Local News

Local Elections, Part 2 – Sierra and Nevada Counties

By Duncan A. Kennedy

CALPINE – In our April 28th edition, The Mountain Messenger detailed what is taking place in the current Plumas County electoral scene. This week, we are exploring the state of the races in Sierra and Nevada counties as the June 7th general primary draws closer.

Sierra County

Nine public offices are up for election this year, but only one is contested. The races are listed below, with incumbents depicted by an asterisk(*):

Assessor: Laura Marshall*

Auditor/Treasurer-Tax Collector: Van Maddox*

Clerk-Recorder: Heather Foster*

County Supervisor, District Two: Lila Heuer v. Sandy Sanders

County Supervisor, District Five: Sharon Dryden*

District Attorney: Sandra Groven*

Sheriff-Coroner: Mike Fisher*

Superior Court Justice: Charles Ervin*

Superintendent of Schools: James Berardi*

In the one contested race, with no incumbent due to the retirement of Sierra County stalwart Peter Huebner (Supervisor for District Two since 1999), two candidates have emerged to replace him.

Lila Heuer, age 75, is a long-time resident of Sierra City and the proprietor of a motel, My Sister’s Cottage, there. She also drives the Golden Rays Senior Citizens bus from Downieville to as far as Reno and Sacramento for her fellow seniors. She spoke at the Gold Nugget Republican Women’s April 20th candidate luncheon, an event The Mountain Messenger covered, and she has also expressed interest in speaking at future Sierra County Democrats events.

Heuer’s opponent is Gerald “Sandy” Sanders, a native of Georgia whose parents met in Sierra County and spent time in Sierra County every year during his youth; in 2021 he was able to fulfill a long-time dream by escaping here from the Bay Area. The Messenger interviewed him recently and will publish his story soon.

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FRC’s Ball Teams Play in Northern California Regional Championships

By Carl J. Butz

Oddly enough, this past weekend both the Feather River College’s Golden Eagles baseball and softball teams played a best two-out-of-three series against the Consumnes River College (CRC) Hawks during the first round of the California Community College Athletics Association’s (CCCAA) Northern California Regional Championship tournament. FRC hosted the baseball games and CRC hosted the softball games.

On Friday afternoon in Quincy, FRC’s baseball team took an early lead by scoring five runs in the first two innings. Behind strong pitching by their starter, Dylan Cabral, the Golden Eagles held their 5-0 lead for seven innings. However, in the top of the eighth, the Hawks rallied and scored four runs to chase Cabral and reliever Dakota Todd off the mound before Jason Christianson came in to end the inning two strikeouts In the bottom of the inning, the Golden Eagles responded well by putting two more runs on the scoreboard. In the top of the ninth Christianson struck out the side, earning a save in the home team’s 7-4 victory.

On Saturday morning, with the host team batting first, the Golden Eagles again took an early lead by scoring six runs in the top of the second inning. This time, though, the Hawks countered quickly, hitting two home runs and scoring five runs. But then, for the next five and a half innings, the pitchers for the fielders for both teams played excellently and the score remained at 6-5 in favor of the Golden Eagles going into the bottom of the eighth. Unfortunately for FRC, in the bottom of the inning, the Hawks took advantage of errors and questioned walks to score three unearned runs. In the top of the ninth, the Hawks’ stopper, Nate Thompson, who struck out 11 during his six and two-thirds innings on the mound, had no problem closing out an 8-6 victory for CRC.

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Sierra County Visited by California’s Natural Resources Agency Secretary, Wade Crowfoot

By Duncan A. Kennedy

SIERRA CITY – Saturday, April 30th, saw Sacramento big-shot Wade Crowfoot, Director of California’s Natural Resource Agency, traveling to Sierra City for a special meet-and-greet hosted by Sierra Pines Resort. The event was set-up and moderated by District Two Supervisor candidate Sandy Sanders, a longtime friend of Crowfoot.

Crowfoot is a native of northern Michigan who moved to California in the mid-1990s. His formal education consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1996) and a Master of Public Policy (London School of Economics, 2004). Crowfoot has previously worked as West Coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and as a senior environmental advisor for Gavin Newsom during his tenure as Mayor of San Francisco. Wade met Sanders on a men’s soccer team around two decades ago; according to Sanders, “Crowfoot and [Rob] Bonta [currently California’s Attorney General] were our two best players.”

Crowfoot began with of primer on the history of fire in the West and how putting all fires out by “10 AM the next day” rule was the wrong approach, both from an ecological and fire safety standpoint. According to Crowfoot, “we now know the notion of healthy forests as untouched to be absolutely wrong,” a stance defying modern conservationist dogma but backed heavily by scientific research in fire ecology and Native American oral histories on land and fire use.

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Art & Music Sponsorships Now Available

Press Release from Sierra County Arts Council

SIERRA CITY – Sierra County Arts Council is pleased to offer Art and Music Sponsorships (AMS) 2022. The Sierra County Arts Council is always seeking opportunities to bring more cultural events and programs to our geographically isolated communities. We do not enjoy the same volunteer base and funding resources as our urban neighbors. The AMS program is designed to make the greatest use of our resources and to collaborate with local organizations to bring more art and music to all parts of Sierra County. We introduced the AMS program in 2016 and since then have funded music for events for local organizations across Sierra County including the Loyalton Rotary, local library summer reading programs, the Forest City Historical Society, Downieville Lions, local community improvement groups, the Sierra County Historical Society, local fire departments, and many other organizations.

B. J. Jordan, Executive Director of the Sierra County Arts Council, has been busy working with art advocacy groups across the state to promote funding for the arts, particularly in the rural frontier of Sierra County. As a result, we have seen an increase in funding to our local arts council through the California Arts Council. The Arts Council has also applied for and received funding for Covid Relief grants. As a result of these efforts, the Arts Council has bolstered the Art & Music Sponsorship program and expanded it to include individual artists and their projects.

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Timberfest Returns

By Duncan A. Kennedy

LOYALTON – For the first time since 2000, Sierra Timberfest will be returning to Loyalton this Saturday, May 14th.

This event, a fixture of Loyalton life every year during the 1990s. Timberfest was originally organized as a protest to the slow strangulation of the timber industry by federal injunctions and environmental regulations, but it also served as a way to keep a sense of community going while the town reeled from the declining employment in the timber industry.

The original Timberfest featured a truck parade, logging show, street fair, and a rib cookoff (the inspiration for the birth of the annual Sierra County tradition seen every March – the Great Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off).

Sadly, after nearly ten years of annual celebration, Timberfest went away the same year the Sierra Pacific Industries opted to close their Loyalton mill, an event sending the town into a downward spiral from which they have still yet to fully recover.

However, now, twenty-two years later, the event has returned thanks to the sponsorship of the Eastern Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce and CTL Forest Management (the new owners of the Loyalton Sawmill and the Golden West Saloon and Hotel) and the tireless work of community organizers such as Supervisor Terry LeBlanc.

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