Category Archives: Montgomery Creek

Harvest Carnival at Montgomery Creek Elementary coming October 27

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October 7, 2017 · 9:13 pm

Hope is Alive! at Billy’s Roadside Cafe

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.

Billy Riggins uplifts the audience with his original poetic rap

Mental illness is often associated with substance abuse.

Larry Harris from Redding shares several poignant poems

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”.

A testimony and two songs from an elder

Singer-songwriter Mauro livened things up with several of his original songs.

Mauro sings some soul stirring originals

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.

Louis Gustafson and his family performing Native American rap

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.”

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Filed under Art, Hope is Alive!, Mental Health, Montgomery Creek, Pit River Tribe

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

Community Meeting on Crime and Homelessness

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.

Community meeting on crime and homelessness

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.

Mary Rickert addresses the audience

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.

Sherriff Tom Bosenko addresses the crowd

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.

Rod Armstrong from Burney Citizen Patrol

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.

See Wikipedia article on Neighborhood Watch

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Filed under Burney, Chamber of Commerce, Fall River Mills, Johnson Park, Montgomery Creek

Community Foundation Grant Opportunity Deadline is June 7th

The Shasta Regional Community Foundation is a resource building organization in Shasta and Siskiyou counties dedicated to promoting philanthropy by connecting people who care with causes that matter. Since 2000, the Community Foundation has awarded over $18,000,000 in grants to area nonprofit organizations.

Artist Kim Solga received a grant to paint a prominent public mural in Dunsmuir celebrating the town’s heritage.

The deadline of June 7th is fast approaching for grant applications for funding from two field of interest funds managed by the Shasta Regional Community Foundation. These opportunities are provided thanks to the efforts and investments made by many generous donors in our region. The Animal Welfare Endowment Fund was established in 2009 to benefit projects that will provide care for animals in Shasta and Siskiyou counties; the Community Arts Endowment Fund was established to support grants to nonprofits, public entities, and individual artists for the creation and presentation of new work in any media in the region. Grant review committee members from the areas served evaluate the proposals and make recommendations for funding.

More details about making donations to or requesting funding from these and other funds are available on the Community Foundation’s website at www.shastarcf.org.

For further information, contact Program Officer, Amanda Hutchings at amanda@shastarcf.org or call 530.244.1219.

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Filed under Art, Burney, Fall River Community Choir, Intermountain Art, MacArthur, Montgomery Creek, Round Mountain

PG&E flying low in Eastern Shasta County to check for drought-stricken trees

REDDING, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will fly low by helicopter in the mountains of eastern Shasta County on Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 22 and 23) to check for drought-stricken trees near power lines.

Flights will occur over the communities of Big Bend, Round Mountain, Oak Run, Montgomery Creek and Whitmore.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters to check for trees weakened by the drought. This patrol is in addition to the annual patrols PG&E conducts along power lines to identify trees and vegetation in need of pruning and removal. Weakened trees and branches can fall into power lines, leading to outages and even wild land fires.

The drought has weakened and killed many trees and left others susceptible to disease or insects. After the flights, foresters will hike to the trees in question for a closer inspection to verify tree conditions. Once a forester confirms a tree needs to be removed, PG&E will work with the property owner to schedule a contractor to cut the tree.

Consecutive years of drought have taken a toll on trees and even some trees deemed healthy six months ago have since succumbed to the dry conditions.

The U.S. Forest Service recently identified an exponentially growing rate of tree mortality in California. In 2014, 11 million dead trees were identified throughout the state. That number grew to 40 million in 2015 and 102 million in 2016.

While tree mortality is more serious in 10 counties in the southern and central Sierra Nevada region, the Forest Service also identified increasing mortality in the northern part of the state.

Weather permitting, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Montgomery Creek, PG&E

PG&E Checking in Shasta County for Drought-stricken Trees

The following is a press release from PG&E dated December 5. The initial import of the release is to notify and explain to residents of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, and Big Bend the reasons that helicopters would be flying low over their areas on Tuesday, December 7.

The release gives details about the growing number of trees that have died as a result of the drought or are threatened by insects and disease as a result of weakened resistance. After the aerial check, foresters will follow up on foot to inspect trees. Then private landowners will be contacted. Dead or infected trees will need to be trimmed or removed.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be flying low by helicopter in Shasta County on Tuesday to check for drought-stricken trees near power lines. Flights will occur over Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek and Big Bend.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters to check for trees weakened by the drought. This patrol is in addition to the annual patrols PG&E does along power lines to identify trees and vegetation in need of pruning and removal. Weakened trees and branches can fall into power lines, leading to outages and even wild land fires.

The drought has weakened and killed many trees and left others susceptible to disease or insects.  After the flights, foresters will hike to the trees in question for an up-close inspection to verify tree conditions.  Once a forester confirms a tree needs to be removed, PG&E will work with the property owner to schedule a contractor to cut the tree.

Consecutive years of drought have taken a toll on trees and even some trees deemed healthy six months ago have since succumbed to the dry conditions. The U.S. Forest Service recently identified an exponentially growing rate of tree mortality in California.  In 2014, 11 million dead trees were identified throughout the state. That number grew to 40 million in 2015 and 102 million in 2016.

While tree mortality is more serious in 10 counties in the southern and central Sierra Nevada Mountain region, the Forest Service also identified increasing mortality in the northern part of the state.

Weather permitting, all flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.B>>

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Filed under Big Bend, Montgomery Creek, PG&E, Pit River, Round Mountain, Timber and Forestry