Published every Tuesday   Phone/Fax (530) 336-6262           P. O.  Box 224, Fall River Mills, CA 96028

OPINIONS ARCHIVES

I need to clear up a misconception about the picture of the two guys peeing I ran on page one of last week’s paper. It didn’t dawn on me that readers might be blaming the cops for the guys peeing on he building. I did not have that intention nor was I trying to imply that. Logically, if someone saw them doing that and called 9-1-1, the pair would have finished their business and disappeared before the caller had even given the operator the information. I think I said what I had to say on the rest of it last week. However, and by the way, when someone does an outstanding job they deserve a thank you. We had a call on Oregon Street in Johnson Park Saturday and the CHP officer and the deputy did an outstanding job. They were professional, handled a tough situation, and everything came out great. Thank you!


The Shasta County Sheriff’s Department feels that two things make it impossible for them to do their jobs - money and the lenient laws.

Yes, both are major hindrances to their doing what they are charged to do as peace officers. But neither make it impossible.

The answer isn’t money. I can remember going down to the Shasta County Court house with Shirley and Marv Lankford and others and picketing the board of supervisors in the 80’s to get more money so the deputies could get a raise. I seem to remember that it was given them. As a side note not a single deputy came up to us in the weeks that followed and said Thank You.

The various sheriff’s have cried poor mouth every single year since them. When they don’t get money, they cut services to the public. It is coincidental, but the cuts, whether across the board or not, because of ur distance and remoteness, impact services in the Intermountain Area far quicker and more than in other areas.

There is some talk now about their wanting us to pass a special assessment to tax ourself more give them more money. THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER. They’ll still be cutting services and wanting more moneyn a year or so.

The real problem is that the Public Employee’s Retirement System is bankrupting the State and local government agencies eating up more and more of the tax revenue. That needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed in a way that doesn’t break promises and contracts to the employees, past, present and future. That will take some real thought, but the alternative is a lot worse.

The laws are another problem. The legislature has decided that lawlessness is fine and its okay to have tweekers peeing on public buildings and breaking into homes, cars and where ever, and the do-gooders have decided to enable the tweekers by feeding, giving them phones, sleeping bags, clothes, etc. so they can stay here.

That should not stop the cops from ontacting them every time they see them, running their records, frisking them, busting up homeless camps and taking them to Redding when warranted. Pretty soon it becomes to uncomfortable to stay here and they move on.

Do it. Nothing else seems to work.


I had really hoped that I would be writing an editorial that would say “Lynn was found.”

Unfortunately that’s not the case. I’m getting a lot of feedback that people are unhappy that the Sheriff’s Department won’t include them in their search effort and have, instead, told them anything they did had to be their own effort.

Right up front - they have to be that way.

The old days when everyone turned out instantly, checking in with the authorities or not checking in, but searching as a part of the official search party ended when untrained, unorganized civilians like you and I twisted our ankle, broke our leg and sued the County, or went out and got lost and forced another search effort to start.

Thank the Attorneys and folks that use them.

Don’t get down on the sheriff’s Department.


This is the week it all starts, the “rehab” of Highway 299 from 4-Corners to the Cal Fire station or there abouts.

It’s like I told the Caltrans man at the open house. I have some real mixed emotions.

On the one hand we have a heavy flow of commercial traffic that moves well through Johnson Park on the four lanes it has. Also everyone, from Caltrans to the cops to the truckers and the rest have and do go 60 mph on it regularly

If you have to wait to get on the highway it is only for a second.

Changing that will slow traffic down - no big deal, but it will make it much more difficult to get on the highway.

He said they have to accommodate the pedestrians and bicyclists who already have ample space now if they are not so strung out on drugs that they don’t give a damn.

I have no problem waiting and seeing. I hate to admit it, but I have been known to be wrong so it won’t be the first time I’ve had to eat my words. We’ll see.

The positives are many. The Rocky Ledge grade is, in my opinion exceptionally dangerous as it is. It is far too narrow in the cut and bicyclists and pedestrians are taking their lives in their hands when they travel through it.

The pavement part of the project isn’t a “rehab if I understand it right. It is a gut job. They plan to remove all the old and replace it. Good idea folks


An old friend died last week. I’ll miss his midwestern drawn grin and friendly advice.

I first met Joe Harris in August of 1956. Our family had just moved to Cedarville from the LA area - where we had to dial the entire phone number.

My dad got a hold of Citizens Utilities in Alturas, Citizens Utilities is nowFrontier.

Joe Harris showed up to install the phone.

We were on a party line and had to listen to the number of rings before we answered the phone. I’m not sure but I think ours was a short ring and a long one.

In 1976 when Donna, Arnie and I moved back to the area we lived a couple of miles outside of McArthur and were on a party line.

I joined the Rotary Club shortly after we moved here and Joe and I established a 9-year relationship working on Rotary projects and a friendship that remained intact until his death.

He was always the go to man when I needed advice from a level-headed guy.

Ann, his wife, was the secretary for the Burney Water District.

They were both dedicated to the Intermountain Area and spent most of their adult years making it a wonderful place to live.

After he retired and moved to Arizona, he would come back in the summer and generally came into Anna’s in the morning and we’d chat.

I’ll miss his advice, humor and friendship. I will miss him.

He was a great guy.


I have taken another oath for 40 years which is exactly the same the Governor and other elected and/or appointed officials routinely take.

It reads “I, name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.“

It is basically the same oath a president takes at the federal level upon entering office..

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And the one taken by state officials including the Governor.

I (Governor) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of ….

None of them say anything about following only the laws that they deem convenient, will draw more votes or that it is okay to do as we damned well please rather than obey the law.

The governor of the state of California, many of the politicians, many in very high places, state and federal are wantonly violating lawful laws of the United State they have sworn to uphold publicly and are giving the citizens the finger and getting away with it. Obeying only the laws you agree with isn’t a part of the equation especially when you took an oath or oaths swearing they’d uphold all of the laws.

Why do you and I have to obey all the laws when they don’t?


I wish I could get all riled up about something, but truth is that’s a problem this week.

My daughter Arnie, and her husband Chris came out from Raeford North Carolina and spent the week.

It is hard to be in a riled up mood when they are here.

Worse yet the four of us spent two-plus days at the Surprise Valley Hot Spings, soaking in the hot tubs and turning into prunes.

We ate at the Country Hearth and Brass Rail and played at the Casino.

It was tough duty but someone had to do it and we just couldn’t seem to pass it up.

After that and lots of visiting and visiting and visiting, I’m too worn out to be in a riled up mood.

Besides it is Easter week and all the kids are getting ready to look for eggs.

I’ve decided to not worry about writing something worthy of being called an editorial and save it to next week.

Have a happy Easter everyone.


I was sitting in my usual chair B.S.ing with Rick, Dana, Chad and Bill. My seat doesn’t have a direct view of the doorway and I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention.

We have had five or six visitors at meetings in the 40 years I’d been on the Burney Basin Mosquito Abatement District. A couple of those were from County Auditor-Controllers making their rounds, one was from the wife of an employee who was being fired, one was from a forester who was claiming we were killing good bugs along with the bad, and a student from a class in journalism I was teaching at the time.

A lot of other district routinely have more people at each meeting than we’d have in all my years.

It should have alerted me when my wife, Donna, came in and sat down, but it didn’t. It should have alerted me when retired District Manager, Mike Churney came in and sat down. It should have alerted me when Alex Covin, our reporter and his wife came in and sat down.

I hadn’t asked any of them to attend the meeting which was going to be routine.

No flags went up in my mind. Nothing registered. They had all made plausable excuses for being there. The board president, Abe, came in and sat down. Then a young man introduced as Simon Watson, came in. He was well groomed, had a sports coat and polished leather shoes on.

That made me uspicious. Something was going on, but it wasn’t until he took over and mentioned my name that I realized I had been had.

Simon introduced himself as an Aid to State Assemblyman Brian Dahle and said he was also standing in for Shasta County Supervisor Mary Rickert who was out of town on County business and couldn’t be there in person.

He spent the next few minutes reading a certificate of appreciation from the State Assembly and a plaque from the County board of Supervisors boosting the heck out of my ego to the point I didn’t think they were talking about me.

I am extremely honored and blessed to be honored by Donna, Alex, Linda, Abe, Mike, Rick, Dana, Chad, Bill and especially Mary Rickert, the Board of Supervisors, Assemblyman Brian Dahle and the Assembly. Thank you all folks


Looking back and remembering can be a lot of fun.

I lived in Tujunga, an suburb of Los Angeles for 15 years. It was on the side of the mountain and I had to walk my bike more than ride it.

My brother and I didn’t run with the best crowd and my folks realized that if they didn’t get us out of the city we’d be in juvenile hall or worse shortly. My dad was a retired railroad engineer for the Santa Fe and my mom was a school teacher.

Making a long story short, my mom was hired as a third grade teacher in Cedarville.

I don’t know how many of you can remember the moment when you discovered “home.” I do and it wasn’t LA.

I had a learners permit at 15½ and was driving an old Powell pickup loaded with our belongings. We were on 299 just pulling out of downtown Canby. My dad was in the passenger seat.

“Want to know where we’re going?” He asked as we passed the hot springs where the Cat Fish are raised.

“Sure.”

He pointed to the mountains a ways ahead.

“See that “V?”

I looked for a couple of seconds and saw the “V-like” dip that formed Cedar Pass.

“Yes.”

“Right on the other side.” He said.

I don’t know why, but at that moment I fell in love with northeastern California and knew I was home.

Cedarville was different than Tujunga. The side streets weren’t a whole lot wider but they weren’t crowded with parked cars and houses shoved up tight to each other and there weren’t any curbs or sidewalks.

I could breath and believe it or not my next memory was standing in the window of my second story bedroom looking down on the street. Two sisters were walking up the street.

They were the first kids I saw roughly my own age. I married Donna, the younger one years later.

My stay in Cedarville wasn’t without incident. In Cedarville it took every boy in Surprise Valley High School to field a football team.

In Tujunga I hadn’t even been allowed on the track or field if the “Jocks” were practicing.

We won some, we lost some. We did play Fall River High School and the best tackle I ever made was on what was probably the 30-yard line at the far end of the field. The coach even complemented me.

However, my favorite memory was the night that my best friend, John Cox and I drove to Alturas in his powder blue Chevy with the pink top and sawed down Modoc’s, then wooden, goal post at the eastern end. It felt so gooood.
I took a delightful class years ago. It was called logic. Logic is reaching the conclusion in situations where if A equals B and B equals C then A must equal C.

However that is just part of the equation and that logical conclusion is only correct when it is applied with the caveat of “everything else being equal.”

Perception, like assumptions does not make everything else equal and it does play havoc with reaching true conclusions.

That is a long, convoluted way of saying I screwed up.

Over the years I have watched the California Colleges, Universities, large city high schools and even a couple of our, now long retired, teachers act in less than patriotic fashions in front of their students. I have witnessed political correctness carried to extreme.

Beyond that I hear about history being ignored and so on.

Then I had the opportunity to go to Burney Elementary School on Washington’s Birthday.

The fact that they were still celebrating Washington’s Birthday should have been a clue.

I was there to see a flag folding ceremony put on for the younger classes by the Burney Veteran’s Combined Honor Guard. Clue number two?

The kids came in wearing red, white and blue tricorn paper hats made to resemble the hats worn in the Revolutionary War era.

The teachers led the students in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and a medley of patriotic songs before turning the program over to the Honor Guard.

By that time I realized my perceptions were flawed and thus, so were my “logical” conclusions.

Then just to add frosting to the cake, at the end of the ceremony every child in the audience filed by the honor guard and shook each of the men’s hands.

I was totally wrong and you know what? I’m glad that I was.

We have patriotic kids, teachers and schools and that is wonderful.


 

The Intermountain Area lost a fine gentleman and one of a disappearing breed when Andy Lakey died last week. who transitioned from horse and wagon to tractors and the machinery that does it all,

He was a darned good cattleman who kept his eye on his cattle from atop a saddle, not a 4-wheeler.

He was generally not too happy about the Forest Service grazing fees, but delighted to be able to spend time riding herd on the cattle and camping in the Bear Creek or Hambone areas, enjoying the good life.

He was best known for his love of flying and dedication to the Eastern Shasta County Sheriff’s Flying Posse which he helped form and flew with until 2001.

He was heavily involved in the Masons and affiliated organizations, spending a lot of time and effort helping the Shrine Club raise money for their hospital dedicated to helping Crippled Children in Sacramento and other charities,

He and his late wife Millie were always there when someone needed them.

I can still remember how she used to shake her head and smile almost shyly when Andy was busy spinning a yarn or two at any one of the dozen events they would be at. A tough man physically, he took a nasty spill from a horse in his later years but was back up and riding and herding long before most younger men would have even looked at a horse again.

An excellent family man, a good husband, good rancher, fine pilot and all-around good guy. What more of a legacy can a man leave?

I know Millie is happy to be with him again, but, like so many in the area, I’m going to miss him dearly.


 

I’m going to attempt to explain my reason for being deadset against this Sanctuary City and Sanctuary State Crap. Unfortunately the issue has reached a point where law, order, reason and logic no longer apply. The politicians who are all for it have ulterior motives. They are, by profession, panderers. They don’t consider anything beyond “I need their vote.” The people they pander to have an ideology built on the emotion of sympathy and don’t mind to cost or the result. 

I don’t feel sorry for the politicians,. They will say and do anything to keep their jobs.

I understand the emotion of sympathy. However, lets look at the facts.

The Congress of the United States is made up of two houses. The members of each are opposed to each other politically, but there was a time when they could work together well enough to pass laws necessary to maintain a functioning legal society, like setting up procedure for folks become citizens. Those laws were practiced, adjusted, tweaked and otherwise massaged over the years.           

As I remember it, those rules, regulations and laws require those wishing to become citizens to apply for citizenship, undergo a background check, get a sponsor so they don’t become a burden on society, learn English, learn American History as well as the laws and mores they will have to accept to become good, everyday citizens. After a period of approximately 7-years (if I remember my 8th gradehistory right) they took a test demonstrating a descent proficiency of the US, took part in a formal ceremony swearing allegiance to the United States and became a member of our society.

There are emigrants who would be assets. There is no reason they couldn’t and shouldn’t do it legally. Those I know who have are proud of it. There are also those like the ass in San Francisco who (if you believe him) found a gun on the street which accidentally discharged killing an innocent tourist.

Our politicians from those on local mosquito abatement districts to the President of the United States take an oath to protect and uphold the laws of the United States. Those who break that oath are not committing civil disobedience they are deliberately breaking the laws they swore to uphold.

The answer is simple. Either break a law and go to jail or if they don’t like that law – work and get it changed


 

Back in the stone age I can remember how proud of the new County Jail District 3 Supervisor John Caton was.

It was state of the art and had plenty of room. Shasta County was going to be able to rent the excess cells to other counties who were still overcrowded.

As a bail bondsman I still bailed a few out of the old jail, while bailing others out of the new jail.

I can’t remember for sure the time frame Caton used in predicting overcrowding but it was probably 20-25 years which were probably right on the money because overcrowding has been a problem for some time now.

I know that when it comes to regulations and cost, facilities such as the jail are as touchy as hospitals and schools. Construction time and costs are double.

Unfortunately funding for that type of project doesn’t grow on trees.

The state and federal politicians don’t take anything beyond whatever feels good or where the pressure is when they pass laws that cause the overcrowding issues. Their attitude is “So what, I want to be re-elected - let the next guy or gal deal with it.

None of them want to deal with the reality that clearly points out that - yes, the first time offender should possibly be given education, counseling, love and tender care.

However, jail isn’t supposed to be a country club. If you want to cure the problem or at least minimize it, you should make it as nasty, unpleasant and uncomfortable as possible so they might think twice about getting locked up the second time.

That would save the expense and inconvenience of overcrowded jails and letting criminals and nuts run around loose to terrorize the folks who try to live reasonably law abiding lives.

ongratulations to the county! I’m proud of your efforts to at least temporarily solve the problem.

Maybe in the 20-25 years it takes to reach overcrowding again, our state and federal politicians and judges will decide enough is enough and recognize that the Doctor Spock philosophy didn’t work with most kids and sure as the dickens won’t work with criminals.


I’ve had a man who wants to put his opinion about why it is okay for pro athletes to kneel during the national anthem in my paper. The problem is that he doesn’t want to have his name attached.

If you look above you will see my name on this column. I believe that people have the constitutional right to speak their minds. However, I also feel that it is essential that those people put their name to the piece they want published. It saves me lawsuits, being blamed for the article, hurting peoples feelings when they really have no way to defend themselves and it stops a lot of garbage. Granted, there are times when some of those articles should be published but with the above in mind, I can’t set that precedent.

I have no problem printing views that are opposed to mine or flat attacks on me, but their name goes with it.

Since a bunch of extremely well paid, wealthy people would rather make spectacles of themselves than put their money into efforts that actually help those they feel are abused, neglected or ignored, causing me and numerous other people to watch college football instead of pro-ball, I’m going to weigh in on it and put my name to it.

I was once Corporal Caldwell USMC. I enlisted, I wasn’t drafted. It was made clear to me when I enlisted that I was going to be a Marine and that I had to be willing to die for my country as many Marines had done through the years. I was one of the lucky ones. I enlisted before Nam and got out before all hell broke loose.

Throughout the last three centuries there were numerous young men and women who enlisted to serve their country, which has the most iconic and recognizable symbol in the world representing it, its history and everything it stands for – it’s our flag. Many of those who enlisted weren’t as lucky as I was. They saw combat, have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, problems with the after effects of Agent Orange, were maimed or mangled, died quickly or slowly, spent months or years in hospitals, counseling, physical or mental therapy. They went in healthy young people and were changed for life.

If you think that’s bad, what about all of those who were drafted in the civil war and all of those who were drafted since 1940 to the end of Nam? All of those folks who had plans and dreams and lives that didn’t include possibly going into combat. People who were pulled away from wives, girlfriends, schools and possible careers, basically forced into the military against their will, sent overseas and, in spite of that, fought for their Flag and Country and suffered the same fate. They, saw combat, have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome problems with the after effects of Agent Orange, were maimed or mangled, died quickly or slowly, spent months or years in hospitals, counseling, physical or mental therapy, who went in as reasonably happy, healthy young people and came back changed. To make it worse those in the Nam war came back to be sworn at, spit on, harassed, demeaned, watched their flag burned and were otherwise belittled by those who, like the wealthy pro athletes today, wanted to protest.

As a kid in a religious grammar school I proudly said a morning prayer and placed my hand over my heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. As a teen in public school, As a cub scout and boy scout we saidthe pledge of allegiance to the flag.

In case you just flat don’t get it…the flag is the one unifying symbol of the United States of America and regardless of the country’s faults (and there are many) it is the one symbol that men and women honor and die for, because, as lousy as our country can be, as lousy as some people think it is, or how stupid and self-serving our politicians are, it represents our country and there’s a hell of a lot more good about our country than bad.

Thousands of men and women died for the flag in the Revolutionary War. Thousands died for that flag in the War of 1812. Thousands died for that flag in the Civil War. Thousands more died for the flag in World War I. Thousands died for that flag in World War II, Thousands more died for that flag in Korea and Viet Nam. And, if that is not enough, Our men and women have or are dying for that flag in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and elsewhere. That isn’t counting those who were wounded or maimed while in service represented by the Flag of the United States.

I realize that there are certain kinds of people who were born to protest. They don’t think about it, they just do it because it makes them feel good. Then there are the professionals who go from riot to riot for fun and monetary gain. Those folks would trample or burn a crucifix, a cross, the Star of David or other religious symbols or the flag of the United States instead of using their energies and money to help those they are supposedly so passionate about. They don’t give a rats rear end about who they hurt and it is seldom those who are actually to blame.

And yes, in America we have freedom of speech, any of you have a right to voice your opinion, but if you are going to use my paper to do it, you’d damned well better be willing to put your name to it.

And remember the good things done in the name of America, the freedoms that you have and want to abuse.

They are also represented by the American Flag. Honor it!


It is extremely interesting that the State of California and the County of Shasta just don’t get it.

We can’t punish criminals or we won’t punish criminals and there is always an excuse.

We can’t put people in jail that should be because the county doesn’t have money. Hell - that is the same excuse they were using in the mid 1980s.

We’ve got enough money to give the poor - downtrodden homeless that don’t want help, cellphones; which they charge up by stealing electricity to charge the phones. We give people who refuse to take care of themselves medical care and food.

But we can’t lock up scum. Instead we send them the direct message that it’s okay to do what they are doing.

Well bleeding hearts, those who want to give the scum everything under the excuse that if we give them enough they’ll come to seminars, church services, counseling. Horse pucky.

Career skaters like the one in Redding with something like 57 arrests in two years and the Phipps with a major court case pending and warrants from three oher jurisdictions get picked up on shoplifting in another county in the last two weeks. This is becoming the norm.

We saw what can well be the start of citizens taking the law into their own hands and solving the problem the system refused to handle a couple of weeks ago in Johnson Park.

A man reportedly left another man with the impression he had stolen from him. The stealing didn’t stop. Then the accusee was allegedly shot by the accusor. The accusor reportedly told police he was fed up and did the town a favor.

Who is next?

The blood is on the systems hands.


I went to see a friend the other day. He looked like I remembered him, just more fragile.

A gentleman helped him into a chair and left us to ourselves.

I could tell so I didn’t wait, but introduced myself and gave him the card I’d brought.

He fumbled with it for a couple of moments but couldn’t open it and couldn’t look me in the eye.

He’d been a teen when I was born and had gone off to do his duty like the man he was.

He came home, married a lovely lady and raised a nice family.

He was one of those guys who always had a joke or a yarn to spin and was a master at being pleasant and making friends.

As rancher and farmer he always worked hard, in whatever weather and as long as it took.

It mattered little to him when f he was thrown off a horse. He’d was back in the saddle long before any of the rest of us would have wanted to look at the saddle, never mind the horse.

My friend may not physically be the friend I remember, but when I look in the mirror, I’m not the man I remember either.

He may be having trouble remembering but there are a whole lot of folks like me who will do that for him.

In the meantime he’s loved, taken care of and not hurting.

That says a lot.


There is just something about Fall River High School that is different. It must be in the water.

Jeanne Utterback is one of a string of unusually good principals who spent most of their careers at Fall River High School making a difference or moving on up the ladder after making a difference at Fall River.

Jeanne stands out even more because she was a good, involved student at Fall River before she took on her career in education.

In addition to Jeanne you have Superintendent Greg Hawkins, Superintendent Larry Snelling, Superintendent Ivan Keys and principals Don Sandberg and Chuck McKelvie.

I’ll kick myself in the fanny because I’m sure I will have missed someone. - If I did, it wasn’t intentional.

Jeanne graduated in 1976, the same year Donna and I moved back to the area, so I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing her grow up.

Like so many other Fall River stand outs, she was involved in FFA and sports.

She was Salutatorian for her class.

But, what I’ve noticed about Jeanne is that she is always there, cheer leading, guiding, using the proverbial cattle prodder as needed.

She gets along well with teachers, other administrators, staff, students and the community as a whole.

She knows what it is like to be a substitute teacher, an elementary and high school teacher, a coach. She has experienced a number of schools in a number of districts and as a coach she can handle them all, even those who have premia madonna parents.

In other words she knows what she’s doing. She knows how to do it and does it.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who will miss her when she retires.

However, I’m willing to bet we’ll still see a lot of her in her Bulldog sweatshirt at games cheering her teams on. Good Luck Jeanne!


 

I’ve been reading the Sheriff’s log - that becomes a habit when you cover the news.

I couldn’t help but notice that over the past few months there has been a rash of break-ins, vandalism and theft of mail from the cluster mail boxes in the area.

That comes from the human trash the state of California lets wander the streets freely at night. Some have even been brazen enough to break into boxes in broad daylight.

I checked into it. The Sheriff’s Department is working on it. but they need pieces of loose mail found around the area and the crimes reported.

The Postal Service is also replacing the cluster boxes that are burglarized with ones designed to be harder to break into. So if you have to go in and get new keys, it is because they are protecting you.


I reviewed the new gun and ammo laws and the so-called reasoning behind them and alternately found myself trying to pry my fingernails out of the ceiling or batting my head against the wall.

The legislators who vote for things like that are doing nothing more than pandering to hysteria and milking the empty headed frustrated bleeding hearts that can’t come up with a workable solution

Criminals don’t care about obeying laws especially in this day and age.

They can go to jail, out of the rain, cold or heat depending on the time of the year. They get fed three regular meals a day. They have a gym, television, computers, phone and visiting privileges.

Violent criminals or those who have little or no control over their emotions don’t care if they hurt, kill or fight with a gun or guns.

If they are mad enough they’ll pick up a knife, ax, baseball bat, gun or whatever is handy and they’ll use it without worrying about the consequences.

Even if the “law abiding majority” of citizens actually followed all the stupid laws and somehow escape the consequences felt by the Jews and others who were hurt so badly when they were disarmed by their governments in the past, it won’t stop the unbalanced, disgruntled, or just flat nut that decides he just found his excuse to create murder and mayhem.

The idiots in government who buy their constituency at our expense instead of working to find a real, sane, wellthought- out solution should be locked up with a few of these nuts while the rest of the guards take an afternoon off.

Do I have a solution? You're damned right I do.

1. Reopen institutions for those folks who have no business being on the streets.

2. Turn prisons back into institutions of punishment, doing away with quasi low class hotels.

3. Instead of taking money away from the cops, give them more so they can hire more law enforcement.

4. Realize that society kills rabid dogs and apply the same thing to rabid people.

5. Arm the innocent. Yes, educate them in the use of a weapon.

Stop trying to control the honest citizen while coddling, condoning, enabling and encouraging the criminals.

Make it nasty enough on a criminal that the criminal will think about the consequences and if they don’t then start to make it unpleasant enough for them that they will think twice about doing something.

Lawmakers need to ask themselves about whether a murderer, rapist, or other killer cared if they hurt someone while they tortured their victim. If a few of these jerks rolled around the floor for a few hours with a bullet in the gut after using a gun, we might not need the feel-good laws - there might not be any reason to have them.

Editorial
There certainly weren’t any grenches at the Bill Baldwin amrican Legion Ham Dinner last weekend.

Donna and I won a cord of Cedar. However, we bought the winning raffle ticket and will definitely make good use of the wood as it will finish covering us for the rest of the winter.

Any time we can hear Elizabeth Luck sing and see Bill Baldwin be honored for all the things he does, it is a night well spent.

It is my guess that the hungry crowd was not only obviously hungry, but a record crowd on top of it.

The money goes to a number of good causes, most associated with the Post’s youth activities such as Boys and Girls State.

There’s so much going on this time of year that it is hard to keep up with. It really helps when we are able to get the help taking pictures that we do. We really appreciate it!

Santa Claus is going to make a major appearance on the 21st, giving his reindeer a rest while he visits with folks at Mayers Memorial Hospital, gets an exciting ride on the SEMSA medical helicopter before riding around Burney and Johnson Park in a fire truck getting to visit with kids, picking up last minute Christmas Lists and handing out more presents.

It’s a great holiday season in a great area.

It is wonderful to be able to enjoy it and see ohers enjoying it.

 

Editorial
It has been 69 or 70 years since I last sat on Santa’s knee.

I don’t usually try to remember that far back but I’m in a reflective mood this Sunday afternoon and Santa is so much more delightful to reflect on than politics or crime and that stuff.

I don’t really remember Santa, I only got to meet him once a year for a very few years. But I do remember my Dad and Mom taking my brother and myself !

When I was five or six my dad was always huge. Always dressed in blue Jean blue bib overalls with a braided leather watch fob dangling from the bib pocket in front, gray striped Engineer’s hat with a Santa Fe Railroad emblem in the center on top of his saltand- pepper hair and a red or blue bandanna in his hip pocket.

My mom was larger than life also. Yes, she would have had a tough time topping out at 5’ but to me she was the center of my life, kissing my scrapes and cuts, taking me and my little brother someplace with our black puppy following, his little legs pumping as fast as they could and his black tail a-wagging.

Yes, I remember going to see Santa with them at Sears & Roebuck in Glendale. I don’t remember what I asked for. I’m sure Santa delivered whatever it was because either my Mom or Dad helped me into his lap and listened to my wish list as they pretended they weren’t, kinda like Donna and I did when we took Arnie to the Eastridge Mall in San Jose to see him.

Ah, those are the days worth remembering.


Editorial
Mountain Echo has a column we run weekly entitled “The Intermountain Area as it was in the 1980’s.”

 Some of it is fun, some of it is serious. It brings up things and people often long forgotten.

This week there’s a tidbit that I would be researching if I lived on Bailey Street in Burney. “The board of supervisors approved County Service Assessment District 7, which involves 103 parcels in southwest Burney covering approximately 80 acres. Parcel owners will now pay approximately $43 per parcel on their property tax bills to fund the new Service District, which will maintain the flood wall and storm sewer.”

That flood wall was in major disrepair a couple of years ago and as I recall, the area is considered a flood plain and has major restrictions on what can and can’t be done because of that designation.

If I remember right, the County says it doesn’t have any money to repair the wall.

1. Are you paying that $43 assessment annually?

2. Is the Assessment zone still in effect?

3. If it is and you are, where is that money going and why isn’t the wall in good repair?

Editorial
The children are nestled all snug in their beds, stuffed, content and oblivious. How wonderful it is.

All through the house everyone’s full. Its Thanksgiving after all, the day of goodwill.

With visions of yams, dark meat and light, Mamma and I settled after eating too much.

Our blessings are many, our wants just a few.

We turned off the TV, its grinches and goo andenjoyed good friends and hug those so dear.

What a wonderful respite from the rest of the year.

The turkey had gobbled, and fanned feathers so bright. Then was plucked, filled with stuffing and cooked just right.

Around the table we sat in the scent of dinner this night.

No room for politics, religion or fear, just a mellow good time that comes once a year.

Happy Thanksgiving!
The Mountain Echo staff


Editorial
I’d love to have been able to attend and cover every one of the Veterans Day ceremonies, preparations, lunches and the good will that went with all. But there is only one of me and even if I’d been able to actually be everywhere at once I’d be so fat by not that I wouldn’t be able to move.

The Soroptimists served a wonderful lunch in Burney and I know the Cattlemen and Women had an outstanding one in Adin.

The and esprit De corps of the veterans and patriotism and love of the communities was very moving.

As a veteran I was very moved. Thank You!

Now all we have to do is get ready for Thanksgiving and all the food and goodwill that will come from it.

Love the Intermountain Area and folks in it.


Editorial
Whew!! Ron is back and on the job! That’s one tough dude!

I’m pretty sure I’m speaking for everyone when I say WELCOME BACK RON - WE MISSED YOU!

I personally want to thank the group of folks who stepped up and so graciously helped me: Jennifer Leighton, April Thompson, Trish Mostoufi, Debbie Maier, Bill Brown, Jed Tate, the Kraig Strauch’s, and other coaches and school staffs who were so helpful. I couldn’t have done it without you!!

Halloween went off nicely. With all the candy handed out I’ll bet the dentists are going to be kept busy.

I was seriously impressed. Halloween is supposed to be fun and this has to be one of, if not the, best celebration in the history of the Intermountain Area - numerous businesses and organizations as well as churches and schools got involved and everyone had a great time!

It has been a long time since I have seen that many little kids and their parents out and about and it was really nice.

Editorial
I’ll admit that I boycotted the citizen’s meeting in Burney discussing the homeless and drug problems.

I’ve had a standing policy that I will try my best to report fairly and evenly and with very few exceptions I have been able to do that.

However, I have some very conservative feelings when it comes to those particular subjects and, after the first meeting, when the Sheriff threw the towel in instead of trying to find solutions, I knew I couldn’t report fairly. Therefore I sent Alex Colvin and he did an outstanding job.

I now understand a lot more than I did. I may not have a whole lot of sympathy for people who rob, steal, trespass, vandalize, leave fires unattended and wander around the streets because they are on drugs and I may want them locked up in whatever the appropriate institution is, but at least I undersand a little more on the subject.

Thanks Alex

Editorial
Public access to public information has been a major problem when it comes to Mountain Echo getting information from the Sheriff’s Department in a timely fashion.

Granted, like it or not, I’m probably getting or am able to get it all.

I know I cannot have juvenile names - we live in the wrong state - I could in North Carolina.

I know I can’t get names of female victims or juvenile victims of sex crimes - nor should I be able to - wouldn’t print them even if I could.

The ones that bother me are the bookings.

Bookings are a matter of public record.

And yes, the public record is available two ways. I can go to Redding and view it (probably at the jail), or I can call the substation and ask the deputy or sergeant, or maybe, if he’s even there, the commander, and as long as I know the date and time, it shouldn’t be a problem. That means I either have to call up, find someone with the authority to talk to me when I call, and have that person look it up for me each time someone is booked, but the name isn’t included in the log.

It is a real pain in the -well you know.

It would be so much easier for everyone if either the deputy or deputies involved in the arrest gave the SHASCOM dispatcher the information or the SHASCOM dispatcher would remember to write it down on the log.

Then the Sheriff wonders why I’m a touch onrey when I deal with them.


Editorial
Got an update on Ron, He is still in Mercy Medical Center in Redding and they have him in the intensive care unit.

Just got an update from Lori. The nurse says he’s showing signs of improvement and doing much better this (Monday) morning . The nurse says he needs rest and shouldn’t get phone calls - Remember folks in the ICU need prayers!

I’m absolutely amazed at 1. How much real work goes into being the sports editor. 2. What a great community we have!

Like Ron, our days of covering three home football games in the same night -starting out in Big Valley and ending up in Burney with good pictures and information are over. We’re too darned old. We can’t see all that well, hear all that well, move all that well or pay traffic fines making it between games.

This community has stepped up and supplied me with a wonderful variety of pictures. The coaches have given me their information and while I’m still in the process of learning it, MaxPreps is becoming a Godsend.

I don’t have Ron’s wit, charm or knowledge and I’ll never pretend I can do the same kind of job he does, but with you folk’s help I won’t let him down!

You are all wonderful and I love you all and appreciate you all, just Like Ron always has!

Say a prayer for him, Please.


Editorial
District 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert said some very nice things about Donna and I in her column this week.

I’m flattered, but all I did was recognize an outstanding photograph featuring a very pretty, talented young woman doing what she always did in the presence of the flag of the United States - pay the proper respect.

The photo came, unknown to Cyanna, at a critical period in our national history in which those who have, up until a few months ago, been our role models and the role models of our youth, turned on the United States, the flag, and all that it stands for.

All I did was recognize what a wonderful picture, lovely young woman and how it demonstrated just how we in the Intermountain Area feel about our flag and our country.

Also, in the rush to get the paper out, I failed to get the name of the photographer. Mary found out who took it and let me know.

Ruth Woolery, that is one of the best, if not the best, photograph I’ve seen and I’m jealous, I wish I could say I took it. Thank You.

I also understand that Big Valley High School presented the flag with a lap around the track on horseback at the home game last week. I’d love to have a copy of that picture along with the name of the rider, date, who the Cardinals were playing and who the photographer was and e-mail it to me at mtecho@ frontiernet.net I’ll get it in the paper also.

It is so nice to be able to demonstrate to the world that while millionaire athletes are busy destroying a majority of their fan’s enjoyment of the game by demonstrating a total lack of upbringing, loyalty to their country and those who made this country great, that WE IN THE INTERMOUNTAIN AREA DO GIVE A DAMN. We aren’t going to destroy what so many worked so hard for, and died for, simply to gain notoriety.
Editorial
Donna loves to read legal notices in the papers, even if it is all in fine print and when I look over and see steam coming out her ears or a perplexed look on her face I know instinctively that I’m about to start on a new story.

The one this week isn’t so much what’s happening now, or if it is bad or good, but for good or bad its a move forward,

The property on the south side of Highway 299 between Johnson Park and Burney belonged to Fruit Growers Supply Company for years after we moved here.

Then, during the period when the lumber market began to really suffer, Fruit Growers took on plans to turn the property from the Gas Compressor Rd to Burney into a major housing development complete with emergency services and commercial property.

I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I seem to remember the county getting involved.

Historically, when it comes to Eastern Shasta County The county planning department does not appear to be here to help us.

Anyway if I remember right the company threw up its hands and sold it to another company.

That company has now sold it to another company.

This latest move creates a move forward. Now, if the Planning Department can’t figure out some way to stop progress there’s always the slight chance that the county will actually work out details that will help us as people come forward with legitimate plans to properly use that land. They might just allow facilities and infrastructure to be built that will bring some yet unknown industry, service or utility to the area that will give our young people a real opportunity for careers .Those businesses might even allow and create a need for ancillary or community businesses and jobs that will stabilize the economy and allow us to reach a point where people who want to can raise their families here.

I hope I’m still alive to see it, but I’m not holding my breath.


Editorial
Hero’s come in all sizes, sexes, economic groups and colors. Young men and women serve and served their Country since it was in the process of being formed. Many died because of it. More of them were permanently maimed mentally and physically because of their loyalty.

Victims of abuse, the economy, their race, religion or education have risen above their problems and succeeded in spite of the challenges they faced.

Many have died because of their political, or religious views or their race or sex when they could have avoided it by bending to ideology they felt strongly enough about to die for.

Rich individuals like Bill Gates, who give and give and give to those who can’t help themselves and to those who are willing to rise above their problems and help themselves are my heroes.

Athletes, movie stars, and others who find it fashionable to disrespect our flag and the people who have fought and died for the flag and the ideals behind it should be ashamed of themselves..

Find a positive way to help those who want to be helped or who truly can’t care for themselves. You aren’t going to change people who aren’t willing to change any more than you can people who are using their concern, either real or imagined just to make a name for themselves. Rioting, criminals, “Taking a knee,” and whimpering about “look at poor little me,” doesn’t hold water.

There are far more black, brown, oriental, and poor white folk who have risen out of poverty, stayed away from drugs, alcohol abuse and jail. They have gotten an education, they have gotten jobs, overcome the various obstacles in their paths and are contributing members of society.

To those who refuse to be productive or want to make a spectacle of themselves — SHAME ON YOU!
Editorial
There are times when discretion is the better part of “valor.”

This is one of them. I want to weigh in on the Supes and the Library folks, but I’m afraid that my comments might possibly do a lot more harm than good - so I’ll move on to other topics.

First, it was an extremely busy news week. In fact it became a real chore to find room to get everything in. Unfortunately, I couldn’t cut those stories I already had or received, or the pictures, so the pages are somewhat crowded. Additionally I had to hold the Sheriff’s log and 30 years ago which normally would be in this issue and move the Sudoku to this page.

It is strange how things work out.

The news in this week’s issue reflects really what small rural towns like ours are all about.

Businesses and individuals from teens to very mature adults giving generously, time and/or money to help others in the community and beyond.

It reflects our thoughts and prayers, the legislation, emergencies and honors bestowed.

Even though this issue misses a couple of items I’d loved to have included.

I’m proud of it and the communities and people who did what they do and made it possible to record it so those in our future can see what we did in our time.


Editorial
It has been 50+ years since the start of the Viet Nam War and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since.

An awful lot of young folks sacrificed an awful lot and each found his or her life changed forever.

It wasn’t just those who went that suffered and suffer.

Mom’s, dads, brothers, sisters, sweethearts and others who lost children in the jungles and rice paddies aren’t going to forget.

But for some the hurt is even more unbearable than the knowledge that their children gave their lives. There are still those who don’t know if their child is alive or dead, possibly still a slave or a prisoner. Obviously with each year that passes, the odds of their still being alive are slimmer and slimmer. But, unlike those whose fate is known, there are still more than 1600 whose fate is not known.

Keeping the pressure on both our officials and those in Viet Nam has paid off. Each year more remains from that horrible conflict are found and because of the pressure to do what is right, they are returned. It may not change their fate, but it gives their families closure and them the honor and peace of being home.

In past years the American Legion and VFW posts locally have read the names of all those still known to be missing.

This year, they are concentrating on those from California who are still missing. Their names will be read this Saturday evening and everyone is invited.

Please come.
Editorial
Oops!This year marks my 40th Inter Mountain Fair. Who has attended 50 or more? Send me your name, town that you live in, how many years you’ve attended and your favorite part of the fair.

I would really like to hear from you!

We all tend to think in the present. As an example A number of friends and I were grousing about how this had to be the hottest year and the worst smokefilled skies .

Then I started writing the “29 Years Ago This week” (below) and guess what - “Despite the intense heat and dry weather,” and a little further down “The Burney Fire is a mere wisp of itself this week, with 30-40 men patrolling the burn area and watching for possible flare-ups.” This is just a normal year.
Editorial
I thought I was behind schedule. I got up at 4:45 a.m. and started getting the Sheriff’s log and a few other stories typed and into the layout for the upcoming issue.

At 7:15 I decided I didn’t have time to shower and barely had time to cook and eat my breakfast before getting ready to go to work.

I had let Donna sleep later than I usually would on Monday so I woke her up as I started cooking.

Everything was hunky dory until Donna sat down, turned the TV on and looked at the clock.

“Why did you wake me up so early on Sunday morning?” She asked.

Oops!
Editorial
After 53+ years of marriage, Donna is taming me a little.

As an example, I got a phone call Friday. After a touch to long of a moment of silence, which usually is a major signal to hang up, this male voice comes on the line that was probably American, but sorta questionable.

He verified my name and the name of my business and then identified himself as so-and-so from Dunn and Bradstreet.

Instead of doing what I have done for the past 53+ years and giving him a quick, loud, education in a vocabulary he is probably becoming quite familiar with, slamming my phone down or dropping it into a metal waste can and banging it back and forth, I calmly said, “I don’t really want to lose my temper and swear at you, but I’m not interested and you’d better take me off your calling list.” Then, without slamming the phone down, I hung up.

I have to admit that if I had slammed my office phone down, I might have broken it.

I have to admit that, when it comes to solicitation calls, I don’t care if the caller is male or female, if they aren’t obviously trying to sell me Girl Scout cookies, ads in the year book or local businesses, the above would have been my favorite approach. However, one of these days the caller might just be my maker calling, and I’d hate to screw that one up.

I have to admit, that if I had dropped my phone into the trash can, I would have been disappointed because I don’t have a metal waste basket or trash can in the office anymore, the metal ones are hard to find. They are all plastic and the phone doesn’t break anyone’s ear drums when it bounces off the rubber.

That being what it may,doing what I did was not nearly as satisfying as it would have been if I had followed original instinct.

That said, I took a giant first step and Donna should be proud of me. Maybe I’ll be able to routinely control myself and learn to be civil to those *%#W$* idiots — maybe.
Editorial
I have been all over Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko’s butt for about a month now and I think it is time to point out that he and I have a disagreement over one speech, given one time, in Burney.

The problem with editorials is that they can, and will expand, in this case possibly casting a reflection on his overall job performance and that of his department.

So again, I want to point out that the county has a growing problem with the homeless, with drugs and with the Sheriff’s Department’s ability to deal with those problems.

That issue is complex, and goes way beyond what it appears that the Sheriff himself can do.

In that speech in Burney he appeared to have given up. I took, and still take, exception to that attitude and he knows it.

I will continue to press the issue in hopes that someday he will prove me wrong.

That doesn’t mean that overall he or his department are not doing a good job with what they have.

Outside of the areas of concern stated earlier in this editorial, under his leadership, even with the lose of revenue, the current horrendous national push to badmouth police, and the liberal California legislature and the 9th District Court of Appeals, his department has maintained a good level of visibility in our area. If you take the massive area the Burney deputies cover, and the number of deputies available, into consideration, their response time and the results are reasonably close to being as good as ever.

Major crimes, such as the Wicks murder, The Ingot junk yard murders, and others, have been investigated with incredible effort and positive results.

The deputies are working closely with the Highway Patrol. They back each other up. Between them, they respond the closest officer to a scene needing law enforcement regardless of whether or not it is “their job.”

No, Sheriff Tom Bosenko, you and your folks are doing a good job with the restraints placed on you.

Just Do Not Give Up!

Find a way to do what appears to be the impossible. It is out there. Then do it.
Editorial
I have a serious question regarding a topic that has been offending my sense of sensibility.

I need to qualify my statements with the caveat that I haven’t had a smoke in the last 30- years and only had two marijuana cigarettes and that was in the 1960’s.

I fully understand that smoking is bad for you and those around you. An awful lot of people have died because they smoked or were around those who did smoke.

That isn’t really what this editorial is all about.

I’ve watched as those who were the crusaders against smoking, their followers and supporters crusaded against smoking. First they just belittled those who smoke, kinda like the white’s in the south with their white only bathrooms and drinking fountains.

Then they got it banned from various establishments and types of establishments.

Then they got tobacco ads banned from newspapers and television.

Then they started raising taxes on tobacco products.

And it has done a lot to curb tobacco use.

The fact that the politicians syphoned a lot of revenue off taxes raised with the promise that it would be used for tobacco education is another topic - I won’t go into it here. We all know that if a politician can get his or her grubby little fingers on money of any kind it will be used for everything but what it was intended for.

My major question and the question that has been nagging at me forever is - that if smoking tobacco is so bad and if it makes those opposed to smoking angry enough and concerned enough and morally outraged enough to do all these things, then why aren’t they and why haven’t they gone after the pot smokers with the same vim and vigor?

I think I sense a double standard and in many cases that double standarard can be “Don’t do as I do - do as I say.
Editorial
I just finished wrapping up the story about the Public Employee Retirement System, a major player in the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department slashing services.

Two things are fairly apparent. First, if we want good law enforcement, we are going to have to pay what it costs to provide it. Secondly, People should not be critical of past, present or future government employees because they have good retirement packages. I’m in my 70’s and working – not because those folks chose jobs that had decent retirement plans, but I chose a vocation I wanted to pursue and the retirement be damned. If I was or am unhappy because I don’t have a nest-egg, the only one I have to blame is myself.

After listening to the Sheriff’s presentation at the town hall meeting.

He made some great points, including the change in laws and the focus it has forced on law enforcement. What bothered me and still bothers me is the “my hands are tied” attitude.

Tom Bosenko is a career cop. He’s a good cop. He’s experienced. He has gone up through the ranks and thus honed his leadership abilities to what should be razor sharp by now. He has a nice office, good secretary, good staff and he makes a nice salary. We are paying him to do a job – keep the citizens of Shasta County safe, not tell us it can’t be done.

If he was in a football game, had the ball and a run up the middle didn’t give him the yardage he needed, he had better instruct someone to go around the end or go long for a pass.

Personally, I don’t care if the criminals are are arrested and booked for the crimes they should be booked for. I’d be happy if they got arrested for something else they did that drew jail time or something that sent them back to a jurisdiction in south Florida.

When the Feds couldn’t build a case against Al Capone for murder and the numerous other violent crimes he fostered or took part in, they nailed him for tax evasion.

I don’t personally feel that it is my job to do the sheriff’s job. If there’s something I want to volunteer for I’ll be happy to do so, as will most the folks I know. Many of the folks at that meeting had either gone the extra mile or are willing to go the extra mile. I do expect the top man in the sheriff’s department to figure out a way to do his job and overcome the stupidity of those who throw roadblocks in the way.

On a good note, I made a snide remark about the Sheriff’s office and how it should spend time solving the vandalism at the Fall River Dump.

As it turned out, they were and busted a woman for it before my snide remark hit the street. Good going guys.
There are a few “This and That’s” that need to be taken care of.

Regarding our let us know who this is the “Vira Willmore” feature weekly...

I had a brilliant idea a few months ago of making champions out of those who identified six featured people correctly. That turned out to be an oooops.

The problem is that I barred them from guessing until I had enough for a “tournament of champions” That was a major mistake for two reasons. First this isn’t the kind of a contest that lends itself to that kind of competition, I couldn’t come up with a competition that would work, and secondly I was unintentionally penalizing folks from the weekly competition when I shouldn’t be.

Therefore, Patty Richwine is the Champion but will now be eligible to identify as many people as she can right along with everyone else.

Number two: I sat through a community meeting that I had Alex cover because I knew in advance that I couldn’t be objective and I believe in objective reporting. I did keep my opinion to the opinion page.

However, I also lumped Sheriff Tom Bosenko and Supervisor Mary Rickert together. I should not have done that. As she pointed out, it is the sheriff’s job to fight crime - not hers.

She dropped by last week to say she took exception to my remark that she had her head buried in the sand.

That conversation was exceptionally productive. I haven’t had a supervisor’s column since John Caton’s. The number one rule has always been that I don’t do any editing to it other than obvious spelling errors. It will be the supervisors, to do with as the supervisor sees fit.

A supervisor’s column adds a lot to the paper and also gives the Supervisor a chance to write about what is happening and about what they think about the various issues or problems.

Also, in talking to her, it was obvious that she was exceptionally involved and knowledgeable regarding the drug problem, mental health, crime and homelessness. Like our other supervisors over the years, she’s also involved with many organizations and meets with representatives from the others.

The Sheriff also called. Naturally he was disappointed in the editorial. He said he is fighting crime as well as it can be fought with laws that don’t have any teeth in them and the fact that between the Public Employees Retirement System and the State dumping the cost of Home Health on the counties has resulted in the loss of over $2 million in annual revenue to his department and thus the cuts. He says the Intermountain Area was not singled out and the cuts were department wide.
Editorial
I just finished wrapping up the story about the Public Employee Retirement System, a major player in the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department slashing services.

Two things are fairly apparent. First, if we want good law enforcement, we are going to have to pay what it costs to provide it. Secondly, People should not be critical of past, present or future government employees because they have good retirement packages. I’m in my 70’s and working – not because those folks chose jobs that had decent retirement plans, but I chose a vocation I wanted to pursue and the retirement be damned. If I was or am unhappy because I don’t have a nest-egg, the only one I have to blame is myself.

After listening to the Sheriff’s presentation at the town hall meeting.

He made some great points, including the change in laws and the focus it has forced on law enforcement. What bothered me and still bothers me is the “my hands are tied” attitude.

Tom Bosenko is a career cop. He’s a good cop. He’s experienced. He has gone up through the ranks and thus honed his leadership abilities to what should be razor sharp by now. He has a nice office, good secretary, good staff and he makes a nice salary. We are paying him to do a job – keep the citizens of Shasta County safe, not tell us it can’t be done.

If he was in a football game, had the ball and a run up the middle didn’t give him the yardage he needed, he had better instruct someone to go around the end or go long for a pass.

Personally, I don’t care if the criminals are are arrested and booked for the crimes they should be booked for. I’d be happy if they got arrested for something else they did that drew jail time or something that sent them back to a jurisdiction in south Florida.

When the Feds couldn’t build a case against Al Capone for murder and the numerous other violent crimes he fostered or took part in, they nailed him for tax evasion.

I don’t personally feel that it is my job to do the sheriff’s job. If there’s something I want to volunteer for I’ll be happy to do so, as will most the folks I know. Many of the folks at that meeting had either gone the extra mile or are willing to go the extra mile. I do expect the top man in the sheriff’s department to figure out a way to do his job and overcome the stupidity of those who throw roadblocks in the way.

On a good note, I made a snide remark about the Sheriff’s office and how it should spend time solving the vandalism at the Fall River Dump.

As it turned out, they were and busted a woman for it before my snide remark hit the street. Good going guys.
Editorial
A couple of years ago the Sheriff’s Department began playing musical chairs with the Burney Command. The commanders no longer live in Burney. Then the commanders began to have other commands or duties at the same time. One who was promoted to Burney Commander also still worked part time for the major crimes unit. Another one oversaw both the Coroner’s office and Burney Division. We lost a sergeant who was not replaced. Instead, one of the existing patrol deputies was appointed senior deputy. Then, in the last few weeks, we lost our division status and have become a “station.” Instead of having a captain, a lieutenant is now in charge. He’s not in charge of just Burney. He is in charge of all the county’s patrol division – covering all four of the county’s “stations” at the same time.

At Tuesday night’s meeting Bosenko revealed that the Burney area no longer has 24-hour on duty coverage. He said that if a person had an emergency during those hours, dispatch has to call a deputy at home, and get him out of bed. He has to get dressed and go on the call.

Bosenko also said the sworn peace officer staffing in Burney was nine now. I checked and that includes the Sergeant and Detective. I also learned that the Lieutenant in charge of patrol also has other duties.

The Burney “station” is open four days a week, not five, Monday through Thursday.

Bosenko leaned on major crime statistics which showing that there wasn’t any real increase in major crime.

I wonder if Sheriff Bosenko has a grasp on reality. He was quoting “Major Crime” statistics. And one of those statistics must have included one of the most horrific murders in county history and it happened in Johnson Park less than eight months ago. That said, there is a lot more to law enforcement than handling murder, rapes and robberies. He didn’t mention that it wasn’t too many years ago that the County-wide Sheriff’s call log only had 21-22 pages daily, Then it grew to 30 pages daily and now there are days when it is over 40 pages. He didn’t mention what he is doing to stop the cronic vandalism at the Fall River Transfer Station.

The Sheriff and our county supervisor are human ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. Even if money was available it would disappear as quickly as it appeared and they would need more. More money has never solved the problem and isn’t the answer now. That begs the question of why, if we are short deputies, short commanders, letting the majority of offenders go, not patrolling as many shifts, not having the Burney office open five days a week, on and on, why they are still short of money. It just doesn’t compute. Why, when you begged, whimpered and cried and got money to open the substation office and get 24 hour patrol only to have it disappear a few months later? Where is all that money going?

A few years ago the homeless and the drug problems weren’t that big of a deal in Redding and was still bearable in the big cities. Those problems were non-existent up here. Now it is horrific in the big cities and is a major problem in Redding.

Even though Bosenko and Rickert don’t want to recognize it, homelessness and wandering drug addicts are a major problem in our area. You already have a makeshift city of homeless in the area of the Burney transfer station on Black Ranch Road. How long is it going to be before the really bad ones drift in or the drugs fry the brains of those already here to the point that they do things like pour gasoline on someone and light it? Additionally, the forests around the towns of Burney, Hat Creek, Old Station and Cassel are ripe for careless, not attended campfires or smouldering cigaretts.

We already have vagrants sleeping on the sidewalks, behind businesses, on roofs, in back yards, in vacant buildings, in the woods and so forth.

Cal Fire Prevention officers made a dent in the “illegal” camp problem in the woods last year and it was greatly appreciated. But they, just like the rest of law enforcement up here, spent a whole lot of time writing tickets and otherwise “enforcing the laws on the general law-abiding citizenry instead of totally concentrating on the offenses of the living trash. That doesn’t go unnoticed and it isn’t appreciated.

As far as citizens stepping up to the plate, the audience that night included a number of church people who actively work to make life better for those in need. It included two people who over the years had run for Supervisor. It included a former Shasta County Supervisor and his wife. At least two special district managers, members of the Intermountain Patriots, of Sheriff’s Flying Posse, members of the VFW, American Legion, Chamber of Commerce, and so forth, all of who are concerned and do what they can to the solve the problem. If you can’t or won’t do anything to stop the offense, then don’t try and prove you are needed by taking it out on the people who are already being victimized. Not only that – you want us to give you more money?

Don’t pat yourself on the back saying you are doing your job when you aren’t. The individual officers are good, dedicated professionals, but they are only as good as their leadership allows them to be. Local law enforcement, led by you, is doing a dismal job at best and all you’ll say is that it is going to get worse and citizens need to step up and do your job for you.

Shame on you!
Editorial
I’ve been going through old issues of the Mountain Echo finding things I can compile for a new weekly column, 30 years ago this week (see below).

I wanted it to be 30 years ago this week, but things became complicated when, for whatever reason, a number of issues turned up missing.

We forgot to save some, we gave them out as people asked for them, they became damaged and so forth. So the column that started out as 30 years is actually 31 years this week.

It is fun to look back and remember the events, the prices on the grocery ads, and all the people, so many I remember.

It also reminds me of all the things we had then that we don’t now, events, celebrations, community affairs.

I hope you enjoy the column as much as I enjoy putting it together.

31 Years Ago
This week in 1986
Citizens Utilities discontinued its fire dispatch services and transferred them to the California Department of Forestry in Redding. The company cited alleged mistakes by the dispatchers and the Burney dispatch center’s priorities.

The Burney Fire District’s board refused to transfer the ambulance dispatch to CDF and the Burney Dispatch Center would also continue to handle the Burney Sheriff’s substation calls.

The employees of Sierra Pacific’s Burney Mill voted 33 to 81 not to unionize.

Pine Grove Mosquito Abatement District announced that despite the severe mosquito problem in the Fall River Valley, the district’s funding was limited and they would have to concentrate their abatement efforts on the areas that had the heaviest influx of mosquitoes and in the most heavily populated sections of the district.

The Fall River Mills Community Services District set a public hearing regarding the possibility of re-hanging a pipe line from the Fall River Bridge or install it under the river. The board and district engineer left the impression that they favored going underwater. They would save $10-15,000 if the river was drained and they didn’t have to hire a diver. However, timing was crucial because it had to be done when the farmers were done irrigating.

The Burney Water District’s board of directors voted to purchase a $28,000-plus IBM computer to replace their $12,000 system that was a year old and had been “a mistake.” District Manager Bill Suppa said they could take the money out of the equipment repair fund.

The board indicated that the possible annexation of Johnson Park, the Fruit Growers Supply Company development and the swimming pool into the district could create a need for the system.

Justice Court Judge Larry Frumes ordered a 21-year old Burney man to pay a $2,000 fine, suspended his driver’s license, gave him 120 days in jail and three years formal probation for felony drunk driving in an accident which injured four 16-year old passengers. The accident occurred south of Lake Britton on Highway 89 when the driver lost control, went off the roadway and rolled the vehicle.

Crew members of the USS Missouri filled a half page of Mountain Echo with thank you letters from the crew for how well they had been treated and the fun they had when they had accepted the Burney Basin Days Committee’s invitation and came to town during Burney Basin Days.

The weather forecast for the week was: a few clouds Tuesday, otherwise fair through Saturday - cooler.

Rick and Cathy Sperry, Dan and Dee Porter, Don and Jill Kerns, Carlos and Yolanda Duarate, Lynn and Mark Riggins Collin and Emaline Haynes, Jack and Carol Poytress, Wally and Karen Checken, Dick and Shirley Uhl, Bud and Ruth Knoch, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Brewster, Todd and Elizabeth Reynolds, Tom and Patty Taylor, and Fern and Chuck Barber all had anniversaries during the week of July 15 through July 21.

Christopher James Fowles, son of Heather and Matthew Fowles, former residents of the Valley, Natasha Jane Mike, daughter of Mike and Shella Bohall of Burney, Lynn Gomez-Barba Rocksann, daughter of Benito and Angelita Gomez of Burney; Tyler Charles Simmons, son of Ellis and Marilyn Simmons of McArthur, Daniel Paul Thompson, son of Paul and Constance Thompson of Burney, Michelle Luane Henderson, daughter of Michael and Pamela Henderson of Johnson Park, Joseph Cummings, son of Joe and Roberta Cummings of Burney; and Veronica Lea Pendleton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Greg Pendleton were born during the period of July 1 through July 12 at Mayer’s Memorial Hospital.

Elsie Nelson, 81, of Burney died.

We’ll skip the bookings and court report.

Jim and Flora Gordon of Nubieber won a VCR drawing at an Adin and Bieber Chamber of Commerce picnic.

Post 369 of the American Legion and its Auxiliary installed its officers. Robert Fredette, Sr, commander: Durwood Lee Hinds, first vice commander, Richard Harold, second vice-commander; Randy Scholl, adjutant; E.C. Hayes, finance officer; Jere Howard, chaplain; Tony Booth, sergeant- at-arms; Joseph Gleason, judge advocate; Theodore Sampson, historian and Joseph Gleason, service officer.

Auxiliary 369: Dorothy Scholl, president; Ann Howard, first vice president; Susan Brown secretary-treasurer; Doris Hayes, chaplain; Debbie Smith, historian; Beth Harold, sergeant at arms; Ardis Cunningham, marshal; Cindy White, 3-year executive; and Ruby Barber, musician.

Sierra Market advertised Cross-Rib Roast for $1.99 a pound, Turkey at $1.19 a pound, Heinz Tomato Ketchup for 69 cents; Extra Large cantaloupe 5 pounds for $1 and seedless grapes, 2-pounds for $1.
Editorial
Donna and I drove down Main Street at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. It was well after the parade and the street was deserted..

Donna pointed out how clean the parade route was. No litter, paper sacks, wrappers, garbage or beer and soda cans.

You wouldn’t find that in the big cities. There would be litter everywhere.

It’s a pleasure living in the Intermountain area with people who give a damn!

Thank you everyone! Speaking of giving a damn...

The Burney Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a meeting featuring Sheriff Tom Bosenko and Supervisor Mary Rickert at 6 p.m. next Tuesday in the Veteran’s Hall. The topic will be drug abuse and the homeless problem.

I’ve talked to previous sheriff’s and to county supervisors. They all tend to have the same answers 1. We need more money; 2. We need more jail space; 3. It is against the law to enforce the laws already on the books; 4. It is a social problem and we need more programs to rehabilitate or take care of people with the problems.

Those excuses are just that, excuses, and they have worn thin.

I’m personally tired of hearing the same old excuses.

The problems are real and they need to be dealt with or a way found around them.

How many top inventors and business people, Rockefellers, Carnigue, and Edisons said or thought “It has always been done that way so we need to keep doing it that way?

Yes, there are folks with mental diseases and they need to be taken care of. Find a way! There are drug addicts and criminals because we allow criminals, drug addicts and dealers to exist.

If, when I was a kid, someone had tried to sell either my brother or myself drugs, my dad would have killed the person - no questions asked. Now kids sell to kids while parents whimper that their kid is misunderstood. They need money to buy more drugs. They steal or sell their bodies to support their habits and they hook others.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a society and thus the politicians and leaders who use the cop out ...”It doesn’t work,” or “we need more money.”

Both of the folks coming Tuesday are bright people earning good salaries. They are paid to do more than wring their hands while not doing anything.

A sign at Superior Aveune Steel says it best - “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

We are paying them good money to find solutions - make them build the damned door!
Editorial
Oops! Toward the end of the week, a week and a half ago, we had heard that the start date for the Pit River Bridge that services the Fall River-Cassel Road at the south end of Fall River Mills was to be moved to 2019. The interest in the bridge, and that project in particular, drove us to do a hurr- up story on it for that upcoming issue.

Unfortunately neither the Shasta County Engineer in charge of the project Shawn Ankeny nor myself fully understood what the other was saying during the phone interview and I didn’t go into any depth in the interview, which led to misunderstanding and an article which appeared to be critical of Caltrans another agency which plays a major part in the project.

During the phone interview we confirmed that the date had been moved to 2019. Since much of the major concern revolving around the repairs to the current bridge was environmental, I asked him if that was what was delaying the start of this project. He said no and that was where the interview went south. He heard me ask if the bureaucratic process was to blame and agreed, not thinking that I would equate the “bureaucratic process” with Caltrans.

Anyway, Caltrans had a right to be unhappy when it is the system rather than the agency that is so cumbersome.

Ankeny has fully explained it now. “The County is working on numerous reports for Caltrans to review and approve. I believe you asked if it was fair to say that the bureaucratic process is to blame; to which I agreed. I did not mean to impugn the people at Caltrans. Both the County and Caltrans must comply with the voluminous state and federal codes that relate to public works projects. The local Caltrans folks have been working hard alongside us at the County to get this project to construction. I assure you they consider this project a priority.”

I give Caltrans a hard enough time on occasion without giving them a hard time for something that isn’t deserved. I apologize.
Editorial
“Hubs” is gone But not forgotten Not only did Donna and I lose a good friend this week when Bill Nesbit died, But even though they never knew it, he was a major reason the Mountain Echo will be able to celebrate its 40th year in October.

When I walked into a meeting at the then Mountain Echo office in Juniper Center in late 1979 I had no idea that I was, through fate, luck and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, form a 36-year bond and friendship with two wonderful couples I’d never met before, the Nesbits and the Martinsons.

Thirty-six years is a long time, especially when you are in business and riding a roller coaster economy in a rural area. I still look back in amazement and so much gratitude for all their patience and help. Each of them went out of their way to help us over the years. Bill was the businessman of the four, but a businessman with faith and a heart. There were many times over the years that we succeeded, not in spite of Bill, but because of him. Like so many people who have to reflect at times like this – after the fact – I wish I had told him how much I appreciated him more often.

After losing Kira Brazo, we lost Bob Martinson in January 2015 and now Bill.

I remember Bill for a lot of reasons, but one incident that really helped mold the way I operate today sticks in my mind.

He was a practical, no nonsense guy who would say what he thought, when he thought it. He took exception to one of the letters to the editor I published and thought I needed to know that there are times when enough is enough.

It was less than a year after I took over the editorship. We had moved to the building now occupied by Up Town Pizza.

Having the big mouth and sharp pen that I am known for, and an audience who wasn’t totally used to me at the time, I was often receiving less than flattering letters to the editor regarding everything from being downright stupid to being one of several 4-letter words. In those days I would just shake my head, clean up the 4-letter words and run the letter.

I wasn’t too experienced, but had and have always felt that if I was going to have my say, the reader ought to have a right to theirs. Finally I got a letter (there wasn’t any e-mails in those days) from Bill. He pointed out that yes, the reader had a right to vent about me, however, I had a right to reply. Ooooh what a difference that made in my morale.

I don’t use the privilege too often, but I do use it. It is amazing how much better I feel just knowing that I can legitimately defend, clarify or whatever when it is called for. He and the other three are the reason the Mountain Echo is still in business today.

Both Donna and I miss Bob and we will miss Bill (or “Hubs” as his wife Sharon referred to him so often in “Sharon’s Shelf”). He was a good guy and also had the good sense to marry Sharon.
Editorial
Before I get into my editorial I want to congratulate all of the graduating seniors. You made it guys. The world and its situation is becoming yours. Don’t blame the state of it on the older generation - do something about it. Each generation, including mine, my folks and their folks, blamed it on those that came before and your kids will blame it on you - unless you do something about it! You are extremely bright, talented and energetic. It’s your turn.

Developer Ralph Lane built a two story office building on the northeast edge of Burney in the 1980’s.

It is in an area zoned for mixed commercial use and has lived up to that designation.

In its earlier years the building served as a real estate office, radio station, church and warehousing for grocery suppliers.

Then it went empty and stayed empty for at least 10 years or more, basically a commercial eyesore.

While it didn’t have graffiti painted on the walls or its windows broken out, it was obviously vacant it reflected negatively on the area’s economy.

To the east of it is the Burney Mosquito District Office compound. Behind that, on Cornaz, is Burney Disposal which includes garage and shop for its trucks. In the past there was also a bike repair shop in that compound. Further to the north on Cornaz, behind the building in question was an old saw shop that someone burned down and a few homes and ranch land.

Across the street is forest which is up for sale for development.

To the west on the same side of the street is a recycle center building supply, car wash, insurance office, tire store and more.

To the west on the other side of the street is a community center and day care and a strip mall. The Post Office, hospital annex, doctor and dentist offices McDonald’s Restaurant, vehicle lube and clinic within walking distance.

A woman and two men moved up from the Bay Area and started working on the building.

One, a farrier, doesn’t work out of the building. The other man is a welder and metal sculptor.

The lady, an attractive, middle aged grandmother, took over the front portion of the building.

She has been a licensed barber for over 20 years. She is a member of the state association for massage therapists whose clientele in the Bay Area includes a number of well-known sports professionals.

She completely redid the inside of the gutted inside - painting, redoing the floors, furnishing and decorating.

With the exception of the business sign, which like many of us when first going into business, didn’t have money for an expensive professionally produced one, everything else is first class.

She is one of only two men’s barbers in the area and the only massage therapist outside of Mayers Memorial Hospital’s Physical Therapy Department who has an established location.

Shasta County has a little known, but necessary part of the Planning and Building Departments that is charged with forcing those who are excessively messy to clean it up. If you look around town it is quite obvious that they do not do anything unless someone complains. Apparently the welder and barber made someone mad and they complained to the clean up cop who came out and ordered the welder to clean his metal yard up and he has. In the process the junk cop went through the county code and found that massage therapists can be lumped under “massage parlors,” which requires a special permit. Also for some reason the zoning didn’t allow barbers unless they got use permits which all together would cost them a total, I am told, of $5,000 to get.

I find that rather questionable when there’s a barber shop in the mall down the street that is open part time, masseuse’s business cards in the two gyms downtown on and off and is the same service offered by the hospital.

I tried to get information regarding the cost of the process from the county, and true to its reputation, got an answering machine with message that he’d call back in three days. (That was three months ago - and he still hasn’t (typical).

Dealing with real cops can be less than stimulating, but give a bureaucrat the authority to play cop and generally it doesn’t make for friendly relations.

I have no idea how they or the junk cop behaved, but even if they didn’t hit it off real well we have a legitimate professional with years of training and a legitimate practice at one end of the building and an artist who turns out the type of sculptures that grace many studios at the other. Real cops treat the people they deal with professionally. I don’t know if the junk cop did or not, but I wonder.

These folks had and were turning a deteriorating blight into an attractive part of the business community along the highway.

They were providing very real and needed services to the community.

The county had PG&E pulled their gas and electrical meters and apparently won’t let the utility put them back in until the folks come up with $5,000 and go through the lengthy red-tape process so one of them can get licenses.

As a side note, that may be why so many hair stylists work out of their homes, instead of following the rules.

It is well known that the Redding-based government does not want any business, development or services in Eastern Shasta County and will do everything they can to block it.

This appears to be such a case.

Editorial
Bob Osborne represented every reason we had moved back to Northeastern California.

It hadn’t been too long after we moved back here in 1976 that something went wrong with our little Toyota station wagon.

It has been so long ago that I can’t remember the exact details but we were at the Cheveron Station in Burney and parts had to be ordered and it would be down for roughly a week.

Bob Osborne happened to be gasing up his wonderful old pickup and somehow saw the look of desperation on my face and the little 5th grade girl that was with me. I think Donna was tending store at Caldwell’s Corner.

I didn’t know Bob and Arnie was still going to East Burney Elementary and I’m sure he didn’t know me but he said something to the effect that “You’ve got a problem don’t you?” I admitted I did.

Bob didn’t hesitate, he’d have to check with his wife Susan, but he’d be happy to loan me the pickup for the week. He refused to take any money and didn’t attach any strings. I couldn’t believe it, but I never forgot it either.

Because of his health I hadn’t seen Bob in a few years and we’d lost touch, but as far as I was and am concerned, Bob Osborne was one of the nicest guys I ever met. and I wish I had been a lot more in touch! He was honest, helpful, trusting, kind and went the extra mile when a stranded stranger needed help. How many folks do you know that would do that?

Editorial
I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, primarily because I don’t always notice what’s going on around me, take the time to appreciate obvious excellence – even when it hits me up alongside the head or I’m afraid I would embarrass the individuals involved or hurt someone I didn’t recognize that deserves it.

That being said, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and say what’s on my mind. Please understand that I’m only recognizing two of the scores of young folks we have in the Intermountain Area who also deserve and have earned being singled out in their own right.

 Last year Cyanna Iniguez, who had just been installed as the McArthur FFA Reporter called me to introduce herself.

I had no idea she was a Sophomore and would be a Junior at the time she was doing her job. In fact I had no idea that she wasn’t a full-fledged Senior all year. She certainly had the maturity and the work ethic of someone much older.

Cyanna wasn’t just shining me on. I told her when she first called that I would be delighted to get everything in the paper and put it in a good location if she sent it to me. I needed it no later than Friday or needed to know that I would have it coming so I could save space to be sure it got in.

My past experience had been that teens meant well, but there was always sports, tests, dates, events, holidays and family matters that had always seemed to somehow take precedence. That was not the way Cyanna worked. She did what I needed. She also was happy to take on a story or picture on something I’d heard about involving the FFA, that she hadn’t planned on doing. She wanted to do it well and do it right and she did. Thank You Cyanna.

The second is Jackie Mendosa. She did something I’ve never seen another teen do,and did it better than I’ve ever seen even most polished ‘professionals do and reached out in the process, grabbing a panel of five female and male judges, aged lower-middle to middle-senior and reached us to a point of bringing tears to all of our eyes as she gave her senior oral presentation.

There aren’t too many teens willing to discuss the subject of our society’s discrimination against females or do it in a straightforward manner pointing out the pressures put on young women to be anorexic, the male dominated fixation on having large breasts, especially in advertising, and what those pressures do to a woman’s sense of herself and self-esteem.

I know she probably touched each of us in a different way.

She reached me at three levels.

One, as a older male raised before “women’s lib” matured beyond burning bras, I had represented a lot of what she talked about without realizing I was doing anything that hurt or belittled women.

Secondly I have a lovely wife and daughter who have faced the discrimination problems daily.

Third, my daughter just retired after 33-years in the Army as a First Sergeant. She faced “male superiority” in a male dominated organization her whole career, breaking barriers for other women by going for the gusto and not backing down. She became the second female parachute jump master instructor in the Army, She raised her son as a single mother, and slipping into a potential combat situation when the 82nd Air Borne was slated to go into Haiti because her name was Arnie – they didn’t realize she was a female and she didn’t bother to tell them.

Jackie Mendosa and Cyanna Iniguez, each in their own way, touched me and proved that the youth of today are far more mature and complex than I often give them credit for. The future of our society is in good hands.

Thank you ladies.
Editorial
After last week’s issue came out I received a few comments on my homeless story and editorial, “That’s great, just how are you going to pay for it? In other words, we’ve got a problem but since there “isn’t any money” we’ll ignore it.

I’ve got a couple of partial solutions for starters and I’m sure there are a few hundred more floating around.

The TV news casters quoted the head of the Bureau of Reclamation as saying that work was starting on the Oroville Dam spillway and it would cost in the neighborhood of something like $257,000,000. Of course “that’s an emergency.

Of course putting a stop to the illicit drug problem isn’t an emergency. The fact that we have a visible, over-abundance of people (mostly fairly young and vulnerable) homeless people who have mental problems, refuse to recognize the fact and need to be locked up for their and the general public safety isn’t a problem? The fact that we turn potentially dangerous criminals or criminals in training, loose because we don’t have the facilities to house them isn’t an emergency.

If the state can come up with $257 million for a spillway emergency or get a bond passed for something as critical to our safety and well-being as a high-speed rail system that will only serve a portion of the state, I feel we should be able to 1. Launch campaigns to show the Supreme Court that turning mentally defective people out on the street has done them and us far more harm than good and that it is doubtful that our forefathers had criminals and, or the folks with mental problems out on the streets when there is a strong possibility that they will harm themselves, the general public or both.

Throwing money at programs that are only voluntary, ignoring drug problems, turning criminals loose because their offenses haven’t killed or maimed anyone don’t make sense.

It is one thing to be liberal, or for that matter conservative, and another to have enough grasp on reality to govern. If fires, floods, dam spillways, wind storms and drought are emergencies then so are the social problems that are threatening our safety and well-being. Reopen mental facilities with up to date training, equipment and trained personnel. Build the jails we need and get the legislatures both state and federal levels to stop their political posturing, take a hard look at the laws and instead of refusing to enforce them, keep and enforce the ones that make sense and get rid of those that don’t. Then build the additional jails we need, stop coddling criminals, put teeth back into the meaning of “pay for their crimes” and see if that doesn’t go a long way toward taking care of the problems.
Editorial
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the great social experiment that unleashed and is now exacerating the homeless problem, compounded the drug problem, geometrically compounded the petty theft problem and is now giving fledgling criminal the experience and the attitude they need to become real bad-asses isn’t working.

Every agency and politician I talked to in doing my story had programs and solutions, most being used to no avail.

When are those in charge going to wake up and realize that the problems weren’t epidemic and many cases didn’t exist when there were laws and facilities that made treatment mandatory and took the mentally at risk and petty criminal off the street and didn’t condone or poo-poo drug sales and use.

The folks in charge right now are sitting on a ticking time-bomb. If they don’t do something to stop the problem the honest folks who are becoming serious victims will.
EDITORIAL
Donna and I went to the Heritage Foundation’s Wine and Cheese Tasting and the Fall River Valley Choir’s “100 years on Broadway” Sunday.

What a treat!

The wines, cheeses and extras were wonderful and wonderfully interesting.

The Choir was amazing.

I can’t sing. I can’t play any instruments and my “Music Appreciation,” knowledge was gained in a single class in night school at college. But boy did I appreciate their performance, their music and their awesome talent. It is absolutely amazing what a couple of dozen folks of all ages and professions in a rural atmosphere can do!

It was a wonderful afternoon!

Thank you!

EDITORIAL
Hal Haydock died after a lengthy battle with health problems and true to form, he worked right up to the end without complaining or letting on just how bad he was.

I can’t even remember the year that I first met Hal. I know it was shortly after he and Kathy opened their restaurant and bakery just west of McArthur.

Hal was a very private person and kinda hard to get to know. In fact it took me several months before I finally realized that beneath his quiet, raher shy exterior was a heart of pure gold. However, without making it obvious, or a big deal, he quietly proved it.

Besides being undoubtedly the best baker in the area, he was a heck of a chef.

He put his talents to good use. In the 80’s he recognized a need, a big need - Holidays without all the trimmings and he and Kathy set out to right the situation.

He, Kathy, their employees and families gave up their Thanksgiving, talked the Lions into the use of their hall in McArthur and put on on a traditional Community Thanksgiving Dinner for several years without charging folks, making sure no one went hungry. To Hal and to Kathy it wasn’t about the cost or the effort. It was all about making sure that folksl who might not otherwise get a hearty Holiday dinner and a chance to visit with each other, did.

Over the years they not only provided most everyone in the Valley with their own special meals but with their friendship and support.

He loved antiques, baking, cooking and being good to people.

He was one heck of a nice guy, with a nice family, who never asked for a hand out but always gave a hand up. He will be sorely missed!

EDITORIAL
At first blush not seeking the death penalty in the murder of David Wicks may seem totally wrong, but there are good reasons for what the District Attorney did.

In the first place, Mr. Venegas has not had his day in court. He has not been proven guilty.

Even if he is, the strongest argument against the death penalty in this case is that the family of David Wicks has told the District Attorney they don’t want it.

You and I may disagree or not. Those poor folks have already lost their loved one. It would be absolutely inhumane to add the burden of guilt that would fall on their shoulders to the already absolutely horrible death of David.

The argument that we will pay for an incarceration in prison for years to come doesn’t hold up in California.

It may be expensive to house and feed someone but not as expensive as paying some already rich attorney millions of dollars to find a loop hole and let the killer off.

Then, I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life locked up with the lovely folks who actually get locked up in California.
EDITORIAL
The concept of selling subscriptions to the air and ground ambulances is a win - win for everyone.

It costs a tremendous amount of money to staff and operate an ambulance service, whether it is air, ground, or both.

The ambulance provider is not sending someone with a first aid card out to pick a patient up. the folks that operate as medics are highly trained individuals whose training, both the initial and ongoing training is extremly expensive.

The vehicles they respond in and care for patients in are extremely expensive, be it air or ground. The record keeping requirements are high. The medical equipment and supplies, including fuel, costs a lot.

The idea that a person can pay a fixed subscription price and get the service needed, spreads the cost for a single payer out, making it affordable.

If the subscriber doesn’t need the ambulance, the loss to that subscriber is minimal compared to what it would be if the service was needed. By spreading the cost out, used or not used, the service is available to the subscriber when it is needed.

It just makes good common sense to pay a small amount up front annually instead of being unable to pay for the service when you do need it.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done before everything is in place, but it is coming and it behooves us to welcome it.

EDITORIAL
I want to apologize for all of the typos in last week’s edition. We had major, major computer problems which ate into our deadline to the point that we finally got everything laid out but beyond than had to cut our losses. Computers are not fixed, programs are working and my hair is a shade whiter. I’m sorry.

This is the third time I’ve started this column. The first time I read it, deleted all of the four-letter words and found that I didn’t have anything left. The second time I tried using examples of the problems and it became so convoluted that even I couldn’t make a sense out of it.

In short I’m extremely unhappy about two issues and extremely happy about a third.

All three will really irritate the liberals.

First there’s the increase in the gas tax. How long will the gas tax go to pay for road repair – the repair they already get tax revenue to do along with the federal highway tax money to help? It wouldn’t be going to be funneled off the pay for the graft, corruption and mismanagement by those running the public employee retirement systems that has put them in such a bind, would it?

Secondly we already have an extremely serious problem with petty and not so petty criminals running loose on our streets and now they want to do away with the bail bond system which was designed and used primarily to assure that the criminals who need it can’t get out and run around our streets. They want to make sure that the bail amount is affordable so people can get out regardless of their financial situation. Since that will drive legitimate, licensed, regulated and monitored bail agencies out of business all bail will undoubtedly be done by the state or county, probably since the amounts will be reduced and there is no incentive for the state or county to go to the trouble of foreclosing, it will turn into as much of a joke as their “catch and release” program is now.

Third – There was a time that I wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump. Then there was the moment I held my nose and, because of the other choice, voted for him. Then came the time of mixed emotions when he would make a damned fool out of himself one moment and become wonderfully careful, measured, straight forwardly presidential. Finally there was last Thursday night when he shoved a badly needed missle up the fanny of a country that has needed an enema for years and at the same time put the world on notice that the US is back in the business of being the strongest, toughest and best country in the world, not some third world, third rate nanby-pamby.

There! I did it – no swearing – no rambling!
EDITORIAL
I got this brilliant idea for an editoial while standing under the hot side of warm water beating down massagingly on my neck and shoulders Friday morning.

No, I wasn’t singing. I tried that once when I was a sophomore in high school and it scared me so bad I haven’t had the guts to try it again.

Anyway, I was standing amidst stream of water - shampooing, soaping and doing all the other stuff that makes a shower so wonderful when my eyes caught the drain sucking up all that precious liquid, running it through a drain pipe, into a septic system out the leachlines, into the dirt (lets be nice and call it dirt instead of lava rock even if it is in Johnson Park. From there I visualized it filtering through layer after layer of dirt until all the little drips ran into the undergound aquafier or river and did whatever it does until it made the mistake of being sucked up into a well or the Del Oro tank on the hill where it would start its journey all over again.

That was when the injustice of it all struck me.

Here I was, and am, giving a large portion of the water back to the water company so it can meter and charge me for it again.

That is intrinically unfair, whether it is the Del Oro Water Company, Burney Water District, Fall River Valley Community Services District or the LA Water Company.

My fragile brain went into the “what if” mode and I wondered why, if people put solar panels or windmills up on the roof or in the yard and feed PG&E which in turn pays them for it, why we couldn’t hook up a meter to our septic tank or sewer connection and bill the water company for it.

That sounded pretty good to me.

Of course being the realist that I am, I realized that it would never work. No matter how satisfying it would be to get a check from the water company, the fact that someone would have to pay the company something so it could pay me so I could bill them. That, like life itself isn’t necessarily fair, but a check or two would be nice, even if it was for something as ephemeral as water.

EDITORIAL

I’ve been officially covering Mayers Memorial Hospital since 1980 or 1981.

 I witnessed Judi Beck spearhead Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the hospital expansion and Everett’s Build of the Burney Annex. They did a magnificent and all but impossible job. I witnessed Everett and his board move the hospital through uncharted waters, keeping it afloat and expanding over the years.

 I watched all of the boards, CEOs and staff contribute to keeping it afloat and moving forward and they were all dedicated and hard working.

But I have never seen a group of people who move more surely, competently, professionally, as a team, giving credit where credit is due and it is really showing - from board to staff.

I have to admit that kind of behavior makes it tough to be a grouchy editorial writer.

I’m impressed.

 

EDITORIAL
Everything’s right in Fall River High School’s world and they earned it.

They weren’t satisfied with taking the Girls and Boys Basketball top championships, their FFA let the world know they were there in force. Now their Softball and Baseball teams are winning. They never seem to do anything halfway.

Congratulations!!!!!!!!
EDITORIAL
Wow! What a b a s ke t b a l l season!

Who says our small, rural, public schools can’t do it!

Gotta send the kids to the private schools - no way the kids from up here can get ahead academically or athletically.

BULL PUCKY!

We’ve got some of the finest kids, athletically and academically and the teachers, coaches and administrators who support, push, prod, and mold and motivate them and our school alumni’s rosters continue to bulge with their accomplishments and we always have!

This is going to be a short editorial because I can sum up the topic in a sentence or two.

C O N G R AT U L ATIONS! YOU GUYS AND GALS ARE ABSOLUTELY TOP NOTCH! KEEP IT UP!
EDITORIAL
I just learned that I lost a dear friend, Russ Buhay, over the weekend.

I haven’t received any obituary information yet so I don’t know a lot.

All I know for sure is that he was the quiet guy in the background.

I spent several years in the Fall River Lions with him. He never stepped out and grabbed one of the glory jobs like I was prone to do, but he had my back all the way.

That doesn’t begin to count for the work he did for youth, seniors or anyone who needed it..

If I, or anyone else I knew, ever needed a job done in the Lions, he was one of the guys completely dedicated to getting it done.

I know he was the same way with church projects because I alway saw him pushing a lawn mower or repairing something.

Russ was one of those fellows you think of when you think of the backbone of a small community and he was definitely that! One of the most dedicated, nicest men I ever knew.

I never saw him ask for a thank you and he was alway there. I’m going to miss him a lot!
EDITORIAL
Gotta admit that on a scale of one from one to 10 putting on chains has to rank a minus 5.

I wasn’t very fond of it when I was 35. Now, at 75, with trouble getting up and getting down, plus a few extra years to hone my vocabulary it is best that I don’t run into any civilized human being when I might get caught in that position. Thus, discrection being the better part of valor I find every excuse in the world not to put myself in that position. I even have found the little patience that elluded me for all these years. I can and have actually waited.

But my livelihood doesn’t depend on getting from point A to Point B in the middle of a blizzard. There are an awful lot of folks who have no choice.

So what do you do. If you are a plow driver you spend 80% of your time plowing and the other 20% being called everything in the book because you plowed a driveway, or bunch of driveways. You are wasting your time if you tell them that you’ve been plowing the damned road without a break for six or more hours and have another six to go. Nor does it help to ask them to run down to the end of your route and explain to those folks they won’t get their road plowed because you are going to be a good guy and plow driveways out.

If you are a trucker, you are on the time clock or a route that has to be done or you don’t get paid. If you’re driving singles it isn’t your fault they get squirrelly, you still have to do your job. and the sign doesn’t say you have to put chains on.

If you are driving duals, and they put up a sign that forces you to put chains on when they aren’t needed it costs you time and money. Then you toss the passenger car amateurs into the mix and all bets are off.

In all of my wisdom of not knowing what I’m talking about anyway, it strikes me that if Caltrans in Burney went back to R-1 modified it MIGHT stop a few accidents, and even a few are better than none. There were a couple of horenddous tie ups on Hatchet this year. If the cops got tough and burned people for ignoring the signs or vandalizing them there would probably be less of it.

However most, if not all of the plow drivers are more concerned with keeping their trucks on the roadway than getting license numbers and turning people in. Most of the cops are extremely busy with the fender benders brought on by nasty weather and it strikes me that John Q public won’t get any smarter, so my guess is that right, wrong or indifferent, this is one of those nasty little items that no one is going to do anything about.
EDITORIAL
I went to a 4-H demonstration day in Burney last Saturday and it was so refreshing.

I am forever railing about the people who wander up and down my street at all time of the day and night, going to the house on the end of the block and coming back a few moments later.

Others, high on whatever, or off their meds ,wander the street waving their arms and dressed in t-shirts in frigid weather. Not to hard to tell that they are on something other than aspirin.

For the most part they are dirty, sloppily dressed, unkempt and not someone you’d want to get close enough to smell.

But there are those refreshing times, times too often overlooked or missed entirely - those times when I get to see the top 20-30% of the other side of the coin, the young people who will make our futures bright.

Every-once-in-awhile I have the privelege of going to a 4-H or FFA or Scouting event and see what our leaders of tomorrow really look and act like and it is impressive.

Those young people don’t glare at the adults. They are neat, clean, well mannered, intelligent beyond their years, confident and sure of themselves.

I’m equally impressed to see the adults that are there helping, teaching and guiding them.

True, I know some mighty fine young folks that aren’t exposed to a lot of adult involvement, but it is so much easier for those who have it.

I just want to say thank you to the kids who think enough of themselves and their futures to open themselves to the opportunities that will make them successful and to the adults who bend over backwards to guide them. You are what our society and our future is all about.
EDITORIAL
I haven’t been real observant this last week.

Besides the weather changing from terrible, frozen wet and nasty to just wet and almost livable, the only other thing I noted of real interest was a Super Bowl where the Patriots were absolutely dismal in the first half and Falcons were absolutely dismal in the second.

Of Course the last team to be absolutely brilliant usually can pull it out even ifthey weren’t supposed to have enough time to do it. They did.

I gotta admit that I didn’t have a favorite but the Patriots earned the win.

In the meantime I’ll keep my ball cap on to keep the rain off
EDITORIAL
I haven’t been real observant this last week.

Besides the weather changing from terrible, frozen wet and nasty to just wet and almost livable, the only other thing I noted of real interest was a Super Bowl where the Patriots were absolutely dismal in the first half and Falcons were absolutely dismal in the second.

Of Course the last team to be absolutely brilliant usually can pull it out even ifthey weren’t supposed to have enough time to do it. They did.

I gotta admit that I didn’t have a favorite but the Patriots earned the win.

In the meantime I’ll keep my ball cap on to keep the rain off
EDITORIAL
In the past few weeks I have found myself becoming extremely short with people who want to gripe about how horrible President Donald Trump is.

Whether or not I voted for him is a moot point. I do everything I can to keep national politics out of my paper. My reasoning is simple. I have been to Washington D.C. four times. The first time I landed at Dulles International airport, changed planes and left immediately. The second I came in late at night on a train, and left within an hour. The third I drove through DC with a buddy who was on his way to Pennsylvania to buy a car when I was in the service.

The fourth I spent a delightful week’s vacation there and got to see the sights, talk to a congressman, visit with my wife’s sister and my daughter who came up to meet us. My political education is limited to US History 101 and a semester of political science.

In other words I have no real education or experience in politics and therefore shouldn’t burden any reader with my opinion or pretend that I know what I’m talking about.

All I’m going to admit in print is that I was extremely unhappy with the direction the country went under the former president and I was horrified at both party’s propaganda and rhetoric in the last election.

That said, we have a duly elected president who has been sworn in, moved in and is making presidential decisions.

Like him or not he won, he is in power and he has a right and a duty to govern.

For crying-out-loud give him a chance to do that.

If you can’t - have the courtesy not to burden me with your intolerance
EDITORIAL
When it comes to the arrest in the David Wicks case everyone should be rejoicing.

The detectives and deputies did one hell of a job. They didn’t let community pressure for a quick solution or anything else get in the way of doing it right. Nor did they rush to judgment.

They took almost a month to solve a high profile case and it took that long because the time was needed.

They did a lot of leg work, expended a tremendous amount of manpower, kept the investigation close to their vests, waited for the state’s crime lab to identify the DNA profile, presented it to the District Attorney’s office for a warrant, located and waited for their suspect and took him into custody without incident.

The evidence thus far collected according to the facts of the arrest, indicate that Juan Manuel Venegas committed the murder of David Wicks.

The Sheriff’s Department is making sure there isn’t anything that they might have missed. The investigation is ongoing and we’ll know if anything else important comes out.

The Sheriff’s Department has and is doing their job as it should be.

The problem lies not with them, but with a certain percentage of the population that out of anger, helplessness, or just plain nastiness, are not content to let things along

Those people are carrying things too far. They want blood and don’t care who gets hurt in the process or why.

The system demands that Venegas goes through the justice system, to be tried and if found guilty sentenced and punished. That is as it should be. If anyone else is found to have had any part in it, they will face the same consequences - again, as it should be.

There is absolutely no sane reason for people to get on social media or anything else and threatening, belittling, harassing, degrading or tormenting people who have no guilt, no part, no more knowledge of the crime than anyone else.

I remember a vicious, hateful, horrific crime that occurred in the early 1980’s - Bill Proctor of Johnson Park was found guilty of raping, torturing and murdering Burney Elementary School Teacher Bonnie Stendal.

He had a brother, sister and mother, all of them good people. All of them innocent of any wrong doing. Bill happened to be a “Bad Apple.” Shortly after the trial, they moved away.

Why? They didn’t do anything.

David Wicks was a friend to a lot of us.

He was a good, decent, religious man who led a good life.

How do you think he would feel if he read the hateful garbage that has been posted on Face Book or the innuendo that seeps through the community.

He would be more than embarrassed, he would be ashamed of you!

Love and remember David. Don’t blindly hate or harass innocent people.
EDITORIAL
Skip Willmore suggested that I stop by the park and take a look at Burney Falls - so I did.

He wasn’t wrong. It was impressive.

In fact it was impressive from the moment I got out of the car in the parking lot and began to make my way through the slippery slush that was still on the pavement.

The roar of the water was almost deafening.

By the time I inched my way along the path to the overlook I could see the massive volume of water that hammered what would normally have been the pool below.

When I saw it, the water was a cauldron rising in a dome-like shape of foam and mist. Not exactly what the normal visitor is treated to.

It appears that we’ll be greeting a new snow storm by Wednesday. It is nice to know the drought is over.

Our farmers and ranchers will get a break and that is nice. On the other, I’m one of those folks who is never satisfied. In the middle of the summer when it is hot, I’m looking forward to the cold of winter and now that the cold is here I’m waiting for the warmth of summer - you just can’t please me.

On a sad note, living in a rural area like the Intermountain Area means that I know an awful lot of people - fine, good people!

I’m always saddened when a friend or neighbor or someone who I really look up to dies. I miss them all and my heart goes out to their loved ones. Then comes the times, like those of the last few weeks when we’ve lost friend after friend after friend.

It gets to the place where it is overwhelming.

To everyone who is suffering through this rough time please know that Donna and I love you and are thinking about you. Our prayers are with you.
EDITORIAL
It was raining out Sunday - 5.5 inches in 24-hours in Bartle.

Normally I wouldn’t know that piece of trivia but Wayne, Marilyn, Donna and I took Sunday afternoon off and went to meet friends, see Rufus and watch football.

On the way there we passed the entrance to Burney Falls State Park on Hwy 89, along the “kinda straight” stretch and started down the downgrade toward the bridge.

We were talking about the weather and the roads and potential for flooding.

That’s when Caltrans helped me out.

No sooner had I commented that we’d really know if it was flooding if the Bridge (at the south end of Lake Britton and probably some 40 - 60 feet off the water normally) was under water.

The final curve to the bridge entrance sported a n iofficial Cal tans sign saying something to the effect of “danger - flooding.”

I know... I know... It obviously wasn’t what I thought - probably just a few hours too many in front of a computer!, but the timing was right even if Caltrans had meant someting else.


EDITORIAL
It was raining out Sunday - 5.5 inches in 24-hours in Bartle.

Normally I wouldn’t know that piece of trivia but Wayne, Marilyn, Donna and I took Sunday afternoon off and went to meet friends, see Rufus and watch football.

On the way there we passed the entrance to Burney Falls State Park on Hwy 89, along the “kinda straight” stretch and started down the downgrade toward the bridge.

We were talking about the weather and the roads and potential for flooding.

That’s when Caltrans helped me out.

No sooner had I commented that we’d really know if it was flooding if the Bridge (at the south end of Lake Britton and probably some 40 - 60 feet off the water normally) was under water.

The final curve to the bridge entrance sported a n iofficial Cal tans sign saying something to the effect of “danger - flooding.”

I know... I know... It obviously wasn’t what I thought - probably just a few hours too many in front of a computer!, but the timing was right even if Caltrans had meant someting else.
EDITORIAL
When we first came back to the area in 1976 people didn’t lock their houses or cars. Girls and women weren’t afraid to walk the streets alone at night.

Sure, there was crime, and some of it was horrific, but it wasn’t anything the deputies couldn’t handle and they did. The streets hadn’t been taken over by people in dark clothes that wander, some wearing huge knives and walking Pit Bulls in an attempt to intimidate, at all times of the day and night. In those days There wasn’t a whole lot of talk of people taking the law in their own hands.

What has changed? It isn’t because the deputies aren’t willing or capable of doing their jobs. They are. Their training and physical abilities are as good as always.

The problem falls squarely on the shoulders of a lame society where parents won’t allow anyone to discipline their children and then call the cops to have them tell Johnnie he shouldn’t talk back to his mommy because they are afraid to do it.

It falls on voters who think that white collar crimes are all petty and that drug use is really okay. It falls on lawmakers who spend more time making stupid laws than making laws that enable law enforcement to do their jobs. It falls on the social workers and do-gooders who condone and enable people to become homeless and stay that way.

The list of societal meltdown is pretty long and it isn’t getting any shorter.

However, the mood in the Intermountain Area is changing. It is becoming dangerous and someone is likely to get hurt if something isn’t done to cure the problems quickly.

Making it harder for the law abiding citizen to protect themselves isn’t the answer. The law abiding citizen isn’t the problem.

The argument that not all of the street wanderers are bad is not the answer either - you can’t tell the bad from the good until one of the night crawlers sets someone on fire.

EDITORIAL
I first met David Wicks several years ago while delivering newspapers to the store.

Living in Johnson Park I shop for ice, propane and an occasional snack there so I ran into him reasonably often.

Being a person who has a terrible time remembering names I always admired the way he would always greet me with a huge “Hello Walt, how are you!”

I wasn’t alone. That was the way he greeted a number of people.

He was always smiling and helpful. As with any business person, he had a serious, business side, but I never saw him angry, rude or mistreat anyone.

Obviously he did something to some nut that really set the idiot off.

It makes me wonder what our area is coming to when a nut can walk into a store, set a nice guy on fire and burn him to death and then calmly leave.

Because of the liberal judges, lax laws, and failure of our government to either cure the problems or enforce the rules of a civilized society and force the people who are causing the problem to conform with society, we have to lock our cars, our houses, watch our backs and now more and more of us are arming ourselves.

How long will it be before there’s another vicious murder?

Maybe, just maybe, these folks shouldn’t get welfare, food or lodging.

Maybe they should get mental health, rehab, or clean up and get a job.


Editorial

Bobby Thompson was one of those who was always there when someone needed him.


It didn’t matter what day of the week it was or how he felt or what it would cost him, if someone needed him he was there - and that includes these last six years when he was fighting insurmountable health issues.

The man with a twinkle in his eye, a grin and a bone-crushing handshake was a great man. A good friend, and outstanding community supporter.

I will miss him a lot.


Editorial
Thanksgiving Day came in with a bang. Even though the probability is there that someone up here knows Sherri Papini or the family, I don’t know of anyone.

It didn’t really matter. I’m pretty sure that in the past month we’ve all gotten pretty close to her emotionally.

A young, pretty mother went for a jog and disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

This world and for that matter this county has its share of sexual predators.

I know I almost got tears in my eyes when I got the early morning press release saying she was safe, in a hospital and only had non-life threatening injuries. Not only that it didn’t sound to me like a sex related crime.

What better news could we all get? And that was before time for the traditional dinner arrived.

The turkey was great. The ham was great, the yams were great, the salads were great, the desserts were delicious, and the company great.

Gotta admit I over ate. There was this chocolate pie with a whipped cream topping.

I have a weakness for chocolate pie and a weakness for whipped cream.

I might have been okay but there was a carton of whipped cream right next to that pie.

I was a kid again. I over indulged. In reality I heaped enough whipped cream on top of the whipped cream so I couldn’t see the chocolate....

I had to take Tums, but oh was it good!

On another great note: Check out the mountainecho.com and see what our updated page looks like.

We hope you like it.

Editorial
I received some really good news for the area just as I was putting the paper to bed last week.

I tried to verify it and get the information but wasn’t able to until after I had already gone to press.

So, “a day late and a dollar short” here’s the news...

I’m not a big fan of Governor Jerry Brown, but when he does something right he oughta get a pat on the back.

He appointed Dan Marcum to the State Water Board.

Most appointments don’t reach out and grab me, but when we get direct representation on a committee that is vital to not only the health of the area, but in many cases the survival of it, that is important.

Beyond that there isn’t a man in the state of California better qualified to have a say in water usage than Dan Marcum. I’m 70 plus and I can remember the City of LA messing with watering lawns etc. and that was as important and inconvenient to our family then as it is now. But now they’ve gone a step further and they are messing with Ag water, the water that makes it possible for crops to grow so you and I can eat.

Unfortunately the vast majority of those who get to mess around with it think their food comes from the grocery store and will always be there.

Dan was a career Farm Advisor and was responsible for many of the innovations our ag community adopted and crops produced here.

Dan is a rancher and thus a water user.

He won’t be the only member on the board but he’ll be a member and that means maybe, just maybe we’ll have a voice.

Way to go Dan!
 

 
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Editorial
After a quick Facebook lesson and a weekend of contemplating how I should proceed with my Facebook pages, I have come to the following conclusions. I currently have two ”Mountain Echo Newspaper” pages (even though one is missing the ‘r’ in the user name.

I found that there is no way to correct the missing R problem without doing a new page. It left me with no choice. A page with errors like that is unprofessional and I have to change it.

Effective immediately, I will delete one of the newspaper Facebook pages, I will delete the new one without the ‘r’ and stay with my original page. That page has over 1100 likes and it doesn’t really make sense to try to start over. I thank all those of you who signed up on the new page and I really appreciate your audience. Now that I have found I have to make the changes to delete that page please make sure you are following the original “Mountain Echo Newspaper” Facebook page (the one that is spelled right).

If this is confusing to you, believe me, it is confusing to me also, but I think this is the best if not only real solution now that I better understand how Facebook works. The newspaper Facebook page will be much more active than in the past. It will be kept up to date and we are excited to use this avenue to communicate with both our readers and our local communities.

Loretta Carrico-Russell, an excellent reporter will be editing the page and both she and I will contribute regularly. Our goal is to provide local and regional updates.


Editorial
Thanksgiving Day came in with a bang. Even though the probability is there that someone up here knows Sherri Papini or the family, I don’t know of anyone.

It didn’t really matter. I’m pretty sure that in the past month we’ve all gotten pretty close to her emotionally.

A young, pretty mother went for a jog and disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

This world and for that matter this county has its share of sexual predators.

I know I almost got tears in my eyes when I got the early morning press release saying she was safe, in a hospital and only had non-life threatening injuries. Not only that it didn’t sound to me like a sex related crime.

What better news could we all get? And that was before time for the traditional dinner arrived.

The turkey was great. The ham was great, the yams were great, the salads were great, the desserts were delicious, and the company great.

Gotta admit I over ate. There was this chocolate pie with a whipped cream topping.

I have a weakness for chocolate pie and a weakness for whipped cream.

I might have been okay but there was a carton of whipped cream right next to that pie.

I was a kid again. I over indulged. In reality I heaped enough whipped cream on top of the whipped cream so I couldn’t see the chocolate....

I had to take Tums, but oh was it good!

On another great note: Check out the mountainecho.com and see what our updated page looks like.

We hope you like it.

 

Editorial
This coming Saturday, the day after Black Friday when the Big Box Stores and TV stations say that any red blooded American with 10¢ in his or her pocket must rush to a big box store and spend it is Small Business Saturday.

Small businesses are something that we all take for granted. That’s why so few of them are left in our area.

It’s a sobering thought for those involved in fundraising to think back and realize that the last time you went into one of our small businesses was when you wanted them to give something for a raffle prize or for a donation.

That too is why there are so few small businesses left in our area.

Our local small businesses should be the first place we shop. Then, if they don’t carry what you need or they can’t compete price-wise because they can’t cut deals with big wholesalers or shipping firms, then try the chains and big box stores.

Remember Small Business Saturday!


Editorial
This coming Saturday, the day after Black Friday when the Big Box Stores and TV stations say that any red blooded American with 10¢ in his or her pocket must rush to a big box store and spend it is Small Business Saturday.

Small businesses are something that we all take for granted. That’s why so few of them are left in our area.

It’s a sobering thought for those involved in fundraising to think back and realize that the last time you went into one of our small businesses was when you wanted them to give something for a raffle prize or for a donation.

That too is why there are so few small businesses left in our area.

Our local small businesses should be the first place we shop. Then, if they don’t carry what you need or they can’t compete price-wise because they can’t cut deals with big wholesalers or shipping firms, then try the chains and big box stores.

Remember Small Business Saturday!



                                                    

 

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