Local News

A Sunny, Great Yuba Pass Cook Off Produces Winners

A view of the awards ceremony at the famous GYPCC.

By Don Russell

For the 157th time in the Great Yuba Pass Chili Cook-off’s 30 year history, Jenny Varn again took home the first place trophy. 

There was much amiss at last Saturday’s festivities. Sixteen cooks suffered the balmy weather. Some health issues prevented Loyalton’s Andy White from creating his traditional masterpiece. He rarely misses the event, and always improves it. His absence, however, did not prevent judge Paul Bianco from taking some cheap shots at him in a rant that excoriated several other participants. With any luck, those disparaging comments will be published in some future edition of this scurrilous rag. 

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East & West Side Chilis to Battle Saturday, March 6, at Yuba Pass

By Don Russell

Not unlike professional football, or national politics, the Great Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off (GYPCCO) is a genteel substitute for war. It is, basically, a no-rules conflict between right and wrong, between good and evil. Representing the former are western county cooks. The east side will the represented by delusional participants convinced of their own rectitude. Eventually, we should pray for them all, but the first order of business is to demonstrate their unworthiness.

However, to preserve the fantasy of fairness, two east side citizens have been named judges. We don’t expect them to respond to decent bribes, but we hope to bury them through sheer numbers. They are pondering just what enticements they prefer.  

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Big Tree Hunters Discover 3 of the Tallest Sugar Pines

Duncan Kennedy of Calpine is pictured standing next to a massive Sugar Pine he and Michael Taylor
have located using data supplied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

By Laney Griffo

For more than a decade, big tree hunter Michael Taylor has been bagging big tree finds. This past October, he added the second, third and sixth tallest known sugar pines to his list of finds.

The second and third tallest Sugar Pines are located in Tahoe National Forest and measure at 267.5 ft and 267.15 ft. The 267.15 foot tree, dubbed the “Redonkulous” tree, measures at 10.5 feet in diameter at the breast height, which is 4.5 feet up from the ground. 

The sixth tallest Sugar Pine, which is still unnamed as is the second tallest, was found in Stanislaus National Forest and is 263.17 ft tall. 

Taylor is a LiDAR specialist, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging. According to NOAA, LiDAR, “is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.” Taylor said the laser gives billions and or even trillions of returns which can be used to construct a surface map. 

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A Heavy Snowfall: A Missing Person, An Overdue Party, Search & Rescue Efforts Ensue

(Downieville) This past Saturday, January 30, the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received information about a man from the Tahoe area who left Grass Valley for Truckee along CA-49 the previous Sunday but had not been heard from since then.

With photos of the missing individual and his vehicle in their possession, the SCSO forwarded this information to all local law enforcement agencies, CalTrans, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP), asking them to be on the lookout for the man and his truck. However, despite the efforts of these groups, as well as family members checking CA-49 through Nevada, Yuba, and Sierra counties, these endeavors proved fruitless. 

However, on Sunday, January 31, one week after going missing, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from the missing person. Although the call was dropped, they confirmed it was from the missing person and obtained the caller’s GPS location, Henness Pass Road east of Alleghany in Sierra County. 

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Help the Salmon, Steelhead, and Bears

Good news, readers, the period for commenting on a new federal rule designed to facilitate the re-introduction of salmon and steelhead runs to the upper reaches of the Yuba River has been extended through March 12, 2021. To learn more about the rule and an environmental assessment of the proposal, readers can point their browser to the following link: <https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/proposed-rule-authorize-

For those who want to make a formal comment about the proposed rule, readers should visit <https://beta.regulations.gov/docket/NOAA-NMFS-2020-0139/document>.
The editor of this paper has long championed the re-introduction of the native fish who, for eons, kept the local bears fat and happy. Thus, for the sake of the bears, alone, forget the tourists, he filed a comment with NOAA. He also hopes readers will also comment to support the fish and bears.