Mountain Echo Columns

March 27, 2012

Blue Skies
By Valerie Lakey

It’s been a very busy week with priorities away from article writing and meetings. I have not missed a Blue Skies column in almost a year and this will not be the week to do it. There are a lot of activities coming up, which I wrote about last week. Sometimes Blue Skies come from taking a break from the daily routine. So I have decided to give you some light-hearted humor, inspired by my grandma.

“I Don’t Chew My Cabbage Twice”

This isn’t a menu, a plea to eat more veggies or a lecture on manners. It’s a lesson in history, well, sort of. My grandma is as spunky as they come with a quick wit and phrases that will leave you wondering what she just said.

She called my husband for his birthday last year and while they were chatting he asked her to repeat something. She told him, “I don’t chew my cabbage twice.” He was perplexed to say the least, so nana had to explain. She simply meant she doesn’t need to say things twice. The expression dates back to 1888. In the country, especially in the country towns of Pennsylvania, this is a very common expression that signifies that the person uttering it does not intend to repeat an observation. It makes sense that nana uses that expression; she is from that eastern part of the country.

The rest of my family is from the south, where expressions are plentiful. My husband’s grandmother also had a long list of great sayings that were a part of her everyday conversations. Here are a few to ponder and maybe try using:

Make hay while the sun shines - Do it while you have the opportunity.
Penny wise and pound-foolish - Someone who pinches pennies and then squanders the dollars.
Up the wooden hill - Upstairs to bed.
Get your skates on - Hurry up!
A watched pot never boils - The more you watch for something to happen, the slower it seems to take.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it! - Remark made, emphatically, when you were trying to get a point across.
Madder than a wet hen - Really angry.
A whistling woman and a crowing hen never comes to a very good end - Be who you are.
Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. - Everyone is sometimes lucky.
Two shakes of a sheep's tail. - Done quickly.
Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. - Doesn't grasp or worry what's going on.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth - Don't examine a gift too closely!
Well that just dills my pickle! - When something has happened that upsets a plan.
That’s about as useful as a trap door on a canoe! – Of no use or purpose.
You look about as happy as a tick on a fat dog – Content and peaceful.
Darker than a stack of black cats – Very dark, can’t see anything.

I love these old time sayings and the history behind them. It is always fun to sit down with my grandparents and try to pick up a few. I add them to my vocabulary to combat the language that comes from the many teenagers I know!

Have a great week…filled with Blue Skies!

February  21, 2012

A slow week turned into a busy week. I learned there is never a lack of things to write about in the Intermountain Community. I had the privilege of going to Big Valley last Friday and do three very different interviews. It reminded me of the quality of people and quality of life we have in these communities. There are so many great people out there doing great things.

Edna Eades was my first stop. While going to high school in Big Valley, I lived just down the road from her. In fact, my long daily bus ride went right past her driveway. It was a lot of fun to drive out there and visit with her about her book. She has taken the time to really open up about a family experience. I really enjoyed my visit and hope that you will pick up a copy of her book.

Next I met with a fellow BVHS Class of 1984 graduate. Brian Dahle took the time to meet with me before he headed up to Alturas to watch his son play basketball. It was so great to talk to him and see how people I grew up with are willing to be involved and make a difference. Another example of community members not just sitting around and watching things happen. I usually don’t get too involved in politics, but I encourage you to read my blog and opinion at

My final stop was at Big Valley Market. This was a place I went to nearly everyday in high school to buy a Diet Coke. It has seen a lot of different changes over the years. The great thing is that the business is still open. Locals have once again taken over and are doing great things because they care about the community.

A day like last Friday is a great day! We are very blessed to live where we do.

Another example was Thursday night in Burney at the Burney-Fall River basketball games. After a great presentation honoring Burney seniors, we witnessed community members once again in action. A Burney parent had a medical emergency and we all saw people step into action very quickly. Both schools principals were quick to respond as well as at least four medical personnel people that were in the stands. It was amazing to see that transpire and get the patient to the hospital. Again, what a community!

Fall River seniors were also honored last week, as well as a presentation made to Todd Reynolds for his years of coaching this particular group of senior boys in AAU Basketball.

The Burney Fall River Education Foundation has begun the process of collecting items for their annual dinner and auction. The dinner is set for May 5th. If you have anything you would like to donate for an auction items, door prize or raffle item contact any BFREF Board Member.

I am going to end here and encourage you all to take a good look around at the many wonderful people and things in our communities. Take the time to get involved, take the time to say thank you and take the time to enjoy what we have right here in the Intermountain area.

February 7, 2012

For five years we had a business in town and through that business I met some of the most wonderful people. When we bought the store and employee “came with it.” He was one of the best employees ever. Not to mention he acted like my dad! Our family became very close with him and his wife. They even considered our kids as grandkids. Ray and Karoyl Williams are family. I got a call from Ray last night, and Karoyl had passed away. She had dealt with many medical issues. She was the sweetest lady ever. I know a few fun things about her, like how much she liked wintergreen lifesavers, loved lighthouses and she was always late! Ray always had to tell her they needed to be somewhere hours before the actual time. Her sweet smile and pleasant conversation were always a treat for me. I am blessed to have known her. I know she read my column every week and I just had to say goodbye to her here. You will be missed.

It is a sad week; we have lost members of our community. A past member also…Jim Greer who I had the pleasure of working with at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds. He was the maintenance man and he was great! He was living in Arkansas with his wife Dayle. We had kept in touch over the years. I known he was very happy living back there and got a lot of days in fishing during his retirement.

There are many activities coming up. Don’t forget the community craft potluck this Saturday, February 11 at 10:00 am at the EV Free Church in McArthur. If you call me, there still may be space. It is going to be a lot of fun.

The Intermountain Artists, Inc. will have a salad potluck on February 9 at noon. Guest speaker will be  Mary Morton, “sharing” her quilting secrets with attendees. Contact Barbara Turner at for more information.

The Fall River Booster Crab Feed is Saturday, February 11 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Ingram Hall at the Inter-Mountain Fair Grounds. Contact Boosters members for tickets. This fundraiser event helps fund the Sober Grad night, various projects and scholarships. The Boosters support our area students diligently, let’s support them!

The Fall River Valley Chamber of Commerce Wild Rice Festival Committee meeting is scheduled for February 17 at 5:00 p.m., the Fall River Real Estate Office. Pam McBroome has been appointed the Chair for this year.

Donna Hilton let me know that the chamber’s 2012 Membership Drive is in full swing. Renewal applications have been hand delivered, emailed and faxed to the current membership. Not only is the Chamber looking to expand its membership but we also desire to retain its loyal members. Membership gives you "a voice and a vote" within the Chamber. Additionally there is a section on the form entitled "We Want To Hear From You" so please take a moment to honestly give your opinions of the Chamber and help us be a better representative of the community, which it serves.
Fall River Valley Chamber of Commerce general meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 12 Noon at Anna’s Country Kitchen in McArthur.

There is an Energy Efficiency Workshop scheduled for February 28 at the McConnell Foundation in Redding. The Event will be from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. RSVP is required. Contact Priscilla Benson at 226-2577 for more information. RSVP deadline is February 17.

Thank you for all of the emails and comments after last week’s articles and column. I appreciate your news, comments and input. If you have an event, story idea or comment, please email me at

January 31, 2012

I will try to fill this with as much “Blue Sky” as possible. My effort will be to try to highlight a positive in a negative situation. Here goes…I attended three meetings last week that had an agenda full of bad news to discuss - Mayers Memorial, Fall River Joint Unified and Inter-Mountain Fair. The interesting thing is that these organizations haven’t done anything wrong internally. They all have good management, staff, and financial officers, have maintained frugal budgets and receive tremendous community support. The problem is the State of California. Each of these boards is dealing with drastic cuts because the state cannot operate within its means. So the answer is cutting funds for education, healthcare and community. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but it is the reality and these entities along with many others are doing their best.

So here’s the positive to the negative situation. In the case of the school district, they have been very successful in securing grant money for technology, have a tremendous support group in the Burney Fall River Education Foundation, Bulldog Sports Foundation, Booster’s Clubs and PTA’s. Not to mention the volunteer hours of parents, donations from community businesses and a staff that is working hard together to reach solutions.

Mayers is going in a positive direction. They are planning and budgeting for potential loss of revenue. They are bringing in more services to generate more funds. The have been creative in updating and replacing equipment and they have a staff that is working hard as a team with open communication. They are implementing a department recognition program and working to keep employees informed. They are doing their job and continue to provide a much-needed service in our community.

The Inter-Mountain Fair of Shasta County will receive no more funding from the State of California. Reductions were made last year and they are being told to make more this year. In light of all of this, they are planning for the Labor Day Fair. With the help of many community members and organizations and the Intermountain Heritage Foundation, they will make things work.

To sum it up, our small community is being faced with many things that are out of our control. The “state of the state” is causing a huge domino effect. If you are like me and see how wrong this is, I encourage you to contact your legislators. What is wrong with operating the state on the amount of money that is generated? I can only guess how much waste there is in Sacramento…someone needs to take a hard look.

Amidst all of this the people of our communities continue to volunteer, donate, support and make the best of each situation. I think we are all to be commended. We live in a great place.

Enough of that… How about a few things to fill up your calendar, a way to take a good look at just what we do in the Inter-Mountain area.

The Intermountain CattleWomen have teamed up with Adin Supply to present Crock Pot Seminars each Thursday in February at 6:00 p.m. at the local store. February is National Beef Promotion Month. This is going to be a fun way to learn some quick and easy beef recipes.

The Fall River Big Valley Cattlemen’s Association Annual Spring Dinner is set for March 24 at Ingram Hall in McArthur. This event is usually a sell out. Tickets will be on sale soon, so plan to get yours early.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Craft Potluck Day planned for February 11 at the Intermountain EV Free Church. The day is open to everyone and the cost is $10. All supplies will be provided to make the craft of the day. Bring a potluck dish and the recipe. The event will start at 10 am. Contact me for more information.

The Inter-Mountain fair is looking for a theme for this year’s fair. Entries must be submitted to the fairgrounds by February 16.

Submit your events to me at and I will get them in for you.

January 24, 2012

The blue skies are gone outside, but that is just fine with me. (You can find Blue Skies here.) I was wondering if we were ever going to get winter. I was pretty certain that the snow would wait until softball and baseball season. We definitely need the weather. So as much as you may want to complain, remember, it is necessary.  Remember to be really careful on the roads; they have been dry for a while. If you need to find warmth in winter, read my blog post from the other day,

I had the privilege of interviewing Lawrence Agee the other day. I never get tired of his stories. While there I was reminded of the many pioneer families we have in this community that have spent generations here. Those are the people you need to talk to if you really want to know about this valley. There is so much history. Even when talking about the snow, I can remember Nana Zereda (Jensen) telling us how much it used to snow. She said when she was a girl they would have to dig tunnels to get from building to building and the snow would be taller that her.

As always, there are many events coming up. The Fall River High School Jr. High students are planning a bingo fundraiser to help raise funds for their Washington D.C. trip. Bingo will be at the FRHS cafeteria on February 18 starting at 6:00 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day marks the date for the Father-Daughter dance at Fall River Elementary. It will be in the elementary school gym from 5-8:00 pm. This originated as a senior project, but a senior did not organize this year. There is a need for someone to take on the project next year.

Speaking of senior projects, the time is fast approaching for the juniors to decide what they want to do. There are many great projects and ideas out there. If you have any in mind be sure to let appropriate school site advisors know. Students are always looking for ideas. Projects should have a community service component to them.

Don’t forget the Fall River Boosters Crab and tri-Tip Dinner on February 11 in McArthur. This dinner will be from 6 – 8 p.m. and tickets are available from booster’s club members.

Would you rather have spaghetti? You are in luck; the Burney Little League Spaghetti Dinner will be this Saturday, January 28 at 5:00 pm. in Burney. The also have a great drawing going on with many prizes.

January 17, 2012

Never a dull moment in the Intermountain Area! No wonder the weeks go by so fast. Get out your calendars and be ready to fill them up.

Parents of seniors, Cash for College nights are this week. Fall River’s will be January 18 at 6:00 pm and Burney’s will be January 19 at 6:00 pm. There is also one scheduled for Big Valley at 7:00 pm on January 25.  This is a great opportunity for help on the FAFSA form. I will tell you from experience, it really helps.

Booster’s clubs are hard at work. Fall River Booster’s met Monday night (yesterday) and the Burney Booster’s will meet on the 18th at 7:00 pm at Gepetto’s. Be sure to do all you can to support our local boosters. I have seen posts regarding needing concession workers and such, why not volunteer? These organizations do so much for our local students.

The Fall River Chamber is currently seeking new members. According to membership chairperson, Donna Hamilton, “We would like to let the community know that we are working on better ways to serve the community and grow local business awareness.  One benefit of becoming a member is having a voice and a vote at chamber meetings.  We are working with our web master to find ways to increase visits to the Chamber website, adding links to our local business and the promotion of tourism to our beautiful area.  We have many events planned this year including the Christmas Light Parade, Wild Rice Festival, Chamber Awards, Party of the Century, and Main Street Trick or Treat, just to name a few.  We have asked many business members to complete a survey to help us clearly define what our business community needs from the Chamber.  New Directors, New Beginnings, New Direction.” The chamber will meet Tuesday (today) at noon at Anna’s in McArthur.

4-H’s clubs are busy preparing for the upcoming Favorite Foods Day which will be on January 21. At a recent Hat Creek 4-H meeting, Wesley Woolery gave a demonstration on proper table setting to help the beginning 4-H member prepare for favorite foods day. Local clubs will become very busy throughout the spring and are looking forward to getting their project animals for the fair.

YBL basketball games will start for Fall River Elementary students on January 28. The young athletes have been practicing under the direction of many volunteer coaches. Thank you! Burney’s YBL is also currently getting underway.

Fall River Elementary has a few activities to note. They will be having their Spelling Bee this week on January 18. The PTA meeting is scheduled for January 17 (today) and they will be selling Valentine Grams between February 1 – 9.

Burney Elementary will have a family movie night on Friday, January 20 hosted by the PTA.

Don’t forget the Chocolate Festival scheduled for January 29 at Ingram Hall. What a great opportunity to east a lot of chocolate and be supporting a great cause all at the same time.

I had the pleasure of helping the Fall River High School Leadership class with the roadside cleanup the other day. What a great community service project. It is hard to imagine though, that so many people leave that much litter alongside the highway. Help the leadership class and the many other roadside sponsors out. Do your part and don’t litter. Keep our community clean.

If you haven’t already take a look at the new Fall River Resource Conservation District website. There is a lot of great information and links on the page.

In addition, there are a lot of other great sites for the fairgrounds, chamber, Fort Crook Museum, school districts and more. Our community is well represented.

I have given my blog site a “makeover”. You can read past columns and articles as well as my daily blog. I have also included many local links. I invite you to take a peek at

January 10, 2012

I knew it would happen, school is back in after the holiday break and the pace has picked up. In fact, I write this column while at the Etna basketball tournament where all Fall River and Burney teams are playing. There are a lot of familiar faces and it seems like everyone is having a great time.

It is pretty neat watching Fall River alumni become involved in coaching. Breanne Reynolds is helping with the varsity girls and Matt Westland and Colin Corr are involved in the boy’s program. These were all very talented athletes at our local school. Thank you for becoming a part of our community and students!

There are several fundraiser dinners coming up that you may want to plan ahead for. The Adin Crab Feed will be two nights, Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21 at the Adin Community Hall. Cost is $30 and the dinner is at 6:30 p.m. both nights.

If it’s crab you like you will have another chance at the Fall River Boosters Crab and tri-Tip Dinner on February 11 in McArthur. This dinner will be from 6 – 8 p.m. and tickets are available from booster’s club members. The boosters do a lot of work supporting the local athletes and students. They will again be hosting Sober Grad Night, so your contribution will be well used.

Would you rather have spaghetti? You are in luck; the Burney Little League Spaghetti Dinner will be Saturday, January 28 at 5:00 pm. in Burney. The also have a great drawing going on with many prizes.

Mayers Memorial Hospital has new slogan. “Always Caring, Always Here.” The new slogan was a collaborative effort by the facility team, starting as a contest for employees. Almost twenty possible slogans were entered, with the winning slogan submitted by Keith Earnest, Chief Clinical Officer for Mayers. After employees submitted their ideas, the choices were narrowed down at several committees and the final decision fell to the Board of Directors during the December meeting. Mayers Board of Directors members also adopted a new Mission statement: “Mayers Memorial Hospital District serves the Intermountain area providing outstanding patient-centered healthcare to improve quality of life through dedicated, compassionate staff and innovative technology.”

I hear that Keith happens to be in Thailand at the moment along with Burney High School Graduate Brett Shoemaker. There were even pictures of Brett parasailing. Looks like quite and adventure.

The Intermountain Cattlewomen are looking for new members. This is a very active organization dedicated to promoting agriculture in the Intermountain area. They provide scholarships for local students and participate in many educational activities in local schools. If you have an interest in promoting agriculture, this could be a good organization for you.

The Intermountain Tea Party group will be hosting a meeting on January 24 featuring a candidates night. Everyone is encouraged to attend. The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm at the Veteran’s Hall in Fall River Mills.

There is also a Municipal Advisory Council Meeting at 7:00 p.m. January 19 at the McArthur Lions Hall. The main topic will be the auxiliary water storage tank in McArthur. Community residents are encouraged to attend.

I heard a little tip about a newly published book by one of our local residents. It is a murder mystery by Georgia Brown Zuniga. “Cager” is available at the Barnes and Noble website.

Be watching for another story about a recently published author. “WHO IS THIS MAN - A Journey Through Alzheimer's” by Edna Eades is available on

Keep the information coming. I appreciate it and am very happy to include your events in this column.

January 3, 2012

Happy New Year! It seems like activities have come to a halt over the last couple of weeks. This is a good thing for me. I have enjoyed time at home and haven’t had to go to town everyday!

Walt and Donna were able to get away to visit their daughter Arnie and her family. They don’t get to be away from the paper much, so I am so happy they took this opportunity. Word has it they had a lot of fun.  The newspaper didn’t fall apart and they have plenty of work to come back to.

A lot of families went on vacation and experienced some new adventures. I happen to know Lauren Vestal went skydiving for the first time while in Hawaii. From the look of the pictures she had a great time and will probably be doing it again.

I am actually really excited that winter sports will be starting again. I think I have had enough of the “Bowl Games” on television. I am ready for some high school basketball. League action will begin next week following a tournament in Etna for Burney and Fall River.

Many college students are still in town on a long break. Some will be going back to school next week. We took Nick to the airport already and he is back in Nebraska. The time went by too quick. It was great to see all of the kids home and here about how school is going. Wishing all of you the best for the last part of your school year.

Do you ever notice when you go to the stores after Christmas there is a big display of scales, weight loss products and exercise equipment? It always seems like a good idea and I am certain they sell a lot of these products. I wonder how many of us resolve to lose weight? Exercise each day? Good luck…I know I need it.

As we enter this new year, I would like to wish you all a very happy and blessed 2012. 

If you have any interest in finding out what is going on in the Inter-Mountain Area, I will post my local weekly column from the Mountain Echo here...

September 27
Fall is here!  This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Just because summer is over doesn’t mean things have slowed down one bit.

The Fort Crook Museum will be hosting the annual Harvest Dinner Sunday, October 16th at the Fort Crook Masonic Hall.  The dinner is scheduled for 1:00 pm.  Potluck salads and desserts are appreciated. The winners of their drawing will also be selected at the event.  Great items are up for grabs so be sure to buy your tickets from members of the historical society.  Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.

If you are interested in what is going on in the community, the Fall River Valley Newsletter is published by Murdock Creations and can be viewed online at  Whitney is also publishing a Fall River Valley Calendar for 2012 and has advertising space available.  It is a beautiful calendar featuring businesses, attractions and events of the Fall River Valley.

There will be a Burney Chamber of Commerce Mixer on October 12 at the newly purchased chamber building.  The mixer will be 5:00 – 7:00pm.  Everyone is invited to attend to discuss new and exciting plans for the chamber.

The 12th Evening Program and Candlelight Walk for domestic violence will be Thursday, October 6th at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to join in to bring light and hope to those who have experienced Domestic Violence. Celebrate those who have survived,
mourn those who have died, and raise awareness about the issue of domestic
violence in our community. The event will be at the Presbyterian Church in Burney. Candles and glow sticks will be provided for the walk.

I am a happy mom; I got to visit our son in Nebraska this last weekend.  I was reminded the other day of all of our local students who have ventured out.  There is a great senior project in the hall of Fall River High School, which maps out where a lot of our students are.  On the way home, we were also able to take a college tour fro our daughter who is a senior.  Empty Nest is approaching.

Last week interviews were conducted for the Peer Mentoring Program at Fall River High School.  Burney’s interviews are also on tap.  I have the privilege of being involved in this program.  What an amazing group of dedicated students we had to interview.  I have said it before; we have GREAT kids in these communities.

Speaking of great kids, you will see my article on the students who are participating in the Intermountain Hospice Chair-ity, which is October 1st.  These students were a pleasure to interview and I really enjoyed all of their enthusiasm.

Fall River High School Student Council is busy and planning for a great year. They were seen out picking up trash along Highway 299.  Community service will be a big focus of the students this year.

I have to add a short note about my coverage of the Chamber of Commerce meeting.  As a reporter, covering a meeting, I must report the facts.  From the standpoint of opinion, I see a lot of people willing to put time into making our community a great one.  There are some personality conflicts and other workable problems.  Those things cannot stand in the way of progress. As a past president of the chamber, I realize there are a lot of challenges. With that, I would like to challenge people to get involved, learn to set differences aside and work toward a common goal…the betterment and promotion of our wonderful community. 

September 20 Column

It has been a fun and eventful week.  Around my house I have done some things I haven’t done in a while…like watch The Walton’s and Little House on the Prairie. Those were the days!  My grandma has been here visiting and it has been so much fun taking the time to do some simple things.

When was the last time you ventured from reality television to watch a great old show like The Walton’s?  I challenge you to do it!  You won’t be disappointed.

We have made zucchini bread, scoped out the fruit in the orchard and the berries on the vine, moved cattle, cooked Eagle Lake trout and taught nana a lot about operating her laptop computer. 

These kinds of days are the best days.  Days to truly enjoy the company of one another and see all of those blue skies! 

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Intermountain Hospice Dessert Chair-ity Auction.  The event will be October 1st at 7:00 pm at the Veteran’s hall in Burney.  Admission is $10 and tickets are available at Tara Travel in Burney and at the front desk at Mayers Memorial Hospital.

Also on October 1st, Fall River High School senior Brianna Petersen will be having a relay for life walk at Fall River High School.

Burney seniors, Cynthia Schoeplin and Bailey Hovis are also stepping up to raise money for cancer research.  They will be hosting a walk-a-thon on October 22nd.  They will also begin raising funds with a Penny Drive.

Peer Mentoring at both Burney and Fall River High Schools is getting underway.  Mentor and protégé applications are being collected and interviews and training will be completed in order to start the first mentoring session.  High School students in at least the 10th grade are encouraged to participate.

I have heard that Fall River and Burney Elementary Schools are working on college awareness for their students.  Teachers are decorating with college logos and mascots and targeted days are set for wearing college apparel to school.  It’s never too early to start encouraging our students.

Students at Fall River High School are working hard on a recycling project.  I am sure they wouldn’t turn down any plastic bottles or cans.  Contact a FRHS student for details.

Volunteers are needed to work at a car wash on September 25th.  Funds raised will benefit Sophia Kremmerer who is the infant in need of a heart transplant.  FRHS student Carly Brown is the contact person if you wish to help.

You know where to reach me to submit your events, special happenings and community news.  I also enjoy hearing about special acts of kindness, volunteers and “people” things.  Email me at

September 13 Column

Nothing like going straight from the fair into a whirlwind week.  I hope you had a chance to get to the Emblem F Tournament at Fall River High School.  It was a great opportunity to watch all three local schools play.

The Emblem F is a student run tournament.  There are also endless volunteers that help make this a success.  A big thank you to all of the members of the community who housed out of town players.  A lot of families with younger children have gotten involved and it is appreciated!

I can’t go without mentioning the Fall River “Fan Club.”  These boys are amazing!  They bring out the retro style clothing and a sense of spirit and school pride that is over the top.  Congratulations to this year’s Mr. Volleyball, Austin Reynolds.

Linda Hutchinson was honored with the tournament dedication.  Linda’s endless hours and support to the students at the high school does not go unnoticed.  Thank you Linda!

Mark your calendars for October 7th, the California Waterfowl Dinner.  The event will be at the fairgrounds.  For more information contact Jason Warnock or Clay Jacobson.

A personal thank you goes to everyone who supported the Pete Lakey Memorial Fund pig at the Junior Livestock Auction.  This memorial fund is in it’s 41st year and has supported students with their education and 4-H and FFA members with medical need.  Over $10,000 was pledged to the fund.  Thank you!

Since I didn’t mention it last week, these are my favorites from the fair…Best Value – Johnson’s Ice Tea; Best Food – Wilcox Tri Tip Sandwich (Both locals!); Biggest Disappointment - no hand-dipped corn dogs; Funnest Event – Destruction Derby; Best Derby Driver – Lindsey Crum; Place Arlo Prins could be found most often – Ice cream booth.

There has been a lot of activity going on in the area lately.  I am always reminded of the great place we live and the great people in it.  I wrote a couple of blogs last week you may want to take a peek at.  They express some of the greatness of our people and community.

I am looking forward to hearing about your events and happenings.  Email me at  Check out my student of the week, Katie Coe at

September 6 Column

Fair time is fun time!  I never understand why I always feel like I am missing something if I am not at the fair.  I guess it is the sense of community, the friends and family that come home that draws me in. 

I always find it funny how everything revolves around the fair, even our calendars.  We schedule things by “before fair” and “after fair.”  Conversations usually consist of “see you at the fair”, “are you coming home for fair” or “we will meet you at the fair”. We are blessed in this community to have an event like this that can bring everyone together.

My favorite part was watching first year 4-H member show their animals.  It was priceless to see their excitement and enthusiasm mixed with a little bit of nervousness and apprehension.  They were great!  There is nothing better than a child’s smile at the fair!

Just because fair is over doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do.  The Emblem F Volleyball Tournament is Thursday through Saturday at Fall River High School.  All three local teams will be competing in this great annual tournament.

Football and soccer are also in full swing.  Junior high teams are also getting ready to compete in football and volleyball.

I have heard some great news regarding Jody Lyford.  She is in need of a kidney transplant and I heard from her family that they have found a donor.  My prayers are with Jody and her family.

There has been one senior project, a golf tournament organized by Broc Putnam, which has served as a fundraiser for Jody.  The second will be a Thanksgiving Dinner organized by senior Chris Vlasoff. 

I have also bee told that the AAUW is going to be hosting a Kitchen Tour on September 24th.  I will get more details with times and ticket information.

Good luck and lots of support goes to Monica Lommen this week, as she will be participating in the 3-Day Walk for the Cure in San Francisco.  What an amazing adventure!

Keep the information coming, email me at  I would also like to encourage you to look at my new website, which features many local links and stories. 

August 30 Column

Parents, students, teachers and staff seem to have made it through the first week of school and all is well. If last week was any indication; it will be a great and busy school year.  It was great to see so many people out at the Burney-Fall River football game.

Our community lost a very special member last week.  Bill Crum passed away and will be missed by our entire community.  He contributed to our community in countless ways and his family would like to hear your stories.  His service will be September 10th at 1:00 p.m. at Ingram Hall.  If you have any stories you would like to share, jot them down and send them to Bill’s family.  If you wish, you can email them to me and I will forward them. My thoughts and prayers are with the Crum family.

Brianna Peterson, a senior at Fall River High School, is doing the Relay for Life for her senior project.  You can help her by participating and raising money to walk as a team or have a community booth to donate in the fight against cancer.  The relay for Life is scheduled for October 1st at Fall River High School.  For more information, contact Brianna at 917-6537.

Monica Lommen is also helping in the fight against cancer.  She will be walking in the Susan G. Kommen 3 Day Walk for the Cure in San Francisco September 9 – 11. 
Mark your calendar for October 1st.  There is a car show planned at the Napa store in Burney.  For more information contact Jerry Rice at Mountain Motor parts in Burney.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun time at the fair.  Things won’t slow down after that...the calendars are full!

August 23 Local Column

Are you reading for some fall sports?  I know I am!  This week it begins with volleyball and football.  Some of the local varsity volleyball teams have two playdays this week.  The 24th teams play at Shasta College and on the 27th they play at Shasta High School for some preseason round robin format play. On Friday there is the Annual Fair Bowl Football game between Fall River and Burney.  The game will be played this year at Fall River High School. Don’t miss it!

For Fall Sports schedules see local district websites or contact the school office.
Fall River High School has cheerleaders again this year thanks to Jody Morgan who is coaching the squad.  Jody is volunteering her time and it is much appreciated.

Seventh grade students in Fall River were had orientation last week.  They now know where their classes are, a little about the school policies and have met the student council officers.  It’s hard to believe the class of 2017 has entered the high school!

Don’t forget fair items that have been entered are due to the fairgrounds next week, so wrap those last minute projects up and get them to the fair.  It is always a lot of fun looking at all of the exhibits at the fair.  I am not sure how some people manage to enter so many things.

I asked for Burney information and I received it.  Thank you!  It was mentioned that the Burney Rotary is having a pancake Breakfast on September 3rd.  Also, Friends of the Library (FOIL) is having their annual tea on September 10.  For more information contact Deb at the Burney Library 335-4317.

The Intermountain Hospice is having a Chair-ity Auction on October 1st at 7:00pm at the VFW Hall in Burney. "Sample Simply Scrumptious Sweets & Bid on Unique & Beautiful Chairs," admission is $10.  They are looking for chair donations and bakers. Donations can be rocking chairs, kitchen chairs garden chairs, stools, benches, side tables etc.  They can be new, handmade, cleverly decorated, refurbished, enhanced, artfully painted and accessorized. The important thing is that each be unique, creative and desirable.  Take before and after pictures.  There will be awards for most improved, most unique, glitziest, zaniest and a people's choice. They are looking for great bakers too. Call Intermountain Hospice at Mayers (336-5511) or Tara Travel (335-3627 for more information.  If you want to check out some pictures, see where the idea came from.

I will once again say that there is a lot going on in our communities and I would encourage you all to take part in something.  That is what makes our communities strong!

I want to thank all of you in this community for your concern this past weekend.  My daughter had a big scare and had a car accident Saturday evening.  There was a dead deer in the road that she swerved to miss.  That caused her to lose control of her car.  Thankfully she and her passenger were uninjured. When I first started driving, I had a neighbor who was probably 85 years old, he told me to never swerve for anything but a horse….this is why.  Thanks to all of the wonderful safety personnel that came out to take care of her…it was a scary thing and you all helped so much.

That leads to a big safety reminder to all of us while driving.  Be careful!  Things can happen fast.
With school starting this week, there will be a lot of activity.  I appreciate any information you want to send my way.  It is hard to keep up on everything and I want to make sure to get your information out there. Contact me at

August 2- Local Column

I would have to say I am very impressed.  The Fall River Valley is finding its voice and being recognized on the map. Last week’s meeting hosted by the Fall River Citizen’s Patrol was well attended and brought MANY people up from Redding to speak to the community. It was nice to see time being made for our community.

With that I would like to challenge everyone to become involved in something.  I know most people are, but there are many meetings and events that provide some very valuable information.  It is easier to complain about things than to become involved.  It is a good time to become involved.  There are several meetings each month, maybe try picking one and just attend to see what is going on.
Our community is filled with volunteers that give selflessly.  Thank you to all of these people.  You are appreciated.
The Fall River Valley Citizen’s Patrol is having a drawing for a rifle to help raise funds needed for their annual operating expenses.  They will be selling tickets at the Wild Rice Festival this weekend and at the Inter-Mountain Fair.
Don’t forget entry deadlines for the Inter-Mountain Fair for most categories is this Friday, August 5th.   The premium list is available online.  If you don’t have internet access, contact the fair office at 336-5695.
Are you ready for some football?  Not too much longer and the high school season will kick off.  Practice will be beginning soon and the first game is scheduled for August 26th against Burney. 
I have to mention the Fall River Valley Wild Rice Festival again; it is this Saturday from noon to 9 pm.  New this year will be the shuttle service from the Fort Crook Museum to the Lions Park.  The Chamber of Commerce has put in a lot of time in preparation for this event and invites everyone out to attend.
The Fort Crook Museum is open all summer would like to extend an invitation to come and visit.  I would guess there are a lot of local people who haven’t been to the museum in a long time, maybe never.  There is a lot to see and some great history to be found.  The also have a great gift shop.
John Micheal Hubbard, a senior at Fall River High School, is planning and hosting the Annual Hubeeb Bowl Flag Football Camp.  The camp is this week, August 2 – 5 from 9 am to 1 pm at Fall River High School.
The McArthur Farmer’s market will continue through September at the Intermountain EV Free Church in McArthur.  Come out each Friday from 8 am to 12:30 pm to find some fresh produce.
The deadline is approaching for the Women’s and Junior Pheasant Hunt at the Ash Creek Wildlife Area.  The hunt is sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Game and the Pit River Rod and Gun Club.  The junior hunt will be September 10 with a morning and afternoon hunt available.  The Women’s hunt will be September 11 with a morning hunt only.  Application deadline is August 25.  Applications can be obtained at

                                                               May 24 Local Column

I have to say it is a little hard to come inside to write when the weather is so amazing outside.  There are so many things going on around the valley, it is getting hard to keep up.   Only three weeks of school left and students and parents alike have full schedules.

                Congratulations are in order to Caleb Johnson, a Fall River High School graduate; he just received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Chico State University. I know there are a lot more graduates out there and I would love to hear the details so I can share with everyone.
                Mayers Memorial had a visit from Congressman Wally Herger last week.  He missed the rain and arrived on a beautiful day to tour the hospital.   It’s nice to know that we are not forgotten up here in our small community.
                Peer Mentoring met for the last week at Fall River High School.  It was a successful year for the mentors and protégés.  A big thank you goes to Cindy Dieszi for all of her hard work.  This is an amazing program pairing high school students with junior high protégés.  Fall River High School had a very enthusiastic group this year.
                I personally want to recognize George and Mary Taylor who have traveled to watch all of the Fall River softball games.  They have no children or grandchildren on the team, they just love the kids and love to watch.  They are great fans!
                The McArthur FFA will be hosting their annual banquet this week.  The FFA has had a very successful year.  This is the night that these hard working members will be recognized.  Speaking of FFA…Advisor Ken Hutchings will be attending his last banquet as a teacher.  His retirement will come at the end of the school year.  He is also the class of 2012 advisor and put in three long days decorating, chaperoning and cleaning up for the prom.  Thank you Ken for all you do!
                Fall River High School will have their Keys Awards on the 31st.  These academic awards were begun by Ivan Keys and the tradition continues.   Burney High School will have their awards the same evening for grades 7 – 11.  Senior awards night will be June 7th.
                Don’t forget to take the advice of our local mosquito control managers.  Since we have just had a lot of wet weather, take a look around your yard and empty containers and tires that may be holding water.  This will go a long way in prevention.
            Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Here’s a little history…Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. It was first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War,  it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.  Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.   It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

What are your plans to celebrate the last day of school?  Let me know, I want to share clever ideas.  I know one family that serves ice cream for dinner on the last day.  Send your traditions and ideas to me at


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