Category Archives: Big Valley

Fort Crook Masonic Lodge give backpacks to second graders

Once again, Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM  carried on their tradition of providing backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area. This year the Lodge is giving out backpacks filled with school supplies to 49 students at Burney Elementary, 33 students in Fall River, 8 students in Big Valley and 12 students in Montgomery Creek.

Teacher Michael Von Schalscha, Mason Jim Crockett, teacher Joy Ford and Burney Second Graders with new backpacks

On Tuesday, September 25, Mason Jim Crockett delivered the packs to second graders at Burney Elementary School.

Teachers Michael Von Schalscha and Joy Ford lead their students into the cafeteria and introduced Mr. Crockett who then gave a short talk.

Jim Crockett gives a short talk to students

Crockett asked the students if they knew what country they live in.

“The United States of America!” The children shouted in reply.

When he asked if they knew who the first president was, they raised their hands and answered, “George Washington.”

Crockett told them that George Washington was a brother Mason. He also told them that another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, who aided in the discovery of electricity was a Mason.

Mr. Von Schalscha told the students that they would learn more about Ben Franklin later in the year.

Crockett explained that the Masons had long been supporters of public education in California and that is why they give out the backpacks each year.

A lot of students raised their hands to ask questions. Some wanted to know what was in the backpacks. Each pack contained a pencil, a notebook, an eraser, crayons, and a ruler.

Michael Von Schalscha, Jim Crockett, and Joy Ford hand out back packs to Burney Elementary School students

After the talk, the children lined up and each child was presented with a backpack  by Mr. Crockett.



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Filed under Big Valley, Burney, Fall River Mills, Fort Crook Masonic Lodge, Schools, youth

Intermountain Parade 2017

I went to the Intermountain Parade in McArthur on September 3. It was a fine tribute to the spirit of the people of the Intermountain area. I admired the fine horses, riders, and the wagons. tractors, and vintage cars that reminded us of our history and heritage. It was encouraging to see the various organizations who serve the community participate. Above all, it was inspiring to see the young people from Girls Scouts, 4-H, the Interact Club, gymnastics, and others who participated in the joyful occasion.

Here are some pictures:

4H Sharing flag etiquette

American Legion Honor Guard

Grand Marshall

Blue Ribbon Award Winner

Intermountain Royalty

A family event

Happy birthday from the Girl Scouts

Intermountain Heritage Foundation

Blue Ribbon Horse


Peterson Ranch

Interact Club

More Interact Club

Rawhide Cowboys

Young Cowgirl

1957 Fire Truck

Burney 4-H

An old wagon and horses

Caballeros from Burney


Here come the demolition derby cars

Lots of candy for the kids



Mustangs pulling an old freight wagon

It goes 80 mph and gets 100 miles to the gallon

A happy crew

A glimpse of the past


Meyers Memorial

The Buckhorn


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Filed under 4H, Big Valley, Burney, Fall River, Fall River Mills, Intermountain Fair, McArthur, Pit River Country Events

Fort Crook Lodge 250 give backpacks to second graders

Over the past week, Masons Jim Crockett and George Whitfield from Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM  delivered more than 100 backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area.

George Whitfield and Jim Crockett passing out backpacks at Burney Elementary as teacher Michael von Schalscha and school psychologist Brent Beyer look on

On Friday, August 18 they delivered 12 backpacks to students in Montgomery Creek.

Montgomery Creek (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

On Tuesday August 22, they gave out about 40 backpacks at Fall River Elementary School

and another 40 at Burney Elementary School.

Burney Elementary (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

Then on Thursday August 24, they drove to Big Valley to deliver another 17 back packs to grateful children.

Big Valley (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

This is the 16th year that Fort Crook Lodge 250 has done this program. Each backpack contained a ruler, a composition book, pencils, crayons, and erasers.

At each school, Crockett and Whitfield gave a short presentation before presenting the backpacks.

Crockett and Whitfield explain about the Masons

For instance, at Burney Elementary, the children listened attentively as Master Mason Jim Crockett spoke about the history of the Masons. He told them that this year is the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry.

George Whitfield asked if any of the children had heard of George Washington and explained that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Masons.

To help the children understand the Masons in their own terms, second grade teacher Joy Ford told the children that “the Masons are a club like the Boy Scouts, only for adults.”

Joy Ford helped the students to understand the Masons

The children appreciated the explanation and nodded and smiled.

The three core principles of Freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth.

Mason George Whitfield shakes hands with a young student as he hands him a backpack

After hearing that the Masons were 300 years old, one young boy raised his hand and asked Mr. Crockett, “How old are you.”

“Older than George,” he replied.

“And I’m too old to be asked that question,” Mr. Whitfield quipped as the children laughed.

When questions were finished, all the children lined up in two orderly rows and advanced to share a friendly handshake and receive their pack.

Master Mason Crockett said, “We truly enjoy the kids and their expressions and gratitude in receiving the backpacks with the school supplies inside.”

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Filed under Bieber, Big Valley, Burney, Fall River, Fall River Mills, Montgomery Creek, Schools, youth

Comfort Keepers hiring in-home caregivers for Intermountain Area

Comfort Keepers, a Northern California company that provides in-home care, is now hiring caregivers to assist seniors in their homes in the Intermountain area .

Responsibilities include

  • Assistance with personal care (bathing, dressing, toilet, grooming, oral hygiene, ambulation/transfers, etc.)
  • assistance with light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, and transportation
  • week-end work on a rotational basis
  • other assigned duties

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Requirements include

  • a Certified Nursing Assistant certification or documentable experience
  • possession of or qualification for a CA license, Home Care Aide Registration, bonding, TB test, and a DMV report
  • a valid drivers license and auto insurance

The company offers

  • competitive pay
  • flexible schedules
  • weekly pay
  • paid training and ongoing support
  • employment stability

To learn more call 530-223-6060 or visit

You can apply online at

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Filed under Bieber, Big Bend, Big Valley, Burney, Fall River, health, McArthur

Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River gives dictionaries to third graders

Photos courtesy of Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River

During the past two weeks, members of the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River visited elementary schools in Big Valley, Fall River Mills, and Burney to deliver free American Heritage Children’s Dictionaries to all 95 third graders.

Rotary Club members handing out dictionaries at Fall River Elementary School

Rotary Club members handing out dictionaries at Fall River Elementary School

The Rotary Club has been doing this for more than 20 years to help improve literacy.

This year, they gave out 8 dictionaries to students at Big Valley Elementary on September 8, 37 dictionaries at Fall River Elementary on September 13, and 50 dictionaries at Burney Elementary on September 15.

Rotary attendees included current club president, Bill Campbell, President-elect Jim Billo, Treasurer Paul Kerns. and Ed Siegal, who is helping to oversee Community Services.

american-heritage-childrens-dictionaryThe American Heritage Children’s Dictionary that the children received is an award-winning dictionary for children in grades 3-6, with age-appropriate vocabulary, lively example sentences, hundreds of engaging feature notes, and a stunning full-color art program. Pictures in full color help the children to recognize and associate words.

After handing out the books, students were asked to look up words like tiger and read the definition out loud.

One teacher, Melinda Booker was from Australia, so the children looked up koala. Students were also shown how to turn the pages so as not to damage them.

Fall River students examining their new books

Fall River students examining their new books

The children are free to take the books home to use. For some of the children, this is the first book that they have ever owned.

Ed Siegel and Jim Billo addressing students at Big Valley Elementary

Ed Siegel and Jim Billo addressing students at Big Valley Elementary

During the presentation, students were asked if they have ever heard of Rotary.  Many of the children had because of Rotary’s mentoring program at both Fall River and Burney Elemenary Schools.

Almost all of the children had been to the Burney Basin Days fireworks program hosted by Rotary during the 4th of July weekend.

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Filed under Big Valley, Burney, Fall River Mills, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River, Schools

Going to the Birds of Baum Lake

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful area. Why do I spend so much time inside on the computer?

Pelicans and ducks on Baum Lake

Pelicans and ducks on Baum Lake

Early this afternoon, I tweeted:

“So many to-do things…I am trying to get off into the woods but I am glued to cyberspace…”

I grabbed my camera, jumped in the jeep, and headed out of town.

Metal giraffe in the woods

Metal giraffe in the woods

I wanted to see how many pelicans were out on Baum Lake waiting to have their picture taken. On the way, I decided to stop at PacWay.

“This is an awesome sculpture garden,” I thought. “I should put some pictures of it up on the Internet so people around the world can see it.”

Giant bug in the woods

Giant bug in the woods

When I got there I was surprised to see so many people there browsing around. About twenty visitors to the area. The metal sculptures are becoming one of our most attractive tourist spots.

Metal and stone sculptures at PacWay on Baum Lake Road

Metal and stone sculptures at PacWay on Baum Lake Road

There was a lovely group of people from Happy Valley and Fort Bragg…

Amy and Jimmy Lee and family from Grass Valley

Amy and Jimmy Lee and family from Grass Valley

and another group from Sacramento. They all got excited when a doe danced through the nearby pasture.

The Long and Aston family visiting from Sacramento

The Long and Aston family visiting from Sacramento

It’s a lot of fun to get out and meet friendly people from out of town. In this case they had questions.

“Are you a local?”

“Where can I buy a RV battery?”

“When was the first metal sculpture put up here?”

I did my best to answer, explain some of the history, and suggest places. This family was on their way to Burney Falls so I also suggested they stop in the visitor center for more info.

Then I headed to Baum Lake. What a motley crew of pelicans awaited me.

An interesting fellow

An interesting fellow

Puffy-winged Pelican

Puffy-winged Pelican

He's going to fly away

He’s going to fly away

Told ya so

Told ya so

Wait for me!

Wait for me!

Then I saw a bird I didn’t know standing on a stick.

What is the bird on the stick

What is the bird on the stick

Some pelicans wanted to get in on the picture.

Mystery bird and Pelicans

Mystery bird and Pelicans

Overhead, this guy flew into my zoom.

Is this a bald eagle?

Is this a bald eagle?

Then I met a nice couple up for the weekend.

Mr. and Mrs. Burdock from Sacramento

Mr. and Mrs. Burdock from Sacramento

They asked about Hat Creek I told them about Frank Baum, Crystal Lake, the fish hatchery, Pacific Crest Trail, the short-cut through PGE campground to Cassel Forebay, etc… They got really excited when I told them where the Rising River and Clint Eastwood’s ranch were.

Pelicans on Baum Lake with Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery in the background

Pelicans on Baum Lake with Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery in the background

Speaking of the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery, the last I heard they were still closed because of construction on their intake. I decided to drive over and have a look-see.

Hurray! They are open to the public again. I met an enthusiastic young Fish and Wildlife seasonal aide named Brad. He told me that in the early plantings the fish were a little smaller than normal this year. The reason is that they fed the fish less while the water levels were fluctuating due to the construction on the intakes. Now they’re back to feeding them more and the fish are up to normal size.

Also Brad told me that water levels were good, not only in Hat Creek, Burney Creek, the Fall River area etc., but also farther east over to Alturas. A lot of the ponds that were dry last year have been replenished by this year’s El Nino.

Just yesterday alone the fish hatchery had an inch of rainfall and Brad said he’d heard that there may be intermittent showers through the summer. We’ll see. I’m expecting 1oo+ degrees by Burney Basin Days.

Well, that’s all my little brain and shutter-eye could hold and behold. I headed back to the computer.

Refreshed! it sure is nice to have so much beauty within 15 or 20 minutes of Burney!





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Filed under Baum Lake, Big Valley

“Planting Seeds and Growing Our Own”

Mayers Selects 3 Summer Interns for Summer 2016

Three graduating seniors from local high schools have been accepted to work as interns for Mayers Memorial Hospital District this summer. The three students are: Brianna Carmenita from Fall River High School; Cameron Pearson from Burney High School; and Alexia Miller from Big Valley High School.

FRHS Intern Brianna Carmenita

FRHS Intern Brianna Carmenita

The internships are part of  a new program established by MMHD to teach local students the skills, knowledge, and insight necessary for careers at Mayers Memorial Hospital District and in the healthcare field.

Carmenita will be working in non-clinical areas including Administration, Finance, Patient Access and Human Resources. She will be attending Shasta College and majoring in accounting. She has been involved in Student Government and the Interact Club at Fall River High School. She hopes to pursue a career in finance.


Intern Cameron Pearson from Burney High

Intern Cameron Pearson from Burney High

Pearson will focus on ancillary services. He will be attending Shasta College and wishes to pursue a career in Imaging Science. He has been very active in community services, high school musical programs and the Leos Club.

Miller has chosen nursing for her area of focus. She will attend Butte College and major in nursing. She has been involved in Student Government and FFA while at Big Valley High School.


BVHS Intern Alexia Miller

BVHS Intern Alexia Miller

Graduating seniors submitted applications designating their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of intern departments. Their applications included a brief statement explaining their interest, college and career goals and why they would like to be a part of MMHD’s intern program. Applications were reviewed by the TEAM MAYERS committee and a selection was made from each local high school.

The interns will work 20 hours per week for an 8 week time between June 1, 2016 and September 30, 2016. Internships are in both clinical and non-clinical departments. In addition, the intern will contribute a total of 10 volunteer hours through the Mayers Intermountain Healthcare Foundation.

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Filed under Big Valley, Burney, Fall River Mills, Mayers Memorial Hospital

Mayers holding 3 Health Career Days This Spring

Health Career Days at Intermountain high schools

Health Career Days at Intermountain high schools

Mayers Memorial Hospital District will be providing information about career opportunities in healthcare at three local high schools.

The first will take place at Burney High School on Friday, April 22 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The second will be held at Fall River High School on Friday, May 20 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The third will be at Big Valley High School on Wednesday, May 25 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

The purpose of the events is to help Jr. /Sr. High School students learn about career opportunities in the Healthcare Field and how they can chart a course toward those careers.

Information will be available on careers in nursing, administration, support services, finance, clinical services, social work, activities, specialty medicine, human resources, and other related fields.

The program will explain what kind of work each job involves; wages and benefits;  and the skills, education, training and other qualifications necessary for employment.

For more information call  Mayers Memorial at 530-336-5511.


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Filed under Big Valley, Burney, Fall River Mills, Uncategorized