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January 6, 2005

News

AP story casts dim light on Cal Pines sales

by Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

A recent Associated Press news story called California Pines, a real estate development not far from Alturas in Modoc County, "little more than a mirage in the high desert," stopping just short of calling it an illegal scheme. One Alturas resident is in a unique position to judge the merits of the AP story.

Allen "Butch" Hess, a retiree who worked as a local realtor for several years before becoming a tax appraiser for the county, has watched the subdivision, called "Cal Pines" by the locals, from its inception in 1968. "They're taking advantage of a situation," says Hess of the present development owners, National Recreation Properties, Inc. (NRPI). "I don't think they're doing anything illegal."

Hess generally agrees with the conclusions of the AP story. "The local realtors feel that it's a total rip-off." He notes that over the last 30 years two other developers before NRPI have marketed the subdivision in a similar fashion. What started out as a good faith enterprise has become a sales scheme.

Hess describes the moneymaking cycle thusly: A lot is sold. In time, the owner defaults. NRPI forecloses on the property, then puts it back on the market and looks for another buyer.

"Initially they (the buyers) might intend (to build), then reality sets in after three or four years. A lot of times they quit making payments. They (NRPI) foreclose on it, and sell it to somebody else," explains Hess.

This repeated turnover makes real property into a consistent moneymaking machine as the 15,287 lots are sold over and over again. "I, personally, sold more than one lot three times," Hess says. "Every lot out there has probably had more than one owner."

Promoted by television ads in large metropolitan areas in the state, the property appears to be ideal-and cheap by Los Angeles or San Francisco standards-which appeals to many in that crowded suburban world. The promotional ads make Alturas and its surroundings look like a resort area similar to Lake Arrowhead in Southern California.

When a potential buyer responds to the ad with a phone call, a salesman is dispatched to make the pitch right in their home: Pick a lot-sight unseen-and make a down payment with a one year right to exchange that lot for any one of the other lots available in the development. "They can't afford to buy property in Los Angeles or San Francisco. But, they can afford to buy this property," explains Hess.

The buyer has 30 days to take one of the free, chartered trips to visit the development and inspect their property. "They put some cash down," says Hess, "but they get that cash back if they decide they don't want the property."

Noting that "very few" ever bother to investigate the actual value of the property, Hess says that buyers simply take the sales agent's word for it. "It's definitely an inflated price."

The new buyers come to inspect the lot they've chosen in chartered air and bus transportation provided at no cost by NRPI "at least three weekends a month," usually in groups of 30 or more.

"When I sold out there, they didn't want people coming into Alturas," Hess affirms. This policy has apparently not changed. Organizers carefully choreograph the inspection visits, using a number of subtle strategies to keep the buyers from integrating with the locals to any significant degree. Prospective buyers are kept at the rustic lodge on the property rather than in local motels. Even the evening entertainment after the day tour of the development is provided on site at the lodge.

"I don't know what their closing ratio is now, but in my six years we sold over ninety percent of the people that showed up," affirms Hess, explaining the relish with which buyers gobbled up properties. "I sold six lots to one guy."

If someone decides not to buy, they still get their free trip home and their money returned.

Hess insists that the developer's sales approach is decidedly casual, that there are no pressure tactics, no arm-twisting or coercion. "It's the most laid back sales program that I've ever been involved in. I was really surprised at that. I expected it to be the snake oil salesman and the quick talking, sign right here. None of that."

The attraction of owning their very own property is apparently too intoxicating for these buyers to resist. "You didn't have to lie because the people would sell themselves," says Hess. "They want to own a piece of property."

Most buyers are simply fulfilling a dream, according to Hess. They do not care about the details. They simply have a desire to own land of their own, and Cal Pines looks like the fulfillment of that dream. "They're selling, basically, a dream-a tree-covered acre.

"When I started selling out there, I thought that everybody I sold to was going to be moving out here the next year. … After I'd been there two or three years, I realized it was just a dream (for them)."

Even though the California Department of Real Estate requires that buyers sign a statement acknowledging that they have not been told the property will increase in value, those warnings go unheeded. "The people didn't believe that. They truly didn't believe that," Hess points out. "Really, to be totally, absolutely honest maybe we should have said, 'This is not going up in value. As a matter of fact, right now you're paying $10,000 for this lot, and on the open market it's worth $2,000.'"

However, Hess is quick to point out that the actual value of Cal Pines properties has increased in recent years to between $5,000 and $6,000. Still, the NRPI asking price has increased dramatically as well. "Some of those lots we used to sell for $10,000 to $12,000 (now) sell for $30,000."

A few people actually do use their lots for weekend getaways or to build a second home. "Believe me, they're totally happy and satisfied with what they got," says Hess. "The ones that buy it for an investment end up very unhappy, and the ones that buy to use, for the most part, are not unhappy." There is a positive side to this charade.

"The property is gorgeous the hill property," emphasizes Hess. "It's pretty." He goes on to explain that while the property is offered at inflated prices, the potential is there for some excellent home sites in some cases. "The infrastructure is there for building a lot of homes. It's there. If something ever took place here in the Alturas area that employed a lot of people, you've got the infrastructure out there (to build) they're ready to go."

But that is true of only a handful of lots. Using most of them for more than recreational purposes is problematical since there is no infrastructure there. What NRPI agents may not explain, Hess explains, is that in order to build on these lots, electric lines must be constructed, wells must be dug and septic systems installed at considerable expense to the buyer. "They're selling recreational lots. They're not selling house lots," says Hess. Modoc County is happy to see the revenue that Cal Pines generates. Those properties represent considerable income for few services. Says Hess, "It's kind of a cash cow. That may be a little strong, but ".

Hence, there is no incentive for the county to discourage the scheme that helps pay for the county's library and waste disposal as well generating considerable property tax revenue.

"If you pay $30,000 for a lot, you're going to be taxed for $30,000, based on the sale price. Who am I to determine, as the assessor, that it's not worth that?" says Hess.

Even those buyers who acquire their property at a fair market value end up paying the same taxes as their neighbors who paid a greatly inflated price because the county uses a 'preponderance of the sales' yardstick to determine the property tax values "in order to follow the law. That's the way the appraisal business works," Hess says.

The final problem is that people fail to investigate the difficulties of living in a remote, rural area. "There is a tremendous turnover on the houses out there," notes Hess, because of those difficulties. "One winter and they say, 'Holy mackerel! Let me out of here!' That particular area is a snow belt. They get more snow there than elsewhere."

Hess observes that the locals have a jaundiced perception of the Cal Pines promotion. "People who live in Alturas think it's a bigger rip-off than it actually is." He goes on to explain that it is hard for the locals to believe that people could be so knowingly gullible. Moreover, most do not understand the money back provisions of the sales nor the exchange policy. He tells of trading property-even long after the property was paid off-just to please the buyers.

In summary, Hess says, "If somebody bought that property for an investment, they're going to be disappointed. But if they bought it to use, it's not a bad deal."

Local businessman loses parents in tragic Tsunami

For a local family, Ukrit "Dino" Bhavindhu and Nipa Sakdikul, owners of Nipa's Thai Cuisine restaurants in Alturas and Redding, the tsunami that struck Thailand and southeast Asia last week became tragically personal. Bhavindhu got a call from his brother in Thailand last Wednesday, informing him that his 80-year-old parents, who were vacationing on the island of Phuket, were killed by the tidal waves.

He wasn't concerned for his parent's safety initially because they lived in Bangkok, which was on the other side of the country and was not damaged by the tsunami.

Dino, who is well known and respected in Alturas as a caring and hard-working businessman and father, was shaken by the news. While he is mourning for his parents and deeply saddened, he said he is very concerned and empathetic for the thousands of people who died in the catastrophe, and especially for the lost children.

Dino and Nipa are also going through a medical trial with their adopted daughter, Deena, who suffers from a rare blood disorder. They are hopeful a new procedure will provide a cure and a better life for their six-year-old. They also have adopted two other children, Nikki and Jamie, also age six. Both are healthy.

Doctors are hoping to find a tissue match for Deena from the umbilical cord blood of her biological newborn brother.

The cord blood of Deena's infant brother, Nirut Kaiyen, was collected and shipped to a company via a courier for harvest, shortly after his birth at Modoc Medical Center on Dec. 8.

The cure now for Deena is to have a blood stem cell transplant (analogous to a bone marrow transplant).

If there's a match, the transplant will give Deena's body a new way to make blood. The medical term for the little girl's disorder is Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia.

Dino and Nipa adopted Deena when she was two months old. They knew something was wrong with their daughter's health at 18 months because she bruised so much and so frequently. She has had a number of therapeutic treatments to stimulate her platelets, but none have helped in a long-term sense.

The community has offered its sincere sympathy for Dino's loss and its concentrated hope for Deena's recovery.

Ski hills opens this weekend

The Cedar Pass Snow Park will open this Saturday and Sunday for full days of skiing and snowboarding.

The hill opens at 10 a.m. and will close at 4 p.m. There are free lessons for first timers under the age of 12 and equipment rental is available.

Skiers this year will be treated to many improvements, including new heated restrooms, running water, indoor plumbing and a well. The snow park also has more rental skis, boots, and snowboards to offer this season. Rates will be basically the same as last season: lift tickets, $15 for adults, $12 youth, $5 for kids under age six. Punch card season tickets will also be sold at the Lodge

Watch the Modoc Record for open dates or call the Snow Park hotline at 530-233-3323.

Clarification of Crum poaching conviction

In the article printed last week "Local vet tagged for poaching," there was some misinformation.

The article stated Dr. Don Crum was arrested, when in fact he was cited and the deer confiscated. The article insinuated that Crum did not have a valid hunting license or deer tag, which is the part of the code under which he was cited.

Crum did have a valid 2004 hunting license and a C-zone deer tag. The deer he killed, however, was taken on his property in zone X-2. Taking a deer outside of the tag's specific zone is the violation he was cited for and convicted of in Modoc Court

For information, the C zones are west of Modoc County, in the Shasta, Siskiyou areas.

The count as listed in the District Attorney's complaint against Crum states: "Count 1, a misdemeanor, in violation of section 4330 of the Fish and Game Code of the State of California, 'Taking for deer without license, tag or permit), in that said defendant did willfully and unlawfully take a deer without first procuring a deer tag for the zone in which said deer was taken.'"

Local Forest Service jobs could be in '05 jeopardy

Some local Forest Service jobs may be in jeopardy in this year due to consolidation and reorganization programs presently under way in the Department of Agriculture.

Calling it "competitive sourcing" rather than refer to it as outsourcing, as is commonly done in the private sector, Nancy Gardner, public affairs officer for the Alturas Forest Service office, indicates that some jobs that deal with business management and a few day-to-day functions-accounting, budgeting, payments and human resources, vehicle maintenance, computer services and telecommunications, for example-will be affected. "We won't have the same people working for us, for the Modoc National Forest. But, they may be in the community," says Gardner. "Some of them may be no longer working for the Forest Service." Centralizing some functions means a few jobs will move elsewhere-Albuquerque, New Mexico, in one case-while the nature of others will change considerably.

"Other agencies-Department of Interior, Park Service, Bureau of Land Management-all of those agencies are working, using this particular order," explains Gardner.

She also hastens to reassure that the basic functions, services and management of the Alturas office will remain the same. People on the ground in the forest will be largely unaffected. "Resource management continues," outlines Gardner. "We're talking more the business side of it." According to Louis Haynes, a public affairs specialist in the Alturas office, there are two studies done in recent years that have triggered these changes. "The impact is cumulative as a result of these two studies," he observes. Haynes also cautions that there are future studies as well, which may have more impact in coming years.

"We have about 145 people forest wide," says Gardner of the number presently employed in the Alturas office. She notes that some downsizing has already been done in the normal course of operation, minimizing the effect of this consolidation on their office and leaving most services unaffected.

The list of areas to be reviewed and reorganized along with a projected timetable shows that communication and business administration areas will be restructured in 2005, fleet management in 2006 and those who educate in fire prevention and protection in 2007 and 2008.

Haynes describes a similar consolidation he experienced during his time in the military. "They cut costs … and they basically streamlined their processing."

The government moved to eliminate the duplication of services in each office, consolidating and centralizing them, eliminating some jobs entirely, changing others considerably

"We really didn't see the jobs go away; the jobs moved," Haynes explains. "They took all those people that were working out on the posts and consolidated them. They were responsible for the same area, but just physically located in another place."

These reforms will allow outside contractors, as well as departments within the Forest Service, to compete to provide services to the agency so as to eliminate duplication of services, reduce costs and improve efficiency through centralization.

While Gardner emphasizes that it will be business as usual in the agency, it may have to be conducted a little differently since this will change the way some local people relate to the agency, according to Gardner.

For example, those who, in the past, have done business with the local office may no longer be able to do so. They may have to work through individuals or offices outside the area. "I think," elaborates Gardner, "a member of the public will say. 'Who am I going to know? Who am I going to be dealing with? Is good old Joe still going to be there? Because, I know that if I call him that he may not be the person that knows the answer but can always find out.' Coming here to the office where people could just do a face-to-face conversation … that's going to change.

"It's going to change for us too," continues Gardner, speaking of the Forest Service staff. "We're really going to have to work out how this new system works."

Gardner admits that some employees are anxious. "It's that unknown," she says, speaking for those affected. "Is my job going to go? Is it going to be left? Is a portion of it going? And if so, what am I going to do? Am I going to take on some other kind of work? Is my friend no longer going to be here to work with? So, it's that unknown, and I think that's a universal feeling, when you don't feel you have control."

As is the case in the private sector, Gardner notes that incentives will be offered to some to retire early. "Some people are ready to retire. Or some people are close to retirement, and may have decided that this is the time that is best for them to leave."

These changes mark a distinct departure from past policies and practices. Job security was something that seldom concerned most government employees. A public sector job in government meant near certain job security.

Not so any more. Consolidation and reorganization has introduced some uncertainty into employees of government agencies. "It has to do with the unknown and not being able to have control of your own destiny," Gardner observes.

Bring on the 40's with MPAT dinner theater excitement

The scene will be set and the excitement will start Saturday, January 15 with two in house performances at Antonio's La Cucina Italiana in Alturas.

Modoc Performing Arts Theater actors and Antonio's staff will be playing the roles in "Evening at Stan an'Tony's Speakeasy" or The Night that Chicago Died."

Karen Hays of MPAT sets the scene with the following description of the night's happenings:

"The fog rolls in on the south side of Chicago in the 1940's. It's Saturday night and you are having dinner at the premiere supper club with your best guy or doll. The night is romantic with good food and entertainment until the Cosa Nostra arrives. Don Carlo Parmesano wants Stan an' Tony's Speakeasy and means to take it!

"Stanley Tortellino fights to save his club and his life. Tensions run high! Words and bullets fly! Who will live and who will die?"

The special dinner theater performances will offer limited seating for an afternoon performance from 2 to 4 p.m. with audience seating starting at 1:30 p.m. An evening performance will be from 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10.99 per person which includes tip and tax. Reservations are binding and tickets must be purchased in advance at Antonio's. Save and bring your ticket to the performance as questions/answers printed on the back of the ticket will gain the holder entry at the "speakeasy door window."

The menu starts with mozzarella and Roma tomatoes with basil. Warm spinach salad will follow. The entre is Chicken Antonio and dessert will be Italian CrŹme with strawberries.

The MPAT cast and Antonio's staff are excited to present this production. There will be songs from the 40's, instrumentals, a combo group and a ruckus in the kitchen, as well as other goings-on.

The cast includes: Stan Yagi and the Antonio's staff, Denise Winfree, Kyle Yagi, Damian English, Aloha P. Schaefer, Gerry Gates, Nancy North Gates, David Cohen, Larry Manzer, Bobbi Ward, John Lawson, Kerry Davis, Karen Hays, Christy Cohen, Landon Flournoy, Dillon Flournoy, Niles Reynolds, Nat Futterman, Ross Montague, Sally Clark, Tré Hawes, Jeran Brown, with Carol Richert on piano.

Audience participation and costume dress is encouraged, but not mandatory.

So, dust off your tuxedo and rhinestones. Come and enjoy fine dining and entertainment, but keep your head down because the bullets are going to fly! For those who are current MPAT patrons, sponsors or supporters MPAT will not be able to honor any Evening with MPAT 2005 tickets to pay for dinner. However, if you bring your 2005 Evening with MPAT ticket to the performance, you will be given a complimentary flute of champagne, courtesy of Antonio's.

For further information, contact Antonio's Cucina Italiana at (530) 233-5600 or Karen Hays at 233-2309. Ticket checks should be made payable to Antonio's.

BLM Council to meet in Cedarville

Members of the Bureau of Land Management's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council will meet Thursday and Friday, January 13 and 14, at the BLM's Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler Street, Cedarville. The meeting is open to the public.

On Thursday the meeting begins at 1 p.m. Agenda topics include an overview of the federal stewardship contracting process, management of juniper firewood cutting areas and sage grouse conservation planning. Time for public comment has been set aside for 4 p.m.

The meeting reconvenes at 8 a.m. Friday, with the agenda focusing on land use planning issues. Council members will hear an update on the management plan for the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, discuss the status of Resource Management Plan development by Northeast California field offices, and hear an update on the sagebrush steppe ecosystem management plan, which focuses heavily on Western juniper management. The council also will hear a briefing on a coal-fired power plant proposed for the Garlic area.

BLM managers from Alturas, Cedarville and Susanville will update the council on activities in their areas.

The 15-member board advises managers of the BLM's Northeast California field offices on natural resources and public land management issues. Members represent a diversity of public land interests including livestock grazing, recreation, environmental groups, wild horse and burro management, history and archaeology, off highway vehicle use, local government, the academic sector and the public at large.

For more information, contact BLM Public Affairs Officer Jeff Fontana, (530)252-5332.

Obituaries:

Kesner Dean Wylie

Former Modoc businessman Kesner Dean Wylie died December 6, 2004 in Escondido, Ca. He was a 45-year resident of Modoc County and was born in Cedarville, Feb. 16, 1917.

He had been gone from Modoc for 42 years, but his greatest pleasure was getting his wife Alice in the car and taking off from Escondido to Cedarville. They visited regularly until the last years of his life and maintained a home in Cedarville.

He married Alice Warrens February 19, 1938 in Carson City, Nevada. Mr. Wylie was the owner of Wylie Pharmacy in Cedarville and of B&W Pharmacy in Alturas. He and Alice relocated to their serene 100 plus acre Escondido avocado and orange ranch in 1962. He was a noted Avocado rancher in Escondido. He was appointed to the California Avocado Commission, representing District One, the southernmost district, comprised primarily of San Diego county.

He went to Surprise Valley schools and earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from University of California at Berkeley.

He also served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, reaching the rank of lieutenant. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and enjoyed attending reunions of the crew of the USS Shasta.

Mr. Wylie was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, honored in November, 1984. He had 52 years of perfect attendance and was the Escondido Club's "Official Greeter" for visiting Rotarians.

He was very entrepreneurial, had a photo studio is his basement, was a Notary of Public, loved track and field events, watching weekend football, beating the system with his coupon shopping, enjoying the principle of it. He had a photographic memory, enjoyed the History Channel and loved a "good fight" and talking story.

He is survived by his wife off 66 years, Alice; a son, Allen Dean Wylie, and wife Beverly, of Portland; daughter Ann Wylie Odgers and husband Gary, of Cedarville; daughter, Jan Wylie Compton and husband Skip of Escondido; a brother, Willard Wylie and sister Kathleen Grove; and seven loving grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be July 23, 2005. in Cedarville, CA with the Reverend Dr. Ben Zandstra officiating. Burial will be in the Cedarville Cemetery. The family would appreciate donations to the Surprise Valley Community Church.

James Neal Tillett

Alturas resident James Neal Tillett passed away December 31, 2004, at Modoc Medical Center in Alturas, CA, from lung cancer. He was 69. Mr. Tillett, a well liked, kind and outgoing person, moved to Modoc County with his wife Myrna, 11 years ago. Both have been active in their Alturas community.

Born May 19, 1935 in Bathgate, North Dakota, Jim graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, CA.

He spent two years in the National Guard before joining the U.S. Air Force, from which he received his discharge in September 1957. He and Myrna have been married for 45 years and were married Feb. 15, 1959 in Corte Madera, CA.

Jim was the Director of Maintenance and Grounds for 16 years for Ross Valley Elementary School District, Corte Madera.

He enjoyed playing golf, fishing and spending time in the outdoors, in general. An all-around handyman, he could fix just about anything. When the Tilletts moved to Modoc County, Jim became of member of the Art Center. He was an artisan and created many beautiful wood pieces which were sold to Art Center customers. He was a good vegetable gardener and a devoted member of the Alturas Elks Lodge, B.P.O.E. 1756.

The Elks conducted a Memorial Service for Mr. Tillett on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 11 a.m. Inurnment was private.

Mr. Tillett is survived by his wife Myrna of Alturas; daughter Katherine Lou Tillett of Grass Valley; sons Brett Earl Tillett of Sacramento and Glenn Hlmer Tillett of Newport, Rhode Island; six sisters Evelyn Hendricksen, Bismark, ND; Isabelle Johnson, Cavalier, ND; Ruth Trottner, Walhalla, ND; Donnye M. Pizzio of Cavalier, ND; Barbara Lullo, Cavalier, ND; Lana Rich, Sparks, NV; brother Alfred Tillett, Albuquerque, NM; sister-in-law Gloria Frazer, San Rafael, CA; six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Jim Tillett Scholarship Fund, c/o Ken Fogle, P.O. Box 167, Alturas, CA 96101. Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary of Alturas.

Don Jorgenson celebration of life

A celebration of Don "Big Joe" Jorgenson's life will be held at the Ackley Ranch on Highway 139, south of Tulelake at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2005.

Mr. Jorgenson's family would appreciate those who plan to attend, to consider sharing a few remembrance words of their time with Joe, or to write down any recollections and the family will take them home and enjoy them. Any form participants are most comfortable with, will be appreciated by the family. Food will be furnished at the gathering.

Sports

Brave grapplers do well at Reno

Several of Modoc High School's top wrestlers competed in the huge Sierra Nevada Classic tournament last week, which attracted more than 90 schools from around the nation.

According to Modoc High School Coach Shaun Wood, it's one of the premier tournaments in the west and some of the top high school wrestlers in California are represented.

Modoc's Travis Wood at 152 pounds and Brad Bell at 189 pounds placed fifth, going 6-2 in the event and Jason Jones placed seventh, going 5-2. "We wrestled really well, and our section took home eight medals, with us getting three of those," said Wood. "Jones got to wrestle the number two ranked guy in our section and beat him 4-1. Travis beat the kid 17-1 who beat him in Modoc. Bell was leading his match against the number one guy in his weight, but made a mistake late and lost. We'll have a different strategy next time."

Hadji Mirholi went 2-2 in the tourney, Joey Catania was 3-2, Mike Main went 3-2 and Brian Weed was 1-2

"Everyone of our guys won at least one match and were very tough competitors," said Wood. "It's a big tourney and we learned a lot. We also impressed a lot of the bigger schools."

The Braves junior varsity heads to Mt. Shasta this weekend and the varsity will compete in the tough Anderson tournament.

Modoc varsity boys won pair in Hawaii

The Modoc varsity boys basketball team traveled to Hawaii over the Christmas vacation -- swam, snorkeled, sunbathed, toured, hula danced -- and oh, yes, they did play basketball.

The Braves won the opening game against a good Hawaii Baptist crew and won in overtime 59-58. The Braves trailed 19-13 after the first period and 33-27 at halftime. Hawaii Baptist led 43-35 after three, but Modoc outscored them in the fourth 17-9 to tie it at 52-52. The Braves outscored HBA, 7-6, in the overtime period.

Ross Burgess led Modoc with 24 points and Micah Eppler added 23. "We played well, but they shot really well, hitting nine three-pointers in the first half," said coach Mike Martin. "But we played well overall."

In the second game, the Braves beat Hanalani, 56-41. Modoc led 18-17 in the first and shut Hanalani down 17-2 in the second and 12-6 in the third to take a 47-25 lead into the fourth. Hanalani outscored the Braves 16-9 in the fourth.

Burgess and Eppler each had 18 points.

This week in sports--

Modoc varsity wrestling will be at Anderson, Jan. 7-8, and the junior varsity at Mt. Shasta Jan. 8.

Modoc boys and girls basketball will open Shasta Cascade League play at Mt. Shasta Jan. 7, at Bishop Quinn Jan. 11, and Weed will be in Alturas Jan. 14.

Surprise Valley boys and girls basketball will be home against Dunsmuir Jan. 7, at Hayfork Jan. 8 and at Tulelake Jan. 11.

January 13, 2005

News

Wet week in Modoc, January stays damp

It's been a wet beginning to January for Modoc County and much of the west, but Modoc seems to have fared much better than surrounding areas. According to Steve Riley, Modoc National Forest, the area has seen .94 inches of precipitation in January. Most areas are reporting about six to 10 inches of snow accumulation, but higher elevations got much more. The area had about five inches of more snow on Tuesday.

While the week-long storms dropped tons of snow around Modoc, the county has so far avoided any major power outages or traffic issues.

The same can't be said for Siskiyou County and parts of southern Oregon and western Nevada. Several feet of snow have fallen in some areas and power outages have hit Yreka, Reno, and parts of southern Oregon. January's average precipitation is 1.4 inches.

Things cleared up on Wednesday but the temperature fell rapidly, near zero and it is expected to stay cold through this weekend, with snow showers returning.

State budget impacts remain hazy for city, county future

The release of the state budget this month is certain to impact cities and counties, but just how much and where is still a little hazy.

According to Modoc County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell, the only certain impact at this time is that the $500,000 Rural Sheriff's Grant is not in next year's budget.

It wasn't in last year's budget at this time either, but was reinstated late and came as real relief to the county.

"Every year at this time, it's the same thing, at least for the past six or seven years," said Maxwell this week. "The state basically chooses not to deal with its budget problems and tries to make them ours. What comes out in January from the state won't resemble what comes with the May revision. That May revision will have huge differences from the final budget."

Maxwell said the state will have impacts this year locally, but just how to quantify those impacts will take some study. He sees major cuts possible in the social services area, transportation, roads and health care.

Association of Counties, local streets and roads will take a big hit statewide along with foster care funds, Calworks program funding, and in other areas.

Schools statewide are voicing displeasure with the budget and accuse the Governor of reneging on a deal made last year.

Maxwell said he felt his budget may not be as bad the one initially proposed last year, but he sees some impacts in services. He also says the county will be prudent in its approach to the budget, as usual, and will be working with CSAC and other groups to protect services to local residents. City Treasurer Kathie Alves said the state budget will have its impacts, but she said the city's budget has taken those into consideration.

She was thrown a $100,000 curve ball here this week, but is sorting though state regulations and believes the city's adopted budget will prove correct.

County to set policy for longer trucks

Modoc County will formally adopt a policy Tuesday allowing overlength trucks on its roads, without having those drivers obtain a permit first. County Supervisors have on their agenda Tuesday approval of a policy that includes relevent California Vehicle Code 35401.5 addressing trucks up to a maximum length of 75 feet "for the purpose of loading and off-loading cargo." The Board is expected to adopt the new policy.

According to the policy, the code applies only to overall truck length, not overall weight, width, height and kingpin to rear axle distance. The California Vehicle Code covers those issues and is not changed for Modoc. The policy applies only to the loading and off-loading of cargo within the boundaries of Modoc County and does not apply to state highways. State highways allow longer trucks as long as they ae considered terminal highways.

According to Mike Maxwell, Chief Administrative Officer of Modoc, the policy will fit in with the California Highway Patrol, who were consulted with and provided information and expertise.

Maxwell said the policy applies to overlength trucks coming into and going out of the county, not just those hauling livestock or hay. It was estimated, he said, that 500 loads requiring the overlength trucks are affected each year in Modoc.

What the new policy does is provide a mechanism to continue what has been common practice in Modoc for several years. There are some overlength trucks which will not fit under this new policy and those are spelled out in the vehicle code.

The new policy should resolve an issue that started in November, when the Board affirmed the California Legal limit on truck length at 65 feet. County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell said subsequent Modoc County Cattlemen Association arguments following that decision were persuasive to the Board and the issue was revisited.

The Board had considered a permit process for the trucks, but has decided against the action.

In addition to the livestock haulers, the longer trucks also come into play for hay hauling, foodstuffs, construction, produce and other commodities. Those will also have to be addressed.

2nd Home Show out to top first

Last year, three Modoc women, Paula Henckel, Rendy Cockrell and Brooke Fredrickson sat down and came up with an idea to hold a Modoc County Home Show.

"Oh, get serious," was the first bit of advice and comment they got from some of their friends.

So they did.

The Modoc County Home Show last March turned out to be one of the highlights of the year and the challenge this year is to make it bigger and better than the first. That may be a tall order, but it's something this trio figures is possible.

"What we heard from a lot of people who didn't exhibit last year, was ‘Boy, did we miss out," said Cockrell this week. "We expect this year's show to actually require more space than just the Griswold Gym. We are planning to use part of the Modoc High Social Hall, and outdoors, as well."

This year's Home Show will be held March 26 at Modoc High School. Businesses who wish to display are asked to get their application in early. New this year will be the requirement of a business license or state resale permit, or contractor's license or federal tax identification number.

People who entered last year will have the first priority for the gym or whatever space they would like. The new exhibitors will be allotted space on a first-come, first served basis.

The deadline for all entries into the Home Show is March 11. There will be a $10 application fee per entrant.

Fredrickson emphasizes that people who plan to exhibit should show off what they have to offer local people, everything from building to decorating their home.

"I think people are somewhat surprised by what local businesses have to offer," Fredrickson said. "We were really impressed last year and so was the community. We wanted it to be a quality home show and we weren't disappointed. We honestly expect this year's show to be even better."

In last year's show, there were exhibits including: landscape contractors, real estate and insurance professionals, building contractors, plumbers, electricians, roofing, computers, Internet, cabinet makers, surveyors, home interior concepts, appliances, bank representatives, building supply, nursery, countertops and lighting, windows, insulation, flooring, solar technology, furniture, and a wide variety of decor items and ideas.

For more information or to enter contact Cockrell at Modoc Title, 530-233-3471; Fredrickson at Handmade Haven 530-233-1161; and Henckel at Modoc Public Works 530-233-6403.

Look for more information in the Modoc County Record over the next few weeks.

BLM Council meeting in Cedarville

Members of the Bureau of Land Management's Northeast California Resource Advisory Council will meet Thursday and Friday, January 13 and 14, at the BLM's Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler Street, Cedarville. The meeting is open to the public.

On Thursday the meeting begins at 1 p.m. Agenda topics include an overview of the federal stewardship contracting process, management of juniper firewood cutting areas and sage grouse conservation planning. Time for public comment has been set aside for 4 p.m.

The meeting reconvenes at 8 a.m. Friday, with the agenda focusing on land use planning issues. Council members will hear an update on the management plan for the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, discuss the status of Resource Management Plan development by Northeast California field offices, and hear an update on the sagebrush steppe ecosystem management plan, which focuses heavily on Western juniper management. The council also will hear a briefing on a coal-fired power plant proposed for the Garlic area. BLM managers from Alturas, Cedarville and Susanville will update the council on activities in their areas.

The 15-member board advises managers of the BLM's Northeast California field offices on natural resources and public land management issues. Members represent a diversity of public land interests including livestock grazing, recreation, environmental groups, wild horse and burro management, history and archaeology, off highway vehicle use, local government, the academic sector and the public at large.

For more information, contact BLM Public Affairs Officer Jeff Fontana, (530)252-5332.

MPAT teams up with dinner theater excitement Saturday

Modoc Performing Arts Theater and the staff at Antonio's Cucina Italiana will serve up excitement, entertainment and dinner in two performances at the Alturas restaurant this Saturday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

MPAT actors and Antonio's staff will be playing the roles in "Evening at Stan an' Tony's Speakeasy" or "The Night that Chicago Died."

"The MPAT cast and Antonio's staff are excited to present this production," offers MPAT's Karen Hays. "There will be songs from the 40's, instrumentals, a combo group and a ruckus in the kitchen, as well as other goings-on."

Advance reservations and ticket arrangements may be made at Antonio's. Tickets are $10.99 per person, tax and gratuity included.

The special dinner theater performances will offer limited seating for an afternoon performance from 2 to 4 p.m., with audience seating starting at 1:30 p.m. An evening performance will be from 6 to 9 p.m.

"The scene is set as tensions run high as words and bullets fly in the 1940s in Chicago. Who will live and who will die," describes Hays as the dining room action begins.

"The Night Chicago Died" is played out between and during a four-course dinner, starting with Mozzarella cheese and Roma tomato slices with Basil; a warm spinach salad, Chicken Antonio; and, for dessert Italian Creme with Strawberries. Tea, coffee or soda will also be offered. A wine list will be available.

Audience participation and era costume dress are encouraged, but not mandatory. Save and bring your ticket to the performance as questions/answers printed on the back of the ticket will gain the holder entry at the speakeasy door entrance.

The cast includes: Stan Yagi and the Antonio's staff, Denise Winfree, Kyle Yagi, Damian English, Aloha P. Schaefer, Gerry Gates, Nancy North Gates, David Cohen, Larry Manzer, Bobbi Ward, John Lawson, Kerry Davis, Karen Hays, Christy Cohen, Landon Flournoy, Dillon Flournoy, Niles Reynolds, Nat Futterman, Ross Montague, Sally Clark, Tré Hawes, Jeran Brown, with Carol Richert on piano.

For current MPAT patrons, sponsors or supporters MPAT will not be able to honor any Evening with MPAT 2005 tickets to pay for dinner. However, if you bring your 2005 Evening with MPAT ticket to the performance, you will be given a complimentary flute of champagne, courtesy of Antonio's.

For further information, contact Antonio's Cucina Italiana at (530) 233-5600 or Karen Hays at 233-2309. Ticket checks should be made payable to Antonio's.

Obituaries:

Charles (Bud) Williams

Likely resident Charles (Bud) Weber Williams passed away at the Modoc Medical Center in Alturas, CA on January 9, 2005. Bud, as he was known to his many friends, and family was the son of Allen Gary and Theresa Weber Williams.

He was born on June 6, 1918, and raised on the family ranch in Likely, CA. He attended South Fork Elementary School and graduated from Modoc Union High School with the class of 1937. Bud was a veteran of World War II. He volunteered for the U.S. Army in January 1941 and he was stationed at Ford Ord, CA on December 7 when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

He was a member of the 7th Infantry Division and saw combat during the invasion of Attu Island, part of the Aleutian Chain of Alaska.

He related later that he was only one of two men in his squad to survive the battle.

He married Dorothy (Dottie) Watson in Corning, CA on December 22, 1945 and together they had three children. Bud and Dottie made their family home in Likely, where he was a rancher for many years. In later years, he started a backhoe service. Bud's activities in the community included serving on the Modoc County Fair Board for a number of years. He was also past President of the Modoc County Farm Bureau and he served for many years on the cemetery board in Likely. He was also a charter member of the Likely Volunteer Fire Department. Bud was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Pete Christensen Post 3327 and was deeply appreciative of their efforts on behalf of America's veterans. He was a frequent passenger in the AmVet bus to the Veterans' Hospital in Reno.

Bud enjoyed life. As a young man his pride and joy was a Harley Davidson motorcycle. In his later years he turned to wood carving. He turned out numerous works of art for his family and friends. Bud and his wife Dottie thoroughly enjoyed traveling with an RV but also always enjoyed returning home to Likely.

He is survived by his wife Dottie, his son Gary and wife Cathy of Redmond, OR, his daughter Sydney and husband, John Flournoy of Likely, CA and daughter Mary and husband Craig Foster of Lakeview, OR., six grandchildren and a great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, West.

He will be remembered as a loving father and husband and one to whom family was always first. But his many friends in the community were a close second.

A celebration of life service will be held today, January 13 at 11 a.m. at the Likely Fire Hall in Likely. The Reverend Ben Zandstra will officiate. Mr. Williams' ashes will be buried at the Likely Cemetery. Kerr Mortuary in Alturas has charge of arrangements.

His family requests that any donations in his memory be made to the Federated Community Church in Alturas for the benefit of the Blue Lake Youth Camp or to AMVETS Post 2003 at P.O. Box 1118 in Alturas, CA.

Peggy Maxwell

Peggy Maxwell, former owner of Maxwell's Nursery in Alturas, passed away of natural causes on December 19, 2004 in Red Bluff, CA. where she had been residing these past four years.

The Alturas resident was originally from Klamath Falls, Oregon, where she was born Juanita Mae "Peggy" Ellis on March 20, 1924. She finished high school in Newberg, OR and married Homer Bert Maxwell on November 10, 1944 in Alturas, CA. For over half a century, Peggy made Alturas her home. She worked as a secretary at Modoc High School and Modoc Joint Unified School District, before taking up the work of Maxwell's Nursery, established over 40 years ago. Peggy and Bert spent their "retirement" helping customers establish their gardens, while Peggy offered planting advice and kept things growing. After Bert passed away February 20, 1990, Peggy kept the business going until she sold Maxwell's Nursery in October of 1992, to current owners Bill McGee and Sam Sutrino. Mrs. Maxwell is survived by her two daughters, Jerry Ann Turek of Corning, CA and Jean Arens of Redding, CA; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held in Alturas at a date to be determined.

LaRhee Sides

Former Alturas resident Katheleen LaRhee Sides, known in Alturas by the name LaRhee, passed away in Shelton, WA. on December 31, 2004, where she has resided for the past nine years. Services were held in Shelton on January 6, 2005.

She was born on April 21, 1921, in February, Nebraska, to Rex and Alta Clark. LeRhee was the youngest of eight siblings who have all preceded her in death.

She married Leland Sides in 1938 in Seattle, WA. They resided in Washington until 1945 when they moved to Alturas. She worked for years at the Alturas Laundry and Dry Cleaners. After retirement, they lived in several places before moving back to Washington. She loved being with her family, especially her grandchildren. She also enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and playing bingo. She was preceded in death by her husband.

LaRhee is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Sharon and Burney Huisingh of Shelton, WA. and Marsha and Gerald Quigley of Arizona, one son Gary and his wife Robin Sides of Alturas, CA., ten grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

LeRoy Edward Kunert, Sr

Cedarville resident LeRoy Edward Kunert, Sr. passed away December 23, 2004 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, from lung cancer. Upon his request, no services will be held

Born April 8, 1927 in David City, Nebraska, he graduated from hig.h school in Lincoln, Nebraska. He served with the 12th Marine Corps during World Wars II and the Korean War. After 10 years of service he received his discharge on July 19, 1953 with the rank of Sergeant.

Mr. Kunert married Lillie May Johnson, his wife of 54 years, while he was on leave from the Marines on March 9, 1950 in Visalia, California. Upon his discharge Mr. Kunert became a baker with the Sunbeam Bakery in Porterville, CA for 12 years, then became a logger. The family moved to Sisters, Oregon, where he took employment as a ranch hand. They later moved to Surprise Valley and lived at several places through the valley, until settling in Cedarville. They have resided in the valley where Mr. Kunert has been a ranch hand for 31 years. When not working, Mr. Kunert enjoyed having coffee with friends in Cedarville and outings to go fishing. He is survived by his wife Lillie; daughter Judie and husband Bob Hunt of Vacaville, CA; son LeRoy Kunert, Jr. and friend Melissa Berkshire of Portland, OR.; son Jeff and wife Cheryl Kunert of Alturas, California. He also leaves seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Joanne Allphine

Joanne Allphine of Alturas passed away Sunday, January 9, 2005 at Modoc Medical Center in Alturas, CA.

Mrs. Allphine moved to Alturas in the late 1980s and had been a resident of Modoc Recreational Estates since July 1994.

At one time, she was employed at the Modoc Lanes bowling alley in Alturas.

Kerr Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. No services are planned. The Record plans to publish Mrs. Allphine's obituary and photograph next week.

Sports

 

Modoc heads to Burney invite after good Anderson outing

Modoc's wrestling team placed eighth in a very tough Anderson Invitational tournament last weekend, and will be heavily favored in the Burney Invitational this weekend.

Modoc's team placed eighth in Anderson, with the teams above them being no less than from schools of at least 1,500 students. Modoc has just 300. The Braves put four wrestlers in the finals, as many as any other school. Travis Wood took second at 152 pounds, losing the finals to a wrestler from Sprague, Or., who was a two-time Oregon state champ.

Modoc' Jason Jones placed second at 160 pounds, losing to a Sprague, Or. wrestler who was state champ last year. Sprague won the team tile at the tourney.

Brad Bell took a second at 189 pounds, wrestling very well and Joey Catania did a solid job, placing second at 215 pounds. He lost the finals to the third ranked wrestler in the state.

Several other wrestlers did well in Anderson: Ian Jacques went 2-2 at 171, Mark Main was 1-2 at 171, Nick Hawes was 2-2 at 140, Brian Weed was 2-2 at 125, Ryan Carrithers was 2-2 at 145, Sheridan Crutcher was 2-2 at 130, Martin Corns was 1-2 at 112.

Braves beat Bishop Quinn, home against Weed Friday night

Modoc's varsity boys survived what coach Mike Martin called a Legoland floor to beat a good Bishop Quinn team, 54-45, Tuesday in Redding.

The floor was plastic type tile, which was something Martin had never seen and was quite slippery.

"I don't want to make excuses, but that floor gives Bishop Quinn a distinct home-floor advantage," said Martin. "They are a pretty good team and I think they'll be able to knock off some people this year."

The Braves had a 14-9 lead in the first, but had a terrible second period, scoring just four points and Bishop Quinn led 27-18 at halftime. The Braves bounced back in the third, tying it 37-37. The Braves outscored the Lions, 17-8, in the fourth for the win.

Ross Burgess had 20 points and Micah Eppler added 17.

Note: Modoc meets Weed here Friday night and will make up the snow-postponed game against Mt. Shasta Saturday. Game times in Mt. Shasta are as follows: JV girls, 2 p.m.; JV boys, 3:30 p.m.; varsity girls, 5 p.m. and varsity boys, 6:30 p.m.

JV boys lose to Lions

Modoc's junior varsity boys had a poor game against Bishop Quinn, losing 41-28. The Braves trailed 6-3 in the first and 20-7 at halftime. By the end of three, the Braves trailed 29-14. Modoc finally scored in double digits in the fourth. Daniel Morgan led with 10 points, Liam Iverson and Keith Montague added seven each.

JV girls let one slip away

Modoc's junior varsity girls basketball team let a game slip away Tuesday at Bishop Quinn, 32-31.

The Braves had a five-point lead with 1:31 left in the game, but could not hold off Bishop Quinn. The Braves picked up three fouls, sending the Lions to the free throw stripe, where they hit six straight for the win. Alysha Northrup led the scoring with 11, Megan Thompson added eight and Tacie Richardson had six.

The varsity girls lost to Bishop Quinn 53-28.

Local Hoop Shoot winners head to Portola regionals

The Alturas Elks Hoop Shoot winners will head to Portola for the regionals January 16.

The Alturas competition was held last week. The winner in the girls 8-9 year olds was Katelyn Burgoyne of Cedarville; Cheyenne King of Alturas won in the 10-11 year-old; and Jennifer Jardine, of Alturas, won the 12-13 age group shoot.

Jonathan Morgan, of Alturas, won the boys 8-9 year-old competition with Alex Porres, Alturas, winning in the 10-11 year-olds and Ethan Bonham, of Alturas, winning the 12-13 year old group.

January 20, 2005

News

Juvenile arrested after assault in gym

A 17-year-old juvenile was arrested Friday night alleging assault after a fight broke outside the foyer of the Griswold Gym during a Modoc High School basketball game.

According to Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes, the 17-year-old, reportedly a newcomer to Modoc, had an altercation with Kevin Townsend, age 18, of Alturas.

At one point the juvenile apparently went to a vehicle and came back with a baseball bat and then tried to hit Townsend in the head. Barnes said one blow struck Townsend's arm, breaking it before the fight was stopped. The juvenile was arrested and transferred to juvenile hall pending further investigation. He was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting great bodily harm.

Barnes said a "look-alike gun" was also confiscated from the juvenile's vehicle.

2 rapes alleged involving Alturas teenage victims

An Alturas man, Leon Bonderer, age 20, was arrested at 606 West D Street January 12 following a disturbance at his residence and those of his neighbors.

He was apprehended in his driveway and started to resist. When he was placed into the patrol car, he kicked at the window, causing some minor damage.

While he was in custody, police investigated another report alleging he had forcibly raped a 16-year-old female. Following the investigation, he was charged with the rape and remains in custody.

Another man, Justin Leisey, age 20, was arrested Saturday alleging he forcibly raped a 13-year-old girl in Alturas on or about December 13. He was booked into the Modoc County Jail.

Police arrested a juvenile driver last Friday, charging him with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol after he backed into the fence at U.S. bank, and then hit the overhang support pole on the drive up window. He left the scene, but apparently came back and was detained by citizens until police arrived. He was turned over to Probation.

New forest planning rules favoring locals

Forest supervisors, like Stan Sylva of the Modoc National Forest, have new planning rules that will govern their management of the country's natural resources

"This process is looking more at a continuum-learn as we go and adjust as we learn new information or as conditions change," says Sylva, who emphasizes continuous monitoring for the "sustainability" of the forest, "environmentally, socially and economically."

Dubbed the 2004 Planning Rule, it is seen by the Forest Service officials as a means to streamline and shorten the planning process that goes into every project

"Some of the original plans would take five to seven years," Sylva says, pointing out the slow pace at which plans and projects formerly developed. "It might take $5, $10 or $15 million to complete it. It was time to really try to streamline the process."

Most notably, the new rule would not require the preparation of an environmental impact statement or an environmental assessment. It does, however, retain the means for public input and comment at the beginning of the planning process, just as under the old 1982 Planning Rule

Perhaps predictably, some are displeased with the rule. "It seems like many of the environmentalists are not happy with it. They seem to portray it as another means for the administration to lessen public involvement or the use of science," says Sylva, who flatly denies that there is any truth to that perception

Speaking of the language of the rule itself, Sylva says, "Everyone should read it and read it for what it says."

Referring to what Forest Service chief Dale Bosworth calls "analysis paralysis," Sylva explains that a more nimble and responsive rule has long been needed. "The regulations themselves have been in kind of a revision mode for more than just this administration. There's been a recognition that, through time, we need to have a planning mechanism that will allow us to adjust fairly rapidly in the case of wild fires and changed conditions, (such as) insects and disease, and use adaptive management-a learn-as-we-go process."

Significantly, in the two years since Sylva took charge of the Modoc National Forest there have been more timber sales than in the previous ten years-not as much as one segment of the public would want and more than another is inclined to accept. He explains that one of his priorities is to see that the forest has some useful commercial value as well as environmental preservation.

Sylva sees the new plan as a boon to his staff because the current forest management plan under which the Modoc National Forest operates, penned in 1990, was about to reach the end of its 15-year usefulness. A new plan "would be scheduled, basically, about now," says the pleased forest supervisor. "Currently, within our region, we don't have the budget to actually undergo that at this point in time. I think this process is a way for us to amend or revise our forest plan in more of a strategic mode, and probably take less time and money to do it."

Eager to see the public participate, he puts a high priority on input from outside the service. "In my opinion, you use your best information. You use your best science. And you engage the public so you glean what their interests and desires are."

Ultimately, doing what is best for the forest is Sylva's overriding concern. "We've got to be honest and up front. There are certain things that we can do that are supported by good land management practices and some things that aren't. Those that aren't, I don't have any difficulty stating that I don't think that that's the right thing to do."

Nancy Gardner, the public affairs officer in the Alturas office points out that Sylva believes that putting people in the forest to experience the situation first hand is the best catalyst to find agreement or consensus on most issues. Contending points of view are most easily resolved when both parties to an issue can see for themselves how their opinions affect the forest. "That's where that learning occurs," she affirms.

"I think that's one of the best (tools) that we have to do that," concurs Sylva. "I think it's an art to figure out when enough is enough, when it's time to make a decision or (when) you don't have the information to make an informed decision. (If) you leave some key players out, they're probably going to be the detractors. (Then) you've kind of missed your mark."

Sylva notes that local people are "really engaged and active in their forest. Part of my job our job here is to facilitate that collaboration and communication, and see how we can come to some common ground and conclusion. We have a community here that's really interested in the forest. That's a huge plus for us for me."

Speaking of forest service chief, Dale Bosworth, and regional forester, Jack Blackwell, Sylva says, "Those guys have worked hard to allow us locally to manage the forest, and have insisted that we work with people and we develop our project programs in concert with local people. The environment from the national level down is really rewarding to me in that I don't get a lot of detailed guidance-just broad guidelines. We've got to comply with laws. And then we've got some national priorities that make sense here-like protecting private property, our fire plans and all that stuff and then managing the forests so that they are sustainable and they're healthy. That work that they've done nationally really has contributed to our ability to work with local people and, I think, get local work done."

Proposed coal-fired power plant concerning residents

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management briefed the public at two meetings in Cedarville last week regarding applications for permits they have received from Sempra Energy Corporation, headquartered in San Diego.

Sempra is in the process of laying the foundation for the construction of a coal-fired power plant near Gerlach, Nevada. Barbara Kehrberg, who works out of the Winnemucca Field Office, has been named the BLM Project Lead for course of the proposed project.

Dubbed the "Granite Fox Power Project", the conventional coal plant would supply 1450 megawatts of power, enough to support 1.45 million households each year. Sempra Energy hopes to locate the plant on the northern edge of the Smoke Creek Desert, 10 miles from Gerlach and 74 miles south of Cedarville along Nevada Highway 447.

Sempra recently built a monitoring tower, which will collect air quality information over the next year, at the proposed site. Its sudden appearance, for many who travel the corridor between Surprise Valley and Reno, was the first concrete evidence the controversial project was proceeding

Last week's local meetings were the first of their kind in Modoc County, though news and rumors surrounding Sempra's plans have been circulating for months. With a contingent of citizens from the Gerlach and Empire area joining local residents, Kehrberg had her hands full keeping the Thursday night "information-only" meeting on track.

With the help of an introductory power-point presentation designed by Laura Levy and detailed maps of the affected region, Kehrberg capably conveyed what facts were available, avoiding "rumors and rumors of rumors". She would take "generic questions" only from the crowd which contained many veterans of previous clashes with governmental agencies that oversee public lands.

Sempra has two other coal plant proposals in the pipeline in Nevada alone. The Granite Fox plant, by far its biggest project to date, would be sited on 2,000 acres of private land, though tying in to an existing DC power line will require government permits for access to approximately 260 acres of public lands. Those permits, for a railroad spur, a 1.5 mile 500 KV DC transmission line linking the plant to the Bonneville power line, and a water gathering line, must all be approved through the BLM.

"Our job is to make sure the process is followed. We take no sides and will follow all state and BLM regulations", assured Kehrberg. Locally, BLM geologist Ken Collum will be the Surprise Field Office contact person for the project. Other offices involved in the permitting process are the Winnemucca Field Office where Kehrberg is assigned, and the Eagle Lake Field Office near Susanville.

Kehrberg stated public scoping meetings will begin sometime in the next 3-4 months with the BLM information office distributing timely public notices to all local newspapers in the area affected by the proposed plant. An open house with Sempra representatives has been tentatively scheduled for February 16 in Gerlach. At that time, people will be able to ask direct questions of the energy company representatives about matters Kehrberg was unable to discuss last week.

The BLM is in the process of choosing a third-party contractor to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and doesn't expect a first draft until sometime in 2006. Submission of the initial draft report will be followed by a series of public meetings providing opportunities for people to thoroughly comment on the project. A final EIS report is expected to take up to three years to reach final approval.

If the EIS opens the way for proceeding with current plans, Sempra projects they will have one tower in operation in 2010 with a second tower being brought online the following year.

The Granite Fox Power Plant, which has an expected lifetime of 50 years, will likely employ 150 full-time workers when it goes online. However, plans call for up to 1800 people to be involved in its construction over three years. This influx of transient workers would more than triple the current population of both Gerlach and Empire combined.

Proposals call for a "man camp" housing workers to be set up near the site of the plant. "Temporary motel-like structures would be constructed to house workers, along with kitchen facilities that will feed 500 people at a time", reported Kehrberg. Many in the crowd wondered about the increased water usage, sewage and garbage disposal and other negative impacts of a sudden invasion of people to an area sparsely dotted with ranches and visited more often by wild horses than people.

BLM employees are also concerned about the presence of a camp of mostly transient workers so close to the resource area managed by the Surprise Field Office. "Many of these guys will have guns or bring ATV's for recreational use. Such a huge number of people running around on their 'off time' will almost certainly have a serious impact on the fragile wilderness surrounding the project site", said one concerned BLM employee after the meeting.

Sempra is also seeking permits to allow a dump site for the plant's by-products. It would be sited north of the plant just west of highway 447 on private land but within the resource management area administered by the Surprise Field Office. Fly ash, which is used in making cement, and calcium sulfate (which is simple gypsum and used in sheetrock), would be stored there. However, many in attendance at last week's meeting were frustrated at what was perceived as the BLM's failure to mention other more toxic by-products of coal-fired power plants. Kehrberg assured people that all impacts of the project would be carefully studied when the EIS was submitted. Challenges to any erroneous or omitted information could then be made at subsequent public meetings.

With a coal-fired plant as huge as the Granite Fox proposal, many are troubled at what is estimated to be the need for 16,000 acre-feet of water by the plant each year. Sempra has optioned water rights to 25,000 acre feet to date, including those of Squaw Creek Reservoir. However, the state of Nevada has so far granted no permits. "Water studies started about a year ago and the Nevada state hydrologist is involved", reported Kehrberg. "They are getting no water from public lands." The permit application for a "gathering line" is only to allow piping across BLM-managed land to transport water from private sources.

Power generated from Granite Fox is expected to be sent south to the Los Angeles area through the LA Water and Power line that runs nearby. Kehrberg reported Sempra has discussed tying in additional sources of "green energy" and has heard there are proposals for two wind projects and some geothermal power generation. Power could also be sent to the Portland area through the Bonneville line to the north of the plant's site. Because the permit process is not yet complete, hopes have been raised that Sempra will somehow fail to secure the necessary tie-in rights to the DC power line needed to carry the amount of power generated by such a massive plant.

There had been rumors a contingent from Empire Farms, which operates on geothermal power, would compete for the single available tie-in permit. "What most people don't realize is, whoever gets that permit will pay $150 million for it", said Ken Collum. He pointed out the obvious – most companies or entities that hope to generate solar, wind or geothermal energy do not have the resources to compete with a project as well-funded or potentially lucrative as the Sempra plant.

The Granite Fox plant will operate using coal shipped from either Wyoming or Utah. It is expected to consume the coal from 3 daily trains of 150 cars each hauling coal directly to the plant.

Kehrberg, while maintaining a professional stance as the project lead, seemed sympathetic to the frustrations voiced by many in the audience Thursday night. Her advice, to anyone hoping to impact the permitting process, was to "attend all public meetings. Show up in force. Talk to your congressmen and representatives." But her role, and that of the BLM and related governmental agencies, is to "make sure the process, the letter of the law, is followed."

Kehrberg did stress the field offices involved have a healthy appreciation for the public lands within their jurisdictions. The newest federally-designated protected area, the Black Rock Desert -- High Rock Canyon Emigration Trails National Conservation Area, lies just southeast of the proposed plant site. "We live near many unique places. There are historic sites, emigrant trails, hot springs, and recreational sites close by such as where a new land sailing record was recently set", said Kehrberg.

Michael Sykes, a business owner in Cedarville who attended Thursday's meeting, carefully studied the map distributed. He pointed out there is a Wilderness Study Area immediately bordering the proposed plant's western border. Ken Collum said such designated areas are generally "pristine, relatively undisturbed" and protected for the public's use and appreciation. However, the entire plant will sit on private land and sharing a border with any public land doesn't open the door to much oversight into their ultimate land use apart from following a few stringent guidelines set down by law. "We will absolutely follow the law", reiterated Kehrberg. "So far, with the first tie-in decision 18+ months out, we are not even close to a 'done deal'."

Though Sempra "is building these coal plants all over the US" at the present time, Kehrberg stressed the energy company has many hurdles to clear during all phases of the permitting process and impact studies for the proposed operation. "For example, there is only one tie-in to the DC line available. If Sempra doesn't get it, this project is over."

Pool info meetings set in Canby, Alturas

Informational meetings on the Modoc Aquatic Recreation Center are set for Jan. 25, 7 p.m. at the Canby Fire Hall and for Feb. 1 at the Veteran's Hall in Alturas.

The MARC Committee will be on hand to provide information on the project and answer questions from the public. MARC is also planning a meeting in Likely soon.

Voters within what amounts basically to most of the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries will vote March 8, 2005 on two questions involving a recreation district.

The first question on that ballot will be whether to form a recreation district in those boundaries, which exclude the Willow Ranch and New Pine Creek areas. The question needs a 50 percent plus one margin to pass and form the district.

The second question on the March 8 ballot will be the approval of a $25 per property owner tax to fund the district. That question will require approval by at least two-thirds of the voters. Property owners would only pay a single $25 fee, regardless of how many parcels they own.

Animal dumping too common in rural areas

By Lynda Demsher

Special to the Record

It was early and below zero when two black and yellow pups were bounced out of a warm car onto the cold ground in front of the General Store in Termo. While they were groggily tripping over each other, their former owner sped out of their lives. Unfortunately, in rural areas, this scenario is not uncommon.

Fortunately for the pups, an employee inside the store heard the car slow down and crunch gravel in front of the store, then abruptly take off. When she went to investigate, she saw the pups by the road and figured out what happened. She called a friend, who in turn called the High Plateau Humane Society, even though the pups were abandoned in Lassen County. HPHS does reach beyond Modoc County borders when animals are in need, and has had a presence in the area, about halfway between Alturas and Susanville.

An HPHS volunteer drove to Termo and rescued the two friendly youngsters, obviously siblings of German Shepard heritage and estimated to be four or five months old. The pups were hearty and well fed, although one had bite marks on his leg and the other had what appeared to be an eye problem.

"They were both really, really thirsty when brought in," said HPHS President Emilie Martin, who noticed that the little female's eye problem seemed to clear up once the pups were re-hydrated. The 20-30 pound babies were taken to Modoc Veterinary Clinic where they were checked out, vaccinated, and taken to Carey's Grooming to await placement in HPHS foster homes. They were given names: Termo, of course, for the male, and Tears for the female because she had looked a little weepy right after being rescued.

While Modoc County's Animal Control ordinance does not address dog abandonment, the state penal code does, saying "Every person who willfully abandons any animals is guilty of a misdemeanor." Animal dumping is too tragic to be considered a mere misdemeanor, says Martin, who, along with many HPHS members, are all too familiar with the problem. Animal dumping is a cruel, inhumane way to get rid of unwanted dogs and cats, she say, especially when all someone has to do is call HPHS for help.

Abandoned pets can become dehydrated, starved, hit by a vehicle, or eaten alive by wild animals before stumbling onto someone who may either feed them or shoot them, she pointed out. Also, it isn't fair to those on whose property the animals are dumped. They have the heartbreak of dealing with a confused, frightened displaced pet with no history, said Martin.

Sometimes such animals can bite someone trying to help them, especially if injured, she said. Since most animals are dumped without collars or tags so they aren't be traced back o the owner, anyone bitten by an abandoned animals would have to go through rabies prevention treatments, she added.

That's why those caught abandoning a domestic animal should be subject to large fines if caught, the HPHS president said. Dumping animals should be at least an intolerable as littering, she said.

Termo has since been adopted by someone who fell in love with his regal German Shepard looks and sweet disposition, while his sister waits for a new family in an HPHS foster home where she is are, well fed, and warm. They were lucky, but the next batch of pups may not be. "Better to prevent the litter in the first place through spaying or neutering," said Martin.

Martin has been working on a grant that will provide funds to help those who may not be able to afford the entire cost of getting an animal spayed or neutered, while other HPHS members are looking into ways to get animal abandonment's laws strengthened.

Anyone who would like to contribute to HPHS may write to P.O. Box 1383, Alturas, CA. 96101, call (530)233-9277, or email: hdhumanesociety.org.

Obituaries:

Georgia Rita Kelley Hess

Georgia (Georgie) Hess, lifelong resident of Modoc County and of XL Indian Reservation, passed away at the Warnerview Convalescent Hospital in Alturas, CA on January 10, 2005.

She was born Georgia Rita Kelley on September 28, 1928 in Adin, California to Eunice Hunt Kelley and Want Kelley. She married Archie Hess in 1949. She was preceded in death by her son by her first husband, three brothers, Leland, Roland and Leonard and her husband, Archie.

Throughout their lives, Georgie and Archie raised livestock and hay on their allotment on the reservation and were active in tribal affairs, where he served on the tribal council as chairman at one time.

She as a member of the Modoc Full Gospel Church (American Indian Full Gospel Assemblies) and Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada. Georgie enjoyed her family, friends and their beautiful home on the North Fork of the Pit River. She was a Traditional Native American Healer and practiced that art throughout her life.

She is survived by her sister, Irma Hess of Alturas; niece, Marjorie Miller Walker of Carson City, Nevada and numerous other relatives throughout Northern California and Southern Oregon.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Robert Lake, Pastor, Modoc Full Gospel Church, at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. with a brief graveside service at XL Ranch Indian Cemetery. A memorial gathering was held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church on North Street, Alturas, at approximately 2:00 p.m. following the funeral services. Contributions in Georgie's memory may be made to Rev. Robert Lake, Pastor of the Modoc Full Gospel Church, 1010 West Henderson St., Alturas, CA 96101

Elsie A. Cantrall

Elsie Ashford Cantrall passed away January 15, 2005, in Alturas, CA at the age of 96.

Born November 15, 1908, in Likely, California to Willard A. Smith and Della Leona Roys Smith, Elsie was the second child in a family of seven children. She and her family lived in Likely during all of her growing up years with the exception of one year when the family lived in Alameda due to her father's position with the railroad.

After a year in Alameda and missing Modoc County they returned to Likely. Upon their return, Elsie resumed her attendance at local schools and her high school years were spent attending Modoc High School.

Elsie married James Walter Cantrall on September 16, 1925 in Alturas. Together they purchased a ranch in Jess Valley from the Sweeney brothers the same year and so began a long and happy marriage and ranching business. In 1927, the couple had a daughter, Barbara Leona, and in 1929, a son, Glenn Walter.

Elsie was a supportive wife, a loving mother and talented homemaker. She worked daily at Walter's side with the routine operations. They had 28 milk cows and Elsie grew quite skillful at milking, a chore for which she was known in a humorous way by family members to even be competitive. While husband Walter could milk more cows than Elsie in the morning, Elsie could quite handily beat Walter by late afternoon's milking time. She raised chickens, she and Walter raised a heard of cattle and Elsie buckarooed right along with Walter. They raised hay and Elsie cooked for the hay crew. Walter and Elsie always enjoyed sharing their way of life on their ranch in Jess Valley with guests and entertained often. Elsie took great delight in cooking and baking, particularly for guests. Many marveled at the skillful way in which she was able to work like a ranch hand yet put on a dinner the same day, finishing it with the finest of homemade deserts that would impress even the most finicky.

Elsie was well known for her beautiful yard where she worked continually nurturing many plants, flowers, and shrubs. She was also known for her beautiful needle work. When the days work was done, she would put on a dress and retire to the den where Walter would be relaxing and sit and sew and do needle work.

She was preceded in death by her son, Glenn in 1952, her husband, Walter in 1972, her granddaughter, Robyn in 1994, and her daughter Barbara in 1999. Also, sisters Willetta Blevins, Erma Linville and Faye Chapman and brothers Ron and Don Smith preceded her.

Elsie is survived by brother Marion Smith of Alturas, grandsons Fletcher Christensen of Willows and Randy Christensen of Jess Valley, numerous grand and great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 22 at 11 a.m. at the Likely Community Church in Likely followed by burial at the Likely Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Likely Community Church in care of John Abbate, P.O. Box 535, Likely, CA. 96116.

F.R. (Dick) Klassen

F.R. (Dick) Klassen passed away peacefully January 17, 2005, in Alturas, CA with his family at his side. Born September 2, 1918, in Lincoln, Nebraska of parents Frank Gerhardt Klassen and Ada May DeLay, he was the youngest of four children. The oldest sister, Esh (95), is the only surviving sibling.

Dick gave 27 years of service to the U.S. Army, most spent overseas, retiring in 1967 as a Master Sergeant.

Dick and wife, Jeane, were active in the Solano Yacht Club and U.S. Power Squadron. They also were actively involved with Marantha Volunteers International and traveled to many places including Washington, Colorado, Mexico and California, assisting in building churches and schools. Dick's wife, Jeane, of 31 years passed away in 2001. Dick had two children, Dick Klassen, Jr. and Karen Teadkte and a step-daughter, Lori Johnson of Carmichael, CA. Dick's son preceded him in death in 2000, leaving daughter-in-law, Agnes Klassen of Alturas. He leaves 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Solano Yacht Club and will be scheduled at a later date.

James Walter Coppedge.

James Walter Coppedge died January 16, 2005, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Memorial services will be held Friday, January 21, 2005, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Hillsboro, OR

Mr. Coppedge was born December 17, 1943, to Omar and Evelyn Myers Coppedge in Napa, California. He moved to Lakeview, OR. in 1946, and then to Alturas, CA. He graduated from Modoc Union High School in 1962, and attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. studying History and Political Science. He was a member of Gamma Sigma Fraternity. During summer vacation, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Modoc County. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army.

After the service, he was employed as a truck driver for Stewart Stiles Truck Line out of Forest Grove. He was married in 1971 to Christine Walter and in 1978, he married Linda Magee. He married Kathy Newton in 2001. Mr. Coppedge coached t-ball and Little League teams in Cornelius Kids Youth Sports. He also coached Forest Grove City Swim Team. He enjoyed golfing and was lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Adin, California

Those who wish may make contributions in his name to the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Mr. Coppedge is survived by his wife, Kathy Coppedge, Hillsboro, OR.; daughter: Esther and Elia Freedman, Hillsboro, OR.; son Justin and Tammy Coppedge, Beaverton, OR.; son Adam and Lorelei Magee, Vancouver, WA.; son Chris Magee, Portland, OR.; step-daughter Lisa and Steve Ackerman, Washougal, WA.; step-daughter Dina Newton, Hillsboro, OR.; step-daughter Lori and Chris Liezert, St. Helens, OR.; sister Beth and Jim Walls, Rio Linda, CA. and mother-in-law: Mary Corrieri, Hillsboro, OR. and five grandchildren.

Arrangements are under the direction of Donelson, Sewell and Mathews Mortuary, 171 NE Third Ave., Hillsboro, OR 07124.

Joan Marie Allphin

Joan Allphin of Alturas passed away Sunday, January 9, 2005, at Modoc Medical Center in Alturas, CA. Mrs. Allphin was 54.

She was born Joan Marie Hudson on August 25, 1950, in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, to Stella and Frank Hudson.

Mrs. Allphin moved to Alturas in the late 1980s and had been a resident of Modoc Recreational Estates since July 1994. She married Harold Allphin of Alturas on July 5, 1995, in Reno, Nevada. She loved to fish, hunt, enjoyed gardening and canned her own garden's bounty. She was an avid bowler and member of the Alturas Bowling League.

She loved animals, especially small dogs.

She was employed at the Modoc Lanes bowling alley in Alturas, prior to her marriage to Mr. Allphin.

From a previous marriage, she is survived by three daughters and two sons of New Jersey. She also told her husband Harold that she had five sisters and six brothers in New Jersey and North Carolina. She is survived by five step-daughters and three step-sons; 25 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Allphin's wishes were to be cremated. No services are planned. Kerr Mortuary in Alturas, tended to arrangements.

Sports

Modoc wrestlers win BRI, on to Corning Invitational

Modoc had little trouble winning the Burney Rotary Invitational wrestling tournament last weekend and will head next week to the tough Corning Invitational.

Modoc will send its junior varsity wrestlers to Mt. Shasta this weekend, in a makeup of a tourney canceled earlier this season.

The Braves scored 200.5 points followed by Middletown 128.5, Lassen 128, Corning 124, Quincy 122, Burney 113, Gridley 111, Upper Lake 84, Trinity 83, Chester 71, Bonanza 68.5, Etna 46, Tulelake 44.5, Modoc II 40.5, Hamilton City 37, Portola 24, Bishop Quinn 22, Los Molinos 18, Big Valley 10 and Fall River 9.

The Braves' Joey Catania won the 215-pound division and was named the Outstanding Heavyweight of the tourney. Tulelake's John Luscombe won the 145-pound division and was named the Outstanding Middleweight. For the Braves, Travis Wood won the title at 152 pounds, Jason Jones won the title at 160 pounds, Mark Main won at 171 and Brad Bell won at 189 pounds.

Ian Jacques tool a fourth place at 171 pounds and Jesse Harer took fifth. Brian Weed was fifth at 125 pounds and Chris Buchanan was fifth at 135 pounds. Ryan Carrithers took fifth at 140 pounds, Nick Hawes took fifth at 145 and David Holloway was sixth. Jared Cox took a fifth at 160 pounds and Tim Cruse was fifth at heavyweight.

Braves off to 4-0 SCL start, 3 home games should be helpful

Modoc's Braves are off to a 4-0 Shasta Cascade League start, made better because three of those wins were on the road. And nicer still, because Modoc has a three-home game stint.

Etna comes to town Friday night, Trinity comes to visit on Saturday and Fall River is in Alturas Tuesday. Modoc coach Mike Martin is pleased with the fast start and considers unbeaten Trinity to be the biggest hurdle for the Braves.

Modoc beat Weed 57-48 here last Friday. They led 10-7 after one and 30-20 at halftime. Modoc took a 41-26 lead into the final quarter. Ross Burgess led the scoring with 16, Micah Eppler added 12 and Zeke Bonham had 10. The Braves beat Mt. Shasta at their house Saturday 51-49 in a tight and tough game. The Bears led 19-11 after one and Modoc took a 30-26 lead at halftime. The score after three was 40-37, Modoc. Modoc held on for the win. Burgess led with 28 points and Eppler added 14.

Tuesday night, the Braves beat Burney, 57-37, there, with Eppler netting 27 and Burgess 11. Modoc trailed 15-13 in the first, but took a 28-22 lead by halftime and outscored the Raiders, 29-15, in the second half.

Modoc varsity girls lose three

Modoc's varsity girls team lost three Shasta Cascade League games this last week, but are playing better.

Modoc lost to Weed, 73-40, with the league's leading scorer Caitlin Faria scoring 35 points against the Braves.

The Braves lost to Mt. Shasta Friday night, 69-32, Missy Ackley, a transfer from Big Valley, led the Braves with 14 points and Ali Campagna added five.

Modoc then lost to Burney Tuesday 49-28 with Ackley netting nine points, Brittney Bartram, Campagna, Danielle and Jessie Harden each had four. The Braves have the Etna Lions at home Friday and host Trinity Saturday. They also play at home Tuesday against Fall River.

Modoc's junior varsity girls took two out of three games over the week, getting back into the hunt for an SCL title. Modoc beat Weed 44-11 at home Friday night with Sarah Catania, Marlana Bartram and Megan Thompson each getting seven points. Alysha Northup led with eight.

Modoc then met Mt. Shasta in Mt. Shasta, got off to a slow start and fought hard to get back in the game. They trailed by 12 but ended up losing just 45-43 at the buzzer. Tacie Richardson led the Braves with 11 points, and four players fouled out. Freshmen Whitney Ponti, Amanda Fain and Brynn Juanarena stepped in to help keep the game close.

The girls ran into the same whistle happy refs in Burney the JV boys did and wound up winning 44-39 in overtime. Northrup led the scoring with 17 points and had five rebounds. Kelly Campagna's three-point shot tied the game at 34-34 at the end of regulation.

SV girls win, lose

January 11 saw the Hornet girls, after leading at the half, lose to the Tulelake Honkers at Tulelake by a scorer of 40 to 25. Cara James and Jacque Laxague scored ten and nine points respectively as Laxague pulled downed nine rebounds and Sarah Teuscher had nine block shots.

On January 14 the Hornets traveled to McCloud to play the Happy Camp Indians and won by a score of 37 to 33. Leading scorers for the Hornets were Cara James with 22 points as Sarah Teuscher put in eight and pulled down 12 rebounds and had six block shots.

Tuesday, January 18 saw the Hornets losing to the Big Valley Cardinals at Big Valley in overtime 51 to 49. After trailing at the half, the Hornets fought back with only four players on the court with less than three minutes to go in regulation to tie the game. In overtime the Hornets found themselves playing with only three players with over two minutes to play as they tried to pull off the win.

Sarah Teuscher who leads the team in rebounds and block shots was unable to play due to illness but the rest of the team made the adjustments and did an outstanding job of having to play without her presence. Leading scorers for the Hornets were Cara James and Kendra Hill with 29 and ten respectively as James had 12 block shots.

The next game for the Hornets will be Homecoming this Friday against the Butte Valley Bulldogs and the following day will play again at home against the Dunsmuir Tigers.

SV girl wins Shasta ski race

Surprise Valley's Kaitlin Asrow won the girls slalom ski race January 14 at the High School Ski/Snowboard races at the Mt. Shasta Board and Ski Park.

Future races are January 22, January 28, February 4, February 11 and Feb. 18.

According to Ernie Genter, the coordinator for the races and the association, there are 25-60 racers in each category (boy boarders, girls boarders, boy skiers and girl skiers). The skiers and boarders will each race three giant slaloms and three slalom races over the season. The total points for the top two finishers in each go towards the championship. Total points for all race results go towards All-Division honors. The state championships will be at Mammoth Mountain March 7-10.

January 27, 2005

News

March 8 election deadline Feb. 22

The special election March 8 will have two measures on the ballot for voters in what's roughly the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries. Measure E asks voters to approve a Recreation District within those boundaries. That issue requires a 50 percent, plus one vote to pass. Measure F asks voters to approve a $25 per year assessment per property owner to help fund that district. That measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

Modoc County Clerk Maxine Madison reminds voters that the final day to register to vote in the March election is Feb. 22. She stresses it's important that voters also correct their current registration, especially address or name changes.

Voters in precincts in Davis Creek, Parker Creek, South Fork and Canby will have mail-in ballots. The North Fork precinct will vote at Surprise Valley Electric. The remaining Alturas precincts and Hot Springs will vote at Alturas City Hall.

The Modoc Aquatic and Recreation Center committee is out campaigning hard, with the central issue being the construction of an indoor pool and recreation center just north of the existing pool in Alturas.

The MARC committee has been working on the recreation district and the recreation center project for the past five years. In addition to going door to door, the committee has held and plans to hold several informational meetings in communities through the proposed district.

If the voters pass both measures on March 8, the county has agreed to use $800,000 in Proposition 40 grant funds and the City of Alturas will release its $180,000 in Prop. 40 funds. Those Prop. 40 funds are earmarked solely for recreation-type projects. That $980,000 one-time money will then be coupled with about $380,000 per year from the $25 assessment and user fees to initially build, and then run and maintain the facility.

The $25 assessment is per property owner, not per parcel and if passed cannot be raised except by another vote of the people in the district. That vote would also have to pass by a two-thirds majority.

Modoc Forest to begin noxious weed spraying

by Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

No one likes weeds, least of all farmers and ranchers whose valuable land can be rendered nearly useless by noxious weed infestations.

Weeds are also unwelcome in the forest where they can harm the habitat for plants and animals alike by excluding the native species. Rather than cooperate or cohabit, weeds are antagonistic in one way or another.

Officials of the Modoc National Forest are on the verge of doing something about weeds in the forest in a big way. Having recently completed a Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS), a one-inch thick document, the largest hurdle for treating weeds in that forest has been surmounted.

"This is of great importance to all the national forests, at least in California and maybe beyond that, because this is the first DEIS that has taken on the noxious weed treatment issue in California," says Nancy Gardner, Forest Service public affairs officer.

"There have been other efforts in California, but on a much smaller scale," adds Robert Haggard, team leader for the noxious weed treatment project. The realization of this project is the result of cooperation between interested public groups and the Forest Service, including many other local, state and federal agencies, according to Cheryl Beyer, a botanist for the Modoc National Forest

A typical example of the public groups that have had input into the project is a Lassen County group called a Special Weed Action Team (SWAT), composed of people from every group in the public sector that might conceivably have a concern about the use of herbicides in the forest. Due specifically to that public input, the proposed treatment program was replaced by a preferred treatment program, which increased annual first-time treatment of as much as 1500 acres, depending upon budgetary considerations, over the next 5 years to 3000 acres over 10 years—the option presently preferred by the agency.

Beyer points out that copies of the DEIS can be obtained at any Forest Service office. It is also available on the Internet (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/modoc/) She asks that comments contain suggestions and remedies rather than criticisms or compliments. The period for public commentary on the DEIS ends February 14. Beyer explains that noxious weed eradication has been a thorny issue between private landowners and the agency in the past. "Private owners blame the Forest Service for having the weeds first and for them spreading off of Forest Service land onto private land. They feel that they can't control their weeds until the Forest Service controls their weeds."

"Most of our sites are inside the forest," Haggard says, explaining that only a few private landowners will be affected by the spraying program.

Moreover, the Forest Service will make every effort to coordinate with those few so that both sides of the fence are treated at the same time, according to Haggard.

The DEIS indicates that of all the treatment methods considered, spraying would be the most effective, least costly and safest. The plan covers 15 noxious weed species on 465 designated sites covering 8,676 acres on the forest. Other treatment options—hand treatment, fire control, biological control (insects)—were fully considered, but ultimately rejected in favor of the spraying program.

Haggard outlines the next steps on the process. After February 14, the end of the public comment period for the DEIS, Forest Service personnel will analyze the comments, do whatever added research is necessary, and then respond in the Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS). Once the final statement is complete, Forest supervisor, Stan Sylva, will weigh the options, and then make an informed decision. That is called a Record of Decision, which will then be published. That is followed by a 45-day appeal period.

"I don't think the appeal period will be extended any further than the 45 days. After that is when we'll be able to implement," says Haggard. "We're projecting right now the final appeal period ends May 30."

Rob Jeffers, range program manager, addresses the many questions raised by the public in the past. He notes that because the spraying will be localized and governed by the best management practices, there will be limited exposure to humans and animals. All the work, done principally by contractors under Forest Service supervision, will be carefully monitored.

The effect of spray treatments on livestock ranged on public land by permitees will be minimized through careful coordination with ranchers to inform them of spraying plans. "We don't want any surprises," says Jeffers.

Private landowners with land that adjoins Forest Service ground should stay abreast of developments as the program unfolds.

"Contact the local district ranger that they would normally work with," says Beyer to those affected, "and let them know that they're really interested in this particular program."

Modoc Home Show slots filling quickly, but there's room

The Second Annual Modoc Home Show will be held March 26 at Modoc High School. Businesses who wish to display are asked to get their application in early.

New this year will be the requirement of a business license or state resale permit, or contractor's license or federal tax identification number. People who entered last year will have the first priority for the gym or whatever space they would like. The new exhibitors will be allotted space on a first-come, first served basis. It is anticipated that exhibits will be in the Griswold Gym, outside on the lawn and in the Modoc Social Hall.

The deadline for all entries into the Home Show is March 11. There will be a $10 application fee per entrant.

Organizers Rendy Cockrell, Paula Henckle and Brooke Fredrickson emphasizes that people who plan to exhibit should show off what they have to offer local people, everything from building to decorating their home. In last year's show, there were exhibits including: landscape contractors, real estate and insurance professionals, building contractors, plumbers, electricians, roofing, computers, Internet, cabinet makers, surveyors, home interior concepts, appliances, bank representatives, building supply, nursery, countertops and lighting, windows, insulation, flooring, solar technology, furniture, and a wide variety of decor items and ideas.

According to Cockrell entries are coming in quickly so far this year and it's looking like the show is going to be bigger and more diverse than last year. For more information or to enter contact Cockrell at Modoc Title, 530-233-3471; Fredrickson at Handmade Haven 530-233-1161; and Henckel at Modoc Public Works 530-233-6403.

Look for more information in the Modoc County Record over the next few weeks.

Big Valley burglaries shake Bieber

Imagine Peter Gerig's surprise when he came upon a stranger crouched in a corner of the kitchen in a rental home that was supposed to be empty. "I just happened to walk by and see him," says Gehrig, a Big Valley rancher.

"That about gave us heart failure," says Gehrig's wife, Lynn. "And I know we both have more grey hair."

It was about 11 a.m. in Bieber, the first Sunday of the new year, and it was snowing heavily outside. The Gerigs, as they had done before, were making a routine check of a rented home their daughter had recently begun to vacate.

Lynn noticed that the house was warmer and some things were out of place, but "I didn't pick up on the fact that somebody was there. It was just that there were things not like they were the time before."

When her husband started through the kitchen, Lynn reports that he suddenly hollered, "What are you doing here?" He then grabbed a handy crescent wrench to defend himself and keep the intruder at bay. According to Gerig, the intruder appealed to him saying, "Don't hit me," then whined that he was cold and hungry in an apparent plea for sympathy.

"He'd been drinking some, too," says Gehrig. "In the bedroom where he'd been camping there were a couple of bottles of liquor."

The intruder had clearly settled into the home to stay. Caught by surprise by the Gerigs' unannounced entrance, he hastily sought refuge in the spot where the refrigerator had once been. "If he'd have been in a closet, we'd have never known he was in there," notes Gerig.

"It was very frightening," says Lynn, who fled the house at her husband's directions to summon help. "I ran to call the cops, and the first three houses nobody was home."

Stacey Watkins, a neighbor, answered Lynn's frantic knock, then called 911 when she learned of the intruder

The dispatcher in the Lassen County Sheriff's Office, according to Watkins, said that the resident deputy in Big Valley was on vacation, that the closest deputy on duty was in Eagle Lake and that she could not say how soon the deputy might be able to get there due to the snowstorm and the poor road conditions

"We dispatched a deputy immediately following the initial call," says Ron Zielen, investigation sergeant for the Lassen County Sheriff's Office. "When we get a call for service, we dispatch a unit, and we try to get there as quick as possible."

The dispatcher then directed Watkins to call to the Gerigs to get out of the house and away from the intruder.

In the meantime, the intruder had escaped by briefly distracting his captor. "He just kind of outsmarted me a little bit there," says Gerig. "He darted out the backdoor and into the snow he went."

Concerned and anxious, Watkins asked the dispatcher to summon a nearby Modoc County deputy. She reports that the answer was "no."

In the face of the dispatchers seeming inability or unwillingness to promptly summon another deputy in the face of danger, Watkins immediately called county supervisor Brian Dahle to tell him of unfolding events. "When I got the call from my constituent, she told me what had taken place," narrates Dahle. "When I tried to dial the number for the dispatch, I was so mad I couldn't even dial correctly. I dialed it wrong twice."

The dispatcher denied Watkins' allegations, "so, there are conflicting stories there," says Dahle, who then called Steve Warren, the Lassen County Sheriff to inform him of events. Dahle told Warren that he would respond to the call himself.

"So I went down to Bieber along with my brother-in-law, and we started looking," tells Dahle. "It was snowing, (so) we could track the guy. They told us where they last saw him and where he went."

In spite of that, the small group of Bieber residents Dahle assembled were unable to locate the suspect, though they did find that he had gone to another vacant home nearby, put on shoes and continued on down the street.

During that search, deputy Frank Martin arrived from Eagle Lake and immediately organized a sweep of the area.

"I've got to give it to Frank Martin, the deputy," says Dahle. "He did an awesome job. He started talking to folks in the neighborhood, and he actually had a name and a description.

"There were four or five of us," continues Dahle, describing the fruitless search, "but we never did find him, and it was starting to get dark." Deputy Martin called off the hunt and returned to secure the crime scene and called the owner, the Gerigs' daughter, to assess items missing from the home. It was then that two semiautomatic pistols were discovered missing.

Only then, according to Dahle, did Martin summon assistance from Modoc County's deputy Ken Richardson, located in nearby Adin. "They took care of it," points out Dahle. "They did a great job once they got here."

Zielen reports that the two deputies apprehended the suspect around 9 p.m. Jacinto Jimenez, 31, was detained along with two juveniles who were also arrested. They were cited for burglary as well as trespass because several items of jewelry were taken.

Investigation determined that the three detainees were responsible for a rash of break-ins and burglaries in the Bieber area during the prior week. Called later to identify the intruder, Gerig says, "They had him handcuffed and in the car when I got back down there at midnight."

The entire experience left Bieber residents shaken. "My daughter and I were home alone," relates Watkins, who was frantic that a known intruder was at large in the neighborhood. "Actually, there were several of us moms home alone that day. And when there's a guy running around and no deputy around, it is scary. Later on we found out that the guy was armed. That scares you even more. Actually, my whole day ended up being devoted to that little ordeal right there."

For his part, Gerig is philosophical about the experience. Speaking of his daughter, he says, "I told her she could check her own house from now on."

First 5 Modoc leads early childhood oral health care effort

In celebration of Children's Dental Health Month in February, First 5 Modoc is helping local children and expectant mothers receive free dental screenings, dental health education and treatment through a $25,000 grant to Modoc County Public Health's Oral Health Project. The grant will allow these vital services to reach underserved populations of Modoc County who aren't currently receiving oral health care.

Many parents and caregivers are unaware that oral health care should begin during their child's first year. Even before their teeth come in, infants can develop painful decay that can impair their speech development and negatively impact their nutrition habits. The outreach conducted through the Oral Health Project will educate parents and caregivers about how to keep their children's teeth healthy.

"Recent studies show that children with inadequate dental care may have significant pain, nutritional problems and developmental delays," said Dawn Valencia, project coordinator with Modoc County Public Health.. "Dental problems in early childhood can have lifelong repercussions, but they can be prevented with early care and treatment."

Dental health care has consistently been identified as a major unmet need in Modoc County and across California. Statewide, 30 percent of preschool children have tooth decay and 40 percent have never seen a dentist.

Through the Oral Health Project, at least 100 Modoc County children will receive the vital dental services they need to achieve and maintain good oral health--an important component of overall health and school readiness.

"Young children are underserved when it comes to oral health care," said Kate Crosby, executive director of First 5 Modoc. "This funding will expand the availability of dental services to young children, raise awareness about our children's critical needs and educate parents and caregivers about what they can do to prevent future oral health problems."

Screenings will be offered at four different sites throughout Modoc County and will be available to all children ages zero to five and pregnant women. Translation is available for Spanish-speaking families and special arrangements will be made for children with disabilities.

For more information on the Modoc County Oral Health Project, contact Modoc County Public Health at 233-6311. Screenings will be announced in local papers.

Research shows that a child's brain develops most dramatically in the first five years and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child's growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life. Based on this research, California voters passed Proposition 10 in 1998, adding a fifty cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to support programs for expectant parents and children ages zero to five. First 5 Modoc County distributes approximately $200,000 a year in Prop. 10 revenues to programs and services that meet local needs.

Hot Dog Saturday a real treat

Carey's Grooming on Court Street in Alturas and the Corner Deli nearby will be the scene of a dog-gone good time during High Plateau Humane Society's first "Adopt-A-Pet Day" on Saturday, January 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Approximately 15 of HPHS's adoptable pets will be on display at Carey's during that time, along with HPHS volunteers who will answer questions and help match the perfect pet to the perfect home.

In addition, there will be plenty of information available about how everyone can help HPHS with its rescue, spay/neuter and permanent animal shelter efforts.

Meanwhile, the Corner Deli will be offering a lunch deal anyone who loves animals can't refuse.

Half the proceeds from lunches, which will include hot "dogs" with "cats" up, sold between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., will be donated to HPHS.

Historical Society welcomes new memberships

Modoc County Historical Society will hold its first quarterly meeting of 2005, on January 29, Saturday at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a potluck lunch at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 310 North Street, Alturas.

Guest speakers will include Modoc residents Gerry Gates, Velma McCrary and Paul Bailey.

Gates compiled the information from the Modoc National Forest Archive for the U.S. Forest Service article for the No. 26 -2004 Journal of the Modoc County Historical Society. He has also served as the MCHS newsletter editor since the beginning in 1978 and is Modoc National Forest's Archaeologist.

Velma McCrary wrote the article in the new Journal about her 25-year experiences on the fire lookouts of the Modoc National Forest and Happy Camp District. A life-time Modoc resident, Paul Bailey is a newly-retired Modoc National Forest employee of 30-plus years and will also be a guest speaker.

January is membership month and dues are $10 for students; $15, single; $20 husband and wife; $30 patron. Remit payments to Modoc County Historical Society, 600 South Main St., Alturas, CA 96101. New members are welcomed.

Obituaries:

Roger Victor Ducasse

Roger Victor Ducasse, 90, passed away in his home on January 20, 2005 following a brief, but courageous, battle with leukemia. A resident of Alturas for 56 years, he had owned and operated the Ducasse Auto Upholstery shop since he moved here in 1949.

He was born on December 21, 1914 in San Francisco, CA to Pierre and Jeanne (Lauray) Ducasse.

He moved briefly to Susanville in 1928 and then onto his father's ranch outside of Termo where he lived until 1948. He married Lucille (Gibson) Keough at that time and they moved to Alturas and opened Ducasse Auto Upholstery at 1201 West 12th Street. Lucille passed away in 1984. In 1986, Roger married Evelyn (Wood) who reinvigorated his life and shared his lifelong enthusiasm for the outdoors.

He was a dedicated, loving husband and, when not working in his shop, he and Evelyn especially enjoyed camping and fishing, which they spent many long hours doing in the Warner Mountains and surrounding areas. Towing their camp trailer, they also pioneered their way through Death Valley and the deserts of Southern California as well as the National Parks in Utah. Roger was a gifted silversmith and made and engraved many silver bridles, bits, and saddles for individuals in both Modoc and Lassen Counties. He was a true craftsman and took great care and pride in all that he did. He was extremely creative and always seemed to figure out uncommonly clever solutions to everyday common problems. In spite of his competence, Roger was always humble in describing his capabilities and his cheerful demeanor and outgoing positive attitude were truly infectious to all with whom he came in contact. His dedicated work ethic was evidenced by the fact he continued to operate his shop on a daily basis up until only about a month prior to his death.

He is survived by his wife Evelyn Ducasse, two nephews, Bob Dillinger of Ridgecrest, CA and Norm Dillinger of Chico, CA. grand nieces Susan Johnson of Ridgecrest, CA, and Teresa Dillinger of Davis, CA and grand nephew Steve Dillinger of Ridgecrest, CA.

He was preceded in death by his mother Jeanne (Lauray) Ducasse, his father Pierre Ducasse, and his brothers Rene and Arthur Ducasse and his sister Irene (Dillinger) Ducasse.

At Roger's request, no funeral services were held. However, a future gathering of family and friends will be arranged to celebrate his life, with details to be announced later. Private cremation and arrangements were provided by Kerr Mortuary, Alturas, CA.

Elizabeth 'Betty' Lamug

Alturas resident Elizabeth "Betty" Elaine Lamug passed away of natural causes in Alturas, CA on January 7, 2005. She was 85.

She was born in Minnesota as Betty Schubert on July 30, 1920 and finished high school there. Her profession was as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Widowed, she moved to Modoc County 22 years ago, where she became active with the Modoc Senior Citizens Center. She was an avid reader of various subjects; enjoyed traveling, especially day trips to Las Vegas with her friends. She was open to various cultural experiences, was an outgoing and fun-loving person who also loved sports and had a unique sense of humor.

A funeral service was conducted by Bill Hamby at 11 a.m. on January 12, 2005 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Alturas. Interment was at the Good Shepherd Cemetery in Huntington Beach, CA.

Mrs. Lamug is survived by her brother Mike Lamug of Alturas, CA; daughter Elaine Bartone of Huntington Beach, CA; son Felipe Lamug of Los Angeles and granddaughter Dawn Bartone of Huntington Beach, CA. Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary, Alturas.

Veta Marie Reaney

Alturas resident Veta Marie Reaney passed away January 18, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, CA. Mrs. Reaney, 73, was known to share her time, understanding and love with children throughout the years, from her own and to those she came to know.

She was born Veta Fowler on February 17, 1931, in Clovis, New Mexico, and graduated from Santa Rosa High School in Santa Rosa, CA. She was an English major at San Francisco State University, until she was 20, when the early death of her mother altered her college education.

Mrs. Reaney moved to Modoc County in 1968, from Cotati, CA., where she had lived for many years.

As a community leader, she taught sewing with the Madeline Plains 4-H Club in Madeline and enjoyed gardening, quilting and making treasured sock monkeys. A Modoc Joint Unified School District Bus Driver and Instructor for 26 years, Mrs. Reaney retired in 1994.

She was preceded in death by her grandson Josh Orr and her husband, Herbert William Reaney in 1984.

She leaves behind her daughter Allison Orr and husband Darryl of Forestville, CA; daughter Sharon McMaster and husband David of Alturas, CA; brother-in-law Jim Reaney of Cotati, CA; three grandchildren: Rachel Orr; Stephanie McMaster and Scott McMaster; and many nieces and nephews. She also leaves her poodle "Yogi."

Family and friends will gather for a memorial service at Santa Rosa Memorial Park in Santa Rosa, CA, in June 2005. Lawncrest Chapel of Redding is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Drug Abuse Alternatives Center, 225 Indian Creek Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95409.

William Dwain Hutchison

William Dwain Hutchison passed away of natural causes in Meridian, Idaho on January 14, 2005.

Born January 9, 1920, in Exline, Iowa, he was the son of a coal miner. His parents bought him his first car at age eight, so he could be their chauffeur. He loved driving and did so until his death at age 85. He was a graduate of Exline High School. Shortly after graduation, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, where he put to use his driving skills.

He joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was skipper of a boat, guarding the west coast during World War II. He married his first wife, Nona in Reno, Nevada. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary together and reared two sons. Nona preceded him in death.

On February 14, 1999, he met his second wife at a church function in Nampa, Idaho while visiting his grandson and family. They were later married in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Mr. Hutchison was a professional band saw filer. His last employment was as a consultant for a saw mill in Lincoln, CA. He made Modoc his home for 40 years, relocating to Idaho five years ago.

He is survived by his wife Loulabelle Hutchison of Ola, Idaho; son Pat Hutchison of Redding, CA; brother Jack of Greenville, CA; sister Jeanne Rhodes of Otis, Oregon; sister Donna Loratel of Redding, CA and numerous nieces and nephews.

Pastor Bruce Blum of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Alturas, conducted services on January 21 at 2 p.m., with interment at the Adin, CA Cemetery. Kerr Mortuary of Alturas had charge of arrangements.

Della Lee Cowles

Della Lee Cowles, 56, passed away January 24, 2005, at Surprise Valley Hospital, Cedarville, CA. She was born Della Lee Hammon in Galt, CA and had been a beautician and Surprise Valley resident for the past 35 years. Her husband Charles of Cedarville, survives. Arrangements are under the direction of Kerr Mortuary, Alturas. Interment at Ft. Bidwell Cemetery will take place at a future date.

Robert Lanz

Robert Lanz, 58, died January 23, 2005 at Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville, CA. Kerr Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Mr. Lanz is survived by a son and a daughter. Interment will be at the National Cemetery in San Diego. More information will be made known, as it becomes available.

Sports

Braves beat top seeded Wolves

Modoc's Ross Burgess put an exclamation point on Modoc's win over Trinity Saturday night when he jammed the ball through the hoop on an uncontested dunk.

The Braves had a dominating three quarters show against the unbeaten Wolves, whose outside shooting deserted them in the first three quarters. Modoc, meanwhile, was hitting on all cylinders, on the defensive and offensive side of the court.

In the fourth, the Braves started with a 19-point lead, but the Wolves found their shooting eye and cut that lead to just four with about two minutes left. Modoc stiffened in the last minute to put the game on ice, thanks to some steady leadership from senior Kyle Madison.

The Braves led 15-13 in the first, but powered to a 35-21 lead at halftime. They increased their lead to 50-31 at the end of three, but Trinity outscored them 23-13 in the fourth. Micah Eppler led the scoring with 24, Taylor Dunn added 15 and Burgess had 14.

The win over Trinity became much bigger because the Braves were upset by Etna, 53-41, on Friday night, a game they were supposed to win. Dropping two in a row at home would not have been a good thing.

Modoc took a 10-6 first period lead against Etna, but trailed 33-31 by half. The Lions increased the lead to 47-43 after three and outscored Modoc 16-7 in the fourth. Burgess led the scoring with 12, Dunn and Eppler had nine each and Kyle Madison had six.

Tuesday night, the Braves beat the Fall River Bulldogs, 73-37, on the Modoc floor. The Braves led 19-8 in the first and by half led 39-15. After three, Modoc was up 57-24 and outscored the Bulldogs 16-13 in the fourth. Eppler had 20 points, Burgess added 18.

Modoc is now at Trinity, facing a tough test on the Wolves' home boards Friday night, and Mt. Shasta comes to Modoc Feb. 1.

Corning Invite, the tough test for Modoc

Modoc's wrestling team made its mark by winning the big Corning Invitational last year. This time around, coach Shaun Wood figures he's going to be in the top five, but gives Willows the early nod as the favorite. Wood still expects to have four or five of his wrestlers in the finals and expects to come home with individual titles. Travis Wood, Jason Jones, Brad Bell and Joey Catania are all favored.

Wood said he needs several of the lower weight wrestlers to step up in order to have a shot at the team title.

Modoc will tune up for the Corning tourney with a dual meet on Friday against Central Valley, there.

Last weekend, Modoc took its junior varsity team to a varsity tourney in Mt, Shasta and the team placed sixth. Brian Weed won the 130-pound division while Josue Madrigal was second at 125 pounds, David Holloway took a third at 145 pounds, Chris Houghtby was fourth at 215 pounds, Lenny Gladu was fourth at 189 pounds and Cain Madrigal was fifth at 119 pounds.

Braves drop three SCL games

Modoc's varsity girls basketball team continues to struggle in the Shasta Cascade League, dropping three games this last week.

Fall River beat Modoc 61-31 Tuesday night in Alturas, getting up 28-14 by half and outscoring the Braves 33-17 in the second half. Danielle Reyes led the scoring with 10 and Missy Ackley added seven.

On Saturday Modoc lost to Trinity 68-45 after playing a fairly good first half. Etna's Lions beat the Braves 70-38 last Friday night, leading 36-18 at halftime and 55-23 after three. Ackley had 12 points, Reyes added 10 and Jesse Harden had nine.

There were no results given for the Modoc junior varsity girls but they beat Etna, Fall River and Trinity to remain unbeaten in the SCL.

SV Girls whip Bulldogs in SV Homecoming

The Surprise Valley Hornets girls varsity beat the Butte Valley Bulldogs 48-39 in their Homecoming game Friday night.

The Hornets and Bulldogs were tied at eight after one, but Surprise Valley jumped out to a 27-18 halftime lead. The Bulldogs put on a spurt in the third and cut the lead to 35-32, but Surprise Valley outscored them 13-7 in the fourth for the win.

Cara James led the scoring with 19, Sara Teuscher added 15 and Jacque Laxague added seven.

The Hornets beat Dunsmuir, 55-16, at home against the Dunsmuir Tigers Saturday. The Hornets grabbed a 22-1 first quarter lead and outscored the Tigers 29-6 in the second half. James had 21 points, Teuscher had 20 and Kendra Hill added six.

On Tuesday, the Hornets ran into the top-tanked team in the division, losing 66-25. Surprise Valley started well with a 6-2 lead, before the Loggers went on an 18-0 run to lead 20-6 at the end of one. By halftime, the Hornets were down 41-16. Teuscher led the scoring with 20 points.

The Hornets are now in third place in the Evergreen League, behind Tulelake and Hayfork. They will be at Dunsmuir January 29 and Tulelake comes to Cedarville Feb. 1.

Asrow 2nd in Mt. Shasta

Cedarville's Kaitlin Asrow placed second in the girls individual slalom ski race at Mt. Shasta January 22 with a time of 1:37.37, just off the winning time of 1:37.15.

Tulelake's Curtis Staunton placed 10th in the boys slalom at 1:55.32. Racers from the following schools compete in the events: Surprise Valley, Yreka, Etna, Happy Camp, Tulelake, Weed, and Butte Valley.

Hemphills top the girls

Tulelake's Jessica Hemphill earned second runner-up All-Around Cowgirl and Kendra Hemphill earned fourth runner up at the California High School Rodeo in Red Bluff, January 23.

Jessica Hemphill won the goat tying event, placed fifth in breakaway roping, eighth in barrel racing and eighth in team roping. Kendra was second in pole bending, ninth in goat tying and 10th in breakaway roping.

The next rodeo is Feb. 12-13 at the Redding Rodeo Grounds.

February 3rd, 2005

News

Police stepping up activity on graffiti

The Alturas Police Department is stepping up its investigation into the recent proliferation of graffiti on downtown businesses and public agency walls.

According to Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes, several new number "13" and other graffiti was painted on walls before 10 p.m. Friday night. That new graffiti came after someone had painted black "13s" on walls early last week.

Barnes said he appreciates the businesses' response in covering up the graffiti as quickly as possible in most cases and vows to catch whomever is responsible, although it may take the community's help.

While the graffiti could be gang related, Barnes believes it is more likely the work of "wannabes" in this area. Anyone with any information concerning the graffiti is asked to contact the Alturas Police Department at 233-2011. In addition to the graffiti, Barnes said there have been a pair of incidents reported involving slashed tires. Those are also under investigation.

Weak January snowpack in high elevations

The snowpack in the Warner Mountains is well below 10-year averages for this time of year.

Not only has the Cedar Pass Snow Park been closed for the past two weeks because of a lack of snow; it looks like that will again be the case this weekend.

The January, 2005 snow survey completed last week by Tim Hill, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Jake Coffey, U.S. Forest Service, shows about 60 percent of average snow depth at two locations and above 70 percent at another.

On Cedar Pass, there is 27 inches of snow with 78 inches of water. That compares to last year at this time when there were 43 inches of snow containing 15.3 inches of water. The 10-year average for Cedar Pass in January is 35 inches of snow containing 10.7 inches of water. The snow survey site is at 7,100 feet elevation.

The Blue Lake site, at 6,800 feet, had 15 inches of snow containing 3.4 inches of water. Last year, that site had 26 inches of snow with 8.9 inches of water. The 10-year average the site is 25 inches of snow containing 7.6 inches of water.

At Barber Creek, south of Eagleville, the January survey at 6,500 feet measured 17 inches of snow and 4.8 inches of moisture. In 2004, the area had 37 inches of snow with 12.4 inches of water. The 10-year average is 28 inches of snow and 8.2 inches of water.

Indian Health Project resumes full operation

The Modoc Indian Health Project on Oak Street is back in full operation, after a temporary restraining order was issued against several individuals who actually "took over" and changed the locks in mid-January.

The TRO was issued January 21 in Modoc Superior Court against Phil Del Rosa, Wendy Del Rosa, Creig Marcus, Erin Forrest and Margaret Forrest. The issue is scheduled for court hearing on March 28, 1 p.m.

According to court documents, on January 14, about 4:30 p.m. the people listed above came to the Indian Health Project building, said they had fired director Belinda Brown, and they were taking over the project under the auspices of the Alturas Rancheria. They, according to the records, changed the locks and intimidated staff. The facility was not able to open for about a week.

In addition, they obtained without MIHP permission, MIHP letterhead and placed a resolution on that letterhead that caused Plumas Bank to freeze the MIHP's funds. According to the records, they had no board authority to freeze funding.

The issue surrounds the initial founding of the Modoc Indian Health Project, under the Cedarville and Alturas Rancherias, both federally recognized tribes. Also included in the initial formation was Erin Forrest and his Hewise band, although that band was never officially recognized. Citing some difficulties, the MIHP Board in October, 2004, 's membership in the MIHP. Alturas Rancheria is disputing their right to dismiss them from the board. The Hewise Band was also terminated from membership on the MIHP board.

A letter from Indian Health Services, of Sacramento, issued in January, states that the MIHP is now made up of only one federally recognized tribe, the Cedarville Rancheria.

The Alturas Rancheria individuals and Forrest are arguing the MIHP Board overstepped its authority when it removed them from the Board.

Big Valley looking forward to more timber production

Residents of Big Valley who have been looking for solutions to the area's economic woes for nearly a decade believe they may finally have found the key in stewardship contracting, part of the recently enacted Healthy Forests Initiative

"I think it's going to be a good opportunity to get some more timber on the market," says Dave Bradshaw, Modoc County supervisor. "Most importantly, it also includes the community for setting goals and projects. I do appreciate the support from the Forest Service and the community so far."

"I'm excited about it," says Brian Dahle, Lassen County supervisor. "It's an opportunity put together by the Bush administration so the locals have a stake in what happens."

"There's a lot of enthusiasm here in the valley for this," says Big Valley Chamber of Commerce vice-president, Jim Kilcrease. "But there are a lot of people that don't quite understand. Hopefully we'll be able to clarify that."

In the second in a series of meetings set to initiate the stewardship program in the Big Valley area, a group of local officials and businessmen met Monday, January 31, in Bieber's Veterans Memorial Building to learn more about the program and to take steps to put it in practice here. "The enthusiasm was great," reports Kilcrease, who indicated that interest was so high that the meeting, slated for one hour, lasted over three hours. "We're going to go ahead and get this stewardship group going. The 35 people we had there last night all want to be part of the group itself. It was a heavy discussion."

Stewardship contracting allows both communities and private companies to identify and implement projects in the forest, with the cooperation and guidance of the Forest Service or BLM. It also allows them to retain forest and rangeland products in exchange for the service of thinning trees and brush and removing dead wood, in effect, keeping the revenue from timber sales in the area to pay for further work rather than sending it to the treasurey, as in the past

Agencies now have the ability to apply the value of timber or other forest products removed as an offset against the cost of services received, apply excess receipts from a project to other authorized stewardship projects, select contracts and agreements on a "best value" basis and award a contracts or agreements for up to ten years, which may stimulate long term investment in the local community while providing a savings to taxpayers

"This process allows you to reinvest those proceeds in your area. You can keep the money there and use it on your forest" says Dahle, explaining the most attractive part of the program to Big Valley. "We'll be able to do more work to help the environment and keep people working."

During the meeting, Tad Mason of TSS Consultants, a Rancho Cordova-based forestry consulting firm working under contract with the Superior California Economic District, explained stewardship contracting. He presented Big Valley residents with the consulting firm's plan "to do a forest production study and a stewardship project study here in Big Valley looking at what sort of resource—small saw logs, mostly, and biomass—might be available within a 50 mile haul radius of Bieber."

Laurence Crabtree, Big Valley District Ranger, has a positive view of stewardship. "It connects us to the community. There are requirements that we work closely … with the community. And that's a good thing for us. We need to be connected with the communities that we work in." Citing the initial meeting in this series, attended by about 50 people, Crabtree says it was "one of the best public meetings I've been at in my 30 years of Forest Service work

"Anytime I can retain receipts and turn those back into more work on the land, I will, basically, be able to get more done," continues Crabtree. "We're going to keep moving forward, and we're going to have stewardship contracts on the Sustained Yield Unit. There are still some steps to go through here. But if the committee stays together and we continue to work with them, we should be able to let a contract next fall."

Glen Zane, co-owner of the power plant near Bieber is cautiously optimistic. "We have planned on the cooperation and the effect of stewardship contracts in our power plant. We look forward to seeing this work." Long-term contracts foster a public/private partnership to restore forest and rangeland health by giving those who undertake the contract the ability to invest in equipment and infrastructure. This equipment and infrastructure are needed to productively use material generated from forest thinning, such as brush and other woody biomass, to make wood products or to produce biomass energy.

Proponents affirm that stewardship contracting will improve the health of the land, ensure thriving landscapes and contribute to the development of dynamic economies by assisting land managers to enhance and restore forest and rangeland health while strengthening the role of communities and others who contribute to such efforts

These powers would allow local Forest Service bureaucrats and timber company officials unprecedented and unwarranted authority to manage public forests as they see fit

The Forest Service wants to pay contractors with trees rather than appropriated money.

• People really like the idea of stewardship contracting and what it can do.

• People inside and out of the forest Service think stewardship contracting is a great tool with significant potential for carrying out the Forest Service's vegetation management program.

• People feel that the collaborative process associated with stewardship contracting has been well received by the local public and increases the support for needed fuels treatment and restoration activities.

• They feel that goods for services authority has allowed the Forest to implement resource management projects that it would not have been able to carry out or would have been delayed due to lack of funding.

Compared to the Forest Service's current practice of writing individual contracts for separate projects carried out by a variety of independent contractors, stewardship contracts would allow the agency to process fewer transactions, deal with fewer and larger contractors, and reduce paperwork.

Feb. 22 last day to register to vote

Modoc County Clerk Maxine Madison reminds voters that the final day to register to vote in the March 8 special election is Feb. 22.

The election will have two measures on the ballot for voters in what's roughly the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries.

Measure E asks voters to approve a Recreation District within those boundaries. That issue requires a 50 percent, plus one vote to pass. Measure F asks voters to approve a $25 per year assessment per property owner to help fund that district. That measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

Voters in precincts in Davis Creek, Parker Creek, South Fork and Canby will have mail-in ballots. The North Fork precinct will vote at Surprise Valley Electric. California Pines will vote at the Cal Pines Lodge. The remaining Alturas precincts and Hot Springs will vote at Alturas City Hall. The Modoc Aquatic and Recreation Center, MARC, committee is out campaigning hard, with the central issue being the construction of an indoor pool and recreation center just north of the existing pool in Alturas.

If the voters pass both measures on March 8, the county has agreed to use $800,000 in Proposition 40 grant funds and the City of Alturas will release its $180,000 in Prop. 40 funds. Those Prop. 40 funds are earmarked solely for recreation-type projects. That $980,000 one-time money will then be combined with about $380,000 per year from the $25 assessment and user fees to initially build, and then run and maintain the facility.

The $25 assessment is per property owner, not per parcel and if passed cannot be raised except by another vote of the people in the district. That vote would also have to pass by a two-thirds majority. Taxpayers will also receive a $25 credit for recreation center use.

Davis Creek hosts Groundhog Supper

The Davis Creek community will welcome the public to their annual Groundhog Supper on Saturday, Feb. 5. Doors open from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Davis Creek Grange Hall to offer a good time for all ages, with good food and plenty of visiting.

The annual dinner, comes together with solid community effort and will be hosted by the Davis Creek 4-H Club. Dinner is to be served from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Everyone is invited.

Tickets will be available at the door, and prices remain the same as last year with dinner tickets at $6.50 for adults; $4.50 for ages six to 12; ages five and under, served free. An auction, games of Bingo and sales of cakes will be included.

The dinner includes freshly grilled sausage patties, mashed potatoes, green salad, green beans, and more.

The hall is set with long tables, seating all who come for the event. The small group of 4-H members receive assistance from family members and their community to make the event possible as a fund-raiser for the maintenance of the community hall as well as 4-H.

The Davis Creek Grange Hall is located within the Davis Creek town limits. The Groundhog Dinner is a community tradition, which draws folks from throughout Modoc County to enjoy the event.

February 2 is official Groundhog Day in the United States, and bears the prediction of an early or late spring. If the groundhog does not see his shadow on February 2, Spring will come six weeks early. This year, the groundhog saw his shadow, thus six more weeks of winter are predicted.

Obituaries:

Louis Barlese, Sr.

Louis Barlese, Sr., 65, passed away of natural causes on January 29, 2005 at Modoc Medical Center, Alturas, CA.

He was born at the XL Ranch on December 4, 1939, to Neva and Charlie Barlese. He grew up in Modoc County, attending local schools. Mr. Barlese joined the Armed Forces. While in the military, he served in Lebanon with the 82nd Airborne. He later joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3327 organization in Alturas.

Throughout his life, Mr. Barlese was always active in sports. His passion always being rodeo, he derived great pleasure from watching his son ride. He enjoyed spending his spare time hunting and fishing and being with family and friends. Mr. Barlese loved his two grandsons and loved to watch them play sports. He loved his wife Betty, whose maiden name was Peters. In his spare time, he also enjoyed playing Bingo and gambling at the casinos.

He was preceded in death by his parents Neva and Charlie Barlese, numerous brothers and sisters and his son Jesse Barlese.

Mr. Barlese is survived by his wife Betty Barlese, son Louis Barlese, Jr.; brother and sister-in-law Archie and Marjorie Timmons; his two grandsons Dustin and Jordan Barlese and their mother Michelle of Alturas; numerous nieces and nephews and other extended family. A wake will be held at the family home on the XL Ranch on Friday, Feb. 4 Services will be conducted by Marty Barlese on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Veterans' Memorial Hall, So. Main St., Alturas at 1 p.m. Interment will follow at Allen Indian Cemetery in Alturas. Military and spiritual services will be conducted. A dinner will follow at the Veterans' Memorial Hall, Alturas. Kerr Mortuary in Alturas has charge of arrangements.

Christopher O. Ridgway

Madeline native, Christopher Omar Ridgway, age 21, suddenly passed from this life at Seneca District Hospital located in Chester, CA, Monday night January 31, 2005.

As the second child of Phillip and Delilah Ridgeway, Chris was born in Susanville, CA on November 20, 1983. He was raised and educated in the rural northeastern community of Madeline, CA where he graduated as a member of the Modoc High School Class of 2002. While attending high school he lettered in both football and basketball.

Chris was currently employed as a carpenter for Loranger Construction of Chester, CA. He had just recently made the decision to serve his country in the military and was due to report to the Air Force Recruiting Office in Reno, Nevada the day following his passing.

Chris developed a love and respect for the outdoors at a young age and found great pleasure in fishing, hunting and four-wheeling. He had just recently taken up the hobby of snowboarding

Chris is survived by his loving and caring family to include his wife Karen, whom he married on April 10, 2004, in Susanville, CA; his parents Phillip and Delilah of Susanville, CA; brother Jonathan of Chester, CA; sisters Amy Ridgway of Susanville and Natalie Ridgway of Sacramento; grandparents Shirley Smith of Madeline, CA, Pat Ridgway of Susanville, CA and Bob Ridgway of Gurney, Virginia; uncles Russell Allen and Greg Ridgway; aunts Brenda Edwards and Michelle Kremer along with a host of dear cousins. A celebration of Chris' life will take place 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 5, 2005, at the Madeline Fire Hall in Madeline, CA, with Pastor Destry Campbell to officiate. Inurnment will take place in the Likely Cemetery, at a later date.

An opportunity to express your condolences to the family along with signing the memorial guest register is available online at www.fehrmanmortuary.com. The family suggests any remembrances in Chris' memory be made to the Modoc High School Athletic Program c/o Fehrman Mortuary and Crematory P.O. Box 803, Greenville, CA 95947.

Eva 'Jerry' Harshberger

Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, 71, passed away January 25, 2005, in Washoe Medical Center, Reno, Nevada, as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident on January 6.

She was born Eva Reynolds in Pontiac, Michigan on March 8, 1933. Jerry, as she was known, was a resident of Alturas for 16 years. A former southern California resident for many years, Jerry had lived in Covina, then Pomona, before moving to West Covina and later Alturas. She had worked as a Certified Nurse's Aide in Baldwin Park Convalescent Hospital and Cherry Lee Convalescent Home. While living in Covina, she organized a neighborhood women's club called "The Doodlers," which is still in existence and focuses on projects and hobbies.

Jerry had been an active member of Alturas Grange 406 for several years, and her afghans were welcomed by all those fortunate to receive one. One was made for the Alturas Rural Fire Department as a fund-raiser prize and another for the roof fundraiser for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alturas.

She is survived by her children: Penny Sue Frost and husband Greg of Rogers City, Michigan; Marilyn Gail Harp, also of Rogers City; Beth Robertson and husband Gary of Peoria, Arizona; son Gene Sivley and wife Nancy of Glendale, AZ; one great-grandson, and sisters Nancy Whitehead and husband Whitney of The Village, Florida and Murl Karnes of Plant City, Florida.

Jerry was further survived by special friends, Deana and David Hutchinson and family of Klamath Falls, OR; Pauline Edwards of Alturas, and many other close friends, as well as loving companion of 25 years, Anita DeWitt of Alturas, CA.

Her wishes were to be cremated. Memorial services are pending and will be held at Federated Church in Alturas, with the date to be announced in The Record.

F. Sheldon Harden

Alturas native, F. Sheldon Harden, 84, a retired Cal Poly football and wrestling coach who survived the 1960 plane crash that killed 16 players and a team manager, passed away on Monday, January 24, 2005. A funeral service was held at noon, January 29, at Nativity of Our Lady Catholic Church of San Luis Obispo, CA, with Father Michael Cicinato officiating.

Sheldon was born October 18, 1920, in Portola to Frank and Mary Pepperdine Harden. He grew up in Alturas, where he was an outstanding athlete at Modoc High and earned a football scholarship to the University of Santa Clara. It was during his college days that he met his future wife, Dorothy Varrasso, his wife of 61 years. They were married in 1943, during his service as a U.S. Army officer in World War II.

After the war, they moved to Sacramento, where, at the University of Pacific, he earned his teaching credential and completed a master's degree in education. While in Sacramento, he played semi-pro football with the Sacramento Nuggets.

In 1948, he was hired by Cal Poly as an instructor and assistant football coach. He was also asked to start a wrestling program for the college. He built the wrestling program into a West Coast and national powerhouse. He was named head football coach in 1961, after the tragic Cal Poly airplane crash took the lives of 16 players and a team manager. He is also remembered for the heroic efforts he made to save the other passengers on the Oct. 29, 1960 plane crash and the role he played in rebuilding morale in the years that followed. He coached through the 1968 season, then retired from coaching. He retired from Cal Poly as a full-time instructor in 1987. He continued on staff as an emeritus professor teaching physical education until 1992.

Harden was inducted into the Cal Poly Hall of Fame, the California Wrestling Hall of Fame and, most recently, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Sheldon was a member of many organizations, including, RAMS, CAHPERD professional organization, American Legion, Retired Cal Poly Faculty, DAD Club, Nativity of Our Lady Parish and a past member of the San Luis Obispo Golf and Country Club.

Sheldon was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Dorothy; daughter, Michele Veon, and her husband, Steve, of Aliseo Viejo; daughter, Maureen Buckey, and her husband, Michael, of Bakersfield; son, Timothy, and his wife, Laurie, of San Antonio; daughter, Ann Marie Sullivan, and her husband, Richard, of Howell, Mich.; 14 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren who will greatly miss their Papa Harden. He has several relatives in Modoc including but not limited to cousin John Weber and Brian Harden both of Alturas, CA.

Sheldon was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary Harden, and brothers, Harold and Rollin Harden. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cal Poly Athletic Fund or the Family Fund at Nativity of Our Lady Parish. Reis Family Mortuary and Crematory, 544-7400, San Luis Obispo.

Sports

Braves heavily favored to win 6th straight SCL championship

Modoc's tough wrestling team will head to the Shasta Cascade League Championships in Mt. Shasta this weekend and are favored to repeat as league champs for the sixth straight year and 10 out of the past 11 years. Modoc coach Shaun Wood said the Braves could have eight or nine wrestlers in the finals at league, but fully expects to win at least four individual titles.

The Braves are coming off a very strong showing in Corning, where they placed second as a team. Willows won the event with 230 points, Modoc had 142, Corning 138, Durham 132, Paradise 122, Central Valley 103, Los Molinos 93, Quincy 88, Enterprise 85, and Pleasant Valley 78.

The Braves had two individual champions at Corning. Travis Wood won the 152 pound division with a 10-8 win over Robert Johnson, Corning. Joey Catania dominated his 215-pound final with an 11-0 win over Durham's Zach Adkins.

The Braves' Jason Jones, 160 pounds, had a very tough semi-finals match against Jeff Prentiss of Durham and lost 1-0 in double overtime. He placed third, winning that match easily.

The Braves were without one of their top wrestlers, Brad Bell at 189 pounds, due to a sprained ankle. Ian Jacques bumped up a weight at Corning and placed a very strong fourth.

Other placers for Modoc were: Dillon Flournoy took a fifth at 103 pounds, Martin Corn took a sixth at 112 pounds, Cain Madrigal was sixth at 119 pounds, Brian Weed was fourth at 125 pound and Josue Madrigal was fifth; Chris Buchanan was sixth at 135 pounds and Nick Hawes was sixth at 140 pounds, David Holloway was sixth at 145 pounds, Jared Cox was fifth at 160 pounds, Mark Main was fourth at 171 pounds and Jesse Harer was fifth, and Tim Cruse was sixth at heavyweight.

On Friday, the Braves dueled against Central Valley, winning that match-up 57-19.

The results were as follows: Flournoy won by forfeit 103; Corn lost 2-17 at 112; C. Madrigal won by pin at 119; Weed won by pin at 125; J. Madrigal was pinned at 130; Buchanan won by forfeit at 135; Hawes won by pin at 140; Holloway won 8-6 at 145; Wood won by pin at 152; Jones won by forfeit at 160; Main lost 2-0 at 171; Jacques lost 17-2 at 189; Catania won by pin at 215: Cruse won by pin at heavyweight.

In junior varsity matches, Jesse Harer won by technical fall, Jared Cox won by pin, Corn won by pin and Chris Houghtby lost.

Modoc boys on top of league

Modoc's boys varsity whipped the Mt. Shasta Bears, 61-56, here Tuesday night, but just as important, Bishop Quinn stunned Trinity, 53-47, the same night.

The Trinity loss puts Modoc on top of the Shasta Cascade League. Modoc coach Mike Martin had predicted early in the season that Bishop Quinn was going to knock off some of the top teams, especially on their tiles. Bishop Quinn comes to Alturas Friday night to meet the Braves. Martin is expecting a very tough contest, but feels having them here is a plus for the Braves. Modoc beat Bishop Quinn 54-45 in their first outing.

Modoc split with Trinity, beating them here, but lost Friday night in Weaverville, 57-47. Trinity took a 17-15 first period lead, but Modoc led at halftime 25-23. The Wolves outscored the Braves, who had foul trouble, 25-11 in the third period to lead, 48-36, going into the final eight minutes. Ross Burgess led the scoring with 14 points.

On Tuesday, Modoc survived a late scare from the Mt. Shasta Bears, 61-56, thanks in part to some crucial free throws late in the game by Micah Eppler. In addition, Mt. Shasta missed several free throws late that could have put them on top.

The team played even at 14-14 in the first and Mt. Shasta took a 29-26 lead into the halftime talks. Modoc came out and tied the ballgame at 42 at the end of three. The Braves outscored the Bears 19-14 in the fourth, but the game was within a bucket late.

Zeke Bonham led the Braves with 20 points, 17 of those in the first half, Burgess had 14, Eppler had 12 and Taylor Dunn added 11.

Hornet girls split pair in Evergreen League

The Surprise Valley Hornet girls varsity split in Evergreen League Action this week, beating Dunsmuir, 44-31, And losing to Tulelake, 55-31.

Against Dunsmuir, the Hornets were a little under the weather but still led 18-9 at halftime. They fatigued in the second half, but were still able to get the win. The Hornets were led by Cara James with 17 points, Sarah Teuscher with 10 and Meranda Miura with six. The Hornets' front court of James, Teuscher and Jacque Laxague combined for 23 rebounds, 11 blocked shots and three steals. Miura had a game high six steals.

Tulelake is one of the toughest teams in the division and the Hornets stayed with them, down by just four after one. But Tulelake outscored Surprise Valley, 40-20, in the finals three stanzas. James led the scoring with 15, while Miura added eight.

Surprise Valley is on the road Friday at Butte Valley and will be home February 8 against Big Valley's Cardinals.

Brave varsity girls lose pair

Modoc's varsity girls team continues to struggle in the Shasta Cascade League, having yet to win a game.

They lost to Trinity 68-29 Friday night there. Emily Pence had 11 points, Danielle Reyes added seven and Missy Ackley hadsix.

They lost to Mt. Shasta here Tuesday night 78-39. Hannah Hays and Ackley each had 12.

Tulelake beats Hornets

The tough Tulelake Honkers beat Surprise Valleys' boys varsity 87-70 Tuedsay night.

Tulelake jumped out to a 27-16 first period lead and led 46-30 by halftime. The Hornest fought back some in the third to trail, 65-54, after three but were outscored 22-16 in the fourth. Several technical fouls and allowing the Honkers to jump on them in first quarter hurt the Hornets. They played better when they switched to man defense.

Alex Melgar led the scoring with 20, Scott Soletti added 18, Kevin Konz had 17, and Jase Indrebo had eight.

Tulelake beat the junior varsity boys 72-48. The Honkers led 32-15 at halftime. Kevin Quick led the scoring with 25, Devan Pavasad added eight. Tulelake's JV girls beat Surprise Valley 53-35. The Hornets trailed 27-12 at halftime, but were only outscored 26-23 in the second half. Alice Hill had 12 points and Tristan Teuscher added six, with Patricia Soletti getting five.

JV boys lose league games

Modoc's junior varsity boys lost to Mt. Shasta 51-27 Tuesday night, trailing 22-13 at halftime and 38-26 after three. Jesse Cuevas and Dustin Philpott led the scoring with 10 each.

Friday night, the boys lost to Trinity, there, 65-28, after getting pounced on 24-6 in the first and trailing 37-13 at halftime. Philpott had five points and Liam Iverson added four.

Fall River beat Modoc, 38-36, with the game close all the way and tied it at 27-27 after three. Philpott led the scoring with 15 points and Keith Montague added 10.

On Jan. 22, Trinity beat the Braves 57-36 after taking a 30-19 halftime lead. Cuevas led with 14 points and Philpott added 10.

Etna beat the Braves in a close game 48-45 last week. Modoc jumped out to a 16-8 first quarter lead, but trailed 25-22 by half. The Braves took a 36-32 lead after three and couldn't hold off the Lions. Philpott had 22 points and Cuevas added eight.

Modoc meets Bishop Quinn here Friday night.

JV girls playing well

The Modoc Brave junior varsity girls lost a tough game to Trinity, there, Friday night, but are playing well.

Last week, the girls beat Etna, 33-26, after trailing through three quarters, 23-22. A tough defense, led by Tacie Richardson's 11 steals and six blocked shots saw them outscore Etna 11-4 in the final period. Richardson also led the scoring with 15 points. Marlana Bartram added 10 points.

The Braves dropped Trinity from the unbeaten ranks the next night, 37-32. The Braves outscored the Wolves 21-11 in the second period. Megan Thompson and Alysha Northrup led with 11 points each, Richardson had six points and 12 steals and Sarah Catania added seven points.

The Braves then whipped Fall River 30-15, allowing the Bulldogs only seven points in the final three periods. Northrup led with 10 points and Bartram added eight.

The Braves lost to Trinity Friday night there, 48-40, shot down by a nine-for-11 three point shot night for the Wolves. The Braves played aggressive defense stealing the ball 13 times. Trinity took advantage of foul trouble in the second quarter and had a 12-point halftime lead. Richardson led the defense in the third, cutting the lead to 34-30, but couldn't get closer. Northrup led the scoring with 14 and Bartram added seven.

Tuesday night, the girls avenged an earlier loss to Mt. Shasta by beating the Bears soundly in Modoc. Richardson led with 10 rebounds, five blocks and six points. Northrup had a double-double, netting 12 points and getting 11 rebounds.

February 10th, 2005

News

Runaways from Warner group home die in crash

Two of four teenagers who ran away from the Warner Mountains Group Home in Canby Saturday, were killed in a single vehicle crash on Lake of the Woods Highway in Oregon early Sunday morning. One of the others is in critical condition and another is in fair condition.

Killed in the accident were Zachary Keith DeLong, age 15, and Travis Michael Boswell, age 17. Peter Torri-Ezikiel Mejia, age 14, was in critical condition at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford. The driver of the 1988 Acura was 16-year-old Michael Demean, who was in fair condition.

According to Modoc County Undersheriff Mark Gentry, his office was called by the group home about 10 p.m. Saturday night to report a juvenile missing, and two other calls came in to report the others missing soon after.

The teenagers were from various counties in the state and had been placed at the group home, which Gentry describes as a half-way house where they are not kept under lock and key. He said the juveniles are generally wards of the court.

Officials suspect the "escape" was probably pre-planned and are investigating the overall incident. Gentry said in most cases the runaways are found and brought back soon after they leave, especially in the winter. It's unusual for one of the group home residents to have access to a vehicle. Gentry said an alert went out to Northern California and southern Oregon law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, the accident happened before the teenagers were found.

According to police reports, Demean was driving on Oregon Highway 140 when he lost control of the car on a curve about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The vehicle hit an embankment and rolled.

City, County working on power project

The Alturas City Council and Modoc County Board of Supervisors are holding a work session Feb. 22, at City Hall to discuss the National Power project at the mill site in Alturas.

National Power is proposed to construct a 20-40 megawatt biomass power plant on city-owned property north of the existing structures at the mill site, near the Alturas airport. Also in the planning stages are a small log sawmill and a possibility of a larger natural gas fired power plant.

Next week the Alturas City Council is expected to approve a resolution approving an agreement with National Power for power plant development, water supply and wastewater treatment and an option to purchase the mill property.

National Power has made presentations to both the City Council and Board of supervisors and has met with approval from both entities. There is a ton of work to be done, and National Power has entered the phase one portion of the project with the City Resolution. According to National Power, the first phase is expected to take about nine months, partly to evaluate the viability of the biomass project.

According to National's Len Wohadlo, the current effort to manage juniper in this neck of the woods is one of the driving forces behind the biomass plant project. In addition, the state's move towards more "green energy" sources is a big part of the project.

National Power describes itself as an owner and operator of environmentally sensitive electric generating facilities which has existing facilities in the Australia and United States. The company was founded in 1991 and is privately owned.

Phase one of the project is expected to be completed this summer and phase two would begin thereafter. Construction is expected to start in 2007 with possible startup and operation in 2008.

The council had heard two proposals for a biomass power plant at or near the Alturas Mill site property, and chose the National Project over one proposed by Silvan Power out of Bend.

The council felt that National had a more proven track record, with plants on line in the states and in Australia, than did Silvan, which is working several projects.

Phase one of the project will include on-site and off-site investigation to determine feasibility of permitting, securing a power sales agreement, financing and constructing a 20-40 Megawatt wood-fired power plant and possibly a 150-200 MW natural gas fired combined cycle power plant. National Power and the city are contracting for phase one, with National paying the city $7,500 initially. Under Phase two, National will do the work necessary to permit, source the fuel, execute a power purchase agreement, arrange financing and execute a turn-key contract for the project.

The site for the proposed power plant is on 103 acres of city-owned property at the mill site adjacent to the airport.

National Power is also involved in the Big Valley Mill power plant, which is up and running. That plant had been closed and shut down when Big Valley Lumber Mill was sold and dismantled, but the power plant remained intact. It is a biomass power plant, burning wood products.

Juniper management getting into reality

After many fits and false starts, practical juniper control to promote a healthy ecosystem in the high desert areas of northeastern California and northwestern Nevada may be just around the corner, thanks to new emphasis on cooperation between federal agencies, local officials and the private sector

Juniper control, once a back-burner issue, has come to the forefront in light of new developments and directives within the Department of Agriculture, the parent agency for the Forest Service and the Interior Department, parent agency for the Bureau of Land Management.

"It's really a matter, I think, of all the stars lining up at the right time," says Sean Curtis, Modoc County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) co-chairman who has worked for years to find a resolution to juniper encroachment. "The problem has been recognized for some time, but nobody has really been able to wrap their arms around it."

The magnitude of the juniper encroachment problem is astonishing to most when fully explained.

Stands of juniper now dominate the ecosystem in a 6.5 million-acre area that very nearly centers on Modoc County. "Currently, juniper has encroached on about 3 million acres within the 6.5 million acre area," says Tim Burke, manager of the BLM Alturas field office. "Over the past 150 years there's been a 15-fold increase of juniper."

Burke, who pioneered a computer mapping system for tracking the level of juniper encroachment and its management strategies, notes that each year invading junipers gobble up an additional 50,000 acres within that larger area.

"Our response needs to be at the same magnitude," affirms Burke. "We can't afford to do these piecemeal projects of a couple hundred acres if we're going to address the problem."

Noting that juniper is an "important component of the ecosystem," Burke points out that a century of fire suppression has allowed the juniper to proliferate out of control, overwhelming the preexisting sagebrush ecosystems. "We want to keep some juniper out there, we just want to manage it at a level that's more natural than is occurring now. Juniper has encroached in a lot of the sagebrush ecosystems and has caused a reduction in the abundance of grasses and forbs, which also impacts wildlife."

The two preferred juniper treatment methods are prescribed burns and mechanical harvesting. "This is an ecosystem restoration strategy," emphasizes Burke. "Probably, our primary tool in terms of restoration is going to be fire use for prescribed burning. The mechanical treatment is just one aspect that would have a number of benefits associated with it." "The number of acres that are going to be mechanically treated pale in comparison to the acres that are going to have prescribed fire go through them," says Curtis, emphasizing that the motives are primarily ecological rather than commercial. There are going to be those detractors that view this as a replacement for a vanishing timber program."

It is inescapable that those "associated" benefits to harvesting will be increased economic development activity due to the harvesting of timber and biomass, something too long absent from the local economy in the eyes of some.

"I think the board (of supervisors) has always been a little frustrated by the agencies' inability to do more than just piecemeal projects," explains Curtis, citing the irregularity and uncertainty of timber and biomass harvest in the past. "Just one variable was enough to make people be gun-shy about tackling it."

Curtis believes that a number of things have come together "that focused the effort." He cites the work and funding of local RACS as the beginning of the process. The plight of the sage grouse brought attention to the damage junipers cause in the ecosystem.

In addition, the Healthy Forest Restoration Act and recent fire plan changes brought more money to the process and eased restrictions, offering more timely projects with less planning and a certainty of supply for commercial interests.

Perhaps still more impetus comes from California's new law requiring that by 2017, 20 percent of the power sold in California must be from a renewable resource. "That's peaked interest in green power," continues Curtis. "Big companies that didn't pay any attention to alternate sources of power now have to find it in order to continue to sell the fossil fuel power." Burke sees the new Forest Service and BLM policy of stewardship contracting, a recently enacted program under the Healthy Forest Initiative Act, as the catalyst to assist him in his juniper control program. Because the stewardship program allows contracts of up to ten years, rather than the present one-year contracts, the prospect will be more attractive to commercial interests. It will provide a stability that insures that timber and biomass are available on a consistent basis. "That's really king for: a stable source, knowing something's going to be there year in and year out," says Burke.

Moreover, he emphasizes that the new partnership between the agencies and private interests, fostered by the stewardship program, allows agencies' to do needful things in the forest by defraying the agency's operating costs.

Curtis points out the 'catch 22' in the program. "They're hinged at the hip. We can't do the treatment if there is no value in the product that comes off." A consensus seems to be building that ecosystem benefits and economic development benefits, as well as an increase in biomass-generated domestic energy production, make juniper management a high priority.

"Although it's viewed as being driven by economics, it has an environmental component as well," points out Curtis, who looks for ways to evenhandedly address both environmental and economic considerations. In the public meetings held last fall to encourage input from outside interests for their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), part of developing the proposed juniper control projects, Burke discovered commercial interest was greater than anticipated. "Lo and behold, the commercial interests have started to take notice at this point already, just in our discussion," he observes, with "lots of input" from "hundreds of people."

Much planning must yet be done before the actual work on the ground can start, cautions Nancy Gardner, Forest Service public affairs officer. "The next step is to develop and create the Environmental Impact Statement. That probably will be kicked off in the spring. Then, it's going to take a year and a half."

In the meantime, Gardner assures that present juniper control projects will continue to move forward.

"There's a lot of work to do," echoes Curtis, "—the environmental analysis and the public review of the draft EIS. Because it's purpose is ecological restoration, that helps us. There's been a lot of work done at the preliminary level to bring partners on board."

Benefit raises money to help seriously ill girl

by Adele Mitchell

Special to the Record

If unfamiliar with her situation, a stranger might think that 6-year-old Deena Bhavindhu is like any other healthy child. The dark-haired native of Thailand is bright, imaginative and has enough energy to keep pace with her adopted twin siblings.

However, people who know Deena are keenly aware that she has lived with a rare form of cancer the last four years. Called thrombocytopenia, it is a condition that occurs when the blood doesn't clot.

Approximately 100 members of the Modoc community showed their support for the first grader during a benefit dinner held Tuesday evening at the Brass Rail. Monies raised will help defray some of the staggering medical expenses and hardships incurred by the Bhavindhu's.

Those in attendance enjoyed a traditional spaghetti dinner. While people were eating and mingling, Deena went up to the podium to thank everybody for their help. Then, Alturas resident Mike Mason auctioned off a variety of donated items, most of which were handmade. Dino and Nipa, the child's adoptive parents, also extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to Tuesday night's event.

The Bhavindhu family has moved from Alturas to Redding, so they can be closer to Deena's specialists. Their restaurants in Alturas and Redding remain open.

The family's hopes were dashed when they recently learned there wasn't a tissue match for Deena with her biological newborn brother. Progression of the disease has increased her transfusions from once every two months to once a week. Dino explained that in time, her body could reject the platelets she receives by way of the transfusions.

So, Deena's name is once again on the national and international bone marrow registries. Shasta Blood Center in Redding has begun to appeal potential donors from the Bay Area, Seattle, Wash. and several Northern California counties, including Modoc.

"We have no choice," Dino answers when asked how he and his family cope with the magnitude of their daughter's illness. "We have to do what we can do." Adds Nipa: "Sometimes you feel tired then you get better." She says the doctors tell them to never give up, that they realize Deena is special. "Now," Nipa says, "I just want her to be happy."

And "happy" is an accurate description of this child who plays with the resilience and unawareness that only a child possesses, while her parents hold onto the hope of a miracle.

Modoc Forest requests natural resource projects for RAC funds

The Modoc County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) is soliciting project proposals for financial support under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (Act) for projects on or adjacent to the Modoc National Forest.

Projects must have broad based support with objectives that may include, but are not limited to: road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil productivity improvements; improvements in forest ecosystem health; watershed restoration and maintenance; wildlife and fish habitat improvements; control of noxious and exotic weeds; reintroduction of native species, and hazardous fuels reduction. Projects can be on public land or private land. If on private land, there must be a clearly demonstrated benefit to public land resources. Projects should contain a local economic benefit component.

Each year the Modoc County RAC receives about $250,000. Selections from this round of applications will finance projects in early 2006. The range of available funding is based on Modoc County Supervisor support for 2006 projects.

The first step in the application process is to complete a concept paper or pre-application, which essentially asks for a conceptual description of the project, partners involved, and estimated cost. The pre-application form should be returned by March 8, 2005, to the Modoc County RAC, c/o the Modoc National Forest, 800 West 12th Street, Alturas, CA, 96101, Attn. Louis Haynes or to ljhaynes@fs.fed.us.

Following a review of the submissions, the Modoc County RAC will invite selected applicants to submit a full application to the Modoc County RAC, at the above address. All RAC project concepts must be closely coordinated with Ranger District representatives and other key partners.

To obtain a copy of the pre-application package and to get more information about the Modoc County RAC project application process, please contact Louis Haynes, Modoc National Forest Public Affairs Specialist, at (530)233-8846. Information about the Payments to States legislation and county RACs can also be found on the Internet at www.fs.fed.us/r5/pay2states/. A few of the projects that have been funded under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 on or adjacent to the Modoc National Forest include:

2002: Devil's Garden Wetlands Maintenance-$16,275; North Parker/ Granger Drift Fence-$11,723; Roney Flat Public Road Improvement-$1,584; Sugar Hill Lookout Renovation-$129,000; Supplemental Range Help-$40,000; Western Juniper Mgt. Strategy-$56,250.

2003: Cedar Creek Interpretive Trailhead and Snow Park Bathrooms-$124,000; West Valley Juniper Removal-$49,100; Western Juniper Mgt. Strategy Phase II-$100,000.

2004: Pepperdine Campground and Trailhead Equestrian Facilities-$155,100; Pit River Natural Resource Cooperative-$12,000; RAC Training-$3,000; Specialized Lumber/Log Purchase-$20,000; Wild Horse Well-$31,000.

Dorris Reservoir only open to walk-ins

As of February 1, the Dorris Reservoir Unit of the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is open to walk-in access only.

Access is available at the walking gate along the face of the dam on County Rd. 56 and at the walk-in access at the South entrance along County Rd. 57. Due to ongoing juniper thinning in the Dee's Point area, no access will be allowed through the Dee's Point gate.

The area starting at the north end of the dam and continuing east through Dee's Point will remain closed to public access until CDF Devil's Garden work crews have completed the juniper thinning project. All areas will be open with the start of vehicle access to the reservoir April 1.

For further information contact the Refuge Manager at (530)233-3572.

Obituaries:

Ralph William Bowman

Long-time Alturas resident, Ralph William Bowman, passed away Sunday, February 6, 2005, at Merle West Medical Center in Klamath Falls, OR, as a result of complications following treatment for cancer. Mr. Bowman was 87.

Born December 5, 1917, in Wisner, NE, he was the son of former Alturas residents Everard "Pop" Bowman and Anna Schulte Bowman. Ralph was married June 8, 1941 to Gladys Slippy in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alturas, CA. Together they had two children, Yvonne and Walter. He was a dedicated husband and loving father, a prominent local businessman, an avid fisherman and hunter, and a civic leader throughout his long lifetime.

Following graduation from high school in Wisner, he traveled the country as a door-to-door magazine salesman until he eventually settled in Alturas in 1938. His working career began at Safeway which was in the Belli building. From there, he worked as a fuel truck driver for Jay Noviak. Later, he worked as a generator operator/mechanic at REA (currently Surprise Valley Electrification) and then as a millwright at Jasick's saw mill in Alturas. In 1945, he partnered with Jim Maher and opened Modoc Cash Grocery (now Walt's). In 1950, he and his brother Dale, opened Bowman's Grocery at 12th and Main in what was Ben Lange's Home Bakery. Over the years, he expanded the store several times, became sole owner, and operated the store until his retirement in 1977.

As a prominent local businessman and community leader, Ralph was involved in many civic organizations and activities including helping found the Alturas Merchants Association. He was a member of the Alturas school board, the Chamber of Commerce, Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. 1756, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Noble Grand of the Odd Fellows, Patriarch of the Odd Fellows Encampment of Lakeview, OR, President of the Alturas Rifle and Pistol Club, and President of the Fitzhugh Creek Gun Club. As Elks Exalted Ruler, 1959-60, he was instrumental in purchasing the current Elks building for the Elks. Ralph actively pursued many interests including hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and water skiing with his family and friends. He enjoyed tying flies, reloading shells, visiting the cabin at Medicine Lake, and working the family ranch.

Following his retirement, Ralph dedicated a large portion of his free time to trap shooting. He and Gladys traveled widely on the West Coast attending many Pacific International Trapshooting Association registered trap shoots winning numerous trophies and awards. One of his proudest trap shooting accomplishments was having completed shooting at over 100,000 registered targets this last summer, the last several shot from his wheelchair.

He is survived by his wife, Gladys Bowman, his daughter Yvonne Harris and her husband Dave of Alturas, his son Walter Bowman of San Francisco, CA, granddaughter Tami Hooper and her husband Jim of Sparks, NV, grandson Cory Goulden and his wife Jodi of Phoenix, AZ, sister Candace Horst of Wisner, NE, brother Dale Bowman of Tacoma, WA, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and older sister, Nina Harsch.

A memorial service at Kerr Mortuary of Alturas will be held on Thursday, February 10 (today) at 1:00 p.m. to be followed by a short graveside service. Mr. Paul Bailey will deliver the eulogy.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation in Ralph's memory be made to a charity of your choice.

Pierre 'Pete' Mendiboure

Pierre "Pete" Mendiboure, long-time rancher and resident of the Madeline Plains, passed away at St. Mary's Hospital in Reno, NV on January 12, 2005, at the age of 93.

He was born on December 29, 1911, in the Basque country of Irissarry, France, in the Pyrenees near the border with Spain. He had resided in Lassen County since 1942.

At age 17, Mr. Mendiboure embarked on the adventure of a lifetime to find his fortune in the New World.

Alone and on his own, he crossed the Atlantic on board a ship bound for New York. Since he could not speak English, he had a travel strategy...to have all his papers filled out in advance, to hand over his papers and keep in line.

From the East Coast he proceeded to cross the country by train to Bakersfield, CA. Hard working and brawny, he found success in Bakersfield where he settled in with relatives. Not long after, he purchased his own land and began ranching. After 12 years in that area, he became restless and began searching for more open country; which included the Madeline Plains, where he bought a ranch in 1941. He loved the desert. Mendiboure had holdings of about 20,000 acres on the Plains, on Bailey Creek and near Susanville where he ran about 1,000 head of cattle and 1,200 ewes.

Those who knew him said "Pete" never turned his back on anyone. He took what little he had and made the most of it, regardless of circumstance. Not only was he stoic and enduring in the face of adversity, but he was impressively strong, physically, and kept a positive outlook on life, with a knack for lifting the spirits of others. He was a hardworking and persevering rancher, who was named "Old Time Rancher," in conjunction with the Susanville Rodeo.

Mr. Mendiboure is survived by his daughters Mary Mendiboure of Madeline, CA and Naomi Flowers of Fernley, NV; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services were held at the Colonial Mortuary Chapel in Susanville, CA on Friday, January 21, 2005, at 1 p.m. Mr. Donald T. Garate officiated. Private interment was at the Diamond Crest Cemetery in Johnstonville, CA.

Eva 'Jerry' Harshberger

Services for Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Ben Zandstra at the Federated Church in Alturas on Saturday, February 26 at 11 a.m. A potluck gathering at the church hall will follow.

Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, 71, passed away January 25, 2005, in Washoe Medical Center, Reno, Nevada, as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident on January 6.

She was born Eva Reynolds in Pontiac, Michigan on March 8, 1933. Jerry, as she was known, was a resident of Alturas for 16 years.

A former southern California resident for many years, Jerry had lived in Covina, then Pomona, before moving to West Covina and later Alturas. She had worked as a Certified Nurse's Aide in Baldwin Park Convalescent Hospital and Cherry Lee Convalescent Home. While living in Covina, she organized a neighborhood women's club called "The Doodlers," which is still in existence and focuses on projects and hobbies.

Jerry had been an active member of Alturas Grange 406 for several years, and her afghans were welcomed by all those fortunate to receive one. One was made for the Alturas Rural Fire Department as a fund-raiser prize and another for the roof fundraiser for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alturas.

She is survived by her children: Penny Sue Frost and husband Greg of Rogers City, Michigan; Marilyn Gail Harp, also of Rogers City; Beth Robertson and husband Gary of Peoria, Arizona; son Gene Sivley and wife Nancy of Glendale, AZ; 11 grandchildren, one great-grandson; sisters Nancy Whitehead and husband Whitney of The Village, Florida and Murl Karnes of Plant City, Florida and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jerry was further survived by special friends, Deana and David Hutchinson and family of Klamath Falls, OR; Pauline Edwards of Alturas, and many other close friends, as well as loving companion of 25 years, Anita DeWitt of Alturas, CA.

Her wishes were to be cremated. Memorial services are pending and will be held at Federated Church in Alturas, with the date to be announced in The Record.

Velma Pengelly Hoyt

A Celebration of Life Service for Velma Pengelly Hoyt, age 100, 11 months and 7 days will be held at the Malin Community Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, at 2 p.m. The Rev. Joyce Fogle will officiate.

Following a horse-drawn hearse procession, she will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Amos E. Hoyt at Malin Community Cemetery. Those wishing to pay their respects may visit O'Hair & Riggs Funeral Chapel, Aspen Slumber Room on Thursday, Feb. 10 from Noon to 5 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contribution in memory of Velma Hoyt may be made to the Tulelake Seniors' Nutrition Program; Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 842, Tulelake, CA 96134.

Velma Hoyt, a long-time resident of Tulelake, died on Saturday, February 5, 2005, at Merle West Medical Center, Klamath Falls, OR.

She was born in Alturas, CA, to Henry and Della Warner Pengelly on February 29, 1904, and was the eldest of three daughters.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Barney and Glenda Hoyt of Malin, OR; grandchildren Rhonda Heiney and her husband Bill of Tulelake, CA; Chuck Day of Merrill, OR and Dana Hoyt of Pullman, Wa; ; great-grandchildren Brooke Heiney, Davis, CA and Jared Heiney, Tulelake; sister Neva Asher of Alturas; niece Dorothy Carlisle of Cottonwood, CA and a nephew Warner Asher of Alturas. She will be missed by all her immediate family, extended family, and numerous friends.

Her parents Henry and Della Pengelly, husband Amos E. Hoyt, and a sister Ruth Asher of Alturas, preceded her in death. Services have been entrusted to OHair & Riggs Funeral Chapel, 515 Pine Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601 (541) 884-3456.

Services set for Roger Ducasse

A gathering of friends and family, to celebrate the life of Roger Ducasse, will be held at the Federated Community Church Hall in Alturas on February 19 at 1PM. Everyone is welcome.

A resident of Alturas for 56 years, Mr. Ducasse had owned and operated the Ducasse Auto Upholstry shop since he moved here in 1949.

Roger Victor Ducasse, 90, passed away in his home on January 20, 2005, following a brief, but courageous, battle with leukemia. Mr. Ducasse continued to work the month before his passing.

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Ducasse, two nephers, Bob Dillinger of Ridgecrest, CA and Norm Dillinger of Chico, CA., grand nieces Susan Johnson of Ridgecreat, CA and Teresa Dillinger of Davis, CA and grand nephew Steve Dillinger of Ridgecrest, CA.

Sports

 

Braves win SCL wrestling title for 6th straight year

Modoc's Braves put 12 wrestlers in 14 final matches of the Shasta Cascade League championships last week, with eight of them winning individual championships.

"I was really pleased, we had some kids who were seeded third or fourth fight their way though to a championship," said coach Shaun Wood. "I tell you there was a wave of purple when the finals wrestlers were announced. Our kids in the lighter weights really stepped up."

The Braves have won the past six straight SCL wrestling titles and 11 of the past 12.

"I knew our guys in the upper weights would do well, but I honestly was pleasantly surprised in the lower weights," said Wood. "We had a pretty good day."

Modoc has this weekend off and heads to the Division III Championships Feb. 18-19 in Durham. The Masters tourney will be in Redding, Feb. 25-26 and the top two finishers in each weight will head to the state championships March 3,4,5 in Bakersfield.

This year the North Section gets to send the top two finishers, instead of just the champion to the state finals. Wood expects Travis Wood, Jason Jones, Brad Bell and Joey Catania to qualify for state.

In the league tournament, Modoc won with 261.5 points. In second place was Trinity with 156, followed by Burney 129.5, Etna 90, Mt. Shasta 60, Big Valley 50, Tulelake 42, Fall River 39 and Bishop Quinn 31.

Wood pinned Mike Steffens of Big Valley in under a minute for the 152-pound title and Joey Catania pinned Mt. Shasta's 215 pound Andrew Thurman is less than a minute for that title.

Jason Jones pinned teammate Jared Cox in less than a minute for the 160 pound title. Cox took second. Brad Bell won by technical fall over Etna's Thomas Balaz for the 189-pound championship. Modoc's Jesse Harer was fourth.

Nick Hawes pinned Leighton Churchill of Trinity for the 140 pound title. Chris Buchanan beat Matt Carlisle of Trinity 13-8 for the 135-pound title. Sheridan Crutcher beat Rogelia Gacrica of Tulelake 9-8 for the 130 pound title. Martin Corns won the 112-pound championship by pinning Burney's Travis Bushey.

Brian Weed took a second place at 125 pounds, losing to one of the top wrestlers in the section, Michael Young of Burney. Dillon Flournoy took a second place at 103 pounds. Tim Cruse was second at heavyweight. Mark Main was third at 171 pounds and Ian Jacques was fourth. Cain Madrigal took a third place at 119 pounds, David Holloway was fourth at 145 pounds.

Braves take over, lose lead in SCL basketball

Modoc's Braves, thanks in part to some unforced turnovers and poor free-throw shooting by Bishop Quinn, took over the lead in the Shasta Cascade League by beating the Lions 52-46.

Unfortunately, as quickly as they took over the league lead, they gave it back to Trinity Tuesday night by getting upset by the Weed Cougars, 59-49.

Modoc now hosts Burney Friday night and has a very tough game in Etna, Saturday. Trinity leads the league with an 8-2 mark and Modoc is in second at 8-3.

Burney has been playing very solid basketball and has won its last three games. Playing in Etna is always an experience and Etna beat Modoc 53-41 in the first round this season in Alturas.

Modoc coach Mike Martin is concerned about both upcoming games, and hopes the upset at Weed will wake up his team. They just did not play well against the Cougars and need to bring their "A" game to the court for the next two.

Against Bishop Quinn Modoc fought back from a 31-22 halftime deficit to close the lead to 41-38 to start the fourth period. The Braves outscored the Lions 14-5 in the final eight minutes, but the game was close until the final minute.

Ross Burgess led the scoring with 25 points, and hit a late fourth period jumper that sealed the Lions' fate. Micah Eppler added 12 points, Taylor Dunn had seven and Kyle Madison had five.

Tuesday night in Weed, the Braves led 15-7 after the first period, but allowed Weed to take a 23-22 halftime lead. The Cougars pounced on the Braves in the third to lead 41-33 and went on for a fairly easy win.

According to Martin, Weed's J. Souvanassay scored 30 points, 15 of those in the fourth quarter. Burgess led the Modoc scoring with 22, with 12 in the fourth period and Bonham added 10. Modoc hit just six of 15 free throws in the game.

Hornet boys split in league

The Surprise Valley Hornet boys varsity basketball team split a pair of Evergreen League games this week, to Butte Valley and to Big Valley. Surprise Valley faces Happy Camp away Feb. 15 and has Hayfork at home Feb. 18.

Against Butte Valley, the Bulldogs led 15-11 after one, but the Hornets took a 33-27 halftime lead. The Bulldogs came back to trail 48-47 at the end of three and outscored the Hornets 21-12 in the fourth for a 68-60 win.

Alex Melgar led the scoring with 23, Scott Soletti added 17 and Kevin Konz had 11. The Hornets jumped on Big Valley 15-12 in the first period and led 29-26 at halftime. Surprise Valley led 51-36 after three and won 70-55. Melgar led the scoring with 25, Soletti added 20 and Konz had 14.

Coach Josh Oilar was pleased that the team ran the offense better than they have all year and played solid man defense.

In junior varsity action, the Hornets beat Butte Valley 49-42 with Kevin Quick scoring 17, Devin Prasad added nine and Trey Wright and Jack Stockton getting eight each.

The jayvees lost to Big Valley 57-32, with Quick leading the scoring with 15. The Cardinals jumped up to a 50-25 third quarter lead.

Hornet girls win EL pair

Surprise Valley's varsity girls team took a pair of games in the Evergreen League and now face Happy Camp and Hayfork to round out league play. On Friday, the girls beat Butte Valley 39-26. The Hornets trailed after one, but outscored the Bulldogs the next three periods.

Both teams played tough defense, said coach Arnold DeGarmo and each needed a win to remain in third place. The Bulldog defense focused on Cara James, but Sarah Teuscher stepped in with a big game on both ends of the court. Teuscher had 18 points, James added 10 and Jacque Laxague had nine points and also pulled down 11 rebounds.

The Hornets beat Big Valley, 42-26, Tuesday night. Surprise Valley led 22-20 at halftime and went up by eight after three. Big Valley put on a run in the fourth, but came up short. Teuscher led the scoring with 15 points and had nine rebounds and three blocks. James added 14 points and Laxague pulled down 10 rebounds and had six steals.

The junior vasrity Hornets beat Butte Valley 38-24 with Alice Hall getting 15 points, Patricia Soletti scoring 12, Tiffany Choate had seven and Tristen Teuscher had four. Rachel Stevenson also had a solid defensive game.

Girls win 1st SCL game

The Modoc Braves varsity girls teams erased the zero in the win column Tuesday night by beating the Weed Cougars, 60-56. The Braves host Burney on Friday and travel to Etna on Saturday.

The Braves who have struggled all season put together a good first half to lead by 28-18. They came out cold in the third and Weed outscored them 19-7, but the Braves fought back to tie the game at 50-50 by the buzzer. The Braves won the game in overtime. Missy Ackley led the Braves with 21 points, while Danielle Reyes and Hannah Hays each added 12.

On Friday, the Braves played well, but lost to Bishop Quinn, 49-40. Bishop Quinn hit 19 free throws, while Modoc netted just five.

The junior varsity Braves won two games this past week, beating Weed 32-9 and topping Bishop Quinn 31-26. Tacie Richardson had six first half points against Weed and blocked seven shots. Alysha North led the scoring with eight and Marlana Bartram added six. Brynn Juanarena hit two threes for the Braves.

Against Bishop Quinn, Northrup led with 10 points and Megan Thompson added six.

Junior varsity boys drop two

Modoc's junior varsity boys dropped two league games this week, losing to Bishop Quinn, 40-24, and to Weed, 56-45.

In the Bishop Quinn game, they stayed close at halftime, 19-13, but by the end of three, trailed 34-18. Keith Montague had five for the Braves. Weed led, 25-17, at halftime and increased that to 42-29 by the end of three. Liam Iverson led the Braves with 15 points and Montague added nine.

February 17th, 2005

News

Graffiti vandals nabbed by cops

Alturas Police nabbed two young people Feb. 10 in connection with a string of graffiti vandalism which culminated in a spray painting at Alturas Elementary School early that morning.

According to Chief of Police Ken Barnes, a 14-year-old boy was arrested at his residence about 10 a.m., and 18-year-old Ricardo "Ricky" Esquivel turned himself in to probation. Both were on probation at the time of the latest crimes.

Barnes said that following interviews with the pair, they admitted to the school vandalism as well as to earlier spray painting the black 13's and other messages on Alturas business walls.

The school vandalism alone is being treated as a felony because the cost of repair and cleanup exceeded $6,000, said Barnes. In addition to the spray paint, the pair also broke out some windows in the modular classrooms at the middle school.

Police found spray paint cans as well as other items and paint on the clothing of the two suspects. Barnes said that a citizen's report of the two being out and about the nights the vandalism occurred as well as police contact led them to the pair.

AES students say vandals aren't cool

If one thing's certain, the vandals who defaced Alturas Elementary School didn't impress the students or staff.

Eight AES students voiced their opinions Monday afternoon. Principal Bonnie Tillotson said she was very impressed with the students and their reaction last week when they came to school and found the graffiti. "The students did really well and their response was excellent," she said. "We have good kids here."

She also praised the work of the Modoc Joint Unified School District maintenance crew, who came in and cleaned up the site quickly and efficiently.

When students first went to school last Thursday morning, they were ushered inside and missed the opening recess. They all understood it was for their own protection.

Second graders Alan Weber and Lydia Vass, third graders Morgan Bagwell and Gregory Seevers, fourth graders Riley Larranaga and Alexandra McQuarrie and fifth graders Ashlie Conner and Jonathan Jones had some strong opinions.

"I thought it was rude and it hurt a lot of kids' feelings," said Vass. "Why call people names? Why do it here, we didn't do anything to them . . . it's just wrong. It's a small town, they didn't need to ty sad, and it took away money for field trips and stuff," said Weber. "It's not their property and it's wrong. I thank the cops for catching them. They were trying to be cool, but they're not."

"I was really mad," said Bagwell. "We didn't get to have recess that morning. It wasn't polite. I'm glad they got caught and they deserve whatever they'll get. I think they lost their coolness."

"It was a very, very wrong thing to do," said Seevers. "I think it's horrible. I'm glad the police caught them and I hope they are punished. Maybe we should put guard towers on the roads."

Conner said she felt the vandals disrespected the school and the students. "It made me feel really bad that they didn't think our school is important," she said. "But it is important. I was a little scared, but our teacher said it didn't wreck the school. But why here of all places? I was worried that some of the younger kids would copy the words. No one thought it was cool. They're trespassing on other people's property; they should think about it."

Jones said, "I think it's confusing, why would someone do that just to gain attention? It pulled me down the whole day. I don't think gangs could be here, groups of friends are better than gangs, who just want to do bad stuff. It's kind of like they just want to do mean stuff to someone and other people have to clean it up. Hopefully, there will be no more vandalism around here."

"I didn't appreciate the disrespect," said Larranaga. "It also cost us a lot of money to clean it up. Our school is not like those trashy schools in other places. I think these people should be in jail for a couple of years at least. I hope these people learned something and make good choices next time." "I think it was a disaster," said McQuarrie, "because it's disrespectful. They tried to get a lot of attention, but it was really a bad thing to do. Hopefully, we have no more people like that. They should go to jail, and they should pay to clean it up. I'm also glad we have people who do care about our school."

All the students were very appreciative of the maintenance crew and said they were pleased and amazed at how quickly they took care of the vandalism. They also were pleased with the performance of the teachers and staff. Each said they felt the teachers were able to bring up the subject and explain it to good terms and they all understood they were kept from recess for their own protection.

Pit River is called unique watershed

by Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

An assessment of the Pit River watershed, recently completed by the Pit River Watershed Alliance under the direction of James Rickert, contains vital information about the river and its environs, including water quality, climate, fishery, vegetation, fire control and suppression, forestry, wildlife and natural resources

In a slideshow presentation made Tuesday, February 15 at the River Center in Alturas, Rickert explained the assessment. "It was a look at the historic data, trying to get a good, comprehensive look at what the water quality has been like over the years," says Rickert. "This is an attempt to see how the river has been over time. It's just your basic biological snapshot."

Rickert's presentation paints a descriptive picture of northeastern California. "It's a very unique watershed. A lot of the information on water quality is really important. Looking at the temperature variations was important.

"We determined it hasn't changed too much over time," says Rickert. "Turbidity was pretty much as expected."

Speaking of the assessment, Rickert says, "It was a great compilation of the data. It brought everyone up to speed on where we are today and where we need to go.

"Whereas before everyone was basing their assumptions on unknowns, this was able to capture all the existing data, put that into databases and pump out some really interesting figures, tables and graphs."

The topography is unique in that it consists of a relatively flat watershed within the basins drained by the Pit. Most rivers have a considerable "drop" or gradient, but not the Pit River.

"The water slowly goes from Alturas to Pitville. It drops about 10 feet every mile," observes Rickert. "So, it's an extremely low gradient river." That low gradient contributes to another of the stream's unique qualities: It is unusually warm for a river this size

Readings taken between June and September exceeded 70 degrees nearly 30 percent of the time. The average monthly water temperatures in the Pit are about 5 degrees higher than the air temperatures, the assessment reports. "That's pretty warm water," says Rickert. "Whereas, for example, the Fall River is quite a cool river

"As the water travels down and there's more surface area exposed to the higher summer temperatures, you'd think it would warm up as it goes downstream. But it doesn't do it," explains Rickert. "Or, you might think that cooler creek water from, maybe, Ash Creek, would cool it down before it reached Bieber. But it doesn't do that either."

While the reasons for the unusual warmth are still unknown, Rickert hypothesizes, "It's probably a combination of several factors. You've got hot springs that contribute warm water to the system. There are a lot of warm springs within the watershed. You have large, open channels with not much elevation. So, you don't have much flow. Also there is the irrigation diversion. You put a diversion ditch within the river, and you back the water up. (If) you don't let it flow through, it's going to heat up." Moreover, the water temperature in the Pit has not changed over time. Water temperature data prior to 1983 is consistent with temperatures recorded since then. "Water temperatures do not change significantly between Alturas and Pitville," says Rickert. "The river is pretty much homogenous by the time it gets to Alturas."

Unusually warm water creates an ecosystem that is entirely different from most other rivers. Since temperature is a function of the river's ability to carry dissolved solids and gasses, this data will be vital to planners in the future. "Water quality is an extremely big issue with the Pit River," says Rickert.

Another feature that differentiates the Pit from other rivers is its variable water flows. "The Pit River is just extremely variable," Rickert notes. Its highest flows typically occur between January and May. "And then, of course, it tapers off during the summer," adds Rickert.

Earliest reliable observations, beginning in 1905, show that water flow then was virtually nonexistent in August and September. "That's really what we need to take home from this one," Richert says, pointing out that flows begin to diminish early. "It really tapers off between April and May."

Records indicate that catching the water during periods of peak runoff in the late winter and early spring for release later in the season has made the Pit a more stable river. Data show that by 1953, dams and reservoirs, which capture the water early in the season and then release it later on, dramatically changed the flows. "Water is saved. Instead of virtually nothing (in the summer months), it's actually increased flows here," notes Rickert.

An example of the profound effects of capturing and storing water is found in the assessment's report that even though the 2001 annual precipitation in Alturas was lowest on record, the flows were only the third lowest on record. "The reason for that," explains Rickert, "(is) there alonged flows in the river (It) regulates the flows and it gives much more reliability to the river as far as water quantity."

Where nutrients dissolved in the water are concerned, the character of the river has not changed in a decade. "Nutrients were heavily analyzed in the study," Rickert says. "That's a good thing."

The assessment found that dissolved oxygen, for example, between 1983 and 2003 did not change significantly. Nitrates, generally recognized as damaging to the environment and water quality, were found to have changed little over time.

In fact, nitrate levels in 58 percent of the samples collected up and down the Pit River in 2003 fell below the detection level. The threshold for detection is extremely low, less than two hundredths of a milligram per liter. That is, nitrates did not show up in over half the tests made. "We thought that was important," Rickert opines. "These are issues that currently affect the Pit River and will affect the Pit River in the future."

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California State Water Board list the Pit as an "impaired" watershed—something the assessment does not bear out, according to Rickert. "Personally, I don't think it's fair because this watershed is completely different than other watersheds. It is completely unique. That's, ultimately, what this assessment found."

Pointing out that the watershed has already been heavily modified, Rickert believes that any intervention great enough to make a significant change would be entirely artificial and perhaps detrimental. "Even if you tried to cool it, what is that goal? Where do you want to cool it to?" he asks.

Rickert argues that it would be unrealistic "if the Pit River is classified as something that it shouldn't be" or made to do something "that the river just could not do." He believes that "it's very important to try to capture all the existing data to help that process."

"All other aspects (of the river) that were analyzed really have not changed much," observes Rickert.

"The RCDs (Resource Conservation Districts) are taking a big role in the watershed. They've been an integral part of this," adds Rickert. "The Pit River Watershed Alliance is a unifying force. It brings a lot of different interests together to help look at the river."

Print or CD copies of the voluminous assessment or the slimmer executive summary may be obtained and questions answered at any of the RCDs in the watershed or on the Internet (http://wim.shastacollege.edu/).

Developer fees on SV School Board agenda

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

The Governing Board of the Surprise Valley Joint Unified School District will meet tonight, February 17, at 7:00 PM in the high school library. Board members are Gene Erquiaga and Jim Laacke (Cedarville), Bob Staton (Eagleville), Dean Cockrell (Lake City) and Steve Smith (Fort Bidwell).

Tonight's meeting will include a presentation on the possibility of instituting "Developer Fees" within the region that comprises the SVJUSD. A developer fee is an additional cost imposed when a permit is taken out for new home construction or additions of over 500 square feet to existing homes or businesses. Agricultural buildings are exempt.

Business Manager Robin Teuscher explains it simply as "If it's a building you can live or work in, there is an additional fee. If it's a barn or some type of outbuilding, there is not."

The state requires developer fees be collected in the district prior to its applying for "economic hardship status". With the pressing need to replace or modernize several deteriorating classrooms at the elementary school, obtaining "hardship status" designation would make the district eligible for 100% coverage of the costs of future qualifying projects.

The concept of collecting developer fees has been touched on briefly at past board meetings. It met with some reluctance from members uncomfortable with the concept of imposing new taxes. After discussion pointing out that the highest costs would go to people building new homes in the valley, Smith wondered if it was fair to put the burden of funding school projects on "people who haven't even moved here yet".

The board has now agreed to begin the state-mandated progression that may eventually lead to imposing the new fees. They will likely schedule a series of public meetings to present information and solicit input from local residents, commission mailers to all box holders answering frequently asked questions, and encourage news articles in local papers.

All avenues of soliciting public comment and involvement are part of the process necessary before a final determination on imposing the fees is made. Beginning to plan these efforts is on tonight's board agenda under Old Business: Developer Fee Presentation.

Cockrell is eager to hear more from his constituents. "We need to get community input. Many people I've talked to understand the need for these new fees. But before moving ahead, we have to have public meetings."

Smith has voiced his reluctance in voting for developer fees at prior board meetings. On February 7, while touring two dilapidated portable classrooms at the elementary school, he said, "Fundamentally, I'm opposed to any new tax. But if we research it and decide this is the best for our district, I guess we'll move ahead….But we owe it to our district to research it."

Laacke, known for "creative thinking", wondered, in light of dwindling local enrollment, if the fees are necessary. "In the absence of a need, a new tax doesn't make sense." It was pointed out that in the past, when growing enrollment at SVES warranted, middle school students have been placed in extra classroom space at the high school. Shifting students around is an initiative Dr. Sherrod, the district superintendent, promised to investigate. The wide range of opinions and concerns on the board likely mirrors the public's current views of the proposed fees. The public comment and information meetings should be well attended as everyone learns more about the labyrinth of state requirements and regulations and helps board members assess the wisdom of imposing developer fees in the local district. The board's monthly meeting agenda is available for public review at all valley post offices. The public comment period, which is scheduled early during the evening's agenda, is open to citizens who wish to address items not officially listed on the agenda. Everyone is welcome to attend, participate, and learn more about the valley schools.

In other school news:

After further research and communication with Ford Motor Company and the California Highway Patrol, it was determined the existing school vans are in compliance with new state laws and may continue to be operated as 12 passenger vehicles with properly licensed drivers. (Originally, it appeared that, as of last January 1, the vans could be legally driven only by drivers bearing a Class C - bus driver's - license. This restriction severely limited their continued usefulness for school field trips and daily bus use for kindergarten students.)

The board now has more time to develop a long-term vehicle replacement plan. The vans will need to be replaced eventually as all have high mileage and increasing maintenance costs. The decision to purchase new vehicles complying with state law AB626 was tabled for the time being.

The board and staff will work on a "Facilities Master Plan" to assess the conditions and needs of all buildings and classrooms in the district. This action was prompted by a visit to the portable 7th and 8th grade classrooms which have deteriorated beyond continued, expensive repair. Board members, staff and guests toured the buildings during a special board meeting on Monday, February 7. The freezing pipes, sloping floors, nosy heaters, lack of running water, and mice infestation make the classrooms are a very high priority for replacement

Bids for construction of a new agricultural shop building at the high school have been opened. The Superintendent anticipates completion of a new shop in 2006 (the old shop burnt in the fall of 2003) due to state regulations and delays with necessary approvals beyond local control.

Less than half of high school parents returned school survey forms which were mailed home. Dr. Sherrod hopes more will trickle in. Parental input is important to staff as they work to improve the school experience for all students. SVES Principal Debra Schoeppach and a Site Council subcommittee are developing a second parent opinion survey for distribution with the second trimester report cards.

The High school prom has been scheduled for Saturday, April 23 at the Four Season's Building at the Modoc District Fairgrounds.

Modoc Home Show building enthusiasm, entries increase

The Second Annual Modoc Home Show is shaping up as much bigger than last year as entries are up and still coming in to organizers.

The event will be held March 26 at Modoc High School. According to organizer Rendy Cockrell, the event will take up the Griswold Gym, the Modoc High Social Hall and, weather permitting, will have displays outside on the lawn as well.

The deadline for all entries into the Home Show is March 11. There will be a $10 application fee per entrant.

This year participants need proof of a business license or state resale permit, or contractor's license or federal tax identification number.

People who entered last year will have the first priority for the gym or whatever space they would like. The new exhibitors will be allotted space on a first-come, first served basis.

Cockrell, Paula Henckle and Brooke Fredrickson emphasize that the Home Show gives businesses a chance to show off what they have to offer local people, everything from building to decorating their home.

In last year's show, there were exhibits including: landscape contractors, real estate and insurance professionals, building contractors, plumbers, electricians, roofing, computers, Internet, cabinet makers, surveyors, home interior concepts, appliances, bank representatives, building supply, nursery, countertops and lighting, windows, insulation, flooring, solar technology, furniture, and a wide variety of decor items and ideas. For more information or to enter contact Cockrell at Modoc Title, 530-233-3471; Fredrickson at Handmade Haven 530-233-1161; and Henckle at Modoc Public Works 530-233-6403.

Applications are subject to the approval of the organization committee.

Obituaries:

Carol Letitia Conklin

Carol Letitia Conklin died at the Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville, CA on Monday, February 14, 2005, from natural causes at the age of 63. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cedarville Community Church with Rev. Dan St.Clair officiating. A pot-luck dinner will follow the service.

Carol was born to Raymond and Margarette (Hammon) Bordwell at Medford, OR on December 26, 1941. Her family moved to Cedarville when she was a baby. She grew up on the family ranch and graduated from Surprise Valley High School with the class of 1959. She was married to Milo Conklin in April 1963, and was later divorced.

She furthered her education by attending Lassen College, where she graduated in 1976 as a licensed dietitian.

She cooked for Surprise Valley Hospital until it closed and immediately took the position of head dietitian with the Alturas Hospital until 1985 when she returned to the Surprise Valley Hospital as a cook when it reopened. She was holding this position at the time of her death.

Carol was an expert seamstress and enjoyed word search puzzles and riding horses with Lewie. She found much pleasure in the simple things of life.

She is survived by son, John R. Conklin of Powers, OR; daughter, Tina M. Conklin of Cedarville; brother, Kenneth Bordwell of Cedarville; special friend, Lewis Cain of Home Camp, NV; five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Desert Rose Funeral Chapel of Lakeview is in charge of arrangements.

Service set for Roger Ducasse

A gathering of friends and family, to celebrate the life of Roger Victor Ducasse, will be held at the Federated Community Church Hall in Alturas on Saturday, February 19 at 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome

A resident of Alturas for 56 years, Mr. Ducasse had owned and operated the Ducasse Auto Upholstery shop since he moved here in 1949. Mr.Ducasse, 90, passed away at his home on January 20, 2005, following a brief, but courageous, battle with leukemia

He is survived by his wife Evelyn Ducasse, two nephews, Bob Dillinger of Ridgecrest, CA and Norm Dillinger of Chico, CA. grand nieces Susan Johnson of Ridgecrest, CA, and Teresa Dillinger of Davis, CA and grand nephew Steve Dillinger of Ridgecrest, CA

Velma Pengelly Hoyt

A Celebration of Life Service for Velma Pengelly Hoyt, age 100, 11 months and 7 days will be held at the Malin Community Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, at 2 p.m. The Rev. Joyce Fogle will officiate.

Following a horse-drawn hearse procession, she will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Amos E. Hoyt at Malin Community Cemetery. Those wishing to pay their respects may visit O'Hair & Riggs Funeral Chapel, Aspen Slumber Room on Thursday, Feb. 10 from Noon to 5 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contribution in memory of Velma Hoyt may be made to the Tulelake Seniors' Nutrition Program; Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 842, Tulelake, CA 96134.

Velma Hoyt, a long-time resident of Tulelake, died on Saturday, February 5, 2005, at Merle West Medical Center, Klamath Falls, OR.

She was born in Alturas, CA, to Henry and Della Warner Pengelly on February 29, 1904, and was the eldest of three daughters.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Barney and Glenda Hoyt of Malin, OR; grandchildren Rhonda Heiney and her husband Bill of Tulelake, CA; Chuck Day of Merrill, OR and Dana Hoyt of Pullman, Wa; ; great-grandchildren Brooke Heiney, Davis, CA and Jared Heiney, Tulelake; sister Neva Asher of Alturas; niece Dorothy Carlisle of Cottonwood, CA and a nephew Warner Asher of Alturas. She will be missed by all her immediate family, extended family, and numerous friends

Her parents Henry and Della Pengelly, husband Amos E. Hoyt, and a sister Ruth Asher of Alturas, preceded her in death. Services have been entrusted to OHair & Riggs Funeral Chapel, 515 Pine Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601 (541) 884-3456.

Eva 'Jerry' Harshberger

Services for Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Ben Zandstra at the Federated Church in Alturas on Saturday, February 26 at 11 a.m. A potluck gathering at the church hall will follow

Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, 71, passed away January 25, 2005, in Washoe Medical Center, Reno, Nevada, as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident on January 6.

She was born Eva Reynolds in Pontiac, Michigan on March 8, 1933. Jerry, as she was known, was a resident of Alturas for 16 years.

A former southern California resident for many years, Jerry had lived in Covina, then Pomona, before moving to West Covina and later Alturas. She had worked as a Certified Nurse's Aide in Baldwin Park Convalescent Hospital and Cherry Lee Convalescent Home. While living in Covina, she organized a neighborhood women's club called "The Doodlers," which is still in existence and focuses on projects and hobbies.

Jerry had been an active member of Alturas Grange 406 for several years, and her afghans were welcomed by all those fortunate to receive one. One was made for the Alturas Rural Fire Department as a fund-raiser prize and another for the roof fundraiser for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alturas.

She is survived by her children: Penny Sue Frost and husband Greg of Rogers City, Michigan; Marilyn Gail Harp, also of Rogers City; Beth Robertson and husband Gary of Peoria, Arizona; son Gene Sivley and wife Nancy of Glendale, AZ; 11 grandchildren, one great-grandson; sisters Nancy Whitehead and husband Whitney of The Village, Florida and Murl Karnes of Plant City, Florida and numerous nieces and nephews. Jerry was further survived by special friends, Deana and David Hutchinson and family of Klamath Falls, OR; Pauline Edwards of Alturas, and many other close friends, as well as loving companion of 25 years, Anita DeWitt of Alturas, CA.

Her wishes were to be cremated.

Clinton A. Weilmunster

Clinton "Alden" Weilmunster passed away of natural causes, at the age of 91 on February 6, 2005 in Alturas, CA.

Born July 31, 1913 in Lake City, CA, Alden, as he was known to his friends and "Pop," as he was known to his family, had lived most of his life in Modoc County. He attended high school in Cedarville

On August 31, 1936, Alden married Thelma Greiner in Cedarville, CA. They went on to share 68 years of happiness.

Mr. Weilmunster worked for the State of California Agricultural Inspection Stations, so though he and Thelma were required to travel the state, they have always called Modoc their home.

They spent every summer vacation and holiday with their beloved grandson Audie McCombs, no matter where they were living. In 1975, Mr. Weilmunster retired to Alturas and he and Thelma have lived here ever since. He enjoyed fishing, tying flies for fishing, working cattle drives, and helping his brother-in-law Nolan Greiner on his ranch in Adel, Oregon. He belonged to Neighbors of Woodcraft. In later years, he and Thelma cared for their great-grandchildren Dane and Shauni McCombs.

For the past year, Alden had been living at the Cindy and Don Deiter residence in Alturas. "Thanks to Cindy, we have been able to spend time with Alden that we surely would not have had," express family members. Alden leaves his loving wife Thelma of Alturas; his grandson Audie McCombs and wife Kim; great-grandchildren Dane and Shauni McCombs, all of Alturas, CA and sister Maurietta Toney and husband Eugene of Chico, CA and their children, along with many cousins. Private interment will be at the Alturas Cemetery.

Sports

Modoc, Durham will battle for Division III wrestling title

The battle for the north state's Division III wrestling title will come down to Modoc and Durham and how some of the younger wrestlers on each team fare.

The Division III finals are in Durham Friday and Saturday. The top four finishers will move on to the Masters Tournament for the section in Redding February 24-25. Those dates were changed from February 25-26. The top two placers there will qualify for the state championships in Bakersfield March 3-5.

"I think Durham and we will have about the same number of champions this weekend," said coach Shaun Wood. "Whichever team has the most wrestlers step up in various weights will win the title. Our younger kids are doing well right now and I expect many of them to place and others to surprise people."

Wood expects championships from 152-pound Travis Wood, 160-pound Jason Jones, 189-pound Brad Bell and 215-pound Joey Catania. The 171-pound group is a "brutal" weight class said Wood, and either Ian Jacques or Mark Main will fill that spot. They will wrestle off this week for the honor. Whomever wrestles should place, but there are solid wrestlers at that weight.

Wood expects Dillon Flournoy at 103 pounds to do well, it will just depend on the seeding. Martin Corns, at 114 pounds is expected to do very well. Cain Madrigal, at 121 pounds will have a tough weight, but is expected to place. Brian Weed, at 125 pounds should make the finals in Division three. Sheridan Crutcher will have two tough kids to face at 130 pounds. Chris Buchanan will also have his hands full at 135 pounds.

Josue Madrigal will be giving up some weight to compete at 140 pounds. David Holloway should be able to place at 147 pounds and Tim Cruse is expected to place at heavyweight, but he also has two tough kids at the weight.

Modoc looks to host hoop playoff game Wednesday night

Modoc's Braves will finish second in the Shasta Cascade League boys basketball loop and should start the section playoffs at home Wednesday. The opponent is not known at this time.

According to coach Mike Martin, Pierce or Portola should get the number one and three seeds and Liberty Christian probably comes in at two. He figures Modoc will get the fourth seed. Trinity, who won league, competes in bigger school division for the playoffs.

"I think we stand a good chance in the playoffs," said Martin. "Both Pierce and Portola are tough and Liberty is always good. But we're playing well right now and if we continue, I like our chances."

Modoc is coming off two wins, against Burney and Etna and will complete the regular season against Fall River, there, Friday night.

Modoc beat Burney at home 57-48, thanks to a 23-point fourth quarter.

Modoc led 11-6 in the first and the game was tied at 25 by half. Burney went up 36-34 after three, but Modoc outscored them 23-12 in the fourth. Micah Eppler had 19 points, Ross Burgess addded 16 and Zeke Bonham had 11. Martin said the team played well against the Raiders.

Saturday night, the Braves avenged an early home loss to Etna by beating them soundly in Etna, 66-44. Modoc led 16-10 in the first and 34-23 at halftime. The Braves increased the lead to 46--30 after three and held Etna to seven points in the fourth.

Burgess led the scoring with 15, Eppler added 14, Bonham had 12, Taylor Dunn had 12 and Jace Wheeler added nine.

Hornets lose to Happy Camp

The Surprise Valley Hornet boys varsity lost to the Happy Camp Indians, 64-43, Tuesday, hampered by 17 fouls in the second half.

Happy Camp led 11-9 after one and 26-19 by half. The Indians put in 23 points in the fourth period. Scott Soletti led the Hornets with 13 points, Alex Melgar added 11, Jace Indrebo had eight and Kevin Konz five.

The junior varsity boys lost to Happy Camp in a good game, 62-57. The game was tied at 11-11 in the first and Happy Camp went up 29-21 by half. Happy Camp outscored the Hornets 15-12 in the third and the Hornets fought back in the fourth with 24 points but couldn't get on top. Kevin Quick had seven three pointers in the game and 26 points. Devon Parasad added 15, Jack Stockton and Jordan Mussa had six.

The junior varsity girls team lost 41-26. The Indians led 18-11 at halftime and outscored the Hornets 23-15 in the second half. Tristan Teuscher had eight for the Hornets, Patricia Soletti added seven, Alice Hill had six and Rachel Stevenson had five.

Hornets fall to Happy Camp

The Surprise Valley Hornet girls varsity lost a game to Happy Camp that would have placed them in sole possession of third in the Evergreen League Tuesday.

The Hornets were down 21-19 at halftime and the second half saw Happy Camp outscoring the Hornets 25-9 for the 46-28 win. Cara James led the scoring with 13, Jacque Laxague added nine, pulled down six rebounds, had four blocked shots and two steals.

The Hornets face league-leading Hayfork Friday night in McCloud. The Hornets will also be following the Happy Camp-Big Valley game that night, which could decide where they finish in league.

Brave JV girls win pair

Modoc's junior varsity basketball team beat Burney Friday night 35-21 and then whipped Etna Saturday 52-36 to improve their record to 10-3. They will finish the season Friday night at Fall River.

Against Burney, Megan Thompson and Alysha Northrup each had eight points. Tacie Richardson led the way in Etna with 23, while Thompson added 11, Northrup 10, Sarah Catania, nine, and Marlana Bartram, eight.

JV boys beat Etna, 63-62

Modoc's junior varsity boys team put its best game of the year together Saturday night and beat Etna's Lions 63-62 at Etna.

Etna led 16-14 in the first, but the Braves pulled up 33-27 by half. At the end of the third, the Braves led 51-40 and held off the Lions in the fourth for the win.

"It was the first time they really ran the offense well, and everything seemed to click," said Modoc coach Bunk Richardson. "They played very well and if they'd have done that all year, they'd have won a lot more games."

Keith Montague led the scoring with 17 and Dustin Philpott added 14. Against Burney, the Braves played a tough three periods, but ran out of gas in the fourth to lose 53-43. Modoc led 15-9 in the first and the game was tied at 20 by half and at 34-34 after three. Philpott led the scoring with 23 points. They close out the season at Fall River Friday night.

Modoc girls lose two games

Modoc's varsity girls team lost to Burney 39-31 Friday night and to Etna 74-39 on Saturday.

Against Etna, the girls trailed 13-8 in the first and 36-17 by halftime. They only added six point in the third, while Etna put in 18.

The girls will complete their 2005 season at Fall River Friday night. They are currently in last place in the SCL.

February 24th, 2005

News

City, County join forces on power plant

Following a positive and progressive meeting Monday night, the Alturas City Council and the Modoc County Board of Supervisors agreed to set up a four person Alturas Power Plant steering committee to keep the proposed project on line and on schedule.

Alturas Mayor George Andreasen said the workshop Monday was the first time the City Council and Board of Supervisors actually sat down together to work on a project.

"Boy, I'd sure like to see a lot more of this," he said. "The power plant project doesn't just benefit the city, it's good for the entire county and having both local governments working in the same direction will be a huge benefit."

Andreasen called Monday's joint session "very positive, very progressive and most welcome." He said once the four person committee is named, it will be given a lot of authority in the decision-making process and will report back to both local entities.

"The goal is to get this project done and done properly," said Andreasen. "I feel that after Monday's meeting we got a real jump start. It's a good feeling."

The City will appoint its two members at a regular meeting March 8 and the county will discuss its two members at the March 1 meeting.

National Power is proposing to construct a 20-40 megawatt biomass power plant on city-owned property north of the existing structures at the mill site, near the Alturas airport. Also in the planning stages are a small log sawmill and a possibility of a larger natural gas fired power plant.

National Power describes itself as an owner and operator of environmentally sensitive electric generating facilities which has existing facilities in Australia and the United States. The company was founded in 1991 and is privately owned.

Phase one of the project is expected to be completed this summer and phase two would begin thereafter. Construction is expected to start in 2007 with possible startup and operation in 2008.

Phase one of the project will include on-site and off-site investigation to determine feasibility of permitting, securing a power sales agreement, financing and constructing a 20-40 Megawatt wood-fired power plant and possibly a 150-200 MW natural gas fired combined cycle power plant. National Power and the city are contracting for phase one, with National paying the city $7,500 initially.

Under Phase two, National will do the work necessary to permit, source the fuel, execute a power purchase agreement, arrange financing and execute a turn-key contract for the project.

Gerlach Power plant draws much interest

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

San Diego-based energy giant Sempra Generation and a grassroots coalition of concerned citizen and environmental groups both drew considerable crowds at separate meetings in Gerlach, Nevada last week. In this edition of the Record, Sempra's proposal to build and operate a coal-fired power plant in northwestern Nevada will be discussed. Next week, warnings and questions raised by groups opposed to the project will be explored.

Sempra is proposing to invest up to $2 billion to develop, construct and operate a plant its proponents tout as "one of the most efficient coal-fired power plants in the country." Sited on 2000 acres of private property 10 miles northwest of Gerlach and about 70 miles south of Surprise Valley, the 1450 megawatt plant would eventually generate enough power to satisfy the energy demands of 1.5 million homes. Scientists, company executives, legal experts and a public relations team traveled, for the most part, from San Diego to meet with over 80 people at the Gerlach Community Center on Wednesday evening. Many were from the surrounding area in northwestern Washoe County, though a contingent from Modoc County, Bureau of Land Management field offices in Winnemucca and Surprise Valley, and visitors from Lassen County were also present.

Colorful displays extolling the venture's benefits and the company's commitments to be both a "community partner" and a prudent steward of the local environment greeted visitors in an open-house format. They were invited to roam around, study the charts, plans, brochures and maps while asking representatives particulars about the massive project which has left many in the affected area skeptical at best.

The Granite Fox team is headed by Marty Swartz, Project Development Manager, who was on-site Wednesday, answering questions along with others spearheading various aspects of the project. TV News Channel 2 out of Reno filmed the event, zeroing in on a group of protesters holding hand-lettered signs questioning the merits of the overall project.

Swartz and members of his executive team stressed repeatedly they were in Gerlach "to get a sense of the public's concerns and address them. We don't come in to an area and presume to know what the community cares about, what they value. We want to listen first." For example, Mark Nelson, the team's Government Affairs expert, said some people wonder if hunting or fishing areas around a new project will become inaccessible while others are worried about night light "pollution".

Beyond the basic question of whether to build a coal plant nearby, a host of tangential concerns often arise. The team present Wednesday was hoping to begin to collect questions, formulate answers and allay fears

The massive project is currently in the permitting phase. Barbara Kehrberg, the BLM's "Project Lead" overseeing the three permit applications submitted by Sempra to the agency, attended the meeting as an observer. When asked about the progress on required studies, she did say her office expects the mandated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) studies will begin within the next few months. The EIS process, with its series of scoping meetings inviting public comment, is expected to take up to two years.

Sempra Energy is a publicly-held energy services holding company (NYSE symbol SRE) headquartered in San Diego with revenues of $7.9 billion in 2003. Its Fortune 500 ranking is 267. It was founded in 1998 and has about 200,000 shareholders. Sempra Generation is the subsidiary developing the Granite Fox Project.

Sempra Energy has nearly 13,000 employees and 28 million customers internationally. Currently, the Granite Fox plant is one of Sempra's five coal-fueled projects in development in the United States. Granite Fox Proposal Outlined.

A 164-foot meteorological tower erected northwest of Gerlach marks the eventual plant's site adjacent to Highway 447. The site was chosen due to a confluence of factors, including proximity to the Union Pacific railroad and to the Pacific DC Intertie, a 500kV transmission line capable of transmitting the power generated to urban markets in Southern California, Nevada, and in the Pacific Northwest. An "interconnect request" has been filed with the line's owner, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, rights that are estimated to cost the company $135-$150 million. Sempra has secured land and water rights in the area and has applied for three permits from the BLM to connect the project's ancillary facilities. Purchase options for 25,000 acre-feet per year of water are in place though the company expects the plant to use approximately 16,000 acre-feet per year. Another factor figuring into the site selection is the cooperation possible between Sempra and US Gypsum, located nearby in Empire. High-grade limestone, plentiful in the area, is required for the operation of the plant's emission control systems. The final by-product, gypsum, can then be manufactured into wallboard at the nearby factory.

Sempra expects environmental, water and other required studies to be completed and construction underway by 2007. A "man-camp" on site will accommodate about 80% of a workforce estimated to reach 2,100 during peak construction. Construction is expected to take five years with the first unit completed in 2010 and a second coming online the following year. Upon completion, a full-time crew of 120-140 employees will operate the plant.

Why Coal?

The state-of-the-art plant will operate by burning coal shipped on rail cars from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

Sempra's graphs showed US coal reserves vastly surpass, on an equivalent energy basis, all the oil available through OPEC nations. The United States currently generates more than half of all its electric energy from coal. With reserves of an estimated 275 billion tons, the Energy Information Administration estimated total US consumption in 2005 will be 1.1 billion tons.

Coal is a "low-cost, domestic, and stable-priced fuel", say Sempra representatives.

Representatives were also quick to assure visitors that coal power can be "clean". They repeatedly pointed to technological advancements that "significantly reduce emissions", making coal-fueled plants efficient and environmentally safe, touching on perhaps THE most controversial aspect of the project for those concerned about air and water quality impacts from the plant.

The Granite Fox Project will include developing up to 200 MW of renewable energy, transmitted through its tie to the DC line. The area has potential for geothermal, wind and solar power projects which Sempra will encourage. The cost to transmit that renewable power has thus far priced local small scale energy production out of the realm of possibility for local project developers.

Project emission controls are planned to meet or surpass all federal, state and local air quality regulations. "Granite Fox will be up to 90% cleaner" than existing coal plants, states literature distributed at the meeting. Sempra has commissioned air quality, visibility, and emissions studies for Granite Fox. The BLM's Kehrberg said her agency will also begin studies and has secured the services of Scott Archer, an air quality expert who will be working on the EIS. "He's the best there is. He has great credentials and we couldn't ask for better on this project", she said last week.

Sempra assures concerned communities downwind of the plant site that "emissions will be monitored continuously, recorded throughout the life of the project, and verified by regulatory agencies." One of the most compelling graphs on display for those concerned about air-borne pollution showed the Granite Fox Plant's expected emissions compared to Nevada plants at Mohave, Valmy and Reid Gardner would be substantially lower for both sulphur dioxide and NOx (oxides of nitrogen) Water in the Desert.

Opponents of the plant's siting at the north end of the Smoke Creek Desert point to what is presumed to be the obvious lack of the water such a project requires for daily operation.

Nevertheless, Sempra has begun the arduous process of acquiring permits to utilize up to 25,000 acre-feet of water options. The project is "spending in excess of $2 million" says Swartz, to develop groundwater flow models and study the sustainable water yield of the hydrographic basin.

Satellite imagery is also being used to map local vegetation. Soil evaporation and plant transpiration are key issues in understanding and measuring water availability. Desert Research Institute, out of Reno, is conducting concurrent field studies in evaporotranspiration.

Drilling and water exploration studies have been completed in the Squaw, Buffalo, and Smoke Creek areas. Aquifer test well sites will be drilled in all three areas in the near future as additional studies progress. Moreover, gravity tests at over 400 points will "map" the bedrock beneath the valley floor in the site area. The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology is also participating in field mapping and geologic studies. All these tests and the data generated will give scientists and Sempra team members a better picture of the aquifers and geological structures underlying the affected basin and deserts adjacent to the Granite Fox plant site.

Benefits to the Economy

Apart from bringing in a sizable workforce, Sempra estimates the Granite Fox Power Plant will generate $100 million in construction sales taxes, $10 million in annual sales taxes, and approximately $15 million in annual property taxes, benefiting schools, Washoe County (Nevada) and state agencies. Impacts on the local communities, in terms of economic benefits, are estimated to be huge.

Though Swartz foresees construction bids going to major companies with experience in power plant construction, local sub contractors will be sought after for all phases of the project and many construction positions will be filled locally. He related how a recent energy project in Mexico boosted the depressed economy when Sempra held training sessions with local workmen to guide them through properly submitting bids, a process they were unfamiliar with and thus would have been potentially excluded without the extra help provided.

The completed Granite Fox plant will have an ongoing need for employees in maintenance, security, landscaping, fire protection and related services. While the plentiful construction jobs will disappear after 4 to 5 years, the plant will likely employ 120-140 permanent workers. Project team members announced Sempra had launched a new website detailing ongoing plans and studies connected to Granite Fox on February 16. It can be accessed at www.GraniteFoxPower.com.

Next week: Asking the tough questions. A grassroots coalition challenges the environmental, health and social impacts as well as the economic promises of a massive coal plant on the playa.

Lassen Sheriff makes changes in Big Valley

by Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

Big Valley residents, disgruntled by recent sheriff's department handling of break-ins in Bieber, may be pleased to learn of innovations that will soon take effect in the operation of the Lassen County Sheriff's Office, designed to increase the department's law enforcement presence in outlying areas within the county.

Historically, deputies have found it difficult to adequately cover far-flung areas such as Big Valley, the Madeline Plains or the Doyle/Herlong area.

"I recognize what those problems are," says sheriff Steve Warren, who has lived in outlying areas. "It's not something that's being ignored. It's something that we're working to resolve, we're working to fix."

To improve response time for his deputies, Warren has taken steps to expand the department's fleet by purchasing eight, 2004 patrol cars from a Utah police agency. "They come fully equipped with everything except a radio," he says, explaining that these vehicles are better equipped than the aging cruisers presently used by deputies, which average between 137,000 and 189,000 miles each.

Because the newly acquired vehicles are only slightly used, averaging between 10,000 and 12,000 miles usage each, they were obtained at a substantial savings to the county of about $6,000 per vehicle, costing only $20,000 each. Additionally, each comes equipped with $4,000 worth of equipment "that the county does not have to buy," says Warren, further saving the department money. "In fact, they still have the 36,000-mile, 3-year warranty on them."

These new vehicles will soon be in regular service, explains Warren, who went to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors in January with the funding request. "We're just waiting for delivery." The sheriff has also reassigned to the Westwood area the 4-wheel drive vehicle formerly designated for the sheriff's exclusive use, saying, "When it snowed their beat area got cut down to pavement." Warren also recently went to the board for authorization to purchase two additional 4-wheel drive vehicles, one each for the north and south county areas. "I think all of our areas need a 4-wheel drive," he says.

The manpower improvement deploys three deputies in each of the outlying areas—the Westwood area, Big Valley/Bieber area and the Doyle/Herlong/Milford area—and gives each of them one of the best patrol cars from among the older vehicles in the fleet, which they can use to respond to calls for help. "I've got some happy deputies right now," he says. "They think it's a big deal."

Eventually, every deputy living in one of these "resident post areas" will have a vehicle, rather than having only one vehicle assigned to one deputy, as has been the case in the past. "I think we're going to get more use out of putting those vehicles in secondary service than we are if we try to auction them," says the sheriff. "That should give me enough to make sure that every officer in a resident post has a vehicle." Warren candidly points out that this new arrangement would have improved response in recent events in Ravendale and Bieber. "Something as simple as these vehicles would have assisted in a situation like that, too."

In the past, typically only one deputy in each area had an official vehicle, making it difficult for them to respond promptly in some cases, as well as creating undue risks for them and the public.

"Many times I've responded from my home after getting a phone call about one of my partners needing assistance," Warren relates. "Except for whatever information you actually got on that phone call, the second you leave your house and you get in your own vehicle to drive to that scene, you're totally in the blind. You have no idea what happens. You have no idea what's going on. You don't even know exactly the safest way to approach. That's what actually motivated me to do this."

Additionally, the new program "will cut down on the wear and tear on a single vehicle. When you have three guys using it 24/7, basically, you wear the cars out faster than if everybody has a car to take care of themselves," adds Warren.

Moreover, the sheriff's department will be recruiting to place three deputies in each of the north and south county areas, as well as the three in Westwood. This means hiring five new deputies in the near future.

"We're in the hiring process now," says Warren, who sees the process as problematical. "It's actually harder to hire than people would imagine.

"That's the hardest thing we get right now," the sheriff goes on to explain. "We can recruit and get people hired and bring them up here. But, (when) you get someone who comes out of the central valley and put them in northeastern California, a lot of times that's an environmental and a cultural shock to them and they don't stay."

To help avoid that turnover, Warren proposes to recruit deputies from among the present correctional officers at the jail. "We're taking correctional officers that have already shown us the type of worker they are, the person that they are, that want to be deputy sheriffs," he says. "We have people that already know this county. They already know the environment. They already know the mountains, the lakes and the desert and want to live here."

These he plans to train as potential recruits beginning in April. "In the meantime, we're not going to stop the general hiring practice we have right now of continuing to fill these vacancies," says Warren.

Pool vote nears

The March 8 special election on the proposed pool and recreation center is fast approaching. The election has two measures on the ballot for voters in what's roughly the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries.

Measure E asks voters to approve a Recreation District within those boundaries. That issue requires a 50 percent, plus one vote to pass.

Measure F asks voters to approve a $25 per year assessment per property owner (not per parcel owned) to help fund that district. That measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

The initial project is to build a recreation center including an indoor pool just north of the existing Alturas swimming pool. The existing pool is in dire need of repair and its heating system has been down. Voters in precincts in Davis Creek, Parker Creek, South Fork and Canby will have mail-in ballots. Those ballots, as well as all absentee ballots, must be in to the Modoc County Clerk's Office no later than election day.

The North Fork precinct will vote at Surprise Valley Electric. California Pines will vote at the Cal Pines Lodge. The remaining Alturas precincts and Hot Springs will vote at Alturas City Hall.

Dog licensing comes to all county areas

The days of free-roaming, unlicensed dogs in Modoc County is coming to an end. The City of Alturas has required dog licenses for decades, but now the County is also going that direction with a new ordinance. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held March 1, 10:30 a.m. in the Modoc County Board of Supervisors chambers.

The new ordinance covers anyone residing in the unincorporated area of Modoc who owns or has custody of one or more dogs over the age of four months.

The fee for a spayed or altered male will be $5, with senior citizens getting a $3 discount. All others will be $10. Those are the proposed fees if paid by July 1 each year. Licensing purchased after July 1 will increase by 100 percent.

Licenses will be waived for dogs such as seeing eye dogs. or dogs who assist with disabled people. Licensing of potentially dangerous dogs will be $75 per year for the first year and $40 per year thereafter.

If a dog is caught and impounded, the first offense will be $25, the second $50 and the third $75. All other impounds within 12 months would be $100.

Residents will be able to get their dog licensed from the Health Department, Environmental Health Divisions by mail or during regular business hours. No license shall be issued without proof of rabies shots.

A potentially dangerous dog is defined as any dog, when unprovoked, on two occasions within 36 months, engages in a behavior that requires a defensive action by a person to prevent bodily injury, or any dog which bites without being provoked. It also includes any dog who has killed, injured or caused injuries to a domestic animal. A vicious dog, partly, is defined as one that inflicts injury or worse on a human.

No dog will be declared either potentially dangerous or vicious if it was protecting its owners or people from trespass, injury or if someone was teasing or provoking the animal.

Any dog found to be vicious may be destroyed by the Animal Control department if the release of the dog would create a significant danger to the public.

The ordinance prohibits the abandonment or dumping of any animal, a crime punishable by up to $1,000 fine or confinement in the county jail for six months or both.

Obituaries:

Corda Mary Perry

Corda Mary Perry died from natural causes at the age of 90, at the Lakeview District Hospital in Lakeview, OR on Sunday, February 20, 2005. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 26 at 1:00 p.m. at the Lakeview First Presbyterian Church. A potluck dinner will follow the service, in the Church Fellowship Hall with internment in the New Pine Creek Cemetery following the dinner. Viewing will be Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Desert Rose Funeral Chapel. Desert Rose Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Corda was born to Ernest and Myra (Cloud) Robnett on the family ranch in New Pine Creek, OR on March 6, 1914. She grew up on the ranch and graduated from the New Pine Creek High School. She married Franklin Lee Perry on June 23, 1933 at Carson City, NV and they worked together in the cattle business until his death in 1999. She stayed busy taking care of and feeding her cattle until last week when she became too ill to continue.

She served on the Modoc High School Board of Trustees for many years and had the privilege of handing diplomas to numerous Modoc High graduates. She also worked as a teacher's aide for two years at the State Line School in New Pine Creek.

She was a long-time member of the Eastern Star and the New Pine Creek Grange. She was also a member of the Modoc County Cattlemen's Association and a past member of the Modoc County Farm Bureau.

She is survived by sons, Neil Perry of Lakeview and Norman Perry of New Pine Creek; daughters, Leeta Hayes of Wadsworth, NV and Linda Perry of New Pine Creek; brothers, Darvin Robnett of Lakeview, OR and Richard Robnett of Klamath Falls, OR; sister, Leona Joplin of Lakeview; eleven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; special niece, Nelda Newman of Lakeview and numerous other nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin Lee; grandchildren Steve Perry and Janelle Perry and sister, Ethel Thompson.

Donations in the memory of Corda may be made to the Willow Ranch Fire Department, New Pine Creek, OR 97635 or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Mary Verna Watson-Haman

Mary Verna Watson-Haman passed away at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, OR, on February 21, 2005, at the age of 91.

Mary was born to David Franklin and Josephine Bernice Fulker on April 15, 2005, in White Butte, SD. She was raised on the family farm and attended first through eighth grade in White Butte in a one-room country school. She graduated from High School in Lemon, SD, in 1932.

Funeral services will be held at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas, on Saturday, February 26, 2005, at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at the Alturas Cemetery immediately following. A celebration of life reception will be held at Faith Baptist Church following the interment.

Mary married Alvin Watson in 1933, in Bison, SD. In 1934, their only child, a daughter, Beverly Ann was born. In 1944, Mary and Alvin purchased a ranch in Bieber, CA. She worked on the ranch and was a bookkeeper for Edgerton Lumber. She worked most of her life as a bookkeeper. She and Alvin purchased Monmouth Building Materials in Monmouth, OR in 1963.

In 1976, after they had sold the lumberyard, Mary and Alvin (who had retired), moved back to Alturas. Mary worked several more years at Modoc Indian Health. After Alvin passed away in 1983, Mary and her sister Bernice traveled to visit family and friends. In 1986, Mary married Carl Haman in Salem OR. After Carl's death on 1992, Mary returned to Alturas in 1994, to be near her family.

She was a member of the Faith Baptist Church, where she served as Treasurer and made up the church bulletins, Republican Women of Modoc County and The Garden Club. She was actively involved in the building of Grace Baptist Church in Bieber. She and Alvin belonged to a couple's bowling league in Oregon and California.

Among her interests were teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible school. She enjoyed children and young people and was eager to assist missionaries in any way she could. Mary enjoyed landscaping and maintaining her beautiful yard. She was active and knowledgeable about political issues and spent time researching and corresponding, she enjoyed attending the Teapot Fellowship. She looked forward to phone calls from family and friends, but especially her great-grandchildren. The highlight for Mary in her later years was her 90th Birthday Party in 2003. She thoroughly enjoyed the party from start to end. She genuinely appreciated all those who attended, called, and sent cards.

In the spring of 2004, Mary moved into an Assisted Living Facility in Medford, OR. There she was able to meet new friends, participate in various games, shopping and enjoyed the Red Hat Society.

Husbands Alvin Watson and Carl Haman, brother Howard Spenny and sister Vera Sperry preceded Mary in death.

Mary is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Beverly and Robert Archer, Medford, OR, grandchildren and spouses; Debbie and Ron Campbell, Kathy and Joe Oates of Alturas, David and Sandra Staub of Lakeview, OR, Brad and Dori Staub of Tulelake, great-grandchildren; Sarah Campbell of Beaverton, OR, Ryan Campbell of Boise, ID, Shalan Webb and husband Chris of Eatontown, New Jersey, Skyler Oates of McMinnville, OR, Dustin Oates of Alturas, Jared, Nick and Hayden Staub of Tulelake, Mary and Logan Staub of Lakeview, OR, two step great-grandsons, and a sister Bernice Mathre of Astoria, OR. Numerous nieces and nephews survive her.

Garland Foster Smith, Jr

Adin resident Garland Foster Smith, Jr., 55, passed away at Mayers Memorial Hospital in Fall River Mills, CA. on February 15, 2005 of natural causes.

A lumber industry millworker, Mr. Smith had moved from Hopland to Adin in 2002. He was born on February 8, 1950, in Dice, Arkansas.

He is survived by his wife Linda of Adin; daughters Juanita Demoe of Bieber; Anna Garman of Round Mountain; Cindy Hill, Ashley Smith, Autum Smith and Jessica Smith all of Adin; brothers Tommy and Ronald of Ukiah, Gordon and Jimmy of Hayfork; sister Sandra Barnes of Ukiah; his mother Juanita Butcher and husband LeRoy of Ukiah; and 12 grandchildren.

Private family services will be held at a later date. McDonald's Chapel of Burney is in charge of arrangements.

'Jerry' Harshberger service

A Memorial service for Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Ben Zandstra at the Federated Church in Alturas on Saturday, February 26 at 11 a.m. A potluck gathering at the church hall will follow

Eva "Jerry" Harshberger, 71, passed away January 25, 2005. She was born Eva Reynolds in Pontiac, Michigan on March 8, 1933.

Jerry was a resident of Alturas for 16 years.

She is survived by her children: Penny Sue Frost and husband Greg of Rogers City, Michigan; Marilyn Gail Harp, also of Rogers City; Beth Robertson and husband Gary of Peoria, Arizona; son Gene Sivley and wife Nancy of Glendale, AZ; 11 grandchildren, one great-grandson; sisters Nancy Whitehead and husband Whitney of The Village, Florida and Murl Karnes of Plant City, Florida and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jerry was further survived by special friends, Deana and David Hutchinson and family of Klamath Falls, OR; Pauline Edwards of Alturas, and many other close friends, as well as loving companion of 25 years, Anita DeWitt of Alturas, CA.

George William Markham

Alturas resident George William Markham passed away February 14, 2005 at Surprise Valley Hospital, Cedarville, CA, following a lengthy illness.

Mr. Markham was born in Durant, Oklahoma on December 21, 1931, where he completed ninth grade. He married Lucille Taylor in Fresno, CA in 1949 and the two have shared over 55 years of marriage together. Mr. Markham worked as a roofer, carpenter and builder in his adult life and enjoyed gardening and working in his yard.

He and Lucille moved to Modoc County 12 years ago, where many of their family members and children reside.

He is survived by his wife Lucille Markham of Alturas; daughter Rebecca Mack of Cedarville; son Rick Markham of Alturas; son Paul Markham of Jewel, OR; daughter Jeanette Yagi of Alturas; son Lee Markham, Alturas; son Roy Markham of Magalia; brother Bill Markham of Alturas; brother Travis Markham of Durant, Okla; brother Lee Roy Markham of Alexandria, Tenn; sister Helen Frenier of Hawthorne, NV; sister Gaylene Bertche of Coalinga; 10 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and a great number of sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Pastor Robert Lake will give a Memorial Service at the Modoc Indian Full Gospel Church in Alturas on April 9, 2005 at 11 a.m.

Calvin Monroe Osborne, III

Better known as "Chip," Calvin Monroe Osborne, III, passed away in Alturas, CA on February 19, 2005. The 32-year-old had made Alturas his home for the past three and a half years, where he had made many friends.

Born in Anchorage, Alaska on April 15, 1973, Chip loved music and played guitar, having been self-taught.

He was artistic, creative, sensitive and loving. He was an extremely hard worker and laborer much of his life.

He was employed and enjoyed working at Black Bear Restaurant in Alturas. Chip had the warmest, widest smile, describe friends and family members. His laughter was contagious. He shared that warmth with whomever he came in contact with.

He is survived by his father Calvin and step-mother Linda of Spokane, WA; sister Gloria and husband Art of Pendleton, OR; sister Angela and husband Dan of Bonners Ferry, ID; brother James of Tacoma, WA; step-brother Jeremy Sherfield of Phoenix, AZ; many beloved nieces and nephews and loved ones Michelle, Samantha and Tracy Ward of Alturas. He was preceded in death by his mother Linda Osborne. Memorial services were held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Alturas at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

Eugene Toney

Memorial services are planned for Eugene Toney, 81 of Orland, on Saturday, February 19, 2005 at the Evangelical Free Church of Orland, 614 A Street at 3 p.m. He died from cancer February 16, at home surrounded by his family.

Eugene was born August 28, 1923 on the Toney homestead in Lake City, CA to Mervin and Jewel Toney. He graduated from Surprise Valley High School and married Marietta June Weilmunster on June 22, 1942 in Reno, NV. He was the President of Valley Petroleum of Orland, partner in Toney Farms and was a member of Gideons International and Victory in Christ Community Church. He enjoyed travel and working in his farm shop, especially welding and woodworking. He taught Sunday School and was an Elder in his church for many years, incorporating his love of scripture into daily life principles.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Marietta; sons, Raymond and Larry of Redding and George of Orland and their wives; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Rita and Weta; sister-in-law, Hazel Toney; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, Carol Toney.

Internment will be in Lake City, CA at a later date. F.D. Sweet and Son Mortuary, Orland is handling arrangements.

Sports

Braves beat Tulelake, on to Pierce

Modoc's Braves beat the Tulelake Honkers, 62-44, Wednesday night in the opening round of the North Section Division V boys basketball tournament, at home.

They will now travel to face Pierce Friday. Pierce beat Bishop Quinn, 55-42, to advance to the second round. Pierce is the number four ranked team in the playoffs and Modoc is number five.

Against Tulelake, the Braves took command early, leading 12-4 in the first and 26-17 by half. They led 40-30 after three and outscored Tulelake 22-14 in the fourth.

Micah Eppler led the scoring with 22, Ross Burgess added 18 and Taylor Dunn had 12.

Braves second in Division III, nine wrestlers head to masters

Modoc's wrestling team placed second behind Durham in the North Section Division III championships at Durham. Durham scored 228 points, while Modoc came in with 204. The Braves will send nine wrestlers to the Masters Tournament starting today in Redding.

Taking Division championships for the Braves were Travis Wood, Jason Jones, Brad Bell and Joey Catania. Also moving on to the Masters are Martin Corn, third at 114, Brian Weed, third at 127, Sheridan Crutcher fourth at 132, Mark Main, third at 173 and Tim Cruse, fourth at 277. The top two finishers at the Masters qualify for the state championships in Bakersfield March 3-5. For Modoc, 103 pound Dillon Flournoy placed fifth.

Modoc coach Shaun Wood felt the Division would come down to a close contest between the Braves and Durham, and Durham just picked up enough extra points.

"We were pleased, and we had a lot of good efforts from kids who just finished out of the medal round," said Wood. He cited Cain and Jose Madrigal, David Holloway and Chris Buchanan as doing very well.

Tulelake's John Luscombe won his 147 pound division.

In the finals matches, 160-pound Jason Jones beat Jeff Prentice in one of the toughest matches in the tourney 4-2. Prentice had beaten Jones 1-0 in double overtime earlier this season at the Corning tournament.

Modoc's Travis Wood, at 152 pounds, pinned Live Oak's Bobby Crow in 2:20 for that title. Brad Bell pinned Etna's Tom Balz in 46 seconds for the 189 pound title. Joey Catania beat Durham's Zach Adkins 9-2 in the 215-pound finals for the win.

Wood believes his son, Travis, Bell, Jones and Catania all have solid shots to make it to the state finals this season.

Team scores at the Division III finals were: Durham 228, Modoc 204, Live Oak 124, Quincy 109, Burney 109, Trinity 104, Chester 90, Esparto 70, Etna 60, Mt. Shasta 54, American Christian 54, Hamilton City 41, Big Valley 41, Tulelake 39, Portola 22, Los Molinos 16, Biggs 16, Bishop Quinn 15 and Fall River 12.

Brave boys host Tulelake to open section playoffs

The Modoc Braves played host to the Tulelake Honkers after presstime last night in the first round of the north Section Division V boys basketball playoffs.

Modoc (20-6 record) came in with the fifth seed and Tulelake was seeded 12. If Modoc wins, they will face the winner of the Bishop Quinn (number 13)-Pierce (number 4) game Feb. 25. If Pierce wins that game, Modoc would be on the road. If Bishop Quinn wins, Modoc would face them here. The top seed went to Liberty Christian and Redding Christian got the number two nod. Liberty Christian faces number 16 Burney in the first round and Redding Christian faces number 15 Colusa

The rest of the first round is as follows: Mercy (8) hosts Williams (9); Portola (3) hosts Quincy (14); Chester (6) hosts Etna (11); and Biggs (7) hosts Loyalton (10).

The second round is Feb. 25, the semifinals are March 2 and the championship is March 4 at Chico State.

Modoc finished its season last Friday with a 53-40 win at Fall River. The Braves led 12-6 after one and 21-20 by half. They got up 41-36 after three and outscored Fall River 12-4 in the final eight minutes.

Micah Eppler led the scoring with 20 points, hitting six threes, Ross Burgess had 16 and Kyle Madison had six.

JV boys lost to Bulldogs

Modoc's junior varsity boys lost to Fall River 56-48 Friday. They trailed 10-8 in the first, 23-21 at half and 38-28 after three. Liam Iverson led the scoring with 15 points, Trent Schmidt and Dustin Philpott each added 11.

The difference was free throws, as Fall River hit 18 of 24 and Modoc hit just eight of 14. The Braves finished the season 9-15.

SVHS 'Hoop Wars' set for March 11-13

The 8th Annual "Hoop Wars" basketball tournament runs March 11-13. All games will be played in the high school gym in Cedarville.

Sponsored by Surprise Valley High School's junior class, the competition will pit sixteen men's and women's teams, featuring up to ten adult players each, in a contest for top honors after the final game ends on Sunday afternoon, March 13.

Admission to the gym each day is $2 for adults, $1 for students, with children 12 and under free. Many teams are scheduled to arrive in town Friday and will square off beginning at 5:00 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, games begin at 8:00 a.m. and will run through the day.

Funds collected from the entry fees and profits from the concession stand will go to the junior class to be used for their senior year spring trip and other class activities.

A few spaces in the lineup remain if teams are still forming and haven't yet registered. Registration will remain open through Friday, February 25, or until sixteen teams have signed on and sent in a deposit of $50. Contact persons for registering are Alex Melgar (279-1559) or Loyette Meza (640-0574).

Hornet girls face Redding C. in playoffs

Surprise Valleys' girls varsity basketball team met Redding Christian last night after presstime in the first round of the Division VI playoffs in Redding.

The winner of that game will face the winner of the Bishop Quinn-Happy Camp game Feb. 25, away.

The Hornets completed the regular season with a loss to league leading Hayfork 58-18. Jacque Laxague led the Hornets with 10 points and seven rebounds, Anna Quintana had four points and Sarah Teuscher added six rebounds and five blocked shots.

Girls lose final game

Modoc's varsity girls basketball team lost its final game of the season, 68-19, at Fall River. The Braves were never in the game, trailing 24-7 after one and 38-12 by halftime. By the end of three, the Bulldogs led 56-15 and Modoc could only add four points in the fourth.

The Braves finish the season in the cellar of the Shasta Cascade League with a 1-13 league mark and a 2-20 overall slate. Etna won the SCL with a 13-1 record and were 20-6 overall. Fall River finished in the middle of the pack at 7-7.

JVs end with a win

Modoc's junior varsity girls team finished a good season by beating Fall River, 30-21. Modoc led 17-7 at the half and Fall River pulled within four during the fourth. Modoc mounted an 8-0 run for the win. Great defense by Tacie Richardson and Kelly Campagna kept the Bulldogs off balance. Megan Thompson led the scoring with nine, Richardson added six, and Campagna had five.

The Braves finished the league in second place, behind Trinity. They were 11-3 in the SCL and 16-7 overall.

March 3rd, 2005

News

Squellati investigation sent to state

A formal and new complaint from Modoc Joint Unified School District employees against Superintendent Doug Squellati has been investigated by the Alturas Police Department and forwarded to the state Attorney General's office for review and possible action.

Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes said the complaint alleges Squellati engaged in intimidating and retaliatory tactics against employees who had commented on "issues of public concern."

According to Barnes, Squellati had been ordered by the past board to "cease and desist" such activities stemming from a previous complaint and school board investigation.

That investigation angered some members of the community, who put together a committee in support of Squellati and against Board members who were up for election last November. Two incumbents were unseated in that election. While the committee believed that Squellati was cleared, that was not the case. He was found to have used intimidation and retaliation against employees. The current board majority apparently believes the alleged intimidation and retaliatory activities don't rise to a level of serious concern.

Barnes said he chose to forward the report and investigation to the Attorney General instead of Modoc District Attorney Jordan Funk because of a possible conflict of interest. Funk's wife, De, was a member of the committee backing Squellati.

On Tuesday, in a noontime closed session, the MJUSD Board voted 4-1 to reassign Modoc Middle School Principal Steve Iverson to the classroom. Iverson was not afforded a chance to comment at the meeting on Tuesday. Iverson did join in the complaint against Squellati for retaliatory action in the past and has not been a blind follower of the Squellati's management style. Iverson was principal at Modoc Middle School when it received its state Distinguished School honor. He had been Modoc High Principal last year and was placed back at the Middle School at the start of this school year.

The school district did not give a reason for the reassignment, other than it was a personnel issue.

Charges filed against sheriff's deputy, clerk

Modoc County District Attorney Jordan Funk has filed charges this week against a former Modoc County Sheriff's Deputy and a court clerk alleging embezzlement.

Funk is charging former Deputy Sheriff George Semenko with a felony, alleging that he committed theft by embezzlement during the period January 1, 2003 through September 2004. It's alleged that Semenko used a Pacific Pride gas card issued to him by Modoc County Sheriff Bruce Mix to put fuel in his personal vehicle.

Semenko is alleged to have used the gas card to fuel his Sheriff Patrol vehicle while on injury leave from the Sheriff's Department and thereafter use the vehicle for personal errands. Funk believes the total loss to the county exceeds $4,000.

Funk also filed criminal felony charges against former Modoc County Superior Court Clerk Art Sevilla alleging that in his capacity as court clerk, Sevilla committed theft by embezzlement and misused county funds for his personal use. Those funds were paid to the county as fines and fees, said Funk.

According to an audit performed by the Administrative Office of the Courts in San Francisco, approximately $11,700 in fines and fees are unaccounted for, said Funk.

"The filing of a criminal complaint against an accused is not evidence of a crime," Funk said. "An accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven."

Gerlach coalition challenges coal power plant proposal

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

In a scene reminiscent of young David confronting the giant Goliath, a coalition of citizens met in Gerlach in February to challenge plans to build the largest coal fired power plant in the western US on private land bordering the Smoke Creek Desert, about 74 miles southeast of Surprise Valley.

Using the internet and word-of-mouth, organizer Don Asher, a Gerlach-based business writer and founder of "Keep California Pollution in California", attracted over 100 to the initial meeting of people wary of the Granite Fox Power Plant proposal. Their concerns were confirmed as many serious questions were raised by both local activists and a panel of experts affiliated with Western Resource Advocates, an environmental watchdog organization with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

Energy law attorney Jon Wellinghoff, who has over 30 years' experience as a consumer advocate in Nevada, assured those present, "We're not against this type of power. But put in clean coal plants at mine mouths. It makes no sense to transport millions of tons of coal hundreds of miles to a plant using conventional pulverized coal technology."

Sempra Generation, a San Diego-based energy company, has proposed building the 450 MW coal plant ten miles northeast of Gerlach on 2000 acres along Highway 447. Coal would be transported to the plant on 150-200 railroad cars per day from Wyoming. The plant would tie into the nearby Pacific DC Intertie Line which would carry the power generated to markets in California and the Pacific Northwest.

The selection of the site has stimulated curiosity and controversy since Sempra showed interest in the remote site, stirring up folks from the back room at Bruno's Bar to the halls of the governor's mansion in Carson City. In an AP interview last summer, Richard Burdette, the Nevada governor's energy adviser, stated "virtually all power plants have the ability to cause serious detriment on the air shed and to use water resources in a destructive way." He stressed Nevada, site of three new coal plant proposals, deserves to profoundly profit from the sale of power generated by projects within its borders. "The state needs to have some benefits from that facility [GFPP]. If there's no need in Nevada for the power, there's no need to damage our environment."

While Sempra touts the revenues the GFPP will bring to Washoe County and the state, opponents dispute their figures and warn most Nevadans won't benefit from the project either in access to increased low-cost power, annual tax and sales revenue, or stable employment opportunities.

California's environmental restrictions are among the most stringent in the nation. Burdette's comments underscored fears of coal-plant opponents that projects such as the GFPP herald a new era of "power farms" set up to sell electricity to demanding markets out of state while local residents bear massive and long lasting negative environmental impacts.

From 160-Mile Visibility to Hazy Days?

Data collected over decades have proven the region encompassing eastern Modoc and northern Washoe Counties has "some of the nation's cleanest air", said Wellinghoff. But opponents of the project fear an area stretching for hundreds of miles from Sempra's GFPP will be adversely impacted by the expected annual emissions of such a massive plant. "It will be like 500,000 cars with a single source point", said Asher, citing a recent Union of Concerned Scientists report. "The pollution will not only ruin our view, but downwind of these plants, towns die."

Dr. Phyllis Fox, a WRA consultant, reviewed sobering studies estimating that "even assuming state-of-the-art best available technology and burning clean, low-sulfur western coal, the plant will emit into the atmosphere over 4,400 tons per year of nitrous oxides, 2,500 tons of sulfur dioxide, 1,100 tons of particulate matter, 490 tons of volatile organic compounds, and 100 tons of sulfuric acid."

Her report also cautioned that emissions "will be transported hundreds of miles from the facility, impacting…over 20 Wilderness Areas. The deposition of acids and toxic trace metals into Pyramid Lake could have tragic effects on fish and other biological organisms". Over fifty hazardous pollutants are emitted from similar plants, including dioxins, arsenic, selenium, mercury and lead.

"Huge steam plumes from the main boilers and cooling towers will degrade the pristine viewshed. Noise from coal handling equipment, trains, and truck traffic will be heard for many miles", she added.

Dr. Fox is also concerned about the ammonia needed to generate power. "Ammonia is a very hazardous gas. It is suffocating, corrosive, and can cause death if breathed in large amounts. Accidents during transportation, unloading and storage could release large amounts…engulfing nearby areas in a huge cloud of noxious fumes."

Mercury is perhaps the most lethal pollutant associated with existing coal plants. These account for almost 100% of toxic mercury emissions each year, asserts the group "Clean the Air" in literature distributed at the meeting.

Without knowing exactly what kind of coal will eventually be burned and where it will be mined, determining each precise aspect of final emissions isn't possible. "But even supposing a low-sulfur western coal, the plant would emit 1 part per million of mercury. That's 7 tons per year from what they plan to burn!" stated Wellinghoff. Only "75 teaspoons of mercury would make Pyramid Lake's fish unsafe to eat," he finished. Currently Nevada has 23 miles of rivers and 549 lakes with posted advisories warning of high mercury levels.

Improved scrubbers inside a coal plant's stacks have demonstrably cut down on emissions. Since 1970 when the Clean Air Act commenced, coal plant emissions of S02 declined by 35% while the amount of coal burned doubled. But at the Gerlach meeting Asher stated, "The smallest particles, such as mercury, are the most dangerous ones. And they're the ones even the best new scrubbers miss."

The GFP plant is expected to operate for at least 30 years on the site near where Sempra has erected a 164' high meteorological tower. Opponents point out that the untainted air being monitored is precisely why Sempra favors the site. "They can dump way more pollutants into our air than into air that already comes close to acceptable levels under the Clean Air Act", said one disgruntled local.

Sempra Energy's President, Michael Niggli, in an editorial printed in the Reno Gazette Journal last September 20, stated the Granite Fox plant would be one of the nation's cleanest. "Today's new coal power plants are 90 percent cleaner and 20 percent more efficient than those built years ago. We are prepared to invest millions of dollars to employ the best available emissions-control technology", he wrote.

Asher likened Sempra's plans to use their options for up to 25,000 acre-feet of water to "mining water" in the arid environment surrounding Gerlach. "Is this the best use we can make of 100% of the water within a 100-mile radius? Sempra will be basically building a pipe to take our water, along with the power, to southern California!"

Wellinghoff and WRA staff hydrologists, who have been studying the aquifers in the region, admit water "is the area of the project we know the least about." A 1964 study rings loud warning bells, however. It showed the Smoke Creek's total annual water yield nearly equaled the 16,000 acre feet Sempra says will be necessary to operate their plant.

Most water used for agriculture percolates back into underground aquifers. That wouldn't be the case for water from wells drilled to support industry or power generation. "Using the area's entire ‘water budget' for this one project would prohibit other applications such as farming, recreation, animal habitat, even residential use", said one concerned observer familiar with past disputes over the region's scarce water resources.

Though Sempra has secured rights to 25,000 acre/ft, its projected annual use is "only" 16,000 acre/feet. With an "acre foot" equaling the amount necessary to cover one square acre a foot deep, the minimum yearly consumption works out to14.7 million gallons per day or 5.2 billion gallons per year.

Sempra has hired both the U.S. Geological Survey and Desert Research Institute to study the area's available underground and surface water, including three seasonal creeks draining into the Smoke Creek basin. After all studies are completed, Nevada's state engineer will make a final determination on the advisability of diverting water currently available for agriculture and recreational use to industrial use.

Wellinghoff wants to see the results of the various studies underway. "We just want Sempra's raw data from the experts they've hired so OUR experts can validate and verify it", he said.

Two trains pulling 120-150 cars loaded with coal from Wyoming would be delivered to the plant each day under current plans, potentially disrupting travel on the highway that runs from Surprise Valley to Reno as well as stirring up clouds of dust and depositing heaps of black soot over the plant's lifetime, say opponents.

After showing slides of what an enormous plant with a 600-foot cooling tower might look like at the proposed site, Wellinghoff vividly described what many construed to be one of the project's dirtier secrets. It "will have a ‘blending yard' where different coals from different sources will be combined" to create an optimum mix that meets EPA standards. Thus, a higher-sulfur coal would be mixed in a vast open area with a cleaner grade of coal. "The blending yard requires massive amounts of water to attempt to keep the dust down…and the coal wet enough to prevent fires."

Three hundred tons of bottom ash per year, to be spread over company-owned land nearby, is also a concern. This slurry would contain dioxins, mercury, lead and other toxins. "People with any kind of breathing problems will have to virtually seal their homes", warned Asher.

Despite a few dissenting voices and one enthusiastic female "yee-HAW!" when the 800-worker "man camp" was described, Asher is hopeful the awakened interest in the project will pull his small community together. "Gerlach is not a town divided and won't become one either if we keep an open dialogue going. It's going to get contentious at times, but we CAN work together."

. Over half the proposed coal power projects in the US are dropped during initial study phases. Asher, Wellinghoff and a majority attending the local meeting last month appear eager to count Granite Fox in that category.

Task Force makes several arrests

For the past three months, Modoc Drug Task Force agents have conducted an undercover controlled substance buy program resulting in several arrests.

The searches and arrests occurred on Feb. 28 and are as follows: Scott Thomas , age 20, Canby, alleging two counts of sales of marijuana. Warren McDaniel, age 45 years, Canby, alleging possession of a stolen weapon and possession more than an ounce of marijuana.

Keith Heick, age 45, Alturas, alleging two counts of sales of methamphetamine

Shari Melbourne, age 41, Alturas, alleging battery on a peace officer and interferring, resisting and obstructing a peace officer.

Ronald L. McDaniel, age 64, Alturas, alleging possession of methamphetamine, possession of hypodermic syringes without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anthony Retamoza, age 56, Alturas, alleging two counts of sales of methamphetamine. He had been sentenced to two years in prison by Shasta County for violations prior to the Modoc undercover program. He is in custody of the California Department of Corrections. An outstanding warrant for his arrest has been issued.

On Feb. 26, Task Force agents executed a search warrant on the residence of Bertha Campos in the Newell area. The warrants were the result of a two-year investigation in conjunction with Klamath County's Task Force. Campos was suspected of being involved in the sales, trafficking and supply of large amounts of methamphetamine to dealers in Newell, Tulelake and Klamath Falls.

Campos, age 48, and Rodrigo Nieves, age 45, both of Newell were arrested by the Klamath agency alleging distribution of methamphetamine. The Modoc Task Force then executed the warrant and found and seized weapons and $13,840 in U.S. currency. Also seized were other items of evidence involved in the storage of methamphetamine in the Klamath Falls area. Klamath Narcotic agents seized approximately two pounds of methamphetamine.

Modoc agents also arrested Juan Campos for possession of a stolen firearm and illegal re-entry into the United States after being deported for prior criminal offenses.

Young mountain lion sighted near hospital

Modoc Sheriff's Deputies and City Police responded to a report of a mountain lion sighting near Modoc Medical Center Monday night. According to Deputy Vern Seevers, the lion was sighted by Ambulance Coordinator Dan Quinley in an alleyway near the hospital. He had been seen the previous night as well.

Seevers said they were unable to locate the lion, but advises people to be very careful in the area, especially at night and with young children. People should also keep tabs on small pets.

Local law enforcement continues to patrol the area.

Obituaries:

Addie Rose Mulkey Martin

A memorial service for Addie Rose Mulkey Martin will be held Monday, March 7 at 11 a.m. at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas. Dr. Ben Zandstra will officiate. Mrs. Martin passed away from natural causes at home in Alturas, CA on February 28, 2005.

She was born Addie Rose Mulkey in Sebastapol, CA on September 26, 1913. She attended grammar school in Davis Creek and Willow Ranch, CA and graduated with honors from Lakeview High School, Lakeview, OR in 1931. After graduation she worked for Towers Soda Fountain and for Attorney Mr. McKinny in Lakeview. She married Blaine Thornley Martin on January 11, 1934, in Alturas, CA. In later years she worked for the new U.S. Post office in Willow Ranch and became Postmaster in the Spring of 1950.

In 1955, she moved with her family to Hyampom, CA, Trinity County, where she worked for Fosters Grocery Store. Rose finished her working career in Hayfork, CA., Trinity County, at the U.S. Postal Department and retired in 1983. Her husband preceded her in death on March 18, 1984. In November of 1998, she moved to Alturas to live with her daughter Myrnalee Harden and son-in-law Ron.

Rose loved to spend time with her family whom she dearly loved. She had a passion for gardening, playing pinochle and traveling to the coast. She loved reading a good novel and was a member of the Sisters of Pythian affiliated with the Masonic Lodge.

She is survived by her three daughters and two sons-in-law: Myrnalee and Ron Harden of Alturas, CA; Judy Martin of Alturas; Donna and Bart Scrivner of Lakeview, OR; nine grandchildren: Ronnie Harden, Jr. of Alturas; Suzanne Eilts of Redding; Sean Harden of Burney; Pam Bosiger of Redding; Karen Lovell of Sacramento, Lauri Parent of Sacramento; Bart Scrivner of Bend, OR; Debra Scrivner of Redmond, OR; Teena Cobian of Lakeview, OR; 16 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren; her sister Louise Huff of Hayfork, and many nieces and nephews held in love. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents Grover and Georgia (Mowell) Mulkey, one sister and two brothers. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Modoc County Medical Center Ambulance Crew or to the Modoc Senior Citizens Center, 906 West Fourth St., Alturas, CA 96101. Inurnment will take place at a later date at the Alturas Cemetery.

Marie Herbert Galpin

Daisy "Marie" Galpin passed away, at home in Santa Rosa, CA on February 10, 2005. She was 102 years old, born October 9, 1902, on a ranch near Marshall in Marin County on Tomales Bay.

While young, her family moved to a ranch belonging to her grandparents in Valley Ford where she spent her youth. Marie attended first and second grades at Clark School in Fallon, Marin County, then attended Ocean View School near Bodega Bay and graduated from Bay School near Bodega. She attended Petaluma High School for three years and graduated from Tomales High School in 1922. She earned her elementary teaching certificate from San Francisco Normal School in 1924 and later obtained her Teaching Credential from State Teachers College of California, San Francisco in 1931.

Marie had a long teaching career at Occidental District on Sonoma County from 1924 to 1948. She moved on to a position at South Fork Union in Likely, Modoc County from 1948 to 1953. Marie then taught from 1953 to 1957 at Anderson Valley, Boonville. She retired from teaching while at Anderson Valley and returned to the place she always thought of as home -- Santa Rosa in 1994.

Marie married George Galpin on August 21, 1926. George passed away in 1968.

During her long life she touched the lives of many people.

Marie is survived by sister-in-law Martha Herbert, nieces Joan Brenner (Joe) and Carol Massey, nephews John Herbert (Maria), Paul Herbert (Kareen), Harold Galpin (Lois), Byron McCormick (Lynn), deceased nephew Turner McCormick (Sandra), and numerous great nieces and nephews, cousins Jeanne E. Ballatore, Bill Robertson, Phyllis Welsh, Lynn Stornetta Green and many other cousins, and loving care providers Mary Madigan, Karen Chaon, and Sandy Whicher. Marie's siblings, sister Rose and brother Tom, preceded her in death.

A memorial service was held February 19 at the home of Warren and Phyllis Welsh of Santa Rosa, CA.

Services for James R. Smelcer

Lifelong Adin resident and civic supporter, James Robert Smelcer passed away of natural causes unexpectedly at his home Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 4 at the Community Center in Adin. The Rev. Jeff Bidwell of Bieber will conduct the service, followed by a potluck reception at the Community Center. Mr. Smelcer is survived by his wife Josephine "Josie" Smelcer of Adin; son Jim "Jimmy" Smelcer and wife Mary of Ashland, OR and their two sons Keith and Kyle Smelcer; his daughter Genie Bone and husband Tom of Danville, CA.; two sisters, Alice Criss of Adin and Margaret "Peg" Vanderlaan of Sacramento, CA and brother Pete Smelcer of Burney. He was preceded in death by his parents

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society, High Plateau Humane Society, P.O. Box 1383, Alturas, CA 96101 or to the American Heart Association, 1372 Longfellow Ave., Chico, Ca. 95926. Services are under the direction of Kerr Mortuary of Alturas.

Mr. Smelcer's obituary will be published in the Modoc Record next week.

Wilma Louise Green

Wilma Louise Green, 75 years, passed away February 24, 2005, in Cedarville, CA. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.

Wilma was born on October 29, 1929 in Tiawah, Oklahoma to Milley LeaEtta Sisemore and John Clyde Sisemore.

Wilma moved with her family to California in 1942, where she completed school, graduating from Campbell High School in 1948 excelling in academics and athletics. In 1951 she married Arthur S. Green and spent her life with him rearing their three sons and five grandchildren.

She was a working mother and retired from a career in banking in 1993, then moved to Cedarville, CA with Art that year. She had a great sense of humor, was a wonderful homemaker and believed family was the most important treasure in life. Wilma enjoyed sewing, gardening, baking and most of all being a loving mother and grandmother.

Wilma is survived by her husband Art, sons and daughters-in-law John and Phyllis Green of Sacramento, Tim and Lei Green of San Jose, Pat and Traci Green of Cedarville, grandchildren Bailey Green, Kirsten Green, Heather Tufts, Cole Green and Paige Green, brothers Webb Sisemore of Woodland, George Sisemore of Campbell, Glenn Sisemore of Hillsboro, OR and Richard Sisemore of Auburn. Her brother, Guy Sisemore, preceded her in death.

To celebrate her life, a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2005, at the Cedarville Community Church in Cedarville, with a fellowship potluck following at the Community Hall. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the American Cancer Society, 3290 Bechelli Lane, Redding, CA 96002.

Services for John Sanders, Jr.

A memorial service for long-time Surprise Valley resident John Sanders, Jr. of Cedarville will be held Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Community Church in Cedarville. Dr. Ben Zandstra will officiate.

Mr. Sanders passed away February 28, 2005, at the Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville, CA.

He is survived by his wife Leona of Cedarville; their children Linda Johns of Kelso, WA; James Asher of Cedarville; Mona Foster of Victorville, CA; Ernest Asher of Auburn, WA; Diana Sanders of Perris, CA. and a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Kerr Mortuary of Alturas is handling arrangements. Mr. Sanders obituary will be published at a later date.

Sports

Modoc sends 4 wrestlers to state finals

Modoc will send four wrestlers -- the most ever -- to the CIF California State Championships this weekend in Bakersfield.

Travis Wood and Jason Jones each won North Section Masters Championships last weekend in Redding while Joey Catania and Brad Bell earned their way to state by placing second.

"I'm really pleased," said coach Shaun Wood. "We're sending the second most wrestlers of any North Section school to state. I like to tell them we're sending the Four Horsemen. Red Bluff is sending five. I was also pleased with the way our other kids wrestled, even though they didn't place. Mark Main, Sheridan Crutcher, Martin Corns, Brian Weed and Tim Cruse all did well."

Actually, the small schools and the Shasta Cascade League appointed themselves well at the Masters Tournament. The large schools are sending 15 wrestlers to state, the medium schools are sending three and the small schools are sending 10. Five wrestlers from the SCL are going, Modoc's four and Tulelake's John Luscombe.

Wood believes his son, Travis, and Jones have very good shots at placing in the state tourney while Bell and Catania can also get into the medal rounds. Wood has seen most of his competition as has Jones, so there shouldn't be any surprises. Both are wrestling extremely well at this stage of the season. Bell and Catania are also strong contenders.

Wood, at 152 pounds, had a great Master's tourney. He pinned two opponents, won another by technical fall and dominated Chester's Joe Maumoynier in the finals 13-2. Wood and Maumoynier have wrestled each other since they were in the youth programs at age six. The Masters Tourney was their first meeting this season.

For Jones, the 160-pound champ, the semis were a little nerve wracking as he fell behind 5-0 to Chico's Joseph Blount. But he fought back for an 8-7 win. In the finals he beat Pleasant Valley's Jeremy Lara, 8-2.

Bell lost his final 189-pound match by pin to top-seeded Kyle Bergstedt, of Paradise, the only wrestler in the section to remain undefeated for the season. Bell was forced to wrestle a challenge match for true second and the state berth, against Danny Campos of Winters. Bell pinned Campos at 2:00 for the win.

Catania lost to Red Bluff's Eric Nye, who is ranked third in the nation and expected to be in the state finals, by pin the second round. Catania was the only wrestler at Master's to take Nye into the second round. He pinned all of his other opponents early in the first rounds. Nye had a total mat time of 4:54 for the entire tourney.

Luscombe pinned Shasta's Shane Harvey at 1:24 for the title. As a team, the Braves finished sixth, behind Red Bluff, Shasta, Foothill, Willows and Durham.

Modoc bounced by Pierce, 52-38, there

Pierce bounced the Modoc Braves out of the Division V North Section boys basketball playoffs Friday, 52-28.

Pierce used a 22-11 third period to put the Braves on ice. Pierce led 8-6 after one and 19-15 at halftime, but that third period put them up 41-26. Modoc scored 12 to Pierce's 11 in the fourth.

Ross Burgess and Micah Eppler each scored 15 for the Braves. The Braves finished the season with a 21-7.

Modoc's Braves beat the Tulelake Honkers, 62-44, last Wednesday night in the opening round of the North Section Division V boys basketball tournament, at home.

Against Tulelake, the Braves took command early, leading 12-4 in the first and 26-17 by half. They led 40-30 after three and outscored Tulelake 22-14 in the fourth.

Micah Eppler led the scoring with 22, Ross Burgess added 18 and Taylor Dunn had 12.

Hornets drop playoff game

A poor first quarter February 23 sealed the Surprise Valley girls varsity fate in a 54-35 loss to Redding Christian in the first round of the Division VI playoffs.

Seniors Cara James and Jacque Laxague led the scoring with 14 and nine respectively. Junior Sarah Teuscher ended the basketball season on a high note by obtaining a triple-double, scoring 12, pulling down 10 rebounds and blocking 10 shots. She has blocked 109 shots this season.

Locals compete in ski finals

Surprise Valley's Kaitlin Asrow and Tulelake's Curtis Staunton will be competing in the Division I ski championshisp at Mammoth Mountain March 6-11.

The North Division I skiers will be competing against skiers from five other divisons. Asrow was ranked second in the north dvivison and Staunton came in at sixth.

 

March 10th, 2005

News

Rec district passes, funding measure fails by whisker

On Tuesday, voters in a proposed recreation district passed the formation of the district in resounding fashion with 69.95 percent of the vote, but the funding measure failed narrowly, getting 65.95 percent of the vote in favor.

The funding measure needed a two-thirds majority (66-2/3) to pass and came up only a few votes short.

According to the unofficial vote tally released by Modoc County Clerk Maxine Madison, 1,535 people voted in favor of forming the district while just 701 voted against. That issue needed just a simple majority to pass.

On Measure F, as to whether property owners would approve a $25 annual tax per property owner to help build a recreation center and help fund the district, 1,482 people voted in favor, and only 765 voted against. The two-thirds majority requirement on property taxes has been in California law since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978. There is some discussion at the state legislature level to change that requirement.

Mike Mason, representing the Modoc Aquatic and Recreation Center, MARC, Committee, was disappointed with the funding vote, and said the group is going to get together Monday to formulate a direction.

Since the voters approved the formation of the recreation district, that portion of the process can move forward. MARC will be looking at its options for the future.

On a precinct breakdown, Alturas voters in Alturas A, B, C, and D voted 73.73 percent in favor of the tax measure. When North Fork and Parker Creek precincts are included with the Alturas vote, the favorable vote was 69.6 percent.

Canby was the only precinct to vote against the funding measure with 57 voters saying no and 55 voting yes. California Pines voters approved the funding measure by a 53.16 percent margin, 101 yes to 89 no.

Hot Springs voters were in favor by 66.54 percent, 117 yes and 89 no. South Fork voted in favor by 56.99 percent, 53 yes to 40 no. Davis Creek voters were split with 51.56 per cent (33) voting yes and 48.44 percent (31) voting no.

North Fork voters were 61.58 percent in favor of the district, with 210 votes to 38.42 percent against, 131 votes. Parker Creek voted in favor by 63.54 percent, 115 to 66.

Alturas voters were overwhelmingly in favor of the district and the funding measure. Alturas A went in favor of the funding measure by 72.05 percent, 183 yes to 71 no. Alturas B was in favor by 71.16 percent, 153 yes to 62 no. Alturas C voted in favor by 73.21 percent, 235 to 86. Alturas D was in favor by 78.50 percent, 157 yes to 43 no.

Madison reports that 62.39 percent of the registered voters cast ballots Tuesday. That's lower than most elections, said Madison, but high for a single issue special election.

The March 8 election had two measures on the ballot for voters within the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries.

Measure E asked voters to approve a Recreation District within those boundaries and Measure F asked voters to approve a $25 per year assessment per property owner (not per parcel owned) to help fund that district.

The initial project is to build a recreation center including an indoor pool just north of the existing Alturas swimming pool.

Modoc Farm Bureau working on Watermaster service fees

Irrigators in most of Modoc nearly had heart failure when the state Department of Water Resources announced last August that Watermaster fees were going to increase as much as five times.

Protests from local governments in his area resulted in changes that brought the increase down to more manageable levels, but still could be up to 200 percent more than the previous year.

Sean Curtis, of the Modoc County Farm Bureau, said this week that the agency is working on an alternative program to provide Watermaster services in the Ash Creek, Big Valley, North Fork and Surprise valley Watermaster service areas.

Curtis said the Farm Bureau will be holding public meeting on the proposals in the near future and those meetings will be announced soon.

Basically what happened in August was a deep cut in the DWR budget. DWR had been paying 50 percent of the overall Watermaster fee service and relying on the users to pay the other 50 percent. With the cut in the budget, the entire cost was transferred to the users. The DWR came back in September with a proposal that limited the fee increase on a temporary basis, giving irrigators a chance to adjust or prepare for the increase or to find alternative plans to provide the Watermaster service.

Curtis said what the Farm Bureau is asking the DWR to do is continue to provide one more year of supplemental state funding to cover services. That amounts to about $1 million for nine counties, said Curtis.

Just exactly what that proposal will be is in the planning stages, but could include contracting with the state or with a private individual to provide the Watermaster services. Curtis estimated that Watermaster services for North Fork, for instance, is in the $58,000 per year range with the state. He hopes to find an alternative that could be accomplished with less funding and still provide the necessary services.

"Right now we're in the formative process," said Curtis. "We'll be calling a meeting with the users and interested people to come up with an good alternative."

The increases proposed in August could have increased irrigators' fees by thousands of dollars in some cases, said Curtis.

Since the Watermaster deals with adjudicated rights, Curtis said the alternative will have to be presented to a local judge in court for approval. Hot Spring and South Fork Irrigation Districts have privately contracted Watermaster service.

Squellati case remains at state level

Contrary to Modoc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Doug Squellati's public statements, the Alturas Police Department's investigation into his alleged retaliation and intimidation of employees has not been dropped.

Squellati told some members of the audience at last week's Music Festival that the story in the Modoc Record "was a bunch of crap" and the case had been dropped by the State Attorney General.

Chief of Police Ken Barnes, who is investigating the case and who forwarded the complaint to the AG, said the case is still open and, in fact, more evidence was forwarded to the AG's office this week.

Barnes said the complaint alleges Squellati engaged in intimidating and retaliatory tactics against employees who had commented on "issues of public concern."

According to Barnes, Squellati had been ordered by the past board to "cease and desist" such activities stemming from a previous complaint and school board investigation.

Squellati was found to have used intimidation and retaliation against employees. The current board majority apparently believes the alleged intimidation and retaliatory activities don't rise to a level of serious concern.

Squellati has said the charges are not true.

Doctors bemoan paperwork, delay in medical world

By Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

Medical professionals from local clinics paint a worrisome picture of a clash between themselves and misguided bureaucratic procedures and policies that hamper their efforts to provide quality healthcare.

"I think people get good care in the clinics," asserts Dr. Dan Dahle, physician in the Big Valley Medical Center, speaking of healthcare professionals' efforts to maintain quality patient service.

At the same time, he bemoans the costs in time, manpower and money the insurers and the state require to deliver that good care. "The paperwork we do is just ridiculous. When I started, I probably did 10 percent paperwork and 90 percent patient care, in terms of my time. Now it's like 40 percent paperwork and 60 percent patient care."

Greta Elliott, Canby Clinic administrator, points to the additional burden of sluggish response from Medi-Cal and insurers. "It's not realistic to say that you have a condition that needs treatment (then say) you're going to wait six weeks to get permission to have this test to see if you really need this treatment. It doesn't make sense to me. In this day and age, why can't we fill it out on the computer and get it in there and get it processed? Come on! That doesn't take rocket science to figure out."

"Nobody should have to wait excessive amounts of time to get treated and have a $100 illness turn into a $10,000 illness because of bureaucratic hang-ups," adds Dr. Donna Jones. "Nobody should have to sit and decide between (paying) their light bill and (buying) their medicine. And that happens; that happens every day."

"Medicine is run by insurance companies and Medi-Cal and Medicare," says Dave Jones, Big Valley Medical Center administrator. "They really drive what kind of treatment our physicians can provide."

Because healthcare provider insurance companies and government sponsored reimbursement programs now constrain the medical profession, the practice of medicine has become a regulatory nightmare. "Try to call Medi-Cal one day when you have nothing to do," suggests Dr. Jones, the Canby Clinic physician. "Just sit home and try to call and see how many robots you go through and how far you get. The only more frustrating thing is to try the IRS. I've had secretaries that have spent hours trying to get through to a representative to deal with things."

Simply getting payment from insurance companies and Medi-Cal is a complex, time consuming and frustrating chore. "Medi-Cal reimbursement is practically zero. It almost winds up costing the doctor to treat the patient," says Dr. Jones, explaining that this payment difficulty discourages physicians.

"California doctors won't take Medi-Cal, much less any of the other states around here," she adds. "Most doctors just won't deal with it. It's a bigger hassle than it's worth." As the administrator of six area clinics, who spends 99 percent of his time with this payment problem, Jones says, "Ideally, you wouldn't need me."

He believes that bureaucracy and administration costs are the culprit. "If you took all the money in this state or this country, whichever you want to look at, that went into the bureaucracy and the administration and just put it into paying for healthcare, we'd have plenty of money for healthcare for everyone."

These professionals unanimously point the finger at the government and healthcare insurers. "There's a great disconnect between lawmakers and reality," asserts Elliott. "Even though there are studies that prove some of the things they're suggesting don't work, they're still going to try it."

A system conceived to help people has utterly failed to accomplish its goal, according to Dr. Jones. "That's my basic opinion. That's the viewpoint of 30 years of medicine. You know, when you have to decide between your heart pill and your light bill, there's something wrong with that."

All agree that the system is broken. "Somewhere along the line we've lost our focus," notes Dr. Jones.

But that's where the consensus ends. Even the providers cannot agree on the solution. California's health insurance system, Medi-Cal, covers over 6.5 million elderly, disabled and poor residents. Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed that beneficiaries pay a monthly fee for Medi-Cal to correct the inequities and curb the costs.

Since Dr. Dahle believes that many patients abuse the system at the expense of others because they pay nothing out of their own pockets, he agrees with the governor's idea. "I would make every single person, no matter if they were on Medi-Cal or whatever, to have a co-payment and a deductible."

This, he insists, would minimize abuse of the system by making people think twice about seeing a doctor for frivolous reasons.

Elliott, on the other hand, believes that requiring the poor to pay is shortsighted. "Certainly, the governor, right now, is doing what he calls a ‘Medi-Care redesign.' They want to model it after the private insurance world. These patients don't fit that mold."

She feels that making the working poor and the indigent pay would be tantamount to denying them healthcare.

"You can't tell me that people, even on Medi-Cal that are poor, can't pay a co-pay or a deductible because they buy $80 of cigarettes a month or booze or whatever," says Dr. Dahle.

"They're just developing new ways to get people off the Medi-Cal books," insists Elliott, "(by making) the eligibility so difficult they can't do it."

"I think it would be a disaster if we went to universal healthcare and socialized medicine," says Dr. Dahle. "It would just get worse."

"The whole system needs to be blown up and started over again. It's not just the Medi-Cal and Medicare system, it's all of the insurance programs," declares Jones, adding that the private insurers are the worst payers. "There are all kinds of problems with the whole system."

"The problem is you can't find the problem," says Dr. Jones of the boondoggle.

Elliott agrees. "It's not a simple fix. It's not an easy answer."

"It's getting worse and worse all the time, summarizes Dr. Dahle. "It's going to get worse before it gets better a lot worse. I think the citizens are just going to get fed up with this stuff."

January jobless rate jumps up to 11.2%

Modoc County's un-employment rate in-creased to 11.2 percent in January 2005, up from December's 9.1 percent, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Last January, the rate was higher at 11.8 percent, but the same number of people, 500, were unemployed. The civilian labor force in January, 2004 was 4,200 and this year it was 4,000.

Total farm labor dropped from December's 360 people to 310 in January. Total nonfarm employment dropped from last year's 2,600 to this year's 2,480. Government, federal, state and local account for 1,290 employees out of the 3,600 total in the county. Local government accounts for 1,000 employees.

The state unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in January and the federal rate was 5.7 percent.

Modoc ranks 45th for highest unemployment in the state's 58 counties. Lassen County ranks 35th with a jobless rate of 8.9 percent and Siskiyou ranked 49th at 11.9 percent. The highest unemployment was in Colusa County at 21.3 percent and the lowest was in Orange at 4.0 percent

Basic Fire Fighting accepting enrollment

Modoc National Forest in cooperation with Modoc Joint Unified School District's Adult Education will offer the Basic 32 Fire Fighting class. This is a required class for anyone seeking employment with Federal or State agencies for the 2005 fire season.

High school seniors who are or will be 18 years of age by June 2005, and adults, are eligible for enrollment in this class free of charge. Classes will be held in the Modoc High School Shirley Oxley Social Hall, on the following dates and times. A 25 person cap will be levied on enrollment.

Classes: Thursday, March 24, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, March 25, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 26, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, March 29, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enrollment forms may be obtained at Modoc High School's office at 900 N. Main St., Alturas. If you have questions, please call Ardis at 233-7201, x-1341 or 1309.

Middle School presents Open House, Art reception

Help celebrate "Youth Art Month" by viewing the work of more than 75 Modoc Middle School sixth, seventh and eighth grade students whose work is featured at the Spring Student Juried Art Show in the Modoc Joint Unified School District Office Board Room, 906 West Fourth St., Alturas.

The exhibit features artwork in a variety of media including pencil, colored pencil, mixed media, oil pastel, printmaking, relief sculpture and papier mache.

An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, March 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in conjunction with Modoc Middle School's Open House. Also see the show anytime between Monday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, March 16 through April 8.

Obituaries:

James Robert Smelcer

Life-long Adin resident and civic supporter, James Robert Smelcer passed away of natural causes unexpectedly at his home Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005.

Mr. Smelcer was born August 6, 1929, in Adin, CA to Oliver Peter and Imogene (Blair) Smelcer. He graduated with a small, close-knit class from Adin High school in 1947. From the time he was a young boy, he enjoyed hunting, hiking, and later driving in the mountains.

He married Josephine Fern Howard of Red Bluff, CA on June 25, 1951 in Reno, NV. The two shared over 53 years of marriage, making Adin their home throughout the years, with the exception of Jim's military service.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, as a Private, Mr. Smelcer was wounded and captured by the Chinese who took him as a prisoner of war for 42 days during the Korean War.

Upon his discharge in 1953 and return to Adin, he went to work in the lumber industry with Edgerton Brothers and Clear Pine Products of Nubieber until the mill closed its operations. His work in the lumber industry spanned over 40 years. He also spent the latter nine years working with the U.S. Forest Service as a fire lookout on Round Mountain and Manzanita lookouts, from which he retired in 2001. Mr. Smelcer was a leader and core member of the VFW, putting up the flags for holidays and special occasions, and serving for many years as the sexton for the Adin Cemetery.

He was an active member of the Adin Volunteer Fire Department, Veterans of Foreign Wars Adin Post, a great supporter and fan of Big Valley school sports, also an avid San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49'ers fan, and an avid Bingo player. On his 73rd birthday, he attended the Giants ball game where in the seventh inning stretch, his daughter Genie had arranged for a "Happy Birthday Jim Smelcer" to be shown in the billboard lights. Jim was so surprised, he turned to everyone around and said, "Hey, That's Me!"

He had many long-time friends, as a respected and dear member of his community. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and community. His community and every dog knew Jim from his daily walks, with his kind word of hello, or with a smile and wave as folks drove by, or as he stopped to pet every dog on his route. "He had a kind heart for animals and was a friend to every dog," described his son Jimmy.

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 4 at the Community Center in Adin, followed by VFW Post 714 Color Guard. The Rev. Jeff Bidwell of Bieber conducted the service, followed by a potluck reception at the Community Center.

Mr. Smelcer is survived by his wife Josephine "Josie" Smelcer of Adin; son Jim "Jimmy" Smelcer and wife Mary of Ashland, OR and their two sons Keith and Kyle Smelcer; his daughter Genie Bone and husband Tom of Danville, CA.; two sisters, Alice Criss of Adin and Margaret "Peg" Vanderlaan of Sacramento, CA and brother Pete Smelcer of Burney. He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society, High Plateau Humane Society, P.O. Box 1383, Alturas, CA 96101; Merle West Cancer Center, 2610 Uhrmann Rd., Klamath Falls, OR 97601 or to the American Heart Association, 1372 Longfellow Ave., Chico, Ca. 95926. Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary of Alturas.

Darrell L. Ferguson

Memorial services were held for Darrell L. Ferguson (Fergie) of Cedarville, CA on March 9, 2005 at the Cedarville Community Church. Dr. Ben Zandstra officiated. Son-in-law Guy Ascherman officiated at the graveside. Mr. Ferguson died March 5, 2005 at home, surrounded by his family. He was 79.

Fergie was born in Smith Center, Kansas, on March 31, 1925 to Harvey and Nora Ferguson. He was the sixth of eight children.

Fergie had his first job at age 14, driving an ambulance. Later, he came to Modoc as a truck driver on a road crew. While in Modoc he married Dolores Rinehart and they made their home in Cedarville. Three children were born to them. Fergie worked as a heavy equipment operator, ranch hand, as well as owned and operated two ranches with his father-in-law Earl Rinehart where they raised horses, cattle and hay together in Surprise Valley and Long Valley, Nevada. He also loved to buckaroo for the Alkali Cattle Company. In his later years, some of his favorite times were fishing with his son Dusty and his good friend George Stucey and gathering wood for winter

Fergie is survived by his wife Dolores of 57 years. His three children and their families, Dusty and Margret Ferguson of Vya, NV; Eddie and Vicki Hill of Lake City, CA; Guy and Anita Ascherman of Redding, CA. There were also seven grandchildren, Dustin and wife Renee of Hubbard, OR; Stephanie Renee Ferguson of Santa Barbara, CA; Michael Ferguson of Santa Barbara, CA; Darrel Hill of Lake City, CA; Brian Ascherman and wife Ruth of Redding, CA; Jeremiah and wife Traci of Redding, CA; Josh Ascherman and wife Jocelyn of Santa Cruz, CA; and six great grandchildren. There were four grandchildren, four brothers, and three sisters who preceded him in death.

Fergie will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Memorial donations may be made to Surprise Valley Hospital, and to the Hugh Currin House in Klamath Falls, OR.

Dorothy Anne Chase

A memorial service for Dorothy Anne (Barrett) Chase will be held on March 17, 2005 at 11 a.m. at the El Cajon Mortuary, 684 South Mollison Ave., El Cajon, CA. Mrs. Chase passed away February 27, 2005. She was 62 years of age.

Born Dorothy Anne Barrett in San Diego, CA. on May 18, 1942, she lived in the San Diego area, Imperial, CA and Alturas, CA. In addition to being a loving and devoted wife and mother, Mrs. Chase worked as a secretary, office manager and instructor until her retirement five years ago.

"She liked everyone she met and everyone who knew her, loved her," describe family members.

She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Stacy Chase of Alturas; daughter Diane Obeso and grandsons Thomas and Jamie; son David and wife Shaundra and granddaughters Danyell, Devin and Shelby; mother Josephine Barrett; mother-in-law Vera Becht; brother Robert and wife Linda and children Tim, Tammi, Tom and Terry; sister Judy Grayston and husband Joe and children Jodi and Gina; sister Joanne Bishop and husband Bill and children Michael and Jessie; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws in San Diego and across the U.S. and by friends, wherever she resided.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Madeleine Sophie's Center for the Handicapped, 2119 East Madison Ave., El Cajon, CA 92019-1111.

John Sanders, Jr.

A memorial service for long-time Surprise Valley resident John Sanders, Jr. of Cedarville, was held Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Community Church in Cedarville. Dr. Ben Zandstra will officiate.

Mr. Sanders passed away February 28, 2005, at the Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville, CA.

He was born to Grannison M. and Jesse (Priutt) Sanders on August 24, 1920 in Santa Paula, CA.

As a young boy he moved to Boise, Idaho, but finished high school in Long Beach, CA.

He served with the Army Paratroopers 101st Airborne Division and fought at the Battle of the Bulge and Bastogne, France, serving from Dec. 17,1941 until his discharge on Dec. 4, 1945. Mr. Sanders was working on his unfinished book, documenting his war experiences. He always wanted to be a ranch hand and loved being outdoors, but he went to work for a well known cement company in Costa Mesa, CA. after his return from military service. He worked there for many years, until he retired in 1970 and moved to Surprise Valley. He worked for John Laxague as a ranch hand for 17 years, then left the valley for Sun Valley, NV. for two years, before returning to Surprise Valley. He loved western music and had an extensive collection of tapes. He and Leona Phipps were married on June 26, 1959 in Las Vegas, Nevada and shared 47 years of marriage.

He is survived by his wife Leona of Cedarville; their children Linda Johns of Kelso, WA; James Asher of Cedarville; Mona Foster of Victorville, CA; Ernest Asher of Auburn, WA; Diana Roberts of Perris, CA. and a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Chicago, Washington, Oregon and California.

Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary.

Death Notice:

Johnny W. Chapman

Johnny Willard Chapman, a native Modocer, passed away March 7, 2005, at Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville, CA. Mr. Chapman was 67 years old and had lived most of his life in Modoc County.

Graveside services will be conducted by the Alturas Veterans organizations at the Alturas Cemetery on Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m.

Mr. Chapman's obituary will follow in a future issue.

Sports

Wood places 8th in state, Luscombe 5th

Modoc High School junior Travis Wood placed eighth at 152 pounds in the California State Wrestling Championships last weekend, while Tulelake High School junior Johnny Luscombe fought his way to fifth in the 145 pound division.

The Braves' Jason Jones finished just one match out of the medal round at 160 pounds. Brad Bell won his first match at 189 pounds, then lost the next two. Joey Catania, Modoc's 215-pounder, lost his opening two matches, both close.

"I was really happy with how our guys performed," said coach Shaun Wood. "They all thought they could have probably done better, but they were wrestling the best wrestles in the state. We've had four wrestlers place at state in the past four years. That's pretty impressive for a small school."

Wood went 4-3 at the state tournament. He lost the seventh-eighth place match to Brian Diffenbach of Poway, by 6-3. He had three pins in the tournament.

Jones went 4-2 in the tournament, and three of his wins were by technical fall. Luscombe had to wrestle nine times at the state finals and ended 7-2. His coach is Shane Wood, Shaun Wood's brother. Luscombe beat the second ranked wrestler in the state, Willy Pendleton of Lemoore. He's the first Tulelake wrestler to ever place at the state meet. Wood and former Modoc wrestlers, Blake Wilson, Tony Willis and Cory Bell have placed at the state finals.

Wood had a final record for the season of 44-8, Jones and Bell each finished with 36-7 record and Catania finished at 37-6. Luscombe finished the season at 45-4, Coach Shaun Wood was very pleased with the North Section showing at the state finals as seven section wrestlers placed. Five of those wrestlers come back next year. With 38 wrestlers in each bracket, Wood said it was very impressive for so many north section wrestlers to place.

SVHS 'Hoop Wars' set for March 11-13

The 8th Annual "Hoop Wars" basketball tournament runs March 11-13 at the Surprise Valley Gym in Cedarville

Sponsored by Surprise Valley High School's junior class, the competition will pit sixteen men's and women's teams, featuring up to ten adult players each, in a contest for top honors after the final game ends on Sunday afternoon, March 13.

Admission to the gym each day is $2 for adults, $1 for students, with children 12 and under free

Many teams are scheduled to arrive in town Friday and will square off beginning at 5:00 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, games begin at 8:00 a.m. and will run through the day.

Funds collected from the entry fees and profits from the concession stand will go to the junior class to be used for their senior year spring trip and other class activities.

High School rodeo action in full swing

California High School Rodeo Association competition is in full swing, with athletes from this district competing in a variety of events.

On March 5-6, an Interdistrict Rodeo was staged at Red Bluff. Jessica Hemphill, of Tulelake, placed fourth in goat tying and eighth in team roping. Kendra Hemphill placed third in breakaway roping.

Rodeos on the upcoming schedule include: the March 18-20 Challenge of Champions in Plymouth. The top three in each event compete against the top three of each of nine districts; April 9-10, the Redding Rodeo Grounds rodeo; April 29-20, District Finals in Yreka; June 13-18 State Finals in Bishop, (top five in each event); July 18-23, National Finals in Gillette, Wyoming (top four California finishers.)

Jessica Hemphill will be competing in the Challenge of Champions Rodeo in breakaway roping and goat tying.

Braves named All-league

Modoc's Micah Eppler and Ross Burgess were named to the Shasta Cascade All-League first team and Kyle Madison earned honorable mention.

The Braves finished second in league this year with an 11-3 record (21-7 overall), behind Trinity at 12-2 (21-6 overall)

The Most Valuable Player in the SCL was Trinity's Ben Cox. Others named to the first team were Jamie Green, Nathaniel Trujillo, Trinity. Chris Weedon, Etna and Clint Wilson, Mt. Shasta.

Kids wrestling tourney here

The Modoc youth wrestling tournament starts with a 6:30 a.m. weigh-in Saturday with wrestling starting at about 9:30 a.m.

The tourney features kids from several schools in the area, from eighth grade and down. the event is held in the Griswold Gym.

March 17th, 2005

News

Recreation Center plan goes forward

Buoyed by the overwhelming support of the voters, the Modoc Aquatic and Recreation Center Committee opted Monday night to move forward with the project and probably take the funding issue back to the voters.

Because Measure E on last Tuesday's ballot passed by 70 percent (to form a recreation district), the group opted to start the process to seat a board of directors for that entity. The positions need to be advertised and applicants need to come forward to serve on the district board. If only five people apply, the Board of Supervisors may then appoint those people to the Board of Directors.

Measure F, the funding measure on Tuesday's election lost by less than one percent, by about 13 votes. The committee feels it is possible to get the issue passed. They expect to bring the $25 per property owner assessment back to the voters in the next general election.

"The committee will review the options open to it and is looking for what is necessary to keep the voters who cast a 'yes' ballot and expand the support of the $25 assessment," said Mike Mason, a strong advocate of the proposal. "We believe this can be done."

The committee also agreed to return to the Modoc County Board of Supervisors and Alturas City Council to ask that the Proposition 40 recreation grant funds be saved so they can be used to construct a swimming pool once the voters approve the assessment. The county had earmarked $800,000 of its Prop. 40 funds to the project and the City had dedicated $180,000 of its funds. Prop. 40 funds are grant monies only usable for recreation type projects.

At the March 22 Supervisors meeting, The Recreation Committee will request the county continue to earmark the $800,000 for the center. Also on the agenda is a request frm Public Works' Rick Hironymous to begin spending that $800,000.

"If only 13 more voters had voted in favor, the measure would have passed," said Mason. "It took two elections too approve the funding for the Griswold Gym. They didn't come as close the first time as we did. We thank our supporters and assure them we will move forward with our efforts to build a recreation center and invest in the entire community."

Mason said there are other options that will be discussed, but the very strong support of voters in the district should be an indication of the public's desire to build the facility

The formation of the district on the March 8 ballot only required a simple majority for passage, but the funding measure required a 66-2/3 percent majority. It came with a favorable vote of 65.95 percent

"While the committee was disappointed the funding measure didn't pass, it was obvious there was a large majority of support for the project," said Mason. "We're certainly not going to give up on what will be a very positive development for the community."

According to the vote tally released by Modoc County Clerk Maxine Madison last week, 1,535 people voted in favor of forming the district while just 701 voted against. That issue needed just a simple majority to pass.

On Measure F, as to whether property owners would approve a $25 annual tax per property owner to help build a recreation center and help fund the district, 1,482 people voted in favor, and only 765 voted against.

On a precinct breakdown, Alturas voters in Alturas A, B, C, and D voted 73.73 percent in favor of the tax measure. When North Fork and Parker Creek precincts are included with the Alturas vote, the favorable vote was 69.6 percent.

Canby was the only precinct to vote against the funding measure with 57 voters saying no and 55 voting yes. California Pines voters approved the funding measure by a 53.16 percent margin, 101 yes to 89 no.

Hot Springs voters were in favor by 66.54 percent, 117 yes and 89 no. South Fork voted in favor by 56.99 percent, 53 yes to 40 no. Davis Creek voters were split with 51.56 per cent (33) voting yes and 48.44 percent (31) voting no. North Fork voters were 61.58 percent in favor of the district, with 210 votes to 38.42 percent against, 131 votes. Parker Creek voted in favor by 63.54 percent, 115 to 66.

Alturas voters were overwhelmingly in favor of the district and the funding measure. Alturas A went in favor of the funding measure by 72.05 percent, 183 yes to 71 no. Alturas B was in favor by 71.16 percent, 153 yes to 62 no. Alturas C voted in favor by 73.21 percent, 235 to 86. Alturas D was in favor by 78.50 percent, 157 yes to 43 no.

The initial project is to build a recreation center including an indoor pool just north of the existing Alturas swimming pool.

No records in March

While there have been some uncommonly warm days in March, no records were set. The one ominous sign is neither was there any measurable precipitation.

The lack of moisture is most concerning. Oregon is in a drought stage and while the Sierra Nevadas are about 153 percent of normal water content, the Warner Mountains here are well below average. Much of the west is in the same water condition as Modoc. The final snow survey of the season will be early next month and no one is looking for good news.

The warmest it got in March was 74 degrees on the 11th, but the record for that day is 77, set in 1934.

The high temperature for the month of March was set in 1966 at 82 degrees.

MMS tops MJU in API ranking

Modoc Middle School comes in as the highest ranked school in the Modoc Joint Unified School District on the state's just released 2004 Academic Performance Index (API) test results.

The middle school scored at 726, placing it with a statewide rank of seven, on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being the highest. It also got a similar school ranking of seven.

The API tests are on a scale of from 200 to 1,000 with the state's goal of each school reaching a score of at least 800. Statewide only 17.3 percent of middle schools reached 800, 26.4 percent of elementary schools reached that score and just 7.0 percent of high schools scored that high.

Modoc High school scored at 661, giving it a state ranking of five and a similar school ranking of three.

Alturas Elementary School scored at 734, ranking it at a six in the state and a five on similar schools.

The Modoc Charter High School scored 615, ranking it at a three statewide and at a one for similar schools.

Home Show draws to a full house

The second annual Modoc Home Show is a full house, with a wide variety of businesses and organizations out to show their wares and services.

The event is scheduled for March 26 at Modoc High School. Last year, the Home Show filled the Griswold Gym, but this year it has grown to fill the gym, the Social Hall and even outside on the lawn, weather permitting. "We're really pleased," said one of the organizers, Rendy Cockrell. "It filled up quickly and it's exciting to see the variety and the enthusiasm of the exhibitors. The community is going to have fun and be impressed."

Cockrell, Brooke Fredrickson and Paula Henckle organized the first home show last year and came back this year to make it bigger and better. Their efforts have certainly paid off so far.

In addition, the annual Alturas Lions Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for the lawn around the Griswold Gym on March 26. The hunt will start promptly at 1 p.m. The combination of events should prove beneficial.

This year there are new and varied exhibitors and the show is shaping up as one stop place to see what's happening in Modoc's home-related businesses.

The exhibitors this year are: Guy Williams Construction, Brad Williams General Contracting, Shared Vision Photography and Framing, Modoc Moulding, Nana's Quilts, U.S. Bank, Modoc County Public Health Lead Program, Quality by Design, Tony Darst Construction, Eagle Peak Rock and Paving, Likely General Store, Modoc Independent News, New Frontier Solar & Satellite, Home Interiors & Gifts/Denise Hurley, Warner Mountain Realty, Maxwell's Nursery, Modoc County Record, Universal Gift Items, True Green Lawn, Service/Rainbow Vacuums, Modoc Insurance Services, Modoc County Library, Walt Smith Landscaping, Janie Erkiaga Real Estate, Four Seasons Supply Center, J-MAR Construction, Dean Neer/Modoc Realty, Chapman Roofing, Duane McGarva Photos, United County Stevenson Realty, Modoc Sanitation, Pine Shadows, The Sports Hut, L&B Ranch Supply, Fisher - Dubois Accounting & Tax, Gadget Masters/Cooper Insurance Services, Creative Printing/Photos by Nanette, Phillips Appliance, Modoc County Title Company, Handmade Haven/Computer Haven, The Gift Gallery, The Oak Mill, Woodworks of Alturas, Alturas Chamber of Commerce, J & S General Contracting, Modoc Fire Safe Council, Richardson Insulation, Alturas Mini Storage, Frontier Communications, Randall Electric, Wild Mustard, High Plateau Humane Society, Schrock's Seamless Gutter, Heard Plumbing The following are on a weather permitting basis: Talbott Construction, Rural Fire, Susan's Flowers, Bethel's Propane.

For more information, contact Cockrell at Modoc Title, 530-233-3471; Fredrickson at Handmade Haven 530-233-1161; and Henckle at Modoc Public Works 530-233-6403.

Spring helps squirrel hunt

Recent spring-like weather and greening alfalfa fields promise to draw a record number of hunters and plinkers to the area over the weekend when the Greater Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce hosts its 14th Annual Squirrel Roundup on Saturday, March 19.

Many locals anticipate the remarkable parade of improvised squirrel hunting rigs that heralds spring as reliably as the first blooms on locust trees. Decked out with elaborate shooting platforms, comfortable lounge chairs, even full-service snack bars, they descend on area pastures pocked with squirrel mounds and teeming with darting rodents.

Eager hunters are a force to be reckoned with, and savvy locals have learned to be on guard, keeping pets and small children close to home. No such concerns faze circling hawks, eagles and other birds eagerly awaiting an easy meal.

Saturday's event will begin shortly after dawn for over 115 registered contestants scheduled to fan out to ranches from Fort Bidwell to Eagleville. Though hunters no longer "count tails" to win prizes, their efforts to thin the hordes of Belding ground squirrels, also known as "sage rats" or "bobby squirrels" by long-time locals, are welcomed.

Many registered hunters have established warm relationships with local ranchers down through the years and are invited to head straight to their familiar stations. For newcomers needing directions or hunters picking up pre-ordered lunches from Project Graduation parents, there will be chamber members at the Modoc District Fairgrounds in Cedarville Saturday morning beginning at 8:00 AM.

After a long day of hits and misses, hunters and their hosts will gather at the Four Season's building at the fairgrounds. Social hour begins this year 4:30 PM, followed by a hearty dinner, raffles and a silent auction from 5:30-7. Dinner tickets are $10 each.

The silent auction and raffle promise to be memorable highlights of the event with fierce bidding wars and good-natured competition rounding out the evening. Several major items have been donated, including a distinctive squirrel trophy, an embroidered Carhart jacket, and a Browning LED camping lantern. Local business owners, chamber members, and artisans have also generously contributed items or services.

For the first time, the chamber has obtained a Ruger .22 rifle from the Belligerent Duck in Alturas. It will be raffled off to one lucky person present who has purchased a chance for $5.

The Squirrel Roundup brings in a large portion of funds the chamber uses primarily to support youth and community activities throughout the year. It is chaired by Mary Cook-Davis who has been busy ordering commemorative hats and collecting raffle gifts for registered hunters. Others helping with the event include Peggy Page who has been instrumental in lining up ranch spots for hunters. Diana Milton sees to it no one leaves the valley hungry after a long day of combat, Elie Brandenburg is in charge of collecting unique auction items, and the Class of 2006 has been tapped for help with set-up and serving duties.

Rain, snow or sunshine, Skip Arnew, Lewis Vermillion, and Rick Milton, will have the outdoor fires hot for their famous grilled chicken and steaks. John Drew will be Master of Ceremonies for the evening's festivities. For more information on the annual Squirrel Roundup or other activities planned for Saturday, please call the chamber office at 279-2001.

Obituaries:

Johnny W. Chapman

Johnny Willard Chapman, a native Modocer, passed away March 7, 2005, at Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville. Mr. Chapman was 67 years old and had lived most of his life in Modoc County. Graveside services were conducted by the Alturas Veterans organizations at the Alturas Cemetery on Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m.

. Chapman was born in Likely, CA on January 17, 1938, to James and Fay (Smith) Chapman. Johnny was the third child of four.

He left high school as a sophomore to enter the U.S. Army in Oakland on Dec. 4, 1956 and served with the military police in Germany until his honorable discharge as a Private 2nd Class November 15, 1957, when he returned to Alturas.

Following his discharge, he worked for many years at the Alturas Laundry when it was owned by Mrs. Marguerite Cook. A "jack of all trades," Mr. Chapman was a carpenter for Coppedge Construction, and worked on several Alturas housing developments. He worked at the lumber mill in Burney, worked in maintenance at California Pines Lodge and the past few years, he worked at Antonio's Cucina Italiana restaurant in Alturas. About five years ago, he underwent a seven-way bypass heart surgery. Mr. Chapman enjoyed working in his yard, raising flowers and manicuring his beautifully green lawn. He was a quiet man, with a soft heart for young children.

Mr. Chapman is survived by his two sisters Betty Russell of Alturas; Eunice Seminario of Alturas and brother Robert Joe Chapman of Oroville; daughter Agnes Fay of Texas and son Johnny Carl Chapman of Burney, CA.; four grandchildren and one great-grandson. Among his numerous nieces and nephews is his niece Karen Ballard of Cedarville who loved and cared for her uncle during his declining health. He considered Tina Smith as a daughter and her daughter Dana as a granddaughter, as they adopted him as well.

His daughter Debby Chapman and son Mark Chapman preceded him in death.

Memorial donations may be directed to the American Heart or Lung Association.

Ray D. Henderson

Family and Friends are invited to a celebration of Ray D. Henderson's life at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 at Pleasant Grove Community Church, 1730 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville (adjacent to Sun City Roseville). Mr. Henderson's passing on March 7, 2005, was a peaceful one at his home in Sun City Roseville.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to: Pleasant Grove Community Church (address above - zip code 95747) or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 3105 Fite Circle, Suite 101, Sacramento, CA 95827.

The former Alturas resident and developer of Rancho Murieta and Cameron Park, was the third son in a family of five boys and one girl, born on May 8, 1916 to James Lee and Emma Clara Henderson on a ranch in Tolbert, Texas. At Kelton High School he played basketball and football and made a name for himself in baseball as a standout pitcher on his hometown team.

After high school graduation, Ray decided to become a farmer. There were very few tractors in those days in the Texas Panhandle, so his father rigged up a six-horse team and turned it over to Ray, along with 100 acres of land. Plowing from sunup to sundown, 18 year-old Ray had plenty of time to think, and his thinking was intensified by the dust bowl years in Texas. Ray handed his plow over to his father in 1935 and set out to find his niche.

He hitchhiked to California and ran out of money in Alturas. He got a job in A.W. McCaughan's grocery store and service station and worked nights at the Ford dealership. During the summer he met Marie Espil at the boarding house where both were staying. They were married on December 21, 1935. Ray and Marie's two sons, Ron and Marty, were both born in Alturas.

Ray sold automobiles for other dealers and in December of 1936, he bought and operated the Chrysler and Plymouth dealership under the name of Henderson Motor Sales. It wasn't long before Ray was operating the Ford dealership and Marie worked as his bookkeeper.

In December, 1941, Ray was operating the Chevrolet truck and automobile agency in Alturas. Then came the attack on Pearl Harbor. Reasoning that it was only a question of a few weeks until the government would assume control of the sale of all motor vehicles, Henderson started buying all the heavy earth-moving trucks he could find on the market. With this equipment he went to Richmond where he obtained a contract for moving earth at the Kaiser shipyards, employing three shifts of drivers for each truck, thus keeping his equipment busy 24 hours a day during WWII.

In June of 1946 Cranston Bros. of Woodland sold their implement business to Ray. The sale included International Harvester and truck franchise that covered Yolo and Colusa counties. In 1949, Bill Sutton joined the Ray D. Henderson Co. as full partner.

Ray took up flying in Alturas and used his airplanes for business and pleasure until the late 1970's. Ray was a 32nd degree Mason in the Modoc Lodge in Alturas, and spent time in the Elks and Rotary organizations. He belonged to the Ben Ali Temple in Sacramento.

During his lifetime he was a member of the Yolo Fliers Club, The Sutter Club, Cameron Park Country Club and Rancho Murieta Country Club. In 1948, Ray became a Tucker automobile dealer and had a show at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium with Preston Tucker in attendance. Near that time, Henderson also sold golden anniversary Packards.

Ray shifted gears in the 50's from autos and machinery to real estate. He went to work as vice president and manager of the commercial and ranch department for MacBride Realty in Sacramento. While working for Frank MacBride, he put together a series of ranch exchanges involving former Lt. Governor Butch Powers involving property valued at $3.6 million. He used his flying ability to sell ranch property all over the western United States. Ray partnered with Jack Richey to open his their own realty company, Real Estate Inc. Jack, Ray and Ray's oldest son Ron built a very successful commercial and ranch brokerage firm over the next several years.

In the mid 1960's Ray led a small group of investors in the purchase of the Cameron Park community in El Dorado County from Larry Cameron. The golf course residential community was in place, including the original Stage Coach Inn, later purchased by Sam Gordon. Ray expanded the airport and developed the concept of "airport" homes whereas pilots (including himself) could land their planes and park them in a garage under the home. He added an equestrian center, recreational lake, continued to develop residential lots, and later built several custom homes and an apartment complex to encourage others to build in the area. He partnered with PGA Professional Arnold Palmer and built the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy at Cameron Park. It was a summer golfing camp with dormitories for kids and Arnold would fly in to speak to the kids at graduation time. Ray sold his interest in Cameron Park to a large REIT in the early 1970's to pursue his biggest dream of all a 5,000-unit planned unit development located off a small and twisting two-lane Jackson Highway, 23 miles east of Sacramento. Ray, along with the Pension Trust fund for Operating Engineers Local No. 3, staked claim to the oak-studded oasis near Sloughhouse called Rancho Murieta. The Operating Engineers Training Center provided 140 practicing apprentice engineers who have accounted for nearly all of Murieta's earth-moving improvements over the years, including three major dams.

Henderson built two championship golf courses; a 40,000 square-foot private country club; a modern equestrian facility; an FAA-approved airport with a 3,800 foot runway; five lakes, three of which provide a self-sustaining water supply for the community; a business conference center and lodge. Ray owned and operated the sales organization and had the managing contract from the Operating Engineers to oversee all development for the project. The development's conservative use of water was one of Henderson's favorite topics. He casually gesticulates about the "gravitational flow" of the multi-tiered dam system. How much formal training did he have in engineering? "No engineering degree", he laughed. "Just the invaluable experience of building things wrong for so many years."

Ray left Rancho Murieta in 1983 and opened a small brokerage office in Sacramento. Ray and his sons developed "SunRay Plaza", a commercial shopping center in Citrus Heights anchored by Tom Thumb Market. The center was subsequently sold.

Ray moved to Sun City Roseville in 1996 and after the death of his wife, Marie, he married Debbie. They spent many years playing golf and traveling the globe. When Ray's health began to fail, he still enjoyed reading books, going out to lunch, and visiting with friends. Ray was diagnosed with acute leukemia in January of 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie; sons Ron and Marty (Sue); granddaughters Kim, Kelly (Paul), Karen, Jenny, Kendal (Arun), Emily (Marcus) and; and great-grandchildren Maddie, Katie, Ethan, Shea and Olivia. Ray was preceded in death by his first wife, Marie.

Mary Luvene Grubb

Ernest H. Grubb

Former Alturas residents Mary Luvene (Renner) and her husband Ernest Harold Grubb have passed away in Modesto, CA. Mrs. Grubb passed away February 26, 2005 at Modesto Medical Center, Modesto, CA. Mr. Grubb passed away February 28, 2005 at their Modesto, CA home. Both were in declining health.

Mary Luvene Renner was born on January 17, 1925 in Alturas, CA and attended local schools. Ernest was born in Fulton, Kansas on January 26, 1920. He had worked at the box factory in Alturas. The Grubbs had lived in Modesto since 1940. Mr. Grubb was self-employed in construction and Mrs. Grubb was a clerk for 25 years for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. They enjoyed travel, and he, hunting and she, knitting.

He is survived by his brothers, Jack Grubb and Ed Grubb, both of Modesto; and their three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. They were preceded in death by their daughter Carol Lewis.

A combined memorial service was held at 1 p.m. March 12 at Salas Brothers Funeral Chapel in Modesto. Private burial at the Alturas Cemetery at a future date. Remembrances may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1601 Ford Ave., Suite 8, Modesto, CA 95350.

Ruth Ann Richardson

Ruth Ann Richardson passed away March 11, 2005 at Valley West Care Center in Williams, CA. She was age 83. A Colusa resident for 52 years, Mrs. Richardson was a homemaker and a member of the Order of Eastern Star. She enjoyed baking pies, making homemade jam, and spending time with her family. She was born Ruth Ann Boland on December 12, 1921 in Sulfur, Oklahoma.

Survivors include her son, Dennis Richardson of Colusa; four grandchildren: Jada Richardson, Seth Silvera Richardson, Jennifer Richardson, Dennis Richardson, Jr.; one great-grandchild; sisters: Lois Sanders of Fresno, CA and Alline Berg of Vallejo, CA; brothers Hugh Boland of Snelling, CA and Bob Boland of Modesto, CA.

Her husband Leonard Richardson and her children Thomas Richardson, Charles Richardson, and Patricia Richardson preceded her in death. Funeral Services are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 17 at McNary-Moore Chapel in Colusa. Burial services will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made in her behalf to the Colusa Regional Medical Center.

Services are under the direction of McNary-Moore Funeral Service.

 

Sports

Braves start 1-4 in baseball action

Modoc's varsity baseball team got off to a rocky start, going 0-4 before beating Lost River 11-1 Tuesday for their first win.

Modoc lost to Shasta 10-0, Enterprise 4-1, Enterprise 8-5 and Lassen 10-5 to open the season. The Braves started 1-3 last season and came back to win the section title.

Against Lost River, Derek Broughton was the winning pitcher, going three innings with five strikeouts and one hit. Kyle Madison tossed three with six strike outs and one hit and Joey Catania pitched one inning. The leading hitters w ere Travis Potter, 3-for-3, David Kolvoord 3-for-4 and Jared Cox 2-for-4.

Coach Brad Server said he scheduled tough games to get his team used to good pitching. Lost River is the pre-season favorite to win its league, so Server believes the Modoc win puts them on the right track. The Braves have 4-0 Mt. Shasta here on Friday to open Shasta Cascade League play.

Braves softball 3rd in Etna

The Modoc Braves varsity softball team placed third in the Etna tournament over weekend, rebounding nicely from a rocky first game.

In the third place game, the Braves beat Trinity 4-2 behind a 10-strike out performance from Megan Thompson. She had tossed a shut-out for five innings and Modoc scored its four runs in the fourth.

Allison Campagna went three-for-three at the plate, Thompson was two-for-three and Alysha Northrup was two-for-three.

The Braves opened against Central Valley and a jittery first inning saw them fall behind 8-0. They fought back to lose 14-6. Thompson pitched that game as well. Campagna went three-for-three and Northrup was two-for-three.

In the second game, Modoc beat Happy Camp 19-1 with Tacie Richardson getting the win. She fanned six batters. Northrup went four-for-four, Campagna was three-for-four and Thompson was four-for-four.

Modoc coach Keith Jacques said the team opened well and credited the play of Emily Pence, who played three positions during the tourney.

Asrow 9th in women's slalom

Surprise Valley's Kaitlin Asrow placed ninth in the women's slalom and 14th in the Women's Giant Slalom in the Interscholastic Ski Federation's Championships in Mammoth Mountain. There were 78 racers in the giant slalom and 77 in the slalom. She ranked 10th on the All-State combined team.

Tulelake's Chris Staunton placed 44th in the men's giant slalom. Tulelake's Leonard Will was 71 and Eric Gasser 72nd in the men's slalom.

Make wild turkey dinner a new Easter tradition!

By Frank Galusha, EasyWriter

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Modoc Record will be featuring this column on a periodic basis as it relates to sporting news and events in and around Modoc County.

Turkeys have come and gone and come back to our state. Turkey skeletons were discovered in the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles. But just over 75 years ago there were no wild turkeys in California. Thanks to transplanting efforts that began in 1928, there are a quarter million in the state now. Could turkey outnumber our deer some day, even in Modoc County?

About 18 percent of the state, including a large portion of Modoc has suitable habitat for turkeys, but we only have a few, according to Richard Shinn, Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist in Alturas, and they are spread out.

The latest introductions occurred in February of 1998 when at least 54 Merriam-strain turkeys (50 hens and 4 males) were released by the DFG in the Modoc National Forest.

Earlier releases of pen-raised Rio Grande turkeys occurred as far back as the 1970s, but not many, if any, survived. Shinn thinks the Merriam's, which were wild birds brought in from Idaho and South Dakota are doing better.

"Merriam's are more suited to higher elevations and based on anecdotal reports we get; their numbers seem to be increasing slowly," Shinn said. Exact harvest data is not available.

Additional introductions have been halted due to potential litigation. Some environmental groups, such as the Native Plant Society, are concerned that the turkeys being introduced are not native to California.

"Turkeys can pose a threat to gardens and plants so we should not feed them or treat them as pets," Shinn said, "just ask the people in the Sierra foothills. Turkeys do quite well on their own by eating acorns, pine nuts, seeds, grasses, forbs, small grains and agricultural commodities, in addition to insects, grasshoppers and other bugs. Young turkeys are especially dependent on insects," he added.

Turkeys are already as numerous as deer in some parts of the state. In some counties there are 8.3 turkeys per square mile of suitable habitat. Fortunately, unlike Bambi, turkeys rarely dart out in front of cars.

What's more, the turkey population keeps rising steadily despite growing interest from hunters as an upland game target. From 1999 to 2003 nearly 16,000 were taken annually in California. Over 8,000 of these were shot in the north state. But don't expect to stop your car, pull out a shotgun and shoot a gobbler from the road. Turkeys don't just stand there. That's illegal anyway, and around here you'll have to work a whole lot harder than that. But now is the ty vulnerable, yet still wary, during the mating season, which coincides with part of the spring hunting season. This year that season runs from March 26 to May 1. Only mature (bearded) gobblers may be taken, and then only from just before sunrise until 4 p.m. (Archery season runs to May 15.)

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Perhaps to prove to our skunks, opossums, squirrels, and deer that it can be done. Turkey hunters are out to make the same point. It's no easy feat. Any hunter who has garnered one of these elusive birds has also seen many get away.

Even though gobblers let their guard down when chasing the hens, they are amazingly cautious and often agonizingly slow in responding to calls and decoys. (Besides, they expect the hen to come to them!) So success always depends on how well the hunter has scouted the area, plus camouflage and concealment, calling technique and the ability to sit absolutely still, perhaps for hours. Many turkeys win this contest simply because they don't blink first. Birds, by the way, do blink, but that's another story.

Even though a mature gobbler might reveal his presence by gobbling an answer to calls, his actual approach to a setup is usually unpredictable.

(Having one approach you from behind is an experience that tests both patience and heart.) And unlike the pursuit of waterfowl, pheasants or quail where the hunter often brings home several birds per outing, the average turkey hunter often fails to even get a clean shot. Thankfully there are exceptions to this rule. Otherwise the turkeys might soon outnumber us, too. In the state's best turkey hunting areas, hunters often bag a limit of three bearded gobblers a year. And some set an even higher bar for themselves by using only a bow and arrow. However, these attempts to thin the flocks appear to be futile. Turkeys are tough, and the remaining young males, known as "jakes," quickly step forward to do their duty. This means that turkey hunting may get better, even here; however, drought or hard winters with heavy snows could also set these birds back.

The math looks good!

Hen turkeys typically lay one egg a day each spring until a clutch of 10-12 eggs is achieved. The chicks hatch after a 25-29 day incubation period and "imprint" immediately to the hen from which they learn behaviors. Within two weeks the young birds can fly and begin roosting high in trees. Still, predators are a threat and not every young turkey survives.

Let's hope these birds continue to multiply. They grace our roadsides, but only rarely pose a danger on our highways. They are magnificently beautiful but they also make wonderful table fare that's low in fat. They are vulnerable, yet fully capable of outwitting even the most skilled hunter. Man and nature are balanced. So, buy that hunting license and upland game bird stamp today. Learn how to "sweet talk" those toms. Barbeque a wild turkey for Easter!

Got a turkey hunting story or photo for a future article? Share them with easywriter@frontiernet.net.

March 24th, 2005

News

County allocates $500,000 to new parks district

It took a couple of efforts, but the Modoc County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted 3-2 to earmark $500,000 in Prop. 40 Parks and Recreation grant funding to the Modoc Aquatic Recreation Center District, pending another district vote on a funding measure.

Mike Mason, representing the Modoc Aquatic and Recreation Center Committee requested the Board approve the $800,000 it had earlier approved if the funding measure had passed on the March 8 ballot.

That request failed in the morning session by a 3-2 margin, with Supervisors Dan Macsay of Surprise Valley, David Bradshaw of Big Valley and Alturas areas' Ray Anklin voting no; while Supervisors Patricia Cantrall and Mike Dunn voted in favor.

In the afternoon session, Bradshaw brought another idea of splitting the about 1.1 million in Prop. 40 grant funds equally among the five districts, which left the Alturas area districts (two, three and four) about $565,000 and over $200,000 in each of the other two districts (one and five).

Dunn moved to allocate those funds to the Recreation District and Cantrall seconded the motion. Mason, hoping in part to gain support from Anklin, suggested that $65,000 of that $565,000 be granted to build restrooms at the Canby Park. Dunn agreed with that and changed the motion to $500,000 for the Recreation District and $65,000 for the Canby restrooms

When it came time for the vote, County Clerk Maxine Madison polled the vote starting with Anklin. He wasn't ready, so she asked the other supervisors. Macsay voted no, Dunn and Cantrall voted yes and when it came back to Anklin, he voted no. That left it up to chairman Bradshaw to decide the issue, and he voted in favor.

The county received $1.2 million in Prop. 40 funds. It had earmarked some of that money, leaving about $1.1 million.

Mason said the cut from the original $800,000 to $500,000 is a loss, but he feels the district will be able to handle the shortfall. He figures it will just add a year or two to the building contract and payoff. The big thing, now, is to go back to the people and ask for the $25 assessment to be approved.

First off, the district has to be formed and the directors seated. Once that happens that board of directors will be able to call for a new election. The timeline on the next election will depend upon how long it takes to get the district board formed and organized, plus a legal time limit.

The March 8 election funding measure, Measure F requesting $25 per parcel owner in the district, received 66 percent of the vote in favor. But it needed 66-2/3 percent for approval. It failed by just 13 votes of getting the super-majority, 1,483 votes for, to 764 against.

Measure E on the March 8 ballot was for the formation of a recreation district. That issue passed easily with 68.79 percent of the vote. It only needed 50 percent, plus one vote to pass.

Mason told the Board the district will be in the process of forming and requesting applications for a five-member Board of Directors. Once the district board is seated, possibly by order of the Supervisors, the first order of business will be to put the funding measure back on the ballot.

Mason said the next time around, there will be a few tweaks to the issue, including putting a "sunset clause" on the tax. That means the tax could end in a certain number of years -- 15 is the current suggestion.

In the morning session on Tuesday, Mason told the Board that since 66 percent of the people in the district voted for the $25 tax, he felt it could be passed the next time around and asked that the $800,000 be kept in place for district. He also pointed out that a 66 percent majority is overwhelming support.

Several people spoke in favor of that idea, but Supervisor Macsay, representing Surprise Valley, Supervisor Anklin, whose district voted in favor of the tax, and Supervisor Bradshaw were cool to the idea.

The newly approved recreation district includes the supervisorial districts of Dunn, Cantrall and Anklin. No precinct in any of those districts voted against the measures. Even Canby voted 56-56 on the funding measure. The district does not include the residents or property in Macsay's or Bradshaw's districts.

Mason said the district appreciated Bradshaw's efforts in the afternoon session and was also pleased with the support from Dunn and Cantrall. "We believe we can make this work," said Mason. "It's going to make it a little more difficult and it'll take some creativity, but our committee, now a district, is committed to seeing this thing through."

A room full of people came to the morning session, largely in support of the recreation district's request for the funding. Most left the meeting angry and disappointed.

"We had an overwhelming majority in support of the funding measure, 66 percent," Mason said. "We want to give it one more shot and take the issue back to the people. We needed just 13 more votes."

Joe Catania said the board should take into consideration that the pool and recreation center could generate an extra $100,000 a year in income in 10 years, according to its business plan. Those funs could help the entire community, he said. He asked the board not to let the opportunity to build the center slip away.

Peter Currer said the center would be a source of pride in the community and would be an incredible benefit to the disabled residents

Rollie Gilliam asked the board to keep the funds available and not to "fritter them away" on minor projects.

Emilie Martin said the project received solid voter support, brought the community together and it could have a very positive impact on the county as a whole.

Supervisor Dunn said he was impressed with the MARC Committee efforts and its results. He said he felt it would be hard to get 50 percent to vote in favor. He opted first to allocate $700,000 for the project and then dropped that to $600,000.

County Counsel John Kinney told the board the Recreation Center project fit exactly into what Prop. 40 funds could be used to build.

Macsay said he felt the committee had done an excellent job but he couldn't support giving the funding to the district and excluding the other areas of the county. He said his constituents in Surprise Valley were not in favor of the project.

Anklin said the issue wasn't easy and that he felt he had to represent the whole county. He felt the funds should be split among other projects. He said the people in Surprise Valley and Big Valley were not asked to vote. It was pointed out that they also were not being asked to pay the tax.

Mason concluded by saying the county had the chance to build something very positive that had the chance of bringing economic development and necessary funds into the area. For instance, he said making a $600,000 investment in Prop. 40 funds now, could result in a return of over $3 million in the future. He told the board that the construction loan would be paid for in 10 years at about $80,00 per year. After that, those funds would be available for use by the district to support other projects. Those figures, he said, came from the Recreation Center's business plan, which used very conservative estimates.

Deputy Public Works Director Rick Hironymous was asked his opinion and said he felt the $800,000 is better spent over the entire county.

State AG won't file charges on Squellati

The California State Attorney General's Office on March 10 referred the employee mistreatment case alleged against Modoc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Doug Squellati back to Modoc District Attorney Jordan Funk.

The Attorney General's Office notified Alturas Chief of Police Chief Ken Barnes that it was sending the case back on March 10 and he received a letter and the files confirming that on March 14.

The State AG opted not to prosecute the case, stating in a letter that it should have gone first to Funk for his review. The AG's office also states that it doesn't feel the evidence warrants criminal charges against Squellati.

Funk received the case files from Barnes on Friday, March 18. Funk stated publicly March 17, before he received the files, that he would probably not recommend charges. Funk was out of the office this week.

"The district attorney is the public prosecutor for the county," the AG letter states. "It is customary for that office to review criminal matter initially to determine whether there is a conflict of interest. Likewise, the District Attorney must first have an opportunity to exercise his prosecutorial discretion before this office would evaluate the case for any abuse of that discretion. Based upon my review of the materials, I see no clear evidence of any actual or apparent conflict that would preclude Mr. Funk from evaluating this matter and exercising his discretion appropriately."

Funk had told the Modoc Record that he didn't think he had an actual conflict of interest, but would not get involved in the investigation to avoid the appearance of conflict. He apparently contacted the AG's office concerning the case soon after it was sent to the state by Barnes

The case was sent to the Attorney General's office, said Barnes, because of a perceived conflict of interest of Funk. Funk's wife, De Funk, was a major supporter of candidates backing Squellati during the last school board election, as well as during an investigation in September of employee treatment.

The employee case was filed by Modoc Middle School Physical Education teacher Kenny Demick and alleges retaliation and harassment against Squellati.

Demick had levied charges against Squellati last fall, and the MJUSD board investigated those charges. At that time Squellati was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation. Following that investigation. Squellati was issued a letter from then Board President Ken Fogle to stop any retaliatory or harassment against Demick and his wife Jenave, the computer technician of the district.

The Demick case sent to the Attorney General by Barnes alleged that the retaliatory and harassment continued.

The AG states that if his office were to evaluate the file for criminal charges against Squellati, "the documentation does not establish sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges, that is, the evidence contained in the report is not of such credibility and quality to believe that it is reasonably likely to produce a conviction for a misdemeanor."

While no criminal charges will be forthcoming, the case may be filed as a civil action against the district by the Demicks.

First Lady, Linda Hussa laud Folklife Center's national award

First Lady Laura Bush presented the Western Folklife Center of Elko, NV. with the 2004 National Award for Museum and Library Service; the nation's highest museum award during a March 14 ceremony at Hotel Washington, in Washington, D.C.

There to accept the award was Charlie Seemann, Executive Director of the Western Folklife Center, alongside Linda Hussa, a writer from Surprise Valley, who credits support and inspiration from the Center for her critically lauded books which include Lige Lanston Sweet Iron and Blood Sister,I Am to These Fields, which won the Western Heritage Award, the Western Writers of America Spur Award and the Women Writing the West WILLA Award.

Hussa also provided a live reading from Blood Sister, I Am to These Fields at the event.

For 23 years the Western Folklife Center has showcased the rich artistic traditions of the American West through exhibits, workshops, concert series, performances and educational programs. One of the center's most well-known events is the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which explores the living traditions of cowboy poetry and music and their unique reflection of the sense of place and evolving culture of the West. But the center also has a broader educational mission year-round, reaching more than 5,000 Elko County hands-on activities at the center, and tours of exhibits at Elko, NV. The center also utilizes the Internet for both presentations and communications to distant rural, urban and suburban audiences. The center is lauded with adding immeasurably to the quality of life in rural Nevada and given countless visitors a unique understanding of the art, culture and historic importance of the American West.

Other museums and libraries receiving the awards included: Chicago Botanic Garden, Flint Public Library, Flint, MI; The Mayaguez Children's Library in Puerto Rico; Zoological Society of San Diego; The Regional Academic Health Center Medical Library of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX. The Museum Service award was established in 1994 and the Library Service award in 2000. ThE IMLS is an independent Federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learner by helping libraries and museums serve their communities.

The awards are conferred annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to institutions that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships.

Klamath Symphony brings April concert to Alturas

The Klamath Symphony will present their first concert in Modoc County at the A.C.T. Niles Theater, in Alturas on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $6 and $8.

"We hope the community will be as excited about this first time concert here, as we are," says Alturas City Attorney John Lawson, who has been performing on trumpet with the Klamath Symphony since 1995.

Three Alturas residents will be among the 35 to 40 symphony musicians, under the direction of Ted Swan. When Jay Jones moved to Alturas for his position as Modoc High School Music Director, Lawson encouraged Jones to become a percussionist musician with the Klamath Symphony, which he did a year ago. Dr. Edward Fass will perform on trumpet for this performance. Third trumpet is played by Dr. Norman Ensminger of Alturas, who is unable to make the Saturday performance.

The musical program will include the theme from the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark," known as "Raiders March" by Jon Williams; "A Salute to the Big Bands" arranged by Calvin Custer; Hansel & Gretel, written by Englebert Humperdink; "Crown Imperial March," written by William Walton; "Victory at Sea" by Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame, and the finale by Andrew Lloyd Webber from "Phantom of the Opera." The concert is expected to last an hour and a half with a brief intermission. In place of the general theater concessions, punch and cookies will be available at intermission.

The idea of including Alturas as a concert venue was considered last year by Director Ted Swan, who also owns and operates Swan's Bakery near the Courthouse in downtown Klamath Falls.

"Maybe it's because of our travel to Klamath for so many years," kiddingly states Lawson. "But, we hope this might be the start of an annual concert here," he added.

Symphony musicians converge from throughout the Klamath Basin Tuesday nights weekly for rehearsals in Klamath Falls. The Symphony performs four times a year. The majority of concerts are held at the Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls, with concerts in November, late Spring, May and the last weekend in August with an open air concert at Moore Park in Klamath Falls.

The Symphony Association is funded through levels of membership, ticket sales, on occasion some grant funds and will share the Alturas concert revenue with the A.C.T. Niles Theater. Lawson expects the musicians and their instruments will travel to Alturas on a reserved bus.

Lawson also performs with two other organized musical groups, including the Susanville Symphony.

MHS Class of '85 reunion

Modoc High School Class of 1985 has a reunion planned for Saturday night, July 2 during Fandango Days 2005.

The 20th reunion will be held at the Brass Rail in Alturas with a dinner and dance for $15 per person. Music by Goin' South for the dance to follow dinner. The dance will be open to the public.

Reservations for the reunion should be made by June 1, 2005 to any one of the three classmates listed: Janet (Young) Server, email to rambo@hdo.net or phone (530) 233-4858; Michelle (Merino) Ayers, email to mayers@bps.k12.ok.us; or to Eric Nelson at (530) 233-3216. Approximately 52 students comprise this class.

Obituaries:

Evelyn Wood Ducasse

Evelyn Wood Ducasse, age 87, passed away at Modoc Medical Center's Skilled Nursing Home in Alturas, CA on March 15, 2005.

Evelyn was born to Clifford and Myrtle Turner McCartor on March 31, 1917, in Turlock, CA. Her father homesteaded at Madeline in the early 1900's and the family made their home there. Evelyn attended elementary school in Madeline and later when the family moved to Likely, CA she finished elementary school at South Fork School in Likely.

Evelyn married George Thomas Wood, Tommy, on August 14, 1937. To this union were born two daughters Janice and Betty. Tommy died August 19, 1944. Evelyn then married Orville Hill December 1, 1945. Orville died on January 14, 1969. Evelyn then married Roger Ducasse on January 5, 1986. Roger died January 20, 2005.

Evelyn worked as a janitor at the elementary school in Likely and later became Postmistress of the Likely Post Office. She retired from the postal service March 30, 1984. She was an avid bowler for which she won several trophies. She loved to read, crochet, fish and in later life, she took up photography. All of her life, Evelyn loved to play cards. When she lived with her grandmother, during her high school years, her grandmother did not believe in playing cards. Evelyn and her friends would hide the cards under the covers of Evelyn's bed and play cards anyway. Evelyn also grew flowers and she and Roger took many camping and fishing trips plus trips to Death Valley and other points of interest.

In addition to Tommy, Orville, and Roger, Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents Clifford and Myrtle, her brother and sister-in-law Frank and Betty McCartor, her brother and sister-in-law Horace and Doris McCartor and her sister and brother-in-law Lavina and Norman Gustad.

She is survived by her daughter Janice Russell, Janice's children Deena Pena and Frank Russell and her great-grandchildren Kaelie and Ramon Pena all of Susanville, CA, her daughter and son-in-law Betty and Dan Hill, Betty's children Dean and Tom Hill of Clifton Park, NY. She is also survived by her niece Linda Stewart, who is Lavina's daughter, of Florence, OR.

Evelyn lived a full life and she has gone to a better place. Her ashes will be buried in the Lassen County Cemetery in Susanville, next to her first husband Tommy Wood. The family is honoring Evelyn's request that there be no funeral services.

Dorothy Elizabeth Welsh

Services for Cedarville resident Dorothy Elizabeth Welsh will be held Monday, March 28 at 11 a.m. at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas. Dr. Ben Zandstra will officiate. Interment will be in Fair Oaks, CA.

Mrs. Welsh passed away March 21, 2005 in Cedarville, CA.

Dorothy was born October 24, 1915 to Jacob and Irma Groeninger in Evansville, Indiana. She graduated from Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana at age 16. She was too young to be admitted into Nurses' Training but when old enough, she attended Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing. She completed her training there and worked as a staff nurse and shift supervisor in several hospitals in both Indiana and California.

In 1937, she married Ora E. Toole, a co-worker at the hospital at which she worked at that time. This marriage produced her only two children, David and Carolyn. In about 1947, the family moved "to the country" and purchased a combination grocery store/barber shop. Dorothy ran the grocery business and her husband the barbershop. After a few years, Dorothy returned to a nursing position. After her husband passed away in 1959, and her son finished high school and Carolyn college in 1963, she moved to California with her son. Soon after, a friend introduced her to Ivo Nelson. They married in 1964 and remained in the Bay area until he retired and they settled in Rio Linda, A. Ivo preceded Dorothy in death in 1982. She then met and married Art Welsh and moved to Modoc County in 1984.

While here, she started a Good Sam Chapter called the "Modocers." She and Art loved to travel in the U.S. and Canada and became full-time RV'ers when they joined the "Escapees." They spent some time in Lakeview, New Mexico until Art passed away in 2000. Dorothy returned to Cedarville and lived in her fifth wheel until moving into Surprise Valley Hospital where she passed away. Dorothy was a member of Eastern Star for over 50 years. She is survived by her son David Toole and wife Michele of San Bruno, CA; daughter Carolyn and husband Lou Olson of Ft. Bidwell, CA; six grandchildren Rod, Dave, Stephanie and Jason Toole all of the Bay Area; Heather and Stuart Travis and Kim Abraham of Cedarville, CA.; four great-grandchildren: Allie in Bay area, Jordyn and Taylor Travis and Summer Abraham in Cedarville. .

Sports

Modoc splits in opener at Mt. Shasta

Modoc's Braves split in the Shasta Cascade League opener at Mt. Shasta Friday, winning the first game 6-4, but getting trounced in the nightcap 15-5.

Modoc hosts undefeated Weed Friday afternoon at the Youth Park.

In the opening game at Mt. Shasta, the Bears scored three in the fourth and one in the fifth. Modoc scored all six runs in the fifth. Travis Potter tossed his best game of the year, getting the win. He fanned six, walked four, and allowed seven hits in seven innings of work. Joey Catania led the hitters, gong 2-for-4 with Derek Broughton 1-for-4 with two runs batted in.

According to coach Brad Server, the team started slowly in the first game, and mental mistakes are hurting. Most of the opponent's runs are coming after the Braves record two outs. Server points out that the team is young, but there are six seniors on the squad.

The Bears were 7-0 before the Braves topped them and Server was pleased the team played well against them in the first game. However, he wasn't pleased with getting beaten by the 10-run rule in the second game. (If one team is ahead by 10 runs after five full innings, the game is called).

The Braves started strong in the second game, getting up 4-0 in the first inning, but it didn't go well from that point. Server said errors and a letdown in pitching caused some of the problem. With Weed coming to town Friday, the team needs to get itself together. They are now 2-5 on the season and 1-1 in the SCL. Kyle Madison got the loss. Leading hitters for Modoc were Jared Cox 3-for-3, two rbi, Cody Widby 2-for-3, two rbi; Catania 1-for-2, with two intentional walks.

Braves give up big lead in Shasta split

Modoc's varsity softball team gave up a 9-3 lead in the first game of a double header against Mt. Shasta there Friday, but ended up losing the game 10-9. They won the second game 5-2.

According to coach Keith Jacques, the Bears started hitting the ball hard in the last inning and the Braves made some crucial errors. Mt. Shasta scored only five earned runs off pitcher Megan Thompson. Allison Campagna was 2-for-4 at the plate.

Tacie Richardson got the win in the second game, as the Braves defense stepped up and played well. Campagna made a couple of outstanding catches against the Bears, said Jacques. In the second game Jesse Correa doubled after the Bears gave up a couple of walks and Campagna knocked in runs on a single.

Youth wrestling team does well

Modoc's youth wrestling team has been active the last two weeks, in Modoc and at Tulelake, They now travel to Burney.

In the Modoc tournament, about 300 young wrestlers spent a very full day as the tourney has grown in numbers over the past few years. Coach Shaun Wood said the kids are doing well and the numbers are way up. The following are the results of the past two tournaments:

Modoc Tournament results

First Places:

Alex Valencia, Macie Larranaga, Joshua Fletcher, David Wheeler, Jess Picotte, Jon Irish, Kyle Voth, Brittany Barnes, Matt Mayes, Justin Estes (2), Tyler Stains, Josh Wood

Second Places:

Riley Larranaga, Jacob Cruse, Wyatt Valena (2), Ben Bevil, Brandon Veverka, Kyle Roberts, Tyler Wood, Aurora Abbote-Hall, Miguel Torres, Ryan Vander Heyden

Third Places:

Drew Culp, Patrick Bell, Riley Larranaga, Tre Hawes, Alex Moreo (2), Corey Hall, Alex Valencia, Tyler Wood, Kyle Voth, David Potter, Gabe Fletcher, Kyle Hartman, Chad Harris

Fourth Places:

Justin Valena, Drew Culp, Troy Culp, Zack Holloway, Kyle Buck, Brady Warnock, Chris Corns, Justin Lee, Cody Book, Tyler Stains, Miguel Torres, Samantha Harer

Fifth Places:

Ben Correa, Charlie McGarva, Jon Morgan, Felicia Torres, Ian Berner, Matthew Fletcher, Cody Osborne (2), Paden Smith, Brett Mocilac, Dempsey Hunt, Mike Ponti, Austin Hoy, Jeff Williams, Lincoln Irvine, Gabe Fletcher, Ashley Robles, James Budmark

Tulelake Tournament results:

First Places:

Brandon Blake, Macie Larranaga, Alex Valencia, Josh Fletcher, Justin Estes (2), Josh Wood (2), Miguel Torres, Gabe Fletcher, Tyler Wood, Christian Gonzalez, Kyle Voth (2), Ben Bevill, Patrick Bell, Wyat Valena, Ben Correa

Second Place:

Kyle Roberts, Justin Lee, Drew Culp, Riley Larranaga, Justin Valena, Troy Culp

Third Places:

Austin Hoy, Derek Lyford, Zack Holloway, Aurora Hall, Ryan Vander Heyden, Tyler Stains, Cody Book, David Potter, Tyler Erwing. Fourth Places:

Drew Morgan, Lincoln Irvine, James Budmark, Kyle Hartman, Chad Harris, Brittany Barnes, Matthew Fletcher, Paden Smith, Charlie McGarva, Jeff Williamson, Ethan Haas, Brandon Veverka.

Fifth Places:

Jonathon Morgan

Braves perfect in Weed golf event

Modoc's Braves opened the 2005 golf season with a win at Eagle Point Golf Course in Medford, against Fall River, Trinity and Etna. The remainder of the league played at Lake Shastina.

The Braves and Weed tried with 6-0 marks in the first outing. Mt. Shasta was third and Trinity fourth at 4-2, with Burney 2-4, Fall River 2-4, Bishop Quinn and Etna 0-6.

Leading the Braves was Micah Eppler who shot a 79. He was second overall to Weed's Scott Lasson who shot 72. Brian Weed fired an 81, D.J. Northrup had an 86, Taylor Dunn a 92, Josue Madrigal a 98 and Keith Montague a 101. Weed placed third overall, Northrup was fifth and Dunn tied for seventh.

Two matches the first part of this week in Redding were canceled because of weather. Modoc may make up one of those matches at Arrowhead today, 12 noon. There is a non-league match set in Lakeview March 29, at 12 noon. The golf team this year consists of: Ross Montague, DJ Northrup. Taylor Dunn, Micah Eppler, Bud Groff, Matt Williams, Brian Weed, Kaid Kunert, Keith Montague, Dustin Oates, Dustin Philpott, Cassidy Aarstad, Jeff Barclay, Josue Madrigal and Daniel Morgan.

Modoc High School Thoughts

By Rocci Richardson

Last week I asked some students and teachers at school these two questions

(1) What do you feel about having to wait six months after getting your driver's license to drive with passengers?

(2) What do you feel about having to balance work, school, extra-curricular activities, and a social life?

Here are their answers:

Krysten Welt, senior:

(1) "I'm just going to wait until I'm 18 to get my license so I won't have to deal with it."

(2) "I hate it because it's hard to work around sports with my time schedule, and it's hard to go to school because I don't get as many hours, and I need the money for college."

John Geldrich, teacher:

(1) "I originally was opposed to it, because it's so important that a kid can drive when he or she begins working. But, after reading all the statistics of states that postponed driving and the decrease in beginner driver accidents and fatalities, I now support it."

(2) "It is a huge jump from middle school and somehow most kids do it successfully. Part of the reason is that I feel the staff and administrators make adjustments for these kids."

Micah Eppler, junior:

(1) "I think it's stupid, because you have already driven with your parents for six months and proven that you are a good driver." (2) It's difficult, because there is not enough time in the day to do it all."

Billy Parsons, sophomore:

(1) "I don't really like it because kids need to drive ASAP and that law makes it hard." (2) Teachers should give us a break to help us out."

Candy Maxwell, teacher:

(1) "I can understand both sides. If the research supports it, then I'm all for it." (2) "It's difficult, because the amount of core-curriculum is a lot more than it used to be. For some kids it is really hard to decide what to do."

Claire Crenshaw, sophomore:

(1) "I don't really like it because I won't be able to drive with my friends, but it's good because we may make an early mistake and hurt our friends." (2) "I think that it is our choice to do extra-curricular activities and we should know that we have to balance it." Ian Jacques, junior: (1) "It doesn't help any; I get in more wrecks by myself." (2) "It sucks, but it's our choice."

Britteny Hulsey, sophomore:

(1) "I think that it's dumb, because we have already gone six months with a permit." (2) "It's hard, because you have so much homework and then work makes it impossible to do extra-curricular activities."

Kelly Campagna, sophomore:

(1) "It's good, I guess, but I would like to drive." (2) "It's part of life and we have to go through it at one point." I would enjoy hearing what some of our readers would like to know about what our high school students think about different subjects. If you have a question that you would like to know the opinions of our students and faculty, please e-mail your suggestion to record1@ modocrecord.com.

March 31st, 2005

News

So, what about that MJUSD geothermal?

There's a fully functional geothermal well between the Modoc Middle School and Alturas Elementary School sitting idle, even though all of the buildings at both schools have been retrofitted to use the steam resource. It's frustrating for Modoc Joint Unified School District Maintenance Supervisor Jimmy Lloyd. "Every time I drive by that little shed, I just have to shake my head," Lloyd said this week. "It's a good well, and the infrastructure is in place to use the resource. It's just a matter of money." And the money is a pretty big deal. But what's even a bigger deal is the amount of money already spent on the geothermal project.

According to Lloyd, the cost to drill the well was about $264,000 through a California Energy Commission grant. The cost in 1994 to retrofit the buildings at both school sites was about $450,000. All of those funds have been spent and all of the retrofitting and system is in place. It could be hooked up and operational very quickly.

The project hit a snag in 1999 when the city and school district could not come to terms on what to do with the wastewater from the well. The plan was to send it into the storm drains and empty into the Pit River at Rine Street. Some bickering and stubbornness on both sides won out over finishing the project.

The well was not permanently capped or filled in with concrete, said Lloyd, hoping that somewhere down the line it could be put on line.

According to Lloyd, there are two options available to the school district. The first would be to drill and install an injection well at a cost of about $1 million. The other option could be to place a filter on the well, at a cost probably exceeding $200,000.

The California Water Quality Control Board has found there are small amounts of mercury in the geothermal well water. They will not allow it to be dumped, unfiltered, into the river. They will allow it to be reinjected. None of the water would be free flowing at the schools, so the mercury content would not be an issue at the schools. The water is used in heating units.

Lloyd said the energy cost savings to the district was estimated at $26,000 per year in 1999. That number has probably gone up over the past five years, he suggested.

In addition to heating the two schools, that geothermal well would also heat the pool water and facilities if the new Modoc Aquatic Center is approved by the voters. Lloyd said the well is more than adequate for that purpose. As of now, there is a geothermal well at Modoc High School, which heats the Griswold Gym, the shop buildings and the Social Hall, That well is also used to heat the shower water for the gym.

"We know it works, and we know it saves us money," said Lloyd. "It's a good project, I would sure like to see it finished."

The well at Modoc High School is not as hot as the well at the Middle School. The High School well has temperature of 147 degrees, while the well at the middle school comes out at 184 degrees. Lloyd said with the new systems and fiberglass insulted piping, very little heat would be lost heating the schools and plenty would be available to use in heat exchangers for the pool and recreation center.

Once the new Recreation District, approved by the voters March 8, is formed and seated, it can work with the district, schools and city to help come up with the funds to finish the geothermal project. It could be a high priority for that committee and the district.

Cedarville youth survives meningitis, moves forward

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

The news that four-and-a-half year-old Taylor Travis had contracted the deadliest form of bacterial meningitis sent ripples of alarm through the Surprise Valley community last month.

Today, with their daughter virtually ignoring the last lingering effects of the medical emergency, parents Stuart and Heather are riding a wave of gratitude for the positive prognoses doctors hold for Taylor, the overall excellent treatment she received throughout her illness, and the support of so many in the Modoc County community during the mid-winter ordeal. Early on the morning of February 8, their youngest child's flu-like symptoms suddenly evolved into something much more terrifying for the young Cedarville couple. "We noticed the first signs of a purplish "splotchy" rash on her outer thighs. Along with the spiking fevers that began late Monday night, we both knew she had to see a doctor", said Heather.

She called the Surprise Valley Health Care District clinic before normal hours and was told to bring in Taylor before the day's first appointments. But "later" wasn't good enough for a father who had rightly discerned his daughter needed immediate medical attention.

"Stuart raced over to Dr. Colas' home which isn't that far away. After describing the symptoms, he told us to meet him at the clinic as soon as possible. She was being seen just a few minutes later", said Heather. Both Dr. Chuck Colas and Dr. Lois Roberts examined the lethargic though responsive child. Blood was drawn, she was started on IV antibiotics and a spinal tap was quickly performed; microscopic examination soon indicated they were dealing with a potentially fatal form of meningitis, Neisseria meningitides.

While Taylor's chart says she had "meningeococcemia with sepsis and purpura", perhaps Dr. Colas summed it up better when he exclaimed, "That was the sickest kid I've ever seen!"

Heather recalls that events unfolded rapidly after it was determined Taylor had the disease. The physicians and clinic staff acted quickly to arrange an air flight for both mother and child to the UC Davis Medical Center.

Heather barely had time to run home, grab her purse and Taylor's medical records, and "all the spare cash" from the business she runs with Kim Abraham and Virginia Ray, the Brushworx Salon in Cedarville

In less than four hours from being rushed into one of California's most remote rural clinics, Taylor was being treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. "We flew to a nearby military base then went to the hospital by ambulance with red lights and sirens all the way", remembers Heather.

"Even on the plane, as frail and tired as she was, Taylor was awake and responded appropriately with both the flight nurses and me", said Heather. But by that afternoon, she was "hooked up to monitors, being seen by swarms of medical students and doctors, and receiving a range of medications through a total of three IV lines."

Stuart, 11-year-old sister Jordan, Taylor's grandfather Richard Travis of Alturas, Kim Abraham and her five-year-old daughter Summer drove to UCD that afternoon and evening. Grandparents Lou and Carolyn Olson cut short a stay in Reno to meet them at the hospital. All were treated for their close exposure during the early stages of Taylor's illness

Tuesday night, with not one hotel room available in the vicinity, everyone slept in the PICU waiting room, most taking turns sitting at Taylor's bedside. "Stuart was a rock. He never left her side for the first four days", said Heather. "The nurses finally kicked him out to go eat and get some sleep."

Dr. Steven Parker, an infectious disease expert with a private practice in Reno, says he sees "300-400 cases involving infectious diseases each year. But only 1-2 involve meningitis caused by Neisseria. It's very rare."

Parker, who did not treat Taylor but was consulted for this article, says the first 24 hours of the disease are "critical. It's a scary illness and doesn't leave anyone much time to think about it." He said the form Taylor had has 20-30% mortality in the initial hours. That rate is increased considerably by sepsis, one of Taylor's complications

The second day of the crisis, most members of the exhausted families moved into a spacious cottage in the Ronald McDonald House adjacent to the medical center.

"That is one charity I will always support from now on", said Abraham who described how having a comfortable, convenient, and well-supplied place to stay made the ordeal much more tolerable. "We had a place to take showers, sleep in shifts, wash our clothes, and prepare simple meals. They even gave us a special blanket and toy to take as gifts to Taylor along with new toys for the other children."

Taylor, hooked up to IV's throughout her 10-day stay in both the PICU and the medical center, eventually began to enjoy being surrounded by attentive staff and fellow children as she recovered. "Everyone fell in love with her", said her mother. "The nurses said she always had a great attitude. She was even joking and waving to other patients after moving out of the PICU."

The rash was of particular concern throughout Taylor's time at UCD.

Many students, residents and even staff physicians made it a point to stop by to see firsthand what it looked like. The disease is so rare many primary care doctors never see a case during their training or subsequent practices

"The purplish rash is typical of N. meningitidis and can progress rapidly in only hours. It is caused by a toxin that kills the skin and causes it to slough off, much like a burn", said Parker. Indeed, Taylor was seen by a burn specialist during her time at UCD. Many patients who develop the rash end up needing one or more amputations to save their lives

Taylor was kept at UCD longer than the average 7-day treatment period for the disease. "Her knee was swollen and painful. They were concerned the infection that settled in her joint could cause arthritis", said Heather. The fluid was drained and Taylor was kept for further tests and extended therapy.

Today, after a follow-up visit to see physicians at UCD, Taylor is experiencing only a few persisting effects of the disease, including minute hearing loss and some residual lethargy. The purpura left a light scattering of scars on her legs. Otherwise, she's back to being an active, cheerful child who has happily rejoined her friends at preschool

While Taylor's families were off at UCD, friend and business partner Virginia Ray was hard at work in Surprise Valley, marshaling support from concerned friends and generous neighbors. Collection cans soon popped up at various local businesses for the "Taylor Travis Traveling Fund".

"So many people were asking how they could help. We knew they left suddenly with almost nothing", said Ray. Donations to help cover gas, lodging and all associated expenses came in from the SV Rotary and SVES staff and parents. Pastor Ben Zandstra caught up with Heather and Stuart shortly after their return to Cedarville, presenting them with a generous gift from his church congregations in both Alturas and Surprise Valley.

The family is also thankful for help received from Forest Service and BLM employees, the Hanks and Baker families of Cedarville, and friends Kenny and Jenave Demick of Alturas who watched Richard's dog and also helped with expenses. Jon Stansfield and Candice Russell gathered clothes for the family and gifts for the children. Heather said their sending a Gameboy proved "a lifesaver when it came to keeping a 4-year-old in bed!"

"So many people came forward and helped us in countless ways. We were added to many prayer chains and believe prayer played a big part in pulling her though. Her recovery was miraculous -- even her specialists were overwhelmed at the speed and completeness of her recovery. She beat incredible odds. We are extremely grateful!" said Heather

The entire ordeal gave rise to some unexpected lessons and an odd sense of being blessed. "I know it must sound strange, but by the time we walked out of that hospital, Stuart and I were thankful Taylor only had meningitis! So many parents could not take their children home or look forward to a 'normal' life with them", said Heather. "We made some friends I hope we keep forever. You bond really quickly in those circumstances."

Before noon on the day of Taylor's initial diagnosis, both Modoc County Health and the SV clinic were acting to inform parents and community residents of the event and its associated dangers. Anyone with any "significant" exposure to Taylor after she had become ill was offered free prophylactic antibiotic treatment

Fortunately, Taylor, who attends preschool at Surprise Valley Elementary School each weekday morning, had not been in school for four days prior to her diagnosis due to a cough and what her parents thought was the current "bug" making the rounds

Subsequently, none of the child's family members or friends were found to have the disease and there have been no additional diagnosed cases connected to this one incident

Health professionals call meningitis a baffling disease that presents in many forms. It's hard to say what its incubation period is, what constitutes an exposure, or who will contract it. Dr. Parker adds, "The best advice is to visit a physician or emergency room if you have any questions or concerns or think you have been exposed."

Doctors believe meningitis is spread by inhaling the bacteria which is shed by the mucous membranes in the nose and mouth of people carrying the bacterium. "It appears particularly easy to transmit under crowded conditions", said Parker.

More cases are reported during winter and spring months, 50 percent of cases worldwide occur in infants, children and adolescents under 19 years of age, and the incubation period is believed to extend from two to 10 days, most often ranging between three and four days

Linda Doyle, the Health Program Manager with Modoc County Health Services, held a public information meeting in Cedarville in late February, describing the disease process, recounting the most common symptoms, answering a variety of concerns and distributing information on meningitis.

Apart from a vaccine that is offered to adults venturing into dangerous situations (including military service involving crowded barracks, college dorm life or some foreign travel), avoiding close, intimate contact that involves an "exchange of bodily fluids" is about the only preventative measure health professionals can offer.

"Close contact" may include kissing, sharing utensils, mouthguards, musical instruments, cigarettes, water bottles, lipstick, drinking straws, etc. Careful hand washing may be one of the best ways to stay well, along with cultivating healthy lifestyle habits that encourage a strong immune system

" Meningitis is an especially frightening disease for doctors. Too often a case can be missed -- with fatal results. Luckily, if diagnosed and treated in time, it's also fairly easily cured with few lasting effects, though hearing loss is the most common

Modoc County Health may be reached at 233-6311. "We welcome calls from people who have any questions or concerns about meningitis", said Doyle.

Beware of phone scam

Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes is advising residents to be wary of a current phone scam being reported.

According to Barnes, calls from foreign interests are coming in telling people they have either won or are owed money. The caller tells the person that in order for them to deposit the funds, they just need the person's bank account number.

Barnes stresses that no such information should ever be given out to an unknown entity. In this case, what happens is the scammers clean out the person's account.

Bsically, the rule to follow is if you haven't contacted the person or agency, or if you don't know them, don't give them any information. Barnes said to be extremely cautious about giving out social security numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers and other personal information.

Klamath Symphony performs Saturday

The Klamath Symphony will travel to Alturas' Niles Theater to present their first concert in Modoc County on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, $6 for students and senior citizens and $8 for adults.

The program will include the theme from the film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," known as "Raiders March" by Jon Williams; "A Salute to the Big Bands" arranged by Calvin Custer; Hansel & Gretel, written by Englebert Humperdink; "Crown Imperial March," written by William Walton; "Victory at Sea" by Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame, and the finale by Andrew Lloyd Webber from "Phantom of the Opera." The concert is expected to last an hour and a half with a brief intermission. In place of the general theater concessions, punch and cookies will be available at intermission.

"We hope the community will be as excited about this first time concert here, as we are," says Alturas City Attorney John Lawson, who has been performing on trumpet with the Klamath Symphony since 1995.

Three Alturas residents will be among the 35 to 40 symphony musicians, under the direction of Ted Swan. When Jay Jones moved to Alturas for his position as Modoc High School Music Director, Lawson encouraged Jones to become a percussionist musician with the Klamath Symphony, which he did a year ago. Dr. Edward Fass will perform on trumpet for this performance. Third trumpet is played by Dr. Norman Ensminger of Alturas, who is unable to make the Saturday performance.

The idea of including Alturas as a concert venue was considered last year by Director Ted Swan, who also owns and operates Swan's Bakery near the Courthouse in downtown Klamath Falls.

"Maybe it's because of our travel to Klamath for so many years," kiddingly states Lawson. "But, we hope this might be the start of an annual concert here," he added.

Symphony musicians converge from throughout the Klamath Basin Tuesday nights weekly for rehearsals in Klamath Falls. The Symphony performs four times a year. The majority of concerts are held at the Ross Ragland Theater in Klamath Falls, with concerts in November, late Spring, May and the last weekend in August with an open air concert at Moore Park in Klamath Falls.

The Symphony Association is funded through levels of membership, ticket sales, and on occasion, grant funds. Alturas concert revenue will be shared with the non-profit Alturas Community Theater's Niles Theater. Bus transportation has been arranged to bring symphony musicians and their instruments to Alturas.

SV school district to decide on implementing developer fees

Members of the Surprise Valley Joint Unified School District Governing Board will decide whether or not to implement new Developer Fees at their next meeting on Thursday, April 21 at 7:00 PM. The board meets in the library at the high school on Lincoln Street in Cedarville

The district's business manager, Robin Teuscher, will present information on the fees and answer questions about their implementation at a community meeting on Thursday, April 7 at the Senior Center in Cedarville. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m..

A "Developer Fee" is an additional cost imposed when a permit is taken out for new home or business construction within the boundaries of the school district. Additions of over 500 square feet to existing homes or businesses would also be subject to new fees. Agricultural businesses and storage buildings are exempt.

To date, the district has successfully completed a "Developer Fee Study" and has been approved for modernization funding. Implementing developer fees is the last required step before the district applies for special "financial hardship" status.

Gaining the financial hardship designation would allow 100% of the cost of several pending school reconstruction and remodeling projects to be covered by the state. These projects will be clearly outlined and receive prior approval from the state before the new fees can be imposed

Currently, the district's highest priority is the demolition and replacement of the 7th and 8th grade portable classrooms which have deteriorated beyond reasonable repair. Portables presently used by the first through third grade classes are also eligible for modernization under the state's guidelines

School board members are Steve Smith (Fort Bidwell), Dean Cockrell (Lake City), Jim Laacke and Gene Erquiaga (Cedarville) and Robert Staton (Eagleville). Instituting developer fees requires a simple majority vote of the current board members once all requirements have been met

At a recent board meeting, Laacke said, "We have to proceed on this project – but we first need to get information out to the community."

Smith and Cockrell emphasized their desire to involve constituents in the decision-making process. "Let's see what the public wants to do", said Smith, who has been the most publicly skeptical of the board members, characterizing the fees as a tax on newcomers to Surprise Valley.

The board voted unanimously in January to proceed with the process which includes educating valley residents about the need for the new fees. They approved Teuscher scheduling a public informational meeting, sending out a letter to all valley boxholders outlining the program and containing a list of the most frequently asked questions concerning the fees, and alerting people to the proposed decision through all other reasonable avenues.

Teuscher, who has been researching all possible ways to obtain the funds needed to improve deteriorating facilities at the elementary school, has been a strong proponent of implementing the fees.

"As things stand now, the district would have to come up with 40 percent of any improvement costs", she said. That amount could be as much as $202,475, money the district does not currently have available. Without instituting Developer Fees, the district will lose its share of the money the state has allocated for qualified "hardship" cases.

If the board votes to initiate the fees, the state will make available 100 percent of the costs to renovate or replace the most desperately deteriorated class rooms at the elementary school.

At present, the state mandates fees of $2.24 for residential and $.36 per for commercial construction per square foot. Thus the total additional cost to the builder of an 1800-square foot home would be $4,032. It has been pointed out during public discussions at previous board meetings that this fee is relatively minor when weighed against the comparative costs most newcomers from other parts of California are already used to paying when they apply for permits on new construction.

The state has built safeguards within the program's framework. For example, the need for and use of local fees must be reviewed during a public meeting every two years. The fees can also be revoked by the board once projects have been completed. If identified projects are not completed, fees are returned to homeowners.

Teuscher may be reached during business hours by calling the high school at 279-6141, extension 21.

Obituaries:

Maxine Lancaster

Long-time Modoc resident Maxine (Lain) Lancaster passed away in Klamath Falls, Oregon on March 24, 2005. She was born Maxine Lain on October 31, 1923 in El Centro, CA.

Three brothers, Lester, L.C. and Mack Lancaster married three sisters of the Lain family, originally of Arkansas. The Rev. Mack D. Lancaster and Maxine M. Lain met in Imperial Valley and were married on June 16, 1940, in Yuma, Ariz. Maxine worked as a "Rosie Riveter" in the shipyards in Vallejo during World War II.

The Rev. Mack and Maxine Lancaster and the Rev. Lester and Thelma (Lain) Lancaster shared a rewarding career working for the Lord, pioneering churches from Fresno, CA and north throughout the state. The last church Mack and Lester built together was the Likely Assembly of God Church. Rev. Mack and Maxine purchased property in 1963, along the South Fork of the Pit River near Jess Valley. The area is now known as Juniper Acres. Maxine will be remembered by all who knew her as a kind, humble and loving person.

Mrs. Lancaster is survived by her daughter Sandra Lafferty and husband Ron of Alturas, CA; son Phillip Lancaster and wife Geri of Gardnerville, NV; 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, one great-great grandson; her sister Joy Neal of Likely, CA and brother John "Dub" Lain of Kinnear, Wyoming.

Her husband passed away on Sept. 14, 2002. She was preceded in death by her daughter Marilyn J. Betters and grandson Alan Ray Betters, and one great-granddaughter Cheyenne Betters, three sisters and three brothers; her brother-in-law Lester and his wife Thelma (Maxine's sister) and brother-in-law L.C. and his wife Bit (also Maxine's sister).

The Rev. Earl McMilan conducted services at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 at Kerr Chapel in Alturas, CA. Burial followed at the Likely Cemetery, Likely, CA.

Neasha Phoenix-Comanche

Neasha Fay Phoenix-Comanche, age 56, entered into rest on March 26, 2005, at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, CA

Her memorial service will be held Friday, April 1 at 11 a.m. at the Ft. Bidwell Gymnasium with a dinner to follow. Donations will be welcomed; please see her daughter, LeeAnn Comanche.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas on Thursday, March 31

Neasha was born on February 1, 1949, in Alturas, CA. Neasha was a life-long resident of Fort Bidwell, CA. She attended elementary and high school in Surprise Valley and graduated in 1968.

After high school she attended Community College in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she received her certificate in Clerical Administration. From there, she moved to San Francisco where she attended cosmetology school

Neasha then returned home, and she was employed by the Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council as enrollment clerk and later at the Health Clinic where she worked for many years. All the while enjoying life to the fullest, spending her days doing things she truly loved, including beadwork, playing basketball, gardening, exercising, cooking, traveling to pow-wow's and taking care of her family, animals and home

She brought joy to all who came across her, always saying or doing something to make you smile and laugh. She was always very patient, listened without judgment and gave the best advice she could; always the neutral one in every situation, and known for her selflessness

Neasha Fay is survived by her daughter Lee Ann F. Comanche, Cedric Polite and her two beautiful grandchildren, Lendrick E. and Selynn Alice Polite, all of Cedarville, her long time special friend Robert Bender and her sisters Loyette Meza, Fort Bidwell; Georgianna DeGarmo, Alturas; Zelma Baker, Reno, NV; brothers Leroy Phoenix and Albert Phoenix both from Sutcliff, NV. She also leaves many, many, numerous nieces and nephews and cousins. Her parents, Andrew and Zelda Phoenix, preceded her in death

Leora (Jones) Andrews

Leora M. (Jones) Andrews passed away at Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento, CA on March 24, 2005, in West Sacramento, CA. She was 79

Born on Feb. 13, 1926, in Lake City, CA to Preston and Frances Jones, Leora was nearly two when her sister Fern Harper (Jones) was born. The Jones family moved to Alturas when Leora was three. Her early years were spent with her grandparents, Ed and Mary Dorris of Alturas. At the age of nine, the family moved to Malin, Oregon.

In 1941, Leora married Melvin O. Andrews in Adin, CA. Melvin, a veteran of WWII, served under General Patton. Leora and Melvin were blessed with two sons: Don, born in 1942 and Allen in 1944. The couple made their home in Bonanza, Oregon, on a small ranch before relocation to Sacramento in 1949. Melvin worked selling trailers until his graduation from Moler Barber College in 1956 in 1956. Subsequently Leora graduated from Jeri's Beauty College and joined her husband in business. Leora and Melvin moved to West Sacramento in 1952.

In 1963, the couple established The Beauty Nook in West Sacramento, and successfully operated their business until retirement in 1975. Their sons both established their barber shops in West Sacramento.

Leora and Mel enjoyed a wonderful and active retirement, living on a houseboat and touring the Inland Passage to Alaska and traveling extensively in their RV. The couple settled in Fountain of Youth RV Park near the Salton Sea, where they lived until Melvin's death in 1990. Leora returned to West Sacramento and lived out her life near her family including son Don in West Sacramento; three grandchildren Michael, Mark and Christina Andrews, great-grandson Jeremy, sister Fern Harper of Anderson, brother John Gamma of Montana and numerous nieces and nephews. Her son Allen preceded her in death. Private family services will be held April 9. Condolence correspondence may be directed to the family, c/o 6624 Stanley Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608-3549

Otis Carrol Babcock

Otis Carrol Babcock, age 77, of Emmett, Idaho, died peacefully at his home with his wife, Marie, at his side, on March 24, 2005.

Viewing will be from 3-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2005 at the Potter Funeral Chapel in Emmett. A graveside service will be held at the Emmett Cemetery at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2005. The service will be followed with a gathering of family of friends, to celebrate his life, at the Emmett Senior Citizens Center at 7195 S. Johns Ave.

Born in Bieber, CA, on November 10, 1927 to Ernest and Bessie Babcock, he was the seventh of 15 children. He attended schools in Bieber, graduating from high school in 1945.

He and Florence Gray were married on April 2, 1948. The family moved to Humboldt County, CA in 1950, and lived in several homes in the Redwoods country. These included Shively, Bull Creek, and Burlington. In 1959, they bought their first ranch on Fruitland ridge, six miles off the Avenue of the Giants. In addition to ranching, Otis worked as a logger, sheep-shearer, and carpenter.

For many years he continued to return to Modoc and Lassen Counties every fall, to harvest Christmas trees with his father-in-law. With their family of four children, he was also a 4-H leader and active community organizer. Favorite family memories include surf-fishing at Centerville Beach, the Humboldt County Fair, and summer afternoons at the Eel River.

In 1967, the family moved to their ranch in Indian Valley, Idaho. During those years Otis worked as a carpenter and designed many buildings in the area. One of his many projects was the current Cambridge City Library. He also served the community as its Water Master, and was instrumental in the expansion of the existing dam at Ben Ross Reservoir. He was a volunteer fireman, learned to fly, and enjoyed camping and fly-fishing in the mountains of Idaho.

In 1980, Otis and Florence moved to Emmett. He built two homes in the area, one for his sister-in-law, and his own home on Fuller Road. During his years in Emmett, Otis was best known as the owner/operator of B&E Storages. He converted the original abandoned migrant-worker's camp on Main Street, into an active storage rental business. He was also an active leader with the Silver Leaf Square Dance Club, earning the title "Wagon Master" on their many happy traveling adventures. Otis was widowed in July, 1995.

On July 28, 2002, he and Marie Eldredge were married at their current home on Gem Ave. In addition to their shared love of square dancing, they enjoyed traveling and entertaining family and friends.

Otis is survived by his wife, Marie, and four children and their spouses; Judy (Ken) Meyers of Sandpoint, ID, Carol (Bob) Platt of Nine Mile Falls, WA, Viola Babcock of Coos Bay, OR, and Wayne (Sue) Babcock of Modesto, CA. He has five grandchildren; Jonathan Barnes, Sarah Barnes, Thomas Babcock, Anthony Babcock, and Alexandra Babcock. He is survived by eight sisters, two brothers, and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to a favorite charity of their choice.

Sports

Alturas native in serious fast lane

Alturas Native Robert Hight is living life in the fast lane -- the serious fast lane.

Hight drove his John Force Racing team Ford Mustang Funny Car to a Gainseville, (Florida) track record of 4.749 seconds at 325.96 m.p.h. to earn the number one qualifying spot in the Mac Tools National Hot Road Association Gatronationals March 17-20.

He has earned the nickname "Top Gun" in the NHRA circles, in part because he is a an accomplished trap shooter. He declined an opportunity to try out for the 2002 U.S. Olympic team because the training regime would have conflicted with his drag racing.

Hight has driven his funny car to a speed record of 329.99 at the Phoenix races and in pre-season testing he became just the fifth Funny Car driver to break the 330 mp.h. mark.

At this point in his young career, hes being touted as a top prospect for the Auto Clubs Road to the Future NHRA Rookie of the Year award. The next race is in Houston, Texas, April 8-10, for the OReilly NHRA Spring Nationals. Hell be racing at Las Vegas in the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals April 14-17. From that time on, its a full season on the NHRA circuit.

So far in this young season hes qualified fourth at Pomona, second at Phoenix and first at Gainseville. And he says hes learning all the time. Hights parents, Richard and Stella Hight, of Alturas, have seen their son race several times. Stella admits its exciting, a little nerve-racking, and at times more than a mother can handle. During the Feb. 10-13 race in Pomona, Roberts car went sideways down the track, at about 300 m.p.h., and that was just more than Stella could bear. Robert straightened the car out and made the qualifying run, while mom said she was afraid to look. According to Stella, there will be a large contingent of Modoc folks heading to Las Vegas to cheer on Robert. "We didnt realize people were still following drag racing up here," she said. "But, there are a lot of people keeping track of what hes doing and how hes doing. He may have his own Alturas fan club at Las Vegas."

Hight has always been a soft spoken, intelligent young man and he maintains that personality through all of this success.

He joined the prestigious John Force racing team where he became of clutch specialist on the teams number one Funny Car in mid-1995. Force is a 13-time and the reigning NHRA Funny Car Champion.

On Tuesday, Hight took some time out of a very busy schedule to talk with Record Editor Rick Holloway about how it feels to be a driver on the top team in NHRA Funny Car drag racing. Hes actually doing what a lot of people dont -- hes living his dream. And to top that, hes driving for a team that has won 14 of the past 15 National Championships.

"When I was in high school in Alturas, I didnt really go out and party," said Hight. "My dad had satellite television and I would tune it in to the drag races. I was always intrigued by drag racing. My dream at that time was to drive a top fuel dragster."

While he still loves the top fuelers, he says theres nothing like driving a Funny Car. "A Funny Car is a handful and you have to drive them," he said. "A dragster pretty much just goes straight, theyre so long. A Funny Car is just more exciting, it has so much power and wants to move around."

Basically, said Hight, what hes driving is a car that develops up to 8,000 horsepower, gets up to 100 m.p.h. in the first 100 feet and sucks about 80 to 90 gallons of fuel. Putting all that power to the rear tires creates a force of about 5 Gs at the start and when the chutes come on to slow the car down at the end, drivers experience a force of negative four Gs.

One thing that is helping Hight in rookie year is that hes spent several years working on the cars crew (Forces number one Funny Car), as the clutch specialist, so he knows how the car operates from the inside out. The fact that John Force tagged him to drive is a fortunate turn of events that Hight certainly plans on making the best of this year. His main concern is not for himself, but making sure that as the driver, he doesnt make mistakes that negate all the hard work of the crew. So far in this young season, hes doing just fine. Hight is ninth on the top 10 NHRAS Funny Car Driver standings after three events, with 20 more races to go. Force is ranked number two at this time and teammate Eric Medlen is sixth.

"My biggest fear is messing up, I know how hard the crew works," said Hight. "Thats where the pressure comes from. I dont really have trouble with the media, the notoriety or the public. John Force is a great driver and teacher and our crew chief is genius. The crew has been together for years and thats what helps make the team so successful."

So, whats it like sitting over the driveshaft of the car, with a nearly 8,000 horsepower engine in front of you, going on about a four second ride? Well, for one thing, its quick.

"You have to really focus," said Hight. "I go through a check list of items before each race. Your reaction at the start is critical and everything happens so fast. A lot of what you do, you do by feel and reaction. It is awesome. The start really tosses you back in the seat and for the first 100 to 200 feet its a real blur. You try to keep the car in the groove (the part of the track where the best traction is available) and keep it straight. I always look at the video after the runs and check my performance."

Its so expensive to run the Funny Cars that theres not a lot of pure practice time, said Hight. A lot of what he gets is on-the-track training, but he feels being with the Force team has been an incredible help.

Hight advises anyone who hasnt seen the Funny Cars run to take in a race. "Television just doesnt do it justice," Hight said. "When two Funny Cars run, the roar is deafening, the ground actually rumbles and it is over quickly. You have to be there."

Following his runs at Gainesville, drag racing legends, Don Prudhomme and Don Garlits, both offered him praise and encouragement.

While the Rookie of the Year honor would be very special, Hight said hes focused on finishing in the top three or four cars this year.

"I still have a lot to learn," said Hight. "My main thing is to keep this car up where it should be at the end. I want to do my best for the team and finish where it belongs."

Hight is both confident and humble in his first season, and hes earning the praise of his team and competitors. Plus, hes having the ride of a lifetime. "I think being raised up in Modoc really is a plus," Hight said. "I grew up with a strong work ethic, and I think that helps."

He drives the Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang for the Force Racing team.

Hight's trap shooting success is a testimony to his ability to block out distractions. A shooter since high school, the unassuming Hight won a state championship at age 15 and last year was one of the California representatives to the world's largest target shoot, the American Trapshooting Association Grand American in Vandalia, Ohio.

Not that a shooter's eye is all he brings to the table. An accomplished mechanic, he was the clutch technician on John Force's championship-winning Castrol GTX Funny Cars from 1995 through 2000 before tak- ing over last season as the team's official test driver.

In fact, he may be the best-prepared rookie ever to climb behind the wheel of a Funny Car.

Hight developed an interest in automobiles early on and, by age 16, already had restored a Plymouth Belvedere that he drove until his college graduation. He earned AA degrees in both business and accounting. His mind never was far away from racing.

"I always wanted to be around racing and cars," he said. "I bugged (car owner) Roger Primm every week for probably a year because he was the closest guy to me. He was in Reno, which was about three hours away. Finally he hired me when he went Top Fuel racing."

Hight worked at Primm Racing for a year and a half, building short blocks, driving the truck and working one side of the motor for crew chiefs Terry Manzer and Frank Bradley. While there, he also worked with John Cox, who introduced him to one of Force's crew chiefs, Bernie Fedderly. Fedderly subsequently hired him. "(Bernie) came by and he said, 'I know you're back out here so things must have changed at home. Are you still interested in coming to our team?' At Force's, I knew I'd have a chance to learn."

Hight joined the team for a match race appearance in Canada and the following week began his JFR career in spectacular fashion as the clutch technician on the car that won the 1995 Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Denver, Colorado.

His first two winters with the team (1995 and 1996), Hight literally lived in the race car shop in Yorba Linda, California. After working all day, he would spend his evenings working on special projects for Austin Coil, the architect of a JFR dynasty that has won 12 consecutive NHRA Funny Car championships.

That's where he connected with Force's oldest daughter, Adria, Now his wife.

"She would see a light on (at the shop) and stop by to talk," Hight recalled. "She always asked me to do things with her, but I wouldn't. This job was the most important thing to me and I was afraid I'd get in trouble."

"Finally, she told John and he came to me and said, 'Hey, if you want to hang out with Adria, don't worry about it. You're not going to get in trouble.'"

That relationship blossomed, the two were married and last year they presented Force and the Hights with a grandchild, Autumn Danielle Hight.

Braves sweep Weed Cougars in doublebill

The Modoc Braves swept the Weed Cougars here on a cold and windy day last Friday, 10-0 and 3-1.

Modoc has Etna at home on Tuesday and travels to Trinity April 8. In the opening game, Travis Potter got the win in a good outing. He fanned nine Cougars, walked three in a five inning one-hitter. Modoc scored 10 runs on nine hits and made no errors. Weed committed three errors in the game.

Leading hitters were Derek Broughton at 3-for-3, Potter 2-for-3, three rbi, and Jared Cox, 2-for-3, 4 rbi.

The Braves scored their three runs on four hits in the second game, while Weed scored one run on no hits. Broughton got the win, striking out 10, giving up three walks and didnt allow a hit. Broughton, Joey Catania, Cox, and Cody Widby each had one hit in the game.

Coach Brad Server was especially pleased with the pitching performances in both games: allowing one hit, striking out 19 in 12 innings.

The Braves also stole 22 bases in the double header. Server said the team still struggles against junk ball pitchers and seems to hit better the harder the opposing pitcher throws.

"We need to focus better between games," Server said. "Weve been playing a great first game, then letting up in the second game. Our defense is picking up and I think well be a contender for the title again this year."

Softball team beats Weed

Modocs varsity softball team had little trouble with the Weed Cougars, beating them in a double header 19-2 and 10- last Friday, here.

Megan Thompson pitched the first game, striking out six, walking eight and allowing just three hits. Modoc scored five in the first, five in the second and nine in the third inning.

Allison Campagna, Tacie Richardson and Jennifer Joyce led the hitting, each going 2-for-4.

Richardson got the win in the second game, striking out six, walking a pair and allowing seven hits. Emily Pence went 2-for-3, Hannah Hays was 3-for-4 and Joyce was 2-for-3.

The Braves have Etna here Tuesday and travel to Trinity Friday.

Golf team nips Lakeview

It was close, but the Modoc Golf team beat the Lakeview squad 485-487 Tuesday at Arrowhead Golf Course in Alturas. It was a cold, windy day with periodic snow flurries.

The Braves will continue league play April 4, to make up a match which had been rained out. Play will be at Fall River Golf Course, beginning at 1 p.m.

In Lakeview, the team scored as follows: Brian Weed 80; Daniel Morgan 90; Josue Madrigal 103; Bud Groff 105; Matt Williams 107; Cassidy Aarstad 113 and Kaid Kunert 127.

April 7th, 2005

News

Late snows improve mountain snowpack

Late snow storms this spring have improved overall snowpack at several survey sites, well above the January snow survey findings.

The latest snow surveys were just completed. The survey shows the snow depth at Cedar Pass now at 44 inches with 14.2 inches of water. In January, that area had just 27 inches of snow containing 18 inches of water. In April, 2004, the area had 33 inches of snow containing 14.6 inches of moisture. The 10-year average for the site is 44 inches of snow containing 16.7 inches of water.

The Blue Lake site has 18 inches of snow containing 5.7 inches of water. In January the area had 15 inches of snow, containing 3.4 inches of water. Last January, the area had eight inches of snow containing 3.7 inches of water. The 10-year average is 28 inches of snow containing 10.1 inches of water.

The Barber Creek area, south of Eagleville, has 26 inches of snow containing 7.8 inches of water. That is up from January's survey which showed 17 inches of snow containing 4.8 inches of water. In April, 2004, the area had 20 inches of snow, containing 8.1 inches of water. The 10-year average is 28 inches of snow containing 10.4 inches of water.

Medicine Lake has 76.6 inches of snow containing 30.8 inches of water. In April, 2004, it had 77.4 inches of snow and 34.6 inches of water. The 10-year average for Medicine Lake is 74.9 inches of snow containing 30.8 inches of water.

The Warner Mountain snow surveys are conducted by Tom Hill, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Jake Coffee, U.S. Forest Service. The Medicine Lake snow surveyors are Jim McKeehan and Carol Johnson.

DA will not charge Squellati

Assistant District Attorney Larry Barnes Monday reported the office will not file any criminal misdemeanor charges against Modoc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Doug Squellati

Barnes said he reviewed the employee complaint, which had originally been forwarded to the State Attorney General's Office by Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes.

The State AG returned the case to Chief Barnes and the Modoc District Attorney's Office on March 10, stating it would not file charges. The case involves alleged employee mistreatment filed by Kenny and Jenave Demick. The Demicks are considering civil action against the district.

MJUSD looks to focus groups

The Modoc Joint Unified School District working with focus groups to develop short and long-term goals, covering the next several years. The MJUSD Board hired Bill Baker, an outside consultant, to work with the district's focus groups, volunteers and staff, in meetings March 8, 9 and 10. The next meeting will be held April 16, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oxley Hall, Modoc High School. Anyone who did not participate in the previous focus group sessions, but who wants to participate is encouraged to attend. Interested people should contact Sandy Hess at the District office so they can be placed on appropriate focus group lists. Call Hess at 233-7201, extension 101.

Some of the recurring themes coming out of the March focus group meetings will be discussed and some plans for implementing suggestions will be made.

Under curriculum and instruction, the focus group found that schools are providing a strong instructional program for students.

"Articulation, kindergarten through 12th grade, could be improved." It's now somewhat "hit and miss" and a "plan needs to be developed to ensure that students are provided instruction that is sequential."

Also suggested is an evaluation of the Accelerated Reading Program to determine its effectiveness for students in upper elementary and middle school levels.

Another idea is a developmental reading program that needs to go beyond second grade for some students. Pupil progress reporting needs to be studied to determine consistency, timeliness and adherence to established curriculum standards. The technology/computer education program, K-12, needs to be evaluated and a district-wide plan developed.

Under the business and fiscal management section, the summary states that the district is seen as being "open' in its business and fiscal operation, and the district makes a "good effort" to keep everyone informed. It also states the budget needs to be goal driven and a "layman's" guide to understanding the budget needs to be developed.

In the communication arena, the summary states that the district is making a "good effort" to keep all groups informed, but that written information to Spanish-speaking parents needs to be in Spanish. It also suggests efforts to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the local newspaper and other media. The District's web site is seen as effective, but needs to be reviewed on an ongoing basis to keep it current.

According to the report, staff moral is generally seen as being good, with staff development generally seen as effective, but it needs review and an annual plan be developed to address needs of K-12. The district is seen as following established requirements for the evaluation of all employees. One of the major needs addressed under student management is counseling services for K-12. Reduction in personnel and services is cited as the cause.

While student discipline practices are judged as ranging from "improving to good," consistency in application is seen as an area needing improvement.

Facilities in the district are well maintained, and the District is adequately planning for its future needs, but the plan "needs to be communicated to staff and community."

Building blossoms with spring's arrival

Spring brought a major increase in building in the City of Alturas as 17 permits were issued, worth an estimated $205,569. That's up from February when only seven permits worth an estimated $13,096 were issued.

A pair of major remodeling projects and a new warehouse addition made up much of the increase. In addition, there were new garages and heating units installed.

Only nine permits were issued by the Modoc County Building Department in March, with an estimated value of $409,427.24. Two manufactured home installations accounted for about $360,000 of the total.

In February, Modoc County issued 13 permits worth an estimated $150,781.

Finding balance tough in wild horse program

Management of wild horse and burro populations in the Western U.S. is the task of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

When wild horse and burro populations in the wild exceed what the environment can support, BLM captures and houses them in facilities like the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corral near Susanville.

"Our responsibility in this program is to maintain healthy, viable wild herds at population levels that the plants and the water sources on the range can support and that's in balance with the other range users, the wildlife and the livestock," says Jeff Fontana, a BLM public information officer based in the Susanville office. "Achieving that balance is the challenge we face."

Officials put the number of wild horses and burros roaming BLM-managed lands in 10 Western states at about 37,000. Since they have virtually no natural predators, herd sizes can double about every five years

Fontana notes that range numbers are presently higher than appropriate for good management levels, necessitating ongoing reduction by capture. There are nearly 800 captured head presently housed at the 300-acre Litchfield facility, which can comfortably house about 1,000.

Those captured animals have been "adopted out" in the past. However, recent legislation, passed by Congress late last year, has given new authority to BLM to sell some select animals in addition to the traditional adoption program used to place animals.

"It's a bad thing," says Barbara Clarke, animal rights activist and manager of DreamCatcher, a local wild horse sanctuary. "There are many people within the BLM that I like intensely because they really care about the horses including some local BLM people here that I've met. But, they are at the mercy of policy. And policies for over a hundred years, since the Indian Wars, have not really changed."

Clarke insists that the sale of these animals, rather than the traditional adoption, will put them in the hand of slaughter buyers. "The horses won't have any protection once they're sold. Who cares who they're going to sell it to?" she asks. "The BLM has already admitted that there's one particular person who wants to buy the majority of them. Well, who (else) wants that many horses? The slaughter buyers. It's obvious."

Tom Gorey, a spokesman for BLM at the national level asserts that his agency makes every effort to see that the horses and burros are placed in good homes, "which is why we are focused on reaching out to those with a demonstrated interest in the welfare of the animals. Anyone interested in caring for these salable wild horses and burros we encourage to contact us."

In the BLM's adoption program, title of ownership is withheld for a year, providing a probation period so "we check on whether the animal is being humanely cared for," says Gorey

However, under the new sale authority, animals that are more than 10 years old or have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption at least three times are sold with immediate title transfer. "It's a way for us to place thousands of wild horses and burros each year in to private care," explains Gorey

Fontana states the case forthrightly. "There are a lot of opinions in this program. I'm not going to quibble with people's opinions. Simply, congress enacted these provisions, and BLM will follow the law."

"As an agency, we are subject to the will of Congress. We carry out the will of Congress," adds Gorey. "In so doing, we are focusing on good homes, good buyers."

To that end, he continues, "We're reaching out to groups and individuals that we think have a demonstrated interest in the welfare of the animals. We're taking an upbeat approach. We hope people will consider, if they have the interest and the means to provide for these."

Asked if her sanctuary will be taking in any of these horses or burros, Clarke indicates that she will not do so. Rather, she hopes to change the new law. "When it comes to the BLM and adopting horses, I would rather work on the political end to change the world in general for wild horses than keep taking them in."

Holding wild horses and burros in both short- and long-term facilities will cost the government $20.1 million in 2005.

Fontana feels that the emphasis of critics on sales or adoption is misplaced. In his view, they should focus on the fact that the BLM successfully maintains the wild herds at an optimum level that does not harm the environment, leaving the horses, burros and other range animals healthier for it.

"The heart of the wild horse and burro program is maintaining healthy wild horse herds in the wild in balance with what the range can support and in balance with the other range uses: elk, deer, antelope, upland birds and livestock," he says.

Not pleased with past BLM policies, Clarke believes that the new sales authority adds insult to injury. "Unfortunately, their adoption program doesn't have a good record. And they put a lot of effort into that," she observes. "They can't account for over 30,000 of their adoptions."

"We are absolutely focused on good homes," counters Gorey. "Absolutely. We're taking an optimistic approach. We recognize it's a challenge to sell 8,400 animals under a new authority. We're making the public aware of the need."

"We are appealing to communities and the general public for help in finding homes for these animals as we work to meet the challenges we face in implementing the new law," reads a plea posted on the BLM website, www.blm.gov.

Those interested in buying a wild horse or burro may call toll free: 1-800-710-7597, or email queries to BLM at wildhorse@blm.gov.

Open house set on Newell Historic District

Craig Dorman, Superintendent of Lava Beds National Monument, will host a public meeting from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. at the Newell Elementary School on Friday, April 8, 2005. The meeting will focus on the National Historic Landmark nomination for portions of the former WW II Japanese American Segregation Center in the town of Newell. There will be an open and casual discussion, without presentations or scheduled speakers, of information about the possible National Historic Landmark designation. Mr. Dorman hopes to answer questions and receive comments in an informal setting, and provide assistance and information to area residents who would like to submit letters that either support or oppose the area's nomination for national recognition. Public comments must be received by April 18, 2005 to be considered by the National Park System Advisory Board who will be meeting in Washington DC to determine if the Nomination will be forwarded to the Secretary of Interior for consideration. The majority of property owners within the proposed landmark must support the nomination before it can be designated.

At the onset of World War II, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were displaced from their homes in western states to one of ten internment camps. The Tule Lake Segregation Center was the largest of the camps with a peak population of 18,789 detainees. The Tule Lake site, now the community of Newell, still has many of its original structures intact, and is in better condition than any other. A National Historic Landmark designation for portions of the former camp will serve, in part, to recognize this important chapter in American history and interpret this story to future generations of citizens.

Amy Alexander named Beef Princess

The Modoc County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen presented their third annual Modoc County Beef Princess Competition was held at The Brass Rail where a full house watched the evening unfold.

This year the Cattlemen and Cattlewomen had two deserving applicants, Jessica Cunningham and Amy Alexander. Both contestants were asked to participate in an evening of personal interviews and a speech on the topic of how has closing the Canadian border affected the American beef producer, all the while being judged on their personality, appearance, and poise. After the contestants had concluded their speeches the audience had the chance to see some of the many talents in Modoc County. JoAnn White, Len Smith, Will Stevenson, and Matt Brown entertained them with traditional cowboy music, which was then followed by the exceptional cowboy poetry of Barbie Chrysler who gave the evening some humor.

As the evening came to an end and the scores were tabulated, the announcement that everyone had been waiting for, was given. Amy Alexander a 16-year-old at Surprise Valley High School, was named as the third girl to hold the title of Modoc County Beef Princess. Amy is an active member of Future Farmers of America, the Surprise Valley volleyball, basketball, and track team. She has been on the honor roll for two years and has been a very active student in her high school.

She was chosen to represent the Modoc County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, and to promote the beef industry for the year of 2005. She will attend the Modoc District Fair and Parade, Ag in the Classroom day in May, Lakeview County Fair, and use her speaking ability to share her knowledge of the beef industry in Modoc County, as well as other areas. This includes a trip she will take to Australia this year in the People to People Program. The Cattlemen and Cattlewomen thank 2004 Modoc County Beef Princess, Ashley Anderson for her outstanding service to the Cattlemen and Cattlewomen and for setting a great example for all the princesses to follow. She was given a $500 scholarship from United Country Stevenson Realty, Plumas Bank, Wilson Ranch, Seab's True Value, and The Auction Yard to help her with her future plans at a college of her choice.

Obituaries:

Harold Aubrey McManus

Harold Aubrey McManus went home to be with his Lord on April 2, 2005. He was born to Marjorie and Aubrey (Mick) McManus on September 23, 1942, in the small town of Stanley, WI. He joined his sister Colleen in a closely knit family, where he learned strong family values at an early age, and practiced them all of his life. His relationship with his sister, Colleen and her husband, Bob has grown stronger over the years, and he enjoyed their love and companionship.

His mother has also been a source of great strength and example to him and he loved her dearly. He always appreciated the gift of life and her love. Harold was originally raised in Gilman, WI, and never tired of telling stories about his years there. Stories centered on the old-fashioned soda fountain that his parents owned, the family hardware store that his Uncle Glenn owned, and his Uncle Duane and the wonders of the Ford garage where he sold both cars and tractors. He enjoyed memories of family outings, cousins to play with, and life in that small town of just 500 people. The family later moved to the town of Oregon, WI, and moved again in 1956 to Fullerton, CA, where Harold graduated in 1960 from Fullerton High School. He continued his education completing several years of college, and earning an AA degree in Business Administration, while also working for Gemco stores, a large retail chain.

Harold continued to live in Southern California for many years, and during that time, he married, and later, became the proud father of his eldest daughter, Misti. She remained the apple of his eye, and a source of great pride, joy, and love throughout his life. She and her loving husband, Jon, have brought four incredible grandchildren into Harold's life. Brione, Alara, Sean and Lucy have been their Grandpa's favorite source of pictures, laughter, and stories. He loved to hear what they were doing, and see pictures of their family trips and celebrations.

Harold's youngest daughter, Tiffani, who was born several years after Misti, has been estranged for several years, and his hope to see her, her husband Shaun, and their son Alexander during his last year was not realized. He continued to love her very much.

When Harold's first marriage ended, he spent every opportunity keeping the relationships with his daughters as rich and full as possible. He continued to work in wholesale and retail sales for various companies, and was hired by Vita Fresh Vitamin Company, a manufacturer, operating out of Garden Grove, CA. He worked there for more than eleven years, traveling to military bases all over the United States. He often remarked that there were only two states that he missed.

While working at Vita Fresh, he met and married his wife of more than twenty-five years, Robin, in 1979. They created a blended family, with Harold becoming a father to Robin's son, James Hannon, and Robin, another mom to his two daughters. During their marriage, their love, companionship, and family were always treasured.

In 1987, soon after son James' graduation, they received a gift of land from Harold's parents. The land, in the Cal Pines mountains was a chance for adventure, and an opportunity that they couldn't resist. They longed to leave southern California's congestion and smog, and be pioneers in the wilderness. They stayed under the tall trees living their dream for more than ten years. The adventure always involved several snow shovels, four wheel drive, and a great deal of challenge and laughter. The wonders of nature were everywhere.

In 1997, for health reasons, they had their home moved, fourteen miles down the mountain to its present location in the Castle Rock area. They started a new forest, at a lower altitude, and found the lower snow levels, and good neighbors a blessing

Son James remained a bachelor, and continues working hard to grow his company in San Francisco. He always took the time to support Harold with love, laughter, and encouragement. Harold loved him and always enjoyed their easy camaraderie.

Until his retirement several years ago, Harold continued to work for Four Seasons Supply, with people that he loved in the hardware store. At one time or another during the week, he thought he saw about everyone in town. That suited him fine.

He also had fond memories of his many years with the Cal Pines Volunteer Fire Department, where driving and cleaning the Water Tender Fire Truck became his great hobby. He enjoyed the feeling of pride as he worked with those special men, giving something of value back to the community that he loved so much. He recently received a plaque of appreciation for his service to the Department.

In 1996 Harold was diagnosed with brain cancer, and as was his nature, chose to fight. He was in the fight of his life for more than ten years. When he ran out of weapons, he used courage, determination, and an unwavering faith in God to sustain him. He was daily encouraged by the prayers, the love and the generous gifts of time of his friends and family. When he couldn't walk any further, God carried him, and when he asked, that last time in the hospital, God took him home. The lessons that he taught us are many. He will be greatly missed on this earth, and we celebrate his life, and thank God that we were privileged to know him. He is survived by most of those mentioned above, and we'll never forget him. He has helped make us better people.

Please join us all in a Celebration of Life Service, at Faith Baptist Church, Saturday, April 9, 2005, at 10 a.m. A burial service will follow at the Alturas Cemetery, and we will return to Faith Baptist Church after that for a Pot Luck Reception.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family or the charity of your choice.

Maxine Marshall

Long-time Modoc resident Maxine Marshall passed away in Cedarville, CA on March 30, 2005, following a brief illness. She was 85.

Born Maxine Whiteaker on May 31, 1919 in Corydon, Iowa, her family moved to Marysville, CA in 1925. She met and married W. Earl Marshall in 1938. Following World War II, they moved to Chicago where Earl became a Doctor of Chiropractics. They settled in Alturas in 1951, where Earl opened his practice. Maxine worked for the Modoc County Road Department from 1959 until her retirement in 1987.

Her husband passed away in 1991. She is survived by her brother Paul Whiteaker of Sacramento, CA; several cousins and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, she requested donations be made to Canine Country. Graveside services will be held Friday, April 8, 2005 at 3 p.m. at Alturas Cemetery. Dr. Ben Zandstra will officiate. Kerr Mortuary of Alturas has charge of arrangements.

Eva Ceola Jacobs

Mrs. Eva Ceola Jacobs was born in Lexington, Nebraska on May 17, 1912, to Jim and Mable (Miller) Dodge. Eva died in Tillamook, Oregon on March 29, 2005, at the age of 92.

She spent most of her life in Lake City, CA. The last six years of her life were spent between Palo Cedro, CA. and Nehalem.

Eva was a hard worker, spending many years on a cattle ranch. She was a loving, compassionate, and caring woman with strong Christian values.

Her dad died when she was a young girl, leaving her with one older sister and brother and her mother. Her mother remarried, adding three half-brothes and one, half-sister to their family.

Eva was preceded in death by an infant son and her husband of 63 years, Kenneth N. Jacobs, as well as one brother, one sister, one half-brother and one half-sister. She is survived by her daughter Julienne (Dolly) Apple of Palo Cedro, CA; son, Jack Jacobs and his wife Murphy of Nehalem; nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great grandchildren; two half-brothers, along with a number of nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held at a later date in Lake City, CA. Arrangements are in the care of Waud's Funeral Home.

Manuel Russo

Manuel Russo, 98, passed away in Fremont, Alameda County, CA. on January 16, 2005. Mr. Russo's lasting rock art can be seen throughout Modoc County at the Modoc District Fairground's gated entry, rock signs at the Modoc County Record, KCNO and many backyard barbecues, garden wishing wells and special accents he designed at his Cedar Pass retreats and the gates to his Triangle Ranch.

Mr. Russo enjoyed life and retired as a special delivery messenger with the U.S. Postal Service in 1961, after 35 years of service delivering mail in the eastern foothills of Santa Clara Valley. He made his home in San Jose and owned commercial property there for many years. He also built his "retreat" cabins on Cedar Creek, where he spent half of each year, following his retirement.

Of Italian descent, Mr. Russo made it a point to enjoy life and was a magnanimous and hospitable person, with an affinity for animals. He was born November 13, 1906. Mr. Russo had a trick horse named Major Comma- The Wonder Horse and his dog Prince, a very well trained German Shepherd. They performed at various benefits and shows in the San Jose area. Prince was on television more than once and photographed for the San Jose Mercury News. Mr. Russo never charged for any of the performances -- it was all for the kids.

He derived great pleasure from creating things for children. Later in his life, he gave of his time and resources to improve classrooms in San Jose schools, by purchasing desired equipment such as T.V.'s, gifts for the students and teachers in Special Ed classes, calling himself a kind of "Santee Claus."

While his two sons were young (and only a year apart), Manuel built a motorcoach trailer and for five years, the family traveled around Oregon, Nevada and California, giving the boys an education and working along the way and picking fruit during harvest season. Mr. Russo also raised and trained German Shepherd dogs as a hobby and enjoyed rock collecting. He began coming to the Modoc area in the 1930s. He enjoyed making treks to Modoc County and made lasting impressions on his long-time friends in the area. His devoted and loving wife Alva preceded him in death as did his youngest son Richard P. Russo. He is survived by a son Robert E. Russo, grandchildren and among his great-grandchildren are triplets Sage, Timber and River.

Jean (Gray) Foster

Jean Irene (Gray) Foster passed away February 16, 2005, at the age of 80 in Sacramento, CA. She was born Jean Irene Gray in Klamath Falls, Oregon on March 21, 1924.

Mrs. Foster graduated from Modoc Union High School in Alturas, CA and retired after 30 years, from IBM as a supervisor-librarian. She was active in Beta Sigma Phi, the Ladies Auxiliary to Veterans of Foreign Wars and AmVets Ladies Auxiliary. She lived in Bend, Medford, Central Point and Malin, Oregon and in Westwood, Alturas, Quincy, Blairsden, Graeagle, Portola, Truckee, Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA. over the years. She was married to Bill Dory, Jay McKinney, Dick Gillette and Jay Foster. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Larri and Edward Powers of Brookings; grandsons Edward William Powers and his wife Mary Lee and Matthew Alan Powers and his wife Julie. Great-grandchildren Charles Edward, Julia Noel, Madison Grace, and Trenton Michael. One sister, Margaret Moyer, nieces, Sharon Moyer and Patricia Waters, nephew Donald Moyer.

Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 21, 2005 at 1 p.m. in the Land Park Chapel of Harry A. Nauman & Son, 4041 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. Donations in Mrs. Foster's name may be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 2555 49th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817.

Sports

Modoc girls split with Etna

The Modoc Braves varsity softball team split a doublebill with the Etna Lions Tuesday, winning the first game, 6-4, and losing the second game, 9-0.

Modoc travels to Trinity on Friday, and has Lakeview here Tuesday and Burney comes to town next Friday.

Modoc coach Keith Jacques said the loss puts the Braves in a tougher spot, but he feels they still have a very good shot at winning the league title. Fall River remains in the lead.

In the opening game, the Braves got into trouble early as Etna took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Tacie Richardson came in relief in the second and shut down the Lions the remainder of the game. Modoc tied the game at 4-4 in the third, added one in the fourth and one in the fifth for the win. Richardson struck out four and walked a pair in relief of Megan Thompson. Brittney Bartram led the hitting, going 3-for-3 and Thompson went 2-for-3.

Jacques said the team played very well in the opening game, but pretty much disappeared in the nightcap. "We couldn't even make routine plays," he said. "It wasn't the team I'm used to seeing."

Thompson got the loss in the second game. She fanned three and walked three, but a host or errors resulted in Etna's nine runs, only two of which were earned.

Thompson and Jennifer Joyce went 2-for-3 in the game.

Modoc drops pair to Etna

The Etna Lions took a pair of Shasta Cascade League baseball games from Modoc's Braves Tuesday, 6-2 and 2-0.

The losses drop the Braves into a third place tie with Mt. Shasta in the SCL with 3-3 records. Etna is on top with a 6-0 mark, Trinity is second with a 5-1 record followed by Modoc and Mt. Shasta, then Weed at 2-2, Fall River 1-1, Burney 0-4 and Bishop Quinn 0-6. Overall this season Modoc's record is 4-7. In the opening game, Modoc scored first in the third and Etna tied it at 1-1 in the fourth. The Braves went up 2-1 in the bottom half of the fourth but couldn't add another run. Etna scored four in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Travis Potter got the loss for Modoc, allowing just four hits, walking three and striking out five. Modoc committed two errors in the game.

Potter was 3-for-4 hitting with David Kolvoord 2-for-3, Tim Cruse and Justin Mason 1-for-3

"Looking at the box scores, it's hard for me to believe we lost both games," said coach Brad Server. "We would get runners in scoring position, but couldn't score. Either we hit the ball hard at someone, or give Etna credit, they would make an outstanding play to get themselves out of trouble." In the second game, Etna's Robbie Brown stroked a two-run homer in the second inning to provide all the runs needed for the 2-0 win. Derek Broughton got the loss, striking out five, walking four and both runs were earned.

"In game two, most of our hits came with two outs," said Server. "Our pitching is improving, with Potter, Broughton and Kyle Madison all doing a good enough job to help us win. We go to Trinity Friday, the league leader, and will have to beat them twice to have any chance at the league title." Modoc travels to Trinity Friday and Lakeview comes to town Tuesday for a non-league game.

Brave golf team remains perfect

Modoc's golf team is now 10 wins against no losses in Shasta Cascade League play this young season

Monday the team played Fall River, Burney and Bishop Quinn at Arrowhead Golf Course in Alturas. Three Braves broke 80, with Brian Weed shooting a highly respectable 73, DJ Northrup scoring a 78 and Micah Eppler a 79

Dustin Philpott shot an 86, Josue Madrigal shot 89, and Ross Montague shot 97

The individual medalists on Monday were: first, Weed, Modoc; second, Scott Lasson, Weed (75); third Northrup, Modoc; fourth Eppler, Modoc; fifth Holly Lasson, Weed; sixth Tom Fox, Bishop Quinn; seventh Philpott, Modoc; eighth, Madrigal, Modoc, Devin Power, Weed, and Curtis Anderson, Trinity, each with 89

The league standings so far are: Modoc 10-0; Weed 9-1; Trinity 7-3; Mt. Shasta 6-4; Fall River 6-4; Burney 2-8; Bishop Quinn 0-10; Etna 0-10.

Winners earn first Arrowhead

The team of Daniel Morgan and Keith Weber shot a net of 56 to win the Arrowhead Golf tournament last weekend.

There was a tie for second place at 62 between the teams of Bunk Richardson and Larry Estes and D.J. Northrup and Jake Aaron. Fourth place teams of Mark Cummings and Bobby Webb and Danny Parker and Jerry Wheeler tied at 64.

April 14th, 2005

News

Farm Bureau hosting series of Watermaster fee sessions

The Modoc County Farm Bureau is hosting a series of state Watermaster fee information meetings, beginning April 18, 7 p.m. at the Davis Creek School house.

Another meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 25, 7 p.m. at the Surprise Valley Senior Center in Cedarville.

The meetings are designed to explain irrigator options and state positions on the proposed increased in the Watermaster fees paid by users in the Ash Creek, Big Valley, North Fork and Surprise Valley Watermaster service areas.

The state Department of Water Resources announced last August that Watermaster fees were going to increase by as much as five times.

Protests from local governments in this area resulted in changes that brought the increase down to more manageable levels, but still could be up to 200 percent more than the previous year.

Sean Curtis, of the Modoc County Farm Bureau, said the bureau is working on alternative programs to provide Watermaster services Basically, what happened in August was a deep cut in the DWR budget. DWR had been paying 50 percent of the overall Watermaster fee service and relying on the users to pay the other 50 percent. With the cut in their budget, the entire cost was transferred to the users. The Watermaster insures irrigators receive their adjudicated water levels or make necessary adjustments to keep water use fair.

The DWR came back in September with a proposal that limited the fee increase on a temporary basis, giving irrigators a chance to adjust or prepare for the increase or to find alternative plans to provide the Watermaster service.

Curtis said the Farm Bureau is asking the DWR to continue to provide one more year of supplemental state funding to cover services. That amounts to about $1 million for nine counties, said Curtis.

Just exactly what that proposal will be is in the planning stages, but could include contracting with the state or with a private individual to provide the Watermaster services.

Curtis estimated that Watermaster services for North Fork, for instance, is in the $58,000 per year range with the state. He hopes to find an alternative that could be accomplished with less funding and still provide the necessary services.

The increases proposed in August could have increased irrigators' fees by thousands of dollars in some cases, said Curtis.

Since the Watermaster deals with adjudicated rights, Curtis said any alternative will have to be presented to a local judge in court for approval. Hot Spring and South Fork Irrigation Districts have privately contracted Watermaster service and do not fall under the state Watermaster issue.

MJUSD focusing on improvements

Anyone wanting to be a part of the Modoc Joint Unified School District planning process should get involved with the focus group sessions. The next meeting will be held April 16, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oxley Hall, Modoc High School. Anyone who did not participate in the previous focus group sessions, but who wants to participate is encouraged to attend. Interested people should contact Sandy Hess at the District office so they can be placed on appropriate focus group lists. Call Hess at 233-7201, extension 101.

Some of the highlights coming out of March focus group meetings will be discussed and some plans for implementing suggestions will be made. One of the suggestions is an evaluation of the Accelerated Reading Program to determine its effectiveness for students in upper elementary and middle school levels.

Another idea is a developmental reading program that needs to go beyond second grade for some students.

Under the business and fiscal management section, the summary states that the district is seen as being "open' in its business and fiscal operation, and the district makes a "good effort" to keep everyone informed. It also states the budget needs to be goal driven and a "layman's" guide to understanding the budget needs to be developed.

In the communication arena, the summary states that the district is making a "good effort" to keep all groups informed, but that written information to Spanish-speaking parents needs to be in Spanish.

According to the report, staff moral is generally seen as being good. There are exceptions.

One of the major needs addressed under student management is counseling services for K-12. Reduction in personnel and services is cited as the cause.

While student discipline practices are judged as ranging from "improving to good," consistency in application of discipline is seen as an area needing improvement.

SV developer fees can be big help

The Surprise Valley Joint Unified School District has sent all local boxholders a letter declaring the Governing Board will consider a resolution to implement new Developer Fees at the next school board meeting on Thursday, April 21. The board meets in the high school library, located at 470 Lincoln Street in Cedarville, at 7:00 PM.

All regular school board meetings are open to the public. Each includes a time on the published agenda when folks may go "on the record" with their comments, questions, and concerns.

Imposing Developer Fees is a task more and more California school districts are being driven to in an effort to qualify for state funding to maintain their aging facilities. The fees are currently collected in many northern California school districts, including eight of the ten districts within Lassen County and 23 of 25 in Shasta County. If the Surprise Valley board votes to implement the fees, they will be the first of Modoc County's three school districts to do so

Last week, over 25 valley residents, board members and school employees attended a public meeting in Cedarville to learn more about the pending proposal

The district's Business Manager, Robin Teuscher, gave a detailed power point presentation showing how implementation of the fees is the first step in acquiring "financial hardship status", making the district eligible for substantial state grants to cover renewal projects at the elementary school in Cedarville

"The base grant available to us is $506,188, though that amount can be supplemented because we are a remote district with less than 200 pupils", said Teuscher. "Without implementing developer fees, the district would be required to pay a share of modernization costs that amounts to at least $202,475."

Mike Williams, the Facility Manager for the Big Valley School District, was on hand to help Teuscher answer questions. He said his district now has three major projects in the works after their board recently voted to start collecting developer fees. "Though you can probably begin the process within 60 days after a resolution", he said, "you're probably looking at 18 months or more to begin construction and a total of three to five years to complete the approved projects."

In her presentation, Teuscher pointed out fees can only be collected for the duration of a qualified project and can be repealed by the board once the state determines a project is closed. If fees are collected for a project that is later cancelled, they must be returned to the permit holder. Developer Fees are not retroactive........ Currently, the administration plans to seek approval to replace the 7th and 8th grade portable classrooms, modernize the first through third grade classrooms, and remodel the existing Multipurpose Room to accommodate lunch service. While the base grant available may seem liberal, Williams cautioned, "Money doesn't go too far in school construction." He detailed the many peripheral costs –including demolition, architectural plans and inspection fees – that make any state-funded project very costly. By collecting Developer Fees, the district may still end up with bureaucratic headaches, but the entire cost of the approved projects will be picked up by the state

The amounts required to be collected by a district are set by the state based on a "Justification Study" of the region that takes into account its economic vitality, population, and other related factors. A copy SVJUSD's study, commissioned by the board in 2004 and prepared by Jack Shreder and Associates of Sacramento, is available from the district office.

SVJUSD qualifies at the lowest end of the state's scale with fees of $2.24 per square foot for new residential and $.36 for commercial construction. Additions over 500 square feet are subject to the fees, but agricultural, government-owned, residential "accessory" buildings, and buildings used for religious activities, are exempt. The fees, tied to the rate of inflation, can be increased by the state upon review every two years

The new fees are expected to have a limited impact on residents within the Surprise Valley Joint Unified School District, an entity that basically covers the length and breadth of Surprise Valley along Modoc County's eastern border. Currently, Teuscher stated that only 5-6 permits are issued within Surprise Valley each year that would be subject to Developer Fees

Williams, who seemed happy Big Valley's schools are benefiting from funds available since implementing the fees, admitted he wished there were another way northern California districts could get their share of state funds. "We have really been strong-armed into doing this by the state", he said. The funds were earmarked from statewide general obligation bonds approved by California's voters in 1998, 2002, and 2004. Thus far, SVJUSD has not benefited from the School Facility Program that oversees these funds.

Implementing the fees requires only a majority vote of the five-member board. Williams, sensitive to the power wielded by only five local citizens, reminded those present Thursday, "You elect these people to care for your children and for your schools." Steve Smith, who represents Fort Bidwell on the board, said after the meeting that he has been talking to many of his constituents and no one, to date, has expressed any serious reservations about the new fees. Teuscher added, "Even if people don't like the idea of the fees, they seem to realize our district really needs the funds collecting them allows us to receive."

MJUSD focusing on improvements

Anyone wanting to be a part of the Modoc Joint Unified School District planning process should get involved with the focus group sessions. The next meeting will be held April 16, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oxley Hall, Modoc High School. Anyone who did not participate in the previous focus group sessions, but who wants to participate is encouraged to attend. Interested people should contact Sandy Hess at the District office so they can be placed on appropriate focus group lists. Call Hess at 233-7201, extension 101.

Some of the highlights coming out of March focus group meetings will be discussed and some plans for implementing suggestions will be made. One of the suggestions is an evaluation of the Accelerated Reading Program to determine its effectiveness for students in upper elementary and middle school levels.

Another idea is a developmental reading program that needs to go beyond second grade for some students.

Under the business and fiscal management section, the summary states that the district is seen as being "open' in its business and fiscal operation, and the district makes a "good effort" to keep everyone informed. It also states the budget needs to be goal driven and a "layman's" guide to understanding the budget needs to be developed.

In the communication arena, the summary states that the district is making a "good effort" to keep all groups informed, but that written information to Spanish-speaking parents needs to be in Spanish.

According to the report, staff moral is generally seen as being good. There are exceptions.

One of the major needs addressed under student management is counseling services for K-12. Reduction in personnel and services is cited as the cause.

While student discipline practices are judged as ranging from "improving to good," consistency in application of discipline is seen as an area needing improvement.

Disease outbreak training is serious

In an effort to expand its ability to rapidly respond to disease outbreaks, bioterrorism, or other public health emergencies Modoc County Public Health Department will join local health departments across the state in an interactive multi-media training exercise on April 19, 2005.

With the emergence of new infectious disease such as bird flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and West Nile virus, the training is timely. "The most critical resource in the proper detection and reporting of public health outbreaks is a well-trained frontline staff," said Kelly Crosby, Deputy Director of Public Health

Modoc County Public Health will launch its local training at 441 North Main Street from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Coordinated by the California Department of Health Services, the training will consist of presentations by communicable disease experts via satellite, role-playing activities, and practical skills building such as learning strategies for locating infected individuals.

"To guarantee a rapid response in the event of a public health emergency, health departments must have sufficient staff to respond," said Kelly Crosby. "Staff who do not usually conduct disease investigation will be trained to conduct telephone interviews and home visits during an outbreak. This training will assist staff in developing a coordinated response plan ahead of time and ultimately prevent the spread of disease."

Obituaries:

Charles Battram III

Charles (Chuck) Battram, III, passed away on April 8, 2005, in Coos Bay, Oregon, after a brief illness with cancer. He was born to Charles and Alta Battram in Houston, TX on June 13, 1945. He served with the U.S. Marines in Viet Nam from 1967 to 1969 and attended San Diego State University. In Modoc County he worked with various organizations, such as the Adult Literacy Project, the Native American Language Project at Fort Bidwell, and the Head Start Parents Tutorial Project.

In 1986, he helped develop the PBS film, "Illiterate America." He also worked with Serendipity Child Care Center and Modoc County Mental Health Advisory boards. He was temporarily employed by the Modoc County Office of Education, as a substitute teacher. He had a general building contractor's license, including a hazardous substance removal classification. He was employed as a Project Manager of a large construction company in Brookings, OR.

He enjoyed golfing with his father and friends. He loved taking his grandchildren and nephews fishing, and was always eager to teach them new things. He greatly enjoyed working in the many gardens on his property. In the brief time he lived in Brookings, he and his wife fully enjoyed spending time walking on the beach.

He is survived by his wife Gerri Battram of Brookings, OR; parents Charles and Alta Battram of Alturas, CA; brother Joe Battram of Alturas; sister Sharon Smith Laacke and husband Jim of Alturas; nephews Chris and Will Battram, Phil Smith Jr. and son C.J.; niece Toni Zeigler, husband Dan and children Madison and Drew of Alturas; step-son Greg Nolen and children Evan, and Greg Jr., and wife Katie of Aptos, CA; step-daughter Shelly Jacques and husband Steve, children Ian and Filicia of Alturas. There will be no public memorial service. Special Beach side services will be held in Brookings, OR in June. All condolences can be addressed to: Gerri Battram, 511 Rosichelli Dr., Brookings, OR 97415.

Frances Lenlenee Carey

Frances Lenlenee Carey, born January 18, 1909, passed away at Mayers Memorial Hospital Convalescent home in Fall River Mills, CA at the age of 96, on April 6, 2005, due to natural causes.

Born to Peter H. Clarke and Lenlenee Frances McClain Clarke, Frances was one of eight children. Living the younger days of her life in Berkeley, CA, and after her graduation from nursing school, Frances married rancher and dentist, Dr. Myrvin C. Carey on August 6, 1931 in Napa, CA. While working as a nurse and working the ranch with her husband, they reared three children. After 32 years of marriage, husband Myrvin C. Carey passed away from a heart attack at the age of 59, on March 31, 1963. Myrvin had previously come to Modoc County in the 1950's looking to buy the Bare Ranch. In 1965, Frances and sons Peter and John and their families purchased ranches in Ft. Bidwell, CA. While still working as a nurse in Antioch and waiting to sell the family home, Frances then joined her sons and family in Modoc County in 1967. In 1974, they sold the Antioch Ranch and purchased the ranch in Alturas, CA. Frances went to work at Surprise Valley Hospital as a Registered Nurse in 1967. She worked there until 1981, when she had to retire at the age of 72. She soon went back to work at Warnerview Convalescent Home in Alturas until 1991. After her second retirement from nursing at the age of 82, she returned to her home on the ranch in Ft. Bidwell.

Her daughter Kathleen Ann Cox and husband Robert of Stockton, CA, and their six children Frances, Elizabeth, Paul, Margaret, Patrick and Dianna survive Frances, along with her two sons and their families. James Peter "Pete" Carey and his four children, Tina Cockrell, James Carey, Edie DeBoer and Ellen Carey and youngest son John Charles Carey and his wife Sharon and their five children, Debra Cockrell, Donna Buffham, Denise Carlucci, John Carey Jr. and Joseph Carey; 21 great-grandchildren also survive her

There will be no services, as a private family memorial will be held at a later date. Donations in her memory can be made to: Surprise Valley Hospital or charity of your choice.

Harry Kenneth Hill

Lifetime Cedarville resident Harry Kenneth Hill passed away of natural causes on April 10, 2005, in Cedarville, CA. Mr. Hill was 50 years of age. Born on July 16, 1954, in Portola, California, he was baptized at Cedarville Community Church. He graduated with the Class of 1972 from Surprise Valley High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from California State University, Chico in 1977. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

A cattle rancher in Cedarville his entire adult life, he also was a skilled carpenter who enjoyed restoring and refinishing antique furniture. Mr. Hill appreciated classic cars and enjoyed showing his own restored 1925 Dodge, locally. He had an affinity for animals and had pets of all kinds. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He was a member of the Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department. The Rev. Dr. Ben Zandstra conducted services on Wednesday, April 13 at 2 p.m. with interment at the Cedarville Cemetery.

Mr. Hill is survived by his mother Eleanor "Mac" Hill of Cedarville, CA; brother Tom Hill of Cedarville; niece Alice L. Hill and nephew John A. Hill of Cedarville, five cousins in California and Nebraska and many friends. He was preceded in death by his father Clyde A. Hill at Thanksgiving in 1999.

Donations in his memory may be directed to the Surprise Valley Community Church, Surprise Valley Hospital or a charity of the donor's choice.

Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary of Alturas.

Barbara A. McCowin

Barbara Arlene McCowin, age 69, of Alturas passed away of natural causes on April 7, 2005, at Modoc Medical Center in Alturas, CA. She was born Barbara Arlene Thomas on January 16, 1936 in Lusk, Wyoming.

Mrs. McCowin was preceded in death by her husband Bert, seven years ago. She retired from Modoc Joint Unified School District as a school bus driver. Mrs. McCowin's obituary will be published at a future date.

Louise Hilton

Long-time Canby resident Louise Hilton passed away April 13, 2005 at Modoc Medical Center's Skilled Nursing facility in Alturas, CA. Born on June 28, 1920, she was one of several children of Willy William Nall and Eva Lucinda (Pate) Nall in Dequeen, Arkansas.

Mrs. Hilton moved with her husband Zeke to the Canby area for his work with Southern Pacific Railroad over 45 years ago. He preceded her in death in July 1980.

Mrs. Hilton loved sewing, cooking and was a volunteer at the Senior Citizens Center in Alturas, working with the late Rae Gloster, who was the center's director at that time.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints in Alturas, she was loved by many whom she treated as her own children including, David and Shirley Van Meter of Alturas; Bob and wife Kathy Van Meter of Susanville, CA; Darlene and husband James Jensen of Redding, CA; Joanne and husband Bob Kennedy, Roseville, CA; Kim Van Meter, Susanville; two sisters-in-law Jane Nall of Oklahoma; Mildred Nall of Paris, Tennessee. She also is survived by several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her siblings. She will also be missed by many friends. Services were pending for Friday, April 15, at 1 p.m. at the Church of the Latter-day Saints in Alturas. Please call Kerr Mortuary's recorded message at (530) 233-5797 to confirm service time and date. Interment to follow at Alturas Cemetery.

Sports

Modoc thinclads get cold chance to run in Alturas

Modoc High School's track team actually got to run a meet in Alturas last Friday, amid snow, cold and high winds -- just like normal.

The Modoc Rotary Invitational had teams from Modoc, Tulelake and Surprise Valley competing with the Braves pretty much dominating. In the varsity boys competition, Grant Hall won both the shot with a put of 38-5 and the discus at 122 feet. Micah Eppler won the long jump at 15-5, Zeke Bonham was second at 15-1/2 and Lenny Gladu third at 14-9.

Max Wise won the triple jump at 34-9, Eppler was second at 34-6 1/2 and Bonham was third at 30-4. Wise placed second in the high jump at 5-4 and Clint Nardoni was third at 5-2.

Scott Joyce won the 1600 meters in 5:14.4, with Martin Corns, second at 5:33. and Ryan Carrithers, third at 5:43. Gladu placed third in the shot at 34-1.

Modoc's 400 meter relay team won in a time of 54.2. Brad Bell won the 110 high hurdles at 20.8 and Scott Joyce won the 3200 meters in 11:55. Second place went to Corns in 13:04.

Grant Hall won the 300 meters hurdles in 28.9. Nardoni took second in the 400 meters in 59.7 with third to Wise at 62 flat. Matt Wilkie took second in the 100 meters in 12.9 and Gladu was third at 13.4.

Joyce won the 800 meters in 2:18 with Ryan Carrithers second at 2:31. Wilkie placed second in the 200 meters in 27.9 and Nardoni was third in 28.9. The 1600 meter relay team won at 4:31.

Chrissy Hall had a good day in the varsity girls competition. She was first in the shot at 27-2, first in the discus at 85-6, first in the 110 hurdles at 22.7 and first in the 300 meters hurdles at 1:12. Danielle Moriarity won the 1600 meters in 6:58.

Stacy Main won the high jump at 4-3 and the 400 meters in 72.3. Kelly Campagna won the 100 meters in 15.6 with Christina McCool second at 16.0 Jennifer Joyce won the 800 meters in 3:06 with Moriarity third at 3:26. McCool won the 200 meters in 36.4 and Marielle Nardoni was second at 37.9 and Campagna third at 38.6. Jaycee was second in the 400 meters in 75.2 and Nardoni third at 84.9.

For the junior varsity boys, Brandon Anderson won the shot at 38-3, Cain Madrigal won the 110 hurdles in 24.4, and Hall won the 400 meters in 69.9 and the 300 hurdles in 51.9. David Holloway took third in the shot at 34-1/ Robert Spedding was second in the triple jump at 29-7 and Madrigal was second in the 1600 meters in 5:58 and in the 400 meters in 76. Anderson was third in the 3200 meters in 15:13 and Spencer Fullerton was third in the 100 at 13.5. Modoc's 400 meter relay team was second.

In the junior varsity girls division, Amanda Hess won the shot at 25-8 and the discuss at 66-10 1/2. Alicia Hayes was second in the shot at 21-7 and third in the discus at 51-6 1/2.

Overall the team scores were: varsity boys, Modoc 256, Tulelake 76, Surprise Valley 2; varsity girls, Modoc 162, Surprise Valley 28,. Tulelake 20; JV boys. Tulelake 158, Modoc 102, Surprise Valley 24; JV girls, Tulelake 72, Modoc 34, Surprise Valley 34.

Modoc baseball beats Lakeview 11-1

The Modoc Braves baseball team whipped the Lakeview Honkers 11-1 in a non-league bsaeball game Tuedsay.

Travis Potter got the win, going the first two innings, allowing no hits, walking one and striking out four. Joey Catania came in relief and finished the last three, allowing no hits, striking out eight and walking six. The Braves had 18 hits and made no errors. Lakeview committed four errors.

Leading hitters for Modoc were: Travis Potter 3-for-3, Derek Broughton 3-for-4, Cody Widby 3-for-4, David Kolvoord 2-for-3 with a home run and double, Jared Cox and Jesse Cuevas two hits each and Cox and Tim Cruse each doubled.

The Braves concentration on batting practice this week was a big help, said coach Brad Server. The Braves' pitching continues to be solid.

Robert Hight wins Houston drag race

Robert Hight drove his Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car to a first place finish at the O'Reilly National Hot Rod Association Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas, April 10

He earned his first national NHRA Funny Car victory in just his fourth start. He powered his Mustang to a 4.786 time at 326.16 m.p.h. to defeat Cruz Pedregon, who finished in 4.818 at 321.12 m.p.h. Several local folks were on hand at Benny's Bar in Alturas to watch the action on television. "I thought I'd really made it when I got a job working on John Force's car a few years ago," Hight said after the race. "To be standing here with this trophy is unbelievable. This whole day has been a blur. I tried to stay busy so I wouldn't get nervous or even think about where I was, but don't get me wrong, I was still plenty nervous. John did tell me how many finals he'd been to before he won, and he told me he worried himself sick for no reason. He told me to just relax and race like it was any other round."

Hight, from Alturas, was the top qualifier at Houston, a repeat of the previous races in Gainesville, Fla. This time around, he put solid runs together for the win. He defeated Bob Gilbertson, Tommy Johnson, Jr. and team owner (and his father-in-law) John Force to advance to the final. "The semifinal against John was actually the most relaxed I was all day," said Hight. "There was nothing to lose, because we knew one of us was going to be in the final. Before the race, John came to me and said, ‘I want you to try your best to kick my butt. Come after me' So that's what I did. I didn't even realize he didn't get down the track until later."

The win bumped Hight from ninth to third in the top 10 NHRA Funny Car Driver rankings. Force is now ranked at number one.

The next race is the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, April 14-17. Several Modoc fans, including Robert's parents, Richard and Stella Hight, will be making the trek to see the event.

Ft. Bidwell hosts its "All Nations" basketball tourney

The Fort Bidwell Youth "All Nations" basketball tournament is scheduled April 16-17 at the Ft. Bidwell Tribal Gym.

The event has team divisions of kindergarten through three; fourth through sixth grade and seventh through eighth grade. Awards will be given to first, second and third in each category. Every player will receive an Acknowledgment Award for participating.

For more information, contact Lisa Townsend at 279-2185 or Loyette Meza 279-6310.

April 21st, 2005

News

Suspect in March '01 threat of MHS shooting, back in Modoc courts

In March, 2001, Los Angeles police arrested Jeffrey Doss, then age 20, on a seatbelt violation that turned into something much more serious, involving a threat to shoot several Modoc High School students.

At that time, Doss allegedly told LA detectives he was on his way to Modoc to carry out the task and had called a local teenager telling her he was on his way. That teenager did not inform anyone of Doss's alleged plot. LA detectives found that he had stolen a car out of San Bernardino, and was found with a loaded stolen gun and drugs in the vehicle. He was arrested and served time in state prison.

He allegedly told LA Detectives that he was on his way to Modoc to kill five young people whom he named, four Modoc High students and a recent graduate of Modoc High. Following that, he said he was going to Modoc High School to continue shooting.

In March, 2001 then Modoc District Attorney Tom Buckwalter filed five attempted murder charges against Doss.

Doss is now back in Modoc County, in the Modoc County Jail, awaiting trial.

On Tuesday, current Modoc District Attorney Jordan Funk told Superior Court Judge Larry Dier that he didn't feel the attempted murder charges were correct or provable since no actual murder attempt was committed in Modoc County.

Funk said he was, instead, going to charge Doss with attempted conspiracy and attempted solicitation to commit murder in Modoc, both felonies. Doss is also facing drug and statutory rape charges in Modoc.

In a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Funk agreed to continue the hearing until Public Defender Richard Cotta could review the new charges. That hearing is set for April 25.

Doss had attended Modoc High School for a short time in his junior year 1997-98.

City earmarks park funds to MARC plan

The Alturas City Council Tuesday night agreed to earmark its $180,000 in state Prop. 40 Parks and Recreation funding to the Modoc Aquatic Center Committee.

The council voted to encumber those funds through June, 2006, as the Modoc Aquatic and Recreation Committee will be hold another election on the tax portion the recently approved recreation District.

The Modoc County Board of Supervisors have voted 3-2 to earmark $500,000 of its Prop. 40 Parks and Recreation grant funding to the Modoc Aquatic Recreation Center District, pending another district vote on a funding measure.

The first order of business will be forming the district and having the directors seated. Once that happens that board of directors will be able to call for a new election. The timeline on the next election will depend upon how long it takes to get the district board formed and organized, plus a legal time limit.

The March 8 election funding measure, Measure F, requesting $25 per parcel owner in the district, received 66 percent of the vote in favor. But it needed 66-2/3 percent for approval. It failed by just 13 votes of getting the super-majority, 1,483 votes for, to 764 against.

Measure E on the March 8 ballot was for the formation of a recreation district. That issue passed easily with 68.79 percent of the vote. It only needed 50 percent, plus one vote to pass.

The county had earmarked $800,000 of its Prop. 40 funds to the project and the City had dedicated $180,000 of its funds. Prop. 40 funds are grant monies only usable for recreation type projects.

The formation of the district on the March 8 ballot only required a simple majority for passage, but the funding measure required a 66-2/3 percent majority.

The initial project is to build a recreation center including an indoor pool and gym just north of the existing Alturas swimming pool.

Despite fire, BV power plant set for start-up

Despite a fire that destroyed the 1,000-foot-long conveyor system that lifts fuel into the plant's furnace, Big Valley Power is set to begin generating electricity in the next few days

"We plan to move forward," says plant co-owner, Glen Zane. "We came here to do our best to put this plant back on line and to eventually build a sawmill that will be capable of operating with the saw logs that are in the Big Valley Sustained Yield Unit. And that is still our intention

"We are certainly unhappy about the fire," he continues. "There are consequences there that we're going to be dealing with for quite a while. But it is our intention to continue on the path we started."

An alarm went out across Big Valley in the early morning hours of April 7 when a local passerby spotted the fire and reported it.

Plant operator, Bob Pauley says that he got a call to the fire "a little after five in the morning."

As he approached the plant, Pauley's heart sank. "It was horrible. I could see it from six miles away. I knew we had problems then."

While the power plant itself was unharmed, the conveyor system was greatly damaged

"I do not yet know the cause of the fire. It's under investigation," reports Zane, cautiously. "But we are reasonably certain that it started at the bottom of the conveyor that carries the fuel chips from the truck dump area to the top of the silos."

Apparently, the fire started in the building at the bottom of the covered conveyor system where the motor and control centers were located. The heavy-duty rubber belt that moves the chips somehow ignited and burned quickly up the steeply inclined conveyor

"Because there was a strong wind from the south, it just burned right straight up the conveyor like a chimney," elaborates Zane.

As it burned, pieces of the belt dropped to the ground, igniting whatever was under the conveyor. Those burning pieces set fire to the parts and maintenance shop and the fuel storage shed below, acting as incendiaries to spread the blaze.

The shop was destroyed entirely; the fuel shed was only partially damaged. Only the prompt efforts of the nearly 50 volunteer firefighters who responded from Adin, Lookout, Bieber, McArthur and Fall River, together with CDF crews, prevented the voluminous piles of wood chips on site from burning as well.

"They were afraid the fuel pile was going to go up," notes Pauley. The fire was intense, but comparatively brief. "It was probably over in an hour," says Pauley, shaking his head. "We're just still trying to get over it." Zane credits the firefighters and the two plant operators, Bob Pauley and Bob McDonald, for saving the fuel pile. "They took the action that was necessary," he affirms. "If that had burned, that would have been a real problem for us."

Preliminary estimates place the damage at "many tens of thousands" of dollars. "We're still in the process of preparing an inventory," says Zane, noting that replacing the belt, the motors and the control system, as well as repairing the damage to the conveyor system will be costly.

The good news, according to Zane, is that the fire caused only a brief delay in the plans to begin power generation. "Ironically, the day that the fire occurred, we received our permit to start our testing operations from the regional water quality control board.

"We have completed the refractory repairs and maintenance work. We completed that early this week. We are planning to start the first (boiler) fire next week to start the testing," he says, noting that the conveyor fire only put them about 10 days behind schedule. "We will bypass the silos for the time being. We'll feed fuel directly into the hopper alongside the building."

Before resuming the countdown to startup, however, the overhead conveyor, the destroyed shop and other debris from the fire had to be removed. "We hired a crane earlier this week," Zane relates. "It was unsafe to leave the old conveyor there. You'll notice, it's all on the ground." The plant will gradually come up to full generating capacity over the 60-day testing period. "If we need to and we get approval for it, we may add another 30 days to that," says Zane, emphasizing the precautions taken. "We'll be generating power during the testing phase

"Hopefully, by the end of that testing period we'll be able to obtain our standard operating permit. That's what we're striving for. We don't know for sure that we'll be able to achieve that yet," he says, adding a note of caution. To underscore their level of commitment to putting the plant on line, Zane points out that two new operators were hired this week and two more will be added next week. "We are still committed to doing it," he emphasizes. "The fact that we hired additional crew members that we need is an indication that we're not backing off."

Zane also reports being "in awe" of the support demonstrated for the project by locals. "The folks here have been so supportive of our efforts."

He also stresses the importance of the legislation that will allow fuel to come from the local forests. "We are definitely moving forward with the plan that Brad Seaberg and I came with, which was to work toward a stewardship agreement. We have worked with the Forest Service, and the agreement is now signed. The economic impact is going to be pretty substantial."

Reflecting upon the time and effort invested to bring the power plant on line, Zane says, "It will mean a lot to me when we see steam rising off the cooling tower. That will certainly mean a lot to me."

He also reports, with a chuckle, that the power plant mascots, two cats called "Parts Room" and "C-Clamp," survived the fire. "For some reason they managed to be somewhere else."

DFG keeps Eagle Lake fishery strong, vibrant

In the spring, a young trout's fancy turns to spawning naturally. At least, that's what's going on at Pine Creek, a primary water source for Eagle Lake and a preferred spawning ground for the lake's rainbow trout. And California's Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is there to see that things go smoothly.

Paul Chappell, a fishery biologist with the department, indicates that the agency's role in this natural spawning process is "to augment the sport fishery out here. The demand for the fish is so high that Pine Creek is not capable of producing enough fish on its own to provide the local sport fishing the people have come to expect."

As a result, Chappell and his staff work diligently to preserve the Eagle Lake fish populations for the many sportsmen that flock to the pristine vistas and excellent fishing that the area provides. They take "anywhere from 1.5 to 3 million" eggs each season in order to have "a guaranteed supply of fish and eggs every year."

The process is rather simple: amass the fish in a trap, hand process them to remove the eggs and fertilize them, then return the fish to the lake and send the fertilized eggs to the hatchery. "Those eggs," Chappell continues, "are reared at the hatchery and brought back 14 to 18 months later, depending upon which hatchery it's from."

Capture and collection during spawning season is the order of the day at Pine Creek to preserve the unique, genetic nature of those fish. "The only thing that goes into Eagle Lake.

are those fish taken from Eagle Lake trout eggs," asserts Chappell. "Nothing goes into Eagle Lake that isn't native to Eagle Lake. There are no brood stocks kept for Eagle Lake rainbow trout. So, we take essentially wild fish we take eggs right from those just like it was naturally spawned."

The trout are not allowed to migrate upstream, a certain death sentence for most of them in years of low runoff. A weir or fish fence is constructed across the stream during spawning season to block upstream access to the trout for their own good. "This is essentially a doorway that opens and closes as we need fish to come in and out," Chappell elaborates. "Right now the door is closed. It doesn't allow any migration upstream or downstream. We want all the fish between the weir and the trap to immigrate on up into the trap where we collect biological information and then transport them to the south end."

Chappell explains the rational for preventing upstream access. "If we allowed the fish to go upstream at this point, the flows are so low they wouldn't make it to the spawning grounds. So, essentially, we would loose thousands of fish upstream," he explains. "They wouldn't successfully spawn and reproduce. They wouldn't make it back to the lake. So, those fish would be taken out of the angling population to no avail whatsoever. By taking the eggs here at the trap, we go ahead and take the eggs that we need, and we will return the fish back to the fishery.

"Additionally," Chappell continues, "you've only got about five to seven miles of perennial habitat up there where those fish can make it through the whole year. And so, they can only produce about 1,000 fish per mile. That means, we can only produce 5,000 to 7,000 fish in the headwaters of Pine Creek. We're stocking 200,000 fish a year down here (in the lake). So realistically, there's no way that we could have the kind of fishery we have out here without maintaining the hatchery program with it."

Every spring, Pine Creek has what Chappell calls a "false start," flowing briefly, and then subsiding only to resume its normal spring flows. This false start always causes some fish to start upstream early, before conditions allow placement of the weir. DFG personnel and con crews move in as soon as weather permits to rescue those stranded fish.

"We do a rescue up here every year. It's not just an occasional thing," says Chappell. "We rescue the fish that are in there and get them back out into the lake if we can. We took, roughly, 2,800 fish out of Pine Creek and 1,200 fish out of Big Merrill Creek this year that were stranded when the flows receded. They would have all died."

The average fisherman knows nothing of these heroic efforts to maintain Eagle Lake as an excellent fishery. "I just hope they enjoy the fishery and they enjoy all the efforts we've gone to," smiles Chappell, knowingly. He also has a word of caution for anglers: "catch and release," a popular program to preserve fishery levels, is not always the best practice at Eagle Lake. "When the lake is full and we have optimal water conditions, it's fine," says Chappell. "But during the warmer months when the pH is high and the temperature is high and the dissolved oxygen is low, we will ask the public to please 'catch and keep' the first two fish they get.

"These fish are capable of living in pH of up to 9.8. They're under extreme stress, but they can still do that. So, they're swimming around in an alkaline solution. If they (anglers) release those fish, even though you see them swim away and they look fine, they will undoubtedly die within a matter of minutes to 48 hours. I can guarantee that probably 85 to 90 percent of those fish will die."

Chappell also points out that the growth of the fish—and hence its size—depends upon water pH, which goes alkaline in droughts when water levels in the lake drop dramatically. This, he maintains, accounts for generally smaller fish in recent years.

He also believes that the Eagle Lake program a good one. "I don't think it's anything but an unprecedented success," says Chappell, adding that people from all over the world come to fish in Eagle Lake. "It's a very, very popular fishery; it's grown more and more popular over the years."

An angler opinion survey taken in 2000 found 89 percent were either "very satisfied" or "somewhat" satisfied" with their experience at Eagle Lake. From that, Chappell takes the message: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Call Chappell's office at 254-6363 if you have questions. Though he spends most of his time in the field, "I do return the calls when I get back in the office."

Modoc Economic Summit seeks views

Practical and creative ways of growing the local economy will be the subject of an educational forum scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, in Alturas. "The Modoc Economic Summit 2005 is a direct result of response from the summit we held in 2002", said organizer, Carol Sharp. "The synergy of that meeting generated many great ideas. Over 100 people attended, learning how to start and improve businesses, and attract new businesses to the area. The enthusiasm continues to spread, and we have received many requests to have another event."

The Summit will feature presentations and panel discussions on a wide range of issues ranging from the local economy, trends and forecasts, small business impacts, tourism and more.

Beginning at 9 a.m., city, county, regional and state experts will help participants gain a better understanding of local and regional economies, and discuss strategic plans and activities to enhance economic development in Modoc County.

A small business panel discussion will explore financial opportunities, and share ways to position businesses for success in these changing times. The afternoon session will emphasize tourism, recreation and agriculture. An example is the current effort to develop a Birding Tour of the Modoc, Lakeview and Klamath areas which will be discussed at the Summit. Chamber of Commerce, Board of Supervisors, and City Council presentations are all on the agenda, as well as a look at the impacts of the Lakeview Prison and other ventures in their community.

Summit 2005 will wrap with a look at opportunities that are available for new and existing businesses in Modoc County. "It doesn't stop there," Sharp added. "This year we will follow up after the event to support resulting activities and ensure they get the assistance and encouragement they need to maintain their momentum,"

The Modoc Economic Summit will be held at the Veteran's Hall at 508 South Main Street in Alturas on Wednesday, May 4, 2005. Registration will be from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., and the Summit will last from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be coffee and donuts in the morning, and lunch will be served. For more information, contact Sharp at (530)233-4355, or sharp hay@hdo.net.

The Summit is sponsored by the Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc., a partner at the Modoc Employment Center, the Alturas Chamber of Commerce, the Alturas City Council, the Modoc County Board of Supervisors, and Superior California Economic Development.

MHS Class of '85 reunion

Modoc High School Class of 1985 has a reunion planned for Saturday night, July 2 during Fandango Days 2005.

The 20th reunion will be held at the Brass Rail in Alturas with a dinner and dance for $15 per person. Music by Goin' South for the dance to follow dinner. The dance will be open to the public.

Reservations for the reunion should be made by June 1, 2005, to any one of the three classmates listed: Janet (Young) Server, email to rambo@hdo.net or phone (530) 233-4858; Michelle (Merino) Ayers, email to mayers@bps.k12.ok.us; or to Eric Nelson at (530) 233-3216. Approximately 52 students comprise this class.

Obituaries:

Barbara McCowin

Barbara McCowin age 69, of Alturas, passed away peacefully in her home in the company of her sister, Miriam on April 7, 2005.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 42 years Bert McCowin, a native of Modoc County. She is survived by her daughter, Vicki Cosgrove and her son, Jay Knudsen and her grandchildren, Taryn and Elliot Cosgrove; her brother, Lowell Rumble of Brentwood, CA and her sisters, Joyce Jacobson of Redding, CA and Miriam Gamez of Alturas, CA and beloved nephew, Sean Gamez of Las Vegas.

Born on January 16, 1936, in Lusk, Wyoming to Ivan and Lenna Thomas, she was educated in Wyoming and Nebraska before settling in San Francisco, where she met and married the love of her life, Bert McCowin in November 1963. Bert and Barbara moved to Modoc County in 1974, where they resided near the McCowin family home place in Lake City, and finally to their home at California Pines.

Barbara was an entrepreneur, with a music store and a paint store in Alturas while Bert operated Bert's Body Shop. She had a love of music, art and literature, and a passion for adventure and travel. A lifelong fan of Ernest Hemingway, she considered it a pilgrimage to travel to the area in the Bahamas where he sailed and fished and wrote such classics as Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream. She finished her career as a bus driver with the Modoc Joint Unified School District.

Barbara was a compassionate, caring and generous person. She was always the advocate for the less fortunate. She had a great love and concern for animals. Never could a stray, injured or abandoned dog or cat cross her path that she wouldn't take them in, bind their wounds, and give them a home.

She was an expert at several forms of needlework, and a creative and skilled artist and craftswoman. She was also an avid gardener, tending a full flower and vegetable garden every year, since arriving in Modoc. Barbara was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church, and adhered to its teachings. She believed in the Ten Commandments and she believed in truth. She will be sorely missed, yet her spirit will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

A service was held for Barbara at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alturas, and was attended by her family and friends. According to her wishes, she will be cremated and her ashes scattered on a California coastal hilltop.

Sports

Braves face tough tests this week

Modoc had no trouble dispatching a weak Burney team here Friday, 10-0 and 17-4, but the road gets tougher Friday with Fall River and then Trinity on April 26.

The Braves are sitting in fourth place in the Shasta Cascade League, at 5-3 and a 7-7 overall record. Trinity is on top with a 7-1 league mark, Etna is second with an 8-2 mark, Fall River is third at 6-2 and Mt. Shasta is 6-4. Modoc may have to win out to ensure a playoff berth. They are certainly going to have to play well against Fall River.

In the first game against Burney last Friday, Modoc scored one in the first, seven in the second and two in the fourth for the five inning shut-out. Travis Potter got the win, going three innings and striking out six of the nine batters he faced. Kyle Madison tossed the last two innings, faced seven batters and fanned three. Each gave up one base on balls.

Potter was 2-for-2 at the plate with a home run and a pair of RBI. Jared Cox was 2-for-3 with a home run, Cody Widby was 2-for-3, Derek Broughton 1-for-2, and Madison was 1-for-2.

In the second game, Modoc scored a pair in the first, four in the second, four in the third and seven in the fourth for another five-inning decision. Burney scored two in the second and two in the third.

Broughton got the win, facing 16 batters in three innings, allowing three hits, one home run, two walks and fanned five. Joey Catania came in relief for two innings, faced seven batters, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two.

Madison was 3-for-4, Broughton was 1-for-2, Cox was 2-for-3 with a home run, Potter was 2-for-4, Widby was 1-for-2 with a home run, Jesse Cuevas was 1-for-1 and Landon Hagge was 1-for-1. The Braves had 12 hits in the game.

Modoc beat the Lakeview boys varsity baseball team 2-1 Tuesday, behind a seven-inning performance by Joey Catania.

Catania struck out 13, walked four and didn't allow a hit. Kyle Madison was 2-for-3 with two doubles, Travis Potter was 2-for-3, Catania was 2-for-2 and Jared Cox and Cody Widby each doubled. Modoc scored its two runs on eight hits.

Braves face pivotal game at Fall River

Modoc's softball team faces a pivotal game Friday in Fall River and must at least split with the Bulldogs for a good seed in the playoffs.

Modoc is now 6-2 in the Shasta Cascade League, in sole possession of second place. Bishop Quinn is on top at 7-1 and Fall River is nipping at the Braves' heels in third at 4-2. The Braves face Bishop Quinn the following Friday.

Modoc played two of its best games of the season last Friday, beating Burney 10-5 and 3-2, and one of its worst in a non-league game against Lakeview Tuesday, losing 8-6.

Modoc coach Keith Jacques said the team plays well in warm weather, but tends to have a letdown when it's cold. He's hoping for a warm day on Friday. Fall River brings a very solid pitcher, one of the best in the north section, and Modoc will have to be on their toes.

Against Burney on the first game, Megan Thompson got the win. She struck out nine, walked two and allowed four hits. Tacie Richardson was 2-for-3 on the game, Thompson and Allison Campagna were each 2-for-4. In the second game, the score was 3-1 with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh with one out, when second baseman Hannah Hays fielded a ground ball, tagged the runner and tossed to fist for a game-ending double-play. Richardson got the win in second game, striking out six, allowing eight hits and did not walk a batter. Northrup was 2-for-3 at the plate.

Modoc allowed Lakeview to jump out to six runs by the fourth inning Tuesday and just couldn't dig itself out of that hole. Thompson and Richardson both pitched in the game giving up a total of seven hits. Thompson struck out three and Richardson two. Northrup, Thompson and Emily Pence were each 2-for 4.

Modoc, Weed in tight league golf battle

The teams from Modoc and Weed High Schools split on March 14 with the Braves holding the Shasta Cascade League lead at 17-1 and Weed at 16-2. The Braves played at Fall River Thursday, while Weed played at Lake Shastina. The Braves shot 213 on the front nine, while Weed posted a score of 209. The Braves recorded a solid 201 on the back nine and Weed shot 209. The leading golfer for Modoc was D.J. Northrup, who shot 76, followed by Micah Eppler at 82, Daniel Morgan and Dustin Philpott at 85 each, Brian Weed at 87 and Taylor Dunn had a 90.

Weed's Scott Lassen shot a 71 to lead all golfers. Holly Lassen, Weed, shot 81, Trinity's Eric Schluesner had an 83, Bishop Quinn's Tom Fox shot 84. The league standings are as follows: Modoc 17-1, Weed 16-2, Mt. Shasta 12-6, Trinity 11-7, Fall River 7-11, Burney 5-13, Bishop Quinn 0-18 and Etna 0-18.

6 Modoc competitors do well in karate tourney

Six members of the Modoc Martial Arts Association attended the sixth Kocyla Karate Open Karate Championships in Klamath Falls Saturday and did well.

The tournament was hosted by Senseis John and Robin Kocyla and special guests were Senior Grand Master Ed Parker, Jr. and Grand Master Frank Trejo of American Kempo, who also put on a seminar Friday evening.

The tournament found Modoc's Mike Nagy placing second in senior blackbelt kumite. Ben Zandstra, Sr., placed third in brownbelt forms and Ben Zandstra, Jr., placed third in colored belt kumite ages 12-13. Jonathan Russell placed third in colored belt kumite for ages 16-17. Zack Goulden was third in white belt kumite ages 9-11 and Jesse Bradshaw was second in white belt kumite ages 5-6.

Hight seventh in Las Vegas

Robert Hight won his opening round drag race in the National Hot Rod Association's Summit-Racing.com Nationals in Las Vegas last weekend, but ended up in seventh place.

Hight, originally from Alturas, is now ranked number three on the top 10 points list.

Walt Bazemore, who won the Las Vegas Funny Car division, topped Hight in a quarterfinal round match.

April 28th, 2005

News

Council, Board in concert on power project

While it took a little longer than originally anticipated, primarily because of city issues, a letter of understanding has been approved by the County Board of Supervisors and Alturas City Council concerning the National Power Plant proposal at the mill site.

The project has been in the works for a couple months, and County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell expressed concern last Thursday at a City Council meeting that there were urgent timelines coming up and the agreement had to be formalized. The council agreed and adopted the agreement.

National Power Partners have proposed the construction and operation of a 20-40 MW biomass-fired power plant and possibly a 150-200 MW natural gas fired combined cycle power plant on the city-owned property, which National plans on purchasing

Both the council and board have appointed Ad Hoc committee members to provide project oversight, coordination and aid in communication. The letter also designates that Modoc Planner Scott Kessler will be the project manager and the city will initially put up about $25,000 to help offset the costs of Kessler's service.

Maxwell said that Kessler will be spending a large amount of his time to the power plant project, and the county will have to hire or contract for another planner to meet the day-to-day workload of the County's Planning Department.

Kessler had worked as both City and County Planner until June of 2004, when the city opted out of that contract. The city, however, has been unable to find a replacement planner.

According to the agreement, Kessler will be responsible for coordination of permitting and environmental activities, coordinating and permitting of the power plant and city infrastructure as it relates to the project, administration of City infrastructure needs as they relate to the project, as well as handling grants and financial needs of the city on the project and oversight of all grants and consultant services, evaluation of current consultant contracts as they relate to the project and will recommend action to the Ad Hoc Committee.

One of the first major issues has to do with the power plant using the Alturas sewer plant. The sewer plant is out of compliance with state water quality law and is operating under a cease and desist order.

The city is making an effort, which has been long, arduous and as of yet non-productive, to bring the plant up to standards. Kessler is hoping that the power plant project will not only help bring the plant up to par, but will actually build a new plant.

He is currently meeting with individuals and agencies in an effort to put a package together that would not mean increased sewer rates for the Citizens of Alturas. A current city proposal, including grants and bonds would probably raise sewer costs.

If the power plant project comes to fruition, it will be possible, said Kessler, for the repayment of any bonds or financing to be borne by the increased property tax value of the plant.

Maxwell and Mayor George Andreason are pleased with the spirit of cooperation on the project, but both acknowledge it has a long road ahead of it and there will be plenty of issues to deal with as it goes along.

Doss faces soliciting murder, illegal sex charges

Jeffrey Doss will have a pre-trial conference May 17, facing solicitation to commit murder charges, five counts of having unlawful sex with a minor and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a controlled substance. A charge of attempted conspiracy to commit murder was dropped in a hearing Tuesday by Modoc Superior Court Judge Larry Dier.

The charges stem from a March, 2001, Los Angeles police arrest of Doss, then age 20, on a seatbelt violation. That stop revealed a horrific scenario, involving a Doss threat to shoot several Modoc High School students. At that time, Doss allegedly told LA detectives he was on his way to Modoc to carry out the task and had called a local teenager telling her he was on his way. During court testimony Tuesday, that woman, Dana Siedler, said that Doss never told her he was coming up to Modoc to kill students, contrary to earlier reports. She also said she thought Doss was just joking. LA detectives found that Doss had stolen a car out of San Bernardino, and was found with a loaded stolen gun and drugs in the vehicle. He was arrested and served time in state prison.

He allegedly told LA Detectives that he was on his way to Modoc to kill five young people whom he named, four Modoc High students and a recent graduate of Modoc High. Following that, he said he was going to Modoc High School to do more shooting.

In March, 2001 then Modoc District Attorney Tom Buckwalter filed five attempted murder charges against Doss. He had to face charges in southern California first.

Modoc District Attorney Jordan Funk didn't feel the attempted murder charges were correct or provable since no actual murder attempt was committed in Modoc County.

Funk instead charged Doss with attempted conspiracy and attempted solicitation to commit murder in Modoc, both felonies.

Public Defender Richard Cotta is defending Doss. Doss had attended Modoc High School for a short time in his junior year 1997-98.

Modoc home prices prove very attractive to incoming retirees

Modoc's home prices are probably the lowest in the state, if not most the northwest, and that's been very attractive for the retiree market.

According to Dave Benson, Modoc County Assessor's office, the median price of a two-bedroom home in Modoc is $60,000 and for a three bedroom home, it's about $95,000.

Compare those prices to Sacramento where the median priced home is $332,000; Santa Clara County at $665,000; San Diego County at $535,000; Los Angeles County at $460,000;Placer County at $446,250; Yolo at $380,000; Sutter County at $258,000 and Yuba County at $206,000.

Modoc Realty's Dean Neer said there has been a steady increase in home values in Modoc and he sees that continuing. It's being driven, he said, by retired people moving in from other areas, primarily southern California. He feels like a bit of a sage. In 1986, when he built his new office on Main Street, he predicted Modoc wouldn't need more new businesses for the housing economy, retiring people would fuel the demand. And he believes he was right.

"People have sold their home for a half million dollars down there, they come up here, buy another for $100,000 and have $400,000 left," said Neer. He said most people coming into Modoc to retire are wanting to purchase small lots out of town. Neer said the one thing he sees that may dampen the market would be increases in interest rates. He said the current average price for a home across the nation was $190,000, so Modoc looks like a real bargain.

One of the issues facing real estate sales in Modoc, he said, is the lack of high quality listings. The more expensive properties are selling quicker than the lower priced homes, and he said there is a lack of high quality listings on the market.

Sandy Stevenson, of United Country, feels the market will remain strong and that prices will stay on the upswing. "But, not everyone coming here is coming with tons of cash," she said. "There are many intelligent people who understand real estate and are coming here just because they like the area."

Stevenson said she believes the better quality listings, when priced correctly, are selling best. "Price is the biggest thing," she said. "If it doesn't appraise at the list price, it's not going to sell. We are the cheapest place in California for real estate."

Finding quality homes is another issue, she said. There are no contractors building spec homes in Modoc, so people are left with what's on the market or with a decision to build their own. She said she's had clients who have purchased a lessor quality home than they desired, in hopes that a better home will come on the market later.

She agrees with Neer that most of the new people moving into the area are looking to move out of town, and on smaller acreages, primarily one to five acre lots.

Janie Erkiaga said she sees a healthy Modoc market, but feels it will slow to a more steady pace in the near future.

"I think we're going to continue to see it grow, but not as fast as the past three years, primarily because of a probable rise in interest rates," she said. She also sees a many retirees coming in from the south, where they've sold their home, buy something here for a good price and "still have a chunk of change to invest in other things."

She said the market is very good for quality homes, but she also sees fixer uppers, purchased as investments, selling quickly. Those fixer uppers are going primarily to local buyers, she said. She agrees with Neer, that high quality listings are at a premium.

"I do worry about what's going to happen when the interest rates go up," she said. "But, I do see a steady market with good values."

Lower housing prices in Modoc may also have a lot to do with the median income levels. The state median household income is $32,242. Modoc is ranked 50th out of the state's 58 counties for lowest median household income at $25,749. Siskiyou is ranked 53rd at $25,456. Lassen County is ranked 16th at $34,615. Shasta County is ranked 35th $28,984.

The highest median household income is in Marin County at $44,797 and the lowest is in Imperial County at $21,799.

SVJUSD affirms developer fees

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

A standing room only crowd spilled out into the hallways of the high school Thursday night as the Governing Board of the Surprise Valley Joint Unified School District answered questions, clarified details and responded to concerns before unanimously passing a resolution to implement Developer Fees within the district's boundaries.

SVJUSD board members are President Gene Erquiaga (Cedarville), Vice-President Robert Staton (Eagleville), Clerk Jim Laacke (Cedarville), Dean Cockrell (Lake City) and Steve Smith (Fort Bidwell). They were joined at last week's meeting by Robin Teuscher, the district's Business Manager, who helped explain the state's requirements and how implementing the fees would benefit the local district.

The new fees will go into effect in Surprise Valley sixty days after passage of the April 21 resolution. Details of exactly how the one-time fees will be levied are being worked out by the district's administrative staff in cooperation with the county planning department.

Local residents planning to either build new homes or add over 500 square feet onto existing homes will pay an additional fee of $2.24 per square foot. Commercial businesses are assessed a lower rate of $.36 per square foot for new or additional construction. Agricultural businesses and religious organizations are exempt from the fees.

All fees collected under the new program go into a special fund to offset the expenses of specific local school facility projects. The board's decision is expected to save the cash-strapped district over $202,475 in matching funds for projects totaling over $506,188.

Staton said before the vote, "We have major work to be done and no funds to do it". Now, with Developer Fees in place, the entire cost of projected renovations will be picked up by the state once the district clears the last hurdle by receiving "hardship" designation.

In a "Justification Study" commissioned by the board, researchers estimated the District would collect only a total of $76,097 over the next five years ($75,490 in residential and $607 in commercial permit fees). The expected "fee shortfall" of $126,378 will nevertheless be made available to the district by the state for approved projects.

Only limited portions of the elementary school currently qualify for modernization under existing guidelines. While the seventh and eighth grade class portables are slated to be razed and replaced, it's hoped there will be enough funds left for some renovation to the first through third grade classrooms. No other facilities in the district are eligible for work under current guidelines "for about ten years", said Teuscher

The new fees can only be collected for explicit projects approved by the state. Once projects are completed, the board may rescind the fees. "We came pretty close to a promise…Everyone on the board has expressed that this decision is intended for a specific project -- then that's it. None of us liked the idea of imposing these fees to begin with", said Laacke.

School board members joined staff in a tour of the seventh and eighth grade portable classrooms on a cold day in early February. After experiencing firsthand the deplorable conditions on site, board members were swiftly energized to act, unified in their determination to replace those particular facilities, and disposed to seriously consider implementing the fees. At the board's next meeting, members directed Teuscher to begin the process of public education and discussion of the issues involved.

Subsequently, a letter detailing the Developer Fee program and process of implementation was sent to every resident in Surprise Valley.

Thursday's much-anticipated vote to go forward with the fees followed a protracted and markedly civil public comment period. "Some people voiced concerns but everyone who spoke seemed to understand the need to implement the fees", Teuscher said afterwards.

Many who went on the record with remarks or questions were either contractors or people planning to build new homes in the near future. Representatives from the County Planning Department said later that permits are issued for an initial one-year period and "can remain active for three years." Permits taken out before June 21 would not be subject to the fees for the entire period they remain in effect.

Laacke said he was impressed with everyone he spoke with, prior to and at the meeting last week. "Not one board member got anything other than 'it has to be done' as people understood the needs", he said. "No one really likes the idea of new fees, but, as one person said to me, 'Sometimes you just have to drink vinegar!'

"This was another example of a difficult choice the community ultimately supported", said Laacke after the meeting. "I just keepgetting more and more proud of this community!"

Obituaries:

Frank Szumowski Jr

Frank Szumowski Jr., age 72 of Alturas, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2005.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joey, and his beloved twin brother Eddie.

Frank was born on September 23, 1932 to Frank and Maryann Szumowski in Nanicoke, PA.

Frank was area manager for Cavins Oil Well Tools in Taft, CA for 20 years with his wife Nita as his secretary. They retired in 1992 and relocated to Alturas.

Frank and Nita opened a small gift and balloon shop, "S&S Balloons" shortly after moving to Alturas and spent many happy hours there. After closing their business Frank could be found at any one of his favorite fishing holes doing what he loved best, "catching a big one". He also enjoyed working in his yard and garden, tying flies, and spending time with his family.

Frank is survived by his loving wife Nita, daughters Linda Steder and husband Jim from Wisconsin, Patty Shirk and husband Richard of Alturas, son Steve and wife Rose from Kansas, five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. His brother Henry Szumowski, sister Pauline Lacina both from Pennsylvania, brother-in-laws Jim Halepeska and wife Mary of Arizona and Rex Halepeska of California, also many nieces and nephews. Frank will be missed but will live on in the hearts of those who loved him. The following two letters were written by two of his grandchildren a couple of years ago and reflect the man he was: Some say an inspiration is someone who saves a life or scores so many points in a game. My definition would be someone who tries his hardest at everything they do or try. Frank Szumowski Jr., is my Grandpa and is a inspiration to me. His family got passports to come to the United States from Poland. My Grandfather was born September 23, 1932 and he is the strongest person mentally and physically that I have ever known. My Grandpa inspires me by his strengths and accomplishments. He has taught me lots of things in life that I will never forget. When I get older and have children of my own all of my knowledge that my Grandpa has given me will be passed on to them. He has told me many times that if I want something bad enough to work for it until I accomplish my goal. He has also taught me to treat others with respect. I love my Grandpa for all of these reasons and many more yet to come. He inspires me with such great deeds. Love Your Fishing Buddy, Brandon.

I know of a man who is seventy. Who's as much of a man as a man ought to be. His skin soft and colorful like golden brown silk. I feel a calming sensation when looking in his "deep in thought" butternut brown eyes. The strength in his stare, and the deep powerful sound in his voice makes me feel so safe. He has such a calming presence when approaching someone. Walking down the street with a gleem in his eyes, he cheerfully shares a bright smile and a hello with the passerby's. Each time I go to Grandpa's to spend the summer hours, he lets me pick a bouquet of flowers. (Don't tell Grandma, hehe). His kind and gentle temperament smile and laugh that stays within. The softness of his sighs when telling jokes. He has this love and caring nature that is shared with those he knows. And always smiles, though he is not feeling up beat. My Grandpa speaks from his heart, not his lips. He is the calm breeze that seems to lift my spirit, perfect in every way. I close my eyes and what I see is someone I adore, a person who is beautiful right down into his soul. No words can describe the qualities that he shows. He will always be the same old wonderful man, no matter how old he grows. I Love you PaPa. Love Krissy.

There will be no memorial service at Frank's request.

Harold R. Wischmann

Harold Russell Wischmann died April 25, 2005. following a short illness, at Modoc Medical Center's long term care facility.

He was born February 7, 1924 in Meeker County, Minnesota

Following a career in the U.S. Navy as a chef, he owned and operated the Rancho Steak House in Alturas. He has been a resident of Modoc County for 27 years.

He was a member of the Alturas Elks Lodge, the Masonic Lodge and the Modoc County Sheriff's Posse.

He is survived by his wife, Doris, of Alturas; a daughter, Sharon and husband Mike, grandson Mike and stepson Mike Barney, stepdaughter Linda Stam, sisters Rudy Watters, Elaine Wischmann, and brother Kenneth Wischmann.

Mr. Wischmann's remains will be cremated and no services will be held.

Margaret E. Johnson

Margaret E. Johnson passed away April 6, 2005 in Folsom, CA of cancer. Born December 29, 1916 in Los Angeles, CA to Thomas and Florence Wheeler. She was preceded in death by her husband Herman Johnson of Jamestown and great-grandson Tanner Johnson of Downsville, WI. Margaret is survived by sons Ross Johnson and his wife Linda of Cameron Park, CA and David Johnson and his wife Lois of Downsville, WI, grandsons Kevin, Jeffery, Fletcher and Forrest and eight great- grandchildren.

Margaret was a graduate in nursing at UCLA, where she earned her public health certificate. She began her nursing training at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena in 1935. In 1947, she and Herman were married and were together for 42 years before his passing. She was a school nurse in Shasta County and in 1952 she and Herman and her adopted sons Ross and David moved to Cedarville in Modoc County where she started the nursing section of the new Modoc County Health Department. In 1963, they moved to Tuolumne County where Margaret was the public health nurse for the Tuolumne County Health Department until she retired in 1972. Her specialties were communicable and chronic diseases, crippled children, venereal disease and family planning. She also served in the Amador, Calaveras and Mariposa County Health Departments while in Tuolumne County.

Margaret was active in Order of Eastern Star in Modoc County and was Worthy Matron in 1960. She loved to cook and loved golfing and playing Bridge with her many friends. Being from southern California she was an avid Dodger and Laker fan. A life long Democrat she loved politics and kept up on the goings on in Washington through C-Span. After retirement she was a volunteer for Hospice of the Sierra. Margaret will be missed by all. Margaret requested that in lieu of flowers that anyone wishing to should donate to hospice or to a charity of their choice

Virgie M. Fender

Former Alturas resident Virgie M. Fender, 86, passed away April 25, 2005 in Brownsburg, Indiana. Services will be held at Kerr Chapel in Alturas on Friday, April 29 at 1 p.m. with burial to follow in the Alturas Cemetery. Alturas Baptist Pastor Mel Chasteen will conduct the service.

She was born Virgie Gentry in North Carolina on January 28, 1919. The family will provide Mrs. Fender's obituary at a future date.

Manuel Russo

Manuel Russo, 98, passed away in Fremont, Alameda County, CA. on January 16, 2005. Mr. Russo who split his time between in his home in Modoc County and San Jose, CA left a lasting impression with his rock work throughout Modoc County.

His rock work stands at the Modoc District Fairground's gated entry, at the Modoc County Record, entry to KCNO station, many backyard barbecues, garden wishing wells and special accents he designed at his Cedar Pass retreats and the gates to his Triangle Ranch.

He was born November 13, 1906. Mr. Russo enjoyed life and retired as a special delivery messenger with the U.S. Postal Service in 1961, after 35 years of service delivering mail in the eastern foothills of Santa Clara Valley. He made his home in San Jose and owned commercial property there for many years. He also built his "retreat" cabins on Cedar Creek, where he spent half of each year.

Mr. Russo mentioned often that it was his Italian ancestry which enabled him to enjoy life more than most people. He was a seemingly tireless worker and a magnanimous and hospitable person, with an affinity for children and animals. He owned a trick horse named Major Comma - "The Wonder Horse" and his dog Prince, a very well trained German Shepherd. They performed at various benefits and shows in the San Jose area. Mr. Russo never charged for any of the performances -- it was all for the kids. Prince was on television more than once and photographed for the San Jose Mercury News retrieving mail from Russo's mailbox. Mr. Russo derived great pleasure in creating things for children. Later in his life, he gave of his time and resources to improve classrooms in San Jose schools, by purchasing desired equipment such as T.V.'s, gifts for the students and teachers in Special Ed classes. He called himself a kind of ""Santee" Claus. While his two sons were young (and only a year apart), Manuel built a motorcoach trailer and for five years the family traveled Oregon, Nevada and California working picking fruit during harvest season and educating his sons. Mr. Russo also raised and trained German Shepherd dogs as a hobby and enjoyed rock collecting. He began coming to the Modoc area in the 1930s. He enjoyed making treks to Modoc County and the Nevada desert as a rockhound. He made lasting impressions and long-time friends in the area. His devoted and loving wife Alva preceded him in death in the 1980s, and his youngest son Richard P. Russo died a year prior to his father's death. He is survived by a son Robert E. Russo, grandchildren and among his great-grandchildren are triplets Sage, Timber and River.

Jean (Gray) Foster

Jean Irene (Gray) Foster passed away February 16, 2005, at the age of 80 in Sacramento, CA. She was born Jean Irene Gray in Klamath Falls, Oregon on March 21, 1924.

Mrs. Foster graduated from Modoc Union High School in Alturas, CA and retired after 30 years, from IBM as a supervisor-librarian. She was active in Beta Sigma Phi, the Ladies Auxiliary to Veterans of Foreign Wars and AmVets Ladies Auxiliary. She lived in Bend, Medford, Central Point and Malin, Oregon and in Westwood, Alturas, Quincy, Blairsden, Graeagle, Portola, Truckee, Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA. over the years. She was married to Bill Dory, Jay McKinney, Dick Gillette and Jay Foster. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Larri and Edward Powers of Brookings; grandsons Edward William Powers and his wife Mary Lee and Matthew Alan Powers and his wife Julie. Great-grandchildren Charles Edward, Julia Noel, Madison Grace, and Trenton Michael. One sister, Margaret Moyer, nieces, Sharon Moyer and Patricia Waters, nephew Donald Moyer.

Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 21, 2005 at 1 p.m. in the Land Park Chapel of Harry A. Nauman & Son, 4041 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. Donations in Mrs. Foster's name may be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 2555 49th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817.

Sports

Modoc drops pair to Fall River

Fall River dropped Modoc's varsity softball team, 7-1 and 9-2, Friday, bumping the Braves out of a league title chance.

Coach Keith Jacques said the Braves needed to play their best game, but came up a little short. "Fall River beat us, plain and simple," said Jacques. "They're good, but we could have played better. Their pitcher was by far the best we've seen."

Megan Thompson pitched the first game for Modoc, allowing 10 hits, fanning four and gave up six walks. Emily Pence was the leading hitter, going 2-for-3.

Tacie Richardson pitched the second game, allowing 11 hits, fanned three and walked two. Thompson and Alysha Northrup were 1-for-3 at the plate.

Brave force extra innings, but lose pair to Fall River

Modoc's Braves forced extra innings in both varsity baseball games last Friday against Fall River, but ended up on the losing end, 2-1 and 3-2. The losses dropped Modoc to 5-5 and fifth in the Shasta Cascade League. Tuesday they traveled to league-leading Trinity. Trinity is on top, at 10-1, followed by Fall River 10-2, Etna 8-4, Mt. Shasta 6-4, Modoc 5-5, Weed 4-6, Burney 2-10 and Bishop Quinn 0-12.

The losses mean the Braves will have to win out to have a shot at the playoffs. Their finals games are Friday against bottom dwelling Bishop Quinn.

In the first game against Fall River, pitcher Mitch Holscher held Modoc to four hits while striking out 11 and only walking a pair.

The Braves tied the game a 1-1 in the fourth, and held until the Bulldogs won it with a run in the bottom of the eighth.

In the nightcap, Modoc got out to a 2-0 lead in the second and Fall River tied it in the sixth and again pushed a run across in the eighth for the win. The Braves split the double bill in Trinity, winning the first game in eight innings 6-4 and losing the second, 8-3.

In the first game Modoc scored one in the first, two in the third, one in the seventh ad two in the eighth. Trinity scored one in the third, two in the sixth and tied it with one in the seventh.

In the second game, Trinity jumped out to a four run lead in the first and added four in the third. Modoc scored two in the fifth and one in the seventh.

The Braves remain at fifth place in the SCL, with a 6-6 record. Fall River moves into a first place tie with Trinity at 10-2, Etna is tied with Mt. Shasta at 8-4, then Modoc 6-6, Weed 4-8, Burney 2-10 and Bishop Quinn 0-12.

Braves maintain lead in golf

Modoc's Braves maintained a one match lead over Weed following last Thursday's match. Weed and Modoc will meet today at Lake Shastina. Modoc's team shot 202 on the front nine and 215 on the back nine, while Weed posted a 220 on the front and a 216 on the back.

Micah Eppler led the Modoc crew with a 73, Brian Weed shot a 79, D.J. Northrup and Daniel Morgan shot 86 and Taylor Dunn finished with a 91. Weed's top golfer, Scott Lassen shot a 74.

Individual medalists in the match were: Eppler first; Lassen, Weed, second; Weed, Modoc third; Holly Lassen, Weed, Northrup, Modoc, tied for fourth; Tom Fox, Bishop Quinn, sixth; Morgan, Modoc, seventh; Tyler Ames and Scott Strock, Mt. Shasta, tied for eighth; Dunn, Modoc, Leso and Zwanzinger, Weed, tied for 10th.

The Shasta Cascade League standings going into today's play are: Modoc 21-1; Weed 20-2; Mt. Shasta 16-6; Trinity 13-9; Fall River 9-13; Burney 5-17; Bishop Quinn 0-22; and Etna 0-22.

Northrup had a great day Friday at the Jefferson State/Klamath Basin Invitational at the Running Y in Klamath Falls.

Northrup shot a 68, only one of five players to break 70 in the tournament's eight-year history. Coming off an 86 the previous day at Lake Shastina, Northrup fired his best round ever.

As a team, the Braves finished eighth in the event. B. Weed shot 88, Dunn shot 100, Ross Montague shot 100 and Dustin Philpott shot 107.

Close tourney at Arrowhead

The team of Bunk Richardson, Mike Macdonald and Larry Estes shot a 52 3/4 to win the Arrowhead Golf Course three man scramble last weekend. Tied for second were the teams of Dave Hoxey, Kyle Weber and Kathie Widby and Daniel Morgan, Josue Madrigal and Keith Weber with a 53.5. Fourth place also tied with the team of Jack Britton, D.J. Northrup and Brian Weed and Brad Server, Kris Server and Adam Server. The tied with a score of 55.

May 5th, 2005

News

Gerlach coal plant meeting set for SV High School Gym

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

On Wednesday, May 11, representatives from San Diego-based energy giant Sempra Generations will share the stage with attorney and clean energy advocate Jon Wellinghoff to present plans and answer questions about a proposed coal-fired power plant they hope to build near Gerlach, Nevada. The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM in the Surprise Valley High School gymnasium on Bonner and Lincoln Streets in Cedarville.

The Greater Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event. The proposed format has each guest making a brief presentation before responding to questions from the audience.

Dubbed the "Granite Fox Power Project", the conventional coal plant would supply 1450 megawatts of power, enough to support 1.45 million households each year. Sempra hopes to locate the plant on the northern edge of the Smoke Creek Desert, 10 miles from Gerlach and 74 miles south of Cedarville along Nevada Highway 447.

Though the plant would be sited on 2,000 acres of private land, tying in to LA Water and Power's nearby DC power line will require five government permits for access to approximately 260 acres of public lands. Those permits, covering a railroad spur, a 1.5 mile 500 KV DC transmission line linking the plant to the power line, ancillary facilities, rights-of-way, and a water gathering line, must all be approved through a process overseen by the Bureau of Land Management

The BLM has announced a series of four public information meetings in late May. The only meeting in Modoc County is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Senior Center in Cedarville. Other Open Houses will be held in Gerlach, Susanville and Reno the same week. Barbara Kehrberg, who works out of the Winnemucca Field Office, has been named the BLM Project Lead for the course of the proposed project. Her office has begun work on the required Environmental Impact Statement by soliciting a first round of comments from the public.

Written statements will be "given full consideration" if received or postmarked by June 22, 2005. Fred Holzel, the Planning and Environmental Coordinator, is accepting comments on behalf of the BLM at the Winnemucca Field Office, 5100 East Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, Nevada 89445.

Kehrberg, who has spoken at various public meetings in Modoc and Lassen Counties since being assigned Project Lead, has said she'd advise anyone hoping to impact the permitting process to "attend all public meetings. Show up in force. Talk to your congressmen and representatives. You don't have to wait for an Open House to send in a comment. We seriously encourage all input from the public on this issue." But her role, and that of the BLM and related government agencies, is to "make sure the process, the letter of the law, is followed."

Locally, BLM geologist Ken Collum will be the Surprise Field Office contact person for the project. The Eagle Lake Field Office near Susanville is also involved in the permitting process.

Energy law attorney Jon Wellinghoff, who has over 30 years' experience as a consumer advocate in Nevada, is working with a panel of experts and organizations to oppose the Granite Fox project. Serious questions about the desert area's limited water resources, future air quality, and emission and by-product concerns have energized a vocal group of local citizens fighting the project.

Many are also concerned that if Sempra secures rights to the DC Tie Line, the amount of coal-generated power will preclude significant development of renewable power in the area, including geothermal, solar and wind-generated energy.

Others, recognizing the nation's energy needs and the vast abundance of coal available for exploitation, question Sempra's refusal to build a plant that uses truly cutting-edge technology. "Air Cooled Condensers (ACC) use up to 98 percent less water. The IGCC process cuts emissions of both greenhouse gasses and elements such as mercury significantly", said one consulting energy engineer.

"People in Surprise Valley need to get informed and involved", said another opponent of the project. "Local ranchers may find their underground water sources drying up as the project sucks from aquifers that connect under the entire northern Great Basin area."

Though Sempra has secured rights to 25,000 acre/ft of water, its projected annual use is 16,000 acre/feet. With an "acre foot" equaling the water necessary to cover one square acre a foot deep, the minimum yearly consumption works out to 14.7 million gallons per day or 5.2 billion gallons per year.

Sempra has hired both the U.S. Geological Survey and Desert Research Institute to study the area's available underground and surface water, including three seasonal creeks draining into the Smoke Creek basin. After all studies are completed, Nevada's state engineer will make a final determination on the advisability of diverting water currently available for agriculture and recreational use to industrial use.

Third-Party contractors Golder Associates out of Colorado were the successful bidders to draft the Environmental Impact Statement. A first draft isn't expected until sometime in 2006. Submission of the initial draft report will be followed by an additional series of public meetings providing further opportunities for people to add comments on the project. A final EIS report is expected to take up to three years to reach final approval, said Kehrberg, "And the final report will be followed by another 30 day public comment period."

If the EIS opens the way for proceeding with current plans, Sempra projects they will begin construction in 2007, have one tower in operation in 2010 with a second tower being brought online the following year.

Road conditions biggest issue facing north state highways

The smoothness of the road surface is the highest priority drivers in Caltrans District 2, including Modoc County, cited on a Caltrans Highway maintenance survey just released.

Striping and lane maintenance was the second highest priority while snow and ice removal was in third.

When the question was what the highest priority should be for Caltrans Maintenance Crews, filling potholes was top with 23 percent of the respondents, snow and ice removal was second with 19 percent, replacing knocked down signs was third at 13 percent, removing debris from the highways was fourth at 11 percent, clearing accidents was fifth at 10 percent and maintaining pavement parking was sixth at nine percent. Conversely, the lowest priority was given to picking up litter, followed closely by maintaining the landscaping and removing graffiti.

When asked about the most important aspects of the roadside, people overwhelmingly chose areas to safely pull off the road. Second to that was rest area availability.

Drivers in District 2 do not give Caltrans high marks on road smoothness. Some 68 percent said the roads were either fair or rough, while 32 percent went to the smooth or quiet side.

As far as maintaining pavement markings, most people felt Caltrans was doing a good to excellent job. In that category 44 percent said good while 20 percent said excellent and 29 percent rated their job as fair.

On repairing potholes, Caltrans seems to be doing well. While 31 percent answered only fair to the question, 38 percent said Caltrans was doing a good job and another 16 percent rate them as excellent.

Oddly, on the question of how Caltrans was doing on snow removal, 56 percent offered no opinion. Some 26 percent felt the effort was good, eight percent, excellent, and eight percent fair. Only two percent rate snow removal efforts as poor.

One area where Caltrans doesn't come off well in the survey is the effort Caltrans and crews or contractors make to minimize traffic delays in construction zones. Only 24 percent felt there was a good effort, while 70 percent rated the effort fair to poor.

Caltrans got a good mark for keeping roads safe and passable during major disasters or storms. Of those surveyed, 45 percent rate Caltrans as good, eight percent excellent and 24 percent fair. Only seven percent rated a poor mark. Likewise, Caltrans got good marks when it comes to clearing major accidents with 32 percent saying good, seven percent saying excellent and 32 percent saying fair. Only 21 percent felt they did a poor job.

Most people felt that damaged traffic safety barriers, guardrails or median barriers should be replaced or repaired within two days to a week. Ten percent felt they should be fixed the same day they were damaged, 28 percent said within two days and 37 percent said up to a week.

Potholes should also get quick attention. The survey shows that 17 percent say it should be fixed the same day it shows up, 31 percent give Caltrans up to two days and another 30 percent give them two days to a week.

When it comes to roadway repair work, 60 percent of the respondents said to close one traffic lane for several consecutive nights, while 30 percent said close one lane for an entire day.

Caltrans gets good marks on removing debris and litter with 71 percentrating it good or excellent and 80 percent rate the job Caltrans does at maintaining signs as good to excellent.

The survey was conducted over the Internet during December, 2004 and January, 2005 and the results were released last week.

Alturas building falls back

Building activity in Alturas took a backslide during April as seven permits valued at $25,058 were issued.

In March, the City Building Department issued 17 permits valued at $205,569.

Modoc County building was brisk in April, with 27 permits issued worth an estimated $588,814.08. Only one of the permits was for a new home, five of those permits were to install retrofit foundation systems, and six were for either garages or barns. There were two manufactured homes set up and there were five remodeling jobs.

The county collected $6,373.74 in fees.

The County issued nine building permits in March, worth an estimated $409,227. CDF sets out residential burn permit regulations.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) Lassen-Modoc Unit reminds residents of Lassen County and Modoc County that residential burn permits will be required beginning May 1, 2005.

The burn permit allows you to conduct the following types of residential debris burns:

• Burning debris in small heaps and piles (not to exceed four feet in diameter).

• Burning debris in a burn barrel, if within exempted areas of Lassen County. Authorization/permit from Lassen County is required. For further information, contact Lassen County Air Pollution Control District (530)251-8110.

• Burning debris in a burn barrel within Modoc County is allowed due to the restriction exemptions received from the Air Resources Board. Burn hours for Lassen County are as follows: May 1, 2005 through May 31, 2005 - open hours, June 1, 2005 through June 30, 2005 - 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. Burn hours for Modoc County are as follows: May 1, 2005 through May 31, 2005 - open hours, June 1, 2005 through June 30, 2005 - 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. After June 30, 2005 - Burning Suspension will be in effect until the end of declared Fire Season or until lifted by the Unit Chief.

You must have possession of a signed permit while you are conducting a burn. This is the law, if you lose your permit you will need to obtain another one before you start burning. If you are asked for your permit by an officer while you are burning and you can not produce one, you may be cited.

You can get your residential burn permits at the following locations:

• Susanville CDF station at 697-345 Hwy 36. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning May 1, permits will be available seven days a week, on a self-serve basis.

• Bieber CDF station at 510 Bridge Street. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Alturas CDF station at 702 East Eighth Street. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Modoc National Forest at 800 West 12th Street. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you have any questions, you can contact your local fire agency. They will be happy to answer any questions. Remember, the safety of your property and home, your neighbor's property and home is in your hands.

For more tips on living safety in California's wildlands this summer, go to the CDF website at www. fire.ca.gov. The Lassen Modoc Unit website can also be visited at www. cdflmu.org.

MHS Class of '85 reunion

Modoc High School Class of 1985 has a reunion planned for Saturday night, July 2 during Fandango Days 2005.

The 20th reunion will be held at the Brass Rail in Alturas with a dinner and dance for $15 per person. Music by Goin' South for the dance to follow dinner. The dance will be open to the public

Reservations for the reunion should be made by June 1, 2005, to any one of the three classmates listed: Janet (Young) Server, email to rambo@hdo.net or phone (530) 233-4858; Michelle (Merino) Ayers, email mayers@bps.k12.ok.us; or to Eric Nelson at (530) 233-3216. Approximately 52 students comprise this class.

Class of '45 reunites

The Modoc Record wants to correct the cost of the Class of 1945 Alumni dinner, as announced in last week's issue. Alumni from Modoc Union High School's class of 1945, will gather for their 60th reunion at the Brass Rail in Alturas on July 16.

The correct combined cost for dinner, prizes and miscellaneous expenses is $25 per person. Check-in time will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Brass Rail. No host social hour starts at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Reservations will be required by July 1, 2005. Please make checks payable to Wilma Waterman, Treasurer, and mail to 911 West Third St., Alturas, CA 96101-3708. Phone 530-233-2960.

There are many classmates who cannot be located including: Dorothy Syvertson, Marie Pool, Jimmie Lou Lange, Vincent Caldwell, Betty Goodson, Judith Doty, Harold Tyson, Ed Schneegas, Byron Morris, Delores Hawley, LaJune Greene, Melvin Greene, Lillian Plemons, Bernice Harris, James Clark, Jean Oliver, Betty Moulton, Emeline Wilson, Paul Reimer, Litty Mae Jordon, Naomi Boyd Young.

Learn more about our Sandhill Cranes

Coming soon, "Green Eggs and Long Legs II: Sandhills in Motion." Where do these fascinating birds come from and why did they choose Modoc County as their summer home?

Wildlife Biologist Shannon Ludwig will answer these and other questions during the second annual crane event at the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge near Alturas. Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14, Ludwig will talk about migration patterns, what biologist studying the cranes have learned, how Modoc's agricultural practices enhance Sandhill habitat, and why the Sandhills are such a draw to the increasing number of tourists who follow the migration to the Refuge.

After the presentation and a forum for questions, Ludwig will lead a tour so those attending can observe the cranes in their natural habitat.

The event, sponsored by the Refuge and the River Center in Alturas, is free and refreshments will be provided.

Participants are advised to bring binoculars (though some spotting scopes will be set up as well), cameras, and wear hiking shoes.

Obituaries:

Vida F. Tillman

Vida F. Stevens Knudsen Tillman passed away May 1, 2005, at the Olive Ridge Care Center, Oroville, CA. Vida was a resident of Alturas from 1952 until 2002. She was born July 3, 1926 to Warren and Johannah Stevens, Arcadia, UT.

Vida worked many years at the Warner Hotel Coffee Shop, and the Brass Rail Restaurant in Alturas. She made lasting friendships through her work and activities. She was a commendable Brownie Troop leader, 1956 through 1960. Vida loved to golf, and shot a "Hole-in-One" more than once. Another passion was landscaping and working in her yard. Vida's green thumb produced a year-round flower display admired by many.

She was preceded in death by husband Tom Tillman, and son Aaron Knudsen, and sister Ruth Beck. Survived by: brothers Richard and Jack Stevens and families, Sandpoint, ID. Daughters; Teresa Stone and husband Bob Stone of Burney, CA. Sandy Stevenson and husband Ed Stevenson of Cedarville, CA. Grandchildren: Larry and Rochelle Fitch and family, Burney, CA, Jacob and Taj Knudsen, Redding, CA, Nathan Knudsen, Redding, CA, Kevin and Gretchen Marundee, Redding, CA, Damian and Hannah Swain and family, Redding, CA, Tom Ward, Sacramento, CA. Niece: Cheryl Layva and husband Rick, Sutcliff, NV.

Vida requested no services upon her death. The family is planning to celebrate Vida's life with her friends and family at a later date. The date is to be announced.

Delos D. Steward

Lifetime Surprise Valley resident Delos D. Steward passed away at Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville on May 3, 2005. Mr. Steward was born May 9, 1927 and was a resident of Cedarville.

Services are to be held Friday, May 6 at Lake City Cemetery at 2 p.m. Kerr Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

J.C. Caldwell

J.C. Caldwell, 82, passed away at his home in West Sacramento on April 13, 2005. He was a native of Arkansas and a 52-year resident of West Sacramento.

J.C. served as a Marine Raider in the South Pacific during WWII. After retirement from 33 years of driving for Greyhound, he enjoyed golf, fishing, and travel. He was a member of Scepter Lodge #808 F&AM, Scottish Rite, Ben Ali Shrine, Order of the Eastern Star, Washington Outboard Club, Marine Raider Association, Sixth Marine Division Association, and a life member of VFW Post #8762 of West Sacramento.

J.C. was the beloved husband of 58 years to Naomi Caldwell, loving father of Michael Caldwell, dear brother of Hazel Potter, Lucille Cullum, Betty Ross, and Herschel Caldwell, devoted grandfather of Kimberly Enloe and Micah Caldwell, great-grandfather of Tyler and Johnathan Enloe, brother-in-law of Penny Rice, Barbara Rice, Ray Monge, Dolores Roberts and Josie Johnson of Alturas, CA, and admired uncle to numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Dennis, sister, Maureen Powell, and brothers, Alton and Virlion Caldwell.

Friends and family attended a military graveside service on Wednesday, April 20, at 1 p.m. at Monument Hill Memorial Park, Woodland, CA, followed by a fellowship together at the VFW Hall in West Sacramento. Memorial contributions in J.C.'s name may be made to the Shriner's Hospitals for Crippled Children .

Milo E. Conklin

Milo E. Conklin died at his Cedarville home on Sunday, May 1, 2005, at the age of 70, after a courageous battle with cancer.

A service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2005 at 11 a.m. at Living Waters Fellowship in Cedarville with Reverend Dan St. Clair officiating.

Milo was born to John and Rose (Henry) Conklin at Cedarville on August 11, 1934. He grew up and was educated in Cedarville.

Most of his working years were spent on various farms and ranches in the Surprise Valley. He was well known for his mechanics and welding skills. He had also worked in sawmills and as a butcher.

Milo thoroughly enjoyed riding motorcycles and keeping in shape. He was an accomplished song writer and guitar player and had a beautiful singing voice.

He is survived by daughters, Lois Spencer, Molly Roe and Tina Conklin; son John Conklin; brother, Gilbert Conklin; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers and two sisters. Desert Rose Funeral of Lakeview, Oregon is in charge of arrangements.

Jed Franklin Reynolds

Jed Franklin Reynolds died on April 28, 2005, following a long illness, at the Modoc Medical Center, Alturas, CA.

He was born December 22, 1935, in Oklahoma City, OK. Jed served in the US Army for two years and four years in the National Guard.

Jed and family lived in Fairfield, CA for 22 years.

After retiring from 35 years with Chevron Chemical Company of Richmond, CA, Jed and his wife relocated to Alturas, CA, in Modoc County.

He enjoyed watching the races, fishing, hunting, and camping with his family in Truckee, CA. He also greatly enjoyed watching his many grandchildren play at his Wild Acres Ranch in Alturas.

He is survived by his wife Barbara of 48 years, sons Gary and wife Susan, of Fairfield, CA; Larry and wife Janie, of Puyallup, WA; Ken and wife Sandi, of Sacramento, CA; and daughter Laura Allman and husband Tom, of Willits, CA. He is also survived by sister Leila Wertz, of Williams, CA; brother Bud of Capay Valley, CA, and sister Loys McConnell, of McKinleyville, CA, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jed was preceded in death by his mother Laura, father Vince, brother Bob, and sister Jewell Wilkerson.

A memorial service was held on Monday, May 2, 2005, at 10 a.m. at Faith Baptist Church in Alturas. Pastor Rod Bodmer officiated.

Juanita Townsend Numan McGowan

Juanita Townsend Numan McGowan passed away peacefully at her home in Reno, Nevada, on May 2, 2005, surrounded by her family.

Mrs. McGowan joins her beloved husband, Roger McGowan, her sisters Thelma and Bea and her brothers Ross, Bevis, Clayton and Reggie. She leaves behind her three sons, Darryl and LaDeana Numan of Ft. DuChesne, Utah; Randall and Joyce Numan of Sparks, NV and Lane Numan of Reno, NV; her brother Herman and Bertha Townsend of Ft. Bidwell, CA; and her grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

She was born Juanita Townsend on April 10, 1929, in Cedarville, CA. Visitation will be held on Friday evening May 6 at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas, followed by interment at the Cedarville Cemetery. Services will be held May 7 at 11 a.m. in the Ft. Bidwell Gymnasium. Arrangements are under the direction of Kerr Mortuary, Alturas, CA.

Julie K. Crist Smith

Former resident Julie Kathleen Crist Smith, 42, of Napa, died Saturday, April 30, 2005.

Julie was born July 3, 1962, in Cedarville, CA, the daughter of Charles Allen and Helen Marie Dyer Crist. She attended local school, including Surprise Valley High School and later in her life worked for a number of years as a certified nursing assistant. Julie built her life around her kids, and loved her family and her dogs.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Diana Long, just two weeks ago. She is survived by her two children, Curtis Smith of Vallejo, and Lisa Perez of Napa; parents, Allen Crist of Oregon and Helen Crist of Vacaville; two brothers, Robbie Crist of Napa and Richard Crist of Jay, FL; three sisters, Debbie Porter of Vacaville, Brenda Crist of Jay, FL, and Carol Heryford of LaPine, OR. Julie is also survived by her companion, Christian Pusey of Napa, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A service to celebrate Julie's life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2005 at Treadway and Wigger Funeral Chapel, 623 Coombs Street in Napa. Committal will follow in Tulocay Cemetery in Napa. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

The family asks that donations be made in Julie's memory to any charity or organization that benefits the Homeless Community in Napa.

Sports

Modoc softball finishes league in strong fashion

The Modoc Braves varsity softball team finished the regular season in strong fashion, sweeping Trinity and then splitting with league champions Bishop Quinn.

The sweep in Trinity gave the Braves the number 10 seed in the playoffs. Coach Keith Jacques figures his team will be on the road to Loyalton next Tuesday.

"We have a lot of younger players who really stepped up this year and will only get stronger next season." said Jacques. "We can be very competitive in the playoffs. We put together the two best games of the year against Trinity and they played great in the first game against Bishop Quinn."

Modoc beat Trinity 5-2 in the first game behind Megan Thompson, who fanned 12, walked three (two intentional) and allowed five hits. Brittney and Marlana Bartram were each 3-for-4, Jennifer Joyce, Tacie Richardson and Emily Pence were each 2-for-4.

The Braves won the second game 5-1 with Richardson getting the win. She struck out seven, walked seven and allowed four hits. Alysha Northrup went 4-for-4 at the plate, B. Bartram was 2-for-3 and Ali Campagna was 2-for-4.

The Braves shut out Bishop Quinn 6-0 in the opening game of that double bill. Great defense and a solid out by Thompson were key. She struck out six, walked a pair and allowed three hits. Thompson was 3-for-4 at the plate and Campagna was 2-for-4.

The Braves lost the second game, 5-0, giving up five runs in one bad inning. Richardson got the loss. She went two-and a third innings, struck out five, walked one and allowed just two hits. Thompson finished the game, striking out three and allowing two hits.

Modoc beats Bishop Quinn in finale, heads now to Delta

Modoc's Braves beat Bishop Quinn 10-0 and 13-0 Friday to close out the regular season, finishing in fifth place at 8-6 in the Shasta Cascade League and 11-10 overall.

Modoc is scheduled to travel to Delta Friday in the first round of the section playoffs. Game time is 4 p.m. Delta got the number four rank in Division Three and Modoc is number five. Durham, number one plays Colusa, number 8; Hamilton City, number two faces Esparto, number seven; Rio Vistia, number three, faces Portola, number six.

Modoc coach Brad Server believes his team is good enough to sneak up on some teams and make it to the title game.

Against Bishop Quinn, Modoc scored four in the first, four in the second and two in the sixth. Travis Potter got the win, going three innings allowing no hits and no walks and fanned seven. Jesse Harer came in relief, tossed three innings, allowed one hit, no walks and struck out six. Cody Widby went 2-for-3, Travis Potter, Joey Catania and Derek Broughton were 2-for-4.

In the second game, Broughton got the win, going three innings, allowing one hit, two walks and struck out three. Catania came in and went two innings, allowed one hit, no walks and fanned four. David Kolvoord led the hitting going 3-for-3. Broughton, Kyle Madison, Potter, and Widby each had two hits and each had a double.

Golf has league final tourney

The Shasta Cascade League Individual golf tournament is set for today at Mt. Shasta Resort. The top players from league play compete in two nine-hole matches to determine Most Valuable Player and all-league honors. Micah Eppler, Brian Weed and DJ Northrop represent Modoc in the 11-player field.

Division II playoffs are at Butte Creek Country Club in Chico May 9. Modoc, SCL champions, and Weed, SCL runner-up, will represent the SCL in the small schools playoff with five other teams and qualifying individuals from three other leagues. The top team and top four individuals and any player who shoots 79 or better advances the NSCIF Playoffs on May 17 at Fall River Golf Course.

On April 29, a non-league match with Henley, Modoc, Lakeview and St. Mary's was held at Harbor Links Golf Course in Klamath Falls. Modoc finished second to Henley with St. Mary's third and Lakeview fourth. Northrup led the Braves with a nice round of 75, Eppler shot 77, Bud Groff shot 92, Ross and Keith Montague shot 93 each, and Dustin Oates had a 104.

Teams tie in Desert Rose open

A pair of teams shot a net 124 to tie in the Desert Rose Casino Open golf tournament at Arrowhead Golf Course over the weekend.

The two teams were Greg Valencia and Kyle Weber and Brad and Adam Server.

Coming in third with a net 127 was the team of Jeff Solomon and Fritz Barclay. In fourth place with a 128 was the team of Jim Rollins and Daryl Brewer and fifth with 129 went to Larry Estes and Mike Macdonald. The first place in gross score at 126 went to Jake Aaron and Kris Server and second at 140 went to Jack Britton and Jim Widby.

The tournament was sponsored by the Desert Rose Casino in Alturas.

Hemphill is top cowgirl

Tulelake's Jessica Hemphill earned All-Around Cowgirl honors at the District 1 California High School Rodeo Association final rodeo in Yreka April 29-30.

Hemphill won the goat tying event, teamed with Nellie Williams of Cottonwood to win team roping, placed second in breakaway roping and pole bending, and eighth in barrel racing.

Kendra Hemphill took fifth in breakaway roping, sixth in barrel racing and seventh in goat tying.

The CHSRA State Finals Rodeo will be held in Bishop June 13-19.

May 12th, 2005

News

Modoc flooded by torrential rains

Modoc County Sheriff Bruce Mix declared Modoc in a local state of emergency Friday after floodwaters poured out of the Warner Mountains and dozens of small streams became raging torrents.

On Monday, a full report was presented to the Modoc County Board of Supervisors by the local Office of Emergency Services and several staff people. The Board also ratified the state of emergency on Monday.

The overall verdict was that the emergency response crews did an outstanding job, but there was also a warning that the county still faces serious flooding issues in the Hot Spring Valley and into Canby.

The National Weather Service on Monday posted a flood warning for Canby, stating the Pit River was 8.5 feet. Extensive flooding of lowlands, roads, and agriculture fields had already taken place and was expected to get worse. The water was expected to recede slowly over the next few days. Canby, as of Tuesday morning, had received 2.83 inches of precipitation since May 1 and 1.92 inches in the past seven days.

The flood warning at Canby lasted through 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The floods came as a surprise to most people, including the National Weather Service, as the weather patterns baffled National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters out of the Medford area. Tony Richno, who served as Chief of the Planning Section for the Modoc Emergency Operations Center, told Supervisors Monday that some areas in the Warner Mountains received four inches of rain in a 48-hour period. That heavy rain (Modoc's annual rainfall total is about 12 inches) melted a good mountain snowpack and all that water came rushing down all the streams in the Warners.

Richno said there was more heavy rain predicted, and that they would be in scattered cells. On Friday, for instance, the rain in Alturas was moderate while on Cedar Pass it was pouring.

The water started to rise by mid-morning Friday, and by 11 a.m., emergency crews had all they could handle trying to save homes, roads, livestock and people.

The floods washed out roads going into Thoms Creek Estates, just west of Cedar Pass, and isolated 34 residents in the subdivision. They were isolated all of Saturday and were able to get out of the area by Sunday as the waters receded. One person told Supervisors Monday that the only way out of his property was by foot or on horseback.

Other residents were forced to evacuate their homes on the west side of Cedar Pass.

Dan Bouse, who presented the report to the board said there were no injuries reported in the County. He said that the efforts of the local volunteer fire departments, the Devil's Garden Conservation Camp Inmate crews, the county, city, Caltrans, California Highway Patrol and private contractors was exceptional. At one point, Bouse said, they were staffing 15 different flooding incidents, each handled by a separate incident commander and all channeled back through Command Center. It got a little hairy at times, but he said the cooperation, the expertise and the dedication was incredible.

Several roads and private bridges in the county were damaged and a full damage assessment is now being undertaken. It could take some time before the report is complete

According to Steve Jacques, County Road Department, several roads were damaged, some closed and crews were working quickly to get them re-opened.

On Monday afternoon County Road 69 was closed, along with County Road 58, (back road to Cedar pass), County Road 11, (Lake City Canyon), and County Road 61 (Jones Lane). Roads that were re-opened by Monday included County Road 56, County Road 33-D and Joseph Creek Road.

Crews on Monday worked quickly to get County Road 58 reopened. The flood water had seriously undermined a bridge over Parker Creek, leaving only a ribbon of asphalt hanging over a large hole on one side.

By Tuesday afternoon, the area between Alturas and Canby was inundated with floodwater as the Pit River flowed freely over its banks. The Modoc National Wildlife Refuge southeast of Alturas was turned into a big lake by the floodwaters and according to OES, the water moving south would be getting to the Big Valley area by Sunday or Monday.

There was extensive damage to roads and driveways throughout the Warner Mountain drainage area, areas of major shoulder erosion and outright washouts. In addition, agriculture land was flooded and erosion along the river and creek banks was severe in many places. The heavy stream flows washed tons of debris down the hillsides and crews worked hard to keep the bridges on the Pit River from being completely blocked. Modoc Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell said Modoc's designation of an emergency will be forwarded to the state, hoping for a state designation and hopefully, some chance of getting reimbursement for costs from either the state or federal governments.

A representative from the Governor's Office met with local people at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to explain the processes for filing damage claims and dealing with the state on the emergency.

Thoms Creek residents isolated by flood, county to repair road

Some residents of Thoms Creek Estates were stranded over the weekend, when flood water cut off their way out of the subdivision.

Public Health Nurse Linda Doyle told Modoc Supervisors during Monday's overall flood briefing that she had contacted 12 of the 15 families who were isolated. She said none were hurt, neighbors were helping neighbors and arrangements were made in case someone needed to be evacuated for medical or other needs. The area did not lose electrical power.

One of the major problems was the washout of the private road coming off U.S. 395 and into Thoms Creek Estates. That road, on Bureau of Indian Affairs land, washed completely out early Friday morning and remained pretty much impassable throughout the weekend. On Monday, County Road Department's Steve Jacques said the road was passable, but didn't consider it safe.

One other major issue was an eight-foot culvert that washed out in 2003, leaving about a 20-25 foot cut, 10 to 14 feet deep, which was not repaired by the Homeowners Association in Thoms Creek. Some of the residents were on hand Monday and told Supervisors they had no mechanism for raising enough funding to the make the repairs. The recent floods didn't cause that road closure or problem.

Modoc County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell, pointed out that the county had no legal obligation to repair either road problem. But he said he felt it was "good government" and "the right thing to do" because of the emergency situation.

Supervisor Mike Dunn who lives in a part of Thoms Creek Estates made a motion to have the county take about .6 miles of the road into the county system. The issue has come up in the past and the county has refused to add the road to the system on the grounds that it didn't meet standards and the county should not add roads, needlessly, into the system at the time. County Road Commissioner Tom Tracy said he still didn't think the road should be taken into the system and said the problem with the 2003 culvert washout was not the county's responsibility. It is on a private road, he said, and was not repaired by the property owners for a couple of years.

Dunn's motion failed because of a lack of a second. Supervisor Dan Macsay said he did not want to take the section of the private subdivision road into the county system, but made a motion to have the county pay to fix both the washed out section off of U.S. 395 and the big culvert. He also stressed that he wanted some assurance from the property owners that they would maintain the roads after the county spent the funds to repair them.

Maxwell said the county would not have the available funds in the general fund to make the repairs, so the board opted to "borrow" the funds from the Road Department account and repay that account from the general fund when money becomes available.

Tracy had suggested the county repair the culvert and the road on Bureau of Indian Affairs land, but treat the costs of the repair as a loan to the Thoms Creek property owners and have them repay. That view was not discussed by the board.

The repairs to the washout on the U.S. 395 access should be fairly simple and not real costly, said Jacques. The repair to the major culvert, with a 10-foot replacement planned, will be expensive.

Drought fears washed away

The heavy rains from late April and the first part of May has pretty much washed out any thought of a drought in Modoc County this year.

In just the last seven days, Alturas has received 1.65 inches of precipitation and 2.27 inches in the past two weeks. The average monthly precipitation for May is 1.2 inches.

Some areas in the north Warner Mountains received 4 inches of rain in a 48 hour period late last week, triggering much of the flooding in the county. According to Jerry Wendland, Watermaster for the South Fork Irrigation District, West Valley Reservoir contained 18,700 acre feet of water Friday, but by Monday, the reservoir had filled to 21,300 acre feet and by Tuesday 21,600 acre feet. He suspects the reservoir may fill to its full capacity of 23,000 acre feet this year. He said 1999 was the last year the reservoir filled. Big Sage Reservoir on Devil's Garden, which holds about 77,000 acre feet remains fairly low. According to Jerry Kresge, the reservoir probably is holding less than 20,000 acre feet presently.

Lake City hit by floods, but damage limited by hard work

by Patricia Hemsley

Special to the Record

When Dan Dabill left on a trip before dawn Friday morning, he had no idea he'd return with his wife to his Lake City home later that night to find his property neatly sandbagged by a team of helpful and vigilant neighbors. "It was strange to drive up after dark and suddenly see all these sandbags. Other than a pond we're building that filled with mud, there was no damage. We're very thankful", said his wife Doris.

Despite a Modoc County Roads crew carefully clearing debris from a diversion box on Mill Creek, warm rain and melting snow continued to overwhelm the creek, irrigation ditches, and a runoff channel throughout the day on Friday.

Lake City is an unincorporated hamlet of less than 100 residents located about 10 miles north of Cedarville in Surprise Valley. Those living there in January, 1997 will never forget the devastating flood that washed out roads, left homes uninhabitable, inundated a good number of yards and the area surrounding the historic church.

"That event basically filled the creek's channel with mud and debris", says resident Kim Maidens who lives just south of the creek. "This week, eight years' of accumulated buildup washed down the canyon and collected at the choke points such as the diversion box and culverts. This flood appears to have cleaned the channel out pretty well."

Fortunately, Maidens has a backhoe parked in his driveway. When he arrived home Friday afternoon, he immediately set to work, attempting to clear the raging creek's filling channel. "There was just so much debris coming down the canyon", he said. "Both the diversion box and creek were plugged up good."

Afterwards, many credited Maidens with averting further damage to properties downhill by not only clearing blockages near town but by venturing further up Lake City Canyon Road and clearing downed trees and other debris.

Modoc County Road crews have been in the area since Friday, assessing damage and keeping the channel open

In the meantime, when Teresa Codona went out to check on the Dabill's animals Friday afternoon, she couldn't miss the rising water flowing towards their property. "The overflow rushed down Water Street, washing out both shoulders and undermining the pavement which later collapsed", said her husband Dave. "The water was actually flowing around the corner toward Dabill's. In the flood of 1997, that property became a lake."

After calling her husband in Alturas, Teresa didn't wait for him to find sandbags and return home. "She and my sister Elisabeth Harmon not only found a pile of sandbags left over from '97, but there was an 8-year-old, good-sized pile of sand just waiting for them at the firehouse", said Codona. Before long, new volunteers were working alongside the two women and Codona who brought another two bundles of burlap bags he'd picked up at the Sheriff's Department in Alturas. The ad hoc crew set to work filling bags and placing them along the front of the Dabill property on Lake Street. "Jeff Harlis really knows how to fill a sandbag!" laughed Codona. "Even his young son Collin helped. John Erquiaga came by and joined us, and Melvin Dollarhide, who works on the county road crew, set to work filling and placing bags."

While a growing crew dealt with sandbags and one branch of the creek, others worked on clearing debris clogging the culvert where the creek passes next to the historic former cheese factory. New owner Sheila Stanford, who is still settling in, was assisted by Dean Cockrell in pulling apart a blockage that threatened her residence

The next day, Codona walked up Lake City Canyon alongside Mill Creek to survey the damage. "I'd just been up that road in April and it was passable then. It's just a dirt forestry road…well it was. The entire road has vanished above the diversion box."

County Road 11, which begins in Lake City and meanders through Plum Creek and Benton Meadows, ends in Davis Creek. It is a rough road at the best of times.

Codona reported a large pine, undermined by rushing water from the overflowing creek, had fallen across the channel. Where the road once followed the creek, Codona says "There's now just rushing water on one side and a sheer rock cliff on the other. The road is gone about a mile above Lake City."

Despite continuing light showers and warmer temperatures, the creek has stayed in its channel since Thursday night though Maidens continues to keep a watchful eye on it and his backhoe nearby. "I'd been both down south to Eagleville and up in Fort Bidwell earlier that day. One creek north of us was running pretty good but I didn't see anything that day like the mess in Lake City", he said.

While the entire valley has taken on a green lushness from the recent welcome rainfall, fields just east of Lake City look more like swampland now than rangeland. Both runoff from Soldier Creek and Mill Creek has contributed to the flooding downhill from the Warners.

Irrigation ditches along County Road 1 remain filled to overflowing as far as Patch's Corner. But residents who were around for the devastating floods in 1997 look at last week's excitement as a small distraction by comparison. "'97 was one of those once-in-a-lifetime disasters that was extremely damaging to many homes in this area", said Maidens.

For now, residents plan to keep an eye on their usually picturesque creek and continue to work together to protect threatened properties. "Friday proved to be a minor community crisis but it showed how people come out of the woodworks when there's a need", said Codona. "I like living in a community like this!"

Green Eggs and Long Legs II, on Sandhills

The jumbo jets of the bird world have once again swooped in from the west, providing Modoc National Wildlife Refuge visitors with another season of fascinating observation.

Sandhill cranes leave the Sacramento Valley in early March to reclaim their nesting areas in Modoc in spite of the winter-like weather that can linger on through May. They have an agenda and aren't deterred by Modoc's late season chill, say Refuge wildlife biologist Shannon Ludwig, who will be conducting a workshop on Sandhill Cranes Saturday, May 14 at the Refuge. The event is being sponsored by the Refuge and the River Center to help the public learn more about the area's wildlife.

Adding to the interest this year is the return of the oldest crane on the Refuge record books. At age 20 this year, the grand old bird is pushing the limits of crane longevity. Refuge staff know how old the bird is because of the legband he wears. He was banded in 1985, just the second year of the banding program. Ludwig said typically Sandhills live about 20 years, so it will be really interesting to see if he comes back next season.

Green Eggs and Long Legs II: Sandhills in Motion, will begin at 9 a.m. with the story of the Sandhills, and the Refuge's efforts to band and keep track of the birds. Ludwig has some adventurous stories to tell about how one wrestles a Sandhill down long enough to get a band on his leg without hurting him or getting hurt. The Sandhill has some formidable defenses, he said. This year Ludwig will also talk about the latest Sandhill Crane studies and get into the fascinating topic of their migration habits.

There are two kinds of Sandhill Cranes, which is why you can find many sites for hunting Sandhills in hunting magazines and on the internet. The more common Lesser Sandhills, which tend to migrate in the Midwest, are game birds there. The Greater Sandhill Cranes are the ones who nest and raise their young in Modoc County. These are not game birds and have no hunting season. Ludwig will explain the differences between the two kinds of Sandhills, whether or not both kinds come to the Refuge, and why there is not hunting season for Greater Sandhills during his presentation.

With 40-60 nesting pairs on the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, Ludwig keeps busy monitoring them, counting their newly hatched "colts" and banding the youngsters when they are old enough. All this has to be done by Fall, when they all head back to the Sacramento Valley for the winter. The Cranes nesting on the Refuge are not hard to find, since they are very territorial and return to the same areas every year.

However, since other areas in Modoc County provide the kind of habitat the Cranes love, Ludwig isn't sure of the total number that come and go each season. "The cranes love Modoc because ranching practices here provide ideal habitat, Ludwig said. "They like the kind of mowed fields we have here, which is a good example of how agricultural practices help our wildlife," he added.

The newly formed Friends of the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge will also make a short presentation during the event. The FMNWR has been organized to help the Refuge with projects to enhance the public's experiences there and to support the Refuge as an important community resource. Anyone interested in learning more about the Friends and the interesting projects the group will be working on soon, is encouraged to attend. Sign-up sheets for those interested in joining will be available.

One of the Friend's goals is to enlist volunteers throughout the county to help keep track of the Sandhills that are not on the Refuge. Volunteers will be important in helping the Refuge count and keep track of birds nesting on private lands.

"It would be nice to get a better feel for what's out there," said Ludwig. The Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, and it is assumed outlying areas, consistently produce more fledglings, or colts that survive to migrate back to the valley with their parents in the fall. Ludwig will get into the reason why during his program.

After the program Ludwig will lead a tour of Sandhill Crane sites on the Refuge. The Cranes are used to people watching them, and are not overly shy, but they are scattered over several hundred acres, so sometimes you catch them close to the road, and sometimes not. "Hopefully they will be up close this year," he said.

Spotting scopes will be set up on the tour route during the crane event and binoculars will help as well, he added. Comfortable shoes, or boots, if the weather remains wet, are also advised.

Obituaries:

Charles R. Jackson

Charles Richard Jackson, better known as "Charlie" in Modoc County, realized his dreams with a determined spirit and dedicated work ethic, before he passed away peacefully at his home in Alturas on May 8, 2005. He was 85.

A Modoc resident for 55 years, he was one of 10 children, known as "Sonny" in his native Macclesfield, Cheshire, England where he was born on April 6, 1920.

He served with the British Royal Navy for 5-1/2 years on the destroyer, "HMS Amethyst," during World War II. After his military service, he operated a produce route with his lorrie [cart] and horse.

On January 26, 1948, he married neighbor girl, Violet Smith and the two have shared 57 years of marriage.

On July 30, 1950, Charles and Violet left England for better opportunities in the United States. They worked hard to make their dream of one day owning a ranch in America come true.

The Jacksons traveled seven days on the HMS Parthia, across the Atlantic for Ellis Island in New York. They had left behind "Jackson's," the General Merchandise Store they had owned for 2-1/2 years and worked hard at before they sold the business. As store proprietors, the two worked tirelessly from sun up to sun down, also running a catering business and cooking in the wee hours of the morning to serve a hot meal by noon each day, for the factory workers in town which had contracted with them for the meals. After making application to move to the United States, they waited 18 long months to get "on quota" to enter the U.S. and were only allowed to leave England with $55. They took their beloved German Shepherd with them. Another requirement was to have a sponsor in the U.S. who would vouch that the new residents wouldn't become a burden on their new government. Through a mutual friend, Vi had corresponded with Don and Ida Kinkaid of Modoc County who offered to sponsor the couple.

After their arrival at Ellis Island, the Jacksons boarded a train for a three-day trip from New York to Reno, where the Kinkaids of Canyon Creek Ranch picked them up and took them to the Jackson's new, but temporary home. "We had one dime left to our name," recalled Charlie in a Modoc Record feature dated Feb. 19, 1998.

The Jacksons stayed 11 months working and living on the Canyon Creek Ranch in Modoc County, before venturing out on their own, staying a brief two weeks in Alturas, then moving to Likely, where they worked at the General Store for Alice and Harry Flournoy for three years and four months.

The Jacksons have maintained long friendships and strong ties to Likely from those first years in Modoc.

Anxious to cultivate their dream, Charlie's sister in Long Beach encouraged them to move in with her until he could find a job. Charlie quickly landed a job on his first interview at a grocery store and worked through promotions over the following nine years.

Charlie held two jobs for seven years, working 16 hours a day with two, eight-hour shifts. In 1955, after taking a six-week class at the local college in Long Beach, Charlie and Vi became U.S. citizens.

It wasn't until 1962 that the two were able to return to England and in later years, returned several times.

After nine years in Southern California, saving all along, they returned to Modoc and purchased the vacant Al Lindgren property.

Charlie was hired as the City of Alturas "dog catcher" then worked for the street department. He retired as City of Alturas Water and Sewer Department Superintendent after 21 years with the city.

Step by step, as they were able, they built their home, a barn, and ranch. By the time they sold the property in 1985, and moved to another home, they owned 130 breeding cows. They had realized their dream after years of hard work.

On January 24, 1998, the Jacksons were feted by 235 friends who gathered for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration in their honor.

Charlie loved to work and thoroughly enjoyed his ranch and animals; the cowboys and his very good neighbor Lester Porter.

Services will be held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Alturas on Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Linda Moore. Burial will follow at the Likely Cemetery with a potluck following at the Likely Fire Hall. In addition to his wife of 57 years, Violet Jackson of Alturas, Mr. Jackson is survived by two sisters Muriel Wain and Brenda and husband Roy Cotton of England; Brothers John and wife Nita Jackson, David and wife Kitty Jackson of England; Harold and wife Bessie Jackson of Australia, Eric and wife Audrey Jackson of England; Peter and wife Hazel Jackson of Wales; brother-in-law James Bowers of Long Beach, CA and extensive family of nephews and nieces who loved him very much and will miss him. He was preceded in death by his sister Madge Bowers of Long Beach and Eileen Potts of England.

Donations in his memory may be made to the High Plateau Humane Society, or Judy Ford's Canine Country or St. Michael's Endowment Fund. Services are under the direction of Kerr Mortuary, Alturas

Alta O. Hawes

On April 30, 2005, Alta O. Hawes, age 97 years, left this life to claim the place promised to her at the feet of Jesus.

Alta was born in the Oklahoma Territory in 1907. She and her late husband, Ernest, had been ranchers in Surprise Valley prior to their moving to Placerville. They were residents of El Dorado County for 31 years. They were both charter members of the Placerville First Christian Church. She faithfully served the Lord and her Church as the Sunshine Lady, sending cards of love and encouragement to the sick and shut-in.

Alta always had a positive outlook on life and the centers of her affection were her family and her church. She always had a smile and was loved by all who knew her. Alta was preceded in death by her loving husband Ernest. She is survived by her two sons, Warren and Ernest, Jr. of Alturas, 13 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life Eternal with the Lord, into which she has entered, was held at 2 p.m. on May 7 at the Chapel of the Pines in Placerville. Interment was private.

Vergie Mae Fender

Former long-time Alturas resident Vergie Mae Fender passed away peacefully on April 25, 2005, in Brownsburg, Indiana.

She was born to Tom and Lovada Gentry in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on January 29, 1919, the youngest of seven children. They all preceded her in death.

She was the widow of Tad Fender to whom she was married for almost 50 years.

Tad passed away in 1986. She was also preceded in death by a granddaughter, Sherrie Lynn, in 2000.

While raising her family, she worked in the school cafeteria in North Carolina, until she and Tad moved to California in 1951. At that time, their youngest child was only a few months old and rode on a pillow in the seat of a 1946 Ford.

After arriving in Alturas, CA Vergie went to work at Modoc Medical Center and retired from there after many years. She was a long-time member of the Alturas Baptist Church.

She is survived by her son, Guy and his wife Mary of Sacramento; daughters Inez and husband Pete Jackson of Indiana; and Janice and husband David Shanklin of Burney, four granddaughters and three grandsons. Vergie leaves 11 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by one sister-in-law, Lois Thomason of Alturas and many nieces and nephews.

Services were held Friday, April 29 at Kerr Chapel in Alturas. Burial followed at the Alturas Cemetery next to her beloved Tad. Pastor Mel Chasteen of Alturas Baptist Church presided.

DeLos 'Bud' Steward

DeLos "Bud" Steward passed away at the Surprise Valley Hospital on May 3, 2005.

Bud had lived at the Surprise Valley Long-Term Care Facility since November of 2003. While there, Bud received loving care from a staff of wonderful and dedicated people.

Bud was born on May 9, 1927, in Lake City, CA to Bruce and Marie Steward. His brother, Brucie Steward preceded him in death. Surviving sisters are Vivian Kemble and Theyel Hauver and his brother, Dale Steward.

Bud was married to his wife, Donna for 55 years. After he could no longer live at home, Donna would visit him several times daily and bring him special treats, usually his favorite, ice cream.

Also surviving are his son, Michael and wife Joy of Winnemucca, NV, and grandsons, Marc and Scott and Scott's son Taylor. Bud's daughter, Jean Peterson and husband Sam and son Kelly reside in Alturas, CA. His son, Russ resides in Citrus Heights, CA. Russ's daughter, Jodi and husband, Paul and their sons Anthony and Paul Jr. reside in Cedarville, as does special granddaughter, Tahlia. Melissa resides in Redding, CA.

Bud was employed by the Modoc County Road Department for 35 years. He first began work as an equipment operator and was later promoted to County Road Superintendent, overseeing the county road system. He enjoyed the many people with whom he worked throughout the years. Throughout his life, Bud enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to take his kids and grandchildren fishing and hunting. They all have many fond memories of times with "Grandpop" camping and especially sledding in the wintertime. His sons will never forget the times they spent hunting elk and deer with him.

There were many special people in Bud's life. Just a few of those are: his friends, Dennis Egle and Floyd and Betty Smith and his nephew, Cecil Kemble and special nieces, Judy Lynch, Karen Hill and Dixie Kemble. Services were held Friday, May 6 at Lake City Cemetery at 2 p.m. The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Surprise Valley Health Care District, Cedarville, CA 96104.

Sports

Errors, coupled with Delta end Modoc boys baseball season

Six errors and a good Delta baseball team ended the Modoc varsity boys baseball season Friday in Clarksburg 5-4. Modoc was knocked out of the North Section playoffs in the first round.

The Braves committed six errors, three in the first inning of the game, spotting Delta a 4-2 lead by the fourth. Modoc added one in the fifth and one in the sixth while Delta scored the winning run in the sixth.

Travis Potter got the loss for Modoc, pitching six innings, fanning seven, allowing six hits, and walking just two. Modoc picked up six hits in the game. Derek Broughton was 2-for-3 with a triple, Jesse Harer, Cody Widby, Kyle Madison and David Kolvoord each had a hit. Kolvoord knocked in two runs on sacrifice flies.

"We gave them the game," said coach Brad Server, who opted to resign at the end of this season. "We didn't have anyone step up and make a play when we needed it."

Delta didn't not have an outfield fence and Server felt at least three long balls hit by the Braves would have been out of most parks in the area. "We told our players before game time we needed to hit the ball on the ground, but we didn't make the adjustments," said Server. "We hit the ball hard, but like all year long, everything was right at someone."

The Braves finished the season at 12-12 and fifth in the Shasta Cascade League at 8-6.

Girls lose in first round

Modoc's varsity girls softball team lost to Biggs, 5-0, Tuesday in the first round of the North Section CIF playoffs, ending their season.

Megan Thompson got the loss for Modoc. She allowed only two hits in the game, walked six and struck out a pair.

The leading hitter for the Braves, who had five, was Hannah Hays who went 2-for-3.

Modoc Coach Keith Jacques said a bad second inning, primarily throwing errors, did the Braves in. He was pleased with the overall season since both his pitchers Thompson and Tacie Richardson and the catcher, Alysha Northrup, are all sophomores

"I think we'll be very strong next season and we have kids who just don't like to lose coming back," he said. Modoc finished 10-8 for the season and tied for third in Shasta Cascade League.

Modoc golf finishes third in NSCIF Division II finals

Modoc's golf team finished third in the North Section CIF Division II Championships, shooting its highest score of the season.

East Nicolaus won with a team score of 445, Colusa was second at 446, Modoc third at 456, Weed fourth at 462, Wheatland fifth at 487, Gridley sixth at 515 and Quincy seventh at 522.

Individually, Modoc scores were as follows: Micah Eppler 85; D.J. Northrup, Brian Weed, Taylor Dunn, all 92; Daniel Morgan 95; and Josue Madrigal 96.

Eppler qualified to move on the to North Section Championships at Fall River Golf Course May 17.

Last Thursday the results of the Shasta Cascade League Individual tournament were: Northrup 75; Weed 81; Eppler 93. All three players received All-League honors.

Track team heads to SCL finals

Modoc's track team heads to Weed Friday for the Shasta Cascade League Championships

The team competed at the Mt. Shasta Twilight Invitational recently with Max Wise, Jason Jones and Grant Hall leading the varsity boys, Jennifer Joyce leading the varsity girls and Daniel Moriarity, Stacy Main and Amanda Hess leading the junior varsity girls. The results are as follows: J.V. Girls:

100- Fifth, Christina McCool, 15.1

200- Third, Stacey Main, 29.9; Fourth, Kelly Campagna, 32.8; Sixth, Christina McCool, 33.7

400- First, Stacey Main, 66.1; Fifth, Christina McCool, 73.1; Seventh, Kelly Campagna, 74.2

800- First, Stacey Main, 2:58.5; Second, Danielle Moriarity, 3:03.9

1600- First, Danielle Moriarity, 6:33.8

3200- First, Danielle Moriarity, 14:28.2

110H- Second, Chrissy Hall, 19.7

300H- Third, Chrissy Hall, 59.7

Shot Put- First, Amanda Hess, 27' 3"; Second, Chrissy Hall, 25' 9"; Twelfth, Hayes, 18' 7 1/4"

Discus- Second, Chrissy Hall, 75' 11"; Third, Amanda Hess, 74' 1". J.V. Boys:

200- Ninth, Robert Spedding, 28.3

800- Second, Martin Corns, 2:30; Fourth, Cam Hall, 2:31.9; Fifth, Cain Madrigal, 2:32.8

1600- Third, Cain Madrigal, 5:26.7; Fifth, Martin Corns, 5:31.1. 3200- Second, Martin Corns, 12:08.9; Fifth, Brandon Anderson, 13:21.9. 300H- Fourth, Cam Hall, 52.8

L.J.- Seventh, Robert Spedding, 14' 7 1/4"; Tenth, Cam Hall, 13' 6 1/2". T.J.- Second, Robert Spedding, 33' 2"

Shot Put- Second, Brandon Anderson, 38' 0 1/2"

Discus- Second, Brandon Anderson, 90' 1"

Varsity Girls:

100- Seventh, Jennifer Joyce, 15.3

400- First, Jennifer Joyce, 67.9

800- First Jennifer Joyce, 2:44.6

Varsity Boys:

100- Eighth, Matt Wilkie, 12.6; Tenth, Lenny Gladu, 13.5

200- Seventh, Matt Wilkie, 25.9; Twelfth, Travis Wood, 27.0

400- First, Jason Jones, 55.0; Second, Clint Nardoni, 56.3; Seventh Max Wise, 58.2

800- Fourth, Ryan Carrithers, 2:22.0

1600- Seventh, Ryan Carrithers, 5:28.4; Tenth, Mark Main, 5:56.3. 3200- Fifth, Grant Hall, 13:48.4

110H- Third, Brad Bell, 18.2; Sixth, Travis Wood, 19.3

300H- Sixth, Travis Wood, 48.6; Seventh, Clint Nardoni, 51.9

4x100- Third, Modoc, 48.5

4x400- Modoc, 3:57

T.J.- Second, Max Wise, 36' 11"; Eighth, Lenny Gladu, 29' 1 3/4". H.J.- First, Max Wise, 5' 2"

Shot Put- Third, Grant Hall, 38' 3 1/2"; Seventh, Brad Bell, 36' 1"; Ninth, Lenny Gladu, 32'

Discus- First, Grant Hall, 123' 10"; Thirteenth, Lenny Gladu, 78' 8". The team heads to Weed for the league track meet on Friday, May 13.

May 19th, 2005

News

Late News!!

On Wednesday, about 2:30 p.m. a nearly three-year-old girl was reported missing in SummerLand on Cedar Pass. The weather was cold and raining, and creeks in that area were swollen to dangerous levels. SummerLand is the middle of the Warner Mountain Range. The Modoc Sheriff's Office responded quickly and within a short period of time, between 80 officers and volunteers were scouring the mountains. The wayward youngster was found about a mile-and-a-half from her home about 7 p.m. She had walked up the mountain. She was in good health and searchers were extremely relieved she was found before nightfall and prior to a major cold rain/snow storm hit the area. Mountain lions are frequently sighted in the area. Sgt. Mike Crutcher said volunteer help and citizen response was incredible.

Flood damage estimated at $2.25 million

While it's still an educated guess, the initial damage estimate for public property and infrastructure in last week's flooding is $2,250,000, according to the Modoc County Emergency Operations Center. That estimate does not include private property damage, which was also substantial.

The damage estimate was tabulated May 12, when Debra Russell, of the California State Office of Emergency Services came to Modoc to assist local officials. The estimate is required before the Governor can make a determination on the state declaration of an emergency in the county.

The Shasta County Chapter of the Red Cross is helping the county with the private property damage estimate. To report private property damage, call 530-233-4391. There is no guarantee of financial reimbursement, but the information needs to be gathered to support the declaration of emergency. Agriculture damages should be reported to the USDA Farm Services Agency. To report damages, call 530-233-4391. Questions can also be directed to the Modoc County Ag Commissioner's Office at 530-233-6401.

As of Wednesday, OES still maintained a declaration of an emergency in the conty. A team from the state office of Emergency Services was in the county May 17 to begin an in-county assessment of the public property and infrastructure damage.

"The county has been inundated with rain and additional flooding has occurred," the OES states. "County officials have recommended evacuations in the New Pine Creek area due to road damage. Rain is expected to continue the rest of the week with thunderstorms possible. Residents should assess their situation and make provisions to safeguard their homes by use of sandbags, trenches or other means."

As of Wednesday, County Road 2 was closed, County Roads 61 and 69 remain closed and County Road 11 is closed indefinitely.

The OES reminds residents that wells can be contaminated because of flood waters. Anyone concerned about the safety of their well water should contact Environmental Health at 530-233-6310.

Standing water and warmer weather will increase the risk of mosquitoes. West Nile Virus is expected to impact the county this year. The OES advises people to take precautions to prevent exposure to WNV. Contact the Modoc County Public Health Department at 520-233-6311 for more information. Unvaccinated horses are especially susceptible to WNV. Contact a veterinarian for more information.

Precipitation more than doubles averages

Rainfall in May, up to the 18th, has more than doubled precipitation averages in Modoc County. The heavy rains have created flooding throughout the county and monetary damage in the millions.

The flood waters Wednesday in Canby were on the rise again, while areas in and around Alturas had receded. Reports form the Jess Valley area east of Likely indicate very high waters in Mill Creek, East Creek and the South Fork of the Pit River. New Pine Creek had severe road damage and Thoms Creek on Cedar Pass was still seeing high water.

According to the Modoc National Forest, precipitation at that station since May 1 was 2.8 inches, more than double the normal total monthly rain for May of 1.2 inches.

Canby had recorded 4.61 inches of precipitation since May 1, more than doubling it's monthly averages.

Jess Valley had recorded more than seven inches of precipitation in the past two weeks, well above averages.

The record of total rainfall at the Alturas station was in May, 1953 when 3.25 inches of precipitation was measured.

Governor's May revise put funds back into coffers

The Governor's May revision of his budget puts funds back into local government coffers, that are sure to help offset some funding issues. Modoc County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell, said the big bonus for the County was the return of the $500,000 Rural Sheriff's Grant and about $98,000 in reimbursement for vehicle license fees. He said that the transportation and road department will also get some needed funding. Maxwell said the $500,000 Sheriff's grant frees up other general fund dollars to go to other departments and services. He said he also hopes to put about $150,000 into a reserve fund for emergency or a cushion, should the state not fund the grant next year.

Modoc Joint Unified School District Superintendent Doug Squellati said the budget revision will be a help, but was headed to a meeting with other superintendents Wednesday to dissect the budget and would have a pretty clear picture of just what the budget means for the MJUSD next week.

City of Alturas Treasurer Kathie Alves said the City will receive more funding, but was still working on the actual numbers. She does not expect a windfall.

Coal power plant meeting in Cedarville attracts 250 people

Last week, over 250 local residents attended the only joint presentation to date by representatives from opposing sides in the controversial effort to build a coal-fired power plant on the Smoke Creek Desert just north of Gerlach, Nevada.

Marty Swartz, the Director of Project Development for Sempra Generation, a San Diego-based company hoping to obtain permits to construct the 1450 MW plant, squared off in the Surprise Valley High School gymnasium with Las Vegas-based attorney Jon Wellinghoff who represents a coalition of 20 citizens, scientific and environmental groups opposed to the project.

Nancy Gardner, a retired USFS public information officer and a longtime member of Warner Mountain Toastmasters, moderated the informative event. It was sponsored by the Greater Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce

Prior to addressing written questions submitted by the curious, concerned and generally cordial audience, Swartz and Wellinghoff made presentations on the project dubbed the "Granite Fox Power Project" by Sempra.

Wellinghoff, using information published both by Sempra and by critics who have testified at public hearings on the project, raised questions about siting the water-intensive plant in the arid and ecologically fragile desert environment.

Wellinghoff also detailed concerns about the types and amounts of emissions GFPP will produce and the explosive properties of the coal Sempra has contracted to burn in the plant.

In the course of his talk, Wellinghoff documented the area's extensive potential renewable energy resources, such as wind and geothermal. He asserts these will be forever shut out of Western markets if Sempra ties up access to the Pacific DC Intertie Power Line which carries power from the Bonneville Dam area in Washington through the GFPP site, terminating north of Los Angeles.

Swartz began his presentation by detailing efforts Sempra made at a 600MW gas plant near Mexicali, Mexico. Through discussions with community representatives, Sempra modified their original plans, built a much-needed public water treatment facility and designed the plant to meet more stringent California air-quality emission standards. In response to citizen input, they also worked with the University of Arizona to reclaim and revegitate over 2000 acres of farmland near their Mesquite plant west of Phoenix.

Those anecdotes set Swartz's theme for the evening. ""Public participation is very important in this whole process. There will be numerous opportunities to comment. People need to get as much information as possible", he said. "Get involved in the permit process and take your concerns to the BLM scoping meetings."

Swartz sees coal as a vital component in the nation's energy mix. "It is critical to our economy and to our national security." He said the US has reserves of coal surpassing "all of OPEC combined", over 240 years' worth. "We advocate a national energy mix of gas, coal, nuclear and renewables to drive our economy", he said.

Swartz cited studies that show wind is not a reliable energy source, "It's available only about 30% of the time and requires a base-load capacity." He also said there were inherent problems with converting geothermal and wind-generated energy to be compatible with the PDCI line.

"The financial burden to establish [northern Nevada's] renewable energy sources is high," said Swartz. Sempra has the funding available to purchase permits and rights, estimated at $150 million, to the DC line. The plan to use 1450 MWs of the 3100 MW capacity of the line will leave room for the company to partner with small renewable energy projects in the area which, he believes, cannot feasibly recoup the enormous transmission costs.

When asked why "Sempra has chosen to come here and pollute our air and land," Swartz said the company had spent at least a year looking at possible locations along the PDCI line. A "synergy" of components made the site, about 74 miles southwest of Surprise Valley, practical and highly attractive for the project.

Sempra has optioned rights to 25,000 acre/feet of water, 2000+ acres of private land, and is seeking rights from the BLM to build a short rail spur to allow coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana to be brought directly to the plant. The proximity of the site to the large US Gypsum plant at Empire and to Nevada Cement also make for the profitable exchange of by-products, such as limestone, necessary for operating the plant

Many present were surprised at Swartz's candor in discussing the profit motive of Sempra. "We're an unregulated business, not a public utility. We do not get government subsidies. We're investing our shareholders' dollars, so we are looking for a profit."

Finally, Swartz assured those present Sempra will stringently comply with all the EPA's health-based standards. "We cannot exceed the standards. We plan to build a state-of-the-art plant that will minimize emissions." He startled quite a few when he stated that with the "background air quality near Gerlach", Sempra could build GFPP and even another plant and still not exceed tough EPA air quality standards. "But this plant will have an impact. It's our job to analyze those impacts and mitigate them."

Wellinghoff countered much of Swartz's optimism by detailing a litany of concerns, most of which have been extensively explored in the Record in recent months. While most of the night's questions were directed to Swartz, Wellinghoff did a commendable job of waving the numerous red flags most local citizens already perceive as grave concerns when contemplating a massive coal plant in their back yard.

All in all, the night's sponsors were very pleased that Sempra responded to the invitation and sent Swartz to candidly address the many questions concerning Surprise Valley residents. A repeated comment as people mingled after the meeting was, "He did a great job and seemed sincere and forthcoming. But I still don't want to see Sempra build a coal plant so close to home!"

A planned series of BLM scoping meetings are a required step to preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement. Meetings are currently scheduled at the Gerlach Community Center on May 23, at the Senior Center in Cedarville on May 24, at the BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville on May 25, and at the BLM State Office in Reno on May 26. All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. and will follow an informal, open house format. Comments and concerns, such as those voiced to Swartz at last week's meeting, will be collected and addressed in the final EIS.

Mr. Fred Holzel, the BLM's Planning and Environmental Coordinator, will be happy to answer questions regarding the meetings or the EIS process. His office, located in Winnemucca, Nevada, may be reached at (775) 623-1528.

Children's Fair opens Saturday

Whatever the weather, the 18th Annual Children's Fair is ready to roll Saturday, May 21.

It celebrates "Children, the heart of a safe and healthy community." Around that theme, a myriad of activities are slated to happen - outdoors if the weather changes to sunny and indoors and under awnings and trees - if the weather continues its rainy slant.

Modoc County Children's Fair takes place on the grounds of Modoc High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and the food and a few games that have fees are set at a very reasonable rate. A grant from the California End-owment is under-writing the cost of the fair with in-kind help from a long list of local agencies and groups.

Highlighting the fair are some of Modoc's best - Modoc High School's Jazz Combo, and a band led by Robin Brush. The Child and Family Resource Center sponsors a talent show for local youth at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium. The Alturas Allemande Square Dancers will perform at the opening ceremonies and at 10:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m.

Jack Harris will demonstrate the use of kites; Larry Manzer has organized a Chess Challenge for fair-goers and Bill Hall will host a remote control car show on the lot next to emergency vehicles. A massage therapist from "Body Oasis" will demonstrate his art. The Friends of the Library will have a booth with activities for children while promoting the Modoc County Library and the summer reading program "Dreams, Dra-gons and Daring Deeds" and a new Teen Summer Reading Program called "Joust Read." Check out their creative castle at the fair.

Modoc Fire Safe Council has arranged for Turtle Bay Exploration Park to bring their large mobile exhibit titled "Sustainable Forests, Sustainable Comm-unities" to the fair. Modoc National Forest will present stories around a campfire and Smokey the ever-popular fire prevention bear, will wander about the fair grounds.

Entertainment, food, activity booths, demonstrations and games all are mixed together to create that special, fun day that is known as the children's fair. Check out the map of the fair printed in this week's edition of the Modoc Record for all the details. The schedule for the entertainment and where it occurs is also published in The Record.

A hula hoop contest, a discovery pit, ping pong ball toss, photos and fingerprints, t-shirt and toy sale, animal face painting, dime toss, photographs, fishing booth, bean bag toss, decorating cup cakes, bingo, a water table and fishing, ball toss and pet-a-burro, along with face painting and beading will keep children of all ages occupied and happy.

Fair goers need an iron stomach if they want to sample all the food offered for a low cost at the fair. Food booths include the sale of hot dogs, and churros, soda and popcorn, a sucker pull, cookies and brownies, Polish dog on a stick, pie, coffee and bottled water, ice cream, nachos and soda, pozole and soft tacos, tamales, corn on the cob and juice, tacos, tostadas, plus hamburgers.

The climbing wall is back by popular demand after it experienced long lines and determined climbers last year. Hope the weather is clear, because even the smallest amount of rain means that its steep slope becomes slippery enough to close it to climbers. For a small fee, kids may enjoy a fast pitch baseball throw, a bungee run, and a chance to ride a big, jumping rubber horse.

Appearing on the main stage are Katrina Spang-Hansen and Scott Melzer, two world famous jugglers from San Francisco and Gary Smith from Medford, OR with his balloon art. Rico's Burros from Cedarville will show how to care for donkeys and may provide rides for the younger set. On a more serious note, Eddie the Eagle will talk about gun safety and the Dental Assoc-iation offers free dental screening from the Modoc County Oral Health Project. Masonic Lodge #235 will offer parents a chance to obtain a free photo of their children, along with their fingerprints for parents who want to have identification handy in case of need.

Emergency vehicles will be displayed on the East Street side of the school/fair grounds. The Jaws of Life, Cal Pines Volunteer Fire Depart-ment, Alturas Rural Fire Department, CDF, BLM, Modoc National Forest, Alturas Police Depart-ment and the California Highway Patrol will all display rigs at the Children's Fair on Saturday.

Obituaries:

Neva Pengelly Asher

Heaven welcomed another Modocer May 11, 2005 when Neva Asher transferred her lifelong residence in Alturas to her new permanent home in the hereafter. She was 93 years old.

Wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, homemaker, friend, role model, wage earner, and business woman, Neva was all these things and more to all who knew her. She was a joyful and positive inspiration at home, at play, at work, or in the community.

She was born Neva Henrietta Pengelly on September 16, 1911, in Alturas. Her parents were Henry and Della Snow Warner Pengelly. Neva was the youngest of the three daughters in the family. She and her two sisters were born in the house built by their father. The house remains standing at the corner of Sixth and East A street in Alturas. Her two older sisters, Ruth Asher of Alturas and Velma Hoyt of Tulelake, CA preceded her in death. Ruth died at the age of 92 in March 2001; Velma passed away at age 100 in February 2005.

Neva married Charlie Albert Asher November 26, 1929, in Alturas. They made their home, reared their children, earned their living, and remained together in marriage for 52 years, until her husband's death in February 1992. They had two children, a daughter, Dorothy Carlisle and husband David of Cottonwood, CA and a son, Warner, of Alturas.

She is survived by a dearly loved nephew, Barney Hoyt and wife Glenda of Malin, OR. Neva also leaves behind five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Her gentle touch and kind words had the power of a magic wand to soothe and make the world she lived in, and those in it, a happier, healthier, and more pleasant place to be. She gave much and asked little or nothing in return. She was the heart, soul, and lifeblood of her family. She exchanged this life for another, having given it all she had to give.

In celebration of her life, a private, family-only graveside service was held here in Alturas. Arrangements were made by Kerr Mortuary of Alturas. Those choosing to honor her memory are urged to make a contribution to the organization or charity of your choice.

She was a Modocer, reared and educated as a Modocer, married and worked as a Modocer, mothered, lived, laughed, loved and died a Modocer.

John R. Moriarity

John Richard Moriarity, 69, passed away from cancer on May 11, 2005, at Modoc Medical Center, Alturas, CA. Mr. Moriarity, an electrical engineer, had made Modoc County his home for the past seven years, where he was appreciated, respected, well liked and involved in his new community shortly after his arrival

Born December 22, 1935, in Omaha, Nebraska, his family lived in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas during his youth.

He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, with his bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering. He was employed with companies in California and Washington. For quite a length of time he worked with General Motors Corp. on defense issues. He also worked at the Hale Observatory on Palomar Mountain in northern San Diego County. It was at Palomar Mountain that he married his wife Nancy on July 9, 1988. Mr. Moriarity loved music and played the guitar. Jazz was his particular passion. He was an amateur ham radio operator from the time he was age 12. An avid reader, he was proud of the fact that he was New Mexico's student representative to the U.S. Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., when he was 12.

Mr. Moriarity was a staunch supporter of the Modoc Democrats and SoJourners Jefferson State Ham Radio Operators Club and a past Senior Warden with St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Alturas. He was also an honorary electrical engineer.

He leaves his wife Nancy Moriarity of Alturas, CA; daughter Susan Moriarity of Los Altos, CA; son-in-law Vaughan Bunch and grandson John "Jack" Bunch of Los Altos; daughter Erin Moriarity of Goleta, CA; brother Terry Moriarity of Minneapolis; brother Michael Moriarity of Rushford, MN; step-children Beth Hall of Escondido and Matt Hall of San Diego; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother Mona Moriarity, father Dick Moriarity and sister Sheila Honeyman.

Memorial services will be held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Alturas on Monday, May 23 at 11 a.m. Nancy North-Gates will preside. Memorial donations may be directed to one of Mr. Moriarity's favorite groups, Emergency Communications Organization, P.O. Box 99, Macdoel, CA 96058. This organization helps to provide equipment to ham radio operators to communicate and aid their communities in the event of emergencies or natural disasters.

Services are under the direction of Kerr Mortuary of Alturas.

Eugene Toney

Services for Eugene Toney, 81, will be held on Sunday, May 29, 2005, at 12:30 p.m. at the Lake City Cemetery in Lake City, CA. A time of fellowship will follow at the Lake City Fire Hall. Mr. Toney passed away Feb. 16, 2005, at his home in Orland, CA.

Eugene was born August 28, 1923 on the Toney homestead in Lake City, CA to Mervin and Jewel Toney. He graduated from Surprise Valley High School and married Marietta June Weilmunster on June 22, 1942 in Reno, NV. He was the President of Valley Petroleum of Orland, partner in Toney Farms and was a member of Gideons International and Victory in Christ Community Church. He enjoyed travel and working in his farm shop, especially welding and woodworking. He taught Sunday School and was an Elder in his church for many years, incorporating his love of scripture into daily life principles.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Marietta; sons, Raymond and Larry of Redding and George of Orland and their wives; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Rita and Weta; sister-in-law, Hazel Toney; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, Carol Toney.

Service for Eva Jacobs

Graveside services for Eva Ceola Jacobs will be held at the Lake City Cemetery, Lake City, CA on Saturday, May 28 at 11 a.m. A potluck luncheon will follow at the Lake City Fire hall. Mrs. Jacobs died at the age of 92, on March 29, 2005, in Tillamook, Oregon.

Born in Lexington, Nebraska on May 17, 1912, to Jim and Mable (Miller) Dodge, she spent most of her life in Lake City, CA. The last six years of her life were spent between Palo Cedro, CA. and Nehalem.

She is survived by her daughter Julienne (Dolly) Apple of Palo Cedro, CA; son, Jack Jacobs and his wife Murphy of Nehalem; nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great grandchildren; two half-brothers, along with a number of nieces and nephews.

Eva was preceded in death by an infant son and her husband of 63 years, Kenneth N. Jacobs, as well as one brother, one sister, one half-brother and one half-sister.

Sports

Teuscher wins league track meet shot, discus

Surprise Valley's Sarah Teuscher won the Evergreen League varsity girls shot put with a 29-3 effort and the discus with a 76-4 toss, May 13, in Tulelake.

The Division meet is set for May 20 in Central Valley.

In the junior varsity division, Alice Mill won the triple jump at 28-10 and the discus at 75-5. She was second in the long jump at 13-5.

In the junior varsity boys division, Jeremiah Martell won the 3200 in 12:05, and was second in the 800 at 2:32 and in the 1600 at 5:32.

50th Sheriff's Posse Horse Show May 28

The 50th Annual Modoc County Sheriff's Posse Junior Horse Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, starting at 10 a.m. at the Junior Livestock Grounds in Alturas.

There is no entry fee and there are two divisions: junior, ages eight to 13 and senior, ages 14 through 18. Events offered include: Trail Horse, Western Equitation, Western Pleasure, Buckaroo Class, Barrel Cloverleaf, Pole Bending and the Keyhole Race.

This year a new class for youngsters who have never participated in a horse show is being offered.

The Sheriff's Posse is pleased to be putting on its 50th Annual Junior Horse Show, something that has been a mainstay in Modoc.

The Posse was formed in the fall of 1953, when 30 men got together at Mary Arena's Restaurant to build an organization that would help the Modoc County Sheriff in search and rescue operations. Leading this group were Highway Patrol Officer Ed Kolowaski and rancher Rob Flournoy. The Posse was officially formed on May 5, 1954, with Kolowaski its first Captain and Flournoy its first Lieutenant. Bob Untarnaber was the secretary and Russ Enderlin, treasurer. On August 22, 1955, the Posse was incorporated and officially chartered with 47 members.

The founding members of the Posse were: Sheriff Buck Server, Under-Sheriff Lynn Harris, Kenneth Adair, Nolan Banister, Jack Chase, Russ Enderlin, Delbert Fitzpatrick, Rob Flournoy, Warren Flournoy, Arnold Flynn, Drace Fountain, Mel Horning, Ed Kolowaski, Charles Lederer, Frank Matherly, D.D. Morgan, Roger Moyer, Ed Powell, Virgel Pratt, Bob Schorch and Oscar Steel.

The first Sheriff's Posse Horse Show was held June 9-10, 1955, in conjunction with the Rotary Livestock Show. That year, Billy Flournoy won the Senior Division and Lee Flournoy won the junior division championship. During its first year, the Posse sponsored Gail Lederer as Modoc County Fair Queen.

Pick up applications for the 50th show at Modoc Veterinary Center, Adin Supply, Page's Market, Likely General Store, Pedotti's Saddlery, Modoc Farm Supply and L&B Ranch Supply. Mail applications to P.O. Box 1408, Alturas, Ca. 96101 by May 24, 2005.

For more information, call Jerry Wendland at 233-2607.

Hight second to boss in Georgia

Robert Hight drove his AAA Auto Club funny car to second place in the Summit Racing Equipment National Hot Rod Association's Southern Nationals in Commerce, Georgia Sunday.

Hight lost the final race to boss and father-in-law, John Force, in the closest race of the weekend. Force clocked a 4.772 quarter mile at 325.61 m.p.h. and Hight crossed the line at 4.796, 323.04 m.p.h. The winning margin was about 12 inches.

Hight, formerly of Alturas, is now ranked third in the Funny Car season point standings with 454, Force is on top at 489 and Walt Bazemore is second at 465.

Hight is having a banner year, getting to the final race twice in seven events, winning one, and losing the second. He has been a consistent fast qualifier.

SV honors athletes

The Surprise Valley High School sports banquet was held May 17, with Girls Basketball Coach Arnold DeGarmo honoring several of his players. The team finished tied for third in the Evergreen League and made the section playoffs, losing in the first round.

DeGarmo presented Cara James with the Offensive Player of the Year and Coaches Award, Sarah Teuscher the Defensive Player award with a school record of 109 blocks, and Jacque Laxague as the Most Improved Player. Teuscher and James were named to the Evergreen All-League team and Laxague received an Honorable Mention. James was also named to the North Section All-Division team.

DeGarmo said he was very pleased with the point guard performance of Miranda Muira and play of Anna Quintana, Kendra Hill and Karri DePaul this season.

May 26th, 2005

News

Proposed truck stop/mini-mart creates some angst in SV

An economic development proposal by the Cedarville Rancheria to put a truck stop/mini-mart on about 1.3 acres of land going into Cedarville has created some strong emotions in the valley.

On one side are business owners in Cedarville who hold that having the truck stop/mini-mart would have a "serious negative impact" on the business community. There is also a feeling aired that the Cedarville Rancheria does not support the community.

On the other side is the Cedarville Rancheria members, who were angered that their community benefit was questioned, or more correctly, misunderstood. Communication has been lacking.

The Cedarville Rancheria is the only federally recognized tribe now making up the Modoc Indian Health Project. Belinda Brown, Project Director of MIHP, pointed out that over the past two years, the organization has brought in $210,120 in grant funding for the Surprise Valley Hospital. It has also brought in an equal amount for Modoc Medical Center in Alturas. Those funds come through the work of the Cedarville Rancheria and MIHP and make up part of the Rancheria's contribution to the Cedarville community. As a matter of reference, the tax assessment in Surprise Valley brings in about $104,000 annually.

"We don't spend a lot of time going around and talking about what we do," said Cedarville Rancheria Project Director Lloyd Powell. "People who do a lot of talking, don't get a lot done. We're not looking for a pat on the back." Duana Knighton, administrator of the Cedarville Rancheria also pointed out that all Cedarville residents get the benefits of road paving through, to and by the Rancheria. The roads serve more than just Rancheria residents. She said the roads are paved with Bureau of Indian Affairs funding, then returned to county ownership as public access routes. Several streets have been done and more are being paved in the future, with the cooperation of the Modoc County Road Department.

In addition, said Knighton, the Rancheria donates to school programs, the fair and other entities annually.

The MIHP serves 180 clients, said Brown. It utilizes local health care providers so the health care dollars stay in the communities. The grant funding for both hospitals helps the facilities and the MIHP clients, as well as the residents of the county. The MIHP services are provided not only to Cedarville Rancheria members, but also to other Indian people in the area. One of the big issues cited by Cedarville residents and the Chamber of Commerce is putting the land for the truck stop into trust, gaining a tax-free status.

Powell said the Rancheria puts funding back into the county and into Cedarville and points out that the jobs created by the truck stop, mini-mart would be open to everyone, not just Indian people. Additionally Cherie Roads said that the mini-mart is not going to be a full-fledged grocery store, but rather a place that opens earlier and stays open later than existing markets in the valley. It would be a place where people could come and get staples, like milk or bread when the other stores are closed.

Powell stated that because of the tax issues, the truck stop and fueling stations would probably be able to sell gas and diesel cheaper than other places in the county, which he maintained would be a benefit.

Supervisor Dan Macsay, who attended the meeting Monday, said that he felt there had been a lack of communication on the issue and hoped to be able to present a more informed and honest discussion on the proposal. Dannette DePaul, SV Hospital Administrator and Teresa Jacques, Modoc Medical Center Administrator, said the funding coming through the MIHP has been vital in adding and maintaining hospital services in both facilities.

In fiscal year 2004, the hospitals split a grant of $198,832 and in fiscal year 2005, they will split a grant of $245,516.

Ft. Bidwell man nabbed in shooting incident

The Modoc County Sheriff's Department arrested Louis Parrish, age 34, Monday, alleging he fired a .22 caliber rifle at Stan Wilson Sunday night in Ft. Bidwell.

Both men are Ft. Bidwell residents, said Sheriff Bruce Mix. Parrish is denying he fired the rifle and the case is under investigation. Mix said the rifle has not been found.

Parrish remains in custody in the Modoc County Jail. Mix said he appreciated the help of the California Highway Patrol, who sent three officers and the canine unit to help in the investigation.

Local teachers protest cuts in funding

As rallies by state employees occurred across the state, Modoc teachers were out in force last week to protest the Governor's proposed cuts to public education. They were joined by administration, board members, students and community members.

"At the core of the problem is the Governor's "California Live Within Our Means Act" which outwardly sounds quite responsible," said Modoc Teacher's Association President Sally Clark.

"However the initiative, which is 14 pages long, shifts power to the governor, eliminates legal checks and balances, and decimates Proposition 98 which guarantees funding to public education."

Proposition 98 was voted into action by the people of California in 1988 to protect schools from harmful budget cuts. Despite this, education has been cut $9.8 billion from 2001-2005 due to deferrals, underfunding and suspension of Prop 98. California currently ranks 43rd in the nation for funding per pupil

"At a press conference on January 8, 2004, Governor Schwartzenegger announced that he and members of the Education Coalition reached an agreement to help alleviate the budget crisis in California" Clark said. "The governor borrowed $2 billion dollars from education with a promise to protect Proposition 98 and to increase per pupil funding from the previous year. He stated, 'Education is the key to every future success for our state. This Prop. 98 funding will be restored as required by law and our agreement. Today, I am making that promise to our teachers and students.'"

A year later, Clark said the Governor has gone back on his promise and is trying to balance the budget on the backs of California's children, educators and school employees. The money borrowed from education is equivalent to $25,000 dollars for every classroom in the state of California, she said.

Some forest campgrounds open for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is coming up fast and if you are thinking about enjoying the weather and going camping in the Modoc National Forest, some campgrounds and facilities will be open for public use this Memorial Day weekend

Campgrounds included by District are:

Warner Mountain Ranger District:

Blue Lake Campground: Water, Garbage, Toilets, Fees; Mill Creek Falls Campground: Water, Garbage, Toilets, Fees; Cedar Pass Campground: Toilets, part of the campground road has been washed out; Stough Reservoir Campground: Toilets; Plum Valley and Lassen Creek: Toilets; Upper Cedar Creek Trailhead: Water, Toilets

Devil's Garden Ranger District:

Howard's Gulch Campground: Water, Garbage, Toilets, Fees; Cottonwood Flat: Water, Toilets; C-Reservoir: Toilets; F-Reservoir: Toilets; Jane's Reservoir: Toilets; Duncan Reservoir South and North: Toilets; Big Sage: Toilets

Big Valley Ranger District:

Ash Creek: Toilets; Lower Rush Creek: Toilets; Upper Rush Creek: Closed; Willow Creek: Toilets;

Lava Camp: Toilets. All campgrounds are open withthe exception of Upper Rush Creek Campground due to the muddy roads

Doublehead Ranger District:

The Medicine Lake area remains closed at this time and is scheduled to be open either by the end of June or the first week of July when the snow melts. Some of the Forest roads may still have muddy road conditions please use caution when using them. Remember to Leave No Trace and be Fire Safe and above all have a fun Memorial Day weekend. Modoc National Forest Office's will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2005 in observance of Memorial Day and will reopen on Tuesday, May 31, 2005.

Obituaries:

Harold Norman Courtney

Harold Norman Courtney, 72, of Eagleville, passed away May 24, 2005 at Surprise Valley Hospital, Cedarville, CA. A Memorial Service for Mr. Courtney will be held at the Eagleville Community Church on Main St., Eagleville on Tuesday, May 31 at 11 a.m. It was Mr. Courtney's wishes that all would get together to share memories and celebrate his life after church services at the Eagleville Community Hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Eagleville Community Church, P.O. Box 234, Eagleville, CA 96110 or to the Eagleville Volunteer Fire Department, Eagleville, CA. 96110.

The family would like to thank Dr. Chuck Colas and everyone at the Cedarville Hospital and especially Sharon and Bob Staton.

The Modoc Record will publish Mr. Courtney's obituary in the next issue. Eugene Henry, Katherine 'Kitty'

Barry Baalman.

Memorial services for Eugene Henry Baalman and Katherine "Kitty" Barry Baalman, will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 29 in the Fort Bidwell Cemetery. Mr Baalman, of Medford, died Monday, November 16, 1998 at his home and Mrs. Baalman died January 15, 2004.

Mr. Baalman, was born December 10, 1917, in Grinnell, KS. On June 1, 1941, in Reno NV, he married Katherine "Kitty" Barry. He lived in the Rogue Valley most of his life and worked as a forklift driver for Boise Cascade, formerly Elk Lumber in Medford for 35 years, retiring in 1981. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. He returned to the Rogue Valley in 1997 from Fort Bidwell, CA. Mr. Baalman, was a member of the Fort Bidwell People's Church and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7888 in Cedarville, CA. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing, carpentry and helping his neighbors.

Survivors include a son, Nicholas A. "Tony", Ashland; a daughter, Judith J. Frelich, Murfreesboro, NC; six sisters, Isabelle Barry, Glendale; Mathilda Flipse, Salem; and Agnes Davis, Betty Ann Vance, Bernadette Hamman and Arvella Schiner, all in Kansas, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two brothers, David and Leonard Baalman.

Kitty was born August 27, 1915, in Lakeview OR, to Nicholas Patrick Barry and Eolus Lofftus Barry. She was a granddaughter of James Kane Barry of Rockchapel, Newmarket, County Cork, Ireland, and Katherine O'Connor Barry, of San Francisco, who were pioneers in the Lakeview area, and of Christopher Columbus Lofftus of Warner Valley, OR (formerly of Ashland, OR) and Edith Ewell Brown of Fort Bidwell, CA. James Kane Barry, along with three of his brothers, were instrumental in bringing most of the Irish settlers to Lake County, OR beginning in 1877.

Kitty grew up at Adel, OR, attended elementary school there and attended high school in Lakeview. She was the Lakeview Rodeo Queen in 1933. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Southern Oregon College, Ashland, OR and her Master's Degree from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. She served on the Governor's Task Force for Special Education, and assisted in the development of the Special Education Program in the State of Oregon. The majority of her career was spent teaching in the Special Education Program in the Josephine County School District in Grants Pass, OR. She had many hobbies. She was an accomplished horsewoman, an avid reader, and a story writer. She also loved to garden and cook.

After her retirement, Kitty and Eugene moved to Fort Bidwell, CA where they were active in the local church and civic activities. They returned to Medford, OR in 1997 due to poor health.

She is survived by a son, Nicholas A. "Tony" Baalman, Sr. of Talent; a daughter, Judith Shiron of Portland; grandchildren Jolinda Baker of Lynnwood, WA, J. Richard Baalman of Monroe, WA, Nicholas Baalman, Jr. of Talent, and Michelle Marthaller of Portland, six great-grandchildren; sisters, Nellie Jane Barry Herringer of Clarksburg, CA and Betty Barry Fletcher of Spokane, WA; and numerous nieces, and nephews, and cousins. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by sisters, Ruth Eolus Barry Cox, and Edith Barry; brothers Robert James Barry, Nicholas Lofftus Barry, and Franklin Duane Barry.

Eugene Toney

Services for Eugene Toney, 81, will be held on Sunday, May 29, 2005, at 12:30 p.m. at the Lake City Cemetery in Lake City, CA. A time of fellowship will follow at the Lake City Fire Hall. Mr. Toney passed away Feb. 16, 2005, at his home in Orland, CA.

Eugene was born August 28, 1923 on the Toney homestead in Lake City, CA to Mervin and Jewel Toney. He graduated from Surprise Valley High School.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Marietta; sons, Raymond and Larry of Redding and George of Orland and their wives; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Rita and Weta; sister-in-law, Hazel Toney; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, Carol Toney.

Eva Ceola Jacobs

Graveside services for Eva Ceola Jacobs will be held at the Lake City Cemetery, Lake City, CA on Saturday, May 28 at 11 a.m. A potluck luncheon will follow at the Lake City Fire hall. Mrs. Jacobs died at the age of 92, on March 29, 2005, in Tillamook, Oregon.

Born in Lexington, Nebraska on May 17, 1912, to Jim and Mable (Miller) Dodge, she spent most of her life in Lake City, CA. The last six years of her life were spent between Palo Cedro, CA. and Nehalem.

She is survived by her daughter Julienne (Dolly) Apple of Palo Cedro, CA; son, Jack Jacobs and his wife Murphy of Nehalem; nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great grandchildren; two half-brothers, along with a number of nieces and nephews.

Sports

Wood Ducks Not Homeless

by Frank Galusha, EasyWriter

Special to the Record

Suppose you were pregnant and homeless. Can you imagine what it would feel like to find a comfortable, delightfully located apartment, built and managed by caring landlords who do not even charge rent? That's the pleasant prospect facing Northern California's wood duck population, thanks to efforts by hundreds of dedicated duck hunters and conservationists who build and manage over 5,000 wood duck boxes.

Suitable quarters - usually tree cavities - have not always been available where these colorful waterfowl can raise their large families safe from storms and predators. And when wood ducks "get the urge" - usually from February through May - the rush to find a home gets stressful. Even when a hole in a tree is found it may be poorly located, shoddy and not up to "code." The female wood duck won't put up with drafty conditions, leaking roofs or too much sunlight. If the hole is too big, neighborhood ruffians such as raccoons can sneak in and raise havoc. If the tree leans away from the hole, newborn chicks can't climb out. If it's too far from water, the ducklings may not survive the overland trek. And the hole must be just the right height from the ground - six to ten feet is preferred.

In the 1930s, it was discovered that wood ducks would successfully use man made nesting structures. In 1991, the California Waterfowl Association and volunteers began building, erecting and maintaining wood duck boxes. Today, CWA volunteers keep tabs on over 5317 duck boxes, including 332 in Shasta, Trinity, Lassen and Modoc Counties, which are part of the CWA's Region 1. Last year, these boxes produced an estimated 36,509 ducklings, of which about 2442 were hatched in the above counties, an average of seven ducklings per box. ............ Modoc Could Have More Wood Ducks

Wood ducks aren't quite as welcome in Modoc County as they might be, according to biologists at the DFG and CWA.

"Habitat is scarce and often poor but all we probably need is more boxes and volunteers to monitor them," said Jeremy Kwolek, biologist who heads up the CWA program. "Wood ducks are very opportunistic," he said. "They will nest just about anywhere."

Richard Shinn, biologist with the DFG in Alturas agrees but warns that it's vital that volunteers monitor the boxes so that starlings and other birds don't take them over.

"Some of the river and stream habitat on the western slopes of the Warners might be suitable, but volunteers need to check the boxes regularly and put in fresh wood shavings each year," he said.

There are a few boxes at the Ash Creek Wildlife Refuge, according to manager Dale Doza but there are none at Modoc per manger Shannon Ludwig.

"We don't have many trees, so there's no natural nesting cavities, however, duck boxes mounted on wooden posts or metal poles might do the trick, " Ludwig said.

Other boxes include those maintained by Marc and Nancy Twyman of Big Valley. Their six boxes produced a hatch of 31 ducklings in 2004.

Each box is built to specs supplied by the California Waterfowl Association. Tiny ladder-like grooves are cut in the inside front of the box below the hole. The ducklings are able to climb up these steps because their webbed feet are also equipped with tiny claws. Like most fowl, the ducklings usually hatch all at once and when they are ready for the outside world, the mother calls for them to emerge from the hole and join her on the ground. Being extremely light in terms of weight - much less than an ounce - they almost float to the ground as if by parachute. Frequently, the same ducks return to their birth box as adults to use the nest to create the next generation.

The volunteers who build, erect and manage these ducky dwellings often go to a great deal of time and effort. The boxes are checked several times a year. Repairs are made, fresh wood shavings are dropped in, and, during nesting the boxes are checked to see how many are occupied, how many eggs have been laid and how many birds were probably hatched. These statistics are forwarded to the CWA where they are tallied and monitored to determine the status of the population.

If you would like to build a duck box or want to volunteer to help others check their boxes, give California Waterfowl Association a call at 916-648-1406.

Modoc wins SCL track title

Modoc's Varsity Boys track team won the Shasta Cascade League meet May 13, with 117 points. Trinity was second at 82, followed by Weed, Mt. Shasta, Fall River, Etna and Bishop Quinn.

Jason Jones won the 400 meters in a time of 54.7, Max Wise came in second at 54.8 and Clint Nardoni was third in 55.90. Wise, Jones, Nardoni and Ryan Carrithers also won the 4x400 meter relay.

In the small schools meet last week, that team also won the 4x400 meters and will compete at the North Section finals on Friday. Jones will also compete, having won the 400 meters at small schools.

At the league meet, Wise won the triple jump at 38-0 and Travis Wood won the pole vault at 9-6.

Matt Wilkie was fourth in the 100 meters, 12.0, and fifth in the 200 meters, 25.0. Ryan Carrithers took second in the 800 meter run, 2:15.3 and fourth in the 1600 meters, 5:02.5.

Brad Bell was fourth in the 100 meter hurdles in 19.2 and Wood was sixth at 20.50. Wood was third in the 300 meter hurdles, 47.10, Nardoni was fourth 50.10, and Grant Hall was fifth at 52.30.

Micah Eppler placed second in the high jump at 5-8, Wise was third at 5-6 and Nardoni was fifth at 5-2. Jones was fifth in the pole vault. Wise took fourth in the long jump at 17-1 and Eppler was fifth at 16-9. Hall was second in the shot put at 40-04. Bell was sixth at 36-7 and Lenny Gladu was seventh at 35-04.

Modoc's Junior Varsity boys also won the title with 68 points, followed by Fall River, Weed, Etna, Burney and Bishop Quinn.

Brandon Anderson was second in the shot put at 38-05 and David Holloway was third at 36-05,75 and second in the 300 meter hurdles at 47.20.

Anderson was third in the discus at 83-04. Martin Corns took second in the 800 meters in 2:23.7 and Cain Madrigal was tied for third at 2:31.3.

Holloway was fourth in the 400 meters in 58.40. Corns was fourth in the 1600 meters in 5:13 and Madrigal was fifth at 5:17. Madrigal was fifth in the 3200 meters at 12:42 and Anderson was seventh at 13:07.

For Modoc Varsity Girls, Jennifer Joyce won the 400 meters in 1:05.9 and was second in the 800 meters in 2:42.3. She was also sixth in the 200 meters. Modoc's JV girls also won the title, with 69 points, followed by Trinity, Weed, Fall River, Bishop Quinn, Burney and Etna.

Amanda Moriarity won the 3200 meters in 14:47 and the 1600 meters in 6:23.4 and was third in the 800 meters in 2:52. Chrissy Hall won the 300 meter hurdles in 58.30 and Amanda Hess won the shot at 29-04. Hess also won the shot at 31-02 and Hall was second at 28-05. Hall won the discus at 92-01 and Hess was second at 89-04.

Marielle Nardoni was third in the 1600 meters at 7:24. Kelly Campagna was fourth in the 200 meters at 30.9 with Stacy Main tied at 30.9. Campagna was sixth in the 10 meters in 15.1.

Hight 5th in Hebron, Ohio

Robert Hight finished fifth in the National Hot Rod Association's Pontiac Performance in Hebron, Ohio, Sunday.

Hight lost in the quarterfinals to Gary Scelzi, who lost the finals race to John Force, Hight's boss and father-in-law. In the quarterfinals, Hight ran 4.793 at 324.83 m.p.h. and Scelzi ran 4.790 at 327.11 m.p.h.

Force is leading in points in the NHRA Funny Car class with 602. Scelzi is second at 522 and Hight is third at 510. Hight, from Alturas, is in his rookie year as a pro Funny Car driver.

June 2, 2005

News

'Wonderland' in Modoc, a special creation that continues to mature

On rare occasions, one serendipitously stumbles across something so impressive and remarkable that words utterly fail to do it justice. "Wow!" doesn't even come close.

Such a thing is the bucolic, 10-acre nature wonderland and amusement park located near Alturas-the last place one might think look for it. It's a monumental landscape project designed and executed by Stephen and Cheryl Baker around their home, the superhuman product of one couple's love of nature and all things curious.

Begun in 1989 and constructed in the Bakers' "spare time," the park has been 15 years in the making. "Everything you see on the property-except for these 100-year-old willows and a couple of hawthorns-we've planted since '89," says Stephen. "(Before that), it was just meadow."

The former owners of the Niles Hotel in Alturas for 25 years, the Bakers' "intense" schedule did not allow time off. "We decided that our getaway had to be right outside our front door," explains Cheryl.

Stephen started with a small, dooryard garden, and the project blossomed. "It just kind of grew" he chuckles

"(It) took on a life of its own," adds Cheryl.

A bit of high country paradise, just wandering through the park's delightfully treed and scenically appointed footpaths is an adventure. There are delightful venues throughout, with whimsical names such as the Plum Walk, the Wedding Pond, the Pumpkin Patch, the Blacksmith Shop, the Miner's Cabin, the Swimming Hole or the Honeymoon Cottage. The centerpiece of their remarkable creation is a working amusement park railroad. "It was a labor of love," asserts Stephen, speaking of the project to install the train he acquired from the Argo Gold Mine National Park in Colorado.

Powered by an automobile engine, the locomotive was built to look like an authentic steam engine of a bygone era. "It's made to look old," says Stephen, who delights in giving rides around the one-mile railway in the colorful and quaint six-car train with its charming caboose. As with all things in their grand venture, the railroad project had to be done right-a simple oval loop around the property would not do. "I wanted it to meander," Stephen insists. So, he tackled the laborious task of bending the rails by hand with a hydraulic rail bender.

"Steven did it all totally himself," injects Cheryl. "Every spike, every I can't even tell you how many tons and tons of road base he had hauled in." "It's just hard physical labor. There's no other way to put it," Stephen confirms. "Every single thing about it is hard. Pounding the spikes that was a killer. Cheryl helped me haul the rail along the right-of-way. It took six years (to build)."

To commemorate the completion of the diminutive railway, a "golden spike" was driven last year in a ceremony attended by 56 family members. The Bakers' property is a veritable pastoral wonderland of carefully and lovingly designed and executed gardens, ponds, paths and bridges, cool fountains and water cascades. "We call it our yard … our garden," says Cheryl.

It's the way this happy, loving couple has of creating their own, special place to be together.

"At the end of the day … we walk around together and share with each other what each of us has worked on, " says Stephen, "… and a train ride too. We usually go for a train ride every evening in the summer." "We get real joy out of talking," adds Cheryl. "We have always been best of friends."

The Bakers' idyllic realm evokes wonder in all who visit. With all its innate beauty, small wonders and curious enchantments, one frankly expects to encounter Louis Carroll's Alice, the white rabbit or Cheshire cat at any moment as they rush to a tea party in some garden spot on the property. Characters from literature inspired many of the buildings and gardens. The two-story Club House, built on stilts, was inspired by their sons' love of the Hardee Boys mysteries, and the Swiss Family Robinson tale inspired them to build Jack's Tree House with its swinging bridge

A virtual paradise for children and the young-at-heart, this is not a glitzy, Hollywood-style theme park. It has a natural, rustic edge with soul-satisfying vistas in every direction. It's nature the way it was intended to be: not left to fend for itself in unruly, chaotic fashion, but rather organized and directed under the careful, creative superintendence of thoughtful and hard-working stewards.

It is said that well delineated boundaries make for a good marriage, so the Bakers have "informally" divided the property. West of the house is "Stephen's field." East of the house is "my field," says Cheryl, because, "I love the view of the Warners."

And the dividing "Mason-Dixon Line" is where?

"Well, it's blurred," laughs Stephen. "I had to negotiate a right-of-way for the train through her field.

"From the house to the pond we share," he continues, squeezing Cheryl's hand.

"What it boils down to is: If he wants to do something out there, he may ask my opinion. But, it's his decision," says Cheryl. And vice versa?

"Absolutely," responds Stephen.

And in between? "Lots of compromise," chuckles Cheryl.

Over 15 years in the making, the two of them have done all the work in their "spare time," with very little outside assistance while they raised children and both had full-time occupations away from the property.

The Bakers will not guess about the number of hours that have gone into this "backyard" project. "We don't go there," smiles Cheryl, and Stephen nods his concurrence.

Looking more like a picturesque motion picture back lot or a rustic, "Disneyland North" than a down-home landscaping project, the Bakers' property could easily be mistaken for any of the world's most idyllic garden spots.

It's also a bit of a wildlife park, with ducks, geese, chickens and peacocks wandering here and there. An ample aviary protectively houses some very exotic and beautiful birds, such as the two white peacocks.

The park is a feat of epic proportions that requires incredible dedication to maintain, let alone improve year after year. "I don't keep up with it at all. I just work at it," says Cheryl, explaining her philosophy. "If you get too bogged down with trying to keep up with it, you'd just go nuts."

For example, simply keeping the park's lawns groomed requires over eight hours of mowing at least "once a week." They have four mowers, each for different types of terrain and "because invariably one of them will be in the shop," says Cheryl.

The two have been remarkably resourceful and thoughtful as the project developed. Stephen has installed an automated drip system to efficiently and effectively water all the trees and plants in the gardens. In addition, he has electrified the entire park, allowing the illumination of the whole or discreet regions within.

Stephen does not like to see things go to waste; he prefers to build with recycled material. So, many buildings in the park were constructed from materials salvaged from the demolition of barns and houses elsewhere. Planned for construction this summer is a mock frontier town, complete with church, graveyard, railroad water tower, blacksmith shop, attorney's office, assay office and country kitchen.

Inevitably, something so attractive is difficult to keep to one's self. Yet, the intent was to create something for themselves, their two children and their family-not as a public amusement park. "We have to keep it private enough to where we have time enough to enjoy it," says Cheryl.

However, recognizing that "a garden is meant to be shared," the Bakers host a limited number of events on their property annually. This year, Cheryl proposed using their park for a fundraising event for the Modoc County Library, where she is the librarian.

"There really aren't enough weekends or evenings or hours available to open it up. So, this is a way that people can come and enjoy it and support the library at the same time," says Cheryl.

Dubbed the "June Jamboree," it's an opportunity for the general public to see their creation firsthand. Tickets for the daylong June 18 event are $10 and may be purchased at the library.

Stephen, now retired, works daily on their magnificent obsession. To those who ask if he will ever complete this project, he replies, "Life is a journey, not a destination. We enjoy the process."

"I just love it," echoes Cheryl. "We've always supported each other in that way. That's what makes it fun."

Alcohol use suspected in crash

Alcohol use is suspected in a major accident May 30, 5:10 p.m. on Sara Lane south of Anna Lane in Daphnedale.

The California Highway Patrol reports that Dale Eugene O'Neil, age 22, of Alturas, was driving a 1966 Chevy pickup southbound on Sara Lane at a undetermined high rate of speed, while under the influence of alcohol. He lost control of the vehicle, it traveled off the west side of the road and slammed through several juniper trees and a wood fence. It came to rest on its right side.

After being helped out of the vehicle by a passerby, O'Neil fled the scene on foot. A passenger in the vehicle, Norman Mathisen, age 48, Alturas, sustained major injuries and was transported to Modoc Medical Center and airlifted to Washoe Medical Center in Reno. O'Neil was apprehended shortly after the collision in Alturas . He had sustained major injuries and was also airlifted to Washoe Medical Center. He was also placed under arrest by the CHP. The pickup had major damage.

There were minor injuries but major damage to two vehicles in an accident May 29, 6:40 a.m. on County Road 71 south of Black Pine Road.

The CHP reports that Stephen Hornbeck, age 36, Alturas was northbound on CR71 when he saw his wife, Shelly Hornbeck, age 38, Alturas, pull out of the driveway behind him. He thought his wife wanted to talk to him, so he turned around and stopped in the middle of CR71 with the front end of his Chevy pickup extending into the northbound lane.

Mrs. Hornbeck was driving a Plymouth van northbound at an undetermined speed and struck her husband's pickup head on. Mrs. Hornbeck was transported to Modoc Medical Center in Alturas with minor injuries and Mr. Hornbeck was not hurt.

Minor injuries were reported in an accident May 25, 5:05 p.m. on U.S. 395, just south of Willow Creek. According to the CHP, Phillip R. Walter, age 20, New Pine Creek, Or., was driving a 1962 Chevy pickup northbound towing a 1985 Plymouth Horizon. The Horizon began to fishtail causing Walter to lose control of the pickup. The pickup traveled off the road and both vehicles overturned as they careened down a steep embankment. Walters was transported to the Lakeview hospital with minor injuries.

2005 fire season depends on the weather pattern

Officials at the Lassen and Modoc National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, and Lassen Volcanic National Park said this year's fire season will begin Sunday, June 12

"We have had a cool spring, but now, vegetation is beginning to dry quickly," said Darla Neering, co-manager of the Susanville Interagency Fire Center. "We are asking everyone who enjoys our beautiful wildlands to be very careful with any use of fire."

The start of fire season brings the opening of fire stations, the staffing of fire engines and the positioning of fire-fighting aircraft that can respond anywhere in the more than six million acres protected by the Susanville Interagency Fire Center (SIFC)

The four-agency (Lassen National Forest, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Bureau of Land Management and Lassen Volcanic National Park) fire center will rely upon 36 fire engines, 21 hand crews, six water tenders and five bulldozers. Aircraft include three helicopters stationed in Bieber, Ravendale and Chester, and one Lockheed P2V air tanker stationed at Chester

During significant fires, the center can summon firefighting resources from anywhere in California or the nation

"The severity of this year's fire season will depend on weather, including the number of thunderstorms we receive, and the care people exercise when using fire outdoors," said Chuck Judd, SIFC co-manager. "As always, it will be imperative that people are careful with use of fire outdoors."

Permits for debris burning have been required since May 1, and will be suspended July 1, SIFC officials said. Other fire restrictions, such as limitations on campfires and off-highway vehicle use, could be put in place as fire dangers increase

"People should burn only on calm days, within the allowable burning hours, and be sure they have a shovel and water hose handy," Judd said. "Fires should be kept small and an adult should always be present. Never leave a fire unattended."

Officials also urge backcountry recreation visitors to follow basic fire safety rules. Permits are required for campfires outside of developed campgrounds. They are available free at any office or fire station of the U.S. Forest Service, the BLM or the CDF. Campfires should always be attended, and should be dead-out before breaking camp.

Junior Livestock Show, Sale June 13-17

The Junior Livestock Show and Sale will be held June 13 to 17 at the John Cummings Memorial Livestock Grounds in Alturas, California. The 2005 Junior Show Board has been working hard since December to prepare for this event.

The members of this year's Show Board are: President, Wayne Cockrell; Vice-President, Jack Veverka; and Secretary-Treasurer, Ashley Anderson; Weston Cockrell, Claire Crenshaw, Emily Haas, Casey Joiner, Cole Joiner, Kevin Konz, Travis Orr, Whitney Ponti, Eric Shultz, Jeff Shultz, Patricia Soletti, Dan Steger, and Todd Weidner.

Junior Show week is action packed. The Horse Show opens the event at 8 a.m. on Monday. 4-H and FFA members show their horses in Showmanship, Halter, English, Western, and Gymkhana events. Reining classes were also added to this year's horse show.

On Tuesday, small animals such as rabbits and poultry are shown in showmanship, breeding, and market classes starting at 9 a.m.

Wednesday evening at 4 p.m., the rest of the large animals arrive for weigh-in.

Thursday morning at 8 a.m. is the start of beef, goat, sheep and swine market classes, followed by Pee Wee Showmanship at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m., breeding classes and the Judging Contest starts at 4:30 p.m.

High Grade 4-H Club will host a dance featuring Lone Pine on Thursday starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Modoc Middle School Gym. This dance is alcohol free and open to the public. Admission is $3/single or $5/couple. The finale is Friday.

Showmanship classes begin Friday at 8 a.m., with Round Robin Showmanship starting at 12 noon.

Modoc 4-H Council will host the Buyers Barbecue beginning at 4 p.m. They will be serving Tri-Tip, beans, salad, and rolls for $8/plate. Only 300 dinner tickets will be sold. Contact the 4-H Office at (530)233-6400 for presale tickets. The Awards Ceremony starts at 5:15 p.m., followed by the Livestock Sale at 6:30 p.m. New for this year's sale individuals and businesses will not be allowed to buy animals designated for resale.

Obituaries:

Mary Elizabeth Heughen

Alturas resident Mary Elizabeth Heughen, 84, passed away peacefully in Orange, CA on May 31, 2005. Services will be held Friday, June 2 at 10 a.m. graveside at Forest Lawn Cemetery at 4471 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, CA 90630.

She was born Mary Elizabeth Hellin in Des Moines, Iowa on August 26, 1920. Mrs. Heughen was active in all the Alturas veterans auxiliary organizations. She had retired as a licensed cosmetologist and enjoyed her work as an Avon representative in Alturas.

Mrs. Heughen is survived by her husband Gordon Heughen of Alturas, CA; her family members in Orange, CA include her daughter Roberta Jorden; son Chas Whitehead; grandchildren Rick Jorden, Sherry Lewis, Candi Lewis, Robert Jorden, Cindy Sewell, Raymond Jorden, and Penny Broadbent of Seattle, WA; 11 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Mrs. Heughen's obituary will be published at a future date.

George Thomas King, Jr

Cedarville resident George Thomas King, Jr. passed away of cancer May 25, 2005, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Mr. King was 75

Born in Douglas, Arizona on November 23, 1929, to George King, Sr. and Katherine King, he received his formal education in both Douglas, AZ. and Gardnerville, Nevada.

He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars as a chief petty officer with the U.S. Navy. He retired from the Navy after 24 years and started his new career in electronics in Lake Mary, Florida first.

After moving to Oregon, he was receiving manager for K-Mart. He and Gerry Olson were married on August 15, 1992 in Reno, Nevada. The couple relocated to Modoc County 13 years ago, where Mr. King enjoyed gardening, woodwork and traveling.

He is survived by his wife Gerry of Cedarville, CA; son James King and wife Johnnie Lynn of Osteen, Florida; step-children Jeff White and wife Kristine of Portland, OR.; Kimberly Tripp of Estacada, OR; Tamie McGee of Cedarville, CA; grandchildren, Joshua, James, Amanda, Alisha, Lacey, Dakota, Ashley, Tristan, Jennifer, Mindy and Shelly. He also has great-grandchildren Eric, Scott, Daniel, and Destiny.

He was preceded in death by sisters Jean Fletcher and Kitty Helms and brother Richard King

Due to his request, no services will be held.

Harold Norman Courtney

Harold Norman Courtney, 72, passed away May 24, 2005 at Surprise Valley Hospital, Cedarville, CA. Norm was born on November 8, 1932 to William and Oline Courtney in Greenville, Texas. At the age of one, the family moved west to Cedarville, CA. They lived at the Mulot place and Norm remembers carrying water from Owl Creek. He attended Eagleville schools where sports were his favorite subject. He worked at the Bear Ranch for Charlie Nolan for three years and enjoyed his favorite pastimes of riding horses and fishing

For two years he served his country in the infantry during the Korean War. In 1956, Norm went to work for PG&E in San Jose. He moved to Redding while still working for PG&E where he enjoyed his working family and friends at the Shack. He later married Bobby Jean to whom three girls were born: Wendy, Cheryl, and Patty

After retiring, he moved back to Eagleville and prided himself in making coffee for the Morning Coffee Club and keeping the town ditches clean. He enjoyed fishing Newland and Bear creeks

Norm was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Oline and brothers; Ronnie and Pete. He is survived by a sister, Ellen in Oklahoma; a brother Cecil and family in Gerlach, and a brother Buddy and family in Greenville, and daughter Cheryl of Redding

A memorial service was held at Eagleville Community Church on May 31. Donations in his memory may be sent to Eagleville Community Church, P.O. Box 234, Eagleville, CA 96110 or Eagleville Volunteer Fire Department, Eagleville, CA 96110.

Sports

Braves place at large schools

Modoc High's Jennifer Joyce ran a personal best of 2:32 in the 800 meters to place fifth in the North Section Large School track meet at West Valley, May 27.

Jason Jones clocked a 54.1 replace sixth in the open 400 meters while Clint Nardoni clocked a 54.7 for seventh.

The 4x400 meter relay team placed seventh overall with a season best of 3:40.2.

Correction:

In last week's track article, the Record missed a few results. First off, it was the varsity boys and junior varsity girls who won Shasta Cascade League championships, not the junior varsity boys.

Grant Hall won the league discus with a toss of 127-7. In addition, Cam Hall, a freshman, was a member of the winning 4x400 meter relay team and was also fifth in the 300 hurdles for the varsity.

Hight 4th in Topeka race

Robert Hight placed fourth in the Funny Car division at the National Hot Rod Association Summer nationals in Topeka, Kansas last Sunday. Team owner John Force won the Funny Car title for the third straight win. Force is leading in POWERade points with 715 and Hight has moved into second place with 588. Hight is making a very strong bid for Rookie of the Year honors.

Eagle Lake fishing report

The 2005 Memorial Day opening weekend at Eagle Lake was marked by excellent fishing with anglers doing well all over the lake. All types of fishing techniques were working with no one approach much better than others. Trolling shallow with a wide variety of lures and plastic grubs were producing well. Reds and oranges were the best colors for the lures. Still-fishing was working well with night crawlers from boats and from shore. Other shore fishermen were reporting success with power bait.

There were strong reports that a 12-pound trout was caught in the Spaulding area on Saturday. Several anglers visiting the Eagle Lake Marina reported having seen a photo of it at the General Store in Spaulding.

The trout are spread over most of the lake with fishing best at depths ranging from top-lining to about 15 feet. The water is still cool, but the alkalinity is high causing Fish and Game officials to post the lake for voluntary support of the "catch and keep" policy early this season. According to Fish and Game Officials, even though the Eagle Lake Trout is adapted to the high alkalinity of Eagle Lake, they stress dramatically during retrieval and often die after being released even though they seem fine when they swim off.

Although Merrill campground was closed over the holiday weekend, ample camping was available at the south shore of Eagle Lake with no campers turned away. A very nice area with good overall shading has been designated for overflow camping this summer if the remaining campgrounds are full and should provide sufficient opportunity for camping while Merrill Campground is being refurbished. For camping information at Eagle Lake, call the U.S. Forest Service at (530)257-4188. For camping reservations, call; toll free, (877)444-6777 or log on at www.reserveam erica.com. For current information on fishing conditions, call Eagle Lake Marina at (530)825-3454.

June 9th, 2005

News

Hayden Hill mine reclamation praised

A tour last week of the sprawling 970-acre Hayden Hill Mine site, located a few miles south of Adin on Highway 139, provided members of the Lassen County Planning Commission the opportunity to make an onsite assessment of the reclamation work done there in the last few years since the mine ceased operations in 2001.

This inspection comes as the property owner, Kinross Gold Corporation, a publicly held company and seventh largest gold producer in the world with 11 operating mines on four continents, plans to petition the planning commission and the county supervisors for partial release of the surety bond it posted to insure the reclamation was properly carried out.

According to company officials who will soon file a report of their progress, they will request the release of $4.7 million of the present $7.4 million bond after meeting the earthwork requirements and some of the re-vegetation conditions of the reclamation agreement, leaving over $2 million to secure the final phase, which includes additional re-vegetation and site monitoring for another five years.

Serving as tour guide for the group was Davin Strand, the mine site manager. As the tour unfolded, it became clear that Strand's knowledge of the mine, its operation, the reclamation and the monitoring was encyclopedic. "I've been here since 1996. I've been involved with almost all of it," he related.

One of the primary areas of concern throughout the project has been the stability of the waste rock dump-overburden removed to access the ore-bearing material beneath. Strand explained that during operations, the dumpsite .

a series of slope failures, including slides in 1993 and 1994, due to preexisting geological stresses.

While less than seven million tons of material was placed in the 209-acre dump, making that material stable was a primary goal of its reclamation. With careful grooming to prevent further movement and the successful planting of sagebrush, bitterbrush and 35,000 Jeffery pine seedlings, the site is now deemed stable. "We have 15 prisms spread out that we monitor monthly for any movement," said Strand of the steep hillside. "We've been doing that for four years. And so far, there hasn't been any significant movement at all." In Strand's opinion the most demanding part of the reclamation project was the removal of one entire wall of the primary mine itself, called the Lookout Pit, to form a "v" cut to drain water out of the pit. "We had to take about half the backside of the mountain down for drainage," he said, emphasizing the monumental nature of the task. "That was the biggest job."

At the height of operations, the mine facilities included two open pits, waste rock dumps, milling and processing facilities, a tailing impoundment, a heap leach pad, waste management units containing acid rock drainage material, stormwater ponds, and other ancillary infrastructures. Calling the principal pile of rock and dirt at the site a "heap leach pad" is misleading. It's actually a man-made mountain dozens of stories high, several blocks wide and nearly a mile long.

Except for the actual open pits, the rest of the earthworks, gargantuan though they may be, now look to be natural terrain features to the casual observer. Covered with topsoil and planted with native plants, there is little left to hint that the area was once a working mine.

Wildlife has already taken up residence in the newly planted areas. A group of deer calmly sat in the shade of some trees, casually watching as tour members walked to one site.

The visiting planning commission members seemed generally pleased with what they saw and heard during the three-hour afternoon tour that included seven stops on the site.

Bob Beckett, a commission member from Doyle, reported that he was impressed with how well the reclamation had been done, apparently leaving the site stable and the vegetation well established.

When asked if he was impressed by what he saw, Fred Mallery, a commission member from Susanville, said, "Yes, very much so. I think what we're looking at out here today in reclamation is not going to be hard to approve. We've got plant populations that are above and beyond what were expected."

"I think they've done an excellent job of reclaiming this place," affirmed supervisor Dahle, who actually worked at the mine at one time and therefore knows firsthand what the site once looked like. "Twenty-five years from now, you won't be able to really know what happened here. And as far as grazing goes, this will be better than it was before, at some point." "These guys ought to become farmers, not miners," remarked Aaron Albaugh, a planning commission member from Adin and a rancher, commenting on their planting success. "It's changed quite a bit since they closed it down. You can see there's a lot more grass."

At one point in the tour, Dahle asked what would happen if problems emerged after the bonds were released. Mark Iloi, environmental manager of reclamation operations for Kinross affirmed that the company would make good any problems due to mining operations. He pointed to examples of other reclamation projects, a mine in Canada for example, where the company has done just that, even though "they really didn't have to." The only apparent controversy that remains with regard to reclamation operations at the mine is the demolition of the power lines that brought electricity to the site. Some residents along the line want it to remain so that they might get power from it in the near future. Others want it removed.

"Right now it's scheduled to come out at the end of the year," said Strand, "but there's some local ranchers that want it to stay."

Iloi seemed ambivalent about the issue, saying the line could be left "if somebody could find a way to make it stay. We've got a commitment to take it out unless somebody comes and changes the rules."

"There's a clause in the original agreement that allows the Board of Supervisors to make the decision," offered Dahle, regarding the question. In reality, reclamation of the entire site was a Herculean task that required considerable expense on the part of a company that failed to profit from its ten years of operation at Hayden Hill. According to Strand, only about 500,000 ounces of gold were extracted from the site, not enough to return the company's investment. Notwithstanding the loss, Kinross has willingly sought to make the site a model of high reclamation standards. "We like people to know we're holding up our end of the bargain," said Iloi.

Recognition of that dedication has won the California Mining Association Excellence in Reclamation award in 2000 and a nomination from the USDA and the BLM in 2004 for the Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award for the company's effort at Hayden Hill.

New grant will help biomass utilization

Modoc County will get a chance to prove biomass utilization efficiency, thanks to a $250,000 grant just received from Forest Service.

Modoc Resource Analyst Sean Curtis told the Modoc County Board of Supervisors Tuesday the grant will be used in the Tionesta area for treatment of 5,000 to 8,000 acres of hazardous fuel reduction surrounding the Tionesta community.

Curtis said the plan will probably create about 50,000 tons of biomass, which will be used in Bieber's Big Valley Power Plant, which is in the start up phase.

"The purpose of the project is two-fold, first it accomplishes timely and economic fuel treatment by increasing the marketability of biomass through pre-thinning enough of a sale area to allow land managers to package viable sale offerings," the grant states. " Second, and more importantly in the long run, this project will help develop and sustain additional industry infrastructure and supply product critical to the successful start up of Big Valley Power and the construction of a power plant in Alturas."

According to Curtis, the Big Valley plant is "well located" to serve the west side of the Modoc National Forest and the Alturas facility would be centrally located to serve the east side.

"These power plants are key to expanding economical fuels treatments on the Modoc National Forest," said Curtis.

The Modoc National Forest is currently experiencing a high demand for biomass from Big Valley Power and from the Honey Lake plant in Wendel. The Honey Lake plant is operating at less than optimal levels because of a lack of wood fuel.

"Successful operation for the first several years will be critical for the Bieber plant to remain in operation and for National Power to move forward with its plans to establish a facility in Alturas," the grant proposal states. "The Bieber plant needs approximately 65,000 tons per year to operate. This project will produce approximately 50,000 tons."

The landscape surrounding Tionesta, which is on the road into the Lava Beds off State Route 139, and Timber Mountain has a long history of large wind-driven wildfires. Between 1924 and 2003, fires consumed over 100,000 acres of private and federal lands in the area.

The grant was submitted by The North Cal Neva Resource Conservation and Development Council and Modoc Fire Safe Council with the cooperation of Modoc County. Curtis said the match for the grant will come from the County's Title III funds, which come out of the rural counties sustainabliity funding, which replaced timber receipts.

Alturas housing, what's current, what's needed in the near future?

Just what are the current conditions and future needs of housing in the City of Alturas?

A new housing element to the Alturas City General Plan will be the subject of a public hearing June 15, at City Hall, starting at 5:15 p.m. The housing element is intended to provide citizens and public officials with an understanding of housing needs in the community, help in planning for the future and understanding what homes may need renovation currently. There are some interesting findings in the housing element and those will all be part of the discussion next week. The housing element also serves as a partial base for grant funding requests.

According to the summary of the plan, the major housing needs in Alturas relate to the cost of housing, which has risen dramatically and the increase of lower-paying service jobs as well as the increase in housing needs groups, such as the elderly.

"While some jobs have been created in the city, job and wage growth have been relatively slow compared to the increase in housing and land prices," the plan states. "Furthermore, the economic base in the city has shifted from higher paying manufacturing and timber jobs to moderate income government jobs and lower paying service jobs."

Some of the housing issues identified in the study bear a good look. For instance, the city has had a loss in population of 356 people since 1993. A large middle-aged population with an increasing number of people over age 65 is also realized.

In addition, the per capita income of the city residents negatively affects their ability to afford housing and there is actually a decline in households in the city.

"There is a high level of poverty among families and female-headed families when compared to the rest of the state and there is a high number of households earning less than $50,000 per year and a low number of households earning more than $100,000. There has also been a significant increase in housing prices and rents since 1990. There is also a limited number of affordable housing options for many lower and moderate income households.

Housing quality is low as well, with Great Northern Corporation reporting that of the 1,351 housing units in the city, 872 need rehabilitation and 12 units need to be replaced

According to the study, there were 1,180 households in Alturas in 2003, down significantly from 1,218 in 1980. The majority of the households, 63.7 percent, were owner-occupied with 36.3 percent renter occupied.

Median income in Alturas is lower than the state. The median household income for the City is $24,351 with the median family income at $31,385. The state of California median household income is $47,403 and median family income is $53,025.

An income of less than 80 percent of the median is classified as lower income for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The percentage of lower income households in Alturas is 36 percent, according to the study.

According to the study, 321 of the city's households are either "overpaying" for rent or mortgage. That's based on the rent or mortgage payment being over 30 percent of the household income. The overpayment occurs more with renters than owners.

The average household size for the City is 2.38 persons. The majority of housing in the city is single family units, about 76.6 percent. The largest percentage, 23.6 percent, of the units were built between 1970-79 and since 1980 only 319 units have been built.

As far as housing conditions, 34.6 percent is considered sound, 64.5 percent need rehabilitation and 12 need replacement.

So how many homes are needed for the city's future. According to the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, RHNA, established by the state, Alturas needs 10 very low income units, eight low income units, nine moderate income units and 24 above average income units through 2008.

Pickup goes through fence, into garage

A California Pines man, who had severely injured his hand using a circular saw may have lost consciousness as he was driving himself to help June 7, and lost control of his pickup.

The California Highway Patrol reports that Marvin Kitchen, age 66, was driving his 1974 Ford pickup to his residence for assistance. As he was northbound on County Road 71, north of Lakeview Drive he allowed his vehicle to drift off the road where it struck a phone junction box, traveled through a perimeter fence, went about 500 feet, went through a chain link fence, struck a pine tree, went across a driveway and hit the east corner of a garage and workshop.

Kitchen was later transported to Modoc Medical Center for injuries sustained in the saw accident.

Millard Green, age 82, sustained moderate injuries in a two-vehicle accident June 1, 8:55 p.m. on U.S. 395 south of County Road 133 B.

According to the CHP, Daniel Franco, age 34, was southbound north of Davis Creek in a 1990 International semi-truck at about 55 m.p.h. Green was driving a 1985 Ford pickup northbound at an unknown speed when it crossed into the lane of the truck. The truck braked and the pickup sideswiped it. The pickup was totaled, and the truck received moderate damage.

Green was transported to Modoc Medical Center in Alturas.

Obituaries:

Frieda L. Laxague

A service of Tribute, Love and Respect was held June 7, 2005 for Frieda Lucille Laxague, who peacefully passed on in her Cedarville home to be in the gardens of the Lord on June 2, 2005. She was laid to rest in the Cedarville Cemetery, Cedarville, CA.

Frieda Lucille Gysin Laxague was born to Paul Gottlieb Gysin and Lucille Daisy Gysin on April 9, 1933, in Alturas, CA.

When she turned two, her family moved to Montague, then to Yreka and Medford before she started school in Alturas.

In 1949, she worked as an usher at the theater and at the soda fountain. On December 24, 1949, she met the love of her life, husband-to-be, Bill Laxague, Sr. at the dance hall in Alturas (now Frank's Carpets). They were married on September 15, 1950 in Reno, NV.

Frieda touched the lives of so many. Frieda had an open house and open arm personality, and her home became a gathering place for the friends and family she so dearly loved.

"She was a statue, a powerful influence, without exerting force," describes her husband. "She pulled everyone together, like hub on a wheel. She was the orchestra leader." Her life was full of love, laughter, warmth and creativeness.

The family lived in Witchita Falls, TX while Bill was stationed there with the Air Force. In March 1955, they moved to Cedarville, then in 1959 to Beaver Marsh, Oregon, where Bill and his brothers bought half interest in a sawmill they operated. A few years later, the family moved to Bend, OR to open and operate a Union Truck Service Station.

In the winter of 1963, the family moved to Alturas. They built their home on Patterson Street in Cedarville, where Frieda wanted to spend her life. She had a great gift of planting and could make anything blossom. Her interests included crafts, examples of which fill her home and gifts she made for others. She loved cruises to Hawaii and Mexico, water and waterfalls and their heavenly cabin at Tom Lee Meadows. She also loved flying and became great friends with Carol and Randy Humble. Carol became the "sister she never had."

Mrs. Laxague was preceded in death by her father, Paul Gysin; step-father Albert Chandler and granddaughter Jennifer.

Survivors include her loving husband of 55 years, William Laxague, Sr.; mother Lucille Chandler, son William Laxague, Jr. and wife Morna of Cedarville; daughter Mary and husband Rick Hironymous of Cedarville; and daughter Cathy Laxague of Cedarville. Grandchildren: Eric Hironymous of Sacramento; Jeannette Hironymous, Michael Ewing and son Michael of Petosky, MI; Kristi and husband Christian LaPrairie of Reno, NV; Lisa Laxague and Joe Heath of Redding, Shawna Laxague of Redding; brothers Sonny Gysin and wife Joyce of Cedarville; John Gysin and wife Marilyn of Alturas; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Juanita M. Eichinger

A Celebration of Life service for Juanita M. Eichinger will be held Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m. at Federated Church in Alturas. Dr. Ben Zandstra will conduct the memorial service.

Mrs. Eichinger, a resident of Alturas up until three years ago when she relocated to Reno, Nevada, passed away June 2, 2005. She was 95 years of age.

Born Juanita Inez Murphy on October 4, 1909, in Kingsbury County, South Dakota, Juanita graduated from high school and attended Huron College in Huron, South Dakota for a year and obtained a teaching certificate.

She taught school in and around Wall, South Dakota, until 1935. She kept her marriage to Lee E. Eichinger October 27, 1934 in Canton, South Dakota, a secret so as to finish the teaching school year. At that time female teachers were not permitted to be married. She returned to college in 1968, graduating in 1970, with a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education, to return to teaching; a profession she loved. Juanita also taught in Montana and worked in retail sales and management in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Mrs. Eichinger was active before moving to Alturas, her home of 12 years. She was active in the Parent Teacher Association, Camp Fire Girls as a leader, Toastmasters Club, Job's Daughters as an advisor, Boy Scouts as a cub scout leader, her church as a deaconess and a Sunday school teacher. She was always ready to help however she could and gladly gave her time and talent to many worthy organizations.

Upon her move to Alturas, she became an active member of the Federated Church, the Alturas Garden Club, serving as their president, and Teapot Fellowship. She also volunteered for several years for the Modoc Children's Fair. She enjoyed attending her grandchildren's activities whenever she could and visiting with friends and family.

She believed her greatest accomplishment in life was successfully raising her children and they, in turn, raising their children with the "tools" she had taught to them. She loved her family and having them close by.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Mike and M.J. (Sammie) Eichinger of Sparks, NV; daughter and son-in-law VeeAnn and Loren Ambers, Roseburg, OR and Alturas, CA; grandchildren, Todd Eichinger, Jamie Lavigne, Amie Ambers, Erica Ambers, and five great-grandchildren; Joshua Eichinger, Ashley Eichinger, Tyler, Troy and Trever Lavigne; sister Hazel M. Murphy, sisters-in-law Irene Murphy, Fae Glazer; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Lee Eichinger on April 26, 1979; mother and father Vera and George Murphy, infant son George Lee Eichinger, brother Mike Murphy, sister Genie Murphy, nephews Sid Oviatte.

Donations in Mrs. Eichinger's memory may be directed to the Federated Church, Alturas, CA 96101.

Shirley Voltz Roberts

Services for Shirley Elisebath Voltz Roberts will be held at the Likely Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 10. Mrs. Roberts passed away at Surprise Valley Hospital in Cedarville, CA on June 5, 2005. She was 78 years of age.

Born Shirley Elisebath Voltz on December 28, 1927, in Hollywood, CA. She graduated from Hollywood High School and then Hollywood College with a degree in Interior Design. She later worked for an investment and brokerage firm and was also a homemaker during her lifetime. She also had a passion for raising horses.

Shirley married Edgar (Red) Sebastian Roberts on May 10, 1974 in Tijuana B.C., Mexico. She had lived in Modoc for one year. She is survived by her husband Edgar S. Roberts of Carson City, NV., sister Marian Kunkle of Santa Ynez, CA; niece Kimberly Kunkle and nephew Jimmie Kunkle, all of Santa Ynez, CA.

Services are under the direction of Kerr Mortuary of Alturas.

Michael A. Arnold

Services for Michael A. Arnold of Redding, will be held Saturday, June 18 at 1 p.m. at the Cedarville Cemetery, Cedarville, CA. Dr. Ben Zanstra will conduct the service.

Mr. Arnold, 55, passed away of natural causes at Mercy Medical Center, Redding, CA. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he served with the U,.S. Marine Corps. In 2003, he moved from Eugene, OR where he was an electrician, to Redding, CA.

He was born on April 24, 1950 in Rifle, Colorado.

He is survived by his wife Linda Arnold of Redding; son Michael Arnold of Charleston, SC; daughters Crystal Arnold of Dana, CA; Jamie Wilson of Platina, CA; Johnie Arnold of Redding; brother Patrick Arnold, Redding; half-brothers Russell Heryford, Lakeview, OR and Kent Heryford, Oakdale, CA; step-brother Calvin Heryford, OR; sisters Carolee Aschenbach, Sparks, NV and step-sister Carolyn Watts, Washington; mother Wilma Fowler, Santa Rosa, CA; stepfather Don Fowler, Santa Rosa, CA; and one grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1131, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131. Online condolences may be forwarded to the family at www.AllenandDahl.com.

News

Homicide charges filed in 1979 baby death case

Alturas Police Officers arrested David Brunnemer, age 53, of Malin, Or., June 10 alleging murder in the death of nine-month-old David Dickson, which occurred November, 1979, in Alturas.

In 1979, it was determined after autopsy to be a possible SIDs death, but the current investigation ruled that out when new information became available. The cause of death is now determined to be blunt force trauma. The coroner case had originally been handled by the Modoc County Sheriff/Coroner's Office.

According to Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes, Brunnemer was interviewed in Malin, June 10 and agreed to turn himself over to Alturas authorities at the Oregon border. He was transported to the Modoc County Jail where he is being held without bail pending a judicial review. The current investigation was handled by the Alturas Police Department, Modoc District Attorney's Office and the Klamath County Sheriff's Department.

Brunnemer's arraignment was scheduled Wednesday morning, but was continued to June 21, 10 a.m. Bail was set at $100,000. No other details were released in the case.

Major injuries in deer-motorcycle collision on 395

There were major injuries reported in a motorcycle-deer accident June 10, 1:30 p.m. on U.S. 395, south of County Road 115.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Lynn Austin, 56, Sonora, Ca., was northbound on a 1986 Harley-Davidson at about 65 m.p.h. when a deer crossed in front of him. He struck the deer, killing it and causing the motorcycle to go down. Austin and his passenger were thrown to the ground.

He sustained major injuries and was transported to Modoc Medical Center in Alturas. His passenger, Barbara Austin, age 51, of Sonora, sustained minor injuries and was treated at Modoc Medical Center.

Minor injuries were sustained in a single-vehicle accident June 12, 8:35 a.m. on State Route 299, 1.6 miles east of County Road 83.

The CHP reports that Tawny Jean Haddox, age 18, Klamath Falls, was eastbound in a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am at about 65-70 m.p.h. when she allowed her car to drift across the westbound lane and onto the north shoulder.

She lost control of the car on the dirt and gravel shoulder, it traveled back across the westbound and eastbound lanes, then went off the south shoulder. It overturned striking a barbed wire fence and came to rest on its wheels. Haddox was transported to Modoc Medical Center in Alturas.

County will receive funds to repair flood damage to roads

Modoc County will receive about $750,000 from the state to offset actual road damage costs resulting from the May floods.

According to Deputy Road Commissioner Steve Jacques, the county has documented about $1.1 million in road repairs from the flood and is still working with the state and federal agencies to come up with additional emergency funding.

Nancy Ballard, Modoc Emergency Services Officer, said overall flood damage, not including private property was figured at about $2,146,778 She said the State Director of the Office of Emergency Services sent a director's letter stating that the county did qualify under the California Disaster Assistance Act, to cover permanent repair work. That does not include emergency response costs.

The initial damage estimate for public property and infrastructure in the flooding was $2,250,000, according to the Modoc County Emergency Operations Center.

Big Valley power on line

The Big Valley Power Biomass Plant in Bieber went on line last week and is generating power.

According to manager Glen Zane, the plant is running well in this test period. A recent fire caused some delay getting the facility on line. The conveyer belt which supplies the fuel to the plant was damaged. At this time, the plant is using a bypass system for fuel. The conveyer is now being rebuilt and should be operable in the near future.

Fandango offers Fab 50's theme; parade entries due June 17

"Lost in the 50s," is the theme for the annual Modoc County Fandango 2005 Fourth of July parade and celebration set for Saturday, July 2 in Alturas-- only two weeks away.

The Fourth of July celebration will take place on Saturday, July 2 on Alturas' Main Street offering a real taste of small town, USA and attracts many parade entries.

The Alturas Chamber of Commerce organizes the event each year and the population of Alturas swells, as families and former Modoc residents return to the area for reunions and the good old-fashioned gathering at the Veterans' Memorial Park in Alturas, after the parade down Main Street. Saturday night, the California Pines will draw the crowds around California Pines Lake to view the fireworks display at dusk. The display is provided by the California Pines Property Owners Association and is a highlight of the weekend celebration.

Get involved in the parade with a 50's theme this year. Just obtain a Parade entry form soon to be available at various locations in Alturas. The Saturday, July 2 parade will start at 11 a.m. down Main Street Alturas. Activities will follow until 4 p.m. at the park. Alturas Elks Lodge 1756 will host the Classic Car Show, with entry forms now available at Frank's Carpets in Alturas or from organizers Dave Hohman, (530) 640-0657 or Jim Rollins. Events at the park will also include Modoc Sheriff's Posse Horseshoe Tournament, Cow Pie Bingo with a grand prize of a 2005 Polaris 700 EFI 4x4 Quad with second, third, fourth and fifth place prizes being $500 in Alturas Bucks. Vendors and food concessions, game booths, the Lions Club Barbecue, children's games on the park lawn, live music on the park stage, and plenty of visiting.

To be a part of the parade, enter by June 17 or reserve a booth in the park by June 29. Both entry forms are available from the Alturas Chamber of Commerce office at 522 So. Main St., Alturas, Modoc Business Supply & Books, Main Street, Alturas, Gift Gallery, Seab's True Value, Splinter's Auto Glass, Top Hat Entertainment or Main Street Coffee, all in Alturas.

Class of '45 July reunion

Alumni from Modoc Union High School's class of 1945, will gather for their 60th reunion at the Brass Rail in Alturas on July 16.

The correct combined cost for dinner, prizes and miscellaneous expenses is $25 per person. Check-in time will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Brass Rail. No host social hour starts at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Reservations will be required by July 1, 2005. Please make checks payable to Wilma Waterman, Treasurer, and mail to 911 West Third St., Alturas, CA 96101-3708. Phone 530-233-2960.

There are many classmates who cannot be located including: Dorothy Syvertson, Marie Pool, Jimmie Lou Lange, Vincent Caldwell, Betty Goodson, Judith Doty, Harold Tyson, Ed Schneegas, Byron Morris, Delores Hawley, LaJune Greene, Melvin Greene, Lillian Plemons, Bernice Harris, James Clark, Jean Oliver, Betty Moulton, Emeline Wilson, Paul Reimer, Litty Mae Jordon, Naomi Boyd Young.

Obituaries

Clyde C. Burns

Surprise Valley native Clyde C. Burns, 89, passed on due to natural causes and into the spirit world on Monday, June 13, 2005 at the Surprise Valley Health Care Center, Cedarville, CA.

He was born February 11, 1916, to Billy Burns and Cecilia (Townsend) Burns, both deceased, of Fort Bidwell, CA.

Mr. Burns was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 42 years, Katherine (Northrup) Burns; sisters, Helen Shade, Julia Phoenix; brothers Legan Burns, Leland Burns, Leo

Burns and Delmer Burns, and daughter Harriet Mann.

He is survived by his sister Dolly Sam of Fort Bidwell, CA; daughters, Frances A. Benally of Reno, NV; Gretchen C. Burns of San Pablo, CA, Elaine Duncan, Esther Dodd Aragon of Wadsworth, NV, Beverly Brazzanovich of Sutcliff, NV; sons, Randolph T. Burns of San Francisco, CA and Gordon Dodd of Wadsworth, NV, 19 grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Mr. Burns was a resident of the Ft. Bidwell Indian Reservation and had worked at various ranches throughout Surprise Valley and in Paisley and Lakeview, Oregon. He attended and graduated from Sherman Indian School in Riverside, CA. He enjoyed playing various band instruments in high school. Clyde was an avid gardener and enjoyed keeping up the alfalfa fields at Potato Patch Ranch in Nevada. Pow Wows, Indian Rodeos and basketball tournaments were his favorite social events. He also enjoyed watching his granddaughters play fast pitch softball during the summer times and in quiet moments, he adored playing the harmonica, or relaxing with a good old western movie. He will truly be missed by all his family members, and his memories will always have a special meaning to us all. A Celebration of Clyde's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2005, at the Fort Bidwell Gymnasium in Fort Bidwell, CA.

Jean Dora Buchheim

Jean Dora Buchheim, 77, died June 9, 2005, at her Klipsan Beach, Washington residence. The daughter of Alvin and Dora (Moorhead) Addis, she was born October 4, 1927, in Sayer, Oklahoma. When Jean was 10 years old, she moved with her family to Eureka, CA, where she graduated from Eureka High School.

In 1961, while working for the U.S. Forest Service, she met Jack Buchheim and they were married January 18, 1963. In 1965, they moved to Novato, CA., where Jean settled into the role of wife and mother. In 1966, the couple moved to Alturas, CA and in 1979 to Juneau, Alaska. There, Jean resumed her career with the U.S. Forest Service as an office supervisor.

In 1988, Jean moved to Klipsan Beach, WA. She had first visited the Peninsula in 1982 during a winter storm and looked forward to retirement at the beach. Jack and son Chris built the family residence.

Jean was a member of Ocean Park Eagles Lodge. She was an avid bowler, having 30 years perfect attendance at WIBC events. She served as secretary of the Peninsula Women's Bowling League and for many years was a youth bowling instructor. Jean was an excellent cook, enjoyed gardening, rock hounding, hunting and fishing and staying busy. She took pride in her family and they will remember this special lady as the matriarch of the family.

Besides her husband, Jean is survived by daughter Tracy Buck of Juneau, Alaska; sons Rodney Carter of Eureka, CA, Jay Carter of Denver, CO, and Chris Carter of Maui, Hawaii; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by brothers Van, Clyde and John Addis.

Funeral service was held Tuesday, June 14, 2005, at Penttila's Chapel by the Sea in Long Beach, WA, with a reception following.

Sports

Cops, firemen square off in benefit football game

Law enforcement officers in Modoc County will square off againl Football Field.

Players for the cops squad wst the Alturas Fire Department in a benefit flag football game June 24, 6:30 p.m. at the Modoc High Schooill include members of the Alturas Police Department, Modoc County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol.

Tickets will be $5 each and all proceeds will go to the MHS Football Program.

Hight 5th in Chicago

Robert Hight ran fifth in the Carquest Auto Parts National Hot Rod Association Nationals at Joliet, Ill. over the weekend.

Hight lost to the eventual winner of the Funny Car division winner, Gary Scelzi, in the semi-final round.

Hight is now third in the points standings in Funny Car, trailing only his boss, John Force at 752 points, Scelzi with 688 points and Hight with 646.

Alturas pool opens Saturday

The Alturas swimming pool will open for the season with a free swim day Saturday June 18 at 1 p .m.

The regular hours for the pool, open seven days per week, are: 12 noon to 1 p.m., lap swim; 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. public swim; 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., lap swim. General admission is $2.50 per day, with seniors age 55 and older $1 per day. A single season pass is $60 and a family season pass is $80.

Managers for the pool this year are Eleanor Dorton and Bill Turnage. Lifeguards are finishing training this week and everything will be in order for Saturday's season opener.

News

June 23, 2005

Modoc Med supends birth service

Modoc Medical Center in Alturas has suspended its delivery of babies, as a result of a State of California Licensing Inspection that revealed the facility was not specifically licensed for that service. "Unknown to both our facility and the state, perinatal services had not been listed on our license after 1979," said Teresa Jacques, Hospital Administrator. "In 1979, Modoc Medical Center stopped providing perinatal services and then started again in early 1981. In 1981, when perinatal services resumed, it was omitted from our license."

Jacques said the hospital is now in the process of preparing a perinatal survey so that the hospital will be able to continue delivering babies in the community. Over the past 24 years, MMC has delivered 30 to 90 infants per year

"The largest hurdle that faces MMC is the continuous coverage of anesthesia," said Jacques. "The anesthesia coverage must always be available in order to have the capability of performing cesarean sections when necessary for the protection of both mother and infant. Providing perinatal services is an ongoing challenge across the nation for rural hospitals."

Jacques advises that current patients planning on having a baby at MMC in the next month will be contacted by their physicians to discuss the options available.

"We are planning to have the survey within the next three weeks," said Jacques. "We will keep the community informed as we go through this process."

For more information contact Jacques, or Director of Nurses Annie Neil, or Joan Kemble, Compliance Officer, all at 233-05131.

On Monday, at a Hospital Board of Trustees meeting, Jacques said several issues had to be taken care of in a short period of time. First was enlisting RN Joyce Miller as a Perinatal Specialist for the hospital. Miller was to review the OB manuals and give a class on July 8, followed up with an OB skills day.

In addition, Advanced Cardiac Life Support classes needed to be done by July 6.

The hospital will also sign up for online continuing education and work with Rogue Valley Medical Center for NALS certification and other training.

The hospital must also fill in the calendars for June, July, August, and September with coverage for Primary Surgeon, Assistant Surgeon and Anesthesia and posting calendar as required.

The hospital will also do a review of the Title 22 compliance regarding perinatal services and will set up a mock C-Section for the second week of July.

Jacques said she has been buoyed by the support of other health care professionals in the area and those people will help get the hospital back into OB services. Jacques and others are concerned that not having OB capabilities puts people in the community at risk since the only facilities to offer OB would be more than an hour away.

BLM approves grazing regulations

While the Bureau of Land Management says a final Environmental Impact Study, EIS, concludes that upcoming grazing regulations will produce long-term benefits for public rangelands, the belief isn't shared by some biologists

"This environmental-impact analysis underscores grazing's role as a vital use of public land in the rural west," said Rebecca Watson, assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals. "The revisions will improve BLM's management of public lands ranching, an activity that not only supports rural economies, but also preserves open space and wildlife habitat in the rapidly expanding West." A retired BLM Biologist and hydrologist do not share that view. According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, the pair, who retired this year, said that their conclusions and findings, which did not support the BLM's views, were excised from the report.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said "This environmental impact study shows that grazing management under the new regulations will produce long term rangeland-health benefits. These benefits include increased vegetation along stream banks, which will reduce soil erosion and provide more habitats for wildlife. She said under the new regulations the BLM's grazing management decisions will be based on better information about rangeland conditions.

However, the original draft of the EIS warned that the new rules would have a "significant adverse impact on wildlife." That phrase, according to the LA Times story was removed and the BLM now concludes that the grazing regulations will be beneficial to wildlife. In addition, a conclusion from the biologist that the new regulations would have a slow and long-term adverse impact on wildlife and biological diversity in general was removed.

According to the biologist, the BLM rewrote items, took the science, and reversed it 180 degrees.

"Our agency feels strongly that the public lands should be managed in partnership with those closest to the land, and that's why we sought extensive public input on this regulatory initiative," said Clarke.

According to the BLM, the new grazing regulations which will be published in the Federal register next month are aimed at improving the BLM's working relationships with public-lands ranchers. The revisions, they say, also reflect the agency's commitment to managing the public lands for multiple uses, including grazing, while "ensuring the health and productivity of those lands."

The new rules will ensure ranchers expanded access to public lands and require federal managers to conduct major studies before limiting that access. The regulations also eliminate the BLM's requirement to seek public input on some grazing decisions. The regulations will continue the role of the BLM's Resource Advisory Councils, composed of citizens across the west who advise and make recommendations to the agency on public lands issues. In general, according to the BLM, the regulations seek to improve the agency's working relationships with those holding BLM grazing permits and leases; advance the Bureau's efforts in assessing and protecting rangelands; and address certain legal issues while enhancing administrative efficiency.

West Valley hydro plan creates problems

Distraught residents and landowners made emotional statements and fired critical questions during two intense scoping meetings held at the Likely fire hall last week, voicing their opposition to the proposed hydroelectric power project in West Valley, east of Likely on the South Fork of the Pit River

Federal Energy Resource Commission (FERC) staff members conducted the meetings to gather public opinion regarding the future project.

As proposed, the project would consist of two small hydroelectric turbine generators, one located near the West Valley Reservoir dam and the other near the Jess Valley highway at the bottom of the canyon where Short Creek spills into the South Fork. Both plants, with a combined output of about 2600 kilowatts-enough to power about 2,000 average homes-would use water diverted from the South Fork River by an existing canal owned and operated by the South Fork Irrigation District (SFID)

Nick Josten, the engineer who filed an application for the power plant with FERC in 2003, was on hand for both meetings to present a slide presentation about the project and to field questions. "I think hydropower is a wonderful source of energy. It's not without impacts, but it's a perfectly clean source of energy," he declares. The outspoken opponents are approximately six families who live along the river or own land in the canyon and the Hammawi Tribe of Native Americans, which has joined them in their opposition. These critics decry the lack of information they have been given about the project and the proposed water diversion.

"There's clearly some information that has to be supplied," Josten acknowledges. "It's a lot of things gone over many times in many different words, but the number of actual issues isn't that big. The answer to those issues is information.

"And so the first step after this meeting is to try and collect that information-that's going to be my responsibility-and to give that information to the people that are asking for it and to make sure they understand it and believe it."

The opponents' primary concern is the diversion of 100 cubic feet of water per second from the river, leaving about three miles of South Fork with dramatically reduced stream flows. That water would then be returned to the river at its confluence with Short Creek. Gail Griffith, one of the affected residents, is adamant in her opposition to diverting water from the river. "I don't like it. I know from being on that river that there isn't enough water to sustain (a power plant)."

After speaking with Josten, she was not dissuaded. "He assured me that he did a feasibility study," Griffith reports. "I asked him to please re-look at it again, to come out in July and August and examine the river with me. He said … those were the months they would not produce electricity."

Clearly frustrated, Griffith reiterates, "I see the river every day, I live on the river (and) I walk the river. They believe it's feasible. I'm trying to tell them it's not."

Objections also focused on the project's potential impact on property values, stream flows, fish and wildlife habitat, water turbidity and noise. "If it happens, the river will dry up pretty well. I don't like it because the habitat would be destroyed," emphasizes Griffith, citing a litany of dire environmental impacts if the project is realized. Linda Bruzzone, another landowner along the impacted portion of the river, is equally distraught at the prospect of losing water in the river. She spells out a detailed analysis of water flows to demonstrate that the river will virtually cease to exist if the proposed project goes through. "We are totally opposed to the project because we believe that that preserved area … is deeply in jeopardy."

Emotionally distraught, Bruzzone tearfully relates that she and her husband feel that their dream will be shattered if the power plant becomes a reality. "We love our property. It was our dream. It was our future. We feel awful; we feel terrible. Everything we've ever worked for is at risk. We put our entire retirement investment into Modoc County."

An engineer and owner of GeoSense, an Idaho-based consulting firm for small power projects, Josten is not surprised by the reaction. "This is normal for any project that proposes to divert additional water."

In spite of the objections, Josten is upbeat. "I think that it can be done in a responsible way. I'm a fisherman, a backpacker and a member of Trout Unlimited. I know what these folks are thinking about. And I think that I'm inclined to do it in a more responsible way than some people who might develop this resource

"The real question is: What will change? How can any negative impacts associated with (this project) be minimized so that this is acceptable-and it can be-as a compromise between groups of people that want to use the resource?"

Patricia Cantrall, county supervisor for the district, candidly says, "I'm for the project." She hopes that the "few who live on the river that are against it will come around to the right way of thinking." Cantrall believes that opponents' charges of hidden agendas and backroom deals to benefit the owners of Alturas Ranches, the county's largest agricultural enterprise, and the owners of South Fork Irrigation District, which controls all the water rights in this project, are misplaced, misleading and shortsighted

"Yes, you may have six families along the river," she explains. "But (consider) also, Alturas Ranches-no matter who it's owned by or where they live-and all the people that work for them from here to Alturas, which are all in my district. The county of Modoc benefits from Alturas Ranches and anything it does like this to enhance the river

"You need to look beyond," Cantrall continues, "and you need to look down the road for the next 20 years. Who's going to feed America?" Only after a number of required reviews, analysis and an environmental assessment are completed will FERC be ready to decide whether or not to allow the project to move forward. The earliest the decision can be expected is June of 2006.

Brunnemer hearing set for August 18

A preliminary hearing in the alleged murder of a nine-month-old baby has been set for August 18, 9 a.m. in Modoc Superior Court. Modoc District Attorney Jordan Funk told the court Tuesday that the Modoc County Sheriff's Department failed to investigate the case thoroughly in 1979, then eight years ago and again a year ago. When the case was turned over to the Alturas Police Department, the new information that had been provided by a witness was verified and the autopsy record re-examined.

Police Officers then arrested David Brunnemer, age 53, of Malin, Or., June 10 alleging murder in the death of infant David Dickson, which occurred November, 1979, in Alturas.

According to Funk, the testimony of Brunnemer's wife, Debra, is essential in the case. She is hospitalized at this time and the court ordered that Brunnemer have no contact with his wife prior to the preliminary hearing.

Brunnemer's defense attorney, David Eyster, of Oakland, argued Tuesday that he needed more than 10 days to review the case and documentation. The court agreed with his stance and set the August 18 preliminary hearing. Brunnemer entered a not guilty plea.

Funk had argued that the case is not as complicated as the defense attorney was suspecting, even though it is 26 years old.

In 1979, it was determined after autopsy to be a possible SIDs death, but the current investigation ruled that out when the new information became available. The cause of death is now determined to be blunt force trauma. The coroner case had originally been handled by the Modoc County Sheriff/Coroner's Office. The baby had been at the Brunnemer's home for childcare, according to Police.

According to Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes, Brunnemer was interviewed in Malin, June 10 and turned himself over to Alturas authorities at the Oregon border.

The current investigation was handled by the Alturas Police Department, Modoc District Attorney's Office and the Klamath County Sheriff's Department.

Brunnemer's bail was set at $100,000, which he posted and he remains in his position with the Modoc County Road Department in Newell.

Drumfest coming to Alturas

One year ago a gathering of women's drums was held for the singers on the local drum "Thoz Womenz", and it was scheduled to be in Alturas on Saturday, June 25, 2005.

Women singers will be honored during an afternoon ceremony, and the whole day is open to the community. Some of the activities offered will be breakfast from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., a Children's Craft Center for ages three to six and a Health Fair for everyone from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Round Dances and Intertribals from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and then after dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A ceremony for women drummers and singers with gift give-aways and recognitions will run from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

The activities will go from 10 a.m. through 10 p.m. at the Modoc Middle School, 906 West Fourth Street, Alturas. Women's drum groups are coming to Alturas from Canada, South Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico and within California, totaling 11 drums. All drums are welcomed, from youth to Northern and Southern styles, and all dancers are encouraged to attend.

There will be no competitive categories. Vendors will sell art and crafts. However, meals will be provided to all guests, with a traditional dinner served Saturday evening.

A special activity at this drum feast will be handing of the staff to another society of women singers. Women keeping traditions as singers at the drum, follows a vision of an ongoing celebration and gathering to balance the hoop through Native culture, to instill a sense of pride and identity in youth, call for respect of women, and to honor Veterans and Elders.

The public is invited to this traditional gathering and a microphone will remain open throughout the ceremony to allow anyone to speak about women as singers and keepers of culture and language. To receive additional information regarding this traditional gathering call (530)233-2226 or (530)233-2016.

Modoc Historical Society plans Surprise Valley outing

Modoc County Historical Society will host a field trip Saturday, July 9 to Anne Corey's "Dancing with Nature" Botanical Tour in Cedarville. Anne has three acres of flowers, native grasses, shrubs and other wildland plants that inhabit Surprise Valley.

The group will then head to the Modoc County Fair Grounds to Louisville where Louie Vermillion will lead a tour and talk about the various building in the historic village. A potluck picnic in Cedarville Park will follow. The Historical Society will furnish the paper products and beverages.

After lunch, the group will tour Pat Phelps "Coach Shop" on Main Street in Cedarville.

Private cars and a bus will leave the Modoc County Museum parking lot at 9 a.m. and return approximately 4 p.m. There will be no fee, but donations are always welcomed. New members welcome to join. Remit name, address, phone, email addresses to Modoc County Historical Society, 600 S. Main St., Alturas, CA 96101. Annual dues are $10 students; $15 single, $20 a couple, $30 patron. The Society's phone number is 530-233-2944 or reach them by email at: pitriver2@frontiernet.net.

Obituaries:

Roy Douglas Bailey

Roy Douglas Bailey, a lifetime resident of Modoc County, passed away of natural causes at the age of 84, on Thursday, June 16, 2005, at his Alturas home. He was born in Alturas, CA on March 22, 1921, to Floyd and Olive (Allen) Bailey.

At a young age, the family moved to Walker Mine in Plumas County. After a year, they returned to Modoc and Doug attended Alturas Elementary School. For one year he attended school at Davis Creek when the family lived at the Zamboni Saw Mill. He graduated from Modoc High School in 1939.

After high school, he went to work for the City Police Department as the night watchman. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, in 1942. He was assigned as a mechanic in the motor pool and saw action in the South Pacific, most notably the Soloman Islands. He was honorably discharged as a corporal in 1945. After the war, Mr. Bailey returned to Alturas and started working for the Modoc County Road Department. He continued with the road department for 39 years, and retired in 1984 as Road Foreman. On December 31, 1948, Doug married Mary Margaret England. There were three children born to this union, two sons, Walter and Ken and a daughter Margaret.

He was affiliated with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Alturas Rifle and Pistol Club. He had a life long passion for hunting and fishing, searching for arrowheads, and collecting antiques or things that might be antiques.

The most important aspect of his life was his family and he loved to be surrounded by them. There was nothing he would rather do than be involved with them and sharing his knowledge with them.

His wife Mary and son Walter preceded him in death. He is survived by his brother Fred Bailey and wife Ann of Alturas, CA; son Ken and wife Kathy of Pinedale, Wyoming; daughter Margaret McCulley and husband Chuck of Alturas; five grandchildren: Kelley Booker, Sacramento,CA; Richard Bailey of Pinedale, WY; Katie Bailey, Pinedale, WY; Jake McCulley and Jesse McCulley both of Alturas, CA.

Services were conducted by The Rev. Mel Chasteen at the Alturas Cemetery on June 20, 2005 at 1 p.m. Memorial donations may be directed to the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the Alturas Rifle and Pistol Club. Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary, Alturas.

Lucille Field

Services for Lucille Field of California Pines, will be held at the Alturas Cemetery at 2 p.m. Friday, June 24, 2005, with a potluck and time of fellowship to follow at the Alturas Baptist Church, West Fourth Street, Alturas. Pastor Mel Chasteen will conduct the graveside services.

Mrs. Field, a resident of California Pines since July 7, 1981, passed away in Alturas, CA at the age of 81 years on June 19, 2005. She was preceded in death by her husband Elmer Field.

Born Lucille Wisham in Huntsville, Alabama and reared in Oklahoma, where she graduated from high school, Mrs. Field retained a hint of her southern drawl, even after her family migrated to Southern California where she met Elmer and later married, Jan. 23, 1961. A statuesque woman with a calm and mellow voice and a quick, pleasant smile, she was a kind-hearted person and an outstanding waitress at California Pines Lodge Restaurant, a job she started in September of 1982 and kept for years. She enjoyed her customers and her customers enjoyed Lucille. Prior to moving to Modoc County, she had worked with Sears Catalogue Department in Torrance, CA., where the couple lived until Elmer's retirement and heart surgery.

An avid bowler, Lucille had a 165 average and the couple had some 60 trophies from bowling, which they dispensed of, before leaving their Torrance home. Lucille was also musically gifted, and played the piano, violin, banjo, guitar and organ. At one time, she played with a band for different parties, like the Elks' dances. The couple made many close friends at California Pines and they became members of Grange. Lucille enjoyed attending the Alturas Baptist Church. She was not a pretentious person

She is survived by her son Larry Field of Alturas, CA; sisters Alma of Lakewood, CA and Lila Fresher of Fountain Valley, CA; granddaughters Rachel Field and Rebecca Field of Alturas; nieces Gwen Beam, WA, Carolyn Cockett, NV, Sue Lopez, Pomona, Sharon Woske, AZ, nephews Marvin and Elaine Harris, Bakersfield, Jim and Shirley Dobson, Colorado Springs, CO, Glen and Anna Beam, Pomona, Gene Wisham, Pomona, John Deer, Lakewood, Ca. and will also be missed by numerous relatives and many friends

Arthur (Art) Thomas Pfeiffer.

Arthur (Art) Thomas Pfeiffer, 78, of Eagleville, CA died on Tuesday, June 21, 2005, in Redding, CA, surrounded by his children and wife, Patricia, of 57 years. Art was born June 20, 1927 in San Jose, California, attended Bellermine Preparatory School and joined the Navy after graduating. He worked for the Santa Clara County Fire Department for 23 years and was a Captain for the last 15. After retiring from the Fire Department, he was elected to a position on the Santa Clara Water District Board where he served for four years.

Art's great aunt, Esther Marie Pfeiffer married Ray Grove of Cedarville in 1933. Art loved Eagleville ever since he hunted with his father in the local Warner Mountains as a young boy. After moving to Eagleville in 1982, Art and Pat became avid RVers and traveled to 50 national parks in 49 states. Besides traveling, Art enjoyed reading, gardening, rock hunting and back-road jaunts. In addition to wife, Pat, he is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Kathryn and Doug Huerta of Grants Pass, OR, his son and daughter-in-law, Don and Ellen of Santa Cruz, CA, his sons Alan and Walter of Redding and his daughter and son-in-law Nancy and Jeff Kaufman of Hat Creek, CA. Grandchildren: Mark Thibault, Julie Ellis, Susan Thibault, Steven and Rebecca Huerta, AJ, Cody and DJ Pfeiffer and Aaron and John Kaufman

Great-grandchildren: Justin, Alex, Samantha, Melissa, Patricia and William. Surviving siblings: are John Pfeiffer, Ann Marie Domenichini of San Jose and Daniel Pfeiffer of Huntsville, Al. Art will be forever missed by all those who loved him

Services are pending and donations in Art's memory may be made to the American Cancer Society or Mercy Hospice, 1544 Market Street, Redding, CA. 96001, 530-245-4070.

Craig 'Red' Giffen

Friends are saddened to learn of the passing of Craig "Red" Giffen, who died June12, 2005. The family would be pleased to have Red's friends come to Snag Lake, County Rd. #2 on the way to Lily Lake, on July 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your Red Giffen stories. Mr. Giffen's obituary will be published in a future issue of the Record.

Sports

Superbull set for Saturday

Cedarville is set for a wild ride at the 9th Annual Super Bull Rodeo at the Modoc District Fairgrounds arena on Saturday, June 25. Gates open at 5:00 PM with the bull- and bronc-riding action set to commence at 6:00 PM.

Cowboy clowns and a mutton busting event for children 4-9 years old will precede the night's climax of a "Short Go" where the top six bull riders compete for cash prizes that include a $2000 added purse. An earlier Bronc Short Go with three top riders competing for a $300 added purse is sponsored by Page's Market.

An honor guard from Boy Scout Troop 48 will display the colors as Joann White opens the event with her rendition of the National Anthem.

Food and beverages will be available in the area just outside the arena. The Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department will be serving up cold beer and wine while the Greater Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce will supply hamburgers, hot dogs, and a variety of snacks. Don't miss the first chance this year to get a towering cone of the chamber's famous cotton candy, spun fresh on site.

Everyone is invited to stay for an old-fashioned barn dance following the rodeo.

Ed and Darrel Hill of H & H Rodeo Company are once again supplying the stock and staging the popular event. But the sponsoring Super Bull Committee, which meets throughout the year to plan this one exciting night, is comprised of hard-working local volunteers. President Rick Milton is joined on the 2005 committee by Skip Arnew, Edie Asrow, James Bonderer, Dave, Sharon, and K. Cee Boneck, Penni Borghi, Jim and Erin Erquiaga, Dave Jones, Rex Kunert, Diana Milton, Mike Poindexter, Alan Pratt, Lynette Sullivan, Heather Thompson, and Chuck Vermillion.

Les Scwab Tires is sponsoring the prized silver belt buckle awarded to the night's Bronc Champion, while Surprise Valley and Alturas Napa Auto Parts are joining to present the top bull rider's silver buckle.

Skip Arnew, owner of Arnew's Custom Saddlery in Cedarville, has made another one-of-a-kind saddle valued at over $3000 for the night's raffle. The saddle is currently on display at Page's Market in Cedarville. Funds raised from the sale of 500 tickets at $10 each help underwrite the cost of the event. Raffle tickets are available at Page's, Arnew's, Seab's True Value, and L & B Ranch Supply prior to June 25, or at the rodeo if any remain.

For the first time in the event's history, the Super Bull Committee awarded two $500 scholarships to graduating Modoc County seniors. Kevin Konz and Kaitlin Asrow received the inaugural awards

Super Bull presale tickets are $12 if purchased at one of many local outlets, including Page's Market, NAPA Auto Parts, Western Irrigation, and Arnew's Custom Saddlery in Cedarville, and L & B Ranch Supply, Seab's True Value, and NAPA Auto Parts in Alturas. For those out of the area planning to attend, Diana Milton will accept reservations for "will call" tickets at (530) 279-6383. Tickets purchased at the gate are $15 each. Children seven and under enter free

Plumas Bank is sponsoring prizes for the mutton busters and the Gift Gallery is donating special commemorative tee shirts for every participant. Children who would like to compete in the mutton busting event should register by calling 279-6383. There is no fee but spaces are limited.

Little League changes age dates

Modoc Little League President Rick Malcolm is advising parents of a change in the age cutoff dates.

"Starting in 2006, the dates in all divisions of Little League baseball w ill be April 30 of the current year and the date for all divisions in Little League softball will be Dec. 31 of the previous year."

As an example, under the old regulation, a baseball player who turns 13 in May, June or July, 2006 would have been considered league age 13 for the entire season. Under the new regulation, such a player will have a league age of 12 throughout the 2006 season.

Under the old softball regulation, a player who turns 13 from January through July would have been considered league age 13 for the entire season. Under the new regulation, such a player will have a league age of 12 throughout the 2006 season.

Summer fun for Modoc Youth Rodeo members

Modoc Youth Rodeo members and parents traveled to the Basin Junior Rodeo and the Susanville Junior Rodeo the weekend of June 4. Anna Nelson participated in the bull riding event, barely missing the eight second whistle, with a great ride. She is now traveling to Lebanon, OR where she is a member of the Oregon Junior Bullriding Association. They organize monthly rodeos for youths interested in mutton busting, calf riding, junior bull and senior bull riding. The youths and parents express this is a "great organization for kids and well worth the travel to Lebanon."

It was Kelsey Sphar's first time competing at this level in pole bending and barrel racing competitions in Klamath Falls, OR. She ran her patterns in poles and barrels well, but did not place.

In Susanville there was much more for the younger set. Modoc Youth Rodeo Association members participated in barrel racing, pole bending, calf riding, mutton busting, stick horse race, boot race and dummy roping.

Bryce McWilliams placed first in the mutton busting and Kristy Sphar placed third. Both are second year members of the MYRA. "All participants had a great time, even though they may not have placed," described parent Vera Sphar.

Modoc Youth Rodeo Association helps youth who want to participate in these events. Anyone interested in the organization, is welcome to call 233-6788 or 233-5213. Please leave a message and someone will return your call. Youth participants must be two years of age and not older than 19 years of age, to join. Parents are welcome, as MYRA also needs help with fundraisers. Memberships will be accepted at any time, so call and join.

June 30th, 2005

News

Panner resigns under DA investigation

In another bombshell to hit Modoc Medical Center, Dr. Owen Panner submitted his resignation Wednesday morning to Administrator Teresa Jacques.

The resignation comes as Panner is under a "continuing investigation" by the Modoc County District Attorney's office, said Assistant DA Larry Barnes. At this time, Barnes said his office had no further comment on the investigation.

Panner's resignation means MMC has lost one of its full time physicians as well as its anesthesiologist.

Jacques and County Administrative Officer Mike Maxwell said the resignation was accepted, effective immediately. The hospital is now looking at its options for providing service, especially when it comes to surgery or obstetrics, both of which require an anesthesiologist. Jacques said the hospital was on track this week in pursuing its OB license, after the state suspended that service last week when it was discovered the facility was not properly licensed. The hospital had delivered between 30 to 90 babies per year, said Jacques.

According to Hospital Board of Trustee President Bobby Ray, that board will meet Friday on the latest news concerning Panner and just what the resignation means to the overall operation of the facility. Maxwell said the Board of Supervisors will also take up the issue. He said the hospital may try to find an anesthesiologist service and recruit, but admitted the process will be difficult. The County had paid for Dr. Panner's anesthesiologist training years ago so that service would be handled locally.

Jacques and Maxwell said they were advised by legal counsel that they could not divulge the contents or direction of the investigation into Panner's activities.

New pool vote set for Sept. 28

Voters in the new Modoc Aquatic and Recreation District will vote again on the $25 per year assessment Sept. 28 in a special election set by the Modoc County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday's meeting. In March, voters in the district approved the formation of a recreation district by 68.79 percent of the vote. But, the measure to assess $25 per year per property owner failed narrowly, but about 13 votes. It received a 66 percent approval rating, but needed 66-2/3 to pass.

Mike Mason, representing MARC told the board the committee was committed to seeing the assessment pass. The funds will be essential for the construction and operation of a new swimming pool and recreation center. He told the Board Tuesday that the city pool is in bad need of repair, and it may not last much longer. In addition, the heating system at the existing pool does not work well and it's only open about three months per year. He said the new pool facility would be indoors and operate year-round.

Mason also presented the board with a business plan and an analysis from local Certified Public Accountant Bobby Ray that shows the facility generating a positive cash flow of over $64,000.

Following the March election, Supervisors decided to earmark $500,000 instead of the previously approved $800,000 in Prop. 40 Parks and Recreation grant funding to the Modoc Aquatic Recreation Center District, pending another district vote on a funding measure. Mason told the board this week that the cut of $300,000 would mean the project would probably come on line later than the original plan, probably into 2010. He said the committee is seeking funding to make up that shortfall. He said he's relatively confident the original timeline can be met and the pool could be operational in 2008.

The county received $1.2 million in Prop. 40 funds. It had earmarked some of that money, leaving about $1.1 million.

First off, the district has to be formed and the directors seated. Once that happens that board of directors will be able to call for a new election. The timeline on the next election will depend upon how long it takes to get the district board formed and organized, plus a legal time limit. The March 8 election funding measure, Measure F requesting $25 per parcel owner in the district, received 66 percent of the vote in favor. But it needed 66-2/3 percent for approval. It failed by just 13 votes of getting the super-majority, 1,483 votes for, to 764 against.

Measure E on the March 8 ballot was for the formation of a recreation district. That issue passed easily with 68.79 percent of the vote. It only needed 50 percent, plus one vote to pass.

Opposition to the pool and recreation center comes from people who are against the tax as well as felt the Prop. 40 funds should be spread out among other parks and entities in the county. Part of that issue was solved in March, when the board opted to allocate Prop. 40 funds to each district by cutting the amount going to the MARC committee.

The Recreation District boundary basically follows most of the Modoc Joint Unified School District boundaries, including Davis Creek, but not Willow Ranch or New Pine Creek.

The only question on the Sept. 28 ballot will be the approval of a $25 per property owner tax to fund the district. That question will require approval by at least two-thirds of the voters. Property owners would only pay a single $25 fee, regardless of how many parcels they own.

The district will credit that $25 per year assessment to a single or family membership, or day use cost of the facilities. That credit is transferable to a person's children or grandchildren as well. If the voters approve the district and assessment, the county has agreed to allocate $500,000 from Proposition 40 and the City of Alturas will allocate $180,000 of its share of Prop. 40 funds.

The main project is to build and operate an Aquatic and Recreation Center at the Corner of Fourth Street and Warner Streets in Alturas, just north of the existing Alturas swimming pool.

The district plans to build and manage an indoor heated swimming pool, 75 feet long. That pool will be used for physical therapy in the water for residents recovering from injury or illness, swimming lessons, exercise classes, lap swims, family and youth nights, swimming competitions as well as open swimming for the public.

The new center also includes a gym and will be open all year round. It could be used as a community center for training sessions, plays and drama, overflow sports activities, community dances and other services desired by the community.

Dancing with Nature is MCHS field trip tour

Modoc County Historical Society is planning an exciting tour in Surprise Valley, taking in a variety of sites and smells.

The field trip Saturday, July 9 is to Anne Corey's "Dancing with Nature" Botanical Tour in Cedarville. Anne has three acres of flowers, native grasses, shrubs and other wildland plants that inhabit Surprise Valley.

The group will then head to the Modoc County Fairgrounds to Louisville where Louie Vermillion will lead a tour and talk about the various buildings in the historic village. A potluck picnic in Cedarville Park will follow. The Historical Society will furnish the paper products and beverages.

After lunch, the group will tour Pat Phelps "Coach Shop" on Main Street in Cedarville.

Private cars and a bus will leave the Modoc County Museum parking lot at 9 a.m. and return approximately 4 p.m. There will be no fee, but donations are always welcomed. New members welcome to join. Remit name, address, phone, email addresses to Modoc County Historical Society, 600 S. Main St., Alturas, CA 96101. Annual dues are $10 students; $15 single, $20 a couple, $30 patron. The Society's phone number is 530-233-2944 or reach them by email at: pitriver2@frontiernet.net.

United Country-Stevenson signs as supporter of 2005 Masten Ramsey

Sandy Stevenson, of United Country-Stevenson Realty has committed her support for the continued success of the 2005 Masten Ramsey Stockhorse Jubilee. Held on July 16 and 17 in conjunction with the Modoc Horseman's Association Mid Summer Classic Horse show, the Masten Ramsey is a non-profit classic stock horse and ranch hand event.

Top Hand cowboys and cowgirls will travel from all over the Northwest to compete in this famous wild western competition. As a non-profit organization we rely heavily on all our sponsors for success. We would like to thank United Country-Stevenson Realty and all our sponsors for their generous support of the 2005 Masten Ramsey Memorial.

Due to the very long spring and late start of the organizing committee, the entry deadline has been extended through July 5. All classes still have room for entries. Remember, juniors are sixteen and under and a senior is 60 and over.

The excitement starts Saturday morning at 7 a.m. with the Snaffle Bit class and will work through the horsemanship classes. Following the stock horse classes will be the Calcutta for the team penning events. The expected start time for the team penning events is 4 p.m. The stick horse rodeo and dummy roping contest for the kids will start right after the last stock horse class.

Sunday morning starts at 8 a.m. with Team Sorting, followed by the Cow Mugging with Calcutta, Three-Man Team Event and finishes with the Limited Branding. The Calcutta for the Three-Man and the Limited Branding will be held in conjunction before the start of the Three-Man event. Which is expected to start at about noon. The local Elks lodge will be there both days providing food and refreshments. All the information pertaining to the Masten Ramsey Memorial is now on our new web page, www.mastenramsey.org. You can download entry forms, rules and regulations, view our list of sponsors and find out about the history of the event. Good luck to all the contestants and we will see you on July 16.......... For more information contact Byron Gibbons at (530)233-4364 or John McQuarrie at (530)233-3420.

Fandango offers Fab 50's weekend

Modoc's Independence Day celebration will kick off in a big way this weekend, with "Lost in the 50s," the theme for the annual Fandango 2005 Fourth of July parade and celebration staged in Alturas.

Classic cars will fill the streets, music for dancing will take over the evenings at locations throughout Alturas both Friday and Saturday. Friday night, July 1 will open festivities with a Family Street Dance from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Walt's Market parking lot off Main Street, Alturas. Music provided by Robin Brush and accompanied by his daughter, vocalist Samantha Brush. Kids and families welcome.

The Fandango Parade will take place on Saturday, July 2 on Alturas' Main Street offering a real taste of small town, USA and attracts many parade entries. The Alturas Chamber of Commerce organizes Fandango each year and this year Chamber President Micki Dodds welcomes the public to enjoy this special weekend.

By Saturday morning and the 11 a.m. start of the annual parade, the population of Alturas swells, as families and former Modoc residents return to the area for reunions and the good, old-fashioned gathering at the Veterans' Memorial Park off South Main Street, following the parade.

For parade judging, those who have submitted parade entry forms, should line up at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, at 10th and Main Street, next to Modoc High and the Flower Shoppe, where the parade will start.

Mike Mason of Alturas has been selected as Grand Marshal and Bill Tierney of Cedarville will be announcing the parade line up. Penny Cruse is parade coordinator. Klamath Falls Shriners will return riding their motorized miniature "Tin Lizzies." The Red Hot Hatters will be decked out in red and purple finery as they represent their chapter of the Red Hat Society, women over 50, having a great time. Little Mr. and Miss Fandango, four-year-olds John Philip Weber and Ta'Mara Allene Fieguth, and Big Mr. and Miss Fandango, six-year-olds, Cameron Brush and Carissa Sakahara, will be excited to wave to spectators lining Main Street. Weber is the son of Teresa Eames and Andy Weber of Alturas. Ta'Mara is the daughter of Melissa (Bailey) and Aaron Fieguth of Alturas. Carissa is the daughter of Cher and Bryan Sakahara of Surprise Valley. Cameron is the son of Judath and Robin Brush of Alturas.

Alturas Elks Lodge 1756 will host the Classic Car Show in the park with local and visiting entries and contests. Entry forms are available from Frank's Carpets in Alturas or from organizers Dave Hohman (530) 640-0657 or Jim Rollins at Frank's Carpets.

Park booth coordinator Val Flournoy envisions booths will line the park with vendors, food concessions, games and a Kids' Corner on the east end of the park, organized by a local youth group, with prizes and items sponsored by the Chamber.

Modoc High Cheerleaders will be operating a "Dunk Tank." "Common Ground" will perform throughout the afternoon on the park stage featuring musicians Craig Flournoy, Walt vanderHeyden, Randy Schoenauer and Shannon Lewis, with some mellow sounds and something for everyone.

The Alturas Lions Club will be serving their pit-barbecued beef meal, starting at 11 a.m. on the park patio for $7 per person. The Chamber will host a booth offering lemonade in their "logo" water bottles, along with Chamber marketing items including logo hats, mugs and more for sale, near the barbecue area.

The Modoc Sheriff's Posse Horseshoe Tournament will be held on the east end of the Classic Car Show. Participants are asked to pre-register by calling Roy Bell at 233-5255. A donation of $10 is requested for each entrant. Entrants are asked to check in early the morning of the tourney, to see their approximate match schedules on the main board at the horseshoe pit site. Matches are expected to proceed through the day, consecutively at five pits with "grudge" matches interspersed throughout the day. Past Posse Captain Phil Vermillion will be Master of Ceremonies and Posse members in uniform will serve as tourney officials. Winning partners will be awarded a cash prize. Grudge match registration will be accepted before and during the tournament.

Tickets for the Chamber's Cow Pie Bingo will be offered until the event, with chances at winning the grand prize of a 2005 Polaris 700 EFI 4x4 Quad. Second, third, fourth and fifth place prizes of $500 in Alturas Bucks are redeemable at local businesses. Cow Pie Bingo tickets are $25 each.

Diagonal vehicle parking will be new and available on Water Street this year.

Saturday night, California Pines will draw the crowds to California Pines Lake to view the fireworks display at dusk. The display is provided by the California Pines Property Owners Association and is a highlight of the weekend celebration. A barbecue meal will be served to the public from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Lodge patio.

To be a part of the parade, obtain an entry form now at the Alturas Chamber of Commerce office at 522 So. Main St., or call (530) 233-4434 or Modoc Business Supply & Books, Main Street, Alturas, Gift Gallery, Seab's True Value, Splinters Auto Glass, Top Hat Entertainment or Main Street Coffee, all in Alturas.

MHS Class of '55 plans reunion

Modoc High School's Class of 1955 will hold their 50th reunion in Alturas on August 19 and 20, 2005. The class is trying to locate the following people to join them. Anyone with information please call Mary Lou Server at 530-233-2084 or e-mail her at glostie@frontiernet.net.

Those they are trying to find include: Barbara Arndt, Beverly Bagley, Sandra Brunson, Marilyn Hahn, Dorothy Rhyne, Mary Richardson, Milton Shell, Carl Streig, Milton Tucker, Leo Weatherford and Beverly Withee.

August 19, the classmates will gather at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall for a social. August 20, the group will meet at the Niles Hotel for dinner.

Blue Lake Camp offers fun

A few openings still exist for kids who would like to attend Blue Lake Camp. There are a few spaces left in both of the camps. The first camp is for kids who have completed, third, fourth or fifth grades. This camp is scheduled for July 11-15.

The second camp is for kids who have completed the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. This camp is set for July 18-22. Both camps are $95 per child.

Camp activities include swimming, canoeing, crafts, archery, worship and supervised free time. To address questions about the camp or to register a child, please call Kris at (530) 233-2647 and leave a message.

Blue Lake Camp is non-denominational and is open to all youth. Camp space is limited to 10 girls and 10 boys at each camp. Older teens and young adults are welcome to apply for volunteer counselor positions.

Obituaries:

Dawna Kanagy

Alturas resident Dawna Kanagy, former business owner and teacher, passed away Thursday, June 23, 2005 from respiratory failure in Klamath Rehabilitation Center, Klamath Falls, OR.

She was born September 3, 1931, to Ralph and Grace Reese in Massilon, Ohio. She graduated from Timken High in Massilon, Ohio. She married Robert Kanagy in July 1948. They moved to California and went on to receive an Associate of Arts degree from San Bernardino Valley College, a Bachelor of Arts degree at Cal Baptist and her Masters degree at Azusa Pacific. Mrs. Kanagy retired as an elementary school teacher and art teacher specialist. She was a member of Parent Teacher Association, Rialto Education Association, National Education Association and California Teachers Association. She had been a Girl Scout leader, CampFire Board member, volunteered as a counselor with the Suicide Crisis Intervention hotline in San Bernardino, helped organize a youth center in Rialto, was a member of Parents Without Partners and many other organizations.

Mrs. Kanagy received numerous awards including "Teacher of the Month" in southern California and PTA's Honorary Service award, among them. She owned a flower shop and a Halloween shop before retiring to Alturas in 1989. Upon her move to Alturas, she opened the "Dawna and Daughters" bookstore with her sister Charlotte Reese. The bookstore was located first where Family Footwear is located today on Main Street, Alturas, and later moved across the street to the shop adjoining the Niles Theater. She then became a partner in the Niles Theater when her daughter Tammy and son in law bought the business in 1990. Mrs. Kanagy survived uterine cancer in 1995. In 1997, she became limited in her ability to get around, so she remained in her home, enjoying reading, painting, writing and spending time with her family or conversing on the phone with friends. The last two years, she could be seen riding her scooter around town. She enjoyed her outings to the Modoc Senior Citizens Center and the Desert Rose Casino. She loved taking Sage Stage to Klamath, or wherever they would take her.

Her father, mother, sister Charlotte (in 1996), son Jamie and her granddaughter Jenny Marie preceded her in death. She leaves behind daughter Tami Ertle and mate Bob Bennett of Alturas, CA; Teri Lynes and husband Nolan and son Michael of Rialto, CA.; grandsons David Ertle of Hesperia, Richard Lynes and wife Sammie of Montana, John Chrisman and wife Jennifer of San Bernardino, and Christopher Kanagy of Alturas. Granddaughters are April Lynes-Adams of Rialto, Amanda Derner and husband Chris of Alturas; great-grandsons are Brian of Rialto and Dylan of San Bernardino. Great-granddaughters are Stacey, Taylor, Stevie Marie, Rickie Danielle, Autumn and Kayla Dawn. She will be greatly missed by her family and multitude of friends.

Memorial services will be held July 2, 2005 in Rialto, CA at McNearney Funeral Home.

Craig 'Red' Giffen

The family of Craig "Red" Giffen, who died June 12, 2005, would be pleased to have Red's friends come to Snag Lake, County Rd. #2 on the way to Lily Lake, on July 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your Red Giffen stories.

Sports

Super Bull results released

The Super Bull Rodeo, held Friday night under clear skies at the Modoc District Fairgrounds in Cedarville, was a 'super' success with 775 filling the arena.

Les Schwab Tires donated the silver belt buckle awarded to top bronc rider Bryan Darst of Lake City. Darst took home an added purse of $300 donated by Page's Market in Cedarville.

Top bull rider was JR Carpenter from Reno. He also went home with the Modoc Motor Parts and Surprise Valley Parts silver buckle which was presented by Renae Yanders.

Super Bull challengers traveled from California, Nevada, and Oregon to compete in Modoc County's first rodeo of the season. The night's two top champions shared substantial cash prizes with a wide field of competitors.

After Carpenter, the line up of nineteen bull riders included 2nd place finisher Jake Moore from Neeland, CA; 3rd place winner Eric Ferreira from Clements, CA., and 4th place rider Jaime Silva from Lodi.

The night's ten bronc riders included 2nd place finisher Russell Hansen from Lakeview and third prize winner Boone Campbell from Paisley, Oregon.

Joann White of Alturas opened the evening's festivities with a moving rendition of the National Anthem. Surprise Valley's Boy Scout Troop 48 presented the colors.

Twelve young mutton-busters fired up the enthusiastic crowd. They competed in colorful tee shirts donated by The Gift Gallery in Alturas. Five-year-old Hagen Webster of Lakeview won the competition, "riding all the way across the ring wearing a belt buckle almost as big as he was!" said Diana Milton.

Miss Modoc Meghan Binning pulled the winning ticket for another of the night's big prizes – a custom-made saddle valued at $3000. It was crafted by Skip Arnew of Arnew Custom Saddlery in Cedarville and went home to Lake City with new owner Pete Coates.

The Greater Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce kept kids of all ages well-supplied with freshly-spun cotton candy, courtesy of members Owen and Margaret Billingsley. Concession stand chairperson (with Elie Brandenburg) Candy Maidens pitched in and got sugar-coated by the end of the night as well. Thanks go to the many chamber volunteers who took a turn grilling or selling snacks to raise funds for community projects.

Milton reported the dance sponsored by the Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department at the fairground's Sale Barn was well-attended and provided the perfect end to a memorable night.

The 2005 Super Bull Committee sincerely thank their many local sponsors. The thrilling event couldn't go on without their help. Rick Milton is the President of the committee which includes Skip Arnew, Edie Asrow, James Bonderer, Dave, Sharon, and K. Cee Boneck, Penni Borghi, Jim and Erin Erquiaga, Dave Jones, Rex Kunert, Diana Milton, Mike Poindexter, Alan Pratt, Lynette Sullivan, Heather Thompson, and Chuck Vermillion.

JAKES event highlights wild turkeys

Want to learn more about wild turkeys in Modoc and how they live, how to call them, how to preserve habitat and how to hunt the wily critters?

JAKES, The Wild Turkey Federation, the Modoc National Forest in the California Department of Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wheelin' Sportsman are sponsoring JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics, and Sportsmanship) event on Saturday, July 9 at the Pepperdine Equestrian Facility from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Keeping the North American hunting tradition alive, the National Wild Turkey Federation has a fun way to get youth excited about outdoor sports and conservation with the JAKES program.

In JAKES, children ages 17 and younger learn the basic outdoor skills necessary to become successful stewards of our natural resources. They also learn to be responsible outdoorsmen and women through fishing, camping and hunting seminars taught by legends in the field. They learn to identify plants and animals, as well as how to effectively call those elusive toms.

The schedule for this event includes an introduction beginning at 10 a.m. followed by modules, which last 20 to 30 minutes each, running from 10:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The modules will cover topics such as wilderness and leave no trace, hunter ethics and safety, a turkey calling and strutting contest, turkey hunting knowledge, skills and equipment, an animal packing module, an archery module, a search and rescue module, turkey biology, history and habitat.

Other activities taking place at the event include a laser shot program, forest walks, touch boxes, coloring activities, puppet making and clay molding. Lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m. Pepperdine Equestrian Facility is located about 20 miles East of Alturas and serves as a trailhead to the South Warner Wilderness. Here is an opportunity to introduce younger hunters to the heritage of hunting, while providing many activities for the entire family to enjoy as they spend a day in the Modoc National Forest.

The event will be handicap accessible. For more information or to arrange for special accommodations please contact the Modoc National Forest at (530)233-5811.

Hundreds of JAKES events are held across the nation each year, reaching thousands of kids.

Fall soccer sign-ups July 12, 19

Modoc Youth Soccer will open registration for the Fall Soccer teams on Tuesdays, July 12 and July 19 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Child and Family Resources Center. 809 West Eighth Street, in the building just east of the Alturas Elementary School.

Youths, age 4-1/2 up to grade eight, are welcome to register. Children must be 4-1/2 years of age before August 1, 2005. Any child who has not registered for prior seasons, will need to provide a copy of their birth certificate. Cost of registration is $38, for a child who needs a uniform. The cost is $20, if the youth already has a uniform. The cost for a family of three or more is $55 if uniforms are not needed. All players are required to have uniforms. The registration fee will also cover Spring Soccer.

No late registrations will be accepted. For more information please call De at 233-7128.

July 7, 2005

News

BREAKING NEWS!

Panner faces charge alleging possession of child porn

The Modoc County District Attorney's Office Friday filed one count of misdemeanor possession of child pornography against Owen Panner, M.D.

Panner resigned his position at Modoc Medical Center last week and was the subject of an ongoing DA investigation.

According to the DA's office, the charge arises from Panner's alleged possession of video recordings "secretly made of minor females undergoing examination at the Modoc Medical Clinic, where Panner had practiced medicine."

The DA states the recordings were made in 2001, prior to the discovery of cameras found hidden in the ceiling vents of two examination rooms at the clinic.

There are no other suspects in the case, the DA states. Panner will be arraigned in Modoc Superior Court on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The DA also advises that anyone who is concerned they may have been videotaped during an examination by Panner to contact LuVina Albright, at the DA's office 530-233-3311.

Grand Jury targets hospital

The Modoc County Grand Jury released its report this week, which is published in full in this issue of the Modoc County Record and much of the report centers on Modoc Medical Center.

The report came out prior to the news that Dr. Owen Panner has resigned and that the facility was not licensed to provide obstetric services.

"Modoc Medical Center has some difficult problems that need immediate attention and action if it is to survive," writes Chairman Hans VanNes. "Sufficient money to properly run the system is a problem that becomes more serious with each passing day . . . We identify chronic difficulties in billing and collecting monies due as a major cause of this dilemma. Management shortcomings are also a factor in this regard

"There is a real need for the medical and long-term care services to be continued for our community. We simply must all pull together to make this institution run properly."

The Grand Jury also takes issue with the Hot Spring Irrigation District, and suggests an assistant auditor be hired in the Modoc County Auditor's office, with special district accounting a key. The Grand Jury's recommendations for the hospital include that the Board of Supervisors either dissolve the Board of Trustees or give it "full, written authority for the management of MMC." In addition it suggests a rotating chairmanship among the Trustees.

It also recommends that Supervisors, with input from the community, determine which medical services need to be provided for Modoc County.

The Grand Jury also states that management is "deficient at MMC." The jury identified a high turnover rate among employees, low morale, inadequate performance evaluations and autocratic management style contributing to the problems. It also cites a need to pay attention to possible nepotism and cronyism issues.

One of the major issues the jury recommends is that MMC actively recruit and hire a person to fill the Chief Financial Officer position which has been vacant. They also recommend a full and independent personnel audit.

On the financial side, the Grand Jury recommends that a full, independent investigation be conducted by an outside auditor, covering the past five years. That audit, they said, should include the billing process, extensive write-offs and the perceived lack of training of billing staff.

Another recommendation is to reduce the facility's reliance on Registry nursing staff because it is so expensive. "Accomplishing this recommendation will only be realized when the MMC management atmosphere is again conducive to the local recruitment of regular staff," it states.

The Grand Jury also finds that records management, including patient charts are not handled properly and calls that "unacceptable conduct."

The Grand Jury demands responses from the Board of Supervisors and the Board of Trustees.

In the section concerning Hot Spring Irrigation District, the Grand Jury found that the district had ignored state law concerning an audit over the past two years and also that district has not filed a conflict of interest statement as required by law. The Grand Jury, because of a lack of response by the district has notified the Fair Political Practices Commission and the State Controller's Office of the issues.

Staffing issues affecting Modoc National Forest

An unusually high number of job vacancies on the Modoc National Forest at present is really not a serious problem, according to the forest supervisor, Stan Sylva. But it does have his watchful attention. "This list," says Sylva, holding up a three-page, color-coded spreadsheet listing 35 vacancies in his staff at the moment, " shows a host of positions right now. At times we're fine, and other times we're not."

Yet, Sylva makes it clear that he sees this as a transient, temporary problem and that he is cautiously optimistic that they will soon be filled, in spite of the unusually large number at present. "We've got kind of spike in vacancies," he observes. "And, I'm really confident that we'll get good candidates for most of these positions

"We have peaks and valleys as far as the number of vacancies," he continues. "At this point in time we've got 35, which for this forest is quite a few. A year or a year and a half ago, we probably didn't have but eight or ten. So, that just fluctuates through time as people move on and get different jobs. It's not unusual."

Sylva insists that recent outsourcing of jobs throughout the entire Forest Service that took many positions away from the Alturas office has little to do with his present shortfall. He characterizes the present glut of openings as an anomalous bump in the normal ebb and flow-some due to retiring personnel, some due to reorganization and some due to people leaving for other positions. "The vacancies are essentially people that are moving on in their careers people getting other jobs," he points out.

Careful inspection of the Modoc National Forest job status spreadsheet in Sylva's hands clearly indicates that the recruiting process is well underway. He expects several to be filled "soon," and the rest "within the next three months."

Perhaps not unexpectedly, almost half of the vacancies are firefighting positions, which has historically been a tough sell. "Some positions are harder to fill than others," says Sylva, noting that firefighting is perceived as a dangerous, difficult and sometimes thankless job. "You know, it's dirty, but it's also exciting to a lot of people

"It seems like at times you might get quite a few applicants for some of our fire positions. The next time, you may only get one or two. The interest seems to come in lumps. Sometimes its really good, and sometimes it's a struggle."

Sylva is loath to speculate about why recruiting is a bit slow at this time. "I'm not real sure why. We look at that and we say, 'Why is that?' I don't really know the reason why."

The difficulty of forestry work and the occasional isolation that goes with some Forest Service positions also contribute to recruiting woes. "Some of the young folks like that; many of them don't," says Sylva, candidly. We make focused attempts to go to different places to let people know what our programs are, what opportunities are here and what the community looks like."

Emphasis, from Sylva's point of view, must be placed on effective recruitment to fill Forest Service jobs in a highly competitive job market. "There are those that like rural lifestyles, and there are those that like the more urban. But, I don't see that as a barrier. That's personal preference. We just need to make sure we have enough people showing an interest."

To that end, considerable effort is directed to recruiting for local Forest Service openings through a variety of avenues

"Essentially all positions at least most of them are advertised internally-and that could be Forest Service, BLM and other federal agencies-as well as going out to the public at large. So, we can hire internally or from external sources, and then we look for merit and qualifications."

Sylva notes that two of his staff are presently recruiting firefighters from among San Bernardino Forest employees. "We're down there now, recruiting or outreaching with their fire employees

"It's not like we're scheming or we're trying to steal employees," explains Sylva, further, "because I talked to my counterpart down there, the supervisor, and he welcomed us."

Because Southern California has more talented and capable firefighters than they can use, it's seen as fertile ground for recruiting them away to a more rural setting. "That's exactly what we're doing. And we're straight up about it," says Sylva

Some of those firefighters prefer their urban lifestyle. "We don't have a WalMart. So, their preference is not to come here," Sylva says. "But there are others (who will)-especially once they see what we have to offer and the price of housing or rentals, compared to L.A. They can afford to live here."

He characterizes for potential recruits the relationship of the community here to the forest and Forest Service employees. "This is home, and the forest is 'their' forest and rightfully so. And they're very connected to what goes on."

Ultimately, that puts Sylva in a position to sell the idea of working for him and for the Forest Service in this area to those that might entertain the idea. "The Modoc Forest-my opinion, and I'm very biased-is a great place to work," he pitches. "We've got tremendous outdoor recreation. The communities are great. We have great opportunities here. So, for anybody that's looking at (a career in) natural resources and wants to live a rural lifestyle, we're it. Our niche is: There really isn't any other place like this in California. If you want to experience where the West still lives, that's us. And we're proud of it!"

Stanford geologists pesent preliminary findings

Special to the Record

By Patricia Hensley

A group of geologists from Stanford University and representatives from a team working with the US Geological Survey (USGS) out of Denver met with interested folks in Cedarville on June 23 for a lively lecture some humorously dubbed "Seismic Geology 101".

The event was sponsored by the Greater Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce. It included a presentation of preliminary findings from a series of experiments conducted in the region last summer as well as an overview of two recent projects which concluded in late June.

The Stanford team was in the area to conduct detailed geologic mapping in specific areas of the Warner Mountains. Older geologic maps of the area are too simplistic to be of use in the team's ongoing projects.

Anne Egger, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and Lecturer in the Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences, said the finished maps will "tie in to what we're seeing below the surface as we chart the faults and types of rocks visible on the surface. Existing maps are unsatisfying for us at this point. We want to add more detail to them." The team is also collecting samples to have processed in their labs at the university.

Presenting a detailed update on one of their last evenings in the valley was in many ways a "thank you" to community members who have shown an enthusiastic interest in the ongoing work of the scientists. "We've run into many people as we hike about", said Egger. "We all want to thank everyone who has helped us: the BLM and Forest Service, Modoc County Roads Department, and the fairgrounds staff. Everyone we've encountered has been friendly and helpful. We hope to be able to come back soon!"

The team, headed by Professor Elizabeth Miller, Dr. Joseph Colgan (who will join the USGS in Menlo Park in the fall), and Egger, brought along a wide variety of local geologic maps and fault maps for people to inspect. Colgan also passed around a core sample contributed by drillers working on a geothermal project near Lake City.

The heavy rock "cylinder", collected at 4,020 feet under the valley's sedimentary layers, revealed a colorful conglomerate of pebbles indicating it may have once been part of an ancient river channel. Though he called the core "interesting and beautiful", Colgan contrasted what it revealed with the way geologists can now "see" much deeper under the earth's crust using man-made seismic waves. Even the deepest drilling samples can't answer basic questions geologists are beginning to ask about the area. Apart from monitoring occasional earthquakes, creating and then recording the behavior of induced seismic waves promises to yield a much clearer understanding of the geologic forces at play under the mountains and valleys in the region. "We 'look' at the boundary where the solid crust meets the earth's molten mantle by studying the generated sound waves", said Colgan. "As we understand the behavior of the waves and begin to create a high-resolution image of the geologic formations under Surprise Valley and beneath the crust, we can surmise what the earth's interior looks like."

Colgan, who recently wrote his doctoral thesis on the "Basin and Range" topography which begins at the Warners and stretches east to the Wasatch Range in Utah, explained how the previous experiments conducted in the area allow geologists to get a much fuller picture of the forces that shaped Surprise Valley and the geologically fascinating region east of the valley.

Last September, Colgan's team set off a succession of precisely timed explosions along a 270-kilometer line stretching from north of Winnemucca to west of Canby. The seismic waves created were recorded and stored on computer chips set in receivers known as "texans".

"The waves from our explosions went 20 miles deep. The biggest variation we saw was right under Cedarville", he said. "We saw down to the base of the crust and even into the mantle. We got a nice data set out of it all!"

A second phase of experiments was carried out within Surprise Valley. A massive truck dubbed "T-Rex" was used to send vibrations deep into the earth along 49 Lane north of Cedarville. Texans were again used to record the sound waves.

Part of the experiment's value was determining that the 60,000-pound vibrator truck, previously only used commercially to explore for underground oil deposits, worked well for the purely "theoretical" application. University students are still processing the data from the T-Rex experiments, Colgan reported.

The Surprise Valley area is increasingly interesting to scientists studying what Miller characterized as the "corrugated topology" known as the "Basin and Range Geomorphic Province" which appears to end at the Warner Mountains. "To the west of the Surprise Valley boundary, the crust is smoother, not as stretched out and thinned as what we see in the Basin and Range area", said Professor Miller.

"This area is fast becoming the new "Geologic Mecca" of California!" BLM Geologist Ken Collum who works out of the Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, mentioned that archeological, paleontological and geologic groups from the University of Nevada, Reno, Utah State, Chico State, Stanford, and UC Berkeley have been working in the area within the past few weeks, an unprecedented phenomenon which reinforces Miller's observation that the heretofore understudied region has been "discovered".

Miller, Egger, Colgan and a group of undergraduate students were joined at the community presentation by Drs. Tony Crone and Stephen Personius also happened to be working in the area at the same time as the Stanford team. Their group of paleoseismologists, affiliated with the USGS, is studying the Surprise Valley Fault which runs along the base of the Warner Mountains.

After digging a deep trench across the fault north of Cedarville on property owned by Dr. Jim and Denise Harrower, the scientists began mapping and taking samples from the exposed layers they believe represent past seismic events along the fault. Crone caused a few shivers in the audience when he announced the valley's largest fault "runs about a half-mile west of here, paralleling your Main Street." "Our suspicions are the SV Fault is one of the more active faults in the region that stretches from the Wasatch Mountains to the Pacific", said Crone. "The best way for us to collect information and interpret past movement is to study a cross section of the fault."

The team dug "as deep as we comfortably could", using a backhoe to reach a uniform depth of about 20 feet. They mapped the deposits exposed in the trench, though for now their painstaking field work raises more questions than it answers. "It's like working with pieces of an incomplete puzzle. We have to fill in a lot of blanks", said Crone. The team is collecting samples to analyze later though they did pass around scrapings from an unusually thick layer of volcanic ash discovered at about 17 feet deep. "The ash may be from Mount Mazama which erupted over 7,000 years ago", said Crone. It will be analyzed and compared with known deposits from the colossal explosion that created Crater Lake.

While Egger and the others peppered their discussion with many questions they hope to answer after further experiments, each will be sharing their findings with an ambitious project dubbed "EarthScope"

EarthScope is a national science initiative to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent and to understand the physical processes controlling earthquakes and volcanoes.

With approximately $200 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, geologists from the USGS and universities such as Stanford are joining together to systematically monitor and study the earth's interior. They will deploy an array of equipment that includes seismometers, strainmeters, and GPS receivers across the US.

"EarthScope is the largest systematic survey of the continent funded by Congress since the Lewis and Clark Expedition 200 years ago", say project organizers.

All of EarthScope's data will be freely and openly available to the scientific community as well as to teachers, students and the general public. The public can follow the national progress of the project at the website www.earthscope.org.

Fandango brings out the crowds

Blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the high 80s attracted more parade viewers than ever to Fandango 2005 for a fun-filled Saturday at the park, topped off by fireworks appreciated by crowds at California Pines Lodge July 2.

"Thank you for making this year's Fandango Days a great one," said Alturas Chamber of Commerce President Micki Dodds, who organized her first Fandango event crediting a team of Chamber volunteers and directors.

Alturas Lions Club, assisted by the Alturas Elks Lodge 1756, served their annual deep pit beef barbecue to over 400 diners on the park patio. Alturas Elks Lodge 1756 hosted their second annual Fandango Days B.P.O.E. Classic Car Show, welcoming 63 guest and local sparkling entries.

The 45-minute Fandango Parade with the theme "Lost in the 50s" had a variety of entries and trophy winners as follows: The Desert Rose Casino float with Elvis on board, took the Sweepstakes trophy; California Pines '50s themed float won the best Commercial division; Faith Baptist Church and their Serengeti Vacation Bible School theme float won the Civic award; Michael Ponti riding a bright yellow pocket rocket won Youth Individual; Mr. and Miss Fandango entries riding in a fire truck won the Youth Group trophy; Resources for Indian Student Education, featuring preschoolers, students, staff and parents won the Native American entry; Lake County Round-Up Queen and Princess won for best Equestrian; Red Hot Hatters from Alturas, a chapter of the Red Hat Society, had made their skirts and were decked out in purple and red outfits and hats on a float to win the Novelty category; Randy Damuth of Lakeview, OR won the 1949 and older vehicle category with his 1927 Ford Model T, which also earned him the first place Class A division at the Elks Classic Car Show. Owen Billingsley of Surprise Valley won the 1950 and newer vehicle trophy.

Cow Pie Bingo winner, Oscar V. Haise of Likely was pleased with his take home prize of the Quad Runner. Five hundred dollar winners of "Alturas Bucks" were Frank Biglow of Alturas; Jed and Tammy Parkinson of Alturas; Mark Choi of Huntington Beach and Kathy Yarbrough of Mokelumne Hill, CA.

Obituaries:

Services for Janet Read

A memorial service for Modoc Joint Unified School District teacher Janet Mae Read will be held on Saturday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 225 West B Street, Alturas. A time of fellowship will follow at the church hall. Pastor Pierce will conduct the service. Mrs. Read, 58, passed away in Oroville, CA on June 30, 2005. She had been a teacher for 27-1/2 years. Her husband Dick Read resides in Alturas. Memorial donations may be directed to a charity of the donor's choice. Mrs. Read's obituary and photograph will be published in a future issue.

Craig 'Red' Giffen

The family of Craig "Red" Giffen, who died June 12, 2005, would be pleased to have Red's friends come to Snag Lake, County Rd. #2 on the way to Lily Lake, on July 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your Red Giffen stories.

Ruby Rose Shepherd

Private family services were held in Lookout on Saturday, July 2 for native Lookout resident Ruby Rose Shepherd, 68. Shepherd passed away from heart failure on June 24, 2005, at her Lookout home. Born November 25, 1936, in Lookout, she had graduated from Adin High School, Adin. In 1995, she married Earl Rigelmon in Lookout and left the area for about 10 years. When she returned to Lookout, she loved to quilt, bake and enjoyed canning. She also loved all her animals including cows, geese, chickens, turkeys, dogs and cats. She is survived by her brothers William C. Shepherd and Jim Clifford Shepherd of Lookout, CA; brother George Arthur Shepherd of Boise, Idaho; sisters Violet Helen Highley of Lookout, CA; Dolly Ann Morgan of McArthur, CA and Freda Martha Curington of Louisiana. Services were under the direction of Kerr Mortuary, Alturas.

 

Remodeled campground has offerings

Newly-remodeled campground sites, a new kayak launch area and improved fishing access now greets outdoor enthusiasts at the Pit River Campground managed by the Bureau of Land Management. "We think campers and picnickers will enjoy the new facilities this season," says BLM Alturas Field Manager Tim Burke. "Many of the improvements were suggested by campers and day use visitors." The campground, along the banks of the Pit River west of Fall River Mills, features seven campsites and a new group camping area. A newly-designed day use area has its own fishing access, so that people will no longer have to cross through occupied campsites to reach the river.

"We have a new fishing pier designed for people with disabilities. The launch area has a convenient vehicle pullout that will allow kayakers and rafters to unload watercraft right at the water's edge," Burke describes.

For the first time, the campground is being staffed by a BLM volunteer host, who can provide information and assist with maintenance.

Nightly camping fees are $8 per campsite, or $12 for the group site. There is no reservation system; campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no fee for picnicking, fishing or other daytime uses.

"Under our recreation fee program, we will retain money collected from camping fees for improvements at the Pit River Campground and other recreation sites managed by the BLM Alturas Field Office," Burke says.

More information on the campground is available from the BLM Alturas Field Office at 530-233-4666.

Register for Fall Soccer

Modoc Youth Soccer will open registration for the Fall Soccer teams on Tuesdays, July 12 and July 19 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Child and Family Resources Center. 809 West Eighth Street, in the building just east of the Alturas Elementary School.

Youths, age 4-1/2 up to grade eight, are welcome to register. Children must be 4-1/2 years of age before August 1, 2005. Any child who has not registered for prior seasons, will need to provide a copy of their birth certificate. Cost of registration is $38, for a child who needs a uniform. The cost is $20, if the youth already has a uniform. The cost for a family of three or more is $55 if uniforms are not needed. All players are required to have uniforms. The registration fee will also cover Spring Soccer.

No late registrations will be accepted. For more information please call De at 233-7128.

United Country-Stevenson Realty signs on supporter for the Masten Ramsey

Sandy Stevenson, of United Country-Stevenson Realty has committed her support for the continued success of the 2005 Masten Ramsey Stockhorse Jubilee. Held on July 16 and 17 in conjunction with the Modoc Horseman's Association Mid Summer Classic Horse show, the Masten Ramsey is a non-profit classic stock horse and ranch hand event

Top Hand cowboys and cowgirls will travel from all over the Northwest to compete in this famous wild western competition. As a non-profit organization we rely heavily on all our sponsors for success. We would like to thank United Country-Stevenson Realty and all our sponsors for their generous support of the 2005 Masten Ramsey Memorial.

Due to the very long spring and late start of the organizing committee, the entry deadline has been extended through July 5. All classes still have room for entries. Remember, juniors are sixteen and under and a senior is 60 and over.

The excitement starts Saturday morning at 7 a.m. with the Snaffle Bit class and will work through the horsemanship classes. Following the stock horse classes will be the Calcutta for the team penning events. The expected start time for the team penning events is 4 p.m. The stick horse rodeo and dummy roping contest for the kids will start right after the last stock horse class.

Sunday morning starts at 8 a.m. with Team Sorting, followed by the Cow Mugging with Calcutta, Three-Man Team Event and finishes with the Limited Branding. The Calcutta for the Three-Man and the Limited Branding will be held in conjunction before the start of the Three-Man event. Which is expected to start at about noon. The local Elks lodge will be there both days providing food and refreshments. All the information pertaining to the Masten Ramsey Memorial is now on our new web page, www.mastenramsey.org. You can download entry forms, rules and regulations, view our list of sponsors and find out about the history of the event. Good luck to all the contestants and we will see you on July 16.

For more information contact Byron Gibbons at (530)233-4364 or John McQuarrie at (530)233-3420.

Wheeler win fandango gold tourney

Jerry Wheeler shot a low gross of 72 to win that division and Fritz Barclay shot a net 64 to win that portion of the Fandango Days golf tournament over the weekend.

There was a second place tie at net 69 between Jim Widby and Kyle Weber and a fourth place tie at 71 between Kris Server and D.J. Northrup.

Kathie Widby won the women's division with a gross 78 and net 67. The Callaway division was won by Alan Northrup with a 76.

July 14th, 2005

News

Panner faces charge alleging possession of child porn

The Modoc County District Attorney's Office last Friday filed one count of misdemeanor possession of child pornography against Owen Panner, M.D.

Panner resigned his position at Modoc Medical Center last week and remains the subject of an ongoing DA investigation.

According to the Assistant District Attorney Larry Barnes, the charge arises from Panner's alleged possession of video recordings "secretly made of minor females undergoing examination at the Modoc Medical Clinic, where Panner had practiced medicine."

The DA states the recordings were made in 2001, prior to the discovery of cameras found hidden in the ceiling vents of two examination rooms at the clinic. Panner was also the anesthesiologist at Modoc Medical Center

On Monday, the DA corrected his original release, stating: "The press release should have read 'videotapes were secretly made of minor females undergoing examination at a doctor's office where Panner had previously worked and at the Modoc Medical Clinic, where Panner had also practiced medicine.'"

Panner and Dr. Ed Richert opted to close their private practice in 2003 and move into the Modoc Medical Center Clinic under contract with the county. Richert remains at the clinic.

There are no other suspects in the case, the DA states.

Panner was arraigned in Modoc Superior Court on Tuesday, July 12, 2005. He will face a preliminary hearing August 23, 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court.

In addition to setting a hearing date, Judge Larry Dier granted motions by District Attorney Jordan Funk that his license to practice medicine in California be temporarily suspended, and that he be subject to search and seizure of his person, vehicle or home at any time and that he have no access to video or pen cameras or recording devices. VCR and DVD players were excluded if they were used for watching movies at home. Dier released Panner on his own recognizance and ordered him to be booked at the Modoc County Jail. The DA also advises that anyone who is concerned they may have been videotaped during an examination by Panner to contact LuVina Albright, at the DA's office 530-233-3311. According to Albright between 30 and 40 people have called expressing those issues. At the arraignment on Tuesday more than 20 women were in attendance. Panner was escorted into the courtroom through the "back door," an unusual occurrence. Courtroom security was cited as the reason for the different entrance, but the unusual treatment did not please Funk.

According to Funk two hunters in the county found the tapes buried under a tree. Funk has stated the other criminal charges in the case, relating to the filming of the patients, have not been filed because the statute of imitations has expired.

The information has been turned over the to California Medical Examiners Board for its review of Panner's license.

Citizens' Group works to start visitors' center in Cedarville

After months of meetings, a grassroots coalition of Modoc County citizens calling itself the Community and Visitors Center Working Group (CVC) finalized a Memorandum of Understanding last week. The MOU will soon begin to circulate among community, Tribal, and governmental organizations. CVC members are hopeful most will sign on as partners in support of their ambitious plans to bring a first-class, multi-functional Visitor Center to the valley.

As they work to build a broad alliance of support, CVC members will also begin to seek funding to design, construct, and operate a local interpretive and visitor's information center to serve the needs of both tourists drawn to the area's diversity of recreational activities while providing for the activities and interests of a broad range of local groups.

Cedarville's location makes it a commonsense choice to host a visitor's center. There are 10 Wilderness Areas in Northwestern Nevada within a day's travel of the town. Much of the land surrounding the valley is administered by either the BLM or Forest Service, and both agencies encourage recreational use of the diverse lands they manage.

When the nearby Black Rock Desert/High Rock Canyon/Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area (NCA) was established east of Surprise Valley, the need for some kind of center became even more apparent. The new NCA's Resource Management Plan seemed to recognize this when it stated, "BLM will develop and cooperatively manage multifunctional visitor centers in partnership with counties, tribes and local communities."

Both Owen Billingsley, Manager of the BLM's Surprise Field Office, and Dave Cooper, the NCA Director, have been working with the CVC group to support and advance their plans for a comprehensive center

The US Forest Service, which oversees the South Warner Wilderness Area, the Modoc National Forest and other recreational lands in the vicinity, has regularly had representatives at CVC meetings and is expected to become a major partner in the effort to establish a visitor center in the valley.

While surrounding attractions that draw visitors served as the impetus for the project, CVC members also envision a year-round, multi-use building that would serve as a focal point in the Surprise Valley community. Over the months, proposals have been discussed to include a historical museum and archival storage facilities, a larger branch library, community meeting rooms, a chamber of commerce office, business rental space, and even readily accessible public restrooms.

Right now the possibilities for benefiting both the visitor and the average resident seem endless. The group has already made contacts and friends in other organizations that also dream big. A private consultant who has been involved with similar projects has been to CVC meetings, and members have begun working with groups intent on promoting "responsible tourism" in the tri-state region.

While more and more tourists are discovering Modoc County, the smaller communities do not have the resources to deal with the influx. The MOU states, "As visitors from urban centers increase their use of these (nearby) vast areas of public lands, it is becoming apparent the gateway community of Cedarville lacks the ability to provide adequate visitor services, including travel advice, safety recommendations, public restrooms, and a local museum to increase knowledge about the areas being visited."

The CVC's chairman, Susie Bunyard, is concerned the growing numbers of visitors will change the fragile landscape that contains so many reminders of pioneers, early ranchers and Native Americans who once roamed the high desert. "We need to educate our visitors about this country and teach them how to be safe. We can preserve the area or we can ignore it and watch it continue to deteriorate", she said.

Bunyard, who operates the Sunrise Motel with her husband John, knows first-hand how visitors easily can get into trouble when they wander off into the roadless areas east of Surprise Valley. "People who get lost or hurt out there tax our hospital, police, and fire fighting resources. It costs us way more time and money to educate them after the fact!"

This past winter, for example, search and rescue teams had to be called out twice during snowstorms when travelers in the back country got disoriented and needed assistance. In another instance, the Record reported last September it was believed someone was carelessly shooting at livestock owned by local ranchers.

Visitors from the city often don't understand the significance of what appears to be "junk" or useless structures free for the taking. But the area is rich with history dear to the hearts of many who have called Modoc County home for generations.

At the last CVC meeting, Bunyard described how an old outdoor oven that has withstood decades in the desert was partially dismantled when campers used stones supporting the sides to build a campfire circle. "They just don't understand. I think education is the key", she said.

Others who travel to remote grazing allotments in Long Valley and beyond have also noticed changes. "Our cabins are being thrashed. People don't close gates or they leave trash. We need to teach visitors to respect our way of life", said one rancher who asked not to be identified.

At one CVC meeting, USFS Ranger Edie Asrow said, "This group represents a lot of people in the community and their collective concerns. All around the West little towns like Cedarville are being broadsided by an influx of urbanites. I think careful and responsible planning is the answer."

Early Days

The impetus for the CVC was a video conference several community members viewed last summer. The presentation was called "Gateway Communities: Keys to Success".

The seminar's speaker was Ed McMahon of The Conservation Fund. He pointed out that "Gateway communities are often "ground zero" in the struggle between haphazard development and planned growth. These communities are challenged to address issues of tourism without losing their unique local character and spectacular natural resources."

The answer, said McMahon, is "to develop partnerships and a common vision among community members, business people, non-profit groups, and natural resource managers." Many who viewed either the original seminar or a taped version enthusiastically volunteered to begin to grapple with preserving the valley's quality of life in light of current and expected growth in tourism.

Signing On

Groups choosing to encourage the CVC's project are being asked, according to the MOU, to support the concept of a visitor center, provide informational materials to enhance visitors' experiences while in the area, participate in or support CVC meetings, offer suggestions as the project plan progresses, serve on governing boards, and "promote the understanding of the Center's purpose and value to Surprise Valley...with the general public."

The CVC meets at 3:00 PM on the first and third Thursdays each month at the BLM's Surprise Field Office on Cressler Street in Cedarville. Everyone interested in helping bring a visitor's center to the area or who would like to join in a discussion of planning for a brighter future is welcome to attend these open community meetings

Video copies of the presentation on gateway communities are also available at the BLM office in Cedarville and lay a foundation for understanding the group's concerns and vision for the future.

For more information, please contact Susie Bunyard at 279-2161, or Owen Billingsley at 279-6101.

Fire destroys Cal Pines home

A massive fire Monday about noon destroyed a California Pines home owned by Mike and Angela Haralson. Neither the couple, nor their children, was at home at the time and no injuries were reported. According to Canby Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ron Sherer, the house was totally engulfed when firefighters arrived. They were able, he said, to keep the fire from damaging adjacent property. Sherer said a pair of California Department of Forestry engines arrived first. They had been working near Rattle snake Butte. In addition, units from the Canby Fire Department, Alturas Rural Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and the new BLM air attack plane at Cal Pines assisted.

The California Pines Volunteer Fire Department did not respond quickly, even though they were probably within five minutes of the fire. According to the Cal Pines Community Services District, the problem is a lack of volunteers. According to a CSD spokesperson, the CSD is now going to advertise and hire two full time fire employees and possibly a part-time employee to cover the fire department. While the Haralson family lost most of its possessions, they are doing well and were pleased with the response from friends and neighbors, and have said they will be fine.

New BLM fire air attack plane a light air tanker

By Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

At first blush, it resembles all the crop dusters you see swooping back and forth over farm fields and dodging power lines-a single engine, propeller driven thoroughbred that looks for all the world like a World War Two era fighter

But looks can be deceiving. Because, this baby was born and bred to fight forest fires

In fact, this airplane, an Air Tractor 802, is newly stationed this season at the California Pines airport near Alturas as a BLM firefighting asset. The 1,200 horsepower turboprop is a close relative of those nimble but powerful crop sprayers

But that's where the similarity ends. In reality, it's an innovation in firefighting-a light air tanker for rapid deployment and specialized tasks

"This is the first year this size aircraft has been on base," explains the BLM liaison officer in charge of the operation, Richard Server, who has been with the Cal Pines-based operation every fire season since 1995

He points out that the aircraft stationed here in the past were not as capable. Where they only carried a 500-pound payload of retardant, this new "bird" can lift off with 800

"The strong suit of the (aircraft) is fast response and precision initial attack fast to the fire," elaborates Jeff Fontana, a BLM public information officer based in Susanville. "We have a variety of firefighting tools that we use. The availability of a single engine air tanker just gives us one more tool and more flexibility."

This fixed wing aircraft is significantly faster than helicopters. Cruising at 160 knots (over 180 miles per hour), it's often first to a forest fire, arriving before other aircraft or equipment can arrive. "This resource is awesome. We have the capability to prevent a lot of fires," emphasizes Server. "When we get a BLM dispatch, our plane is more than likely to be the first person on the scene."

"The low, close to the ground type work is where the seat (what pilots call their planes) shines," elaborates the pilot, Justin Davis. "We get into little places more efficiently than the big aircraft." The heart of this firefighting eagle is a turboprop engine-a jet engine that turns a propeller-making it more powerful than many prop-driven fighters of yesteryear, yet giving it the ability to fly at the lower speeds not possible for jet aircraft. "A turboprop gives you a lighter motor with more power," elaborates Davis, who is a veteran with over 32 years of experience flying these kinds of airplanes. "It makes you more efficient in the air because you have to work at low speeds a lot of time

"It's a lot more maneuverable. It's got capabilities for getting into little places that would be very difficult for a large air tanker to come into like protecting structures," adds Davis, offering an example. "It's a little bit easier for us to get in there and run a line (lay down retardant) in somebody's backyard to keep (the fire) from running over their house."

The satellite base at Cal Pines is part of a regional, interagency firefighting effort based in Chester and coordinated from a dispatch center called the Susanville Interagency Fire Center (SIFC). "They protect about 6 million acres," says Fontana of SIFC. "Its core operating principle is 'closest available resources.' So, if a fire is reported anywhere on anyone's jurisdiction on that 6 million acres, the closest available resources will respond, regardless of jurisdiction. That's the strength of it."

The similarity of their situation to that of World War Two interceptors is an analogy not lost of these men. They are on the frontline of a battle to save lives and property. But they don't like the stereotype that Hollywood has created. "It's not like that show, 'Always' flames rolling," says Davis, alluding to the dramatic shots in the popular movie of planes skimming the tops of flaming trees. "You don't get into that deal

"Generally, we try to keep it more controlled than that," he smiles, emphasizing the professionalism of authentic firefighters

Yet, like their battlefield counterparts, this plane, pilot and ground personnel are ready to scramble at a moments notice. And responding is what they do best. "It's easy to become complacent when you set for several days," says ground crewman, Lauren Boe, who is licensed to handle the loading of the fire retardant. "Then the fire bell rings, and you've got to jump up and be a hundred percent. So you have to train your mind."

"It's flying," says Davis, casually, characterizing his job as "hours of boredom interrupted by seconds of extreme excitement."

The picture he paints of the skies over a forest fire is one of carefully orchestrated, well-coordinated bedlam. "You're listening to two different radios all the time. You're trying to listen to what everybody's doing. You have to keep a look out for other aircraft. The multi-aircraft environment can be pretty hectic."

Controlling all this is the "air boss," flying high above the fray. "He's working like an air traffic controller. Air attack coordinates how he wishes to control the fire. He has a planeload of technology in there. The ones I've worked with have been very good at what they do." As for himself, Davis is totally focused on the job at hand. "If you're not, you're not going to last that long."

He can't afford to let his mind wander or be distracted. "Situational awareness is very important. You just can't afford to get complacent about it. Your mind just has to work all the time

"You're thinking outside the cockpit," he explains further. "You always have to watch. In this type of aircraft you spend very little time looking in the cockpit. You have to feel what the airplane's doing.

"If you can't feel it, you don't need to be in it."

Just hitting the fire with your retardant load is difficult at speed-say nothing of doing it accurately. "You can't just go across the fire and drop. You have to lead it," says Davis, who at one time flew for the State Department in South America, spraying herbicide on drug fields there. "This airplane's running at about 175 or 180 feet per second. You have to plan what you're doing. If you wait until you're over the fire, you're going to miss."

And when he's not working forest fires in the summer, he's still flying. "I usually fertilize pine trees in the wintertime. Flying is why I get up in the morning. My wife says I'm worthless for anything else."

Pine Creek Fish Passage tour

By Anthony Larson

Special to the Record

Fishing for trout in Eagle Lake could become a thing of the past if efforts to have it listed under the Endangered Species Act succeed. "There's a lot at stake here," said Lloyd Keefer, Lassen County supervisor for district three and RAC chairman, referring to the possibility that those trout could be put on the endangered species list and thus effectively put an end to their present use for sport fishing. "And I think it's important that we do what we can." A recent daylong tour of the Pine Creek Valley near Bogard campground and Highway 44 focused on that issue, among others, and provided an opportunity for members of both the California Coordinated Resource Management and Planning (CRMP) group and the Resource Advisory Council (RAC) to see firsthand the progress of projects to improve that watershed and restore the natural spawning grounds of the Eagle Lake trout.

Voicing the concerns of nearly all those present, Keefer emphasized, "The amount of people that come to Eagle Lake, the amount of tourists that lake draws, is a real benefit to Lassen County. If, for some reason, this fishery ever gets listed, then your economic base could be at risk and an a recreational opportunity lost."

The group of about two dozen visited many sites, from Leaky Louie's fish ladder near the headwaters of Pine Creek to box culverts on the highway and the railroad. They assessed the work done to date and learned much about the area from presentations made by Lassen County, Forest Service and Fish and Game officials

Naturally, conversation during the tour focused primarily on the Eagle Lake trout, its possible listing and efforts to restore its native spawning grounds in the upper end of Pine Creek to avoid that outcome

While the primary goal of these various projects began years ago as an effort to mitigate a number of harmful changes done inadvertently in that watershed in the distant past and to improve all aspects of that environment overall, its objectives have changed due to listing efforts

"Somewhere in that time period before I came to Lassen County, a lot of the focus moved toward the trout. There was a petition for listing-I guess there's been two now, actually-to list Eagle Lake trout as endangered," explained David Lile, farm advisor for Lassen County from the University of California cooperative extension, and a specialist in range and wildlands management. "The trout fishery (in Eagle Lake) is being well maintained through the hatchery process. But, we'd like to get to some natural spawning going-the thought being that that would give us some better natural selection and that sort of thing."

In other words, the Pine Creek projects evolved into a preemptive effort to see that the Eagle Lake trout do not become an endangered species and thus threaten the economy of the county

Paul Chappell, the fishery biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game in charge of the welfare of that watershed said, "It has been considered an issue in the past because if the Eagle Lake rainbow trout is truly, indeed, considered a unique subspecies-which there are still arguments about-Fish and Wildlife Service could have legitimately argued that there is no natural reproduction occurring. Therefore, it could be listed under the Endangered Species Act as maintained entirely by hatchery."

"One of the major objectives is maintaining a healthy ecosystem specifically for the Eagle Lake trout, and therefore precluding the need to list it," elaborated .

Chappell agreed. "This is to restore the spawning Eagle Lake trout to its natal waters and also to try to rectify some of the situations that have been artificially induced upon the watershed to try to put the entire watershed back into a more natural system where fish can migrate all the way to the headwaters to spawn."

"I think it's been a long term, successful project that's accomplished a lot on the ground," elaborated Lile, who also acts as a coordinator with the CRMP group members, a volunteer-based, locally led group, like many others nationwide, that actively participates in the development and implementation of proactive natural resource management decisions under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1990 with several governmental agencies

"A lot of times in these kinds of efforts, there's a lot of planning and discussion and meetings. This project has accomplished a lot of on-the-ground improvements. And we still have more to go. But, it's something that we can be real proud of and it really speaks well for the people who have been involved over the years. It's a local effort with a lot of local people providing input and interest, and a sustained effort over a long period of time to do something for a really important, unique resource we have in the county," continued Lile. "Although in recent years we really have focused strongly on the trout, it's just sort of been an evolution of the CRMP process. But we do want to focus on the watershed health and water quality and that sort of thing. The trout is one real important component, but it's not the driving force."

All seem agreed that the trout in Eagle Lake should be maintained both by hatchery operations and natural spawning

"There are many goals: maintaining water quality into Eagle Lake and improving the stream habitat and vegetative cover and that sort of thing, trying to restore more of a natural condition that also includes some natural spawning of Eagle Lake trout," says Lile. "We don't want to forget the roots of this project, too, which was basic, fundamental water quality and stream bank stability and that sort of thing. Because, everything flushing out of the Pine Creek watershed goes into Eagle Lake, and there's no outlet for it. So, if we get a lot of sediments and nutrients and that sort of thing in Eagle Lake, we won't have our beautiful, clear water, trophy trout fishery resource in Eagle Lake. As you know, it's an extremely popular fishing area. People come to the county from all over the state."

Obituaries:

Janet Mae Read

A memorial service for Modoc Joint Unified School District teacher Janet Mae Read will be held on Saturday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 225 West B Street, Alturas. A time of fellowship will follow at the church hall. Pastor Pierce will conduct the service.

Mrs. Read, an Alturas resident since January 1, 1978, enjoyed her work in the classroom as an English and Drama teacher at Modoc High School for 14 years, where she also directed numerous plays and dessert theaters.

She loved it when a student fell in love with reading. Until June of last year, when her health forced her to unexpectedly leave her classroom, she had taught English and Reading at Modoc Middle School for 13 years. Mrs. Read was the lead in writing and worked tirelessly on the application which moved Modoc Middle School to receive the Distinguished School Award.

Mrs. Read was 58, when she peacefully passed away in Oroville, CA on June 30, 2005.

Born to John Clinton Cloyd and Helen Fern Cloyd on February 20, 1947, in Susanville, CA., she graduated from Chico Senior High in Chico and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and Lifetime Teaching Credential from Chico State College in Chico, CA. While there, she performed with the Readers Theater. In later years, she enjoyed bringing out the acting skills in her own students, helping them to discover more about themselves and build their confidence. "She thanks the wonderful parents who entrusted their children to her," expresses her husband

She and Dick Read were married in Chico on April 6, 1973 and moved to Alturas in 1978. Best friends and partners, Janet and Dick also had a mutual passion for working in their yard. They were honored when their flower gardens were voted as the Yard of the Month winner from the Alturas Chamber of Commerce and Alturas Garden Club, one summer.

Mrs. Read loved her cats, and was also passionate about travel and visiting the ocean. She loved to shop and made lasting memories through scrapbooking, much to the appreciation of her family. She was a member of Christian Life Assembly Church in Alturas

She is survived by her husband Dick Read of Alturas, CA; son John Read of Chico, CA; daughter Rachel Long and son-in-law Mike Long of Oroville, CA; grandchildren Justin and Michele Read of Chico; Buddy and Girly of Alturas. Interment was at Glen Oaks Memorial Park in Chico, CA July 5 with her family in attendance

Memorial donations may be directed to a charity of the donor's choice

Helen Jean DuBose

Alturas resident Helen Jean DuBose passed away on July 8, 2005, at the age of 77 at her home in California Pines

Born Helen Jean Turner on October 19, 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah, she spent her childhood there before moving to San Diego, Calif. She met and married Leslie DuBose in 1959 in San Diego. They trav-eled extensively while her husband was in the Navy. She also was an adept portrait touch-up artist and enjoyed her field of work with a Gar-den Grove company.

The DuBose retired to Modoc County in 1978, where they made their home at California Pines. Mrs. DuBose had a "kind, big heart" and loved spending a lot of time with her grand-children and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed working in her flower garden and was a staunch member of the Modoc County Democratic Committee. She served on the Grand Jury, was an avid bowler and a member of TOPS

She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother

She is survived by her husband Leslie DuBose of Alturas; children Brent and Jody Parkin, Alturas; Daria Higginbotham, Alturas, and Shelley and Pat Patterson of Alturas; sisters, Muriel Harold of San Diego; Betty Beauchart of Southern California; Carol Gray of Salt Lake City, Utah; Margie Campbell of San Diego; grandchildren Angie and Steve Wheeler, Sam Higginbotham of Huntington Beach; Buffie and Saul Rivera of West Covina; Stacy and Ted Lowden of Alturas; John Brook Parkin of Alturas; Michele an Dube McCall of Reno, NV; Zane and Brandy Parkin; Adrianne and Doug Dickie, Rachael and Danny. Great-grandchildren: Jessica, Stephanie, Mariah, Aaron, Keirsten, C.J. Blake, Morgan, Benjamin, Adam, Ruby, Adrian, Hanna, Tyler. She was loved deeply by her husband, children, grand-children and great-grandchildren. She will be missed dearly

Private family memorial services will be held at her home on Saturday, July 23, 2005. Me-morial donations may be directed to the Democratic Central Committee or to the fight against breast cancer

Richard Duane Frease

Richard Duane Frease passed from this life on June 27, 2005, at his home in Alturas, CA. Known to his family and friends as "Red," he was born on May 29, 1956 in Covelo, CA. His family was the world to him and he loved his family and enjoyed being with them, whether it was the whole family or just one brother or sister

He enjoyed life. When he was in the crowd, you knew there would be laughter because he loved to tell jokes and see people happy and laughing. He was proud to be a Native American Indian and his Native American beliefs were an important part of his life. He participated in the dancing, sweats, drumming whenever he had the chance. His Native American Indian name given to him by spiritual leaders was "Golden Bear" Frease. When he was home he would be listening to his favorite drum group on the CD player.

During his adult life, he worked as a fire fighter for federal and state agencies and also as an elementary teacher's aide in Alturas. He also attended Sherman Indian School in Riverside, CA and DQ University

He enjoyed doing pencil drawings, beadwork, drumming and all kinds of sports. He was a good basketball player and "could shoot hopes with the best of them, and run circles around the old guys," describes his family

"Red" was a fun loving guy and he will be missed by his family and friends that loved him very much

Mr. Frease is survived by his beloved mother, Claudina Shockley of Alturas, his father Cardino C. Frease, Sr. of Alturas; sisters and brothers Yvonne Duran, Marie Frease, Alturas; Linda Higgins, Red Bluff; Larena Penhall, Cynthia Card of Covello, CA, Lynn Shockley of Arizona, Shirley Shockley of Arkansas; David Shockley of Covello, Gordon Shockley of Arizona, his son Byron Frease of Southern California, aunts: Ila Potter, Redwood Valley, CA; Eleanor Bill, Stonyford, CA; uncles: Manuel "Jim" Frease, Novato; Ted Lampela, Willetts. He also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, many friends where he worked and in the community and two special friends Marlene Vierra, Alturas and Jeff Wells of Willetts, CA. He was preceded in death by one sister, one brother and stepfather, James Shockley, maternal and paternal grandparents. Services were held at Kerr Mortuary in Alturas, CA on Friday, July 1, Alturas...........

Kenneth L. Perry

Kenneth L. Perry, of Davis Creek and Grass Valley, passed away July 7, 2005 in Sacramento, CA. Mr. Perry was 82.

Born March 5, 1923 in Oakland, CA. to Don Perry and Gladys (Madison) Perry, he completed school at Fremont High in Oakland.

Mr. Perry served as a Private 1st Class with the U.S. Army. He married Faye Watson in Carson City, NV. on June 25, 1979. Mr. Perry was an employee of the U.S. Postal Service and a member of the Chrysler 300 Club, Studebaker drivers club, Nevada County Gem and Mineral Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Grass Valley Branch. His hobbies lured him to collectibles and vintage cars. He was a Davis Creek property owner and enjoyed living in Davis Creek

He is survived by his wife Faye Perry of Hayward, CA; step-daughter Cheryl Elder of Yuba City, CA; step-son Terry Shirey of Castro Valley; grandchildren Shauna Elder and Adam Elder of Yuba City, CA. He was preceded in death by sister Nadia Perry and brothers Marlen Perry and Robert Perry

Services were held July 13 at the Chapel of the Angels Mortuary in Grass Valley, CA. Burial will take place today, July 14 at Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward, CA at 11 a.m. Arrangements in care of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary 530-273-2446

Craig 'Red' Giffen

Craig "Red" Giffen died suddenly June 12, 2005, from a heart attack at Snag Lake.

Mr. Giffen was born Sept. 5, 1925 in Berkeley, CA

The family of Craig "Red" Giffen would be pleased to have Red's friends come to Snag Lake, County Rd. #2 on the way to Lily Lake, on July 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your Red Giffen stories.

Mr. Giffen was a graduate of Oregon State University, Corvallis in 1947 with a degree in Range Management. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service from 1947 until his retirement in 1980. He was an Assistant Ranger in Alturas, was District Ranger at Buck Creek and worked mostly in Watershed Management in San Francisco, CA, Washington, D.C. and Denver, CO.

He married Janice "Jan" Austin of Alturas, Ca. He and his family always enjoyed an active life, backpacking, canoeing, and rafting rivers. In his retirement years, he loved to spend his summers at his Snag Lake property with family and friends. The outgoing Mr. Giffen made many friends throughout his years.

Mr. Giffen is survived by his wife, Janice; daughter Carol Giffen and her husband Jim Fegler, and daughters Sarah Giffen of San Diego, CA and Lisa Giffen of New York City, N.Y.; son Cliff Giffen, his wife Carol Taylor of Cortez, CO; daughter Gwen Taylor, her husband Chuck Taylor and daughter Nikki Taylor; son Bruce Giffen, his wife Clo Giffen, and sons, Luke and Sean Giffen, Anchorage, AK; son Keith Giffen of Anchorage, AK and daughter Sharon Giffen, her daughters Alyssa, Danelle, Keisha, son Adam of Arvada, CO. He was preceded in death by one sister, two brothers and many nieces and nephews. Direct correspondence to Janice Giffen, 10991 E. Limberlost Rd., Tucson, AZ 85749

Sports

 

Masten Ramsey horses run this weekend

The Masten Ramsey Memorial Stockhorse Jubilee and the Modoc Horseman's Association Mid-Summer Classic horse show will be held in combination this weekend, July 15 through 17. All events are held at the Alturas Roping Arena and the Junior Show Grounds on Eighth Street in Alturas.

Silver buckles will be presented to the champion or champions of each event (except the limited branding, team sorting, and cow mugging). There will be approximately $3,000 in added money for the weekend (split amongst the various events).

According to one of the organizers, Byron Gibbons the turnout for this revitalization year has been good and the committee is pleased. He said there will be 22 three-man teams, 20 ranch horse, nine junior bridle, 15 team sorting, four cow muggers, eight limited branding, 16 snaffle bit and 15 bridle horses. In team penning, there are nine open teams, seven women's teams and seven junior teams.

The Masten Ramsey show has made a few changes from its previous format. The snaffle bit competition (sponsored by Freeman Quarter Horses and L&B Ranch Supply) now combines the hackamore horses as well. An all junior bridle horse class (sponsored by hdo.net) has been added. A junior competitor for all the Masten Ramsey events is 16 and under.

Another new event is the "Limited Branding". It is a four-person event with two calves, two ground crew and two ropers. The ground crew can be anyone. The ropers must be either/or or a combination of: junior (16 and under), a woman or a senior (60 and over). The ropers do not have to get off their horse and they do not have to switch ends while roping. The championship team will receive jackets sponsored by Ken Phillips, State Farm Agent, Modoc Veterinary Center, Byron and Susan Gibbons and Klamath Basin Equipment.

As in previous years, the main event will be the three-person team event on Sunday. Three person teams will compete in team penning, ranch doctoring and team branding. The best overall score on three events will be crowned champions. This year's major sponsors for the three-person event are Swift Mini Storage, Tate Realty and Wayne C. Bethel Refrigeration. The Ranch Horse class will be a two-go class. In the first round all contestants will be competing for the main money. The top five from the long-go will be competing in the short-go, with a clean slate, for the champion buckle and added money. This year's major event sponsor is American Ag Credit. The Bridle horse class buckle sponsor is the Wilson Ranches-Alturas.

The Women's Team Penning major event sponsor is Les Schwab Tires-Alturas; buckles are sponsored by the Brass Rail and Frontier Trailer Sales.

The Junior Team Penning major event sponsors are Wells Fargo Bank and the DJ Ranch-Alturas; buckles are sponsored by Shorty and Sharon Crabtree (in memory of Loren D. Crabtree), Brown's Pharmacy-Alturas and Larranaga Construction-Alturas. Two team members must be a junior (16 and under); the third can be an adult or another junior.

The Open Team Penning major event sponsor is Plumas Bank and buckle sponsors are Modoc Motor Parts, Modoc Steel and Supply and Modoc Auction Yard.

The team sorting and cow mugging will be on Sunday. This year's All around Top Hand award is a silver headstall sponsored by Liz Younger Agency/Great Basin Events. To be eligible for the all-around, contestants must compete in the three-person event and one horsemanship class: snaffle bit, bridle horse, junior bridle horse or ranch horse class.

There will be a Calcutta for the team penning events, right before the first team penning class. Sunday morning will be another Calcutta for the cow mugging and again for the three-person event and limited branding. The Calcutta high bidder will be presented a Calcutta high-roller silver buckle. On Saturday there will be a dummy roping (12 and under) and a stick horse rodeo (seven and under) presented by Destry and Shirley Campbell of Repin' for the Lord Ministries. Prizes will be awarded. They will also be having Sunday Cowboy Church starting at 7 a.m.

United Country-Stevenson Realty signs on as major supporter for the 2005 Masten Ramsey Memorial Stock Horse Jubilee Sandy Stevenson, of United Country-Stevenson Realty has also committed her support for the continued success of the 2005 Masten Ramsey Stockhorse Jubilee.

Top Hand cowboys and cowgirls are coming from all over the Northwest to compete in this famous wild western competition.

The excitement starts Saturday morning at 7 a.m. with the Snaffle Bit class and will work through the horsemanship classes. Following the stock horse classes will be the Calcutta for the team penning events. The expected start time for the team penning events is 4 p.m. The stick horse rodeo and dummy roping contest for the kids will start right after the last stock horse class.

Sunday morning starts at 8 a.m. with Team Sorting, followed by the Cow Mugging with Calcutta, Three-Man Team Event and finishes with the Limited Branding. The Calcutta for the Three-Man and the Limited Branding will be held in conjunction before the start of the Three-Man event. Which is expected to start at about noon. The local Elks lodge will be there both days providing food and refreshments.

The Modoc Horseman's Association Mid Summer Classic horse show begins on July 15, with the trail classes, reining classes and the gymkhana events. On Saturday, July 16, will be the halter and western rail classes. Sunday, July 17, will be English rail and jumping classes. For information pertaining to the horse show call Onalea Sweeney at (530)233-2412 or Teri Brown at (530)233-2816.

New for this year is a website address for your entry forms, rules and regulations. It gives a short history of the Masten Ramsey event, lists sponsors, rules, entry forms and an e-mail address for questions.

"On behalf of the organizing committee and the community we would like to extend our thanks to our sponsors for their support. Please visit their businesses and personally thank them for their support of this worthy and memorable event," say organizers.

For information visit website www.mastenramsey.org, or e-mail the representative at: mrm@mastenramsey.org. Call John McQuarrie at (530)233-3420, Lois Freeman at (530)233-4849 or (530) 233-4967 or Byron Gibbons at (530)233-4364.

Lava Beds summer interpretive programs in full swing

Lava Beds Superintendent Craig Dorman is pleased to announce that daily interpretive programs are now being offered for the summer. The Monument's Visitor Center is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day.

As in years past, rangers lead the popular cave tours every afternoon at 2 p.m. Tours range from an easy walk through Valentine or Sentinel Caves to a more challenging trip through Catacombs Cave. Visitors should come prepared to “Cave Softly, Cave Safely” with head protection and a flashlight for each member of their party, whether they plan to cave with a ranger or explore on their own. Rangers loan flashlights from the Visitor Center during open hours, and bump hats are available for sale. Gloves and kneepads are helpful in preventing injuries and are recommended for use in the Monument's more difficult caves.

Evening campfire programs featuring a slide show are being offered daily at 9 p.m. in the campground amphitheater. This year, topics include: the Modoc War, bats, the Civilian Conservation Corps, birds of prey, Lava Beds rock art, plants, and the Monument's geology. Campers should plan to arrive early in the week for the July Fourth weekend, as the Monument's first-come, first-served campground usually fills for the holiday. Programs will begin at 8:30 p.m. later in August to accommodate the earlier sunset. Additionally, short interpretive talks or ranger-guided walks will be offered every Wednesday through Sunday at 10 a.m., as well as additional programs when staff is available. Talks will be given near the Visitor Center or in Mushpot Cave. Ranger led walks are available through the Stronghold, to the Schonchin Butte Fire Lookout, or along the Missing Link Trail.

Lava Beds National Monument is pleased to offer a Junior Ranger badge to children ages five through 13 who complete a workbook available at the Visitor Center. Young people can earn a Junior Fire Lookout award by hiking to the Schonchin Butte Fire Lookout with their families and completing activities with the lookout ranger.

A weekly schedule of interpretive program topics and locations is available at the Lava Beds Visitor Center, or by calling (530)667-8133. Ranger-guided programs will be offered through the Labor Day weekend.

July 21, 2005

News

Supers, Hospital Board meet on MMC options

Modoc Medical Center has been the center of public attention for the past month, mostly negative, and the issues will be addressed, again, this week.

The Modoc County Board of Supervisors and the Modoc Medical Center Board of Trustees are holding a joint workshop Friday, July 22, 10 a.m. at the Courthouse Courtroom, 204 S. Court Street. The meeting is upstairs in the courtroom in the courthouse.

The hospital in Alturas is facing major problems, including the loss of its obstetrics and surgery capability, loss of numerous key staff, loss of Dr. Owen Panner, who has been charged alleging possession of child pornography by the Modoc District Attorney, and a highly critical Modoc Grand Jury report.

On the agenda Friday will be: discussion of options for physicians recruitment in respect to OB and OR; discussion of goals and direction of the hospital, discussion regarding NorCal EMS study on hospital ambulance; discussion of the Grand Jury Report; and discussion of forming a local Hospital District

Currently, the hospital is operating without Panner's services and without other key positions in the facility.

The Grand Jury report was pointedly critical of the hospital administration and management. Nothing on Friday' agenda deals directly with the management issue, but may be covered under the Grand Jury section of the agenda.

At this moment, Hospital Board Chairman Bobby Ray said his board isn't looking toward a management change. Any discussion pertaining to that could be discussed in closed session at another meeting of either board.

The public will be able to have input at the joint meeting Friday. Supers, Hospital Board meet on MMC options.

Modoc Medical Center has been the center of public attention for the past month, mostly negative, and the issues will be addressed, again, this week.

The Modoc County Board of Supervisors and the Modoc Medical Center Board of Trustees are holding a joint workshop Friday, July 22, 10 a.m. at the Courthouse Courtroom, 204 S. Court Street. The meeting is upstairs in the courtroom in the courthouse.

The hospital in Alturas is facing major problems, including the loss of its obstetrics and surgery capability, loss of numerous key staff, loss of Dr. Owen Panner, who has been charged alleging possession of child pornography by the Modoc District Attorney, and a highly critical Modoc Grand Jury report.

On the agenda Friday will be: discussion of options for physicians recruitment in respect to OB and OR; discussion of goals and direction of the hospital, discussion regarding NorCal EMS study on hospital ambulance; discussion of the Grand Jury Report; and discussion of forming a local Hospital District.

Currently, the hospital is operating without Panner's services and without other key positions in the facility.

The Grand Jury report was pointedly critical of the hospital administration and management. Nothing on Friday' agenda deals directly with the management issue, but may be covered under the Grand Jury section of the agenda.

At this moment, Hospital Board Chairman Bobby Ray said his board isn't looking toward a management change. Any discussion pertaining to that could be discussed in closed session at another meeting of either board.

The public will be able to have input at the joint meeting Friday.

City out to clean up property

The City of Alturas has tried the voluntarily requests to have residents clean up unsightly or overgrown property. In cases where that strategy hasn't worked, the City will now force the issue.

The City Council has approved $20,000 to fund the cleanup project on selected properties. The residents will soon receive a nuisance abatement notice to clean up their property. That notice will detail what the City considers the nuisance and a deadline to clean it up. If those properties are not cleaned up, the city will do the work or hire the work done. The property owner can then pay the city or a lien will be placed on the person's property. The funds will be collected on the property tax bills.

In many cases the lots under consideration are full of junker cars, plain junk, trash piles of discarded items or wood and other "treasures."

City Clerk Cary Baker said the abatement notices will be going out soon. She also stresses that Russell's Service in Alturas has volunteered to come and collect old junker cars free through the month of August. The owners must have proof of ownership before abandoning the vehicles. Call Russell's at 233-2825. If someone needs assistance with the ownership paperwork, Alturas Chief of Police Ken Barnes has offered his department's assistance.

Agencies urge everyone to be safe with fire

Summer has arrived and so has the urge for camping in the great outdoors. Families and friends will spend hours around the campfire enjoying food, fun and great conversation.

However, along with camping outdoors comes a responsibility to be safe and prevent campfires from escaping and creating wildfires, say officials at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center (SIFC).

Keeping this in mind, local, federal and state agencies are asking everyone to be extremely cautious with fire outdoors. These tips will help:

• Remember you need a campfire permit if you are camping in areas outside of campgrounds. Campfire permits are free and can be obtained at any Forest Service, CDF or BLM office.

• Keep your campfire small.

• Never leave your campsite without first extinguishing your campfire.

• Pour lots of water on your fire and stir it with a shovel. Make sure it's dead out and cold to touch.

• If you use charcoal, be sure to soak it in water when done.

• If you smoke, do so in an area cleared of flammable debris.

• Don't throw cigarettes out your vehicle window.

• Keep small children away from fires and grills.

Northeastern California has been fortunate so far this year, with only a few small wildland fires. But SIFC officials note that fire danger continues to increase, and fire restrictions could be put in place as temperatures continue to climb and fuels continue to dry out.

Officials urge firewood cutters to work early in the day. Chainsaws must be equipped with spark arrestors, and woodcutters must have a fire extinguisher and/or shovel nearby.

Drivers should stay on well-established roads to reduce the chance of hot vehicle mufflers and catalytic converters starting grass or brush fires.

Information on current wildland fire dangers and fire restrictions is available from any office of the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Local fire departments also have information on fire dangers and fire use restrictions.

Fly-In brought in pilots, cars

The Surprise Valley Rotary hosted its 16th Annual Fly-In Breakfast Sunday. Members and volunteers served the fluffiest pancakes, and slabs of ham with eggs in a hangar at the Cedarville Airport which that morning boasted the best view in the valley.

As folks dined, planes saluted the crowd as they took off and landed nearby. Many of the 29 pilots who attended parked on the runway and entertained questions from curious and appreciative folks throughout the morning. Ten classic cars also lined the tarmac, allowing for the crowd's leisurely inspection.

The day dawned clear and hot, perfect weather for the event that drew record numbers to the airport just north of Cedarville.

Rotarian Harold Harris said, "It was a great turnout – one of our best years!" Though organizers were concerned the high price of aviation fuel may have proven a deterrent, a few more pilots than in previous years made the trip, flying in from Nevada, Oregon, Idaho and many cities in Northern California.

Louis Vermillion, in charge of ordering the ingredients for the impressive breakfast, reports about 275 meals were served. Rotarians were once again deeply gratified at the community support as Modoc County turned out in force to enjoy this special event. Each year those attending are encouraged to vote for the winners of both an aviation and automotive "Crowd Favorite" trophy. This year's airplane trophy went to Ted Contra of Carson City who flew up in a magnificently restored World War II P-51D Mustang. It was Contra's first time participating in the Fly-In. Bill Huettman of Fort Bidwell walked off with the "Best in Show" trophy for his white 1965 Pontiac "2 + 2".

The Surprise Valley Rotary is a local service organization. Funds raised by members are used for scholarships, and members actively support community activities, participate in vocational service, and join with other chapters in support of the Rotary Worldwide Foundation.

Black Irish Band brings 'Into the Fire' tour

Modoc residents will have a special opportunity to see and hear The Black Irish Band in concert in Alturas on Thursday, August 4. Black Irish recently gave a command performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on July 2.

Three compositions of songwriter Patrick Karnahan have been chosen by the Smithsonian Museum to appear on their recording label as part of the Forest Service Centennial. Members of the Black Irish Band were selected by the Smithsonian Museum to be a part of the two-week celebration this summer performing their original songs at the nation's National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian picked Black Irish's original song "Into the Fire," John Muir and Smokey to be on their CD, along with a video co-produced by the forest service to honor men and women who fight fires. Most of the live scenes were shot on location in the Stanislaus National Forest, in which over 40 forest service firefighters were featured.

Black Irish hails from Sonora and will be traveling through Modoc County on their way to Bend, OR. The group spoke with Modoc County Arts Council Director Ken Franklin, just this week, to make arrangements to play a benefit concert to aid the Modoc High Country Amphitheater.

Patrick Karnahan penned most of the songs based on his many years working for the Forest Service (1978-1994). He still works part-time as a Forest Interpreter for the Stanislaus National Forest. Black Irish's Folk-Americana style has been their trademark for the past 15 years.

Black Irish's newest CD includes three original song ballads, "Into the Fire," "Underneath Montana Skies," and "South Canyon 1994" which tell of the danger of wild land firefighting and honors their sacrifice. Two song ballads celebrate the very symbol of the Forest Service, Smokey Bear.

Their "Into the Fire" tour will reach Alturas on Thursday night, August 4, to take listeners on a musical journey into the lives of those who work in the national forest. The concert will take place in the Niles Hotel, J.E. Niles Room, So. Main St., Alturas. Concert to begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, $8 for adults; $6 for students and senior citizens. Pre-sale tickets will be available from Antonio's Cucina Italiana in Alturas.

Obituaries:

Beverly Richards Flournoy

Beverly Jane Richards Flournoy died July 13, 2005 in Reno, Nevada, at the age of 81 1/2 years, at her daughter and son-in-law's home. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in May of 2002, but had continued fairly well and moderately active until July 7 when she began a serious state of decline. The end came peacefully 6 days later at about 10:30 PM.

Beverly was born in Oroville, California February 20, 1924, to Leona Trimble Richards and Thomas H. Richards at the hospital near her grandmother Lucy A. Richards' home on Wilcox Avenue.

Her father was working at the time for E Clemens Horst managing a cannery in Wheatland, California. The family moved to Sacramento in December 1931. Her father went into business with Pete and Henry Bercut and they bought out the faltering California Co-Op Production Cannery and formed the Bercut-Richards Packing Co. which continued in the family under his management until November of 1968. During some summers, Beverly worked as a switchboard operator at the cannery. She attended David Lubin grammar school through 6th grade. She then attended Kit Carson Junior High School at 55th and M Streets, and McClatchy High School, where she graduated with the class of 1942. She began studies at Stanford University in the fall of 1942 majoring in biological sciences. She was a nurses' aide and took some nursing courses; she also sang in the Stanford Musical Production Department. She was a member of the Tri-Delta sorority. It was at Stanford that she met Mead Kibbey also of Sacramento, and they were married in November of 1944. To this union, one son Rodney was born June 7th 1947. Mead and Beverly moved back to Sacramento, where he was a partner in the lumber business with his father-in-law, Tom Richards, Sr. Mead and Beverly were divorced in the fall of 1948. Beverly worked part time at the Travis Air Force Base hospital from 1944 to 1952. She was also a member of the Junior League of Sacramento. The Richards family attended the Pioneer Congregational Church on L Street where Beverly often sang in the choir. She had a firm belief in God and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age.

Beverly met Warren Flournoy of Likely, California in October 1951 while he was visiting her brother Tommie Richards, with whom he had been stationed in the US and France during WW II. Beverly and Warren were married in Sacramento March 14th, 1953 at her parent's home at 1317 11th Avenue. Warren, Beverly, and Rodney moved to the ranch at Jess Valley April 9th 1953, and shortly after that Warren adopted Rodney into the Flournoy family. Remote Jess Valley was a big change from Sacramento. Beverly learned to drive in mud and snow, as the road from Likely was not paved until 1963. She performed duties of ranch cook at times during the 10 years they lived in Jess Valley. Claudia Lizanne Flournoy was born to Warren and Beverly August 18th, 1954 in Sacramento. Beverly and Warren built their present home north of Likely in 1963, and moved in September of that year. Beverly tended to the ranch bookkeeping with Warren's guidance and stayed busy being a good mother, homemaker, and helping people in need. Warren and Beverly made a very gradual retirement from management of the ranch but still helped with decisions and guidance to the present time.

Beverly is survived by her husband Warren of 52 years, their children Rod and Claudia, son-in-law Roy MacKintosh and grandson Gregory Warren MacKintosh, her brother Tommie Richards of Sacramento, and many nieces, nephews, and dear friends for whom she cared very much.

Services by Dr. Ben Zandstra were held at the Federated Church in Alturas on Monday, July 18 at 1 p.m., followed by interment at the Likely Cemetery.

The family suggests donations in Beverly's memory be made to Likely Fire Department, PO Box 515, Likely CA 96116 or South Fork Elementary School, PO Box 115, Likely CA 96116 or to Likely Community Church c/o John Abbott, PO Box 535, Likely CA 96116.

Patrick Shawn Elliott

Patrick Shawn Elliott was born in Carson City, Nevada on November 13, 1964 to Rita and Mervin Elliott. He was the youngest of four siblings: Michael, Debbie and Cindy.

From a young age, Patrick had a passionate connection with the outdoors. He spent several years living in remote regions of Alaska. He loved pre-Civil War history and focused that interest into replicating the period by creating black powder rifles, beadwork, hide tanning, knife making and painting. As an artist, he was known as "Lone Wolf." His artistry will be passed on to his children through the many beautiful things he made.

Patrick had six children. His adult children are Angelina Nelson, 20, of Alturas, who gave him four grandchildren and his son, Simmeron Elliott, 18, of San Diego. Patrick and his wife, Emilee have four beautiful children, Isak, 8, Makayla, 7, Gerimiah, 6, and Hanah, 3.

Patrick and Emilee Dender were married in Sacramento, CA on Nov. 17, 1997 and moved to Alturas in 1998. His "babies" will have memories of long walks through the woods, throwing rocks in the creek, and tickle fights together. His children were the light of his life. Patrick passed away on July 14, 2005 in Alturas. Pastor Destry Campbell conducted services at Kerr Mortuary, Alturas, CA on July 20 at 11 a.m. His mother Rita Elliott of Sacramento and his father Mervin Elliott of Mariposa, CA, also survive him.

His memory will live in the hearts of his children and grandchildren. "We love you Daddy."

Mary Elizabeth Heughen

Alturas resident Mary Elizabeth Hellin Whitehead Heughen passed May 31, 2005 at her daughter's home in Orange, CA with family at her side. Born to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hellin on August 26, 1920 in Des Moines, Iowa, Mrs. Heughen had made Alturas her home since 1979.

Mary lived in DesMoines on a farm just outside Slater with her mother and father and half-sister Floy Ann from her father's previous marriage. She also had an older brother who died as an infant. The family moved to California in April 1924 where they built their home in Long Beach. She graduated as a straight A student from Polytechnic High School in June 1938, Long Beach. She continued her education at Reno School of Beauty, where she graduated at the top of her class as a cosmetologist. December 1938, she married Robert George Whitehead in Long Beach. They moved to New York where Robert attended Navy Machinist Mate School. Her daughter Roberta was born on May 9, 1940 on the waiting room couch at Brooklyn Naval Hospital. When Robert was transferred to the USS Arizona in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mary lived in naval base housing. In October 1941, she was sent to Long Beach on a troop transport, and lived with her parents. Her son Charles Robert Whitehead was born November 17, 1941. Pearl Harbor was bombed three weeks later. During the war, Mary drove a truck at the Naval Shipyard for Western Pipe and Steel. After the war, she bought her home in Lakewood, CA, where she remained until her divorce. In the mid-1940s, Mary returned to Long Beach until 1948, and worked as a Forest Ranger at the Mule Peak lookout station in Hot Springs, CA. In the early 1950s she joined the Women's City Order of Eastern Star. She organized the "Miles of Pennies" fund drive. She was also active in Girl and Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls.

In September 1956, she married Gordon Heughen, who was in the Navy. In 1960, Gordon was stationed in Japan. During her stay in Japan she met her life-long friend Doris Chinn who also lives in Alturas. Mary returned to San Diego until 1979, when she and Gordon moved to Alturas. Mrs. Heughen represented Stanley, Watkins, Shaklee, and Tupperware before 1982, then began as an Avon representative. and received many awards including the Spirit of Avon award, President's Club awards. She enjoyed her sales work very much and loved all her customers. She joined TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) in 1954, and was a dedicated member, advancing to KOPS (Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly) and served as president for Tops and Kops and weight recorder for 10 years. She was also an active life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and American Legion Auxiliaries in Alturas. She was an ALA President and formed a Cancer Support Group in Alturas after she suffered from breast cancer in 1989. Mrs. Heughen was a member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in the Relief Society. She was loved and loved her many friends.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Gordon Heughen of Alturas, CA; daughter Roberta Jorden; son Charles Whitehead, nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. A Service of Memory was held June 3 at 3 p.m. graveside at Sheltering Trees, Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, CA.

Joshua John Merkle

Services for Joshua John Merkle of Alturas, will be held Friday, July 22 at 1 p.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 225 West B Street, Alturas. Pastor John Pierce will give the service, with a graveside service to follow.

Joshua John Merkle was born August 7, 1986, in Carmichael, CA. He grew up in Alturas where he made many dear friends. He came up through the Alturas school system and graduated from Alturas Community High School in January of 2004. Growing up he enjoyed snowboarding, watching movies, spending time with his friends and was an avid baseball player throughout his young years and played on All Star teams. He attained his Eagle Scout status while he was a member of Scout Troop 56 in Alturas.

After high school, he attended Decor College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he studied construction, before returning to Alturas. He spent many, many hours working on his Chevy Nova that still didn't run. Joshua was kind, respectful and enjoyable to be around. He was a handsome young man who was taken from his friends and family too early. He will be profoundly missed. Joshua John Merkle died of natural causes on Saturday, July 16, 2005 in Alturas, CA. He was almost 19.

Joshua is survived by his mother Peggy Clevinger and step-father John Clevinger of Alturas, CA; father John Merkle of Sacramento, CA; sisters Jennifer Merkle of Montana; Krystle and Tanya Clevinger, Alturas; brothers James Alexander, Alturas; Tyler Merkle, Sacramento; grandmother Dolores Vaughn, Santa Maria, CA; nephew Zander Stephens of Montana; aunts Sandi Alexander, Alturas; Debbie Alexander, Sacramento; Kathy Stevens, Sacramento; Melissa Gallardo, Alturas; Carolyn Merkle, Sacramento; Dorothy Durda, Wyoming; girlfriend Tammy Mobley; step-son Jonathan; uncle Johnny Gallardo, Alturas; cousins Brandon, Summer and Bobbie Stevens of Sacramento; Rachel Konarz, Sacramento; Nathan, Heather, Amanda and Amber Gallardo, all of Alturas, CA; great aunt Phyllis Jewett of Santa Maria; great aunts and uncles Phillip and Mae Readyhough, Santa Maria and Jim and Evelyn Readyhough, Los Olivos, CA. Memorial donations may be directed to the Modoc Aquatic Center, or to Joshua's family at 501 East 11th St., Alturas.

John Lair Gentry

Long-time resident John Lair Gentry passed away July 17, 2005 in Cedarville, CA. Mr. Gentry was 89 and had lived the majority of his life as a New Pine Creek resident.

He was born in New Pine Creek, OR on October 11, 1915, and graduated from high school in Lakeview, OR. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 29, 1941, and was a Carpenter Mate 3rd Class during World War II. He served in the South Pacific and received his discharge on November 4, 1945.

He later worked as a mill worker in lumber mills throughout Modoc and Lake Counties and for a time on the coast. He worked at the Willow Ranch Mill and retired from Lakeview Lumber Products. Mr. Gentry was proud of the fact that he was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

After he retired, he enjoyed daily walks. He moved to Cedarville in 1990 to be closer to his daughter Lynne and her husband Jerry Minto. His wife Gladys Cooper (Vincent) Gentry preceded him in death on January 21, 2003.

Mr. Gentry is survived by his daughter Lynne and son-in-law Jerry Minto of Cedarville, CA; step-son Jim Cooper and daughter-in-law Ginny of Albany OR; stepson Richard Cooper and daughter-in-law Kay of Spokane, WA; brother Layton Gentry of New Pine Creek, OR; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Services were held Wednesday, July 20 at 10 a.m. with Dr. Ben Zandstra conducting the service at graveside at the New Pine Creek Cemetery.

Donations in Mr. Gentry's memory may be directed to the Surprise Valley Community Hospital, P.O. Box 246, Cedarville, CA 96104.

Janet Mae Read

A memorial service for Modoc Joint Unified School District teacher Janet Mae Read will be held on Saturday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 225 West B Street, Alturas. A time of fellowship will follow at the church hall. Pastor Pierce will conduct the service.

Mrs. Read, an Alturas resident since January 1, 1978, enjoyed her work in the classroom as an English and Drama teacher at Modoc High School for 14 years, where she also directed numerous plays and dessert theaters.

She loved it when a student fell in love with reading. Until June of last year, when her health forced her to unexpectedly leave her classroom, she had taught English and Reading at Modoc Middle School for 13 years. Mrs. Read was the lead in writing and worked tirelessly on the application which moved Modoc Middle School to receive the Distinguished School Award.

Mrs. Read was 58, when she peacefully passed away in Oroville, CA on June 30, 2005.

Born to John Clinton Cloyd and Helen Fern Cloyd on February 20, 1947, in Susanville, CA., she graduated from Chico Senior High in Chico and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and Lifetime Teaching Credential from Chico State College in Chico, CA. While there, she performed with the Readers Theater. In later years, she enjoyed bringing out the acting skills in her own students, helping them to discover more about themselves and build their confidence. "She thanks the wonderful parents who entrusted their children to her," expresses her husband.

She and Dick Read were married in Chico on April 6, 1973 and moved to Alturas in 1978. Best friends and partners, Janet and Dick also had a mutual passion for working in their yard. They were honored when their flower gardens were voted as the Yard of the Month winner from the Alturas Chamber of Commerce and Alturas Garden Club, one summer.

Mrs. Read loved her cats, and was also passionate about travel and visiting the ocean. She loved to shop and made lasting memories through scrapbooking, much to the appreciation of her family. She was a member of Christian Life Assembly Church in Alturas. She is survived by her husband Dick Read of Alturas, CA; son John Read of Chico, CA; daughter Rachel Long and son-in-law Mike Long of Oroville, CA; grandchildren Justin and Michele Read of Chico; Buddy and Girly of Alturas.

Interment was at Glen Oaks Memorial Park in Chico, CA July 5 with her family in attendance.

Memorial donations may be directed to a charity of the donor's choice.

Helen Jean DuBose

Alturas resident Helen Jean DuBose passed away on July 8, 2005, at the age of 77 at her home in California Pines.

Born Helen Jean Turner on October 19, 1927 in Salt Lake City, Utah, she spent her childhood there before moving to San Diego, Calif. She met and married Leslie DuBose in 1959 in San Diego. They traveled extensively while her husband was in the Navy. She also was an adept portrait touch-up artist and enjoyed her field of work with a Garden Grove company.

The DuBose retired to Modoc County in 1978, where they made their home at California Pines. Mrs. DuBose had a "kind, big heart" and loved spending a lot of time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed working in her flower garden and was a staunch member of the Modoc County Democratic Committee. She served on the Grand Jury, was an avid bowler and a member of TOPS.

She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She is survived by her husband Leslie DuBose of Alturas; children Brent and Jody Parkin, Alturas; Daria Higginbotham, Alturas, and Shelley and Pat Patterson of Alturas; sisters, Muriel Harold of San Diego; Betty Beauchart of Southern California; Carol Gray of Salt Lake City, Utah; Margie Campbell of San Diego; grandchildren Angie and Steve Wheeler, Sam Higginbotham of Huntington Beach; Buffie and Saul Rivera of West Covina; Stacy and Ted Lowden of Alturas; John Brook Parkin of Alturas; Michele an Dube McCall of Reno, NV; Zane and Brandy Parkin; Adrianne and Doug Dickie, Rachael and Danny. Great-grandchildren: Jessica, Stephanie, Mariah, Aaron, Keirsten, C.J. Blake, Morgan, Benjamin, Adam, Ruby, Adrian, Hanna, Tyler; sister-in-law Doris Burns, nephew Chuck, wife Pam and children Kim, Chuck and Christy Burns of Corsicana, Texas; nephews Jack and wife Phylis Burns, Jack Jr., Tom and Tim Burns of Bastrop, Texas. She was loved deeply by her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be missed dearly.

Private family memorial services will be held at her home on Saturday, July 23, 2005. Memorial donations may be directed to the Democratic Central Committee or to the fight against breast cancer.

Sports

Hight blasts to the top

It was an excellent and fast time for Robert Hight in the Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver last weekend. Hight earned the number one qualifying spot, setting track records for speed, posting the quickest time in each round of competition and winning the finals. In addition, Hight moved into first place in the POWERade points lead, with 893 points, over father-in-law-and mentor, John Force, with 871.

Hight, who grew up in Alturas, drove his Jimmy Prock-tuned Team Castrol/Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang past the Toyota Celica of Phil Burkart Jr. in the funny car final, but it was his semifinal conquest of Gary Scelzi and the Oakley Dodge that made him the first rookie in 16 years to top the point standings. The next race is the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Kent, Wa. July 22-24.

Information courtesy of National Hot Rod Association Championship Drag Racing Media.

JAKES event drew good crowd

Modoc County youth and their families enjoyed learning archery skills, trying different wild turkey calls, "laser" hunting, spraying fire engine hoses, and riding on a mule drawn wagon among other activities during the first locally sponsored JAKES/Wheelin' Sportsmen Event held July 9, 2005.

"My kids haven't stopped calling turkeys since last Saturday", one of the mothers related.

JAKES is the name of the National Wild Turkey Federation's youth conservation education program: Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship. Wheelin's Sportsmen is the Turkey Federation branch that makes outdoor activities accessible for people with disabilities.

The event was held at the new Pepperdine Equestrian Camping Facility on the Modoc National Forest from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., including a free BBQ hamburger lunch. At the event the youth visited 10 different stations, each teaching different skills for learning about the natural environment.

At one station, youth were able to touch many different parts of wild turkeys and see numerous wildlife track castings, led by Abbey Kingdon, of the River Center in Alturas. Early Head Start, led by Sue Inzer, had play dough available for the younger children as well as supplies to make turkey puppets. The 16 batches of play dough were made locally by Ginger Morris.

Modoc County Sheriff Vern Severs, led a station on safety in the woods, emphasizing what kids should do if they ever get lost. Alan and Jeannie Cain, of the Backcountry Horseman led a station on Leave No Trace horse packing, and had two of their gentled wild mustang horses on hand for the youth to see.

Richard Shinn and Brian Gallaher, of the Department of Fish and Game, had information on turkey hunting, general hunting knowledge and ethics, and had turkey calls, which Richard made himself from bones of turkeys he had hunted. Captain Dave Smith, Department of Fish and Game in Redding, was a real "hit" with his laser hunting range.

Reverend Ben Zandstra, set up an entire archery target range with the assistance of Modoc Engine 35, and taught all the youth and adults who were interested, how to properly shoot a bow and arrow. Each participant was given their "holey" target when they finished their shoot. Dave Duncan and Patrick Rees from Pioneer Auto Body assisted at the archery range.

Stan Sylva, Modoc National Forest Supervisor, and Paul Bailey, Modoc Forest retiree, manned a station with an amazing array of different types of wild turkey calls, which the youth were able to try out, creating quite a cacophony. Karen Hayden, District Ranger on the Plumas National Forest, and the Region 5 "Making Tracks" (the Wild Turkey Program) Coordinator, led a station on turkey biology and habitat. Engine 35, from Cedarville, showed youth all around their engine and had kids running the hoses. Bill Tierney and Josh Mefford, Warner Mountain District, set up a Wilderness Ethics campsite, complete with cross-cut saw that kids could use to cut their own "tree cookie".

Throughout the event, children and their families could climb aboard a mule team drawn wagon brou