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.
Each year, residents, businesses, and organizations of the Fall River Valley and surrounding areas join together to create a wonderful Mountain Jubilee. It is a delightful display of Inter-Mountain culture and activities organized by the Inter-Mountain Fair Heritage Foundation.
One of the events this year was the Hunger Games. A few weeks ago, Linda and I got a message that Delbert Howard Building was sponsoring a Honorary Burney Mayor’s Race team.
We sent out the challenge to the mayors candidates. We needed four candidates to compete on the team. Ralph Freitas, who is running for Honorary Mayor raising funds for Make A Wish Foundation (Shasta County) said that he would be willing to run. Beth Allison was organizing the race, so Linda called her and she invited Linda and I to participate. She got a fourth volunteer, a young man named Kyle, to be our fourth participant.
Kyle, Linda, Ralph, and Alex
So, in the 100 degree heat on Saturday, June 24, Linda and I headed over to the Inter-Mountain fairgrounds in McArthur. People were socializing, music was playing and a group of young ladies were playing egg roulette on the lawn. The girls were breaking eggs on their heads. Some of the eggs were raw, some were hard boiled.
We didn’t see Beth right away so we headed into the Ingram Hall where it was cooler. Shortly, Ralph joined us.
While we waited we watched some wonderful dancing by the youth of Fall River.
Song and dance from the Newsies
Young couples dancing
It was a really great performance.
After the show we went outside to the lawn. The egg-smashing was finished and the Hunger Games were about to begin. Four teams competed. Beth gave each of the competitors a t-shirt: red, yellow, blue, and pink. Judges were chosen.
We competed in a variety of events combining physical activity and food. The first was a board race in which three of us had to walk together on two boards. We did pretty well in the first race and only fell off the boards a few times. Ralph performed well gulping down a fruit salad.
However, when it came my turn to eat a dry burrito our team began to slip. My mouth was dry and it took me eons to chew and swallow the burrito. By the time I finished the other teams were already well ahead. Next Kyle built a lego construction while Linda aced down a pizza. Next, I blew bubbles though a hoop and once again, very slowly, chewed up a maple bar and then blew up a balloon than that I had to pop on another contestant. Then we boarded our way back to the finish line where Ralph finished off a spicy cup of Bloody Mary mix.
Our team came in last, primarily because I am the slowest chewer in Pit River Country. Still it was lots of fun. The emcee invited Ralph to say a few words and he talked about his race for Mayor and invited everyone to come to the opening event of Burney Basin Days for the ice cream social on Thursday night.
Free ice cream. I think I can eat ice cream a lot faster than I can a burrito.
Every year the Mountain Jubilee has been a fun action filled event leading up to the Inter-Mountain Fair.
Thank you so much to the organizers and Delbert Howard Building for giving me a taste of the Mountain Jubilee.
On April 11, Garrett Costello and Kayla Trotter, gave a presentation to the Burney Chamber of Commerce on the status of development of the Bioenergy Cluster Project in the Intermountain area.
The project plans include the development of 3 small-scale community based energy facilities. The three proposed facilities are Burney-Hat Creek Bioenergy, Tubit Enterprises, and McArthur Bioenergy.
The activity is supported by California Senate Bill 1122 that establishes a feed-in tariff contract (BioMAT) for small renewable electricity producers to sell power to Investor Owned Utilities (PG&E) at higher rates than are offered to larger utility scale power producers. The bill also mandates state-wide procurement of renewable biomass from small facilities that utilize low emission technologies.
Bioenergy is considered carbon neutral and has been recognized by the California Forest Carbon Plan as having a vital role in combating the effects of climate change.
Cal Fire, public and private land owners, and the U.S. Forest Service (via the Wood Innovation Grant), are committed to harvesting downed and diseased material to prevent catastrophic wildfire, and preserve forest health,.
It is hoped that bioenergy facilities will spur economic development, create jobs, strengthen our forest, and bring energy independence to rural mountain communities.
More than eighty people filled the Old Merc Pizza in McArthur on Friday night February 3 for the Hope is Alive 9! open mic. The crowd was treated to an uplifting evening of song, dance, poetry, testimony, and superb drumming.
Hope is Alive 9! at Old Merc Pizza
The Hope is Alive! open mics are sponsored by Stand Against Stigma, a program of the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. The theme of Hope is Alive! is creative expression and the arts help people to work through their struggles and aid in recovery. The program addresses issues such as depression, substance abuse, suicide, anxiety disorders, childhood trauma, etc.
Marc Dadigan, a community education specialist for the County, helped to organize and emcee the event. County Supervisor Mary Rickert was present and spoke briefly about her past work with the National Association for Mental Ilness (NAMI).
County Supervisor Mary Rickert commends the event and speaks briefly about NAMI
By 6 p.m. the pizza parlor was full and over a dozen people had signed up to perform. Dadigan welcomed everyone and introduced the first performer Alex Colvin, who recited a short poem about the power of prayer and sang a song written for the event entitled Hope is Alive. (See selected videos by various performers).
Next, a talented singer/songwriter from Redding, Tyson, came up and sang some original songs.
Singer songwriter Tyson sings some original songs
Heather Gold gave a moving testimony about her family and personal history
After Tyson’s soul-stirring performance, social worker Heather Gold, came to the mic and shared a poignant story of how her ancestors had come to America as refugees from the pograms in Eastern Europe to start of new life. Gold spoke of how she had benefited from and treasured the religious diversity in our country. She also shared about coping with the difficulties of a brain tumor and the importance of overcoming stigmas.
Following that, local musicians Stu Stoore, Ginny Dye, and Don Smith performed a variety of old time tunes, blues, and bluegrass music. Don Smith hosts a community jam session every other Friday at the Old Merc for local musicians. As well as performing, Stoore also provided and managed the sound system for the evening.
Stu Stoore, Ginny Dye, and Don Smith
Next came folk-rock musician George Whitfield from Burney. George used to play in the Burney Basin Band with Cliff Bobo and Dave Wicks. In addition to playing an original tune he had never performed before, George shared his hope for peace and brought back a lot of memories singing the old 60’s songs “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” by Peter, Paul, and Mary and “Vietnam Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish.
George Whitfield sings an original song
Next, Kimberly Michelle Davis lit up the hall with a wonderful rendition of “Naughty” from the Broadway musical Matilda. Kimberly told us that she may be moving to Utah soon. Her talented appearances and contribution to the community will be much missed.
Kimberly Michelle Davis captivates the crowd with her performance of Naughty
Next we were treated to some poetry by Gail Pittman and then a rendition of Ricky Nelson’s “I was a Fool in Love.” by Phil Dekker accompanied on the violin by Ginny Dye.
Phil Dekker with Ginny Dye
Verena Compton recites an Old German prayer in German and English
After that, Verena Compton from Round Mountain came forward to perform a beautiful old Germanic poetic prayer in German and English.
After her prayer, she introduced Skip Holden and Randy Compton and they delighted and energized the crowd with an awesome drum session.
The first piece was dedicated to Tom and Mary Vestal who recently passed away.
Skip Holden and drummers perform a drum song dedicated to Tom and Marie Vestal
As the drumming receded, rap and rhythm and blues artist Drake Smith came up to the mic to share three amazing pieces moving from song, to song and dance, to break dancing.
Drake Smith energized and inspired the audience with song and dance
One of the unexpected treats of the evening was performance by children. The first was a duet by Megan and her daughter Bailey singing “You Had a Bad Day.”
The second was Kaydance Inez Hall who got up and did a great job bravely singing “This is My Fight Song.”
And that was not all. Jeff McNeil delighted the audience with his authentic Western ballads. Jeff has been a trail guide in the High Sierras. He is an excellent horseman, a blacksmith, and metalwork artist. When he sings, he sings from the heart because he lives the life.
Jeff McNeil singing wonderful country and western songs
Matt Erlich who runs a local recording studio also shared some songs.
Matt Erich played some foot-tapping tunes
Diane Lahey spoke about overcoming mental illenss and past abuse
Toward the end of the program, Dadigan asked Diane Lahey to come forward to share. Lahey is one of the early members of Brave Faces, people who share their stories of hope and recovery to provide a better understanding of the challenges of mental illness.
Diane talked about learning to love herself in spite of a difficult childhood, battles with mental illness, and abuse.
Telling how a doctor had taken advantage of her innocence and trust and abused her, Dee made a point about “not knowing what we don’t know.”
If one is unloved as a child and told that he or she worthless and unwanted, it wounds the psyche. If one is abused and victimized by a person in authority, it causes confusion and guilt.
In order to love ourselves and others we need to forgive ourselves and others. To do that it helps to stop judging ourselves for not knowing what we did not know.
“I will not judge you for not knowing what you did not know.” Lahey said “Please do not judge me for not knowing what I did not know.”
Following Lahey’s talk, Tamara Lopez read three poems and the entertainment ended with Michael Bennett from Circle of Friends singing a love song.
Tamara Lopez read three poems
Three and half hours of entertainment and sharing. People made new friends and visited with old. Barriers had been broken down and joy was in the air, because when creativity flows in community, Hope is Alive!
More than eighty people filled Old Merc Pizza in McArthur Friday evening to enjoy three hours of performance and sharing by more that a dozen artists. The evening’s offerings included poetry, song, dance, drumming, Broadway musical, as well as inspirational messages from participants in Stand Against Stigma and Brave Faces.
So much talent! Such diversity! Linda and I were unable to capture all of the dozens of acts, but this playlist has videos will give you a taste of some of the performances.
I hope you enjoy.
Thanks to Marc Dadigan from Stand Against Stigma for organizing the event, Old Merc for hosting, Stu Stoore for and excellent job with the sound, and all those who came to make this a wonderful evening.
Hope is Alive!
PS. There are 12 videos in the playlist. Click on the triple bar in the upper left-hand corner to see a menu listing all of the individual titles.
Another Hope is Alive open mic featuring local musicians, singers, dancers and poets is coming to the Intermountain area. It will be held at the Old Merc Pizza in McArthur starting at 6 p.m. on February 3.
Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency sent out the following press release commending McArthur Mart for providing healthy food choices in the Intermountain area:
SMALL CHANGES, BIG MOMENTUM AT LOCAL STORE
SHASTA COUNTY – As you walk through McArthur Mart you will notice something strikingly unique about this small store. Mouthwatering advertisements of fresh, crisp salads and delicious, healthy wraps with the slogan “Fall River Fresh” are hung throughout the store.
Steve Gagnon knows what it takes to be a small business owner. He is dedicated and truly cares about the community he serves. He found working long hours with short breaks made it easy for him to grab quick, easy and convenient snacks – “junk food” – and his weight and health began to suffer. This prompted him to take a new approach to promoting healthy food in his small rural town.
Improving access to healthy food is a critical component in building an equitable food system. “Retailers are always trying to find that one niche that sets us apart,” Gagnon said. He is doing that by adopting a new approach called “Fall River Fresh.”
“Mini-marts have had a bad reputation for pushing junk food,” Gagnon said. He’s trying to change this with a clean and fresh approach. This new direction has been a good move for the business. He has noticed an increase in sales of healthier options, and he continues to change things to fit the season. During the summer he offers fresh sliced fruits, and during the fall and winter he offers hot soups and sandwiches.
He encourages other store owners to use the items already available to them to make simple changes, advising, “Crawl before you walk.” As with any new approach in business there are some challenges. Fresh foods are extremely perishable, so he says it’s important to advertise and pay close attention to dates. He started by providing healthier snack bars, and now offers grab-and-go sandwiches, healthy wraps, salads and yogurt parfaits prepared daily. Fresh sliced fruits and soups are available seasonally. McArthur Mart’s new approach, “Fall River Fresh” has maximized its business, Gagnon said. Keep it fresh and join the movement! For more information on how to add more fruit and vegetables to your store, contact Ereka Bishop at 225-5126.
Shasta County – The Safe Routes to School program is offering safety kits and technical assistance to Shasta County schools for coordinating Walk to School Day on October 5, 2016. Kits include educational materials, vests, cones and promotional materials. One lucky school will win a live radio remote on their campus to celebrate Walk to School Day. Interested PTA/parent groups or schools are invited to submit applications by 5 pm on Thursday, September 1.
To be eligible, schools are encouraged to have volunteers from Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), a parent club or site council willing to coordinate the event, and lead weekly walks to school throughout October.
Last year, 14 local schools participated in International Walk to School Day. The goal of the Safe Routes to School Program is to make walking and biking to school safer, easier, more convenient and increase the numbers of children walking or biking to school safely.
“Walking and biking to school is a great way for children to get exercise before starting their school day, making them more prepared to concentrate and learn when they arrive at school,” said Sara Sundquist, Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator. “When more students walk, the number of vehicles around the school area is reduced, making it safer for more children to walk or bike.”
Mayer’s Memorial Hospital (MMHD) reports that their three health career days went very well. The first took place at Burney High School on April 22; The second was held at Fall River High School on May 20; and the third was at Big Valley High School May 25.
The events introduced local students to career and job opportunities in both clinical and non-clinical healthcare professions. A variety of departments were represented and available to answer questions from the students.
Students were required to ask 2 questions from at least 10 departments in order to be put in a drawing. The students were attentive, had great questions, and represented their schools very well.
Organizers, Val Lakey, Director of Public Relations, and Libby Mee, Director of Human Resources, said Mayers is working on “growing our own.”
The best way to do that is to plant seeds and provide information to students as they are starting to decide what career path they want.
“Growing our own” is a wonderful model of great benefit to the Intermountain community.
By providing information and opportunities for training to students and young adults in the Intermountain area, businesses, government agencies, and non-profit corporations empower local youth to plan for careers that will enable them find employment and live here in the future.
MMHD itself employs over 200 people and offers a variety of positions requiring different skill and education levels. Val Lakey affirms, “We want students to know Mayers is a place they can have a good career and be able to come back to this beautiful community to live.”
Photos courtesy of Mayers Memorial Hospital District