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VOLUME 21 ­ NO. 3 Dutch Flat Community Center · Box 14, Dutch Flat CA 95714 FALL 2008

Dropping retardant on Gov't. Springs Fire

An Eventful Fire Season 4th of July Parade

By Susan Prince

Everyone had a fine time at the annual Dutch Flat 4th of July Parade. The parade was well-attended and several attendees said they'd never seen a parade with as many colorful entries. "Mayor" Sussy Flanigan

Just before opening on August 30th

By Krista Noreika

On Saturday, June 21st, a dry lightning storm sparked 25 new fires within Tahoe National Forest. Many more ignited throughout Northern California and in no time fire crews and safety personnel resources were stretched beyond comfort levels. Over 800,000 acres burned in July, the largest amount recorded yet in California. The Government Springs/Westville Fire within the American River Complex grew to about 20,000 acres and came within a few miles of Alta. The spreading fire could be seen from homes along Kearsarge Mill Road off the Drum Forebay exit, from Lover's Leap south of the Alta exit and by other neighbors with similar views up the American River Canyon. The smoke from this mammoth fire begun to drift eastward towards Emigrant Gap, but eventually enveloped all of our homes and the air we breathed. We were forced to endure this situation for a month. Of particular drama was the air assault. If you didn't get a chance to see it in action, you were reminded of the continuing battle from the planes and helicopters zooming overhead. On July 18, the National Incident Management Team held an information meeting at the Community Center in Alta. The meeting was well-attended, with 92 of our neighbors present. At that time the fire was 65% contained, the fire crews only recently able to gain an upper hand in the blaze. When it was announced that the western flank on Sawtooth Ridge had been held, a round of applause and cheers erupted from the room. Although the fire was huge in size, actually larger than Placer County itself, it was not a catastrophic wildfire and luckily only 2 structures were lost. Firefighters estimated at the time of the meeting that about 70% burned at low intensity, 20% burned at moderate intensity and about 6% at high intensity. This resulted in a patchy effect with still-green trees mixed among the burned forest and a removal of undergrowth for miles. Firefighters achieved full containment of the fire on July 30, but fire officials noted that parts of the interior will still continue to burn and smolder Continued on Page 14

DFCC White Elephant Sale Report

By Susan Prince

The annual White Elephant Sale fundraiser for the Dutch Flat Community Center was a great success, according both to organizer Laura Resendez and to volunteers and attendees. The sale raised over $3,500 for the DFCC. Resendez, who solicited contributions for the sale and organized volunteer efforts, said she'd made a point of displaying all donors' contributions carefully. "We want donors to know how much we appreciate their support for this major fundraiser." She also said it's not too early to think about donations for next year. The DFCC has ample dry storage space for next year's sale, if a donor didn't manage to prepare items early enough for this year's sale. In addition to raising monies from the sale of donations, on the Saturday of the sale, the DFCC also offered light breakfast fare, coffee and baked goods, and a sandwich luncheon. Refreshments volunteers Heidi Johnson and Marilyn Gregory praised the high quality of the many donations of cookies, brownies, sandwich fillings like curried chicken, egg salad, and ham. Buyers were also pleased with the selection, after the hard work of examining the display tables. To make a donation of money or items for the next White Elephant Sale, contact Laura Resendez at 530-389-8840.

Summer evening in Alta

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Community ­ Fall 2008

President's Message

Community ­ Volunteer Staff

Publisher ­ Dutch Flat Community Center Co-Editor ­ Krista Noreika, 530-389-2888 Co-Editor ­ Susan Prince, 530-389-8344 Ad Manager ­ Michael Barham, 530-389-2347 Reporters & Columnists: Michael Barham Greg Herrick Claudia McCaffrey Debby McClatchy Mark McLaughlin Krista Noreika Susan Prince Jim Ricker Dr. Peggy Roberts Rick Sims Photographers: Alta-Dutch Flat School Staff Krista Noreika Susan Prince Jerry Rein U.S. Forest Service Gay Wiseman Contributors: Karen Calvert Joan Chlarson - artwork Janet Dunbar Fonseca Lynne Lindsey Placer County Public Information Office Jim Roberts Dutch Flat Community Center Board Debby McClatchy, President Robin Reynolds, Vice President Rochelle Baiocchi, Treasurer Liz Kelly, Secretary Eleanor Bridges, At-large Joanne Blohm, At-large Kim Douglass, At-large New ads ­ Michael Barham, 530-389-2347 Email ­ [email protected] Address ­ P.O. Box 14, Dutch Flat CA 95714

By Debby McClatchy

Hello to all and welcome to beautiful fall colors, apple cider, and carving pumpkins. Our new sidewalk and repaired tennis court fence are completed. A special good-neighbor award must go to Scott Miles of Colfax, who donated the concrete for the sidewalk. And also our local friend, Chris Gibbs, who donated his time and expertise to fix some storm damage from last winter on the building roof. The other good news is, thanks to your wonderful support for DFCC fundraisers, we now have enough saved to start some upgrades on the building. We also have finished a major grant proposal, which we hope will help with these upgrades. Our Independence Day celebration was the tops! Fortunately, the smoke from nearby wildfires dissipated on cue for the day. We had many new parade entries and craft booths, and the hot dog/ bratwurst stand was a huge hit. Every parade participant received an ice cream cup, thanks to a generous anonymous local benefactor. Thanks to all the over forty volunteers who made it all happen, especially those who make the salads every year. The Dutch Flat Masonic Lodge has moved to Colfax and the building is for sale. We need an angel to buy it and save it from possible commercial development, please. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 25th, for the DFCC annual fund-raising concert. This year the popular McClatchy Family Honky-Tonk Band will return, sharing the stage with the Vista Ramblers, an old-time mountain string band! Watch for ticket sales around town. On Halloween night we will open the building as usual for games, hot dogs, and hot chocolate, free this year to all comers, thanks to a local donation. Remember our beautiful, historic building is available for rent, and is free for memorial gatherings. Just contact me at 530 389-2120. If you have other questions check the information machine at 530 3898310. Have a lovely autumn and all the best, Debby

Community Calendar of Events

Special Events: September 24th, Wednesday ­ Death and Disability Planning Seminar, 6:30 p.m., Dutch Flat Community Center. The Seminar will cover wills, trusts, and advance healthcare directives, among other topics. For further information, call 389-2168 (Editor's note ­ this seminar was a big success when first offered. Don't miss it!) Saturday, October 25th - Annual Fall Concert at the DFCC featuring the McClatchy Family Honky-Tonk Band. Tickets will be available around town. Ongoing Events: Third Thursday of each month, September through June, Dutch Flat Community Center potluck, 6:30 p.m. Bring family and friends, and a dish to share. Dutch Flat Community Center Board Meeting, first Wednesday of the month, times and locations vary. Call Debby McClatchy for details at 389-2120. Dutch Flat United Methodist Church, worship at 9 a.m. every Sunday. Sierra First Baptist Church, Alta, worship service at 11 a.m. every Sunday. Pioneer Union Church, Gold Run, Sunday Service 10 a.m. Bingo at the Alta Community Center the first Friday of each month, 7 p.m. For more information or a reminder call, contact Carol Gilles at 530389-2601. Free refreshments are provided and all proceeds benefit the Alta Fire Department. Dutch Flat Methodist Episcopal Church Breakfast, the second Saturday of each month. Golden Drift Historical Society Board Meeting 7 p.m. first Tuesday of each month, Golden Drift Museum, Dutch Flat. NFARA board meeting 7 p.m. third Tuesday of each month, locations vary. Contact Jim Ricker, 530-389-8344. Coffee with District 5 Supervisor Bruce Kranz, second Friday of the month at 8 a.m. at TJ's Roadhouse in Colfax. Call the Board of Supervisors' office at 530-889-4010 for more details.

Gold Run Post Office - Passports

Passports are currently required for air travel to Mexico and Canada. The Gold Run Post Office offers easy acceptance of passport applications in preparation for your winter vacation.

The newspaper is published quarterly and distributed to members of the Dutch Flat Community Center and to residents of the Center's service area, from Secret Town to Emigrant Gap, along Interstate 80 in Placer County. We welcome contributions from readers. Submission due dates for upcoming issues: Winter 2008 - November 15, 2008 Spring 2009 - February 15, 2009 Summer 2008 - May 15, 2009 Fall 2009 - August 15, 2009 Views expressed in letters and guest opinion pieces and other contributions do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the Dutch Flat Community Center, or its Board. Are you a local amateur photographer or writer? Want a forum to showcase your work? Do you have a new story idea? The editors would love to hear from you. Call Krista at 389-2888 or Susan at 389-8344.

Fit to Drink ­ More on Dutch Flat's Water Supply

By Susan Prince

As you may have noted in past issues of Community, the future of the Dutch Flat Municipal Water Company has been under discussion. I recently asked Ernie Bullard about proposed changes to the system which has served community residents for many years. Susan: Why are there going to be changes in the way the water company is managed? Ernie: Well, I'm getting ready to retire and we have to figure out some transition plans. Susan: So what does that mean? How does the water company find volunteers like you, for example? Ernie: Well, you really can't. People don't do that any more. So we have to figure out the transition plan, which is buying treated water from PCWA (the Placer County Water Agency). That makes things much simpler, and takes the treatment plant out of the Continued on Page 9

2008 Animal Trust Fund Grant Applications Available

By Placer County Public Information Office

Placer County Animal Services is offering funding for project grants from the Placer County Trust Fund for Animals. The goal is to use the trust funds for projects and programs which will benefit the animals and pet owners of Placer County. Find additional information and an application on the county website - Animal_Services/Grant%20Application.aspx . The application must follow the format and address the points listed in the application guidelines, and must be received no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, October 31, 2008, at Placer County Animal Services, 11251 B Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603.

Community ­ Fall 2008

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Jennifer Montgomery

Bruce Kranz Emigrant Gap, like the event in Kings Beach, and supply free dumpsters at a central location? Montgomery ­ Absolutely! I have been an organizer and participant in our own community clean up day on Donner Summit for over 20 years. I would work to make a cleanup day more productive by bringing in Dumpsters and other needed supplies to the Secret Town and Emigrant Gap areas for the event. Kranz - Yes. I believe in and have led in the most critical cleanup needs of my district-- woody waste. I have worked to provide dumpsters, chippers and transport of fire fuels to a biomass plant to facilitate the cleaning up of dead, dying and diseased brush and trees from around our homes and businesses. I have supported cleanup days in many communities, including Kings Beach, and along the west shore communities of Tahoe and welcome additional opportunities to keep our communities clean and safe. Working with county waste management people, I have also supported community hazardous waste cleanup days saving long drives to Lincoln. How would you help residents in our area, distant from county services, still use those services while keeping expensive driving trips to a minimum? Kranz - Living in a rural area there is a lack of many urban services. During blackouts last winter I fought for warm shelter to be provided to Dutch Flat communities. I have supported expansion of public transit where passenger demand warranted it. I have worked with the private sector to extend broadband Internet service to Tahoe and other communities. Through coffees, multiple public meetings and my Web site I have made myself as accessible as humanly possible so those who live in rural areas can have better access to information and possibly prevent a trip down to Auburn. Montgomery - The County should expand its internet and telephone services to better serve outlying areas. The County should also provide online forms and information that clearly spell out procedures and necessary documentation for specific County services. This will be more convenient for residents and will utilize County services and staff

Questions and Answers from District Five Supervisorial Candidates

By Susan Prince

In the interests of informing local voters in their choices on Election Day in November, I recently sent a list of five questions to the two candidates for District Five Supervisor in Placer County, incumbent Bruce Kranz and challenger Jennifer Montgomery. Here are their responses. How would you help local residents maintain or improve recreation areas like the Dutch Flat Pool and the grounds of the Dutch Flat Community Center? Kranz ­ I have a proven record of working to improve community recreational and other services in other communities, e.g. the Foresthill pool. In Dutch Flat, I urge both the pool association and Community Center to apply for grants ($1,000 limit) from the District 5 Benefit Fund Committee, which meets quarterly. In addition to the current $25 per parcel fee for the pool, I have actively supported supplementing those funds out of park mitigation fees. Since the pool has been a priority, so far the Community Center has declined a county contract for needed grounds keeping, but it might consider joining the pool association and like parties to form a special recreation district as I have suggested in Foresthill. Our budget situation is very tight so creative publicprivate partnership must be relied upon. Montgomery ­ Parks are important for building strong communities, but are often the first to be cut. In the most recent budget, the County was forced to cut funds for cleaning and maintenance of parks. Another challenge is that Park Mitigation Funds derived from new development can only be used for recreation improvements, not ongoing maintenance. As Supervisor, I would work to restore funding wherever possible and also create "Public Private" alliances that would allow communities to clean and maintain their own facilities (currently not allowed). Would you sponsor a "Community Cleanup Day" for the area between Secret Town and

more effectively. In addition, the County should consider regularly scheduled informational trips to the outlying communities. Revitalizing the existing Municipal Advisory Councils would greatly improve communications and help serve the basic service needs of local residents. How would you help the small businesses in our community? Montgomery - As a small business owner myself, I understand the needs and challenges facing other small business owners. I sincerely believe that bringing high speed internet into all the rural corners of Placer County will aid small business growth and success. Creation of locally based business organizations (similar to a Chamber of Commerce) would enable pooling of area resources for marketing purposes and other community based strategies for making local services and goods better known. Kranz - My coffees have opened the way for businesses to talk informally with me on any issue of interest to them. I have a record of fighting unwarranted increases in taxes and fees and easing regulatory burdens that Placer County places upon businesses such as wineries, restaurants, bushwhackers, gas stations, sports shops and others. I have fought Placer County agencies often responsible for unwarranted taxes, fees and regulations. In Foresthill I have brought County executives and department heads to meet regularly with the business community. That is why so many small businesses have supported my reelection. How would you use the Mosquito Abatement District, and perhaps other measures, to help local residents reduce the risk of disease in our area? Kranz - I would, of course, encourage the Mosquito Abatement district to carry on its responsibilities under its jurisdiction to kill mosquitoes and protect the public from West Nile and Malaria. The district is an independent agency outside the jurisdiction of the Board of Supervisors. The board does have responsibility for overseeing departments responsible for human and environmental health and disease. I have led several disease prevention efforts including seeking an affordable means of financing clean water and sewage treatment facilities--the tax free revenues of the Middle Fork project. Unfortunately, the mosquito district was created using a questionable process circumventing provisions of election law such as use of taxpayers' money to conduct a campaign, lack of verification of voter identity, absence of a secret ballot, use of a secret formula to calculate the value of each parcels vote and a secretive process to enact a tax. These are important issues that hurt the credibility and effectiveness of the district. Montgomery - Although no human deaths have occurred in our area, the West Nile Virus has recently been found in dead birds and standing water within the County. The Mosquito Abatement District should consider expanding its BT treatment area. (BT is a naturally occurring substance highly effective against mosquito larvae and black fly larvae already in use by the County.) Using local information to target mosquito prone areas will increase the efficiency and efficacy of the program. In addition to the County services, we as individuals need to focus on draining standing water sources (garbage cans, buckets, flower pots, unmaintained swimming pools, etc) and possibly use BT in permanent water sources such as ponds, lakes and stock tanks. We must increase community education efforts on prevention of exposure to mosquitoes. This needs to be a public/ private partnership since we are all at risk.

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Community ­ Fall 2008

Argument Against Measure T This measure reminds us of the high school health class lecture to hormone-crazed young men that When a girl says No, you stop. Voters have already rejected this unfair tax twice in the last two years. This election will cost the district thousands of dollars. Three unnecessary elections have wasted a great deal of money that could have been spent on students. Instead, the District is wasting precious resources to convince voters that their taxes aren't high enough. Measure T will INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES currently paid for schools by $45/year. The proponents claim they need more revenue because the Alta-Dutch Flat Union School District has suffered declining student enrollment. Somehow, they think that fewer students require more spending, instead of less spending. This is illogical and unjustified by the facts. No one honestly expects the District to follow this logic by offering a tax cut when the student population increases. While $45 is a modest tax increase, our schools are already receiving about $12,000 per student on average. Property owners are paying higher taxes for fire protection, parks, high schools, bonds, vector control, etc. Where will it end? When will they live within their means? Measure T is a REGRESSIVE TAX, charging the same amount regardless of the value of the property, even for vacant land. Wealthy and influential property owners may prefer a flat rate for everyone, but does that make it fair? The District has added to the unfairness of this tax by exempting seniors, no matter how wealthy they are or how many students live on their property. It might be legal to discriminate against young families struggling to buy their first home, but that does not make it right. Voters should reject this cynical ploy. Please vote NO on Measure T.

New Columnist Claudia McCaffrey

With this issue of Community, we introduce a new columnist, Claudia McCaffrey. Claudia lives in Dutch Flat and attends Colfax High School. This is a poem I wrote after I emigrated from my hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Dutch Flat. It addresses most notably the changes I encountered in scenery and culture from a giant metropolis to the quiet and small town of Dutch Flat. Me Alta-Dutch Flat Scool Billboard Among cold asphalt and steel rods Slick sidewalks and chipped brick Jagged and square skylines with billowing clouds of gray Flashing lights of red, green, and yellow beckon purring vehicles People fueled by everyday disasters and triumphs walk steadily on toward a chosen destination The array of mundane places and things to keep us satisfied, is grand Shivering windows and cold gusts of excitement buzz throughout the streets Calm is just a word used only by few Screams, scratching, and chatter are sounds lost in a loud roadway Color and expression are so frequent one is not phased Faces of different race are accepted Some faces are rejected, by people with cold hearts But in these streets, we are all one. Me Among the trees and quiet Still air and smooth brick I should feel a sense of peace But to me, slick sidewalks and steel rods are my only way of life and flashing lights of color beckon to me and I purr for this is where I feel peace.

Measure T ­ Alta-Dutch Flat Union School District

Text of Measure T Shall the Alta-Dutch Flat Union School District, in order to protect our neighborhood school's academic excellence, reduce state budget cut impacts, limit class size increases, preserve academic programs, materials, and facilities, and maintain local control, collect $45.00 per taxable parcel annually for four years beginning July 1, 2009, with citizen oversight and exemptions for taxpayers aged 65 and older? Argument In Favor of Measure T The Alta-Dutch Flat School District needs your help. A YES vote is needed to maintain our excellent school programs. The school has been a community cornerstone for over seventy years and is a California Distinguished School. However, the school has experienced both a reduction in government funding and a decline in enrollment. These problems are common to many schools, but present extra challenges for small schools. The school board has made difficult decisions for 2008-09. It has reduced administrative services, staff and all other possible expenses. The district continues to carefully manage its finances while maintaining the state- required reserves necessary for contingencies. But, the budget-cutting has been offset by rising costs and could ultimately deplete our reserve funds if unexpected financial demands arise. Can the schools be maintained? YES! The Board of Trustees concluded that the district has made every effort to cut costs, and has exhausted every source of funding. Therefore, the Board asks the voters to approve a modest, temporary parcel tax of $45 per year for four years. Taxpayers aged 65 and older are eligible for exemption. What does my vote mean? A NO vote means that the district's financial situation will remain vulnerable, with closure of the schools a possibility. A YES vote allows the district to maintain its excellent educational programs for the children in our community. New revenues will be used to provide necessary instructional supplies, staff support, facility maintenance, and adequate budget reserves. Measure X is supported by our community's leaders and persons of all backgrounds and points of view. This support reflects a belief that the schools' contribution to the community is worth more than the less-than-a-dollar per week tax on a temporary basis. Please join us in voting YES.


By Janet Dunbar Fonseca

Excerpted from Dutch Flat: A Collection of Anecdotes and Photographs If it were not for Lois Trousdale Kempster this account would never have been made. Lois is my oldest acquaintance in Dutch Flat for it was shorly after the Kempsters purchased the Dutch Flat Hotel that my parent chose the spot as a summer watering place, and each summer thereafter until they purchased a home here we vacationed at the hotel. From 1872 until 1912 the hotel was operated by Lois' grandparents, Ed and Mary Mallows, with Mrs. Mallows continuing the operation after her husband's death. Mrs. Mallows died in 1912. A family named Dill ran the hotel for a time after that and then a Mrs. Melarkey rented it for use as a boarding house. Prohibition came along and no one wanted to chance the hotel without the bar and that is how Lois and her husband Charles came to acquire the property. Leasing at first, Lois and Charley eventually bought the hotel and proved that a successful operation could exist without the sale of liquor. The hotel became a popular resort and most of their customers were well to do bay area families on extended vacations. Lois is considered a Dutch Flat native, although she was born in Colfax. "I went to Colfax to be born and came back as soon as possible," she agreed. The reason for Continued on Page 19

Community ­ Fall 2008

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In a Time of Fire - Our "We Should Have Packed List"

by Lynne Lindsey

Years ago my husband and I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains just outside Big Basin State Park. Our property was a twenty-acre parcel and was quite secluded. We had just one other family as our neighbors and their home was located about five acres from our property line. We lived on top of the hill and looked down onto their home and the State Park. When you live in the country with just a few neighbors, everyone counts on each other to help one another out and work together as a unit. You get really close to these people, sometimes closer than best friends. Both of our families lived in the mountains with our breathtaking views of the virgin redwood forest below us and the fresh clean air. We all commuted the winding mountain roads down into Santa Clara County each day for our jobs. Our properties were located outside the city limits of the town of Boulder Creek and we were served by the Forestry Department in case of fire. We counted on the Forest Rangers to protect us. We knew all the firefighters by name and they knew ours. We made sure they always had freshly baked cookies, cakes, and anything else they needed. We never wanted them to forget we were sitting all alone on the top of that hill. One hot dry summer an arsonist invaded our bit of Camelot. One day, he started a fire along the perimeter of the State Park. The winds were blowing and suddenly that little fire got out of control and was heading toward our hilltop. I received a phone call from one of the boys at the Forestry Station up on Skyline and was told to get home and get my animals (2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 horses, and 5 chickens) to safer ground. He said the fire was moving quickly toward us. I jumped into my pride and joy, a '69 Datsun 2000 with its 2 liter dual-cam engine, 5speed transmission, and drove like a bat out of a very hot place down the freeway to the exit to Bear Creek Road. I took those curves on Bear Creek at unbelievable speeds. I was as close to a Nascar driver as I was ever going to get. I made it to town and up Big Basin Highway to my driveway in recordbreaking time. I was the first one to arrive on the hill. Seeing the black smoke, and smelling it, frightened me. Still wearing my business suit, I went right to work. I immediately pulled our utility van out of the barn and started loading stuff into it. There was no rhyme or reason to the things that were being thrown into the van that day. Anything I saw, I grabbed and threw into the van. Meantime our neighbors and my husband arrived home. We had a quick meeting and decided the boys would saddle up two of the horses and they would ride them, and pull the other two, to the coast through the park. It was the first time we had ever wished we had a horse trailer. The girls were in charge of loading up the cars and getting into town. I hadn't counted on that at all. Suddenly, I knew my "baby," the Datsun, was toast. I would have to leave her behind. I wasted a lot of precious time lamenting over her loss. Just about the time the boys were saddled up and ready to head out, a couple of firefighters from the Forestry Department came up to the house to tell us we had no more than thirty minutes to evacuate. One of them grabbed the keys to my "baby" and jumped in and took off down the road. I would be forever grateful. It was going to take a lot of cookies and cakes to express my

appreciation.... Before the second firefighter left our property, I quickly showed him where we had installed a regulation fire hydrant with regulation fittings which was fed by gravity-flow from our water tank on the property. We had an automatic leveler in the tank that would cause the well water to be pumped to the tank if the level dropped below a certain setting. The tank was always full. If the fire got to our property and to our home, we hoped they would hook up their hoses to our hydrant and water source. This was just the reason my husband and I had installed it when we first bought the remote property. We also got a credit on our fire policy because we had a hydrant located at our home. I ran back to the van and realized that I had loaded it up with useless unwanted things. I quickly ran into the house and grabbed photo albums, jewelry boxes, my silver, my best china, and other mementos that could never be replaced. I had done all I could in that state of mind. The 2 dogs were just fine about getting into the van. I had to box the cat up. I decided to let the chickens out of their coop and pray for the best for them. I headed to our neighbors' home to see if she was ready to leave. Our neighbors owned a Mustang Fastback at the time. They also had four cats, two parrots, and a tank of tropical fish, plus a dozen or so chickens. With less than fifteen minutes to go on the clock, I pulled into their driveway just in time to see Fran trying to stuff one of her chickens into the Fastback, with the cats and parrots in the back and like a partially full fish tank on the front passenger seat! And nothing else was in the car! I jumped out of the van and ran to her and freed the chicken. I pulled her into her house and we started grabbing those things that I knew were really important to her, like family photos, etc. I pushed her to her car, threw stuff in the crevices available inside the car and told her to follow me. We made it to town and settled in at the community hall. My dogs were allowed to come inside but the cats had to stay in their carriers in the car. One of the volunteer women took Fran's parrots to a quiet room somewhere to keep them calm. And we waited. While we waited I realized I was still wearing my business suit and I had not packed a single change of clothing, not even underwear. Fran and I sat at a table with a pad of paper and we decided to make a list of the stuff We Should Have Packed. That's just what we called that list and it ended up looking something like this: Insurance policies--homeowners, personal property, and life policies Marriage license, birth records, and medical records All valuable jewelry in a zip lock bag Family photos and small mementos Silver and china worth saving ­ got to be the good stuff. We promised not to waste our time on the less expensive, replaceable stuff. Clothing for five days, including underwear and shoes Seven hours later, we were told that the fire had been controlled and our homes were no longer in danger. We were free to return home. We called our husbands, who had finally made it to the coast and were close to a phone booth waiting for word from us. A couple of the town firemen were driving a large horse trailer over to the coast to pick them up. Fran and I headed back up the hill to our homes, relieved to be home again. We could still smell the smoke but it was wonderful knowing we Continued on Page 17

County Email Updates

By Susan Prince

The Placer County Public Information Office has added a new service for county residents, automated email updates on a variety of topics like emergencies, land use, animal services, and the Board of Supervisors. Go to the county's main webpage ­ placer. ­ and look for the link on the left-hand side to sign up for these email updates. It's easy and will keep you informed on county activities. I signed up for the "emergencies" update. It's fire season, after all.

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Community ­ Fall 2008


A Fiction By Rick Sims Part 18

The door was solid, heavy wood. At eye level, in gold lettering, appeared the words: Dutch Flat Wagon Road There was then a horizontal line, also in gold, and beneath that the words: Dutch Flat Water and Monitor Company Archibald Gwathrop knocked on the door. A woman's voice said, "Please come in." Archie opened the door and quickly took in the familiar surroundings of the office that his best friend, Michael Murphy, had occupied. The surroundings were altogether masculine. Against one wall stood a gun cabinet filled with rifles. A deer head and an elk head were mounted on adjacent walls. A large map of California, depicting the known gold fields, hung on a third wall. The furniture was reminiscent of chairs and tables found in the best men's clubs in San Francisco. Only one thing in the room did not share this manly ambiance: the most attractive woman, dressed in black, seated behind the hand-carved oak desk. Abigail Wardwell Murphy had aged since she had arrived in Dutch Flat on the stage some eight years earlier. But the aging had not diminished her beauty. Rather, she had gained a wisdom about her penetrating green eyes that made her more interesting. "Hello Abigail," Archie said. " Hello Archie -- or should I say, `Partner'?" Abigail replied. " Yes, partner, indeed," Archie said. "I am most glad that you suggested this meeting, Abigail. I know how difficult it must be for you, but there are decisions affecting the Wagon Road and the Water Company that won't wait much longer." "I understand," she said. Archie pulled up a chair and looked out the window and then looked at the floor. He was trying to figure out a good place to start. Abigail helped him. "Oh, Archie, I can imagine how worried you must be -- to have a woman schoolteacher as your business partner. You're thinking: how in the world are we going to do this? Who will take Michael's place? Should I try to buy her out?" Of course, all of this was completely true, and Archie blushed and stared at the floor for a moment. She helped him again. " Archie, let me tell you something that will make you feel better. As you know, I grew up in Boston. What you don't know is that my father, Augustus Wardwell, was President of the Nantucket Bank and Trust Company. He raised his three girls to be knowledgeable about the affairs of the business world. For example, he had us manage our own financial affairs from an early age. So, Archie, even though I am trained as a schoolteacher -- a job I shall have to relinquish -- I am not as unprepared for our partnership as might appear." And Abigail Wardwell Murphy smiled a reassuring, knowing, understanding, wholly beautiful smile that left Archie speechless. She continued, "And so, Archie, I propose that we continue the partnership and that you continue to contribute what you always have: your knowledge of accounting and finance. And I shall make the day-today business decisions necessary to the success of the companies. What do you say?" And she extended her hand to propose a

Now you can recycle and support DFCC!

Don't forget to recycle your inkjet printer cartridges. There are green drop boxes at each local post office. The Dutch Flat Community Center collects up to $4 per cartridge. Be cool, be green and help a good cause.

handshake to seal the new understanding. Archie took it. As he did, he thought that the moment was business and yet not business. He held her hand for longer than was necessary, and she did not pull it back. And he realized that he was still just as much in love with her as he had been on the day that he saw her depart from the stage in front of the Dutch Flat Store. He also realized a fundamental truth: that to satisfy the command not to covet your neighbor's wife, there was no changing of the heart. What was required was discipline and allegiance to friendship. But no rule or command could change the feelings that were generated in Archie by this particular woman. Archie had been loyal to his best friend, Michael Murphy, but he had never cured the dizziness that Mother Nature had inflicted on him in her presence. And now, for the first time in many years, there was no longer a moral imperative that he must work so hard to restrain his feelings toward her. " One more thing, Archie," she said. "Yes?" "I was going over the accounts of the Wagon Road. We are sitting on far too much cash. We should put some of it to work." [To be continued]

George and Hannah Prince

Little Bear Creek Tree Farm Celebrates 50th

The Little Bear Creek Tree Farm (formerly Little Bear Tree Farm) was founded in 1958 by Robert "Bob" Irvine, now a local resident of Alta. The first cabin, the St. Francis, was placed on the property in the fall of 1958, and is still there. The farm's famous fleet of 1950's era Jeeps that were once the workhorses on the farm are now delight farm guests as transportation during the busy Christmas season. This year, 2008, the farm is celebrating its Golden Anniversary! Step back in time and visit 1958! The farm's owners, Rick and Carole Barber, have several activities planned to celebrate its anniversary. Tree Lighting Ceremony - Saturday, November 22, 2008 ­ 6:00 p.m., with a festive bonfire to celebrate the season and provide warmth. Celebration Tree, available throughout the season, beginning Saturday, November 22, 2008 Specially-designed gifts to mark a guest's anniversary, new baby, or any important event 50th Anniversary commemorative gifts Join Carole and Rick to celebrate this milestone at an important local institution, the Little Bear Creek Tree Farm.

Community ­ Fall 2008

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Alta-Dutch Flat School News

Changes and Challenges

The Alta-Dutch Flat Elementary School District has several new faces, and has made other changes, as a result of the District's continuing costcutting efforts. The District will share Superintendent Jim Roberts with the Foresthill Union School District. Familiar educator Pete Keeslar returns to the school as a part-time Principal. Business Manager Lori Warwick will also be shared with the Foresthill district. The District estimates that these changes may save as much as $90,000 over the next year. And, the District has hired a new teacher, distinguished school alumna Katelin Oliver, who will replace an outgoing teacher. The recent departure of former Alta Dutch-Flat Superintendent-Principal Debby Sandoval presented the District with an opportunity to reorganize its administrative staff to reduce expenses and at the same time preserve basic school functions. While school revenue is directly tied to student attendance, operating costs are relatively fixed. Heating the school, for exmaple, costs the same whether the school has 100 students,or 150. As a result, declining enrollment over the last five years has taken a steady toll on school finances. For this school year, 111 students are currently enrolled. Use of shared services and switching from full-time to part-time administrative management is the latest in a series of efforts by the District's Board to improve the school financial picture. In addition to shared services, teachers will be assigned additional duties. Even with these changes, however, the financial future of the school remains under a cloud. According to Rosenquist, "Unfortunately, as drastic as these changes are, they are not enough to guarantee that the school will remain open in the future. So, the Board has unanimously asked the voters to approve a temporary parcel tax to do so." Principal Pete Keeslar Pete Keeslar is a name and face undoubtedly familiar to many, having lived in Alta and serving as the school's Superintendent-Principal for ten years, from 1991 to 2001. Prior to his service here, he taught in elementary and junior high schools. He obtained a Bachelor and Master's Degree in educational management from San Jose State University. After 37 years in public education, he retired in 2001, and served as a volunteer for the Rocklin Police Department, performing front desk and patrol duties. Pete has six grandchildren, with another due in December. Contact Keeslar and new teacher Oliver at the school at 389-8283. Superintendent Jim Roberts Jim Roberts has 34 years of service in public school education, all within the Foresthill district. His experience includes classroom teaching for 7th-grade and kindergarten grade levels, school principal, and Foresthill district superintendent for the last ten years. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree from UC Santa Barbara, received his teaching credential from CSU Sacramento, and a Master's degree in Educational Management from the University of LaVerne. He and his wife of 27 years, Tammy, have two sons and an eight-month old granddaughter. Contact Jim Roberts at the school at 3898283, ext. 12, or in Foresthill at 367-2966, ext. 108.

Roberts, left; Oliver, right Teacher Katelin Oliver Distinguished Alta-Dutch Flat school alumna Katelin Oliver returns to the school this year as a credentialed teacher. Oliver, who had perfect attendance at the school from kindergarten through 8th grade (which also continued through her attendance at Colfax High School, where she earned a 4.2 GPA), graduated from the school in 1999 as the class Valedictorian, and also received the school's award for Academic Excellence. She went to achieve outstanding grades at UC San Diego, and obtained her teaching credential from San Diego State University. While in college, she held several leadership positions, including Judicial Board Chair for the campus, and President of her sorority. She majored in political science, considered a career in law, but came to the realization that teaching is her passion. Oliver will teach language arts, and technology for grades 4 through 8, and will be the homeroom teacher for 7th and 8th grades. She will also teach physical education, fine arts, and leadership. An ardent athlete, she has also volunteered to coach a school sports team. The coaching offer is quite welcome as the school was unable to field a basketball team last year. Oliver is the daughter of Lynn Oliver, who recently stepped down from her long tenure as a member of the Board of Trustees to become a member of the Placer County Board of Education. Katelin is an avid basketball and soccer player. She also is an outdoors enthusiast, with a special interest in wakeboarding and snowboarding. Parcel Tax: Measure T The school's Board of Trustees has also approved Measure T, which will be on the November 2008 ballot, asking the voters to approve a parcel tax of $45 per year, for a four-year period. The proceeds of the tax will be used to continue the school's operations and avoid closure of the school. The measure is an effort to stave off the serious consequences of the District's loss of revenue, which continues to deplete the District's financial reserves each year. According to Board President Rosenquist, "Even with the many cuts and changes we make every year, including the new shared-services agreements with Foresthill, we continue to dip into reserves each year to stay operational. Unless the school gets relief from a twothirds approval of the parcel tax, at some point in the near future our reserves will be depleted to a point where school closure, whether by state takeover or consolidation, becomes a very real probability." Measure T is the third effort by the Board for a parcel tax, which requires a two-thirds majority vote. The past two measures, while approved by a substantial majority of the voters, did not achieve the required vote of two-thirds to pass.

When asked why the Board was again going to the voters, Board member Lindsay Ostrom said "The past two measures came very close to succeeding. It is clear to the Board that a solid majority of voters recognize the School is doing a good job but needs short-term financial help. Also, the District's financial picture is not getting better, it is getting worse. The Board is going back to the voters because it's a necessity, not a luxury." Also, Ostrom said, the current measure allows property owners age 65 or older to obtain an exemption from the tax. She adds the exemption is voluntary, and senior citizens who wish to opt for exemption can do so by filing an application once the tax has been approved. Other opponents, Board President Rosenquist acknowledges, may have a personal issue with the way the school has operated, perhaps in a specific situation with an individual student. "To those individuals, I strongly encourage you to take your issues to Pete or Jim, and if necessary, to the Board. Specific disagreements between a school and a child's parents can and do happen. But they are not a reason to allow a 70-plus year old institution of this community to close down." Rosenquist acknowledges that property taxes are never popular, but that the size and scale of our community sometimes requires that some services come with the price of small personal sacrifices. He observes, "Take our community pool, for example. It's a wonderful, special oasis during the summertime. It's worth every penny of the annual and permanent parcel tax. I'd certainly think that the school is at least as important, and the proposed parcel tax is very modest--less than $200 over the life of the tax. As far as taxes go, the school is actually cheaper than the pool!" The future of the school is obviously of greatest alarm and concern to households with school-age children, which according to the latest U.S. census data, which comprise nearly 30% of the Alta, Dutch Flat, and Gold Run communities. However, the consequences of the school's closure affect everyone. Ultimately, the parcel tax is a decision about how we define our community. The fundamental anchors of any viable community include such institutions as a church, post office, grocery store, restaurant, public meeting hall, firehouse, and a public school. Currently we have all of these essential elements in place, in addition to other amenities such as local hotel and B&B accommodations, and the community pool. Actually, when it comes to most of these essentials, we can choose among several. But we only have one public school. On November 4th, the community will decide whether the Alta-Dutch Flat school will continue to serve, as it has for seventy-plus years, as a local institution of public education for its children. Other Alta-Dutch Flat School News: Annual Rib Dinner: A scrumptious rib dinner, featuring the legendary ribs from the Monte Vista Inn, is an annual benefit for the 8th-grade tour and exploration of San Francisco. The dinner will be held at the school this October, at a date not yet set. Please check local bulletin boards in the near future for the date, time, and ticket prices.

The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy. - Florence Scovel Shinn, writer, artist and teacher (1871-1940)

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Community ­ Fall 2008

Imagine the feeling that a fairly new solo hiker (or even an experienced one) encounters when they find themselves in thick timber where every tree looks the same. Perhaps, this happens at the end of the day when one is tired and takes a convenient short cut that might save 5 or 10 minutes. You take a trail that looks familiar and end up at a marshy meadow you didn't remember seeing on the map. Now you try to back-track and see the sun beginning to set over some peaks you don't quite remember. If you have your GPS, even if it has been turned off for a while, you can find your current location and see the way back to the waypoint (titled CAR) that you stored in the GPS when you parked your car at the beginning of this short hike. Without a compass, a topographic map or a GPS, you run the chance of possibly getting lost. For every ten times you are nearly lost, you may encounter number 11, when you are really lost and get to spend a night in the woods waiting for daylight. So think about buying some hiking insurance by getting a hiking GPS unit. When you do, the challenge to learn its operation will be almost as confusing as getting lost in the woods. There are several manufacturers, including Garmin and Magellan, who provide units for hiking, boating, driving and other navigational activities. There are quite a few good units available, each with one or two difference. Some have touch screens and others just use buttons. Once you have shopped around and decided on a particular unit, your greatest responsibility to yourself is to use that unit regularly and learn everything that you can about it. Hiking in open country may require you to refer to the unit infrequently. Like a compass, when you think you know the way, it seems silly to take out your map and compare the destination with your current location and the track you have chosen. While hiking in some of our steep canyon country or in Utah's canyon country, where the terrain is cut by thousands of canyons, the GPS may tell you the direction and distance to a location but you may still have to hike many miles and contour around many obstacles to reach your destination. Plan to rely upon your own compass navigation, map reading and backcountry experience to get to your destination, and use the GPS as a backup or means for creating an electronic record of your trip so that you can use it again or share it with other hikers. The primary danger of always relying upon a GPS is that they can and do fail from time to time; batteries can fail to perform, you may drop the unit while crossing a stream or the clouds can move in to block the signal. So always be prepared to navigate without it and you won't be disappointed. There is an excellent map and compass book, Be Expert with Map and Compass, by Bjorn Kjellstrom, to teach navigation skills. There are web sites for each GPS manufacturer and also Forum Pages and sites for users where you will find Frequently Asked Questions, information on software updates and patches, information on firmware updates for particular units, and stories from hikers who have had either good or bad experience with a particular GPS unit. Becoming familiar with these web sites is important because they will usually explain a problem and solution before you discover it for yourself when miles from your starting point or car. You can find those sites by searching using "GPS Forums, " and you'll get hundreds of listings to explore. Everyone who takes a GPS into the field tends to develop their own style of use. Some download the topo map from National Geographic, others plot their course ahead of time on their PC and upload it to their GPS and then others only upload key points of the journey (crucial trail intersections, waterfalls, high points, water sources, etc.). Some just take their GPS along so that they can turn it on several times a day to check their position. Using that last option, you can travel for quite a few days without running low on batteries. In the next installment I will do a little more to explain setting up a hike in advance by plotting it on your PC, transferring it onto a topo map and then downloading it to a GPS.

Islands Lake, Grouse Ridge area

Living and Hiking With A GPS

Fall Installment By Michael Barham

In the Summer 2008 issue, I covered my initiation in using a Global Positioning System, a GPS, and how I started by taking both a classroom and a field class on use of this technology and the hand held units that put it into your hands. This summer I gain practical experience in how easy it is to get lost while hiking. I joined a group of volunteers to help clear part of the Green Valley trail as part of the North Fork American River Alliance's public service efforts. At one point the trail "just ended," where we thought that it should continue. I didn't take my GPS on this trip because we `knew' the trail so well. To confuse the issue, there were plenty of deer trails that intersected the main trail and then just disappeared into a thicket. Another volunteer, Allen Flanigan, discovered that a large bunch of manzanita had been pushed down over the trail by the heavy snows this spring. If I'd had the GPS available, it would have been obvious that we needed to work our way through all this brush and continue on. I could see that in a year or two, a well-known trail can almost disappear with disuse and brush growth. Two weeks ago we drove past Lake Spaulding and hiked up to Carr and Feely Lakes and then on to Crooked Lake. Near Crooked Lake, again the trail just ended in a bunch of green brush. Fortunately, two of the hikers knew to push right through the brush to get back onto the trail. I stayed behind for 10 minutes, cutting brush back to keep this trail `open'. Obviously not many hikers had ventured this way and in another season the trail would become even less traveled and perhaps lost. With a GPS, the trail would not be lost and could continue to be used, perhaps for generations. Many of our Sierra trails remain alive in the memories of the hikers who used them and helped maintain them over their lifetime. Hiking is competing with many other interests and families seem to be choosing other activities and perhaps not hiking at all. Many times, I've encountered solo hikers who have been unable to interest anyone else in enjoying the beauty of the Sierra. Last month several of the Alta-Dutch Flat Hikers took a new route to get to the Mt. Judah Loop and Roller Pass area. We were on the Pacific Crest Trail part of the route when we ran into a solo hiker carrying 4 GPS units! Three were his own and one was a new one that he was "testing for a friend". Now, that is what I call hiking insurance on a well known and heavily traveled trail! He knew the value of a GPS but also wanted backup insurance. Usually a compass and topographic (topo) map are your backup navigation tools.

The Black Buttes, Grouse Ridge area

Draft Snow Removal Equipment Storage Ordinance

By Placer County Public Information Office

A draft Placer County ordinance for snow removal equipment storage is now available for public review at ceo/tahoe/documents/SnowEquipRemovalDraftOrd. ashx. The draft ordinance was discussed at the August meetings of the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council and the Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council Interested citizens can send comments by email to Loren Clark at [email protected] or Edmund Sullivan at [email protected] in the Planning Department, or by phone at (916) 745-3000. A formal public comment period will begin when the draft environmental review document is completed through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. After that is done, citizens will have two opportunities to offer comments, when the ordinance is heard by the Placer County Planning Commission, and when the Placer County Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing on the matter. All public comments will be considered before the draft ordinance is made final.

Snow removal near the summit

Community ­ Fall 2008

Page 9

Success in 2008 AltaDutch Flat School STAR Program Results

By Jim Roberts, Interim Superintendent

Good news from the Alta-Dutch Flat School! On August 14, 2008, the State Superintendent of Schools released the results of the 2008 Standardized Testing and Reporting , STAR, Program. The results show that Alta-Dutch students continue to make steady gains in English-language arts, math, science, and social studies. Our results show outstanding growth in our 2nd through 8th grade students last year, particularly in math. Former Superintendent/Principal Debby Sandoval said, "This is fantastic! Congratulations!" California has some of the highest standards in the nation. I am exceptionally proud of the hard work and dedication of our students, teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and parents that led to this achievement. More on the STAR results is available at . California's 2007-2008 Accountability Progress Report (APR) was also released and provides results from the state accountability system, the Academic Performance Index (API), and the federal accountability system, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Since both the API and AYP are based upon statewide assessment results from the STAR program, it is not surprising that AltaDutch Elementary School also scored well on these measures. This year's API score of 813 outdistanced the previous year's score of 769 handily, an improvement of 9.5%. In addition, the school met all federal requirements for adequate yearly progress. Directions for finding API and AYP information can be found on the California Department of Education home page under "What's New," at . Fit to Drink, continued from Page 2 equation. And we have the storage for the water. Susan: When will that transition take place? Ernie: Oh, probably in about a year or so, because PCWA needs to expand the capacity at their Alta treatment plant. They need additional capacity to add the DFMWC customers. Susan: Will the DFMWC sell the treatment equipment you're now using? Ernie: We haven't really thought that far ahead yet. Right now, we're just trying to work out an arrangement with PCWA to see what kinds of deals we can work out. We may end up setting up a special district. It just makes sense to have a contract to buy wholesale treated water. It's just that simple. Susan: And how about rates? Ernie: Oh, sure, rates are going to be a little higher. But rates are higher everywhere you go. It just makes it easier for the community to transition. Just look around. Water's getting scarce in lots of other places. We need to hook up with someone a lot bigger to stay viable, and PCWA's got lots of water rights. There are other places which are scrambling for water. Recently, I heard the City of Folsom's going to have water restrictions because the lake is running dry. And you're going to see more and more of that. I think it makes sense for us to hook up with PCWA so our water is pretty much guaranteed for the future. Susan: And it's good to live up the hill, too. Ernie: (Laughs) Yep. And that's about it. Nothing earth-shattering.

Gina Erickson

August 6, 1962 ­ June 9, 2008

Longtime community resident Gina Erickson died in Colfax on June 9, 2008. Born August 6, 1962, in California, Ms. Erickson had lived in Alta for the past 10 years. She owned and operated Gina's Originals, where she featured handmade items and demonstrated her considerable skills as a seamstress. Then she opened and operated Gina's Town Hall Deli in Alta for a year. She sold that business and opened the Whistle Stop Quilt Shop in downtown Colfax, two years ago. The deli was known for its fabulous cinnamon buns. Customers would hover outside the deli in the mornings, waiting for their daily bun. After selling the Whistle Stop, she had started working at the Ben Franklin store in Grass Valley. Ms. Erickson was an active volunteer at her children's schools and taught numerous arts and crafts as well as scrapbooking and quilting classes to youth. "She was a very loving mother," said her oldest son, Brian Filipowski, a recruiter for the U.S Army in Rancho Cordova. "She helped us in all areas of our life. She wanted the best for us. Without her we wouldn't be where we are today." She is survived by her four children, Brian, of Folsom; Brett Filipowski, attending college in Santa Barbara; and Katie and Amy Filipowski, of Folsom. From Gina's friend, Lindsay Ostrom ­ Gina was undoubtedly devoted to our small community here in Alta. She opened a shop, Gina's Originals, where she handcrafted a good portion of what she sold. Gina then opened the Town Hall Deli. It was her vision to have a place in town like the bar in the TV show, Cheers, where ...Everybody knows your name. She even had a roundtable where she thought the important men in town could come and meet; and they did. She then moved to Colfax. Soon after she sold the deli, Gina opened The Whistle Stop Quilt Shop which became another important spot for neighbors and friends to meet and work on sewing projects at Gina's "Sew-cials." Of course, Gina needed to make ends meet, so like so many of us business owners, she sold that business and began to work at Ben Franklin Crafts, with me, for the last few weeks of her life. She was the best mother I ever knew, totally devoted to her children and loved all the children in the community. She was a quilter, a gardener, a crafter, a mother and the best friend ever. I will miss her and so will countless numbers of her students, patrons and friends.

Odd Fellows pancake breakfast

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Community ­ Fall 2008

Born in Auburn, Nancy grew up in our area, at Lake Spaulding, Drum Powerhouse, and Alta. She attended Alta Elementary School and Placer High School. She was married twice and had five children. For the last 28 years, she shared her life with her love, Doug Ferrier, living in Dutch Flat for over 20 years. For several years, Nancy was the postmaster of Station A Post Office in Old Town Auburn, welcoming and friendly to all. She also enjoyed her work at the Christmas Shoppe, also in Old Town. Although she was always active in the community, after retirement Nancy spent a great deal of time volunteering for community organizations. She

Celebration Display, August 31, 2008 served for many years on the Dutch Flat Community Center Board of Directors, and was DFCC President several times. After leaving the DFCC Board, Nancy continued to volunteer for the annual Corned Beef Dinner and the White Elephant Sale. She also served on the Board of the Golden Drift of the Historical Society, and recently took on the responsibility of Treasurer. Nancy loved RV camping, and was very active in the Sierra Sams chapter of the Good Sams Club; she also served on the Northern California chapter's Regional Board. In July of this year, Nancy was honored as the Grand Marshal of the Dutch Flat 4th of July Parade, and was welcomed by applause all along the parade route. She is survived by her love, Doug Ferrier, her sister, Karen Kerly, her sister-in-law, Barbara Seaton, daughters Leta Bray-Whittaker, Kim Brower, Rhonda Cuddy, Nancy A. Dailey, and by 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Nancy's family and friends celebrated her life at a memorial gathering at the Dutch Flat Hotel on August 31, 2008. Well over one hundred people gathered for a brief presentation by Doug Ferrier about Nancy's life, and to share stories and memories of Nancy. Nancy Dailey was a fine person and a substantial contributor to our community. We shall all miss her.

Nancy and Laura Resendez, Sept. 2006

Nancy Dailey

March 31, 1938 ­ August 6, 2008 By Susan Prince

In Nancy Dailey, our community lost a longtime resident, a dedicated community volunteer and supporter and, to many, a dear friend. Grand Marshal Nancy, July 4, 2008

Celebration attendees, August 31, 2008 Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, or a new country. ­Anais Nin, author (1903-1977)

Community ­ Fall 2008

Page 11

Russell working on Sawbug Trail

Russell Towle A Passionate Life

Environmentalist and activist Russell Towle was killed in a tragic car accident near Davis on Interstate 80 on Thursday, August 7, 2008. Born in Iowa, he was 59 years old. Russell was well-known in our small communities for his passionate views and many activities designed to preserve and protect the North Fork American River, and the environment in general. He had lived in the area since 1975, and built his home up on Moody Ridge, near his father and stepmother, Dick and Sally Towle. In addition to his unceasing environmental work, Russell was also a published author, wrote frequently online about his hikes and observations, was a recognized mathematical theoretician, an accomplished guitarist and musician, and a skilled woodworker and craftsman. Russ loved hiking the trails around his home and along the North Fork, carrying his loppers and always ready for an adventure. His friends and those who admired his environmental efforts were shocked by his death. Terry Davis, the Conservation Program Coordinator for the Mother Lode Chapter Sierra Club, said "I'm absolutely stunned. The loss of Russell is unimaginable. He was a person of such unique reach and breadth, a real Renaissance man." One of Russell's many successful environmental efforts was to save the public rightof-way to Smart's Crossing, along the Bear River below Drum Powerhouse in Alta. In the mid-1980s, a new property owner put up a gate to deny access to the river. Russell and a handful of others organized a successful legal effort to require that the road and path to Smart's Crossing remain open to the public. A tribute celebration of the many aspects of Russell's life will be held over the weekend of October 11th and 12th in the Dutch Flat and Giant Gap areas. The family hopes everyone who knew Russ or wishes they did will attend some part or all of the weekend's events. To receive more information on the tribute weekend, to offer a memory, or to learn how to donate to the trust fund for Gay and their two children, Greg and Janet, contact Gay Wiseman by email at [email protected] .

The Gap Fire, August 2001 Russell on Big Valley Bluff He is survived by his wife, Gay Wiseman, and his son, Greg, of Dutch Flat, and daughter, Janet of Davis, his brother, Richard Towle of Alameda, his sisters, Shellie Archer of Ukiah, and Karen Mingst of Rocklin, his father, Richard and stepmother Sally Towle of Dutch Flat, and his mother, Carol Towle of Grass Valley.

Will a fire engine come to your house?

Courtesy Forestland Steward Summer 2008

In the midst of a raging wildfire, resources are often scarce and firefighters must make difficult choices about where to put their time and efforts. They may have to triage, which means ignoring those homes that are difficult or impossible to defend and concentrating on those considered "savable." It follows that you want to do whatever you can to make sure your house is savable. Identify Your Home Don't take it for granted that fire fighters can find your home. Make sure every intersection leading to your home has road name signs. Signs should be of metal and have reflective letters at least 4" tall. If necessary, use arrows to indicate which road goes where. Mark dead-end roads. Your house number sign must be visible from the road from 100' in both directions in a fire engine's headlights. It should be metal and have reflective contrasting numbers at least 3" tall. If there are several driveways off your road, use Continued on Page 14

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Community ­ Fall 2008

mountains was built along steep-sided, avalancheprone slopes. Sometimes the railroad clung to bare granite cliffs. To protect the tracks and trains from slides, Central Pacific was forced to construct 37 miles of expensive, wooden snowsheds. Where a roadbed could not be built, a tunnel was chipped and blasted out. In the heavy snowbelt between 6,000 and 7,000 feet, nine tunnels were excavated, totaling 5,158 feet in length. At Donner Summit, Tunnel No. 6 was carved through 1,659 feet of solid granite. Despite the constant digging and the use of 300 kegs of black powder daily, the rock was so hard that the Chinese laborers working around the clock by lanterns and firelight could gain only about a foot per day. To expedite the work, a vertical shaft seventy-five feet deep was sunk so that crews could work four headers, two from the middle out and two towards the shaft. To understand how impenetrable Sierra granite is, consider this description of the resistance encountered boring the railroad tunnels: "The majority [tunnels] were in hard granite, which is often thought of as being similar to marble or limestone. It is actually a very common metamorphic stone even harder than steel or glass, and impervious to virtually all chemicals. It can be polished to a mirror finish, and can bear a compressed load of over 1,000 tons per square foot. A block of granite [the size of a business card] will support a 46-ton locomotive without being crushed." Black blasting powder had sufficed for the railroad construction until crews reached the obdurate Sierra granite. Black powder burns at a rather slow speed and the gas produced tends to heave the rock, but if there are any fissures, the gas and the explosive energy can escape and greatly lower the effectiveness of the blast. After more than a year of twenty-four hour days using black powder on the long Summit Tunnel, Central Pacific Director Charles Crocker ordered his foreman to begin using a new high explosive called nitroglycerin. First discovered in 1846, an improved manufacturing process for nitroglycerin was patented in the U.S. by Alfred Nobel on October 24, 1865. Nitro is a clear, odorless, volatile oil thirteen times more powerful than gunpowder and is the active ingredient in dynamite. Unlike black powder, which burns more slowly and follows the line of least resistance, nitroglycerin detonates almost instantly, producing a large volume of gas and a powerful shock wave that blasts the rock apart. (After his death, the will of Alfred Nobel bequeathed money to establish five monetary awards each year, including the Nobel Peace Prize.) When CPRR began using the dangerous high explosive to bore the Summit Tunnel in January 1867, they were probably the first to do so in the United States. Nitroglycerin was much more powerful than black powder, but it also had a nasty reputation for exploding unexpectedly. In April 1866, the San Francisco Chronicle described a terrible tragedy that resulted when someone tried to open a leaking case of nitroglycerin that had just arrived by steamer from Hamburg, Germany: "The explosion occurred in the office of Wells Fargo & Company by which eight persons lost their lives. It also caused a quarter of a million dollars in damage to the commercial district. A man passing by the Wells Fargo office heard one of the employees address a man riding past on horseback, `Doctor we have got a case of oil and it seems to be smoking, I wish you would step in and advise us what had better be done with it.'" Minutes later the case of "oil" exploded. Crocker was understandably reluctant to

Track tunnel above Donner Lake

The Big Bore: Conquering the Sierra

By Mark McLaughlin

Modern highways and all-wheel drive vehicles enable motorists to whiz back and forth over Donner Pass with barely a glance at the extensive tunnel network constructed by Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860s. But the effort that it took for the engineers and Chinese labor force to blaze a railroad over the Sierra Nevada is still impressive today. In order to conquer the Sierra crest, the most challenging section of America's first transcontinental railroad, Central Pacific hired thousands of Chinese men to pick, shovel and blast their way through the Sierra's formidable granite spine. The Chinese immigrants were called "Celestials" because they referred to their native land as the Celestial Kingdom. Contracted from China specifically to build Central Pacific's railroad, the men were paid $30 to $35 per month. During the winter of 1866-67, construction workers endured 44 storms that dumped a total of nearly 45 feet of snow on the upper west slope, which unleashed a swarm of deadly avalanches upon the workmen. Despite the formidable obstacles of ice and granite, rail by rail, the hard-working Chinese crews pushed the track east, reaching Donner Summit on November 30, 1867. Engineering and constructing a railroad through the Sierra Nevada had long been considered an impossible folly. William Tecumseh Sherman, who later became a Union General in the Civil war, was an experienced engineer and surveyor familiar with the Sierra Nevada. He wrote his brother of the project; "If it is ever built, it will be the work of giants." Even Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune and ardent advocate of westward migration who exhorted "Go west young man!" came to the same conclusion: "It is perfect insanity, or the next step to it, for any one to indulge in further discussion about the feasibility of a railroad from the Mississippi to the Pacific Coast at the present time [1848]. He added, "If Congress had common sense, they would not discuss such a subject ... but those men in Washington seem to be more disposed to make fools of themselves, at the price of $8 per day to the people, than go to work and do their duty to their constituents." It took young Theodore Judah, a brilliant engineer from New York, and an army of 12,000 diminutive Chinese workers to prove the skeptics wrong. China had built the Great Wall, now her people would accomplish another tremendous feat of construction. Judah was able to convince the U.S. Congress that he could snake a railroad through the treacherous California Mountains, but despite his savvy business acumen and engineering expertise, he had no real understanding of the great danger, power, and frequency of avalanches. The track through the

Community ­ Fall 2008

transport nitroglycerin any distances, so he arranged for it to be manufactured right on Donner Summit as needed, where it doubled the speed of tunnel excavation. Despite twenty-four hour digging and the power of dynamite, the Summit Tunnel was not completed until May 3, 1867; nearly two years after the work began. Constructing a railroad 88 miles over the rugged Sierra summit between Newcastle and Truckee, California, had taken 12,000 men 38 months, February 1865 to April 1868. In comparison, the railroad from Truckee across the desert to Promontory, Utah, a distance of 571 miles, took only 5,000 men just one year and 27 days. General Sherman was right -- conquering the Sierra did take the work of giants. Mark McLaughlin is a Lake Tahoe resident and nationally published author and photographer. His award winning books are available at local bookstores or at .

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Giant Gap, North Fork American River

North Fork American River Alliance, NFARA

By Jim Ricker

Tribute to Russell Towle The North Fork American River has lost one of its most passionate champions. On August 7, Russell Towle died after a tragic car accident on Interstate 80 near Sacramento. The loss is personal and painful for those who knew him and know his family. The North Fork has lost, in Steve Hunter's words, the custodian of our canyon. Russell constantly worked on keeping the old trails open; he never went anywhere without his trusty Fiskars loppers. Years ago he could see that access to our public trails was threatened. Because of the checkerboard ownership of lands in the NF, many of these historic trails go through private property. Russell organized numerous hikes on these trails not only to expose people to the wonders of the canyon but to re-affirm the public's right to use these trails. Lost Camp Road/ China Bar Trail is one of these. Russell also argued for environmentally conscious management of the lands in the NF. He constantly pleaded with the Forest Service, BLM, the State and the County to do the right thing. One of his biggest issues was the building of "vulture houses" along the rim of the Canyon. These are the monstrous homes that hang over the rim so their owners can have a grand view of the canyon and an unspoiled panorama of our public lands. Never mind that the public cannot escape the view of these houses when they visit the canyon. Russell was a prolific writer especially about the resources and issues of the North Fork Canyon. His blog has an archive of his writings dating back to 2003. To view, go to northforktrails.blogspot. com/ . Another blog to check out is There is a wonderful article in the August 13 Auburn Journal (front page, above the fold), view at As I recount the issues Russell championed, I see they are the same issues NFARA is involved with. This is to be expected; Russell Towle was the father of NFARA. His writings and hikes led to a core of like-minded people. About five years ago he asked me to help organize a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the trails and resources in the NF. He helped craft the mission statement and served on the original board of directors. Russell left NFARA a year later to pursue his own course of action. He had no tolerance for the glacial pace of group

Historic marker at China Wall

decision making or the dynamics of group decision making in general. In everything he did, Russell liked to pursue his own course. However, the group he brought together is still together. NFARA is five years old and a respected and active voice for the NF. His passion is our passion. His cause is our cause. His contribution to the protection of the NF will never be forgotten. Steve Hunter said it best: Bodily, Russell is gone, however his spirit will forever remain in those he touched. Russell's last email from August 2 concerned his visit to the 2008 burn area in the North Fork. The following paragraphs struck me at the time. They seem even more appropriate today. In an area he described as "a dreadful Desert of Death", Russell wrote: It was interesting to see, scant weeks since the area had burned, that many of the bushes and small Black Oaks were stump-sprouting, fresh green foliage pushing up through the grey ashes from the roots and burls below. The Bush Chinquapin seemed the most eager to sprout, while the burled Green Manzanita more rarely showed new growth. All in all, maybe one bush in one hundred is already showing new growth sprouting from the roots. It was also interesting to see an occasional ant. And I saw some few footprints from deer. As I scouted back and forth on the blackened brushy slope, I began to see that the inimitable California Ground Squirrel had at least sometimes survived the inferno, and fresh dirt was piled outside their burrows, every two hundred yards or so. Our hearts go out to the entire Towle family. American River Complex Fire On Saturday, June 21, a series of lightning strikes started over 2,700 fires throughout Northern California. In the North Fork American River canyon,

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. -Joseph Addison, writer (1672-1719)

Fall flowers in the North Fork two large fires started, the Westville on the south side and the Government Springs on the north side. These fires eventually merged and burned 20,541 acres before being fully contained on July 30. Contrary to some comments expressed, this was not a catastrophic fire and the forest was not destroyed. Yes, the forest did burn and in places of higher intensity, all of the trees were killed. However, in areas of low intensity, the understory burned and most trees survived. This burn mosaic is normal and natural. The forest will come back. Look at the Yellowstone fire of twenty years ago, a perfect example. Today in Yellowstone, areas once thought destroyed are full of young trees, meadows are lush and the large trees that survived are healthy as ever. Forests are dynamic, not static. In fact, fire is an important and integral part of a healthy forest ecosystem. Some species of trees require fire to open cones and germinate seeds. Black Oaks, like other Continued on Page 18

Waterfall above Royal Gorge

Page 14

Community ­ Fall 2008

Fire Engine ... continued from Page 11 arrows to make it obvious which one is yours. Access Fire engines are big machines; they can weigh 40,000 pounds. A fire bulldozer on a lowboy transport is 10' wide and up to 60' long. Make sure all roads, bridges, and access areas can accommodate these vehicles. Remove tree branches up to 15' above the road surface. Wherever possible, remove brush and branches 10' from both sides of all roads. Season ... continued from Page 1 until the official end of the fire season: a rain storm. Until full control is obtained, the fire will be monitored by aircraft. At the height of the battle, nearly 800 personnel were assigned to combat the fire in the American River Complex. Working in steep, rocky terrain, bulldozers and manpower laboriously built fire lines as aircraft dumped bucket after bucket of water and retardant to hold the lines. Water tenders used local resources such as Putt Lake near Nyack, where unfortunately, according to a source, fire crews fell victim to vandalism and petty theft. Towards the latter part of containment I paid a visit to the Blue Canyon airport, which was the local headquarters for the battle. The outlying forest had been turned into campgrounds where weary firefighters slept in tents. The usually-abandoned building and observatory became mess hall, meeting area and information center. And the normally quiet airstrip was suddenly a parking lot for some very expensive helicopters, hailing from Oregon to Alabama. Driving through the recently burned forest along Sawtooth Ridge Road, traveling westerly about an hour off the Emigrant Gap exit, I could already notice signs that the forest was rebounding. I saw many chokecherry and manzanita bushes had green shoots several inches in length and saw many signs of wildlife, including a doe and her fawn, bouncing across the dark, dusty landscape. Wildfire is a natural part of the ecosystem. The trick is to stay out of harm's way while Nature does her thing.

Government Springs Fire, July 2008

In the midst of a raging wildfire firefighters may have to triage, which involves ignoring those homes that are difficult or impossible to defend and concentrating on those considered "savable."

Make sure your bridge or culvert can support the weight of a fire engine. If not, you may need to strengthen or replace it. Consult a civil engineer and placard your bridge with its weight allowance. All roads and driveways must be at least 10' wide (18' in most situations). The grade should be less than 16 percent. The radius of turns must be at least 50' so fire equipment can navigate them. All driveways and dead-end roads must have places where large fire vehicles can turn around. These can be cul-de-sacs with at least a 40-foot radius, or places for a 3-point turn. Fire chiefs will not send their engines in to places where they cannot turn around. During a wildfire, fire equipment will be entering your area while you may be trying to leave. Build frequent turnouts along any roads less than 20' wide so vehicles can pass each other and get to safety. Water Supply Fire engines carry a limited amount of water. Take the steps necessary to ensure that your water supply is also available for fighting fires. Defensible Space We write a lot about PRC 4291, the California law that requires everyone in wildland areas to modify the vegetation within 100' of their homes and other structures. This defensible space is designed to reduce the flames and heat coming toward your home. Remember, the law doesn't require bare earth for 100'. Use your creativity and knowledge of fire behavior to create a safe and attractive landscape. Clear everything flammable in the area right next to your house. The zone out to 30' (or the property line) should have most of the flammable vegetation removed. The final area out to 100' (or the property line) is a buffer zone. Remove flammable vegetation by 30 percent or so. For more information on this law, go to communications_firesafety_100feet.php.

Firefighters' tents at Blue Canyon

First-Home Purchase Assistance Offered by Placer County

By Placer County Public Information Office

Low-income residents planning to buy their first homes may be eligible for down-payment assistance through the Placer County Redevelopment Agency. The First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program is open to low-income residents buying homes in unincorporated areas of Placer County. Low-income households are those who earn no more than 80 percent of the area's median income. As an example, for a four-person household, 80 percent of the current median is $56,800. To qualify for down-payment assistance through the program, a potential home buyer also must Be a first-time buyer; Be preapproved for a first mortgage loan; Have at least 3 percent of the total purchase price available for the down payment, funds that

Community ­ Fall 2008

cannot be in the form of a loan; and Identify an eligible property for sale in an unincorporated area of Placer County. Find a home in good repair. Through the program, the county provides a 30-year, second-mortgage loan that is not due and payable until a home is sold or transferred. The maximum loan available through the program is $36,650. Funding is limited, so not all eligible applicants will necessarily receive loans. Most of the funding is from the California Department of Housing and Community Development's CalHome Program. The program provides funding to local public agencies and nonprofit corporations for housing programs that benefit residents with low or very low incomes. Details on the Placer County first-time buyer program can be found online at Departments/CEO/Redevelopment/housing.aspx. More information also is available by calling Joyce A. Pope at 530-745-3168 or Cathy Donovan at 530-745-3170.

Page 15

Preventing Common Diseases in Dogs

By Dr. Peggy Roberts

As most of you may be aware, we see a lot of heartworm disease up here in the foothills. Heartworm is carried by mosquitoes. When a mosquito carrying the heartworm larva bites a dog, the larva burrows. This takes about two months. While the larva is in the skin it is susceptible to being killed by monthly preventive medications. Once the larva makes it into the bloodstream the preventives are no longer effective, that's why it's so important to kill the larva during the brief time it's in the skin. The most commonly used preventive is ivermectin, a very safe drug found in Heartguard. There are other drugs equally as effective so if your dog is sensitive to ivermectin, there are several other choices. When a dog becomes infected with heartworm, the worms settle into the heart and major pulmonary blood vessels. As the numbers and size of the worms increase, the blood flow from the heart is blocked more and more which can impair other organ functions and result in death. Heartworm disease is treatable if tests are administered quickly enough. Another important disease to screen for on an annual basis is Lyme disease, with is starting to become more common in our area. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism called Borrelia. It is passed to dogs and people via a tick bite. Most of the dogs that test positive for Lyme disease are asymptomatic but it is often advised to treat these dogs with antibiotics for two weeks. We have seen a couple of dogs with overt Lyme disease as well. These dogs will present with a fever, painful joints, loss of appetite and they'll be lethargic. The other two diseases we advise testing for with a yearly blood test are Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichia. These are both tick-borne diseases that cause anemia and low white blood cells. They are very rare and only cause disease when the dog is initially infected. They can also exacerbate Lyme disease when they are present together. As you can tell, these are all very important diseases to prevent or treat in your dog. Annual trips to your veterinarian can prevent common diseases in dogs and make their lives, and yours, much more enjoyable. Dr. Peggy Roberts practices veterinary medicine at the Sierra Animal Wellness Clinic in Gold Run and has over 28 years experience in the field.

Placer Sierra Fire Safe Council

By Karen Calvert

The Placer Sierra Fire Safe Council is here to help the residents of the Alta/Dutch Flat/Gold Run Communities. Our council boundaries stretch from Meadow Vista to Emigrant Gap. Your local representatives from the Alta area are Lisa Russell and Karen Calvert. Karen Calvert is the current chair of the council. The council has been active. We now have an approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan, CWPP, for Placer County and the council has submitted grants requesting funding for the projects identified in this CWPP. The council has also held various community events. Perhaps you joined us at the event this past spring, which was very well attended. There were over 100 community members at the informative panel discussion. They were informed on the state laws that pertain to us living in this fire prone area. There was also a training session held in June for Volunteers in Prevention, VIP. VIP members will assist CalFire and our local fire departments in performing inspections of local homes, to see if they comply with recent changes to Public Resources Code (PRC) 4291, which now requires homeowners have 100 ft. of clearance around buildings, consisting of 30 ft. clear of flammable vegetation around all structures, and an additional 70 ft. reduced-fuel zone. If your home and yard have not been inspected for fire clearance and you would like to have a volunteer come out, please call the local CalFire office in Alta at 389-2234. An informative article from the Forestland Steward magazine, published by CalFire, is below. More information on the state code is available as a PDF ­ Portable Document File - cdfbofdb/PDFS/4291finalguidelines2_23_06.pdf . The Fire Safe Council meets the 4th Thursday of the month at the Veterans Hall in Colfax at 6:00 p.m. The next meeting will be Thursday, September 25th. For more information, contact Karen Calvert at 530-389-8302.

Sami displays her plastic bone.

Page 16

Community ­ Fall 2008

Sierra First Baptist Church Calendar

33990 Alta Bonny Nook Road, Alta, CA. 530-389-2168 Many thanks to the generous communities of Alta, Dutch Flat, Gold Run & Colfax for contributing $2,000 during Vacation Bible School to a local family for ongoing medical care for an autistic child. ·Each Sunday Sunday School for all ages 9:30 a.m. Praise, Worship, Children's Church, 11 a.m. Chi-Alpha Teens (12-18) ­ 6 p.m. First Sunday of the month ­ Communion Last Sunday of the month ­ Potluck Each Monday ­ 389 Bunch for Lunch for Seniors from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a main dish, hot bread, veggie, and dessert. Everyone is welcome. Call 530-389-2168 to arrange a ride. Side dish or dessert always welcomed. Free delivery to shut-ins. September September 24th, Wednesday ­ Death and Disability Planning Seminar, 6:30 p.m., Dutch Flat Community Center, 930 Stockton Street, Dutch Flat. The seminar will cover wills, trusts, and advance healthcare directives, among other topics. For further information, call 389-2168 (Editor's note ­ this seminar was a big success when first offered. Don't miss it!) October Sierra Women's Bible Study to begin October 1­ Face to Face, call for information at 389-2168, open to all ladies. October 11th, Saturday ­ Free Vehicle Weatherizing clinic, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., safety check of oil, hoses. Belts, wipers, and tires. RSVP 389-2168 October 31st, Friday Harvest Festival ­ fun, food, games, music and more, at the Sierra Vista Center, at 55 School Street, in Colfax. November November 27th, Thursday ­ Free Thanksgiving Dinner, 2:30 p.m. Bring a side dish or dessert, and family and friends to the Sierra First Baptist Church in Alta. December December 16th, Tuesday ­ Free Community Christmas Dinner, 4:30 p.m., at the Alta Community Hall. Please bring a side dish. Call for more information - 389-2168 December 24th, Wednesday ­ Candlelight Service, 7 p.m. at Sierra First Baptist Church in Alta December 25th, Thursday ­ Free Christmas Dinner, 2:30 p.m. at Sierra First Baptist Church in Alta December 31st, Wednesday ­ New Year's Eve Watch Night Prayer Family, marital, pre-marital and financial counseling available with appointment. Call 530-389-2168

James Kevin Holcomb

January 10, 1963 - July 19, 2008

Longtime Alta resident James Kevin Holcomb, aged 45, passed away Saturday, July 19, at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital. James was born January 10, 1963 in Lynwood, CA to Harley and Yvonne Holcomb. James was a passionate man of faith, and despite losing the use of his legs in a motorcycle accident in 1987, he was an adventurous soul who loved jeeping, swimming, fishing, camping, photography, and studying the Bible. James touched the lives of many, many people, and they all miss his bright blue eyes, long-winded stories, lively antics, charismatic personality, and, of course, his boundless generosity and warmth. He was preceded in death by his father, Harley Holcomb and brother, Greg Holcomb. He is survived by his only son, Christopher Holcomb, of Flagstaff, AZ; his mother Yvonne and brother, Steve, both of Alta; his sister, Cyndi of Chicago Park, and countless friends and family members. A memorial was held in Chicago Park in July to celebrate his life.


by Robert Louis Stevenson

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed, A frosty, fiery sleepy-head; Blinks but an hour or two; and then, A blood-red orange, sets again. Before the stars have left the skies, At morning in the dark I rise; And shivering in my nakedness, By the cold candle, bathe and dress. Close by the jolly fire I sit To warm my frozen bones a bit; Or with a reindeer-sled, explore The colder countries round the door. When to go out, my nurse doth wrap Me in my comforter and cap; The cold wind burns my face, and blows Its frosty pepper up my nose. Black are my steps on silver sod; Thick blows my frosty breath abroad; And tree and house, and hill and lake, Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Community ­ Fall 2008

Page 17

Tax planning ­ You Should Have Done This First

By Greg Herrick

`Hi, I'm Greg Herrick, CPA. I am a new columnist for this paper and will write about tax matters and financial life in general. I hope to give you good suggestions and advice about your taxes and other financial matters. I am going to address tax planning as a starting subject. We almost all do our taxes either with the help of a tax preparer or computer software now. Do you gather everything and then massage it through the process to produce tax returns you can file with the tax agencies? Have you ever though about your taxes before the tax season starts other than, perhaps, making quarterly installment payments? Most of us would benefit from sitting down with our tax preparer and discussing where we see our finances at the end of the year and what we have done so far. If you take certain steps before year-end, you may save money on your taxes. Some things are straightforward, like cash donations to charity, which need to be done by yearend. But if you want to donate something which has appreciated in value and you need to get an appraisal, you may need time to arrange for the appraiser and the report. What if you have sizable capital gains for some securities you sold this year? One way to offset those gains would be to sell some investments this year which have unrecognized losses. People tend to hold on to stocks which have lost value assuming they will go back up in the future. Then they usually just watch them lose more value. Better to shelter some gains now rather than have a loss you can't

use in the future when you have to sell the low-valued security. The funds can then be put to use in another investment which is increasing in value. Business owners and self-employed individuals can benefit from setting up profit-sharing plans, SEP-IRAs, defined benefit plans or other vehicles to shelter income. Some of these can be set up after year-end but some require the plan be in place and/or funded by December 31st. If you did not discuss this in advance, you may owe taxes which could have been used for your direct benefit instead. The best time to take these steps is usually when your tax expert is not busy with the business of tax return preparation. July through November is usually a good time to schedule a meeting. Most of the prior year returns are completed and research can be done with fewer interruptions. You would be surprised how much benefit may come out of this meeting. It is also a good time to discuss the tax law changes which may affect you in the next year. Remember, though, Congress will still have the ability to alter the law before the year's end. Tax tip ­ be careful to document as completely as possible all your non-cash charitable donations. Try to keep detailed lists of the items donated. Do not just say household goods on the receipt you keep. Be specific, for example, list six men's long sleeve dress shirts, ten short sleeve polo shirts rather than 16 shirts or one bag of shirts. The IRS is limiting people to $500 in aggregated donations of this type so if you donate $600 in shirts, you could be limited to a $500 deduction. If you listed $300 in men's dress shirts and $300 in polo shirts, you would probably get the entire deduction of $600. I am not suggesting you claim $50 apiece for the dress shirts or $30 for the polo shirts, but better documentation could save you money in taxes. Also remember clothing must be in good or better condition to be deductible. Digital pictures of your donations might be

worth keeping in your tax file. If you have particular subjects of general interest for future columns, please suggest them to me at [email protected] My office is at 6049 Douglas Blvd., Suite 21, Granite Bay, CA 95746. Greg Herrick, CPA, is a new regular columnist for Community. He has 20 years' experience in Silicon Valley as Vice President of Finance, Controller and Cost Accounting Manager for manufacturing and service companies, and has been preparing tax returns and analyzing tax issues for more than 15 years for individuals, trusts estates and businesses, He has prepared returns for more than 25 states and 6 countries. His public accounting experience includes work at both Haskins & Sells (later Deloitte, Haskins and Sells) and KPMG Peat Marwick. List - continued from Page 5 were no longer in danger. The next morning Fran and Pete came to our home for breakfast, and we brought out the We Should Have Packed list and discussed it. Next time we were going to be prepared. The arsonist was still out there. We spent the next couple of days packing boxes filled with the very items on our list. We even packed a box for the dogs and cat. I did transfer my insurance policies, marriage, birth, and medical records, along with my jewelry into my safe deposit box at the bank. I did not wear any jewelry the rest of that summer. We had three more evacuations before the arsonist was finally jailed. But we were prepared when we got the calls. We were still frightened, but we were organized. The boys always went to town and came back with a four-horse trailer so they would never have to leave us again. The We Should Have Packed list stayed on our bulletin board for years after that summer. We swore we would always be ready; we were.

Page 18

Community ­ Fall 2008

NFARA, continued from Page 13 trees in the forest, are adapted to fire. Just weeks after the burn, these oaks are sprouting new growth from their stumps. It was lucky that the fire occurred in June and July as opposed to September, when everything would be much dryer. In general, this fire was relatively low in intensity even though there were areas of high-intensity burn. Tahoe National Forest (TNF) analyzed the burn as part of their Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER). They found 63 percent of soil and vegetation burned in the low soil burn severity category. 25 percent was classified as moderate, meaning the fire scorched and killed trees but needles and leaves remain attached. Only 12 percent of the burn area was in the high category with nothing but blackened sticks remaining. Several trails are located in the burn area. The Beacroft Trail is almost entirely surrounded by a very large area of high-intensity fire, no green, just blackened sticks. The American River Trail underwent all intensities of fire, and the bridge over Tadpole creek was destroyed. The Mumford Bar Trail had all three intensity levels. Sailor Flat Trail was not in the fire per se but the trailhead parking lot and Sailor Flat Road were all part of the eastern fireline on the Westville fire. These trails remain closed. Remember this fire is just contained; it won't be out until the rains come. The trails will remain closed for the winter to let "imminent hazard" trees fall and allow the slopes to stabilize. The Forest Service will cite persons using the trails during this closure. The Big Granite Trail (BGT) on the north side of the river seems to have escaped the fire. In the BGT area, the river itself is the northern fireline. NFARA has volunteered to help with trail restoration work. The fire-fighting effort was magnificent. On the north side of the canyon, air support, firelines and backburns stopped the fire from reaching the town of Blue Canyon, the Union Pacific Railroad and I-80. On the south side, these efforts stopped the fire at the Foresthill Divide Road. Only two structures burned. The Mumford Cabin, over 100 years old and the oldest structure in TNF, was saved. Fire crews cleared a defensible space around the cabin and wrapped it in a protective material. The wrapping consisted of several layers of insulation with air in between and a reflective material on the outside. NFARA tips its collective hat and offers a heartfelt thanks to the men and women who prevented this fire from becoming a true catastrophe. For further information, contact Jim Ricker, at 530-389-8344 or by email at [email protected]

Pool along the North Fork

Community ­ Fall 2008

Lois, continued from Page 4 this, she said, was that her Grandmother Mallows, in addition to her demanding job as proprietress of the hotel -- at that time it contained 63 rooms, to say nothing of a 300-place dining room -- also suffered from asthma so Lois' mother, Minnie, was taken to Colfax to await the blessed event at the home of her husband Fred's parents. Many of the recollections here were obtained from Lois as were most of the photographs. She remembered Chris Runckle well for he was one of her school masters. She recalled that at that time it was the custom for the Chinese to bury their dead close to the surface so that it would be easier to remove the bones for shipment to China. The practice caused the county to appoint a health officer in the area to oversee Chinese burials and assure that the deceased was interred the required six feet under. Chris Runckle was chosen for the post since the funeral entourages passed by the school and he would be sure to be aware that something was going on. Not that there was ever any secret about a Chinese funeral. Each of them was preceeded by Chinese Mary, the wailing woman, who was a career mourner and her particular talent lay in extraordinarily loud wailing which could be heard all over town. No one has ever said just who wailed for Mary, but it is fairly sure she died in Dutch Flat because the last known photograph of her was taken here on her 100th birthday. Lois recalls one funeral when Runckle dismissed the school and took off up the hill to observe the rites. "We all sneaked up to the Chinese cemetery after him", said Lois of the liberated scholars, "they had the body on a bier and we watched for awhile when suddenly the bier tipped over and the body rolled to the ground and with it all sorts of food and jars and bottles." The whole experience was too much for most of the children who raced down the hill as though the departed had risen and was in pursuit. Lois said that later her mother told of watching Chinese funerals in secrecy, many years before.

Page 19

Laura Fitch

May 28,1912 ­ August 23, 2008

Laura Fitch was born Laura Bell Wright on May 28, 1912 in Saxton, Missouri. She came to California in 1938, settled in Salinas, then moved to Placerville. On December 24, 1939, she married Jesse H. Fitch in Reno, and moved to Gold Run. Laura was a 60-year member of the Golden Rule Rebekah Lodge of Dutch Flat. She was renowned for her cooking. In addition to cooking at the Monte Vista Inn for 32 years, she also owned and ran Laura's Café, and the Gold Run Café, in the historic Gold Run Post Office building. Laura's pies were known up and down the mountain. Favorites were her oatmeal and shoofly pies, and her fruit pies. Laura's husband, Jesse Fitch, died in 1997. Laura continued to live in Gold Run until recent years, when she was cared for by her children. Her survivors include son Jesse and daughter-in-law Marie Fitch of Calpine, daughter Martha Rivers of Auburn, son Leonard Fitch of Gold Run, and stepson Ed Fitch and wife, Gail, of Valentine, NB; 8 grandchildren, 17 greatgrandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, and many nieces & nephews. Laura Fitch was buried at the historic Gold Run Cemetery. Gifts in her memory may be made to a charity of the donor's choice.

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