Wednesday May 15, 2019



The Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) is organizing a Cleanup Day for Saturday, May 18th. Volunteer community members are asked and encouraged to assist with tasks around town to prepare Downieville for our tourism season.  We will meet up at 8am on Saturday May 18th for coffee and donuts at Gold Rush Park, please bring your garden gloves, rakes, weed eaters, or favorite tools. At noon, we will wrap up and meet for  light snacks and beverages at Gold Rush Park.

Mark your calendar for the Kentucky Mine Opening Day festivities on May 25th

Downieville School and the Sierra County Arts Council present the musical Way Out West in a Dress or… Life’s a Hurdle When You’re Wearing a Girdle at the Yuba Theatre in Downieville, Fri, May 31stand Sat, June 1st at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for the 2019 Lost Sierra Hoedown are now on sale at Ticket rink: We look forward to seeing you all in September 19-22, 2019 The Hoedown sells out so don’t waste time thinking… wait did I say that…you should always think… meanwhile while thinking order your tickets for this excellent event…

Local news and events…FireHouse News, CC’s Postscripts walks the non-controversial  line . Carrie’s Corner has small ideas and Robert Koehler gives us some perspective on what is really happening in Venezuela, while Wim Laven helps us understand the realities of sick talk form the OO aka Oval Office. While we ponder the limited evacuation choices we have in western Sierra County during a wildfire John LaForge discusses the nuclear evacuation. Mel Gurtov brings the real dangers of Trump’s diversionary tactics as he tries to manufacture a crisis to keep us busy and not pay attention to his personal gains of the Presidency…as it becomes clearer his motivations in managing to gain political power has nothing to do with patriotism or love of country or respect for the rule of democracy. I’m scared, we should all be. A distracting military conflict is what he’s looking for, not peace and prosperity for the people of the USA.

So Mary Nourse took the photo of beauty above Sierra City… Spring and Winter’s tail… today feels like winter is back full bore… here’e the perspective shot of the photo.

Mountain Messenger (Bday) 5/15/19


Today is the day.. it is The Don‘s birthday and everyone should be grateful he is willing to accept presents.  He likes lunch or breakfast at Coyoteville… hw has been seen at Feather’s for dinner… he lurks out at St Charles and is always willing to accept a thirst quencher.. he also enjoys flowers and chocolates (Irene gave me that tip). I decided Irene needs her own color as she is the sweet angelic party to The Don/Irene duo. Anyhow it is his birthday so wish him many more.. and you know the best way to make him happy is to put an ad in the Mountain Messenger or buy a subscription to the Mess… they make great birthday gifts the gift that keeps on giving 52 weeks a year. You know Milly will enjoy it if you are nice to The Don because when The Don’s happy Jill is less miserable and that makes Milly happy even though she now works at the New York times. Milly loves New York City. Happy Birthday Don  🎂🍰🥃😻

Don Russell and his beloved Irene when they were young...

Send anything you need published to Miss Jill, ROTP at or call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to The Don. 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 The Don Russell at and tell him you subscribed because the begged you to….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Big Cat in Town 5/15/19


So what do we do for excitement in Downieville you ask? Well, Loryce Ashby takes photos of a Mountain Lion enjoying dinner in her back yard by the Foundry on Pearl St. we’ve been talking about a Big Cat traversing Pearl St the last few months… so make sure to secure your pets in the house,,,, no toddlers playing outside alone… just be careful…this is their territory we just moved in back in 1849..

Gathering of Vets 5/15/19


Sierra County Veterans came together on May 11h in Downieville.  We had 17 Veterans from Pike, Downieville, Sierra City, and Sierra Valley.  Bernie Striinger passed out Sierra County Vet ball caps and Dan Farrington gave a report on one of our vets currently staying in a nursing home in Reno.  Don Yegge gave a brief update on the new construction planned for the Veterans Hospital in Reno. Funding for the Senior Van from Sierra Valley was provided by a donation from Charles Ervin and Two Rivers Cafe offered a discount from the menu and free soft drinks. We look forward to another gathering in Loyalton in August and the annual Veterans Day flag celebration in November in Downieville.

Margaret Lambert Dodgson 1925 – 2019


Margaret Lorraine Lambert Dodgson

Margaret Lorraine Lambert Dodgson

Margaret passed away May 5,  2019 at home surrounded by family. Born in Hornbrook, CA, January 27, 1925, and raised in Downieville, CA.  Preceded in death by husband Charles (Curly) F.  Dodgson and parents Margaret E. Blaisdel Lambert and Hugh W, Lambert. She is survived by her children Charlotte Dodgson,  Charles (Pam) Dodgson, Elaine (Jim) Shoemaker, Marilyn (Dick) Clothier,  6 grandchildren and 11 Great grand-children. She was a homemaker and a teacher’s aide for 16 years with Sacramento School District.

Celebration of life at Orangevale  Church of Christ, 5915 Main Ave, June 8th at 11am. In Lieu of flowers please donate to City of Children P.O. Box 89310, Temecula, CA 92589 in her name.

Kentucky Mine Opens 5/15/19


Don’t miss the Kentucky Mine’s opening day extravaganza on May 25

featuring the popular Celtic folk/rock band, One-Eyed Reilly.  Izzy Tooinsky will hold a juggling workshop and performance. The concert and the activities are free and open to the public.  All you will be charged for is a $5 hot dog or hamburger lunch. The event, which will run from noon till 4:00, will feature mine tours, a juggling show, and an ice cream sundae bar. Come enjoy the day at the historic Kentucky Mine!

Please join the Sierra County Historical Society to enable us to continue to provide the Kentucky Mine Museum and tours, Music at the Mine concerts and provide The Sierran newsletter mailed to your door.  Didn’t receive the Sierran Spring editionnewsletter in the mail?  Please join or renew now and we’ll add you to our mailing list.

Help Get Fast Response 5/15/19

The Downieville Fire Protection District at the Commission meeting on May 16th made a dramatic and important decision to purchase a used Type 6 Fire Apparatus committing $30,000 to the funding with organizational and individual donations. This will allow our Fire Department to respond more quickly to fires in areas of communities with limited access until the heavy equipment or air support can get there.  DFPD is not a 501(c)3 non-profit organization for tax purposes. Donations should be made to the Downieville Volunteer Firefighters Association which is a 501(c)3 non-profit and designated for the purchase of a Type 6 Fire Apparatus.  DVFA Treasurer Paul Douville to keep track of the donations as we move toward our goal. Please help us publicize our effort in the community and beyond. We plan to make this purchase prior to July 1st, 2019 ready for the  fire season and have it in the parade for July 4th if possible.
The address is:
Downieville Volunteer Firefighters Association
P.O. Box 173
Downieville, CA 95936

Carrie’s Small Corner 5/15/19

These days, lots of things we buy come in small, hard, plastic or metal containers. For example, Tic Tacs, Mentos Gum, Altoids mints…etc.. If you’re planning on camping this year, save those containers and keep them out of the trash by putting them to use again. There are LOTS of uses for these containers. Tic Tac containers have smaller openings, and the label can be easily removed, with no glue bits to contend with. They can be washed out just as easily by popping the entire cap off – which pops right back on after the containers, and lids, are dry. Sharpie markers make for great write-on labels, as the ink in them does not smear on these containers.
   Due to the small openings in the caps, these containers can also be used for holding things like fishing line, string, twine, small bits of thin cord and even spare boot laces (if necessary). Need a container for small things, that can also fit in your pocket, without taking up a ton of room? Use an Altoids tin. They come in two sizes, and even hold a desk of cards real nice. Want to make it all waterproof? Stick them in a zip-loc bag.
     Travel sized items are great, but sometimes, you want to bring a few things of your own from home, that are generally purchased in containers that are larger than an aspirin bottle. That’s where these little containers come in real handy. So, if you’re traveling, camping, hiking, or just going out on a day trip…keep these little guys close by. They can help make your day a lot less stressful, quite a bit lighter and you won’t have to juggle larger bottles, or try to literally fit what’s left of your kitchen sink into a back pack. Have a great week, and remember…think small!

Letter from John 5/15/19

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Last week the administration set off a raging debate when he asked the Federal Court in the “Texas V. US” case to terminate the Affordable Care Act. Suddenly, health insurance is on everyone’s mind. What if the administration can get the court to do what Congress has refused to do? I took this issue to the floor of the House of Representatives this week using FDR’s test of our progress to lead a debate on health insurance, our values and our goals. (Watch the debate here).

If the administration is successful here is what I believe will happen:

  • Health insurance companies will once again deny you and 130 million Americans coverage because of a pre-existing condition.*
  • Seniors will lose their annual free checkup.
  • 20 million Americans will lose their health insurance.
  • Women and middle-aged Americans will pay far more than young men for insurance.
  • Children will lose their family health insurance at age 19 instead of 26.
  • The Medicare drug loop hole will come back costing seniors billions of dollars.
  • Community clinics will close across America as Federal support is removed.


We cannot go back to the bad old days, and we can do better. That’s why I’ve joined 123 of my Democratic colleagues to co-sponsor H.R. 1884, the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act. This legislation would lower premiums, strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and prevent the sale of junk health insurance plans.

Last week the House took up this issue again by passing H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act. I was proud to vote for this legislation, which focuses specifically on guaranteeing protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. I am committed to build upon the ACA and work in a bipartisan manner to strengthen access to affordable and reliable health care for every American.

Thank you for interest in my work representing the people of California’s 3rd Congressional district. Please feel free to visit to sign up for more periodic updates about the issues that are important to you or follow me on social media at and


Member of Congress

Dangerous Bait 5/15/19

Baiting Iran  – by Mel Gurtov

Mel Gurtov

Ever since Donald Trump became president, regime change in Iran has been a prominent US aim. Trump began by backing out of the nuclear deal and imposing harsh sanctions, setting the stage for a confrontational policy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton followed Trump’s lead, repeatedly denouncing Iran’s leadership, calling for Iranians to rise up against it, and issuing vague warnings of US punishment.

This US policy is absolutely inexcusable: It is aggressive and baseless, oblivious to diplomacy, and guaranteed to cause untold hardship and chaos for the people of the region.

I have argued a number of times that Iran, not North Korea, is Trump’s principal national security target. Trump’s extraordinary patience with Kim Jong-un, and willingness to go to two summits with him that have gotten nowhere, can be understood as having given him time to focus on “maximum pressure” on Iran. In his mind, the North Korea “threat” has been deterred; let South Korea deal with it. US interests in the Middle East are far more important anyway, and with Iran Trump has the firm backing of two “great friends”: Saudi Arabia’s criminal crown prince and Israel’s newly reelected prime minister, who is as much a militaristic far-right hawk as Bolton and Pompeo. If war broke out, the Saudis and Israelis would be expected to provide on-the-ground personnel, permitting the US to rely on air and naval power.

What Trump is now doing is baiting Iran with war talk and deployments of overwhelming military power. Bolton, well known for having wanted to attack Iran years ago, and defeated in his attempts to lure Trump into using force against Venezuela, is looking for a way to sucker Tehran into creating a “provocation” that would provide a pretext for a US “counterattack.” The public US position is not credible: “The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, said Monday in an email. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

Talks, really? Trump “open to talks” after tearing up a negotiated deal with Iran that took many years to conclude—a deal that is working? Defend US personnel from what? Defend what interests, other than those of the Saudis and the Israelis who have been itching to eliminate the rule of Iran’s Shia clergy for decades? If there is a “default option,” it is the US preference under Trump for resolving international disputes by threats rather than engagement. The US Congress, the European Union, Russia, and China must act fast to isolate Trump and insist that their interests lie in continued trade with Iran and respect for its sovereignty.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.

FireHouse News 5/15/19

 “AT THE FIREHOUSE” compiled by Vicky Tenney

ALLEGHANY: May 6th Firefighter training. May 19th Responded for a fire on Pliocene Ridge Rd, near Hells Half Acre Road. May 11th Responded for a male with chest pains, who was transported to rendezvous with the ALS Ambulance & taken to SNMH.
CALPINE: May 9th Responsed for a make with a head injury, who was transported to the hospital in Portola. May 10th Mutual aid response to Sierra City for a fire at the transfer station. May 11th Responded for a fire on Hwy.89 – turned out to be a USFS burn.
DOWNIEVILLE: May 6th Officer’s meeting. May 8th Responded for an ill male, who was transported to SNMH. May 10th Mutual aid response to Sierra City for a fire at the transfer station. May 11th Responded to Goodyear’s Bar for an electrical problem at a residence, PG&E arrived and assumed control of the situation.
LOYALTON:  Sun 05 May 7:45A Eastern Plumas Fire, Delleker Training Driver/Operator 1B, day 4 of 4, 2 trainees – Sun 05 May 9:00A Susan River Fire, Susanville Training S-212 Chainsaws, day 3 of 3, 1 trainee – Mon 06 May 1:15P County, South of Loyalton Medical Ill party, assist to ambulance – Mon 06 May 4:45P City of Loyalton Medical Ill party, assist to ambulance – Thu 09 May 8:30A Community of Sierra Brooks Medical Severe nose bleed, assist to ambulance – Thu 09 May 12:15P City of Loyalton Fire Fire alarm activation, accidental – Thu 09 May 3:35P City of Loyalton Medical Severe abdominal pain, assist to ambulance – Fri 10 May 2:05A City of Loyalton Medical Diabetic chest pain, assist to ambulance – Sat 11 May 7:45A Quincy Fire Academy #16 Training Graduation! & fire ground, day 6 of 6, 5 trainees – Sat 11 May 8:00A Community of Sierra Brooks Event Annual Spaghetti Feed Dinner fund raiser, Thanks!
PIKE CITY: May 6th Firefighter training on pump operations on the water tender & driver training. May 19th Mutual aid response to Alleghany,for a fire on Pliocene Ridge road & Hells Half Acre road. May 11th “Ethics, Abusive Conduct,& Sexual Harassment” training.
SATTLEY: May 9th Responded for a make with a head injury, who was transported to the hospital in Portola. May 10th Mutual aid response to Sierra City, for a fire at the transfer station. May 11th Responded for a fire on Hwy.89 – turned out to be a USFS burn.
SIERRA CITY: May 10th Responded for a fire at the Transfer station.
SIERRAVILLE: May 9th Responded for a make with a head injury, who was transported to the hospital in Portola. May 10th Mutual aid response to Sierra City, for a fire at the Transfer Station. May 11th Responded for a fire on Hwy.89 – turned out to be a USFS burn.

Extremists Pod 5/15/19

Extremists in a Pod

A trans-Atlantic far-right meeting at the White House.

David Leonhardt

By David Leonhardt  Opinion Columnist

This article is part of David Leonhardt’s newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it each weekday.

In Germany, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Sweden and Spain, far-right politicians have received an alarming level of support in recent elections. In Hungary, Brazil and Turkey, far-right authoritarians run the government.

Yesterday, President Trump hosted one of those authoritarians at the White House, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary.

Since his last visit to the White House — in 2001, during his previous stint as prime minister — Orban has transformed himself from a pro-democracy, center-right politician to a strongman. He has gerrymandered and changed election rules to undermine his political opponents, taken over much of Hungary’s media, packed the country’s courts with allies and demonized Muslim immigrants and Jews.

So Orban’s meeting with Trump is an important legitimizing moment for the global far right. “In normal times, he would be condemned by the occupant of the White House,” writes Vox’s Zack Beauchamp. “The fact that he isn’t shows just how serious the threat to democracy in the West is.”

The visit fits a wider Trumpian pattern: allying himself with authoritarian leaders, based on shared nationalistic, anti-immigrant and antidemocratic values. “In a way, it is the ultimate irony: The nationalists, the anti-globalists, the people who are skeptical of international laws and international organizations — they, too, now work together, across borders, for common causes,” The Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum wrote recently. Trump is using the presidency to enhance the global standing of authoritarianism.

He’s also imitating far-right tactics at home, by rejecting American traditions like balance of power and the rule of law. As David Cornstein, a longtime friend of Trump’s who is now the American ambassador to Hungary, told The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer in a recent piece about Orban’s Hungary: “I can tell you, knowing the president for a good 25 or 30 years, that he would love to have the situation that Viktor Orban has, but he doesn’t.”

Related: I visited Hungary last year and found it both normal and chilling.

If you are not a subscriber to this newsletter, you can subscribe here. You can also join me on Twitter (@DLeonhardt) and Facebook.

Music in Sierraville 5/15/19

Back by popular demand, pianist Grisha Krivchenia is once again touring the area with a new program of classical music.  He will be appearing at SCARFF on Sunday, May 19th at 4:00 – 5:00 pm;  432 West Willow in Sierraville.   The program will include:  *Schubert: Sonata, D 784  **Chopin: Scherzo no. 2  **JJ Hollingsworth:  *“The Vast Land” from Under The Blue Dome: An American Piano Suite

Admission is $20 adults/ $10 students  at the door  NOTE: Alem and I will not be present due to a prior commitment in San Francisco, so Grisha will be self-hosting this concert.  If you could kindly bring an item like an inexpensive bottle of wine, crackers, cheese, cookies, etc, so you can hang out with Grisha after the concert and visit with neighbors, we would be so grateful. Please let everybody know about this upcoming concert.  I will be following this with a printable flyer that can be posted around town. Thanks! – JJ & Alem 

Grisha Krivchenia is a composer and pianist who divides his time between Santa Fe and the Seattle area. His busy performance schedule includes concert dates around the world and his compositions are realized by professional ensembles throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Recent premieres have taken place in Los Angeles, Bucharest, and Cortona (Italy). His chamber music and solo piano works are published by Abundant Silence. Grisha takes a special interest in using art to amplify voices that might otherwise go unheard. He writes original music in collaboration with hospice patients and recently completed a song cycle based on interviews with Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.  Grisha has appeared at SCARFF twice before, enthralling us with his pianistic poetry.  He makes an annual tour from Santa Fe, New Mexico to San Juan Island off the coast of Washington state, and we are so fortunate to be on his route.  Let’s give him a hearty Sierra Valley welcome!                            

Calpine Car Show 5/15/19

Calling ALL Classic, Specialty, Crazy Cars!!! Calpine Marketplace is coming Sept 7th 2019 !! Car Show is Back!! You have a classic car? Specialty Car? Supped up Tractor? Register now for a spot!! Space is limited and there are awards!! This is a fund raising event not a sanctioned show. Come on out and show off your beauty!! Register NOW!!! Here is the Car Show Registration form Car Show Reg 2019

Short Ultimate 5/15/19

WHAT’S NEXT: WAR WITH VENEZUELA?  – by Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler

Mix a little socialism in with the oil and war may be unavoidable.

Thus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, talking about Venezuela: “The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”

He goes on, demonstrating how we lie about war in the 21st century: “We’re trying to do everything we can to avoid violence. We have asked all the parties involved not to engage in that kind of activity. We’d prefer a peaceful transition of government there, where (President Nicolas) Maduro leaves and a new election is held. But the president has made clear, in the event that there comes a moment — and we’ll all have to make decisions about when that moment is, and the president will ultimately have to make that decision — he is prepared to do that, if that’s what’s required.”

With our trillion dollar military budget, threatening (and waging) war is pretty much the only thing we know how to do as a nation, and by “we” I mean the ones in control, publicly and/or secretly — the ones whose egos have expanded to the size of the nation, who mean themselves when they say “that’s what the United States will do.” There’s something about “becoming” a nation that allows you to value your so-called interests far more than you value life — a monstrous paradox to which the whole planet is hostage.

So we have oil-rich, socialist Venezuela on the verge of economic and social collapse, partly due to the corruption and incompetence of the Maduro government but very much helped along by the sanctions the United States has imposed on the country for the past two years, for the purpose of ousting Maduro and regaining political and corporate control over the defiant nation.

The sanctions are for the country’s own good, of course, according to Trump, who lamented on Fox (quoted on Democracy Now!): “It’s a terrible thing. People are starving. People are dying. There’s no food. There’s no water. It’s just a terrible situation. . . . And we’re doing everything we can do, short of, you know, the ultimate.”

Presumably “the ultimate” is war — military invasion — but sanctions are a form of war and they cause precisely the sort of harm Trump anguished over in his fake spew of empathy for the people of Venezuela.

According to a study by economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs, published in April by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the sanctions, having reduced the availability of food, medicine and other necessities of life, have so far caused an estimated 40,000 deaths, with many more likely to come.

“Venezuela’s economic crisis is routinely blamed all on Venezuela,” Sachs said. “But it is much more than that. American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change. It’s a fruitless, heartless, illegal and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people.”

Too bad. U.S. interests are at stake here. And if sanctions don’t do the trick — which is to say, produce a cooperative leader, “the ultimate” may be necessary, whatever that may mean. Of course, the U.S. has pursued the ultimate throughout the Middle East and Africa during the 21st century, virtually to no apparent benefit even to its stated interests or “mission,” which raises the possibility that the only one really in control here is war itself, and war’s silent, corporate beneficiaries.

But we interrupt these words for an important message. Maybe the (eventual) war in Venezuela could be privatized!

According to Reuters: “Erik Prince — the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump — has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela’s socialist president.”

Prince, brother of Trump’s secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, was, as Reuters put it, “a pioneer in private military contracting during the Iraq war, when the U.S. government hired Blackwater primarily to provide security for State Department operations there.” Alas, Blackwater crashed and burned in 2007, when several of Prince’s mercenaries murdered 17 civilians in Baghdad, creating all sorts of bad publicity for his operation.

A lesser businessman might have given up, but not Prince, who has never stopped looking for ways to profit from national conflicts. His latest plan, for which he is traveling the world seeking funding and support, is to put 4,000 to 5,000 mercenaries at the disposal of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who will, according to the logic of war, need his own army in order to claim power.

The Reuters story adds, somewhat perplexingly: “One of Prince’s key arguments, one source said, is that Venezuela needs what Prince calls a ‘dynamic event’ to break the stalemate that has existed since January.”

This is essentially what Pompeo was saying: “But the president has made clear, in the event that there comes a moment . . .”

War needs a trigger, something that ignites public support. Or maybe that’s putting it too dramatically. War needs an excuse.

Here’s one possibility, as described by Medea Benjamin, who writes about the struggle for control over the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C., which was evacuated by its diplomats after the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with the Maduro government: “Determined to avoid another war, a group of U.S. peace activists sought and received permission from the legitimate Venezuelan government to form an Embassy Protection Collective. Since April 15, a group has been living in the Embassy, sleeping on couches and floors, while outside supporters have been providing supplies and joining them for meals and educational events.”

However, as of May 1, Guiado supporters — aided by the Secret Service, whose job is to protect the embassies — have surrounded the building and prevented food and medical supplies from reaching those inside, in an effort to occupy the embassy themselves.

“The inflammatory act of handing over the Venezuelan Embassy to Guiado supporters would also have the potential to dramatically escalate the conflict between the United States and Venezuela,” Benjamin writes. “If the Trump administration were to allow this, the Maduro government would likely reciprocate by taking over the U.S. embassy. This could be just what warhawks John Bolton and Elliot Abrams are looking for as a justification for a U.S. military intervention.”

And war would find another excuse to perpetuate itself.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is available. Contact him at or visit his website at

SYRCL Event 5/15/19

SYRCL invites the community to Wild for the Yuba – a special Dinner & Silent Auction – on Friday June 14, 2019, from 6:00-9:30pm at the beautiful grounds of Pilot Peak Winery in Penn Valley.

Wild for the Yuba is SYRCL’s party for the river with one of the region’s largest silent auctions. This year’s prizes include an array of excursions to Reno, San Francisco, Tahoe, and Carmel Valley. Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines have donated airline tickets, and many local businesses have shown their love for the Yuba by contributing merchandise and gift certificates to tours, shops, services and restaurants.

The money raised at Wild for the Yuba supports SYRCL’s summer programs striving to keep the river healthy and safe, such as River Ambassadors and the Yuba River Cleanup.

The event commemorates the South Yuba’s 20th Anniversary as a California Wild & Scenic River. “We invite our members, volunteers and the public to join us at Wild for the Yuba as we recognize a major milestone for our emerald gem, the Yuba River,” said Co-President Shana Maziarz. “Twenty years ago, SYRCL and the community won a 16-year campaign to protect our region from hydropower dams when the State Legislature declared 39 miles of the South Yuba protected as a California Wild & Scenic River. Wild for the Yuba is our time to celebrate this incredible victory,” said Maziarz.

Guests will be treated to dinner and appetizers by MeZe Middle Eastern Eatery. Its special Wild for the Yuba menu includes mouth-watering items like chicken shawarma, beef & lamb kebab, falafel, and stuffed squash. Owners Alon and Tal Greenstein are committed to serving delicious entrees using organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Their new restaurant is located on Mill Street in Grass Valley. “We proudly present tasty food you can feel good about,” they say on MeZe’s website.

Acclaimed guitarist Ivan Najera will assemble a group of musicians that will entertain guests throughout the evening. According to the Sacramento Press, Najera has shared the stage with Jose Feliciano, Julio Iglesias and Enrique Coria. “Najera’s eclectic style incorporate[s] elements of flamenco, contemporary and classical jazz music with traditional Spanish and Latin American influences.”

Wild for the Yuba tickets are available at the SYRCL office, through Eventbrite, and online at Seating is limited, and the event is expected to sell-out. Advance tickets are $64 per person for current SYRCL members and $69 for the general public. On June 1, tickets prices increase to $69 per person for SYRCL members and $74 for the general public. Reserved seating for 4 starts at $259 for members and $279 for the general public.

Admission includes appetizers, dinner, entry to silent & live auctions, musical entertainment, and outdoor patio seating. Pilot Peak will offer wine and beer for sale.

Get your ticket today! If you are an active SYRCL member, call Eric Robins, Membership Coordinator, for your special discount code. 530-265-5961 x 220. Or stop by the the office. We love talking to our community.

Presidential Smack Talk 5/15/19

Tired of the Smack Talk –   by Wim Laven

Wim Laven

         I’m angry, our system is supposed to work for us, but it doesn’t! I’m tired of being told that elected officials are supposed to represent their constituents, and watching their persistent inaction and failure. One of the interesting features of English language is the labels that are provided for groups of animals; perhaps the pride of lions or murder of crows are familiar to you. Few know that a group of jellyfish are called a smack. Sadly, so many American politicians are spineless, my comparison is the best I can do to capture my moral outrage at their immoral inaction.

         Donald Trump’s 10,000th lie or misstatement as President or candidate is now official and his base is still with him. He is the Pied Piper of all variety of cowards and manifestly willfully ignorant blind-to-truth followers.

The ugly truth, since his base is quite large, is that we did this to ourselves. Too lazy to factcheck, too sloppy to discern truth, and too arrogant to find ways to work together, the U.S. was ripe for the invasion of the Russian troll army, and supremacist chatrooms celebrate discussions of civil wars and other Trump-approved disgusting plots.

         But it gets worse. Every year I’m reminded of these ugly failures. Those who survived the Columbine shooting 20 years ago apologized to those who survived the Parkland shooting, they were sorry that they were unable to prevent the massacre. So much violence, the last time the U.S. went a week without a mass-shooting was Jan. 5, 2014, we’re the only nation on Earth with the problem, and the only place that insists it is unavoidable.

         When my brother died on April 25th, 2013, there had been 57 separate votes to repeal Obamacare and zero votes to improve it. Deep down I wonder if quality health care, like most developed nations have, would have changed the outcome; how many lives have been cut short by inferior health care? Maybe his treatment pathways could not be improved upon, but 33 was just too young. Sad fact—six years later—still nothing has been done to improve healthcare coverage for millions who need it—some needing basic coverage and some requiring but denied specialty help. And there have been more unsuccessful votes to repeal, but nothing to improve. The smack, as a whole, is doing nothing to prevent the efforts to sabotage and undermine American survival and quality of life.

         Our President is unrelentingly dishonest and where is the challenge to him amongst federal elected officials, apart from a handful of newly elected young activist representatives and a few determined House committee chairs?

The President has sworn he “will to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Add that to the 10,000. Moral representatives should have impeached this liar-in-chief 8,000 falsehoods ago. The talk of the day—high crimes and misdemeanors—focuses on the documented attack on U.S. democracy; all of our bodies of intelligence services have said Russia attacked us, from day one, but instead of honoring his oath Trump has done nothing but lie about it. The abdication of his oath of office has inspired little response. Lip service—smack talk—has delivered nothing—it’s time for backbone and heart.

Wim Laven, Ph.D., is syndicated by PeaceVoice, and is an instructor of Political Science and International Relations at Kennesaw State University. 

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