On The Shelf [7/15]

By Paul Guffin

David Laurence Wilson, left, enjoying his recent hiking trip at Yosemite.

Local Editor

People hereabouts may or may not know that we have a book editor in our midst: David Laurence Wilson. David now divides his time between the family home here in Downieville, the new family home in Portland, Oregon, and
various and sundry literary gatherings. Recently he dropped by the Downieville Library and shared about what he has been doing recently. His most recent effort is the seventh volume in the “Detective Pulps” series published by Ramble House, with stories by the author, Day Keene. Cullen Gallagher’s website, “Pulp Serenade” (www.pulp-serenade. com) had this review of the work:


“I’m ecstatic over the seventh and most recent volume in Ramble House’s series of Day Keene’s short stories
is The Kid I Killed Last Night and Other Stories: Day Keene in the Detective Pulps, Vol. #7 (2021). Expertly
compiled, edited, and introduced by David Laurence Wilson, this collection is one of the most interesting and
illuminating volumes released yet. Devoted to Keene’s earliest stories published under his real name Gunard Hjertstedt and later tales published under pen names (John Corbett and Donald King), The Kid I Killed Last Night sheds light on the more obscure areas of Keene’s pulp career. Fans of the author will delight in being able to access such rarities, and newcomers will hopefully appreciate the author’s wit and crackerjack plots. Early or late, real name or pen name, Keene was a master of the short story, and Ramble House and David Laurence Wilson deserve applause (and lots of orders) for keeping the author’s legacy alive.”

David also edited the fourth volume in the series in 2013, as well as Rapture Alley by Harry Whittington (under the
pen name “Whit Harrison), The Taste of Our Desire by Curt Colman, and Strictly for the Boys, also by Harry Whittington (among several other editorships). About editing Strictly for the Boys, Cullen Gallagher said:

“Editor and scholar David Laurence Wilson deserves special commendation for his tireless efforts to restore
Whittington’s reputation (and, in the case of Winter Girl, to restore the text itself). Wilson and Stark House publisher Greg Shepard give their books scholarly attention on par with the Library of America. Meticulously researched and lovingly edited, Stark House presents these forgotten paperback novels not as pulp curios, but as real literature, and set the bar high for other reprint series.”


The Downieville Library, unfortunately, does not have
any of David’s edited books on its shelves.


What’s New on the Shelf


We do, however, have some new-to-the-library books that
have come into the library in the past week:


Fiction:
101 Dalmatians, by Disney (easy reader)
The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud
The Phoenix and the Carpet, by E. Nesbit (juvenile)
Sing Down the Moon, by Scott O’Dell (juvenile)(1971
Newberry Honor book)
Monkeys, Go Home, by G.K. Wilkinson
The American Agent, by Jacqueline Winspear
The Consequences of Fear, by Jacqueline Winspear
Non-fiction:
Pickles Must Bounce and Other Wacky Laws (juvenile)
America’s Seashore Wonderlands, by National Geographic
Society
Blue Horizons: Paradise Isles of the Pacific, by National
Geographic Society

Market News [7/15]

By Nick Spano

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It was a rough one out there today. Earnings season is here, but earnings were no match for the all-powerful consumer price index (CPI) The CPI issues by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday and showed a 5.4% year-over-year increase, the largest annual increase since August. Yes, inflation scared investors and the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 indexes erased gains midway through the day.

The past few weeks have been rough for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both cryptos are down more than 50% from
prior peaks, leaving crypto maxis in confusion. Bears say Bitcoin’s June “death cross” will lead crypto lower.
A death cross happens when an asset’s short-term moving average falls under its long-term moving average.

Bitcoin’s chart is bad news for bulls. To make matters worse, death cross formations are emerging in other large-
cap crypto charts, too. $XRP, $ETH, $BNB, and $DOGE could be weeks away from their respective deaths. On the flip side, bulls think cryptos (like $BTC) might be waiting to break out. Bitcoin is flashing technical signals
that point to a strong jump in price from current levels as soon as next week if trading volume continues to pick up, digital asset broker GlobalBlock said in a note on Monday.

The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization could break out from its current sideways trading range and jump to $42,000 in the next couple of weeks. A jump like this would be 26% higher
than bitcoin’s price of $33,171 seen around midday on Tuesday.

Underpinning this prediction is the Bollinger Bands indicator, which defines an upper and a lower range that forecasts volatility when constricted. The indicator has been at its tightest spread since September 2020. That month was when bitcoin began its run-up from $10,000 to its all-time high of nearly $65,000 in April of this year.

In other news, The Space Battle of the Billionaires has moved from the Twitter-sphere to the thermosphere. On Sunday, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson boarded Virgin’s VSS Unity, traveling faster than three
times the speed of sound to reach the edge of space. Branson just became the first billionaire founder of a space
company to go to space on his own spacecraft. Next up is Jeff Bezos, who announced his trip before Branson
decided to out-space him. The former Amazon CEO plans to take off on a Blue Origin spaceplane on July 20,
along with his brother and a mystery bidder who’s dropping $28M, or $2.5M per minute of ride
time, to join them.


Apart from fueling billionaires’ egos, these trips are major endorsements for NASA-sponsored space tourism (think: going to dinner on the ISS). NASA is leaning on private companies to help commercialize space. In May last year, Elon’s SpaceX became the first private company to send humans to space. In May, Virgin completed its first human spaceflight, a critical step before it flies space tourists; ETA: early 2022. While $250K tickets to space make headlines, tourism is still a tiny sliver of the space industry.

The space industry is taking off in a real way. Space startups raised $7B in 2020, double what they raised in 2018. Today “space customers” mainly consist of. governments and companies paying to launch satellites, cargo, and astronauts into space. In the not-so-distant future, they could be commercial space tourists. In the more distant future, they could be space colonizers on the Moon and even Mars.

Lastly, big business is feeling the pushback of the US. On Friday, President Biden signed an executive order to curb the dominance of companies in industries including shipping, agriculture, healthcare, and tech. The goal: promote competitive markets and limit corporate dominance in everything from railroads to prescription drugs. It is part of a broader effort to confront consolidation and perceived anti-competitive pricing in big industries while also putting big companies on edge.

A Very Berry Jam for Cran, 7/24

A Very Berry Jam For Cran, Saturday, 7/24/21 from 1 to 10 pm at Dunstone Memorial Hall in Oroville Ca. The Golden Quest Band will debut with Dave Herbert, Scott Guberman, Jeff Prescott, Burt Lewis, Cheryl Rucker and Shirley Starks. Also performing are Maggie Forti and Jeff Hobbs and Cosmic Strings. Advanced tickets can be purchased at wwwJam4Cran.eventbrite.com, don’t wait because with this line up and the beautiful setting tickets may be scarce. $75. general admission includes BBQ to be served in during the hour long dinner break at 4:20. A VIP ticket can be purchased for $250 each or two for $420. This VIP package includes VIP Pass for parking and entrance to the Argonaunt Parlor for a catered dinner with the band and the Cranfill family. This is a benefit for Berry Creek and all who lost their homes and have survived a winter and to Michael (Cranberry) Cranfill whose dream this is. He survived the Bear Fire but his house didn’t and he passed the end of February. For info please go to http://www.Jam4Cran.eventbrite.com

Encouraging Signs in Devastating Sugar Fire, California’s Largest of 2021 to Date

By Stephen Kulieke

After a week that saw the surging Sugar Fire emerge as the largest of California’s 2021 still-early wildfire
season, crews are making progress on the Plumas County conflagration with containment increasing from
46% on July 13 to 71 % on July 14.


“The weather outlook is favorable with a trend toward cooling and possibly higher humidity,” said Mike
Ferris, public information officer with the California Interagency Incident Management Team Number 4. “A break in the weather would really give us a chance to get final containment lines on the fire and get it secured.” He said that lines were in place from “Maddalena to Scott Road all the way around almost to Doyle.”


Ferris spoke to The Mountain Messenger on Wednesday by phone from an evacuation center in Lassen County. The town of Doyle in the county was hit particularly hard by the fire this past weekend when flames jumped Highway 395, destroying a number of homes there.

Thus far, officials have not released figures on the number of homes and other structures destroyed by the Sugar Fire. Ferris said the Sheriff Departments of Plumas and Lassen Counties are putting together damage assessment teams and will work in coordination with the California Office of Emergency Services to survey and report on property damage from the fire in their respective counties.

The U.S. Forest Service has yet to assess damage to its facilities at Frenchman Lake. “We still have a fire to fight. Public and firefighter safety remains our biggest priority,” Ferris said. He noted that most of the direct attacks
on the fire are being done at night when conditions are more favorable.


Igniting on July 2, the Sugar Fire, part of the Beckwourth Complex Fire, has scorched 94,764 acres or nearly 150
square miles as of July 14. The most recent update from the Plumas National Forest USFS on Wednesday
reported a total of 2,512 personnel fighting the fire—working on 56 day and night crews and operating 194
engines, 17 helicopters, 48 bulldozers, 58 water tenders, and 2 masticators.


Evacuation warnings continue to be in effect for communities around the fire’s enormous footprint. A mandatory evacuation is in place for Dixie Valley to the northwest, due to rugged terrain and the threat of flareup. And mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for Frenchman Lake, Doyle Grade, and Sugarloaf Road.

There also is a Plumas National Forest closure order in effect surrounding the fire’s perimeter, which includes
several roads. Highway 395 is now open.

The Sugar Fire exploded in size last Friday when “heat, low humidity, and wind all lined up” to produce
a “dramatic, severe, and erratic” event, said Ferris. Friday saw particularly frightening conditions
when the intensity of flames formed a towering pyrocumulonimbus “fire cloud” that created its own
weather. The National Weather Service in Reno on Friday afternoon reported lightning strikes from the
cloud “along the east side of the Beckwourth Complex.”

The daily morning updates from Plumas National Forest officials underscore how rapidly the fire grew after
Friday:

Thursday, July 8: 11,799 acres, 20% containment

Friday, July 9: 23,855 acres, 11% containment

Saturday, July 10: 54,421 acres, 8% containment

Sunday, July 11: 83,256 acres, 8% containment

The news is good for the other fire being administered by Beckwourth Complex officials. As of July 14, the Dotta Fire footprint remains constant at 594 acres with containment at 99%.

Beckwourth Complex Fire video updates are provided twice daily in the morning and evening at the Plumas National Forest Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas


At the July 13 evening video briefing, Beckwourth Complex Fire Operations Section Chief Jake Cagle emphasized that “your fire crews are out there working hard for you. I know there are a lot of rumors out there that we’re just managing it and letting the fire burn. That is not the case. We want to put this fire out and go home.” Officials also held their fourth virtual community meeting streaming at the Facebook page on the evening of July 14.

NOTE: As The Mountain
Messenger went to press
representatives of the
19-agency Beckwourth
Complex Fire team speaking
at last evening’s virtual
community meeting reported
that Wednesday afternoon,
July 14, saw increased fire
activity with 50 mph wind
gusts creating fire whirls
and grounding firefighting
airplanes.

Local Fish: The North Yuba Naturalist [7/15]

By Katie O’Hara Kelly

Rainbow Trout

The most common fish in the North Yuba River is the Coastal Rainbow Trout, which is native to California, but has been planted locally. The 61 mile long North Yuba River is planted in two locations by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in April and June. There are also non-native German Brown Trout, that swim up to spawn from Bullard’s Bar Reservoir. Occasionally you might also find a non-native Brook Trout that has flowed out from a higher elevation lake, during a spring high water. Years ago there were also lots of Sucker Fish, but the River Otters have apparently eaten them all!

Fish start as eggs which hatch into larvae. The larvae are not able to feed themselves, and carry a yolk- sac in their bellies which provides their nutrition. At this stage they are called “alevins”. In about 2-3 weeks, the alevins will develop to the point where they can feed themselves (mainly zooplankton), and are called “fry”. When they develop scales and working fins they are called “fingerlings”. At about 2-3 years of age they will have grown to 18-20 inches in length and have become mature adults, ready to reproduce.

Trout larvae

Trout eat a variety of aquatic insects, that fly-fisherman are always trying to imitate. The underwater nymphs you are most likely to find easily in the river are Caddisflies, Helgrammites or Dobsonflies, Stoneflies, Mayflies, Dragonflies, and Damselflies. There are also tons of insects they prey on that inhabit, frequently visit, or accidentally land on the surface of the water such as, Water Striders, Whirligig Beetles, Water Boatmen, Midges, and Crickets. Trout will also eat fish, worms, and crustaceans.

Stonefly nymph

In turn, there are lots of natural predators that eat fish, including River Otters, Minks, Common Mergansers, Osprey,and Great Blue Herons. The river is a complex ecosystem in a delicate balance. Hopefully the river and the critters that depend on it for food and habitat, will keep flowing during this incredibly HOT summer. Pray for rain!

San Francisco Giants, Are They For Real?

By Jonas Shladovsky

Buster Posey, the Father time-defying, hot-hitting 37 year old catcher pivotal to the Giants’ success

This past March, an old, very good friend of this newspaper’s editor, Bruce Riordan, drove from Berkeley to Reno and made a slightly dicey bet: he put his money down on the San Francisco Giants winning more than 74 games this season, a slightly smaller proportion of wins than they had during last year’s shortened, 60 game schedule.

However, at the midseason All-Star Game, the Giants are flying high, with 57 wins and only 32 losses, a record telling us Bruce will be collecting his winnings soon. Having won 64 percent of their games, the best won/
loss ratio in Major League Baseball, the Giants now sit first in the National League West, outperforming the
astounding starpower of the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers with a squad of overachievers.

Foundational to the San Francisco ballclub’s success has been the return of three-time World Series winning catcher Buster Posey. Coming into the season, the impact Posey would have was unknown; the three-
time champ was approaching his 34th birthday and hadn’t swung a bat in over a year, having opted out of the 2020 season after he and his wife adopted newborn twins.

The time off didn’t spell an end to Posey’s prime. It revitalized his game, perhaps because it allowed him to
fully recover from his 2018 hip surgery. He’s enjoyed his first double-digit homer season since 2017, and at the
All-Star break, he’s 2nd in the MLB in on-base percentage, getting on base over 4.2 times per 10 at-bats. Posey’s mentality fits in perfectly with the Giants organization’s current transition into a Gabe Kapler
led, analytics-informed era, according to President of Baseball Operations for the Giants, Farzan Zaidi.

“He’s very open-minded, but he holds new concepts or thoughts on the acquisition of players to a high standard.
You want that. Things should be vetted. For someone who has accomplished a lot, he’s very forward-thinking,” said Zaidi in an ESPN interview.

Just as integral to the Giants as Posey’s revitalization has been the transformation of Kevin Gausman into an elite
starting pitcher. Gausman experienced spotty success during stints with the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds, underutilizing the top-drawer fastball and splitter pitches in his arsenal.

San Francisco signed Gausman as a free agent in 2019 with one condition: they wanted him to throw his two best pitches 90 percent of the time, upping his splitter to 50 percent of his repertoir. Calling on his best moves, Gausman is one of the top three starters in baseball by several statistical measures. He’s limited opponents to .163 and .136 batting averages against his fastball and splitter, and has bored proponents of offense to death, only allowing 3 or more runs on two occassions.

Beyond Posey and Gausman, the offensive resurgence of veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford, the depenable pitching of Anthony DeScalfani, and the versatility of outfielder Mike Tauchman, cannot be underestimated in their roles in the Giants’ success.

When a team like this, built on overlooked, undervalued pieces, begins to lose momentum, one can only
assume a definitive return to Earth will occur during the second half of the season. However, a May 28 moment
might be an omen favoring the Giants ability to keep on rolling throughout the 2021 season. On a Friday night
at Dodger Stadium, Albert Pujols began jogging to first after hitting a game-winning home run that spelled the
Giants’ fifth loss in seven games, a worrisome streak of regression. But it wasn’t a game-winning dinger; it
was a monster, wall-climbing catch by Tauchman that kept a night that eventually led to a Giants victory going, that turned the tide for the Giants to take three straight from the star-studded Dodgers.