Category Archives: Montgomery Creek
On October 8, from 9 a.m. until noon, Montgomery Creek School held a program celebrating Native American heritage.
Elementary teacher Tracey Liceiro helped to organize the event. Former Shasta Lake Mayor Rod Lindsay delivered the invocation. Mr. Lindsay serves as executive director of the Local Indians for Education (LIFE).
School Board Member and Pit River Tribe Elder Jessica Jim and Elder Florence Moran opened with presentations in which they shared about Pit River history and language.
Chief Caleen Sisk, a Winnenmum Wintu, spoke eloquently about the salmon and ended her presentation with a song. Helene Sisk, Ida Riggins, and Jessica Jim joined in to teach the children the “Big Foot Song.”
A story teller shared a tale full of humor and involvement that delighted the kids.
Then the trophy-winning dancers, Thundering Moccasins, danced their Pow Wow moves. Several of the children and presenters joined in, moving to the beat of the drums.
April Carmelo, also from LIFE center, presented Caleen Sisk, Florence Moran and Jessica Jim with beautiful Native books.
The day ended with drawing and coloring blank paper cutouts of salmon to hang on a wire fence for all too see.
The K-8 school is the first in Shasta County to replace Columbus Day with a day to honor Native American people. Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations have become popular throughout the nation and the Pit River Tribe passed a resolution declaring Pit River Nations Day an annual holiday in 2015. This is the second year that Montgomery Creek School has celebrated the day.
Ms. Jim expressed her gratitude to the Montgomery Creek School Board of Trustees and April Carmelo and Rod Lindsey for honoring Pit River culture and history and hosting the presentations at the school on this day
The Intermountain Teen Center will be beginning summer hours starting June 12.
The center in Burney, located in the Circle of Friends building at the corner of Hwy 299 and Tamarack Ave, will be open from 2-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and the center in Round Mountain, located at Hill Country Clinic, will be open 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Program Coordinator Theresa Callahan says that center activities will include “all our regular summer fun; cooking, making ice cream, having water balloon fights, hanging out using the computers, playing video games, pool and air-hockey etc. We will be kicking off our first summer hour days June 12 and 13 with the always popular make your own pizza night. ”
On Thursdays the center will have field trips including kayaking, sailing, and visiting local waterfalls and swimming holes. Suggestions for additional activities from parents and teens are welcome.
In addition to the regular weekly activities, there are two special trips planned. The first is the annual Santa Cruz trip, which will be June 25 thru the 29. Teens who wish to participate need to have their parents or guardians fill out a permission slip. Permission slips are available at either the Burney or the Round Mountain centers.
There will also be a trip to Lassen National Park July 24 to 27.
The Intermountain Teen Center is a youth outreach program of the Hill Country Health and Wellness Cen7ter serving teens ages 13-17. Monthly calendars and information on activities and trips are available at both centers. Or call Theresa Callahan at 338-4733.
About 50 people gathered at Billy’s Roadside Café in Montgomery Creek on Friday evening October 6 to hear poets and musicians share a message of hope and inspiration.
The program was sponsored by Stand Against Stigma, funded by Shasta County Health and Human Services to address issues associated with mental illness and to provide suicide prevention services. The Hope is Alive! open mics celebrate the theme of healing through performance arts. The gathering in Montgomery Creek was the fourth Hope is Alive open mic in the Intermountain Area and the 12th in Shasta County at large.
Marc Dadigan, community education specialist for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, emceed the event. The evening performances began with a performance by Randy and Verena Compton followed by the talented Billy Riggins who share some of his original rap music.
Mental illness is often associated with substance abuse.
Poet Larry Harris from Redding shared three poems of personal experience describing the struggles and victory that his family experienced through their daughter’s bout with mental illness. It was a tale of hope prevailing over despair.
After a period of substance abuse resulting in mental breakdown, his daughter successfully went through therapy and recovery and now leads a successful happy life as an actress.
In one particularly poignant poem, Harris talked about his daughter going to a Simon and Garfunkle concert in San Francisco on her own after rehab. Harris shared the emotion a parent goes through as he experiences the restoration of trust, letting go and watching his child emerge as a happy independent young woman.
Michael Bennett and Kimberly Michelle Davis from the Circle of Friends in Burney both sang songs. Bennett charmed people with an a capella rendering of Mac Davis “Oh Lord it’s Hard to be Humble.” Ms. Davis once again delighted the audience as she sang Broadway show tunes in her lovely soprano voice.
A young lady who had traveled two hours to attend got up and recited a short poem.
A highlight of the evening was the personal testimony of David Martinez, a spokesman for Stand Against Stigma’s Brave Faces who has suffered from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Mr. Martinez is a member of the Wintu tribe. He has been a biker, a cowboy and an EMT for the fire department. He has also worked in Redding as a substance abuse counselor. After sharing his story, Martinez shared two popular songs, “Pancho and Lefty,” and “City of New Orleans”.
Singer-songwriter Mauro livened things up with several of his original songs.
Next, the audience was treated to a performance of Native American Rap by Louis Gustafson and his family. As well as singing, Gustafson also plays bass and performs with Pit Crew. He also is a wonderful drummer who performed at the 2015 Burney Basin Days with the Pit River Nation Drum Group.
The evening was closed out by Alex Colvin and George Whitfield. Colvin opened with a poem “In This World of Heart and Mind” expressing the healing power of love and then sang “Live for Others.” Alex and George then sang “Ghost Riders in the Sky” together.
Before singing two songs, “Sounds of Silence” and “Vietnam Song.” George talked about the seriousness of mental illness and suicide plaguing our country. Seventeen veterans die every day from suicide.
“Don’t let stigma stand in your way,” Whitman said, “If you feel like your life is going to pieces, reach out for help.”
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.
On Friday, August 18 they delivered 12 backpacks to students in Montgomery Creek.
On Tuesday August 22, they gave out about 40 backpacks at Fall River Elementary School
and another 40 at Burney Elementary School.
Then on Thursday August 24, they drove to Big Valley to deliver another 17 back packs to grateful children.
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.
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.”
The children appreciated the explanation and nodded and smiled.
The three core principles of Freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth.
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.”
The Veterans Hall was full on July 11, as hundreds turned out for the community meeting organized by Jen Luck and Mary Rickert. People came not only from Burney but also from Fall River Valley and Montgomery Creek in hope of finding positive solutions to problems of crime and the increase of homelessness in the area.
Jen Luck, Office Manager of the Burney Chamber of Commerce, began the meeting promptly at 6 p.m. and introduced County Supervisor Mary Rickert.
Supervisor Rickert gave brief opening remarks. She has been attending similar town meetings throughout our district in the county. She said that the subject is complex and that crime has deep underlying root causes. She said that where there has been the most success dealing with the problem is when people in the community work together and form local groups such as Neighborhood Watch where they monitor their neighborhood and address issues on the local level as they arise.
She also mentioned a community-building program called Meet The Neighbors. Meet the Neighbors does not focus only on crime. It’s mission is to give “you and your neighbors powerful tools to communicate, meet, organize, get important local stuff done…”
After sharing her opening remarks, members of the panel introduced themselves. Officials attending included Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, Lieutenant Tyler Thompson from the Burney Sheriff’s station, Lieutenant Scott Frederick from California Highway Patrol, Nick Truax from Cal Fire, Monte Keady from Burney Fire Protection District, and Rod Armstrong from the Burney Citizen Volunteer Patrol.
The first and main speaker of the evening was Sheriff Bosenko. He spoke for a half hour about the effect of several public safety bills and propositions. Because the US Supreme Court mandated a reduction in California’s overcrowded prisons, Assembly Bill 109 on Public Safety Realignment was passed in 2011. According to Bosenko, this resulted in the release of 30,000 inmates.
In addition, Proposition 47 reduced penalties for certain crimes and Proposition 57 altered sentencing rules. Many crimes have been reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. As the state prison population has decreased the county jails have filled up. With shorter sentences, recidivism has increased.
Bosenko said that the problems have been compounded by limited resources to maintain facilities and manpower. Officers have to prioritize calls and they are limited as to what they can do by state regulation.
At the same time, Sheriff Bosenko cited statistics indicating that crime is down overall for the Burney, Fall River, and Montgomery Creek area.
He said that panhandling is not against the law, but that if business owners post “no soliciting” or “no trespassing” signs then they can be asked to move on or be prosecuted for trespassing if they don’t comply.
Concerning homelessness, Bosenko said, “All homeless people are not criminals and all criminals are not homeless.”
If people are camped or squatting on private land, they can not be removed unless it is posted “No trespassing.”
He then opened the floor to questions, of which there were many.
Generally speaking the questions and comments fell into three categories: 1) people who wanted to know what the Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement could do to deal with burglaries, squatting, trash in the woods. etc. 2) People asking what they themselves could do, and 3) people recounting personal stories of problems they had encountered with theft, unruly, or indecent behavior.
One man said, “I came here to find out what you can do for me!”
Another said, “Are you telling us that Sacramento has handcuffed you?” To which Bosenko answered in the affirmative.
There was some advice in regard to burglary and suspicious behavior concerning getting license plate numbers and descriptions, but a lot of the responses concerned regulations and lack of manpower and resources that impeded action.
Cal Fire and Burney Fire Department advised people to notify them if there were any fires in the woods.
The representative from CHP said that their work was mainly in the area of traffic law enforcement and safety, but that they and other law enforcement agencies were also there to back up and work together with local law enforcement.
Monte Keady said that while we are facing current problems we should also be taking action that would address underlying issues and ensure a better future such as mentoring our youth.
When people asked what they could do generally, they were advised to communicate with appropriate law enforcement officers. If violations occurred on US Forest Service Land, people should contact the Forest Service and they would take action. If there were encampments or trash on private land, people should notify the landowners such as Sierra Pacific, PG&E, or United Fruit Growers.
The most sound advice seemed to be that of Mary Rickert to form community associations and work together with their neighbors in cooperation with local public services.
Someone asked about citizen’s arrests. Bosenko said that people could make arrests but they needed to be careful in apprehending people because they may be on drugs, armed or dangerous. Also, if the charges were not successfully prosecuted they could be sued for false arrest.
One lady who had military experience asked about carrying a gun. Bosenko advised her that she had a right for her and her family to walk in public areas and trails, and if they had a concealed weapons permit and felt that there was a need to protect themselves they could carry a weapon.
There were also questions and discussions regarding the Windmill Fund and the Fire Protection Tax. Cal Fire said that most of the money spent from the tax in Shasta County had been to build the fire break near Burney after the fire two years ago.
The room was hot and many left early but a lot of people stayed until the end.
When one attendee said that he felt that more town meetings were necessary not only on these issues but on other issues such as the condition of the parks in Burney, Mary Rickert committed that she would be willing to come up and host a town meeting once a month.
One bright spot towards the end was when a request was made for specific activities volunteers could be involved in, Rickert asked Rod Armstrong from the Citizens Patrol to speak. He described the activities of the patrol and how people could get involved. Several people signed up as volunteers after the meeting. More volunteers are still needed.
There was broad representation of the meeting. Not only were many business people, homeowners and concerned parents present, but also several ministers who would like to address these problems. Tri Counties Community Network was present. Representatives of Circle of Friends also attended. They have had considerable success helping some people to get out of homelessness, and many others overcome substance abuse and addiction.
The meeting ended after 8 p.m. Many stayed until 8:45 to talk with officials and each other.
The next day, Jen Luck said that she is already working on ideas for future meetings. She has researched and joined Meet the Neighbors and hopes that others will do so to create local community groups dedicated to community improvement and practical problem solving.
Since the meeting there has been a lot of conversation on social media, amongst friends, family and neighbors and in several meetings. Some are frustrated but others are determined to find constructive ways to address the situation.