Schools Chief Vows to Fight 3/22/17

Schools Chief Vows to Fight President Trump’s Proposed Federal Budget Cuts to Education

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said President Donald Trump’s proposed budget is very disappointing and goes in the wrong direction with funding cuts that would hurt disadvantaged children, after school programs, teacher training, and other important services.
Torlakson said these cuts hurt programs that help prepare California students for jobs in the fiercely competitive, 21st century global economy.
Trump’s planned budget would take hundreds of millions of dollars from California by eliminating federal funds for programs that have proven successful in educating at-risk students, especially those from low-income backgrounds. It also reduces financial assistance to low-income college students.
“These devastating cuts shortchange our schools. By failing to invest in our students, we fail our society, our economy, and our nation,” he said. “This proposal takes us backward, jeopardizing California’s progress in improving our schools and preparing students for college and the 21st century economy.”
The President’s proposal would take away up to $132 million from California’s award-winning after school programs, which provide academic support, fitness, nutrition, and other engaging programs that help keep students in school. California has the nation’s largest after school network with more than 4,500 before and after school programs serving about 825,000 students.
The budget proposal would also wipe out $241 million to train principals and teachers with the latest education techniques and information.
Trump’s budget proposal also sets aside $250 million for a nationwide voucher program that would give public money to private schools. California voters have twice voted by large margins against voucher ballot measures.
“Voucher programs take taxpayer dollars away from public schools, starving them of the resources they need to provide a first-class education to students who remain in public schools,” he said. “Californians have said loudly and clearly that they do not want vouchers.”
Torlakson said he will urge Congress to reject these proposals when he travels to Washington, D.C. next week to meet with legislators from both parties.
Torlakson said he was pleased that the Trump budget proposal retains support for special education programs, but called for the federal government to make good on its commitment to fund 40 percent of its mandates, a pledge that has never been fulfilled.

Youth Suffer Historical Amnesia 3/15/17

America’s youth suffer from a ‘historical amnesia’ – by David Bruce Smith
Author, publisher and co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize

David Bruce Smith

The lack of knowledge about the history of our country among students in middle school, high school and even in colleges and universities has been well established and alarming. Why? Because-someday, they will become the voters responsible for electing the next generation of leadership in America. And, they will not be prepared to carry it out without a firm grasp of history.

Knowing who, how and why our country was founded determines who we are now, and what our country will look like in the future. It is the basis for an informed electorate. Our children and grandchildren need to know these things if they are to mature into engaged citizens. Yet, there are numerous studies, polls and quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that back up the notion that they suffer from “historical amnesia,” as Dr. Bruce Cole, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, described it.

It is up to us–their guardians–and their teachers to encourage our youngsters to cultivate an interest in history. And, it is the one and only reason we established the Grateful American Book Prize. Dr. Cole partnered with me in creating the Prize to inspire new and established authors–and their publishers– to produce more works of historically accurate fiction and nonfiction that can help arouse an interest in history among America’s students.

Ask history teachers why their pupils can’t learn the subject, and you’ll get a variety of answers. Some would say it is because American schools have been deemphasizing it in favor of so-called practical schooling in the sciences and technology. That may be so, but as education consultant Robert Pondiscio put it: “many Americans have forgotten we have public schools so students can become educated citizens capable of self-government.” And that is pretty important, as well.

Meanwhile, many teachers would readily acknowledge that history class can be boring; to counter that, they have discovered ways to make the subject more interesting, such as supplementing textbooks with good reads that excite young learners, and arouse curiosity about what really happened in the past.

“I believe that good historical fiction exercises a child’s imagination through a vicarious experience. It leads children to use themselves and their own lives as comparisons to the characters that lived long ago and often, far away, to reflect on their own experience, to ask their families questions. It awakens awareness, perks up perception, sparks conversations,” according to author and lecturer Valerie Tripp. And, that is why the Grateful American Book Prize exists.

The fact is, the Prize has, indeed, renewed renewed interest in historical books for young people among authors and publishers. But, the recognition and financial incentive it provides are only part of the reason for its success. The hundreds of authors who have submitted their works for consideration over the past few years seem to unanimously agree that the most important consequence of it is-an opportunity to stir up interest-again– in the study of American history.

Kids and Field Guides 3/15/17

Nature journaling for Mountain Kids
Well-known field guide artist and wildlife biologist leads workshop with students and teachers at Plumas Unified Schools, Loyalton, and Downieville.

During the week of February 27-March 3, John Muir Laws, artist and creator of the widely used Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, toured Upper Feather River Watershed public schools (and Downieville in the Yuba) leading classroom workshops and assemblies for the region’s students and teachers. Laws taught principles of field journaling—a way to engage with the natural world and delve deeper into “mountain kid” studies. Nature journaling is an exercise to “externalize thinking” giving student the opportunities to draw plants and animals, ask questions, pose theories, and document observations without a right or wrong answer.

Over the past four years, Feather River Land Trust’s Learning Landscapes program has collaborated with John Muir Laws to inspire local teachers to improve their science instruction and expand their use of Learning Landscapes sites. Field journaling is a powerful and popular tool with teachers and students alike.  During this most recent visit to the Lost Sierra region John Muir Laws provided twenty one different classroom activities and eight assemblies at local elementary schools along with four staff trainings. It was inspiring!
Why do these workshops matter? FRLT’s Learning Landscapes coordinator Rob Wade emphasizes that field journaling has been an exciting accelerator for Learning Landscapes as it has provided a powerful and relevant activity that is effective at every grade level. It supports teachers to teach outside more frequently. The fact that it integrates science, language arts, art, and math allows teachers to use it across the curriculum as they explore phenomenon, pose questions and solve problems they encounter on their campus and adjacent Learning Landscapes outdoor classrooms.
Field Journaling workshops were made possible through a unique partnership with Feather River Land Trust, local public schools, generous individual donors, and the U.S. Forest Service.

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Laphonza Butler – SEIU 3/15/17

Women’s History Month is all about celebrating the impact and contributions of the incredible women in our communities — throughout history and today.

“Each day women across this country improve our lives and fight for the future we all deserve. Whether as an elected official, community leader, or a mother caring for her children, the impact of women on our nation and its future is undeniable and must be respected — we will never settle for less.”
— Laphonza Butler

During March, we are shining the spotlight on California women who are leading the grassroots resistance to Trump and fighting for the rights of women and all Americans.

Today,Shawnda Westly, California Democratic Party   shines a light on Laphonza Butler.

Laphonza Butler is president of SEIU Local 2015, which represents 325,000 in-home caregivers and nursing home workers across California. She also serves as the President of the SEIU California State Council which fights for the more than 700,000 collective SEIU members in the state. Laphonza Butler’s leadership and passion for advocacy has empowered SEIU members to lead and build a powerful, transformational worker organization that has celebrated historic victories — including winning the fight to raise the California minimum wage to $15 by 2022.

PreHospital Trauma Course 3/15/17

PreHospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) Courses
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 prehospital trauma interventions. 16 hours of CE/Contact hours PHTLS Flyer April 2017 Sierra County

Sierraville – April 22 & 23     Downieville – April 29 & 30

Reservations and pre-test required. Class size is limited. Please return the completed attached form to me as soon as possible to hold your place in the class. These classes are grant funded and FREE to enrollees. However, if you register for a course and do not show up, you will be responsible for the cost of the course ($300.00/student)  Questions regarding the class and registration should be directed to LeTina Vanetti at PHONE: 530-993-6737 FAX: 530-993-6767 EMAIL:

Paramedic Program 3/15/17

P. O. BOX 393
Downieville, CA 95936

March 2017

Dear Friends of Sierra County:
We live in an incredible, scenic area but our distance from emergency medical and trauma resources in a crisis can be a matter of life or death. Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. (SFMR), a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3), was formed in 2014 to enhance emergency health care services for western Sierra County. In pursuit of that goal we have trained homemaker health aides, emergency medical responders and emergency medical technicians(EMTs) to augment the services of our existing, dedicated volunteers.

Some lifesaving proficiencies, however, are beyond the scope of volunteer medical technicians, firefighters, and rescue workers. Since we lack personnel authorized to administer certain advanced lifesaving medical services, SFMR initiated the Western Sierra County Paramedic Pilot Project to start addressing those needs by hiring a full-time paramedic to be stationed in the area this summer.

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors, the Downieville, Sierra City, and Alleghany-Pike Fire Departments; and numerous residents, businesses, and community organizations, support the implementation of this project.

In order to make Western Sierra County Paramedic Pilot Project a reality, we need your help.  Our immediate goal is to hire a paramedic for the summer. This is a vital step toward our future vision of full-time advanced life support services for western Sierra County. Please help us by making a contribution to “SFMR, Inc.” at the above address or donate on-line at Thank you for your consideration.  Respectfully yours, Ingrid Larson, Chair – email:                                         Directors : Ingrid Larson, Frank Lang, Cherry Simi, Liz Fisher, Mary Nourse 

SFMR, Inc. is a tax-exempt public charity, qualified to receive your tax-deductible gifts under the Internal Revenue Code. All donations will be used to restore health care services in western Sierra County.

Legend of the Washo Gold 3/15/17

Original Novel Release – The Legend of the Washo Gold

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – Jon Budd proudly announces the release of his brand new novel entitled, The Legend of the Washo Gold. It is an adventure- fiction novel about the struggle of the Washo American Indians during the infamous 1849 California Gold Rush. It centers on the beautiful, pristine Lake Tahoe and reveals American Indians in a very positive light. The novel uses ancient Washo mythology to tell a story of how these Indians persevered and eventually prospered during tumultuous Gold Rush era. The story travels in time to the initial gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and into modern times. The tale features Lake Tahoe, Cave Rock, Washo Cosmology, gold treasure, earthquakes and San Francisco.

Teaser: Thieves have broken into the Washo Tribe’s sacred cave. Hank, a modern day warrior, is assigned the task of recovering what was stolen before an ancient curse triggers a repeat of the devastating 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake. He must overcome his doubts about his tribe’s ancient religion and lead a war party of his companions to recover a cursed Indian Treasure and secure the secret of the Washo Gold.

About the author: Jon Budd is a professional anthropologist specializing in American Indians. He holds an advanced degree in anthropology from a California State University. He has over twenty years of experience studying Native American archeology, history, mythology, and religion. At one time he  lived in Portola and worked as a musician and archeologist. In 1999 and 2000, Budd and his band the Boogieman loved playing in Downieville at The Forks. He lived near Lake Tahoe while he worked for the Forest Service as an archeologist. Lake Tahoe was his inspiration for this novel. He now resides in San Marcos, Texas.

The Legend of the Washo Gold is now available on Amazon in both digital (Kindle) format and paper back.

Treatment for Opioids 3/8/17

Legislation Introduced to Reshape Addiction Treatment Landscape for Californians


As the opioid epidemic travels to communities large and small throughout California, individuals, families and policy makers are demanding resources to combat the death and destruction that follows its course. In many cases, what they are finding is an antiquated system with barriers that keep people on waiting lists for treatment until they die – literally.

In response to the growing demand for addiction treatment services and the reality that there are needed improvements in the system, the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) has developed a system wide overhaul for addiction treatment that aims to rapidly build capacity, strengthen consumer protection, and elevate quality in California treatment programs, making the state a national model for treatment on demand. The California Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, unveiled in January, has its first two legislative enactment bills set for hearing at the end of the month.

Assembly Bill 285 (Melendez) will recognize private certification of quality sober living. With department oversight and national standards, this bill will allow California to improve quality and reduce the number of “bad actors” doing business in sober living in California. Allowing homes to certify gives consumers, referring agents and local governments the tool they need to make decisions about housing for loved ones facing addiction. Without quality “sober living” homes, in many cases, people vested in recovery from addiction would face uncertain futures and bleak prospects for continuing the road to productivity and abstinence.

Senate Bill 636 (Bradford) would reform the private payment market for addiction treatment by prohibiting treatment centers from diverting money from patient care to pay “kickbacks” to referring agents, regulating addiction treatment call centers, and reducing relapse and fraud by prohibiting dangerous direct “pay to patient” policies that result in large cash payments being made to addicts in early recovery. SB 636 will end “junkie hunting” where unscrupulous “interventionists” encourage drug abuse to collect referral fees for delivering patients with outstanding insurance benefits.

CCAPP members are located throughout California. Requests for local interest interviews can be arranged by the Sacramento office.

Tractor Family Fest 3/8/17

Tractor Family Fest Monster Tractors, Pedal Tractors & Visiting Tractor Clubs Food, Fun & Tractor-Fantastic

Tractor Family Fest is Saturday March 18th from 10AM to 2PM at the California Agriculture Museum on 1962 Hayes Lane, Woodland. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5-12. It’s a great time to discover your roots and support one of California’s richest historical landmarks.

Families and kids of all ages are invited to the unveiling of a new kid’s exhibit featuring a Caterpillar 10, one of the tractors that Fred C. Heidrick Sr. gave to his grandson Bobby. The Heidrick family has been working on this exhibit for a year. It sets the stage to honor Nancy Gnoss and Fred C. Heidrick Jr. “We want kids of all ages to have an opportunity to climb on a tractor and experience what it was like growing up on a farm,” notes Melissa Harlan, Brenda Jamison, and Cindy Bachman. “Not just one tractor, but several colorful stations of tractor turn-style fun.”

March is not only Museum Membership month, but it is also Ag Week. We’re offering a special rate on the Select Membership that weekend. We hope you’ll come out and support the museum. You’ll hear engines roar. You’ll see some of the newest monster tractors available on the market. You’ll meet old and new friends. Tractor clubs are arriving from around northern California to rev up their engines and tell stories about early Californian’s experiences.

There will be vendors on site to provide a great variety of foods, BBQ, and orchestrate kid’s activities. The pedal tractor fleet is just waiting for young feet. This year we are adding music by the Putah Creek Crawdads. There is something special for the entire family. Arrive hungry and plan on supporting the museum.

Learn More At:

CPR/ First Aid/AED Class 3/8/17

Community CPR/First Aid/AED Class – Sierraville
Friday, May 12 – CPR, First Aid and AED training. American Heart Association format. Two year certification. Take home materials provided. Class size is limited. Reservations are required. Flyer

May 12, 2017 – 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
USFS Sierraville Ranger Station
317 South Lincoln St (Hwy89)
Carl Scholberg Room
Sierraville, CA 96126
Free to Sierra County community members and those serving Sierra County residents.

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