mountainecho.com

February 18, 2014

Editorial

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
RUMBLE STRIPS AT INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 89/299 INTERSECTION?
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 @dot.ca.gov
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.

February 11, 2014

Editorial

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 8:26 am

IRUMBLE STRIPS AT INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 89/299 INTERSECTION?
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 Robstinger @dot.ca. 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.

Chamber Nominees Announced

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 8:25 am

By Martha Fletcher,
FRVCC President
The ballots are in and the votes have been counted for this years Appreciation Dinner sponsored by the Fall River Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The dinner will be Monday, February 24, 5:30 p.m. at the Veterans Hall in Fall River Mills.
There are five categories and winners will be announced at the dinner in a presentation and slide show.
The nominees for Citizen/Volunteer of the year are: Amanda Hutchings, Bob Jehn, Deb Fielder, Denise Williams, Elena Albaugh, Evalee Nelson, Howard Lakey, Kevin Corr, Linda Carpenter, Mimi Macfarlane, Perry Thompson, Randall Harr, Stephanie Pruitt and Wendy Smith.
The nominees for the Customer Service award are: Ailene Oilar, Annette Wilson, Bob Jehn, Engracia Garcia, Gina Sgori and Tri Counties Bank-Fall River Mills Branch. The nominees for Large Business of the Year are: Corder Farms, Fall River Joint Unified School District, Hat Creek Construction Company and Mayers Memorial Hospital District.

Dahl Plans to Run for Second Term

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 8:24 am

Bieber, CA) 1st District Assemblyman Brian Dahle announced today that he will seek re-election in 2014, planning to build on the early successes of his problem- solving approach in the state Capitol.
“In my first year in the Legislature I kept my promises to the people of Northern California,” Dahle said. “I carried very few new bills and focused my energy on bringing back jobs while voting against more regulations, fees and taxes.”
• Working with local hospital districts to save rural hospitals from previously enacted budget cuts that would have closed down our skilled nursing facilities, disrupted care for the elderly and cost hundreds of North State jobs.
• Working across party lines to add language to AB 39 to direct millions of dollars to small rural schools for upgrades that reduce energy costs while putting people in the district back to work fixing aging school buildings.
• The introduction and passage of AB 744, a commonsense pilot project to allow more aggressive forest fuel reduction to protect our communities from wasteful and deadly catastrophic wildfires.

Water Association Signs On to Bill

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 8:23 am

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Dan Logue today announced the support of the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) the California Water Infrastructure Act of 2014 last week.
Logue’s legislation would create additional water storage facilities for statewide benefit as well as protecting water rights, supplies, and quality for Californians.
“As this important legislation works its way through the legislature, I am pleased to have the support of the Northern California Water Association. Our economy is reliant on an adequate and healthy water supply, and our constituents depend on clean, available water,” stated Logue.
“The NCWA joins a growing list of representatives of the North State who support this longterm solution to ensure proper allocation and usage of water throughout the state.”
“Over the past several decades, the state has not invested in surface water storage projects that provide stated water management benefits. During this time multiple water bond were passed that could have included surface water storage funding. But they did not… Additional surface water storage that provides statewide benefits, such as Sites reservoir, will increase the flexibility of the water systems in the state,” explained Todd Manley, Director of Governmental Relations at the NCWA.

LaMalfa Urges Congress to Help Protect Area’s Water Rights

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 8:23 am

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Doug La- Malfa (R-CA) urged his colleagues in the House to pass a measure which strengthens and protects the North State’s areaof- origin water rights. The bill, HR 3964, would reinforce Northern California’s access to water while easing environmental restrictions that have put the needs of fish before those of humans and caused a new dust bowl in much of the Central Valley.
The measure was passed by the House on a bipartisan 229-191 vote and will now be sent to the Senate, which has not released any plan addressing the drought.
“Ensuring that communities have access to water which originates in their region is the most fundamental of all water rights. A key component of this bill is an entire chapter reinforcing Northern California’s absolute, inviolable access to the rivers which begin in and flow through our area,” said LaMalfa. “We’ve worked as neighbors with our friends around the state to end the overreaching environmental rules that are literally turning the Central Valley into a new dust bowl and driving up unemployment. As Moses parted the Red Sea, we need to part the red tape that has held up California’s water supplies for so many years.” The bill also authorizes several new surface storage projects in California, including Sites Reservoir in Colusa and Glenn Counties. LaMalfa urged Congress and California to move forward on new storage in Northern California so that more water is available in future crises.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress