Carol’s Movies 11/15/17

LBJ 2016 – The story of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson from his young days in West Texas to the White House.

Director: Rob Reiner

Writer: Joey Hartstone (screenplay)

Carol Marshall

Carol Says – LBJ
Woody Harrelson did a very good job. The movie was not what I expected. I expected it to be about during his Presidency. The movie actually is before the Presidential race , when he is Vice President, and just a short time of his Presidency.

I felt I knew more about his politics and the person after seeing this movie. However, the movie is not much about his Presidency. It’s whether he’s going to run for president, when he’s vice president, and a lot about President Kennedy’s assassination.

The movie goes back and forth in time and I don’t think it flows well. Well the movie is 1 1/2 hours long, it felt more like 2 or 2 1/2 hours. They didn’t really mention the Vietnam war. At the end of the movie they mention the Vietnam war, and some of his accomplishments during his Presidency .

Either HBO or CNN or some station did a movie documentary on LBJ in the past year about his term as President and it was very good. The good thing about this movie, LBJ, was his passion about politics and his thinking on various political venues.

Miss Jody Thanksgiving Dinner 11/15/17

Many years ago, where the Downieville Outfitters now resides there lived a restaurant named The Forks, owned by Ted and Nancy Heston. They noticed on Thanksgiving Day there were no restaurants or eateries available for hungry miners, tourists and passing motorists. Ted and Nancy opened their restaurant and provided a free Community Thanksgiving Dinner to one and all. This event was a local tradition enjoyed by all until Nancy and Ted decided to retire and sell The Forks.

Then Miss Jody Brooks, who bartended at the St Charles Saloon and lived in Downieville with her husband, daughter and three grandchildren and loved Randy Travis decided to continue the tradition of a Community Thanksgiving at the Downieville Community Hall, a little differently, but still open to anyone who needed a meal or community fellowship on Thanksgiving Day.

Tragically, Miss Jody and her grandchildren were killed in a fire at their home on Pearl Street in January of 1994. Later that year the Downieville Lions Club and the United Methodist Churches planned a Community Thanksgiving as a Miss Jody memorial, since then, the annual event has been continuously supported by the Downieville Lions Club, United Methodist, Assembly of God, and Immaculate Conception churches, Downieville and Sierra City grocery stores, Sierra Hardware and many members of the community. It has become a fund raising source for the Western Sierra Food Bank.

The dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd at the Downieville Community Hall. This is a community event enjoyed by all who attend. The traditional Thanksgiving Dinner of turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and luscious desserts is served from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone needing a home delivery of a meal should contact or Ann Hutchison at 862-1052 or Suzanne Smith at 289-3213 by Wednesday morning November 22. Donations may be made at Downieville Grocery Store and the Sierra City Country Store.

Heavy Rains & Snow 11/15/17

Caltrans Alerts Motorists to Prepare for Winter Driving Conditions
Heavy rains and Sierra snow will create slippery roadways

MARYSVILLE – Caltrans is alerting motorists that the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch in the Northern California area for Wednesday through Friday.. The storm is forecast to include heavy valley rains, high winds and up to 12 inches of snowfall at the higher elevations, including Donner and Echo Summit passes.

As winter driving conditions develop, chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit should be anticipated. High winds may create white-out, low visibility conditions over the summits. Heavy rains in valley and foothill areas will result in wet, slippery surfaces and potential roadway flooding.
Caltrans’ snow removal crews will be working throughout the storm on summit passes and impacted Caltrans roadways. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on I-80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number. Valley area crews will be monitoring roadway drainage systems and motorists are advised that detours resulting from flooded roadways should be anticipated.
Severe weather may slow motorists, resulting in roadway congestion. Wet and slippery roadways reduce tire traction, especially at high vehicle speeds. Hydroplaning can result in loss of driver control. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and observe the following winter driving tips, which can also be found at http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html:

WINTERIZE YOUR VEHICLE
· Check your tire pressure and tread depth to minimize sliding and/or hydroplaning.
· Replace the wiper blades and fill the windshield wiper fluid reservoir; be sure to use a winter formula to help de-ice windshields.
· If traveling to higher elevations, carry tire chains correctly sized for your tires, in good working order and practice installing the chains before needing to use them.
· Find chain control information at http://dot.ca.gov/cttravel/docs/ChainRequire.pdf .
· Have a full tank of fuel before traveling.

CARRY A TRAVEL KIT
· Have blankets, extra clothing, food and water, towels, a shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small bag of sand or kitty litter and road flares.
· Have a fully charged cell phone before leaving and carry a car charger.
· If traveling with children, bring activity packs to help prevent driver distractions.

DRIVE CAREFULLY
· Reduce speeds during winter weather and allow for additional stopping time.
· Turn on headlights to see and be seen and turn off cruise control.
· Avoid quick starts, stops and fast turns. Accelerate, brake and steer smoothly and gradually.
· Keep additional distance from other vehicles and do not tailgate.
· Watch carefully for snow removal equipment and don’t crowd the plow or sander.

CHECK CONDITIONS FREQUENTLY
· Check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the QuickMap app on iTunes or Google Play.
· Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
· Motorists can see real-time conditions before they hit the road by using our map of traffic cameras in the Sacramento Valley, up Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and around the Tahoe Basin.
· For forecast information, visit the National Weather Service website.

ANTICIPATE DELAYS AND CLOSURES
· Understand that winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly and allow for extra travel time or delay your travel until conditions improve.
· Make sure you share the route you intend to take with friends or family.
· Exercise patience and respect for other motorists.

Motorists are urged to be “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.” Caltrans will issue weather and roadway updates on @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

FireHouse News 11/15/17

At The Firehouse

ALLEGHANY: November 6, firefighter training. November 8, Board of Commissioners meeting.
CALP:INE: All’s quiet….
DOWNIEVILLE: November 6, Officers meeting. *Responded for an ill female; transported patient to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH). *Responded for an ill male; transported patient to SNMH. November 9, responded for a false fire alarm at the school. November 10, mutual aid response to Sierra City for an ill male; transported him to Plumas Hospital.
LOYALTON: November 6, firefighters trained on engine driving and operations, E-12 and E-15.
PIKE CITY: November 9, firefighters trained on ladder operations, and scene safety survey.
SATTLEY: All’s quiet….
SIERRA CITY: November 10, responded for an ill female; patient transported to Plumas hospital.
SIERRAVILLE: All’s quiet….

Weekly Warrior by Chase Noble 11/15/17

This week in Ms. Maire’s classroom the students have been learning about the microscopic world of cells and how they interact with the bigger picture, our world. They are also having fun with the different regions and climates that can be found in the U.S. On Thursday they learned that not all sweets taste good together as found when they made their Mike and Ike, Snickers, and chocolate chip cookies. Ms. McDermid would also like to give everyone a reminder that her class is going to present a beautiful Christmas play in the Yuba Theater during Holiday on Main, December 2nd. She hopes that everyone can make it to see the 4-6th grade class’ great acting skills.
Mrs. Bosworth’s K-3rd class has been learning all about Veterans Day as well as the 5 senses. The K-1st students went to the Courthouse on Tuesday, November 7th to lead the Board of Supervisors in the Pledge of Allegiance. The K-3 class has also been enjoying music from Mr. Douville and Mr. Henrix.
In U.S. History Mr. Boli is always keeping the middle schoolers intrigued and involved in the early 1800’s arguments both for and against slavery. Later they will be learning about how slavery ties into the Constitution. The 9th and 10th graders have been studying the Protestant Reformation in preparation of learning about the Renaissance.
In Ms. Bolle’s room we have been learning how to draw optical illusions by creating different shapes and angles with a compass. Robin also had generously set up a tour for the upperclassmen to go inside the 16 to 1 Mine where we got see first-hand how rocks form and get compacted into earth’s crust. There in the “Ball Room”, some 1,000 feet below the surface, the whole group ate lunch by candlelight and learned some 16 to 1 history from the wise and talented Raebell. The tech class has been 3D printing some interesting historical structures that used to stand in Downieville.
Mrs. Fillo’s 7th and 8th grade class has been sewing some festive quilt squares to honor our veterans on Veterans Day. They were then put out on display at the Veterans Day luncheon held in the school cafeteria on Saturday, November 11. Also on display were six gorgeous Quilts of Valor made by Shannon Culvahouse of Manteca for members of her son’s Army division.
Mrs. Fillo’s 7/8th English class is enjoying the novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond and how it involves Colonial America. The students made traditional quilt squares and are writing short stories to accompany the squares.
November 15, 16, 17—Wednesday, Thursday and Friday–are all minimum days due to Parent Teacher Conferences. Also November 22 is a minimum day due to Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no school on Thursday and Friday, November 23rd and 24th.
That’s all for now; see you in the next Weekly Warrior!

Weekly Warrior by Rosendo Marquez 11/15/17

Welcome back to the Downieville School news. This week in Mrs. Bosworth’s classes of K-3rd grade her students had science stations where they had to identify smells, sounds, and touch objects; they also practiced games with their sight. Many students in those classes have passed Lexia Reading Levels. The kids are also learning about Kandinsky art and even created their replicas of his circle of art. They also made autumn tree art with arm/hand outlines + pointillism (check it out on the elementary side hallway). Ms. Maire’s classes 4-6th grade presented slideshows about their trip to Goodyears Bar Museum. They are studying about cells and U.S geography. Also they are starting play rehearsals for The Christmas Carol, which will be performed on December 2nd. The high school drama class will be making sets for them to use on their performance.
On the high school side Ms. Bolle took all grades 7-12th on a fieldtrip to the Caltrans station where they got to learn about working for Caltrans through Steve Folsom and the members of his crew. The crew showed the students the trucks and tractors they use to do their work. They gave the kids a brief instruction about the machines with endless controls (too many to actually remember which led to nodding and pretending like you understood it all when they asked). All the kids had lots of fun and learned a lot about all the hard work it takes to keep our roads in shape and about other branches of working for Caltrans.
Later that week the drama class helped out with the community play, Cafe Murder. The play was amazing! It was a full house both nights, October 20th and 21st. Both the hilarious antics of the play and the short dialogues done by the students were flawless. Overall it was a great success!
On Friday October 27 the high school students put on the annual Halloween Carnival in the school gym and PTO put on a dinner right before the opening of the Carnival. Both were a success, and thanks to all who could support and bring their kids to have some fun and take some candy and goldfish off our hands.
Basketball season is officially underway. All November is practice and December we will start to have some tournaments and games.
Announcements: Report cards for the first quarter grades will be coming out sometime this week. Holiday Friday November 10 in observation of Veteran’s Day. Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for November 15,16, and 17th. Please call the school office to schedule a conference—289-3473. NOTE: all three of those conference days will be minimum days, including Wed. Nov 15. School will dismiss at noon, with corresponding early busses.
As always, thanks for reading and till next week!

Sheriff’s Public Log 11/15/17

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log

110617

  • 1021 – Someone at Sea Ranch reported a canine bite – RPT SCSO
  • 1418 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Downieville – TRA DVAM
  • 1743 – Request for Agency assist in Chilcoot – TRA SCSO

110717

  • 0036 – Suspicious vehicle in neighbors driveway Sierraville – UNF SCSO
  • 0831 – Lights being stolen on Sierraville – CNC SCSO
  • 1120 – 9-1-1 response for an ambulance – TRA LOAM

110817

  • 1554 – Possible restraining order violation isn’t in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 2058 – Ominous phone call in Downieville – RPT SCSO

110917

  • 0250 – School fire alarm going off in Downieville – TRA DVFD
  • 0716 – Controlled burn reported in Sattley – CNC SCSO
  • 0830 – Agency assist at confidential address – RPT SCSO
  • 0836 – Static called 9-1-1 near Sierra City – CNC SCSO
  • 0841 – Arrest on local warrant 459PC in Auburn -ARR SCSO
  • 0935 – Static called 9-1-1 again from Clark Stn – CNC SCSO
  • 1000 – Arrest in Loyalton for 12500(a) VC – ARR SCSO
  • 1054 – Trespassing in Loyalton – CIT SCSO
  • 1520 – Reckless cattle truck near Loyalton – TRA CHP
  • 1609 – Downed power line near Sattley – TRA SCSO
  • 1823 – Somebody screaming outside in Loyalton – UTL SCSO
  • 1852 – Agency assist on wrong way driver on 395 – TRA CHP
  • 1914 – 9-1-1 call from static at Clark Stn – TRA SCSO
  • 2014 – Subject calling Plumas Co from Loyalton is 5150 – CNC SCSO
  • 2152 – 9-1-1 abandoned call from Clark Stn – CNC SCSO
  • 2324 – Traffic offense and speeding through town MPM 58 – CIT SCSO

111017

  • 0036 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance near Bassetts – TRA DVAM
  • 0740 – Controlled burn reported near Sattley – TRA SCSO
  • 1106 – Possible animal neglect in Verdi isn’t – CNC SCSO
  • 1201 – Aggressive dogs reported in Sierra Brooks – CNC SCSO
  • 1240 – Arrest for 647(f)PC in Loyalton – ARR SCSO
  • 1250 – Agency assist requested near Newman Point – TRA SCSO
  • 1320 – Suicidal subject released to family in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
  • 1745 – Alarm activation at school in Downieville – CNC SCSO
  • 1915 – Property check somewhere – CNC SCSO

111117

  • 0921 – 9-1-1 hangup from Static Clark Stn – CNC SCSO
  • 1556 – Traffic accident is Coroner’s Case in Sattley – TRA SCSO
  • 1821 – Harassment and threats in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 2010 – Illegal parking in Downieville – UTL SCSO
  • 2158 – Person or animal trying to enter Loyalton residence – UTL SCSO

111217

  • 0925 – 9-1-1 hangup, but needs medical on callback in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1541 – Property damage and threats in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 1607 – Injured deer reported near Sierra City – CNC SCSO
  • 1858 – Subject transported to hospital for 5150 eval Loyalton – CNC SCSO

Coloring Contest 11/15/17

Country Christmas Faire Coloring Contest

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is offering a coloring contest for children and adults as part of the annual Country Christmas Faire, November 24 – 26, at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
Coloring sheets are available at the Fairgrounds office on McCourtney Road or they can be downloaded at NevadaCountyFair.com.
There are two drawings to choose from, and it’s free to enter the coloring contest. Simply choose your favorite drawing of the two, fill out the entry form, complete the drawing, and return it to the Nevada County Fairgrounds – either by mail or in person – before November 17. The coloring contest is open to Nevada County residents only, and limited to one entry per person.
The coloring contest is divided into seven categories: five years old and under, 6 – 8 years, 9 – 12 years, 13 – 17 years, 18 – 64 years, 65 and over, and special needs. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded. Winners will receive carnival ride coupons for the 2018 Nevada County Fair.
All entries will be on display in Ponderosa Hall with the gingerbread houses during the Country Christmas Faire. Winners will be announced with ribbons on opening day of the Country Christmas Faire.
The Country Christmas Faire features exhibit buildings filled with handcrafted gifts and unique crafts. Visitors to the Faire also enjoy strolling entertainment, festival foods, wagon rides, a visit with Santa Claus, and a community bonfire. The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 24, and runs through Sunday, November 26. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, and free to children 12 and under. Parking is free. On Sunday only, bring a can of food and receive $1 off admission. All food will be collected by the Grass Valley Elks and distributed in their Christmas baskets in December.
For more information, visit NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

EMR Class in January – 11/15/17

Beckwourth Fire Will be hosting EMR – Emergency Medical Responder

This 64 hour course is designed to prepare the graduate with the education and training to certify the student as an EMR within the Nor Cal EMS region. The course will include instruction in ICS (Incident Command System) 100-200, and  American Heart Association CPR.  January 15th, 2018   Every Monday and Tuesday evening 6pm – 10pm
Where: Beckwourth Fire Station 1, 180 Main St. Beckwourth Cost: $150.00
Cost includes; CPR, Blood Bourne Pathogens, and EMR Book

Does not include Nor Cal EMS certification or fees! (Tuition is non-refundable and due the first night of class) Class size is limited, RSVP, Beckwourth Fire Station 1, (530) 832-1008
Instructor: Greg McCaffrey RN, MICN, FEMP

EMR, EMT, Paramedic Recert 11/15/17

Beckwourth Fire Will be hosting EMR, EMT, Paramedic Recertification

This 24 hour course is designed to assist the emergency worker in an update of current policies, practices and skills. And qualifies for Nor Cal EMS recertification. Additional CEs will be available for NREMT. Some items included: Incident Command System 100-200,
High Performance CPR. BLS Narcan, Glucometry, Epi and Airways Class starts: January 15th, 2018  Hours: Every Monday and Tuesday evening 6pm – 10pm
Where: Beckwourth Fire Station 1, 180 Main St. Beckwourth Cost: $1.00 per CEU

Does not include Nor Cal EMS certification or fees! (Tuition is non-refundable and due the first night of class)  Class size is limited, RSVP, Beckwourth Fire Station 1, (530) 832-1008
Instructor: Greg McCaffrey RN, MICN, FEMP

Food Access Saturdays 11/15/17

New Hours for Food Access Saturday: – Supporting Working Families

Gail Stroup and Jamie Lefebvre, United Way Volunteers helping out during one of the Saturday distributions.

United Way of Nevada County and Interfaith Food Ministry are thrilled to announce that Food Access Saturday for Working Families will continue for another six months but with a change of hours! After months of collaboration with Interfaith Food Ministry, in May of this year, the United Way Community Impact Committee made it possible for those individuals and families struggling to get by receive food on Saturdays. The new Food Access Saturday program was specifically designed for employed families struggling with food insecurity. The new hours of food distribution on Food Access Saturday will be 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

For the past six months, the Interfaith Food Ministry facility, located at 440 Henderson Street in Grass Valley has been opened on the 2nd Saturday of the month to support individuals and families who could not visit Interfaith Food Ministry or the local food bank during the week days because of their work schedule. United Way of Nevada County provides the majority of the funding and manpower to run Food Access Saturday. Upon evaluation of the past six months, United Way and Interfaith Food Ministry determined that Food Access Saturday has continued to grow and has made a big impact on feeding households that are struggling to get by in Nevada County. One recipient commented, “I need Saturdays. I work Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Food Access Saturday is such a big help.”

Working individuals and families who are having difficulty “making ends meet” and cannot access Interfaith Food Ministry or other local food distributions during the week are invited to participate in Food Access Saturday between 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on the following dates: November 11th- December 9th January 13, 2018 February 10, 2018
March 10, 2018 April 14, 2018

Interfaith Food Ministry is located at 440 Henderson Street, Grass Valley. For more information, please visit UWNC.org or interfaithfoodministry.org.

HSRA Protects Timber 11/15/17

2017–HSRA Continues to Protect Timberlands

The theme this year is protection of timberlands from development. Placer County recently amended their Zoning Code to allow ski lifts and ski runs on land zoned Timber Production. Timber Production Zone (TPZ) lands receive a substantial tax deduction to ensure the long term productivity of timberland.

Right now land being used by commercial skiing resorts in Placer County is zoned Forest and appraised for tax purposes as Unrestricted Timberland at approximately $1470/acre. The appraisal on TPZ lands, which are restricted to growing timber and compatible uses, is about $42/acre.

The Zone Amendment, approved at the request of Northstar Mountain Resort will allow ski resorts in Placer County, which are not in the Tahoe Basin, the ability to rezone to TPZ the property they use for ski lifts and ski runs, substantially lowering their property taxes while incentivizing the development of ski runs and ski lifts on timberland.

Prior to the zone amendment, ski runs and lifts were not allowed on TPZ land. They were considered incompatible with the long term viability of timber production. In order to locate incompatible uses, such as ski lifts and ski runs on TPZ property, the property would have to be rezoned and removed from the program in order to ensure an appropriate tax rate for those non-timber commercial uses.

Ski runs and ski lifts are still incompatible with growing timber. Trees don’t grow on ski slopes. We don’t think the California taxpayer meant to give ski resorts a tax deduction to use timberland for commercial skiing operations instead of growing trees. Placer County’s amendment defeats the intention of the Timber Production Act.

Meanwhile, back in Plumas County, we are still waiting for a hearing date on our challenge of the Plumas County General Plan where one of the issues is the change in Plumas County policy that will allow residential development on lands zoned Timber Production.

As always, your financial help is vital. Every donation helps keep us focused on protecting the natural resources of the High Sierra. Please help support this challenge by making a donation. Please donate online: or mail check to: HSRA P.O. Box 65 Sierra City, CA 96125

The High Sierra Rural Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Bring Congress Back 11/15/17

Stop the Wars: Congress vs. the President – by Mel Gurtov

Who Makes War?

Mel Gurtov

As Donald Trump maintains a high-velocity assault on North Korea’s leader, its political system, and its weapons tests, members of Congress are reportedly getting increasingly agitated about his possibly authorizing a preemptive attack. As well they should; Trump is notorious for his bellicose rhetoric, fondness for flashing military power, and lack of interest in diplomacy. The unfortunate reality is that Trump has a long history of unrestrained presidential power in war making behind him.

Going to war is one of the most misunderstood constitutional issues. The constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war. But for over a century, presidents have assumed the power as commander in chief to make and conduct war —to declare a national security threat, deploy forces, and use them without reference to Congress. To be sure, Congress finally responded to presidential abuse of war powers in Southeast Asia by passing the War Powers Resolution (WPR) in 1973. The resolution imposes a 60-day deadline for a presidential action abroad to obtain Congress’s approval; otherwise, the action must stop and any US forces must be withdrawn. But that law has never been invoked to start the 60-day clock. The WPR has neither prevented a president’s use of force abroad nor forced withdrawal of forces once committed.

Presidents of both parties have not hesitated to use their war making power, deploying the military and other agents of intervention on a scale no other country can begin to match. Consider the array of US firepower at sea today in the Korean peninsula area—no less than three aircraft carrier strike groups operating together for the first time, and without a word from Congress. On the ground, the emphasis is on “advise and assist” missions, just as in Vietnam once upon a time. But what almost inevitably follows is combat. Since 9/11 presidents have authorized ground and air missions throughout the Middle East—in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan—as well as in numerous African countries such as Niger and Mali. In all, according to The New York Times, Washington has deployed about “240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories,” as well as over 37,000 to unnamed other locations.

Restraining Presidential Power in the Middle East

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been leading an effort to bring Congress back into the war making act. A few years ago he introduced legislation to revisit the original Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Islamic State militants, a step he believed would force debate on what an authorization for war should actually entail. “There is no doubt that our current offensive [in the Middle East] amounts to war,” said Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “Congress should take action both to authorize its prosecution and to set limits on that authorization so it may not be used by any future administration in a manner contrary to our intent.” Schiff’s proposed AUMF would have limited military action against ISIS to three years and prohibited the use of US ground troops. It also would have ended, in three years, the 2001 AUMF that President Barack Obama said already gave him the authority to go after ISIS without new war authorization.

While these limitations seem appropriate at first glance, it is all too easy to imagine ways around them. Limitations are not bans, such as the Boland Amendment imposed to stop US aid to the Nicaraguan contras in the Reagan era. (Even that step didn’t stop Reagan.) Congress could override the three-year limit under Schiff’s AUMF if a new administration were to appeal on national security grounds that ISIS must be stopped. Prohibiting the use of US ground troops may not prevent a president from using other forces, such as “advisers,” CIA operatives, and special forces, as happened in Vietnam and other conflicts. Nor would a new AUMF prevent arms transfers to friendly forces, drone strikes, direction of air strikes by non-US air forces, military training, and support in various forms of third countries whose armies would accomplish what Congress prohibits.

Consequently, more recent efforts in Congress to constrain President Trump, mainly by Schiff and other Democrats, are very unlikely to succeed either. For one thing, Trump, like Obama, can hide behind the original post-9/11 AUMF. That authorization amounts to a blank check similar to the Southeast Asia resolution that President Johnson frequently cited to maintain and escalate US involvement in Vietnam. Rarely can Congress take back what it gave away, and this administration is not in a giving mood. (A new AUMF “is not legally required to address the continuing threat posed by al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 31.) A revised AUMF, moreover, might actually expand the administration’s war making by authorizing US military action against a wide assortment of “terrorist” organizations.

The most likely outcome is either no change in the AUMF or a new AUMF that reaffirms presidential power. Either one is a recipe for endless war. The reason is simple: Trump can surely count for support on the great majority of Republicans, and probably some Democrats, all of whom (as in past Congresses) hesitate to question presidential prerogatives in national security.

Preventing the Next War: North Korea

The overriding obstacle for Congress is that the Trump administration, like its predecessors, holds all the cards when it comes to defining and acting on national security grounds. North Korea is the principal concern here. Trump and his top advisers have consistently painted North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles as imminent threats to the US and its allies. The administration has deployed undefined “strategic assets” to the Korean peninsula area. US first-use of nuclear weapons to completely destroy North Korea cannot be excluded. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the same October 31 hearing, “The fact is that no president, Republican or Democrat, has ever forsworn the first strike capability. That has served us for 70 years.” We can only presume he was referring only to the contingency of an imminent or actual North Korean attack on US territory. But can we be sure?

We have no way of knowing what is in President Trump’s mind when it comes to the use of nuclear or any other category of weapons. Most analysts, and Trump’s own national security team, believe war with North Korea would result in enormous loss of life on and beyond the Korean peninsula. Does Trump believe that? Does he care? (Don’t judge from his script while addressing the South Korean national assembly.) Democrats aren’t waiting to find out; they have drafted legislation that would prevent Trump from unilaterally using a nuclear weapon or initiating war with North Korea. But though they claim some degree of Republican support, they know full well that Republicans are no more going to vote in favor of these initiatives than they would vote in favor of a restrictive AUMF. They, and we, are literally stuck with having to hope Trump will heed the cautionary words of the professional military, such as in the recent Pentagon report to Congress that concludes that finding and destroying the DPRK’s nuclear-weapons inventory would require a US ground invasion.

No Questions Allowed

In short, war with North Korea seems beyond the capacity, much less the willingness, of Congress to prevent. The secretaries of state and defense and the national security special assistant say the US seeks a diplomatic solution, but their words are unpersuasive. More credible—and deplorable—is presidential adviser Stephen Miller, who famously said on national television on February 12 that “the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

“Very substantial,” yes, but “not questioned”? Such an authoritarian view compels those of us who seek ways to prevent this administration from exercising its presumptive war powers need to look for support beyond Washington—to an aroused public and media, to US allies and friends in Asia, to Europe, and even to China.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an Asia expert and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.

Animals Helped by ARF 11/15/17

We Are Here To Help

In light of the recent events regarding the Loyalton Mobile Estates we would like to remind everyone that the Sierra County Animal Relief Fund (ARF) is here to help. We understand that many animals, along with their people, have been displaced. This is a hard time for both person and pet. If you are someone that has taken in an animal, we can provide needed assistance — whether it’s obtaining medical assistance, vaccinations, food or other supplies. If you know someone who could use our assistance, please give them our number. If you are an agency or an organization, please add us to your resource list.

With that being said, as the CEO of ARF, I would personally like to thank and acknowledge the hard work of Amanda Church Osburn. She has worked extremely hard on behalf of the residents and pets of the Mobile Estates. Going door-to-door seeking animals that needed help, she organized a re-homing event to find them new loving homes. She continues to seek homes and fosters for remaining animals. There are people who will be homeless, and having their pets taken care of will give them peace of mind. Amanda’s willingness to take on this great task with some help from her friends is a great strength to the community.

If you need assistance or would like to donate items to help get the newly re-homed animals on their feet, call Rachel Guffin, 289-2720 or Linda Guffin, 289-2751.

Rachel A. Guffin, CEO Animal Relief Fund (Sierra County) www.animalrelieffund.net

Day with Veterans 11/15/17

Downieville gathered for the annual Veterans Day Ceremony and luncheon

 

 

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