Wednesday July 17, 2019


Ready Player One At the Yuba Theatre July 19, 2019 Show time is Friday – July 19, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.  Suggested donation $7.00

Crossing49, a great band from neighboring Nevada County, will entertain at the Downieville Brewfest from 2 to 6 PM with classic rock, blues and a little country. Check out their website and listen to their tunes!  For more information: 916-517-0585 or                                                             

Check out the Downieville Calendar of Events on the Sierra County Chamber website:

Usually on Wednesday I write about events in the national news and politics because I like to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. As it seems the habitable areas of our planet are shrinking daily. Our human population is growing while the planet livable survivable space is retreating. Sadly there is a division among us humans as to which humans are worthy of life… and the deciding criteria is unbelievably narrow and white for a subsection of vocal, hate fueled members of humankind. It’s hard to take. It’s difficult when the biggest bully on the block occupies the Oval Office. So the way that guy has performed in the past week is horrible and so disheartening. How did our democracy get to a place where one man could be so destructive and create such an atmosphere of fear in the citizens of the United States and the world for that matter. Something went wrong and the Panic Buttons aren’t working. Our only hope is to get through the 2020 elections and set things right before he gets us into a war with anyone and everyone. He is an evil man. Maybe he’s just crazy and not evil…the odds of him being both evil and crazy are fairly high and that doesn’t bode well for anyone.

So we have local news and events, Columnists David Leonhardt from NY Times, Sheriff’s Blotter, Mountain Messenger, CC’s Postscripts, On the Shelf, FireHouse News,  Nick Anderson, Lawrence Winter, Wim Laven

The photo this week was taken by Paul Guffin (who makes excellent Vegan Pasta Salad)  on Pearl St,the  proof beauty can be anywhere you look, so lift your head up and look around stop staring at the sidewalk while walking through town, beauty is everywhere in spite of tRump.

CA State Fair News 7/17/19


Sierra County’s CA State Fair Booth wins again… no slackers we.. Deep thanks and gratitude to Bryan & Mary Davey, Mary Ervin, Docia and Greg Bostrom, Jesse & MikeBruce & Collisa and other unidentified Sierra County Volunteers. Sierra County was won Ribbons for “Best Visitor Experience” – “Best Builder Collaboration” and First Place in Non Pro, Community Build Division.

The CA State Fair opened on July 12th and runs untiluntil July 28th

Photo’s above by Mary Davey Photos below by Mike Galan

Mountain Messenger ( News) 7/17/19


Yeh, there’s big news at the Mountain Messenger and Milly’s not happy about it. I can’t tell you what it is because either I’m sworn to secrecy or I just don’t know. I have my suspicious and I think it might have something to do with Milly and Jill and their constant competition for The Don’s favor.  I asked The Don directly for a direct answer. He replied, “what the heck are you babbling about now?” He didn’t exactly say it that way, but if I reported what he said, I would have to redact it, so it’s just easier to make up a brand new sentence. I have to do that sometimes. Anyhow Miss Jill is a whole other issue, when I tried ti talk to her she looked up and said, “are you looking at me…. well are you?” Her tone of voice made me realize I should just quietly back away while looking at the floor…which I did and just went to the postoffice to see if I could overhear anyone saying anything about anything…no luck there… so go to the State Fair… Sierra County’s booth is spectacular. I’ll try to talk to Milly next week.

Send anything you need published to Miss Jill, ROTP (not Milly) at

Mountain Messenger Editor Don Russell, once again, sits dejectedly on the courthouse porch wondering once again what’s it all about and why does everyone really like him in spite of everything… or call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to The Don. For a subscription: send money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to The Don Russell at and tell him you subscribed because the begged you to….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr – $60 2yrs

Artists at Work 7/17/19


Dave & Carol Marshall spotted these artists from San Francisco State, Sierra Nevada Field Campus art class at Big Springs above Sierra City.

San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of the biological diversity, geosciences, hydrology, astronomy, plein air art and written word in the Gold Lakes Basin and Sierra Valley regions of the Sierra Nevada through education and research. Classes are available to the general public from early June into August.  Students enjoy rustic accomodations and tasty meals.

SNFC is set at 5500′, near the spectacular Sierra Buttes and Lakes Basin, a short drive from Sierra Valley.  The North Yuba River flows through the campus, treating visitors to glimpses of river otters, American Dippers and a myriad of other local inhabitants.

On the Shelf by Paul 7/17/19


Issue 2019 – 11
Reminder: Summer Reading Programs
The Downieville and Sierra City Libraries are co-operating this summer in two reading programs for young people. The Two Rivers Reading Club offers rewards for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (as of last school year) children. And, through the High School reading program, Downieville High School English teacher is offering extra credit next fall for any junior high and high school student who participates. Interested people should drop by one of the libraries for more information.

Who and Where We Are
The two libraries are actually stations of the Plumas County Library (along with the libraries in Alleghany and Loyalton). The Sierra City Library, located at 317 Main Street, is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Mary Wright is the station manager, and is aided by several volunteers: Fran Burgard; Mary Davey; Mary Ervin; Louise Huebner; Anne Hutchison; Sheryl Lahann; Gayle McCaully; Peggy McDermott; Irmke Schoble; and, Bill Sparicino. The Downieville Library, located at 318 Commercial Street, is open on Tuesdays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and Thursdays, 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM. Peggy Daigle is the station manager, and is aided by volunteer, Paul Guffin.

DVDs New on the Shelf (Second part of the list, begun in the previous column)
“Men in Black” and “Men in Black II”
“Michael Franti and Spearhead Live at New Folsom Prison”
“Mulholland Dr.”
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”
“A Race for the Soul”
“Requiem for a Dream”
“The River Runner’s Edge”
“Running on the Sun”
“Seinfeld: Seasons 1 & 2” and “Seinfeld: Season 7”
“The Simpsons : Season 9”
“The Squid and the Whale”
“Stranger than Fiction”
“Their Shots Quit Coming”
“Vanilla Sky”

New Audio Books on the Shelf (All on CD)
Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop
Say Goodbye, by Lisa Gardner (mystery)
And When She Was Good, by Laura Lippman
Winter’s Child, by Margaret Maron (mystery)
Beyond the Highland Mist, by Karen Marie Moning
The Audacity to Win, by David Plouffe (non-fiction)

Donations to the Downieville Library
We always appreciate the donation of books, audio books, and videos to the library. However, we are not equipped to handle magazines and, therefore, request that these not be donated. Here’s what happens with donated items: if we don’t already have them, Peggy makes the decision as to whether we will add them to our collection; if we don’t keep them, they are added to the sales cart at the Yuba Gallery on Main Street, as a means of raising funds for adding other books to our collection. Either way, donations definitely contribute to the library.

Home Grown Talent 7/17/19


On the 4th of July weekend the HGT Show at the Yuba Theatre was great and here are a few of the performers. Photo’s by Paul Guffin

Defend & Unite 7/17/19

The immoral silence to the destructive xenophobia of “Just Leave” by Wim Laven

Wim Laven

Donald Trump tweets “why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” and doubles-down by then accusing four sitting members of Congress of hating America (referring to Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NY; Ilhan Omar, MN; Rashida Tlaib, MI; and Ayanna S. Pressley, MA). Only one of the four, Omar, was born outside the US, and was a refugee fleeing war in Somalia.

“Just leave” is a dog-whistle for white nationalism. Research shows that supporters and opponents of Donald Trump respond differently to racial cues. Simply put: Trump intentionally and incessantly works to make white people angry at minorities, his divisiveness is working. Hate crimes in the U.S. are up, especially in pro-Trump areas and places where he held rallies. His divisive rhetoric was a motivating force for mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand and other hate crimes here and abroad, as cited by the attackers themselves in most cases. A bigoted bully his entire career, openly and unapologetically racist for decades, it is dishonest to pretend there is a debate; then there is the dishonesty of silence.

The breadth of silence of silence from the Republican party (and his rise in Republican voter support shown in subsequent polls) showcases the tacit support of the insinuation that people of color are foreigners. Either Trump speaks for American conservatives or their cowardice is too great to mount any opposition. Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy stands by Trump’s side and nods approvingly with Trump’s messages that minorities are a threat to American safety, values, and people of color do not belong. Majority Senate leader Mitch McConnell, a descendant of slave owners (census records show two of his great-great-grandfathers owned more than a dozen slaves) pretends to be the statesman and tells everyone to calm down, as if Trump should be permitted to engage in all the cruelty and bullying that suits him.

Since the 1780’s the great American Melting-Pot has been an important metaphor. It was used to articulate the blending of different cultures, ethnicities, and nationalities into a single American identity. The logical extension of a true support for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness combined with the acknowledgement of “created equal” that is perhaps best expressed E pluribus Unum—out of many, one—our national motto.

These time-honored values are not defended by those who truly need to model them, as history shows. In Rwanda, leading to the 1994 genocide, the Hutus failed to defend Tutsis when bigoted leadership called them “cockroaches.” German non-Jews failed to stand up to Hitler as he ramped up in the early 1930s with actions not dissimilar to Trump right now. This is comparable to McCarthy and McConnell failing to correct Trump’s anti-brown bigotry.

It is not easy to push back against bigotry. In McCarthy’s Bakersfield, CA, where I’m from, I remember the lesson well. In high school in the 90’s “just joking” racism bought me acceptance, and speaking out against pejorative slurs earned me the recognition of “race traitor.” I can tell you every time I spoke out it made a difference, and I slept at night. Even if you didn’t speak out about the “very fine people” neo-Nazis in Charlottesville (Trump’s approving words), you can say something about the concentration camps at the Mexican border; you can defend the Americans being told to leave, we need to be united on this.

Wim Laven, Ph.D., syndicated by PeaceVoice, teaches courses in political science and conflict resolution. 

Sheriff’s Public Log 7/17/19

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log

ACT-Active ARR-Arrest Completed 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

19-00975 7/8/2019 0025. ARR SCSO Truckee An adult male arrested                      19-00976 7/8/2019 0237  TRA LOAM Loyalton Request for an ambulance.                19-00977 7/8/2019 1419  TRA CHP Hwy 49 MPM 28.62Motorcycleaccident.       19-00978 7/8/2019 1538  TRA  LOAM Loyalton Request for an ambulance.          19-00979 7/8/2019 2007  TRA LOAM Loyalton Request for an ambulance.

19-00980 7/9/20 0724 TRA LOAM Loyalton Request for an ambulance.                19-00981 7/9/20 0923 CNC SCSO Downieville Civil dispute mining claim                  19-00982 7/9/19 1036  UTL SCSO  Downieville Illegal Camper                               19-00983 7/9/19 1223 ACT SCSO Goodyears Bar Theft of property                      19-00984 7/9/19   1319 CNC SCSO Downieville Found property                            19-00985 7/9/19 2019  UTL SCSO  Sierra Brooks Woman standing in roadway        19-00986 7/9/19 2100  RPT SCSO Goodyear’s Bar Vehicle on Hwy 49

19-00987 7/10/19 0925 RPT SCSO Ramshorn Transfer Stn Report of trespassing 19-00988 7/10/19 1216 RPT SCSO., Loyalton Report of suicidal threats.              19-00989 7/10/19 1412 RPT SCSO   Loyalton Report of elder abuse.                   19-00990 7/10/19 1853 CNC SCSO Verdi area Stranded motorist                         19-00991 7/10/19 1911 CIT SCSO  Adult male cited and released for multiple out of county warrants.

19-00992 7/11/19 0901 RPT SCSO Loyalton Investigation                                        19-00993 7/11/19 1141 TRA  CHP Hwy 49 NB  Report of a reckless driver.                     19-00994 7/11/19 1423 CNC SCSO Granite Ave., Loyalton A parking problem.                19-00995 7/11/19 1547 TRA  SCFD Loganville Area Report of a wildfire                19-00996 7/11/19 1722 TRA WSCO Dog Valley & Sunrise, Verdi Report of a fire.

19-00997 7/12/19 1155 RPT SCSO  Chilcoat Reports of threats being made.       19-00998 7/12/19 1506 CNC SCSO Loyalton Welfare check                                 19-00999 7/12/19 1721 CNC SCSO Courthouse, Downieville FoundProperty                  19-01000 7/12/19 2024 ACT SCSO  Downieville Investigation                                 19-01001 7/12/19 2245 TRA Hwy 49 & Depot Hill Non-injury traffic accident         19-01002 7/12/19 1005 TRA Hwy 49 NB  Multiple motorcycles speeding.              19-01003 7/12/19 1013 TRA LOAM Sierraville Request for an ambulance             19-01004 7/12/19 1028 RPT SCSO Sierraville Report of a theft.

19-01005 7/13/19 1202 CNC SCSO Haskell Creek Sierra City 911 hangup            19-01006 7/13/19 1619 CNC SCSO Packer Saddle, Report of overdue hikers.      19-01007 7/13/19 1634 CNC SCSOJackson Meadows Request deputy assistance. 19-01008 7/13/19 2204 ACT  SCSO Sierra County Active case                             19-01009 7/13/19 2207 CIT  SCSO Hwy 49  no CDL and out of county warrant.

19-01010 7/14/19 1036 ACT SCSO Lower Ramshorn  of 3 unattended campfires. 19-01011 7/14/19 1257 CNC SCSO Report of a female locked in a trailer.            19-01012 7/14/19 1612 CNC SCSO Loyalton Illegal vehicles on the roadway.       19-01013 7/14/19 1841 CNC SCSO Hwy49 MPM40 Suspicious circumstances   19-01014 7/14/19 1940 CNC SCSO Loyalton Report of someone breaking in.      19-01015 7/14/19 2021 CNC SCSO  Loyalton Accidental 911 call.                        19-01016 7/14/19 2129 CNC SCSO  Loyalton Report of suspicious circumstances.

FireHouse News 7/17/19


ALLEGHANY: July 8th Firefighter training. July 10th Board of Commissioner’s meeting.
CALPINE: July 11th Responded for a vegetation fire, in Sierra City.* Mutual aid response to Verdi, for a wildfire. July 13th Responded for an injured female, who was transported to the hospital.
DOWNIEVILLE: July 8th EMT Continuing education. July 9th Responded for a transport,from WSMC, an ill male was air lifted to the hospital in Reno. July 11th Responded for a public assist, for a female who fell. * Mutual aid response to Sierra City for a vegetation fire. July 13th Responded for an injured female, who was transported to SNMH.
LOYALTON: July 8th Ambulance assist for a person with injured ribs. * Ambulance assisted a person with severe abdominal pain. July 9th Ambulance assisted a person in Sierra Brooks, who hit their head & suffered a seizure.
PIKE CITY: July 8th Firefighters trained on vehicle maintenance & SCBA maintenance. July 12th Responded for a smoke check.
SATTLEY: July 11th Responded for a vegetation fire, in Sierra City.* Mutual aid response to Verdi, for a wildfire. July 13th Responded for an injured female, who was transported to the hospital.
SIERRA CITY: July 11th Responded for a vegetation fire. July 12th Responded for a downed power line.
SIERRAVILLE: July 11th  Responded for a vegetation fire,in Sierra City. * Mutual aid response to Verdi, for a wildfire. July 13th Responded for an injured female who was transported to the hospital.

CC’s Postscript 7/17/19

The Postscript by Carrie Classon   “Summer Birthdays”

It was my birthday this week.

Those of you with summer birthdays know it’s a little different. In the middle of March, everyone says, “Wow! A birthday party!” You bring treats to school and everyone is happy for an excuse to celebrate.  

It’s different for the summer kids. Everyone is already busy with vacations and visitors and then, somewhere in the middle of all that, someone says, “Oh! It’s Carrie’s birthday, isn’t it?” 

My birthday was particularly unreliable because it fell when the plant where my father worked as an engineer shut down and he always took that time off. We loaded up our Studebaker or Hornet or Volvo and headed off to California or Wyoming or Canada, to visit aunts and uncles or go camping or, one memorable trip, go backpacking. 

We’d drive for what I seem to remember were endless days, my sister and me in the backseat, my mom and dad and dog in the front. This seating arrangement held until my mom poured coffee and our dog, Boots, remembering the one-and-only time mom had spilled hot coffee on her, frantically jumped into the back seat until the lid was safely back on the thermos. This caused my mother fresh guilt every time she had a cup of coffee for every vacation for as long as Boots lived. Boots lived a long time.    

Somewhere near the middle of our vacation, usually just after we’d reached our destination, my birthday would arrive. One year we were in Canada and my mother’s sister made a cake with coins wrapped in tinfoil baked inside. This was terrifically exciting. Another year, in California, I had a watermelon cake which I remember as something really special although, as I think back on it, I’m pretty sure my “watermelon cake” was simply a half watermelon with candles stuck into it. (This free tip provided for busy parents of young children.)

But the most memorable year was when we went backpacking. I was turning thirteen, which meant my sister was only eight and we hiked over the mountains carrying everything we needed for a week. My sister had an enormous pack filled with the huge sleeping bags of the era. It didn’t weigh much, but it made it appear as if there was some pretty serious child endangerment occurring. There is a photo of her lying by the side of the path in which it looks as if she might never rise again. 

Then, right in the middle of it, my birthday arrived. 

In theory, chocolate pudding should solidify without refrigeration. But my Birthday Pudding remained liquid. My mother says she honestly forgot the candles but, seriously, with the weight she was carrying, deciding to haul one less box of candles would have been perfectly justified. The waterproof wooden matches were lit and set in the middle of the pudding where they immediately sank and sizzled out. It was, without a doubt, my best birthday ever. 

Earlier that day I stepped between two rocks where there was still snow—in July! The snow was much deeper than I thought, and I laughed out loud as, for a moment, I was stuck in a snowdrift on my birthday. That night we camped by a stream and I listened to the water run until I fell asleep. 

I’ve had some amazing birthdays since then, but I’ll never forget watching thirteen matches descend into chocolate pudding as my mom and dad and sister sang:

Happy Birthday, to you!  Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday, dear Carrie. Happy Birthday to you!  And it was. 

Till next time Carrie 

Carrie Classon’s memoir, “Blue Yarn: A Memoir About Loss, Letting Go, & What Happens Next,” was just released. Learn more at  

Ridiculous Billionaires 7/17/19

Billionaires and American politics – by Lawrence Wittner

Is the United States becoming a plutocracy?

Lawrence Wittner

With the manifestly unqualified but immensely rich Donald Trump serving as the nation’s first billionaire president, it’s not hard to draw that conclusion.  And there are numerous other signs, as well, that great wealth has become a central factor in American politics.

Although big money has always played an important role in U.S. political campaigns, its influence has been growing over the past decade.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, by 2014 the share of political donations by the wealthiest 0.01 percent of Americans had increased to 29 percent (from 21 percent four years before), while the top 100 individual donors accounted for 39 percent of the nation’s super PAC contributions.

With the 2016 presidential primaries looming, would-be Republican nominees flocked to Las Vegas to court billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, who had donated well over $100 million to Republican groups during the 2012 election cycle.  Although even Adelson’s money couldn’t save them from succumbing to vicious attacks by Trump, Adelson quickly forged a close alliance with the billionaire president. In 2018, he became the top political moneyman in the nation, supplying Republicans with a record $113 million.

In fact, with Adelson and other billionaires bringing U.S. campaign spending to $5.2 billion in that year’s midterm elections, the big-ticket players grew increasingly dominant in American politics.  “We like to think of our democracy as being one person, one vote,” noted a top official at the Brennan Center for Justice.  “But just being rich and being able to write million-dollar checks gets you influence over elected officials that’s far greater than the average person.”

This influence has been facilitated, in recent years, by the rise of enormous fortunes. According to Forbes―a publication that pays adoring attention to people of great wealth―by March 2019 the United States had a record 607 billionaires, including 14 of the 20 wealthiest people in the world.  In the fall of 2017, the Institute for Policy Studies estimated that the three richest among them (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett) possessed more wealth ($248.5 billion) than half the American population combined.

After this dramatic example of economic inequality surfaced in June 2019, during the second Democratic debate, the fact-checkers at the New York Times reported that the wealth gap “has likely increased.” That certainly appears to be the case. According to Forbes, these three individuals now possess $350.5 billion in wealth―a $102 billion (41 percent) increase in less than two years.

The same pattern characterizes the wealth of families.  As Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies recently revealed, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries (their fossil fuel empire), the Mars candy family, and the Waltons of Walmart now possess a combined fortune of $348.7 billion―an increase in their wealth, since 1982, of nearly 6,000 percent.  During the same period, the median household wealth in the United States declined by 3 percent.

Not surprisingly, when billionaires have deployed their vast new wealth in American politics, it has usually been to serve their own interests.

Many, indeed, have been nakedly self-interested, sparing no expense to transform the Republican Party into a consistent servant of the wealthy and to turn the nation sharply rightward.  The Koch brothers and their affluent network poured hundreds of millions (and perhaps billions) of dollars into organizations and election campaigns promoting tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of corporations, climate change denial, the scrapping of Medicare and Social Security, and the undercutting of labor unions, while assailing proposals for accessible healthcare and other social services.  And they have had substantial success.

Similarly, billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, spent $49 million on rightwing political ventures in 2016, including funding Steve Bannon, Breitbart News, and Cambridge Analytica (the data firm that improperly harvested data on Facebook users to help Trump’s campaign).  After Trump’s victory, Robert stayed carefully out of sight, sailing the world on his luxurious, high-tech super yacht or hidden on his Long Island estate.  But Rebekah worked on the Trump transition team and formed an outside group, Making America Great, to mobilize public support for the new president’s policies.

The story of the Walton family, the nation’s wealthiest, is more complex.  For years, while it fiercely opposed union organizing drives and wage raises for its poorly-paid workers, it routinely channeled most of its millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Republicans.  In the 2016 elections, it took a more balanced approach, but that might have occurred because Hillary Clinton, a former Walmart director and defender of that company’s monopolistic and labor practices, was the Democratic standard-bearer.

Although some billionaires do contribute to Democrats, they gravitate toward the “moderate” types rather than toward those with a more progressive agenda.  In January 2019, an article in Politico reported that a panic had broken out on Wall Street over the possibility that the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee might go to someone on the party’s leftwing.  “It can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders,” insisted the CEO of a giant bank.  More recently, billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman made the same point, publicly assailing the two Democrats for their calls to raise taxes on the wealthy. “Taxes are high enough,” he declared. “We have the best economy in the world. Capitalism works.”

The political preferences of the super-wealthy were also apparent in early 2019, when Howard Schultz, the multibillionaire former CEO of Starbucks, declared that, if the Democrats nominated a progressive candidate, he would consider a third party race.  After Schultz denounced Warren’s tax plan as “ridiculous,” Warren responded that “what’s `ridiculous’ is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves.”

Can they buy it? The 2020 election might give us an answer to that question.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb(Stanford University Press).

Page 1 of 568
1 2 3 568