Time for Unity 6/21/17

Dear Friend,

Earlier this week, Congress witnessed a shocking attack on one of our own. My colleague, Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, was shot during an early morning baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Also injured in the attack were congressional staffer Zach Barth and former congressional staffer Matt Mika, who were helping coach the team. Fortunately, the truly heroic acts of Special Agent David Bailey and Officer Crystal Griner, without a doubt, saved dozens of lives. Despite suffering injuries of their own, we have them to thank for preventing an already horrible attack from turning into something much worse.
When tragic events like this unfold in America, it usually, hopefully, makes us stronger. Shortly after news of the shooting broke, at their own morning practice, my Democratic colleagues joined together in prayer. On game day, both teams again joined together in prayer on second base, where Steve Scalise would have played. Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both spoke on the House floor to call for unity. At the Congressional Baseball game, attendance numbers were shattered – with over 25,000 people showing up to show their support, not just for the Republican or Democratic team, but also for America and for each other. This year, the game raised nearly twice as much money for charities – such as DC Boys and Girls Club and the Capitol Hill Police Fund – as it did the previous year, bringing in over $1 million in total.

Members of both the Republican and Democrat baseball teams gather together for a bipartisan prayer for Rep. Steve Scalise prior to the Congressional Baseball game.
While we will often have our differences and disagreements on how policy is formed, we should remain united as one nation. As Speaker Ryan put it: “An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.” Now is a time for a unity of purpose as one nation. I’m praying for a quick recovery for my good friend Steve Scalise and for comfort and peace of mind for his family, and for all who were injured in this horrific attack. Most of all, I am grateful for the Capitol Police officers who put their lives on the line, who ran towards the gunfire, to save the lives of others– and all those who keep us safe each day.

Sincerely, Doug LaMalfa

Letter From Jerry, Kevin & Tony 4/5/17

Every day, California families rely on our roads, highways, bridges and mass transit to get to work, school, medical appointments and other everyday destinations. But because we don’t have adequate funding, our roads are crumbling and unsafe, and our mass transit systems can’t meet the needs of our growing state.

That’s why last week, we were proud to join together with a broad coalition of labor, business, and local leaders to announce a landmark investment plan to fix our roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and put more dollars toward transit and safety.

We need your help to‌day to ensure the passage of this plan. Please contact your legislator today and urge them to support Senate Bill 1 (Beall) and the companion constitutional amendment this week.

This $5 billion-a-year package invests in priorities that we all care about — filling potholes, making safety improvements and getting people out of cars and into mass transit to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. In fact, this package dedicates more than $7.5 billion over the next 10 years to invest in mass transit including buses, rail and other local public transportation.

The program will cost most drivers less than $10 a month and comes with strict new accountability provisions to ensure funds can only be spent on transportation.

We can no longer delay investing in fixing our roads and improving mass transit. Motorists currently pay $762 every year in vehicle maintenance costs as a direct result of our bad roads.

This is the right plan and the right time to fix our roads.

Please contact your legislator today to urge them to support SB 1.

Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California

Kevin de León
President pro Tempore, California State Senate

Anthony Rendon
Speaker, California State Assembly

Lucky for Three Terrific Museums 3/29/17

Last Saturday evening we attended the Chamber Mixer in Loyalton at the Milton Gottardi Museum. The Calendar of Events stated, something like, “An opportunity to meet neighbors and discuss tourism in Sierra County”. Well, if you are looking for something fun and interesting to tour, make the short drive over the hill to visit said museum and take a stroll though a huge part of Sierra County history. Curator, Jackie Mitchell, was on hand, Saturday, to guide us through some of the amazingly organized rooms and then we discovered the railroad room – wow! The enthusiastic folks who constructed the model railroad did an outstanding job – there are even sound effects!
The museum is open year around by appointment; however, starting Memorial Day weekend it is open Friday through Sunday, through Labor Day weekend. For exact hours, you can call (530) 993-6752. Sierra County is so lucky to have three terrific museums – The Downieville Museum, The Kentucky Mine Museum, and the Milton Gottardi Museum – visit one soon!!!
Mike and Karen Galan

Kids in Our Schools 2/22/17

Response to Letter to the Editor in Mountain Messenger 2/16/2017

Welcome Wagon?

Michael Wellbourn, President of the East Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce, attacks our college students and our educational system. Local graduates of our excellent schools are now medical professionals, teachers, scientists, engineers, in law enforcement and many other fields. Our kids can do anything thanks to our California’s educational system.

We lament about the loss of our young people, families and good paying jobs in our county; county population is down another 8% since 2010. Yet attitudes like this are one reason why people don’t want to move here, start a business and enroll their kids in our schools.

Not only is Wellbourn given a forum to spout off against Muslims, immigrants, liberals, and anyone who does not share his conservative xenophobic point of view, now he is attacking our children.

As the leader of the Chamber of Commerce, does Michael Wellbourn’s point of view reflect the view of the business community in the Sierra Valley? Maybe he shouldn’t be in charge of the welcome wagon.

Cindy Ellsmore
Sierra City

Letter from Mike 2/1/17

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
President Trump’s insistence that we eliminate the U.S. sanctions against Russia is extremely alarming. The sanctions were imposed because Putin invaded a sovereign nation and grabbed Crimea, killing many civilians in the process. The invasion was a violation of international law. Further, Putin chose to intervene in Syria, siding with President Assad. He ordered the Russian military to indiscriminately bomb hospitals, schools and civilian marketplaces while falsely claiming that he was fighting ISIS. Most recently, Putin ordered the hacking of our country with the intent of influencing our presidential election.
Why in the world would anyone want to excuse Russia’s actions and eliminate the sanctions? Hopefully this is not an example of “pay to play”. Both Exxon/Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson- who has been confirmed as Secretary of State -and the Trump Organization would benefit by such action. Could it be to remove the obstacles of doing business in Russia?

Sincerely, Mike Moore, Loyalton.

Question for Doug 1/11/17

Dear Editor,

Here is a question. I do not have a definitive answer from Congressman Doug La Malfa. Does our US Representative from the First District in California feel as the President Elect that there is no reason to have a special investigation into the hacking of the organizations of the United States of America? We, the public know of just two hackings done against us. One was the Democratic National Committee and the other was a utility in Vermont. To not get serious about this and form a special investigative committee is putting our country in jeopardy. We live electronically now and to think that the internet cannot wreck great damage is naive. We elected Congressman La Malfa to do his job in Washington D.C. and look into what 17 national intelligence agencies ( I truly was surprised there are so many) agree was a hack from and by Russia. Representative LaMalfa should be making sure Russia is not allowed by default of his office to continue its rogue ways.

Sincerely, Linda Guffin, US citizen and voter in the First District of California

Bruce Wishes Well 12/14/16

A Few New Year’s Wishes

#1. President Obama is still our president, but you’d think he’s long gone the way Trump has been garnering all the headlines. I’d like Obama to take charge of newsprint once again in a bold way. Specifically, I’d like to see him declare a number of National Monuments, led by a minimum of a million acres of the Bears Ears in Utah, a large tract of scenic land that holds a high percentage of Anasazi dwellings, granaries, pictographs and petroglyphs. A new president cannot undo a designated national monument.

In addition I’d like to see Obama pardon hundreds, if not thousand, of prisoners incarcerated in federal prisons for extended periods due to possession or sale of marijuana (now legal in many states), and other drugs. Those pardoned cannot be put back in jail by a new president.

There may be other things that Obama can do in his last month-plus in office that Trump cannot undo. He should do every one of the things that would be helpful that Trump cannot undo. I don’t give a damn who gets pissed off about such moves; they would be good, they would be bold, they would be permanent. And they would take the limelight off the Dennis the Menace character who will soon be taking over.

If Obama thinks he’ll have some influence over Trump in the future by “playing nice,” he’s wrong. Trump will do whatever Trump will do…and judging by his announced advisors and cabinet members, none of it will be good. Combining that with his out-of-control personality and vindictiveness, we’re in for a real rough four years (assuming we can get through those years). So my first New Year’s wish is for Obama to do all the critical things he can do—which Trump cannot undo—in his remaining days in office.

#2. I think it would be great if Europe takes a cue from the recent election in Austria, and rejects the extreme right wing parties that appear to be gaining strength everywhere else (including the US, of course). We’re seeing France in the throes of a takeover from the right, at the end of a bumbling regime led by François Holland. Poland, Hungary and other eastern European countries have taken a sharp right turn already. Most of this political upheaval is in response to the immigration crisis that has hit Europe hard. People are scared, and the huge influx of immigrants is stoking their fears. Even Angela Merkel in Germany, who has been a bulwark of empathy toward people running away from their homeland in fear of their lives (plus some looking for better economic opportunities) is now seen to be in serious trouble for her upcoming re-election bid. I’d be thrilled if the far right is soundly defeated in upcoming elections, as happened in Austria last week. That’s my second New Year’s wish.

#3. After George W. Bush’s failed “No child’s left behind” (as opposed to their right behind), and Obama/Arne Duncan’s failed “Race to the top,” and many other failed educational approaches in the past, we’re about to enter the Trump/de Vos failure of putting public money into private (charter) schools. (By the way, de Vos has no educational experience, and never went to college, but she’s a billionaire, so she qualifies for Trump’s cabinet.) My New Year’s wish would be for everyone to come together in recognition of the fact that one thing—and one thing only—is the central crux of successful education: parental involvement. The moment we get educators and legislators to recognize that parental involvement is the key to student success, our educational system will improve. None of these other genius ideas concocted by either conservative or liberal educators end up giving us a better educational system. Parental involvement is the key. (By the way, every time I’ve talked to an actual educator, whether it was a teacher, a librarian or a school principle, and offered this concept, they have all agreed 100%.) So my third New Year’s wish is to get someone into a powerful educational position who recognizes parental involvement as the central issue toward improving our educational system, and would put his/her efforts into making that happen.

Have a great weekend,, Bruce

Letter Shows Threat 11/30/16

Dear Editor:  Going through these from http://www.nationofchange.org makes me wonder about the minds of those who’ve voted for him. Especially what I highlighted in bold & red in #3. Were I in the press, I’d be very worried about this as it sounds like a very serious threat to me.

Democracy depends on a free and independent press, which is why all tyrants try to squelch it. They use seven techniques that, worryingly, President-elect Donald Trump already employs.
1. Berate the media. Shortly after the election, Trump summoned two-dozen TV news anchors and executives to the twenty-fifth floor of Trump Tower to berate them for their reporting about him during the election. For twenty minutes he railed at what he called their “outrageous” and “dishonest” coverage. According to an attendee, “Trump kept saying, ‘we’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong,’” and he called CNN a “network of liars.” He accused NBC of using unflattering pictures of him, demanding to know why they didn’t use “nicer” pictures.
Another person who attended the meeting said Trump “truly doesn’t seem to understand the First Amendment. He thinks we are supposed to say what he says and that’s it.”
2. Blacklist critical media. During the campaign, Trump blacklisted news outlets whose coverage he didn’t approve of. In June he pulled The Washington Post’s credentials. “Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,” read a post on Trump’s Facebook page.
After the election Trump agreed to meet with the New York Times and then suddenly cancelled the meeting when he didn’t like the terms, tweeting “Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!” (He reversed himself again and met with the Times.)
3. Turn the public against the media. Trump refers to journalists as “lying,” “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” Referring to the journalists at his rallies, Trump said, “I hate some of these people,” adding (presumably in response to allegations of Vladimir Putin’s treatment of dissident journalists) “but I’d never kill ‘em.”
He questions the press’s motives, claiming, for example, that The Washington Post wrote negative things about him because its publisher, Jeffrey Bezos, a founder of Amazon, “thinks I would go after him for antitrust.” When the New York Timeswrote that his transition team was in disarray, Trump tweeted that the newspaper was  “just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me” during the presidential campaign.
4. Condemn satirical or critical comments. Trump continues to condemn the coverage he’s received from NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” In response to Alex Baldwin’s recent portrayal of him as overwhelmed by the prospect of being president, Trump tweeted that it was a “totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?”
When Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who plays Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” read from the stage a message to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience – expressing fears about the pending Trump administration for the “diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations” on the cast – Trump tweeted that Pence had been “harassed,” and insisted that the cast and producers of the show, “which I hear is highly overrated,” apologize.
5. Threaten the media directly. Trump said he plans to change libel laws in the United States so that he can have an easier time suing news organizations. “One of the things I’m going to do if I win … I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”
During the campaign, Trump specifically threatened to sue the Times for libel in response to an article that featured two women accusing him of touching them inappropriately years ago. Trump claimed the allegations were false, and his lawyer demanded that the newspaper retract the story and issue an apology. Trump also threatened legal action after the Timespublished and wrote about part of his 1995 tax return.
6. Limit media access. Trump hasn’t had a news conference since July. He has blocked the media from traveling with him, or even knowing whom he’s meeting with. His phone call with Vladimir Putin, which occurred shortly after the election, was first reported by the Kremlin.
This is highly unusual. In 2000, President-elect George W. Bush called a press conference three days after the Supreme Court determined the outcome of the election. In 2008, President-elect Obama called one three days after being elected.
7. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly. The American public typically learns what Trump thinks through his tweets. Shortly after the election, Trump also released a video message outlining some of the executive actions he plans to take on his first day in office.
Aids say Trump has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that became a staple of his candidacy. They say he likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide.
The word “media” comes from “intermediate” between newsmakers and the public. Responsible media hold the powerful accountable by asking them hard questions and reporting on what they do. Apparently Trump wants to eliminate such intermediaries.
Historically, these seven techniques have been used by demagogues to erode the freedom and independence of the press. Even before he’s sworn in, Trump seems intent on doing exactly this.

Sincerely, Judith Hardardt

Pleas are Ignored? 4/27/16

Board of Supervisors ignore pleas from Sierra County Patients

After months of meetings, the Sierra County Board of Supervisors voted in Ordinance 1071—the new medical marijuana cultivation code—despite wide ranging protests from county residents. Having witnessed this injustice firsthand, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling letters to the Board that were made public so that the community at large can see the depth of harm the new ordinance poses.
Here are the voices of your neighbors:
“I have around 15 medical conditions… which cause chronic pain… I need a lot of medicine.” “If it wasn’t for marijuana I do not know if I would be alive today.” “I was a victim of a car wreck… I broke my back, hip and pelvis in four places… When I discovered medical marijuana I got my life back… I cannot afford to go purchase it elsewhere.” “Should the proposed changes [No. 1071] take effect, we will not be able to grow our prescribed medicine.” “Please take these words of a sick, hard-working man into consideration”—“Please don’t change [the now old] ordinance.”
“[There is a] need for medical cannabis and the need for good, honest, community-minded medical cannabis farmers to provide medicine for the people that need it.” “Allow… collective gardens that have been acting in compliance with state and local law to continue.” “The proposed ordinance is harsh, unjust, and most severely affects the aged and ailing”—“most medical marijuana patients are elderly and/or disabled and on fixed incomes.” “The proposed changes of a maximum 100 sq. ft. per prescription, no more than 10 plants of any size per prescription and no more than two prescriptions per parcel are simply unreasonable.” “No one other than an experienced doctor is qualified to recommend how much cannabis a person needs based on his or her ailment”—“the amount of medicine a patient needs is their decision to make along with their physician.” “Do you really think someone with stage-4 liver cancer, severe arthritis or chronic pain can cultivate the amount of cannabis they need?”–Don’t you want to see people who are sick get better?”—“Please help us keep our right to medicine!”
“We all have different terrain, abilities, and resources for our cultivation practices… what one person can get out of one plant another may need five or ten.” “Many flowers [cannabis buds] have to be disposed of due to pests, mold, and mildew…[some] are lost to storms and animals.” “Having adequate space and an ample plant count allow us to pick the best of our medicine and ensure that we have what we need.” “We and many others have put most everything we had into these gardens and properties and do not have the financial or physical means to change them now”—“to tear out… and redesign our gardens” “will cost so much it will make it impossible for the sick to grow their medicine.”
“You [the Board] are restricting so many people from being able to grow their own [medical cannabis] and then limiting their neighbors from being able to grow for them”–“You will be forcing fixed-income residents who wish to live within the law to drive to Sacramento to purchase cannabis (probably grown in our region) at retail prices”–“You are depriving these people of their quality of life and health.” “The amount of pain it [Ord. No. 1071] would cause a large number of Sierra County residents is staggering, while the pleasure it offers [to proponents] is unremarkable.” “As representatives you have a duty to empower your constituents to pursue health, wealth, and happiness. We deserve your assistance not resistance.”
“[The passage of Ordinance 1071 shows a] lack of appropriate legislative due process with resulting loss of rights… [and a] lack of legislative justification… Patients have legal rights; collectives are allowed to function… The new Sierra County ordinance fails to protect those rights…. It [also] represents a taking of property rights.” “This is a community issue without community input. We are the community and voters in Sierra County. We deserve to be heard and we deserve to be treated fairly.” “No other crop recognized by the Dept. of Agriculture gets such size, growth, and plant limitations on it.” “What’s next are we going to be told how much food we can grow?”
“This ordinance will break the community effort to conform to the law”—“ [it] will create criminals.” “People who wish to be, literally begged to be, legitimate, who are legitimate at the state level, will again become outlaws.” “Law enforcement will be busy persecuting the sick and elderly and their caretakers; while those without concern for our natural environment and community health will be out in the forest constructing guerilla operations. This proposed ordinance would actually take resources that should be spent on protecting the land from those gross violators and wastes them by penalizing people who were, just the year before, operating within the protection of the law.” “The draconian $1000 a plant fine is intended to create a bounty for which the county can hunt. It is an insult to the people, patients, caregivers and collectives… who testified during the many public comments to the board.” “If my family decides that providing for our health… is more important than obeying the newly revised restrictions (and grows what was legally allowed last year), then we will be slapped with a whopping $52,000 fine.” “When I cannot pay the fine, what then? You take my land? [Yep. See section 8.02.080 C] I am not a criminal and do not deserve to be treated like this.” “Our rights are being violated [and] our intelligence is being disrespected.” “An over-arching code–passed without allowing for stakeholder/community negotiation–in spite of the protests from the group most affected (Sierra County’s MMJ patients and growers)– is lazy, cold-hearted, and undemocratic” and “it invites legal action from the medical cannabis community.”
“Cannabis has been cultivated in Sierra County for years by your neighbors and friends.” “Most cultivators… work hard to respect regulations and use good management processes to respect their neighbors and environment”—“nurturing the land so that their crops are pure, renewable and natural.” Now is the time to preserve the small craft farms that are supporting many Northern Californians.”
“I urge you [the Board] to… meet with us to better understand what we do, how we do it and work together to find solution to the concerns we ALL share”—“a real compromise that addresses the public’s concerns and allows patients and providers to continue living within the law.” “We offer up our knowledge & experiences to have an honest conversation with anyone sincerely interested…. Please open your hearts and minds to finding viable solutions & compromises.” “Please refrain from insisting on this divide”—“We would prefer to work with the Board rather than against it.”
Of the 49 letters I reviewed that were made public with the ordinance packet, only one had anything negative to say about cannabis cultivation. The other 48, written by 28 different authors, were used to craft the article you just read and overwhelmingly oppose Sierra County Ordinance 1071. Unfortunately, the BOS dismissed massive public outcry and voted in the new ordinance… but there is still hope folks. Sierra County residents have responded by initiating a referendum to put the new law to a public vote and are out collecting signatures now. Whether you are a patient, a grower, a sympathetic citizen, or just someone who thinks that laws should be for the people by the people, please help by signing and/or circulating the referendum. We all deserve a say when our well-being and freedoms are at stake.
If you would like to sign the referendum and/or circulate, you can contact me personally by email at solhealingca@gmail.com and I will help connect you to someone who can assist you further. We have until May 19th to collect as many signatures of registered Sierra County voters as possible, so please do not hesitate to get involved. It is crucial to the continued vitality of our community that we achieve this referendum and vote down the new ordinance. Let’s grow a healthier future together!
Sincerely, Ian Ileson
Resident of Pike and a Sierra County Growers Assn. member

Good Thoughts Thanks 4/13/16

Editor:  We wish to thank everyone in Downieville, Sierra City, Goodyears Bar and surrounding communities for their good thoughts, well wishes, cards and prayers for our daughter Randi during her recent hospitalization, We would also like to thank everyone for their understanding with the shortened hours of operation for Sierra Hardware. Our family member’s well being comes first and foremost and I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for my employees at Sierra Hardware who stepped up and ran things while I was gone. Cora, Tony and Adam you are the absolute best and we are so lucky to have you!

Randi is getting stronger each day and should make a full recovery in time. We hope to resume our regular hours in the hardware store in the very near future. We often forget what a wonderful community we live in until something difficult happens to us and we see the love and support pouring out from everyone. We are blessed to live in such a place.

Thank you again.  Cindy and Dennis McCreary

Guffin thanks Osborn 4/13/16

Dear Editor,  I take this opportunity to thank Julie Osburn for her illuminating Letter to the Editor, in the Mountain Messenger which graphically displays the mindset of the State of Jefferson (SOJ) supporters. In her letter, she states that “Over ⅓ of the County citizens signed a statement of support to join the State of Jefferson movement….” (There are several unanswered questions about this “petition”, as is usual with the SOJ folk: Was there any verification of the signatures? Is it certain that all the signatures were from Sierra County citizens? How many of the signers were registered to vote? How many of the signers truly understood what they were signing?) She then goes on to rail against the three county supervisors who dared to vote “…AGAINST the State of Jefferson…” And, for at least one of those supervisors, she declares that he “…could not give a reason…” for his vote. Later in her letter, she has the audacity (irony?) to state that “The State of Jefferson is all about representation.”
So, let’s take a look at what the SOJ mindset considers fair or adequate representation. Since she doesn’t state how much “over” one-third of the county’s citizens signed the statement, I’ll just use one-third as the operative figure. Another way to say that is “33%”. Now, apparently, when this came to a vote before the Board of Supervisors, two of those “representatives” voted with the 33% of the county who purportedly signed the petition. Two out of five supervisors is 40%. Therefore, the signers actually received a larger portion of supervisorial votes than they seemingly deserved.
As to why the three other supervisors (representing 60% of the Board) voted in opposition to the SOJ position, one doesn’t have to go very far for an explanation. If 33% of county citizens supported the SOJ, that means that 67% did not (or, at least, didn’t sign the statement of support). Three supervisors took into account that the vast majority of the people in the county don’t want to be part of a state which truly doesn’t believe in fair representation (their “platform”, after all, declares that a smaller number of state residents deserves a larger-than-their-fair-share representation in the state legislature and the federal House of Representatives), and voted accordingly. The real question is why two of the supervisors ignored the will of the majority, and voted otherwise?
If the SOJ folk truly want their own “homeland”, I would suggest that they find a nice, uninhabited, low-lying island somewhere in the middle of the ocean, where they can set up their very own KOJ.

Paul Guffin, Downieville

Right To Medicate 3/16/16

Dear Editor
Dear citizens of Sierra county. Hi, it’s Belle Starr here again. In my last letter I may have been shootin’ from the hip just a bit but this whole Medical Marijuana Ordinance sideshow needs to end. The proposed changes have the potential of a having serious negative impact on our local economy.
The proposed restrictions are discriminatory. The two acre parcel size and the requirement of a permitted legal structure alienates most of the county.
Outdoor growing requires minimal financial output. Sunshine is free. Many if not most medical marijuana patients are elderly and/or disabled and on fixed incomes. And most are not land barons.
Indoor growing is a huge financial burden. There are the sizeable startup costs upwards of $5,000 and then the sizeable increase in utility bills. The cost of the lights, ventilation and required A/C for the hot summers is an increase of roughly $400 a month in utility bills. This could literally lead to tens of thousands of dollars a month being removed from the local economy and sent to Utility companies.
The requirement of the legal permitted structure is well intentioned in preventing the hoards from buying here and camping on farms. But there is very little useable land for sale and this regulation just works to discriminate against the old school residents living in mining cabins or the like. There needs to be consideration for those that founded the county but choose to live off of the grid.
The financial burden of indoor growing and the structure requirement will cause patients to have to seek medicine at dispensaries hours away. This will be more money removed from the local economy to be spent on gas and to pay retail for something they could cultivated at home for free.
This Ordinance issue has already cost the county plenty in 8 months of Board meetings and Special Committee meetings. All this to reach a poorly drafted Ordinance that is bound to end in further court costs.
These changes to the current ordinance have the potential of a having a very negative impact on the local economy. The current state of the county is tenuous at best. Please do not hurt the economy to fulfill some dreams of living in a gated community.
Medical marijuana is a proven medicine. Marijuana is an agricultural product. Sierra County is a Right to Farm County. Sierra County needs to be a Right to Medicate County. Thank you, Belle Starr Sandwith

Compassion Needed 2/24/16

Hello, my name is Belle and I use Medical Marijuana. You all know me, I’m the 6’ tall blonde lady in Sierra Brooks who sacrifices small children to fertilize my Pot Farm. Yes, this sounds ridiculous but it’s the level of hysteria that has been reached here in Sierra County. I think that the Medical Marijuana “element” is being demonized and I would like to put a personal face to this. Proposition 215 was named the “Compassionate Use Act” and we, the legal medical marijuana users are asking you, our neighbors for some compassion. As the good book says, Love your neighbor as thyself and also Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Ten years ago my life was destroyed when a Pharmaceutical company used me as a guinea pig without my knowledge. This led to the disintegration of my left shoulder, requiring a Total Shoulder Replacement last year. I have a 25 pound weight limit lifting things for the rest of my life. I will require another replacement in 10-15 years. The destruction of my shoulder consequently led to arthritic problems throughout my entire skeleton. I am in a lot of pain most of the time.
I have always been a very hard worker. In the last 15 years I have owned a successful café, “Belle Starr’s Great Food Cheap Beer”, been a chef on the Indy Car circuit for Mr Paul Newman and most recently worked in TV Production, primarily sporting events with ESPN. My current physical state prevents me from doing any of the things I used to and sometimes prevents me from being able to cook/care for myself. I smoke because my body hurts and my muscles are spasming. I smoke because my brain is spasming (primarily due to my physical state and what I can no longer do). And I’ll be honest and admit that sometimes I might just smoke for the fun of it, because isn’t it just a beautiful day here in Sierra County. But these are my individual rights and I beg you to help me stand up for Individual Rights and Personal Property Rights and keep the Legislators off our properties.
The current ordinance 1055 may be too lenient and not the right answer, but the new proposed ordinance is far too restrictive of personal property rights and individual freedoms:
-The proposed ordinance bans outside growing on all parcels less than 2 acres. This is conveniently most of the residences in the county. If we are forced to grow indoors how will the Sheriffs Dept. monitor us all with their fancy helicopter?
-This “Nuisance” based ordinance complaining about the “pungent odor” in a county covered in manure and more skunks than residents is simply ridiculous.
-Prohibiting the storage or use of legal products such as propane and co2 gas is a violation of our Personal Property rights. What will they ban next? Maybe the CO2 cartridge for your “Soda Stream”?
Legislating my safe, legal affordable access to medicine that greatly improves my quality of life should not be in the same realm as barking dogs and loud stereos.
Marijuana is not new to your neighborhoods. People have been growing medical marijuana around you in their garages for years and they will continue to do so. This last season some of us were brave enough to utilize the law and grow outdoors. Some were found to be abusing the law and were duly punished. The rest of us were “in compliance”. As to the notorious 11 violations, many were due to a misinterpretation of the law, but not by the “growers”. There was disagreement between the intention of the “Caregiver” clause between the guys who wrote it and the guys enforcing it. Patients should not be condemned for a violation of the law that “The Law” couldn’t even figure out. Everyone came into “compliance” and the world did not end.
Even if you have no feelings either way about this issue, this is why you should care. This Ordinance is being enacted to satisfy the wants of 232 unvetted signatures on a petition that was submitted by a group of entitled, well connected individuals. That is 8% of the population. I can find 8% of the population that is opposed to the Tour de manure or Barn Quilts. This Ordinance is setting a dangerous precedent that a small minority can write legislation. This is not the Democratic Process. Help stop legislative abuses. Stand up for Personal Property Rights and Individual Freedoms. Stand up for the Democratic process. Contact your Supervisor and tell him to oppose the proposed ordinance.
Lee Adams- Downieville, Pike, Alleghany District 1 supervisor1@sierracounty.ca.gov 289-3506
Peter Huebner- District 2- Sierra city, Verdi, outer Loyalton supervisor2@sierracounty.ca.gov 862-1004
Paul Roen- District 3- Sierraville, Calpine supervisor3@sierracounty.ca.gov 209-479-2770
Jim Beard- District 4 -Loyalton supervisor4@sierracounty.ca.gov 993-4732
Scott Schleffstein- District 5- Sierra Brooks supervisor5@sierracounty.ca.gov 993-4900

Belle Starr Sandwith, Sierra Brooks

Great Job 1/6/16

Liz, just wanted to thank you for the great job you have done this year of 2015 on the Sierra Prospect.. Looking forward to 2016 and hope we can all make it a better year.

Joyce White, Downieville

(Thank You Joyce, nice to get a compliment)

Food Bank Thanks 1/6/16

WESTERN SIERRA FOOD BANK
P.O. BOX 302
DOWNIEVILLE, CA. 95936

January 1, 2016

Dear Editor:

The Volunteers who made-up and delivered over 100 food baskets for families at Thanksgiving and again Christmas time would like to thank all of the peoples who so generously contributed funds to Western Sierra Food Bank. The funds grew because of the generous spirit and we will be able to continue to give food to those in need throughout the year.

Contributions of canned goods and/or monies bring more to the tables of others than food. It also provides a better quality of health and caring to our appreciative community members.

Sincerely,
Bette Jo

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