Photo: L to R = Kathy Knight, Marjorie Logan, Tyler and Kristin Carmichael holding babies Elliott and Bayla, Flinda France, Keaton Carmichael.
Plumas-Sierra Cattle Women held a contest to honor a mother giving birth, before or after, nearest to Mothers's Day with a Baby Basket. We are pleased to announce that Kristin Carmichael, of Delleker, was the happy recipient. Kristin and husband Tyler welcomed twin girls, Elliott and Bayla on May 8th into their family, joining older brothers Keaton and Dayton. Presenting the Basket from the Cattle Women were Kathy Knight, Marjorie Logan, Laural Colberg and Flinda France.
Photo: L to R = Kathy Knight, Marjorie Logan, Tyler and Kristin Carmichael holding babies Elliott and Bayla, Flinda France, Keaton Carmichael.
Sacramento – After extensive and thorough investigations, CAL FIRE investigators have determined that four Northern California wildfires in last year’s October Fire Siege were caused by trees coming into contact with power lines. The four fires, located in Butte and Nevada counties, are the first fire investigations from last October to be completed.
CAL FIRE investigators were dispatched to the fires last year and immediately began working to determine their origin and cause. The Department continues to investigate the remaining 2017 fires, both in October and December, and will release additional reports as they are completed.
The October 2017 Fire Siege involved more than 170 fires and charred more than 245,000 acres in Northern California. More than 11,000 firefighters from 17 states helped battle the blazes.
Below is a summary of the four completed investigations:
• The La Porte Fire, in Butte County, started in the early morning hours of Oct. 9 and burned a total of 8,417 acres, destroying 74 structures. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. CAL FIRE has determined the fire was caused by tree branches falling onto PG&E power lines. CAL FIRE investigators determined there were no violations of state law related to the cause of this fire.
• The McCourtney Fire, in Nevada County, started the evening of Oct. 8 and burned a total of 76 acres, destroying 13 structures. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. CAL FIRE has determined the fire was caused by a tree falling onto PG&E power lines. The investigation found evidence that PG&E allegedly failed to remove a tree from the proximity of a power line, in violation of the state Public Resources Code section 4293.
• The Lobo Fire, in Nevada County, started the evening of Oct. 8 and burned a total of 821 acres, destroying 47 structures. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. CAL FIRE has determined the fire was caused by a tree contacting PG&E power lines. The investigation found evidence that Public Resources Code section 4293, which requires adequate clearance between trees and power lines, was allegedly violated.
• The Honey Fire, in Butte County, started in the early morning hours of Oct. 9 and burned a total of 76 acres. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters and no structures were destroyed. CAL FIRE has determined the fire was caused by an Oak branch contacting PG&E power lines. The investigation found evidence that Public Resources Code 4293, which requires adequate clearance between trees and power lines, was allegedly violated.
The McCourtney, Lobo, Honey investigations have been referred to the appropriate county District Attorney’s offices for review.
Californians are encouraged to remain vigilant and prepared for wildfire. For more information, visit www.readyforwildfire.org or www.fire.ca.gov
By Senator Ted Gaines
California might end the fiscal year with a whopping $20 billion in its rainy day fund. You might think a reserve that size, plus billions more in unanticipated revenue flowing into the state’s coffers this year, would satisfy even the tax-hungriest Sacramento politicians and satisfy their appetite for tax increases. Sadly, you would be wrong. Even during this tax boom, Senate Bill 993 is trying to slap taxpayers with the single biggest sales tax increase in state history.
Currently, Californians don’t pay taxes on services, but SB 993 would change that. Next time you visit a dry cleaner, hair stylist, manicurist, mechanic or any of the other countless services that we use day after day, week after week, you’ll pay a new and additional three-percent tax for the exact same service. That’s the last thing financially-stretched Californians need in this already unaffordable state. And history is clear that the three-percent tax will only creep up over time.
The damage wouldn’t stop there. Small businesses contract out myriad tasks so they can focus on their core money making activity. They pay for computer services, payroll, janitorial, bookkeeping, legal services and more. Under this bill, they will be paying a premium for those services. This additional cost puts them at a further disadvantage to their larger competitors, who have staff to perform these services in house, and they will have no choice but to pass those new costs on to consumers, shrink already thin margins, or go out of business completely.
By taxing businesses for services provided during multiple stages of production, this tax will be added on to the final costs of every product we use, including prescription drugs, milk, bread and other staples that are exempt from any sales tax. Although they will not be taxed directly, everyone – even the state’s poorest citizens – will be paying a backdoor tax on the products they depend on.
In true California fashion, the plan envisioned in SB 993 is wildly complicated, with a maze of exemptions and allocation decisions that make the bill not just a bad idea, but an unworkable one. It’s estimated that first-year administrative costs for the state would be around $900 million, settling towards $600 million annually afterwards. Good taxation should be simple, and the convoluted scheme embodied in the bill violates that core principle.
A tax on services will spread over the California economy like a Kilauea lava flow, slowly destroying opportunity, prosperity, and the bottom line of family budgets. It could lead to a short-term bump in revenue, but would further damage California’s faltering economic competitiveness and corrode our long-term financial health. That’s a price none of us should be willing to pay.
Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.
BOIL YOUR WATER BEFORE USING
Failure to follow this advisory could result in stomach or intestinal illness.
Due to the recent event low voltage power event which occurred on Friday, May 18, 2018 and subsequent pump failure on Saturday, May 19, 2018, the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water in conjunction with the Sierra County Health Department, and Sierra Brooks Water System are advising residents of Sierra Brooks to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution.
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
Optional alternative to include for prolonged situations where it fits.
An alternative method of disinfection for residents that are not able to boil their water is to use fresh, unscented, liquid household bleach. To do so, add 8 drops (or 1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water, mix thoroughly, and allow it to stand for 30 minutes before using. A chlorine-like taste and odor will result from this disinfection procedure and is an indication that adequate disinfection has taken place.
Water disinfection tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
We will inform you when tests show that water is safe to drink and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem by Friday, May 25, 2018.
For more information call:
Water Utility contact: Water System Manager Tim Beals 530-289-3201 (Sierra County Department of Public Works) or 530-862-1377 (Home)
State Water Resources Control Board – Drinking Water Field Operations Branch- District Office at 530-224-4800.
Local Environmental Health Jurisdiction: 530-993-6700.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
Small towns have always had the reputation of being welcoming places. Have we gotten out of practice? Long time residents often recall how neighbors and townsfolk took care of each other. New residents cite how they moved here for the friendly atmosphere. However, when we look a little deeper, many think we may have forgotten how to be better neighbors.
One of those people is Fair Manager John Steffanic. “I recently took the time to really look at the people on the street in Portola,” he explained, “And I realized, not only did I not recognize anyone, I hadn't even seen many of them before!” He says he began to think about how difficult it is to get people involved in everything from school activities, to getting people to enter their jelly or photograph in the Fair. Many of the people he was seeing for the first time, may have never had the background to encourage them to offer to work in the school concession stand, or know that they even could enter something in the County Fair. “We have a disconnect between our small town values, and people that may want to be part of those values, but don't feel welcome.” says Steffanic. The Fair Manager feels that it would do our communities good to extend a welcoming hand to new residents, or even those that have lived here for awhile, but have never been made to feel welcome.
Steffanic, and the Plumas Sierra County Fair Board, think it only makes sense that the one event that exists for every resident in both counties, should lead the way in making those residents feel like part of their communities. The 2018 Plumas Sierra County Fair theme is “Welcome to the Neighborhood!”. Quite simply, the goal of the theme, is to help every resident in Plumas and Sierra Counties feel they are part of the place they live. “If you run into someone that you have seen before, but have not met, introduce yourself,” Steffanic suggests, “Ask them where they are from, if they like it here, do they have kids, what do they enjoy doing... in other words, show interest by being nosey!” Steffanic has cited examples of asking people at the Fair, who he is not familiar with, to help someone else carry their Fair entries or whatever. He says the response; the feeling of helping, fosters the kind of connections we have all remembered and longed for. It all starts with reaching out, he says.
To help get the ball rolling, the PSCF Foundation, the non-profit corporation that exists to solely support the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, is offering a Block Party 1-2-3 package to each of the main communities. The package contains instructions on how to throw a block party, giving residents an opportunity to gather and meet. The Foundation will supply the food for a taco feed, as well as a budget for entertainment. It is hoped that this initial block party will encourage several other parties in each community. Steffanic says he, and others from the Fair and Foundation Boards, will show up to serve food while local organizers can spend their time handing out special “Hello, my name is...” tags to attendees. “If we can have several of these parties in each of our towns, it can only help to make our communities closer.” declared Fair Manager Steffanic. To tie it all together, a white cube will be set out for everyone in attendance to sign their names on. These cubes will be gathered up and stacked in front of the main gate at the 2018 Fair, August 8-12.
Foundation Board President, Nancy Gambell, says, “Everytime someone waves at someone else at the annual Fair, it shows the theme “Welcome to the Neighborhood!” in action. We just want to open the Fair up to even more waving!” The PSCF Foundation has spent over $50,000 to benefit the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, purchasing equipment, facilitating youth awards and sponsoring events, like the Neighborhood Block Parties. “We are honored and excited to be part of this great effort to make everyone feel like they are part of our community, especially bringing more into the Fair community.” Gambell said.
California kicks off 2018 summer travel season in record numbers Nearly 5.2 million Californians will travel over Memorial Day weekend
Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and Californians are expected to kickoff the unofficial start of summer in record numbers.
According to AAA’s first travel forecast of the summer, nearly 5.2 million Californians are projected to travel over the upcoming three-day weekend. This is an increase of 5.3 percent from last year and the highest number on record for the holiday. AAA projects that 41.5 million Americans will travel nationwide, nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years.
“The highest gas prices since 2014 won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend,” said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California. “A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Californians all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season.”
By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast
For those traveling by car, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Several major U.S. metros, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip.
Although these travel times might look daunting, be glad you're not driving through the core of the Big Apple: The largest delay in the nation is expected to occur in New York City, where a normal 23-minute commute on I-95 West is predicted to take 2 hrs & 18 minutes, 506% higher than normal.
A courtroom is not a place where you would expect to find scenes of celebration and tears of joy. Unless, of course, it is drug court.
This May, over 3,000 drug courts and other treatment courts nationwide will celebrate National Drug Court Month and the most successful justice innovation in American history.
By May 31, thousands of individuals who entered the justice system due to addiction will receive life-saving treatment and the chance to repair their lives, reconnect with their families, and find long-term recovery.
National Drug Court Month is not just a celebration of the lives that have been restored by drug court. It sends the powerful message that these programs must be expanded to reach more people in need.
Nearly thirty years ago, the first treatment court opened its doors with a simple premise: rather than continue to allow individuals with long histories of addiction and crime to cycle through the justice system at great expense to the public, use the leverage of the court to keep them engaged in treatment long enough to be successful.
Today, treatment courts and have proven that a combination of accountability and compassion can not only save lives, but can also save valuable resources and reduce exorbitant criminal justice costs.
Treatment courts have become the cornerstone of justice reform efforts aimed at reducing incarceration and protecting public safety. We can all agree that our most dangerous criminals belong in prison, but without interventions like treatment court it can be difficult to separate them from the men and women whose criminal behavior is linked to an addiction or mental health disorder.
I recently met a young woman who became addicted as a teenager and began stealing to support her habit. She had been arrested numerous times, but nothing changed. She would pledge to do better, but always – her addiction called to her. Her old friends came by, and she was back in the same situation – and then arrested again. She was facing years in prison when a judge decided to try a new approach - drug court.
In drug court, she met regularly with a case manager and participated in rigorous treatment and counseling. With the help of the treatment court team, including community based treatment providers, she began to put the pieces of her life back together. While in the program she enrolled in college and found part-time work. She graduated drug court and went on to earn her degree.
Today, no criminal record holds her back. She is happy and healthy, employed, and contributing to the community.
She is one of thousands of treatment court graduates. Her story, and those of so many others, demonstrate why drug courts are so critical in the effort to address addiction and related crime. But if you are looking for research, drug courts have that too. Numerous studies have found drug courts reduce crime and drug use, while saving money. They also improve education, employment, housing, and financial stability. They support family reunification while reducing foster care placements.
Treatment courts represent a compassionate approach to the ravages of addiction. This year’s National Drug Court Month celebration signals that the time is now to reap the economic and societal benefits of expanding this proven budget solution to all in need. More communities need drug courts and more people struggling with addiction need treatment, not just incarceration.
Melissa Fitzgerald is the director of Advancing Justice, an initiative to lead evidence-based justice reform. She appeared on the NBC hit show, “The West Wing,” for 7 seasons.
Author: Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (Bieber)
Word Count: 409
Californians are compassionate at their core. They love to give second chances, especially to people who may have made a wrong turn and need a helping hand to get back on track.
That’s what the people had in mind when they cast their votes for Proposition 57 in 2016 – creating an opportunity for a second chance.
Proposition 57 was sold to voters as a chance to lend a helping hand to misdemeanor lawbreakers. It would give criminals convicted of nonviolent crimes the opportunity apply for early parole and take their first steps back into society - a second start for people who veered off track.
This proposition was a call for compassion that Californian answered. Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished.
Proposition 57 provided a loophole for dangerous criminals. The language that allowed nonviolent criminals to rejoin the community also – unbeknownst to voters – applied to some convicts who committed horrific crimes.
California has a very specific definition of violent crime. State law only singles out 23 felonies as “violent.” Inmates convicted of crimes that aren’t on that list became eligible for early parole when Proposition 57 passed.
So what kinds of crimes are considered “non-violent?”
Raping an unconscious person, human trafficking of children, exploding a bomb to injure people are just a few examples. Thanks to a poorly-written initiative, people convicted of these kinds of crimes can now be released back into the community long before they serve their full sentence.
The politicians behind this initiative told us one thing, but the reality was very different. We were told that people convicted of sex crimes wouldn’t be able to get out early. That was a lie. Sadly, the state will be forced to follow the language in the law and consider these convicts for early parole.
Even though it passed with the best intentions in mind, Proposition 57 has turned out to be a disaster. It needs to be fixed.
Assembly Republicans are working on solutions to undo the damage. An initiative called the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act” may give California voters the chance to right the mistake. We are also supporting bills that add crimes that slipped through the cracks to the state’s list of violent felonies.
Californians are compassionate but we have our limits. Some people deserve a second chance, while others need to serve their entire sentence. The law must reflect those values. As it stands, Proposition 57 is a public safety disaster.
Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle serves the 1st district in the California Legislature, which includes all or parts of Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.
Work on Highway 89 and Highway 49 Will Impact Area Motorists
SIERRAVILLE/LOYALTON – Caltrans is alerting motorists to expect lane closures and one-way traffic controls on Highway 89 between Sierraville and Sattley and on Highway 49 in Loyalton as maintenance crews perform emergency paving repairs.
The paving work is scheduled to take place as follows:
Thursday/Friday, May 24-25 – 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. – One way traffic controls will be in effect with a pilot car escorting vehicles through the four-mile work zone between Sattley and just west of Sierraville.
Tuesday, May 29 – 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. – One way traffic controls will be in effect with a pilot car escorting vehicles through the work zone at the Lombardi Point curve near Genasci Road.
Wednesday, May 30 – 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. – One-way traffic controls will be in effect on Highway 49 through the town of Loyalton with a pilot car escorting vehicles through the @ one mile work zone.
Motorists are encouraged to plan for delays (@ 5-10 minutes) and adjust their travel time accordingly. Weather or other unexpected events may delay or prolong the work.
Visit Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. A mobile version is also available through the iPhone App Store or in Google Play. Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).
Follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and Facebook to receive the latest information about current roadway conditions. Motorists are urged to be “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”