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Liz Writes Life 10-10-17

Liz Writes Life

October 10, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Dam meeting

For those who know the importance of saving the four hydro-electric Klamath River dams, please attend a special meeting tonight, Oct. 10th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Winema Hall at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds. Sorry, it is short notice.

But, our Siskiyou Co. Supervisors have been trying to schedule a meeting with major players regarding the Klamath dams issue. It finally happened — with a short window of opportunity.

This is a Siskiyou Co. Supervisors special board meeting.

After secret meetings were held, last year, in Sacramento and Portland by the 2016 newly-formed non-profit group that continues to work to destroy the Klamath River dams, our supervisors told Klamath River Renewal Corp – no more shenanigans or secret meetings! Even Congressman Doug LaMalfa and his staff were left in the dark as the new non-profit KRRC did not communicate well with either the congressman or Siskiyou County.

KRRC’s Executive Director and Vice President have committed to attend this meeting. Also attending is Alan Mikkelsen, who is the new Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation.

Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist, sent out an announcement explaining the purpose of the workshop is for KRRC to update the public regarding their September 2016 requests to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take ownership and then remove four dams on the Klamath River.

KRRC should also discuss their past work and permits with state and federal agencies, other stakeholders, as well as past meetings with Siskiyou County and their (lack of) outreach throughout the county.

It is good that Deputy Commissioner Mikkelsen has agreed to attend and discuss the Dept. of Interior’s role in the Klamath dams destruction process and his outreach efforts to Siskiyou County. Mikkelsen is a close advisor to Dept. of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It is imperative we let him know about the disastrous environmental and water pollution that demolition of the four dams will cause.

Our Siskiyou Supervisors still have major concerns and have made requests for information and permit verifications, which have not been sufficiently answered or addressed. There will be time set aside for the public to provide input and comment. Please do.

Fundraiser

Remember to get your tickets to support saving the Klamath dams. The fundraiser prime rib dinner hosted by the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc. will be held this Sat. evening. Doors open with a no-host bar at 5 p.m. and the dinner is at 6 p.m. Grill master is Dave Tyler. Tickets are $30 per person. Call Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443 ASAP.

We must retain our hydroelectric facilities. The dams improve flows in the Klamath River in the summer and fall, provide vital flood protection in the winter and produce fish at Iron Gate Hatchery.

Veterans Parade

Please consider participating in the 17th Annual Veterans’ Parade in Etna on Sat. Nov. 4, 2017.

Veterans: Please let “we the people” honor you for your service. You can drive your own vehicle or get several buddies to join you.

Organizations and individuals: You are invited to participate as a way to pay tribute to our U.S. military service members.

It is so easy to enter: Just call me at 530-467-3515. The parade will stage at the Etna High School at 10 a.m. and it starts at 11 p.m.

POW meeting

Andrew Hurlimann, president of Scott Valley Protect Our Water, brought its monthly meeting to order on Sept. 28, 2017. He announced that California Concealed Weapons classes are being held in Scott Valley. Call Andrew at 467-3146 for more info.

Erin Ryan, staff for Congressman LaMalfa, brought up the tax reform issue that was a hot button in Sept. She said, “It isn’t done yet!” and explained several of the proposals in the framework.

Erin said the Siskiyou/Cascade National Monument did end up on the “short list” for possible reduction of acreage. Of course, the Greenies are fit to be tied, but removing hundreds of thousands of additional acreage that will not be managed for forest and environmental health and safety is ridiculous.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, discussed the local fires. He was able to get a meeting at the Incident Command Center fire camp near Etna for Congressman LaMalfa. Ray said that the new owners of the forest around the Scott Valley floor is now owned by EcoTrust Forest Management and the business actually wants to place mobile sawmills facilities in the valley to process their trees – some of which were burned in the menacing Wallow Fire. That would be fabulous!

A San Francisco PBS station did an interview with Ray regarding the massive fires we have each year. He mentioned the very unhealthy smoke we had to breathe for over 6 weeks and asked the listeners to stop funding environmental projects as they actually stop the healthy thinning and management of forests resulting in catastrophic fires and smoke. Ray added that eight out of the 12 communities in his district were under some sort of evacuation notice this summer. No, not good!

Ray orchestrated getting Senator Ted Gaines up to Siskiyou County, who was then able to take a helicopter flight with Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey and Siskiyou Co. Supervisors’ Board Chairman, Michael Kobseff. The senator was shocked when he actually witnessed the massive numbers of illegal cannabis grows. There is a huge new concentration of over 4,000 people in the Shasta Vista area specifically involved in cultivating cannabis resulting in a great deal of ground water contamination and raw sewage.

Senator Gaines supported our Siskiyou Supervisors when they approved a “Declaration of Emergency,” regarding the grows, and asked for help from CA. Governor Jerry Brown for eradication.

Last Friday, Gov. Brown sent a letter that basically says “no”. What? Does he like pot? I am speechless!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 10-3-17

Liz Writes Life

October 3, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

To wake Monday morning and hear of the horrific domestic attack in Las Vegas was shocking, so very sad and, as President Donald Trump said, gave way to much grief. I appreciate his sincere and caring statements as he addressed our nation and I echo his feelings, when he claimed the shooting during Jason Aldean’s country music concert “was an act of pure evil!” The president provided comfort for our nation, when he reminded us, “It is love that defines us.”

News reports said that many folks naturally began helping those who were wounded or frightened. What a great thing to know. There are so many good people in our country and their good works are much too often lost in the crowd of selfish voices we hear in the technical world.

President Trump said that he and the first lady pray for our nation – “to find unity and peace.” I agree and will do the same. This polarization has gone too far in too many ways. It is time to turn to God, remember the great sacrifice that true love is and fall on our knees in humble supplication for that unity and peace.

Good news

Now for some good news: During the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, last Thursday night, Ray Haupt announced he will run for a second term as Siskiyou Co. Supervisor of Dist. 5. The crowd applauded and several individuals thanked Ray for his tenacity working to save the Klamath dams, pushing for more raids and arrests on illegal cannabis grows and helping local land owners fight to protect their water rights from intrusive state agencies. He also serves on several national forestry groups that are working to change policy and improve the management of national forests.

Yay, I totally support Ray and all the good work he has done for his constituents and the entire county.

Lawsuit

Richard Marshall explained about the Citizens for Fair Representation lawsuit that was in a Sacramento court earlier in the month. The State of California has asked the judge to dismiss the case and she did not do that. CFR attorneys consider that a win as they will be allowed to amend their case that demands more representation for rural counties in the state legislature.

More than 100 supporters of the State of Jefferson attended the hearing, but less than half were allowed in the courtroom as it was not large enough to handle the spectators. CFR asked, in advance of the hearing, if the judge would move the case to a larger room. That suggestion was ignored.

Fundraiser

Richard Marshall, president of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., announced a fundraiser dinner will be held on Sat. Oct. 14, 2017 at Winema Hall at the fairgrounds in Yreka. Doors open at 5 p.m. with prime rib dinner prepared by grill master Dave Tyler and his wife, Kathy Tyler. Price is $30 per person and Friends of the Fair will offer a no host bar.

Richard said the pro-dam-taker-outers have been quiet lately, but there is a deadline of Dec. 31, 2017 for the non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corporation to obtain or side-step several permits. He said activities are going-on behind the scenes and, as if on cue, several newspapers reported on Friday that Allan Mikkelsen, a high-level Dept. of Interior appointed official, just stated the DOI will not interfere with plans to remove four dams from the Klamath River. Yep, you heard right!

Ray Haupt and Congressman Doug LaMalfa have met with Mikkelsen, within the past month, explaining the devastation that will occur to the environment, water quality and killing of an Endangered Species Act listed species – the coho — if the dams are destroyed. So, far Mikkelsen has dug-in his heels, but Ray and our congressman have not given up.

So, the fundraiser is coming at the right time to raise funds to save the Klamath dams. Richard said that our power bills will increase substantially if the dams are removed.

“We will also lose the ability to control instream-flow in the river, lose vital flood protections and the fish hatchery at Iron Gate,” said Richard. Most importantly, Rich explains that without the dams the enviros will call on the water in the Scott and Shasta Rivers and that will take away most of the water rights allotments of farmers and ranchers. Agriculture can’t survive without water.

“This is a huge risk to our way of life,” said Richard.

There will be two dynamic speakers sharing the spotlight. Both are attorneys and both have fought battles for forestry, farmers and water rights. They are James Buchal, who wrote “The Great Salmon Hoax” and participated in the Klamath Bucket Brigade back in the 2001 water shut-off to the Klamath Project farmers.

Larry Kogan has also worked on issues surrounding the Klamath Dams and will discuss the Klamath Hydro Settlement Agreement, as amended, and the role of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

You can get your tickets by calling Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443 or Kathy Bergeron at 530-842-4400.

Veterans

This Sat. Oct. 7, 2017 is a special barbeque dinner supporting the Veterans Assistance Program, which provides emergency assistance to Siskiyou Co. veterans and widows. Getting fire wood to those in need is a major project for this group.

It will be held at the Siskiyou Golden Fair Beer Garden at 5 p .m. with raffles and an auction. Tickets are $15 for ages 12 and over; $5 for ages 5 to 12; and younger children are free. Entertainment will be presented by the Yreka High School music program. For tickets call Jay Dancer at 530-598-6979 or Jennifer Bryan 530-917-9478.

Garden

The frost Monday morning likely took out what was left of our garden. Yahoo! Will miss the veggies, but not the work!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 9-26-17

Liz Writes Life

Sept. 26, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Sheriff

Last week, Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey updated the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors on his efforts to stop the illicit cannabis grows and will speak more about the situation tonight at the Yreka Tea Party Patriots meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Covenant Chapel Church, 200 Greenhorn Rd. in Yreka. The meeting is open to the public.

POW

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, will speak at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting this Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Erin Ryan, staff from CA. Dist. 1 Congressman Doug LaMalfa, will also be on hand for updates.

I attended our congressman’s Town Hall meeting, in Yreka, on Sept. 18th along with 200 other folks. Like many other elected congressmen and women, some of his previous Town Hall meetings have been quite contentious. But, Siskiyou’s meeting was pretty well-mannered for the most part – there were some groans and also applause, but only a few people were rude.

Shasta Valley resident, Carol Crebbin, opened the meeting with a rousing prayer asking for blessings and peace. A few people turned their back to the prayer, but were silent. Our veterans were honored, by Fred Scott, after the Pledge of Allegiance.

LaMalfa had just returned from a tour of the Salmon-August Fire Complex that threatened the towns of Sawyers Bar, Etna and Scott Valley floor. Ray Haupt, organized the tour with Klamath National Forest Supervisor Patty Grantham, Ecotrust Forest Management Manager Steve Ziegler and other state and government agencies.

Four-wheelers were used to ride up to the head of Patterson Creek, where they saw much more damage and blackened trees than was expected. The inversion air layer had kept the smoke on the ground for weeks, making it difficult to know specifically how extensive the fires were.

So, once again at the beginning of the Town Hall, Congressman LaMalfa stressed the need to prevent the catastrophic fires by thinning our over-grown forests and doing a much better job of creating healthy forests. Attitudes at upper levels of government bureaucracies and policies must be changed to accomplish that feat!

He then took questions and comments from the audience. Much frustration centered on health care. A significant number of people were there with red and green 8×10 pieces of paper. When the congressman said something they agreed with, the green paper went up. When they were opposed, the red paper went up. This did seem to help reduce vocal outbursts of angst.

There was also discussion on marijuana, his business as a rice farmer and the U.N.

Garden

Morning frosts took its toll on some gardens in various areas of the valley. A friend from Quartz Valley said her garden is now black, but luckily she had picked it before the frost. Other friends reported a sneaky frost hit their garden in Greenview – when the forecast said it wouldn’t freeze.

Gotta tell ya that this time of year, I really don’t trust the forecasts. If the weather man says it will be 36 or below, I just expect a frost.

So, I got with it this year and picked all the red tomatoes and a lot of the green tomatoes for Green Tomato Sweet Relish. Got two boxes of each. Then picked a grocery paper bag full of bell peppers; and some cucumbers – but not nearly all of them.

My kitchen table and floor was full of those items, plus a red cabbage, zucchini, last of the onions, small batch of green beans, cantaloupe and even a decent batch of rhubarb. I wasn’t tall enough to get the three sunflowers down without losing seeds that were falling out. So, Jack offered to help (he is a foot taller than me). We decided to put a plastic garbage bag around each one and then he cut it off the stem. So, three bags of giant sunflowers are sitting on the floor in the kitchen too. I will admit that I was overwhelmed and didn’t do anything with any of it for a day.

I covered the big sprawling tomato plant that is in the cold frame with a double layer of heavy canvas and decided to try to protect the zinnias with a big blanket. But after two or three iffy mornings, there were only a few burned cucumber leaves and the taller red bee balms are crispy. Darn! I am actually ready for the garden to be done, but with this warm week we will continue to irrigate the pumpkins, some cucs, chives, the flathead cabbage and tomatoes.

I did make three batches of relish and will make one more batch this week. Then I will be done canning and will put all the pots and bowls away. Whew!

I like to add red bell peppers to the relish as it livens it up a bit and this year many of the our bell peppers turned red! This is unusual and a mystery as I don’t know what makes them decide to turn red. It isn’t the smoke, cuz we have had lots of smoke the last few summers and they stayed green until October.

Even though I am not canning tomatoes this year, I am cutting the firmer ones up, scattering them on a large metal pan lined with wax paper and freezing them. The next day, I take them out and break them up a bit and fill quart-sized plastic bags. I double-bag to try and prevent freezer burn.

I did this last year and we really enjoyed adding the frozen tomatoes to taco meat (just as it is done) and some other dishes. The frozen tomatoes do not hold their shape and get mushy, but their flavor is so much better than store bought tomatoes.

Have a happy week!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 9-19-17

Liz Writes Life

September 19, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

It was nice to enjoy the beginnings of autumn, last week, with the mornings turning cooler. Several folks reported frost or 30 degrees here in the valley, but 36 degrees was the lowest at our place. The actual fall equinox is this Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. The light drizzle on Monday morning and more predicted rains this week will, hopefully, continue to cool the fires. The numbers of firefighters have already been reduced by nearly half in our local Salmon-August Complex.

Now is the iffy time for our gardens. The chance of frost increases after a drizzle or rain. Then warmer daytime temps are forecast for the next week. So it comes down to what we want to protect or may continue to pump out goodies for us. Our concord grapes are ripe and have more flavor after September cold nights. Some nice-sized pumpkins have turned orange and the sunflowers look like they are mature. The end-of-garden-season is upon us.

I counted the 2015 and 2016 jars of tomatoes and decided I must use those up and won’t can tomatoes this year. I do need to get three more batches of Green Tomato Sweet Relish made this week. We ate the last of the second crop of corn. It was pretty light, but I did freeze three more pint bags for winter enjoyment.

I ran into Jeanette Harris at Mean Gene’s last week and we chatted garden. Her pickup was filled with pumpkins (I noticed a watermelon or two as well). She was going to set up their pumpkin wagon – making it officially fall. Jeanette said the strawberries didn’t produce very well this year or else something was eating them. We have both noticed fewer bees this year. I know some beekeepers lost their hives last winter and that isn’t good.

Then Jeanette said the raspberries at their U-Pick or We Pick Berries (at their California Heritage Farms on Eastside Road) were still producing. I love raspberries and hadn’t gotten over there in August, so I decided to go pick berries on Saturday and ended up with four pounds. Not bad. Oh, it seems to be an off-year for blackberries as they are small and not plentiful.

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its meeting on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Bring a dessert to share, if you can.

FlixxFest

The Jefferson Stat FlixxFest begins this Thursday, Sept. 21 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. It is hosted by The REC in Fort Jones and a whole bunch of films will be shown. On Sunday, the venue moves to the Avery Memorial Theater in downtown Etna for several hours of children’s films. For more info and to purchase tickets call 530-468-2888.

The real bias

Sure was great to hear that the last part of the biased civil lawsuits brought against Siskiyou Co. Clerk Colleen Setzer and Sheriff Jon Lopey were dropped. The last few cases of action were actually thrown-out by the judge “with prejudice,” which means the same complaints can’t be brought again.

A big thank you goes to our county supervisors, who stayed the course in fighting this intimidating and evil civil suit.

It was brought by 10 Hmong residents, pushed by ACLU, who recently bought unincorporated land in Siskiyou County. The lawsuit named Jesse Vang and nine co-plaintiffs, who claimed they were subjected to election improprieties and discrimination. Pier 5 is a law firm in San Francisco that pled their case. Pier 5 specializes in legal action in behalf of cannabis producers. Yep, you get the picture of the real bias.

The suit was brought last September 2016 after the Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office asked Sheriff Lopey to provide protection to his investigators, when they began checking residents’ addresses on the voter fraud issue. County Clerk Setzer had noticed an unusual number of new voters were using addresses from unincorporated areas where there were no homes or even infrastructure to build homes. Following state election code mandates, she reported her concerns to the CA. Sec. of State’s office, which then handles these situations. The really sad part was that Sec. Padilla acted as if Siskiyou acted on its own. It had not. His office was the lead agency investigating voter fraud.

Numerous news articles by state-wide and national newspapers slammed Siskiyou County for racism and bias against the Hmong. To make matters worse, the Hmong suggested Siskiyou Sheriff Lopey only targeted them when taking out illegal marijuana grows. That was not the case as there are other ethnic and, even, white people that are busted.

I asked Sheriff Lopey how he felt – being exonerated. This is what he said:

It is very satisfying to know we have a federal court and judges that still uphold the rule of law and support a local jurisdiction’s right and obligation to protect its citizenry. Judge Mendez looked at the facts and evidence and rejected the lies, emotions, and suppositions of illegal drug traffickers.

When this lawsuit started (alone with the SAM lawsuit that followed) there were well-financed groups that literally attempted to stop us from enforcing the law and they further wanted to harm the county fiscally by filing these lawsuits, banking on the supposition that the huge profits from illegal drug trafficking could be leveraged to corrupt us or influence a lack of action.

The big winners are the county leaders, whose courage and determination to fight this illegal drug trade prevailed, but more importantly the greatest recipients of this decision are the great citizens of Siskiyou County harmed the most from this illicit drug trade.  Additionally, our environment, water, and other natural resources will be better protected and our children better safeguarded from the proliferation of illegal cannabis.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 9-12-17

Liz Writes Life

September 12, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Why do all the garden vegetables get ripe at the same time? In two days, I picked nine cantaloupes, two buckets of lemon cucumbers and the three watermelon are ready. There is no way we can eat all of this, so we give some away. When I checked the second crop of corn, it is past the early stage – which when I like the best. Guess I will pick corn tonight, cook it and we will cut it off, bag it and freeze it.

Sure was a nice rain we had one morning last week. And it is fabulous that it really did help the fire fighters get a head of the fires behind Etna, Patterson and Kidder Creeks. It was just getting way too close.

The forests have become an over-grown mess. Lawsuits from the Greenies and government bureaucrats have joined forces creating legislative and policy gridlock. Prevention of the fires must take place and we are lucky to have county supervisors and our Congressman Doug LaMalfa who are in the battle. They participate in high-level organizations working to change land-use policies and legislation. Much more is going on behind the scenes than we realize. Unfortunately, the battle is simply with insanity. You can’t save every tree to have a healthy forest. They must be thinned.

POW

Brandon Criss, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 1, spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Aug. 30th. He told us the county is working on the budget and that his philosophy is “if you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.” He said the priorities are the new jail, marijuana and code enforcement and employees. The county has reduced the number of employees from 900 in 2009 to about 700. Brandon believes there is local talent in Siskiyou that can and should be utilized and hired by the county.

A huge concern will be paying the expansion of state CalPERS retirement benefit costs, which will go from $7.9 million to $15 million in six years. The county supervisors know it will be a “hit”, but are planning on the situation, he said.

Brandon praised our “good” congressman, Doug LaMalfa, who in 2014 led the Natural Resources Committee in not funding the cost of the Klamath dams removal. “He has had our back the whole time,” Brandon said, “and we are aggressively working with him, and our lawyers, to save the Klamath dams.”

Water

David Smith, editor of this newspaper, wrote a very good comprehensive news article regarding The Nature Conservancy ranch, near Big Springs, in last Thursday’s edition. Tim Louie, whose great-grandfather settled the ranch in 1859, called me last week concerned because California Dept. Fish and Wildlife was about to breach two earthen dams that will affect over 100 acres of wet lands and dry up lakes created by the irrigation headgates.

I do have a few comments to make about the situation.

First, where we stood for the meeting with about 40 farmers and ranchers overlooked a dry marshland. This area once boasted 1,000s of geese, ducks, sandhill cranes (an Endanger Species Act listed bird) and was home to a wide variety of wildlife; and it covered over 850 acres. It was a wetland. This wildlife area has been dried-up because CDFW turned its legally-owned irrigation water into the Shasta River claiming the water will help juvenile coho salmon – which are also listed with the CA. ESA.

The Nature Conservancy sold its water right to CDFW for $10 million and TNC no longer has any say over how the water right is used. Because CDFW claims it recently found juvenile coho in Little Springs drainage, it now wants to send the water that creates the last remaining wetlands and lakes down the creek for the coho.

It so disgusting that one species listed with the ESA can trump another. It is also frustrating that opinions and policy on a single species can so greatly affect and displace such a vast amount of other species. I didn’t see any geese, ducks or hardly any wildlife in the dried-up area. Historical facts show that agricultural irrigation provides huge wildlife benefits and now nearly all the agricultural irrigation has been destroyed on that ranch.

CDFW has been quite unresponsive to Siskiyou County. Jennifer Bull, a leading employee of CDFW in Siskiyou Co., was invited by Tim Louie to the Wednesday meeting. She did not show up. I do give credit to Chris Babcock, with TNC, for showing up. He did receive criticism, but he also provided interesting information regarding the current situation.

Michael Kobseff, who is chairman of our Siskiyou Board of Supervisors, is adamant the last two earthen dams should not be removed. Because the county now pays $70,000 a year in taxes on the property (due to the loss of the state-sponsored Williamson Act, which the county took over) Michael said the county must have a say in property management. TNC pays $26,000 in property taxes each year.

It has been more than a decade since CDFW has paid its Payment in Lieu of Taxes to Siskiyou. This will be another loss for Siskiyou’s tax base.

But one of the strangest things regarding the situation is this: Where is the Army Corp of Engineers? If a private property owner wanted to dry-up his wetlands, the federal Army Corp would cite and fine him tens of thousands of dollars. It was looking like the Corp was in agreement with DFW, but Michael and the county has demanded to see the federal permits and I was told CDFW has yet to produce them.

As of Monday morning, CDFW had not destroyed the dams although Tim Louie was told by Jennifer, CDFW would do it last week. Maybe the right people are seeing the light!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 9-5-17

Liz Writes Life

Sept. 5, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Sometimes, smoke is so thick, it seems like you could cut it with a knife! Ugh! This is bad. Reminds me of the long-siege of inversion-layer during the massive 1987 fires that were started by over 1,400 dry lightning strikes on Aug. 30th  here in the Klamath National Forest.

On Monday morning, (yesterday) Ray Haupt, our county supervisor, reported the newest updates after being briefed at the Etna Incident Command Center. Yes, Sawyers Bar Road is now closed from Etna Summit down past Forks of Salmon along with an Evacuation Order. I believe the Etna High School will be a shelter-in-place for displaced folks. On Sunday night, there were 16 engines on the Salmon River protecting homes – up the hill from Sawyers Bar town.

Unfortunately, the fire is headed south and down into Mill Creek several miles above Etna. Structure assessment on the Etna side of Salmon Mt. is being done. Mill Creek is the first bridge after the snow gate on Sawyers Bar Rd. at the bottom of the mountain.

Ray had some good news: The north end of the Wallow Fire is being slowed as fire fighters are making good progress building fire line from Crystal Creek through to Kidder Creek protecting homes in the Patterson Ck., Kellems and Kidder Creek areas. Yay!

Ray urges folks to pay attention to fire and police officers and evacuation orders. Be sure to move vehicles and other items out of the way, so fire engines and crews can get access to your property to protect your structures and go on through to protect areas around you. He said CalFire has a good tutorial, on the internet, on how to prepare for evacuation. It is called: Ready For Wildfire.org. Because he lives in the path of the Wallow Fire, Ray spent his weekend organizing and preparing his property, including moving his camper and boat to a friend’s place.

“Get prepared,” he said.

Today, Tuesday, the USFS is sending an I.C. leadership to update the entire Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors at their regular meeting. Remember that three years ago our county supervisors put a Catastrophic Wildland Fire and Fuels Declaration in place and has been actively advocating for fuels reduction.

Logging would do much less damage to the environment and wildlife than these horrific fires. Government agencies and bureaucrats need to stand against the lawsuits of the Enviros as the forests must be managed and thinned for environmental health as well as health and safety for us humans!

A bit more fire info: The Helena Fire, out of Weaverville, has Highway 299 closed. It’s burned 140 structures with 80 of them homes. So very sad! Ray added that due to so many fires throughout the West, and the huge rescue for Hurricane Harvey victims in the Texas Gulf Coast, every Incident Command Team in the nation is engaged. Wow. Too much water and too much fire!

I realize our terrain couldn’t stand more than an inch or two, but it sure would be nice if the continuing rain from Hurricane Harvey in the Texas Gulf Coast could be shared all over the West as fires are raging from L.A. through Montana. Yea, I know – if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Gardening

I was driving by Tyler Farrington’s place two weeks ago and slowed down to look at his garden. He saw me and invited me to see it. Tyler is using raised beds with plastic tubes curved over them. He had clear plastic sheeting covering them this spring, which gave him a good jump on the season. He showed me the most gorgeous purple tomato! And then purple peppers. His wife likes the color purple, so he is hoping to be able to make a purple salsa!

Tyler gave me beets, carrots and several kinds of peppers. One was long, skinny and red, but wasn’t hot at all. It is called a Jimmy Nardello and would be good for mild salsa, which is what I prefer. He had giant purple egg plant, gorgeous Swiss chard, watermelon, cucumbers other things I am forgetting; and onions hanging on posts drying. Nice garden.

So, I finally got the bug to make salsa this week. First batch was mild and so good, but the second was a bit hot. Jack liked it. I think I put in too many minced garlic cloves! Jack may have picked our last batch of green beans on Sunday, when he also dug red potatoes so I could make a potato salad for a family get-together.

POW

Brandon Criss, Dist. 1 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last Thursday. He had just learned and then shared with us that the FBI had arrested two people for trying to bribe our Siskiyou Co. Sheriff. Chi Meng Yang, of Montague, and his sister, Gaosheng Laitinen, of Mt. Shasta Vista, were charged for conspiring to commit bribery of a public official, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.

The complaint said that back in May, Yang met with Sheriff Jon Lopey and offered $1 million to the sheriff in exchange for his assistance with an interstate marijuana distribution business that Yang was organizing. Sheriff Lopey contacted FBI and DEA and subsequent meetings with Yang were audio and video recorded by the FBI.

I know that Sheriff Lopey is dead against the illegal marijuana and drug businesses. Sheriff Lopey, thank you for your integrity! Sure do hope the charges stick!

And remember, when the media claims that Siskiyou Co. is “racist” – let people know that Siskiyou elected the first black sheriff in the State of California. It was Charlie Byrd, in 1986, and he was re-elected three more times. Just gripes me no end, when we are accused of being racist.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 8-29-17

Liz Writes Life

Aug. 29, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

This just in: Talked to Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, yesterday morning before my deadline. He is in direct contact with the fire incident command at least twice a day. Ray said CalFire has now taken a major role and our local Siskiyou CalFire leaders, including Ron Bravo, are in leadership positions. This is great especially since the fire blew over into the Etna Mills drainage Sunday. Understanding our terrain is paramount to hitting the fire at the right places. Salmon River and Klamath River Hot Shots crews are working their butts-off up-high building fire line. Old logging roads have been opened up for access. Ray said they are aggressively hitting the fire as humanly possible.

We have gone from the dog days of summer to the — very thick and smoky — dog days of summer. Ugh. Fire camp is still growing at Horn Lane with 1,400 personnel. Mel Fechter has been sharing his fabulous photos of fire fighting; and Sunday evening he sent out photos of the big Sikorsky Skycrane sucking up over 3,000 gallons of retardant in 45 seconds. He said it was an amazing amount of wind power to withstand.

I do appreciate all those who are working to stop the fires. Thank you!

My comment: Sure do wish we were saving the forest by managing the trees through timber harvest, instead of seeing them burn up – including the wild animals – because they are too thick. An economy based on timber harvest is much more productive and beneficial to forests, wildlife and communities than this devastation from lightning-caused fires turning the green environment black.

Garden

Bummer! I thought a Crimson Red watermelon was ripe. The little long, narrow leaf at the first vine joint was dried-up as was the curly tendril. Usually, my watermelon and cantaloupe don’t get ripe until Sept., but I was hopeful. Nope. It was juicy, but not sweet enough and the flesh was a pale pink.

I gave you a pretty full report on the garden last week, but forgot a few things. The flat head cabbage is growing. Some are 10-inches high, so we will see if they start making a head before the shorter days and cooler nights of September hit. Harvested two red cabbages. One was hit by aphids in July and I sprayed it with the diluted vinegar/soapy water. It looked terrible, but after peeling away a few layers and washing it well – it looks good.

The second crop of corn is setting on ears; the purple morning glories are fabulous on two fences and solar-yellow cosmos are finally blooming with the four o’clocks.

Lawsuit

State of Jefferson supporters were frustrated last week, when a court hearing was canceled – at the last minute or rather the day before, which was after many folks had made motel reservations in Sacramento. The hearing was scheduled for Aug. 25, 2017 at 10 a.m. on the matter of Citizens for Fair Representation v Alex Padilla, the California Secretary of State.

The lawsuit brought by the CFR claims there are not enough elected state legislators in the rural counties compared to the high-density populations in the state. On Thursday, Aug. 24th, a minute order was issued by a court deputy for the District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. It stated: Upon consideration of the parties’ filings relating to the question of whether a three judge court need be convened to resolve defendant’s pending motion to dismiss and plaintiffs’ pending motion to amend, the court has determined that it is premature to request the convening of such a court prior to this court’s threshold determination of jurisdiction and justiciability.

Yep, that is a lot of court talk, but apparently the plaintiffs, who are CFR, want to amend its case and the defendant, which is the State of California, wants the court to dismiss the case altogether. Jefferson spokesman, Mark Baird, has asked supporters to write letters of complaint to Judge Mueller. Court cases are pretty darned frustrating and I don’t think the state or the court will be friendly to this lawsuit.

Bundy

It was a nice surprise last week, when a federal jury acquitted two men involved in the 2014 Bundy ranch stand-off and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against two others. This was the second trial for Ricky Lovelien, Steven Stewart, Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.

Carol Bundy, the Bundy ranch family matriarch, said: “They’ve been tried twice and found not guilty. We the people are not guilty.”

Those who have watched all three trials — of just a few of the 19 that were arrested because of participation in the April 2014 Bundy ranch stand-off with federal agencies led by BLM or the Malheur Refuge occupation in January 2016, — have been shocked. The federal judges in all three court cases have strictly limited what the defendants’ attorneys can present and prosecutors attorneys have ran roughshod.

Shari Dovale, who has watched the trials and reported on them, said the defendants were not allowed to call witnesses on their own behalf. They were not allowed to talk about why they went to Nevada. They were not allowed to mention the bad acts from the BLM or FBI agents.

In this latest case, the jury deliberated four days after 20 days of testimony and none of the defendants were found guilty of a key conspiracy charge alleging they plotted with the Bundy family.

Because they were allowed so little defense, all four defense attorneys declined to make closing arguments and stood mute. Apparently, the jury realized it was not getting all the information it needed to find guilty verdicts.

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet this Thursday, August 31, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 8-22-17

Liz Writes Life

Aug. 22, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden musings in the dog days of summer —

The green beans have been producing well. I blanched enough for four pint-sized plastic bags that went into the freezer. We’ve been eating or giving the rest away, but have enough left from last Friday’s picking to blanch several more pints today.

Gotta admit that I don’t use the vegetables that go in the freezer as well as those that I can, so I’ve decided not to freeze as much and try to use them all up each winter. (Famous last words!) You see, last weekend, I tossed quite a few bags of broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, peaches and two gallon bags of bell peppers. Most had some freezer-burn. One bag of peaches dated 2009! I don’t cook much with bell peppers – so why freeze them? There were several bags of black berries and one of strawberries that are still good and can be used for jam or cobbler.

Rhubarb is doing well – both the old plant and the new one. Can’t believe how much the old one has grown. It is huge again – enough for a third cutting. Don’t think I’ve ever gotten a third cutting. Only thing I can think of is that we have poured the water to it.

The potato plants are falling over and more potatoes are skimming the top of the soil. Need to get some mulch on them. Canned my 10th quart of dill pickles and the lemon cucs are in their prime. Four watermelon look close to ready and we are enjoying ripe tomatoes. The basil and parsley have re-grown after harvesting them earlier in the month.

Speaking of herbs, my extra bedroom is full of paper bags and boxes of herbs that have dried and need to be de-stemmed and packaged. I’ve de-stemmed the first batch of mint, but it needs to be packaged. I harvested a second mint batch, which along with lemon balm, oregano, basil and parsley are now dry and need attention. For some reason, I tend to put this part off.

There are lots of cantaloupe, but they won’t get ripe until Sept. Bell peppers are getting big and the onions have dried that I pulled in late July. Looks like I have all the makings for the Green Tomato Sweet Relish as there are lots of green tomatoes. I do like to add ground-up red bell pepper. It gives the green color a kick, but I usually purchase those at our local grocery stores.

Interestingly, the zucchini are not over-producing. Some of the zucchinis will still start to rot at about four inches in length, but more are making it to eight to nine inches and that is when I cut them. Usually, there are several that have been missed by now and are huge. I will definitely be looking for organic non-GMO seeds next year even though it is nice not to be trying to find folks that want zucchini in late August – almost impossible to find them (gotta just leave the zucchini on their car seat or front porch)!

Sure enjoyed Pastor Drew’s column spotlighting sunflowers last week. I hadn’t planted any for years, but did this year. I left three that are growing about 14 inches apart in a circle and have given them extra water. Their big leaves tend to look pretty sad during the hottest heat in the afternoons. We didn’t get the windy thunderstorms that some of you experienced in other areas of Scott Valley, so they are still standing! They certainly would not make it, without support like Drew’s fence, if we had a strong wind as they are amazingly over nine-feet tall.

I am really pleased with my flowers this year, but no matter what I do they just don’t seem to fill-out until August. Finally, the impatiens tripled in size, the amaranthus have put on large maroon heads, the pink anemones are blooming well along with the annual zinnias, glads, cosmos and four o ’clocks. I love the jungle of greens and colors under the pine tree.

Last fall, I decided to expand the perennial side of the wildflower garden. After 16 summers here and the four-year drought, I’ve decided it is prudent to grow plants that don’t mind our not-so-good soil. Coreopsis and cone flowers survived with little water outside the fence in an area that I wanted to expand several years ago — but no longer have the energy for. Using the grubbing hoe, I dug holes last summer, re-dug and added some manure in May and finally transplanted a bunch of coreopsis, tansy and cone flowers. Most have survived. Yay!

I keep saying I will not add more flowers, but the few gladioli that are blooming are so exquisite. Sure would like to prepare the ground for a few more in the wildflower garden and maybe a spot by the red bee balm in the garden, where the soil wouldn’t be difficult to improve.

Jack finished raising the fence around my wildflower garden and the deer have not gotten into either of the gardens. Another yay!

Quick hummingbird story: There are two females out sipping on flowers every morning with one, being dominate, chasing the other. On this morning, Tiger cat was laying on the deck behind the wrought-iron railing flicking the tip of his tail, when one hummer flew over to about three-feet away and floated there in mid-air (at least 10 seconds) teasing him. I told her that wasn’t very smart to do. She ignored me. Luckily, she guessed he couldn’t snag her through those bars. Still …?

POW

The Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 8-15-17

Liz Writes Life

Aug. 15, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Two Early Girl tomato plants, outside of the cold frame, made a liar out of me as they have each produced more than a handful of ripe tomatoes this week. They are fairly small, but tasty. It is so nice to enjoy ripe tomatoes in early August!

The sumpter cucs slowed down and I didn’t make any dill pickles. I blame the previous week of over 100-degree heat. So, when I made a closer check this weekend, I found lots – about 10 pounds worth. I took them to church for giveaways and still came home with six.

Ate our first corn on Friday. Yum!

Ran into Denny Fleck at the fair, who bragged on his Medford tomatoes that have been putting out ripe ones for a few weeks. Medfords used to be quite popular here, but now the variety is hard to find, which is why he saves the seed for planting. They are an early 80-day heirloom variety developed at Oregon State University.

Denny said he had a terrible earwig problem. They were devouring young vegetable plants. He solved it by putting out empty tuna cans with vegetable cooking oil and soy sauce. Earwigs like the soy sauce, but the oil makes their body slippery and they can’t climb out of the can. Yep, they die in there. Now that is tricky.

I appreciate learning about your successes. Sure wish someone would come up with a cure-all for aphids!

It was a nice Siskiyou Golden Fair. Congrats to Lynne Bryan for her Best of Show flower display. We do need to keep entering our agriculture, vegetables, crafts, flowers, cooking, quilts and sewing projects as it gives the fair a local flavor.

Gotta brag a bit and say “thank you!” My grandson, Bryce Bowen, won Grand Champion Market Turkey. The tom weighed 43 pounds. Bryce walked it and practiced showing for weeks before the fair. His trophy was a belt buckle. Oh, he is proud of it and put it on his belt to wear. Thank you to those who decided that a gorgeous belt buckle was a great prize.

It seemed a little odd when he sold his turkey at the Jr. Livestock Auction as his turkey sold the lowest of all the turkeys at $20 a pound. (That is quite a lot for a turkey, don’t get me wrong.) But, when it was noticed that the grand champion sold so low, a good fair supporter decided Bryce should get at least as much as the Reserve Champion Turkey — and added another whopping $20 per pound! What a kind thing to do. Wow! I would like to thank his two buyers and all of the supporters of the many junior market animals. It is appreciated! These are good life lessons for our kids: some are good and some not-so-good just like life.

Etna

A group of concerned citizens, from outside city limits, attended the Etna City Council meeting last week. The council discussed the cannabis ordinance that must be updated by Dec. 31, 2017 or the city will have to abide by the new state cannabis laws. Mayor Erik Ryberg did not start out in a happy mood. Recently, he had been yelled at by Etna residents who think he may be pushing for commercial grows and for dispensaries. He said he is not and was trying to be neutral.

In my opening comment, I offered to send the council members the extensive researched report that the county Planning Dept. did on the subject. The county supervisors voted 5-0 not to allow commercial growing or dispensaries in county areas. I teased the council asking if they had a Planning Dept. They were “it” was their answer. I didn’t want them to have to re-invent the wheel doing research.

Mayor Erik Ryberg permitted a lot of discussion from the audience. No one yelled. Two council members are against commercial grows and dispensaries. One is possibly for it, because of taxes and one I don’t know. But the mayor told the audience commercial grows or dispensaries will probably not be allowed.

The situation, then, comes down to how to meet the state’s new decree that allows six plants to be grown — in a residence or outside? A significant number who spoke said the smell of maturing plants from their neighbors’ properties, even with a tall fence, is over-powering. So the decision for the Etna Council will be if the six plants should be grown indoors or allowed outside.

Representation

Herve Leconte finished up his 510 mile run on Wed. Aug. 9, 2017 in Yreka. He began his trek 12 days earlier down in El Dorado County and ran through 15 counties finishing in Siskiyou, because we were the first county to begin this latest push for the State of Jefferson. Herve’s wife, Julie, drove his pilot car.

I got to talk to Herve several times and found him, and his wife, to be great fun. Oh, did I mention that Herve is 57 years old? Yep. This was to raise awareness and fundraise for the lawsuit Citizens for Fair Representation have brought against the State of California. It claims rural counties do not have enough elected officials to give them fair representation in the state legislature.

Herve ran 35 to 45 miles per day in that terrible heat. It was quite the adventure and many people did stop to ask about his State of Jefferson flag, which he was happy to explain.

Gaines

It was great to see our California Senator Ted Gaines visited Siskiyou County. He met with several county supervisors over the Klamath dams issue, then cattlemen and farmers about difficulties from the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife over water rights and permits. Thank you Senator Gaines for listening and helping us.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 8-8-17

Liz Writes Life

August 8, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

Started picking green beans last week and made four more quarts of dill pickles. The two pumpkin plants are spreading out and trying to cover up the new spring-planted rhubarb, so I am pounding in wooden stakes to protect them.

The tomato plant in the cold frame produced a handful of small ripe ones this week, so I think it is two to three weeks ahead of the other tomatoes. All are Early Girl. Several bell peppers are nearly ready to pick.

Aphids are horrible on the broccoli and the heads are not maturing evenly, so I decided to pull up these six plants. Several red cabbages could be harvested and the one that I put the homemade spray on still has aphids, but doesn’t look quite so sad.

More POW

At the July 29th Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, Louise Gliatto said the threat of Smart Meters is back! She talked with a technician at Pacific Power and he admitted the company plans on replacing the old analog electricity meters on homes in Siskiyou County with new “Radio Frequency Meters”. They are wireless, digital and contain a Radio Frequency Chip that allows them to be read and controlled remotely. Meter readers will lose their jobs.

Home owners with the new RFC have reported their electric bill actually went up or even doubled. Apparently, the electric company will know when you use your appliances and those that are used during peak hours will be charged more. Might need to start doing your wash at midnight and using oil lanterns!

Many folks object to the radio frequency in homes and the monitoring by the electric company. Numerous health issues have been reported from the pulsed RF radiation into the home every 3-6 seconds. Pace makers are affected by the RF, but mostly there are complaints of more headaches, dizziness, nausea, earaches and insomnia after the RFCs are installed.

You can opt out by doing two things: Placing a sign on your electric box that says you do not want the Smart Meter and sending a certified letter to Pacific Power headquarters saying the same thing. There is a law that you don’t have to have it, but you must tell them ahead of time or it will cost you. I’ll share more later.

Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Supervisor, said The Nature Conservancy now wants to sell the ranch it purchased several years ago to the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. TNC claimed it acquired the ranch to show how cattle could be raised without water! – allowing its water right to be left in the Shasta River for the coho salmon. Yep, it didn’t work. Ray said the ranch is now a giant weed patch.

In 2009, TNC purchased the Buske Ranch near Big Springs in Shasta Valley for $14.2 million. In 2011, TNC sold its water right to DFW obtaining $10.3 million from the state. So now, TNC believes their land is only worth about $2 million, which is likely true as the value of the land is greatly reduced without any water rights. Anyway, the county will receive fewer taxes and there will be significant loss of ranch-type revenue and work for locals.

Currently, Ray said California owes Siskiyou Co. over $500,000 for Payment in Lieu of Taxes. This is for the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery, Shasta Fish Hatchery and 1,000s of acres of land that is now in refuge-type or deer management. Unfortunately, I don’t expect Gov. Jerry Brown to turn over a new leaf and pay the rural counties what is owed them. Ugh!

Also, I believe this is a scam that TNC and other conservancy non-profits have perpetuated for several decades. It is definitely changing the idea, availability and viability of “private property” as state and federal governments are certainly ending up with more land that is no longer available to the private sector.

Michael Kobseff, who is chairman of the Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors, and Ray met with Assemblyman Brian Dahle, last month, to explain the problems with conservation easements, TNC and issues with DFW. A local farmer tried to get an emergency permit from DFW to stop erosion during the high-water from Moffett Creek last February. That has been a nightmare as eventually the Regional Manager, Neil Manji, finally gave the go-ahead yet the local game wardens have still been difficult. The farmer followed the “rules” and is still being hindered. So frustrating.

Assemblyman Dahle was also shown the fish barrier that DFW created in the Scott River at the diversion for the Farmer’s Ditch near Callahan. It was pointed out that the fish barrier is in violation of the CA. Endangered Species Act, since it harasses coho salmon that may be trying to swim upstream. A farmer wouldn’t be able to do that! (DFW is not looked upon favorably here in Siskiyou Co.)

Ray also mentioned that he took the CA. Water Quality Control Board member, lawyers and staff to task at the July 11th county supervisors’ meeting. He had received a letter from the Control Board saying he should not attend meetings the state agency holds with the Shasta Nation. Betty Hall, one of the Shasta leaders, asked Ray to attend a meeting where the agency was consulting with the Shasta on removal of the four Klamath dams.

In a quiet, but frank manner, Ray told the control board and staff that he will be at those consultation meetings, if the Shasta invite him, because they are his constituents. Oh, that was fun!

Erin Ryan, staff for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, explained that things are complicated regarding the Heath Care bill. The House Spending bill has money for the border wall and that it was sent to the U.S. Senate.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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