Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Downieville School and the Sierra County Arts Council present the musical melodrama The Wild, Wild, Wildest West at the Yuba Theatre Friday, May 29, 2015 and Saturday, May 30, 2015at7:00p.m. Don’t miss it.

Indian Valley Outpost Resort will be having a Meet & Greet from 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 30 featuring a Spaghetti Dinner at $5 includes salad and bread, 289-3349 for more information. Proceeds will benefit Downieville VFD and Camptonville VFD.

Pike City VFD will be having a Taco Dinner event, Veggie or Beef Tacos at $2.50 each or a dinner plate at $10, on Saturday, May 30 from 6 to 8 benefits the PCVFD and helps them help us.

Loyalton High School 2015 Graduation will be at the Loyalton High School Gym at 5:30 p.m. on Friday June 5th with 15 graduates.

Downieville High School will be having its’ 2015 Graduation at the Kentucky Mine Amphitheater on Saturday June 6th at 5:30 p.m. with 4 graduates.

Check out the new City Center in Loyalton where the Milton Gottardi Museum is now located, it is open Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Special tours can be arranged by contacting Jackie Mitchell at 530 993-4012. Lots of things are happening in Loyalton and the Sierra Valley, check out the Sierra Booster at .

For your reading pleasure we have the District Attorney Cases, Sheriff’s Public Log, Dianne Ponders, Fringe, Gabby, Cooter & Claire, The Others, The Cats lots of local news and our guest columnists, Lawrence Wittner, John LaForge and Robert Dodge.

Be thinking positive thoughts and prayers for Kathy Breed and Rick Clemo.

The lovely photo this week is of a California Poppies growing from a rock wall taken by Nancy Carnahan of the Riverside Inn.

Kaitlend Hill Honored 5/27/15

by Valerie Cassity
Special to

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsEarlier this month Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) joined health care providers across the country in celebrating National Nurses Day. On May 6, SNMH hosted a luncheon honoring its 268 nurses and recognized one exceptional member of the nursing staff with the coveted annual DAISY nursing award.

The DAISY award was created by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died of complications of an auto-immune disease at the age of 33. During Pat’s eight-week hospitalization, his family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided to him and to everyone in his family. When they established the DAISY Foundation in Pat’s memory (DAISY is an acronym for “diseases attacking the immune system”), one of their goals was to recognize extraordinary nurses.

The DAISY Award is now a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day.

Jill McWilliams, vice president and chief nursing officer of SNMH Hospital Administration, spoke about this year’s winner, Kaitlend Hill, RN, a “float nurse” who works in all areas of the hospital.

“Kaitlend is a role model for nursing. Her versatility broadens her knowledge and makes her an asset in so many areas,” McWilliams said. “She always takes initiative and is a great collaborator. One of her most important traits is how well she communicates with her co-workers, physicians, patients and their families.”

At SNMH, the nursing staff provides care not only to the patients admitted to the hospital but also to those being treated as outpatients, including the Emergency Department, the Ambulatory Treatment Center, Home Health, and Diagnostic Imaging. Nurses play a critical role in each patient’s experience.

“Though providing evidenced-based care, taking vitals, and administering medication are our top priorities, it is our ability to provide compassion and kindness that really makes a difference,” McWilliams said. “To listen and empathize with patients and assist them while they are here is incredibly important.”

The profession of nursing has come a long way since the first record of organized nursing during the Civil War. Then, women caring for injured soldiers as volunteers were considered little more than “camp followers.” That began to change as the first hospitals were built to serve an increasing number of soldiers severely wounded in combat.

Soon after, nursing became a profession requiring specific training and schooling, and today it is a valued health care profession, with the best nurses around the country honored with the DAISY award.

Each DAISY Award honoree is recognized at a public ceremony and receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer’s Touch.

Hill was chosen from 17 SNMH nurses nominated by their peers for their dedication to their job and caring manner with patients. Hill’s interest in nursing began as a young child when her mother was diagnosed with Lupus. Hill wanted to understand what was going on and get more involved and thought that nursing was the best way to do that.

After graduating from Nevada Union High School, Hill completed the nursing program at Humboldt State University and then returned to her hometown to begin her career at Golden Empire as a nursing assistant in the Alzheimer’s Unit. Two years ago she was hired at SNMH.

The day of the DAISY award ceremony, Hill said that as they came to end of the list of nominees, she thought for a moment they had forgotten her — until she was announced as the winner.

“I got a little tearful,” said Hill. “For the people you work with to recognize you for what you are doing is just so overwhelming.”

Hill has been accepted into the Nurse Practitioner program at UC Davis, and is currently working on finding scholarships. After graduation, she plans to return to the Grass Valley area because it’s her home and she loves taking care of her friends and neighbors. She attributes her success to her grandma, Rosemary Hill, who wrote her regularly throughout nursing school and beyond. “She was such a great support and inspiration to me,” Hill said.

All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.

DeVita’s Smelly Vacation 5/27/15

fringe logoThe Fringe Takes on Old Man Smell
A brief vacation from the seriousness of life
by DeVita

Yesterday a reader, if not a fan, complained that my writing was becoming too serious and self important. “You used to be fun.”

Painful as the remark was, I realized it was true, and so, to honor that reader, I’m taking time out to discuss Old Man Smell.

There is widespread cultural belief in old man smell as a real thing. I don’t question the existence of old man smell; I used to be able to detect it easily, though now it escapes me, like the high pitched tone that the young can hear that the old can’t. I am able to detect the “foul stench of youth” as Monty Burns called it. Back when I was young old men would splash on nut meggy Old Spice, making them smell like old man pie. Old Spice still does make stinkum for men, though now there is Old Spice Fiji, providing me the opportunity to smell like old man fruit cup.

The Japanese, of course, have a world for “old man smell” instead of a phrase. Should you ever meet an elderly person from Japan, avoid using the word “kareishū “. It is interesting to note that in Japan, gloves are provided for young women at ATM machines so they don’t have to touch something middle aged men have touched. Though I’m a bit hurt by the sexism and agism involved in someone not wanting to touch something I’ve touched as an old man, in general, however,  I’m not too hurt.

So what is old man smell, and who has it? I asked a youngster who was at hand, “do old men smell?”. Yes, he told me, we do. Who smells, does Don Russell have OMS? “Yes, definitely.” I named a couple of other old friends; they all registered old man smell. So, I asked the kid, “what does old man smell smell like?”. Not all old men smell the same, but they do all smell like old men.

The science on this is clear: in terms of body odor, old men smell the least of everyone. When a relative handful of youths were asked to smell samples of people of different ages, they found old men the least stinky, and middle aged women the next least stinky, then old women. Our scent does change with age, but the smell of old men is rather neutral.

So what makes my old friends smell? I’ve given it some careful thought. First, most of my friends have been casual about personal hygiene most of their lives. Many of them fart a lot because older people can have a harder time digesting sugars, but the group I generally hang with usually like chili on almost anything, and couldn’t turn down a chorizo wrapped in bacon, smothered in pancake batter, deep fat fried and then slathered with garlic cheese. Frequent farting is the pleasant consequence of the diet. Some of the smells of some old men are young man smells that have simply aged.

Next, like many ladies our age, some of us leak a little at the faucet, but unlike women, we are unwilling to do anything about it. It would take a close friend to convince an old man to do something like wear a napkin, and first, no friend is likely to do that, and second, most don’t have that keen a sense of smell. Personally, if I’m with an old friend and smell stale uno, I’m relieved if it isn’t me.

The final, overall ingredient is indifference. A younger man is more likely to be concerned with public image. For an older man, if it doesn’t bother me it doesn’t smell bad. If it bothers you too much, I can light up a cigar.

What about the frequent belief by the young that part of the smell of the old is the grave, incipient decay, the impatient beneficiaries of death? I’m pretty sure it’s our shoes. Old boys hate breaking in new shoes, and I’ll patch my shoes until they are two different sizes before I’ll buy a new pair of shoes.

And there’s the data on old man smell. Maybe one of these times I’ll take up the smells young women make over the course of the month; it will make OMS seem like a lane of lilacs. Good luck!

Corporate Welfare Fail 5/27/15

Corporate Welfare Fails to Deliver the Jobs: The Sad Case of Start-Up NY

By Lawrence S. Wittner

Lawrence Wittner

Lawrence Wittner

For several decades, state and local governments have been showering private businesses with tax breaks and direct subsidies based on the theory that this practice fosters economic development and, therefore, job growth. But does it? New York State’s experience indicates that, when it comes to producing jobs, corporate welfare programs are a bad investment. This should be instructive to state and local officials across the US.

In May 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with enormous fanfare, launched a campaign to establish Tax-Free NY — a scheme providing tax-free status for ten years to companies that moved onto or near the state’s public college and university campuses. According to Cuomo, this would “supercharge” the state’s economy and bring job creation efforts to an unprecedented level. It was “a game-changing initiative,” the governor insisted, and — despite criticism from educators, unions, and some conservatives — local officials fell into line. Reluctant to oppose this widely-touted jobs creation measure, the state legislature established the program — renamed Start-Up NY and including some private college campuses — that June.

After that, Start-Up NY moved into high gear. A total of 356 tax-free zones were established at 62 New York colleges and universities, with numerous administrators hired to oversee the development of the new commercial programs on their campuses. New York State spent $47 million in 2014 — and might have spent as much as $150 million over the years — advertising Start-Up NY in all 50 states of the nation, with ads focused on the theme: “New York Open for Business.” Nancy Zimpher, the chancellor of the State University of New York, crowed: “Nowhere in the country do new businesses and entrepreneurs stand to benefit more by partnering with higher education than in New York State, thanks to the widespread success of Governor Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program. With interest and investment coming in from around the globe and new jobs being created in every region, Start-Up NY has provided a spark for our economy and for SUNY.” This was, she declared, a “transformative initiative.”

But how “transformative” has Start-Up NY been? According to the Empire State Development Corporation, the government entity that oversees more than 50 of the state’s economic development programs, during all of 2014 Start-Up NY generated a grand total of 76 jobs. Moreover, the vast majority of the 30 companies operating under the program had simply shifted their operations from one region of the state to another. The New York Times reported that, of the businesses up and running under Start-Up NY, just four came from out of state. Indeed, in some cases, the “new” businesses had not even crossed county lines. One company moved one mile to qualify for the tax-free program. Furthermore, when it came to business investment, there was a substantial gap between promises and implementation. As the Empire State Development Corporation noted, companies promised $91 million in investments over a five year period, but only invested $1.7 million of that in 2014. Thus, not surprisingly, during 2014 the companies operating under Start-Up NY created only 4 percent of the new jobs they had promised.

Actually, Start-Up NY’s dismal record is not much worse than that of New York’s other economic development programs. According to a December 2013 study by the Alliance for a Greater New York, the state spends approximately $7 billion every year on subsidies to businesses, including “tax exemptions, tax credits, grants, tax-exempt bonds, and discounted land to corporations, ostensibly in the name of job creation, economic growth, and improved quality of life for all New Yorkers.” But 33 percent of spending by the state’s Industrial Development Agencies resulted in no job promises, no job creation, or a loss of jobs. In fact, “with little accountability, businesses often take the money and run.”

A recent report by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reached similar conclusions. According to DiNapoli, in 2014 the programs overseen by the Empire State Development Corporation cost the state $1.3 billion (not including the voluminous tax breaks granted to companies) and helped create or retain only 14,779 jobs — at a cost to taxpayers of $87,962 per job. The comptroller’s scathing report concluded that there was no attempt by the state agency to ascertain whether its programs “have succeeded or failed at creating good jobs for New Yorkers or whether its investments are reasonable.”

Of course, instead of shoveling billions of dollars into the coffers of private, profit-making companies, New York could invest its public resources in worthwhile ventures that generate large numbers of jobs — for example, in public education. In 2011, as a consequence of severe cutbacks in state funding of New York’s public schools and a new state law that capped local property tax growth — two measures demanded by Governor Cuomo — 7,000 teachers were laid off and another 4,000 teacher positions went unfilled. Overall, 80 percent of school districts reported cutting teaching positions. Today, with New York’s schools severely underfunded — more than half of them receiving less state aid now than they did in 2008-2009 — this pattern of eliminating teachers and closing down educational opportunities for children has continued. But what if the billions of dollars squandered on subsidizing private businesses in the forlorn hope that they will hire workers were spent, instead, on putting thousands of teachers back to work? Wouldn’t this policy also create a better educated workforce that would be more likely to secure employment? And wouldn’t this shift in investment have the added advantage of creating a more knowledgeable public, better able to understand the world and partake in the full richness of civilization?

It’s a shame that many state and local government officials have such a limited, business-oriented mentality that they cannot imagine an alternative to corporate welfare.

Lawrence S. Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and is syndicated by PeaceVoice. His latest book is a satirical novel about university corporatization and rebellion, What’s Going On at UAardvark?

Gabby Sphingette 5/27/15

Sphincters, and what makes them close
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Did you know there are over sixty different kinds of sphincters in the human body? They range from the tiny ones in your capillaries (there are trillions of those suckers) to one of the largest and most beloved, the outer anal sphincter.
Basically what a sphincter is, is a contracting tube, or kind of a valve, to move things along, or keep them in, or out.
Sometimes we can close them voluntarily, actually, the outer anal sphincter is the only one we can voluntarily close.
Most of the other closing is involuntarily, either our body controlling like with eating, when all the intestinal and esophageal sphincters work in concert to move the food from the esophagus sphincter back out into daylight through the outer anal sphincter.
Then there’s involuntary reflexes, such as ducking behind the couch and staying quiet when someone you know knocks on the door.
What kinds of thing will make your sphincters close?

Pulling nose hairs is usually painful enough to snap the anal sphincters shut, and bring a tear to your eye. What’s worse is when you try and brush something off your upper lip with your arm, crumbs or whatever, and your get nose hairs in your watchbands.
The effect sounds somewhat like Velcro; but listen for the telltale snap.

Bad food. Not just a sandwich you left out over night, but old food in a refrigerator in a new house. Food the last people didn’t bother to take out when the power was turned off. A combination made of other people’s cooking and being sealed in a tepid tomb is enough to put the esophagus and the asshole on full lock down. Nobody gets in or out.

Something squishy. You don’t know what it is, but you stepped on it barefoot in the dark while getting up to pee, or you put your hand in it while groping around for your flashlight, so you could get up to pee without stepping on anything pointy or squishy.
You aren’t sure what this stuff is; you don’t remember putting it there, and it doesn’t smell like anything recognizable.
You place hand or foot in it, and your holes snap shut.

A more disturbing discussion comes when sphincters don’t do their job.
Intestinal sphincters sometimes go bad, and don’t close when they’re supposed to. This can be caused by a number of things, but the most common is Irritable Bowl Syndrome, or IBS. IBS can be irritated by a number of things, be it daily stresses, or that king-sized deep-fried bacon taco you ate for dinner.
But when it’s irritated, the intestines contract when they aren’t supposed to, sometimes pushing the poop back up. Usually the only thing that comes down through these tubes of torment is a thin, watery slur, which can slide through the colon, and inner and outer anal sphincters.
Anal leakage, anyone?

Sadly, the power of the sphincter does not extend beyond the grave.
When you die, all sphincters relax. Without going into too much detail, here’s a little description.
Every sphincter opens. Even ones you didn’t know you had. All of your fluids go downhill, which usually leads to the bloating of the corpse, as well as the settling of blood.
daylightAlso, anything you had for lunch right before dying, goes straight through you, basically being rafted through your now wide-open tubes to ‘the end of the tunnel’.
I’m willing to bet while reading this, at least two of your sphincters closed. The sphincter really is a magical thing. It keeps everything moving along and right where its supposed to be.

The Others 5/27/15

Okay, what's this... are you using me for Mountain Lion chum or what? I'd feel safer if you were closer ... or is that your plan.... Milo Williamson (please someone call the ASPA)

5/27/15 Okay, what’s this… are you using me for Mountain Lion chum or what? I’m not an Hors d’ oeuvre…… I’d feel safer if you were closer … or is that your plan…. Milo Williamson (please someone call the ASPCA)

Hors d’oeuvre

Wirth Proclaims 5/27/15

Wirth Delivers His Latest Proclamation

Andy Wirth

Andy Wirth via IMDB

Last week the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission finally released the Preliminary Draft of the Certified Fiscal Analysis for the incorporation of Olympic Valley. A local group of concerned citizens and residents, known as Incorporate Olympic Valley, has been working on bringing the incorporation to a public vote over the last 2 years. If you’ve been reading over that time, you’re well aware that Squaw Valley Real Estate, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and CEO Andy Wirth are scared to death about letting locals assert control over what happens in Olympic Valley.

We received our copy of the Preliminary Draft CFA from Placer County last Thursday and were surprised that the independent contractor responsible for the study, RSG, had indeed arrived at a preliminary conclusion that the town may not be fiscally viable. Surely that raised a lot of questions in my mind, as the fiscal viability seemed like a slam dunk. But as much as I have watched the process over that last two years, I am certainly not any sort of expert at government finance. We decided that it would be best to wait until either Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV or the pro-incorporation group) or the Save Olympic Valley (SOV or the anti-incorporation group) fired the first shot.

As it turns out, neither of them fired first. On Friday, a press release arrived from Squaw Valley|Alpine Meadows with a statement from CEO Andy Wirth. As we have noted here before, Wirth’s statements were neither pretty nor entirely accurate. We can’t even say it was a true press release, as the entire release consisted of just two “sound bites” from Wirth regarding the preliminary draft CFA. The sound bites were entirely out of context and were not surrounded by any useful information about why Squaw Valley or CEO Andy Wirth even cared about the incorporation effort. It seems as if Wirth was only focused on a mad dash to be the first one to say anything, rather than actually delivering a thoughtful message. This release comes across no better than the last release that slammed Sierra Watch’s Tom Mooers, and others we’ve seen in the past. Who is screening these e-mails before they get sent? See a copy

Copy of Andy’s Release

We weren’t the only ones that noted the unprofessional and incomplete press release. The rapidly growing Death Of The Pressbox blog analyzed Wirth’s statement in their latest post Saturday, titled “Andy Wirth kicks off the summer by sharting all over Olympic Valley community”. While the content is acerbic and not at all kid-friendly, it gets right to the point.

Death of the Press Box

Subtlety is not one of Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth’s strong suits. Add writing a cohesive sound bite and good timing to that list. – Death Of The Pressbox

If you’re a fan of Andy Wirth, you’re not going to like that piece. But the message it delivers is important. Not only is the message from Andy skewed and inflammatory, but the logic used by Wirth in denouncing the incorporation effort is also flawed. DOTPB notes that if the town of Olympic Valley cannot possibly be viable based on one source of income, Squaw Valley, how can Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, lead by Wirth, be willing the risk the billions of dollars from KSL Capital investors on an oversized Disneyesque monstrosity, that Wirth himself suggests could lead to the failure of the town.

Ultimately, it’s important to note that the Preliminary Draft Certified Fiscal Assessment is just that, both “preliminary” and a “draft”. Both of those words suggest that the CFA is a live document that will change over time. In fact, the revenue neutrality negotiations, one of the biggest factors of the equation, haven’t even begun yet. There are many questions regarding the CFA, starting with the very last minute change that lead the CFA being handled by RSG instead of Citygate, the firm initially selected to conduct the analysis.

The key issue here is, who we can trust with the future of Squaw Valley and the surrounding communities of North Lake Tahoe? This is just the latest in a string of deceitful and anti-community behavior by first time CEO Wirth and Squaw Valley. Let’s look at the history:

• Wirth has attacked members of the community that oppose Squaw Valley’s plans or favor the incorporation of Olympic Valley

• Squaw Valley and Wirth have not kept promises made in 2011 to protect the separate identities and characters of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows

• Wirth secretly (or not so secretly!) made efforts to gain the support of local non-profit organizations to vouch for his credibility

• Wirth also made efforts to gain support from local athletes that would support the Village At Squaw Valley project or personally vouch for Wirth’s credibility. While evidence of that support is pathetically transparent, it’s important that several athletes refused to “sign on” to the efforts.

• Squaw Valley has contributed nearly $500,000 to Save Olympic Valley campaign to fight the incorporation effort and thwart local control of the community.

Ultimately, the battle over the incorporation in Olympic Valley is not done yet. Spock has not yet appeared with his tricorder to announce “It’s dead, Jim”, and we don’t believe that Andy Wirth is a credible source to make that proclamation either. We look forward to hearing from the Incorporate Olympic Valley group soon.

No matter how you stand on the incorporation of Olympic Valley, one message is clear, we cannot trust that KSL Capital, Squaw Valley or CEO Andy Wirth are the right people to be making decisions about the future of the North Lake Tahoe area.

Be Encouraged 5/27/15

Unknownby Angela Collier

A dear friend of mine in Guthrie, Oklahoma just completed flying lessons. She is in her seventies. Way to go Donna! On my last visit to Oklahoma, we decided to jump in the car for a spontaneous road trip to McPherson, Kansas. We stopped by and said hello to our friend Nell who was 103 years of age! Sharp as a tack, Nell was a spit fire indeed. I was amazed how quick her pace was escorting us out of the senior center when it was time to go. Donna and Nell represent the human spirit that does not allow age to dictate life to them despite how many birthday candles are on their cake. As the Lord keeps sustaining their health and mobility – they are out the door taking on the world!

Donna and Nell could do circles around many of the 50-60 year old patients I encountered in the medical field. What it comes down to is attitude. Attitude is everything! The Scriptures say that words have the power to bring life or death. I think sometimes we speak death over our health, lifestyle, finances, relationships and many other areas in the day to day. What we speak often comes to pass. This is because behind the words a thought remained unchecked at the door. Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts signal the body to believe the message- regardless of the truth factor. If you think you are too old- then your body says you are too old. Exercise goes out the window. Extra activities come to a halt. Arthritis starts setting in. Sickness and disease start invading. Today speak LIFE about your life! God is good! Always!

The Cats 5/27/15

Don't say anything...he doesn't know I'm here...just a lump in the bedspread... Socks Lauters & Yukon Adams

5/27/15 Don’t say anything…he thinks I’m just a lump in the bedspread… Socks Lauters & Yukon Adams

5/27/15 Don’t say anything…he doesn’t know I’m here…just a lump in the bedspread…

Dianne Ponders Love 5/27/15

Dianne Severance

Dianne Severance

The urban legend is that people who live in apartment buildings (as I do) hardly know each other and very rarely socialize.

That’s not true in my building. On Monday, Memorial Day, we had a lovely gathering of people who are more than neighbors — they’re friends– for a cookout and lunch. Everyone there brought something and two of the men provided chicken cooked on a grill.

The Memorial Day event is just one more example of the feeling of neighborliness we enjoy in this building. If someone isn’t seen for a day or two, a neighbor will knock on the door or call. We take each other to doctors’ appointments and shopping. Occasionally, when we can afford it, some of us go out to dinner, usually to a medium-nice restaurant.

At one time, we had a regular Thursday night card game until one person died and the other moved to California to be with her daughter.

Even as our ranks are diminished by deaths or changes, we stick together. We sit in the hospital while our friend undergoes surgery. We bring each other cooked meals, ready to eat, on fancy plates. One neighbor makes it a point to buy enough quarters so that people who can’t get out can do their laundry.

Most recently some apartments in our building were without hot water because of a malfunctioning pump. Some neighbors who still had hot water allowed the affected people to take showers in their apartments until the problem was fixed — it turned into a months-long process.

We live in a small city, but in this building it feels like a small town, or at times even an extended family. To belong to such a community is a good thing.

Lowell G. Banks 1931 – 2015

Lowell G. Banks 1931 – 2015

Lowell G. Banks
1931 – 2015

Lowell Banks was raised in the small agricultural town of Hartland, New Brunswick. In the summer he swam, built rafts and fished in the St. John River. He played basketball for Hartland High School, only because he was tall and without him the school did not have enough boys to make a team. Ice Hockey was his game and he was a proficient skater all his life. In the fall, he worked pulling potatoes and picking strawberries. In the winter he serviced his two paper routes on skies. It was a life worthy of a Disney movie. But one day his father, Garrett, decided he’d had enough snow and moved his family to Vancouver B.C. and from there they immigrated to El Cerrito where his wife, Anna, had a sister.

Lowell, at 16, enrolled in El Cerrito High where he met his sweetheart and future wife, Eunice Turner. In the fall of 1950 he enrolled at Cogswell Polytechnic College in San Francisco but with the advent of the Korean War, he returned to Canada and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served as a Radar Technician with the Air Search Rescue Squadron in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. He also served on Princess Elizabeth’s Honor Guard during her visit to Canada. Following discharge from the Air Force, Lowell returned to El Cerrito and resumed his education at Cogswell graduating with a degree in Electronics Engineering. He and Eunice married and Lowell took a job with California Research in Richmond.
Eight years and two children later, Lowell, along with his family, had the opportunity to transfer to Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where they soon added a third son to the family. Lowell spent six years in the management of a multi-cultural workforce in the maintenance of telecommunication equipment for Aramco and the community they lived in. This also involved setting up communications for King Saud during his visit to Dhahran.
Working in Saudi Arabia allowed the family the opportunity to visit Europe, the Middle and Far East during two trips around the world. Eunice and their three sons were evacuated during the 1967 Israeli/Arab war and Lowell stayed on. It was a year before the family was reunited.
Back in California, Lowell joined Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and as Superintendent of Communications was instrumental in preparing the communication systems to be used by BART. After 18 years as Manager of Component Repair he retired to Sierra City.
Lowell and Eunice indulged their passion for travel with trips to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Mexico as well as frequent trips to Maine to visit family. Ever willing to take on a challenge, Lowell served on Sierra County’s school board, Western Sierra Medical Clinic, Western Sierra Residential Center and was active in the Downieville Lions Club. He helped run three electric power plants, which afforded him the opportunity to fly fish and to help restock the local streams with planted hatchlings.
In 2003, Lowell and Eunice felt it was time to move closer to medical services and moved to Eskaton Village in Grass Valley. Lowell continued his dedication to service by joining the Cousin Jacks Lions Club and was Treasurer for the Nevada County Chapter of Health Care for All.
Lowell is survived by his wife Eunice, his three sons, Bruce, Steve and Gary and their respective wives and two grandchildren, James and Jessica. He is also survived by his sister Pat, nieces Beth and Leslie and a nephew Rob, all of Bangor, Maine
OBit logoA Celebration of Lowell Banks’ Life will be held at Eskaton Village, Grass Valley on June 27 at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Sierra City. To show appreciation for Lowell’s life of service, a donation to any area food bank or animal shelter will be gratefully acknowledged.

Mountain Messenger (imaginary friends) 5/27/15

The mystery surrounding Don Russell having friends has been solved. The people pictured in last week’s Mountain Messenger column have been identified as Boyd and Andrea McCleary, they are from somewhere in the south. Apparently Don’s claim as to Boyd being a high school friend was fraudulent as he didn’t even know their names and referred to them as Joe and Joan. I spoke to these people, who are

Andrea & Boyd McCleary

Andrea & Boyd McCleary

extremely nice and personable they had met Carol Marshall who referred them to me for access to the Downieville Museum, fortunately, as soon as I called them Joe Hill and Joan Arc and I saw the confusion on their faces, I knew the truth. Boyd did admit to attending the same school as Don and knowing him as being on the edge of normality but other claims made by Don were “over the top”. Joan is such a nice woman I can see her being friends with Irene, however who knows… Meanwhile they were kind and did not say anything about their experience in Downieville. They appeared to love it here. So come back soon.

Don smiles as he continues to believe that Joe and Joan are his friends.

5/27/15 Don Russell smiles as he continues to believe Joe and Joan are his friends.

Send anything you need published to Milly, the CEO and most important person in the office, at or you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Milly). For a subscription: send in as below or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to Don Russell at and tell him you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect…..mess subcrip

District Attorney Cases 5/27/15

Sierra County District Attorney
Lawrence R. Allen
District Attorney / Public Administrator

Paul Penn (38) Loyalton. Violation of probation for failure to report and use of controlled substances. He was on probation for felon in possession of firearm, and possession of controlled substance in jail. He was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

Steiner Knoefler (24) Downieville. Vandalism and drunk in public. One year probation, two days jail, fine $650, and $400 in restitution.

Jordan Wing (21) Loyalton. Wing waived her right to a preliminary hearing and was ordered to stand trial on felony grand theft charges.

Todd Rich (49) Pike. Dog at large and no dog license. Fine $178.

Jason Wardrobe (38) Loyalton. Leaving the scene of an accident. Two years probation, and a fine $1465. Restitution has been satisfied.

Michael Schmidt (20) San Diego. Reckless driving, alcohol related. Eighteen months probation, one day jail, fine $1519, and must complete DMV alcohol course.

Orion Ehringer (44) Orangevale. After a contested preliminary hearing, he was ordered to stand trial on charges of criminal threats and intimidating a witness.

April Williams (33) Transit. Violation of probation for failure to keep in touch with probation. She was on probation for possession of a controlled substance, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. Sentencing is June 9.

Cory Grim (26) Failure to appear on felony charge. Sentencing is June 26.

Eric Armstrong (23) Loyalton. After a contested violation of probation hearing, he was found to be in violation of his probation for spousal abuse by interfering with probation search of his property. Probation was revoked and not reinstated. He was sentenced to one year in jail minus credit for 240 days he had already served.

Summerfest in June 5/27/15

Summeriest on June 28th flyer is attached. It’s a great Ranch tri tip dinner grilled right at White Sulphur Springs Ranch and a couple of hours of super music. There will be a large silent auction and a short live auction.Because the Comstock Cowboys are so popular, tickets are selling quickly. If anyone wants tickets, they can contack Michael Hogan, Sierraville # is 832-5677. His office # is 448-1824. OR they can contact me at 530-836-2334. Sumfestflyer_2015_noBG_web white bkgd

Thanks a million for gettting the word out. One correction to the flyer. Michael is NOT going to play afterall. He is simply too busy for the next few months.

Many thanks for putting this word out.   Sally Tantau, Summerfest Chair

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