February 25, 2014

Local Firms Using Cap and Trade, Just Not in This Area Yet

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:40 am

By Walt Caldwell
 Mountain Echo editor
Some of the hottest topics moving through environmental, governmental, financial, and business circles these days are “Carbon Credits,” “Cap and Trade” and “Carbon Offsets. Those procedures are meant to offset smog, gross pollution from refineries, chemical plants, cement plants, rice burning and other major concerns that affect each of us.
Why is that important to the Intermountain Area? Because the owners of the miles and miles of timber that stretch in every direction in and around the Intermountain Area are or are likely to become major players in the California Cap and Trade program. Because this area survives because of the timber industry.

Woman Kills Four, Injures Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:39 am

ALTURAS – Sherie Rhoades, AKA Lash, 44, of Cedarville, a former Northern Paiute tribal chairwoman shot and killed three of her relatives and another woman and wounded two others during a Northern Paiute Tribal meeting at their Rancheria Tribal Office and Community Center in Alturas, Thursday. Authorities say the shooting took place shortly before 3:30 p.m.. Rhoades was attending a hearing into possible eviction from her home at the tribal Rancheria in Cedarville. According to the Associated Press she was also under investigation for embezzling $50,000 in federal funds. An estimated 10-14 individuals including children were at the meeting. Authorities say Angel Moonstar Penn, 19, a niece of Rhoades, Glenn Phillip Calonico, 30, a nephew, Rurik Daniel Davis, 50, a brother, and Sheila Lynn Russo, 47, were killed.

Water District Board Works on Booster Pump Replacement

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:38 am

Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
BURNEY – John Calzia, a retired Burney High School teacher and coach, was sworn in as the newest member of the Burney Water District’s board of directors. He fills the seat left open with the retirement of board member Valerie Dickinson late last year. Calzia said in his letter of interest that he was a 31- year resident of the town of Burney and would like to “give back to our town by serving on the board. He said he felt that his experience as a school administrator at two different school settings, working with a board and dealing with problems with a board would help him be a good board member.

Two Arrested for Ingot Murders

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:37 am

REDDING – The two Ingot men murdered October 25, 2013 were shot to death during a robbery detectives announced February 18 when they announced that they had two in custody for that murder and another suspect in the murder of a third man.

Joshua Reid McCormick, 33, of Anderson, and his then girlfriend, Rebecca June Wilson, 32 (shown in photos above) of Shasta Lake City. Both have been indicted on charges of murdering Michael Cass Forsyth, 57 and Thomas Burton, 65, at the Ingot Auto Dismantlers where they lived, then setting their bodies on fire. Mc- Cormick and another man, Byron Lee Willis, 32 of Redding, were charged with another murder, that of shooting Eric Ratledge, 31, of Redding. Detectives say they shot Ratledge to death November 3, 2013 and burned him in his pickup.
According to authorities, detectives from the Shasta County Major Crimes Unit conducted over 100 interviews. During their investigation of the Ratledge murder, property associated with the Ingot murder surfaced.


Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:36 am

Last Monday and thus Tuesday, left a lot to be desired.
I’m not into astrology, but my rising star must have ran head-on into a fish bowl full of Piranha.
There is one thing you can say about me – If I’m gonna screw up, I do it with a flare all my own.
Last week I managed to send an old classified page to the printer along with the rest of the paper. Then I was either in a lead-lined building, deep in the canyon or someone blew up the cell tower that would have serviced my cell phone.
The press caught the error, but I didn’t get the message until I was pulling into the loading dock minutes away from picking up the finished product. Since an odd number of pages would have looked even dumber they did what had to be done, they ran the one they had.
Thus Shipwrecks was still going out of business and at least one employer was looking for staff.
As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now for the rest of the story.”I walked innocently into the business in question and two nice young ladies accosted me, wanting to know who had put the ad in the paper. It seems as if they had received a number of calls wanting to know if they were being fired.
It reminded me of the time years ago when I ran a full page ad for Sierra Market and in 48 point type advertised a sale on ground beer instead of ground beef.Anyone who’s reached adulthood knows that crap happens. A typical example of this is illustrated by last week’s editorial and the chain reaction it caused.

February 18, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:58 am

Anyone who’s reached adulthood knows that crap happens. A typical example of this is illustrated by last week’s editorial and the chain reaction it caused.
I have always had good luck talking with Caltrans public affairs but I haven’t been so fortunate talking to a variety of other department personnel over the years.
Like many folks who contact people by e-mail, I grab a previous email in my file and respond to it. I’d never had a problem before.
Thus when a friend who also drives Highway 299 between Burney and Fall River Mills complained bitterly about the rumble strips, it raised the question and I decided to get the answer, especially when he told me he had been in contact with someone there and they’d consistently not answered his emails.
I contacted Trisha at Caltrans public affairs, using my lazy system of responding to her last email. She responded immediately telling me I needed to talk to Rob Stinger, chief of Engineering and Operations. She said he was out of his office and would return the following Monday. She also said she had forwarded my inquiry to him and that he was good about answering such inquiries. That was in October.
I remembered it for a couple of weeks, figuring I’d give him time to get back to me. He didn’t and I forgot about the issue.
A couple of weeks ago I ran into my friend again and it jogged my memory. He still hadn’t heard anything.
I figured okay, if he won’t answer me, I’ll see if he’ll answer my reader’s concerns.
 Here’s what has transpired since.
The offending editorial
Many drivers, including commercial drivers drive onto the shoulder of the road to avoid the areas with cuts across the traffic lanes. Those cuts predate the traffic signals at the intersection and Highway Patrol officers have pulled drivers over because of it.
Popular belief is that they were put in to promote safety, (wake people up) before the intersection.
Also locals believe the cuts are excessively intrusive, can damage cargo and damage equipment being towed. They certainly don’t do vehicles any good and do little if anything to promote safety.
I inquired to Caltrans. My inquiry was shuffled upstairs and the promise to get back to me was broken.
At least one other area resident has made numerous calls trying to get answers and they have gone unanswered.
In other words we’ve been stonewalled. My understanding is that Rob Stinger who is in charge of traffic operations at Region II in Redding is the go to man. His direct e-mail is Rob. stinger
His phone number is 225-3229.
It strikes me that if the individual gets enough calls and e-mails he might take another look at the strip issue, maybe even reduce them to the cuts they use on the side of some roads. Makes a similar noise without tearing the vehicles apart.
It has to be a better start than writing our elected state officials and the head folks of Caltrans.
I’m not out to cut any life saving safety measure. It is simply my belief that it has been superceded by more advanced measures that are in place and working.
If he can show me where I’m wrong I’ll be happy to back off – Just don’t stonewall me or anyone else.
I got Mr Stinger’s email address screwed up as it originally appeared in the edtorial. I’ve now corrected the one above anyone who would like to contact him can do so. Anyway Don Smith, a faithful reader and owner of a motor home tried to respond and couldn’t because of the errors in the address, so he brought it in, I found out the problem and sent it to Stinger for him.
Mr. Stinger replied to my email thinking it was Don’s email address and thus I received his reply
Dear Sir: I read with interest Mr. Caldwell’s editorial in the Mountain Echo about the confounded rumble strips which I try to avoid whenever I can; not knowing it was illegal. I must agree with Mr. Caldwell because whenever I go over them in my car or motorhome is shakes the dickens out of everything and I believe, unnecessarily. It seems, if you must have something there instead of the god awful ones you have now, you might replace them with something less intrusive. Thank you for taking time to read this message and I implore you to please fix the problem.
Thank you, Donald F. Smith, McArthur CA
Mr. Stinger’s reply to Mr. Smith which I am forwarding to Mr. Smith

Hello Mr. Smith. Thank you for your email. I read Mr. Caldwell’s editorial and was surprised to read his claims of being “stonewalled”. Since last summer, I have received several calls about the rumble bars at the SR-89/299 intersection and have always made an effort to talk directly with the person voicing the concern. I do not recall ever being contacted by Mr. Caldwell. Our Public Information Office has had regular contact with Mr. Caldwell over the years and was curious why he had not contacted them directly if he felt he was being ignored. Perhaps it gives the editorial more impact if it is perceived that the government is not responsive to its citizens.
As for the intersection, we are well aware of the “rough ride” issues. The rumble bars were originally installed many years ago to address accidents that were occurring at the intersection. The recessed grooves and white stripes were meant to alert drivers that they are approaching a stop sign. When they were originally placed, the vibration and noise from the bars was not as pronounced as it is now. We think that the paving and chip seal projects that have come through the intersection over the years (and replaced the rumble bars) has actually resulted in a rougher ride.
Unfortunately, there is not a quick and inexpensive fix. Since there are no construction projects coming through the area in the near future that could address the problem, we are looking into options that can be performed with state forces. We have been having discussions with our Burney Maintenance Crew and are closing in on a fix… but even if the numbers pencil out, it may take a couple months to implement depending on material and equipment availability, and of course, the weather.
Thank you for your patience. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email or give me a call.
Rob Stinger, P.E. Chief – Traffic Engineering & Operations Caltrans District 2
I also received a phone call from Trisha and an email. She had inadvertently filed my email under the topic of her email and not my request – thus the inadvertent “stonewalling.”

Hi Walt: Here are the conversations from back in October. Again, my sincere apologies for not getting Rob’s response back to you. Like I said on the phone, he really is wonderful about returning calls and emails right away which made it hard for us to understand what may have happened. I spoke with him personally and he explained the situation to me, as stated below. But, he will keep me updated on the progress of this and I PROMISE to keep you informed. Again, I really am sorry for letting this one get away from me. Please feel free to call me at any time if you have a concern and I will do my best to provide you with a speedy answer!
Have a great weekend.

I have no problem in telling Mr. Stinger I’m sorry and that it isn’t Trisha’s fault, hopefully the whole affair will be filed under oops! The rumble strips will be toned down or disappear and I promise to check before I write.

Sewage Problem Caught in Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:56 am

FALL RIVER MILLS – The Fall River Mills Community Services District had luck on its side earlier this month when electrical problems at the sewage lift station behind and below Napa close to the Pit River caused a small sewage spill.
Field Supervisor Casey Rodriguez explained in his report to the board that electricity from the Bridge Street Control Panel normally sends three-phase power to the control panel at the Napa station.

Water Loss Still Plagues District

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:55 am

FALL RIVER MILLS – District Manager Bill Johnson told his board the district had pumped 608,556 cubic feet of water for the January billing cycle and only billed 336,290 cubic feet. The loss amounted to a loss of 272,266 gallons or 45% of what they pumped.

Sphere of Influence Try March 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:54 am

By Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
FALL RIVER MILLS – A much scaled down version of The Fall River Valley Community Services District’s Sphere of Influence proposal is set to go before the Shasta Local Agency Formation Commission on March 6.
Instead of trying to take in property from Day to Cassel and from Glenburn to Little Valley which drew considerable ill will, numerous objections and was ultimately stopped by the Commission last year, this proposal takes in the Big Eddy Estates south of the town of Fall River Mills, the Gomez Road and Glenburn area south of McArthur Road, the towns of Fall River Mills and McArthur, north to above Cable Road and east to include the Shasta County portion of Pittville.
Consultant Bob Braitman of Braitman and Associates, wrote the Sphere of Influence Proposal for LAFCO.

Dense Fog Blamed for Big Rig Collision

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:53 am

M O N T G O M E RY CREEK – Dense fog is blamed for the collision of a loaded logging truck and another big rig at the junction of Highway 299E and Big Bend Road, at 12:30 p.m., February 12.
According to Highway Patrolman Gordon, Lonnie Blunt, 62, of Burney was stopped at the stop sign on southbound Big Bend Road, preparing to turn his loaded truck onto SR 299. The heavy fog had the visibility down to 120’- 150’. He waited for traffic to clear and began his turn. Mario Baltazar, Sr., 66, of Fontana, CA was eastbound on 299 approaching the intersection at approximately 40-45 mph.
As Blunt was crossing through the eastbound lane into the acceleration lane, his rig came into Baltazar’s view. Baltazar did not have time to break, but attempted to swerve to the to the right to avoid Blunt. The left front of his rig hit the left rear of Blunt’s.
The impact caused the saddle tank on Baltazar’s to rupture dumping approximately 130 gallons of diesel fuel onto the right shoulder of Highway 299.
Neither driver was injured. Blunt’s truck received minor damage and Baltazar’s moderate damage.
Shasta County Fire and Cal trans were involved in containment of the diesel.

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