Wednesday December 12, 2018


Downieville Lions Tags for Kids gifts need to be turned into the post office by Friday, December 14th or to a Lions Club member by the 15th.  We’re missing several “tags/gifts” and I’m getting nervous as they get delivered with Christmas Basket food deliveries on the 18th. Thanks for your help.

Well, court on Tuesday December 11th was interesting and I have to think Judge Yvette Durant and District Atty Larry Allen were reasonable and are trying to make a bad situation a little bit better. Unfortunately the solution found little room for truth to step forward. It appears there is an opportunity that a plea deal can be made ending up with the accused just having to serve 6 months probation and that’s it, it will be over.  But according to a witness who was on scene at the purported Restraining Order violation, the accused had taken steps to make sure she was not violating the order, he walked with her to the courthouse and was waiting for her while minding her dog, he was on the corner by the Planning Dept in front of the medical clinic when she  returned, they spoke a moment and then turned and walked back across the bridge. So if another accusation comes forth from the accuser..what then? I hope I’m overthinking the situation…

Spending a morning in court was interesting, it’s apparent if you are able to pay a fine, court costs and a fee for payments, be able to pay for the documents, proof of insurance you’ll be okay, but watching the clientele going before the courts, it was fairly apparent the original charges most likely emanated from their lack of money for the most basics aspects of life. A spiral of one misfortune causing the next bigger one, no insurance, no car, no car, no job, no job, no money, no way to get to court, a warrant for failure to appear.. listening to how much extra  one has to pay to even be able to make payments on a fine, made me wonder if it would be more or less than interest on a loan…is this like a payday loan which sucks you in deeper and deeper.. it is disheartening to say the least, our justice system needs to be re-thought. Here in Sierra County we are fortunate to be neighbors to almost everyone and have prosecutors, judges, law enforcement with empathy  in their souls and try their best to administer justice fairly.

I really appreciated D.A Larry Allen having D.A. Elect Sandra Groven sitting with him at the Prosecutor’s table seeing two elected officials working together to have a smooth transition in the office demonstrates a commitment to their communities and our county. Thank you Larry for your work in a not so easy environment and welcome aboard Sandy we know you will continue to bring honor and respect to the Office of the District Attorney.

Is it possible that tRump will come to his senses, make some kind of deal with Congress and the American people and in exchange for no jail time for him and his family he can peacefully resign in 2019 citing poor health and then move to Russia or North Korea with Don,Jr, Eric, Ivanka. It is only fair that Melania be allowed to stay as she is an immigrant, I don’t know, I’ll have to think about that last one… anyhow then maybe our “long national horrific nightmare” will be over. I had to add the “horrific” in there as this has been much worse than the previous nightmare during the Nixon years…  Chief of Staff John Kelly, so long and thanks for trying…or at least being a thorn in tRump’s side… Okay just watched the little tantrum he threw in the Oval Office with Pelosi and Schumer…gadzooks… please let the grownups take charge..

So, read Carrie’s Corner, Weekly Warrior, On the Shelf, DeVita Speaks, FireHouse News, Sheriff’s Log,  local news and holiday events, Nick Anderson Cartoons, Columnists Rivera Sun, JP Linstroth, Matt Johnson, Laura Finley and Steve Klinger feed our quest for information. Remember if you disagree with anything you read in the Prospect, we will print your letters.

The photo this week is just a small moment of Holiday Peace in Cherry & Rick Simi’s window.

Mountain Messenger (Joyful) 12/12/18


Well, this week let’s celebrate Jill, ever since Milly was canned Jill has risen to the challenge of being the receiver of slings and arrows usually reserved for The Don. The last few months The Don has been busy with family needs and Jill, Ladybird , Scott, Ralph Limbeck and Brutus have been filling the gap. I heard a Patty on the phone once she didn’t want to put me through to Jill until she asked permission…I’ve never been so humiliated … when you are placing your Christmas card ads in the Mess please wish me a Merry Christmas too…that’ll teach me a lesson… I mean them not me.. that was a typo Freudian slip I think.. anyhow it is Christmas and then comes New Years the most read issues of the Mess every year so don’t miss out in letting those you love get a message of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in California’s Oldest Weekly Newspaper – The Mountain Messenger. They and you will be part of history.

12/12/18 Proof of life and that historically nothing ever changes with the Mess and The Don.

Send anything you need published to Jill the very important person in the office, at or you may call directly to (530) 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Ladybug). 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 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

DeVita Speaks Sense 12/12/18


My sisters and brothers in the Sierra,

The fires racing through little mountain towns have led to some angry discussions with friends in Sierra County.
Some of them want to blame forest management for the fires. That is sure true, at least to some extent. See, we went through a period when we saw trees a money, standing up growing in the hills. Every time a fire started, we saw it burning up our money, so we extinguished every one, instead of letting a succession of fires manage the forest naturally. So, that was mismanagement that we are now suffering from.
We also clear cut. That resulted in same age stands which were quick growing but which lacked the resilience of different age stands. It also encouraged precious soil to be washed from our mountains. So, that was mismanagement.
Then, there is the fact that forest management in times like these, when there are literally millions of dead trees, is very expensive. Many of us didn’t tell the government to spend billions on forest care, we told them to spend money putting poor people in prison, or to send the military to make war on mountain tribes, or to build a big wall to keep poor people out. The politicians heard that, they are spending money on the things people have asked for, instead of helping the mountains cope with change. So, that was bad management that people asked for.
Some people like to blame environmentalists, but that really doesn’t fly. Yes, some timber harvests were challenged, but the big problem is there is no market, not for logs, not for hazard fuel. Environmentalists had nothing to do with that.
But the biggest reason we are seeing more fires, not only in California but in Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Idaho and Alaska, is change. In all those places, we are seeing the mountains change.
It is climate change. It isn’t just that there is less water falling, or that spring is earlier and fall later, it is that we are seeing rain falling on snow. The mountains have thin soils, they need timed release water.
Through the first of the hard times, many old trees died in the mountains, from heat stress, lack of water and indirectly from insects. But, others held on, because they were in a favorable place, or were particularly resilient, and because the soil doesn’t drain uniformly.
By now, though, short, rainy winters are having their effect on the forest.
Many of my friends in the Sierra and Cascades want to argue with me about it. You can insult their dog, and they stay calm, but suggest that climate change is killing the forest as we know it, and they say awful things.
I can understand it. It’s a terrible thing to see, our mountains cloaked in smoke and our little towns burning like an army had gone through. Bad management, we can understand, somebody did something wrong, and bad management has a solution: good management.
Climate change isn’t like that. There is no one to blame, no lazy bureaucrats to curse, no politicians to throw out of office. We are helpless in the face of it, and have to reconcile ourselves to accommodating a new reality, a Sierra with fewer trees and more scrub and grass.
We can face it, as people have always faced unpleasant things, by coming to grips with it, and making the changes we need to.
We can do that. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love Jesus, if we accept climate change as real. It doesn’t mean that we are communist if we believe the evidence of our own eyes. It doesn’t mean that you have abandoned your beliefs simply because you allow yourself to accept the preponderance of scientific evidence, not just from climatologists, but from paleontologists, who tell us the climate conditions and CO2 levels in past events, and from cryologists, who study ancient ice, and from physicists, who describe the forces that are bringing the change.
We can pretend we don’t know, and pretend we aren’t sure what caused it, but that won’t really change anything, will it? Especially when we, ourselves, can see there are fewer insects than years ago, and fewer birds, and far fewer frogs.
We in the mountains aren’t going to stop climate change. It is cities that drive the change; we are essentially powerless. But we will do ourselves a favor to be honest about it, the woods aren’t coming back as they were, and the trees we now have will be greatly reduce in number over the coming years. We can follow the simple advice in wild land urban interfaces, and keep vegetation away from the house, use metal roofs and concrete siding, have an emergency water supply with a gasoline pump and keep it from freezing, clear dead leaves and needles from the foundation, and out of the rain gutters, and box the eaves.
Let’s be brave mountain dwellers, and admit the forests are going to change.

Megan & Tommy Engaged 12/12/18


Marine Corporal Tommy Dines, Jr. and Megan Parker are engaged. Tommy asked Megan to marry him when they attended the Marine Ball in Las Vegas in November. They plan to have their wedding at Sardine Lake in August 2019.

Megan is the daughter of Jill Tahija of Downieville and step-father Randy Yager of Camptonville and Tommy the son of Miriam and Tom Dines, Sr. of Sierra City.

After they wed Megan will continue her education in Nevada,  then join Dines at 29 Palms after she receives her degree in Psychology. Corporal Dines is presently serving his second year with the U.S. Marines.

On the Shelf by Paul 12/12/18


Book Share     Issue 2018 – 18
Five people gathered for the bi-monthly book share at the library on November 24, sharing the following books that they had recently read:
We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time, by Jose Andres: the author, a world-renowned and award-winning chef and the founder of World Central Kitchen, describes how his culinary network challenged broken government systems, e.g., FEMA, while feeding tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party, by Daniel James Brown: this non-fiction book details the events leading up to and including the disaster that befell the Donner Party. The author builds the narrative around one member of the group, Illinois newlywed Sarah Graves, primarily because of a personal link between the woman and the author’s great-uncle, who also set out from Illinois in 1846, though in a different party. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
Kitty’s Special Job, by Claude Clement: in this children’s book (Easy Reader level), a little kitten is unable to find a useful job, like those held by other farm animals — until she meets Grandfather Cat. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren: the book is a memoir by the author, who is a geochemist, geobiologist, and professor at the University of Hawaii. She has spent her career carrying out research using plants both alive and fossilized, discovering information about the environmental conditions at the time the plants existed. In her memoir, she tells both the story of her own life, as well as the story of her work. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: in this novel, Colombian author and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the multi-generational story of the Buendia family in the fictitious Colombian town of Macondo. The book has been described as having a magical realist style and substance, and is considered to be the author’s magnum opus. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
The Library Book, by Susan Orlean: the mystery of who set the fire that destroyed the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 has never been solved. The author uses that event around which to build this non-fiction book which showcases the crucial role that libraries play in our lives, while also detailing the history of libraries in this country and around the world. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Calypso, by David Sedaris: the book is a collection of 21 essays in which the author, a humorist and radio contributor, tells stories from his own life, ranging from a vacation home (named “Sea Section”) on the Carolina coast to his primary home in England. (Not currently in the Downieville Library.)
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!, by Dr. Seuss: in this book, written after Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) vision began to fade and he started wearing glasses, the Cat in the hat shows his son the fun he can get out of reading and how reading is a useful way of gaining knowledge. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)
Sleep Book, by Dr. Seuss: the book begins with a small bug, Van Vleck, yawning. That yawn then spreads (as yawns are wont to do) across various creatures and lands. A warning printed n the inside cover reads, “This book is to be read in bed”, as it is intended to put children to sleep. (On the shelf at the Downieville Library.)

You, too, can experience the camaraderie and excitement of a Book Share when it meets again on Thursday, January 24, 5:15 PM. You can come to either share books you have read or to hear what others have been reading.

Where We Are & When We’re Open
The Downieville Library is located in the basement of the Native Daughters Hall, at 318 Commercial Street. The library’s hours are Tuesdays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and Thursdays, 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM. We will, of course, be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, both of which are on Tuesdays.

Carrie’s Draft Corner 12/12/18


Baby, it’s getting cold outside! Personally, I love it. Personal feelings aside, keeping warm is a must during the Winter months (and in our case, that usually ends sometime around late-May/early-June).  Most of us that have wood stoves, pellet stoves or fire places, already have a good amount of wood stocked up for the winter. What about those much-needed draft stoppers? No? Well, there are a few things you can do to make really inexpensive (and quite trendy looking) draft stoppers. Got dirt? How about some sand? If not, get a shovel. If so, get some old clothing and a plastic bag (or plastic wrap), or a pool noodle (if you can find one this time of year).
You’ll want 1 draft stopper for each exterior door, and if you’re really feeling crafty, 1 for each window. For most exterior doors, you can use about 3 feet oa material, or a pool noodle. For cloth draft stoppers, take the same amount of plastic wrap (or, a 13 gallon kitchen garbage bag), and lay it flat on the floor. In the center of the wrap (or bag) create a good mound of sand (or dry dirt) length wise, leaving about 2 – 3 inches at each end. Then, roll up the plastic around the sand (or dry dirt), and seal shut with rubber bands. Then, roll up the plastic bit in the cloth material (old sheets, old bath towels, old beach towels…you get the idea), and seal each end with rubber bands, yarn, string, twine…whatever. You have just made your very own draft stopper.
I know, I know, draft stoppers are kind of odd, and can often be a bit of a pain in the neck every time you need to use a door. However, by utilizing a draft stopper, you’re not only helping to keep the heat in, and the cold out, but you’re also helping to save money on your heating costs. The warmer it is in the inside, the less you have to keep turning the heater(s) up, and down…and then back up again…and then down again. Think of them as mini-insulation pads that help add extra insulation around the most vulnerable areas of your home. Fairly quick, really easy, and you’ll notice the difference on your next heating bill. Have a safe, and healthy week everyone!

Weekly Warrior 12/12/18


 D.H.S visits Chico’s Fab Lab Idea and Paul’s Component’s 

The DHS students went to Chico on the 4th of December to go to The idea Fab Lab and that consist of a bunch of creative zones, some of those zones would be that it is a makerspace to collaborate with people who are interested in electronics, programming and future-art. The instructors facilitate education classes and workshops as well. You can buy a membership in one of their categories for a month just for 30 dollars. The zones would be 3D printing, 3D scanning, Audio Production Zone, Cnc Shopbot and a electronics Zone. They are open from Monday 9am to 11pm. Dylan Martinelli said, ”I had a great time and had fun learning about Laser Printing”.

Then after the Idea Fab Lab the students went to Paul Components which is a little company that consists of all sorts of bike parts that are very good and very well made and they have shirts and more to buy. The students went there to learn about how the parts were put together and the process of making them. They had these really large machines that cost roughly 70000 dollars and it would cut their pieces of metal into basically whatever they programmed.  The instructors split us into two different groups to take us and show us how they use different metals to put together different projects. They also showed us what they do to design the parts. They use these really high- tech programs that show 3D projects and 2D projects. It was all very fun and very awesome learning about how it all comes together. A special thanks to Paul and his team for letting us come to his shop and showing us great hospitality. Thank you as well to the Idea Fab for letting us take the tour. 

Holiday On Main

By Katie Epps

Holiday on Main is one Downieville’s annual event that is put on my the Downieville Fire Department and the Yuba Theater. It all happens during the beginning of December, celebrating the Christmas season and starting it off with exciting events such as meeting Santa Claus at the Community Hall in town and also ride in the back of the old fire truck around town. This year Holiday on Main was as joyful as it always is and everyone that participated in it set up their booths and sold a lot of their baked goods, homemade crafts, and other things. Other than that the Yuba Theater always puts on a show for the holidays that Downieville Elementary does. This year starting with Mrs. Taylor’s class K-1st Grade they all got up on stage to sing “Six Little Snowmen”, and all of them did a fantastic job dancing and singing in front of everyone. Mrs. Bosworth’s 2-3rd grade class’ hard work really paid off during their performances when they went up to sing three songs and those songs being “Once There Was A Snowman”, “Snow Is Falling All Around”, and “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”. For the last perfomance Ms. Marie’s 5th-6th grade class practiced long and hard to go up and act out their play, “Back To Winter Break.” The play was some sort of a remake of the movie “Back To The Future” and all of them did a great job in it and looked like they had fun too.

DHS Slams Dunks Into GHS Tournament

By: Robert Baker and Austin Foster

On the weekend of the 30th was the annual John Holland Classic basketball tournament held  in Greenville for teams to go face to face in the sport of basketball. The Downieville Warriors 1st game was against the Westwood Lumberjacks. It was an epic victory for the Warriors and a crushing defeat for the Lumberjacks. The score was 55-24 with the win for the Warriors. Congrats Ezra Acuna for putting up 18 points that game. The 2nd game for the Warriors didn’t go as well with a defeat of 69-24 against Greenville. The 3rd game was another tough loss for the Warriors, going up against Maxwell it was 64-24. With 1 win and 2 losses they are doing better so far compared to the last season. The Warriors were placed fourth in the tournament. Dylan Martinelli says,”We are doing well as a team, we need better ball movement and faster passes”. Aaron Foster said,”That this is going to be a good year for the Warriors.” 

The Lady Warriors had a more successful tournament than the boys. They played 3 games and they won 1 and loss 2. The first game was against the Herlong Vikings and the Warriors won 30-15. The 2nd game was a unfortunate loss for the the Lady Warriors, the score was 44-22. The third game was against Maxwell. It was neck and neck, and a nail biter for sure. The girls only lost by 5, The Lady Warriors started with 5 players but by the end of the game there was only 4 with Eliane Campbell fouling out. The end score was Warriors with 20 and Maxwell with  25. Eliane Campbell said,” That they did good for their first game and put up a good fight against there other games. ”Congrats to both Ezra Acuna and Isabelle Acuna on winning best all tournament awards.  Esmeralda Nevarez said, “The tournament was really fun and entertaining.”

Upcoming games are on the 11th with the Lady Warriors against Lady Quincy Trojans. On Dec. 12th is a home game against the Plumas Charter Badgers. On Dec. 21st The Warriors and Lady Warriors are going to the Elk Creek Elks Tournament.    

Climate Crisis 12/12/18

Dear Editor,
My over riding concern now and in the days to come is the climate crisis. Why I have waited to write you beats me. This is what I consider when I vote. This is what I contemplate when I buy any product. This is what I think about making my vacation plans and movement locally.  Climate crisis has been my concern and even my worry for years. 
The horror came to me when I sat in a driveway at home finishing an interview on the radio of a climate scientist who projected what we are in now. This was over a decade ago.  What he said, after giving his analysis of the facts, made me very wary of where we were going because he ended with saying that he and other scientist did not want to start a panic about global warming. I mentioned this to others who were not too interested. Oh how I would have welcomed a forceful statement aimed at our policy makers and our large corporations such as EXXON who have known for many years what taking it out of the ground was and is doing to the place we live. 
Now that climate crisis has children abandoning school and scolding their elders, all, every single one of us must step up to say we care whether there is a habitable planet after we are dead and gone. It is our legacy if you will. It is climate crisis and the siren is blaring.
Linda Guffin, Downieville

Last Barbarians #7 12/12/18

Letter: the best of being human

Dear Last Barbarians,
This letter is to share with you the rejoice and desperation I feel at all that is passing.

All our history life was hard. Not every life had a pleasant moment, some were born into slavery and died young. Some were born badly damaged and failed to die, living on in misery. All kinds of things happen when you have so many hundreds of thousands of years of humans, and so many millions and billions of humans.

But, for most people, from the humble to the lucky, there are moments of peace, of contentment, of happiness.

Most often, it is other people who make us feel happy and accepted, but many times it is just one person alone, perhaps, and the natural world.

One person perhaps on the cold scrubbed stone of a mountain peak, and below, the foothills and woods and meadows and waters, and around as equals only the peaks of other mountains.

One person perhaps at the edge of the sea, in the breeze moist of salt and iodine, seeing hearing feeling the ceaseless breathing of the oceans sometimes light as a sleeper, sometimes pounding and screaming and terrifying.

One person perhaps canoes a river, at one and at peace so the prow seems to sit and the banks stream by on both sides, now showing this deer or that long legged bird or this bridge dark beneath, and everything just fleeting, gone without time for consideration.

One person, perhaps holding a little child, when children were still a blessing, perhaps gazing into wide eyes, wondering what they would see one day, imagining this little person proud and well and safe in the world.

I love the wind. I love the turmoil of it, the doubt it has rounding a rocky point but the forward determination of the whole, rushing thoughtless of origin, and heedless of destination, pulling me where I can not go and pummeling me for the weight of my fear.

How good it is to be a human. How fine we are on the Earth; we know it better than any.

How sad I am to see it pass.

What makes you well, last barbarians? What heals you if not family and the breath of the world?

CTA, CALT, CHP & Trucks 12/12/18

L to R: Eric Sauer, senior vice president of government affairs, California Trucking Association; Michael Yadon, western region manager of government affairs, FedEx; Jeffery Greer, senior vice president of human resources, FedEx Freight; Matt Tweed, Lieutenant, California Highway Patrol and Tom Brannon, deputy district director of maintenance and traffic operations, Caltrans District 3.

(KINGVALE, CA) — The California Trucking Association (CTA), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) gathered today at the Caltrans Maintenance Station in Kingvale to showcase their unique partnership behind the California Pusher Truck Program, which literally pushes trucks through mountain storms to keep millions of dollars in commerce moving over Donner Pass during the winter season.

“CTA has partnered with Caltrans on the Pusher Truck Program for more than 30 years. By employing pusher trucks, Caltrans can help big rigs that have lost traction on the steep inclines of Donner Pass regain momentum and ensure the $4.7 million per hour in commerce continues moving through the Interstate-80 corridor,” said Eric Sauer, CTA’s senior vice president of government affairs.

“This program would not exist without the generous financial support of CTA members, whose contributions fund the program, and, most importantly, FedEx’s incredible donation of two of their fleet trucks that have been retrofitted to provide truckers with the ‘push’ they need to increase the safety of all travelers during the harsh winter months,” Sauer added.

“FedEx Freight is proud to work with the California Trucking Association and CalTrans on this important effort,” said Jeffery Greer, senior vice president of human resources for FedEx Freight. “Our contribution to the Pusher Truck Program is a great opportunity to demonstrate FedEx’s ‘Safety Above All’ promise in a way that benefits drivers and the communities in which they operate.”

Every hour, more than 3,500 trucks traverse Donner Pass, a number that increases during peak holiday time. The Pusher Truck Program ensures big rigs are able to keep moving, roads stay open and driving conditions are safe for all drivers.

“This program is critically important because it keeps closures of I-80 to a minimum. Even when fully ‘chained up,’ commercial big rigs often struggle to gain enough traction on the snow-covered inclines of Donner Pass, particularly if they have to stop for slowed or blocked traffic. As part of this important partnership, CTA provides maintenance, parts, and service for the pusher truck. Caltrans, in return, provides fuel, insurance, pre-ops and post-ops of the equipment, and qualified operators,” Tom Brannon, Caltrans District 3 deputy director of maintenance and traffic operations, added.

Additionally, Caltrans, CHP and CTA representatives took the opportunity today to remind drivers of important safe winter driving tips as many Californians take to the roads this holiday season.

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve roadway safety, and keep traffic and commerce flowing throughout the state of California, the California Highway Patrol conducts significant educational outreach to the public.

“The safest driver is an educated driver, and in no place is that statement more true than in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Time and time again we encounter motorists who are ill-prepared or un-informed about the weather and driving conditions in which they find themselves. Our outreach goal and partnership with Caltrans and the California Trucking Association is to make our roadways safer, reduce collisions and most importantly keep traffic moving,” said Matt Tweed, lieutenatr with the California Highway Patrol.

Informational posters have and will be placed in the region’s state highway rest areas, more than 20,000 winter driving tips cards will be distributed to gas stations, convenience stores, vacation home rental agencies and other locations frequented by travelers. Social media also will be used to make sure travelers are prepared for winter driving conditions as they travel to and through the mountains this holiday season.

To learn more about CTA’s Pusher Truck Program, please visit To learn more about Caltrans’ Safe Winter Driving Tips, please visit

About the California Trucking Association
The California Trucking Association has been serving the commercial motor carrier industry in California, and the companies that provide products and services to the trucking industry, for 83 years. A critical and vital component of California’s economy, 78 percent of California communities depend solely on trucks to deliver their goods. Our carrier membership ranges from individual owner-operators, to small for-hire fleets, to the largest national and international carriers. Allied members of the California Trucking Association range from businesses involved with truck and trailer sales, parts and service, insurance, legal services and all other businesses that support the trucking industry.

War Crimes 12/12/18

See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White 

by Matthew Johnson

It is hard to watch TV these days without seeing reports pertaining to the recent death of the elder George Bush — former president, CIA director, and whitewashed war criminal. I call him a “whitewashed war criminal” because there are inconvenient truths that the mainstream media would rather ignore in favor of the usual hero worship that accompanies the death of a popular politician (see also: coverage on the death of John McCainor, even more egregiously, Richard Nixon). Sprucing up our departed politicians, disgraced or otherwise, seems to be a nod to our most respected civil discourse values, but it’s not a favor to the truth and the whitewashing only makes it more likely to happen again. 

Matt Johnson

Perhaps the most inconvenient truth relating to war crimes of Bush the Elder involves Panama in 1989. Under the guise of protecting democracy, then-President Bush illegally invaded a sovereign nation that posed no threat to the United States, calling it “Operation Just Cause,” in order to remove its ruler — with disastrous results. The U.S. government acknowledges that at least 300 Panamanian civilians were killed, but other sourceshave estimated that as many as several thousand were killed with tens of thousands displaced. At best you could call it an overreaction to Noriega’s involvement in drug trafficking and a peculiar form of democracy promotion. The era of slaughtering civilians as acceptable collateral damage is over in the eyes of international law and simple decency. Bush could have resolved that contretemps without Panamanian children and other noncombatants dying. 

At the time, Bush was facing criticism at home for being a “wimp.” Apparently, cutting civilians down removed that label and cleared a line of sight to his next adventure, into Kuwait and Iraq, where his forces engaged in a “turkey shoot”(the words of some of the aircraft gunners who mowed down defenseless fleeing Iraqi conscripts).

But those are simple examples from the George H. W. Bush White House years, a one-term run. What of the rest of his life? We’ve heard the encomiums, but the gaps and omissions that are not so flattering need to be a part of the record, if not harped on in the immediate time of a person’s funeral or memorial. 

Bush was Nixon’s Chair of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate scandal, not a praiseworthy time for most ranking Republicans, and he committed some nefarious political acts in that role. His role in the war crimescommitted by the Contra in Nicaragua is another very dirty, lethal episode, exposed briefly some 30 years ago. So, please, yes, let’s be respectful at funerals and in first announcements, but when the truth is buried alongside the bodies it is of poor service to history, to American self-assessment, and to respect for the whole truth. We have little patience for Germans who deny their Nazi history, no fondness for Japanese who forget that they were brutal aggressors in the 1930s and ‘40s. We expect others to learn from studying both their accomplishments and their horrific mistakes. We can expect no less of ourselves. 

Matt Johnson, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is co-author of Trumpism.

Innovative Forests 12/12/18

Innovative Partnership Will Restore Sierra Nevada Forest Health

How a water agency, conservation organizations and local, State and Federal government found common ground in the Tahoe National Forest

FRENCH MEADOWS, Calif. – The U.S. Forest Service today announced final approval of the French Meadows Forest Restoration Project, an innovative forest health project aimed at reducing wildfire risk in a critical municipal watershed. This landscape-scale project, covering 30,000 acres of public and private land around French Meadows Reservoir, west of Lake Tahoe, is a public-private partnership that can serve as a model for increasing the pace and scale of ecologically-based forest management and fuels reduction throughout the Sierra Nevada.

According to Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Eli Ilano, “This project simply would not have happened without the hard work of our partners. We need more diverse partners like these, here and across California, to help in our efforts to increase the resiliency of millions of national forest acres. The only way to accomplish this monumental task is through collaborative stewardship.”

The project involves clearing underbrush, thinning smaller trees, removing biomass to renewable energy facilities, reforestation, restoring meadows and prescribed fire. The goals are to promote forest resilience to stressors such as wildfire, insect and disease outbreaks and climate change, as well as protect and restore habitat for fish and wildlife and safeguard water supply and resources. Work is expected to begin as soon as the snow melts, around May or June 2019.

With limited Forest Service resources already engaged on other forest resiliency projects in the American River watershed, a diverse group of partners rolled up their sleeves to design, manage and fund the project in close partnership with the Forest Service. Key partners include Placer County Water Agency, which owns and operates French Meadows Reservoir and associated hydropower facilities; The Nature Conservancy, which helped to design and fund the effort; Placer County, which helped to fund the work and will co-lead the implementation with The Nature Conservancy; American River Conservancy, which owns and is restoring adjacent forests as part of the broader project; the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at the University of California, Merced, which is researching the connection between healthy forests and water supply; and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a state agency whose mission is to improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada region.

PCWA General Manager, Einar Maisch, said, “The 2014 King Fire was a reminder of the devastating effect wildfires have on water supply and water quality. The massive erosion caused by the King Fire degraded streams and damaged water, power, and transportation infrastructure, leading to millions of dollars of on-going clean-up costs for our ratepayers and the general public. The State’s long-term water security depends on healthy forests and watersheds.”

David Edelson, Sierra Nevada Program Director for The Nature Conservancy, said, “The French Meadows Project takes an ecological approach to forest management and fuels reduction, using restorative thinning to remove the smaller trees and brush, while keeping the larger trees that are critical for wildlife habitat and carbon storage. The project will also use prescribed fire, where safe and appropriate, to promote forest resilience.”

“Healthy, resilient forests are essential to our economy, safety and well-being,” said Jim Holmes, chair of the Placer County Board of Supervisors. “By investing in the long-term resilience of French Meadows, we protect our hydroelectric power and recreational opportunities while improving forest health.”

“Unhealthy forests in the Sierra are a problem on both private and public lands,” said Elena DeLacy, American River Conservancy Executive Director. “We hope this project will put an end to finger pointing and signal the beginning of collaborative, proactive forest restoration at the landscape scale.”

“This is not a random act of conservation, it is a strategic investment in a critical landscape,” said Sierra Nevada Conservancy Regional Manager Andy Fristensky. “The importance of restoring this headwater forest is evidenced by the diversity of partners who have pitched in to fund the work.”

The French Meadows Project also includes innovative research on the link between healthy forested watersheds and water supply, led by the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. “UC Merced researchers are developing information on the water-related benefits of forest treatments, which together with the reduced wildfire risk from forest thinning, is essential for developing local partnerships for treatment programs across Sierra Nevada forests,” said Roger Bales, Director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

Hotter and drier conditions, decades of fire suppression and past logging practices have combined to make California’s forests more vulnerable to high-severity wildfire. Massive tree die-offs due to years of drought and widespread insect infestations, year-round fire weather conditions, and overgrown young-growth forests, have all combined to create severe fire risks, particularly in the Sierra. The uptick in devastating megafires puts people and nature at risk. They can also damage vast expanses of forest habitat, threaten the lives of people and communities nearby, and threaten the source of water for millions of people.

“Through innovative partnerships like the French Meadows Partnership, we can plan and implement more fuels reduction and forest health projects on the Tahoe and other national forests, helping to reduce the risk of megafires to people and nature,” said Ilano.

CA, OR, WA Oppose Feds 12/12/18

State Superintendent Torlakson, Washington and Oregon Education Officials Oppose Federal Changes Redefining the Concept of Gender

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  partnered with the top education officials from Oregon and Washington to send a letter opposing federal attempts to redefine the concept of sex and gender government-wide, making that definition purely biological. The joint letter was sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today in coordination with Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill and Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

            “This damaging proposal would seriously harm our nation’s children and eliminate the ability for some people to fight back against discrimination,” said Torlakson, who was a high school science teacher and coach. “Policies and facilities that assume individuals fall strictly within two categories and assume that identity is visually identifiable risk excluding and alienating individuals. This policy would allow discrimination against those whose gender identity does not line up with their biological sex.”

            “Washington state law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on a student’s gender expression or identity in our public schools,” said Chris Reykdal, Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “To our students who are transgender: We hear you. We see you. We support you. We will protect you.”

            “It is our responsibility to create caring school environments that are safe and welcoming for all students,” said Colt Gill, Oregon Department of Education Director. “Denying a person’s gender identity or forcing conformity to this federal rule change is disrespectful, discriminatory, and harmful. Each of our children deserve more. They deserve schools that accept, respect, and serve them well.”

            The assumption underlying California policy is that gender is a spectrum that is not necessarily linked to biological sex. State legislation allows all individuals, including students, to self-certify to their chosen gender category of male, female, or nonbinary—starting on January 1, 2019. While biological sex is defined by chromosomes in most cases, gender and gender identity are much more complex concepts.

            “At an age when self-identity is still being formed, telling a student that their identity is invalid because it does not pair with two specific chromosomes can be deeply damaging,” the letter states. “When coming to school feels uncomfortable or even unsafe, students are implicitly prevented from receiving the same education as their gender-conforming peers. Such policies can thus create lifelong emotional, psychological, and economic harm.”

            Resources for LGBTQ youth are available on the CDE’s Statewide & National Sexual Health Resources web page. Copies of the letter are available upon request.

The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website.

Sheriff’s Public Log 12/12/18

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log

ACT-Active ARR-Arrest Complete CIT-Citation Issued CNC-Cancelled or No Report Required  INA-Inactive   RPT-Report Taken   TRA-Transferred to Other Agency  UNF-Unfounded UTL-Unable to Locate or Gone on Arrival – and here is Ca Code Source


0859 – Ambulance request in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
1545 – Welfare check request in Sierra Brooks
1606 – Ambulance request in Downieville – TRA DVAM
1625 – Ambulance request in Loyalton – TRA LOAM


0741 – Multiple control burns at Transfer sites – CNC SCSO
0809 – Dog bite reported in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
0835 – Control burns reported near Camptonville – CNC SCSO
0904 – VIN verification request near Loyalton – TRA CHP
0939 – Control burn report in Sierraville – CNC SCSO
1211 – Ambulance request in Sierra City – TRA DVAM
1508 – Trespasser in Loyalton – CNC SCSO


0319 – Ambulance request in Downieville – TRA DVAM
1107 – Possible fraud in Sierra City – ACT SCSO
2316 – Welfare check in Loyalton – TRA SCSO
2326 – Ambulance request in Loyalton – TRA LOAM


1734 – Civil standby request in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
2103 – Assistance needed with snowbound vehicle near Verdi – CNC SCSO


0956 – Request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
1021 – Single vehicle versus tree near Cold Creek – TRA SCF
1416 – Arrest on Sierra Co warrant at Lassen Co Jail – ARR SCSO
1738 – Confidential in Loyalton – ACT SCSO


1017 – Dog at large in Loyalton – CIT SCSO


1936 – Citizen assist for fallen husband in Loyalton – TRA LVFD
2039 – Vehicle fire reported in Loyalton – TRA LVFD

Walk the Talk 12/12/18

Rivera Sun

The End of the NRA? Business magazines tell activists: The strategy is working

by Rivera Sun

Good news for humanity: the NRA is weakening. The gun-lobbying group is in “deep financial trouble,” Fortune Magazine reported, and warns that the NRA may not be able to keep going. “The group says it is under such financial distress because New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has convinced a number of financial service providers, banks, and insurance providers against doing business with the gun-advocacy group. As a result, the NRA claims that it will be forced to end its magazine publishing and television services, and will be forced to curtail rallies and potentially shutter some of its offices.”

Governor Cuomo got a lot of credit for what, in reality, took an entire movement comprising hundreds of organizations. (For many reasons, business magazines tend to downplay the powerful role of social movements in economic shifts.) The reality is clear to those who have been following the Parkland students and movement groups like #NotOneMore and Everytown for Gun Safety: their strategies are working and the governor is a welcome ally.

Symbolic protests work best when they are used to galvanize acts of economic noncooperation like boycotts, divestments, and severing business ties. The strength of such protests lies in their ability to raise the stakes of inaction for power holders. By compelling power holders to rise out of complacency, silence, and avoidance of the issues, movements can pressure power holders to use their leverage for tangible social justice changes. When people like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo throw their clout into getting businesses and organizations to withdraw economic and social support from the NRA, the impact is immediate. By highlighting that the choice is between kids (and others) lives and the greed of the NRA and gun industry, the youth-led protests, marches, speeches, and rallies have led to increasing numbers of people and businesses cutting ties with the NRA.

Many companies have dumped the NRA over the years: the National Teachers Uniondumped Wells Fargo over NRA ties. Enterprise, Avis, Budget car rentals, Delta and United airlines, and Wyndham and Best Western hotels have all stopped offering NRA discounts. The NRA claims that losing “perks” will not deter their members from pushing for their constitutional rights and civil liberties. Many people involved in the movement to end gun violence, however, feel it is important that NRA members aren’t being rewarded by corporations. In their minds, those who actively block legislation for gun control of automatic assault weapons shouldn’t enjoy special privileges while our children are being massacred.

You can find a full list of companies that dumped the NRA in 2018 at

Gov. Cuomo’s efforts go beyond the small perks of NRA membership and target the bigger deals, financial backing, and even the top donor circles of the NRA. This has the gun-lobby behemoth running scared. The take-home for ordinary citizens is to amplify, escalate, and leverage our actions into larger, richer, and more powerful action. The Parkland students have done excellent work in that department—and their efforts have been backed up by hundreds of growing groups that work to end gun violence, virtually all of which have identified the NRA as a barrier to this goal.

Business is responsive – and vulnerable – to the actions of ordinary citizens on the issue of the NRA. Your feedback, emails, phone calls, and boycotts of banks and businesses make a difference. In many cases it’s far more effective than calling your senator (hint: do both!). The effects of movement pressures are often felt more swiftly in the business world. Politicians can only be changed every 2-4 years; businesses have to deal with quarterly reports every three months.

Pressuring leaders who want to do the right thing—elected, corporate, or government agency—gives those leaders cover. Pressuring the ones who are indifferent helps them realize they need to take a stand. Pressuring the hardline opponents can drive them to make costly errors leading to their replacement.

Indeed, business magazine articles on the anti-NRA actions reveal that companies listen when we take action. First National Bank in Nebraska – one of the 15 largest credit card issuers in the nation – ended its NRA benefits because of customer feedback. As reported: “The First National Bank of Omaha tweeted last Thursday that ‘customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,’ and that it would not be renewing its contract to produce NRA-branded Visa cards.”

All of this information gives us a strategic memo: the strategy is working. The question of whether to support human life, particularly kids, or a powerful lobby group is shifting in favor of the kids. And the NRA is weakening. There’s no need to wait for the next mass shooting or for an organization to tell you to take action: find a company, write an email, and ask your friends to join you in pressuring them to drop the NRA. You can find a full list of companies that give NRA benefits and discounts on ThinkProgress.

The Fortune Magazine report on the NRA’s financial crisis also tells us another important message: keep going. Instead of waiting for the next tragedy to galvanize a fresh burst of action, use this moment to continue to drive support away from the NRA. They’ll be rallying to rebuild; our task is to continue to call companies to walk their talk, stand up for our kids, and dump the NRA.

Rivera Sun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, The Roots of Resistance, and other books, including a study guide to making change with nonviolent action. She is the cohost of Love (and Revolution) Radio, and a trainer in strategy for nonviolent movements.

FireHouse News 12/12/!8

  “AT THE FIREHOUSE ” compiled by Vicky Tenney

ALLEGHANY: December 3rd Firefighter training.
CALPINE: All’s quiet… emergencies, no training,  no meetings…..
DOWNIEVILLE: December 3rd Mutual aid response to Sierra City, for  an ill male, who was transported to the Hospital in Truckee.  December 4th Responded for an ill male, who was transported to SNMH.  December 9th Responded for a public assist, a female who fell, needed assistance to get up.  * Responded for a female who fell, and needed help to get up.
LOYALTON: December 3rd A presentation on the “Camp Fire” & fire season,  a public event. December 4th Responded for an ambulance assist, a person who was bleeding uncontrollably.  December 5th Responded for an ambulance assist,  a person who had abdominal cramps & leg cramps.  December 6th Responded for an ambulance assist, a person with severe abdominal pain.  December 8th Responded for a public assist, a person who fell & needed help to get up.  * Responded for a vehicle fire in front of a residence.
PIKE CITY: December 6th Firefighter ‘s insulated the water tender,  for winter.
SATTLEY: All’s quiet… emergencies,  no meetings,  no training…..
SIERRA CITY: December 3rd Responded for an ill male, who was transported to the Hospital in Truckee.
SIERRAVILLE: All’s quiet… emergencies,  no meetings,  no training…..

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