Category: Local

On The Shelf [7/22]

By Paul Guffin

Historical Doings in the Month of July
We are more than halfway through the month of July, and have celebrated one big July event. But, there were more.(All of this information was found on the internet, which is possible to achieve at the Downieville Library, using either the library’s computer or your own device via the library’s WiFi connection.)

July 1: Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day, commemorating the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada and some of the Maritime Provinces into the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867
July 2: 1788, Congress announced that the U.S. Constitution had been ratified by the required 9 states
July 3: 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec
July 4: 1884, the Statue of Liberty was presented to the United States in Paris
July 5: 1946, the bikini made its debut at a Paris fashion show

July 6: 1885, Louis Pasteur gave the first successful anti-rabies inoculation to a boy who had been bitten by an infected dog
July 7: 1906, baseball pitcher Leroy R. (Satchel) Paige was born in Mobile, Alabama
July 8: 951, the city of Paris was founded
July 9: 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, defining U.S. citizenship, prohibiting individual states from abridging the rights of any U.S. citizen without due process and equal protection under the law, and barring individuals involved in rebellion against the U.S. from holding public office
July 10: 1973, the Bahamas gained their independence after 250 years as a British Crown Colony

July 11: 1804, former Vice President Aaron Burr killed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel
July 12: 1817, philosopher Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts
July 13: 1985, Live Aid Concerts, raising funds from famine relief in Ethiopia, were held in cities around the world,
including London, Philadelphia, Sydney, and Moscow
July 14: 1789, the fall of the Bastille occurred at the beginning of the French Revolution
July 15: 1099, Jerusalem was captured and plundered by Christian forces during the First Crusade

July 16: 1969, Apollo 11 Lunar landing mission began with liftoff from Kennedy Space Center at 9:37 AM
July 17: 1859, Puerto Rican patriot Luis Munoz-Rivera was born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
July 18: 1947, President Harry Truman signed an Executive Order determining the line of succession, if the president
becomes incapacitated or dies in office; this eventually became the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1967
July 19: 1848 (and July 20) a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, marking the beginning
of an organized women’s rights movement in the U.S.
July 20: 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong took the first step onto the moon, proclaiming, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

July 21: 1898, Guam was ceded to the U.S. by Spain
July 22: 1933, Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world
July 23: 1952, Egyptian army officers launched a revolution, changing Egypt from a monarchy to a republic
July 24: 1783, Simon Bolivar (“The Liberator”) was born in Caracas, Venezuela
July 25: 1956, the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm

July 26: 1953, the beginning of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary “26th of July Movement”
July 27: 1953, the Korean War ended with the signing of an armistice at Panmunjom, Korea
July 28: 1932, the Bonus March eviction in Washington, D.C. occurred as U.S. Army troops under the command of
General Douglas MacArthur, Major Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Major George S. Patton, under orders from President
Herbert Hoover, attacked and burned the encampments of unemployed WWI veterans
July 29: 1928, Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” premiered
July 30: 1965, the Social Security Act Amendments, establishing Medicare and Medicaid, was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson
July 31: 1790, the U.S. Patent Office first opened its doors (the first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of
Vermont for a new method of making pearlash and potash).

Update on Community Hall Renovation

At the Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) meeting on Tuesday, July 13, Bryan Davey from Sierra County Planning/
Public Works spoke to the group about the progress made on applying for Prop 68 funding of improvements for the
Downieville Community Hall.

Davey explained to the group how the grant application requires solid documentation of the matching funds demanded (20 percent of the total cost) to qualify the project for a grant. DIG’s donation of $70,000 will meet this figure and the County has prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) certifying the money will be available to cover 20 percent of the project’s costs.

This MOU was placed on the Consent Agenda for the July 20th meeting of the Board of Supervisors and during their August 3rd meeting the Board will recognize DIG for their generous contribution to the project. Six years ago, when DIG sponsored the first Brewfest, their goal was to raise money for work on the Community Hall. It’s nice the group will be able to take a bow on August 3rd. Accolades for their support of the Community Hall will be even greater when the project is completed, late in 2022, if all goes according to plan.

A Celebration of Don Marshall’s Life

Donnie never wanted a funeral—he wanted a party. So a
party he will have. A party in honor of Don ‘Donnie’
Marshall’s life is planned for Saturday, August 14, 2021,
between 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at ‘Don and Laura’s house’ in
Sierra City. Refreshments and food will be served, no utensils
will be provided (because Donnie didn’t believe in them). All
are welcome to celebrate this fantastic man.

AT&T Finally Removes Cable Lines From the Ground at Fournier Ranch

By Stephen Kulieke

AT&T finally removed its telephone and internet cable lines from the ground last week in the Fournier Ranch area eight miles above Downieville, where the lines lay strewn since a storm brought them down in the winter of 2017-18.

AT&T customers in Sierra City where the lines feed have regularly complained of poor service and phone/internet interruptions. Their complaints reached a crescendo over the busy Memorial Day weekend when extended outages caused havoc for businesses and residents and made making a 911 call impossible.

In coverage on June 3 and July 1, The Mountain Messenger spotlighted the downed lines and ongoing service problems–and the resulting significant risk to public safety and the community’s economy. Sierra County representatives—led by Tim Beals, Director of Public Works, Roads, and Transportation—pressed the telecommunications giant to provide the reliable service and maintenance that Sierra County citizens deserve.

Early in July, Lee Kirby documented the downed AT&T lines on her Fournier Ranch property in photos that
appeared in The Mountain Messenger. Later in the month, she saw multiple AT&T trucks with giant spools of cable in the Fournier Ranch subdivision, and last week she confirmed that the lines on the ground were finally gone.

“I can’t help but believe The Messenger’s media push plus Tim Beals’ demands finally paid off,” said Kirby,
the retired CEO of the Sierra County Superior Court. Beals said that the county “continues to press for
accountability and better communications” from AT&T. Beals has requested that an AT&T representative
attend the upcoming Aug. 3 Sierra County Board of Supervisors meeting to present information and
answer questions. While his request was acknowledged by AT&T, the company has not yet agreed to attend.

Meanwhile, for the many rural Californians without readily available, affordable broadband, help may be on
the way.

As The Mountain Messenger went to press, a new law enacted on July 20—the Broadband Budget Bill, AB 156—promises to increase “equitable, affordable access to high-speed internet service across California.” According to
Governor Gavin Newsom’s office: “Through a $6 billion multi-year investment, more Californians will be able to
access broadband coverage with the construction of a state-owned open access middle mile network and
last mile projects that connect unserved household and businesses with local networks.”

2021 Wildfires Continue to Torch Northern Sierra

The photo, above, showing the smoke plume rising from the Dixie Fire on the afternoon of July 21 was
taken from the top of Mt. Elwell, roughly thirty miles to the east-south-east of the inferno moving in
northeast in the general direction of Lake Almanor.

With the height of an already dangerous season still lying ahead, wildfires continue to torch the beleaguered Northern Sierra region. Of greatest current concern is the active and growing Dixie Fire in the Feather River Canyon region of Butte and Plumas counties—while the Beckwourth Complex Fire moves closer to containment.

Here are updates as of Wednesday morning:

Dixie Fire: As of July 21 at 7 am, the Dixie Fire had burned 85,479 acres with 15%
containment. Two structures have been destroyed with 810 threatened. Mandatory evacuations
were issued Wednesday for everything west to the Butte-Plumas County line, and the
community of Seneca south to Hwy 70. Evacuation warnings were in effect for Chester and
the Lake Almanor Peninsula. The fire was expected to continue to move northeast, with fire
crews using existing control lines from the Bear and Chips fires of 2020 and 2012 respectively.
PG&E filed a report on 7/18 with the California Public Utilities Commission stating that its
equipment—blown fuses on one of its power lines—on July 13 may have ignited the Dixie
Fire. On Wednesday, a Northern District of California judge ordered PG&E to file a statement
under oath regarding the origins of the fire. Also on Wednesday, the utility said it was initiating
a project to bury 10,000 miles of power lines in California’s highest risk fire areas. For the
latest on the Dixie Fire , go to:

Beckwourth Complex Fire: California’s largest fire to date in 2021 (as reported in the July
8 and 15 issues of The Mountain Messenger) is not expected to move outside of its current
perimeter. The complex is comprised of two fires: the Sugar Fire (as of July 21, 105,076 acres
at 90% containment) and the Dotta Fire (594 acres at 100% containment). For updates, go to:

Tamarack Fire: The fire is burning in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest southeast of
Lake Tahoe. Reports on July 21 said the fire had exceeded 40,000 acres with 0% containment.
For updates, go to:
Smoke from the Dixie Fire continues to spread across large portions of northeastern California
and western Nevada. But the fires in California, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, and other
western U.S. states and Canada are not only degrading air quality in immediately adjacent
regions. Smoke carried by the jet stream is causing pollution on the other side of the North
American continent with harmful air reported in such cities as New York City and Philadelphia.
Both cities reported Air Quality Index (AQI) readings at or above 170/“Unhealthy,” with
western wildfire smoke a significant factor.