Monthly Archives: March 2016

Valerie Lakey speaks to Rotary about her training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama

At the meeting of the Rotary Club of Burney and Fall River at Geppetto’s Pizza on Thursday, March 31, Valerie Lakey spoke about her four-day Advanced Public Information Officer Training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Georgia.

Ms. Lakey is the Marketing Director for the Mayers Memorial Hospital District. She also serves as Mayers Director of Pubic Information. Ms. Lakey attended the training as part of a group of 40 public information officers in California, most of whom represented health care facilities.

The Center for Domestic Preparedness is the only U.S. federal facility chartered to provide comprehensive preparedness training programs to the nation’s emergency response providers. It is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which in turn is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Center for Domestic Preparedness is located on the grounds of former Fort McClellan.

Ms. Lakey said that the four-day training was “intense.” She did not just attend classes. She also acted as part of a Joint Information Center (JIC) for a fictitious state of Columbia as it underwent a series of catastrophes such as tornadoes, a train wreck with a toxic spill, and a car accident in which the governor of Columbia and his family were all killed. Their JIC had to define roles, build working relationships, gather information, determine what groups needed to be informed, and hold mock news conferences to deliver accurate and succinct reports.

The training schedule, including meals, breaks, sleep, etc., was defined by the crises as though these were real events.

The purpose of the training was to teach participants to communicate effectively in a crisis. A public information officer needs to be able to get the right information to the right people at the right time.

A public information officer also needs to be able to connect with the people they are communicating with. That includes the public, staff, the media, and family members that are affected by a disaster.

In order to connect one must also learn to “think with one’s heart.” Vague assurances such as “Our thoughts and prayers are with you” may not be effective.

In assessing the information being gathered, ask yourself, “What breaks your heart?” That is the point where you will connect empathetically with others.

Then a PIO needs to be able to determine what information is needed by each group. They need to clarify their message so that it can be communicated most effectively. Her instructors counseled them to

Be brief
Be brilliant
Be gone

Don’t cause confusion by conveying unclear, speculative, or inaccurate information. Be accurate and truthful. Don’t get caught up in talking just for the sake of talking.

Ms. Lakey also said that one of the most valuable parts of her experience was getting to know the other participants from around the state and forming a network that can share ideas, information and experience.

She plans to continue her training until she is qualified to become a trainer herself in this area.

After her talk, Rotary Club members asked several questions including how the Rotary can help. Andrew Urlie shared his experience trying to get information when the Bald, Day, and Eiler fires were occurring locally. Each fire had a separate information unit and it was difficult to get precise information locally.

This is the reason that a Joint Information Center is helpful. Fire departments, law enforcement, government agencies, and local organizations such as Mayers Memorial Hospital have public information officers. The formation of a JIC with representatives from all parties would act as a central point to clarify, coordinate, and communicate accurately in case of an emergency.

 

 

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Filed under Burney, Fall River Mills, Mayers Memorial Hospital, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River

The egg-hunters of Burney – Easter weekend 2016

Hundreds of children and their families had a lot of fun as Word of Life Assembly of God, The Pit River Casino, and the Burney Lions Club each hosted exciting egg hunts and festivities this Easter weekend.

A magnificent crowd at WOLA

A magnificent crowd at WOLA

Registration for Eggstravaganza at WOLA began at 10:30. Highway 299 was lined with parked cars and the church parking lot was jammed with people as the annual egg hunt began.

Pastor Sheadon Crabtree was one of those who brought his family to the joyful event. In his Sunday sermon at Foursquare Solid Rock Church,  he recounted how his 4-year old son had been saying all week that he was going to find a golden egg. Sure enough, his son emerged from the Eggstravaganza hunt with a golden egg! His son was elated! Pastor Crabtree commented that the degree of joy experienced by his son is a good example of the joy we should experience when we find Jesus and experience God’s grace and love.

After the egg hunt, Word of life pastors, Ken Fraser and Corey Yake handed out dozens of wonderful raffle prizes to kids. There were also several fun stations set up for the children to enjoy.

Lots of fun for the kids

Lots of fun for the kids

In addition to the hunt and the prizes, the church had a face painting booth, a bake sale for their woman’s fitness program, and a popcorn stand.

Face painting at Eggstravaganza

Face painting at Eggstravaganza

In addition there were plenty of hot dogs provided by the church.

Hot dogs for the hungry

Hot dogs for the hungry

Deana Meeker, who served as the chairwoman for this year’s Eggstravaganza, said, “It’s a wonderful blessing to be able to share this with our community… to see old friends and make new friends.”

The Eggstravaganza was winding up, so I headed over to the Pit River Casino where their annual Easter Egg Hunt was to begin at noon. When I arrived their the parking lot was full and cars were parked up and down Tamarack Avenue. I parked in the parking lot of Grace Bible Church and headed over.

In one of the fields beside the Casino, thousands of eggs were laid out with hundreds of children and parents ready to charge in and gather eggs. I talked briefly with one of the managers, Ignacio Vargas who was helping with the event. He said, “It’s all for the kids. Just of fun.”

Then the signal was given and the race was on.

The joy of the hunt

The joy of the hunt

In  a short time, all of the eggs had been claimed by happy youngsters. Afterward, people headed to the back of the casino where prizes were being raffled off.

Prizes galore

Prizes galore

Casino employees Marisela Saucedo and Carmen Wilson were busy helping people at the raffle table.

Marisela Saucedo and Carmen Wilson man the raffle table

Marisela Saucedo and Carmen Wilson man the raffle table

As the gaiety continued, The Pit River Casino provided people with a delicious barbecue of hot dogs and hamburgers. In addition to the trimmings of fresh lettuce, onions, tomatoes, etc., there was an ample supply of freshly dyed Easter eggs for all to enjoy.

Easter eggs for the eaters

Easter eggs for the eaters

On Sunday morning Linda and I went to the Four Square Solid Rock Church where we experienced a deeply moving Easter service. There was also a wonderful pot luck Easter lunch and fellowship after the service. When we finished we headed over to Burney High School where the Lion’s Club was hosting their annual Easter egg hunt at noon.

We arrived a little bit late, but were in time to see scores of young people and their families leaving with smiles on their faces.

Enjoying a fun Easter after a successful hunt

Enjoying a fun Easter after a successful hunt

Easter bunny and Poo Bear were there taking pictures with some of the children.

Easter Bunny and Poo Bear at the Lions Club egg hunt

Easter Bunny and Poo Bear at the Lions Club egg

Poo Bear was full of love sharing Easter joy.

Poo Bear sharing love

Poo Bear sharing love

The Lions Club of Burney has been hosting their annual Easter Egg hunt for about twenty years. Each year many of the Lions volunteer to make it a success.

Lions Club volunteers

Lions Club volunteers

Many thanks to the Lions Club, the Word of Life Assembly of God, and The Pit River Casino for holding these fun-filled events and bringing so much joy to the children and families of Burney.

For me, it was like a little taste of the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”

 

 

 

 

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Chamber Seeking Candidates for Honorary Mayor of Burney

Burney Chamber is looking for a new Honorary Mayor of Burney. Candidates campaign by collecting donations to be split between their favorite charity and the Chamber of Commerce. Money raised by the Chamber supports Burney Basin Days.

In May or June, there will be a fun debate amongst the candidates. Each candidate chooses a campaign theme and motto, a campaign manager and represents their favorite charity.

2015 Honorary Mayor’s Race Debate

2015 Honorary Mayor’s Race Debate

The person who raises the most money will ride named Mayor at a special ice cream social at the beginning of Burney Basin Days, will ride in the Burney Basin Days Parade, be introduced at the Burney Basin Days Fireworks Program on July 4th, and represent Burney at numerous functions throughout the year.

For more information visit the Honorary Mayor of Burney Facebook Page. Cindy Martin has posted a letter for people interested in becoming a candidate and a 2016 Honorary Mayor’s Application Form.

If you business or organization has a nominee, please call Cindy Martin at 335-3700 or Kim Stier at 949-4407. It is a fun competition and makes money for your favorite charity.

Here’s a video of  the 2015 Honorary Mayor’s Debate.

 

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Candidates Night at the Vets Hall in Fall River

Five candidates came to speak to about forty people at the Vets Hall in Fall River on Saturday night, March 19.

Candidates night at the Vets Hall - left to right - Janet Chandler, Mary Rickert, Gregory Cheadle, Joe Montes, and Steve Baird

Candidates night at the Vets Hall – left to right – Janet Chandler, Mary Rickert, Gregory Cheadle, Joe Montes, and Steve Baird

The candidates were introduced and the program was moderated by Russ Jones. Janet Chandler and Mary Rickert are running for District 3 Shasta County Board of Supervisors. Joe Montes and Gregory Cheadle are running for U. S. Congress, and Steve Baird is running for California State Senate District 1.

None of the current officeholders attended the event. Doug LaMalfa currently represents the 1st Congressional District, Ted Gaines is running for reelection as state senator, and Pam Giacomini is the current county supervisor for District 3.

Each of those candidates who did come spoke for about five minutes explaining their background, their political philosophy, and their positions on some of the issues.

Following their introductory statements the audience asked many questions. The question and answer session lasted until after 8:30 and ranged over a variety of national, state, and local issues.

Some of the national topics were: gun rights and the Second Amendment; sanctuary cities; economic policy; and concerns over the deployment of a national police force.

Local issues addressed economic development and regulations; state and federal agencies operating in Shasta County; acquisition of a new building for the library in Burney; hanger fees at Fall River Airport; water rites, fees, and management; fire safety fees; the windmill fund; and changes in regulations for low income housing.

Much of the discussion about county issues emphasized the lack of connection between the board of supervisors and local citizens.

There was a lot of discussion about the State of Jefferson. There were also numerous references to various articles and amendments of the Constitution.

After the program ended, the candidates and many people stayed to talk as they enjoyed cookies and cake.

All in all it was an evening full of information. Each candidate gave detailed articulate answers. Rather than trying to report the stands that each candidate took, I recommend that people visit the links in the article above to explore their qualifications and positions.

Thanks to both the candidates and the voters who came out. We need an informed electorate. God bless America.

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St. Patrick’s Day at the community center

The Burney Community Center had a wonderful corned beef and cabbage senior lunch on St. Patrick’s Day. Linda and I arrived just after noon and there was only one spot left in the parking lot. Inside, the line was still moving and the tables were almost all full.

Just about a full house

Just about a full house

St. Patrick’s Day decorations livened up the hall. People were wearing green hats and shamrocks apparel to suit the occasion. There was a table of baked goods for sale. Ron was playing music on the piano.

Ron playing music

Ron playing music

In past years, when I played at the Mayfly Pub in Fall River I used to play some Irish tunes such “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” or the “Black Velvet Band.”

After shooting a few pictures and greeting Bill Campbell who was busy making sure everyone had everything they needed, I got into line and was served a delicious meal featuring corned beef, cabbage, and potato.

Ladies serving corned beef and cabbage

Ladies serving corned beef and cabbage

Linda and I joined our friends Marty and Vicky MacAbee and George Whitfield.

Marty and Vicky wearing green

Marty and Vicky wearing green

The meal was delicious and we had a lively conversation about the 2016 Presidential Election. My position is that I will not vote for Donald Trump and I will not vote for or support any candidate for any office who supports Donald Trump.

Altogether, it was a jolly good time. I am very grateful for all the programs and activities that they host. Bill Campbell does a great job. If you have an idea for an activity, he is very open to anything that will benefit the community.

Linda and I enjoy going for the senior lunches. They are held at noon Monday through Friday. The meal, which costs $3 for seniors, is always nutritious and well balanced. and generally quite tasty.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.

 

 

 

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