Wednesday March 20, 2019

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Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Rick Simi. He was a stalwart of our community and will be missed.

FUNDRAISER for Downieville School 6th graders’s field trip to the NatureBridge Marin Headlands Institute:  Mystery at Throckmorton Manor5:30 PM, March 22nd at Yuba Theatre! 

Sardine Lake Resort is hiring responsible students for lodge/restaurant positions & housekeeping. Contact them at 862-1462.

The Buckhorn Bar and Mountain Creek Restaurant are looking for a Cook, Bartender, Dishwasher and Wait staff for the 2019 season. The Buttes Resort is also accepting applications for housekeeping staff. If you are interested, forward your application to jim@buttesresort.com or call 530-862-1170

District Attorney Groven released a statement disagreeing with Governor Newsome’s getting rid of the Death Penalty. This stand is disappointing to me as the death penalty is not necessary when we have contained the threat. It reduces us to the same level as the original killers. The death penalty is a civilized response. Thursday– Or is it, that last sentence was  left in deliberately, I left out the “not” before civilized but then decided to leave it because we are a civilized society and some think it civilized compared to murder by mayhem … I wondered if anyone would question it.. well they did, I received phone calls, emails and text suggesting I had made a mistake which demonstrated I am not alone… the death penalty is not a civilized response.  Most of all we know there have been innocent people put to death and the justice system is not so just when it comes to who can afford an attorney focused on their case or having to use an overworked underpaid public defender attorney. I applaud Governor Newsome for his civilized action.

Lots of local news and events this week along with Board of Supervisors, FireHouse News, Carrie’s Corner, and CC’s Postscript.  Be sure to read Rev. Jesse Jackson’s column, a reminder to stay alert, Matthew Johnson writes about the rich and their abuse of meritocracy, I think his anger is a little misplaced and the educational system is what needs repair, the current scandal was caused by a few wealthy people thinking it is okay to thwart the law and they were caught and will be punished through our fractured Justice system. In our country education for all should and can be priority regardless of ability to pay. Dr. Hakim gives a reality check as to what is happening in Afghanistan which reminds us of how important it is to protect our democratic Republic from the efforts an autocracy leader.  autocracy 1. Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism.  republic  1. A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president2. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.  democracy 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. We must not, nor let the POTUS, forget this.

The photo this issue was taken by  Mary Jungi watching the Sandhill  Cranes return to the Sierra Valley. Spring is here, a few more days/weeks of rain and snow showers and then the rafters will arrive.

Mountain Messenger (bear champion)

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Wow, it is not very difficult to write about something new this week. The Don is different, it isn’t readily apparent but if you look closely you can see he is thinking about the Grizzly Bears returning to California, I think it might have something to do with the Loyalton School, the LHS Grizzlies, the football team or is it basketball… anyhow The Don is serious about mascots being real and so with the Grizzlies return to California the team will be based in reality. Some people aren’t happy about the return but I was told (in the postoffice) they are the ones scared of clowns. I’m not sure why that is relevant but it must mean something to be said in the postoffice.  But in case you didn’t know it Grizzly Bears are not a separate species from the Brown they are part of the family of bears genetically, kind of like us humans, we are all the same species regardless of the many ways we separate ourselves and become individuals. So like Elvis sang about dreaming I wonder what The Don dreams.

What the hell is she babbling about now?? Does she even know what reality is?

Send anything you need published to Miss Jill, ROTP at yesdearyousuck@yahoo.com 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 mtnmess@cwo.com and tell him you subscribed because the sierracountyprospect.org begged you to….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Friday at the Yuba 3/20/19

Featured

Mystery at Throckmorton Manor At the Yuba Theatre March 22, 2019


FUNDRAISER for Downieville School 6th graders’s field trip to the NatureBridge Marin Headlands Institute: 

Mystery at Throckmorton Manor5:30 PM,  Friday, March 22nd at Yuba Theatre!  Presented by Downieville School’s 4-6 grade students and the Sierra County Arts Council.  The scene: Hollywood in the 1930s.  The plot: Who stole the portrait of Mr. Thaddeus Throckmorton? Detectives Long and Short are brought in to solve the mystery! Is it the collector of valuable stamps, the aging starlet, the ambitious botanist, or the two suspicious magicians? Come enjoy an evening of intrigue and action as the real criminal is brought to light!

Help our students reach their goal by donating to help them raise funds for a week-long hands-on learning adventure in and about the coastal ecosystems of the Marin Headlands.  Downieville 6th graders will accompany Loyalton Elementary students and spend their days on hiking excursions or in classroom environments engaging in collaborative, authentic scientific learning experiences.

FEMA Youth Council 3/20/19

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FEMA Youth Preparedness Council Applications are Now Open!

Do you know any student leaders interested in making a difference in their community? FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) teaches its members to support disaster preparedness. To achieve this goal, members execute national and local-level preparedness projects. Along the way, YPC members gain leadership skills that will shape their lives.

Students in 8th–11th grade can apply until March 31. For more information, visit Ready.gov’s Youth Preparedness Council

No Food for You! 3/20/19

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Just a reminder.. as the temperatures warm up our wild friends will be very soon wondering and looking for food. Please lock down any food source. If they can not find easy food they will go somewhere else to find it. However once they realize the meals are easy to come by they will be here for the duration. Everyone take the time to lock everything down now. Bears have been seen roaming already.

Spring is finally coming!!  – Cheri Sposito – Calpine Improvement Association President

Carrie’s Dirt Corner 3/20/19

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While I realize that I have been brazenly posting photographs of my garden on social media, I also realize that folks that live anywhere from Sierra City, to the Nevada border, are still trying to locate anything that’s not still covered in white stuff. You know…snow. Yes, I said it. Now then, moving on….
    Trust and believe, the days are going to start getting warmer. Not to fret! We’ll all be complaining about the hot weather within the next month, or two. It’s during the Spring that those of us who garden, are already well in to their gardening routine. Wait, what?! Yes. WELL in to it. Sharpening tools, sifting through recycled dirt, cleaning container pots, planning the garden contents, stocking up on supplies and, much more. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start collecting your egg shells, your newspaper scraps, your left over coffee grounds and your egg cartons. Also, save any organic kitchen scraps. You know, compost material. The rest? Well, those are just tried and true gardening aids that have stood the test of time.
    If you’ve got some containers of dirt left over, don’t throw it out. Dry it out in the Sun, and run it through an old window screen, or metal sifter. Get the junk out of the dirt (and believe me, the amount of stuff that collects in dirt over just 1 Winter is surprising), place the sifted dirt in a dry container (preferably with a lid until the rains stop), and reuse it for your seedlings. Have fun. Enjoy the warmer weather, and have a great week!

Groven Supports Death 3/20/19

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 Re: Governor Gavin Newsom’s Moratorium is Contrary to the Clearly Stated Preference of the Majority of California’s Voters

by: Sandra A. Groven, District Attorney, Sierra County

Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive action imposing a moratorium on all state sanctioned executions is an improper political move designed to subvert the will of California citizens.

As recently as 2016, California voters supported maintaining the death penalty as an option for particularly egregious homicide cases.

To be eligible for the death penalty, a defendant must be found guilty of first-degree murder with “special circumstances.” These special circumstances include: murderers who raped/tortured their victims, child killers, multiple murderers/serial killers, murders committed by terrorists, as part of a hate-crime, or killing a peaceofficer.

Death sentences are only imposed in rare cases and only against the worst type of offenders.

I stand with the California District Attorneys Association, who believes that the use of the death penalty is an important part of ensuring justice is served for victims in the most serious and heinous cases in California.

I do not believe it is within the purview of the government to impose the will of a few upon the many. This is particularly true when there are other avenues available, such as changes through the legislature that will more accurately reflect the views of Californians, rather than the personal belief system of one individual.

Donna McNamara Honor 3/20/19

Donna McNamara was honored by the Downieville Fire Protection District for eight years of service as a Commissioner of the District. Donna also serves along with her husband Dan as a DVFD Firefighter. Chair Frank Lang read and presented a Resolution of Appreciation and Acting Chief/Paramedic Marty Creel presented a Plaque from the Department .

WHEREAS, Members of the Downieville Fire Protection District are directly responsible for maintaining Fire and Emergency Medical Services to Residents and Visitors to western Sierra County; and

WHEREAS, the Downieville Fire Protection District has a responsibility to ensure that its members are equipped with the tools necessary for assisting members in mitigating the Fire and Emergency Medical Services needs in the community; and 

WHEREAS, the Downieville Fire Protection District is privileged to have volunteer firefighter, emergency medical and rescue personnel day in and day out, sacrifice personal time away from their families to serve and protect the residents and visitors to this community; and 

WHEREAS, Donna McNamara has faithfully served as a Fire Commissioner both as a member and as Chairman over her eight (8) year tenure; and

WHEREAS, Donna McNamara has also continuously served as member of the Downieville Volunteer Fire Department, responding to fire, emergency and rescue calls of Downieville Fire District I; and

WHEREAS, Downieville Fire Protection District Board of Commissioners desire to recognize the dedication and commitment of Donna McNamara is appreciated and does not go unrecognized.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Downieville Fire Protection District Board of Commissioners as follows:

1. That this Board hereby offers sincere thanks and appreciation to Donna McNamara for her eight (8) years of unselfish and dedicated service to this community, her citizenship and for her leadership in preserving and enhancing the availability of Fire, Emergency Medical and Rescue Services.

2. That this Resolution will be effective upon its adoption.

ADOPTED this the 20th Day of March, 2019 by the Downieville Fire Protection District Board of Commissioners.

ATTEST:

Frank J. Lang, Chairman

Easter Food Baskets 3/20/19

Dear Editor,

Easter will soon be here and the Western Sierra Food Bank, Inc Board would  appreciate any non-perishable foods or monies to assist in providing for Easter Baskets and on-going needs for people in western Sierra County. Please contact Bette Jo Lang at (530) 289-3644 to contribute non-perishable foods or mail monies to Western Sierra Food Bank,Inc P.O. Box 254 Downieville,CA 95936.

These baskets bring more than food but also caring for others and are appreciated by all who receive them.  The Western Sierra Food Bank,Inc,.Board thanks all who help to provide for these needs.

Sincerely,  Bette Jo Lang, Chairperson

Board of Supervisors 3/20/19

COUNTY OF SIERRA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

OK the recording wasn’t up before publication, so you have to listen yourself.

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in regular session  on March 19, 2019 in the Loyalton Social Hall, Loyalton City Park, Loyalton, CA. This meeting was recorded for posting on the Board of Supervisors’ website at www.sierracounty.ca.gov.

The Clerk of the Board may be reached at 530-289-3295 or at the following email.:
Heather Foster  clerk-recorder@sierracounty.ca.gov

The Board of Supervisors may hold a Closed Session as the agenda schedule permits.

REGULAR AGENDA

9:00A.M.

STANDING ORDERS

  • Call to Order
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Consent Agenda, Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board
2.

PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITY

3.

COMMITTEE REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

4.

DEPARTMENT MANAGERS’ REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

5.

FOREST SERVICE UPDATE

Update by District Ranger on items that may affect the County of Sierra.
6.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH – LEA SALAS

6.A.

Resolution opting out of the Mental Health Services Act requirement stating at least 51% of the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) fund shall be used to serve individuals who are 25 years old or younger.

Documents:  PEI Board.pdf
7.

PUBLIC WORKS/TRANSPORTATION – TIM BEALS

7.A.

Resolution adopting a list of road maintenance projects to be funded by SB 1 funds for Fiscal Year 2019‐2020.

Documents : SB 1 Projects.pdf
8.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

8.A.

Resolution approving contract between the County of Sierra and Danielle E. Bradford dba North Valley Resource Management (RFP#2808) for services related to the Upper North Yuba Forest Health and Resilience Project. (CHAIR ROEN)

8.B.

Discussion/action on giving authority to determine public convenience or necessity for liquor license applications within an area of undue-concentration or high crime for Sierra County. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)

Documents: ABC Letter.pdf
8.C.

Appointment to the Cemetery District No. 2. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)

8.D.

Appointments to the Downieville Fire Protection District. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)

Documents: DFPD.pdf
9.

CLOSED SESSION

9.A.

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

TIMED ITEMS

10.A. 10:00AM

PUBLIC HEARING – COUNTY INITIATED ZONE AMENDMENT

  1. Conduct public hearing on a County initiated zone amendment to re-zone nine (9) parcels identified by the Board of Supervisors as current priority to bring each parcels zoning into conformance with the General Plan.
  2. Resolution approving the zone amendments on nine parcels identified as APN’s 015-110-005; 015-033-003; 015-080-014; 015-090-001; 015-080-006; 008-200-008; 003-122-012; 004-270-006; and 002-160-072.
  3. Introduction and adoption of an ordinance amending Sierra County Code Title 15, Chapter 13 to re-zone nine parcels in unincorporated Sierra County to bring the zoning into conformance with the General Plan.
10.B. 10:30AM

CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING – VACATION PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT

Conduct continued public hearing and adoption of resolution vacating an existing public access easement as shown on Sierra County Assessor’s Parcel Map Book 15, Page 5 in the town of Sierraville situated between Sierra County Assessor Parcels 015‐052‐002‐0 and 015‐052‐013‐0.
10.C. 11:00AM

ALLIANCE FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, INC.

Presentation by Valerie Bourque, Business Service Representative with Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc. regarding business and job seeker services provided to Sierra County.

Documents: AFWD.pdf

10.D. 11:15AM

CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING – VACATION OF OFFER OF DEDICATION

Conduct continued public hearing and adoption of resolution vacating a portion of an offer of dedication that was offered in perpetuity to the County as part of the approval of the Sierra Valley Senior Community located on Hill Street adjacent to the City of Loyalton.
10.E. 11:30AM

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION

Presentation by Tammy Muldoon, Family Resource Center Director regarding National Child Abuse Prevention and adoption of resolution declaring April 2019 as “Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month” in Sierra County.
11.

CONSENT AGENDA

11.A.

Letter in support of Plumas-Sierra Telecommunication’s application for California Advanced Services Funds (CASF) funding to provide last-mile broadband services. (CHAIR ROEN)

11.B.

Annual Dues Upper Feather River Integrated Regional Water Management Group. (AUDITOR)

11.C.

Approval of Board of Supervisors travel reimbursement for Lee Adams, CSAC Board meeting held on February 4, 2019. (AUDITOR)

Documents: LA CSAC 2-14-2019.pdf

11.D.

Approval of Board of Supervisors travel reimbursement for Sharon Dryden, CSAC New Supervisor Institute Training II held on February 20-22, 2019. (AUDITOR)

11.E.

Resolution affirming surplus status of 3 vehicles and authorizing Downieville Fire Department to conduct an extrication training with them prior to recycling. (PUBLIC WORKS)

Documents: Surplus.Item.pdf
11.F.

Resolution approving job description for Road Superintendent and authorizing inclusion of the job description in the official job classification files maintained by the County Clerk‐Recorder. (PUBLIC WORKS)

11.G.

Approval of letter authorizing Rural Counties ESJPA (Environmental Services Joint Powers Authority) to make application for and administer on behalf of Sierra County the 2019‐2020 cycle for Local Government Waste Tire Cleanup and Amnesty Funding. (PUBLIC WORKS)

12.

CORRESPONDENCE LOG

12.A.

Letter from Agency on Aging Area 4 (AAA4) regarding Sierra County’s matching contribution for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

ADJOURN

Pediatric Class 3/20/19

PEARS March 30 2019

 PEARS COURSE Pediatric Advanced Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization 

In this classroom-based, Instructor-led course, students learn how to use a systematic approach to quickly assess, recognize the cause, and stabilize a pediatric patient in an emergency situation. 

During PEARS, students interact with real patient cases, and realistic simulations and animations to assess and stabilize pediatric patients experiencing respiratory and shock emergencies, and cardiopulmonary arrest. PEARS prepares stu-dents to provide appropriate lifesaving interventions within the initial minutes of response until a child can be transferred to an advanced life support provider. 

WHEN: Saturday March 30, 2019 9am till 5pm WHERE: Eastern Plumas Health Care Training Center 500 First Ave Portola CA 96122 INSTRUCTOR: John Hughes, EMS CEs 911 in Yuba City REQUIREMENTS: 

1. Pre-register with LeTina Vanetti lvanetti@sierracounty.ca.gov 530-993-6737 Class size is very limited. Priority will be given to those who serve in Plumas, Sierra and Lassen County. 

2. Have access to the 2016 AHA PEARS Book. Course is grant sponsored through Sierra County Public Health. No charge to students. 

Sly Violence 3/20/19

EVERYONE MUST CONDEMN TRUMP’S SLY ENCOURAGEMENT OF LAWLESS VIOLENCE

March 18, 2019

Racism is not natural. Babies — black, brown, white — explore the world and each other with wonder, not hate. Racism has to be taught. It is learned behavior. To assume that a person is inherently superior or inferior to another based upon race is unnatural and ungodly. Racism is used for political manipulation and economic exploitation. In a land founded on the belief that all men are created equal, slavery could not be justified without a racism that depicted slaves as sub-human.

These basic truths need restating in this terrible time. Across the world, we see the rise of racism, anti-Semitism and islamophobia, and its violent expression. Parishioners in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, are gunned down; worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue are attacked and killed. Now the murders in the mosques in New Zealand. Christians, Jews and Muslims must now stand as one and resist the rise of hate, and the hate-filled propaganda that feeds it.

In this, Donald Trump can no longer duck responsibility. When an American president speaks, the world listens. When Barack Obama was elected, it sent hope across the world. Blacks were elected to parliaments for the first time across Europe. Some hoped a new era of peace and reconciliation might begin.

Yet his election incited a harsh reaction as well, a new trafficking in hate, fear and violence. Donald Trump used his celebrity to claim that Obama was illegitimate, literally un-American. He had relished spreading racial fears before. When five young men were falsely arrested in New York City, Trump took out newspaper ads calling for the death penalty, inciting fear of young African-American males. When DNA testing proved their innocence, Trump simply denied the truth. His campaign for president was stained by his race-bait politics: slurring immigrants as rapists and murderers, promising to ban Muslims, denouncing a judge of Mexican descent, born in Indiana, as too biased to rule on the case involving students defrauded by Trump University.

As president, Trump has used his position to continue to foster hatred and racial division: the Muslim ban, the “wall” and the continued slander of immigrants, African nations as “s–thole countries.” In Charlottesville, he equated Nazis marching through the streets with tiki torches, chanting “Jews will not replace us,” with those protesting Nazism and racism; “good people,” he said, on “both sides.”

He’s also fanned the flames of violence. He told his followers at a campaign rally in 2016 that if they beat up a young protester, he’d pay their legal fees. He talked about “Second Amendment people” — gun owners presumably — taking care of liberal judges or of Hillary Clinton, if she appointed them. He encouraged police officers to rough up suspects.

Now, as he appears more and more unhinged, he did an interview with the right-wing Breitbart news in which he suggested that his people “play it tougher,” intimating that if he didn’t get his way, brown shirt violence might follow: “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

The American president is fanning the flames of racism, religious intolerance and vigilante violence. Denial — “He doesn’t mean it,” “It’s just his way of talking,” “Just New York bluster” — is simply not credible. We can argue about whether Trump is a racist or an anti-Semite or a wannabe caudillo. But there is no question about the hatred he is stoking here and across the world.

Now is the time for citizens of conscience to act. Church and community leaders, responsible mothers and fathers, pundits and editorialists, scholars and celebrities, those who ride in limousines and those who take the early bus — all now have the responsibility to speak out against racism, to condemn the spread of hate, the sly encouragement of lawless violence. When our president acts irresponsibly to divide us, citizens must act responsibly to bring us together. Our freedoms — of speech, of assembly, of religion — can save us from misrule, but only if we exercise them.

Fair Cancels Poultry 3/20/19

FAIR BOARD CANCELS POULTRY SHOW
AT 2019 NEVADA COUNTY FAIR

Due to an outbreak of Virulent Newcastle Disease in California, the Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors voted unanimously Tuesday night to cancel the poultry show and poultry exhibits at the 2019 Nevada County Fair. 

The decision was made after Dr. Annette Jones, California State Veterinarian and Director of Animal Health and Food Safety Services with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), recommended that all poultry shows and poultry exhibitions be cancelled throughout the state due to the disease. 

Virulent Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious respiratory disease of birds, including chickens, that spreads quickly.  According to CDFA, the disease does not affect meat or eggs but is almost always deadly to poultry. Virus particles can spread quickly by direct contact between birds, and people can spread the disease by moving infected birds, moving equipment and feed, and by wearing clothing and shoes that have been in infected areas. The only way to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease is to euthanize infected birds, and all birds within highly infected areas.  Since May 2018, staff from CDFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been working in joint incident command to eradicate the disease in Southern California. The virus has resulted, or will soon result, in the euthanasia of more than one million birds in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties.

The Nevada County Fair joins numerous other fairs and poultry organizations to cancel shows following recommendations from the State Veterinarian.

“The poultry exhibit at the Fair is a favorite among Fair-goers and youth exhibitors,” said Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We understand the impact this decision will have on the youth in our poultry exhibit program and we’re disappointed for the kids, however our concern is for animal health and doing our part to help stop the spread of this terrible and highly infectious disease. We will work diligently to ensure that our youth exhibitors in the poultry barn will have opportunities to participate in the Fair. The exhibits team is already working to create new classes within the poultry department that will allow exhibitors to share their knowledge and hard work.” 

Other livestock events and exhibits are expected to proceed as usual at the Nevada County Fair, August 7 – 11. For information about the Fair, visit NevadaCountyFair.com.

Rich Scandal 3/20/19

The rich are no smarter than you – by Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson

Nothing makes me angrier than stupid rich people getting unfair advantages. These same entitled rich people then turn around and fight against so-called “entitlement” programs and affirmative action because they seem to think their achievements are based on merit while the rest of us who actually work for a living—or at least try to—are nothing more than lazy freeloaders or unscrupulous “welfare queens” who deserve to die if we can’t afford our hospital bill.

Now we see some richies arrested for lying, bribing and cheating to get unfair advantages for their offspring. To hell with them and their unearned privilege. May they suffer the indignity of a second-rate college or otherwise rot in a minimum-security prison.

The college bribery scandal is just the latest example of what anyone who’s been paying attention should already know: the United States is not a meritocracy. The biggest marker of success seems to be the zip code you are born into—regardless of how talented, intelligent, or charismatic you are. The Horatio Alger story has gone from mythical to fraudulent.

The real tragedy is that many average people, whose parents cannot afford to spend millions to send them to Harvard, operate under the assumption that a person’s financial net worth is equivalent to actual worth. I blame this primarily on our education system and our mainstream media, both of which do the masses a grave injustice by shielding them from class-based analysis.

I recall learning about Helen Keller and watching “Miracle Worker” as early as elementary school. Missing from the lessons was the important detail that Keller, who joined the Socialist Party of America as an adult, acknowledged that she would not have achieved personal success—much less celebrity status—if she had not been born of wealthy parents. This would have been a far more useful classroom discussion-starter than questions about overcoming disability that omit any mention of class or other structural considerations. I was led to believe in my formative years, thanks to public schools, that every achievement, no matter how suspicious or improbable, can be attributed solely to personal ambition and talent.

The mainstream media took over where schooling left off. It’s no exaggeration to say that media personalities are obsessed with actors, athletes, monomaniacs, zealots, wealthy entrepreneurs, eccentric politicians, and anyone else who can be spotlighted rather than contextualized. To put it simply, we do not celebrate team players—we celebrate ball hogs. We celebrate people who would suffocate their own twin just so that they could emerge from the womb a little sooner. And when I say “we,” I am talking about everyone—even those of us who stand to gain nothing from this celebrity-obsessed culture except the juvenile diversion of vicarious living.

Think of what the common people would gain from a feature story that, instead of lionizing a mediocre celebrity, questioned whether he or she was worth such honorifics in the first place. The reporters could scrutinize the celebrity’s past performance in school, talk to the friends they had before they were famous, browse their tax returns, learn how they performed on standardized tests, and so on. This is what journalism is supposed to be but often is not. What if they had produced stories like this in 2016 about Trump and ran them on the major networks as often as they ran his childish-rants? I doubt he would have garnered many votes.

But instead, we as Americans pretend as if every rich person is smarter, more attractive, or otherwise better than we are because we didn’t win the (zip-code) lottery. We like celebrities for the sole reason that they are celebrities. We let our inadequate education and uncritical media determine how we think about those with more power and privilege. This serves the purpose of keeping us in intellectual chains so that we would never dare organize ourselves and challenge these two-bit oppressors with their baseless braggadocio and ghastly comb-overs. Most of us would rather be them than fight them.

Please. The rich are no smarter than you. But they think they are, they want you to think that, and they are pushing you around like you’re the small kid on the playground. They have been stealing your lunch money and sense of self-respect for generations.

What are you going to do about it?

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

Sheriff’s Public Log 3/20/19

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Logs

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

3/11/19

0713 – Ambulance needed in Sierra City – TRA DVAM
0843 – Property check request in Downieville – CNC SCSO
1351 – Ambulance needed in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
2309 – Possession stolen property and drugs Hwy 395 – CIT SCSO

3/12/19

0009 – Bass guitar player making noise in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
1045 – Welfare check requested in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
1425 – Possible elder abuse isn’t in Loyalton – UNF SCSO
1854 – Tire sized rock on Hwy 49 MPM 15.40 – TRA CALT
2139 – Confidential Case # somewhere – ACT SCSO

3/13/19

0820 – Verbal confrontation at Loyalton Transfer Site – CNC SCSO
0947 – Loose dogs in Downieville admonished owner – CNC SCSO
1241 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance near Sattley – TRA LOAM
1502 – Flame emitting from transformer in Downieville – TRA DVFD
1631 – Vehicle stuck in snow waiting for tow Gold Lake Rd – TRA SCSO
1932 – Loose dog in courthouse parking – owner admonished – CNC SCSO

3/14/19

1025 – Suspicious vehicle expired in Downieville – TRA CHP
1150 – Canines chasing deer in Pike City – RPT SCSO/F&W
1555 – Vandalism reported near Loyalton – ACT SCSO
1735 – Adults & juveniles stuck in snow near Verdi – CNC WASO/SCSO
1746 – Ramshorn Tract cabin break-in – RPT SCSO
1854 – Investigation somewhere – ACT SCSO
2031 – Canine being kicked in head is OK in Downieville – CNC SCSO
2229 – Area check of residence in Loyalton – CNC SCSO

3/15/19

0834 – Parked vehicles on property id civil matter in Goodyears Bar
1158 – Citizen assist needed in Loyalton – RPT LVFD
1234 – Multiple agencies respond to missing person near Alleghany – RPT SCSO
2034 – Vehicle and female alongside US 395 – UTL SCSO
2045 – Possible house fire at Fournier Ranch – UNF SCVF/DVFD
2115 – Fire alarm at courthouse activated by DVFD Hydrant use – TRA DVFD
2346 – Property theft, vandalism, illegal dumping Camptonville – ACT SCSO

3/16/19

1215 – Vin verification request in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
1546 – Vehicle parked illegally isn’t anymore in Pike City – CNC SCSO
1620 – Shots fired on FS Rd 32 near Camptonville – RPT SCSO
1729 – Overdue subject Meadows Lake area – CNC SAR

3/17/19

1143 – Possible DUI Hwy 49 near Sierra City – UNF SCSO
1600 – Burglar alarm at bank is ATM armored transport Downieville – UNF SCSO
1629 – Disabled motorist assist on Hwy 49 changing tire – CNC SCSO
1839 – Vehicle on Yuba Pass security check – CNC SCSO
2112 – Verbal dispute agree to peace in Loyalton – CNC SCSO

FireHouse News 3/20/19

 “AT THE FIREHOUSE” compiled by Vicky Tenney

ALLEGHANY: March 11th Firefighter training was on future live burn preparation, with SCBA’s. March 14th Firefighter training, in Pike City, with Downieville Fire personnel, on the new rules about using backboards on medical calls.
CALPINE: March 13th Responded for an ill female, who was transported to the hospital in Portola.
DOWNIEVILLE: March 11th EMT Continuing education. * DVAM response to Sierra City, for an ill male, who was transported to the hospital in Truckee. March 12th EMT Class. * Responded for a blown transformer, P.G.& E. arrived & took over repairs.  March 14th EMT Class. March 15th Mutual aid response to Sierra City for a house fire – cancelled. * Responded to the Court house, for a fire alarm activation. March 17th Responded for an ill male – no transport.
LOYALTON: March 11th Firefighter’s trained on the use of ladders. * Responded for an ambulance assist, a person who felt weakened & passed out.
PIKE CITY: March 14th Firefighter’s we’re joined by others from Alleghany & Downieville, to train on the new NorCal procedures for backboarding patients during medical emergencies.
SATTLEY: March 13 the Responded for an ill female, who was transported to the hospital in Portola.
SIERRA CITY: March 11th Responded for an ill male, who was transported to the hospital in Truckee. March 15th Responded for a house fire – cancelled.
SIERRA COUNTY SEARCH & RESCUE: March 15th Search for a missing female, near the Plumbago Mine, she was found & o.k., with help from Nevada County Search & Rescue, & a helicopter from Placer County.  March 16th Searched for a lost male snowmobiler, near Jackson Meadows, with assistance from Nevada County Search & Rescue & snowcats. He was found, all is well.
SIERRAVILLE: March 13 the Responded for an ill female, who was transported to the hospital in Portola.

Reprogram the System 3/20/19

Love Letter from Smoky Kabul: Nonviolent Versus Violent Peace in Afghanistan and the World  by Dr Hakim

Dear friends,

“Salam (peace)!” is how Afghans greet one another, some of them simultaneously placing a hand over their hearts. 

But, while everyone including Afghans wants peace, the Afghan Peace Volunteers and I have observed that the human species appears to be stuck on violent peace. We think that this is because most of us are reared as armed doves, like the one drawn by Wifred Hildonen for Cartoon Stock below.

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Using Wilfred’s cartoon analogy, the Afghan Peace Volunteers and I are differentiating violent peace from nonviolent peace based on whether a society includes or excludes the use of weapons and armies as a resort to secure peace. 

To date, the earth has housed violent peace. Human beings are the armed doves inhabiting the planet under the threat of lethal weapons, including 14,575 nuclear warheads. Even small island-countries like Singapore are spending more and more money to acquire superior weaponry from the military industrial complex.

We’re not differentiating between violent and nonviolent peace to judge anyone, as we would only be judging ourselves. We’ve tried nothing but violent peace in Afghanistan, to everyone’s loss. The time is overdue to pursue peace without weapons or armies, so that we can all enjoy the kind of peace we human beings dream about.

So, please trust your humanity, and trust that we share that humanity too. Like you, we wish to protect and defend our loved ones, so we don’t make this call on the people of the world lightly: “Don’t just pause. Stop! Consider nonviolent peace. It won’t harm you. It is the love we’ve always wanted!”

We so badly want societies that are highly organized on the foundation of love. This is already happening in many places through the local establishment of egalitarian, nonviolent practices. Joan Boaz said, “That’s all nonviolence is – organized love”. 

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It is happening among the Afghan Peace Volunteers, like with Afghan 11th grade student Rashid, whose story I had begun telling in a previous post.

Rashid’s father was killed in a suicide bombing attack on a mosque in Kabul, for which a Pakistani militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility. Rashi’s father was selling oranges at the mosque. Rashid was so devastated by this loss that he became inconsolably depressed and couldn’t bring himself to attend school for three months.

Once during a counselling session, I was listening to Rashid describe the tightness and pain he feels in his chest when he remembers the prison-like religious school he was forcefully enrolled into. Rashid recalled the incessant punishments in class, and the loneliness….The tears started pouring down his cheeks, not the sort of tears that sought any attention, but flowy, tender tears.

“Do you think you can heal yourself of the war inside you?” I asked Rashid recently.

“Yes, by changing the way I think. I can ask questions, and look for evidence before I believe any claim about war or other matters,” he replied.

I asked what he would say if his mother asked to take revenge, against the Pakistani “terrorists”, or against the Afghan extremists who, through traumatic indoctrination at the religious school, tried to brainwash him into joining them to wage the “holy war”. 

“I will tell her: If I take revenge, you know that they will retaliate with even fiercer vengeance. You could be hurt. I could lose everything,” Rashid said. 

I probed deeper, as my own personal journey towards understanding war and peace involved a freeing up of my basic assumptions, “After all that your mother has gone through, don’t you think that it’s her right to fight back?”

“Teacher,” Rashid explained to me, “There is an Afghan saying, “Blood cannot wash away blood.” Taking revenge doesn’t work.”

“But, Rashid, how will you be able to allay your mother’s fears, or even your own fears, if there were no military forces to defend you and your mom? Who will protect you?”

“My father was killed even when the Afghan army and the US/NATO forces were here defending us in Kabul. What we need is a people’s defense, in which the people bring security by conversing with the groups in conflict. We shouldn’t use weapons, because if we do, others will also use weapons against us. Look at the current peace negotiations in Afghanistan. While they negotiate, the sides in conflict are increasing their fighting and killing! How is peace ever going to come?” Rashid explained.

Rashid was stating what even the US Joint Chief of Staff, Marine Corps General Joe Dunford and the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres had both said on different occasions, “There is no military solution in Afghanistan.”

 “I used to admire those who looked strong holding dangerous weapons like this or like that…,” Rashid said, switching his arm posture as if he was holding a gun. “I used to think that Afghanistan must have an army to defend the country. I was a fan of the army generals.”

In most countries of the world today, saying something like this will get serious censure, “Rashid is unpatriotic. He is a traitor, maybe a Talib!” As armed doves, we consider the military almost sacred.

“Now, though I respect army generals and even militants as human beings, I don’t like what they do. I used to think that fighting proves how courageous I am. I was like a smart phone that was programmed by a system run by the government,” Rashid said. 

I was reminded that I was speaking to a young person who belongs to the digital age and smart phone generation. It’s youth like Rashid and Swedish climate activist Greta Thurnberg who are rising up to change our obsolete and unresponsive systems. Greta had said, “We can’t save the world by playing by the rules because the rules have to change.”

I could see Rashid applying his mind, the way he does in school, getting first position in his 10th grade class last year, “after the classmate who paid bribes for his grades left school”.

“Is it possible to re-program the human smart phone?” I asked, though I’ve been thinking that with the repetitive war negotiations among fully armed players in the Afghan conflict, neither adult human beings nor our communication systems are very smart.

“Of course, once we understand the systems that did the programming, we can un-install the program, or format it!” Rashid quipped.

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Rashid thinks we can reprogram ourselves for nonviolent peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rashid is becoming the other dove that is within him, the nonviolent dove who offers an olive branch, without any weapon strapped under his wing.

Baa mihr ( With love ) !  Hakim

 Dr Hakim, ( Dr. Teck Young, Wee ) is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, including being a mentor to the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war. He is the 2012 recipient of the International Pfeffer Peace Prize and the 2017 recipient of the Singapore Medical Association Merit Award for contributions in social service to communities. 

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