Monthly Archives: October 2016

Whitewater Recreation on the Pit One Reach

About 60 whitewater adventurers came to Pit River Country the weekend of October 29-30 for whitewater recreation on the Pit One Reach. Kayakers and rafters came from as far away as Alaska and Wyoming. Ages of participants ranged from 14 years old to 68.

Headed down the Pit photo by Christine O'Conner

Headed down the Pit photo by Christine O’Connor

Every year, whitewater flows are required as part of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project. The Pit 1 Reach is the 6.5-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 1 Forebay in Fall River Mills to the Pit 1 Powerhouse.

Group by the rock photo by Christine O'Conner

Group by the rock photo by Christine O’Connor

On October 24, PG&E increased flows from about 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 800 to 900 cfs creating Class IV and V rapids . This provides a particularly exciting opportunity for kayakers and rafters because the section of the river includes Pit River Falls.

Heading over the falls photo by Christine O'Conner

Heading over the falls photo by Christine O’Connor

Some kayakers go over the falls. Some choose to ride the chute parallel to the falls. In either case it is an exciting ride. The stretch ends at the Bureau of Land Management Campground at Pit 1.

Over the falls photo by Christine O'Conner

Over the falls photo by Christine O’Connor


Where's the kayak photo by Christine O'Conner

Where’s the kayak photo by Christine O’Connor

This was the second whitewater recreation weekend of the year on Pit 1 reach. The first event had been October 8-9. The scheduling of the event is a cooperative effort of PG&E, BLM and American Whitewater.

Most of the participants come on Saturday and camp overnight at the BLM  campground to  continue their weekend of fun. On Saturday night many of the campers enjoyed a combination Halloween Octoberfest celebration.

Halloween October Fest celebration photo by Christine O'Conner

Halloween October Fest celebration photo by Christine O’Connor

I wasn’t able to make the first event. Nor was I able to get there on Saturday the 29. Sunday was my last chance.

When my wife Linda and I got out of church it was pouring rain. We drove to the campground to interview some of the kayakers. The first group I met consisted of  Karen Guibault from Chico, Jami Rains from Sacramento, Sara Strader and Mary Elliot from Verdi, Nevada, Bruce Taylor from Reno, and Stephanie Viselli from Carson City and Christine O’Connor who had taken many wonderful pictures of the group’s escapades.

Kayakers from Nevada and Northern California

Kayakers from Nevada and Northern California

Undaunted by the rain, they had finished their ride for the day and were enjoying a feast of leftovers from the celebration that they had had the night before. They kindly gave me a bag full of sauerkraut.

When I asked them all if they had a quote, they said, “Thanks to PG&E, BLM, and AW!”

After a joyful chat, I headed down to the swimming hole where I met another group: Patrick Baird and Bird Sewett from White Salmon Washington, Brad Gossett from Alaska, and Riley Gardner from Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Kayakers from Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington

Kayakers from Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington

Then I saw two more trudging up from the river carrying their kayaks.

Joyful rafters after a great ride

Joyful rafters after a great ride

And last but not least 14 year old Nathan with his kayak on his back.

14 year-old Nathan carrying his kayak back from the Pit

14 year-old Nathan carrying his kayak back from the Pit

They were done for the day. I was getting soaked and Linda was waiting in the car. There were a few rafters still on the river but they weren’t expected to arrive soon. Linda and I headed home grateful that we had been able to meet these wonderful whitewater enthusiasts  of all ages and share just a taste of their excitement.

Many thanks to Christine O’Connor for the wonderful action photos.


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Filed under Kayaking, PG&E, Pit River

United Pentecostal Church plans to begin homeless ministry

The following article is an account of  the beginning of the United Pentecostal Church’s homeless ministry in Johnson Park. Since writing the article there has been a slight delay. The Sunday soup kitchen has been postponed temporarily while the church makes sure that it’s kitchen facilities are approved by the County.

Linda and I went to the 10 a.m. service at the United Pentecostal Church October 30. It was the first weekend that they were beginning their ministry for the homeless.

We arrived at the church just before 10 and as soon as we got out of our car we were greeted warmly by Pastor John Peterson. When we entered the church building, a kind lady greeted us and asked if we would like a bowl of warm oatmeal.

I hadn’t eaten that morning so I gladly said yes. In addition to oatmeal there was also hot coffee and donuts. I sat with a man named Tony who lives in the woods. Jeanne had picked him up in the morning to bring him over for a meal and the church service.

There may be as many as 100 people who live in the woods around Burney and Johnson Park. There are also a number of “couch surfers” who have no permanent residence but stay with various people in town on a rotating basis.


Providing a food before and after service is the first step for a homeless ministry that the church under the leadership of Pastor John Peterson would like to do.

The church would also like to get a washer and drier so that people who live in the woods or are otherwise homeless will have a place to wash their clothes. They also have the plumbing in place for a shower, but it needs a shower head, faucets, and shower enclosure put in place to be functional. As soon as that is done, they will also be able to provide a place to shower.

Before he came to Burney, Pastor Peterson pastored a church in New Mexico that ministered to the needs of the homeless and also helped people to get on their feet and recover from addiction.

In his sermon, Pastor Peterson quoted Luke 9:58

And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Jesus and his disciples were often homeless during their ministry. Jesus cared for the poor and humble and so should we.

It was a wonderful spirit-filled service. It began with a period of prayer that the Holy Spirit could bless the service. Then Pastor Peterson’s wife played piano, sang and led the congregation in worship. Next Reverend Peterson preached about repentance, baptism by water and the Holy Spirit, and being born again. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to say that being born again is only a beginning of a new life. Born again believers should strive for holiness.

“Life is a battle for holiness.” said the pastor.

The service ended with more prayer.

After service there was fellowship and food. Everyone was welcome and the food was delicious. Cornbread, chicken soup, another tomato and pasta soup, and a delicious peach cobbler made by Jodi. The chicken soup was donated by Anna’s Country Kitchen.

Lots of good nutritious food

Lots of good nutritious food

Jeanne has taken a lead in helping to organize the ministry for the homeless. Anyone wishing to help please call her at 945-2344. Food and clothing donations are welcome as well as help finishing the shower and getting a washer and a drier.

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Filed under Burney, Churches, Johnson Park

United Pentacostal Church initiating soup kitchen for the homeless

The United Pentacostal Church located at the corner of Hwy 299 and Garden Lane in Johnson Park will be operating a soup kitchen for the homeless each Sunday after their 10 a.m. service beginning on Sunday October 30.

United Pentecostal Church

United Pentecostal Church

The church will also have clothing available for the homeless free of charge.

Transportation from Burney is available. The church will be picking people up at the bill board in the Safeway parking lot at 9:30 and bringing them back to the Safeway after the service and the meal.

The church also hopes in the near future to have free shower and laundry facilities available for the homeless.

The Mad Mountain Wireless store in Burney has a food donation box for people who would like to donate food for the soup kitchen.

Volunteers and donations are welcome. For more information call Jeanne at 945-2344.

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Filed under Burney, Churches, Johnson Park

Parents share and learn at Parents Café

Thirty people shared a meal on Wednesday evening at the Intermountain Community Center at the first of seven Parent Cafes.  The event is designed to honor families and support parents.  Parents and children had dinner together prepared by Gepetto’s.  Then, the children played while the parents shared parenting experiences and learned some valuable lessons from each other.

Participants at Parent's Cafe Oct 26 2016

Participants at Parent’s Cafe Oct 26 2016

Parent Cafes are being held all over the country in the interest of building strong families and strong communities.  The Community Center is able to offer these free events to families as a result of a generous grant from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department Asset Forfeiture Fund.

Participants at Parent's Cafe Oct 26 2016

Participants at Parent’s Cafe Oct 26 2016

“We are thrilled to be able to provide these free events for families in our region and are grateful to the Sheriff’s Department for their support”, said Denise Luntey and Shaylene Herndon, Program Hosts.

The next Parent Café is scheduled for November 14, 2016 at 5:30.

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Filed under Burney, Tri-Counties Community Center

PG&E to increase flows above Pit One Oct 24-Nov 20

Whitewater recreation scheduled October 29 to 30

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will provide higher flows on a portion of the Pit River in eastern Shasta County.

The higher flows will occur from October 24 to November 20. The higher flows are the result of both powerhouse maintenance at the Pit 1 Powerhouse and for whitewater recreation scheduled October 29 to 30. Flows will be increased from about 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 800 to 900 cfs over the entire four-week period.

Recreationalists in or near this portion of the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. The flows are not safe for tubing.

The Pit 1 Reach is the 6.5-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 1 Forebay in Fall River Mills to the Pit 1 Powerhouse.

While the powerhouse is undergoing scheduled maintenance, water will not be diverted into a tunnel and instead will flow into the Pit 1 Reach.

PG&E previously conducted higher flows on the Pit 1 Reach on October 8 and 9.

The whitewater flows are a requirement of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project.

Despite the drought, water flows in the Pit River watershed are near normal as the Pit River is largely fed by springs that steadily release water from large volcanic aquifers, even in dry years.

At PG&E, safety is our top priority. PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fast moving water.See
For more on the recreation event see Whitewater Recreation on the Pit One Reach

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Filed under PG&E, Pit River

Hospice Chair-ity Auction November 5

The 5th Annual Chair-ity Affair to raise money for Intermountain Hospice will be November 5 at the Burney Vets Hall. Doors open as 6 p.m. Auction starts at 7 p.m. $10 admission.


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Filed under Burney, Mayers Memorial Hospital

PG&E offering free in-home safety inspections

With cooler temperatures just around the corner, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering customers a free in-home safety inspection of their gas appliances. Inspections help ensure that gas appliances are operating safely and efficiently, which helps reduce risk and energy consumption. Last year, from October-December, PG&E gas service technicians performed 102,543 safety checks and/or pilot relights throughout the company’s 70,000-square-mile service territory.

During the inspection, a local gas service technical will examine all natural gas appliances, including gas furnaces to check for leaks, and relight pilot lights. The entire inspection can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the number of appliances and their location.

In general, properly installed and maintained natural gas appliances produce very little to no carbon monoxide and do not pose a threat to safety. However, we shouldn’t take for granted that all gas appliances are in perfect working order. Unlike natural gas, carbon monoxide is odorless and can often go undetected. The best way to ensure that appliances are operating safety is to have them inspected by placing a call to have a free inspection scheduled.

To help provide peace of mind and confidence in the safe use of their gas appliances, PG&E suggests that customers schedule and inspection by calling 1-800-743-5000. PG&E’s gas service technician will check for leaks and will verify a blue flame, which indicates complete combustion and that the appliance is in good working condition. A lazy, yellow or white flame indicates that the appliance is not functioning properly and could pose a safety risk.

Home Heating Safety Tips

* Install carbon monoxide detectors to warn when concentration levels are high.

o As of 2011, all California single-family homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.
o Make sure all carbon monoxide detectors are installed near sleeping areas and common areas.
o Replace the batteries at least twice a year.
o Check expiration dates – most carbon monoxide detectors have a shelf life of only five to seven years.

* Never use products inside the home that generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, such as generators, outdoor grills and propane heaters.
* Never use cooking devices such as ovens or stoves for home heating purposes.
* When using the fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so that the byproducts of combustion can vent safely through the chimney.
* Make sure water heaters and other natural gas appliances have proper ventilation.
* As part of customers’ gas service, PG&E representatives are available to inspect gas appliances and make sure they are working safely.
* Click here <> for more winter heating safety and savings tips.

If you detect carbon monoxide in your home, you should get out immediately and call 911. If a PG&E customer ever smells the distinctive “rotten egg” odor of natural gas in or around their home or business they should immediately call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

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Filed under PG&E