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Liz Writes Life 6-13-17

Liz Writes Life

June 13, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Fire tax

Yep, rural Siskiyou homeowners are receiving their “bill” to pay the controversial Fire Prevention Fee that some of us allege is a fire tax, because it was passed in the state legislature by a mere majority instead of two-thirds vote that is legally needed to create a tax.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. has taken on the class action lawsuit against the state and recently announced it has reviewed and classified 12,000 pages of documentation obtained from CalFire through discovery. This information regarding inspections of property or lack of inspections or any particular service exchanged for the “fee” will be helpful in their case. Many people sent in written testimony that will also be used for the massive “Motion for Summary Judgment” based on the undisputed facts gathered from CalFire’s own documentation. Howard Jarvis is hoping for a decision this summer, but if the ruling goes against CalFire, you can bet it will appeal.

When this fire tax came down back in 2011, Howard Jarvis told us to send “protest” applications called “Petition for Redetermination” as a way to possibly retrieve back the fees we have been paying – if the class action lawsuit is successful.

For several years, we sent in the protest applications. Two years ago, Howard Jarvis said that if anyone had sent in the Petition for Redetermination, at any time, we no longer need to send in the form. Apparently, our name is on the “list”.  So, you no longer need to send in your form, but you must pay the “fee” within 30 days or interest begins to accrue.

Garden

Whew, good thing the cloud cover continued over Sunday night or we could have had a frost. Sunday morning, I was surprised at how low the snow line was on Mt. Bolivar. It turned cold. I had gathered, buckets, old pots, blankets, sheets and canvas to cover the five-inch tall corn, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, sunflowers, peppers, barely-up basil, radishes, bok choy, tomatoes, impatiens and several other annual flowers. Didn’t have to use them. Yay!

The garlic is starting to die back on its own. I pulled two and one was really good sized. It will be hot by next weekend, so I’ll wait ‘til then to harvest and put them out to dry under the pine tree.

POW

Here is more from the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held June 1, 2017.

Mark Baird reported that 600 State of Jefferson supporters attended a Rally at the California State Capitol on May 31, 2017 to show favor of a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Fair Representation against the State of California. The lawsuit cites the fact that rural areas in California have far fewer elected representatives in the assembly and senate and thus have a huge lack of representation.

The lawsuit was filed the first week of May and the Citizens have received a response from the state claiming the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, so California has filed a motion for dismissal.

Mark said the Citizens were ready for that move. Several motions will now go back and forth with a hearing set for August as the lawsuit does continue to go forward at this point.

Richard Marshall, President of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., said his group filed a statement to the California Public Utilities Commission on a variety of issues. One of those issues is the fact that the new Klamath River Renewal Corp. is a non-profit and as such is not a valid organization to accept $450 million in government monies for destruction of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams.

SCWUA also questions the liability issue regarding PacifiCorp: After years of operation, how can PacifiCorp absolve itself of liability once the dams come out?

Richard also sent a letter to Dept. of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke asking him to meet with SCWUA, Siskiyou County and CA. Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, announced that the county is again looking for a new county counsel. The recently hired, Brad Sullivan, has departed. Apparently, it was not a good fit.

Ray and Michael Kobseff, Chairman of the Siskiyou Supervisors’ Board, were asked by the board of the Farmers Ditch, in Scott Valley, to attend a meeting with CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife employees, including Neil Manji the Regional Manager. The Farmers Ditch members have been having problems with DFW allowing them to receive their legal water allotments.

Ray pointed out that the latest diversion “fix” by DFW included placing giant boulders across the Scott River, which he observed is actually a “take” of coho under the Endangered Species Act. “The fish can’t pass over the boulders,” said Ray, who added that State Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Senator Ted Gaines have been invited up to see the mess made by DFW. Wow, good move!

Ray, Michael and Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen were invited to a private meeting with a few KRRC board members. Michael explained the political fallout regarding the previous Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, where both Siskiyou and Klamath Counties held advisory measures and the voters overwhelmingly approved that the four Klamath hydro-electric dams should remain intact and functioning.

Then, Ray explained the KRRC is not immune from ESA violations and that no environmental impact studies or reports have been done correctly, which, in reality, will set the project on its heels. When questioned by KRRC why it didn’t know about this sooner, Ray said Siskiyou Co. has previously brought these same concerns up time and time again — and has been ignored. Apparently, the KRRC individuals seemed to finally “get it” that formidable government regulations have been ignored and that will truly be a problem. Oops, maybe they should listen better!

More next 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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