"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

President Abraham Lincoln

I first noticed the California and Shasta County “Health” Gestapos when the health department entered the Burney Bowl and cited Marv Lankford for allowing is patrons to smoke in his lounge.

That was a few years ago. Then “egg cops” marched into McArthur Mart and bullied an employee, ordering her to destroy the eggs in the store because they were real farm eggs, and weren’t state certified.

That has been a couple of years ago. Then I began to hear rumors about charity bake sales being shut down because the baked goods hadn’t been prepared in a county inspected and certified kitchen. In fact a couple of county Gestapo agents shut down the Burney Lions Auxiliary members selling baked goods at the Burney Basin Days Lions Breakfast because their kitchens hadn’t been inspected and certified.

I realize that what I’m about to type isn’t politically correct, but this is a crock of S___.

It isn’t about “health.” It is for the most part about the state giving the county more mandates with strings attached, so the county an hire want-a-bes who can carry badges and throw their weight around — never mind that some kid won’t get a scholarship because good-hearted, civic minded ladies weren’t able to raise the money to give the kid one.

When are the folks who have any brains wake up and say enough is enough.

Teach kids and parents who need help, some common sense.

Educate the public instead of penalizing them. It seems the State has a lot more important things to do than penalize ladies for baking cookies.


This is one of those weeks I am really struggling to write a column. I just have NOTHING! I am tired and have a busy week ahead, so my mind is focused on planning for the week.

I have to admit I have considered this is one of those weeks I am really struggling to write a column. I just have NOTHING! I am tired and have a busy week ahead, so my mind is focused on planning for the week.

I have to admit I have considered whether or not I should continue writing Blue Skies. I have been doing this for a really long time. Every time I consider it, someone randomly tells me they enjoyed my column. So I do know at least a few people are reading it!

I enjoy getting tidbits form people about things that are going on. That helps me to come up with content. So feel free to send me a note anytime. valerielakey@yahyoo. com.

I was sharing with a friend the other day about why I started writing the column in the first place. I had just felt there was always so much bad news out there, the thought of focusing on the “blue skies” around us would bring a little more positivity to our week. Really when you look at it, if we complain about something, we don’t have to look real far to find someone that is in a tougher situation than we are. We all have some Blue Skies to focus on if we think about it.

I am going to leave it at that this week and challenge each of you to find the Blue Skies in your day. We live in a beautiful place, with amazing people and a supportive community; to me that is a blessing. Have a great week!


Thank You

 As the commander of the Burney VFW Post I would like to thank everyone who helped, contributed, sponsored, and or participated in our Burney Basin days activities. On Friday all Burney Veteran organizations held our yearly flag retirement ceremony behind the Veterans Hall. As the fire in the pit roared, crackled, and popped with heat, I gave a short but passionate speech about the history of our flag and why we as military members and veterans cherish this symbol of freedom so much. I told a story about Francis Scott Key and the bombardment of Fort McHenry. After I finished, I asked Bill Baldwin to step forward to retire the first flag, which he graciously accepted. Bill stepped forward and took the first flag to be retired. I stepped back and saluted both Bill and the solid but ceremoniously folded flag. As I dropped my salute Honor Guard Vice Commander George Mathews began to play taps on his bugle, Bill Baldwin preformed a right face and marched over to the fire which had burnt down to red hot coals by now. He stopped just short of the pit, quietly thanked and prayed for all who have fallen in the defense of our great country, Bill then raised the flag to shoulder level then threw it in and snapped straight to a salute. At this point the mood changed a little from excitement and anxiousness to calm and understanding of the love and respect we as Patriots feel for our nation’s Flag. After a brief moment I asked everyone who attended to come up and join us in retiring the flags that had been brought that night or dropped off in our flag box front of the building, I also invited all who attended to help the Burney Girl scouts fold flags along with some of the members of the Burney VFW, Burney American legion and the Burney Veteran Honor Guard, for me I was over taken with emotion to see all the younger children excited to be part of something so honorable I watched as they worked diligently with Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq/Afghanistan and all Veterans in between. It gave me a feeling of hope to see our future service men and women take time to learn these little thing that make the U.S. who we are. The night was already filled with fun history and tradition all of the U.S. Flags had been respectfully retired. I would like to send special thanks out to Rick and Nathan Daugherty and Travis Reed for showing up as members of the Alabama 8th Confederate Rifle company. Rick gave a brief history of the Confederate battle flag and how it has been demonized by bad politics and misguided hate groups. The three were showed enormous respect during their ceremony. They popped to attention Nathan passed the flag off to Travis who did an about face and slowly marched over to the pit where he quietly thanked and prayed for everyone who fought for the CSA he just like Bill Baldwin raised the flag to his shoulders tossed the flag in and saluted. This was followed directly by Travis and Nathan firing their black powder rifles as a thank you to the Veterans hall for inviting them to perform their ceremony along with ours. I personally want to thank everyone who came out and helped us show respect to our nation’s Flag, as a veteran I was overwhelmed by the support and love we felt from our community. I know I’m not the only one who is looking forward to it again next year.

However, the support didn’t stop there. Saturday, we had our BBQ and a lot of people noticed we didn’t do our regular cross rib roast in the deep pit. This year we had a professional step in and help us, our pit was deemed unusable because it is unsafe in its current position. The pit is extremely close to our building and is a fire hazard when we use it. This year we decided to forgo the pit and BBQ Tri-tip. When we made this decision, we didn’t realize the overall cost difference in the meat. We were scrambling to figure it out. I mentioned this at the Burney Basin Days meeting. After the meeting I was asked to write a donation letter and submit it to the Pit River Casino for help. I did and was immediately answered. The VFW would like to officially thank the Pit River Casino for donating all 320 lbs. of Tri-tip for our dinner. Also, if you thought that meat was delicious that’s because Will George of HC Grilling BBQ came out and prepared all the meat free of charge. Will George showed up 3 days in a row to help cut fat, season, and then ultimately prepare the meat to perfection. This year’s Burney Basin Days BBQ was an enormous success. We served over 425 customers with no problems. For this I would like to thank our wonderful servers the Burney Soroptimists and the VFW Post 5689 Auxiliary. These ladies showed up early in the morning and stayed all day setting up tables, chairs, serving food, filling drinks, cleaning and so much more. Without their dedication and willingness to serve we would have been in a real bind. Around 1 o’clock in the afternoon the bagpipers marched through our doors in full blown amazing. They marched in and took over the stage, they played 3 or 4 songs I can’t remember because I was in such awe.

This is only my second year being part of the Burney Basin Days and I am blown away by all of it. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our experience heartwarming. From the entire Burney Veteran community and our families, thank you. We look forward to more fun events throughout the year.
John P Wheeler VFW Post 5689 Commander


Thank You

We would like to thank all of our family, friends and community members for the support, kind words and good thoughts with the passing of Laurel Anne Walsh. Your kind thoughts have meant a lot to us in this difficult time.

We would like to invite all who would like to attend to join us in celebration of her life on July 14th, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the Intermountain Artist’s Club Building located at the corner of Main and Bridge Street, Fall River Mills, Ca.

Sincerely, Happy Shaw Bill and Alice Walsh William, Jaron, Tiana, and Allie


Totally Disgusted
I agree with your article and just had to let you know it!! I’m totally disgusted, Monday evening I got a ticket, a cell phone ticket!! On the ticket it reads the location as Hwy 299 & Roff. I was pulled over across from Gephettos. My frustration is in the fact that the officer assumed I was on my cell phone because (his words were) “[I] was looking down too long”!! At no time from the point that I left McDonald’s until the traffic light in front of Dollar General was I on my cell phone!! I had just bought a soda, was putting the straw in, also opened a snack size bag of chips, and broke a finger nail!!! By the time I was at the light, the light was red and then I picked up my phone, but as soon as it turned green I chucked it into the passenger seat. This is when he pulled me over. Then he proceeded to tell me not to worry that it wouldn’t go to DMV and it wouldn’t affect my insurance, but “oh ya, of course there’s going to be a fine”…..

If they would put that much effort into “harassing” the thugs on the streets, in the woods, stealing from Safeway, doing drugs next to Dollar General, robbing people in JP, dealing drugs…. ya, I think Burney would be a nicer place again.

The problem with harassing those people is – there’s no money in it. They are getting the money from us by assuming we are going to do something that warrant giving tickets. Must be quota season…… Destiny Taveras


Thank You
We are humbled by the response of the community and all the local and district services that came in to look for Lyn, and those who provided food, so we would eat. It was amazing. We are grateful to have had you all here. Know you made a difference. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.
The Lyn Palmer Family.





Senator Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery St. St 240,

San Francisco, CA 94111


Senator Dianne Feinstein
One Post St. Ste 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104

Rep John Doolittle

4230 Douglas Blvd, Ste 200

Granite Bay, CA 95746


Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa
2865 Churn Creek Rd. Ste. B
Redding, CA 96002

Senator Sam Aanestad

777 Cypress Ave.

Redding, CA 96001

Rep Wally Herger
55 Independence Cir, Ste 104,
Chico, CA 95973

 Supervisor Brian Dahle

Supervisor Dave Bradshaw
155 Co. Rd. 90



Supervisor Glenn Hawes
1815 Yuba Street

Redding, CA 96001