Wednesday January 17, 2018

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The Burning TreeFest in Downieville last Saturday was a flaming success with lots of Festers in attendance. The Downieville VFD and Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) did a great job keeping everyone safe and filled with hotdogs, snacks and treats, great community fun at Gold Rush Park.  Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers, you are special!

Taking a trip to Nevada City might be a fun thing to do with all these upcoming events. Especially this one on January 26th.

I write this on Sunday morning after reading Trump’s latest tweet “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.” What an awful man. I wonder what happened to him to have him grow into this spiteful man lacking in any compassion for other humans who share our planet. Carol gave me a book, biographies of First Mothers, Trump’s mother is not there, it might have given us some insight. Rumor is she was under the thumb of a domineering abusive husband, it is possible this was Trump’s role model. But who knows what lurks in the heart of a man.

Now it is Tuesday and Dr. Ronny says Trump is in excellent health and he scored 100% on a Montreal Cognitive Test…. 30 questions such as a photo of a lion, rhino and camel and he knew what they are, he was also to name as many words beginning with an “F” in a minute…okay okay, I won’t beat this to death….so he has excellent cognitive skills…which takes me back to him just being an awful, narcissistic, selfish man child. The most exciting news is since I passed this test I now can be President.

This week read the news, the places to go the things to do and Carrie’s Corner, columnists Tom Hastings and Robert Koehler, Board of Supervisors and information on the Tax Initiative headed for the ballot in June to support our local emergency medical care and advanced life support.

The photo this week was taken by Ski Bum Mark Fisher at Alpine Meadows, the good news is this will be the sticky base for powder this weekend that is as long as Jenny continues to dance…

Mountain Messenger (SensitivityFirst) 1/17/18

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Someone wondered if the Don had banished me from the Mountain Messenger due to political sensitivity of his readers… I mean how can anyone who reads From this Crackpot’s Desk have any sensitivity. I remember many moons ago when a headline in the Mess was titled “Chickenpoop Sheriff” actually it wasn’t “poop” but the real thing, I don’t remember the issue, I don’t know anyone who does, but no one has forgotten the headline on –the front page no less. The Sheriff served four terms, is now a county Supervisor and he and the Don often break bread together as friends. The question about banishment came because this Mess page was missing out of last week’s Prospect…what happened?? simple…. my cognitive process experienced a blip and I just forgot, so much for being President. Meanwhile regardless of how you feel about life in general I am begging you to support the Mess, renew your subscription, buy a gift subscription, place an ad, buy gift cards for Milly, Jill and Penelope  at Coyoteville and be kind to Ingrid.

1/17/18 Don Russell listens attentively as candidates for Congressional District 1 vie for his favor.

Send anything you need published to Milly, the CEO and most important person in the office, at yesdearyousuck@yahoo.com or you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Jill, Milly’s secretary). For a subscription: send money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to Don Russell at mtnmess@cwo.com and tell him you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Advanced Life Support Initiative 1/17/18

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Answers: Tax Initiative

Thank you, Jenny, for your thoughtful questions and comments in your recent letter to the Mountain Messenger about the proposed tax initiative to fund paramedic and emergency services for western Sierra County. The following should provide clarification for you and other community members.

Is it a permanent tax? The problem is permanent, thus the tax is permanent until another alternative solution is available. When circumstances change the tax can be repealed by a Citizen or Fire District Referendum.

Have we researched other avenues to fund this? Yes. Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. (SFMR) has considered other avenues such as sales tax and TOT increases, that are complex and quite impossible to implement. SFMR also applied for two grants through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and both were approved, but not funded. To date the best response to the Paramedic Program has been very generous donations from the real property owners of western Sierra County. We need a permanent solution.

Are there grants for rural counties? Currently there are no available grants to support rural paramedic development.

Property owners who are not residents don’t get a say in this [?] It is true that only registered voters have a direct say in this initiative. Non-resident real property owners who have no vote on this issue do benefit in a number of ways: personally, if they experience a medical emergency while here; and economically because their property’s value is inherently increased. Potential buyers might not buy if there is no Advanced Life Support.

What about full- time registered voters who rent here? They benefit directly because they live here. Any possible increase in rent is up to the landlord, who might absorb the tax or pass it on to the tenant. The monthly tax impact will be $8.33 per month or less per parcel. The fiscal impact is offset by the CalFIRE tax of approximately $120 per parcel having been discontinued, that will not be reconsidered until 2030.

I was not aware of the recent “forum” [?] There will be many more opportunities between now and the election to address these issues including at future Community Forums.

I just don’t think this is well thought out [?] The Paramedic idea has been 3+ years in the making, that started with a series of community meetings and discussions.

I feel this is being rushed [?] The money raised from generous private contributions will soon be exhausted and in time the program will terminate. The timing for the June ballot is critical and the timeline to put the matter to the voters is tight.

Are all the local agencies cooperating with this endeavor? The Fire Departments and Fire Districts have been cooperating with the existing Paramedic Program. The volunteer EMT’s welcome the expertise of a paramedic on the Ambulance. The Sheriff’s Office responds to 911. The ambulance cannot currently deliver a patient to the Western Sierra Medical Clinic, but can respond to the Clinic if a Clinic patient needs to be transported. It is our hope that a successful paramedic program will contribute to future collaboration.

Is this a combined effort or just to pay a full-time paramedic? The tax will support paramedic wages thereby enhance the availability of Advance Life Support to the residents and visitors in our community. The $100,000 annual budget includes: paramedic salary-$60,000; employer costs (workers comp & employer taxes)-$15,000; medications & equipment-$1,000; Medical Director salary & insurance-$14,000; and County Administrative Fee-$10,000. It is the combined effort of the Downieville and Sierra City Fire Districts who have a mutual aid agreement between them regarding the Downieville Ambulance.

Who is going to sign up to be a full-time paramedic 24/7, 365 days a year without respite? A full-time paramedic’s schedule is typically 24 hours on and 24 hours off, or about 15 days per month. When the paramedic is off-duty, 911 calls are responded to by fire department’s EMS First Responders, EMT’s, and Advanced EMT’s and an MCIN, when available. If the paramedic is available, but off-duty, she/he will respond if called and will be paid extra for response to these calls.

Does this tax cover the cost of more than one paramedic? No.

You are invited to future forums to further discuss the issues.

Tax Initiative Proponents

DIG Thanks 1/17/18

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Downieville Improvement Group (DIG)  thanks everyone who helped make this year’s Burning TreeFest the best ever! The weather was great and there was plenty to eat and drink for the large crowd that attended. Thank you Downieville Grocery and thanks to Sierra County Road Dept. workers who helped with the trees and to Downieville Volunteer Fire Department who watched over the burning pile. Thanks to Dan, the barbeque guy, who masterfully grilled hot dogs and burgers all afternoon. Thanks to everyone who brought desserts, drinks and snacks. It was fun to watch the kids roasting marshmallows over the tree burn pile and making s’mores. We hope we have given them some good memories of the simple pleasures of growing up in a small town. One young mother was heard to say that she couldn’t remember the last time she roasted marshmallows and that she had a great time. Thanks to all those who filled the donation jar with a total of $117; we appreciate your support. Photos by Mike Galan

This was the last year to host the tree burning in Gold Rush Park. DIG is working with the County to wire the gazebo for electricity and also build a nice entrance into the park. When these improvements are completed, the park will not be feasible for a tree burning event. We are on the lookout for another place to hold the Burning TreeFest and hope to continue the tradition next year in a new location. Hope to see you then and don’t forget about the Downieville Mountain Brewfest, sponsored by DIG, on August 11, 2018!

Thank you,  Downieville Improvement Group members

Brain First Aid 1/17/18

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Just as CPR/First Aid/AED Classes require recertification every two years, so does Mental Health First Aid. Behavioral Health and Pubic Health Emergency Preparedness have partnered again to bring 2 FREE Mental Health First Aid classes to Sierra County. Check out the #BeTheDifference campaign.

March 13 – Downieville Community Hall
March 14 – Loyalton Museum Auditorium

All community members are encouraged to participate. The full 8 hours of class is required for certification; 8am to 5pm with a lunch break. See attached flyers for details. Reservations are needed.

LeTina Vanetti
Sierra County Public Health, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Office 530-993-6737  lvanetti@sierracounty.ca.gov

On The Shelf by Paul 1/17/18

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Issue 2018 – 2
New on the Shelf
Last week we shared some of the non-fiction books that are new to the Downieville Library. Now, here are some of the new-to-the-library fiction books:
A Man Called Ove & My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, by Frederik Backman
The Aviator’s Wife, by Melanie Benjamin
Tregaron’s Daughter, by Madeleine Brent
The Movement of Stars, by Amy Brill
The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton
Tipperary, by Frank Delaney
Oleander Girl, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
A Room with a View / Howards End / Maurice, by E.M. Forster
Purity, by Jonathan Franzen
The King’s Curse, by Philipp Gregory
Blue Diary, by Alice Hoffman
Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan
The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly, by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
A Very Long Engagement, by Sebastian Japrisot
The Expatriates, by Janice Y.K. Lee
Miracle at St. Anna, by James McBride
Circling the Sun & The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
Love, by Toni Morrison
The Rocks, by Peter Nichols
Cross Justice, by James Patterson (mystery)
Zoo, by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
This Is My Best, edited by Retha Powers & Kathy Kiernan (short stories)
A Gracious Plenty, by Sheri Reynolds
The Paris Winter, by Imogen Robertson
The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, by Dominic Smith
The Muralist, by B.A. Shapiro
The Summer Before the War, by Helen Simonson
The Whispering Room, by Amanda Stevens (mystery)
The Valley of Amazement, by Amy Tan
We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas
The Illusionists, by Trosie Thomas
Radiance, by Catherynne M. Valente
The Martian, by Andy Weir
The Clowns of God, by Morris West
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevlin

Also new on the shelves are:
Alive Now (video: DVD)
The Helmet of Horror, by Victor Pelevin (audio book: CD)

Book Share
The first gathering at the Downieville Library for folk to share books that they have been reading takes place on Tuesday, January 23, 1:00 PM. The gathering lasts for about one hour, and everyone is welcome to come and take part. “Taking part” might entail sharing about a book you’ve read, or it might mean just coming to hear what others have been reading. Either way, you are invited and welcome!

Winter Storm Thurs/Fri 1/17/18

Winter Storms Expected to Impact Sierra Motorists
Forecast for series of winter storms to bring snow to lower elevations

MARYSVILLE – Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists to be prepared for winter driving conditions as a series of storms start to line up to impact the Northern California area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the first storm expected to arrive mid-day Thursday and continue through Friday. Up to two feet of snow is expected above 5,000 feet on the Interstate 80 corridor and over a foot is expected on the Echo Summit – U.S. Highway 50 corridor. The storm’s cold front could lower snow levels to 2,500-3,000 feet Friday morning. A return to dry, cold weather is forecast with below freezing overnight temperatures through Sunday and Monday when another, weaker storm is expected to bring more snow accumulations to the Sierra passes. A mid-week storm is also on the horizon.

ChainControlStopI80WBThese winter storms will result in winter driving conditions for much the foothill and mountain areas. High winds are also forecast, which may result in low visibility from white-out conditions and greater wind chill factors.

Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and on other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated Thursday through Friday and Sunday night into Monday. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on Interstate 80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number.

Severe weather may slow motorists, resulting in roadway congestion. Wet and slippery roadways reduce tire traction, especially at high vehicle speeds. Hydroplaning caused by vehicle speed and rain accumulations on the roadway can result in loss of driver control. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and observe the following winter driving tips, which can also be found at http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html:

WINTERIZE YOUR VEHICLE
· Check your tire pressure and tread depth to minimize sliding and/or hydroplaning.
· Replace the wiper blades and fill the windshield wiper fluid reservoir; be sure to use a winter formula to help de-ice windshields.
· If traveling to higher elevations, carry tire chains that are the correct size for your tires, and practice installing the chains before needing to use them.
· Have a full tank of fuel before traveling.

CARRY A TRAVEL KIT
· Have blankets, extra clothing, food and water, towels, a shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small bag of sand or kitty litter and road flares.
· Have a fully charged cell phone before leaving and carry a car charger.

DRIVE CAREFULLY
· Reduce speeds during winter weather and allow for additional stopping time.
· Turn on headlights to see and be seen and turn off cruise control.
· Watch for snow removal equipment. Only pass snow removal vehicles when a safe, legal passing area is available and sight distance is good.
· Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, and shaded areas; they may freeze first.
· If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator.

CHECK CONDITIONS FREQUENTLY
· Check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. A mobile version is also available.
· Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
· Motorists can see real-time conditions before they hit the road by using our map of traffic cameras in the Sacramento Valley, up Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and around the Tahoe Basin.
· Follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and Facebook to receive the latest information about current roadway conditions.
· For forecast information, visit the National Weather Service website.

ANTICIPATE DELAYS AND CLOSURES
· Understand that winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly and allow for extra travel time.
· Make sure you share the route you intend to take with friends or family.
· Exercise patience and respect for other motorists.

Caltrans crews will be working around the clock to keep the roadways open and clear. Motorists are urged to be “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

Carrie’s Drunk Corner 1/17/18

by: Carrie A. Blakley

Now available, at a Sheriff’s Department near you….the DUI Nightmare Handbook! Does it sound kind of strange to you? It should. Is this some kind of a real book? Yep, it is. Is it really available for folks at the SO? Yes, it is. What I find sad is the fact that any law enforcement office, on any level, has the need to have these available to the public. Especially in this county. I mean come on people, really?! There’s only about what, 2,800 of us in the entire county. To put this into perspective, we have less people in this entire county, than in 1 city block of Sacramento. Let that sink in a bit, then continue reading. DUI is serious stuff. Thus, my ‘just a bit miffed that I still have to write about this’ attitude. In a county of 2,800 people, and the SO has to have DUI Nightmare Handbooks available for the public. Again, really?!

OK, let’s break it down. We all know that there is a huge difference between being a substance addict/abuser, and having ‘1 too many’ on a rare occasion. Guess what? If you get into a vehicle, no matter if you had 1 too many drinks…or accidentally took 1 too many of your medication pills….it’s a DUI. So, the most simple way of avoiding this is to NOT do it. Call for a ride. Stay at a friend’s house, or with a family member – preferably one that’s within walking distance of where you happen to be. Bring a DD (Designated Driver) with you. Give the keys to your vehicle to someone you trust. Make prior arrangements for someone to pick you up. There are many ways you can avoid a DUI. Trust me, none of our law enforcement officers want to pull you over, slap handcuffs on you and then have you riding in the back of their vehicles….just because you ‘forgot’ to be responsible. Besides, it’s not worth all of that, especially for you.

So, IF you happen to get pulled over, then what? Well, there’s the Roadside Sobriety test. If you happen to fail ANY of those tests, the officer can arrest you for a DUI…which is immediately followed by the handcuffs and joy ride from Hell. The arresting officer will then have your car towed, and impounded (if necessary), which you will be obligated to pay for. Then, there’s the booking process, the jail process, the attorney process, court appearances, the DMV and the car insurance. All of this can start at a cost of about $500.00. So, that 1 $5.00 drink, could end up costing you a heck of a lot more than just that $5. Therefore, it’s best to NEVER get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of anything, ok? OK. Now then, get out there, have some fun, enjoy life and have a fantastic week! Be safe!

Board of Supervisors 1/17/18

COUNTY OF SIERRA  BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in regular session on January 16, 2018 in the Loyalton Social Hall, Loyalton City Park, Loyalton, CA. This meeting was  recorded for posting on the Board of Supervisors’ website at www.sierracounty.ca.gov.The Clerk of the Board may be reached at 530-289-3295 or at the following addresses: Heather Foster
clerk-recorder@sierracounty.ca.govAll items posted on the agenda, including under correspondence, may be acted upon by the Board of Supervisors.  However, matters under committee reports and department manager’s reports may be briefly addressed by the Board or Staff but no action or discussion shall be undertaken on any item not appearing on the posted agenda. (GC 54954.2)REGULAR AGENDA

9:00A.M.

STANDING ORDERS

  • Call to Order by Chair Scott Schlefstein
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by Supervisor Huebner
  • Roll Call Supervisors Adams, Roen, Beard, Huebner, Schlefstein present
  • Approval of Consent Agenda, Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board –

PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITY – NONE

COMMITTEE REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – Supervisor

DEPARTMENT MANAGERS’ REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – Lea Salas announces new Environmental Health employee and Social worker team of four are all local hires. Sheriff Tim talked about a new Reserve Officer working now Doug Wilton from Lassen County, Still doing background on new full time employee. 

FOREST SERVICE UPDATE – District Ranger Quentin Youngblood talked about a number of items in Sierra County, lots of pile burning, for a fuel break south of Calpine. talked of changes in personnel, limited snow cover has caused limited activity in the snowmobile program and grooming. Timber sales are scheduled for this spring.

AUDITOR / TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR – VAN MADDOX

6.A.

Resolution amending the duties of the Risk Management Committee and the Risk Manager. Approved 5/0

Documents: Risk Committee .pdf

6.B.

Request to continue employment of retired annuitant as extra help under Resolution 2017-093.  Approved 5/0

Documents: Extra Help.pdf

PUBLIC WORKS/TRANSPORTATION – TIM BEALS

7.A.

Professional Services Agreement with MGE Engineering, Inc. for engineering services for the reconstruction of the existing paved tiedown area of the Sierraville Dearwater Airport. Approved 5/0

Documents: MGE Airport.Item.pdf

7B = 10B on Consent –

Amendment to Professional Services Agreement 97‐068 with Bastian Engineering to increase compensation for Fiscal Year 2018. (PUBLIC WORKS)  Workload of Bastian has increased considerably and items are reimbursable Approved 5/0

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

8.A.

Discussion/action regarding the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service’s work to increase efficiency of National Environmental Policy Act compliance. (CHAIR SCHLEFSTEIN) Sending a letter approved 5/0

Documents: Forest Service.pdf

8.B.

Resolution ordering an election for the submission to the voters of Sierra County Ordinance No. 1081 at the next regularly scheduled county election to be held on June 5, 2018 – Statewide Direct Primary Election. (CLERK OF THE BOARD) Marijuana resolution for ballot approved 5/0

8.C.

Appointment to the Pliocene Ridge Community Services District. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)  Adams nominated Chris Mills of Pike -Approved 5/0

9.

CLOSED SESSION

9.A.

Closed session pursuant to Government Code section 54956.9(a) – conference with legal counsel regarding the following litigation: Sierra County v. Loyalton Mobile Home Park, Sierra County Superior Court Case No. 7677.

9.B.

Closed session pursuant to Government Code section 54956.9(a) – conference with legal counsel regarding the following litigation: Sierra County v. Michael Miller, Sierra County Superior Court Case No. 7637.

10.

CONSENT AGENDA

Items placed on the Consent Agenda are of a routine and non-controversial nature and are approved by a blanket roll call vote. At the time the Consent Agenda is considered, items may be deleted from the Consent Agenda by any Board member or Department Manager and added to the Regular Agenda directed by the Chairman.
10.A.

Resolution changing the name of the Mental Health Advisory Board to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board and approval of the amended by-laws. (BEHAVIORAL HEALTH)

Documents: Board.pdf

10.B.

Amendment to Professional Services Agreement 97‐068 with Bastian Engineering to increase compensation for Fiscal Year 2018. (PUBLIC WORKS)

Documents:

  1. Bastian.Item.pdf
10.C.

Minutes from the regular meeting held on December 19, 2017. (CLERK-RECORDER)

10.D.

Minutes from the regular meeting held on January 2, 2018. (CLERK-RECORDER)

11.

CORRESPONDENCE LOG

11.A.

Letter from Joe Arata to Ms. Laura Marshall, Sierra County Solid Waste Fee Administrator regarding his October 2017 adjustment request.

Documents:

  1. Joe Arata.pdf
ADJOURN

Think It Can’t? 1/17/18

The wisdom of mass salvation   –  by Robert C. Koehler

Incoming! Incoming!

Robert Koehler

Uh . . . pardon me while I interrupt this false alarm to quote Martin Luther King:

“Science investigates,” he says in The Strength To Love, “religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

These words stopped me in my tracks on MLK Day. They seemed to fill a hole in the breaking news, which never quite manages to balance power with wisdom, or even acknowledge the distinction.

Our relationship to power is unquestioned, e.g.: “In the United States itself, there are around [nuclear] 4,500 warheads, of which approximately 1,740 are deployed,” Karthika Sasikumar writes at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “Even more worrying, around 900 of these are on hair-trigger alert, which means that they could be launched within 10 minutes of receiving a warning (which could turn out to be a false alarm). . . .

“The threat to the United States is very real, but fattening the nuclear arsenal is not a rational response. The United States already has 100 times as many warheads as North Korea. . . .”

The U.S. has enormous power, but so what? Such data is almost never addressed in the mainstream media — certainly not in the context of . . . disarmament. That concept is sealed shut, barred from the consciousness of generals and news anchors. Certainly it didn’t come up in the coverage of what happened last Saturday in Hawaii, when an employee of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency hit the wrong link on his computer screen during a shift change and an incoming-missile alert went statewide, throwing residents and tourists into 38 minutes of panic: “Children going down manholes, stores closing their doors to those seeking shelter and cars driving at high speeds . . .”

Nor did it come up three days later, when a false missile alert went off in Japan, a country with a few memories of the real thing: “Within 10 seconds the fire that wiped out the city came after us at full speed. Everyone was naked. Bodies were swelling up. Some people were so deformed I couldn’t tell if they were male or female. People died screaming, ‘Please give me water!’”

So said Emiko Okada, who was a little girl living with her family on the outskirts of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Her older sister, who had just left for school, disappeared that morning and was never seen again. Emiko tells her story in the remarkable 2010 documentary Atomic Mom.

In a column I wrote about the movie at the time, I asked: “What if schoolchildren stood facing not the American flag every morning before class started but a photograph of a devastated Hiroshima, shortly after it was obliterated by our atomic bomb, and pledged their allegiance to the idea that such a thing will never happen again?”

What, I wondered, if we started facing our fears instead of living in fear? To do so, we have to find wisdom in the maw of power.

What we find instead is a president who shook up the whole planet when he called Haiti and the countries of Africa shithole nations — managing, as far as I can tell, to make the word “shithole” far more acceptable to utter in public than “disarmament.”

But the monstrousness of the word isn’t that it used to be obscene, but rather that it does what so many other words do: renders a segment of humanity soulless: the enemy, and therefore expendable. Japan is now our ally, but when we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, its people were Japs or Nips and without value.

Is not the first step toward wisdom when it comes to a world still preposterously armed with weapons of mass destruction a national and international commitment never to dehumanize a living soul? With such a commitment in place, the obvious next step is committing never to launch a nuclear weapon, and therefore agreeing to get rid of the ones we have and, of course, refraining from developing new, more “usable” generations of nukes.

To put it another way, mutually assured destruction is not wisdom. It’s playing with global holocaust, an outcome that may be beyond the ability of anyone, at least anyone who is not a hibakusha — an atomic bomb survivor — to imagine. Free of such paralyzing awareness, national leaders postulate how they would retaliate if attacked, as though a counterattack, killing millions more people, is in any way a sane response to a nuclear attack (or apparent attack).

The Atlantic, in an article about the Hawaii false alarm, quoted one scholar’s tweet of a possible scenario: “POTUS sees alert on his phone about an incoming toward Hawaii, pulls out the biscuit, turns to his military aide with the football and issues a valid and authentic order to launch nuclear weapons at North Korea. Think it can’t happen?”

Come on. With this president?

I think it’s time to free MLK from his day of honor and put him back at the center of the national news.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.

FireHouse News 1/17/18

“AT THE FIREHOUSE”

ALLEGHANY: January 8th Firefighter training. January 9th AEMT Class in Downieville. January 11th AEMT Class in Downieville. January 13th Mutual aid response to Pike City for an ill female – cancelled. * Mutual aid response to Pike City for a structure fire.
CALPINE: January 11th EMT continuing education.
DOWNIEVILLE: January 8th Officer’s meeting. January 9th AEMT class. * Responded for an injured male. January 11th AEMT Class.*Responded to WSMC for an ill female, who was transported to SNMH. January 12th Responded for an injured patient, who was transported to the hospital in Truckee.                                                                LOYALTON: Wed 10 Jan 11:40P Town of Chilcoot, Scott Road Fire Mutual aid to Sierra Valley Fire for structure fire
PIKE CITY: January 9th AEMT Class in Downieville. January 11th AEMT Class in Downieville. January 13th Responded for an ill female. * Responded for a structure fire.
SATTLEY: January 11th EMT Continuing education.
SIERRA CITY: January 10th Firefighter 1 Class.
SIERRAVILLE: EMT Continuing education.

Yoga w/Sarah 1/17/18

I hope this message finds you in good health and good spirits. I just wanted to send out an email update about the Yoga Classes in Calpine. As of right now the following classes are offered​ every THURSDAY:​

Morning Flow 8-9:15
Gentle Yoga 9:30-10:45

We meet in the down stairs conference room of the CIA building (last door on your right before the exit). I have mats, blocks, straps and blankets for you to use and Cheri has been nice enough to turn the heaters on prior to during these cold months.

At this moment these times and classes will remain, if any changes come about I’ll be sure to reach out and let you know. Looking forward to seeing you there. Feel free to bring a friend!  sjohnstone14@gmail.com

Get Ready for Anything 1/17/18

Just recently Mother Nature has sent us hurricanes, floods, fires, snow storms, and mudslides. Then a few days ago Hawaiians woke up to a scary text message that ended with “This is not a drill.”

How ready are we for what mother nature or mankind throws at us?
A fire in your family home: do you have a plan where everyone should meet once they’re safe?
Does everyone in your family have their own grab and go bag ready?
Your animals, large and small: what’s on your list to keep them safe?
Earthquake/tsunami: Where to go? What to bring?
Roads impassable from an ice storm? No electricity for a week? Will you be warm enough…with alternative forms of light…with plenty of food and water?
Man-caused disasters: What are they? What can you do?
Our three Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide books can help you prepare for both short-term and long-term situations. If you already have them, perhaps they will be a much-appreciated gift to help someone else. So visit us at Backwoods Home and find some suggestions and solutions.

Gas Lightning 1/17/18

Governance by gas lighting –  by Tom H. Hastings

Tom Hastings

My father once told me that a man who worked with him told him that his wife walked in on him in flagrante delicto with another woman and the man denied it. I said, well, what is the guy a pathological liar–you can’t deny the obvious fact. My father said he didn’t know but it somehow seemed to give the man’s wife enough to excuse, forgive, or lose herself in denial. They were still married. It was a new ontological perspective for me–a look at a nature of being that perplexed me.

Years later I learned the metaphorical expression for that sort of blatant horse puckey, gaslighting, or, Are you going to believe me or your stupid lying eyes? It was from a film with a plot that showed how a man made his wife start to believe she was crazy–she stopped trusting the facts.

Gaslighters use blatant lies, they deny they said something even when there is proof (it was another voice on that recording), they call everyone else liars or crazy (He lost his job and he lost his mind), they are narcissistic (“With the F-35 fighter plane – me, myself – I’ve saved hundreds of millions of dollars in negotiating.”) utterly false, they project onto others the worst qualities of themselves, and they thrive on chaos that keeps everyone confused, even tossing in random praise for their victims that will just be more lurching disequilibrium. In the end, they seem to be striving for a world in which they are the only happy ones, happiness dependent on others’ misery.

Welcome to the Donald J. Trump School of Rule. Governing by gaslighting.

When John Kerry made competing claims about his positions on invading Iraq, he was rightly ridiculed for it, and Trump did the very same thing, provably, on the record. The significant difference is that Trump refuses to acknowledge that he was ever in favor of it. Gaslighting.

Is everyone feeling calm and stable? Is anyone? Trump doesn’t seem satisfied unless he’s shot off some vertiginous tweet or statement. Sports? Stay off balance. Allies? Insult them. Dictators? Praise them. Gaslighting.

When real geniuses deny they are in fact that smart, the less bright narcissist calls himself a stable genius. Gaslighting.

Trump tweeted that Rosie O’Donnell was fat, adding to his long list of attacking various women with those sorts of cheap shots, ignoring what he sees in the mirror and demonstrating his predilection for projection. Gaslighting.

Ignoring his own precarious mental conditions, Trump calls Morning Joe crazy and dumb as a rock. Gaslighting.

Multiple lies daily, just a tiny sample of which include his bogus claim that 3-5 million illegal votes cost him the popular vote victory; his fraudulent claim that a Pew report documented illegal votes; his notorious prevarication that his inauguration crowd was the biggest ever in the US despite clear photographic evidence showing the opposite; his hoax that two people were shot dead in Chicago at an Obama speech (no murders in Chicago that day); multiple fake claims that The New York Times apologized for erroneous coverage of Trump, which it never has; his factually backward assertion that the murder rate in 2016 was the highest in 47 years; Trump’s fictional claim that Obama had Trump’s hotel room wiretapped or bugged; his blatant falsehood that he, Trump, finally convinced NATO to “fight terrorism” when NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism for more than 30 years; multiple documentably historical whoppers that he has signed more legislation by certain periods in office than any other president, and the list of these outright phony claims goes on. His list of inflated claims is also overwhelming. How can you tell if Trump is lying? His lips or his thumbs are moving. Gaslighting.

How long will we tolerate the lies, the chaos, the relentless attacks on the most vulnerable, the evisceration of programs we have paid for, the dalliance with death by nuclear war, and the wholesale harvesting of your hard-earned money to the deep pockets of the rich? It is a remorseless assault on epistemology, on how we calculate the very validity of knowledge.

We have a few ways to end this–a hard reign’s a-gonna fall, to tweak the old Bob Dylan line. Trump could stroke out (no, I am not hoping for this), he could resign, he could be impeached, or he could be declared unfit and the 25th Amendment could be deployed. Let’s push for it. Any nonviolent port in a storm. This is the most piercing and urgent item of American business for all of us, not just the gerrymandered corporate-funded office-holders.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.

Reno w/Lou 1/17/18

Good Evening Folks!

Well, I just finished watching the most recent Ethan Bortnick show on PBS. An amazing show to say the least! This young man has more talent in his pinky finger than I will ever have. He is 17 years old. He can sing, play the piano and writes his own songs. I’m not going to tell all, as you can go to his website and read for yourself. www.ethanbortnick.com . However, he started playing piano at age three and can play by just listening to the song. Amazing!

Three years ago a group of us from Downieville traveled to Sacramento to see his show at the Crest Theatre. Damian McGinty from Celtic Thunder was also touring with him. We all had a great time at the show.

Bet you can’t guess where I’m going with this?

So, Ethan will be performing a concert in Reno at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts on March 2, 2018. (Friday) This concert is being called “Generations of Music”. He sings everything from Frank Sinatra, Peter, Paul and Mary, Neil Diamond and also songs that he has written. In fact, Peter Yarrow from Peter Paul and Mary and Peter’s daughter perform on the PBS show. Tickets are $150 for two show tickets, the DVD of the PBS show along with his CD from the show. Now, you have to go to Ethan’s website to get tickets. That will direct you to KNPBs website to request tickets. Kind of a long way around the tree, but, that is how it’ set up. The other way we can do this is, I can try to get tickets for the group. However, you won’t get the DVD/CD. Did I also mention the price of the ticket includes a “meet and greet”. Pretty good price for what you get.

If you are interested and we get enough humans to go, I will organize a dinner for the group, (It’s all about the food!) I wouldn’t waste any time getting back to me if you want to go. So, there you go! If you go to Ethan’s website you can watch snippets of the PBS show.   www.ethanbortnick.com

And  Speaking of Celtic Thunder……did I hear a groan?

I was notified today of the release of the new DVD and CD for March 2nd. All new songs, (except one, IRELANDS CALL). It’s titled: CELTIC THUNDER X. It’s an all new look too!

REMEMBER: June 2018 for the next Celtic Thunder party.  Judy, I’m still organizing the entertainment. Stay tuned. Hope to hear real soon! Things are starting to pop with all of this stuff going on. Stay tuned for more shows! Let me know about the Ethan Bortnick show.        Lou

Tear It Up w/Lou 1/17/18

Okay folks, Here’s another event that you all may be interested in. Damian McGinty: The Slow Dance Tour- Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Performance is at the University of Pacific Recital Hall at 3515 Pacific Circle in Stockton, California.

As you all know, Damian is part of Celtic Thunder and during the off season tours on his own.

Damian sings songs from the 40’s up to the present. He tries to dance but needs to give that up. Some of you may remember that he also played a couple of seasons on the television show “GLEE”. And now he is in New Mexico filming a new Christmas movie to be released in November.

I have my tickets now and will let you know I got the tickets that include the “meet and greet”. You can go to his website and purchase show tickets. About $45 which includes the meet and greet.

The closest hotel to UOP is the Best Western Plus Heritage Inn at 111 East March Lane in Stockton. Checking www.hotels.com, prices are $110 and $120 per night. That price includes breakfast Buffet. I believe there is a resort fee too, but can’t find it on the website. www.damianmcginty.com

Don’t be party poopers. Suck it up and lets go tear up Stockton. Will research a place to dine once I get a head count.  Let me know!                                        Lou

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