The Mountain Messenger

Fire Department Spaghetti Feed Returns

IMG_2474-2.jpgA packed crowd attends Saturday’s Spaghetti Feed at the Downieville Community Hall

DOWNIEVILLE — Dozens of locals packed the Downieville Community Hall Saturday night for the traditional Cabin Fever Spaghetti Feed, recognizing our firefighters and EMS volunteers. The fantastic dinner was served by a host of community volunteers and the Downieville Volunteer Fire Department (DVFD). After a hiatus since 2019 due to COVID, folks were excited to enjoy Gary Gutowski’s famous spaghetti sauce as plates were piled high with delicious spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, and a vast assortment of tasty homemade desserts.

Besides the great food, folks enjoyed catching up with each other after being locked in for the winter. Fire Chief Robert Hall and Paramedic & Emergency Medical Services Operations Manager Tegan Harrington emceed the event. Chief Hall stated in his opening remarks that they are negotiating with the USFS and hoping to have a new fire station here in Downieville sometime soon and a new f...

Lions Club Speakers Contest Winner Chosen

Facetune_15-02-2024-19-26-23.jpgLeft to right: Abigail Sainsbury and Lily Antrim.

DOWNIEVILLE — As in the past, it was not an easy decision for judges to select the 2024 Lions Club Speakers Contest winner. Both contestants gave compelling, fact-based speeches on this year’s topic: “For a Better World – What would YOU Change?” However, contest rules allow only one student to advance to the next level, and that is Abigail Sainsbury, who will compete on March 12 at the Lions Club District 4c5 Zone level competition. Downieville Lions Club members wish to thank those who volunteered to be judges, the community members who attended the competition, the school personnel who worked with the contestants to prepare their speeches, and the parents of those contestants for their encouragement and support.

A Week From Saturday: Sierra County’s Premier Social Event

YUBA PASS — 31 years ago last fall, Loyalton hosted the first Timberfest, a celebration of all things logging, and a desperate attempt to keep that town’s sawmill alive. Incorporated into that festivity were logging contests, a parade of logging trucks, and a rib cook-off.

Things didn’t work out well for the logging industry. Although “Red” Emerson ended up owning all of Southern Pacific’s land and most if not all the mills in the northern State, he found no profit in the Loyalton mill competing with his mill in Quincy. In ugly fits and starts, Red closed the Loyalton mill.

The rib cook-off, however, had a more productive history. The rib cooks, having had a wonderful time at Timberfest decided the tradition should carry on. It was agreed that chili should be concocted at Yuba Pass in the dead of winter. We were relatively young: potable drugs may have been involved. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It became too much of a nuisance to set the dates and notify all comers, so on Andy...

Community Hall Remodel Ousts Senior Lunch

DOWNIEVILLE — Community members gathered on Tuesday at the Downieville Community Hall to enjoy scrumptious food catered by Sabrina Melendrez and Autumn Barry for what will be the last lunch there for some time. Next Monday, February 26th, the long-awaited renovations on the hall will finally begin. The $775K remodel contract was awarded to McCuen Construction, Inc. at the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ February 6th meeting. Public Works Director Bryan Davey highlighted the extensive effort in bringing this project to fruition after no bids were received during the initial bidding process.

The county is pushing for the project to finish expediently, given its central importance to the Downieville community. Work is estimated to take approximately 140 working days or about seven months. The project’s scope will be scaled back somewhat from the original plans due to increases in material costs.

Sabrina at the Forks will be hosting the next Senior Luncheon on February 27th, with uncerta...

Behavioral Health Plans for Expansion

LOYALTON - Over the last two years, California has mandated sweeping and significant increases in the scope of behavioral health programs throughout the state. The changes include, but are not limited to, the requirement of a 24/7 Mobile Crisis Center staffed by a licensed clinician and likely accompanied by a law enforcement officer, increased focus on housing for the homeless and mental health patients (which could be further exacerbated if Proposition 1 passes in March), and providing county-operated managed care.

As a result, Sheryll Prinz-McMillan, Director of Behavioral Health, gave a presentation on Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors outlining the possibility of a monumental increase in staff, services, and spending for her department. She estimates that staff will need to increase by about seven full time employees to meet the state’s minimum requirements, and that there may be additional spending on facilities, since the department’s buildings can’t sufficiently accommodate th...