ARF at Holiday on Main 12/3/14

The Sierra County Animal Relief Fund (ARF) is holding its “Christmas Extravaganza” Unknownduring Downieville’s “Holiday on Main” on Saturday, December 6. The Extravaganza will consist of a Pet Parade, raffle, and silent auction — as well as an information booth about the organization.

The Pet Parade will be held in front of Sierra Hardware (or in the firehouse, in case of wet weather). Registration begins at noon, with the parade happening as soon as all animals are registered. Awards will be presented for “Best Dressed”, so animals are encouraged to come in costume. All animals should be properly contained, and it is strongly recommended that they have, at least, their first set of vaccinations.

Raffle prizes and silent auction items will be on display at the ARF booth in the Community Hall (the booth will open at 10:00 AM). Raffle tickets are $1 for one, $5 for six, or $25 for a person’s height in tickets. Tickets may be purchased at the ARF booth on December 6, or in front of the Downieville Post Office on Tuesday, December 2, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. The raffle drawing will take place at 3:00 PM, at the ARF booth. You don’t need to be present to win, but are encouraged to be there. Bidding on the silent auction takes place throughout the day at the ARF booth, with the auction closing at 3:00 PM. To date, raffle prizes include gift certificates at SPD, Herringtons, Esquire IMAX Theatre, South Pine Cafe, Volz Bros, Plaza Tires, Culture Shock, and a couple bottles of wine. And, silent auction items to date include El Dorado Casino & Resort, Mondavi Center jazz concert, dog bed and toy, home beer brew kit, and rum basket.

More items for both the raffle and silent auction are being sought. Local residents and/or businesses might put together a themed auction basket — or could donate to ARF toward such a basket. (All donations to ARF are tax deductible, as it is a registered non-profit organization.) Also, if anyone would be interested in volunteering time for the Christmas Extravaganza — for the Pet Parade or at the booth — their help would be appreciated.

All proceeds from the Christmas Extravaganza benefit the work of the Animal Relief Fund. Currently, ARF is focusing on spaying and neutering animals, in order to help maintain a sustainable pet population, and as a way to cut down on the amount of requests for food that come to the organization. ARF’s goal is to help provide the basics of life to the animal members of Sierra County families by providing healthcare and emergency food when needed.

To donate prizes for the raffle or auction, or money toward such prizes, or to make a donation to ARF, please contact ARF CEO, Rachel Guffin, at 289-2720.

Wednesday November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving-Pictures1Most importantly have a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are surrounded by family and friends and if you are not don’t forget the Miss Jody Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Downieville Community Hall where friends and family gather as a community family. The event, which is free to all,  is also a fundraiser for the Western Sierra Food Bank and accepts donations. Be there or be square.

The Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. has become official and is accepting donations. The goal is to make sure western Sierra County is able to continue having Urgent and Emergency care by supporting the Downieville EMS, system and preparing for the lessened service from WSMC. Donations can be sent to Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. (SFMR,Inc) at P.O. Box 393, Downieville, CA 95936

NEWSFLASH -The Mountain Messenger had a front page article about the donation to SFMR and mistakenly said the SFMR filed the complaint with the California Attorney General over Western Sierra Medical Clinic’s breach of merger agreement. Downieville Clinic -Patient Advocacy Committee (DC-PAC) filed the complaint. DC-PAC is a community organized group that filed the complaint. Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. is a separate entity developed at the request of DC-PAC, however it did not file the complaint.

Evidently WSMC has cancelled the contract with Enloe Hospital that allowed the Clinic to be a base station to stabilize patients prior to the long haul down the hill in an ambulance or on the helicopter. There have been many instances over the years where this has resulted in saving lives and without the ambulance being able to stop at the Clinic or talk to the medical provider for direction this life saving feature is gone. The cancellation does not affect Enloe Helicopter service just the interaction with the Clinic. Such a valuable tool and resource… one cannot fathom what the WSMC Board and Administration are thinking to decimate a system that has been constructed and so effective for so many years. The Downieville Clinic – Patient Advocacy Committee (DC-PAC) will be having it’s next meeting at 4 pm on December 8th at the Downieville Community Hall.

Milly at the Mountain Messenger asked me to let everyone (except Don Russell) that she is holding a special on the Christmas issue holiday ads. Call her right away… the Christmas Greetings issue will be on December 16th.  So give her a call or email at 530 289-3262 and order your advertisement now. The first 10 ads get a really special discount.

We have all the local news Carol’s Movies, The Fringe, Gabby, Cats, Others, guest columnists Kathy Kelly and Winslow Myers and local events. Be sure to mark your calendars for December 6th Holiday on Main in Downieville and then on December 13th the Sierra City Children’s Christmas Party and Potluck. Santa Claus will be attending both,

This week’s beautiful photo is the Happy Thanksgiving greeting that Mary Davey of Sierra City sent to everyone on her Facebook page…. thank you Mary and Happy Thanksgiving to you, your hubby Sierra City Fire Chief Bryan and your talented son Hunter.

The Cats 11/26/14

I'm fairly certain I am a Cat... the door was open, I came in.. so what's the issue... tell the dogs to get a grip...  Nolly Racoon

11/26/14 I’m fairly certain I am a Cat… the door was open, I came in.. so what’s the issue… tell the dogs to get a grip… I am thankful you prepared this door for me…   Nolly Racoon

Small Business Saturday 11/29/14

The businesses that are promoting Small Business Saturday, November 29 are: Downieville Mountain Café, Sierra Hardware, Downieville Day Spa, Vintage Gal Antiques, The Grubstake Saloon, 49 Wines, La Cocina de Oro, The Shack and The Mountain Messenger. Small Business Saturday is nationwide and was started by American Express to support your local small businesses during the holiday season. 4f56dd268c1458f538f206d7634c9b82[1]

Thank You 11/26/14

Words cannot even begin to express our family’s sincere gratitude and appreciation for all that was done to remember and celebrate the life of Doris Pratti. Your personal memories brought both laughter and tears and a gentle reminder of who Doris was. We are so grateful to so many, but we must personally thank The Downieville Lion’s Club for helping put together a wonderful gathering of Doris’ dear friends and neighbors. Your kindness and thoughtfulness will forever be in our hearts.
The Warren Family, Helen, Chuck, Nick, Andrea, Kevin, Adam, & Chloe

Tahoe Sports Hub 11/26/14

Tahoe Sports Hub at Unofficial Alpine

Tahoe Sports Hub Adds New Staff, New Products & New Services
by Mark
The peak of the holiday shopping season is upon us, and the Tahoe Sports Hub has made some exciting additions to their staff, products and services. New team members Kenny Good and Corey Champagne are a great addition to the awesome staff at the Hub, allowing for the additions of a snowboard line-up and custom boot fitting options this season.

IMG_0828-150x150Champagne is the new head boot-fitter and is developing a new running shoe department which will debut in the spring of 2015. With extensive bootfitting experience in various local ski shops, he has drastically improved the boot fitting service at Tahoe Sports Hub. A foot expert and on his way to becoming one of few licensed pedorthist’s in Northern California, Champagne will be taking his pedorthist board certification exam in the spring of 2015. In addition to his pedorthist training he has over ten years experience custom fitting ski boots and holds certifications from the Robert M. Palmer MD institute of biomechanics, Superfeet University, and Masterfit. When Champagne is not fitting custom ski boots or building custom orthotics for running shoes he is playing in the mountains. He is an accomplished outdoorsman and has kayaked the Grand Canyon and finished multiple Tough Mudders. He also has multiple ski mountaineering summits under his belt including; Mt. Rainier, Mt Shasta, Mt. Hood, Mt St. Helens, and plenty of impressive ascents in the Cascade Range, Eastern Sierra and Chamonix France.

562814_10100758495655523_93952689_n-300x225Good has a long history in the ski industry. He has repped snowboard lines, managed shops, overseen retail websites, and even dabbled in product development. Good spearheaded the new Tahoe Sports Hub snowboard department. The department features boards, bindings, and boots from some of Snowboarding’s most respected brands as well as a huge selection of splitboards. Good is an expert on all forms of backcountry travel and snow safety equipment and has improved the snow safety and backcountry department dramatically. Good is passionate about advances in snow safety technology and wants to make sure that Tahoe Sports Hub customers have the knowledge to make educated equipment choices.

“We are so lucky to have Kenny and Corey on the team this year; they both bring so much to the shop and make us well rounded. We believe in investing in the right people and both Kenny and Corey are great additions” – Rob Cavallo, Tahoe Sports Hub owner

County Planner Job 11/26/14

Sierra County is accepting application for Planner I, II, or III depending on qualifications.
A resume may be attached, but the County application must be completed. Applications with an original signature must be received by Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 5 p.m. Postmarked applications cannot be accepted for consideration.

Mail completed applications to:
Sierra County Planning Department
P.O. Box 530
101 Courthouse Square
Downieville, CA 95936

County Full Time Position In Downieville
Planner I $2,648.50 – $2,919.98/Month DOQ Planner II $3,124.36 – $3,444.62/Month DOQ Planner III $3,395.80 – $3,743.88/Month DOQ
November 24, 2014
December 31, 2014 5:00 PM

Questions? Call (530) 289-3251 or email Email


SFMR, Inc Receives Donation 11/26/14

Paul Douville, Don Potter, Ingrid Larsen, Cherry Simi, Frank Lang

Paul Douville, Don Potter, Ingrid Larsen, Cherry Simi, Frank Lang

Don Potter of the Grubstake in Downieville presents a check for $650 to the newly formed Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc (SFMR) for support of continued Urgent and the EMS in western Sierra County. The String A Longs band and vocalist performed at the fundraising event held in November at the Grubstake, MaryK and Don Potter donated all proceeds of the event to SFMR.

Calpine Christmas Tree 11/26/14


TIME: 6:00PM


Paula on behalf of the Calpine Community

….bring your bells, tambourines and other holiday instruments!
The wonderful Jan Drummond will lead us in song and music!!


No Weapons No War 11/26/14

Uncomplicated, in Afghanistan 
by Kathy Kelly

Kathy Kelly

Kathy Kelly

On November 7, 2014, while visiting Kabul, The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, noted that NATO will soon launch a new chapter, a new non-combat mission in Afghanistan. But it’s difficult to spot new methods as NATO commits itself to sustaining combat on the part of Afghan forces.

Stoltenberg commended NATO Allies and partner nations from across the world, in an October 29th speech, in Brussels, declaring that for over a decade, they “stood shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan.” According to Stoltenberg, “this international effort has contributed to a better future for Afghan men, women and children.” Rhetoric from NATO and the Pentagon regularly claims that Afghans have benefited from the past 13 years of U.S./NATO warfare, but reports from other agencies complicate these claims.
UNAMA, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, found that in the first six months of 2014, combat among the warring parties surpassed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as the leading cause of conflict-related death and injury to Afghan civilians.
This “disturbing upward spiral” has meant the number of children and other vulnerable Afghans killed and wounded since the beginning of the year rose dramatically and “is proving to be devastating.”
Stoltenberg’s assurance of NATO’s positive contribution to civilian welfare in Afghanistan is also undermined by a recently issued Amnesty International report examining NATO/ISAF operations. These operations include air strikes, drone attacks and night raids, all of which have caused civilian deaths and also involved torture, disappearances, and cover-ups. The report, entitled “Left in the Dark,” gives ten chilling and horrific case studies occurring between 2009- 2013. Amnesty International states that two of the case studies “involve abundant and compelling evidence of war crimes.”

I wish that NATO’s commander could have joined Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs) that same week in Afghanistan as they visited an extraordinarily sustainable project, called “Emergency.” This Italy–based network of hospitals and clinics has been particularly remarkable for effectively saving and improving the lives of many Afghan people, over the past 13 years, while at the same time rejecting any form of war or use of weapons within its facilities.

At the entrance to any one of Emergency’s clinics or hospitals, a sign at the door says “No Weapons Allowed.” A logo banning guns is next to the Emergency logo. Although they work in one of the most intense war zones in the world, Emergency staff, including security guards, reject any use of weapons inside their facilities.

Yusof Hakimi, the nurse in charge of Emergency’s ICU in the Kabul hospital, assured us that the ban is strictly upheld. A child isn’t allowed to carry a plastic toy gun inside the hospital premises. No one can wear camouflage clothing. “Even the president of Afghanistan cannot carry a gun inside our hospitals!” says Luca Radaelli, the medical coordinator of Emergency’s hospital in Kabul. He added that it’s not easy to maintain a facility where wars are banned. “But,” he adds, “everyone understands the purposes and respects the rules.”

They’ve learned ways of providing security without the use of weapons. One such way involves an absolute commitment to neutrality.

They never take sides in the various conflicts that plague Afghanistan.
In fact, they don’t even ask if a patient belongs to one side or another.

Most NGOs in Afghanistan arrange for their staff to travel in heavily armed vehicles. But unarmed Emergency ambulances travel through war zones, in multiple directions, across the country. “We don’t have armed guards,” says Luca. “We don’t have bullet proof cars. We don’t change our routes because,” he explains in his clear, matter-of-fact style, “we have never been targeted.”

Luca says they acquire, and maintain, security through their reputation. Since they never charge any patient for health care, they could not be accused of trying to make a profit.

They also pursue strong diplomatic conversations with each group affected by their work, such as new workers, contractors, local government officials, and religious leaders. They explain their policy of maintaining neutral independence toward everyone involved. “If you provide something good, something skilled, and it is free of charge,” he adds, “there is no need to protect yourself. People won’t get angry.”

If NATO and U.S. commanders took a fraction of what they have spent securing this region by violence- (the Pentagon has requested 58.5 billion dollars for Fiscal Year 2015 in Afghanistan)- and spent that instead to help people harmed by the ravages of war, could non-combat projects, such as Emergency’s, start to work? There are numerous, obvious solutions to problems in Afghanistan which NATO countries could actually consider, or even attempt, if the alliance was actually there to help improve the quality of life for Afghan people.

One solution is to establish health care programs similar to what Emergency has created.

However, Emergency isn’t in Afghanistan to point out a sane path through disaster to all the actors, here and abroad, who seem unlikely to discard paths of suicidal hatred and ignorance.

In Luca’s view, Emergency is simply what a healthcare institution ought to be.

“It grows from a very simple idea. Provide high quality service for everyone, not thinking about profit, but just about patients’ health.”

“What is so complicated?” he asks.

We might address a similar question to NATO Sec. Gen. Jens Stoltenberg: A new, non-combat mission, in Afghanistan, one that rejects weapons and war. What would be so complicated?
Kathy Kelly,, writes for PeaceVoice and co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( While in Kabul, she is a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (
This article first appeared on the Telesur English website

Dianne Ponders Thankfuls 11/26/14

What does it mean to be thankful?

Dianne Severance

Dianne Severance

For a small child, the thrill of receiving a new toy is one way to feel thankful, even though the feeling may be as short-lived as the toy itself.

For grownups, thankfulness has a myriad of meanings.

I am thankful I have a comfortable home, food in the refrigerator and warm clothes. So many people who live within blocks of me wheel all of their belongings and makings of a shelter in a supermarket cart. I don’t think I would be able to survive that kind of life. I wonder whether the homeless individuals I see feel or realize any reason to be thankful.

Others I know are coping with serious illness. Some of these people are thankful that they woke up again today, while others suffer and grieve for their own upcoming death. It is no one’s right to judge the sufferers, for who knows how thankful we would feel under similar circumstances.

Parents, for the most part, are thankful for their children — except when a youngster destroys a prized piece of furniture or when the child gets into trouble in school. No matter what, though, most parents try to give their children unconditional love. The parents who are cruel to their children are not thankful.

We can be thankful we have our families, even the crazy uncle or the eccentric aunt. The same goes for our friends, who often put up with our idiosyncrasies because they love us.

We are thankful for our jobs, even if we complain of too much work for too little pay. Our jobs make it possible for us to live and function in today’s society.

Thankfulness, I think, is a choice rather than a response. We choose to be thankful for all we are given every day. Those who do not chose to appreciate all they have received will not feel truly thankful.

So, I urge, make the choice to be thankful this Thanksgiving. Sit down with your families, friends or adopted loved ones for the day and enjoy them as well as the turkey and all the trimmings. Give someone a hug and thank him or her for being with you this day.

And say a prayer of thankfulness to God as you know him or her for all the blessings in your life. Choose to be thankful.

Carol’s Movies 11/26/14

Carol Says:

Begin Again

Keira Knightley moves to New York with her boyfriend, who is the “new sensation” of a singer. Of course he cheats on her and this movie is about where she goes from there.

She meets Mark Ruffalo who is an almost “has been” of a record producer. And the movie goes from there.

It has both a happy and a good ending and is fun to watch. There is some singing throughout the movie and at first I thought “if they play this song one more time….!” but they didn’t, finally, and it was all good.  Get the movie and just enjoy.

Netflix Says:

Begin Again  2014 R  105 minutes

Moving to New York City proves disastrous for a young singer after her boyfriend yields to the temptation of another woman. But opportunity comes knocking when she meets a recently axed music producer looking to launch her career — and save his own.

Cast:Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine, James Corden, Yasiin Bey, Cee Lo Green, Catherine Keener

Vengence is Futile 11/26/14

Vengeance is Obsolete

Winslow Myers

Winslow Myers

Winslow Myers

Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks on the tragic occasion of the deaths of three Israeli teens at the hands of Palestinians reverberate further than he might think. Understanding their implications is key to what the late Jonathan Schell called “the fate of the earth.”

“’They sanctify death, we sanctify life,’ Netanyahu asserted, comparing the teens to those who killed them. ‘They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion. That is the secret of our strength.’ A short time later — after the burials of Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frankel, a 16-year-old dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, in Modiin—the Prime Minister spoke again about the three before a security cabinet meeting, saying, ‘May God avenge their blood.’”

If only mercy and compassion truly were the secret of Israel’s, or any modern nation’s, strength. Instead, we see an unworkable policy of revenge at work. Presumably the Prime Minister was referencing Deuteronomy, where God reserves vengeance to Himself alone. Later in the Bible that commandment to leave things to God is complemented by references to the necessity for us to consciously put away wrath and cross over into forgiveness. But ending the cycle does not require forgiveness. It merely requires an awareness that vengeance as policy is futile.

Mr. Netanyahu tries to separate “us” and “them” into distinct moral universes, as if Israelis and Palestinians were not equally human and fallible. Looking down upon adversaries from a moral high ground—just as they do him—contradicts the mercy and compassion he affirms as the presumed basis of Israeli superiority, rationalizing the continued cycle of “an eye for an eye.” Where is the mercy, or justice, in bulldozing of the houses of the murder suspects?

Lest we elsewhere in the world think we are not subject to the corrupting spirit of vengeance, think again. It is the exceptional leader who, at a moment of violence like the ISIS beheadings of American citizens, summons the political courage to refuse to give in to revenge, and urges the rest of us to follow suit.

Since 9-11 vengefulness has corrupted our thinking about the “Muslim world,” a phrase corrupted already by the falseness of thinking of that world as a monolith. Long before the twin towers fell, vengeance was firmly in place as the implied modus operandi of a potentially omnicidal international system: the threat of thermonuclear mutual assured destruction. What else is that threat if it is not a cold calculated version of passionate hot revenge, the logical opposite of the merciful and compassionate Golden Rule? If you plan on doing evil to us, think carefully, for we are ready to give back far worse—even if we risk destroying ourselves in the process. A suicide assassin is rightly regarded as an abomination. The nuclear arsenal is a suicide vest worn large.

Sensible ways out of this thicket of paradox can seem eccentric indeed. Remember when Ronald Reagan proposed to Mikhail Gorbachev that the U.S. share with the Soviets the technology of missile defense? So reasonable, yet so far-fetched, because it assumed Soviets cherished their grandchildren as much as Americans. Reagan understood the endlessness (until the world itself ends) of the revenge cycle.

No matter how profoundly antithetical it would be to the “never again” history of Israel to suggest that they rely on their Iron Dome missile defense system alone for protection and refuse to retaliate when attacked, in the long run lives would be saved on both sides if they did. This life-giving principle of defensive non-revenge applies as well to the search for viable international security norms by the United States and other nuclear nations—applies for that matter to any conflict anywhere. Abandon the policy that the best defense is a good offense. Categorically declare no first use. Aggressively advocate for treaties that further cut numbers of warheads. Declare deterrence immoral and unworkable for all parties. Emphasize true defense, like Israel’s anti-missile system. Most of all replace the vicious cycle of vengeance with a virtuous cycle that begins when any one party has the maturity to affirm with Gandhi that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Winslow Myers, syndicated by for Peacevoice, is author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide.” He serves on the Advisory Board of the War Preventive Initiative.

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