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15 Me & Mine Staff Jennifer Jaeger Traynham PUBLISHER
I AM HIS VOICE
NEW EARTH MARKET IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE
THE MAD SCIENCE PARTY LAB
MEET BREANNA TREXLER
on the cover
JENNIFER SBRANTI HWTM.COM PHOTOGRAPHY:
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ROCKABETTY’S, YUBA CITY
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950 Tharp Road, Suite 701, Yuba City
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YCRC.COM • 673-6900 • 825 JONES RD, YUBA CITY
I Am His Voice Written by Devin Lombardi was never a very political person until I had to be. I never felt the need to follow criminal law because I was never supposed to be in a position where I needed to. The justice my family was given in 1998 for the murder of my brother guaranteed us that we’d never have to worry about his murderers ever again. But thanks to new state legislation, families like mine are now being forced to experience our anguish all over again. The criminals who took the lives of our loved ones are reaping the benefits of laws aimed at diminishing their culpability and giving them opportunities to start over. However, now that I’m in an advocacy role for my brother and other victims of violent crime, I will not stand for this without a fight. Here is my brother’s story. My brother, Erik, was a kind-hearted kid at his core. He was a jokester, charming, and charismatic. He was protective of me, and made time for me, which many older brothers don’t do. He’d ride his bike or rollerblade around the neighborhood with me, shoot hoops with me in our driveway, and watch shows with me on Friday nights. I’d say for the most part, he didn’t make me feel like a pain in the butt little sister. Once he got into high school, I saw him less and less because he was so social and loved his friends as much as his family. But once he got his license, he would find time to take me on special cruising trips. My love of rap and hip-hop music is from our many cruises around “the square” in his truck, Old Blue. Even my memories of us fighting (and boy, did
we get into some doosies) puts a smile on my face, because our fights never lasted long. We had a pretty awesome bond that I miss every day. In the summer of 1997, I was getting ready to go into the 8th grade and Erik was getting ready for his junior year in high school. In June, I had a dance party for my 13th birthday. Nathan Ramazzini, one of Erik’s closest friends, helped my brother DJ my party. On the morning of July 15th, Erik’s other close friend Leo Contreras came to our house. I was in an argument with my mom about going to a slumber party that night for a friend. I needed to get to summer school, so Erik and Leo agreed to give me a ride. On the way, I made them both promise to talk to my mom about letting me go to the party and they said they would. They let me out of the truck, and I never saw my brother again. The next day, when I came home from the slumber party, my mom told me that Erik hadn’t come home that night and that he wasn’t answering his pager. She said she thought he’d probably gone to a party and maybe had a little too much fun. Initially, I wasn’t worried. It sounded logical and really, in Colusa back then, you didn’t need to worry about anything more than that. Soon, news vans and reporters started showing up at our house to report on my brother, who was officially being considered a missing person. A search party was formed and hundreds if not thousands showed up to help search for
Erik. My parents let me participate, and I walked with my best friend and her mom through fields along the Sacramento River. Eventually, the search was called off, and many people gathered at my house afterwards, including Nathan and Leo. Nathan cried for Erik; everyone, including me, hugged him and consoled him over his missing best friend. He had us all fooled. That same day, a body was found. That evening, we found out it was Erik. The police detained Nathan and Leo shortly after because blood had been found in Nathan’s father’s car, by his father himself. After questioning by the police, both boys confessed to the murder, each trying to pin the other. Here is what we know: On the night of July 15th, Nathan Ramazzini, 16, picked Leo Contreras, 18, up at his house. He told Leo that he wanted to show him and Erik something. They picked my brother up after he got off work at the Holiday Market and drove out to the Sacramento River. Nathan told my brother to look over in a bushy area for something. When Erik was distracted, Nathan unleashed his deadly plan. I won’t speak about what they did to Erik; these heinous details can be found in any newspaper article, and are very painful to think and talk about. But the plan was Nathan’s and most of the wounds inflicted upon my brother were because of him. He had every detail planned, down to the car
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for Growing a Garden with Your Toddler A
Select their favorite produce. Toddlers love the crunch of a carrot and the sweetness of strawberries, so be sure to select seeds for the plants they love most.
Germinate the seeds together. Germinate seeds between layers of a moist paper towel, place in a zippered sandwich bag and set in a windowsill. You can also use an empty egg crate and potting soil to germinate seeds.
Pint-size garden tools. Get your toddler their own set of gardening tools to fit their small hands.
Assign realistic tasks. Give your toddler age-appropriate tasks, even if it’s just playing in the dirt or making a mud pie.
‘All hands on deck’ for harvest. Let your toddler help with harvesting fruits and vegetables. Toddlers are great pickers! 1531-A BUTTE HOUSE ROAD YUBA CITY, CALIFORNIA 95993
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to use and where to dispose of the bloody clothes and weapons. He never provided a motive as to why he wanted to kill my brother, his best friend since 4th grade. Leo claimed to have had no prior knowledge of Nathan’s plan. When I found out about Nathan and Leo, I had a hard time comprehending it. I had just seen Leo with my brother a few days earlier. I’d known Nathan since I was 6 or 7. It didn’t make sense then, and it still doesn’t make sense now. I remember being very confused. It felt like a horrible dream that I couldn’t wake from. I was very sheltered throughout all of the court proceedings. My parents never once discussed any of it in front of me. I was shielded from watching the news or overhearing any discussions about the trials. I was much, much older before I even knew what really happened to my brother. The only part I was allowed to go to was the original sentencing hearings in 1998. Leo took a plea deal and received 25 years to life with the possibility of parole. Nathan was tried as an adult and received life without the possibility of parole plus 1 year for special circumstances. I can remember feeling very happy, although I’m not sure I knew what it all meant. I just knew that I was never going to have to see Nathan again. I knew that he was the mastermind behind it all. I knew he had no motive for killing Erik. And I knew that the boy I thought I knew was really a monster in disguise. I’ll never forget standing outside the courthouse after Nathan was sentenced. I was standing near a side door of the courthouse when all of a sudden the door swung open and out walked Nathan, surrounded by cops. I shrieked and stepped away, but
not before seeing him smirking, as if he was trying to suppress a smile. I will never forget that look. However, his sentencing is now up for a re-hearing. Under current law in the CA Penal Code, thanks to the passing of SB 9 in 2012 and SB 394 in 2017, a juvenile sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, after serving 15 years, may petition to have their original sentence reheard and retried in the original sentencing court house (section 1170). Nathan’s petition for a resentencing hearing was granted and a resentencing hearing date is set for May 10th at the Colusa County Courthouse. My family and I will never get to see Erik again. Erik does not get a second chance; why should Nathan? In my opinion, laws aimed at rehabilitating violent offenders put innocent people and public safety at great risk. It is not fair to surviving family members and friends to be forced to go through resentencing hearings or parole board hearings. Nathan went through due process of the law and was found to be deserving of life without the possibility of parole. Yet here we sit, threatened with the loss of justice we were given for Erik. This is why I ask people to stand with us on May 10th. I do this for Erik. I do this for my family. I do this for other surviving victims, and future surviving victims. We must fight to keep victims' rights above criminals' rights. I have also started an online petition asking for signatures against Nathan’s hearing and the future parole board hearing he’ll be granted in 2021. The petition can be found at https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-erik.
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New Earth Market
is making a difference How is New Earth Market making a difference?
Recology Yuba-Sutter salutes New Earth Market for making the extra effort in their business to be kind to our environment. It’s easy to make small changes within your business that make a huge impact on the Earth!
Grocery stores, by their nature, tend to receive a lot of packaging every day. If you aren’t conscious of this, you can really add to landfills. We’re very conscientious, carefully separating what can and cannot be recycled and sending each to the appropriate place. When we fail to reduce, reuse, and recycle, the result is mountainous: clogged up landfills that are unsightly and hazardous, and oceans that are increasingly choked with our garbage. Our ocean’s ecosystems and the life they sustain are suffering from our failure to live more mindfully. It’s important to us not to contribute to the problems that trash creates. We encourage our employees to recycle here at work; it’s our culture. We also encourage our customers to use plates and metal silverware while dining here, instead of the one-time use packaging that gets tossed into the garbage. We also provide waste containers throughout the market, marked for waste and recycling. Providing these makes it easy for both customers and employees to recycle. We make efforts in our kitchen by washing and separating containers for recycling. We also give our produce and kitchen scraps to a local pig farmer. The cardboard is always bailed and recycled. What are some of the efforts being made at your store? At New Earth, we are always expanding and refining our recycling efforts, and we are increasing the educational component of what we do, both for our customers and our staff. It’s clear to us that people want to help keep our planet clean and healthy; they just need the tools to do so. Recology is helping us with this! They are creating signs that we can place on all our receptacles – trash, recycling and compost – so everyone knows what goes where, and they gain a better understanding of what can be recycled or composted and what ends up in the landfill. In my department, Beer & Wine, we make sure to recycle all of our bottles and cans, and we reuse our cardboard six-pack containers. All of our shipment boxes are bailed and recycled. We use cups at our beer tastings that are recyclable, and we are looking into offering reusable beer glasses for those that want them. Why is this important to you? It is sad to see what humans are doing to this extraordinarily beautiful planet with our garbage, particularly plastic. Our oceans are suffering. It is disappointing to see disposable cups and containers that are only needed for a few minutes then discarded into the landfill. Not only do we lack the space for all this garbage, we need to stop using precious resources as though they are infinite. We will exhaust them if we don’t change our ways, and it will be our children, grandchildren, and their children who will bear this burden.
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How could other businesses help do their part? There’s so much we can do, and most of it is very easy! One bin or one sign can make a huge difference. Never feel like you should do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something, and watch that lead to something else. Caring for the Earth is addictive and great fun. It’s also good business – don’t let anyone tell you that being eco-friendly and being successful are mutually exclusive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Why is recycling so important? It’s simple: recycling reduces the need for raw materials, which in turn limits the amount of potential air and water pollution in our world. Think about looking at this through a different window: We drive our cars several thousand miles before we need a new one…we wear our shoes for years before buying a new pair…why not create reusable containers that can be used over and over again before replacing them? Rather than be a “throw it away” society, let’s think of how we can minimize our footprint on a daily basis. What are some other Earth-friendly things you are doing on top of recycling? We are producing 93% of our own power with solar; we use the heat generated from our refrigeration system to preheat our hot water; we use the cold air spilled from the refrigerated cases to pre-cool the HVAC in the summer; we just installed LED lights throughout the market and parking lot; we use well water to irrigate our landscaping; the paint on the walls is zero VOC; we just installed doors on our dairy case which reduces our energy load; and we have a reflective white roof to help with the heat our building generates. The bottom line is that we try to minimize our footprint that we leave behind on this beautiful earth. Little changes by many people can have a big impact over time. If you have questions about how your business can make a difference with your recycling effort, call Jackie Sillman at 749-4220 and schedule an appointment today. Together we can all make a difference!
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No One FightsAlone am a kindergarten teacher at Arbuckle Elementary and Kirt is a general building contractor. We have 3 children: Kyler (19), Cole (16), and Kallie (12).
Last December, we were at a Christmas party when Kirt said he didn’t feel good—he was very short of breath and his chest felt heavy. We left early and he said he just wanted to go to sleep. He thought he was so tired because he had been working in LaPorte for the past few months and coming home on the weekends to finish up jobs in town. Christmas came and went and he still didn’t feel good so we called the doctor and explained the symptoms and they said go to the emergency room in case it was heart-related. Kirt’s father passed away at 50 due to a heart attack and Kirt is 49. Since we live in Colusa we just went to the Colusa Emergency room, which just recently opened back up. They did a chest x-ray, and noticed something on his lung. They were concerned it was a blood clot, so they transported him to Enloe Hospital. We were in the hospital for a week, where doctors did several tests. We mentioned that Kirt had had Melanoma on his shoulder about 5 years ago, and that changed everything. They added brain scans, body scans and additional biopsies. They discharged him and told us they would let us know the results when they came in. We sat at home for another 5 days, waiting to hear the dreaded news. Cancer. Our hearts sank, minds raced, and we felt completely alone. All of this happened while I was on Christmas break, so right after we got the diagnosis I had to go back to work. I tried my best to move forward
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A Big thank YOU from Kirt & Susie Stassi
Visit the Sunsweet Growers Outlet but couldn’t stop crying and my phone kept ringing to make doctor’s appointments. I would get off the phone and my kindergarteners would ask me why I was crying again. I realized I couldn't do it anymore and needed to take some time off for my family. Kirt’s friend Joe Duran came to visit every day to make sure things were going okay. He pulled me aside and told me he wanted us to get away for a weekend while he fixed up our backyard fence. I had pulled it down over the summer and it still hadn’t been put back up. Joe sent us away and we arrived at a beautiful vacation house with a basket full of treats from wonderful people. We headed home on Sunday and as we got to Colusa there was a Sheriff in a pickup that watched us go by. He pulled out and then turned on the lights and pulled me over by the fairgrounds. He leaned into the passenger window and said “I want you to know, everything’s okay but you need to follow me to your house.” Our hearts dropped and I started crying. I asked if the kids were okay and he assured me that they were. We followed him to our house and just before our driveway he turned on the sirens. We couldn’t believe what we saw. Hundreds of people in matching shirts that said #TEAMSTASSI lined our driveway, clapping and cheering as we drove down. We pulled up to a freshly painted house, a new backyard, and a fence. A beautiful bench and bar made out of a redwood tree and the pecan orchard that we had been working on for about 5 years were also complete. Everything was done in about 50 hours. It was absolutely amazing. We didn’t know who all was involved and how much time it took, but later found out that it was the Pierce High School Baseball team, in addition to other kids and families and members of the community. The volunteers weren’t limited to close friends and family, but included people we barely knew. It was a feeling that we will never forget and a memory that we feel blessed to always have. A simple thank you will never be enough. We feel blessed to live where we are surrounded by so much love and hope.
Deliciously snackable dried fruit, gi� packs, confections and more! Monday - Friday 8am to 4pm
901 N Walton Avenue • Yuba City CA 95993
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Join us! Saturday, May 19, 2018
10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Yuba College
• Check out academic and CTE Programs • Want to start classes in Summer/Fall 2018? Application assistance, Testing & Counseling services available, and much more! • Free BBQ lunch • Workshops, Raffle Prizes, & Fun Activities • High School Students: Turn in High School Recommendation Form and Register for Summer/Fall classes. For more info call: 530.634.7766 or email@example.com
Discover your pibilities at Yuba College!
Please call ahead for appointment 530.790.0375 · 563 2nd Street · Yuba City
As a fellow Planning Commissioner, Paul has proven his effective advocacy efforts for economic opportunity and growth, as well as enhanced public safety. I have always appreciated that Paul seeks out different perspectives and thereby weighs the alternatives. He is genuinely committed to governing well. Please join me in voting for Paul Basi for Supervisor. – Michele Blake
“Dennis has demonstrated a history of integrity in the line of duty. He is a proven leader who bolsters morale while demanding accountability.” Preet Didbal - Yuba City Mayor “With his innovative approach, intellect, vision and integrity, Dennis is the most well-rounded candidate to lead the Sutter County Sheriff Department into the future.”
When Paul Basi joined our Early Riser Kiwanis Club of Yuba City, he rolled up his sleeves and went right to work. Paul has a “jump in and get started” attitude, which gives me every confidence that he will take his 12-year’s experience on the Planning Commission and jump into his role as Supervisor. – Kate Doscher
Richard Doscher - Yuba City Police Chief (Ret.)
PAID FOR BY: PAUL BASI FOR SUTTER COUNTY SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT. 3 FPPC #1398897
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Paid for by the Committee to Elect Dennis Hauck, Sutter County Sheriff 2018. FPPC# 1398561
BREANNA TREXLER reanna Trexler has such a beautiful soul. She is smart, giving, and wonderful, and she has been through so much! But perhaps her best quality is that she doesn’t feel sorry for herself; she pushes through and makes the best of her situation. Here is her story in her own words… I began attending Chico State in the spring of 2013 after undergoing a 14 level spinal fusion to correct a condition called Scoliosis. I was worried it would be challenging to move into the dorms mid-school year but thankfully, that wasn’t the case. I was welcomed with open arms and after explaining my situation to my Resident Advisor, she suggested I register with the Accessibility Resource Center. The following week I went into the office and met with an advisor, Charlene Corder and the testing coordinator, Debbie Boyes. Both put my mind at ease as they explained all of the ways they accommodate students like me who have a physical or learning disability. Some accommodations I needed were extended time on exams when my brain was foggy from medications and the option to record lectures when I was hospitalized or too sick to attend class. Over the next four years, as my health began to deteriorate, they made sure to provide me with anything and everything I needed to be successful. The people in that office became so much more than advisors and testing coordinators; they became my family and some of my biggest supporters. I changed my major to Health Science, and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. The entire department came together and did everything they could do help me succeed and earn my degree. They worked incredibly well with the ARC to provide accommodations. Three of the women in this
department - Kristina Carter, Holly Nevarez, and Patti Horsley - went above and beyond, using their personal time to proctor exams after hours, come to the hospital to cover lecture material I had missed, and comfort me after difficult doctors’ appointments and new diagnoses. With the help of the ARC and the Health Science department, I was able to graduate from Chico State with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science with an emphasis on Health Education. Despite having to medically withdraw from two semesters due to surgeries and having monthly hospitalizations due to recurrent sepsis, I still graduated cum laude. I am incredibly thankful to everyone at the university, my friends, and of course my family for getting me through the hardest years of my life while remaining positive. The most important lessons I learned while at Chico State didn’t come from reading a textbook or writing a paper. They came from the real life experiences of people I met along the way. For the past three years I have experienced debilitating symptoms but until recently, none of my doctors could give me a clear diagnosis or explain what was happening. I finally got in to see a Geneticist, who diagnosed me with something called Mitochondrial Disease. Mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy our bodies need to sustain life. In my case, the mitochondria fail to produce energy in major parts of my body including my heart, brain, & muscular system. The cells in my gastrointestinal tract also no longer produce the energy needed to digest food, known as “Digestive Tract Paralysis.” I rely on TPN, which is intravenous (IV) nutrition that is delivered directly into my bloodstream & bypasses my GI tract
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completely. TPN provides 100% of my calories, hydration, and nutrients for each day. The symptoms that I experience on a daily basis include fainting, dizziness, severe fatigue, muscle weakness/pain, nausea and vomiting, inability to regulate my heart rate and blood pressure, anemia, and insomnia. Currently, the most debilitating symptom of this disease is the severe muscle pain and weakness. Even walking short distances causes burning pain in my legs and my gait is very unstable/shaky. Because of this, I now rely on a walker or assistance from another person to get around. I decided to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a custom lightweight wheelchair, which I just received! The wheelchair was costly, but it was customized to fit my body and has features that will make daily life easier. This disease has taken a lot away from me, but I know this wheelchair is going to help me regain my independence & live my best life.Â
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As I continue my fight against this relentless disease, I draw strength and inspiration from the love and support given to me over the years. Many people ask what they can do to help me or others in my situation. I ask if they have ever considered donating blood. Blood donation is quick, painless, and can save up to three lives per donation. Due to my Mitochondrial disease and severe anemia, I have personally received over 20 blood transfusions since December. Even if your blood type is not a match for me, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who could benefit from your donation!
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Rocco's On The River 3249 Butte Slough Road, Colusa Sunday - Thursday 11am-9pm Friday - Saturday 11am-11pm 530-458-7837
Rocco's Bar & Grill 546 Market Street, Colusa Sunday-Saturday 11am-10pm 530-458-8646
Caffeinated 538 Market Street, Colusa Monday-Friday 5am-4pm Saturday-Sunday 5am-2pm 530-458-2253 ME AN D MIN E MAG AZIN E | S P RI NG 2 01 8