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IN THE NEWS
March 24, 2015
Hat Creek Grade Scores Another
The dolly on the Escalante Brother’s truck loaded with logs from
one of the burns came apart, dumping the truck’s load midway up
the Hat Creek grade on Highway 299 Friday. The accident caused
one-lane traffice, but it couldn’t have happened at a more
convenient spot. A loader was parked less than a quarter mile
away because of the preparation work underway to improve the Hat
Creek grade. It was brought out, loaded the logs on another
truck and everything was back to normal in roughly three hours.
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Burney Sheriff's Substation to Reopen
Construction on Dollar General Expected Soon
BURNEY — The Shasta County Board of Supervisors okayed funding
which will, if everything goes right, mean the reopening of the
Burney Sheriff’s substation as early as late October of this
year, Sheriff Tom Bosenko said last week.
He says there are four people who have applied for the Service
Officer positions in Burney, including one from a former
resident who wants to return to the area.
The plan is to open to the public during regular business hours.
Additionally two deputy positions have been granted to the
Burney Station. The individuals hired for the service officer
and deputy positons must go through approximately 6-month
training before being assigned to Burney.
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— Plans to build a Dollar General Store in the old Ben Franklin
Store in Burney have won approval by the Burney Fire Department
and is nearing completion at the County level.
Fire Captain Matt Schechla said the plans were okayed by his
department and were at the County Planning Department.
Program Manager Joe Dell at the Planning Department says the
plans are about complete at the county level. He said there was
some work regarding the water and sewer and the lighting that
had to be taken care of before the county could sign off, but he
didn’t anticipate any problems and said construction could start
as soon as this spring.
According to Wikepedia, The Dollar General Corporation is a
United States chain of variety stores headquartered in
Goodlettsville, Tennessee. As of January 2015, Dollar General
operated over 11,500 stores in 40 U.S. states.
Dollar General offers both name brand and generic merchandise —
including off-brand goods and closeouts of namebrand items — in
the same store, often on the same shelf. Although it has the
word “dollar” in the name, Dollar General is not a dollar store.
Most of its products are priced at more than $1.00. However,
goods are usually sold at set price points in the range of 50 to
60 dollars, and more.
Lopez Goes After Baugh
Mountain Echo editor
Shasta Local Agency Formation Commissioner Les Baugh, also a
supervisor for Shasta County, received what amounts to a
cease and desist and notice of possible litigation for
violations of the Brown Act as it relates to the alleged
disclosure of confidential “personnel and evaluation
information” regarding the commission’s executive director,
The letter from Cynthia Hackler, a Los Angeles, CA lawyer
was dated February 25 and received by LAFCO March 6.
Cynthia Hackler states that the Ralph M. Brown Act prohibits
the disclosure of information acquired during a closed
session meeting and that personnel matters are one item that
can be discussed in such a session.
Hackler continues to allege that the willful disclosure of
information regarding Ms. Lopez was made to at least two
media outlets (apparently Mountain Echo and Record
Searchlight) and consisted of confidential personnel and
evaluation information which was only discussed by the
Commission during closed session on January 29, 2015.
“The disclosure of this information directly related to Ms.
Lopez’s ongoing evaluation process, and has subjected Ms.
Lopez to unnecessary professional embarrassment.”
…”and we are in the process of evaluating Ms. Lopez’s legal
options at this time.” …”In the interim, we request that you
immediately cease any disclosure of confidential personnel
or evaluation information related to Ms. Lopez, as well as
protect the confidential information regarding Ms. Lopez
which you have acquired, or should acquire in the future,
during closed session meetings of the Commission.”
The Mountain Echo article in question was apparently the one
written by Mountain Echo reporter Loretta Carrico- Russell
and published in the February 24 issue under the front page
headline “Internal battles at LAFCO and fight between Fire
Districts and Cal Fire dominate meeting.
The article quotes Baugh in an interview as alleging that
the disbursement lists expenditures with the executive
officer’s name, for hotel, motel and meal expenses at local
establishments for more than $4,000. At least 20 payments
were made to the Fall River Hotel, the Red Lion and Motel 6
in Redding; eight were for meals at Fall River Hotel,
Clearie’s and Shasta Pizza.
At one point in the article current LAFCO Chairman Stephen
Morgan said he couldn’t speak on the charges … he said he
didn’t know the disbursement statement was placed in the
agenda packet as it was a closed session item from the
closed session of the January 29 special meeting. Baugh was
one of those in attendance of the special meeting and closed
SACRAMENTO -- As California enters a fourth year of severe
drought, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an
expanded emergency regulation to safeguard the state’s remaining
water supplies March 17. While Californians have made great
strides to conserve water, more effort is needed.
Emergency Water Measures May Go Into Effect
“We are experiencing the lowest snowpack and the driest January
in recorded history, and communities around the state are
already suffering severely from the prior three years of
drought,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.
“If the drought continues through next winter and we do not
conserve more -- the consequences could be even they already
are. Today’s action is just a tune-up and a reminder to act, and
we will consider more significant actions in the weeks to come.”
While communities and water suppliers have saved substantial
amounts of water since the water conservation emergency
regulation was first adopted in July 2014, there are many more
opportunities for Californians to conserve in even greater
amounts. The expanded emergency regulation captures some of
these opportunities while continuing to give urban water
suppliers flexibility to take actions that reflect their local
conditions as long as they meet the minimum requirements. The
State Water Board strongly encourages water suppliers to do much
more than the minimum required by the regulation.
Today’s action incorporates lessons learned from implementation
of the emergency regulation approved in 2014 and feedback from
urban water suppliers and the public.
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SUSANVILLE —Replanting the Federal lands destroyed by
the Eiler Fire isn’t a fast process.
USFS Reforestation Process Plods Along
In late November the Hat Creek Ranger District announced they
would start the scoping for both the Bald and Eiler salvage and
restoration projects. The analysis and document preparation need
to be completed before a 30- day legal notice and comment period
can be completed.
According to Public Affairs Officer Esther Miranda-Cole the
Forest Service hopes to have a decision on that work by June.
Following the decision to go ahead, salvage is expected to start
shortly after that. Fuels treatments and site preparation
follow. Planting is expected to start within 2-years.
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Burney Water District’s Board Starts Rate Increase
Public Hearing Set
|BURNEY — The Burney
Water District is now taking applications for lifeguards
(see Classified page B-4). The pool is set to open June
7 according to pool manager Stephanie McQuade. The pool
tiles will be dedicated between noon and 1 p.m. and the
pool party will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tanya Taylor
was sworn in as the newest member of the district’s
board of directors. The directors also approved their
preliminary budget totalling $1,621,900. The Pool’s
portion was $119,200; the sewer, $694,900 and the water
$807,800. The budget reflected a breakeven across the
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