“It is hot, darn hot, hotter than a snake’s butt in a wagon rut.” That is a less rough quote from the movie “Good Morning Vietnam”, I saw the movie in 1987 and that line has always stuck in my mind and especially this week where walking outside where one can barely think, it reverberates over and over. That is a good movie, another scene in this movie was when Vietnam villages were being strafed with napalm from helicopters and in the background the song “What a Wonderful World” sung by Louis Armstrong was playing and I was brought to tears. Years later a friend told me that movie had ruined that song, which she had always loved, for her, she couldn’t listen to it anymore. So if anyone needs a reminder of how awful war is…. “War is not healthy for children and other living things”, watch this movie.
I didn’t mean to write all that, I was just going to wish everyone a happy, fun 4th of July. Be careful, have fun, don’t start any fires and be grateful we live in America.
This weeks photo is from Don Yegge and his friends in the backyard.
Supervisor Scott Schlefstein welcomed the crowd and introduced others who had gathered to honor Tim Beals, Director of Public Works, Planning and Roads for his 40 years of dedication and commitment to the County of Sierra.
Supervisor Adams began his speech saying, “The year was 1973. Tim was hired, Nixon was President and signed the Endangered Species Act, I was a junior in high school, and County Clerk Heather Foster was three years old.”
He continued acknowledging that Sierra County turned 162 years and that means Tim has been employed with the county for 25% of that history. Pointing out that any major project in the past 40 years has Tim’s fingerprints on it, he added, “as we look around at the scenery surrounding you, thank Tim for keeping Sierra County the way it is.”
Supervisor Adams then read the County Resolution but stopped in the middle to ponder the fact that July 5th, Tim’s first day at work was the same date, July 5th when Juanita was hanged by a lynch mob in Downieville.
Chair Schlefstein also read a letter of Commendation from Jim Branham of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Tim Holabird presented a Commendation from Congressman Doug LaMalfa.
The Alleghany to Downieville Trek-a-Thon was an enormous success. Eleven walkers and just as many awesome support volunteers. Meeting at the park in the morning on one of the hottest days this year the group set out on the steep Hell’s 1/2 Acre where they encountered a bear.
As the Hikers took on the hot paved Henness Pass Road they were greeted with a mobile cool misting shower and iced, cold watermelon. The ridge over Galloway was a nice stroll that got extremely hot as the descent began. After a group picture overlooking the mountains, they headed down into the trees and dined on a salami and cheese lunch with homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Continuing down into Downieville the hikers could hear the noon whistle and bgan to identify buildings. A toast and group picture was held at the Gallows and then everyone was treated to ice cream cones from Smoothieville.
By the end of the walk over $800 had been raised for the Alleghany Town Park, this is before all the pledges have been collected. They hope to reach the $1,000 mark. Donations can be sent to Alleghany County Water District, P.O. Box 860, Alleghany, CA 95910
Volume V #262
Many people are going to be celebrating the 4th of July this week in our county. Are you worried about anything or are you just glad that we have visitors and tourists coming to Sierra County? I often wonder what it is like to live in a place like Downieville. It is such a nice quiet place and not much goes on. Maybe I will run into you there sometime. Well, have a happy 4th.
Sincerely, Arin Welsch, Grass Valley
Thanks for the wishes. I always enjoy the 4th of July, especially in Downieville. I think we are very conscious of fire safety here as we are surrounded by forest land and this year especially it is hot and dry. Downieville has a 4th of July parade and at the end we have a very special fire works event that everyone adults and children participate. It was started a few years ago by our local grocers, Ingrid and Dan they bought a big roll of bubble wrap and at the end of the parade, we unwind it on the street and everyone marches on top of it making a wonderful noise of bubbles popping and everyone laughing. So if you come to Downieville have fun at the parade… and then stay for the dance on Saturday night that the Downieville VFD puts on… it is so much fun.
Sincerely and a Happy 4th to all, Jerusha
The Board of Supervisors was called to order by Chair Scott Schlefstein. During the Public Comment Opportunity Supervisor Schlefstein asked for a moment of silence to remember the bravery of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and the 19 members who were killed fighting a deadly fire in Arizona.
There were no Committee reports or announcements or Department Managers Reports and the Board moved on to the U.S. Forest Service update.
Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood thanked the Board for their acknowledgment of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Youngblood then went on to give an update of the Red Rock fire north of Hallelujah Junction which had burned 1500 acres, and saying they were concerned as conditions are extreme and lightning is predicted for the next couple of days.
Ann Westling, the Public Affairs Officer for the District has retired and her replacement, Gwen Ernst-Ulrich, will be on board very soon. Youngblood also thanked Tim Beals and Supervisor Paul Roen for attending a meeting with USFS regarding developing Biomass projects. He then introduced Jonathan Cook Fisher who is acting Yuba District Ranger mentioning that Fisher is skilled and comes from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.
So the meeting begins:
Health and Human Services – Director Janice Maddox
Item 6B The Board authorized J.Maddox to fill a vacant Case Manager I/II position with Supervisor Adams asking she try to use the less costly step in the hiring process.
Item 6C – Director J. Maddox gave an informative overview powerpoint presentation on the Affordable Healthcare Act to and enthralled Board.
Item 6C – A request to extend the current Mental Health Services Act until the August 6 Board meeting was approved.
Auditor/Treasurer/Tax Collector Van Maddox
7A – A Resolution authorizing extra help employee participation in County health insurance was delayed until August 6 per V. Maddox’s request.
7B – Resolution authorizing the new position of Department Specialist-Probation/Collaborative Court Assistant, recruiting, hiring and adjusting the budget for this position was approved as it is part of the whole State re-alignment process.
Planning / Building – Tim Beals
8A – A long contentious discussion regarding a Resolution authorizing the placement, by promotion, of Senior Planner to Deputy Director of Planning and Building effective July 2, 2013 and amending the 2013/14 budget to provide funding seemed to go on for eternity. Apparently some of the Board Supervisors did not grasp the concept of using an employee who has been trained and understands the process of county government, especially Sierra County, and thought the job should be advertised as a new position.
Jim Beard said certain Ordinances and county Codes had “been brought to my attention by one of my constituents”, which he then read for everyone’s entertainment, also pointing out irrelevant inconsistencies in various job titles. Deputy County Counsel Christian Curtis weighed in with the facts of the matter.
I could spend a lot of time going over details of the discussion but it would not serve anyone as it was apparent there were axes grinding and an unwillingness to act intelligently in the decision.
Planning Commissioner Irv Christenson, who just happened to be at the meeting for the lunch Barbque became frustrated with the conversation and spoke as a member of the public saying he has watched Brandon Pangman over the years and seeing his expertise and dedication knows that Tim Beals is 100% correct on this issue. “You need someone (las Brandon) who is dedicated and honest, we have the opportunity to keep an excellent employee.”
So eventually it was approved to promote an existing employee to the position of Assistant Planner, the same position as Deputy Director but consistent with prior Resolutions. The vote was 3/2 with Supervisors Beard and Schlefstein voting no.
8B – An authorization to extend to October 31, 2013 the employment status of Planner III and to include in the prelimianry budget for 2013-14 an appropriation $5,000 for completion of the county zoning code and general plan amendment process was approved by a 4/1 vote with Supervisor Beard voting No saying, “it isn’t our fault the process hasn’t been completed.” What?
8C – Authorization to amend the existing agreement for Sierraville School between the County and SPJUSD to include the modular office vacated by the school offices was approved.
8D – Referral to the Board of Supervisors Water Committee for coordination of the IRWMP administation and the Honey Lkake-Long Valley watershed Feather River watershed and the Yuba River watershed was approved.
Clerk-Recorder Heather Foster
9A – The second reading and adoption of an Ordinance to replace and update the Master Fee Schedule pertaining to fees for the Sierra County Clerk-Recorder, Clerk of the Board and Registrar of Voters was approved.
Item 10A – A Resolution amending the Board of Supervisors’ Rules of Procedures as adopted by Resolution 97-043 pertaining to the scheduling and conducting of Board meetings was delayed and referred to the Finance Committee when Supervisor Jim Beard said his constituents weren’t happy with the change, Supervisor Adams weighed in saying he understood the need for fiscal savings but it might be perceived as less transparency and a sole brave young woman in the audience suggested the Supervisors might consider lowering their pay scale as apparently with the county offices closing to the public every Thursday and now they only need one meeting, certainly they should get less pay. Although Supervisor Schlefstein once again reminded everyone how hard he works as a Supervisor the decision to delay the decision was approved.
Board of Supervisors
11A – A Resolution naming Downieville’s main plaza park “Gold Rush Park” was approved unaminously. Supervisor Adams commended the Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) for there hard work and innovative ideas. Representatives Cherry Simi and Ingrid Larson were in the audiience and explained the contest to name the park. There were 30 suggestions and the final five were voted on by the town folks with the winning name being submitted by David Marshall. David’s daughter Suzi Pangman and his 4 grand children, Tanner Pangman, Mason Pangman, Ellie Scholes and Emma Scholes were present for the event. David Marshall will be the ribbon cutter when Gold Rush Park is officially dedicated.
12A – A presentation and discussion with Caltrans District 3 Director Jody Jones, was introduced by Tim Beals who told the Board how fortunate the County is to have someone like Jones to work with as she is skilled and dedicated to excellent performance. Many projects were discussed including culvert rehabs, how speed limits are set, pavement rehab and highway embankment repairs. According to Jones the DMV manual is what determines how speed limits are set, saying that if a certain percentage of vehicles drive a certain speed on a roadway then the speed may be increased to avoid making people lawbreakers. Of course this immediately made Supervisor Beard wonder if everyone smoked and sold pot then it wouldn’t be illegal, and how about murder how many people get murdered before that is determined to be a normal activity and not illegal… but you know… All the supervisors were in agreement that better warning signage for “dead man’s curves” possibly with blinking lights on Highway 49 between Sattley and Sierra City needed addressing as there are frequent motorcycle accidents and deaths in that stretch.
12B – Recognition of Tim H. Beals for his 40 years of honorable public service to Sierra County and the State of California. A Resolution of Appreciation was approved unaminously and then everyone moved to the Public Works Building for a Barbque lunch provided by friends and family. see story here
Sierra County District Attorney Larry Allen Court Case Results
Robert Holland III (47) Loyalton. Plead guilty to two counts of sex acts with a minor. Sentencing is set for August 23.
Allen Tidwell (33) Loyalton. Sentenced after a conviction for felon auto theft. Four years probation, 90 days jail, 40 hours community service, fine $1373, and search clause. A restitution hearing is set for September 27.
Cammeron Massey (24 Loyalton. Sentencing on felony failure to appear. Three years probation, 24 days jail, fine $1413, 40 hours community service, and he was ordered to participate and successfully complete Sierra County Drug Court.
Cole Sternod (29) Portola. Sentencing on misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine. Three years probation, 16 days jail, fine $1039, 24 hours community service.
Gabriel Lusk (19) Reno. Possession of marijuana. Fine $450.
Jesse Barnette (19) Reno. Possession of marijuana. Fine $450.
Jennifer Radomske (29) Loyalton. Dog at large causing property damage, and maintaining an animal without proper care. Two years probation, fine $1029 (converted to 100 hours of community service.
Renzil Faria (24) Susanville. After a contested preliminary hearing, he was ordered to stand trial on assault with force likely to cause serious injury.
Andrea Freeman (30) Grass Valley. Admitted a violation of probation for a conviction of hit and run, on her underlying conviction of driving under the influence with two prior convictions. Sentencing is July 23.
Donald Kaput (50) Grass Valley. Invalid drivers license. Two years probation, fine $678.
Audrey Page (51). Plead guilty to theft resulting from fraudulently obtaining food stamps. Two years probation, fine $362, and she was ordered to pay restitution to Sierra County in the amount of $1136 with 10% interest.
Patricia Andreasen (64) Pike. Sentenced on maintaining a place where controlled substances were manufactured (marijuana). Three years probation, fine $2904, and submit to search and seizure.
Joseph Malo (42) Transit. Drunk in public, and trespassing. Ten days jail.
The Downieville Improvement Group has developed a new handout for visitor to hand out at the California State Fair. It’s great. See Here Downieville Card Special thanks were given to Gordy Bell for photos and Don Russell for text.