I ran a picture on the front page a couple of weeks ago of a cattle gate that had obviously been deliberately destroyed.
There was a dirt road behind the gate and reportedly much of the land belonged to the Bureau of Land Management.
I received a call last Friday from an individual who had the name of the one who had tipped me to the ripped gate wrong, but did feel that whoever put the gate up deserved to have it ripped down because, according to him, several people own property beyond the gate, himself included, and he felt that it was an effort to lock the other people off their own property., He also felt that it was actions such as this incident of locking off roads used by others that leads to gates being torn down.
It is like I told him, I don’t want to get in the middle of a range war.
I did go out and take a second look at the gate, which had been repaired and is locked again.
I have mixed emotions. I don’t like to see public roads locked off. I don’t like to see roads that have been around for years taken over by one interest or another and access blocked to others.
However, I have also seen the wanton destruction caused by two, three and four wheeled vehicles “mudding.”
It might be fun, even though it is hard to believe that someone would spend a lot of money to get a vehicle and then attempt to destroy it along with the road that someone else had to spend good money to build and maintain.
I do have sympathy for the hunter, rancher or other individual who have used such roads in the past and is now denied access because of the individuals who have no respect for the roads or other’s property.
I also have a lot of sympathy for PG&E, the Government, the forest landowners and rancher or other landowner who have to pay to maintain those roads only to have them torn up.
Unfortunately it is the few irresponsible individuals who make the majority of responsible individuals pay for what they, the mudders, did. They would continue to do it if they could get away with ripping out gates or destroying other things used to keep them out.
If what the caller says is true then I would suggest that the person who locked the gate get extra keys made and see to it that those keys are delivered to responsible adults who have a right to be there.
If the caller is right I suggest that he get ahold of the authorities and go through the due process of having the gate and locks removed.
This sort of atmosphere is what leads a ranch not too far from that locked gate having an armed guard who patrols the ranch with the butt of a gun in his lap and barrel out the window – a guard who bluntly orders anyone who dares come down the road, for whatever reason, out – now!
February 18, 2013
I ran a picture on the front page a couple of weeks ago of a cattle gate that had obviously been deliberately destroyed.
BURNEY— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced it will make “freshet flow” releases in March in portions of the Pit River in eastern Shasta County. “Freshet flows” are releases of water that resemble natural river flows. They are done to assure water flows are sufficient to maintain river channel conditions and the riparian community, and are a requirement of PG&E’s license for the Pit 3, 4 and 5 Hydroelectric Project.
This year PG&E is providing freshet flows only on the Pit 3 and Pit 4 river reaches, since a natural flow event already occurred on the Pit 5 reach in December and January. The 21-day freshet flow release is scheduled to start in the two river reaches on March 6 and continue through March 27.
BURNEY — The Burney Fire District’s board of commissioners held their second hearing in the three hearing process to adopt an ordinance adopting the 2010 edition of the California Fire Code. That edition of the code is the most recent version of the fire code, adopted recently by the state. There was no one from the public in favor or opposed that spoke at the public hearing.
The third and final hearing will be held at the district’s March 12 meeting shortly after 3 p.m. Following the hearing the commissioners will consider the code’s adoption.
The board added an agenda item to form an ad hoc committee to negotiate the fire chief ’s upcoming contract with the Chief next month. Chair Bob Moore and Commissioner Donna Caldwell were appointed by the board. They will bring their recommendations back to the entire board for an open session discussion and decision at the March meeting.
The board discussed the accrued time the Chief had on the books and agreed to pay him the time due.
Fire Chief Ray Barber reported that no one from Mayers Memorial Hospital had contacted him regarding setting up a meeting between Mayers CEO Matt Rees and the Commissioners of the fire district regarding a proposal by Mayers regarding the future of the Burney Ambulance.
He also told his board that their insurance company had instructed him to get bids from three contractors regarding repairs to the fire hall damaged in the large snow storm. He is working on it and will bring the bids back to the board for approval when received.
BURNEY — The County Auditor-Controler’s office could not find where the Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution by the Burney Basin Mosquito Abatement District’s board establishing a biennial audit.
District Manager Mike Churney told his board he had gone back through the district’s files and found the resolution dated June 8, 1994, properly approved by the district’s board and the Auditor- Controler’s office, but couldn’t find anything showing the County supervisors had approved it. He said the Auditor’s office had tried to locate the records but the board of supervisor’s office only maintains records for five years and would have destroyed it in 1997.
Churney asked his board to approve a new resolution which could be sent through all the proper channels, making it possible for the district to continue getting audits in a manner which would continue to save the district considerable money. The board unanimously passed the resolution.
The board okayed payment of the district’s bills in the amount of $7,257.85.
The District’s schedule of expenditures showed that the district was only over budget in two categories, $227 in insurance and $78 in what they had budgeted for LAFCO. They had received nearly $4,000 less than they had anticipated in revenues from taxes, interest etc. They had anticipated receiving $73,623 for the Period July 1 through the end of January. They had only received $69,666.
January 7, 2013
FALL RIVER MILLS — This is the second in a series of three stories regarding a letter written to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors by the former secretary to the Fall River Mills Cemetery District, Suz Crane, alleging that two of the board members, caretaker, and caretaker’s wife committed a variety of crimes.
Last week we examined her allegations regarding failure to bury ashes. While the matter was unfortunate, it was explained and there was nothing illegal or unethical that the Mountain Echo could discover and the matter is being taken care of.
This week’s segment will deal with Crane’s charges that board member Kathy Ontano was doing something illegal by having Crane take the maintenance man’s hours from the man’s wife and process the warrants.
The Fall River Mills Cemetery District has its share of problems, the least of which isn’t an unhappy laid off employee and division amongst board members.
The cemetery district itself suffers from very tight finances which doesn’t allow them a lot of options. They don’t have the money to pay employees what they may be worth and often not give them the hours that will assure their retention.
They suffer from a struggle between those who don’t feel a need to stay abreast of current laws and current conditions, opting for the age old “that’s the way we’ve always done it” and others who want it done as is currently required.
Tight finances also means that there is little room for frills and no room for niceties that don’t pay the immediate bills.
The board was able to work their finances out with the County Auditor’s office, which gives them the option of borrowing money from their year-end tax revenue, thus allowing them to create enough cash flow to generally get through the lean months.
They hired a maintenance man, part time. He’s new and without experienced oversight missed some paperwork because he didn’t know where to look or the right people to ask. Unfortunate, yes. He knows now.
The board made a major mistake in allowing their part-time secretary to take paperwork out of the district office and now they are obviously paying for it.
The board has a ways to go. They’ve got to reach a workable compromise between themselves that assures that things are done in a practical manner yet meets all the current legal and ethical aspects of the laws under which they operate.
Beyond that – they are all good people, with good intentions, willing to put in more hours and take more do-do than they should. And these folks don’t try to hide their problems from the public or have grandiose agendas that they can’t afford.
At this point my hat is off to them and I wish them well.
November 26, 2012
FALL RIVER MILLS, – The Measure D Citizens Oversight Committee (COC) met last week to review and discuss expenditures, as well as business regarding the GO Bond. Discussion topics included:
Two members of the COC were appointed to present an Annual Report to the MMHD Board of Directors during the regular board meeting in February.
There is one slot open for membership on the COC. Interested parties should submit a letter of interest, attention to Marlene McArthur at Mayers Memorial Hospital District, PO Box 459, Fall River Mills, CA 96028.
Matt Rees, CEO, encouraged all members to attend the MMHD Open House on Friday, December 7th to see the updated equipment and renovations, some of which is being done through Measure D.
Approvals of expenditures totaled $462,476 in expenditures:
•Architect/Engineering – $271,139.61
• Legal/Equipment Planning – $16,393.70
• Seismic Wall – $20,642.32
• New Roofing – $92,172.20
• Flooring/Renovations – $62,128.03
FALL RIVER MILLS — The Hat Creek Ranger District will host a public meeting and field tour to review the impacts of the Reading Fire on public lands within the Forest boundaries.
The event is planned for Tuesday, December 4 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the training room at the Hat Creek Work Center. Following the public meeting, a field tour of the Reading Fire area will give participants the opportunity to view firsthand some of the impacts of the fire. The meeting at the Work Center will take place even if weather or field conditions do not allow for the tour. The Hat Creek Work Center is on Highway 89, approximately 10 miles south of the junction with Highway 299.
Representatives of the Hat Creek Ranger District will be available to discuss potential treatment activities, such as reforestation and restoration efforts through the removal or cutting of fire-filled or fire-injured trees, and planting of seedlings.
Some travel will occur on gravel or unpaved roads so SUVs or high clearance vehicles will be necessary, and carpooling is encouraged to keep the number of vehicles to a minimum. Participants should dress in layers for cold weather, bring water and lunch, and wear foot gear for walking on uneven terrain.
Call Mary Price at the Hat Creek Ranger District office at 336-5521 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important to also include contact information in case of a weather- elated cancellation.
For Pacific Gas and Electric Company Troubleman Stan Boone (pictured on the right in the above picture with a co-worker), New York is “nothing like Burney.”
“The town never sleeps, especially Manhattan,” said Boone, who returned last week from New York where he spent two weeks helping Con Edison restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“There’s heavy traffic and lots of people.” Boone didn’t sleep much either. He worked 16-hour days in Queens and Brooklyn. Hurricane Sandy’s 100 mile per hour winds and flooding left neighborhoods with few trees standing and utility poles snapped in half.
There was plenty of work to do, and people living in their water damaged homes had been without power for weeks.
“They had tears of sorrow when we arrived, but after we heated them up, they had tears of joy,” said Boone, who has worked for PG&E for 27 years and lives in Fall River Mills. “Children hollered out as they could watch cartoons and the elders were happy to be able to cook.”
We had a great Thanksgiving, Spent much of the day laying around, talking on the phone, texting, telling the kids and grandkids that we love them.
Dropped by a good friends house in the afternoon for a Champagne toast and a chance to see a couple we hadn’t had a chance to see in years.
After that it was off to the Veterans Hall to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with a lot of good friends, excellent Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings, toast and a couple of drinks, good conversation and depending which team you were rooting for, a “good” ball game – Donna lost $5.
I couldn’t help but think about those who were away from their families, doing what they do so we could be in a safe environment, comfortably enjoying ourselves.
There are an awful lot of men and women in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, patrolling our coastline, and dozens of other places we probably don’t even know exist.
But, don’t forget the others, the men and women patrolling our streets and highways, keeping us safe in spite of ourselves, operating our ambulances and fire engines, staffing our hospitals, our clergy and so many more.
It doesn’t matter whether we live in the city, in the country, or wherever. We not only survive and thrive because of others, we depend on them without really thinking about it.
It wouldn’t be a pretty world without them and we owe them a lot.
If you want to have fun and at the same time really shock someone, corner one of these folks and simply say “Thank You!” and mean it.
I’m going to get on my annual high horse and preach a little.
Shop Locally this Christmas season. Thirty-eight years ago, when Donna and I first came back to the area, we could get almost everything we needed someplace between Adin and Burney.
It has been a long time and my memory may be a little faulty, but as I remember it there were two clothing stores and a shoe store in the Valley. There were three clothing stores in Burney. There was a combination rental, gas station store in McArthur, not to mention McArthur Merchantile, Sierra Market, Ready Eddy’s, Dubey’s Pizza, Western Auto, Valley Hardware, two farm equipment stores, Hiway Garage, the Theater, Sears and Wards catelog stores, A Hugh’s Printing satelite, NAPA, and Burney and Johnson Park were thriving but the handwriting was on the wall. The roads were too good. The environmentalists along with the Clinton Administration were making mincemeat of the timber industry and television service was becoming better and better and fewer and fewer folks spent their money at home.
Now we have a fraction of the services and goods we had 30-35 years ago. We also have a fraction of the jobs.
The world is changing and it will continue to change, but, we don’t have to disappear because it is changing.
While we need to try new things and do new things, it wouldn’t hurt to revisit some of the old things — like spending some of our money at home. It may well mean the difference of being able to in the future or not.