Francis Elenor Butler turns 100 on November 12

During lunch on Wednesday November 8, The Senior Nutrition Center had a celebration for the 100th birthday of Frances Elenor Butler. Folks sang happy birthday and presented Frances with a beautiful cake and a birthday card signed by all.

Frances Elenor Butler turns 100 on November 12

When Frances was asked how it feels to be 100 years old she said, “In a way it feels pretty good, but in a way it is kind of embarrassing to be that old.”

Frances was born November 12, 1917. On Saturday, there will be another celebration for her with family and friends at the community center from 2-4 p.m. The community is welcome to come join in the celebration.



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Celebration of Life for Mary Jane Marx

Mary Jane Marx 1947-2017

Scores of friends and family gathered for a Celebration of Life for Mary Jane Marx at the Burney Lions Hall on November 4.

Ms. Marx was born in Austin, Texas in 1947, but spent most of her adult life in Burney.

She served on the Shasta County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Jeep Team from 1990 until 2017. She also distributed food for the Senior Center food program.

Marx loved horses and rode a horse named Ginger. She was an avid hunter and a lifetime member of the NRA. She was also a traveler and photographer.

Bear killed by Mary Jane Marx

In 1975 she played for the Intermountain All-Star DC Greer baseball team which went to the state finals. She played bass for a band named Johnny and the Rivieras.

She worked at Louisiana Pacific and Sierra Pacific mills as well as for Cogen.

Celebration of Life for a very loving person

Members of the Search and Rescue Jeep Patrol in attendance

The ceremony began with music played by Daniel Williams and Doug Zuehlke. Williams played several Credence Clearwater songs and other tunes that he thought that Mary Jane would like. Zuehlke, a graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music who teaches music and knew Mary Jane in San Jose artfully played a number of popular and jazz tunes on his clarinet.

Music by Daniel Williams and Doug Zuehlke

Center for Spiritual Living

Chris Johnson from the Center for Spiritual Living in Redding officiated for the service. Johnson gave an account of Marx’s life and service.

He read a poem that Mary Jane Marx asked him to read entitled “All is Well” by Henry Scott Holland.

After his talk, friends and family members shared experiences in remembrance of Marx. What emerged is a picture of a “loving giving lady.” She raised wolves and a skunk named Flower. She was a hard worker.

She had a great sense of humor.

A coworker at Cogen shared that at a gathering he had once stated that some women are capable of doing a man’s job and some aren’t.

Yoy McNee with twin daughters Holly and Ivy

“You’re right,” quipped Marx, ” and some men aren’t either.”

After the testimonies, Johnson closed by reading the 23rd Psalm. Lunch followed with a slide show of photographs from Marx’s life.

People came from as far away as Cottonwood, San Jose, and Monterey to attend. One family that came from Monterey was the McNee family.

Yoy McNee was raised by Marx’s mother, also named Mary Jane. Marx was like an older sister to her.

Gavin McNee and his dad Colin

Arriving in Burney for the memorial as the first snowflakes of the year fell, the McNee children were excited to experience snow for the first time.

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New Resident Deputy Sheriff for Eastern Shasta County

Nicholas “Nick” Tepley has been assigned as a Resident Deputy for Eastern Shasta County.

Shasta County Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Tepley

Officer Tepley has been married for two years and lives in Round Mountain. He has served as a law enforcement officer for over four years. He was a deputy Sheriff in Contra Costa County for two years. He served as a police officer for Napa State Hospital for two years. He has been with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office for four months.

In his future career, Tepley hopes to serve on SWAT, Search and Rescue, and Dive Team.

Lieutenant Tyler Thompson said, “We are happy to have Nick up here and we are sure he will do a great job.”

There are now six deputies serving the Intermountain Area of Shasta County. There are also  two supervisors, one detective, and one community service officer.

Deputy Tepley said, “I look forward to being of service to you all.”

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Pictures of the Burney Fire Hall Halloween Event

The Burney Fire District together with several local businesses, organizations, and volunteers put on a wonderful Halloween event this Tuesday evening October 31.

I was home giving out candy and didn’t make it but Fire Chief Monte B. Keady very kindly sent me some pictures from his phone to share with the community.

Kudos to the Burney Fire District and all the fine folks who provided this fun and safe event for the children and people of Burney!

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Burney Chamber Fall Fling

160 people turned out for the Burney Chamber of Commerce Fall Fling at the Veterans Hall on Saturday evening, October 28.

Burney Chamber President and Office Manager Willie Rodriguez and Jen Luck emceed the event.

Burney Chamber President Willie Rodriguez

Chamber Office Manager Jen Luck

Honorary Mayor of Burney Jill Daugherty announced this year’s award winners.

Honorary Mayor of Burney Jill Daugherty

Tubit Enterprises was named Business of the Year.

Doug & Jennifer Lindgren of Tubit Enterprises receive the award for Business of the Year

Anesha Pearson was named Employee of the Year.

Anesha Pearson from Gepetto’s named Employee of the Year

Boy Scout Troop 38 was named Organization of the Year

Organization Of The Year is Boy Scout Troop 38

George Chapman was named Volunteer of the year.

George Chapman is Volunteer of the Year

The theme of this year’s Fall Fling was Outdoor Adventure. Folks dressed for the occasion.

A delicious meal was prepared by Lassen RV Bistro.

Jen introducing chefs from Lassen RV Park

Many civic minded people showed up to enjoy the evening and support the event.

Pit River Casino Supporters

The Leadership Club of Burney High School served the meal.

After the meal, raffle winners were announced and items were auctioned. It was a jolly good time and a worthwhile event. Congratulations to the Burney Chamber of Commerce for a successful year.

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Burney Residents meet at Vets Hall seeking solutions to the homeless problem

More than a hundred people came to the Veterans Hall in Burney on Tuesday evening October 24 to seek solutions to the homeless problem in Burney.

Meeting on homelessness at Burney Veterans Hall

The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. and lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Burney Fire Chief Monty B. Keady moderated the meeting. The first half of the meeting consisted of presentations from a panel of speakers.

Bailey Turner, Dante Mendoza, Daniel Lockwood, Monte Keady, Amber Estes, Lyn Erickson, and Rod Armstrong

Burney Fire Chief Monty B. Keady

Keady began the meeting by saying “We want to look at some solutions that are going to  come from us, the community. That is the purpose of tonight’s meeting.”

After brief introductory remarks he introduced Rod Armstrong, leader of the Burney Citizens Patrol. The Burney Citizens Patrol patrols Burney and Johnson Park. The patrol monitors businesses, residential areas, and vacant houses. They do not carry weapons or make arrests but they work in coordination with the Sherriff’s deputies to report any suspicious behavior and provide support. They currently have eight members and are looking for more volunteers.

Armstrong said that he had also been involved on a clean-up day conducted by members of the high school Rotary Interact Club along Burney Creek.

“It was incredible. It was all homeless debris. They hauled out four huge trailer loads from that four hours on Sunday morning. It was something to see and I think it impressed the kids…  I hadn’t been in that area, but after seeing it, you can tell, we have a homeless problem. There were needles, I mean, just cast off everything.”

After Armstrong’s remarks, Keady emphasized that homelessness is a problem throughout Shasta County, California and the nation. He referred people to the numerous community homeless forums on YouTube where the issue is being addressed.

Daniel Lockwood from Tri Counties Network

In introducing the next speaker, Keady said that there were many misconceptions about homelessness that he had shared. He introduced Daniel Lockwood as a “man on the street” who had gone out to survey local homeless people to assess the reality of the local situation.

Lockwood works as a case manager and instructor for the Tri Counties Network. He works together with CalWORKs helping with job services and also teaches a class “Smart About Money” where people can come to for a talk on financial responsibility and nutrition and receive a $25 food coupon. Many of those who come are homeless. Lockwood also went out around town and into the woods along Burney Creek to interview some of the homeless about their situation.

Lockwood investigated the problem from two perspectives seeking information from community members and the homeless.

He posted a question to residents on Tri Counties Network’s Facebook site asking people “in three words or less what would be your solution to help stop the crime and dealing with the homeless in Burney.”

Twenty-seven people responded with 43 responses: 23% defended the homeless. 23% felt we needed stricter penalties, 21% felt we should not enable people, 9% felt that vigilante justice was the answer, 7% felt that we should be more vigilant (e.g. Neighborhood Watch, etc.), 5% felt that more jobs and industry was the answer, 5% proposed other solutions. Among the other solutions proposed were deporting the homeless and allowing pot smokers to work.

Lockwood had conversations of varying length with 37 local homeless people. He used a questionnaire with 24 of them. He summarized his findings as follows: 100% of those he spoke with have used or are currently using drugs; 100% have family in the area; 83% have stolen out of necessity; 50% want to stop using drugs, 25% do not want to stop using drugs.

He shared a number of things he had learned. Among them he said,

“The homeless are not coming from out of town. They are from here or have family here. Many of the homeless do not want to be housed, many just want to be left alone… The homeless community is less community and more individual. They tend not to trust other homeless people. They are afraid of “tweekers” … vigilantes, and they are very afraid of the police…”

He talked about how some he had talked with had made bad decisions which resulted in the loss of their homes, families, and children. They had fallen into hopelessness and despair and some had lost the desire to live. He said that he had enjoyed talking with the people he had met. They ceased to be statistics and became individuals each with their own story. Many are good people who need a hand up.

He also shared that many people have gone through recovery and many homeless people have gotten back on their feet and are productive members of the community.

After Daniel’s talk, Keady talked about the Pygmalion effect and the Golem effect. The point was that expectations influence behaviors.  People will strive to meet expectations.

“Be careful on how we treat people and the expectations that we have based on our stereotypes,” said Keady.

The next speaker was Amber Estes. She is involved in trying to start a mentoring program in Burney. She said that research shows that over 40% of children lack the support necessary to reach their academic and social potential. Ten percent of children are those considered most at risk. That means that in the Fall River Joint School District out of 1208 students, 483 are in need of some help and 48 are at risk. A mentoring program would pair supervised adults with at risk students to help them make wise choices and avoid harmful behaviors. Studies have shown that helping young people in this way results in many long term benefits for the children and the community. She invited people interested in learning about and participating in the program to sigh up.

Next, Lynn Erickson, Director of the Circle of Friends Wellness Center, spoke about addiction. Addressing the difficulties of addiction for individuals and their families, she also shared hopeful stories of people who had successfully gone through recovery from drugs, alcohol, and homelessness. She mentioned numerous services that are available in Burney and the Intermountain area. All of this information is available at the Circle of Friends.

Next, Keady spoke briefly of the Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule). This is a widely applied principle that states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Keady suggested that we think about the 80/20 rule and offered an explanation of how it applied to the current discussion.

Some problems can be addressed and people are willing to be helped. For other criminal activity, law enforcement is necessary. He encouraged people to call law enforcement and report crimes to ensure an accurate assessment of crime in the area. If crimes go unreported, the situation looks statistically better that it really is.

The two final speakers were seniors at Burney High School named Bailey Turner and Dante Mendoza. Their senior project is a program named the Parsonage Project, done in conjunction with Foursquare Solid Rock Church.The parsonage will provide commercial washers, showers, and toilets for homeless people. The entire roof of the building has been torn off and redone. They also plan to paint the outside of a the building so it will be a “happy color” and a place where people will feel welcome.

They were inspired to do the project after seeing so many homeless people walking the streets of Burney. They also participated in the Interact Club cleanup on Burney Creek.

They have raised $700 through several car washes. Pit River Casino has donated a commercial washer and dryer and also the services of a construction crew. They estimate that they need another $6000 dollars in donations to complete the project.

Turner said that one out of 332 people in California is homeless. California is populated with about 35 million people. If you do the math, there are estimated to be at least 150,000 homeless people in California. Most are located in San Francisco, LA, and Northern California.

“We wanted to do something for our senior project that actually benefited the community and made it a cleaner place where people could come and see and say, ‘Oh wow! We need to do something for our community because those teenagers did something crazy and made something for their homeless community.'”

After the panelists had all spoken, Keady opened the floor to the audience. He invited people present to propose constructive solutions. For the next half hour a variety of speakers offered ideas.

Mike Kiser offers Old Sportsman’s Building for use as homeless shelter

Mike Kiser, owner of the old Sportsman building, said that he would be willing to offer the building for one dollar a year to be used as a homeless shelter. The building has 5000 square feet of available space and would need to be improved by the community for that use. He said that the Pit River Tribe has expressed interest in participating.

Shelley from Little Country Church said that she would like to see the churches in the valley get more involved.

A man named Daniel said that he had an abandoned house that was being used by homeless people behind his property torn down and offered that as an option. Keady added that the Burney Fire District would help owners of derelict houses to secure their house. He said the district would supply labor if the owner provided the lumber.

Alex Colvin encouraged people to follow Lockwood’s example of engaging homeless people so they could get to know them one on one. He challenged people if they had an available room, and they knew a good person who needed a helping hand, to let them stay in their house.

A woman who had worked with the mentoring program in Klamath Falls spoke of the successes of the program and encouraged people to participate in the mentoring program here.

Sally Armstrong from the Rotary Club spoke of a mentoring program that Rotary started three years ago. They work with first, second and third graders once a week. She expressed the hope that this program could feed into a mentoring program such as that described by Ms. Estes for older children. Fire Chief Keady said that he had also been working with the Rotary mentoring program.

A woman named Tanaka said that she had helped organize a clean-up. About 50 people expressed enthusiasm, but when the time came only about eleven showed up. She said that people can sit on the sidelines and complain, but if you are not willing to pitch in and help, then you are part of the problem.

Jen Luck said that everyone is  in need of  help at some point in their life. She said that “your community is part of your family.” Some people don’t qualify for services because they are middle class. She referred people to a Facebook page started by Amber Estes called “Pay it Forward” where neighbors can help each other. “You help somebody now, somebody else is going to help you later.”

Fred Ryness advocated raising taxes in order to improve law enforcement and provide half-way houses. He said we need to address problems relating to the prison system. He also spoke about thinning out the forests and utilizing the resources to create new sawmills and cogen plants to create jobs for the unemployed. He also spoke about the food co-op which is a cooperative effort by churches in the area to provide food for the needy.

Rev. Buck Buchanan said he is encouraged by the cooperative spirit and practical ideas expressed in the meeting. He emphasized being grateful for what we have and putting our resources to work. He expressed his belief that with “faith, hope and love” we are ready to take the next step here in Burney.

Ross Jones from Fall River Mills said he is diametrically opposed to all taxes. He is pro law enforcement and encouraged people to contact Rod Armstrong and join the Citizens Patrol. Just driving through an area and being seen can do a lot to help prevent crime.

A man named Bob who is active in community service organizations advocated rejuvenating Neighborhood Watch. He spoke of ways in which services could be provided to those of the homeless who wanted to improve and find jobs. He encouraged the churches to get involved. He said that we need law enforcement to deal with the crimes but for the rest of the social issues we need to deal with it as a community. He advocated the formation of a community task force to delve into the issues of providing social help, counseling, and jobs.

A woman from the Native American community spoke about elders who are living in the woods because they have been put out of their homes. She welcomed the idea of a shelter in the Sportsman’s building so that people would not have to freeze to death in the winter.

Bruce Parrish from the Fall River Citizens Patrol encouraged citizens to call the Sherriff deputies so there would be greater response.

A woman who lives on Sugar Pine said she had had issues with garbage and drug use around her house and was unsure what number to call to get a deputy. A member of the Sheriff’s office said there is a non-emergency number posted on the front door of the Sherriff’s station. The number is 53o-245-6540. If it is an emergency call 911.

Sally Armstrong spoke again suggesting that a volunteer bank be established. Cindy Dodds responded by asking people present to sign up on lists that had been created for each of the projects talked about that night. Tri Counties Networks will help convene those people who have expressed an interest in those specific topics. Anyone who was not at the meeting should contact the Tri Counties Network if they want to be involved. Ms. Dodds said she will also be creating a general volunteer list for people who want to be involved in projects like Burney Beautification, campground cleanups or other programs.

Jen Luck explained that 211 is a number you can call if you do not know who to call for specific services. It might be child services, animal control, traffic related issues, etc. Dial 211, they will get you to the people you need to talk with.

Concluding the meeting, Keady recapped the meeting and Denise Luntey and Daniel Lockwood outlined the many services provided by Tri Counties Community Network including Senior Nutrition, employment, children’s programs, mental health and other programs.

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Emma Harrington honored as Burney 8th Grade Student of the Month

Emma Harrington was honored as 8th Grade Student of the Month at the Burney Lions Club on Thursday evening October 19.

BHS Principal Ray Guerrero, Emma Harrington, and Lion George Whitfield

Ms. Harrington was introduced by Burney High School Principal Ray Guerrero. Lion George Whitfield presented her with a check for $50 from the Burney Lions Club in recognition for her achievement.

Emma has a grade point average of 4.0. Her school activities include Youth, California Junior Scholarship Federation, and volleyball. She enjoys crafting, camping, playing volleyball, dancing and acrobatics. She would like to visit Disney World.

In the future she would like to go to community college for two years and then transfer to a four year college. Her goal is to become a science teacher. Mr. Guerrero said that he hopes he will be able to hire her to teach at Burney High.

Emma’s parents, Cory and Heidi Harrington, were both present to see their daughter honored. Mrs. Harrington said that “Emma spends a lot of time doing her homework instead of cleaning her room. She is a very sweet, loving, caring person and is about to become an auntie in a couple of weeks.”

Emma’s sister, mom-to-be Carrie Harrington, was also 8th grade student of the month when she attended Burney Junior High School.

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