By Ted Gaines
Word count 637
What good are tax dollars if our elected leaders don’t use them to provide citizens with basic and necessary government services? California is about to learn the hard way that all the money in the world means nothing if its leaders abandon reason and responsibility.
In the latest example of a state gone haywire, Los Angeles County’s recently-elected District Attorney, George Gascon, laid out a stunning pro-crime agenda that would be viewed as satire in most parts of the country.
Gascon is committed to a Progressive “deincarceration” agenda, and is directing his prosecutors not to enforce a host of behaviors that can only be considered crimes, regardless of the District Attorney’s ridiculous announcement. In Los Angeles County, here is only a partial list of what will no longer be prosecuted: trespassing; drinking in public; under the influence of a controlled substance; public intoxication; disturbing the peace; criminal threats; driving without a license; and, remarkably, resisting arrest. The County is essentially sanctioning attacks on police. How is that for “backing the blue?”
Gascon is saying to Angelenos that if someone comes onto your lawn, drunk, high on drugs, yelling criminal threats at you, and refuses to leave your property, that’s okay. It is a preposterous policy that undermines the civic life of Los Angeles and puts citizens at risk.
Remember that Los Angeles County is home to more than ten-million people. This is not a quirky little local policy – it affects a quarter of the state. San Francisco’s District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, actually beat Gascon to the punch in adopting the pro-crime, non-enforcement and prosecution model for his county, meaning that two of the Golden State’s major population centers are close to criminal free-for-alls.
This cannot become the model for District Attorneys around the state.
I am a taxpayer advocate who represents ten million Californians as a Member of the State Board of Equalization, where we oversee more than six trillion dollars of property that generates more than $60 billion in local tax revenue. That money is the bedrock of local government funding. Citizens paying that money rightfully have the expectation that government will act to keep them and their property safe. This is government 101. Law enforcement is hardly a rare or extravagant public service – it is fundamental and essential. It must be government’s highest priority.
Time after time governments and pro-tax groups claim that all our problems would be solved if only we had more tax dollars flowing into our coffers. I can’t think of a more powerful example of how false those claims are than the government-induced crime wave that will soon visit the unfortunate people who will be victimized by criminals with no fear of punishment.
Gascon is not being forced into these policies. This is not some dilemma foisted on him by a financial emergency. He is not claiming he is underfunded or understaffed. This is a choice, and it is the worst choice.
The way to lower incarceration is through less crime, not less enforcement and prosecution. Letting drunken, hostile people occupy private property is not a solution, it’s an insult to law-abiding citizens. It’s dangerous. It’s a slap in the face to taxpayers and to law enforcement officers who will still get calls to intervene in the many troubling situations now ignored by Los Angeles County.
A civil society only remains civil when actions have consequences. Law enforcement is the supporting framework for the peaceful society we all deserve. California can’t tear it down by giving criminals a free hand to abuse innocent victims.
Support our police and sheriffs as they do the dangerous and necessary work to keep us free from harm. Stand up to District Attorneys whose zeal to achieve their own political goals floods the streets with criminals facing no consequences. A bright California future depends on it.
Senator Ted Gaines (Ret.) was elected to represent the Board of Equalization’s First District. He is a leading taxpayer advocate and is committed to providing trustworthy and transparent representation for nearly ten million constituents in 30 counties of northern, eastern, and southern California. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Gaines.
While news of vaccines on the horizon signal hope, some analysts think a sizable chunk of the U.S. economy has been damaged permanently by COVID-19, with more layoffs and business closures still to come in 2021.
But to others, the future of a “new economy” in the post-COVID world is bright, opening doors for entrepreneurs, working professionals and small-to-medium business owners, says Rod Robertson, Managing Partner of Briggs Capital (www.briggscapital.com), international entrepreneur, and author of Winning at Entrepreneurship: Insider’s Tips on Buying, Building, and Selling Your Own Business.
“While about 40 percent of the American economy has been turned into debris, the playing field has been cleared, and the whole business environment has gone through a reset,” Robertson says.
“At the same time, people who upgrade their skill-sets and broaden their thinking won’t be left behind. So instead of people saying, ‘How lost I am, how crushed I am, woe is me,’ this is an exciting time, especially for young people, who don’t have to wait 10, 20 or 30 years for their turn to be a business leader. They can make a generational jump by stepping up and embracing technology, and by understanding in the rubble and chaos what kernels of business are sprouting up.”
Robertson says these points are worth considering when planning for success in a changing U.S. economy:
About Rod Robertson
Rod Robertson (www.briggscapital.com) is an international entrepreneur and author of
Winning at Entrepreneurship: Insider’s Tips on Buying, Building, and Selling Your Own Business. Robertson is the owner of Briggs Capital, a boutique international investment bank. He has conducted business in over 15 countries while focusing on developing small-to-medium-sized businesses and taking them to market worldwide. Robertson’s 20-plus-year career in transaction experience and entrepreneurship includes guest lecturing around the globe at institutions such as Harvard Business School and other top-flight MBA schools as well as business forums and news outlets worldwide. He sits on numerous boards, guiding firms to streamline operations an
(Tahoe/Truckee, Calif.) – With recent news of the first COVID-19 vaccine, the community may have questions about what we know so far about the COVID-19 vaccine and its availability to the local Truckee/North Lake Tahoe community.
The national COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is in the early stages, and supplies of the vaccine are very limited. Healthcare workers and Skilled Nursing Facilities are the first group to receive the vaccine, and others, including community members, will be in the months ahead with no date known at this time. As production and availability of the vaccine increases, we anticipate being able to offer the vaccines more broadly under appropriate public health guidelines. As hospitals help to vaccinate a greater percentage of the population over the next several months, it is vital that all California residents remain vigilant about adhering to stay-at-home orders, as well as masking and social distancing.
Over the coming weeks, California’s hospitals will begin the complex work of receiving, storing, and administering the state’s first COVID-19 vaccinations. The number of doses California receives is set by the federal government. For the initial rollout, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has determined allocation to each local health department, and local health departments further refine allotments to local hospitals. Questions about allotments to each county and how supplies are allocated should be directed to CDPH or local health departments.
The first doses — as determined by CDPH — will be given to those at risk of exposure through their work in any role in health care or long-term care settings, including in non-clinical roles; residents of skilled-nursing facilities and similar long-term care settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals; paramedics and others providing emergency medical services.
The importance of vaccinations in stopping the spread of COVID-19 cannot be underestimated. Vaccination is a powerful tool for halting this deadly disease. It provides health care workers with an important level of protection, in addition to personal protective equipment and other steps hospitals take to protect caregivers.
Stay informed about the vaccine with more information from Nevada, Placer and Washoe counties as noted below, as well as www.tfhd.com. Tahoe Forest Health System services are open, safe, and we are here to take care of you. Please don’t delay needed medical care. We strongly encourage mask-wearing, physical distancing and hand-washing as prevention measures to stay healthy during this time.
For additional information on COVID-19 vaccinations:
Nevada County: https://www.mynevadacounty.com/3148/Vaccine-Information
Placer County: https://www.placer.ca.gov/6367/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
Washoe County: https://www.washoecounty.us/health/programs-and-services/ephp/communicable-diseases-and-epidemiology/educational-materials/COVID-19.php
As e-commerce continues to soar, so does the number of various payment scams.
December 16, 2020. This year e-commerce will have to handle most of the holiday shopper traffic. With digital payment fraud on the rise since May—when the majority of countries simultaneously went into lockdowns—the end of the year shopping is not without worry as well, since fraudsters are looking to take advantage of inattentive gift seekers.
Payments expert Marius Galdikas, CEO at ConnectPay, has shared a few telltale signs, which will help buyers remain vigilant and more easily identify attempts at payment fraud.
Phishing for personal details
Phishing for highly sensitive data is not something new in the fraudster’s bag of tricks. However, this year they have leveraged the boom of courier services to give it a new face. Scammers target eager shoppers by sending out false e-mails, claiming to not have the right personal details to complete the delivery. Instilling a sense of urgency, they demand to update the information and often, even provide payment for the delivery, this way luring out sensitive details as well as funds of unaware buyers.
“Anyone asking for too much information should be an instant red flag in any scenario,” said M. Galdikas. “As for identifying similar threats, it is smart to look for personalization, or rather the lack of. Since such e-mails are sent in bulk, “Dear Sir/Madam” greetings are some of the ones most likely to be used. The content of the message tends to be quite vague, too.”
“Bookmarking the correct page URLs of the most used services could also help avoid such cases, especially if you are someone who often does not look twice at the web address – a typo could easily slip through,” he added.
Requesting gift card payments
Another common attempt at theft is asking for payments solely through gift cards. In the United States alone, scams involving gift and reload cards amounted to $79.9 million of lost funds throughout the first three-quarters of 2020. Although consumers are now more careful in giving out their credit card details, gift cards do not trigger the same response of cautiousness, making it one of the quickest ways to lure out money as the theft is almost instant.
“They are no exceptions for gift cards to be used as payment. That said, many fall victim due to the false sense of urgency, leaving no time for the consumer to take a step back and re-evaluate the offer,” explained Galdikas.
“Once the deed is done, there is no way to remediate the situation – the gift card funds are quickly spent or sold. So the best preemptive measure is to not put yourself in such a position in the first place, conduct payments online where you can clearly see what payment partner the retailer uses. It is smart to research the payment provider as well, to eliminate any doubts of legitimacy as to who will be handling your hard-earned money.”
Fraudulent charity calls
The holiday season encourages many to help those most in need. However, fraudsters are prone to abuse these good intentions by imitating charitable organizations and taking possession of the donations. The usual giveaways of such scams are the use of overly aggressive language, as well as the urgency to conduct the transaction.
“Healthy skepticism and verifying all the information about the organization remains the best measure against fraud. That said, credit cards have several layers of security, thus making donations via cards makes it more difficult to exploit the donors," he explained.
While the payments sector is continuously trying to refine security safeguards against fraudulent activities, the consumer has to be aware of the possible threats as well, especially during the holiday season.
“Second-guessing suspicious details should be at the top of the mind of every shopper, as even the most robust preemptive measures may be rendered ineffective if consumers do not take time to question who will be handling their funds,” concluded Galdikas.
ConnectPay is an online banking service provider for internet-based companies, offering a wide range of payment solutions, including SEPA and SWIFT payments, IBAN multi-currency accounts, Mastercard online card payments, and merchant accounts. All processes are operated via a fully automated fraud prevention and compliance management ecosystem. Smooth onboarding process and customized client solutions enable businesses to utilize innovative payment solutions to meet the needs of their digital customers. ConnectPay holds an EMI license, issued by the bank of Lithuania, and is a member of the monetary authority of the Eurozone.
Customers invited to join online webinar event to hear and ask questions on wildfire prevention plans and Public Safety Power Shutoff improvements in 2020 and beyond
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is continuing its important work to further reduce wildfire risks and improve the safety of its electric system. To help ensure that customers are part of safety efforts, PG&E will be hosting an interactive safety virtual town hall where the company will provide an overview of its work to further prevent wildfires in 2020 and PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff events this year.
The virtual town hall will feature a brief presentation and an opportunity for participants to ask questions and provide feedback.
The event will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The event can be accessed through the link or dial-in below or through PG&E’s website, www.pge.com/firesafetywebinars.
Click this link to join: https://bit.ly/2JWoDP3
Toll-Free Attendee Dial-in: (844) 738-1853
Conference ID: 9968387
During the town hall, members of PG&E’s safety and leadership team will discuss:
While the webinar event will focus on customers impacted by a PSPS event in 2020, any of PG&E’s customers are welcome to join. Closed captioning will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese and there are dial-in numbers for those who aren’t able to join online.
More information about PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program, can be found at www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
San Francisco – December 15, 2020– Many states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use by adults. This holiday season, California Poison Control System (CPCS) reminds all adults to practice caution when using or serving cannabis-containing edible items such as cookies, candies, pastries or beverages during holiday events and New Year’s celebrations. These items should not be prepared or served when children or teens are present in order to minimize the risk of accidental exposure. The risk increases with edibles because children love holiday goodies and brightly colored items. See edibles video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-INP8IA9hPA.
“Children can be exposed to marijuana either by breathing in smoke or eating foods containing marijuana,” said Dr. Cyrus Rangan, Assistant Medical Director, CPCS Los Angeles. “Keep your home and car free of the smoke, and keep food or drinks in their original containers locked up away from young children or teens. Kids and cannabis don’t mix. Treat these products just like you would alcoholic beverages — use caution and common sense.” Edibles can contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the chemical that causes someone to get high.
While adults typically exhibit dizziness, weakness, slurred speech and anxiety, symptoms in children can be more severe. They can range from sleepiness to difficulty breathing or even coma. Emergency rooms and poison control centers have received many cases of young children who accidentally ate marijuana edibles and required hospital admission due to the severity of their symptoms.
Dr. Rangan advises that if there’s a chance a child has accidentally consumed marijuana-containing products, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 so a trained specialist can answer specific questions and/or guide callers to an emergency facility.
Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for help. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free, confidential and interpreters are available. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Visit CPCS at www.calpoison.org, follow Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.
On December 14, 2020, Sierra County Public Health received notification of the twenty–eighth through thirty-fist positive cases for Sierra County. One case has been hospitalized. The Greater Sacramento Region’s (GSR) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity is currently at 14.8%. At this time the GSR remains below the 15% threshold. The Stay Home Order will be in effect for a minimum of three weeks starting from Friday December 11, 2020.
Sierra County remains under the Regional Stay Home Order along with the counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba.
As the Holidays approach please remember to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
Dr. Glenn Mollette
On the first Christmas Mary and Joseph had traveled to Bethlehem to pay their taxes. They were among a multitude of other people who were making the same trip for the same reason.
The Bible says there was no room for them in the Inn. They found refuge in a stable and in the night, Mary delivered her baby. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a cow's trough.
Soon Shepherds watching their sheep in the fields were alerted by a heavenly host of angels about the special baby who had been born. They quickly made hast to celebrate and worship the new baby Jesus. Eventually in the Bible story Wise men from the East traveled a long distance to see the new child. They brought with them gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh and worshipped him. When you read the first couple of chapters of Matthew and Luke's gospels you learn Christmas is about Jesus.
You also learn he was loved, held in the arms of his mother, adored by the shepherds and worshiped by wise astrologers who went to great effort and time to visit him
This Christmas we should all once again embrace the baby Jesus and celebrate his deity and mission to bring love and peace to our hearts. We need his love and peace. We need his joy to the world. Even in the hardest times of life people have found the joy of Jesus at Christmas time. Often the simplest things have a way of bringing the most joy. A baby in a manger. Peasant shepherds dropping by to say hello. Strangers visiting later to bring some gifts.
The people of Christmas are those who are the players of Christmas. We don't pay that much attention to the sheep of Christmas, the donkeys or the camels. The people are what make Christmas special. There would not be a Christmas story without the baby, Mary and Joseph.
Who are the people in your Christmas story? Growing up it was Mama Mollette, Mama Hinkle and Grandpa Hinkle, uncles and aunts, first cousins. Parents Walt and Eula Mollette, sisters and brothers and their children. Later my church families became very significantly involved in my Christmas story. Today there are new faces of extended family, their spouses and now grandchildren. The landscape has dramatically changed.
Years ago, I never imagined Christmas would change so much. Most of the people who I once celebrated Christmas with have passed on or live somewhere else. The people you and I celebrate Christmas with this year will soon pass on or relocate to live somewhere else. The point is this, embrace your Christmas while you can. Embrace your people while you can. The people in your life are your Christmas.
Christmas gifts, trees and decorations are all nice and fun. However, give love, and as safely as you can because of Covid-19, celebrate each other this year. It's always the people of Christmas who make up the Christmas story. While our celebrations this year may be remotely, use your telephone, computers and whatever means you have to connect with your most precious gifts of Christmas - the people in your life.
EASTERN PLUMAS HEALTH CARE
BOARD met December 3rd. Prior to the meeting, board member, Teresa Whitfield, who is the Director of Telemetry and Float Pool at Northern Nevada Medical Center, told the tough reality in northern Nevada with “every mortuary full in town, and running out of equipment with all but two ventilators in service.” She told of no problem getting medicines and meds to have people walk away system free. She told benefits of Bamlanivmab which takes an hour for a pharmacy to prepare, an hour infusion and “great success.”
During the meeting, Chief Nursing Officer Penny Holland reported taking no elective surgeries. She explained the COVID-19 vaccine from the County will require two shots; a drive-thru with a backup shot.
As of December 14th they started testing all patient care employees besides any one in the skilled nursing, They will now test the acute portion as a State mandate so all patient care is tested. There is also a recommendation face shields be worn.
Clinic Director Rhonda Grandi told of spending major time on the clinic restructure plan. She told of more telemedicine with the rise in COVID-19. She talked of the Anthem Blue Cross performance program which hinged on the clinic care coordinator program with the coordinator having resigned and they are actively recruiting since funding streams depend on that position. She stated there is a bi-annual program evaluation for all three clinics in January.
HR Director Lori Tange talked of here at home, positive trends with hiring efforts and additional new hires in December. She stated, “Our reputation and how we interact with each other plays a part of showcasing EPHC.” As a holiday engagement, each day is a special event, including drawings.
Chief Financial Officer Katherine Pairish told of being under budget in most categories and an uptick in receivable days.
Skilled Nursing Director of Nursing Lorraine Noble stated all residents tested negative and of testing staff weekly. Indoor visits have been put on hold with only Compassionate Care visitors allowed with family tested. Others Skype, Facetime and have visits at the back door. November census was 51.89; last quarter was 53.35 and there was one admit the previous day.
Debbie Gilmer, Activities Director is retiring this month after 35 years. Loyalton SNF has two CNAs out on medical; one full-time is to start soon and one CNA travels from Fernley, Nevada. In Portola, one DON is out on medical, one travels and the DSD is open with three applicants.
CEO Doug McCoy announced Dr. Phen will retire as Skilled Nursing Medical Director.
He told of COVID-19 testing costs of $105-$110,000 with several rounds of testing and some grant money. He stated they try and get as much inventory as possible.
He spoke to the concerns of the Verizon tower and they’ve purchased their own RS near read device to take their own tests with six mapped locations to ensure they’re diligent.
The LED replacement is 38% on change over and he explained how fluorescent is very negative to those highly sensitive, the impact on visual and overall electricity.
Board member Harvey West unexpectedly announced his resignation, stating he’s “put in a full term,” and how he “truly believes in Eastern Plumas Health Care.” His fellow Board members were saddened and his position will be posted.
SIERRA COUNTY SUPERVISORS met December 1st via teleconference.
Under Forest Service Report, Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood reported there was a lot of interest on the Quail Timber Sale. Christmas tree sales on line this year he stated had “astronomical numbers,” up Yuba Pass with a record day over last year the prior Friday, Saturday and Sunday almost double numbers. Fuelwood permits are still valid. He told of two engines maintained through the winter similar to last March and they were looking forward to snow.
Public Health and Social Services Director Vickie Clark reported on COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Update. She told of the heightened state of emergency with cases, hospitalizations and ICU usage up. She stated they are looking at the age group of 18-19 as 60-+ percent of the cases which are typically not as severely ill.
Just that noon, she noted Sierra County was on the Orange Tier on the State site, calling it “all good news.” She stated, “We are the only one there,” and credited the testing numbers being up that help us to maintain that status. Ninety-nine percent of the State is in the Purple Tier and she mentioned new State orders coming down the pike; a new Stay At Home order to apply to those in the Purple Tier. She told of a lot of talk and frustration over lack of enforcement and what it is going to take to get through the surge.
“We feel confident here,” and she noted school planning is around science specifically to schools and there is conversation around places of worship with no restrictions. She told of a “hit this weekend,” with 24 hours to comply. “We need to stay in Orange,” she urged.
There was to be COVID-19 testing in Calpine the 9th and in Loyalton on the 16th.
Vickie explained vaccine planning with the first release limited to three phases. In cooperation with Plumas County we can get the small amount of doses we need, she said. She felt it will be “Interesting to see how it unfolds,” starting off small and each month to see an increase.
Meeting as the Sierra County Board of Equalization, Supervisor Sharon Dryden stated, “It doesn’t happen very often,” when there was approval of a stipulation to an Assessed Valuation for Osvaldo and Rebekah Perez. Assessor Laura Marshall explained it was a tax sale valued at $30,000 and she met on the property and there were two comparable sales within 90 days. The Perez’ wanted $8,000- $10,000 but it was closer to $20,000, according to Marshall and they accepted the reduction.
Appointed to the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District were incumbent Dave Goicoechea and new appointees, Richard Griffin and Chad Smith.
Discussion over filling the County Farm Advisor, a joint position between Sierra and Plumas Counties would have Planning Director Tim Beals convey a request to be involved and would proceed in communication with Plumas County.
Concerning a vacancy in Sierra-Plumas County District Conservationist position with the retirement of Dan Martynn, the Board wants an emphasis to encourage the position be immediately filled and remain at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Quincy. Supervisor Paul Roen has been in contact with Congressman LaMalfa’s office, noting “a lot of needs and opportunity for conservation.” The Board supported a letter be sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture with strong support.
A PUBLIC HEARING on Sierra County’s Housing Element Update was held December 1st by videoconference. Deputy Director Brandon Pangman told of two grants with a total of $225,000 with a focus on housing. Numbers are developed as the State looks at population projections and allocates regionally portable housing needs. The 2020-2024 Need is a grand total of six, Brandon stated. The City of Loyalton got two and the unincorporated portion got four. The County is not responsible to build, he said.
Supervisor Sharon Dryden noted no female head of households met the poverty level.
Loyalton Mobile Home Park Property
Supervisor Sharon Dryden had Brandon clarify the most obvious use of multi-family housing development. Brandon read where it states the County shall work with the property owner of Loyalton Mobile Home Park for higher use development. He explained loss of the State license and demolition of affordable housing and the loss of units targets for potential for future affordable housing well in excess of 50 units with the infrastructure in place. It was historically served by the City for water and sewer, although the majority of the property is outside the City, it had been indicated, Brandon stated, the City will continue to service. The Housing Element does not commit the County to any plans and it would go to the state through the process for any changes. The policy doesn’t circumvent the process, he said. They would need an application from the owner for environmental review and go to public hearings for any proposal. Zoning is multi-unit residential and potential for a mobile home park with a conditional use permit.
According to Brandon, the Planning Department has not received an application or met with the current property owner. “Nothing is happening,” he stated.
One last comment, Sharon called it “complete lunacy” to meet all the requirements with energy conservation with affordable housing and the increased cost.
Nevada City, Calif. — With winter just around the corner, the U.S. Forest Service is reminding all visitors to recreate responsibly if planning a trip to the Tahoe National Forest this holiday season.
Responsible recreation includes:
Responsible recreation will help ensure that access to recreational facilities and opportunities will continue across the Tahoe National Forest.
All Tahoe National Forest campgrounds are closed at this time. In addition, our fuelwood permit process has changed through December 31, 2020. Please follow this link to learn more about the updated permit process: http://go.usa.gov/xAceJ
Tahoe National Forest offices are also closed to in-person visits to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public. Many services traditionally offered in our public offices are available online including online Christmas Tree Permits. To access these virtual services, please visit our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe/.
We will continue to update our website with current information as conditions change. Happy Holidays!
On December 10, 2020, Sierra County Public Health received notification of two new positive cases in Sierra County. These cases do not affect the implementation of the Regional Stay Home Order by 11:59PM tonight for the Greater Sacramento Region. The Regional Stay Home Order is implemented based on Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity of less than15% for our Region (Greater Sacramento Region).
Please be aware that the State’s assessment of Sierra County’s status is now two-fold. The State now assesses both tier level and criteria for the Regional Stay Home Order simultaneously. 1) Tier level assessment is based on the State’s analysis of the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Sierra County and the number of Sierra County residents tested, regardless of the result. 2) The Regional Stay Home Order is assessed for implementation based on our region’s ICU capacity being less than the threshold of 15%.
The tier level assessment has been a weekly measurement that will continue even when Sierra County is in a Regional Stay Home Order. However, the Regional Stay Home Order restrictions supersede the tier industry guidance for the duration of the Order. If a county is no longer in a Regional Stay Home Order, the Blueprint Tier Assessment will be back in effect setting industry guidance.
Bearing this information in mind and considering the upcoming Holidays, Sierra County Public Health kindly reminds you to take precautions. During this heightened state of emergency, it is more important than ever to:
Today, Wednesday December 9, 2020 Sierra County, as part of the Greater Sacramento Region, has met the criteria for entering the Regional Stay Home Order. The Regional Stay Home Order for the Greater Sacramento Region became effective based on our region’s current Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity of 14.3%; which is below the 15% capacity threshold. The Greater Sacramento Region’s businesses will have until 11:59PM Thursday, December 10, 2020 to make the necessary changes to comply with the Order.
The following sectors must close by 11:59PM Thursday, December 10, 2020.
• Indoor recreational facilities • Hair salons and barber shops • Personal care services
• Bars, breweries, and distilleries • Live audience sports
• Museums, zoos, and aquariums
All gatherings with members of other households are prohibited. Physical distancing and 100% masking are required. All individuals are ordered to stay home or at their place of residence, except for permitted work, local shopping, or other permitted errands, or as otherwise authorized. Outdoor physical activities with your household are still encouraged.
The following sectors will have modifications in addition to 100% masking and social distancing:
SACRAMENTO: The California Assembly Republican Caucus issued the following statement shortly after members were sworn in for the 2021-22 Legislative Session about Gov. Gavin Newsom's inconsistent COVID strategy:
"Assembly Republicans are greatly concerned about the gross inconsistencies and inequities in Governor Gavin Newsom's new regional Stay at Home order. We want to safely navigate this pandemic and we recognize its seriousness. We also recognize the potential danger of a shortness of hospital beds and understand the need to preserve ICU capacity. The way to respond to this crisis is to encourage and inspire Californians to socially distance, practice good hygiene, stay home if you are sick and wear a mask when you are in public and cannot distance. That is what the science tells us will help reduce spread of the virus.
"It is not with another massive and arbitrary shutdown of our businesses and schools.
"These shutdown decisions have been inconsistent and arbitrary, creating extreme classes of winners and losers. We share the anger and bewilderment of our constituents who are trying to navigate the latest haphazard, confusing and, in many ways, destructive rules coming from the Governor. Even local public safety agencies, charged with enforcing these rules, are rejecting them. We hear the parents in our districts who see the stress and trauma their children are enduring with ever-changing school schedules and protocols. We hear the small business owners and restaurateurs who are angry that they have to all but shut down while big box stores continue to operate. We hear our communities, which are upset at being lumped in geographic regions far too large for any semblance of local control or decision making. We hear our constituents, and we are angry too.
"When the Governor’s inconsistency is combined with hypocrisy, what you get is a complete lack of trust. When you add incompetency to the mix, what we have is a monumental failure of leadership; the failure of the Employment Development Department to provide for those his decisions have left unemployed is perhaps the greatest example, but we also see that failure in a Health Corps that is not providing much needed emergency healthcare staffing during this crisis despite months to prepare. And now we find that unemployment was paid to murderers and rapists on death row; it is the ultimate slap in the face.
"Assembly Republicans are here to serve our constituents and are willing to work on balancing the many needs of society during this crisis. The state must provide a measured, consistent response that treats people fairly, protects our most vulnerable populations, uses scientific data and takes into account the economic consequences of government action. Governor Newsom has made far too many decisions without the people’s input. We intend to bring the people’s voice to this crisis response.”
On December 7, 2020, Sierra County Public Health received notification of a twenty-fifth positive COVID-19 test result for a resident of Sierra County. Sierra County remains in the Moderate (Orange) tier as of the time of this release.
However, on December 3, 2020 Governor Newsom announced a change in the qualifications and geographic boundaries which implement the restrictions specified in the new Regional Stay Home Order. The implementation of the Regional Stay Home Order will be based on a region’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity changing the qualifications for restrictions to be implemented from a County’s number of positive cases. Regions with less than 15% ICU availability will be entered into the Stay Home Order. ICU capacity for each region will be assessed daily. If a region has less than 15% ICU availability, residents of that region will be instructed to stay home as much as possible to limit mixing with other households that can lead to COVID- 19 spread. Sierra County is a part of the Greater Sacramento Region, which also includes the counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba. The Regional Stay Home Order is dependent on ICU capacity, so there is no timeline for when this Order will go into effect.
The Regional Stay Home Order will go into effect at 11:59PM the day after a region has been announced to have less than 15% ICU availability. The supplemental order clarifies retail operations and goes into effect immediately. They prohibit private gatherings of any size and close sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail.
Once implemented, these orders will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks. After that period, they will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial 3 week period.
At the time of this release, the Greater Sacramento Region’s ICU capacity is 20.3%. For more information about ICU capacity in our Greater Sacramento Region, please visit: About COVID-19 restrictions - Coronavirus COVID-19 Response (ca.gov)
Everyone can help Sierra County and our Region stay open. The recommendations remain the same;
NHTSA’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week runs December 7-11
WASHINGTON – As our nation’s senior population grows, it’s more important than ever to talk with the older drivers in your life about safety on our roads. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is designating the week of December 7-11 as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.
The number of Americans ages 65 and older increased by 32% from 2009 to 2018, and crash fatalities in this age group increased by 30%.
Getting older does not necessarily mean a person’s driving days are over, but it’s important to plan ahead to ensure the safety of your loved ones on the road. NHTSA offers resources to help you learn more about how to recognize and discuss changes in your loved ones’ driving. For more information, visit our resource page.
This Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, protect your loved ones by learning about the factors that can affect one’s ability to drive safely, as well as transportation alternatives. Talking with an older person about their driving can often be difficult, but it’s important—especially before it becomes a safety issue.
Calling for “farmer-led solutions” to issues confronting agriculture, California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson pledged the organization would respond to state government actions on the pandemic, climate change and other policies.
Speaking to members via webcast from the Farm Bureau building in Sacramento during the 102nd California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Johansson said farmers and ranchers acted quickly and responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic, to adjust working conditions and provide personal protective equipment to employees, and to assure a worried public about the continued availability and safety of food and farm products.
“Make no mistake about it, when it comes to worker safety and when it came to our families’ wellbeing, farmers and agriculture led the way,” Johansson said.
“We'll continue to work as we move forward through this pandemic, looking into the future of what we need to do to take care of our employees,” he added, noting in particular the need to remove roadblocks to creation of more and better housing.
Describing agriculture as “the original green industry,” Johansson said state and federal climate policies must recognize the positive contributions farms and ranches make to the environment. He also urged the state to act quickly and decisively to address chronic water shortages and the increasing wildfire threat.
The annual scourge of wildfires “shouldn't become normal,” Johansson said. “We should be outraged.” Noting that the state has directed significant resources toward wildfire prevention and forest management, he said Farm Bureau will review how effectively those resources have been used and will advocate for timely action.
Johansson celebrated the defeat of a November ballot initiative to create a split-roll property tax, saying farmers and ranchers “changed the debate” on Proposition 15 by describing its likely impacts on food production and prices. With the state government facing budget deficits, he warned of potential new efforts to raise taxes and fees, saying the state can’t continue to balance the budget “on the backs of the California taxpayers.”
With a new administration about to take office in Washington, D.C., Johansson said Farm Bureau will advocate for balanced environmental, immigration and trade policies.
“We have challenges ahead of us, but we will continue to speak out and make a difference,” Johansson said.
The California Farm Bureau works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 34,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.
SACRAMENTO — Today Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) will introduce legislation which would require elections officials to mail every active registered voter a ballot for all future elections and ensure that all California voters continue to have access to vote-by-mail ballot tracking. Similar requirements were implemented prior to the 2020 General Election in November and have since been credited with the state’s success conducting a safe and secure election during a global pandemic and boosting voter turnout to recent highs.
“In the face of a global health pandemic and an unprecedented onslaught of misinformation trying to undermine voters’ faith in our democracy, California conducted a secure and remarkably successful general election," said Assemblymember Berman. "Given the success of mailing every active registered voter a ballot, as well as other improvements we made in 2020, it only makes sense to make permanent many of the key changes adopted in response to the pandemic.”
In April, Assemblymember Berman amended his AB 860 to require that every active registered California voter receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the 2020 General Election. AB 860 also allowed counties to begin processing returned vote-by-mail ballots earlier, extended the deadline for receipt of vote-by-mail ballots, allowed voters to use remote accessible vote-by-mail systems, and ensured that all California voters had the ability to track their ballots as they moved through the mail system and were processed by elections officials (a system that was initially created by Berman’s AB 2218 in 2018). The bill was signed into law as an urgency measure in June, and was a key part of the state’s preparations for conducting a safe and successful presidential election during the COVID-19 pandemic. In all, approximately 15 million Californians voted in the General Election using a ballot that was mailed to them, and more than 4.5 million Californians registered for ballot tracking.
If signed into law, California would become the sixth state to require active registered voters to be mailed a ballot before each election. Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Utah already do so.
Assemblymember Marc Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Website of Assemblymember Marc Berman: www.assembly.ca.gov/Berman. Assemblymember Marc Berman’s official headshot is available here.
In solidarity with local district attorneys, Assemblywoman Dahle calls for immediate investigation and accountability for those involved.
SACRAMENTO – On November 24, 2020, nine local district attorneys throughout California went public with evidence of mass fraud involving federal, state, and county inmates who have scammed an estimated $1 billion in fraudulent Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims. This comes after months of backlog within the Employment Development Department (EDD) and previous struggles with fraud affecting an estimated 350,000 Californians’ Bank of America UI debit cards, which EDD has failed to rectify despite many opportunities to do so.
“This is completely unacceptable and not the first time the EDD has failed the people of California.” Said Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), who represents Lassen County and whose district attorney, S. Melyssah Rios, serves as a Team Leader on the EDD Fraud Task Force. “It is imperative that those who have perpetrated these crimes be held accountable, and I stand in full support of our local district attorneys in calling for an immediate investigation of this issue.
“Since late March when California shut down businesses and schools to slow the spread of COVID-19, my staff has helped thousands of constituents who were unable to secure their unemployment insurance from an overwhelmed and backlogged EDD. EDD has blamed their computers, lack of staff, and been given multiple opportunities for improvement, even halting claims processing for a two-week period for a system ‘reset.’ All to no avail.
“The EDD has sunken to new levels of ineptitude when death row murderers are getting their UI claims processed while hard-working Californians who are owed their benefits get denied. It is time for the legislature to step in and hold immediate investigative hearings to determine what went wrong and ensure this never happens again. Clearly, the EDD is incapable of rectifying their system, and Californians deserve better.”
In their letter to Governor Newsom, the district attorneys called for immediate investigation and prosecution of those responsible, outlining steps that ought to be taken to remedy this crisis.
Assemblywoman Megan Dahle represents the 1st Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes portions of Butte and Placer counties, along with Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties.