Do NOT Exaggerate 2/7/18

Donald, Donald, Donald, we told you a million times not to exaggerate

Tom Hastings

by Tom H. Hastings

In his little munchkin voice—surprising coming from such a big fat man—and his chemically hardened helmet hair, Donald Trump gave us his version of the State of the Union.

It was, to borrow some of his superlatives, incredibly, amazingly, totally annoying.

Great, beautiful. Wonderful. Everything is great.

I am reaching back, searching my memory for another speech so rife with shallow, meaningless platitudes.

“Beautiful clean coal.”

Trump’s newfound gift is combining lying with gushing and faux compassion. Coal accounts for some 83 percent of US air pollutants, is a serious factor in exacerbating our climate chaos—hurricanes, floods, fires—and yet its share of energy production continues to fall. Yes, stripping the law of environmental protections can give coal a bit longer to survive, but natural gas, solar, and wind farms are increasing despite Trump and the market forces will ultimately prevail over coal. Trump has made the coal industry the new corporate welfare queen, with all the costs passed on to the consumers and taxpayers. Beautiful.

Waxing on about how much he loves the flag, the national anthem, and those, unlike him, who served in the military, one can try to hold down one’s dinner. It’s not easy.

The stock market fell 400 points in anticipation of Trump’s talk.

He called on Congress to remove all government employees who fail to work for the good of the American people. Buh-bye, Trump!

“Exciting progress is happening every day.”

Please, let that progress lead with impeachment.

The elasticity of the truth was the leitmotif, as he claimed credit for far more than he actually achieved.

When he made claims about ICE imprisoning or deporting “thousands and thousands and thousands” of MS-13 gang members and the current estimates vary far lower from all official sources except Trump himself, that is such a stretcher that you can almost hear the facts groan.

More whoppers included his claims of the biggest tax cut in history—not even close—the decline in African American unemployment—most of which happened before he took office—that vehicle manufacturing is coming back, which we “haven’t seen for decades”—actually George W. Bush and Obama were in office when several plants returned—and the list goes on. The only fact-checkers who agree with Trump seem to be the ones who don’t actually check.

Trump could not even resist lying about the numbers who tuned into watch the SOTU, tweeting that it was “the highest number in history.” Nope, his numbers were eclipsed by Obama, Dubya, and most resoundingly by Clinton in 1993. Not even close.

While the citizen stories his aides found for him were the highlights—especially the inspiring story of North Korean refugee Ji Seong-ho, one wonders, then, how Trump can continue to hypocritically deny refugees from bloody war zones, children and women and old people who manage to flee with their lives and little else.

We deserve better leadership, but we won’t get it until we the people make it happen.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.

Wednesday January 31, 2018

NEWSFLASH NEWSFLASH  – IN CASE YOU FORGOT SUNDAY IS SUPERBOWL SUNDAY AND THERE WILL BE A GREAT PLACE TO WATCH IT AT THE ST CHARLES FROM 11AM TILL CLOSING… AND THERE WILL EVEN BE GRUB SERVED AROUND 1:00 PM GO SAY HI TO DONNA AND STEVE AND HAVE FUN -GO PATRIOTS….

Cabin Fever Spaghetti Feed is on Saturday February 17th  5 – 7 pm offered by the DVFD Association at the Downieville Community Hall –  ENJOY AN ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT SPAGHETTI DINNER & DESSERT!  Dinner tickets on sale at the door  (No charge for delivery. Call 289-3333 for delivery)            Adults – $10.00 Seniors – $8.00 Children under 12 – $5.00

The 10th Annual Snowball! This year’s ball will be held Saturday, February 24th from 7 p.m. to midnight, at the Community Hall in Downieville. For our 10th year we’re going big with a Hollywood theme! Come join us as your favorite Hollywood celebrity or glam up anyway you want to. Be sure to invite all of your friends, we’d love to see a huge turnout for our 10th year! As usual this is a fundraiser for the Downieville School Sports program. There will be great raffle prizes ranging from overnight stays at popular casinos in Reno, with dinner and show tickets, to numerous gift certificates from local vendors and artists, and to entice those of you who are unsure of going hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine will be available. Tickets are $15.00 each or 2 for $25.00. For additional information, please contact Heather Foster at 530-913-4418 or Jenny Varn at 530-913-7902.

For all you technophobes out there who no longer watch real TV, don’t forget as of February 10th you will have to preface any phone calls to the 916 area code with a 1 like in 1-916-555-1212 or the call won’t go through, this is even if you are dialing from a 916 number yourself. Which brings me to Supervisors Peter Huebner and Lee Adams who had the foresight to challenge AT&T when they attempted to make Sierra County a 916 area code. Thank you for winning that battle.

We had the State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, I listened to the whole speech and gnashed my teeth quite a bit, even someone else writing the script for him it was still very clear as to how little compassion, understanding and commitment the Administration has for making America great for the working class. He bragged about cuts in the Affordable Healthcare Act with no concern for the poor, elderly and people with disabilities who will suffer. There were many claims about jobs created and companies bringing business back to the United States which were completely inaccurate or flat out pie in the sky pipe dreams in his own golden world… to quote an idiot, “it was SAD”. When and how will this nightmare end.

Anyhow the photo this week comes from David Marshall and is of a peaceful Sand Pond in the midst of winter

Governing by Scapegoat 1/31/18

Governing by scapegoat – by Robert C. Koehler

Got a problem?  Simplify and project.

Robert Koehler

When you have a country to govern and you have no idea what to do — and, even more to the core of the matter, you also have a crony-agenda you want to push quietly past the populace — there’s a time-proven technique that generally works. Govern by scapegoat!

This usually means go to war, but sometimes that’s not enough. Here in the USA, there’s been so much antiwar sentiment since the disastrous quagmires of the last half century — Vietnam, the War (To Promote) Terror — we’ve had to make war simply part of the background noise. The military cash bleed continues, but the public lacks an international enemy to rally against and blame for its insecurity.

Creating a scapegoat enemy domestically has also gotten complicated. Thugs and punks — predatory (minority) teenagers — shoulder much of the responsibility for keeping the country distracted, but in this era of political correctness, politicians have to be careful. Thus the Trump administration has turned to the immigrants. Not all of them, of course — only the ones from Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. In particular, it has turned to . . . the illegals!

Why is America so violent?

“It’s pure evil,” runs the newly released Trump campaign ad. “President Trump is right: Build the wall, deport criminals, stop illegal immigration now. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants. President Trump will fix our border and keep our families safe.”

Governing by scapegoat is more than just a stupid appeal to the base. Its cruel consequences are manifold. In essence, doing so both wrecks lives and ignores the real causes of the country’s problems. Often enough, it contributes to the social collapse at the root of the problems it purports to address.

Here’s one look at the humanity of DACA: “It meant we did not fear that today — any day — was going to be the last day we could hug our children, parents or siblings,” Dreamer Reyna Montoya writes at Truthout. “It allowed us to have inner peace, knowing that we were not going to be thrown to a country we no longer know. DACA provided safety, and that is now being ripped away.”

Leaving hundreds of thousands of lives “hanging by a thread,” as Montoya put it, strikes me as contributing to the problem, not the solution. Trump’s claim that “illegals” contribute in a serious way to American violence is totally without factual basis, but because violence has become a plague in this country, explaining its cause with scapegoat propaganda has a feel-good resonance for a lot of people. It’s so much easier to blame some designated “other” than to look within.

But consider . . .

“The governor and several people in Benton (Kentucky) said they couldn’t believe a mass shooting would happen in their small, close-knit town. But many such shootings across the nation have happened in rural communities.”

Yeah, another one, at a high school in rural Kentucky. This was just the day before yesterday, as I write. Two students killed, as many as 20 injured, a 15-year-old boy arrested. He fired a handgun into a crowded atrium at the school until he ran out of bullets. This is now minor news in America: ho hum, another mass murder. Unless the death toll is in double digits, it commands only perfunctory headlines.

Indeed, the Associated Press account of the shooting — complete with stats and data putting it into the context of similar occurrences — read almost like coverage of a sporting event. “The attack marked the year’s first fatal school shooting.”

And, oh yeah: “Marshall County High School is about 30 minutes from Heath High School in Paducah, Ky., where a 1997 mass shooting killed three and injured five. Michael Carneal, then 14, opened fire there about two years before the fatal attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, ushering in an era when mass school shootings have become much more common.

“Meanwhile, in the small North Texas town of Italy, a 15-year-old girl was recovering Tuesday after police said she was shot by a 16-year-old classmate in her high school cafeteria on Monday, sending dozens of students scrambling for safety. Police in Louisiana, meanwhile, are investigating shots fired Monday as students gathered outside their charter school.”

The agenda that Trump and his cohorts are focused on moving forward is not the one that addresses American misery, but the one that slashes corporate taxes and privatizes as much of the social infrastructure as possible. For instance, four months after Hurricane Maria, 30 percent of Puerto Rico remains without electric power. Government relief efforts didn’t go much beyond the presidential tossing of paper towels — a racist gesture if ever there was one — but now the Puerto Rican governor has a plan to privatize the island’s power utility. Appalled critics are calling this a blatant example of disaster capitalism: the use of tragedy to further a corporate agenda.

Let the rich grow richer. When that causes trouble, blame the ones who have the least.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.

Hashtag Happenings 1/31/18

After #MeToo and #TimesUp  – by Laura Finley, Ph.D.

Laura Finley

I’m writing today about hashtags. In particular, I want to focus on what happens now that we’ve said #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Like many women and girls, I said Me Too. And, like most, mine was not a one-time experience but rather a lifetime of inappropriate comments, catcalls, and unwanted sexual contact. As I’ve written before, I’m glad the Hollywood and USA gymnastics scandals have us talking about powerful men who abuse that power. But it isn’t just men in power who commit these same acts of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. Men harass women and girls in the streets, at the stores, in schools. Everywhere.

I am 45 years old. Not long ago, I experienced unwanted sexual conduct from someone half my age. The only power he has over me is that he’s a man who feels he’s entitled to say and do as he pleases to women. I have been catcalled by boys recently out of high school on the campus where I teach, a university with a commitment to social justice. A random guy at the gym thinks it’s OK to make a lewd comment about my weight, while another one at the market felt it was complimentary to mutter about my body to the poor female cashier, as if she wanted to hear his verbal diarrhea. As I drove to present a version of this piece at the Miami Women’s March second annual event, a man pulled up next to me so he could make a vulgar sexual gesture.

So, yeah, MeToo. Speaking up matters. Shedding light on the scope of these problems to those who had inexplicably missed it, matters. Solidarity matters. And no, I do not believe this is fake feminism. But now what?

Celebrities like Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon and Shonda Rhimes have launched #TimesUp as perhaps a next step. With their attention, which wonderfully dominated the Golden Globes, they’ve also started a legal defense fund to help individuals come forward without fear of legal, career or financial retaliation. This is great, and they’ve pledged to help create a cultural shift that will end sexual harassment.

That’s where things get a bit more vague. What does that look like? And how does it happen? Stories and accountability are elements of it, but they alone do not shift the culture.

Perhaps some other hashtag ideas can be helpful here. I have to admit, I’m not that big of a hashtagger, so forgive me if some of these may already be in circulation. But, how about #Iwilldisruptit? Someone saw or heard all of the instances I mentioned earlier, and in most cases of harassment, abuse and assault, that is true. What if in addition to being committed to speak up as persons who have been victimized, we also committed to speak up when we see or hear troublesome comments or behavior? Some of us do this, others need to start doing it.

Or how about #teachkidsgenderequality? If we want to change our culture, we need to socialize both boys and girls differently. All kids need to know that no one is entitled to control your decisions and your bodies but you. I am guilty of being too nice, of too easily dismissing or forgiving. Many of us are. And yet I’m pissed off that I still have to live in this rape culture, and that my daughter does, too. As Barbara Kingsolver so importantly wrote, “Feminine instincts for sweetness and apology have no skin in this game.” As this last year has affirmed, when women channel their anger about gender inequality, amazing things happens.

I’m sure we can think of many more ideas—and they are that, not just hashtags—that will help transform our culture into one in which women don’t face these daily micro aggressions. But in honor of the event I just spoke at, #powertothepolls. Let’s elect women, and the progressive men who support us, and make some political changes that will make male entitlement a thing of the past.

Laura Finley, Ph.D., teaches in the Barry University Department of Sociology & Criminology and is syndicated by PeaceVoice.

Apocalypse Doomsday 1/31/18

Approaching the Apocalypse, the Doomsday Clock Moves Forward
by Robert F. Dodge, M.D.

Robert Dodge

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved their Doomsday Clock forward to two minutes till midnight. Midnight represents nuclear apocalypse. The Clock is recognized around the world as an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies. Each year the decision to move the Clock forward, backward, or not at all, is determined by the Bulletins Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors which includes 15 Nobel Laureates.

In making this year’s move to two minutes till midnight, the Bulletin stated that “in 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threat of nuclear war and climate change, making the world’s security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago-and as dangerous as it has been since World War II.”

In recent years the Bulletin has added climate change to nuclear weapons as a major risk of global conflict. This year the greatest threat remained that of nuclear conflict with the ongoing North Korea crisis featuring dangerous rhetoric and actions coming from both sides. World experts have made their assessments; leadership in the US and North Korea have now radically elevated the risk of nuclear war either by accident or miscalculation.

Coupled with deteriorating relationships between the world’s nuclear powers, with US and Russian relations at the lowest point in decades and rising tensions between the US and China, all while the United States plans to rebuild its nuclear arsenal—prompting all of the other nations to follow suit. The situation is further undermined from a diplomatic standpoint by an understaffed and demoralized US State Department and thus the Clock ticks forward.

The Board stated, “To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger—and its immediacy.”

It was also emphasized that this urgent warning of global danger described a future that did not have to be, but in order to change demanded action now from the citizens of the world. We have the ability and now the legal framework with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to abolish nuclear weapons, just as we have the ability to address climate change.

What is necessary is the political will for change arising from the people across the country and the globe demanding this action now.

At this year’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the leader of the recipient, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Beatrice Fihn, said regarding abolishing nuclear weapons, “those who say that future is not possible need to get out of the way of those making it a reality.”

It’s time, possibly our final chance, to abolish nuclear weapons. It’s two minutes till midnight.

Robert F. Dodge, M.D., is a practicing family physician and writes for PeaceVoice. He is co-chair of Physicians for Social Responsibility National Security Committee and the President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles

Farewell & Thank You 1/31/18

An Invitation
to
Say “Thank You” and “Farewell”
to
Rachel Defibaugh, DFPD Paramedic

Please join us on
Thursday, February 8th, 2018
from
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
at the
Downieville Masonic Hall

Please bring an appetizer to share.
(adult beverages optional)
Water and soda will be provided!

Plumas/Sierra Fair Award 1/31/18

The Plumas Sierra County Fair crashed the Western Fairs Association Convention with a series of First Place Awards. Although it did not win the prestigious Merrill Award, Fair Manager John Steffanic was pleased to receive four first place finishes in the general achievement awards. The Plumas Sierra County Fair is in the Class 1 category which includes all fairs with attendance up to 100,000. “This meant we bettered the likes of Santa Barbara and Napa County Fairs”, reported Steffanic. “It was extremely gratifying to be recognized as the best on the West Coast in these categories.”

The awards came for excellence in the areas of: Theme Program, for the 2017 theme of “Art to Ag”; Fair Logo, for its “Art to Ag” logo featuring Warhol like cows in sunglasses; Guest Services, for the popular Chipper Express golf cart tours; and Event Within An Event, for the Merrill Award finalist “Artopolis”. The fair was given beautiful certificates which Steffanic promises will be displayed at this year’s fair.

Each year, Western Fairs Achievement Committee chooses several awards as ‘Featured Awards”, and gives special attention to these at the closing banquet. The Theme Program was one of these special awards and the Plumas Sierra County Fair was given an impressive glass award honoring its first place finish for the “Art to Ag” theme. “It was awfully exciting to hear the words Plumas and Sierra in the Anaheim Convention Center,” Steffanic said, “I think we definitely showed up on the radar of many people during the convention.”

The local fair was also a finalist for the Merrill Award, named for the founder of Western Fairs Association. It is given to those showing innovation and creativity in the fair industry. Plumas Sierra was nominated for the 2017 installation of “Artopolis”. It was up against the San Diego County Fair, which gave free fair tickets to new U.S. citizens; The Alameda County Fairgrounds for its Digital Marketing Program; The Marin County Fair, that did an extensive theme program based on the Summer of Love, theirs being the Summer of Fun; and the New Mexico State Fair, which created an Autism Awareness Sensory Station. Although the award had been selected before the convention even began, each fair made a presentation about their project at the opening Leadership Luncheon. When the winner was announced at the Awards Banquet on Friday Night, the New Mexico State Fair and the San Diego County Fair shared the Merrill Award. “I know it sounds cliché, but it really was an honor being a finalist,” Fair Manager Steffanic said. “We made a splash with our presentation, and I know many will be looking for what we can do next year.”

The 2019 Convention will be held in Reno and Steffanic hopes this year’s theme of “Welcome to the Neighborhood” will be good enough to the catch the eye of the awards committee again. The Plumas Sierra County Fair, as well as many small fairs have not been recognized due to the fact that the process does take a little time and thought to enter. Many of the larger fairs actually have staff that spend a good amount of time preparing these entries. He says it was at the previous year’s convention that he asked other fairs in Northern California how many awards they have won, and got no response. He said there are many great ideas that come from small fairs and challenged the other fairs to enter. “It certainly paid off for our fair”, he said.

AEMT Graduation 1/31/17

Eleven Advanced EMT’s graduated on January 31, 2018 from a class sponsored by Sierra Frontier Medical Resources, Inc. (SFMR) and Downieville Fire Protection District. The class was organized and led by Frank Lang, MICN, Bette Jo Lang, Paramedic Rachel Defibaugh. Students were from Sierra, Yuba and Plumas counties and ranged in age from 20’s up to 71. An enthusiastic crowd of  approximately 60 family, friends and community attended the graduation, enjoying cake, cookies and cider after the graduation ceremony.

FBI Teen Academy 1/31/18

FBI Teen Academy Accepting Applications from High School Juniors
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento Field Office encourages high school juniors attending class within the 34 counties the office serves to apply to upcoming Spring 2018 FBI Teen Academy. The full-day academy will be held on Friday, March 23, 2018, at FBI Sacramento Field Office headquarters in Roseville, Calif.
Students interested in the exciting, one-day program must log onto the FBI Sacramento Field Office’s Community Relations web page to download an application. Students must submit an application package, enclosing a completed application, signed release forms, and an essay—carefully following submission instructions—to be considered. Complete application packages must be received by mail, parcel delivery, or hand delivery at the FBI Sacramento Field Office headquarters no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Due to the need for original signatures, application packages are not accepted by fax or email.
The FBI Teen Academy offers students a unique view into the FBI and its mission, values, investigations, and partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement. Discussion topics may include cyber safety, terrorism, active shooter situations, cyber investigations, and civil rights investigations. Activities may include simulated experiences with the FBI’s Evidence Response Team, Special Agent Bomb Technicians, and within the Firearms Training System (FATS) room. Students also engage in candid conversations about online communication and its risks as well as lifestyle choices required to be eligible for careers at the FBI with FBI personnel.
“The FBI Teen Academy helps youth better understand how we protect the American people and uphold the constitution. We also share how the decisions they make today may impact education and career options in the future,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FB Sacramento Field Office. “Our goal is to provide students with useful information and valuable experiences they can share with others upon returning to their home and school.”

The FBI Teen Academy is open to all high school juniors attending any school—public, private, and home school. No minimum GPA or particular academic path is required. The full-day experience is offered at no charge to students but families may incur travel costs if they live a significant distance away from FBI Sacramento Field Office headquarters.

Direct link to the FBI Teen Academy Application:
The 34 counties served by the FBI Sacramento Field Office are:
Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Inyo
Kern, Kings, Lassen, Mader, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Nevada
Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano
Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Trinity, Yuba, Yolo.

Skiing Kinda Local 1/31/18

The skiing should be really, really good. Freshly groomed trails, except the Dog Trail (The Dog Trail, if groomed, would melt out within a day or two…it needs more snow). Groomed a set track on most of the trails and a wide skating lane (see report below for specific trails info.).
Speaking of more snow, none is expected in next 10 days or so, so with the warm weather, go out and get the skiing now! The skiing should be good for the next week…pray for more snow! Groomed everything for skating, most all with a set track. Will most likely regroom on Thursday for the weekend. Watch for unmarked obstacles and later in the week for thin spots.

Two special notes: The groomers went out and skied (diagonal stride) after grooming and had a great time on fresh tracks. The other note, is, that when you are out skiing and see folks walking or running the trails, please, please, stop them and tell them that these are ski/snowshoe trails and that pedestrian traffic is not allowed. It takes a much longer volunteer effort to eradicate the footprints in the snow so that skiers and snowshoers can enjoy the snow. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN THIS!

Another special thank you to all who have supported our volunteer grooming program in the past (no state funds are used for this program). Please consider donating to our efforts to keep them ongoing. And of course, gratitude to all the volunteers who donate their time to the trails.

Again, this year, our entire funding comes through donations to PESPA (Plumas Eureka State Park Association, P.O. Box 1148, Graeagle, CA 96103. There is also a donation slot on the Museum door at the Museum Trailhead). There are no trail fees, but we do wish that you consider donating to the program. Suggested donations are $5.00/day per person, $25.00/person for the season and only $35.00/family for the season.

Dogs are not permitted on the Jamison or Museum Trailhead trails, but a separate Dog Trail is groomed across from the Jamison Trailhead, for both skiers, snowshoers and their canine friends. There is no fee for the Dog Trail, but we ask that you pick up after your pets. There is a pet station/bags at the Kiosk. Go out and enjoy winter skiing and snowshoeing!!!

JAMISON TRAIL: Groomed, skating lane, with set track.                             HARPER’S WAY: Not groomable at this time, needs more snow
​​​​CAMP LISA: Groomed, skating lane, some set track
​​​​UPPER CAMPGROUND: Groomed, skating lane, with set track
CAMPGROUND: Groomed, skating lane, with set track
LOWER CAMPGROUND: Groomed, skating lane, some set track
BEAR SCAT FLAT: Groomed, skating lane, with set track
PLUMAS-EUREKA: Groomed, skating lane, with set track
DOG TRAIL: Open, but not groomed at this point, it needs more snow.

AVALANCHE ADVISORY: The Central Sierra Nevada Mountain Avalanche Advisory is issued daily by the Sierra Avalanche Center (SAC), covering the Northern Sierra Nevada mountain range from Ebbett’s Pass (State Highway 4, Alpine County) to Yuba Pass (State Highway 49, Sierra County). It applies to back-country areas outside of developed ski areas only. For daily avalanche advisory information, go to the SAC website at www.sierraavalanchecenter.org, or phone (530) 587-3558.
www.thegoldrushgallery.com

ESV Chamber Meets 1/31/18

Chamber meeting Saturday February 3rd 2018 at 10:30 Golden West,  Loyalton

Topics: Country Market/Bazaar, Car Show, Tour DeManure, Highway 49 clean up, Sierra County Vistors Guide, budget for 2018/2019, Sierra County and Sierra Valley events and much, much more.

Please find it clear to make to this most important meeting as Spring and Summer is just right around the corner.

Best regards, Mike 993-0453

CA EPA Award 1/31/18

EPA awards Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants for clean air projects in California

SAN FRANCISCO – As part of the West Coast Collaborative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $7,076,382 in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants to California to curb harmful pollution from large diesel sources, such as trucks, buses, and agriculture equipment.

“Clean diesel technologies not only improve air quality, but advance innovation and support jobs,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These projects will significantly reduce harmful emissions and directly benefit the health of residents.”

“By promoting clean diesel technologies, we can improve air quality and human health, advance American innovation and support green jobs in economically disadvantaged communities, while growing our economy,” said Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Public-private partnerships like the West Coast Collaborative are leading the way on reducing harmful diesel emissions and creating jobs.”

The DERA program is administered by EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a clean air public-private partnership that leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in impacted communities in West Coast states and U.S. Territories.

Award recipients in California:

South Coast Air Quality Management District was awarded $1,050,000 to replace ten 2012 or newer diesel trucks with new trucks powered by engines certified to meet California Air Resources Board’s optional low nitrogen oxide emission standard. The 2012 and newer trucks will be used to replace ten model year 1995–2006 heavy-duty diesel trucks, which will then be scrapped in Washington State.

The City of Long Beach Harbor Department was awarded $2,423,448 to replace old marine vessel and cargo handling equipment engines with Tier 3 and all electric zero emissions engines operating at the Port of Long Beach. The funds will be combined with $3,354,772 in matching funds from the Harbor Department’s project partners, Foss Maritime, Curtin Maritime, and SSA Marine, to implement the project.

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District was awarded $1,239,959 to replace agricultural tractors and equipment operating in the San Joaquin Valley. Combined with $6,587,258 in matching funds from San Joaquin Valley Air District and participating fleets, this project will replace ninety-two diesel-powered agricultural tractors or loaders with new agricultural equipment with cleaner Tier 4 engines.

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District was awarded $1,150,000 to replace large trucks operating in the San Joaquin Valley. Combined with $6,109,420 in matching funds from San Joaquin Valley Air District and participating fleets, this project will replace fifty-two old diesel-powered delivery trucks with new trucks with cleaner engines.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District was awarded $639,670 to replace an old diesel switcher locomotive with a new cleaner Tier 4 locomotive operating in goods movement service in the San Francisco Bay Area. The funds will be combined with $1,931,792 in matching funds from Bay Area Air District’s project partner, Oakland Global Rail Enterprise, LLC, to implement the project.

California Air Resources Board was awarded $573,305 to replace school buses operating throughout the State of California. Combined with $3,102,396 in matching funds from the California Air Resources Board and participating school bus fleets, this project will replace nine diesel school buses with all-electric, zero-emission buses.

Including the grant award to California, EPA has awarded nearly $12.5 million in DERA funding to recipients in Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington to reduce diesel emissions from large diesel sources, such as trucks, buses, agriculture and port equipment. These projects will improve air quality by reducing over 3,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 200 tons of particulate matter from over 350 medium and heavy duty diesel engines.

Reducing particulate matter emissions has important public health and air quality benefits and reduces black carbon.

To learn more about all of this year’s West Coast Collaborative DERA projects, visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org.

For more information about EPA’s National Clean Diesel campaign and the national DERA awards, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

EPA Award for Nevada 1/31/18

EPA awards Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant for clean air project in Nevada

SAN FRANCISCO – As part of the West Coast Collaborative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $348,002 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to Nevada to curb harmful pollution from large diesel sources, such as trucks, buses, and agriculture equipment.

“Clean diesel technologies not only improve air quality, but advance innovation and support jobs,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These projects will significantly reduce harmful emissions and directly benefit the health of residents.”

“By promoting clean diesel technologies, we can improve air quality and human health, advance American innovation and support green jobs in economically disadvantaged communities, while growing our economy,” said Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Public-private partnerships like the West Coast Collaborative are leading the way on reducing harmful diesel emissions and creating jobs.”

The DERA program is administered by EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a clean air public-private partnership that leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in impacted communities in West Coast states and U.S. Territories.

Award recipient in Nevada:

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection was awarded a $348,002 grant to replace six old diesel public works trucks and six old diesel school buses with new vehicles with new engines.

Including the grant award to Nevada, EPA has awarded nearly $12.5 million in DERA funding to recipients in Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to reduce diesel emissions from large diesel sources, such as trucks, buses, agriculture and port equipment. These projects will improve air quality by reducing over 3,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 200 tons of particulate matter from over 350 medium and heavy duty diesel engines.

Reducing particulate matter emissions has important public health and air quality benefits and reduces black carbon.

To learn more about all of this year’s West Coast Collaborative DERA projects, visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org.

For more information about EPA’s National Clean Diesel campaign and the national DERA awards, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.

BLM & USFS Grazing Fees 1/31/18

BLM and Forest Service announce 2018 grazing fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal grazing fee for 2018 will be $1.41 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.41 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the USDA Forest Service.

The 2017 public land grazing fee was $1.87. An AUM or HM—treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes—is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

The newly calculated grazing fee was determined by a congressional formula and takes effect March 1, 2018. The fee will apply to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and nearly 6,500 permits administered by the Forest Service.

The formula used for calculating the grazing fee was established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act and has remained in use under a 1986 presidential Executive Order. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM/HM, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level. The annually determined grazing fee is established using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM/HM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states.

The figure is then calculated according to three factors—current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions.

The BLM and Forest Service are committed to strong relationships with the ranching community and work closely with permittees to ensure public rangelands remain healthy, productive working landscapes.

Fifty percent of the collected grazing fees deposited into the U.S. Treasury are returned to the Range Betterment Fund for on-the-ground range improvement projects. Portions of collected fees are also returned to the states for use in the counties where the fees were generated.

The grazing fee applies in 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service. The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Permit holders and lessees may contact their local BLM or Forest Service office for additional information.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs. The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages 193 million acres of Federal lands in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. National forests and grasslands are working lands that provide a multitude of benefits to the American public, from forest products like wood and food, to opportunities for world-class recreational experiences that also provide health benefits. Forest Service programs and work contribute to 360,000 jobs and more than $30 billion to the gross domestic product.

Joyce Becomes a Lion 1/31/18

1/31/18 Joyce White is inducted to the Downieville Lions Club by Vice-President Mike Galan at their January meeting. Joyce is the DFPD Dispatch Supervisor and a board member of the Golden Rays. DVL meet the 3rd Monday each month contact club Secretary Karen Galan at 289-3595 or Membership Liz at 289-3632 for more information or to arrange a complimentary dinner visit.

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