Month: March 2022

Local Geologists Fear Worst from Beckwourth Peak

By Michael J. Gannett

PORTOLA – Major recent geologic activity and non-stop earthquake swarms have spawned fears of a potential eruption of Beckwourth Peak from the Lost Sierra geologic community.  The volcano has been dormant for millions of years, long enough that many geologists thought it extinct or a mere volcanic plug, until recent research came to light showing that the mighty mountain is not a mere plug, and is certainly not dormant.

“It’s a terrible situation” said geophysicist Cody Taylor, co-founder of local geologic engineering firm Shoo Fly Geoconsultants in Sloat.  “This kind of activity has never been seen at this level in this area.  Even Mount St. Helens wasn’t this geologically active before its infamous eruption in 1980.”  Taylor’s resume includes an award-winning geotechnical analysis of the New Orleans Megathrust Fault in Louisiana, which menaces the Gulf of Mexico with gargantuan quakes every 300 years.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Michigan in Petoskey, and completed his Doctoral degree in Geophysics at the University of Nevada in McDermitt.

The Shoo Fly geologic team has been in the consulting business for a combined 65 years between their three members, which also includes A.C. Hunter III, a graduate of the University of Greenland, and local legend Elizabeth McElroy, educated at Westwood’s own University of California – Almanor.  Their monitoring network across the Plumas, Lassen and Tahoe National Forests accurately predicted a major earthquake under Honey Lake five years ago, and now it is detecting a massive earthquake swarm in a very distinctive vertical pattern traveling up the inside of Beckwourth Peak – a surefire sign of a rapidly-filling magma chamber.

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Russian Naval Submarines Take Local Lakes

By George Yossarian

DOWNIEVILLE – The west side of Sierra County was rocked early Sunday morning by the discovery of a stunning global military escalation right in our own backyard. A groundskeeper at Sardine Lake Resort on Lower Sardine Lake breathlessly called the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office with the news that a state-of-the-art Russian Ratsputin-class icebreaking nuclear submarine had surfaced in the lake’s waters and was now proudly waving the three horizontal stripes of the Russian Federation’s flag over Sierra County’s own waters. Twenty minutes later, another call was received from Stampede Reservoir, where it was reported that dam operators were under siege from the crew of another Ratsputin­-class craft, and expected to be overrun within the hour.

“This is an abject disaster” said Sierra County Sheriff-Coroner Crowley Moritz in a press conference Monday morning. “We knew as a nation that the day where Russia would unacceptably escalate this conflict was near, but I think nobody ever expected that it would begin right here in Sierra County. I mean, how did they even get here?! Half these lakes are landlocked!” The confused Sheriff then abandoned the podium in a manner suggesting demonic possession, muttering repeatedly about Russian military hardware and landlocked alpine lakes.

Plumas and Lassen counties were not spared either, with Honey Lake and Lake Almanor both suddenly playing host to not one, not two, but three Ratsputins apiece. Local law enforcement is similarly baffled in both cases, particularly in Lassen since Honey Lake is a drainage basin with no outlet and a very short inlet. Rumors of a third fleet appearing in Eagle Lake are entirely unfounded; the wreckage of one found in Lake Tahoe is currently assumed to have been eaten by “Tessie”.

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Graboids Menace Lassen County

HERLONG – Lassen County is a quiet, peaceful place, home to one of the lowest county populations in California. However, its sandy plains are now terrorized by the screams of longtime Lassen locals, as the county has found itself under siege by a ravenous population of 30-foot long carnivorous earthworms seeking human flesh.

Carnilumbricius magnus, AKA the Graboid, is a cryptid species of much regional fame and fear, though other populations have been discovered in various regions worldwide. These carnivorous worms can grow up to ten yards in length and weigh over one and a half tons, and are capable of burrowing through alluvial sand and silt soils at speeds of over 20 miles per hour. Graboids are blind animals relying on sound to sense their prey and obstacles in their path; upon cornering or trapping their prey, they will consume them by ensnaring them with their three snakelike tongues, each of which has a paralytic bite.

Graboids were first discovered in 1990 by two handymen and a UNR Ph.D student near the town of Perfection, Nevada, on the east side of the Toiyabe Range; a population of half a dozen graboids menaced the town until the residents successfully put them down. Various subspecies have evolved since the discovery of these critters, including bipedal ones with infrared vision and no hearing (known as “Shriekers”) and ones capable of jet-propelled flight due to chemical reactions in their stomachs (“Ass-Blasters”). Currently, Lassen County is only menaced by regular Graboids; our readers in Sierra Valley and beyond can be assured our endemic subspecies of Graboid can grow no longer than four inches due to the heavy clay soil and mountainous terrain bounding their range.

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Mother Hips to play in Grass Valley on April 1

GRASS VALLEY — The Mother Hips—the funk/Americana band haling from Chico — will be performing on April 1 in the Marisa Funk Theater in Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts.

The group was formed by Tim Bluhm and Greg Loiacono when they were students at Chico State nearly 30 years ago. The group caught the ear of legendary rock ‘n’ roll producer Rick Rubin who signed the band to his label, American Recordings. Label mates included Johnny Cash, Black Crowes, and Tom Petty. They would later be named “one of the Bay Area’s most beloved live outfits” by San Francisco Guardian.

In 2021, Mother Hips released Glowing Lantern, a collection of songs written and recorded during the COVID pandemic. “The glowing lantern is a universal symbol for sanctuary,” said co-founder Bluhm. “That’s what we wanted this album to be: a warm safe place to get out of the dark cold night.”

While Glowing Lantern is the most recent to be added to its lengthy discography, audiences may recognize some of the band’s past hits like “Shoot Out,” “Desert Song,” and “It’s Alright.”

“I think the pandemic made it easier for me to see just how much music really means to people,” Bluhm said. “It can be easy to take it for granted, but when it all goes away, you’re reminded how important it is, how comforting it can be in difficult times.”

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