Carrie’s Corner 4/2/14

Carrie’s Corner
By: Carrie A. Blakley
With the weather being all nice and sunny, it appears that we’re having a heat wave. Considering that we may very well be experiencing our very own minute version of global warming, now would be a really good time to get those plants into the garden – and quickly! While there are many gardeners in the area, there are a few signs that some of these people take gardening just a little bit too seriously. For example:
If you have more pairs of gardening gloves, than you have socks. If you have an emergency gardening care kit in the back of your vehicle, that’s larger than your vehicle emergency care kit. If every pair of pants you own has just as much dirt on them than the inside of your flower boxes. If you take your daily walk, and carry a 2 liter bottle of water to water other people’s plants…just in case. If you start speaking in Latin to your friends, by habit. If you stop talking to someone mid-sentence, because you just saw a plant that you don’t recognize. If you have to resist the overwhelming urge to pull weeds, every time you go camping in the woods.
Those are signs that you very well might be taking your gardening just a bit too seriously. There are more side effects as well, which should be promptly treated by your local psychiatrist. Those side effects include: A straw hat wardrobe that’s larger than your husband’s T-shirt collection. Asking your friends, family members and the local coffee shops to save their used coffee grounds for your garden and, spending more hours driving around town in search of abandoned plastic pots and plants than you do at work, at home or at church…combined. I understand that gardening is a means by which to prevent starvation, but if you suffer from any, or all, of the above mentioned symptoms, please seek professional help. You should also know that gardening can be contagious….but it’s ok. Just smile and spread that stuff all over the place!

DVL Town Treasure Hunt in June 4/2/14

“The Hoarders” Coming To Downieville?

Downieville Town Treasure Hunt!

Tired of closet clutter?  Are you feeling like you’re one pile of junk away from being on an episode of “The Hoarders”?  Then consider this—join in and be part of the Downieville Town Treasure Hunt, scheduled for the Fishing Derby weekend; June 14 & 15.  It’s a treasure hunt of community yard sales, all through Downieville.  Start spring cleaning and be part of the fun!  A” treasure map” will be available to mark the locations of all the sales, and plenty of signage will be posted.  The deadline to get on the map is June 1, so make sure you let Kathy Whitlow or Cherry Simi know if you’re going to be selling on one or both days.  The more sales, the more inviting it will be for buyers!  The hunt is on!


Carol’s Books 4/2/14

Carol Says:

Inside Graceland
Nancy Rooks   Non-fiction
The good news is that this is NOT a “tell all” book.  I think of “tell all’s as negative books to show the bad side.  But this book does tell lots of interesting stories while Nancy worked for Elvis, as a maid and cook, at Graceland.
I had no idea that so many people lived there!  Nancy writes about Elvis’s grandmother and aunt – the time she spent with them both working and just visiting and talking with them.  While she worked hard, she was also expected to sit, have coffee, and visit with them.  We also learn a little about Lisa Marie, not much about Priscilla, and just daily life at Graceland.
Nancy doesn’t hide the fact that Elvis took “medications”, and a few times lost his temper when on the meds, but mostly the book is about daily life.  Also the funny things that happened just working there on a daily basis.
I liked this book because it just was a plain book about daily life, written so that it was interesting.  I didn’t want great highlights or the “tell all” book – just what it was like to have worked and lived there.  I think this book covers it.
Amazon Says:

Inside Graceland: Elvis’ Maid Remembers Paperback

by Nancy Rooks  (Author)
If you wanted a picture of the life of Elvis Presley, who better to paint it for you than someone who worked as his trusted cook and maid at Graceland? Someone whose daily tasks centered around keeping the ‘King of Rock & Roll’ happy, whose every move was designed to please the greatest music legend the entertainment world has ever known. Here is that picture, as painted by Nancy Rooks. Nancy worked for Elvis from 1967 until his untimely death in 1977. Read her stories of what those years were like, of what the routines were at Graceland, and what it meant to be close to Elvis and his family on a daily basis. Read the sad account of her rushing upstairs, after a frantic call from Ginger Alden, and finding him on the bathroom floor. This book presents that picture, one that every Elvis fan will want to see.

Carol’s Movies 4/2/14

Carol Says:

Last Vegas
The beginning of this movie introduces each of the 4 characters at their homes – so we get an idea of what their life is like.  Then Billy calls them and says he is going to get married, and the other 3 decide to have a party for him in Vegas.  And that is what this movie is about.
Billy’s girlfriend is about 32 yrs old and Billy is closing in on 70.  Upon arrival in Vegas he meets a woman about his age and enjoys her company.  Billy and Paddy have an issue to resolve – Billy not coming to Paddy’s wife’s funeral, and the other guys have just little issues in their own life to resolve.  So they arrive in Vegas and this and that happens, they have a big party in their suite, issues get resolved and they go home.
Here you have four great actors and a really silly movie.  And tacky.  And too much “language”.  But we chuckled through the whole movie, even though it was all that, and on top of that, the outcome of each scene was very predictable.  For some reason, it was funny and lighthearted.  Would I recommend it to anyone?  No.  Too much of the silly, tacky and language.  But I think they would enjoy it anyway, just like us.
Netflix Says:
Last Vegas  2013 PG-13  105 minutesFour sixtysomething pals — Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam — gather in Las Vegas to celebrate Billy’s upcoming nuptials with the intention of running wild for four straight days. But Sin City has gotten a lot crazier than they could’ve ever imagined.

DVFD Fills The Boots 4/2/14

Local Firefighters “Fill the Boot for Burns”  Friday, April 4, 2014 firefighters seen on Downieville streets may not be responding to a fire or other emergency.  Off-duty firefighters from Downieville Volunteer Fire Department will be shaking their turnout boots and collecting donations to help “Fill the Boot for Burns”.  This event helps raise money to support burn prevention and recovery programs in Northern and Central California.

Firefighters will be asking the community to help support burn recovery programs including Firefighters

Kids Camp for Young Burn Survivors, Little Heroes Preschool Burn Camp, and other burn programs funded

by the Firefighters Burn Institute.  Similar “Boot Drives” are being held simultaneously throughout the nation.

WHO: Firefighters from Downieville Volunteer Fire Department

WHAT: “Fill the Boot For Burns” Boot Drive Fundraiser

WHEN: Friday, April 4, 2014

WHERE: Main Street & Nevada Street, Downieville, CA

Main Street & Commercial Street, Downieville, CA

Downieville – Firefighters are suited up and ready for this year’s Firefighters “Fill the Boot for Burns” Boot Drive to be held in Downieville on April 4th, 2014.  Firefighters from Downieville Volunteer Fire Department will spend their day shaking their boots and volunteering their time to collect donations at the intersections of Main Street/Nevada Street and Main Street/Commercial Street to “Fill the Boot for Burns”.  Firefighters will be collecting donations to support the Firefighters Burn Institute and assure the best possible burn treatment and recovery programs are available in Northern and Central California.

The Firefighters Burn Institute (FFBI), founded in 1973 by Sacramento Area Fire Fighters, Local 522, has grown into the area’s largest firefighter-run charity. The Firefighters Burn Institute helped establish the first burn unit in Sacramento in 1974 and continues to donate medical equipment, fund burn research and provide free burn recovery programs, including two annual summer camps for young burn survivors. The Firefighters Kids Camp, held each summer for kids ages 7 to 17 years old and the Little Heroes Preschool Burn Camp for children ages 3 to 6. These camps provide burn survivor children a safe place to be just like everyone else and a positive environment to overcome challenges and achieve goals. Camp provides an opportunity for kids who have experienced terrible circumstances to see a future filled with endless possibilities.

Donations collected during annual Boot Drives have also made it possible for the Firefighters Burn Institute to pledge two million dollars toward the construction of the new Regional Burn Center at U.C. Davis Medical Center. The new 7,900 square foot, 12-bed burn unit now provides comprehensive care with the most technologically advanced treatment options available to burn patients throughout inland northern California, northwest Nevada and southern Oregon.

Please come out and show your support and drop your donation into the boot of a firefighter on April 4th…we hope to see you there!

Workday for the Fair 4/2/14

Sometimes, epic events can not be replicated. There was no sequel to the movie Ben Hur. There’s really no good reason to bring back the mullet. There is, however, one event that should, and will be brought back; The Mother Of All Workdays II at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds. The original event held last Spring, brought together hundreds of volunteers investing hundreds of hours of work. They painted, raked, swept, repaired and then ate lunch. Why not do it again?

Saturday. April 26 will see the return of those who value the fairgrounds in Quincy, and are willing to show their feelings by helping to make the grounds look great. The list of tasks is long, so the more the merrier. Horse stalls need painting, livestock barns need cleaning and repairing, and gopher mounds need to be knocked down. Of course, there is always areas to be swept, windows to be cleaned and rocks to be picked up. Flower beds need to be weeded and walls scrubbed. Plus, if anyone in the community has a particular skill they think the fairgrounds could use, please call the office at 283-6272. There is always a need for electricians, landscapers or locksmiths.

If you, your family, or your organization wants to come spend a morning helping out the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, call the office and let Fair Manager John Steffanic tell you what kind of tasks need to be assigned. If you want to receive a coveted Mother of All Workdays II commemorative t-shirt, you must call ahead and let the Fair know you are coming. Be sure to tell them what size shirt you need. Volunteers are asked to check-in between 8am and 9am. Work proceeds until noon or 12:30pm, when everyone sits down and enjoys a delicious BBQ lunch.

Sweetheart Scholarship 4/2/14

Originally conceived of as a way to promote the Plumas Sierra County Fair, the Sweetheart of the Mountains Pageant became a popular symbol of the annual fair, as well as a coveted title for young ladies from Plumas or Sierra Counties. Back when it was a pageant, judging included such important issues of the era like body weight and measurements. The newer version of the Sweetheart of the Mountains eliminates the title pageant, as well as body considerations. We are more interested in how a young lady presents herself, how she communicates and how committed she is to her community. Many long time residents, who know former Sweethearts, would tell you all those attributes have existed in all the girls from the beginning. How a teenage girl looks in a swimsuit has nothing to do with how good a representative of our area she is. Times have changed.

The 2014 edition of the Sweetheart of the Mountains Scholarship Competition will reach it’s conclusion on the opening night of the Fair. One young girl will be crowned the title on Wednesday, August 13 in the Grandstands of the Fairgrounds. The competition will begin on May 1, 2014 when candidates can begin their efforts with community appearances, fund raising events, and endless rehearsals. A girl who is a resident of Plumas or Sierra Counties, who will be entering their Junior or Senior year in the semester following the August Fair, or who have just graduated in the spring of the year the Fair is held, is eligible to compete. Candidates must complete an application available at each high school, charter school or private school. Applications are also available on-line at Complete rules are available for download. The deadline for applying is Friday, April 25. Completed applications are to be mailed to the address listed on the form.

Ultimately, candidates will be judged in three areas; poise, talent, and community service/fund raising.

The night of the competition, entrants will have an opportunity to perform any sort talent that “entertains an audience”. The evening will also have the contestants answer random questions to gauge how quickly they can think and how clearly they can communicate. Both of those segments will be judged by a panel of judges representing all areas of both counties.

The final phase of competition is community service/fund raising. This process will begin the minute a girl announces her candidacy. Contestants are required to attend at least two events in their community, and attend the Plumas County Picnic on June 7 in Quincy at the Fairgrounds. The purpose of these appearances is to represent and promote the Plumas Sierra County Fair. They will also be judged on the amount of money they raise for the Fair and it’s new non-profit; the PSCF Foundation. Girls can have raffles, car washes, performances or seek donors. An interesting aspect of the fund raising, is that each girl will be able to use 50% of what she raises for her future education. The PSCF Foundation will hold those funds for two years, or longer in some cases, to help Sweetheart contestants pay tuition, buy books, pay for room or board, or anything that can help them move forward with an education or career. The other 50% will be used to fund improvements at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds.

The show will be held the opening night of the Fair and will feature song and dance by local performers. Past Sweethearts will be on hand to lend elegance to the evening, which will be hosted by former local radio personalities, Steve Rusk and John Steffanic. Admission to the event will cost $5, but special discount packages will be available that include Fair admission and all grandstand events.

For further information, or if you would like to be a sponsor of the Sweetheart of the Mountains Scholarship Competition, call the Fair Office at 530-283-6272.

County Fair Exhibit Info 4/2/14

A county fair is not about corn dogs, a carnival or jugglers. It exists because people want to show what they have made, raised or grown. That is what brought people together from miles around, once a year, all around the world. Plumas and Sierra Counties are no different. Do they raise better sheep in Indian Valley, or Sierra Valley? Are the quilts prettier from Lake Almanor or American Valley? Who makes the best apple jelly? All that is settled at the Plumas Sierra County Fair every year beginning the second Wednesday in August. This year’s Fair runs from August 13-17.

The first step in declaring bragging rights is getting the annual Exhibit Guide. Some people still call it the Premium Book. This is where all the categories of competition are listed. The book has sections for the Art Barn, Floriculture/Horticulture, Home Arts, Livestock and Horse Show. In each section is a list of Divisions. For instance, in the Art Barn, you will find Divisions for amateur black & white photography and senior high school paintings. Beneath each Division are Classes, which break down the Division further. You will find Classes like Landscape, Selfies and Human Interest under the Amateur Black and White Division. There are guidelines and rules for each section that include deadlines, number of entries allowed in each class, and how much it costs to enter. Each Class awards ribbons and usually a cash premium for the top three winners. At the back of the guide are entry forms for each section. It includes your contact information and has a place for you to write down the Division and Class for each of your entries. Mail or bring those entry forms to the Fair Office by July 18 with your entry fees and you are entered into the Fair!

Remember, you don’t have to bring your actual entry by July 18, just the entry form. You would bring your jams, quilts, or photos in the days before the fair. In the case of vegetables or flowers, you sometimes bring those in during the Fair. It’s all in the exhibit guide.

We sometimes spend our lives regretting not doing one thing or another. Entering something in the Fair is just too fun and easy to not do it. It is guaranteed; you will remember winning a ribbon at the county fair for the rest of  your life. Take a few minutes and look through the exhibit guide to see if there is anything that peaks your interest. Can you gift wrap a box? Enter that. Do you have a recipe for bread that your Grandma gave you? Bring it on down. How about that collection of unusual rocks you have accumulated? Everyone who visits the Fair would love to see it. The more entries the Fair has, the healthier the Fair is. Be a part of that.

The exhibit guide is available on the Fair website; and is broken down by section for those of you who still have a dial-up connection. You can pick up hard copies at local libraries, Plumas Bank branches, and where ever good people gather. You can also stop by the Fair Office and get one there.

Sierra City 150 Meeting 4/2/14

Sierra City Sesquicentennial Meeting

Saddle up and attend the next Sierra City Sesquicentennial planning meeting.  Wagon rides, gunfights, and all sorts of shenanigans are in the fire. Don’t miss the opportunity to help make the Sierra City Sesquicentennial a bang-up event!  See you at the SC Community Hall on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 pm.

The Eggs Are Here 3/26/14

Photos and story by Darcy White

The Feather River Chapter of Trout Unlimited board member Bill Copren, delivered 32 eggs to the Downieville K-12 school on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Downieville, Loyalton and Camptonville Schools are part of the 22 schools in Sierra, Yuba, Lassen and Plumas counties that will be participating in the Trout in the Classroom program over the next six weeks.  The students, under the direction of teachers Alicia Schofield and  Stephan Tassone, will be learning about and observing trout development and life cycles.They will also be taking a look at aquatic habitats and conservation of our beautiful rivers. Several groups have donated  to make this program possible, including Feather River Trout Unlimited, Sierra County Watershed Council, and our very own Downieville Lion’s Club.

Alicia Schofield and Bill Copren reveal the fish eggs to the students.

3/26/14 Teacher Alicia Schofield and Trout in the Classroom advocate  Bill Copren reveal the fish eggs to the students.

Teachers Stephan Tassone and Alicia Schofield inspect the future trout

3/26/14 Teachers Stephan Tassone and Alicia Schofield inspect the future trout

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photo 5 (2)

SC Arts Council brings Banff 3/26/14

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Yuba Theatre April 4-6, 2014

The historic Gold Rush era town of Downieville on Highway 49 offers a perfect opportunity for a weekend get-away with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Yuba Theatre in Downieville April 4-6, 2014.

View the complete program for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2014 at the Yuba Theatre.

Tickets on sale at Brown Paper Tickets and, locally, at Downieville Day Spa.

This charming mountain village situated in a rugged canyon at the confluence of the Downie and North Yuba Rivers, and the comfortable Yuba Theatre itself, provide a memorable setting to see the highest quality films from the prestigiousBanff Mountain Film Festival held each fall in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

National Geographic

The North Face

National Geographic and The North Face and are among the sponsors of the tour – now celebrating its 38th year – that is an exciting opportunity to experience world travel and thrilling mountain adventure in the comfortable environment of the 184-seat Yuba Theatre. Transformed into a performing arts venue by the Sierra County Arts Council in 1996, the 1940 era Yuba Theatre has been a favorite venue (as well as its smallest) on the World Tour for 15 consecutive years. In 2002, the Banff Centre featured the Yuba Theatre in itsBanff Mountain Festivals Magazine.

The Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5 shows begin at 7 p.m. and the Sunday, April 6 show begins at 2 p.m. Each screening will feature different programs of the best independent and documentary films available. Expect approximately 2 hours of films at each screening, as well as an intermission with refreshments. The traditional door prize drawings for an array of items add to the festivities.

About The Arts Council

The Sierra County Arts Council is a member-supported 501 (c) (3) nonprofit public benefit corporation established in 1981 to promote, support and advocate the arts throughout Sierra County, California.

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors has designated the Sierra County Arts Council as the State Local Partner of theCalifornia Arts Council, a state agency, annually since 1981. The Arts Council’s business office has been located in the historic Yuba Theatre in Downieville since 1996.



Sierra County Democrats are sponsoring two candidate forums to provide the voters an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of the candidates for contested offices.  All candidates for Supervisor of District 2 and District 5, Sheriff and Congress are invited to both forums.
The first will be held on Friday April 25 at 6:30 pm in Downieville at the Yuba Theatre on Main St. co-sponsored by the Sierra County Arts Council.
The second will be held on Sunday May 4 at 6:30 pm at Loyalton Elementary School on 111 Beckwith Rd. co-sponsored by the Sierra Plumas Joint Unified School District
The Rotary Club in Loyalton will be sponsoring a Candidates Night at the Loyalton Social Hall on April 16 at 6 p.m.
Ballots will be mailed around May 5 so update your voter registration now if your residence address has changed.  Be sure you’re voting in the correct supervisorial district so your vote counts.  Voter registration cards are available in post offices or you can register online at

Carrie’s Corner 3/26/14

Carrie’s Corner
By: Carrie A. Blakley
Even though we’ve been having a few cold spells here and there, this is still the time of year you really want to start thinking about sowing your seeds indoors. Clearly, we’re not quite past the frost stage, but indoor planting is doable right now. It will take at least 2 – 3 weeks before any seeds begin to grow large enough for out door transplanting (or, transplanting into larger containers). Before planting your seeds, make sure that you read the packet thoroughly. Some seed companies, such as Botanical Interests, not only print valuable information on the outside of the packet, but also on the inside. So be careful when opening your seed packets.
You also want to have a nice sunny spot for the new seeds to grow in. A window sill will do just fine, or a flat surface area placed in front of a window. If you have pets, especially cats, you will want to bear this in mind when you set your new seedlings in front of a window. Be sure it’s not a window that your pets love to gaze out of, or else you may find yourself replanting those seeds several times over. Also be sure that any plants which may be harmful to pets are not easily accessible to the pets. Lilies, for example, can be extremely poisonous to cats, but not to dogs. The lily, for example, will simply upset the dog’s stomach, but will not be a potentially lethal threat.
Get creative with your starter pots. Don’t think that you have to run out and buy a ton of plastic 6-pack starter cells in order to get your seeds going. Cardboard egg cartons work just as well, are biodegradable and can be planted directly into the ground. Old glass baking pans can also be used to start lettuce, cabbage and other leafy vegetables, as well as strawberries, succulents and even small cactus plants. Just remember, you’re not limited to industrial grade items in order to start your plants. In fact, I advise against using industrial grade materials for home gardening. The more organic you can get, the better off your garden will be, and, your plants will thank you for it. Happy planting!
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