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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Dr. Kermit Jones, Candidate for Congress, Visits Sierra County

Dr. Kermit Jones, congressional candidate, speaks with Downieville medical practicioner Frank Lank at an event on April 29th

By Duncan A. Kennedy and Carl J. Butz

(SIERRA COUNTY) – This past Friday, April 29th, Dr. Kermit Jones, a candidate for the open seat in California’s newly-drawn Third Congressional District (an area consisting of all or parts of Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, Yuba, Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado, Alpine, Mono, and Inyo counties), conducted a “whistle-stop” tour of Sierra County.

Jones started his visit, accompanied by Sierra County Supervisors Paul Roen and Sharon Dryden, with a tour of the sawmill and currently idle biomass (co-gen) plant located in Loyalton. Next, Jones traveled over Yuba Pass to visit the Sierra County Democrats’ office in Sierra City to greet and encourage supporters. His last campaign stop of the day took place at the Gazebo in Downieville. Once again, he met with Democrats to answer questions about his reasons for running and garner their assistance in promoting his candidacy.

This tour also included interviews by The Mountain Messenger. Here is a synopsis of his responses to the questions we asked him.

Can you quickly tell us about your life story?

Jones was born and raised on a blueberry farm in rural Michigan. Inspired to pursue a medical career by his mother, a nurse in their isolated community, he attended Georgia Tech and then Duke University. During his third year of medical school, the 9/11 attacks spurred him to join the U.S. Navy. After returning from two deployments in Iraq as a flight surgeon, Jones became a White House Fellow specializing in veteran’s issues before moving to Northern California in 2016 and becoming an internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville.

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Feather River College Teams Heading to Baseball and Softball Playoffs

(QUINCY) After finishing their regular season as champions of the California Community College Athletics Association’s (CCCAA) Golden Valley Conference with a 32-8 record, the Feather River College Golden Eages baseball team will be facing the Consumnes River Hawks in Round One of the CCCAA’s statewide playoffs.

The best two-out-of-three competiton begins on Friday, May 6, at 2 PM on Feather River College’s baseball diamond if the weather (rain showers are being forecast) cooperates. The second game (with less chance for precipitation) is slated to start at 11 AM on Saturday, May 7. If necessary, the third game in this regional playoff round is scheduled to begin at 3 PM on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Feather River College’s Golden Eagles softball team finished a strong season with a record of 27-13 and earned second place in the Golden Valley Conference.

Now, after being awarded the #12 seed in the CCCAA Northern California Playoffs, the FRC’s softball team will be traveling to Sacramento to play the tournament’s #5 seed, Consumnes River College (CRC) this Friday (5/6) and Saturday (5/7) in the first round of the Northern California Regional Playoffs. CRC finished the season with a record of 24-14, finishing 2nd in their Big 8 Conference.

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Local Elections to be Contested in June

By Duncan A. Kennedy and Carl J. Butz

Once again, a general election year is upon our nation. Ballots for federal, state, and local elections will go out to registered voters in June and November. Once the tallies of these ballots are certified, next January’s leaders of our governing bodies will be determined.

During the 2022 election cycle, the mass media will focus on runs for statewide offices or races for desks at state and federal legislatures. However, numerous county-level races here in the mountains are worthy of attention, too.

Therefore, between now and November, The Mountain Messenger looks forward to profiling contests for local offices. This week we concentrate on sketching out the scene in Plumas County, a jurisdiction in the midst of trying to recover from the devastation of two major wildfires in the past two years. We will extend our coverage of local elections to Sierra and Nevada counties in future issues.

Plumas County

Incumbents (*) facing contested races for elected office in June include:

County Sheriff-Coroner: Todd Johns* v. Dwight Cline

District Three Supervisor: Tom McGowan v. Kelley Cote

District Five Supervisor: Jeff Engel* v. Mimi Garner

County Assessor: Cindy Froggart* v. Amy Hendrickson

The candidates for County Sheriff-Coroner worked together at the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) before Cline retired from the force in 2017. As Cline told the Plumas News recently, when Sheriff Hagwood retired to become a member of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors in 2019, he considered applying for the appointment of Hagwood’s successor. Cline refrained, however, thinking another candidate – Carson Wingfield – would win the job instead of Johns. Now, Cline has set out to replace Johns and fix mistakes he believes the incumbent has made. For example, some “questionable hires” and allowing staff “morale” problems to deplete the Sheriff’s workforce.

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