The citizens of the area might keep an eye out for pots and if spotted call the elementary school and get a description. If the description of the pots match, call the cops.


The Community Services District had a fairly uneventful meeting last week and the board started to get a handle on several items.

There was none of the back biting and theatrics which had plagued the meetings in previous months.

Instead they got down to business and stayed focused on business.

They spent a little money they didn’t have to get a financial wizard to tell them where they are financially and how they can get out of the hole they now find themselves in.

They are revisiting the sewer rates trying to find out what it will take to break even, before going back to their customers with another increase proposal.

They are starting to discuss the grants, which are really necessary and whether they can afford them if it takes borrowing money to get them.

They are having a hard time letting go of LAFCO which I suspect will cost them more grief than not in the long run. They haven’t learned that LAFCO has the size, power, and resources and have been reasonably patient.

They also fail to realize that the Fall River CSD is a small district which, because of its own greed spent over $40,000 on an attorney who didn’t win the district anything and $15,000 plus with a consultant who failed to supply LAFCO with the information needed, in the format it needed, to get the job done without using an unusual amount of time to decipher it. Sooner or later the LAFCO board which is made up of professionals and their professional staff will get tired of being lectured by laypeople from Fall River CSD who want to berate LAFCO staff and waste the Commission’s time.

On a positive note the board turned down any current consideration of wage increases because they simply didn’t have the money to pay the employees more. It also appears that with Dave Hall donating his time in the management position, that they might be able to make up some of the losses incurred under the previous manager.

All in all the board listened patiently to members of the audience as they asked questions and submitted ideas.


Most of us don’t think about hospitals unless a friend or relative is in one or we are in one.

Most of us have no idea how a hospital really works, how it got where it is, nor do we really care as long as it is there when we need it.

In other words we have the big city attitude and are thinking about big city institutions that are privately run.

Even many of the big cities don’t have public hospitals anymore. In fact if you think back you can remember when Shasta County shut their hospital down because they couldn’t afford it. Modoc Medical Center damned near bankrupted Modoc County.

We are extremely lucky to still have ours and most of us have direct links to Mayers because it was there when we, a loved one or a friend needed it. Many of us have friends or relatives using its services today.

We are lucky to have had those who have gone before us fight for, raise money for, work on and work for Mayers so you and I have a hospital today.

We are lucky to have had intelligent management and boards who have been able to get it through rough patches. Others have brought fine doctors and staff here and found ways to keep them, and to expand its services and partner with others like Mountain Valley Health Centers.

Those people all have a number of things in common, not the least of which is the stubbornness, dedication and energy necessary to keep our hospital alive, functional, and servicing those of us who need the services.

Hospitals are complex businesses, with ever changing laws, improved equipment and methods, not to mention state and federal governments which see numbers, not people, and want to shift as much of that money to their projects and needs as they can get away with.

We can smugly sit around tables without having the knowledge and skills necessary to run or save our hospital and believe that we could do a better job than those who are on the front lines doing it, or we can put our trust in those who have the facts, up to date knowledge, skills and education necessary to do the job right - and help them when they need the help.

They have asked for our help and in recent days that request has been answered 10-fold. Because of the partnership between the hospital and the public Mayers has a chance to get the exemption we need to keep our long-term care.

But it isn’t over. Mayers CEO Matt Rees has been burning up the phone lines and  highways between here and Sacramento. Every time he does, he mails or hand delivers petitions and letters putting pressure on politicians and explaining just how good of a job Mayers is doing on pinching pennies, how much we support our hospital and how critical it is for our community to have a facility like Mayers, providing services and saving lives.

Don’t stop writing letters of support and signing petitions as they become available. They give Rees the sledge hammer he needs to win the battle - public support, our support!


Ambulances are extremely important to any community, especially to an area like Big Valley.

Lives can be saved or lost in that precious first hour and ambulances from Fall River, Alturas, Klamath or Susanville may well not be able to reach a patient in that golden hour.

You have a right to be concerned.

I sympathize with the Big Valley community and hope that no one has a medical emergency, either resident or traveler.

The problem is one, however, that the folks in Big Valley have to solve themselves.

I understand that a number aren’t really thrilled with Mayers declining to take resources out of their district so an ambulance can be placed in Big Valley.

If those folks will calm down and look at it, Mayers is not to blame.

They are barely breaking even. They are faced with the possibility of having to shut down their long term care because of cuts from the state. The hospital is supported by tax dollars locally that aren’t paid by Big Valley residents.

I don’t know what the answer is, but it is up to you folks to find it.

Thank You

The Big Valley Endowment Foundation would like to thank all those who participated in our Taste of the Valley, Evening in the Park.

Our chefs; Nick Von Flue, Big Valley Market, Steve Bricker and Randy Hurd, Josh and Jamie Tankersley, Thor Thorlaksson, Intermountain Cattlewomen and Beau Scarbrough. All did a wonderful job preparing delicious food.

Our sponsors; Big Valley Market, Big Valley Seed Company, Ryan and LaRae Collins, Conner’s Well & Pump Service, McArthur Farm Supply, McArthur Livestock, The Oney Frosty, Copp’s Irrigation, Assemblyman Brian Dahle, Harbert Oil Company, Hurd Lumber and Intermountain Cattlewomen. We could not have done it without your generous support.

Big Valley 50+, Big Valley Recreation District for opening the pool, Big Valley Historical Society for opening the museum, Vicky Gerig’s designer touches and Golden Rose Productions all helped add to the fun of the afternoon and evening. A big thank you to Waste management for a dumpster. This made clean up a breeze.

 Helpers too numerous to mention were all greatly appreciated as is the public’s support.

The Big Valley Endowment Foundation serves the community by acting as a resource center for the people, non profit groups and public entities of Big Valley. We provide support to programs that help the youth and seniors of Big Valley and to projects that will improve the community’s infrastructure.


I ran a picture on the front page a couple of weeks ago of a cattle gate that had obviously been deliberately destroyed.

There was a dirt road behind the gate and reportedly much of the land belonged to the Bureau of Land Management.

I received a call last Friday from an individual who had the name of the one who had tipped me to the ripped gate wrong, but did feel that whoever put the gate up deserved to have it ripped down because, according to him, several people own property beyond the gate, himself included, and he felt that it was an effort to lock the other people off their own property., He also felt that it was actions such as this incident of locking off roads used by others that leads to gates being torn down.

It is like I told him, I don’t want to get in the middle of a range war.

I did go out and take a second look at the gate, which had been repaired and is locked again.

I have mixed emotions. I don’t like to see public roads locked off. I don’t like to see roads that have been around for years taken over by  one interest or another and access blocked to others.

However, I have also seen the wanton destruction caused by two, three and four wheeled vehicles “mudding.”

It might be fun, even though it is hard to believe that someone would spend a lot of money to get a vehicle and then attempt to destroy it along with the road that someone else had to spend good money to build and maintain.

I do have sympathy for the hunter, rancher or other individual who have used such roads in the past and is now denied access because of the individuals who have no respect for the roads or other’s property.

I also have a lot of sympathy for PG&E, the Government, the forest landowners and rancher or other landowner who have to pay to maintain those roads only to have them torn up.

Unfortunately it is the few irresponsible individuals who make the majority of responsible individuals pay for what they, the mudders, did. They would continue to do it if they could get away with ripping out gates or destroying other things used to keep them out.

If what the caller says is true then I would  suggest that the person who locked the gate get extra keys made and see to it that those keys are delivered to responsible adults who have a right to be there.

If the caller is right I suggest that he get ahold of the authorities and go through the due process of having the gate and locks removed.

This sort of atmosphere is what leads a ranch not too far from that locked gate having an armed guard who patrols the ranch with the butt of a gun in his lap and barrel out the window - a guard who bluntly orders anyone who dares come down the road, for whatever reason, out - now!



Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran  newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted  newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on  posters and stamps.

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.  “Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’ “Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? 


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism  of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not  comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless  world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity  and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life  its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would  be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that  prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s  no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. 

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only  faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years  from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


These two more than speak for themselves and tell it in ways I never could.

Walt - This poem was one of my Fall River Community Day’s students response to an assignment. The kids were to make a personal statement about how they felt about Christmas, then give supporting details in the stanzas following the statement. They were all wonderful, of course, but this one took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I hoped you would be as touched as I was by this sincere description of Christmas in the younger years of a local 13-years-old, and find room for it in next weeks paper. Maybe it will open the eyes of some of us who are all better-off than he was and remind us to see with our hearts. Michelle Dennis

The Sad Christmas Poem by Dylan Buompensiero

I hate Christmas ‘cause to have it you have to have money.
Expensive presents I can’t buy
Fancy decorations that cost too much Kids
asking Santa for stuffthat  their parents can’t afford.

Kids crying
Parents crying
Rich brats bragging
Some giving rather than taking

Kids lying to other kids
So they don’t have to tell them that their parents spent it on drugs
Some kids making fun of them
‘cause they don’t have new shoes or clothes.

Nothing to taste
because nothing’s in the house to eat.
Cold air on tongue
Wind that you breathe in your mouth

Walking by a house
You see a family cooking a ham
You wish you had some;
Not even all of it Just a bite.

I feel on Christmas
The same as those needy kids do
Because I used to be the same needy kid.
I hate Christmas
‘cause to have it you have to have money.
It is downright cold.

God’s Wife
Our friend Jill Barnett sent us this one. Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia wrote
about this as part of a story about stories he was invited to judge:

An eye witness account from New York City, on a cold day in December,
some years ago:

A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the
roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering
with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, ‘My, but you’re in such deep
thought staring in that window!’

‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’ was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to
get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy.

She then asked if he could give her a
basin of water and a towel.

He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her
gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.. Placing a pair upon the
boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes..

She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted
him on the head and said, ‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now..’

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking
up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her:

‘Are you God’s wife?’



I am a customer of Del Oro Water Company and I am not a real happy camper.  I’ll admit I haven’t been real happy since prior to 2007 when Del Oro took over.

It is true, when they took over the district’s infrastructure was bad, so bad that it made Fall River CSD’s look like a  Cadillac.

I’m also a realist. The system needed upgrading and nothing comes  free, so I didn’t raise a whole lot of hell when they passed a massive increase to be phased in over 3 years to pay for it.

That was in 2008 and I haven’t seen a whole lot of improvement. I still can’t run two sprinklers at the same time in the  summer. My meter is still a half block from the back of my property,  not to mention that the company didn’t pay any attention or bother to supervise an employee. Once they caught it, a whole bunch of customer had to pay a whole bunch of money (not me), because of it.

To illustrate, I ran an article in the July 10, 2010 issue of the paper  showing they were 18 months into a plan and were going to raise the rates from the existing $9.10 to $18.06 for the typical residential user. The charge for each 100 cubic feet of water would jump from 96¢ to $1.90. 

In the September 16, 2008 issue I wrote that Del Oro was asking for an increase that would make the base rate for the residential customers jump 255% over three years; 178.76% in the first year, another $19.87% in the second year, and 16.58% in the third year.

In the May 22, 2012 issue my Del Oro story showed they were seeking an additional 55.13%  increase.

Now they are asking for asking for a “one-time surcharge” of $12.98 per month for three years.

There isn’t anything on their website or in the letter that addresses whether or not they will also be doing their annual increases allowed automatically by the PUC in addition to the surcharge, but I’m willing to bet they will.

The letter makes it look like this was brought about by another sloppy lack of oversight because it is to cover uncollected revenues that were incurred over 18 months.

Personally I think it is to cover the loss of revenue that occurred last summer when a large number of us let a part or all of our lawns turn brown because we  couldn’t afford to water them.

I’m not going to go to a PUC/Company “hearing” and make an ass out of myself but I am going to check into the feasibility of putting in my own well - who knows, at the rate the rates increase at Del Oro, it might just have a quick payback.


Calvin told me it was -10 before sunrise Sunday morning - I  didn’t know because I didn’t stick my nose out the front door till after eight and by that time it was +8.

This morning I  started the truck at 8 a.m. and it said -2.

We’ve got the faucets dripping at home and would at the office but they froze late last week.

I never pay a lot of attention to the weather people. This time they predicted 6-8 inches of snow and we got 2.5 inches average.

Christmas is almost here. Don’t forget the light parade this Saturday night in the Valley and the American Legion’s annual ham dinner in Burney, also Saturday night.

I really did try to think of something to gripe about, but it is 1 - too cold and 2 - the  wrong season to be a curmudgeon.

Happy shopping, keep  warm and dream of Christmas coming.

Thank you!
Editor: A few weeks ago while again traveling through your community, I saw that someone had taken their cause to a public exhibition. So many are the causes any more that sometimes some may say  this is enough. Some may have said that about the bridge over the river being flooded with pink and ribbons. Some may have said that, but not all. Not me. My trip through Fall River Mills was to again visit my wife as she was being treated for breast cancer.

It is now months after surgery and a month after the end of treatment. We are told she is cancer free, yet neither the victim nor the family is ever truly cancer free once your life has been invaded. But we are able to enjoy more time together because the rogue has been removed. The cure wasn’t created just because my wife had cancer. The cure was offered us because so many strangers from so many years past had reached into their hearts and into their pockets and donated something of their time and of their money that someday, when we needed it, the cure could be there. And many of those people remembered the need because someone else had stood on a corner in their town with a little pink ribbon. The cure is not yet there for everyone. But it was for us.

As is probably true for so many, this has not been an easy year. Mom died unexpectedly just before our cancer discovery. One crisis followed another. But we  survived. Tomorrow we will travel to join the kids for Thanksgiving. And we will give thanks. We will give thanks for the time we did have with Mom. We will give thanks that our cancer is no more.

And as we again travel through your magnificent town, I will give thanks that someone in Fall River Mills was willing enough to be a spectacle and adorn your bridge with pink. May you all have a wonderful holiday season.Chuck Poré


This is Thanksgiving season and it is a season this year that will stick in my memory for  a long time.

Last week Fall River Elementary School third graders and their teachers began raising money by reading.

By the way, I oops it. If you want to help the  kids out call the school 336-5551 and leave a message for Mrs. Booker or Miss Tucker. Your participation does two things, it raises money for the battle on world hunger and it encourages children to read.

This week, Mrs. Arseneau’s 6th grade class at  Burney Elementary began a one day, one dollar campaign, that began a campaign that spread throughout the school and to the high school raising $550 to help the victims of the recent tornado (see A-4).

Then there is the annual “Fill the Bus with Food” campaign at Fall River Elementary, the bus is in the Ray’s Parking lot.

Then there is the Operation Warm Winter Campaign spearheaded by the Assembly of Life Church in Burney to supply those in need with jackets, gloves and boots December 6.

The Burney Lions are hosting their annual free Thanksgiving Dinner at the Lions Hall in Burney and so much more over the year.

People help people when they need help here.

We are a large area with a rural population and it doesn’t much matter if people don’t like you for one reason or another, if your house catches on fire you can be pretty well assured that even those who would generally turn and go the other way if they saw you coming would be among those trying to find out how they could help you and would.


A week ago Monday, deputies caught two suspected drug addicts who said they just happened to be taking a short cut across Burney Elementary School’s campus while school was in session.

They got nervous when a deputy started asking questions about a bulge under the male’s shirt and he ran.

When they were caught, according to the deputies, they were searched and it was found that they each had methamphetamine and several needles in their possession. The bulge under the male’s shirt turned out to be a couple of throwing knives.

We now have two people allegedly with dangerous and addictive drugs and the instruments to shoot those drugs into their or anyone else’s system. They had it on an elementary school grounds.

One of them had lethal weapons concealed on himself at the time.

There is also the fact that he ran from the deputy.

Our deputies did their job. They caught the individuals, took the pair into custody and hauled them down to the jail in Redding. The Sheriff’s log shows they also had warrants.

I checked with the jail and both were booked on Monday, the 14th and released on their own recognizance on Tuesday, the 15th.

I’m speechless.

Here we have two individuals who reportedly were on a school grounds with drugs and paraphernalia on their person, during school hours. One of the individuals had not one, but two deadly weapons on him. Then he resists arrest.

They book the pair into the jail and let them back out on their promise that they will appear in court when they already had some kind of warrant.

I can hear the excuses now. The Sheriff will say “we don’t have room to house them.” The County Administrator will say “we don’t have the money to pay someone else to house them.” The District Attorney will say “We can’t waste our time on them when there isn’t any place to put them.” The judges won’t even comment because they are above all that.

Any one of them could review their policy and figure out that those two could pose more than a little risk to the general public.

If I was an employee of Burney Elementary I’d be talking to the administration about safety.

If I was a parent of a child at Burney Elementary there would be an uprising and it wouldn’t be against the school staff or the deputies. They do their best to do their jobs.

In my Dad’s day and some lowlife brought drugs onto the campus the parents would have taken care of the problem permanently.

Forty years or so ago local law enforcement would have bundled them up, driven them to I-5, pointed south and explained the benefit of never returning to the Intermountain Area.

Now the officer on the street does his or her job, and that’s where it ends. Crap flows downhill  but it has ceased being dumped on the criminal - now it is dumped on the community and our kids.

I’m glad my daughter and grandson are grown and out of this area.

Something has to be done. The various big shot’s excuses that we’d better not “do anything rash” because it is against the law, would be wearing pretty thin if my kid was being exposed to that type of danger. The alternative is to sit around and wait for things to get worse or to move to the Bay Area where all they do is shoot each other over the drugs after they get the kids hooked.


I spent over three of my four years in the U.S. Marines in a helicopter squadron in North Carolina. It was pre-Vietnam and our  major contributions, besides picking astronauts like John Glenn and their space capsules out of the ocean, was flying U.S. Marshals into Selma, Alabama and other southern cities during the civil rights movement.

One of my best friends was black at the time and equality of any kind in the military was less than 10 years old. It was non- existent off base. My friend and I traveled to Maine to go to Cold Weather Survival School. We couldn’t ride together on the train, drink out of the same drinking fountain, use the same restroom or eat together in the dining car until we reached New York City.

Those were the days of black porters, black janitors, black maids, custodians, etc. It was the days when artists like Lena Horne and Sammy Davis Junior, had to enter hotels in Las Vegas through the back door and blacks were non-existent or rare in sports. It was also a time when an Indian couldn’t play an Indian in a western movie, Charlie Chan was played by a white guy and so forth.

That was over 50 years ago and I have been proud of the progress the various ethnic groups, have made in reaching equality. Then the Martin Luther King Day came around this year and we were treated to a diatribe by a number of black leaders, one of the more prominent ones couldn’t have been more that an infant during the civil rights movement, if he was even born. They ranted and raved about how little progress had been made in equality for the blacks.

That kind of put a burr under my saddle. The president of the United States is partially black. The mayors of several major cities are black. There is a black Supreme Court Justice, There was a black Chief of Staff of the Armed Services, two black secretaries of state, and a number of past and present major national, regional and state politicians who are black. There are a number of leading doctors, scientists, artists, athletes, teachers, attorneys and journalists etc. who are black or of other ethnic backgrounds. You can’t watch television for very long without seeing a number of black, Indian, Oriental, Hispanic actors in roles, commercials or highly respected spots on news programs. Turn on HGTV and you’ll see black couples, mixed race couples, a variety of other race couples or gay couples buying high-end homes and fixing up big homes costing in the hundreds of thousands just like “white” people.

I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is leadership pandering to an issue that in reality is no worse for any of them now than it is for the rest of us.

Every one of us has been discriminated against, on occasion being discriminated against now and will be discriminated against for the rest of our lives. That is life.

Politicians, born and raised with silver spoons in their mouths who are so intent on stirring the pot simply to see what kind of publicity they can get, need to get a life and spend time taking care of real issues like trying to get something done that will benefit the American people rather than just themselves.


Just a few observations regarding the shutdown of the Federal government.

I couldn’t help but notice  that the Congress, and White House and their staffs are all getting their paychecks and yet it is their fault that a whole lot of damn fine rank and file folk who depend on a paycheck to buy groceries, make their house payments, pay their bills and so forth get laid off.

It is kinda like the Congress exempting itself from the health insurance requirements.

Obviously it wouldn’t make sense to lay off the Congress, Senate or President even though they are the ones who got us into this mess, but you could sure lay off their staff and take their gas cards and ability to buy aviation fuel away from all of them.

It would be interesting if the first lady had to do the wash and fix the meals, if the president or legislators had to answer their own phones or try to keep their own appointment books. I’ll bet they’d figure out a way to compromise and get things rolling again.

I hate brinkmanship!


Obituary printed in the London Times..... Mountain Echo printed this once before - It  crossed my desk again and is well worth a second run.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;

- Why the early bird gets the worm;

- Life isn’t always fair;

- And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,

-by his parents, Truth and Trust,

-by his wife, Discretion,

-by his daughter, Responsibility,

-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;

- I Know My Rights

- I Want It Now

- Someone Else Is To Blame

- I’m A Victim

- Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing


The Veterans’ organizations in Burney conducted their annual “Reading of the Names” ceremony, Saturday.

Not a lot of folks showed up, which is a  shame.

Granted, the program, reading aloud the over 1600 names of service people still missing in action, or not accounted for, from the Vietnam conflict, isn’t the most exciting program in the world, but the folks whose names were read went into an unpopular war either voluntarily or because their government demanded it of them. Unlike those who lived through it or who died and their bodies were identified and returned, they disappeared in combat, either killed or taken prisoner. Either way their bodies have never been recovered - their fate is unknown.

The annual ceremony is the Burney Veterans’ way of letting the families, and as best they can, the missing, know that there are folks out here who do remember.

Those who were lucky enough not to have to go, or who went and came back, feel that a couple of hours of our time is the least we can do to let them know someone cares. It is too bad not everyone feels the same.


I received a couple of letters (see Letters to the Editor) that take me to task over my stand against letting mountain lions run “protected” through the area. As far as I am concerned they have as much right to their opinion as I do to mine.

I do, however have strong disagreement with the insinuation and thus the logic that:

The mountain lion has the right to wander through the area, taking what it wants, when it wants because man moved into the area. If that argument was followed to its natural conclusion, what they are really saying is that lions should be able to wander and take what it needs in San Francisco, LA, Riverside, etc. I doubt that they would send any of them to school so they would know the difference between the urban and rural areas. Can you imagine the panic if a truckload of live mountain lions were delivered and turned loose in Golden Gate or Griffith Parks in the Bay or LA areas? Even one such animal would bring out hunters permitted to kill the lion.

The insinuation that the farmer and rancher eliminates the lions because he or she just wants to make money, lots of money, not only angers me, but doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. The only reason the farmer, rancher, newspaper, grocery store, feed store, drug store etc. makes money is because someone is willing to buy the product that is for sale. I don’t care what product is produced or sold, it takes money, to provide that product to the buyer.

Taking the case of raising animals for sale, there must be land enough to house the animals. It is paid for in one way or another by the owner of the animals. The animals  have to have access to food and water both of which cost money. The animals have to be regularly cared for which costs money (vets bills, grooming equipment, medical supplies, etc.) There is shelter, transportation and time, plus a whole lot more before the animal is sold to the wholesaler.

The folks who raise cattle for a living spend a lot of hours in all kinds of weather, doing hard physical work, not to mention obtaining education, continued education, going to association meetings, doing bookkeeping and so forth.

The argument that it is up to the rancher or farmer to protect their animals is one area where we all seem to agree. It is just that it is obvious that we don’t see eye-to-eye what is reasonable protection.

The suggestion that it is up to the farmer or rancher to make their property “lion proof” isn’t realistic. The money necessary to do the initial enclosures, buy the necessary “protective” animals, maintain the enclosure  and protective animals, even if physically possible, would add to the costs involved in raising the animals. Remember, farmers and ranchers and other self-employed folks work hard and have to make money to stay in business. The costs associated with supplying the animals to the market have to be passed on to the consumer.

Mountain Lions existed fairly well before they became “protected.” They just didn’t do it for very long on ranch or farm land. There weren’t as many lions, they did what they do so well, they fed on food away from civilization.

Mountain Lions are pretty critters. I understand that. For those who want to protect the ones which stray into the path of man I suggest that they, adopt one as a pet – but please, for its safety, keep it inside your house so those of us who have to exist in the real world won’t shoot it.


This is at least the second time in the past 30 years that we’ve tossed around the idea of seceding from California. When I use the term “we’ve” I am referring to the far northern counties.

It is a dream that many of us hold dear. We are and have been extremely tired of the populous end of the state spending or planning to spend billions on new bridges, high speed rail, forcing areas like Eastern Shasta County to over-build schools and hospitals because other areas have major earthquakes, paying extra for smog control devises and inspections when we don’t have a smog problem. We are tired of having criminals dumped on our counties, on and on - the list is endless.

I am a believer. However, you gotta be able to pay for it.

Yes, a new state could form new departments, potentially saving billions upon billions in high salaries, over employment, inflated benefit programs etc. However, with all those things already in effect in other states and in the part of the state that would become our neighbor, chances are good that the only people who would apply are those who were turned down elsewhere.

We have a fairly large highway and road system, we’d have to pay to maintain them, plow them and build new ones as they became necessary.

We wouldn’t gain anything politically. and we would still have to put up with stupid and inane laws and regulations from the Federal Fish and Game, Federal Transportation, the IRS, Forest Service, BLM etc.

Be careful what you wish for, As badly as I would like to see it happen, I have a feeling that the state of California wouldn’t even know we were gone, while we, the people of the new state of Jefferson, would find ourselves even more overtaxed than we are now with lower quality or lack of services while led by politicians who will always be politicians.


A friend and mentor of mine, the late Vern Webb of Burney once mused that he couldn’t understand why the government had a habit of protecting the predators while allowing the predator’s food, like deer, to be hunted.

Well, a few years ago, the folks that watched too much Wild Kingdom and other nature channels went the extra step to insure the protection of Mountain Lions.

Well a typical example of the results are on page one this week. It cost the high school girl who owned those sheep $10,000, not to mention all the hard work and emotion that had gone into raising her championship flock.

Her loss isn’t the only one. I can remember news stories of at least two people who have been killed in California since that law was passed, not to mention the toll on livestock.

Mountain Lions may be awesome looking critters, but they are killers and when they get too close to civilization they need to be eliminated - before, not after a tragedy.

This one will be found and shot, but in the meantime he has hit several ranches and killed for the sport of killing.

People who vote to protect killer species for whatever noble reason are flat nuts (and I could care less who gets angry over that statement). I’m just damn glad they weren’t around when the dinosaurs were alive.



As anyone who reads this column on a regular basis knows, I’m not always a big fan of Cal Fire. They steal our money under the guise  of providing public prevention and then have others do it for them. They sue outside people who accidentally cause fires and yet don’t prosecute their own people for setting backfires that backfire on them or other agencies like the Forest Service whose controlled burns get out of control.

And of course they make a big deal out of backing up local fire companies and fire departments, but only when they are in the area.

That said, their overall fire tactics over the years since the Fountain Fire have changed dramatically. They pour every resource on a fire that is available, the minute they get a report of a fire.

I’ve heard citizens complain, but you know what folks - it works and it works well. In the Lassen Park fire the Park Service failed to manage last year is a typical example of how not to fight a fire. We had seven fires Tuesday night, all of them could have been disastrous, they weren’t.

Thank you firefighters.


Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do in order to straighten things out. That is often evident on public boards.

As an example, the Fall River Valley Community Services District has long done things that made sense to them, but didn’t necessarily coincide with what was lawful at the moment and it, along with a number of other items came back to haunt them.

The latest, was the concept of hiring a manager in such a way as to avoid paying all of the government, and national, fees associated with it. Dos it look like a good idea - as long as you have a person willing to work on those conditions, you bet. However the State and Feds don’t see it that way. You will pay them the way the law expects them to be paid or you’ll really pay when the government steps in and either shuts you down or makes you pay everything they feel is owed, plus penalties and interest.

That is one of the things that is now coming back to bite the Community Services District.

Board Chair Jerry Monath looked it up, got a legal opinion and his board backed him. Not only that the incoming general manager was able to accept the terms, thus not becoming the center of a controversy.

Boy the Fall River CSD and the Burney Water District boards have been famous for doing what they could with what they had rather than increase bills to the customer.

Unfortunately there is simply so much that can be done before the district’s bills can’t be paid and their pumps, pipes, sewer ponds and general facilities reach a point where they have to be taken care of. That is where they are at now and you’ve got a couple of boards that are willing to do what has to be done.


I have a tendency to jump into areas that at one point I was comfortable with, only to find myself way in over my head. STAR Tests are one of those areas. Thus, when Ron Mosher told me the results for this year were out I mounted my trusty steed, grabbed my proverbial lance, and headed for the Department of Education STAR windmill.

I copied the high mucky muck’s letter of apology for statewide scores having dipped, blaming it on state budget cuts to the Department of Education, and bravely removed his excuses so I might make some sense out of how our schools had done.

I actually did as I always do and compare scores of the elementary schools and high schools, leaving out the continuation schools, not because the education there is any different, but because there are never enough students taking the test for the state to count them (It might embarrass students who flunked is the excuse).

Maybe it t was because my cataracts have been removed and I can actually see a lot more of the results that are impossible to compare between schools or districts because some don’t have their 10 students or the program they are testing. Maybe it is because they don’t give the “end of program” scores in every area. Maybe it is because I’d have to compare six different ranges in nine different areas or more or 12 different grade levels for at least six different schools divided between elementary and 7-12. Whatever it was, since I already knew that whatever I wrote would PO administrators, teachers, and possibly even students because I didn’t have a doctorate in statistics and politics, I realized that the best thing I could do was pass the buck onto any individual who is interested enough to try and figure it out for themselves.

Cick on website isstar,cde,ca,gov. Then go to 2013 STAR Test results. Then go to Test Results. Then follow the instructions.


My wife Donna and I have one major difference between us - beyond that she is much better looking than I am.

She loves to watch talking heads on television. I’d have to buy barf bags by the case if I did that.

I can remember hearing the rumor in the very late 60’s or very early 70’s that Walter Cronkite went to a national broadcast meeting and afterwards said “We are going to get that SOB” referring to President Richard Nixon.

A couple of sharp reporters got the info and verifications against Nixon they needed. The talking heads latched onto it like a puppy on a piece of sheet with knots in it and didn’t let go until they got their man (and he deserved it).

Now what do the heads who know everything do when there is a scandal ? They talk about Anthony Weiner. They talk adnauseum about Trayvon Martin at the moment the media should be talking about Fast and Furious, Benghazi, trying to intimidate major reporters, the healthcare bill, the NSA, the IRS and on and on.

They became more interested in President Bill Clinton’s zipper than NAFTA and GATT. Thus major problems that very likely amount to felonies slip into obscurity.

 The American public has a very short memory or attention span. A politician has even less. The only way to get them to do something beyond pandering, is to keep the problems alive and in front of them, something the National media’s talking heads don’t and won’t do now.

While it was politically correct to get their man when I was a young man, it isn’t now. and that’s a shame.


Regarding the letter to the editor (on the left) - The Heritage Foundation was formed by and its membership is made up of people with integrity, who have been strongly supportive over the years of maintaining a healthy and vibrant fair with the existing facility, located where it is. They stepped up to the plate and formed when it became obvious that neither the fair board or the county had enough funds to keep the fair going for more than a short period of time. These people put their efforts where their mouths are and bust their tails to raise money and make it work.

The County gets no tax money from anyone to support the fair, nor does the fair. Fairs were historically financed by pari-mutuel betting monies. The State took that away from fairs statewide so the only money the “Fair” gets and has gotten in the past few years, is from the fair over Labor Day weekend and from rental of hall, RV space rental and possibly from a little bit of farming. The Foundation has done an excellent job of finding other ways to raise funds. They account for those funds and have viable plans which will raise additional funds to help support the fair and thus make it possible for it to continue.

The County, which takes a number of fees out of the fair’s income, pays what little salaries and other expenses are generated.

There has been money set aside for deferred maintenance. Both the fair and the county also are audited and like any other department of the county is routinely watched by the County Auditor’s office.

The Heritage Foundation has good money in the bank to help support the fair.

The County is currently doing what is prudent and bringing the facilities up to date, decreasing their liability, as they prepare to divest themselves of the fairgrounds. They are following standard protocol which includes a professional and political process. I know the players, their backgrounds, goals, and abilities and have tracked them over the years. I have no problem in giving the Foundation my endorsement and best wishes. Personally I believe they are doing a great job, using fresh ideas and a lot of their time and effort.


Whew it is and has been hot. We have seven fans going and the inside temperature in the office is in the high  80’s.

The election season is starting already.

I talked to Sheriff Tom Bosenko at Lynn Miller’s Celebration 2013. He has announced that he will run for a third term.

Talk about parties, Lynn knows how to throw parties.

Our own Diane Head is a year older as of yesterday.

Gosh I hope I have as much energy when I get as old as she is!

We had a bank robbery that wasn’t a bank robbery last week. Ron and I were there when the deputies made the stop on the truck. They were impressive and professional.


There is as much of a difference between serving the public and pandering to the public as there is being an amateur or a professional.

I usually start out with a fairly high opinion of people who are elected or appointed to the county level or higher boards. That opinion stands until such time that they do something so stupid that they lose my respect.

Personally I had no intention of commenting on the LAFCO Commission’s pending closed session to consider taking their executive director to task. I happen to think the executive director conducts herself both as a lady and a professional.

However, I’m not in a position to comment on her job performance because my experience with her has been limited. I will say that I have not had a problem with the decisions I have been interested in. If, however, what I heard is true, the commissioners, at least the board chair, Les Baugh, are in danger of losing my respect.

Disciplinary action of an employee, be it manager or janitor, has a built in right of privacy in the employee’s favor - until the employer meets with the employee, and a final decision is made.

I was, therefore more than a little surprised and shocked while attending a public Fall River Community Services District meeting, when two members of the audience, people whose integrity I have respected, volunteered that Baugh and another LAFCO commissioner had told them that Baugh had garnered enough votes on the commission to fire the LAFCO Executive Officer and would.

The purpose of taking any action of a disciplinary nature against an employee in closed session is obvious. To do less is tacky at the least and in my opinion shows a total lack of professionalism.


I have a couple of things this week.

First, I had questions when the Community Services District accepted Dave Hall as its interim manager.

I need to say right up front that my reservations are unfounded.

Dave, a volunteer, is spending a considerable amount of time on a considerable number of days trying to run a district badly in need of being run. He’s doing it at no pay as a volunteer and he is doing a good job.

Yeah, he came out of private industry so there are a lot of bureaucratic rules and regulations that he isn’t aware of. But if he does something or doesn’t do something according to Hoyle, it isn’t because he was trying to hide something or just do it his way. He corrects the problem and moves on.

I’m impressed and will, for one, say thank you.

Regarding the second issue, Caltrans, the Department of Transportation, on the other hand, is installing new signs state wide. I'm not sure that they mean planting them on posts in the ground or just putting them at construction sites, but it has me wondering. For one thing they cost money when the state swears up and down it is broke.

Cal trans has long been known for hauling out heavy equipment to put in front of construction sites to keep the general public from running over their workers, thus tying up the drivers and equipment at sites where they aren’t needed for productive work and also for putting up signs all over the state, at costs of God only knows how much, telling people to click it or ticket, while refusing to allow towns and businesses from putting any signs on Caltran’s highways.

“Give people or ‘them’ a brake” as the saying on another Caltrans campaign goes that wasn’t free.

I don’t want to see Caltrans employees or anyone else killed on our highways or anyplace else for that matter, but things like these signs are stupid. They are likely to become attractive nuisances or so familiar people don’t even see them, while our great legislature and bureaucracy finds other questionable ways to raise money the general public such as you and I don’t have so they can blow it on such projects.


I haven’t been able to see as well as I used to for some time.

What is really scarey is that I have fairly new glasses and should have been seeing a whole lot better. My eye doctor is great and had done well for me in the past so I knew it wasn’t his fault.

I could rub my eye and my sight would improve, almost like I had wiped away a water screen.

What really brought home the fact that something was wrong was when I had to take off my glasses to read the comics in the paper.

You have to understand that the comics are sacrosanct. I can do okay without the daily dosage about the idiots in Sacramento or Washington.

I live in God’s Country so I don’t have to continuously worry about who got shot where or when SWAT will surround a house in my neighborhood and start shooting. But I can’t get along without knowing what Zits, Rose, Luanne, Beetle, Dennis or Garfield are doing.

We were having our usual Friday night dinner with friends a couple of months ago when a good friend began talking about having Cataract surgery, how fast and painless it had been and how wonderful the results were.

I knew I had cataracts, my eye doctor had told me so, but I had never given it much thought. My friend’s symptoms matched my own.

I’m all for easy and painless and for wonderful eyesight so I checked into it and found I could do it.

I made the appointment and found out that I indeed had cataracts. I was scheduled, I got paperwork, I filled out paperwork, I had a “preop appointment.

Being as uncouth as I am, I handed the lady at the desk my paperwork, apparently all of which were to be used by the anesthesiologist.

The lady was fairly unflappable. I pointed out to her that an anesthesiologist I had when I had a colonoscopy hadn’t asked for all this paperwork, and without missing a beat she said, “wrong end.”

That appointment went well, but left me with a major question. 

The doctor had looked at my eyes at the first visit and said that unless I wanted to spend $1,000 for a special lens to be implanted instead of the standard ones, I would probably still need glasses. I told him that I didn’t mind the glasses, I’d worn glasses since I was six or seven and wouldn’t know what I looked like without them.

During the pre-op the lady measured my eyes and said that the stigmatism wasn’t as bad as they had thought and that I probably wouldn’t need to wear glasses. Also the first operation is on the right eye and will be my distance eye so I have good vision far away.

The second operation, which will take place in a couple or three weeks, will be for the left eye which will be for close up vision.

So now I’m going to report to the surgery center for a short, 10 or 15 minute, surgery on “the right end” and walk out two hours later with dark glasses on.

When both surgeries are over my right side will be far away and my left side will be close up and I may or may not be wearing glasses.

I really want to thank my staff for hanging in there. Both surgeries are scheduled for Mondays, our deadline days, and they are filling in nicely.

Now, if you folks will forgive the boring editorial and any mistakes that seem to magically appear when I try to cram too much stuff into too little space without enough time, we’ll all get through this together. The next time I see you, you may be far away or up close, but you won’t be blurry.  



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