Death Reported at Sierra County Jail 1/30/14

Downieville –

At approximately 1:04 A.M. on January 30, 2014 a corrections officer at the Sierra County Jail, during a regular inmate safety check, discovered an inmate deceased in his housing cell, the victim of an apparent suicide, .  Fire and medical personnel were called to the scene.  Lifesaving measures were attempted but were ultimately unsuccessful.

This incident is currently being investigated by the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from detectives from Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and State of California Department of Justice.

The decedents name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

The Cats 1/29/14

Yes, this is the table... and I'm on it.. what's your point?...take the darn picture and leave me alone....unless you have a snack for me..

1/29/14 Yes, this is the table… and I’m on it.. what’s your point?… I’m getting irritated…. take the darn picture and leave me alone….unless you have a snack for me..

Fire Plans for Camptonville February 19th

The Yuba Watershed Protection & Fire Safe Council (YWP&FSC) will be holding meetings in all five Yuba County fire districts to receive community input for the update of our Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).  The CWPP is a critical document for fire protection and for the YWP&FSC to leverage resources to fund Yuba’s fire safety efforts. It is also an opportunity for local property owners to have input. Please attend!
Please note the date for this important community meeting (information below):  Wednesday, February 19th, 6:30 p.m. at the Camptonville School Gym

Your Fire Chief chiming in here.  This “Community Wildfire Protection Plan” is an important document.  Without this “CWPP” document, we will no longer receive any funding for fire prevention.  This means projects similar to the “fuels reduction projects” recently completed along Marysville Road and Weeds Point Road and Mountain House Road will simply not happen.
And we need these projects.  The 200 miles of roadside fuels reduction work completed in Yuba County in the last couple years is some of the best insurance we can have against accidental wildfire ignitions.
The CWPP document is being written as we speak and it will be completed, but …
Here’s the catch: The only projects that will receive funding in the future will be projects identified in the CWPP.  This is the federal gov’s way of making sure that projects selected for funding are actually part of a larger integrated plan, aka a CWPP.
So, while the author’s of the plan are pondering projects to include for Camptonville (and by that I mean specific locations for projects), they and we (the fire department) can’t think or know everything, so ….
If you have a concern about a specific location that needs a “Fuels Reduction Project”, then please come to this meeting and voice your concern.  Otherwise, we’ll never know and then later … by the new rules … it will be too late.
The CWPP is updated every 5 years.  Please email and send this note to your neighbors.
Please note the date for this important community meeting:  Wednesday, February 19th, 6:30 p.m. at the Camptonville School Gym
Mark Jokerst
Fire Chief
Camptonville Vol Fire Dept
P.O. Box 37
Camptonville, CA 95922

Winter Storm Warning 1/29/14










Plumas Sierra Fair 2014

Entering something in the Fair is the backbone of the fair tradition. Whether it’s an animal, homemade jelly, a potato you grew, or a photograph you’ve taken, the Fair is the place to show what you’ve made, raised or grown. The Plumas Sierra County Fair invites you make an entry in the 2014 event, August 13-17.

Some people have entered their work for many years. Some families have entered for  generations. However, the vast majority of residents of Plumas and Sierra Counties have not experienced the fun and excitement of competition at their county fair. To help get more people involved, the Plumas Sierra County Fair has developed Fair U, short for Fair University. This one day event will feature several classes led by experts on how to create and enter things into the Fair. Students will find instruction in everything from flower arranging to scarecrow making. There will be classes in preserved foods, poetry and knitting. Volunteer teachers include local experts, like Rosanna Angel, Lorraine Nielson, Dorothy Edwards and Adrienne Johnson. Attendees will get tips on how to present their entries and what judges look for. It won’t be necessary to bring anything, most classes will provide necessary supplies.

2014 Fair U schedule

Fair U will take place at the fairgrounds on February 22 and is absolutely free. Attendees will be able to attend as many classes as they want and many will be repeated to help eliminate conflicts. Those that want to attend are urged to pre-register. Anyone who pre-registers will receive a free Fair U t-shirt when they check in at the event. Any questions can be answered by calling 283-6272 or on the Fair website;

“It’s our goal to encourage more people to enter things into the Fair by taking some of the mystery out of the process and inspiring new ideas.” said Fair Manager John Steffanic, “We think it will be a fun day to bring several family members, get a free t-shirt, and start thinking about what they might want to enter this year.”

The theme of this year’s Fair is “Fun & Games”. Exhibit entries are a tangible measure of the health of a county fair. Organizers hope the success of this event will speak to the level of support the community feels towards it’s fair.

2014 Fair U flyer

Wednesday January 29, 2014

I’m celebrating… it’s raining… whoo hoo…  and it is suppose to be snowing tonight, at least at higher elevations… thank goodness, it’s only for a couple of days but major que nada, and maybe there will be more we still have February and March. Keep on dancing, Jenny. NOAA Weather I can’t remember when I was so happy to see a Winter Storm Warning.

The Fringe mentions BB guns in his article this week. Which made me remember when I first decided that guns weren’t for fun. I was probably 10 years old. It was on a summer’s vacation in Maine with my Aunt Winnie, Uncle Ray and cousin Buddy. Buddy had a BB gun and we use to target shoot in the basement at home in Connecticut. I’m pretty sure it was a Red Ryder. We had fun right up till the moment we were down by the pond and I shot at a frog on a Lily pad. I hit it, in the eye, but it was still alive, I captured it, took it back to the cabin and didn’t sleep that night. The next day I took back to the pond and let it loose. I hoped it would live. I felt horrible and have never thought about shooting at anything living again.  It seems like a dumb little story, but the impact was huge, compassion and empathy filled my soul and never left.  So that being said, if you must have BB guns, having them transparent or colored to distinguish them from worst weapons is a good idea.

This week we have all the usual suspects and some great local news. Carols Books and Movies, Carries Corner, The Cats, Cooter, The Others, Jerusha and The Fringe covers more than BB guns… and our guest columnist John LaForge.

The lovely sunset photo is by Molly Marshall Scholes captured on an evening walk.

DVL Lion’s Speech Winner 1/29/14

The Downieville Lion’s Club hosted the annual Student Speech Contest on January 27. The room was packed with family, friends and spectators. Board of Supervisors Chair Paul Roen attended the event Every speech was filled with personal instances of community service and each participant talked about how it had personally affected them and even if they first didn’t want to get involved realized what a great experience it had been and changed their way of thinking forever.

1st Place Winner Fiona Baiker of Sierra City

1st Place Winner Fiona Baiker of Sierra City

Each student received a $25 award for participation and Fiona Baiker was given a $75 for 1st Place and will go on to the next level of competition The Sierra Zone Student Speaker contest being held on Saturday, March 8 at 2 pm at Seaman’s Lodge in Pioneer Park, Nevada City.   It is open to the public.

From left: Megan Parker, Ali Rambo, Tommy Dines, Matthew Lozano, Fioan Baiker, JoJo Epps, Alexis Whitaker and Savannah Burr

From left: Megan Parker, Ali Rambo, Tommy Dines, Matthew Lozano, Fiona Baiker, JoJo Epps, Alexis Whitaker and Savannah Burr

The eight contestants, Alexis Whitaker, Matthew Lozano, Savannah Burr, JoJo Epps, Fiona Baiker, Ali Rambo, Tommy Dines and Megan Parker were outstanding. Word is the Judges had a hard time deciding and the final scores were extremely close.  Downieville Lion Lee Adams was the organizer of this year’s event with the help of Karen & Mike Galan,  Lion Jim Johnston handled Master of Ceremony with aplomb

Lion Jim Johnston possibly threatening people who are applauding.

Lion Jim Johnston possibly threatening people who are applauding.

regaling the audience with jokes between speakers, trying to sternly control applause and threatening at one point to send a student to “my office” apparently living in the past of once being Principal of the school.

Lee Adams

Lee Adams

Judges of the event were Patricia Hall, Stuart Lauters and Brandon Pangman. Brandon had been a student speaker contest winner and had progressed through several levels of the event.

Another high point of the class was when President Mary Ervin presented teacher Lynn Fillo with a special recognition and appreciation award and gift, framed photos by Mary Davey,  from the Downieville Lion’s club. Mrs. Fillo has spent 20+ years working with the students for the annual speech contest. It was a great evening for everyone involved.

Lynn Fillo receives recognition and gift from Downieville Lions' President Mary Ervin

Lynn Fillo receives recognition and gift from Downieville Lions’ President Mary Ervin


The Sierra Zone Student Speaker contest is being held on Saturday, March 8 at 2 pm at Seaman’s Lodge in Pioneer Park, Nevada City.   It is open to the public.


Megan Parker

Megan Parker

Ali Rambo

Ali Rambo

Tommy Dines

Tommy Dines

Matthew Lozano

Matthew Lozano

JoJo Epps

JoJo Epps

Savannah Burr

Savannah Burr

Alexis Whitaker

Alexis Whitaker

1st Place Winner Fiona Baiker of Sierra City

1st Place Winner Fiona Baiker of Sierra City

CPR Class in February

Community CPR/First Aid/AED Class

Friday, February 28

CPR, First Aid and AED training. Heartsaver by American Heart Association. Two year certification. Workbook provided. Class size is limited. Reservations are required. Bring a lunch. Flyer

The FREE Community CPR/First Aid/AED Class will be the same date of Friday February  28th but not starting until Noon and finishing at 6pm. NEW flyer attached.

For the those I already have confirmed on the list please let me know if  this still works for you.

February 28
Noon - 6:00 PM
Downieville School
Downieville, CA 95936
Free to Sierra County community members and those serving Sierra County residents.
Download Agenda
Invite Friends
First Aid


Five Fringe Minutes 1/29/14

Five minutes with the Fringe

by DeVita fringe logo

Sixty seconds on Sierra County:

Monday there was a meeting of the Board of Supervisors Natural Resources, Building and Planning
Committee.  You might think such a committee would meet primarily to construct ways we could make a living from our local natural resources, and maybe even plan to build a house once in a while.

But, no, no, they were meeting to talk about a medical marijuana ordinance.  In a lot of cow counties, this is a report which would end on a sad note.  That is not the case in Sierra County.

To be sure, the committee didn’t spend a lot of time talking about how we could all find a living by meeting the growing market for medical cannabis, and before long, recreational cannabis.  That’s a giant leap from 1950, where most county residents live; some locals still refer to medical cannabis users as “hop heads”.  The committee didn’t leap that far, indeed, it didn’t leap at all, it approached the issue seriously, and taking plenty of input from the community.  Instead of rushing through the ordinance, the committee will take input for the next 30 days.

Instead of the terrible Tehama ordinance, the county is looking at something a lot more friendly to the many medical cannabis users and growers.  It’s still a far cry from admitting that medical cannabis brings a small living for a lot of people, and the county could benefit much more from the ganja that’s grown here.  People elsewhere in California make decent, honorable and completely legal wages from doing what farmers do: growing things. The cry for the marijuana ordinance came as a result of a cultural war; even the experts agree that the Tehama style ordinance does nothing to prevent the worst growers.  We could bring money into the county for a change.  But, culturally, that’s still too big of a challenge.

It remains to be seen what kind of ordinance we will finally arrive at, but the key thing is that the supervisors are willing to listen to the average guy.  I’ve attended supervisor level local government for a long time, and I’ve never been anywhere where the county governors are so open to input from residents.  That’s one of the many good things about Sierra County.

To growers of medical marijuana: in this, and in all things, endeavor not to be an asshole, my children.  Don’t expose other people to your gig, for their comfort and your safety.  That way you won’t piss off your neighbors, and you won’t get weedjacked by someone who really is as bad as you imagine you are.  Also, bloat not thy ego with the size of your garden; weed grows almost everywhere, it takes the might of the United States Government to keep it from being a common roadside weed.

Sixty seconds on California

Probably the only real drawback to Sierra County is that it in California.  In addition to building code and air and water quality rules which do little to alleviate problems and much to confound small business people, miners, ranchers, loggers and indeed anyone who wants to make a living by working hard, there are the firearms laws.  California is among the worst of states for the freedom to own modern firearms.

A lot of decent folks have thrown up their hands and pulled up stakes for freer places.  You might think we’re losing wacko  militia types, but nope, just folks who like to own and shoot firearms, and who see the 2nd Amendment as a promise.  Who is not moving to avoid strict gun laws?  Criminals, who not only don’t worry about gun laws, but who actually, like California democrats, prefer a docile and unarmed population.

California democrats persist in their efforts to erase the image of firearms as tools of patriots and self reliant people, and plant the image of “ghost guns” and other forms of the New Boogieman.  I guess if you don’t demonize gay people you have to find something else to be righteous over.  Self protection, sport, and recreation seem odd things to “target” to me.

New bills, all from Democrats, of course, target BB guns, and insist they be made brightly colored or transparent.  This is so people don’t get scared!  Guns can be scary to people!  It’s also so, we hope, cops don’t keep shooting kids, thinking they are armed, but restricting consumer choice in air rifles isn’t going to make up for crappy training and police state laws: cops shoot and tazer kids all the time who have hair brushes, cell phones, and even puppies in their hands.  Punishing gun owners, once again, isn’t going to fix a busted society.

I hate to nag, but we need to either wring a better deal for places where rural culture persists, or attempt to leave the madness of California under the Democrats, a state only a little less bad than under the Republicans, who think building dams creates water and keeps it from being wasted in the ocean.

Three minutes on the Farm Bill

The House passed the Farm Bill, though it still needs to pass the Senate at this writing.  Likely it will hit the senate in the first two weeks of February.  The names of the farm bill have changed, Farm Security and Rural Investment Act, Food, Conservation and Energy Act, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012.   This just goes to show that no matter whatever other ingredients it contains, there is always plenty of bullshit in the farm bill.  This current manifestation is the mongrel descendant of what started as a great idea: the New Deal.  That was way back when the government was in the business of actually helping its citizens.

In its current form the bill weakens the food stamp program, using a rationale only a Republican could understand.  See, Republicans are terrified poor people might get more than they deserve.  They are generally willing to allow our national spy agencies to spend at least $56 billion (no one really knows for sure) to spy on us each year, and squander between $4 and $6 TRILLION on a pointless war in Afghanistan, but not on hungry Americans.  The Republican plan is to force people to work to get food stamps, which legislatures must certainly know most can’t do, since there are no jobs.  Tucked into the Farm Bill is a social experiment to lower the wages for all Americans by forcing people to either work part time for next to nothing, or to steal and fill jails.  All from a bill named “farm”.

The bill also switches farmers from direct subsidies, meaning sometimes paying a farmer more not to grow a crop than to grow it, and switch instead to a “crop insurance” or “crop-gap” subsidy system.  Paying farmers not to grow crops sounds like socialism.

But it isn’t, it’s prudent food planning.  Paying farmers not to grow crops has several advantages:

  1. It is good for land to lie fallow, it allows the soil to recover from the kind of chemical farming we do in the US.
  2. Not farming all available land saves billions of tons of carbon from going in to the air.  Modern farming is very petroleum intensive.
  3. The easiest way to regulate crop prices is to influence production.
  4. Leaving some land fallow provides a buffer against a really traumatic assault on our food supply from the inevitable attack by an insect, or more likely a rust or fungus, to kill all of the monocrops we so stupidly base our agriculture on.
  5. Opponents of farm subsidies point out that wealthy farmers benefit disproportionately from subsidies, and some source quote that the average farm family enjoys a 25% better living that the average of all families.  I’m not sure what value there is to that number.  In the first place, a relatively few agribusiness firms do very well, but far more farm families are not making it at all, that’s the problem with “average” numbers, they hide a lot of detail.  Further, many farm families keep their adult children on site, helping to run the farm or ranch.  Those people, if figured as their own households, would bring the average down.

Hormel and other huge corporations strongly support the current bill, but that might be very bad news for small farmers.

They don’t support something we all should support: better food labeling.  The big producers whine because the government wants them to tell where, geographically, the meat lived on the hoof.  A whole lot of American beef products were grown, slaughtered, and processed in Argentina, Mexico and elsewhere.  One of the major beef exporters is India, where the cow is sacred and can’t be slaughtered, but where buffalo, a cow like animal, is not sacred.

We should all be eating beef, pork, and chicken from local places, where we know the farmer.  Unfortunately, the Farm Bill does nothing to help us buy the excellent beef grown in the Sierra Valley, and nothing to encourage small, organic, locally raised chicken, pork and beef.  True, no one in the county could begin to satisfy the local need for protein; we live a lifestyle, with a population that is subsidized, as everything is, by oil.  But, we could have local markets even if the price would be higher than at Costco.  But, no, not a bill for that kind of farm.

The Bill also provides money for “conservation” aims, as “conservation” groups figured prominently in the negotiations.  What that will translate to, we can’t be sure, but it is clear that agriculture is going to be held to stricture pollution standards.

The FB also provides some money for “renewable and recycled chemical” energy; it isn’t clear what exactly that refers to, but probably not to us.  It continues a biofuel program and provides money to research and feasibility work.  It gives money to biofuel crops, which would take petroleum to grow and harvest, but which uses less fuel to bring to the processor and far less money to harvest.  That won’t help us.  It isn’t clear if Sierra County and the Loyalton Cogen plant will benefit or not.

We’ll see what’s left of the bill when the Senate is done with it.

That’s it for this week; good luck!

Cooter (he’s a good dog) 1/29/14

Yes, I realize there is no quail here right now, but there was one here last night when you were sitting on your butt watching a movie.  There seemed little sense in pointing last night, so here, this is what you would have had if you'd been on the job.

1/29/14 Yes, I realize there is no quail here right now, but there was one here last night when you were sitting on your butt watching a movie. There seemed little sense in pointing last night, so here, this is what you would have had if you’d been on the job.

Jerusha 1/29/14

Volume VI # 287

Dear Jerusha:Jerushaboys

Guess what? It is almost Valentine’s Day. I read somewhere that this was your favorite day of all. It surprised me, because it seems as if you have trouble finding someone to date. Is Valentine’s your favorite because you actually do have someone to date or is it because you think you might find someone on Valentine’s Day who might want to date you. Is it true you are single? How come there are two children in your photo with your column. Is that a picture of you or someone else? At any rate I just want to tell you to have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sincerely,  Pat Mountair, Alleghany

Dear Pat,

You certainly have a lot of impertinent questions. I can tell you don’t read my column regularly or you would know all the answers, or at least most of them, maybe some. I am not always looking for someone to date. Sometimes it comes up in correspondence because it just seems too. There are many other days that I would classify as my favorite; my birthday, Chanukah, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving. I might pick Thanksgiving because that is Miss Jody’s Community Dinner. I also like April’s Fools Day.  It’s interesting that you signed your name Pat rather than Patrick or Patricia… I’m thinking you are being a little sneaky, and I don’t date sneaky people.

Sincerely, Jerusha

MaryJane Gets 30 Days 1/29/14

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors Natural Resources, Planning & Building Inspection Standing Committee met on January 27 in Downieville. The Board Chambers was crowded with standing room only by both advocates for the medical marijuana users and residents interested in property rights and moderation.

It was apparent that almost everyone in attendance had done their homework and an air of balance, moderation, compassion and cooperation filled the room. The Committee members, Supervisors Paul Roen and Lee Adams were open and interested in allowing everyone to have their say. County Counsel Jim Curtis was in the room and was unusually reserved and not prone to using legalese to change the discussion. It was truly a Kumbayah moment.

Although the committee had previously suggested the Tehama County Medical Marijuana Ordinance was one to look too, and in fact the committee had tweaked an Alternate version with a less restricted indoor clause, it was determined by the end of the meeting, to extend the timeframe another 30 days to allow everyone interested to submit written comments and statements and the Committee will reconvene and discuss the proposed ordinance for Sierra County again, possibly leaving Tehama’s by the wayside and addressing our unique situation in Sierra County.

District Attorney Larry Allen and Detective Mike Fisher at marijuana ordinance meeting

District Attorney Larry Allen and Detective Mike Fisher at marijuana ordinance meeting

Pro and Con in the audience

Pro and Con in the audience

County Clerk Heather Foster, County Counsel Jim Curtis, Supervisor Lee Adams and Chair of the Board Supervisor Paul Roen

County Clerk Heather Foster, County Counsel Jim Curtis, Supervisor Lee Adams and Chair of the Board Supervisor Paul Roen

Friends on the porch, CR & Don

Friends on the porch, CR & Don






Let’s Talk Reorganization of H&S 1/29/14

A Sierra County Board of Supervisors Government Committee will meet in session on Thursday January 30 at 10:00 a.m. in the Board Chambers of the courthouse in Downieville.

The item to be discussed is recommendations regarding the functions, structure and possible reorganization of the Health and Human Services Department as directed by the Board of Supervisors on January 21, 2014.

All interested persons are invited to attend.

PHTLS Coming to Downieville May 3rd & 4th

PreHospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) Provider Course

Saturday, May 3

The PHTLS courses are designed to provide healthcare providers with a pre-hospital trauma care philosophy, stressing the need to treat the multi-system trauma patient as a unique entity with specific needs. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to recognize, identify and treat multi-system trauma patients, relate pathophysiology of injuries, and have a more comprehensive understanding of pre-hospital trauma interventions. Topics covered include – kinematics of trauma, identification of the mechanism of injury, patient assessment, airway management, shock, specific traumatic injuries (including head, spinal, thoracic, abdominal, musculoskeletal, burns, blunt and penetrating trauma) pediatric trauma, geriatric trauma, environmental trauma, pediatric assessment, rapid extrication, traumatic brain injuries, spinal immobilization (adult and pediatric), and special considerations such as disaster management and weapons of mass destruction.

May 3 - May 4
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Time Details:
Class is two full days 9am until 6pm Saturday & Sunday. DEADLINE for Registration April 20, 2014
Downieville Community Hall
Main Street
Downieville, CA 95936
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. No cost to First Responders. Class size is limited.
Download Agenda

A Mission of Angels 1/29/14

Penn Valley–Cynthia Prout, a member of the Word-A-Live Church at Penn Valley and daughter of well known Pike City community member Carol Wenger,  is on a mission.
This mission began with one family; Savannah’s. Savannah was born with a heart condition and the family was commuting back and forth from the hospital, which created  financial hardships. They needed clothes for the baby and wood to heat the home.
Savannah became the inspiration for Cynthia to begin helping families. As of December, 2013, Cynthia and her Angels have provided assistance to over 35 families.
This assistance comes in many forms; diapers, formula, clothing, cribs and car seats are just a few of the items Cynthia and her 6 volunteer angels have provided so far. All items are donated, however, the time and gas used to deliver items to families comes out of their own pockets. There is no funding resources so any and all donations are accepted, and appreciated.
“Savannah’s Angels was started to help families that needed clothing for their children. If I hear of a family in need, I act immediately and network to find the needed items. I am working under the umbrella of my church, Word-A-Live. I am not a fancy corporation, just a mom that works hard to help any and all families that I can. My mission is to do God’s work and help those in need, regardless of reasons around why the families have needs. My goal is that no child should ever do without” stated Cynthia.
Savannah’s Angels has helped families with children in Nevada County and is willing to help other local families as well. If you need assistance, or can make any type of donation, please conatct Cynthia at Word-A-Live Church c/o Savannah’s Angels, POB 1477, Penn Valley, Ca. 95946. Donations made through the church are tax deductable.
Savannah’s Angels is currently in need of clothing for children, sizes 0 – 4t, diapers and baby wipes, blankets and any other baby/childrens items you can spare. Also needed are shelves for the storage area and tubs that items can be stored/delivered in.
You can visit Savannah’s Angel on Facebook for more information. Cynthia can be contacted at (530) 615-6728.
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