University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is exploring the viability of procuring land and facilities, associated with the biomass facility in Loyalton, to develop a new Research and Extension Center (REC) focused on development of high-value biobased products. As California grapples with the many challenges of forest stewardship, it is vital that we invest in research on new, and innovative, ways to utilize biomass. Recent progress on commercial bioplastics, cellulosic nanofibers, and biomass as a feedstock for chemicals and polymers offer great opportunities to both improve forest health while supporting viable new industries. UC ANR is currently initiating environmental and engineering reviews and assessments of the Loyalton plant and land; final decisions on this particular property will depend on those assessments and subsequent negotiations with the owner. Regardless of whether UC ANR procures the Loyalton facility, we are strongly committed to expanding our efforts to serve California’s forest communities through improving the health of its ecosystems and people while also supporting vibrant regional economies.
A FATAL COLLISION occurred on April 22, 2016 on SR-70 east of SR-49.
Joshua P. Cooper, 33, of Quincy was driving a 2009 Jeep at approximately 5:50 p.m. and Breeze L. Tate, 51, of Blairsden was driving a 2000 Lexus sedan westbound on SR-70 east of Cooper. The conditions at the time were cold and cloudy with heavy snowfall and a snow covered roadway. Cooper lost control of the Jeep and it spun out of control, crossing into the westbound lane and into the path of the Lexus, where the two vehicles collided. Both vehicles sustained major damage. As a result of this collision, Tate sustained fatal injuries and Cooper sustained major injuries. During the course of the investigation of the collision, Cooper was suspected of driving while under the influence and was subsequently arrested. This collision is still under investigation.
Frenchman Lake Fishing Report
Fisherman have been having great luck fishing at Frenchman Lake this past week. Night-crawlers remain to be the #1 choice of bait although some have been having good success using lures & powerbait.
April 16th, Steve Penrose & family of three from Reno, NV caught 7 beautiful trout near the dam. They were using Kastmaster lures.
April 16th, two locals, Bud & Shortie caught 6 rainbows close to 2lbs. They were fishing near the dam using pink powerbait & worms.
April 20th, Dustin Scoville, age 10 from Portola, Ca caught two nice sized rainbows at the dam. One was 17" & the other was 14". He was using night-crawlers.
The boat ramps are not in but you can launch a boat at Frenchman's Campground & people have been having great luck fishing from boat! Chilcoot, Frenchman, & Spring Creek campgrounds are all open for camping. Big Cove & Cottonwood are not open yet.
Reminder this coming weekend, Saturday April 30th, streams open! Stop on into Wiggin's Trading Post for a refreshing drink, a freshly made sandwich, and/or to just browse around. We appreciate your business.
Please call us for current lake conditions and updates on the fishing-
Wiggin's Trading Post (530) 993-4683
Quincy, Calif – March 28, 2016 – The Plumas National Forest is seeking a campground host for Gold Lake Campground in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area near Graeagle, California, and Running Deer Campground located at Little Grass Valley Reservoir near LaPorte, California. The volunteer positions will begin in late May and last into September. Enthusiastic campers who enjoy working outdoors and with the public are welcome to apply.
Host duties may include welcoming visitors, sharing news and information about recreational opportunities in the area, and light campground maintenance. Hosts will receive a free campsite, be provided with propane, have their gray water pumped and have use of a golf cart. Hosts must provide their own self-contained RV or trailer and personal vehicle.
For more information about the host opportunity at Gold Lake Campground, please contact the Beckwourth Ranger District at 530-836-2575. If you are interested in hosting at Running Deer Campground, contact the Feather River Ranger District at 530-534-6500. Additional forest information is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/plumas/home.
By Supervisor Paul Roen
Golden West Saloon
April 22, 2016
Hello and thank you for making the effort to be present today. It is local government month across the nation and it is Earth Day so there could not be a more appropriate and timely opportunity to make a public announcement that showcases the success and effectiveness of our local government and the birth of a project that has so many environmental benefits, economic potential and regional significance. This type of public announcement is not a common practice in the County but in this case, the significance of the subject matter and its importance to the County and City elevates the subject to one that needs to be shared immediately with all of you.
I am very excited and extremely pleased to announce a major project that has been under consideration for months involving the Sierra Pacific Industries property behind us which consists of 212 acres of industrial, business park and residential opportunities. Since early spring of 2015 when Supervisor Adams and I were able to organize a critical summit meeting in Truckee to discuss the future of the Sierra Pacific Industries property in Loyalton, we at the County level have been very engaged in meetings, negotiations, and coordination with Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Sierra Business Council, US Forest Service, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, Northern Sierra Partnership, Sierra Pacific Industries and others to create, support, and implement a regional project that will have immediate and lasting impacts on our communities and today, it is being formally announced that the University of California and Sierra Pacific Industries have executed an agreement that will enable the purchase by the University of California of the entire Sierra Pacific Industries property holding for the development of a regional educational facility for the UC system, including research and development into wood and forest product technology, bio fuels, biomass energy production and cogeneration, forest health, and other key components of a full service educational facility.
Additionally, the County has been meeting with upper management with the California Conservation Corps (not a Department of Corrections inmate), and the agency is committed to looking at a full service facility to be located on this property to serve the increasing needs of the Eastern Sierra region. The relationship between the UC system and the California Conservation Corps is very close and very compatible. This project will provide local employment opportunities, an increased source of local and regional commerce, will introduce a large number of people to the region, stimulate housing construction and the County will be the recipient of a modern, technologically advanced educational facility that will have regional and nationwide recognition.
We are encouraged by this series of developments and I want to take a brief moment to recognize those contributing agencies that are working on our behalf.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has been a strong supporter and key agency to bridge any issues involving financing and issues within the Sierra Region; Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative has been a critical partner in assessing electrical generation and distribution issues; Sierra Business Council has been a strong base of support within its membership and ability to reach out to those who can assist; US Forest Service who has been committed to coordinating its forest health project and feed stock to the biomass opportunities for the environment and the region; Sierra Pacific Industries who has recognized and accommodated the County’s requests to delay decommissioning of the Loyalton plant and to seriously consider opportunities which the County may suggest; the California Conservation Corps which has attended meetings with us locally and has developed a strong sense of commitment to a project at this site; and finally but most noteworthy, is the University of California which has recognized the value of this property and the opportunities that exist from a project at this site.
The potential for partnerships...the ability to develop cooperative ventures...the economic and business opportunities that will be stimulated locally...the investment in public and private capital into this region...these factors individually and collectively offer an opportunity that we have not seen available in our recent history. An industry and an opportunity that is so engrained in our local culture and economic history and which is so compatible with the use of this property can offer immediate and long-term benefits.
I look forward to now being able to openly discuss and promote this project with my fellow Board of Supervisors and with the city of Loyalton. Although I have given general reports to the Board of Supervisors in the past few months, specific details could not be openly discussed pending the outcome of private negotiations that were ongoing between the parties. However, we are now being made aware the decisions have been made, agreements have been executed and the concept of this project is now a matter of public information and I am excited and very proud to be in the position today to be able to announce this milestone and share it with you.
Supervisor Paul Roen
“WE ARE FLAT BROKE,” Mayor Mark Marin announced in his State of the City address at Loyalton City Council April 20th. He stated the Council is fighting six contractor cases not hired by the City Council with no contractor licenses and he’d met with the State Board. He told of seven cases and six contractors working illegally. He went on to tell how the City streets were falling apart with no money to take care of them. He mentioned sewer litigation on Beckwourth Street and at the wastewater plant and hoping to win litigation. Councilman Brooks Mitchell stated there’s a settlement conference on May 23rd. Each time the settlement amount goes up, Brooks said, with a number “to make the city whole.”
The mayor continued on about further litigation with public retirement the City owes for $1.6 million. Council member Pat Whitley stated there’s “no litigation.” She said they’re not suing and Brooks added negotiations are still going.
Mark ranted the audit is “off the wall.” He told how nothing had changed from last year. He continued on the electric bill issue at the new city hall with the city not getting the bill. He said the water system is a mess with pipes breaking and water running through riveted boiler pipe, the main line feeding the city. The city is in negotiations for a grant yet may not get it with the audit.
Pat stated there are only two material weaknesses, one ongoing.
Mark asked County Treasurer/Tax Collector Van Maddox to come forward. Van explained the most critical items in the audit are repeated from prior years. Most serious, he stated, is not having an accounting system. He stressed the core is no accounting system with no one who knows full blown fund accounting and system. He quoted probably $50,000 and suggested “a lot of clean up; a couple years and two clean audits in a row.” If not addressed, Van stated it may affect grants and Mark told of trying to get a grant for a new well.
The $50,000 figure brought surprise. At the April 12th special meeting, Pat, who is over protective on contingencies, suggested they use $10,000 on the fund accounting.
Councilman Ernie Teague told how he’s been on the council four years but knew there was no money and yet they’d spent tens of thousands of dollars and he didn’t think they should spend.
Pat said it would be “nice if people voted no on things.”
John Cussins was not present and wastewater and water system discussion was tabled a third time.
A PRESENTATION by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on financial assistance programs becoming available in the form of grants, loans, and combination grant/loans available for community facilities, housing rehabilitation, and mortgage assistance was given at the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting in Loyalton on April 19th.
Sierra County Planning Director Tim Beals introduced Mike Velez Community Program Specialist and Robert Canepa Loan Specialist from the Auburn office.
Velez discussed projects they were currently working on which included water tanks for Calpine and Sierraville PUD. He said Downieville received money for an ambulance purchase and is helping Camptonville with new equipment. Velez wanted to look at any other big projects the County might need assistance with. He said loans are available for construction projects at very low rates and can help with transportation, education, public safety, jails, courthouses, community centers, libraries, and senior centers. Velez continued that grants are available for purchases and loans for any construction. He stated there is funding for economic development, drought related projects, and storm water drainage systems.
Velez encouraged the board to look at all avenues within USDA so they didn’t miss any funding opportunities.
Canepa discussed the housing element and stated he was a loan officer with rural development and works with the single-family housing program focusing on loans and grants in rural areas, adding Sierra County meets this description. He spoke on two programs. The first was the 502 Mortgage Program, aimed at very low and low-income households. Standard terms are 33 years at 3% fixed interest geared for families who can’t obtain conventional financing. The program does accept 100% of the loan. He had heard about the trailer park and said some of those residents could qualify through him. The second program is a 504 Loan and Grant Rehabilitation. He said one has to be 62 years and older, has to own the home and land but it doesn’t have to be paid off. He stated he could grant up to $7,500 in repairs for the home. Eligible repairs are anything health and safety. Typically he works with roofs, inside ceiling damages, and ADA compliant areas. Canepa stated there was plenty of funding as California hasn’t used its allocation in five years.
The two representatives left contact information and the board thanked them for making the trip.
Lake Tahoe, CA April 15, 2016. Earlier this week, Liberty Utilities participated in the official groundbreaking ceremony for their first-ever solar facility being built in Mineral County, Nevada (see photos below).
“This project continues Liberty’s commitment to renewable energy sources,” states Greg Sorensen, President of Liberty Utilities-CA. “When completed later this year, the solar project will meet 25 percent of our customers’ energy needs.”
The Luning Solar Energy Center (aka the “Luning Project”) will be a 50 MW project. In addition to the solar facility itself, a 120 kV power line approximately 1.6 miles long will be constructed from the solar facility to NV Energy’s existing Table Mountain Substation.
The Luning Project will deliver its generation at this point of interconnection on the NV Energy Transmission system in Nevada. NV Energy will then deliver the energy to delivery points within Liberty Utilities’ California service territory.
Liberty Utilities currently purchases all of its power from NV Energy through a Purchased Power Agreement (PPA), except for emergency diesel-generated power. Last year Liberty re-negotiated their PPA with NV Energy to exclude coal-fired power whenever possible. Renewable resources currently comprise approximately 22% of Liberty’s total power mix and meet the State of California’s current mandate, which is scheduled to increase to 33% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.
Liberty’s most recent annual customer satisfaction survey conducted in fall 2015 revealed that 68% of their customers rated Liberty as an environmentally responsible company.
Liberty Utilities is your local electric company serving approximately 49,000 customers on the California side of Lake Tahoe and adjacent areas to the south and north including the cities of Markleeville, Woodfords, Topaz, Coleville, Walker, parts of Truckee & Verdi, Portola & Loyalton. We are committed to providing quality service to our customers, and our employees are involved in the communities in which they live and work. Visit us at www.libertyutilities.com
California Association of Clerks and Election Officials Supports Increased Resources in Advance of June Primary
Surge in voter registration and statewide petitions impact local resources
April 11, 2016 - (SANTA ANA) - County election officials watched closely as the chances of California playing a significant role in the Presidential primary changed from unlikely in January to certain in late March. We are working within our current budgets to successfully administer elections and ensure voters are well informed and can vote with little to no wait.
However, other circumstances this year pose unique challenges that will require additional resources. This is the first election we have administered where a dozen potential statewide measures in circulation will be delivered to our offices nearly all at once, at the same time that final planning for the June 7th primary converges, which includes surges in voter registrations.
The surge in voter registration is unusual not only in the amount of registrations but in how early it began. We generally see the spike in registration in the days and weeks leading up to the voter registration deadline, which this year is May 23rd. We have determined that we will need to process an unusually high amount of voter registration forms for a primary- while at the same time processing an unusually high amount of initiatives.
"We are grateful to Secretary of State Alex Padilla for his letter to the Governor and legislative leaders on April 4th requesting additional election administration funds for his office and county election officials," said Neal Kelley, President of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials and Registrar of Voters, Orange County. "Not until late March did we see enough evidence to suggest that the June 7th primary would put a highly unusual strain on our limited resources," he continued.
Swift action is needed to provide county election officials with additional staff and resources. We look forward to working with the Governor, legislature and Secretary of State to craft strong provisions with the necessary checks and balances in place to ensure these funds are used expeditiously and responsibly.
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About the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials
The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) is a non-profit association representing California's Clerks (responsible for filing and maintaining important documents in the public interest); Clerks of the Board (supporting the Boards of Supervisors by preparing and recording minutes; receives and processes applications for assessment appeals); and Registrar of Voters (responsible for conducting elections throughout California).
By Glenn Mollette
It's that most wonderful day of the year! Come on sing it! Hmmm, I don't hear any pages turning in the hymnals to this grand old song. Actually, it's not in any hymnals and if you are like most Americans you do not want to sing on April 18. Normally, it's April 15. However, this year Emancipation Day is celebrated on April 15. This is why the deadline has been pushed up.
If you are pleasured with sending the government more money, you can hardly wait for Monday to put it in the mail. You've heard about the new tax filing form the government is working on haven't you? There are only two lines to complete. Line number one is, "How much did you make?" Line number two says, "Send it."
I have to admit this is one part of the Ted Cruz platform that I like. It resonates with me when he gets to that part of his speech where he says, "We will abolish the IRS and enact a simple flat tax."
I work hard and try to make a living. I am grateful that I am not on disabled Social Security or food stamps. Understandably, some Americans are rightly on government assistance and I am happy we can do this for these hurting people. I'm glad I am healthy enough to work every day. The more I work the more I make and the harder I work the luckier I get. However, the more I work the more I get to send to the government. If I make extra I not only get to send more to the government, then the percentage of what I send becomes higher. Why do we penalize Americans for working harder? Why do we penalize citizens for trying to make a few extra dollars?
I'm for a flat tax. Give the government ten percent and be done with it. After all, according to the Bible, God only wants ten percent. Why should we have to pay the government more than God?
I understand we must take care of our military, roads and bridges, Social Security retirements, Medicare and of course there are the salaries of all the government workers, including IRS salaries. By the way, it takes billions to keep our government workers and IRS retirees' pensions and benefits going. This means the government is hungry, hungry, hungry for more and more and more of your money.
Wake up America! Demand that your congressional representatives simplify the tax code by burning it and starting over. Let's enact a flat tax rate. Most of us could live with a 15% rate. However, there must be a major change in what we are allowing our government to do to us every year by sticking it to us with more and more taxes.
Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. Enjoy Books By Glenn Mollette at Amazon.com
This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.
If you thought the Bay Bridge construction fiasco would reign forever as California’s worst, most unsurpassable example of a government project running wildly over budget, you are in for a bitter surprise. High Speed Rail is on pace to be the grand champion money waster in California history and needs to be stopped before our citizens take an unprecedented fleecing.
As a reminder, the Bay Bridge was initially slated for a retrofit after its dramatic and tragic failure during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In 1995 the cost estimate stood at $250 million. By 1997 it was $1.3 billion. In 2001, $2.6 billion, and finally $6.5 billion at completion, but even that estimate doesn’t include interest costs, which could push the final cost to $13 billion.
Now comes High Speed Rail (HSR), whose initial $33 billion total cost estimate has already ballooned to more than $60 billion, and the story is about to get worse. With construction in its infancy, the California Rail Authority is facing potential cost overruns of $400 million dollars on just the first 29 miles of the 500+ mile project. And this is on the flat and sparse Central Valley. What will the cost overruns be in the infinitely more crowded and complex Bay Area, LA and San Diego?
We shouldn’t view this overrun as an anomaly, but a preview. It’s further proof that every HSR number should be disregarded and that the state is really obligating itself to build a project with an open-ended cost, taxpayers be damned.
Their own, recently updated business plan shows that they’ve identified only $20.7 billion in funding for their $64.2 billion in costs (and there is zero chance that $64.2 number doesn’t explode into something drastically higher). Where will the rest of the money come from? They are hoping for some more federal funding and for continued “cap-and-trade” revenue, but those are hardly guaranteed. The cap-and-trade program is scheduled to expire in 2020.
Moving forward with such an unrealistic and unlikely financing scheme is really a leap of bad faith on the part HSR. They are playing a cynical game where they will waste $20 billion dollars, in hopes that the state (read: taxpayers) will have to see the fantasy project through to the end after sinking so much money into the “investment.”
It should speak volumes that private investors, required under the terms of the initial HSR plan, have stayed completely on the sidelines. No investors will risk their own money on the project, but politicians gambling tens of billions of your tax dollars is just fine.
On April 4th I attended an oversight hearing on the updated HSR business plan, where legislators and bullet train representatives went back and forth on the new timelines, routes and funding proposals. One group did not have a seat at the table: The opposition. They did not get to speak! On a project this big, with a brief but conspicuous history of wildly inaccurate cost estimates, the critics should be more than a silent ATM.
Every assumption used to justify the initial High Speed Rail proposal approved by the voters in 2008 proved to be overly optimistic at best, purposely misleading at worst. The ridership projections have been slashed, the train speed cut, and, predictably, the updated cost estimate looks nothing like the 2008 version.
This is not the “Train to Nowhere” as it’s been derided – we should be so lucky. Its last stop is in the political hall of shame. To build it is to rob Californians of the desperately needed roads, water storage, and other meaningful infrastructure projects those tax dollars could buy. To build it is to doom taxpayers to perpetual subsidies to prop up the ultimate green vanity project.
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.
Andrea Beck (26) Loyalton. Dog at large, fine $164.
Casey McFarland (42 Downieville. Battery on co-habitant and violation of a criminal protective order. Two years probation, four months jail, and he must complete a batterers program.
Allen White (46) Loyalton. Violation of probation by violating a restraining order. Probation reinstated, and he must do either ten days jail, or 20 hours of community service within 60 days.
Mary Mulligan (53) Loyalton. Drunk in public, fine $455.
Jeffrey Chandler (48) Loyalton. Resisting or delaying an officer. Eighteen months probation, 8 days jail, and a fine of $685.
Jeffrey Tehan (51) Eureka. Entering California with deer body parts from another state without declaring and presenting the body parts for testing. Fine $1065.
Steven Bonivita (51) Sierraville. Resisting or delaying an officer. Eighteen months probation, 30 days jail, and a fine of $685.
Franklin Dalpez (37) Loyalton. Littering, fine $465.
Rudy Hoyos (37) Sierraville. Lighting off fireworks, fine $270.
Brandon Smith (29) Fallon NV. After a contested preliminary hearing, Smith was ordered to stand trial on felony charges of vehicle theft, vandalism, possession of ammunition by a felon, and driving under the influence.
Levi Hyde-Beverage (23) Loyalton. Driving while his license was suspended for a driving under the influence conviction. Three years probation, 12 days jail, and a fine of $2214.
Jeremiah Bray (30) Quincy. Driving under the influence. Three years probation, 2 days jail, fine $2427, and he must attend alcohol school.
Jane Ritter (55) Loyalton. Drunk in public. Two days jail, and a fine of $455.
Byron Caudle (56) Loyalton. Littering in a state wildlife area. Six days jail, and a fine of $650.
Orion Ehringer (44) Sacramento. Sentencing after a guilty plea to threatening a witness (a Child Protective Services worker). Two years probation, 605 days jail, and a fine of $2385.
California Motorcyclist Safety Program Training Sites Providing Discounted Refresher Training to Experienced Riders on May 14 - 15 for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
VICTORVILLE, CA (April 8, 2016) -- In recognition of May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) sites are providing discounted, Total Control Training four-hour refresher skills courses to experienced riders on May 14 and 15.
Statistics show that the intricate physical riding techniques and nuanced cognitive-awareness skills needed to safely operate a motorcycle are best kept fresh with continuing education. Such programs have helped dramatically lower motorcycle-accident fatality rates among U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel by 37 to 61 percent.
Established in 1987 and administered by the California Highway Patrol, CMSP is the state's official motorcycle-safety training program. It's responsible for training approximately 60,000 motorcyclists per year at more than 100 training sites throughout the Golden State.
CMSP provides beginning students with simple, entry-level motorcycles to use while taking their basic courses, allowing new riders to build a solid foundation of classroom and practical instruction in a structured environment before taking their own bikes on the nation's roads.
This initiative is being undertaken in cooperation with California's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Motorcycle Group. The SHSP is a statewide, data-driven program that coordinates with a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic-accident fatalities and serious injuries to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on public roads.
According to California's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System that collects and processes data from collision scenes, 451 fatalities and 2,083 severe injuries among motorcyclists constituted 18.3 percent of the state's totals in 2012.
America's armed forces discovered that a disproportionate number of these motorcycle-related deaths before 2008 were among service personnel. Prior to implementation of an extensive, recurring training program in 2008, more of them died on their personally owned motorcycles than in military conflicts.
To combat this trend, the armed forces have been leading the charge in motorcycle safety awareness and sustained training.
Scientific evidence has proven that continuing education for riders--using their personal motorcycles--is key to building long-lasting, advanced motorcycle-handling skills. The military's fatality statistics showed that riders who were required to take intermediate or advanced training on their bikes were much less likely to die while riding.
In 2007, the Navy found that all of its service members who died on motorcycles were on sportbikes. So, in 2008, it required all personnel who rode these race-bred machines to take a military-funded sportbike course on their own motorcycle. The statistical outcome was a 61 percent reduction in fatalities between 2008 and 2009.
During the same time period, the Marine Corps required their designated Motorcycle Mentors to take a third level of advanced training courses on their personal bikes. The Corps provided classes from Total Control Training, California Superbike School and others programs. The result was a 43 percent reduction in fatalities.
The Army also provided advanced riding courses for personnel to take on their bikes and ramped up its Leadership Intervention program as it related to motorcycles. In 2008 to 2009, the largest branch of the military suffered 37 percent fewer motorcycle-related fatalities.
All of the armed services have sustained these fatality reductions to the present day by maintaining their recurring training initiatives--requiring motorcycle-riding service members to take intermediate and advanced training courses on their personal machines.
On the civilian side, a multi-year study produced similar results. It discovered that fatality rates among motorcyclists who took only a basic riding course on training bikes were no different than those who had no training. However, a 61 percent reduction in fatalities was seen among basic-course graduates who followed up with intermediate rider-training courses on their own machines.
Looking to generate similar outcomes, the CMSP training sites are proudly offering the same opportunity for California's civilian riders in mid-May, during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
To participate in the refresher training program, experienced riders with a motorcycle endorsement on their valid California driver's license are invited to bring their street-legal bike, along with proof of registration and insurance, to participating CMSP training sites, which are listed below.
On May 14th and 15th, classes will run from 8:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Admission fees will vary between $65 to $100, depending upon location. More information about CMSP's experienced rider refresher training classes can be found at CMSP.msi5.com
This spring pocket constitutions were donated to Truckee and North Tahoe High School government classes by the Truckee Tahoe Republican Women, Federated (TTRWF). These constitutions will be used to supplement classroom instruction.
Tuesday, April 19 the TTRWF will hold their monthly luncheon with guest speaker Debbie Bacigalupi. Ms. Bacigalupi is a Californian cattle rancher and an educational speaker on Sustainable Development, the Global Action Plan “2030 Agenda”, Regionalism, Cap-n-Trade (AB32 and SB375), property rights, water and water rights, dams and “renewable” energy, “conservation,” land use, California’s agriculture, ranching and farming issues in the Western US, international water and environmental treaties, and related issues. She will be giving an update on UN Agenda 21 and similar topics.
She attends countless meetings and conferences related to Climate Change, Environmentalism, Regionalism, and more. Some of these include the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the 2015 UN Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), the 2013 Navigating the American Carbon World on Cap-n-Trade, the 2014 Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Conferences, the 2011-2013 “Visioning” meetings for the One Bay Area Plan/Plan 2040/Regionalism, and many Fish and Wildlife meetings and hearings on the Endangered Species Act.
The luncheon will be held at the EAA building at the Truckee Tahoe Airport from 11:15 to 1:00 p.m. Luncheon cost is $15. RSVP to Cheryl at email@example.com by April 15th.
THE SACRED FIRE started April 5th at 4:15 p.m. Forest Service firefighters and cooperators were engaged in the fire burning on private land just north of Sierra City, adjacent to Tahoe National Forest. Fire size was approximately 30 acres, with a moderate rate of spread. Rotary and fixed wing aircraft were on order. Firefighters worked throughout the night and fire size as of Wed. was approximately 40-60 acres. Containment was 40%, as firefighters continued to build line around the fire. The size of the fire was not expected to increase.
Portola Jr./Sr. High School Families:
This is a special alert to inform you of an incident that occurred on Monday after school was released. One of our female high school students, while walking alone, was followed by a man in his car. The man was driving a white Toyota Corolla car, with a Nevada license plate number of 735NVK. He is described as being approximately 5'8", with dark hair, blue eyes and light brown skin, and is estimated to be in his mid twenties. We consider this man's behavior to be suspicious and the authorities have been notified.
$15 minimum wage deal lacks transparency and input from small business
SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 1, 2016 – Following the expedited legislative passage of Senate Bill 3 (Leno), which raises the state minimum wage to $15 per hour, NFIB strongly urges Governor Brown to veto this legislation.
“There is no question that a $15 minimum wage would have devastating impacts on small businesses in California. Over 90% of our 22,000 small businesses across the state have told us in no uncertain terms that an increase in the minimum wage will negatively affect their ability to operate, and potentially put them at risk of closing their doors permanently,” said NFIB/CA State Executive Director Tom Scott. “Ignoring the voices and concerns of the vast majority of job creators in this state is deeply concerning and illustrates why many feel Sacramento is broken.”
“Transparency matters. Thorough legislative analysis matters. Senate Bill 3 has made a mockery of the legislative process, being crafted in the dark and jammed through the Legislature in under 48 hours. Just one committee hearing is nowhere near sufficient to fully analyze and vet such sweeping state public policy. NFIB and our 22,000 members are actively urging Governor Brown to veto Senate Bill 3.”
Governor Brown, big labor, and Democratic legislative leadership privately crafted the deal reflected in Senate Bill 3 with no input or perspective from small business organizations. Since minimum wage is one of the most significant public policies affecting small businesses, it is troubling their voices fell on deaf ears with the majority party in the Legislature. It is our hope the Governor can return SB 3 without his signature so that there can be a more open, transparent discussion with input from all affected parties.
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationally, with over 22,000 in California. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. To learn more visit www.NFIB.com/california
By Kris Kiser, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
You may think that a backyard barbecue or play area for your kids are the main uses for your lawn. But did you know that even when you are asleep – you are still “using” your lawn? Even if you are not camped out in a tent for a family overnight in the backyard and are inside your home counting sheep, you are still “using” your lawn.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the international trade association representing the small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturing industry, points out that you are benefitting from your lawn in many ways.
“Many people don’t realize that their turfgrass is hard at work and they are “using” it 24-7. You may not be outside all the time, but you are still benefitting from your lawn – even when you are asleep,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “Your lawn provides a wealth of environment and lifestyle benefits to you, and it enriches the community for everyone.”
Ways in which you are using your lawn:
Cooling down your home and your community. Because of concrete, asphalt and buildings, air temperatures in cities, even after sunset, can be as much as 22°F warmer than nearby areas. This phenomenon is known as the heat island effect. Grasses – like those found in your lawn - dissipate radiant heat through a process called evapotranspiration that cools the air.
In one research study of surface temperatures, from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, natural turf had the lowest average temperature of 78˚. Concrete and bare soil had average temperatures in the mid-90’s. Asphalt had an average temperature of 98˚ and artificial turf (a.k.a. plastic grass) came in at a scorching 117˚.
Combating global warming by sequestering carbon. Turfgrass is the largest carbon sink in the country. Grasses remove about 6 tons of carbon dioxide per acre per year from the atmosphere.
Carbon sinks absorb from the atmosphere the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide that is warming up our planet. It is estimated that up to 800 pounds of carbon per acre is sequestered by turfgrass each year; almost a half a ton per acre. This results in 20 million tons of carbon being removed from the atmosphere each year in the U. S.
The dense canopy and fibrous root system in a lawn sequesters carbon so well, that it outweighs the carbon used for maintaining the grass by as much as seven-fold.
You can even help your lawn sequester more carbon by leaving grass clippings on your lawn. Scientists have found that recycling grass clippings on lawns will sequester even more carbon.
Making oxygen and cleaning the air. Your lawn is an oxygen-producing machine. A turf area of fifty square feet will produce enough oxygen to meet the daily needs of a family of four.
Your lawn is hard at work cleaning the air you breathe. Research has shown that turfgrasses remove atmospheric pollutants such as carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride, and perosyzacetyle nitrate from the air. Grass also plays a vital role in capturing dust, smoke particles and other pollutants that harm people.
Controlling water runoff and erosion. Your lawn functions as a sponge that traps water and prevents the water from “running off” into area sewer drains carrying anything it collects along the way – like motor oil, dirt, or trash. This prevents flooding and soil erosion. Your spongy lawn cleanses the water it collects and breaks down harmful microbes and pollutants, keeping them out of the groundwater supply.
The grass filtration system in your lawn is so effective that rain water filtered through a healthy lawn is often as much as 10 times less acidic than water running off a hard surface like a sidewalk or hardscape.
Serving as a fire break. Living grass is the best, natural fire break. Healthy turfgrass can be a significant deterrent to wild fires. Green grass retards the spread of wildfires because of its low fuel value, and it provides a defendble space around structures where firefighters can work effectively.
Reducing noise pollution. Grass cuts down on excessive sound, a growing problem in urban areas, where hardscape and pavement reverberate sound. Grass slopes alongside lowered expressways reduce noise 8-10 decibels.
To get more information and tips on maintaining your lawn, even under drought conditions, visit www.opei.org/stewardship/
Federal regulations outpace new laws originating
in Congress at an astounding rate of 15 to one
WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 25 - "The Obama Administration has broken all records for establishing federal regulations. Since the president took office his rule makers have unleashed more than ten a day. In less than six years, a total of more than 21,000 regulations have been created, many of which have had the effect of hampering job creation, the economy and the ability of ordinary citizens to keep pace with the rising costs of the new rules," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Weber noted that regulations governing such things as the operations of public transportation and financial markets, the sale of pharmaceuticals, workplace safety, drinking water, etc. have a practical role to play in our society. But, he added, "when the government uses its regulatory authority to further social goals, such as the administration's green energy agenda, without so much as a debate on the issues and a Congressional vote, it is downright wrong-headed. Not to mention the costs it imposes on American households."
The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that last year the cost of complying with federal regulations amounted to about $15,000 for the average U.S. household.
"The Environmental Protection Agency would decimate the nation's coal industry with new regulations including a restrictive carbon emission rule, despite the fact that technology exists to allow for the clean use of cheap coal to generate electricity at reasonable costs. And, despite the fact that the government's war on coal is bound to have an extremely burdensome impact on us all, but mainly on seniors who simply cannot afford the predicted spikes in the price of electricity that even the president, himself, has predicted," Weber said.
He said he is concerned that older Americans, particularly those on fixed income, will have to make a choice between keeping warm in winter and cool in summer or putting food on their tables. But, he added, "it won't be much of a choice because of the EPA's new water rules that allow the agency to regulate mud holes on farms and ranches are likely to have an impact on food prices"
The EPA has redefined the 1972 Clean Water Act to include standing rain water. Farmers and ranchers, therefore, are required to go through complicated and costly procedures to comply with the law as redefined by the agency. Lawsuits to block the rule have been filed in a variety of venues across the nation and one federal judge in North Carolina has already ruled that the regulation is unfair. But, the EPA said it will ignore such decisions and move ahead with enforcement of the regulation.
There is bi-partisan outrage in Congress over the EPA's "brazen" overreach, Weber said. He cited a recent Opinion Article signed by Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. and Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. challenging the EPA.
"Their message didn't go far enough, but it is a sign that our lawmakers may be waking up to the fact that government has grown too fast and too big for its britches in recent years." Weber hoped that "it is for real this time and not just a political ploy. The agency needs to be brought to task. It cannot just create virtual laws, although it is a fact that government regulations outpace new laws originating in Congress at an astounding rate of 15 to one. The people who write these regulations are hired hands. They are supposed to be working for us, not against us."
The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at http://amac.us/join-amac.
Time is a rather relentless cleaning product. As events come and go, it seems it only takes time before memories are erased from our memories, or at least leave nothing much more than smudges which we can't make out. I have eulogized at several funerals about keeping the memory of someone alive. But the sad truth is, only two individuals have cheated death and live on; Jesus Christ and Elvis. It would seem the only defense we have against time, is record keeping, and we can't leave that up to someone else.
It came as a harsh reality to me, that while I have a pretty good memory of the the chronology and events of my life, I can't say the same about my parents. Or my grandparents. I knew my mother was born in Delleker in 1927 at the hospital there. I even have a photo copy of Dr. Decker's journal noting her birth. But where did my grandparents live? What house? Never thought to ask. Does it matter? Well, kind of.
The truth is, the less facts we know, the easier it is for the memories to slip away. My grandparents, Joe and Nita Urrutia, were well known and respected members of Eastern Plumas County. Once in a while, I run across someone who remembers them, but not much about them. How sad. And shame on me! The Urrutias, and scores of other families in our community, are being cleaned away by time. Let's do something about it.
I started with just a few paragraphs of what I'm 90% sure of. It is ome sort of documentation from someone who actually knew them, loved them and hugged them. Please do the same. Then, find a photo, put it together with your essay, and get it to me at the Plumas Sierra County Fair. This year's theme is “Harvest of the Home”. It is all about what we harvest in the form of our family. I want to share this harvest with the world on a wall at the Fair, showing all the short histories and photos. I want people to learn, or better yet, remember these people; these seeds of our community. And when it's all over, we will take these treasures and put them in a book. That book will be shared from now on in local museums and events. It will be added to and will live for as long as we think it's important.
This is for everyone. Your family doesn't have to be a leader in the community. Did your Grandpa work for the railroad? Was Mom a class helper? Did your uncle and aunt own the local bar in 1948? Those are the stories that make up who we are, and those are the stories we want to see. I've written an essay about my grandparents; please use it as a sample of what you could write. Keep it to about a page, but if all you can muster is a paragraph, we'll take it. If you don't have a photograph, don't worry. Just having this information, any information, on record, will help keep the memory alive. I think that's well worth the effort.
Visit the Fair website at www.plumas-sierracountyfair.net for the sample essay and how you can get your information to us. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2016.
Sierra County Arts Council is pleased to announce the new Art and Music Sponsorship(AMS) 2016. B. J. Jordan, Executive Director of the Sierra County Arts Council, has been busy working with art advocacy groups throughout the state over that past few years to promote funding for the arts, particularly in the rural frontier of Sierra County. As a result, we have seen an increase in funding to our local arts council through the State-Local Partnership Program from the California Arts Council.
The Sierra County Arts Council is always seeking opportunities to bring more events and programs to our geographically isolated communities. We do not enjoy the same volunteer base and funding resources as our urban neighbors. The AMS program is designed to make the greatest use of our resources to collaborate to with local organizations to bring more art and music to all parts of Sierra County.
Local organizations, civic groups, non-governmental organizations, and non-profits are eligible to apply for funding to hire artists and musicians to enhance events and programing through the AMS program. Examples of Sierra County based groups that may apply for sponsorship includes Volunteer Fire Departments, Sierra Schools Foundation, Rotary, Lions, Sports Boosters, PTO, Plumas-Sierra Cattlewomen, Mountain Star Quilters, and 4H. Funding of up to $500 per year per organization is available through the AMS program.
All events and programming must take place in Sierra County. All funds will be paid directly to the musician or artist providing the service. Events and programs funded through the AMS program will be featured on the Sierra County Arts Councils website. To receive the easy one page application please contact B.J. Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 530-289-3673. Information at: www.sierracountyartscouncil.org. Application Deadline: March 31, 2016. Funds are limited and awarded on a first come first served basis. The Sierra County Arts Council is State-Local Partner with the California Arts Council.
LOYALTON’S FINANCES were discussed during a special session at City Hall March 21st. Pat Whitley was absent due to being in a Reno hospital, (home now).
Mid year balances were used, through the end of December.
Fire Department: Total budget is $30,000. $10,000 from the City; $20,000 comes from the County, $15,000 for Sierra Brooks and $5,000 for Loyalton. Mayor Mark Marin wanted to ask the County for more yet Brooks Mitchell stated the County was adamant to be revenue-neutral and they can’t increase the revenue off the County. Bookkeeper Kim Lombardi noted the fire department is now generating revenue.
Streets and Highways: Total budget is $33,200. John Cussins noted they have to be paying water and sewer on the park which requires meters and need to be in to get grants. They had used 37% of expenditures; 52% on personnel and stated they’d need to keep an eye on this. For legal fees it budgeted $100 and used $400. Auditing expense was $190 short. Equipment expense was $1,200 short. Capital outlay was $115 short. To balance those accounts, $30 was taken from taxes and solid waste, $1,000 from insurance, $200 from office expense, $590 from operating supplies for a total of $1,820.
Park and Social Hall: It was down $1,200 for personnel with no revenue except for the hall rental. Expenses come from the general fund. The city budgeted $8,600 for personnel at the park and spent $9,500. Kathy LeBlanc stated insurance covers volunteers but they have to be age 18 or older. They were at 114% for personnel expenses; 100% for repairs and maintenance; 90% for auto and 95% for repairs. They are buying carpet and paint with no estimated costs. Kim said to transfer $15,370 instead of $14,170 from general fund. Suggestions were given for labor. Ernie Teague stated the social hall needs lights and sidewalk repair.
Museum and Cemetery: These get “very little revenue,” according to Kim. Budget was $5,500 and projected revenue was $2,000. Cemetery rates were discussed. Residents within the city pay $250 per plot; residents outside the city, pay $400. Within the Memorial Garden, spaces are $150 for one urn per space; regular cemetery plots allow up to four urns per plot only. For veterans who own property in Loyalton, plots are free.They’d sold three plots this year. Brooks noted they’ve got “a lot of new ground.”
Thrift Store: No budget with no history and Ernie questioned average monthly utilities. They only have one propane meter. There is still no lease with the thrift store and one meter is installed in the work room. Mark noted the furnace has been called “junk.” A new heater will cost $2,000 - $3,000. Revenue on the auditorium was questioned.
Overall Legal Fees: Legal fees, with Attorney Steve Gross charging $200 per hour, were $11,000 just for February and March. Budget for the whole year is $12,750. Kim noted they were spending more money than bringing in and “in some cases, than we have.”
Enterprise Fund Utility Expenses: Sewer is 81% at 50% of the year. Contracted services for water was at 254% and John noted repairs hadn’t been done several years.
Enterprise USDA loan payments: John talked about Prop. 218 and how they have to go through those accounts and it governs what you do with funding. They are producing more than $44,000 for water but short on sewer. John and Brooks disagreed on reducing the water account with John stating, “You can’t take one from the other. Water can’t pay for sewer.” He suggested raising sewer rates. Brooks stated, “We control the water system.” Sewer is at 81% of the budgeted amount for utilities with aerators not running, not making State requirements. They’re over 100% on water equipment, repairs and maintenance. Water equipment repair and maintenance account needs another $500, legal fees needs $100 and other contracted services needs $2,700, capital outlay needs $100 for a total of $3,400. They used $500 from small tools, $2,500 from operating supplies, $400 from telephone for a total of $3,400.