Wednesday October 18, 2017


State Route 49 (Sierra County) at Vista Point: Motorists can expect long term one way traffic controls around the clock through December 31 for emergency work to repair roadway erosion. Upcoming work to set bridge girders will require overnight full roadway closures currently scheduled from 6 p.m. Tuesday October 24 to 6 a.m. Wednesday October 25 and 6 p.m. Thursday October 26 to 6 a.m. Friday October 27.

Angela wrote a letter this week about her intervention in keeping a young child from jumping off the bridge into the river in Downieville. Good work and this demonstrates the pluses of living in Downieville or almost anywhere in Sierra County. We are the villagers in “it takes a village”. The first year I lived in Sierra County, I worked in Downieville and while going to the postoffice at 10 a.m. I came across a young boy walking down Main St by himself as he passed I wondered about the situation and called to him, “excuse me young man, aren’t you suppose to be in school”. He turned and said he was going to the bakery (Marcantonio’s) to pick something up and showed me the note from his teacher giving him permission to do this. As we parted ways I marveled to myself about how in our village we all know who we are, where we should be and the circumstances that may alert us to something being wrong. I once stopped Ty walking down the alley with an unknown older man, questioning who he was and where he was taking Ty, it was Christy’s father, Ty’s Grampa, here on a family visit. So the point is, while Angela has a point about being cautious concerning the whereabouts and safety of our children, what she, you, me and others do will make our community a safe place to be and let’s all help to keep it that way.

And it probably isn’t a good idea right now to have your little ones running ahead of you on the trails around the county, multiple sightings of Mountain Lions both sides of the Yuba Pass even in the populated areas, so just be aware and be careful. The Supervisors talk about it on the Board recording of the October 17th meeting. Just think of it as your favorite bi-monthly radio program, learn a lot about our county government, this week don’t miss the presentation from the court appointed receiver for the Loyalton Mobilehome  Park.

Rob Okun, Kary Love, Robert Koehler and Winslow Myers are my picks of columns this week always with a little bit more information to know what’s going on in the world, outside of our little piece of paradise. Carrie’s Corner, Be Encouraged by Angela, Carol’s Movies, local news and events to enjoy.

The photo was taken by Mike Galan “Location: Forest Service yard across from the DFPD Office. This Bear was soo hungry he did not want to leave. At one point, had a pizza box in his mouth and I dare anyone to try to take it away!” The epitome of what’s going on in Downieville this month… wild critters getting ready for winter… but apparently he understands the recycle symbol.

Fall is Here Cats and Snow 10/18/17


and so are the Snowmobiles, Tom Dines at Tom’s Snowmobiles is getting ready to help you have some winter fun.

10/18/17 New addition to the Dines family, Autumn Cat Dines

Overnight Bridge Work 10/18/17


Overnight Bridge Work to Close Highway 49 Near Sierraville
Construction of new bridge will repair roadway damaged by winter storms

SIERRAVILLE – Caltrans is alerting motorists traveling on Highway 49 between Downieville and Sierraville that the highway will be closed from 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 24 to 6 a.m. the following morning, Wednesday, October 25 and again 6 p.m. Thursday, October 26 to 6 a.m. the following morning Friday, October 27 at the Vista Point located approximately 2.25 miles southwest of the Highway 89/49 junction.

image003.jpgCaltrans is constructing a new 3-span bridge in a mountainous area where winter storms in February resulted in severe erosion, causing a large portion of the roadway to fail. In order to set in place the bridge girders that will support the new bridge deck, overnight closures of the roadway are required.

Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for the closures. Caltrans is working with first responders to ensure prompt response to any local emergencies. One-way traffic controls will remain in effect outside of the closure times and will continue until the project is completed in the spring of 2018.

Weather or unexpected events may delay or prolong construction work. Caltrans will issue traffic updates on this and other work occurring in District 3 on Twitter and on Facebook. Use Caltrans’ QuickMap at for real-time traffic information or download the QuickMap app on iTunes or Google Play. Motorists can also use the California Highway Information Network (CHIN) automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).


AppleFest in Forest City 10/18/17


The annual Forest City AppleFest and General Membership meeting is happening this Sunday, October 22. Meeting will take place from 9 to 10 a.m., rain or shine. Dress warmly.
The festivities begin at 11 a.m. ECV will once again be running the Stamp Mill throughout the day, providing information and demonstrations. The String-a-Longs, sponsored by Sierra County Arts Council, will provide the sweet music for the day. A Community Potluck lunch begins at 1 p.m. Apple desserts with hand churned ice cream and fresh cider will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Bring your favorite apple dessert to enter the competition, and vote for your favorite. There is no charge to enter or sample the delicious dishes.
Bring a dish and a donation of your choice. There will also be crafts for the kids of all ages, and a raffle with wonderful prizes. All proceeds benefit the Forest City Historical Association. The Dance Hall is getting a bit of a face lift thanks to a couple of angels who have come to its rescue, both physically and monetarily. The Association’s next goal is to raise enough money to put a non-leaking roof on the Dance Hall.
Thanks go out to all who help to preserve this old beauty. For information call Cheryl at 297-3133 or e-mail at Mountain House is open!

Mountain Messenger (no hair dye here) 10/18/17


So here we are again, another week another newspaper, the oldest weekly newspaper in California, the Mountain Messenger, we believe it is the primary source of intelligence information used by POTUS Trump. We have no real evidence to support this belief but in truth it would explain a lot of things that the Trumper says, except the fake news thing, there is never anything fake in the Mess (locals fondly refer to the Mess as the Mess). Don is with his Mom again, I think this is going to be her regular visit, cause Don and his beloved Irene always go there on vacation in October. So his Mom’s health is good and this is a normal yearly trip where Milly does all of the work, knowing she will get full credit and Jill will just be the gopher girl. It would be nice to surprise Don and buy a lot of subscriptions and ads and make sure Jill gets credit because she really is a nice girl even though Milly is prettier and friendlier.

10/18/17 This is a rare photo of Don Russell before he started using Grecian Formula


Send anything you need published to Milly, the CEO and most 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 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 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

On The Shelf by Paul 10/18/17


Issue 2017 – 11
Book Review Group
The Book Share & Review Group meets on Tuesday, October 24th 1:00 PM at the Downieville Library. Everyone is welcome, whether to share books you’ve been reading, or to hear what others have read.

Award-winning Children’s Books
The previous column of On the Shelf contained a list of Caldecott medal winning books that are present in the library. Now we list the Newberry medal winner and honor books.

Newberry Medal: named in honor of the 18th century British bookseller, John Newberry, the prize is awarded annually by the Association of Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association, and the same organization that awards the Caldecott prizes) to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The prize has been awarded since 1922. Medal winner and honor books (those nominated that did not win) presently in the Downieville Library are listed here chronologically according to the year the prize was won.
1925: Tales from Silver Lands, by Charles Finger (medal winner)
1935: Davy Crockett, by Constance Rourke (honor book)
1938: On the Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (honor book)
1939: Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard & Florence Atwater (honor book)
1940: By the Shores of Silver Lake, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (honor book)
1941: Call It Courage, by Armstrong Sperry (medal winner)
The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (honor book)
1942: Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (honor book)
1944: These Happy Golden Years, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (honor book)
1945: The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes (honor book)
1946: Strawberry Girl, by Lois Lenski (medal winner)
1949: My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth S. Gannett (honor book)
1953: Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White (honor book)
1960: Onion John, by Joseph Krumgold (medal winner)
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell (medal winner)
1962: The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare (medal winner)
The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (honor book)
1970: Sounder, by William H. Armstrong (medal winner)
1974: The Slave Dancer, by Paula Fox (medal winner)
1976: The Hundred Penny Box, by Sharon Bell Mathis (honor book)
1978: Ramona and Her Father, by Beverly Cleary (honor book)
1979: The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson (honor book)
1982: Ramona Quimby, Age 8, by Beverly Clearly (honor book)
1985: One-Eyed Cat, by Paula Fox (honor book)
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan (medal winner)
1987: On My Honor, by Marion Dane Bauer (honor book)
1996: The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Cushman (medal winner)
2000: Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis (medal winner)
26 Fairmount Avenue, by Tomie dePaola (honor book)
2001: A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck (medal winner)
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi (medal winner)
2005: Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt (honor book)

Downieville Library Hours
The library is open for eight hours each week: on Tuesday, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM; and, on Thursday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM. You will find the library staffed by librarian, Peggy Daigle, or by one of several volunteers. All are glad to see you, and eager to help you.

Hwy 49 Roadwork 10/11/17


David & Carol Marshall had the pleasure of watching the Highway 49 being repaved, right in front of their home, front row seats. Over the past months they have noticed how hard everyone works and with long hours. Notice all the vehicles – it takes many to repair our roads. Not pictured are the traffic control workers and the pilot car drivers, who do not always have an easy job and they do work long hours. For any of us who live here and drive this road daily, we have seen hard work and progress.  Thank you Knife River and CalTrans.

Golden Rays Transit Rates 10/18/17


Transportation rates for the Golden Rays – Sierra Public Transit will increase on November 1, 2017.

The new rate schedule, per person, for a one-way or round trip from Downieville is: Auburn: $30; Calpine: $15; Chico: $40; Grass Valley/Nevada City/Penn Valley: $25; Indian Valley: $10; Loyalton: $20; Reno: $40; Reno Airport (one way): $50; Sacramento: $40; Sacramento Airport (one way): $50; Sierra City: $5; Quincy: $30; Truckee: $30; Yuba City/Marysville: $30. Alleghany to Grass Valley/Nevada City/Penn Valley: $35. Destinations 100 miles beyond Downieville: $40 plus current IRS mileage rate and full labor cost of driver for the extended miles.

The public transit is for the purpose of meeting the needs of the elderly and disabled and general public for shopping, medical appointments and social transportation, including trips to Sacramento and Reno Airports. Scheduling will be arranged so as to promote the maximum occupancy per trip. To schedule a ride call: 530-798-8555.

Carrie’s Foody Corner 10/18/17


by: Carrie A. Blakley

With the up-coming holidays upon us, now is probably a good time to come to the realization that eventually, there will be so much food being prepared in your homes, that you’ll swear you’re feeding people living there, that you haven’t met yet. Same concept as laundry, only there are far too many left overs to think of sensibly. This is also the time when we tend to sneak tid-bits of human foods to our pets. Sometimes, this can be an incredibly bad thing, especially if you’re not familiar with the ingredients of said enormous meals. While both dogs, and cats, can obviously eat meats (of almost any type), it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. During the huge pet food recall a decade ago, our veterinarian wrote a column regarding safe alternative foods for pets that do not have specific dietary, and/or medical, needs. His advice? Give them a hot dog, cooked beef, cooked chicken, pork, fish, turkey…all are safe for both dogs and cats.

This doesn’t mean that you should run out and get your ‘fur-babies’ jars of black caviar, or the latest in goose liver pate. It also doesn’t mean that you can just throw fido, or fluffy, a nice slab of meat loaf, especially if it contains any other ingredient besides ground meat. I know you can get all of the ‘don’t feed dogs’ food lists, as well as the, ‘dog safe’ food lists, on the Internet. What’s a bit more difficult to locate are the feline friendly food lists. Yes, we all know that chocolate is bad (on all levels) for both dogs an cats. Raccoons, and humans, love it…cats and dogs die from it. So, what are some feline friendly human foods?

Salmon, spinach, cantaloupe, eggs, watermelon, fish oil, chicken, bananas, oatmeal, pumpkin, cheese, bread, apples, blueberries, peas, turkey, pork, beef, sausage, venison. These are the ‘top 20’ foods for felines. Obviously, considering these cats have no issue, eating a freshly killed rodent, bird or snake, the meat you serve them merely has to be properly cleaned, and in the case of venison, properly cured. Milk for cats? Makes for a nice story, and it does contain a lot of nutrients. However, giving a cat milk can wreak havoc on their digestive system. Which, makes for a very unpleasant trip to the cat box for them. So, do some research before the onslaught of food starts arriving in your kitchens. Be sure to keep all dangerous foods away from your pets, and if they accidentally ingest bad foods, call the vet immediately. Have a safe week everyone!

Board of Supervisors 10/18/17


The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in regular session on October 17, 2017 in the  Loyalton, CA. This meeting was recorded for posting on the Board of Supervisors’ website at Clerk of the Board may be reached at 530-289-3295 or at the following email:
Heather Foster Board of Supervisors may hold a Closed Session as the agenda schedule permits.REGULAR AGENDA


  • Call to Order
  • Pledge of Allegiance-led by Paul Rowen
  • Roll Call – Supervisors Huebner, Adams, Roen, Beard, Schlefstein present
  • Approval of Consent Agenda, Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board- Approved consent Approve of Regular

PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITY – School Superintendent Dr Merrell Grant spoke re: concerns about sightings of Mountain Lions around the Loyalton Schools, getting word out to supervise children walking to school. Supe Schlefstein said there is a mother and two cubs in Sierra Brooks area and appear to be hunting in packs. (unusual behavior for mountain lions). Dr. Grant thanked Tim Beals and Road Dept for dealing with road issues in a prompt matter.  

COMMITTEE REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – listen to the recording, 10 am October 24th Government Committee at the courthouse regarding courthouse hours.

DEPARTMENT MANAGERS’ REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – HH&S talked about upcoming audit, 480 Flu shots so far this year. 

Update by District Ranger on items that may affect the County of Sierra.



Discussion and direction regarding Sierra Brooks water system and exempt parcel list.




Memorandum of agreement by and between Sierra County and Western Sierra Medical Clinic, Inc. for services provided to drug court participants.


  1. WSMC MOA.pdf



Request for the Board of Supervisors to refer to a standing committee or a special committee, review and recommendation on continuation and completion of County General Plan update.




Consideration of request from Ranger Hayden of the North Yuba Ranger District for a planning grant application to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for the Trapper and Brandy Forest Restoration in the North and Middle Yuba Watersheds.


Resolution authorizing grant application to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to fund and provide full support to the Yuba Project under the Proposition 1 grants.


Authorization for Sierra County to assist the Yuba River Ranger District by serving as lead agency to complete the CEQA process for three meadow restoration projects.


Approval of State of California Standard Agreement with the State Department of Parks and Recreation for funding for the Over Snow Vehicle Program grooming, plowing, and maintenance services through September 30, 2020.


  1. OSV Grant.Item.pdf



Appointment of a board representative and alternate to the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Board of Directors for 2018. (CHAIR HUEBNER)




Closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (d)(4) – conference with legal counsel – initiation of litigation – 1 case.


Closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (d)(2) – conference with legal counsel – aniticipated litigation – 1 case.





Presentation by Mark Adams, owner of the California Receivership Group regarding the Loyalton Mobilehome Park.  They were appointed by the Court and will take over the mobile home park and will do initial work, census etc and then things will move very quickly to fix the situation. Should start cleanup next week and decide what exactly needs to be done including some relocation of inhabitants.


Presentation and discussion with regard to a proposed Timber Harvest Plan that is west of the community of Calpine.


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.

Resolution approving agreement between Sentinel Offenders Services, LLC and the Sierra County Probation Department to provide home alcohol testing services and equipment. (PROBATION)


Amendment to Sierra County Agreement 2016‐099 with Omni‐Means, LTD. increasing compensation due to expanded scope of work. (PUBLIC WORKS)


  1. Omni Means Item.pdf

Agreement for services by the Sierra County Chamber of Commerce for promotion of Sierra County during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)


Resolution designating the Sierra County Arts Council as the Local Arts Agency for 2018/2019. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)


Minutes from the regular meeting held on September 20, 2016. (CLERK-RECORDER)


Minutes from the regular meeting held on October 3, 2017. (CLERK-RECORDER)




Letter regarding ongoing maintenance issues at the Sierra Valley Senior Apartments.


Letter from Julianne Polanco, State Historic Preservation Officer notifying the Sierra County Board of Supervisors that as of September 28, 2017 the Sierraville School was placed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Foundation of Mystery 10/18/17

Mystery  –  by Winslow Myers

“The Second Amendment, as applied in the last 30 years or so, has become so perverted, twisted and misused that you have to see it now as the second original sin in the founding of this country, after slavery.”
—Timothy Egan

Winslow Myers

Trillions of galaxies each contain billions of stars. A unified field of gravitational waves, black holes, and dark matter ties the vast enterprise together. Out of this furnace of process churning through billions of years of evolutionary time our earth emerged, then biological life, then self-conscious human life. This universe we inhabit is shot through with utter mystery.

We are also mysteries to each other. For the moment at least, the motivation of Stephen Paddock’s massacre in Las Vegas remains as mysterious as the workings of a black hole. So mysteriously meaningless was the slaughter that we had no recourse but to find a crutch of ersatz meaningfulness in the many acts of selfless heroism among the victims and first responders, as we reel helplessly toward the next incident of mass murder that inevitably lies ahead.

The motivation of Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association, is almost as mysterious as Stephen Paddock’s. Is it money? He is paid very well indeed, approximately a million dollars a year. Is it willingness to shamelessly serve the interests of the companies that manufacture guns and ammunition?

To demonstrate the sacred-cowness of LaPierre’s vaunted Second Amendment, one need only point out that out of 200 countries on earth, only three (the U.S., along with Mexico and Guatemala) constitutionally enshrine the right to bear arms. The idea of the deterrence of tyranny by constitutionally protected caches of privately stored weapons distracts from what truly inoculates against the bacillus of tyranny: not weaponry but more active civic participation, in the context of all we share beyond our illusory differences.

The motivations of our political leaders are also shrouded in mystery, from our narcissistic president on down to Mitch McConnell and friends, proud of the enormous political power they wield, and yet placidly content to remain the weak and willing pawns of Mr. LaPierre.

In fact I find the nation of which I am a citizen to be more than a little mysterious. Who are we? We often mouth platitudes about the exceptional breadth of our freedom and prosperity, where in reality our exceptionalism seems to cluster around our unique level of bellicosity, our absurd tolerance for mass violence both domestic and international, and our willingness to countenance spending trillions for newer and better nuclear weapons when the far greater threat is human-caused climate change.

We have recently been presented with an elaborate 18-hour retrospective of the Vietnam War, outlining the historical ignorance, corruption and treachery of our leaders, the lies that resulted in years of unnecessary death on all sides, while we seem to have learned nothing from this historical experience that might apply to our present endless and futile wars.

There is a further mystery that provides one possible antidote to the mystery of all that our country refuses to admit about itself— the redemptive mystery of black spirituality. Whole peoples were forcibly brought across from Africa in chains to our young nation, which then built upon their backs our prosperous economy, a history which truncated the possibilities of African American citizens at every turn right to the present day. The mystery of the indiscriminate use of weaponry that is endemic to our culture is an all-too-terrible part of their story as well.

By all precedent blacks in America should have long since risen up in a paroxysm of destructive rage equal to Mr. Paddock’s, and of course at acute moments some have. But, in a mystery complementary to the mystery of violence, this tyrannized people as a whole have not taken refuge in nonsense like the sacredness of an amendment written long ago by people who could not imagine our nation awash in automatic weapons, but instead in healthier particulars of our constitution that enshrined black rights to full inclusivity and to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Of course for whites Martin Luther King Jr. is the most renowned representative of this black non-violent spirituality, but there are ranks upon ranks of others, dead and alive, whose spiritual depths, born of undeserved suffering (including the actual worst mass murders in American history), we Americans can draw upon as we gradually shape ourselves into a less violent culture.

The late Vincent Harding comes to mind, a gentle, loving moral giant who helped administer the freedom schools that initiated voter registration campaigns in the South. Harding also helped write Martin Luther King’s great 1967 speech at Riverside Church taking on our country for its intertwined addictions to racism, militarism and materialism.

Or the very much alive social activist Ruby Sales, whose vision of American life acknowledges race but reaches beyond it to a healing vision that includes all in our country who are hurting—the unemployed coal miner in West Virginia as well as the education-deprived black child living in a high-risk precinct of Baltimore. Perhaps her instinctive inclusivity comes from the fact that a white seminarian died blocking a bullet meant for her.

Or the eloquent polemicist Ta Nehisi-Coates, heir to James Baldwin, whose challenging essays and books demand that whites look in the mirror to find the ultimate source of deep structural and institutional violence and prejudice in our country.

These leaders and teachers point us in a direction in which we really do have the potential to become an exceptional nation, less fearful, therefore less armed to the teeth at home and abroad, less bellicose, therefore more willing to choose diplomacy and humanitarian initiatives over war, more understanding of the “other,” and therefore more willing to reach out and see even our worst enemies as having a humanity equal to our own.

In spite of all that science allows us to understand, we live, move and have our being in a context of mystery, and it isn’t going away any time soon. We can approach it in isolated fear, or in collegial wonder, gratitude, and humility—humility in the spirit of Job the prophet of old, to whose laments of undeserved pain a mysterious God replied “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”

Winslow Myers, syndicated by PeaceVoice, author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” serves on the Board of the War Prevention Initiative.

Calm Before…What? 10/18/17

The calm before the storm by Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler

Every time Donald Trump blurts or tweets a shocker — “maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” for instance — questions flood the media.

Is he serious? What did he mean? Yes, of course, but beyond these, larger questions hover half-asked, cutting into the soul of who we are. This is painful, but not necessarily a bad thing. For me, one question that keeps emerging is: What is the relationship between Trump and the military-political system he stepped into?

That is to say, is he furthering its covert agenda (creating the conditions for more war) or, contrarily, exposing it for what it is?

Or both?

Back in February, for instance, Trump the pugnacious 14-year-old told a Reuters reporter: “I am the first one that would like to see . . . nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power. It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”

America, America! It’s at the top of the pack, man. Trump puts what’s really going on into the language of the playground, delighting his base (a third of the country) and convulsing pretty much everyone else. Of course, what’s really going on is more than just bully blather. With Trump at the helm, the United States of America, the planet’s premier superpower, is putting the planet, in the words of Republican Sen. Bob Corker, “on the path to World War Three.”

We were on that path anyway, just with more dignity and decorum. And more ambivalence. As the U.S. prepared for war it also negotiated peace: in particular, the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which Trump wants to decertify. Most security experts have hailed the agreement as a remarkable achievement, halting Iran’s nuclear weapons development, curtailing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, easing tensions with the U.S. and helping establish an international framework for creating peace.

The foreign policy establishment remains wary of Iran and considers the agreement flawed, but nonetheless crucial. Which Iran, former CIA analyst Paul Pillar asked recently, is most likely to act with destabilizing aggressiveness?

“Is it an Iran,” he wrote, “that is being reintegrated into the community of nations, that sees material benefit from negotiating restrictions on itself and then scrupulously observing those restrictions, and sees the opportunity for gaining more respectability and influence as long as it plays by the international community’s rules? Or is it an Iran that is kept isolated and punished, sees any significant agreement that it does negotiate get destroyed or reneged upon by other parties, that is the target of unending confrontation and hostility, and that is treated forever as a pariah? The answer should be obvious.”

Creating peace is a complex process — and this, unfortunately, is not always obvious. The point Pillar and others are making in support of the 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is that trying to punish and dominate our enemies tends to create results that are the opposite of what we want, or claim to want.

The idea that enemies are permanent, which is how a segment of the U.S. foreign policy establishment regards Iran, hardens our national commitment to militarism. Listening to countries with whom we are at odds — working with them, finding power in solidarity with them rather than threatening to annihilate them — calls militarism into question.

We live with and build national policy around the compromise between these two ways of being in the world. Thus, even in an agreement as mutually beneficial as the JCPOA, the U.S. maintains a state of assumed dominance: Iran has to stop its nuclear weapons development. But the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the agreement’s other signatories, which include China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom, are not under discussion. The unspoken assumption, it seems, is that some nukes are necessary, and some countries must remain in possession of them.

All of which brings Trump’s “top of the nuclear pack” comment back into the conversation. Dominating the world, especially by possessing the most weapons of mass destruction, is by far the simplest way to understand power, and there are enormous interests in the U.S. that revere — and most importantly, benefit from — the domination outlook. Trump both promotes this agenda and exposes it to the world.

Indeed: “. . . recently we hear (an) alarming announcement by a nuclear-weapon state that it intends to continuously strengthen and expand its nuclear arsenal to ensure its place ‘at the top of the pack.’”

The words are those of Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, speaking at the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, who warned that the United States — which he referred to as “a certain nuclear-weapon state” — was not only modernizing its nuclear arsenal but developing low-yield, which means, my God, ‘usable’ nuclear weapons, and thus launching a new, global nuclear arms race.

This project, part of a trillion-dollar planned ‘upgrade’ of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, began during the Obama, not the Trump, administration.

But now the world has President Trump, commander-by-impulse and reckless reality-TV host with the power to launch war. He wants to decertify the Iran deal and declare it not to be in the country’s interests. Is he exposing the final phase of an international politics based on military dominance?

Here’s another question he forces us to ask: How is universal nuclear disarmament possible without a nuclear-armed, external force imposing it? This is not just a question to be pondered by the 122 nations that recently voted in favor of the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Those who boycotted the vote hold the answer.

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


Golf for Education 10/18/17


The 7th Annual Swinging for the Schools Golf Tournament, sponsored by The Sierra Schools Foundation, net more than $10,000 Oct. 7 at Plumas Pines Golf Resort in Graeagle for programs for Sierra County students.
SSF President Jenna Holland said, “We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for our golfers and everyone had a fantastic time.”
All proceeds will go toward grants for schools and teachers in the Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District for school-wide project and programs such as science and art field trips, the Loyalton and Downieville Learning Gardens, as well as needed educational equipment from computers, software, ceramics supplies and 3-D Printers for STEAM work. The SSF has now given over $200,000 for student programs in the district.
The following were male tournament winners: 1st, The Boblitt Foursome from Truckee; 2nd, The Jaquez Foursome from Reno; and 3rd, Guite Foursome from Petaluma. Female tournament winners were 1st, The Ryan Foursome from Loyalton and 2nd, The Brady Foursome from Reno.
The Fashionista Award this year was awarded to the Libby Ryan’s Foursome for their terrific costumes, and although the Walker Foursome came out strong, they just couldn’t top the ladies this year! The costumes add some extra fun to the event and we encourage all of the golfers to get in on it next year!”
The tournament is sponsored by PGA professional Robert and Ami (Morris) Garrigus (a 1997 Loyalton High graduate). Other major sponsors were West Orthodontics of Truckee and Plumas Pines Golf Resort.
Holland noted that “Sheri and Paul Roen sent a wonderful crew to help pull off another spectacular BBQ dinner that fed the hungry golfers and we are so grateful for their constant support for The Foundation and for all they do for our community in general.” We are also so thankful to our excellent auctioneer Michael Filippini for bringing his great style and fun-loving spirit to the tournament every year!

Grange Hall Dinner/Dance

Howdy, just a reminder….this Sat., Oct. 21st. is our last ‘3rd. Sat. dinner/dance’ of the year, and maybe out last one, period, unless we get a better turn-out. Thanks to all of you who have supported us over the years……
As usual, we need a head count for our dinner, which will be our world famous ‘BAKED POTATO DINNER”, $10, and $5 for the dance….dance lessons are free with paid admission.
The fun event is being held at the SIERRA VALLEY GRANGE HALL, in Vinton, Ca….we serve dinner, starting at 5:30-6:30
Please reply to this email:  by Thurs. morning, Oct. 19th. so we know how many potatoes to buy….or call: 530-993-1182…..thanks, annie

Debris from Wildfires 10/18/17

California Wildfires Create New Danger: Hazardous Debris

Statewide wildfires that scarred communities across Northern and Southern California now pose a new threat. As changing weather patterns and tireless work of more than 11,000 firefighters boost containment lines, communities devastated by the fires face potential health risks associated with the improper handling of fire debris.

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is warning returning residents against sweeping or sifting through ash or debris before cleanup by designated agencies begins. Exposure to ash, soot, and other hazardous material left in the wake of wildfires can cause serious and potentially deadly health problems.

The California Environmental Protection Agency notes that fire ash contains tiny particles of dust, dirt, and soot that can be inhaled if the ash becomes airborne. These particles could contain trace amounts of metals like lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic; asbestos from older homes or other buildings; perfluorochemicals (from degradation of non-stick cookware, for example); flame retardants; and caustic materials. In addition to irritating your skin, nose, and throat, substances like asbestos, nickel, arsenic, and cadmium have been known to cause cancer.

Here are some helpful tips, courtesy of CalRecycle, to reduce risks.

Avoid any activity that disturbs the debris or kicks ash and associated chemicals into the air.
Those working directly with wildfire debris are advised to wear gloves, long shirts and pants, and other clothing to help prevent skin-to-skin contact.
It’s best to change shoes and clothing once off-site to avoid contaminating other areas.
Masks certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are also recommended when exposure to wildfire dust or ash can’t be avoided.
CalEPA recommends NIOSH-certified air-purifying respirator masks, which can be found at most hardware stores. A mask rated N-95 is much more effective than simpler dust or surgical masks in blocking particles from ash. Although smaller sized masks may appear to fit a child’s face, none of the manufacturers recommend their use for children. If children are in an area that warrants wearing a mask, they should be moved to an environment with cleaner air.


Great California ShakeOut 10/18/17

Great California ShakeOut helps Californians prepare for the state’s next earthquake
California Earthquake Authority encourages participation in drill, other preparedness steps

(SACRAMENTO) In the past two months, Californians have seen news of one deadly natural disaster after another—five hurricanes in the Atlantic, two earthquakes in Mexico, multiple massive fires in California and the devastation these catastrophes can cause. Each has served as a powerful reminder to Californians that natural disasters happen, often without warning—and that we need to be prepared.

Earthquake risk is real in California. The California Geological Survey has mapped thousands of faults in California and considers more than 500 of them to be active and dangerous. And the latest Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast projects “multifault ruptures”—simultaneous ruptures of multiple faults, a phenomenon that releases more energy and can create more powerful shaking.

“California is earthquake country,” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). “We need to ask ourselves whether we’re prepared to survive and recover when the next damaging earthquake strikes—and if we aren’t, we need to take action now to change that.”

One way to prepare for California’s next earthquake is to participate in the Great California ShakeOut this Thursday, Oct. 19, at 10:19 a.m., and practice how to stay safer when the ground shakes. ShakeOut has become a global event and is now the world’s largest earthquake drill. It takes place the third Thursday of October each year in houses, schools, businesses and many public spaces. Last year, more than 10.6 million Californians participated, and more than 55 million people participated worldwide.

CEA, a sponsor of the drill, will participate at its office in Sacramento and will also have representatives at ShakeOut events in Los Angeles and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Taking the proper actions during an earthquake can save lives and reduce the risk of injury,” said Pomeroy. “ShakeOut is a perfect opportunity to practice—and to review other aspects of emergency plans and financial preparations to ensure you’re ready for the unexpected.”

Visit to register to participate in the Great California ShakeOut.

To learn more steps to earthquake safety, including how to strengthen your home and how to purchase earthquake insurance, visit CEA’s website at

High School Seniors 10/18/17

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Encourages High School Seniors to Join the “Race to Submit” for College Financial Aid

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today encouraged all California high school seniors to fill out applications for college financial aid and also to join the “Race to Submit,” which aims to increase the number of students applying for college financial aid.
The California Student Aid Commission oversees the competition, which urges high school seniors and their families to fill out the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
“As a longtime runner, coach and high school teacher, I know an important race when I see one,” Torlakson said. “Filling out these financial aid applications is the first step towards college success and helps students qualify for federal, state, and campus-based financial aid.”
“The Race to Submit Campaign is a friendly competition to help more graduating high school seniors access the more than $6 billion in free financial aid available in California,” said Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).
The Race to Submit encourages all California high schools and school districts to view and track their FAFSA and CADAA numbers online. A Web-based dashboard tool helps measure the number of submitted and completed applications. The applications are also required for students who apply for Cal Grants, California’s financial aid program for higher education.
Until the Cal Grant deadline of March 2, 2018, each high school, district, and county can use the Race to Submit dashboard on the California Student Aid Commission Web site to view the number of submitted and completed FAFSA and CADAA applications, along with how many Cal Grants have been awarded at a high school, school district, and county. Results are updated weekly.
This friendly competition between California public high schools will show who can submit the most applications, based on school size.
CSAC will recognize the top five schools at different levels. In late spring of 2018, awards will be presented to the top schools that made significant strides in FAFSA and CADAA completion.

Weekly Warrior by Eliane Campbell 10/18/17

Welcome back readers to another exciting week at Downieville School! Seems time has flown by; it’s almost the end of the quarter and time to break out the winter clothes.
On September 27, a band completely bicycle powered came to the school to show us how the music production works. It was very interesting and Conner White got to ride on their elevator bike. On October 6, the Downieville Fire Department brought the smoke house up to the school. The whole Elementary learned how to safely exit a house filled with smoke. A big thank you to the Fire Department for giving the kids that experience and knowledge. Wild Things came on October 13. Everyone enjoyed getting to see the very beautiful wild animals and we can’t wait to see them again.
On October 10, our senior class went on tour of UNR and TMCC with Loyalton students and Mrs. Fillo. They were introduced to the amazing library at UNR and had the opportunity to do research for their Senior Projects. Many thanks to Amanda Osburn at LHS for inviting the DHS seniors. The PSAT was on October 11. Most of the 8th , 9th, and 10th grade students took it, myselsf included. Although it’s hard, it’s very good test practice.
The 7/8 grade car wash on October 7 was very fun and successful. They were surprised at the turnout and want to thank everyone who supported them. The German bake sale at the Oktoberfest this last Saturday also went very well for the 9/10th class with help from the culinary class. They sold out of the baked goods early, thanks to the support of the community.
Mrs. Bosworth’s K-2 class has been doing so many fun new things.They learned about Columbus Day and made tangram boats. They are also learning about their 5 senses and observation skills in science.
Ms. Maire’s 3-6 class has been very busy this week learning about various different subjects. They have been learning about the Old West. The class is making power points on everyday life in the Wild West. On October 13, they went to the Goodyears Bar Museum, getting to learn some local history. The students are also making cell cupcakes, a fun and delicious way of learning about cells. They are memorizing the states and capitals too! The 3-6 class has also started their rehearsals for the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We can’t wait to see this awesome performance during Holiday on Main, first Saturday in December.
In Mr. Boli’s 11/12 U.S. History class they are doing research papers on the causes and increase of mass shootings. His 9/10 World History class is learning about the Middle Ages and the 7/8 U.S. History class is learning about the American Revolution. The 9th grade Future Focus class is doing a future budget to start us off in the right track.
Mrs. Bolle’s Tech Class had guest speaker Carl Butz come in and teach the students how to do spreadsheets. On Wednesday October 18, the 9/10 class are going to our local Caltrans yard to learn about work opportunities and learn about the community infrastructure maintenance with Shelly Pangman (DHS graduate) and Steve Folsom.
This past Friday one of our very own went to Colorado to finish her high school career; we will miss Makalia Rollins and wish her the best of luck.
Now for some announcements. Our school is becoming more secure. The staff and administration has decided to keep most of the doors locked during school hours starting Monday, October 16. Parent/ Guardians must come through unlocked door closest to the office. Hopefully you understand it’s for your child’s safety. If you have any questions please call, 530-289-3473.
On Friday and Saturday October 20th and 21st, the drama club, the Sierra Turnpike Players and the Sierra County Arts Council are putting on a play. The Café Murder will be at the school cafeteria at 7pm, $10 for adults and $7 for students/seniors. You can get tickets at the Downieville Day Spa OR at the door. Hope you can make it to see this wonderful murder mystery with desserts.
Friday, October 27 is our annual Halloween Carnival starting at 6pm in the school gym. It is also the end of the quarter, so if you have any late homework you better turn it in. That’s all for this week. Stay safe and have a wonderful October.

Fletcher Creek Water Rights 10/18/17

Subject: Fletcher Creek Group Water Rights

The situation is one that requires your attention!
The Sierra County Waterworks #1, Calpine has made a decision that will affect the adjudicated water rights of the balance of the Fletcher Creek rights holders.
Without contacting all the rights holders they have decided to give an unknown quantity of water (possibly as much as 20,000 gallons a day) to the Copren Five logging concern for as long as Five Years – to control logging road dust west of Calpine.
Calpine Waterworks District has a good quantity of 1st and 2nd Priority adjudicated rights to the Fletcher Creek flow, but other property holders also have 1st and 2nd rights, while others hold 2nd and 3rd, and even Surplus rights.
It is my understanding that the district has no right to act so that any other adjudicated user looses any part of their rights…
Previously, (since Fletcher Creek Reservoir was discontinued as Calpine’s water supply) the only use of District water has been by the local Fire District, The U. S. Forest Service, and possibly CalFire for fire suppression and training.
I understand that “Adjudicated Water Rights” may not be transferred or sold without Water Resources Board or Court approval.
Please intervene in this improper action by the Sierra County Waterworks District #1!
Most Sincerely,
Russell Rosewood
Member of The Board Sierra County Waterworks District #1 Calpine

Be Encouraged! by Angela M. Collier 10/18/17

Run from the banjo if you must, I’ll stay and listen. Bluegrass music warms my heart like a large plate of biscuits and gravy, french press coffee and a bagel covered in nutella. The drive up to Sierra City’s 18th Annual Oktoberfest was splendid as my eldest Randi Lynn and I belted out Guitars, Whiskey, Guns & Knives and the Ghosts of Mississippi by The SteelDrivers. Their bluegrass album Reckless (2010), features Chris Stapelton’s amazing vocals.

I also get the “warm and fuzzies” whenever I leave Auburn and Grass Valley and approach the Nevada City exits. When a certain tree line pops into view, it’s a welcome sight. The nauseating chaos of larger populations will soon be in my rear view mirror as I head up the mountains to get home. Passing the “Entering Tahoe National Forest” sign yields a deep sigh of relief. It’s customary in our car to yell out a sincere THANK YOU JESUS (in Southern accent) when we cross the Sierra County line.

Certain elements in life bring comfort, where our soul finds rest even if just for a few moments. Church is a great example. Trekking up and down the mountain an hour away to worship is not for everyone, but we need it. Ultimately we decided on a church that was best for all members of our family. Mr. Collier said, “Many churches want to put restrictions on folks that Jesus never intended.” Agreed! Ash trays outside a church facility indicate a desire for REAL people to come and worship God.

Though I quit cigarettes in 2010, we are cigar aficionados. Sitting in our back yard under the starry sky, we have zero feelings of condemnation about enjoying God’s gift of tobacco (Drew Estate’s coffee infused cigar…oh yeah) paired with the right drink and occasional large Downieville bear standing nearby grunting while we puff. It would be exciting if Will Clark would expand 49 Wines into a cigar bar, my idea has been pitched.

A stuffy and legalistic church that shames what is not sinful will never do. Course, I’d never want to be a stumbling block in the way of one fighting an addiction, so those visiting our home in AA, I’ll hide my alcohol to make it easier, and I’ll bring it all back out as soon as their happy rear walks out the door.

God left a handful of choices for each of us to decide on our own, not to be mastered by, but to enjoy. Interesting how what is good is often demonized and what is truly evil is applauded and praised. Avoid churches that have steered from what the Bible actually says is wrong (sin) due to cultural pressures. Society is comfortable in trampling on grace instead of honoring the Lord. Everyone loves the party going Jesus who ate and drank, healed the sick and the blind. But there is more to Him than that.

You’ll know you found the right church, not because you are entertained, not because of size, nor because the preacher speaks only what you want to hear (avoid) or only preaches fire, hell and damnation (avoid), but because it is filled with Jesus and is focused on who He is and matches what the Bible states in proper balance. The more time I spend with the Lord at His house or mine, it helps my language battle. I prefer not to hear my four year old yelling “Dammit” at the top of his lungs in Sunday School. Nope, you don’t have to attend church to be a Christian. It doesn’t get you into heaven either way. Contributing to the collection plate, being “good” or completing some other “churchy” checklist also will not secure salvation. We cannot earn or buy our way to heaven.

Simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God, died and rose again for our sins- is what grants us eternal life. Too easy for some to accept, but that’s the truth. In the right church, you will WANT to worship God. If you are dragging your feet to get there, reassess. You will be encouraged and have the opportunity to encourage others. Afterwards, go out for biscuits and gravy! Yes, I love to eat. Not ashamed. (Coyoteville makes great biscuits and gravy AND I have recently enjoyed a very large plate of chili cheese fries…not to be eaten together). We attend Veritas church in Grass Valley. Contact info You’re invited! God is good! Always!

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