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Liz Writes Life 1-10-17

Liz Writes Life

Jan. 10, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Snow, cold and rain: No one can deny that it is winter in Siskiyou County. Hope everyone has extra food, gallons of water, medicines, wood, other fuel, blankets and emergency items on hand. With another week of storms, I sure do hope the supply trucks for our grocery stores and gas stations are able to travel and arrive safely.

Thank you to the state and county crews that have been working around the clock plowing snow and slush. I think the state crew from our Hwy 3 must have been over helping clear the closed I-5 freeway on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week as a plow didn’t get by our place until late Wednesday afternoon. They worked on and off for several days and nights trying to get caught up. I saw a county plow truck at daylight over on East Callahan Road, for several mornings, so they were able to be out working in their jurisdictions.

After several years of drought and “soft” winters, it is easy to forget that we can get hammered here. It is that darned cold and zero-type temps that add to the mess, when water pipes end up frozen.

Pacific Power, police, firemen and women, other emergency personnel, store managers, employees and neighbors have also been busy providing aid. So a big thank you goes out to all the “good folks” who help people. Most of the time you are quiet heroes, but you are appreciated even if we don’t always know who you are or what you do!

Klamath dams

The Klamath dam scam continues into 2017, but it seems to be easier to read between the lines as long as you can get a hold of the information. Be sure to check sources and facts before believing the loud voices from the Greenie groups and some Tribes. The dams are not coming out – not yet! The many regulatory processes that must occur have not been tackled – not yet!

But, working on the Environmental Impact Report, called EIR, has finally come to the top of the pile. This is where the science and facts should make our points for saving the dams.

Tonight, Jan. 10, 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board is holding one of several meetings regarding the EIR that must be accomplished before the four Klamath hydro-electric dams can be removed. The meeting will be held at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka from 5 to 7 p.m.

Specifically, the State Water Board will be taking “public comment” on the Clean Water Certification aspect of the EIR. All comments for this issue must be into the State Water Board by February 1, 2017. If you would like to email or mail-in a comment, contact Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen for the state board’s correct address or email. Her phone is 530-842-8012.

Because of the huge weather system coming in today, you may want to call Elizabeth to see if the meeting is canceled, before you head out to it.

What kicked-off this meeting? The State Water Board and FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, received an application for the hydro-electric power license transfer back in Sept. 2016 by the newly-formed non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corporation called KRRC. The KRRC has replaced the KBRA (Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement) which dissolved the last day of 2015. Since then many of the same players from the KBRA have held secret meetings and in 2016 formed the KRRC. Players in the KRRC include bureaucrats from state and federal agencies, Greenie groups and Tribes.

Most of the secret KRRC – non-announced – meetings held last year were discovered and supervisors from Siskiyou County and Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office were able to attend along with leaders from Siskiyou Water Users and area agriculture. At several meetings, those not on the “destroy the Klamath dams” bandwagon found they were not welcome, but our fearless leaders stayed anyway.

Guess what? Today’s meeting was announced on Dec. 22, 2016, but somehow Siskiyou County was not notified until just before New Year’s Eve. Yep, for some reason some KRRC players do not want to include Siskiyou Co. even though they did set up a meeting here in Yreka. Yes, many of us have loudly complained when meetings regarding the Klamath dam removal have not been held here.

The next interesting item is that the KRRC application for the hydro-electric license transfer was not correctly and completely filled-out. Oops. So, according to investigations made by Siskiyou County, FERC has not made a decision on the license transfer. Accordingly, FERC will not make a decision on the license transfer to KRRC until at least mid-March. One would think that the application must be correctly completed before a decision could be made. I wonder when KRRC will complete the application? Hum, I also wonder why they didn’t fill it out correctly the first time?

I have been told that the county is compiling its comment regarding the Clean Water Certification of the EIR and that the newly-elected Chairman Michael Kobseff will deliver it at tonight’s meeting as official comment.

It is estimated that millions of cubic yards of sediment has built up behind the Klamath dams. The KBRA nor the KRRC have addressed the water and environmental damage that it will create, when the dams come tumbling down. As far as I know, even the tyrannical Environmental Protection Agency has not addressed the issue. But for a correct EIR to be accomplished the huge sediment issue better meet the stringent EPA regulations.

POW meeting

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its first meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 26. Ray Haupt, our Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, is already on the agenda with several items to discuss and Erin Ryan, field rep for Congressman LaMalfa reported that she will attend.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 1-3-17

Klamath Project - BOR, Klamath River & Dams, Liz Writes Life

Jan. 3, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

It has taken 15 years, but a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge got it right. Judge Marilyn Blank Horn concluded the federal government did indeed take Klamath farmers legal property right – water – in 2001.

Early in 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rendered a Biological Opinion that the sucker fish in the Upper Klamath Lake would suffer harm, if the Bureau of Reclamation supplied the legal water to the federal Klamath Project farmers. The local sucker fish were and are listed with the Endangered Species Act. (Counter to modern myth — the 1996 federal ESA listing of coho salmon was not part of this Biological Opinion. It was all about sucker fish.)

So, the BOR stopped all irrigation water to Klamath Project farmers in April 2001, which is over 200,000 acres of farm land. The dry A Canal also did not deliver water to many off-project or other property owners. As a result of the Klamath Project farmers losing their water, the lower refuges also went dry affecting and killing 1,000s of birds and wildlife. It was tremendous devastation.

Locals said that suckers thrive better in lower levels of lake water. The feds ignored their voices. We could see that the science of the government bureaucrats was fraudulent.

Guess what, within a few years scientists had to admit sucker fish populations were decreasing and it was because there was too much water in their lakes. Ugh!

It is so frustrating to watch government agencies with their bureaucrat leadership get it wrong and destroy communities of humans and wildlife in their arrogance. But, I have digressed.

So the 1,400 Klamath Project farmers went the entire spring, summer and fall with no irrigation water. There were several suicides by farmers. About 200 farms were lost or sold. Other businesses floundered and 1,000s of employees had to migrate elsewhere.

I asked Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, about this decision and he was thrilled. “It is the first time I have seen a judge rule in favor of property rights over the ESA regulations,” he said. “The feds tried to argue it was a ‘regulatory takings,’ but this decision shows it is a ‘property takings’ under the 4th Amendment.”

So, this is a win of immense proportion and there will be a trial to decide how much money the farmers will be compensated. Yay!

Ray said the decision is extremely significant, because this decision will set a precedent at the federal appellant court level. Yep, the water to the Klamath Project farmers is a property right and even the ESA cannot take property rights away from citizens.

I consider the takings of the Klamath Project water as a threat from the federal agencies and that they were testing to see how far they could go to put fear into the hearts of the farmers, other property owners and businesses. It is all about control of the people. We must be vigilant to make sure our government agencies serve the people and do not become the tyrant over the people.

On May 7, 2001, more than 18,000 people showed up in Klamath Falls forming a mile-long Bucket Brigade protest through town. I believe California Congressman Wally Herger was the first to fill a bucket from the waters of Lake Elwha. The buckets were then handed from one-individual-to-another up the streets to the bridge over the wide A Canal, where the water buckets were dumped into the empty A Canal. It was illegal for that canal to carry any water. I was there. Many from Siskiyou County went to support the Bucket Brigade. I have photos. No, Federal marshals did not arrest us, but it was a meaningful act of defiance and civil disobedience, which is legal under the U.S. Constitution.

Hooray for the Klamath Bucket Brigade. All who participated were right!

New laws

Believe it or not, 900 new laws have gone into effect Jan. 1, 2017. Last year, the CA. State Legislature sent Gov. Jerry Brown 1,059 pieces of legislation. He signed 898 of those bills, vetoed 159 and two became law without his signature. I have a sneaking hunch that many of us are outlaws and don’t even know it! No, it’s not funny!

A few weeks ago, I discussed the new assault gun and ammunition laws. I will mention a few more new laws that might affect us.

Bathrooms

North Carolina waged a war over restrooms and gender identity, but California did not have that fight as the legislature approved AB 1732. It requires all single-toilet bathrooms in businesses and public agencies to be gender neutral. So you can be whatever!

Cell phones

This is a big one and pretty darned specific. While driving a vehicle you are no longer permitted to hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communication device. It must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver (so no fair grabbing it and cheating) or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Sorry, I don’t get either one of these. Another option is to affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag. Guess we better get those Bluetooth devices!

Oh, the law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the finger, but you can’t hold it.

Booze

I have just learned there is such a thing as powdered alcohol and it can be reconstituted using water. Wonder what would happen if it was reconstituted with alcohol? It has already been banned in 31 states and it is now illegal to possess, sell or make in California.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 12-27-16

Liz Writes Life

Dec. 27, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Merry Christmas – two days late! With the light snowfall and cold temps, it certainly felt like an old-fashioned Christmas. Sure makes me appreciate our modern conveniences like a chain saw to cut wood and our pickups to haul it. No horses to harness or wagon to hitch up. I consider running water, especially the heated kind from a hot water tank, to be a necessity. But that wasn’t always the case.

As you can tell, I am counting my blessings for being born in a time filled with mechanical conveniences. I appreciate gas fuel, hydro-dams and anything else that powers our electric grids, vehicles and wondrous machines.

It has been a while since I looked through the book published by the Eschscholtzia Parlor No. 112 of the Native Daughters of the Golden West called “ETNA – from Mule Train to ‘Copter”. Boy, it really makes me appreciate the toughness of our ancestors.

The editors for this book printed, August 1, 1965, were Loreita M. Campbell and Dorice E. Young. Four additional women were thanked for typing the book and I believe the only one who is still with us is Beverly Berryhill, who was also the school secretary when I attended Etna Elementary School in the 1960s.

One of the first photos was courtesy of Bill Smith, who lived on Main Street and was still alive when my parents built a home on Main Street in 1967. The photo showed two furry burrows pulling a giant sled and several smaller ones full of teens and children. Yep, there was sufficient snow for the use of a sled.

On the next page is a photo of Bill and John Ahlgren on skis with a pack team of horses and mules in the snow. For years, they packed the mail from Etna over Salmon Mt. to Sawyers Bar in the early 1900s. I should know the exact time period. I think Bill was probably born in the 1890s. They were older men, when I was a kid.

My Grandpa and Grandma Dillman were living on Etna’s cemetery hill in 1929, when Grandma Rose woke her children up early one snowy morning, so they could watch Bill putting snowshoes on the mules. And they were still a good mile or more before starting up the incline of the mountain. Wow, that must have been a difficult journey! Apparently, that winter boasted a lot of snow in Etna and Scott Valley.

According to the book, when the pack trains were unable to cross the snowy mountains, the men carried mail packs weighing up to 80 pounds on their backs. (You have got to be kidding me!) In 1877, Charles Hooker was a mail carrier who died from exposure and exhaustion, while carrying the mail down the southern side of the mountain.

Then soon after 1900, Ed Harris, John Peters and a man named Jenkins were carrying the mail. Harris didn’t like the threatening looks of the snow on Rocky Point and said they should take a longer safer route. He did, they didn’t and an avalanche took them out. One was later found wrapped around a tree and the other at the bottom of the canyon. Remember, because of many active gold mines there were lots of men working in the Salmon River country and the mail must get through!

A real road was not established over Salmon Mt. until 1891. I wonder just how wide was the road? One photo shows “Dad” Naylor with his Sawyers Bar horse-drawn stage getting ready to leave from Etna. Boy, those narrow-rimmed wooden wheels do not look very sturdy.

One of the big changes in transportation occurred, when the Bennett Company purchased two “Republic” trucks and later five “White” trucks to carry mail, freight and passengers. The Bennett Company had survived the downsizing of mule pack trains over Salmon summit and saw the wave of the future was with freight vehicles.

A photo from 1918 shows four Bennett Stages with drivers, Bill, and his brother, Ralph Smith, George Samon, Clarence Barlet, Carl Lewis and Bill Quigley. The photo is amazingly sharp and revealing. I wouldn’t even consider riding in one of those rickety-looking trucks over Salmon Mt. on today’s paved road!

Whether with a mule train, freight wagon or 1918 vehicles, those men were brave.

The beginning article ends with a discussion on the first helicopter base in Scott Valley in the late 1950s. Robert “Bob” Trimble was a young helicopter pilot, who persuaded Bill Mathews and Erling Hjertager to establish a helicopter business outside of Etna on Mathew’s ranch. Bob patrolled mountains for signs of fire, rescued people who had been injured in the mountains and flew critically ill people to hospitals for medical care. Another wave of the future!

Tragedy struck in 1960 or 1961. Bob Trimble was killed, when his helicopter crashed flying over the Kidder Creek area. Even though I was only five or six, I remember this as his young son, Jerry, was in my Etna Elementary School class. But the business was up and running, so Hjertager’s son, Harold, who was also a pilot, continued on and expanded the business.

I have visited with Harold on and off over the years. He is now retired, but the helicopters and pilots were indispensable during the 1964 huge flood. Harold and the other pilots distributed 1,000s of pounds of food and supplies to hungry, cut-off and isolated folks in the Salmon River area. Bridges and roads were washed out. He told me they flew for several months delivering supplies of food and propane tanks.

This small summation shows the vital role various modes of transportation have played in the Etna and Salmon River country. I believe copies of this book are available at the Etna Library and may be available for purchase at the Siskiyou Co. Museum in Yreka.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 12-20-16

Liz Writes Life

Comment: Update on Cal-exit and State of Jefferson. — Editor Liz Bowen

Dec. 20, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Guess, I need to remember that President-elect Donald Trump’s picks for his cabinet and advisors is fluid. He changed his mind about Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the Secretary of the Dept. of Interior and instead tapped Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke for the job. Some people in the conservative camp are skeptical he is the right one and are voicing their opposition, including Alaska. So, the Democrats are not the only ones that are unhappy over some of the picks.

Jefferson

I wanted to give you an update on the state of the State of Jefferson. Spokesman Mark Baird discussed several situations at the Dec. 1, 2016 Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting.

Since the election of Donald Trump on Nov. 8, 2016, blue states have been very sad and blue indeed. Urban counties on the East and West Coasts did not vote for Trump and these urban areas are quite upset at their loss. A fringe political group wants to remove itself from being governed by President-elect Trump and has declared California will leave the United States. This new movement has been labeled Cal-Exit named after Great Britain’s citizen vote last June to leave the European Union. That was dubbed “Brexit”. “Yes, California” is also a name that is being used. It is the Yes, California Independence Campaign that claims it will start a petition to gather enough registered voter signatures to hold a referendum in 2018 or 2019. This process is still a bit sketchy.

The referendum would change the California Constitution. You see, California’s Constitution, in 1850, pledged allegiance to the United States and its Constitution. Removing the “allegiance” part will be a first step to leaving the Union to become an independent country. Several extremely rich backers have offered to bankroll the campaign to secede.

The Cal-Exit and Yes, California campaigns say that California is the sixth largest economy in the world. It is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland and as such could easily stand on its own.

But, even if this type of referendum to change California’s Constitution were to pass, there is really no clear path how it might appeal to the federal government. If legislation was to be submitted to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, both houses must approve it by 2/3s vote. Oops, that would be a really big hurdle to attain.

If an alternative approach is used, which calls for a Convention of the States, 38 of the 50 states must approve California’s withdrawal. It is likely that most states would not vote for the withdrawal simply because of the economics that California plays as part of the USA.

Regarding Cal-Exit Mark Baird said, “Jefferson welcomes California’s exit from the Union, because we will immediately demand a state split.” And there is a path in the U.S. Constitution for a state split. It is Article 4 Sect. 3, which is what Jefferson promoters are already using.

Mark explained that in 1861, when Virginia seceded from the Union, citizens of western Virginia did not want secession. They were not plantation owners and their politics were very different. So they quickly proposed legislation to split from Virginia and by 1863, West Virginia state was admitted to the Union.

That is exactly what the State of Jefferson wants to do – add a star to the U.S. flag. “We stand with the United States,” Mark adds.

So, using the U.S. Constitution’s Article 4 Sect. 3 has been successful in creating a state. (Actually, a total of four states have used Article 4 Sect. 3.) The other path has been disastrous. Most folks know all too well what happened when seven states began the Civil War in 1861.

Aside: At this point it should also be remembered that it was President Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who believed the black slaves should be freed. After the Civil War, it was the Democrats that instigated and supported the KKK and continuing slavery. Don’t believe it? Look it up!

The next step for pro-Jeffersons is fast approaching. Mark has been working with several lawyers and a lawsuit will soon be brought against the California State Legislature for lack of representation. The title of the lawsuit is “People for Adequate Representation.” And that is the crux of the problem – lack of adequate representatives for the rural less-populated counties.

Mark said Jefferson supporters have been working to find sufficient donations to pay for the lawyers. Several large donors are willing to jump on the band wagon.

On Feb. 12, 2017, Mark and the Jefferson leadership will serve “Notice of Intent” to sue to Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Governor Jerry Brown. A rally is planned even though the state bureaucrats will not issue a permit for a rally on the State Capitol’s steps. Jefferson supporters received permits for three previous rallies, when the 21 county Declarations of Withdrawal were submitted, so why not now? Mark is calling for thousands of supporters to show up anyway and walk the sidewalks, if that is what they have to do.

What is interesting is that the mainstream media seems to be giving huge ink and air time to Cal-Exit, while the Jefferson movement has been largely ignored. Looks like liberal bias to me. Also, Mark has been doing several interviews to try and set the record straight as some of the news articles regarding Cal-Exit are spouting falsehoods about the Jefferson movement.

Mark said he has asked several of the reporters if they have read the U.S. or California Constitutions. Shockingly, they admitted they have not. He suggested they do.

Whether the news media acknowledges it or not, the Jefferson movement is growing. Mark is optimistic: We have the money. We have the means of doing it. This is our time!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 12-13-16

2nd Amendment rights, Liz Writes Life

Dec. 13, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

The election of Donald Trump and many of his cabinet and advisor picks are exciting for those of us who believe that tyrannical regulation has been stifling the country’s economy and destroying communities through unemployment. Oklahoma State Attorney General Scott Pruitt is sending shudders through the ranks of Greens and liberals. Yes, he and several dozen other state attorney generals brought a lawsuit against the over-reaching of the federal EPA that hurts farmers, ranchers and industry. Yay!

Previously, half of the nation was unhappy with the heavy-handedness of federal bureaucrats like the EPA – and that was us! Now the other half of the USA gets to feel the frustration. Sorry about that, but I truly believe Scott Pruitt will serve this county well. And the environment will not be annihilated in the process. In all likelihood it will be greatly improved.

I also like Ben Carson for the HUD pick and Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the Dept. of Interior Secretary. She believes in managing the forests and that fossil fuel is not a horrible monster. My goodness, such realistic attitudes!

Unfortunately, here in California, we still have much to be worried about, especially regarding the many new gun laws. It is confusing. These laws overlap previously established laws. Did you know there is already regulations on assault weapons passed by the state legislature in 1999 and signed into law by then Gov. Gray Davis? Yep.

During the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Dec. 1, 2016, President Andrew Hurlimann gave a run-down on the new 2016 gun laws passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown plus the new gun law approved by more than 50 percent of the voters on Nov. 8, 2016. Andrew found that the Ten Percent Firearms facebook page presented a fairly easy-to-understand list. I found it and reprinted it here for gun owners.

Jan 1, 2017

Bullet button ban: You cannot purchase or transfer rifles that have bullet buttons. The law is more complicated than this — we are just keeping it simple. You have until Dec. 31, 2017 to make your rifles compliant or register them as assault weapons on the California Dept. of Justice website as buying them was not assault weapon registration.

Loaning firearms: You cannot loan fire arms to people unless they are to spouse or immediate family.

July 1, 2017

Lost or stolen firearms: You have 5 days to report lost or stolen firearms.  $100 infraction cost. (Sounds like a fine to me.)

Large capacity magazine ban: You cannot possess magazines over 10 rounds.  There is a $100 infraction per magazine.

January 1, 2018

Ammunition purchasing restriction: All ammunition sales must be conducted through a licensed ammunition vendor.  No more internet or occasional sales except through a licensed vendor.

January 1, 2019

Ammunition registration requirements: Ammo sales must be submitted to the CA DOJ and include customer driver’s license, DOB address, signature and band/ type/ amount of ammo sold.

July 1, 2019

Non-lead ammunition for hunting: All hunting statewide will require non-lead ammunition. Until then, you can still hunt dove and quail with leaded ammunition.

Effective immediately when purchasing a newly-considered assault rifle: All bullet button equipped rifles must have at least a $300 deposit before DROS (Dealer Record of Sales) start.

Purchasing an assault rifle

Dec. 20, 2016

All bullet button rifle sales end at the close of business. Any inventory not sold will be converted to featureless rifles and put back on the shelf for immediate sale on the 21st or at some point before Jan. 1, 2017. This is going to require some cost and so prices will go up approximately $150.

Dec. 30, 2016

Any bullet button equipped rifles not picked up by the end of the business will automatically be converted to featureless and can still be picked up after Jan. 1, 2017. There will be a non-negotiable $150 charge added to do this and standard cancellation fee of 15 percent and the normal 30 days to pick up still applies.

At this time we cannot guarantee any new fixed magazine devices will comply with the requirement of “disassembly of the action” and the only 100 percent legal option is to go featureless. When the regulations are published, we can give you better guidance on your options.

Assault weapon registration can begin on Jan. 1, 2017 and as long as you lawfully possessed your assault weapon prior to Jan. 1, 2017 you have until Dec. 31, 2017 to register your gun.

Lord Monckton

More than 200 individuals attended the Siskiyou Republican Women’s dinner last week. Great food Dave and Kathy Tyler and all their help! Lord Monckton claims much of the Global Warming crisis is a fraud and perpetrated to establish a tax on all humans by a world government. I personally believe there is such a thing as climate change, but do not believe that man is the cause of most of it. Nor do I believe that all humans must pay for their sins of living on the earth by providing more “tax” money to already very rich people or governments. And, yes, I believe we do need to take care of the earth and the wildlife, but I also believe that under the guise of Global Warming trees are not being thinned to healthy numbers and as a result vicious catastrophic wildfires are putting more “bad” stuff in the air and killing wildlife than many other activities. I will also allow that this horrible practice is man-made, because it is some humans that are dictating the trees must be saved; and then the dry, over abundance go up in flames. Ugh. What a sick, unrealistic way of thinking!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 12-6-16

Liz Writes Life

Dec. 6, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

There was good discussion at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last Thursday night. Erin Ryan from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s Redding office told us that the Veterans Administration has put a moratorium on internal bonuses and no Christmas bonuses will be going out for employees. During the past two years of investigation, LaMalfa learned that bonuses have been given without the employees doing the work to deserve them. In one instance, employees were caught shredding hundreds of veterans’ applications and then claiming they processed those applications. In most instances, the money was designated for veterans, which they did not receive and instead went to employee bonuses. She said it looks like the election of Donald Trump has the higher-ups worried at the V.A. Good. They should be as the V.A. has been running a shoddy corrupt ship for quite some time.

One of the bills Congressman LaMalfa has sponsored is HR 900, which will demand Congressional approval for monuments to be established, instead of the U.S. President signing them into law through Executive Order. This is good news for those of us that believe too much land has been removed from public use and this practice will continue if not halted.

Erin said it is significant that the Republicans increased the majority of the House and still have a majority, although it is slight, in the U.S. Senate. There seems to be a strong movement away from the liberal progressives as there were also more Republican candidates that won governorships in the recent election than Democrats.

Erin gave us the proof of this: There are 3141 counties in the 50 United States. Hillary Clinton only won 57 of those counties! That is surprising. Yep, we rural folks also know that those 57 counties are urban areas packed with millions of people. But, still, that is an amazing stat on the division of our country and shows how many counties voted for Donald Trump.

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, said he was surprised the California recreational marijuana use law passed in Siskiyou County. It was just over 50 percent in Siskiyou, but it passed on a much higher percentage at the state level making it law for the entire state. Some of the fall-out that marijuana prescription holders may not know is the law actually changes how many plants an individual can grow. Currently, the Siskiyou County marijuana ordinance allows for 12 plants to be legally grown by an individual. The new state law reduces that to only six plants. So the Siskiyou supervisors will need to revise the current ordinance from 12 to 6. Some growers will likely loudly oppose this revision, but it is the new recreational marijuana state law that will mandate the change. The ban on outdoor grows is still in place, so those six plants must be grown indoors.

Regarding the use of marijuana and driving: There will now be a five-year study of THC levels, before the state will make rules on how “high” a person can be while driving and not get arrested. Boy, that seems a little long to me. There is no tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Shouldn’t it be the same for impaired driving while smoking pot?

Good news for Sheriff Lopey as one of the lawsuits against him – voter intimidation – was found to not have standing and was dropped.

More good news regarding ground water as the recharge in Scott Valley is a month ahead of the past several years. We did have quite a rainy October and certainly helped.

Ray said that county is quickly moving forward holding workshops with local water districts, Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee, and other groups in the three major areas of the county. Elizabeth Nielsen, Natural Resource Policy Specialist, is gathering information to meet the mandates of the newest 2014 California law affecting groundwater management. The new California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, dubbed SGMA, requires formation of new Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to manage groundwater basins throughout California.

Ray said that the County of Siskiyou is adamant about retaining management of groundwater and not allowing the state to take control. To do that, Siskiyou must create local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies by June of 2017.

Two informational meetings were held last week in Shasta Valley and Butte Valley. This next Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016, a meeting will be held at The REC at 11236 Hwy 3 in Fort Jones for the Scott Valley informational meeting. Anyone interested in groundwater is invited to attend.

The next discussion was about a proposed plan for a designated route that would create a mixed-use of county roads and off-road vehicle trails for off-road vehicles. Ray has received phone calls from ranchers and land owners about the proposed map that shows the extensive routes converge on private property. Oops, that affects landowners for a number of reasons, environmental and liability problems being at the top. Ray said the environmental studies and administrative processes have not been done and the agenda item on the supervisors’ meeting today at 1:30 p.m. will be a discussion item. Looks like it will be a lively conversation.

Rich Marshall, president of the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc., said that FERC, the Federal Energy Resource Commission, was asked by PacifiCorp to hold-off processing the four hydro-electric Klamath dams licensing to the new non-profit Klamath entity. Rich said there is continuing concern about the poor science and lack of FERC following the legal processes. Both Siskiyou County and the Siskiyou Water Users have submitted documents opposing the relicensing by FERC.

Parade

Remember to attend the Fort Jones Christmas Parade this Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 at 1 p.m. The fireman’s pancake breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and the craft fair will be held at the Scott Valley Jr. High gym starting at 9 a.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 11-29-16

Liz Writes Life

Nov. 29, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet this Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. President Andrew Hurlimann will discuss the fall-out from the gun laws that were enacted through the Nov. 8th election. Erin Ryan will be attending for our re-elected Congressman Doug LaMalfa. Certainly, she will have some fun tidbits about the election results and President-elect Donald Trump’s on-going cabinet and post picks. There is concern about the new Calexit push and Mark Baird will share insight on how the Jefferson movement is responding.

Remember to call for your tickets to hear Lord Christopher Walter Monckton speak at a barbecue pork dinner held at the Yreka Miners Inn Convention Center on Tuesday, Dec. 6th. Call Kathy Bergeron at 530-905-2492 or Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443 to make your reservations.

County

Recently, I visited with Elizabeth Nielsen, who is the new Natural Resource Policy Specialist for Siskiyou County. She was hired several months ago filling the position Ric Costales held for years. And boy has she been busy!

Elizabeth put together the informational Power Point used by the county Nov. 17, 2016 meeting on the expansion of the Cascade/Siskiyou Monument and drafted the letter of opposition by the county to DOI Secretary Sally Jewell.

She is also the lead for Groundwater Sustainable Water Management and is networking with irrigation districts, agencies and groups like the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee to develop a management plan as mandated by the state. Since we are mandated by the state to have a management plan, it is certainly better to have local studies, input and control instead of the state giving us one-size-fits-all demands.

And Siskiyou County is ahead of many counties, because the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee has been monitoring several dozen wells for a decade, which has provided important information of ground water levels and proves there is a positive recharge each autumn – whether there is a drought or not. The Advisory Committee began working with Dr. Thomas Harter on the groundwater issue back in 2006, when the Scott River Watershed Council decided that the study of local groundwater was best done by local landowners. I was on the committee, when we made the tough decision to do the studies ourselves and work with a third-party, who is prominent in the study of hydrology. Dr. Harter has been politically-unbiased to work with and that is refreshing.

In a nutshell, Elizabeth works for and with the county supervisors analyzing issues proposed by state or federal agencies and advises on policy, action and writing the documents or response letters that are needed.

She has revamped the county’s Natural Resources website and it is worth checking out. You can find policy and documents written by the county on issues like the monument, Klamath dams, wolves, mining and public land use. The best way to get to the site is to do a search for “County of Siskiyou Natural Resources”. It is a practical site with the issues right up front. I really liked it.

I asked Elizabeth’s background and she is a natural for the job. She grew up in Cottonwood, just south of us. Her parents are General Engineering Contractors. Summers were spent working with them and eventually operating equipment. Elizabeth graduated from California State University Chico with a B.S. degree in Agriculture Business. Her goal was to return to the rural agricultural field and asked Congressman LaMalfa to help her with an internship in the field of water resources, which he did.

Surprisingly enough, Elizabeth’s first job was with the Bureau of Reclamation in Klamath Falls, where she was immediately up to her neck in water issues, but she found them intriguing. She later worked for the Klamath National Forest as the Environmental Planner writing the Westside Fire Recovery Project on the 2014 wildfires.

Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor, Ray Haupt, said Elizabeth is a really good fit for the county Natural Resources Policy Specialist position as she comes to Siskiyou County with a deep understanding of the issues plaguing our area. Ray told me that only a few counties have a policy specialist for Natural Resources and that is surprising. In this day and age, he said, it is so important to be pro-active rather than reactive. There are a magnitude of issues that need to be thoroughly investigated. Policy on these issues is highly-technical and complex, so the information gathered is significant for the supervisors as they make life-affecting decisions on land use and do push back on bureaucracies, threatening greenie non-profits and Tribes.

Elizabeth added the county supervisors are very concerned about the die-off of conifers in the Sierras, where tens of millions of trees are dying and understands the problem is moving north. So she will be working with the supervisors to create a Tree Mortality Task Force, which will include the USFS, Cal-Fire and private land owners.

There is also sufficient science to prove the benefit of grazing and expects the county Grazing Board to be more pro-active in the future. Wow, I didn’t know we even had a Grazing Board!

And then she does have a home life. She and husband, Tim Nielsen, operate a cattle ranch near Gazelle and their son, Theodore, is a joy at just seven months of age. Good thing she is young with lots of energy. Thank you, Elizabeth for your work on our behalf.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 11-22-16

Liz Writes Life

Nov. 22, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

We are pecking away at the carrots. I made a beef soup this weekend and used a lot of carrots. With the warm temps, this fall, at least one carrot decided it was time to grow and has sent up a tall seed stem. Uh, oh that one will go likely bad.

Several weeks ago, my husband decided to do a light plow-up of the garden using the old-fashioned three-pronged push-plow and found a nice-sized good-enough-to-eat purple onion. Several more are out there too. I haven’t planted onions in over a year, so I am not quite sure how they survived. It was a nice find.

As I mentioned a month ago, two heads of cabbage are still in the garden. One has split and is likely not worth eating, but the other should be a nice five or six pound cabbage. It will get harvested soon as I am finally hungry for cabbage again, so it won’t make it for the winter experiment – to see how well it survives the really cold temps of Dec. and Jan.

We have some small tomatoes that turned red several weeks ago. They seem to be holding pretty well and are covered in the dark, cool bedroom. I did toss several that were starting to rot. So, I feel pretty good that we have had ripe red tomatoes up to Thanksgiving. I heard that some folks didn’t pull their tomato plants out until recently as they did not freeze back with the few frosts in October and were still producing. It has been a strange fall that’s for sure.

Idaho has had the same type of warm weather. Scott Valley native, Jess Bigham, who now lives in Idaho, recently sent some photos of his wife’s favorite roses that are blooming, neighboring green alfalfa fields and a beet that had to weigh five pounds or more. He said it was 17 inches-long and 17 inches around. Wow! Now, I realize why Idaho ranks so high in production of sugarbeets – 2nd in the nation. I Googled “Idaho sugarbeets” and learned that in 2011 growers planted 176,000 acres of sugarbeets and the average yield was over 34 tons per acre. Sorry, I digressed. Blame it on my attention deficit disorder, but I do enjoy trivia tid-bits.

Jess added that they haven’t had much rain and he is still irrigating the beets and carrots.

Parade

Uggh, I forgot to thank Duane Eastlick for bringing in porta-potties for the staging of the Nov. 5th Veterans Parade at the Etna High School. He does it as a service to our community and it is truly appreciated, especially by those who are waiting around before the parade starts. Thank you Duane!

Water

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will not meet this Thursday evening as it is Thanksgiving night and we will be too full of turkey to attend.

The meeting has been moved to the next week, Thurs. Dec. 1, 2016. It will be held at the Fort Jones Community Center at 7 p.m. Bring a dessert to share.

Town Hall

Internationally known speaker, Lord Christopher Walter Monckton will be in Yreka on Dec. 6, 2016 and will share information about Brexit, the fraud surrounding climate change and the attack on rural America. Lord Monckton was a policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, when she was Prime Minister of the UK. He voiced approval for Britain to exit the European Union, which it did in June of this year through a vote by the people.

A dinner with barbecued pulled pork by grill master Dave Tyler will kick-off the evening. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Lord Monckton is the keynote speaker for the evening. Reservations are needed, so please call Kathy Bergeron at 530-905-2492 or Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443 ASAP. Admission is just $15. This event will be held at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka.

Lord Monckton shares the views of Myron Ebell, who was appointed — back in September 2016 — by Donald Trump to lead his transition team regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Apparently, President-elect Trump has been setting up his transition team for quite some time. Hum, looks like Main Stream Media calls of chaos are highly-overrated!

Just for kicks, I looked “Myron Ebell” up on the internet and found that he was born in Baker, Oregon and grew up on a 2,000 acre cattle ranch. My, that is refreshing! Ebell is the director of Global Warming and Environmental Policy at a libertarian advocacy enterprise institute based in WA. D.C. He has been exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis on the Global Warming issue – for years.

Of course, when looking up Ebell, it shows that Greenies and liberals have been screaming obscenities at him for years, as well. I think Ebell is my kind of guy. The EPA has created environmental havoc and economic crisis throughout our nation and needs to be reined-in with a stiff bit! I hope Ebell will continue to be involved or even lead the EPA. Yep, I digressed again, but it was worth learning about Ebell and that Trump is trying to find the best people for his administration.

The dinner with Lord Monckton should be quite enlightening!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 11-15-16

Liz Writes Life

Nov. 15, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

The elections are over!

I am sorry the disenfranchised are protesting. I do believe our county is pretty evenly cut in half over our politics, so no matter who is elected president about half of the country is going to be disenfranchised. During the last eight years, I sure have been! But protesting, beating people and destroying other people’s property — is immature, selfish and just plain mean. What a mess! Good thing President-elect Donald Trump appreciates a challenge, cuz he has got several.

My hope is that we have a positive improvement in the bureaucrats who run our federal agencies like the Veterans Admin, Dept. of Interior, USFS, Environmental Protection Agency and the ESA. Liberation from the insidious over-regulations will stimulate our communities and economies. It is a fact that many government agencies and regulations are now destroying the environment. I do believe our country has deteriorated and I want it to become economically healthy again.

Locally, I gave a huge sigh of relief when groundwater Measure H failed. Siskiyou County addressed the use and selling of private property groundwater early-on and has sufficient regulations in place. This drastic expansion of regulations and costly permits was not needed. Gee whiz, why has our society become so anti-everything? It is time for common sense to prevail. It is time to support your neighbor, if he wants to do business in Siskiyou County. Hopefully, it is time for enough freedom that we can pursue prosperity and happiness.

Water

Speaking of water, a renewed threat has emerged that will affect farmers, ranchers and other irrigators. Listen up! Several Siskiyou Co. Supervisors believe it is time for property owners in both Shasta and Scott Valleys to understand that the pro-Klamath dam removal stakeholders will soon demand a cap on the amount of water that irrigators can use. Yep, this is true.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, heard a leader of the new Klamath River Restoration Corp. say during one of the secret meetings last summer that irrigators in Siskiyou County must reduce the amount of water they use.

Remember, “they” are talking about your water right. “They” are talking about making you reduce using something that is legally yours! Also, remember, this reduction of water use will not help the ESA-listed coho salmon, especially if the Klamath dams are destroyed.

Ray said it is time to stop the commandeering of our water. We must be proactive to ensure water and agriculture security for Siskiyou County. So, the county is holding a special meeting on Nov. 18, 2016 at the County Administrative Office at 1312 Fairlane Rd. in Yreka. Time is 3 p.m. Farmers, ranchers and land owners are encouraged to attend.

Klamath dams

Over in Klamath County, Oregon, the electorate voted the Klamath dams should be left in – by 72 percent! The advisory initiative was brought by Klamath Co. Commissioner Tom Mallams, who said it was time for the citizens to reveal how they felt instead of media and Greenies making drastic claims.

Commissioner Mallams said he wanted a fair and unbiased vote and no one campaigned for the “no” dams removal vote.

Mallams hopes that FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, takes into account that the people in his county do not want the dams removed. Right now, FERC is considering the newly-fashioned non-profit Klamath River Restoration Corp’s license application to have the dams put into their ownership from PacifiCorp.

Back in the Nov. 2, 2010 General Election, Siskiyou Co. voters were given the same opportunity on an advisory measure. It was called Measure G and 79 percent voted against the removal of the Klamath dams. Looks like the folks in both counties are over three-quarters against dam removal!

Our Siskiyou Co. Supervisors have been vigilant on the Klamath dams issue. Last Thursday, Nov. 10th, the county filed a challenge to FERC claiming the recent re-licensing application to KRRC is deficient, fails to meet regulations and in general does not comply with licensing procedures. Wow, those are serious problems.

Today, the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors hosted a presentation at the beginning of their meeting to allow its law firm to explain strategy and issues that should halt the re-licensing of the Klamath dams from PacifiCorp to the new non-profit KRRC. I so hope that the Klamath River can be saved by stopping this new KRRC in its tracks.

Monument

It’s a busy week for our Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors and Siskiyou citizens as the county is holding another public meeting. This one is Thurs., Nov. 17, 2016 at the Miner’s Inn for public comment on the expansion of the Cascade/Siskiyou National Monument. This is another issue greatly opposed by our county supervisors and various groups – me included! This latest proposal was put forward by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and would add 64,000 acres to the existing 66,000 acres. Come on, enough is enough. Monuments take the multiple-use out of what should be land available to the public. Time for this meeting is 4 to 7 p.m.

Once again, the Klamath County Commissioners are on the same page with Siskiyou Supervisors as they have joined in opposition to the expansion of the monument after holding a Town Hall Nov. 1, 2016, where the public overwhelmingly voiced opposition to the expansion. Back in 2000, President Bill Clinton used the Antiquities Act to establish the Cascade/Siskiyou Monument.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515,

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Liz Writes Life 11-8-16

Liz Writes Life

Nov. 8, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Parade

It was a great turnout for the Veterans’ Parade, in Etna, last Saturday morning. The fog lifted showing bright blue skies and warm temps from Mr. Sun. An enthusiastic crowd show up to enjoy socializing on Main Street.

There are many people that made the parade a success, like: Tim Grenvik and Heather Ford, Josh Short and Tony Stacher with the Etna Police Dept. for closing off the streets and providing the P.A. system and the Scott Valley Rotary for getting everyone lined-up at the Etna High School. Also, Jim Smith and Karen Wresch made sure the banner for the grand marshal was there.

Please know that a BIG “thank you” goes out to all of you, including announcer Scott Murphy and the, ever-important, parade participants!

Leading the parade was the American Legion Color Guard with Melanie Mendenhall carrying our American flag, flanked by Al Buchter and Bruce Hurlbut. They were followed by Yreka’s Jackson Street Marching Band, who played a very nice rendition of our National Anthem.

Next up was Troop 99 of the Boy Scouts of America. Grand Marshal Banner carriers were Aileen Hildebrand, Kathy Hawkins and Marjean Facey, who are daughters of the 2016 Grand Marshal Albert Facey, who served in Korea in 1953. With him on the Etna Fire Dept. 1934 Dodge hose truck was his grandson, James Facey, who served in Iraq. Albert’s brother, World War II veteran Ariel Facey also joined the celebration. Thank you to Larry Hicks for maintenance and driving the spiffy-looking “old” fire truck. Albert’s nephew, Sam Facey, who earned a Purple Heart in Viet Nam, filled out the Facey family entry.

Musket shots announced the Siskiyou Mountain Men and then retired U.S. Marine Bill Howe drove his Jefferson Border Patrol car providing security for the fledging state of Jefferson.

Retired U.S. Marine Fred Scott brought his 2016 Silverado. It was filled with: Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor; Norm Malmberg in his Naval finery; Paul D’Alterio retired from the Air Force; Jeff McAllister, who served in both the Army and the Navy; Mercedes Garcia, a past Grand Marshal (Army, I think); and Urb Travis, whose family worked as missionaries in the 1940s in Viet Nam and were taken prisoner by the Japanese. It was the U.S. Army that brokered the family’s release from a concentration camp. Hooray for the USA!

The Veterans Administration was represented with the Northern California V.A. vehicle, Siskiyou Co. Veterans Service Officer Robert Ballesteros, who also represented the U.S. Marine Corp League and the Siskiyou Veterans Leadership Council; and the Siskiyou V.A. Health Care van.

Past Grand Marshal Ed Quigley and his wife, Harriet, were driven by Mary Burton, who is newly returned to Scott Valley. Mary’s grandson, Eddie Burton, drummed cadence as his friend, Steve Rooklindge, performed on the bagpipes. They drove up from Redding to participate. Wow, they were good!

Then the Siskiyou Co. Republican Central Committee and Siskiyou Co. Republican Women made their presence known showing appreciation to all veterans for the liberties they have preserved. Elections are as American as apple pie, even in contentious years. They were followed by the Dodge Brothers Car Club, where rust is apparently a badge of honor!

The Etna 4-H Club had a float and USFS Smokey Bear showed up in a Humvee. The Etna FFA members showed off their agriculture abilities by leading a beautiful black goat.

Chip Port and Rick Butler drove a military transport with an impressive FMC armored infantry fighting vehicle that was built in the 1970s. To me, it looked like a pretty cool tank! Rick was a Naval Reservist and flight engineer, who flew missions into Viet Nam.

Bill Beckwith, was a Naval aviator and carrier pilot, who flew 38 combat and support missions over Viet Nam. He drove his family in a shiny 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoner. Then there was Viet Nam helicopter pilot Jack Tillman, the Etna High School Interact Club and the Back Country Horsemen on gorgeous horses and mules.

The Etna Lions club float was driven by retired U.S. Marine Dan Renner and then the fancy-looking Sis Q A’s drove their flashy early-day Fords. Retired Army Dave Bradford proudly flew a U.S. flag that was flown during a U.S. mission in Iraq.

A bunch from the Christian Motorcycle Assoc. rode their motor cycles. What a fun group! Many are veterans. And our important emergency organizations brought up the tail-end of the parade with their sirens: Fort Jones Fire Dept., Scott Valley Fire Protection Dist., CAL-FIRE, Etna Ambulance and Etna Fire Dept.

Jimmy Sutter and Kip Whipple cooked and handed out over 100 hotdogs donated by CHI Construction, Whipple Electric and Farrington Family. Chili beans sold by Scott Valley Rotary were also available. The Museum was open with displays of our local women who served in the military. The displays were beautifully done by the Native Daughters of the Golden West, sponsor of the Museum.

It was a positive up-lifting day to honor our soldiers and U.S. veterans. Photos can be found at Liz Bowen.com.

Remember to attend the American Legion Perry Harris Post #260’s Honor Guard ceremonies on Friday, Nov. 11th. Be at the Callahan Cemetery at 10 a.m., Etna Cemetery at 11 a.m. or Fort Jones Cemetery at noon.

Open House

The St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary, in Etna, is holding an Open House for the community on Saturday, Nov. 12th. Time is 1 p.m. The building has been renovated and is now a school with classrooms, library, auditorium, cafeteria and dormitory rooms. It is a wonderful opportunity to see this beautiful building.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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