Gary and Barb Bagley celebrate 65th Anniversary at Senior Nutrition Center

Gary and Barb Bagley celebrated 65 years of marriage at the Senior Nutrition Center lunch on August 16.

Gary and Barb Bagley with Linda Colvin, Walt and Lorraine Libal, and George Whitfield

Before the meal everyone sang Happy Anniversary. George Whitfield and Alex Colvin sang several songs in their honor.

The couple met as when they were students at Santa Rosa High School. When Gary was 18 and Barb was 16, they eloped to Reno where they were married by a Justice of the Peace named G. W. Priest.

Gary said, “It’s been a long .journey that I wouldn’t travel with anybody else.”

Barb said, “Tic, tic, tic…”

Time goes by. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bagley!

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Filed under Burney, Senior Nutrition Center, Seniors, Tri-Counties Community Center

Songbird, Phoenix, Pickles, and Trail Families

“The number one rule of the PCT,” Songbird assured me, “is ‘hike your own hike.'”

He went on to explain, however, that hikers do form friendly “trail families.”

“When you meet other hikers on the trail with whom your goals align, it is wonderful to trek together because shared memories are deeper and richer than solo memories. Be the best friend you can, stay fluid and flexible,” he said, “but don’t generate expectations.”

Songbird is from Tukerton, New Jersey and has been hiking north on the Pacific Crest Trail for more than three months. I met him in the parking lot of the Dollar General along with three members of his PCT trail family: Phoenix from Santa Cruz; Pickles from Philadelphia; and Whoopie from San Jose.

Songbird, Whoopie, Phoenix, MIssy Lyons, and Pickles

I had brought my wife Linda to the store to buy a few items. I didn’t see the hikers at first, because a car was blocking my view, but when the car pulled out, there were two sitting on the curb by their packs chatting.

Then Missy Lyons drove up into the empty parking spot between me and the hikers. She said “hi” as she got out and immediately went over and began cheerfully asking them questions.

They told her that they were thru hikers, had hiked about 1400 miles from the Mexican border, and were on their way to Canada. When they began to ask some questions about local trail conditions and places to stay, she said, “That man over there knows a lot about …”

So I figured that was my cue and went out to meet them. I mentioned the Burney Mountain Guest Ranch, which they had passed, Burney Lodging, and camping at Burney Falls Park. They actually were anxious to get a few more miles in before dark so I asked them if they would like a ride. They said they would appreciate a ride out to the trail head. As we talked two more hikers came out of the store.

Songbird, Phoenix, and Pickles wanted a ride to the trailhead. Whoopie from San Jose decided that he wanted to stay in town for awhile and take in a meal at McDonald’s. Phoenix still had shopping to do, so the trio told me they would wait for me at the Dollar General while I took Linda home to unload our own “resupply.”

When I returned, Phoenix was still shopping so I sat down and we passed the time in conversation.

Pickles from Philadelphia said the hike was part hiking and part thinking and reflecting. Then he also acknowledged that it was also part learning not to think. Urban life is very busy and we are thinking all the time.

Pickles said, “When I get back to the city, I want to take time to get out of the city into nature so I can just wander and refresh myself.”

He earned a degree in art therapy with a minor in art and has been working as an art therapist. His girlfriend in Pennsylvania is going back to school to finish her education. Pickles said that as he hiked he has realized that rather than doing therapy, he wants to devote himself to art.

I told him that I painted with acrylics and he pulled out his phone and googled some of my work. Then he showed me an image of one of his paintings, an urban scene with a fascinating blend of split complementary colors mixed with text expressing his unique voice.

“People say you shouldn’t mix text with painting,” he said.

“But that’s what they think…” we both refrained simultaneously and laughed.

Pickles compared a lesson he had learned from art to hiking the trail.

“You just show up,” he said. “Sometimes the inspiration is there and sometimes it’s not, but you show up every day. Sometimes I don’t like hiking the trail because it is difficult or painful, but I show up every day. I don’t even necessarily think about the destination.”

Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s truly inspirational! You just show up everyday.

In the meantime, Phoenix rejoined us from the store. She is attending University of California Santa Cruz studying premed.

“I have almost completed my undergraduate degree, but then the trail called,” she said, “so I will finish up when I complete the hike.”

She was planning to go on to study neurology, but now is thinking of going into cardiovascular work instead.

When she heard Pickles and I discussing art she said, “I would like to get back into art!”

We asked what kind of art she did and she said she was more realistic and had done a lot of drawing in the past.

One of the pleasures of the trail is that the hikers have such diverse talents.

As we prepared to load their packs into the Jeep, Songbird told me that they had a trail family of eight. He showed me two pictures: seven of them at the foot of Mt. Whitney and another somewhere further up the trail with all eight of them.

He and Phoenix had currently been hiking together for about three weeks. They hadn’t seen Pickles for several weeks but now they would be hiking together for awhile. Another of their family had hiked on ahead. One was resting at Burney Mountain Guest Lodge. Whoopie was at the McDonald’s and would hike solo but probably meet some of them again further up trail. Two others were somewhere else.

They had met earlier on the trail and become friends. Each one was hiking his own individual hike, but they stayed in touch by cell phone, followed each other’s progress on social media, reunited periodically, and hiked together when their pace and goals aligned.

On the drive to the trail head, I was silent as they checked their phones to receive messages and check trail conditions. One of their friends had just hiked 51 miles in 20 hours. He was far ahead.

Phoenix gasped. Two nineteen year old girls hiking the PCT had just been found dead in a rocky area of the bottom of a waterfall in Oregon. Everyone was deeply shocked and saddened by the tragedy and wondered how it had come to pass, but they took it in stride. They had faced some close calls themselves.

Songbird, Phoenix, and Pickles ready to head north to Canada

You never know what the trail may hold. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. You just show up everyday. Sometimes you hike alone, sometimes you create a wealth of shared memories with friends and family. It is a challenging journey full of beauty and love.

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Mountain Valley Wellness Week 2017

The first of five health fairs organized by Mountain Valleys Health Clinics took place at the Safeway in Burney on Monday August 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Community Wellness Week 2017 at Safeway

It was very visible from the highway, so lots of people pulled in or stopped after shopping to explore some of the health services in the Intermountain area.

There were 14 booths representing various health providers and agencies plus the Burney Fire Department.

Mountain Valleys offered a $20 blood draw which included lipid panel, comprehensive metabolic panel, and a complete blood count. They also provided $10 tests for hemoglobin, prostate (PSA), and Thyroid (TSH), as well as a $20 test for Vitamin D.

Terri Schmitt from Big Valley Clinic mans the Mountain Valley booth

Meyer’s Memorial Hospital had a booth with information about their services at which they provided free blood pressure tests.

Mayers Memorial at Wellness Week 2017

Dr. Roces and Jeanette Braccialini from the Burney Dental Center were there.

Maria Roces DDS and Jeanette Braccialini  from Burney Dental Center

The Intermountain-Modoc Shriner Club had a booth.

Intermountain Modoc Shrine Club with two young friends

Among the other agencies represented were Health and Human Services, Head Start, and booths helping with tobacco addiction, aging, and other health issues.

Visitors were also treated to a delicious lunch with a broccoli/bacon salad, an oriental noodle salad, and a healthy apple.

Community Wellness week will continue through the week with 9 a.m. -1 p.m. health fairs at:

  • Plumas Bank in Fall River Mills on Tuesday, August 15
  • Adin Community Park in Adin on Wednesday, August 16
  • Veterans Park in Tulelake on Thursday, August 17, and
  • City Hall in Dorns on Friday, August 1

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Community Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

Shasta Regional Community Foundation announces recent awards to recipients in Shasta and Siskiyou counties in the fields of Animal Welfare and Community Arts. The Community Foundation administers the grants and the corresponding funds while grant review committee members from the region serve to evaluate proposals and make recommendations for funding.

The following organizations were awarded grants from the Animal Welfare Endowment Fund, established in 2009 to provide care for animals in Shasta and Siskiyou counties:

  • Haven Humane Society,                $7,500 to provide low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for dogs
  • Horses Assist Lives Organization (HALO,) $4,898 to provide feed, veterinary care, vaccinations, and saddle pads for program horses
  • Siskiyou Spay & Neuter Incentive Program (SNIP), $7,500 to provide low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for cats and dogs
  • Stable Hands, $3,000 to purchase horse shelters
  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park, $7,500 to cover veterinary costs for animal ambassadors

The following recipients were awarded grants from the Community Arts Endowment Fund, established to support the arts in our region today and forever. Grants are made to nonprofits, public entities, and individual artists for the creation and presentation of new work in any media:

  • Axiom Repertory Theatre, $2,500 to fund royalties and rental fees for five upcoming shows
  • Enterprise High School, $1,000 to fund the free productions of Robin Hood and Into the Woods for surrounding schools
  • Eric Whitmer, Individual Artist, $1,250 to cover costs of a concert series featuring local youth musicians and composers
  • Kim Solga, Individual Artist, $2,500 to fund materials and labor for mural painting in Mt. Shasta
  • Siskiyou County Arts Council, $1,629 to purchase portable dance floor, microphones and sound system for outdoor performances of Shasta Studios/Mt. Shasta Children’s Theatre
  • Turtle Bay Exploration Park, $2,500 to provide support of the Drop-in Art Studio

The Shasta Regional Community Foundation is a resource building organization in Shasta and Siskiyou

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Baltimore, bicycle riders, Radium Girls, and Ray Berry

Last week I posted an article about the 4K for Cancer bicyclists stopping in Burney on their ride from the east coast to San Francisco.

I limited the account to a short third person report about their trip and the work of the Ulman Cancer Fund to generate support for young adults and their loved ones impacted by cancer.

What I didn’t include in the article was my delightfully surprising personal experience interacting with the young riders.

It had been a busy day. Earlier, I had gone to the Veterans  Hall to cover the United Bikers of Northern California fundraising run for One SAFE Place. Also, our daughter Dena and her boyfriend Jim were visiting from Maryland and that afternoon we went to Burney Falls and hiked on the trail. ‘

When we returned, as they were relaxing in the back yard, I raced over to Gepetto’s to meet the 4K riders.

I was wearing a bright orange Baltimore Orioles t-shirt. I entered Gepetto’s and went to the entrance to the meeting room where the riders were enjoying salad and pizza. I was greeted by a young man named Meldrick Umahon.

I asked him to please take me to their leader.

“I am one of the group leaders,” he replied.

He brought me into the room and introduced me to the other group leader, a young lady named Sara Brown from Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Nate Fanzione and Jen Wedekind from the Baltimore area with Meldrick Umahon and Sara Brown

As we entered the room, several of the young adults looked up, saw my t-shirt and exclaimed, “Baltimore Orioles!” “Go O’s!”

It kind of surprised me. I thought that the riders had begun their cross-country tour in New York, but Meldrick explained to me that they had actually begun in Baltimore and Baltimore was in fact the headquarters of the Ulman Foundation.

I told them that I had lived in and around Baltimore for over 30 years. So as I interviewed the two leaders several riders from the Baltimore area joined us at the table and we shared Baltimore experiences.

The conversation then took and interesting turn when I asked Meldrick where his home town of Livingston, New Jersey was located. He asked me if I new where Newark, New Jersey was.

My grandfather Ray Berry had a law office in New Jersey that I had visited with him in the 1960’s.

It turns out the college that Meldrick attended in New Jersey was a law college, so I asked him if he had ever heard of the Radium Girls case. Meldrick got really excited.

Radium Girls book

“The book the Radium Girls was required reading for all students one year at my college!” He informed me.

When I told him that the lawyer who represented the girls in the case was my grandfather, Raymond Berry, he was astounded.

“Not only that,” he continued, “I was a musical theatre major, and the same year that we read the book we also performed the play Radium Girls!”

When the non-fiction book Radium Girls was first published in England, I received a copy of the book from the author Kate Moore and was able to suggest a few corrections. Since that time, the American edition came out. In April 2017 Kate Moore did an interview with NPR  and then a book tour in the US.

Ms. Moore invited my daughter Hana Lyn, who lives in Baltimore, to come to the opening of the tour at a bookstore in Manhattan. My grandfather’s nephew, John Berry, also came down from Connecticut to attend and the three of them went out for drinks afterwards.

John Berry attended school in Burney as a child. His father, also John Berry, came to Burney shortly after my grandfather to work for Scott Lumber Company in the 1940’s and 50’s. In addition to his work as a lawyer he also did the architectural design for the Burney Presbyterian Church.

So the publication of Radium Girls resulted in a sort of family reunion. When the younger John Berry contacted me he explained that his father and my grandfather were very competitive and parted ways. His father returned to the east coast. That was all before I first came to Burney in 1956.

Anyway, Meldrick was very interested to meet the grandson of the lawyer whose case he had read about and helped to dramatize recently in college.

I was also able to let him know that a movie is being produced about the Radium Girls. Just recently, I was contacted by one of the co-directors, Virginia Mohler for information about Ray Berry’s family.

It is interesting to note that the movie is not based on Kate Moore’s book. Work on both projects had their genesis about the same time after the play came out but proceeded independently. The movie will be historical fiction. The lawyer in the case will be “loosely based” upon Ray Berry. In the movie his name is Henry Berry.

The filming is finished and final production is progress. The film will be introduced at various film festivals next year and hopefully will make its way to movie theatres.

It is fascinating that this 1928 law case, which holds an important place in the history of both the field of health physics and the labor rights movement, is now gaining such wide interest. The Radium Girls case helped to establish the right of individual workers to sue for damages from corporations due to labor abuse.

Also, how ironic it is that my grandfather, a staunch conservative who served on the Central Committee of the state Republican Party when Ronald Reagan was Governor of California, is going down in history as a seminal figure in the development of labor law. As general manager of Scott Lumber Company he participated in intense negotiations and fierce battles with local unions and the AFL-CIO.

He was complex. On the one hand, he was a strong advocate of right to work laws, while at the same time he was very compassionate and deeply concerned about the welfare of individual workers.

On another note, when I mentioned to Meldrick that my mother died of cancer, he asked her name. He explained that they dedicated each day of their ride to a cancer victim and said that the next day they would dedicate their ride to the memory of Alice B. Stone. I was very touched.

Our conversation ended. As we went out to shoot a group picture, another delightful young lady, Autumn Kramer, came up to ask me if I was really from Baltimore. She lives in Catonsville, about a mile away from where my daughter Hana Lyn lives. We took the pictures and did a special cheer for Baltimore.

While everyone was boarding the vans to go to Burney Falls, Autumn came back to shake my hand and thank me for coming to meet them.

I assured her that the pleasure was mine.

Alex Colvin talking with Steve and Suzie Knoch about the Berry Family and Scott Lumber Company

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Chamber volunteer opportunities

From Jen Luck, Office Manager, Burney Chamber of Commerce:

1) The Chamber is seeking volunteers to assist with the planning of our annual FALL FLING fundraiser taking place this year on Saturday, October 28th. This event is the chamber’s largest fundraiser of the year and provides the revenue needed to cover staffing & operating expenses.

2) If you are a community minded individual and can commit yourself to a monthly meeting and have a desire to preserve our community, we are seeking board members for a Foundation that will apply for grants and hold fundraisers to raise money to maintain our community assets.
If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact me at 530-335-2111.

 Thank you!


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F Troop hosts run for Northern California bikers

F Troop, the Burney Chapter of United Bikers of California, hosted its Annual High Bars and Low Cars Run for the Money on August 5. Dozens of bikers from clubs throughout Northern California came to participate.

Gene Brookover from UBNC Trinity County on his 2003 Road King Classic

The event raises money for One SAFE Place,  an organization that provides legal services, safety, and emotional support to victims of domestic assault and sexual abuse. One SAFE Place has an Intermountain Crisis Line, 530-244-0117. Victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence throughout the county can call the number and the call will be routed to local volunteers who will provide appropriate help and assistance.

Kristi Hanson, Event Manager for One SAFE Place, said that the Low Cars and High Bars “is the longest running independent fundraiser for our organization. They have been raising money for us for 14 years.”

Ron and Marian Marglen, Kristi Hanson, Greg and Carol Trotter, and George Whitfield

Motorcyclists gathered during the morning at the Veterans Hall in Burney to register. Bikers from UBNC chapters throughout Northern California participated. Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Butte, Tehama, and Humboldt were among the counties represented. In addition, other clubs such as Back From Hell and the Christian Motorcycle Club also took part.

At noon, the run began. Bikers rode up Hwy 89 to Clark Creek Road, over Lake Britton Dam back to 89, and then back to Burney. Along the way they picked up poker cards to add to their hand.

By 2 p.m., everyone had returned to the hall for a delicious barbecue lunch and presentation of awards. Plaques were presented for high hand and low hand. In addition there were awards for Best Bike, Best Car and Longest Distance.

United Bikers of Northern California is a non-profit tax exempt charitable organization dedicated to the freedom and safety of all motorcyclists. Their motto is “Ride to Live — Live to Give — Give to Ride — Live to Ride.”

Burney’s local UBNC chapter, F Troop also hosts a Christmas Toy Run each year in December when they distribute toys to children from low income families in the Intermoutain Area.


F Troop Christmas Toy Run

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Filed under Burney, Motorcycles, United Bikers - F Troop