Benefit Dinner for Bill 4/26/17

Bill Kinny a long time Goodyears Bar and part of the Downieville Sinnott family lost his home to heavy rain resulting in a mudslide that destroyed his cabin. Come to a community gathering to help out Bill on Saturday May 6th from 5 to 7 pm at the Downieville Community Hall.

Happy Birthday Lee 11/2/16

Lou’s Wild Kingdom 6/1/16

So, I woke up this morning and found Boo Boo Bear chowing down at the very top of my cherry tree. What is weird is, the cherries are still green…..yuk! As he/she descended down the tree it spotted me standing on the front porch with the camera. It got a very guilty look on its face and began to slowly walk across the lawn like, you really don’t see me cause I’m too stealthy. It’s a young bear, probably a year old. No other bears around, so I assume mom kicked it’s brown hairy butt out to fend for itself. Yep, came right to my cherry tree. How nice. Anyway, I’m sure it will be back for more. Stay tuned.  Lou The Wild Kingdom Guy

Explosives in Goodyears Bar 5/18/16

From Sheriff Tim Standley On 05/11/2016 Sierra County Sheriff’s Office received a call of found dynamite in Goodyears Bar. The dynamite was found while cleaning out an old shed on a recent vacant property. A deputy responded to the scene and observed what appeared to be approximately (9) sticks of dynamite. Placer County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Ordinance Detail (EOD) was contacted for assistance and disposal of the explosives.

As a safety precaution, sheriff’s office and fire personnel notified near-by residents of the explosives. It was recommended the residents evacuate the area while the explosives were removed from the area. The evacuation was a recommendation and not mandatory. Placer County’s EOD safely removed the explosives from the area via a robot. The dynamite was taken to a safe area where the explosives were rendered safe.

The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office asks that if anyone locates anything thought to be explosive, to not touch or move the items and contact the Sheriff’s Office. It is also recommended to keep people away from the suspected explosives until the item(s) can be examined further. The Sheriff’s Office will respond and assist with the removal. We would also like to thank the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and its EOD Team, Sierra County Public Works, and Downieville Fire Department for their assistance.

Easter Food Baskets 3/6/19

images-5WESTERN SIERRA FOOD BANK  March 2, 2016

Dear Editor

Easter will soon be here and the volunteers at Western Sierra Food Bank are planning Easter Holiday food baskets for approximately 100 families in western Sierra County. We are needing non-perishable food and/or monies to supply the food bank shelves in time for sending our food baskets the week before Easter. Food Baskets are also available during the year if needed.

We appreciate any help the communities in western Sierra County and those outside of the area can supply. Pease contact Bette Jo or Frank Lang at (530) 289-3644 for any information. If anyone wants to donate non-perishable foods please call Bette Jo or Frank Lang to co-ordinate delivery. Money donations can be sent to Western Sierra Food Bank P.O. Box 302 Downieville, CA 95936.

We thank all who participate in this program.

Sincerely,  Bette Jo Lang

Oregon House Clinic 3/9/16

Sierra Family Medical Clinic expands to Oregon House
by Emily Lavin/ |

Dr. Peter Van Houten, Sierra Family Medical Clinic's founder and medical director, left, and Steve Weber, the clinic's chief executive officer, inside the Sierra Family Medical Clinic's new facility in Oregon House.

Dr. Peter Van Houten, Sierra Family Medical Clinic’s founder and medical director, left, and Steve Weber, the clinic’s chief executive officer, inside the Sierra Family Medical Clinic’s new facility in Oregon House.

Sierra Family Medical Clinic is now providing comprehensive local medical services to the rural community of Oregon House.

The clinic, which has operated on Tyler Foote Road on the San Juan Ridge for more than 30 years, opened a second clinic at 8676 Marysville Road in Oregon House, an unincorporated community in Yuba County, on Dec. 1. This Saturday, the clinic will host an open house at the facility from 10 a.m. to noon.

Though the Oregon House facility has only been operational for about three months, its services are already in demand.

“There’s been a lot of word of mouth,” said Dr. Peter Van Houten, the clinic’s founder and medical director. “I was actually surprised at how quickly the schedule’s been filling.”

For the community in Oregon House, the clinic’s opening has been a long time coming. Sierra Family Medical Clinic has long been a prominent fixture on the Ridge, offering integrated health care — medical care, behavioral health and dental services — all in one location. That clinic logs about 20,000 patient visits a year, and provides services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

The clinic’s board of directors began considering expanding to Oregon House in 2012, after the physician who previously occupied the Marysville Road building closed the practice and a group from the community approached Sierra Family Medical Clinic about opening a facility.

The board was in favor of the idea, and committed to the expansion, said Steve Weber, the clinic’s chief executive officer, who was serving as board treasurer at the time.

“People over here really deserve to have local medical care, and they didn’t have it,” Weber said of the board’s thinking.

But Sierra Family Medical Clinic experienced a financial setback over the next couple of years, Weber said. In order to comply with a government requirement, the clinic was required to switch over to an electronic health record system. In addition to the cost of the hardware and software to implement the change, the clinic couldn’t see as many patients throughout the day as the system was implemented and staff was trained to navigate it, decreasing the revenue the clinic was able to collect from patient services.

“We didn’t have the money to go ahead and get this thing going,” Weber said.

That changed last fall when Sierra Family Medical Clinic was recognized as a federally qualified health center by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, a distinction that awarded the clinic a nearly $1.2 million grant, reimbursement for services provided under Medicaid and opportunities to secure additional funding in the future.

The clinic included its proposed expansion to Oregon House in its application to the department of health and human services.

Once the clinic received FQHC status, it had about 90 days to open the Oregon House satellite facility. The Oregon House clinic is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and offers primary and behavioral health care. Weber said the facility hopes to offer dental care starting in the next month or so, when a trailer containing a fully outfitted dental suite is transported from the San Juan Ridge clinic, and  the Oregon House clinic hires a dentist and dental assistant.

The clinic will likely be open to patients for 30 hours a week sometime this year, Weber said, and then it will potentially expand hours beyond that next year.

Van Houten said the goal for the clinic is to eventually have 2,500 patients on the clinic’s patient list at any one time, though that will likely take a couple of years to achieve.

The clinic has hired an outreach and enrollment coordinator, who will help people navigate the process of signing up for Medi-Cal or affordable care, and help them understand the care options available to them.

Both Van Houten and Weber said the clinic’s staff is excited to serve Oregon House, noting the community has waited patiently for several years for the clinic’s doors to open.

“It feels really good,” Weber said. “It feels like we honored our commitment in return for the local people here honoring a commitment to us.”

To contact Union Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email or call 530-477-4230.

WSMC Expands Again 9/16/15

By: Western Sierra Medical Clinic

GRASS VALLEY September 15, 2015 – Western Sierra Medical Clinic (WSMC) announced today that it will open a comprehensive health center in Penn Valley, offering much-needed health care services to the community of 10,000 residents.

The health center, at Penn Valley Drive and Spenceville Road, plans to open later this year, after receiving the necessary federal and state approvals and undergoing a modest renovation at the 3,650 square-foot building.

“We’ve been looking to expand into Penn Valley for some time due to the demographics of the area and our commitment to make comprehensive care easily accessible for the community,” said WSMC CEO Scott McFarland. “We were waiting for just the right opportunity. The building is exactly what we need, and in an ideal location.”

WSMC will offer numerous services in Penn Valley, including primary care, pediatrics, specialists and dental services. Western Sierra emphasizes preventive care, education and empowering patients to make informed health decisions.

“We’re currently evaluating other services that will be offered,” said Dr. Glenn Thiel, Chief Medical Officer for WSMC. “We know there are many health care needs in the community, and we’re going to fill as many as possible.”

To help identify more of those needs, Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston, who represents Penn Valley and helped WSMC on the new location, will be holding meetings with community members to hear from them about the kinds of services they would find most beneficial.

About 1,000 Penn Valley residents receive treatment at Western Sierra’s primary clinic in Grass Valley, about 10 miles away.

“The clinic and comprehensive health care services are desperately needed in Penn Valley,” said Supervisor Weston. “Many people don’t have transportation and have a hard time getting to their medical appointments. The new clinic will fill that void.”

Penn Valley has a large senior population and WSMC will offer Medicare patients a fee based on their ability to pay for care.

Many seniors live in the gated community of Lake Wildwood, several miles from the soon-to-open clinic. Several neighborhoods are within walking distance of the new health center and there is expected growth in the area.

The health center, which will also include some administrative and call-center staff, will be across from the new Penn Valley Community Center and near restaurants, shopping and a hardware store.

“The new health center will generate more business and bring more workers into the community,” said Supervisor Weston.

The Penn Valley clinic will be the fourth for WSMC, the largest health center in the region with 20,000 patients.

WSMC moved into a new center in Grass Valley in December, a major milestone for the health clinic. The 19,000-square-foot building – about 50 percent larger than the previous location – allows the nonprofit to expand services in Nevada, Sierra and Yuba counties.

WSMC also has a clinic in Downieville, offering  health care services, including dental services on Tuesday.

“We’re looking forward to opening the health center and serving the Penn Valley community and meeting our new neighbors,” McFarland said. “We’ve accomplished some major projects during the past several months, but our biggest commitment remains first-rate, high-quality health care for our patients and the region.”

The transaction was handled by Greg Ward of Network Commercial Real Estate.

Lions Club 2016 Calendar 7/1/15

Hey, it is that time of year. The Downieville Lions Club Calendar for 2016. Get your names, events, birthdays, anniversaries, memorials in now. $1 for the first family listing and .50 cents per for more. Advertisements are $48.00 for 1 space size and $96 for two space size. All you need to do is contact Liz Fisher at 289-3632 in Downieville or Mary Ervin 862-1173 in Sierra City.  Or mail your list of birthdays, anniversaries or memorials to Liz PO Box 242, Downieville, CA with check made out to Downieville Lions Club or ask to be billed. All proceeds from this calendar go to the Downieville Schools educational award program for graduating seniors.

All we need to know is the name and month/day.

Cyle & Angel Engagement 6/3/15

Angel Dobson and Cyle Fischer are engaged.

6/3/15 Angel Dobson and Cyle Fischer are engaged.

Kathy Fischer and Lynn Zanetta of Goodyears Bar and Dean and Shelly Fischer of Downieville, are pleased to announce the Engagement of their son Cyle Fischer to Angel Dobson, daughter of Leslie Dobson and Curt Penley of Wildomar, CA. Angel’s maternal grandparents are Yolanda Rivas and the late August Vern Dobson of Palm Desert CA. and paternal grandparents Connie and Clancy Allison of Truckee, CA.
Cyle’s maternal grandparents are Patricia ( Reiswig ) and Tom Gingg of San Luis Obispo, Ca. and Bill R Epps of Mesquite, TX. and paternal grandparents the late Joseph and Marjorie Fischer.

Cyle and Angel reside in Reno, Nv. Where Cyle is a master mechanic for Chevrolet and Angel is a pre-school teacher for Kids R Kids Academy.

Cyle and Angel met at Shasta College in Redding 7 years ago, and reunited to start their love story last year.
We all are looking forward to a Spring 2016 Wedding in Downieville.

Easter Basket Help 3/4/15

March 2, 2015

Dear Editor:
Easter will soon be here and the volunteers at Western Sierra Food Bank are planning Easter Holiday food baskets for approximately 120 families in western Sierra County. We are needing non-perishable food and/or monies to supply the food bank shelves in time for sending out food baskets the week before Easter.
We appreciate any help the communities in western Sierra County and those outside of the area can supply.
Please contact Bette Jo or Frank Lang at (530 289-3644) for any information. If anyone wants to donate non-perishable foods please call Bette Jo or Frank Lang to co-ordinate delivery. Money donations can be sent to Western Sierra Food Bank P.O. Box 302 Downieville, CA. 95936.
We thank all who participate in this program.
Bette Jo Lang,

Cody Fischer on America’s Team 12/17/14

Cody Fischer

 12/17/14  Cody Fischer

Cody Fischer of Downieville has been having a great last semester of College. He finishes his Second Bachelor’s degree this Friday in Leicester, England! He is an exchange student from University of Advanced Technologies in Tempe, AZ. Where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Video Game Design and now completes his 2nd Degree, in Video Game Programming.

While attending De Montfort University,Leicester England, he has had the opportunity to play on the American Football Team. He has had the time of his life! Cody’s experience with football was thanks to Coach Weaver at Loyalton High School. We were thankful to our host family Dori and John Wilson who hosted Cody as a DHS student playing Football at Loyalton High School. We are so proud of Cody’s adventures in his college years, we want every student here to know that they can do anything they set there heart and mind to!

Thank you to our wonderful community for supporting Cody’s dreams and every student in there life adventures. A special thank you to Cynthia Schofield for sparking and supporting interest and excitement around education and the exploration of the world.

Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc 11/26/14

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.

The Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. is now an official non-profit entity 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.

Evidently WSMC has cancelled the contract with Enloe Hospital allowing the Clinic to be a base station to stabilize patients prior to the low 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. The cancellation does not affect Enloe Helicopter service just the interaction with the Clinic. Such a valuable too 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.

Donations can be sent to Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. (SFMR,Inc) at P.O. Box 393, Downieville, CA 95936

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