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The Mountain


The Rising Voice of the Sierra Since 2006

e u s s I t i u ms i w S e h T ” t a e H l “ T r o p i c a exico Cancun - M

February 2011

The Murphys Historic Hotel Since 1856

Happenings At The Hotel Sunday February 6 SUPERBOWL CHARITY CHILI COOK OFF on the lawn 10 AM - 4 PM. Thursday February 10 WINES OF THE WORLD Presented by Gary Zucca of Zucca Mountain Vineyards. For Valentine’s Day, Gary is presenting port and chocolate pairings. 5:30 PM in the Mark Twain Ballroom. Monday February 14 VALENTINE’S DAY Special Dinner Menu

A Few Items On The Menu: Appetizers and Starters Fried Double Cream Brie – topped with a blueberry port sauce and Beurre blanc Stuffed Mushrooms –Italian sausage, pesto, mozzarella, and parmesan

Thursday February 17 HOTEL ON TV "Road Trip With Huell Howser" 8 PM in the saloon. Saturday February 19 SOROPTIMAL CHILI COOKOFF 8 AM to 3 PM on the lawn. Friday February 25 CIOPPINO FEED in the dining room.

House Specialties Lamb Shank - braised, slow cooked in vegetable gravy, served with creamy polenta (Dorian’s own recipe – made from scratch by the owner) Pork Loin Medallions – topped with an apple onion chutney Grilled Maple Leaf Duck Breast –topped with a dried cherry shallot port Demi glace Rack of Lamb Dijonaise –pan seared and roasted with Dijon mustard and panko Filet Medallions-filet tips, finished in a bordelaise sauce

For more info call 209-728-3444 ext 416

For More Information Call The Hotel’s Front Desk (209) 728-3444

w w w. M u r p hys H o te l. co m

Saturday Feb. 12th. The Fly. An Alternative Soul Funk Jam Band. 8:30-1:00 $5 Cover Charge. Friday Feb. 18th. Mountain Lion Sound. Reggae/Dub And Dancehall. $3 Cover Charge. Saturday Feb. 19th Bullit Head. Good Time, Old School Rock’n Roll. $5 Cover Charge. Sunday Feb. 20th Wine Tasting w/ Munari Winery. Saturday Feb. 26th Wreswald Chat. Soulful Groove. $5 Cover Charge. Must be 21 or over to attend.

Winter is a Good Time for Property Clean-Up and Clearing If you are a homeowner, property owner, association, CSA, public agency or business in Calaveras or Amador County, you need fire-safe space, tree or brush clearing around home and outbuildings. Call C.H.I.P.S. We’re here to help.

Welcome to Plaza Furniture We’re a family owned business in Copperopolis, specializing in personal customer service. Our mission is to carry lines of furniture and accessories that make your home warm and attractive. Our inventory is unique and everchanging. Please stop by and visit us. We would love to meet you and help you furnish your home, apartment, or vacation home.

We carry sustainable green furniture!

3505 Spangler Lane • Suite 102 Copperopolis

We are a local non-profit organization whose mission is to help maintain safe, healthy, sustainable forests and provide employment opportunities to help sustain our local economy.

C.H.I.P.S. Offers the Following Services: Winter Thinning & Pruning to Prevent Downfalls After-Storm Clean-Up of Downed Limbs & Trees Brush Thinning & Clearing Thinning & Chipping Work

Call For Free Estimate Available Monday Thru Friday Year Round in Calaveras and Amador

209-768-4971 Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (C.H.I.P.S.) C.H.I.P.S. is a non-profit 501(c)3 California corporation.

The Mountain Chronicle 1316 Oak Circle Arnold, California Mailing Address: P.O. Box 26 Avery, CA 95224 Phone: (209) 795-2222 E-mail:

Publisher ~Ross Alford Contributing Writers Jim Stearns • Warren Alford

Joe Pesconiac • John Buckley Ted Denmark • David Alford Kristy Moore • Gabe Bridges Prince Hans-Adam II

Features Editor Warren Alford Mountain Chronicle Business

Editing & Proof Reading A Group Effort

From the Publisher:

I will consider publishing “Letters To The Editor” of fewer than 300 words, which include a name, phone number and area of residence. I’ll allow a few more words, if it’s really good!

Opinion & Other Important Matters

Volume 6, Number 2

Valentine Advice From Mae West

“All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.” Mae West “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.” Mae West “Don’t marry a man to reform him - that’s what reform schools are for.” Mae West “Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you.” Mae West “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.” Mae West “A hard man is good to find.” Mae West

Zapata vive, la lucha sigue

Facebook This:

“Zapata lives, the struggle continues!”

Do you think there should be big rock concerts at the fairgrounds like last year’s “Dead” concert?

Send Submissions To: (subject line: “Letter”). If we don’t run your letter you can consider buying an ad!

The Mission:


Please remember we can only cover so many stories, so it helps if you send a photo and a few paragraphs of an event you attended. If “The Mountain Chronicle” publishes something under the name of another author, that’s their opinion. Please ask permission to use anything in the paper, and or, at least attribute material used in a contextually accurate manner. Lastly, we here at The Mountain Chronicle are trying to tell the story of our time. If we make mistakes, we will try to set the record straight.

Breaking News:

Please phone the newsroom (209) 795-2222

Cover Art Photos Shot In Cancun, Mexico

Happy Valentine’s Day From The Mountain Chronicle Team

“Women with pasts interest men... they hope history will repeat itself.” Mae West

“We have concerts all the time in Tahrir Square. Periodically I have to call out my personal police force, but then what’s a strong man supposed to do?”

The Mountain Chronicle intends to let the facts tell the story in the news section of the paper and raise hell on the OP/ED page. If you exploit, degrade or injure the community, you’re fair game!

February 2011 ● 6

“I’ve got a number of files you may be interested in. It seems there are interested parties vying to prevent your county fairgrounds from making outstanding profit.” -Julian

“I’m not sure those concerts are good for the moral fiber, but they’re probably better than spending donated money on strippers.” -Michael Steele

“Just whup a little hippy ass if they get out of line.” -Prince Hans-Adam II Prince of Liechtenstein

I’m tired of the Middle East dominating the attention of U.S. foreign policy. We give billions to both the Israeli, and Egyptian militaries in what essentially amounts to a small scale version of mutually assured destruction. The Palestinians continue to get screwed, we’re perceived as meddling in Arab affairs, renegade odd-ball Arab terrorists blow up our towers, we start wars, and the cycle of perpetual war continues, with no real peaceful outcome in the foreseeable future. And, the likelihood that another catastrophe might occur is hanging over our heads like The Sword of Damocles. Maybe, as an alternative to spending our tax dollars in the Middle East, we could focus our attentions inwardly. And with extreme delicacy, as almost all of our foreign policy towards the south during my lifetime has been wrought with peril, I suggest we revisit our relations with our southern neighbors, most importantly Mexico. I’m by no means an expert on the economics, but it would seem to me that for a fraction of what we spend in the rest of the world we could help improve our relationship with Mexico, and restructure our infrastructure. Why not do a little nation building right here in our own backyard? I feel a good start would be a “jobs program.” Let’s get rid of the unemployment rate immediately. And for those of you who are anti-government, I’d like to strike a balance and abolish unemployment insurance, and offer those without employment a job at the new Infrastructure and Technology Manifest Destiny Department. Why include Mexico? First, they’re our neighbor, and second, the drug wars and illegal immigration are getting worse, the violence and corruption in Mexico threaten to destabilize the Mexican government and there is growing resentment on both sides. This does not make for a secure relationship on our Southern flank. It’s not that hard: Figure out a succinct border policy with Mexico, one that works, and quit arming Mexican drug lords. The right to sell guns is being disingenuously presented as a 2nd Amendment right, while the flow of guns across our border is ominous. So, I feel we should get to work on our high-tech infrastructure and embrace a new era of cooperation with Mexico. If we focus on our continent (pardon the oil pun), we can quit greasing the squeaky wheel in the Middle East. ~R

The Mountain Chronicle

“Top of The News”

February 2011 ● 7

Avery Middle School Wins Apple’s “Distinguished School Award”

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By Ross Alford AVERY- This is very cool, Avery Middle School is not only using cutting-edge education technology, they are leading the country in innovative use of the technology. This is evidenced by the school being awarded Apple’s coveted “Distinguished School Award.” Only 50 or so schools in the country have received the award, and only a few in California. Apple gives the award to schools that demonstrate innovation that leads to improving education. Michael Wells, coordinator of Avery’s I-pad program, said that the new technology has been embraced by the teaching staff at Avery. The social studies class developed a project where the kids interacted by e-mail taking on the persona of a person from history, essentially studying history while communicating in writing to other students. A math instructor at the middle school has developed a polling method so that students can inform him if they’re grasping his concept as he is teaching, and the writing classes are significantly benefitting from the one-toone computer student ratio. How the program is working on the whole is a bit harder to define. Students will be tested later in the year to see where they compare to students across the state. But as Wells says, the intangibles are not part of the testing. “Students are engaged, they’re reading and discipline problems are down,” Wells said. More importantly the students are aware that they are a part of something new as teachers and educators are coming from around the country to visit Avery and see how Avery is implementing the program, Wells added. Avery also had a field trip down to Mac World at the Moscone Center in San Francisco where a number of students were able to interact with developers about new products and software and provide some feedback regarding their experiences with the products. From an education stand point the tool sounds startlingly good. Students are being given a number of ways to learn how to take notes. So that they can find a way that best suits the way they learn to help retain

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Information. Individual minds work differently. Some students are visual learners, others auditory learners, and others are tactile learnersthose who learn by experience. Knowing this, and having a tool that supports the various learning styles allows teachers to prepare classes in each of these areas.

Interestingly enough, on a recent vacation I experienced the realization that I’m not one of the evolving yet. Sitting at the pool of a luxurious resort in Mexico, there was this long row of beach chairs and while I was fumbling with an awkward book, I noticed at least a dozen sun worshipers were reading form some form of an E-reader. The leap has occurred. I asked Wells if the I-pads are getting used by parents after the student’s bed time, and his reply I thought was most telling, “My biggest complaint from students is ‘My mom won’t get off my I-pad.’”

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On January 17th, 2011 at approximately 3pm, two deputies of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team (SET) were involved in an officer involved shooting. The SET team is a newly formed unit focused on proactive law enforcement measures that targets high crime problem areas in Calaveras County. Jan. 17th was the first shift for this team. The two uniformed deputies, in a marked patrol car attempted a “traffic enforcement vehicle stop” near the intersection of Highway 26 and Railroad Flat Road, and lost sight of the vehicle.

Investigators received information which led the Calaveras County SW AT team to conduct a check of a residence in the immediate area leading to the arrest of 54-year-old Richard Kenneth Cooper of Railroad Flat.


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Charges Filed: Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer

In response, the deputies fired their duty weapons from where they were seated in the patrol vehicle. The deputies then took positions of cover while units from the Calaveras County Sheriff Patrol, Calaveras County SWAT team, Amador County Sheriff’s Department, Angels Camp Police Department and the CHP responded, all helping to set up a perimeter of the area. One deputy received a slight injury during the exchange of gunfire.

The thing that is most intriguing to me is that our kids right here at the Avery Middle School are part of the evolutionary leap. When we look back in years to come this school year will stand out as the year we as a society started the evolution in education towards interactive reading material.

Sheriff Deputies Ambushed

The deputies checked behind an abandoned barn located approximately 500 yards south of Highway 26 and Railroad Flat Road. As deputies rounded the corner of the barn in their patrol car a suspect ambushed them firing at least one round into the windshield of the patrol vehicle with what is believed to be a shotgun.

2050 Highway 4 Arnold, CA 95223 (209) 795-2272

Richard Kenneth Cooper The DA’s office filed “attempted murder of a peace officer” charges against Cooper on the 19th of January. Cooper is set to be arraigned February 14th, and is being held in the Calaveras County jail on $1 million bail.

Ross’s Note: I’ve been asked, “why run this story in the paper?” I’m still processing the question, but it strikes me as odd that a guy, for no apparent reason, other than being pulled-over, decides to alledgedly try and kill two peace officers -that’s a bit Leonard Lake-ish. And, it also strikes me as odd that on the first night of a new program “targeting high crime areas” cops get shot at. I thought we’d keep our eye on this one.

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The Mountain Chronicle

Local News

February 2011 ● 8

Murphys Irish Day Parade Taking Shape Entry applications are being received for the parade that is a highlight of the Murphy Irish Day celebration that will be held in the historic Mother Lode town on Saturday, March 19. The Murphys Irish Day parade begins promptly at 11 a.m. and makes it way down the picturesque Main Street. The organizers are always looking for unusual and entertaining participants, particularly those with an Irish theme. Anyone interested in being considered for inclusion can find an entry blank online at or by contacting the Reagans at 728-9012. Among the musicians that will be in this year’s line of march will be the bands from Bret Harte High School and Avery Middle School, the White Hackle Pipe Band, Ripon Police & Fire Irish Pipe Band, and trumpeter Jay Grimstead. The circus wagon of Jamestown’s Al Lehr with its authentic calliope will also serenade the crowd. An invitation has also been extended to Calaveras High School. Musical groups add much to the parade and additional groups are encouraged to apply. Other entries that have signed up include the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse, area preschools, all levels of scouting, classic cars, and various community organizations. In the past there have been entries from the local Republicans and Democrats. This year with the desire of voters to see the two major parties working together organizers have suggested that our local groups might like to march as a team, each with their own identity, to promote bipartisanship. The idea is being considered.

Because of the limited formation area, and the large number of participants, organizers cannot always accommodate everyone who would like to be included. But that should not discourage anyone from submitting an entry form. There is no entry fee to be in the parade and no awards are bestowed. Strictly commercial entries are restricted to major sponsors of Murphys Irish Day. Murphys Irish Day, one of the Mother Lode’s most popular festivals, is presented each year by the Murphys Business Association with proceeds making it possible for the association to fulfill its goals of sponsoring projects that enhance the community and beautify the business district.

Guest Editorial: The Sheriff’s Department Needs “To Come Clean” By Tom Liberty

Lorie Conway


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After a year of litigation, the most prominent pot prosecution in Calaveras County has been settled. Jay Smith, a provider working with the legal MMJ collective K-Care, was arrested in January of 2010 after providing one ounce of MMJ to an undercover Calaveras Deputy Sheriff. The investigation leading to the sting had been set up by Deputy Detective Steve Avila. Initially charged with three felony counts, Smith settled for a no contest plea to a non-marijuana related misdemeanor. Both Smith (who is 45,000 dollars poorer) and the county (which was thirty cents away from having a quarter even before they blew thousands on this case) are glad to have put this behind them. How did this massive waste of money and resources ever get off the ground? And why should we care? A few weeks before Jay Smith’s arrest, a guy named Robert Shaffer was busted by Deputy Detective Steve Avila. Shaffer happened to have a written recommendation for MMJ, and it was this recommendation that ended up getting Smith arrested. Detective Avila eventually used Shaffer’s genuine medical documentation in order to infiltrate the K-Care Collective. Avila first contacted K-Care about three weeks before Smith’s eventual arrest. He repeatedly asked Smith to provide him with medicine without a valid recommendation. Smith refused. Apparently frustrated by Smith’s adherence to state law, Avila resorted to absconding with the valid MMJ recommendation from the Shaffer arrest. When testifying under oath about why

he chose to use an actual living person’s identity in order to arrest a legal provider, Avila stated that he used Shaffer’s identity because he knew for sure that the recommendation was valid and that it would gain him admittance to the collective. He further testified under oath that he was unaware of any previous investigation where an officer had impersonated a local citizen in order to make an arrest. Avila also stated under oath that he has no recollection of who authorized the use of Shaffer’s identity, and no recollection of who’s idea it was to do so. If this is not clear perjury, it is certainly deceptive testimony and has not been investigated. Avila’s behavior before, during and after this investigation was unethical at best, and probably criminal. The details of the internal investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Department into Avila’s behavior have not been released, and retired Sheriff Dennis Downum never made any statements addressing public concerns. So how is it that mechanisms are in place in our Sheriff’s Department that allowed a deputy to retain an arrested’s private personal medical information and use it in such a manner? Did Avila break into privileged files and copy the recommendation? Did the recommendation ever make it into the evidentiary files at all, or did he just pocket it upon Shaffer’s arrest? If it wasn’t Avila’s idea to pirate Shaffer’s identity, was it someone higher up in the department? Why didn’t Avila bother to check on the legal status of K-Care before the investigation? Or did he knowingly arrest a legal provider? Citizens have a right to know the answers to these questions. Tom Liberty is the Director of Calaveras Patient Resources, a service group and informational network for MMJ patients and their families. He can be reached at 754-9227 or via email

The Mountain Chronicle

Local News

February 2011 ● 9

High Country Water Debate Cows In the Creek? By Ross Alford My grandfather used to lease his pasture in Avery out to Cap and Ina Davies, as sort of a mid-elevation sweet summer grass pasture. The meadow was fenced and irrigated, and the cows ambled aimlessly through the dog days of summer, hiding under the trees when it was hot, and drinking from the stream when they were thirsty. In the process the cows would break down the banks and defecate in the water. I never had one passing thought about the fact that the cows were doing their business in the drinking water of those who live downstream, but that is now the center of a rather steamy debate.

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In this, the Tuolumne Cattlemen’s Association, Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District, Stanislaus Grazing Permittees, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are sponsoring speakers from the University California at Davis, Dr. Rob Atwill and Dr. Ken Tate along with Tuolumne Utilities District’s Engineer Tom Scesa to update the general public, elected officials, and water agency directors on the topic in a forum they are calling “The Tuolumne County Range Water Forum: Snow Melt to Water Tap.” The forum will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 from 6-8 p.m. at the Sonora Opera Hall at 250 South Washington Street downtown Sonora. The focus will be on water as it relates to livestock use, range management and public health. The advertisement for the forum says that “Scientist from UCD will be on hand to present data from a water quality study done with USFS Region 5, on the Stanislaus Forest watershed.”

209.886.5112 Farmington, CA . Est. 1936

CSERC provided their study data to the U.S. Forest Service and to the State Water Board, and urged the Forest Service to start requiring livestock permittees to keep cows away from forest streams where high recreational use creates especially high potential for health risks. But, according to CSERC, no action to move cows away from water was ever taken by the Forest Service. Last summer, in response to CSERC submitting the 2009 water study to the State Water Board, the USFS hired U.C. Davis professor Ken Tate to head up a regional water study. CSERC and other environmental organizations expressed frustration that the USFS hired someone with close ties to the livestock industry to manage a Water Study to determine if cows are contaminating water. Last summer CSERC did a second year of water quality sampling in the Stanislaus National Forest. Buckley said that just like the first year, each sample was taken in a sterile bottle provided by an independent lab; then samples were transported to the independent lab for testing. And like the first year, the results revealed that once cows came into the forest along the monitored stream, the total coliform contamination exceeded State standards. CSERC provided that second detailed study report to both the USFS and the State Water Board.

Here is the rub: Local water quality activists believe that the data

the scientists at the forum will present is significantly flawed and represents a desire on their part to support grazing rights. John Buckley of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC) said that two years ago, Dr. Robert Derlet, a UC Davis professor, published research showing that livestock contaminates forest stream water at levels that are unsafe for human health. To gain a better local understanding, CSERC assigned a staff scientist, Lindsey Myers, to follow strict scientific protocols on a local area researching and sampling water quality in streams in the Stanislaus National Forest. In 2009, Myers and other CSERC staff conducted exhaustive research at four grazed sites and one ungrazed stream area in the Stanislaus Forest. “The lab-tested results showed that before cows arrived, the water was generally safe to contact. Once cows were present for even a few days, the water became polluted with fecal coliform at levels that exceeded State health thresholds.”

Buckley added that since the start of the year, pro-grazing interests have been working to promote to the media and to the public a theme that livestock grazing is benign. “Two weeks ago grazing supporters held a forum-field session that promoted the highly questionable claim that grazing is ‘beneficial’ for wildlife because cows and wildlife manage to co-exist on wildlife refuges in the Central Valley,” Buckley said. “Now, following up on that media effort, grazing interests are sponsoring another event that will feature a presentation about livestock and water quality by Professor Tate and his fellow professor, Rob Atwill. An online slideshow version made available by Professor Tate reinforces the view that managing cows can diminish pollution of water. His examples in the slideshow focus on pastures in the foothills and valley where fencing easily controls cows,” Buckley said. In contrast, CSERC notes that the clear evidence from the Center’s two summers of field data is that when cows defecate alongside forest streams in the mountains, it definitely does contaminate the water at levels of concern. “Cows in the national forest wander at will and have frequent contact with streams,” Buckley said.

More to come on this matter . . .

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The Mountain Chronicle

Local News

February 2011 ● 10

The Hotel’s Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off & Food Bank Fund-raiser By Crystal


n a sunny Super Bowl Sunday, on the lawn of the Murphys Historic Hotel, 22 teams of volunteer chili-cooking competitors came to show their support for the Resource Connection, our Mother Lode Food Bank that provides food for the less fortunate families of Calaveras County. The Chili cookers started chopping their ingredients and by 8am the air was filled with the smell of homemade chili. Pots were at full steam by 10am and tasters were lining up outside before High Noon! The prizes were made up of donations from local businesses supporting the cause, Stevenot, Bear Valley, Banderas of California, Black Sheep, Milliaire, Twisted Oak, Gateway Press, Horse & Barrel Horseback Tours, Hatcher, Newsome Harlow, Ironstone, The Spice Tin,

Murphys 728-8634

And the Winner Is: The winner of the prestigious “Judge's Award” went to Uncle Bob's Chili, a returning champion from years past. First place in “The People’s Choice” category went to Tanner Vineyard, prepared by Dennis Burns, Dick Tanner & Ron Tanner.

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Second Place in “The People's Choice” category went to 2 Chix Chili, prepared by Nicole Bruich & Elissa Creighton, this was their third year cooking.

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The Spice Tin 457 N. Algiers Street Behind SNAC In Murphys 728-8225


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Third Place in “The People's Choice” category went to Iron Whiskey, prepared by Kristopher Hallihan & Steve LaRussa.

Top: “Judge’s Award” Winner Uncle Bob’s Chili Middle: 2 Chix Chili, Nicole & Elissa Bottom: Tanner Vineyard, Dennis Burns, Dick Tanner iL Rifugio, Sierra Hills Market, and so many more. Local businesses also pulled together making up teams, or competing against one another for chili bragging rights and for the marvelous prizes including: Judy Creighton, the Cheese Lady; Darby Plumbing; Lucky of Banderas of California; Gateway Press; Tanner Vineyards; The Pickle Barrel; returning team Uncle Bob's Chili; Fidel's Barbershop & Heavenly Cakes at the Peppermint Stick; returning champs Arnold Rotary; The Spice Tin & iL Rifugio; Mydingr's BBQ & Chili (who do this for fun, in their own catering truck); Sierra Ridge Chili; and some other non-business teams like Dorian's team 'Faught Attack'; Brian Goss' Team 'Just Win Baby, Raider Nation'; Kevin Clerico's Team 'Country Cowboy Chili'; Ray & Stacy Goodpastor 'The Sheepherders'; 'Iron Whiskey'; 'Just One More Bite'; 'Chili Conglomeration'; Nicole & Elissa's '2 Chix Chili'; 'G9 Chili'; and R&R Chili'. The judges were Jason Wright from Alchemy, Angelo from Deli Nini's, and the originator of the first Chili Cook-off for the Food Bank, Johnny Harris. The judges deliberated for some time, commenting that the chilies this year were very professional - it was very apparent these teams mean business. The categories the judges considered included the best flavor, aroma, color, texture and use of spices (and man were there some hot ones). A very big “thank you” goes out to everyone who prepared chili, tasted chili and donated to the hungry families of Calaveras. Altogether we will have gathered a couple hundred pounds of non-perishable food, and will donate $700 for additional food to the Resource Connection. We look forward to seeing you all next year.

Ross’s Note:

I have to say that I was fully impressed with the quality of the various chilis. I realize now that my 20 minute chili could stand some improvement. For me there were three kinds of chili. The first is a chili that blows you away with flavor, but you might only be able to eat half of a bowl. The second is the kind of a chili that your great great grandmother made to keep her family fed - old school. And the third kind of a chili is so bad you’re too embarrassed to look the cook in the eye. In the old-school chili style I may have given the award to Rick Darby. Tanner’s on the other hand was a truly wonderful “out on the range chile,” old-school style. I’m surprised that Peter and The Spice Tin didn’t get an award, I felt they had the most sophisticated chili. Barbershop & Cakes, although South West style, may have been the most authentic. Dorian’s “Road Kill,” was solid. And the Arnold Rotary, although an off year for them, did have the most festive booth. This is a great event. My hat goes off to the team at “The Hotel.” Outstanding performance as MC by Brian.

The Mountain Chronicle

Local News

Hospital Helps To Replenish The Calaveras Food Bank The Employee Satisfaction Team at Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital is helping to restore Calaveras’ Food Bank after the busy holiday season. Receptacles have been placed throughout the hospital and its five Family Medical Centers (Arnold, San Andreas, Angels Camp, Valley Springs, Copperopolis), where employees, patients, friends and neighbors can bring non-perishable food and personal household supplies. “This year we really wanted to capture the element of human compassion” said team member Nicki Stevens. “Focusing on not just food, but personal essentials such as firewood vouchers and household items, and challenging ourselves to offer whatever is in our heart to give. “This is about all of us, our neighbors, co-workers, friends and even family members” said hospital president Feliciano Jiron. “Together we can truly nourish the Heart of Calaveras Families.” Hospital employees will deliver all of the food and items to the Resource Connection’s Food Bank on February 18th. For information call 754-2603. “The Resource Connection Food Bank is experiencing the greatest demand in our history” said Jeannie Hayward, Program Director for the Food Bank. “Money and food donations have become critical for our families and neighbors.” The Resource Connection’s Food Bank is located in a new facility at 206 George Reed Drive in San Andreas. They can be reached at 754-1257.

All The Buzz Now that we've been experiencing a couple of weeks of more pleasant weather, thoughts of beekeepers and wannabees turn towards Spring. Even though it's too early and too cold to start with bees, there are many ways to prepare for warmer days that bring spring bloom and everything else that comes with it for beekeepers. The Sierra Foothill Beekeepers Association will begin 2011 beekeeper meetings and is pleased to announce the first of this year's learning opportunities with beekeeping classes and beekeeper forums. Beekeeper meetings will be held monthly in Mariposa, Jamestown and Jackson (see meeting schedules below) starting in February. You are invited to attend any or all meetings as each may have a different agenda or cover different material.

The Sierra Foothill Beekeepers Association is creating a listing of names of persons wishing to volunteer to capture swarms. Beekeepers interested in being contacted for swarm collection should contact Lorinda Forrest at Please indicate name, contact number and county or area you are willing to work in retrieving bee swarms. We also have other events and learning opportunities in the works, and will report them as details are firmed up.

Love the Forest is always a memorable evening of fun with a drawing and great live music for all ages, this year featuring Cantamos, an acoustic oriented show with a rhythm section. Many songs have a Latin flavor yet you can still hear some Folk, Rock, Jazz, Country and more. Still Bill is a playful and alluring combination of vocals, guitars, bass and congas, creating an experience that lifts your spirits and takes you home to your heart, and Jens Jarvie loves to write and play music that embraces the fullness of life.

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Saturday, February 12th at 7pm at The Black Bart Playhouse 580 Algiers in Murphys. Tickets available: $15 (Seniors and Students $12) in advance $20 at the door. ~ In Angels Camp: Aeolian Harp ~ In Arnold :The Bistro, Highland Books & SNAC (Sierra Nevada Adventure Company) ~ In Murphys: Sustenance Books, SNAC & Murphys Music Company FUNdraiser for: Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch [501c (3)] The mission of Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch is to protect, promote and restore healthy forest and watersheds to maintain the quality of life in the Sierra Nevada . Check EPFW out on Facebook or

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425 Main Street Murphys


Health Fair At Ironstone Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital has announced the date for the 2nd Annual Spring Health Fair at Ironstone Vineyards. The Fair will be held February 26th, from 7:00 a.m. to noon in the Music Room. Dozens of Community Health Groups will be participating in this event. Health Screenings by the hospital will be discounted and will include Free Health Screenings and Flu Shots, Pneumonia Vaccinations ($45), Blood Analysis ($45), Senior Health Services Information, Nutrition and Fitness Information, plus Bone Density Screenings ($10), and food, music and fun.

Murphys Nursery Winter Hours 7-Days a Week Unless It Rains!

“This will be an extension of our Fall Health Fair held on the hospital campus which draws over 1,000 participants” said hospital president Feliciano Jiron. “This Spring Health Fair at Ironstone will favor our Highway 4 communities and Spring is a perfect time to get health information”. For more information about the Spring Health Fair, call 754-2603.

209.728.3220 Behind The Gas Station

A 5K Fun Run/Walk will also be held on the day of the Health Fair. Meet at the Main Entrance to Ironstone Vineyards prior to the 8:30 a.m. start of the race. Registration and bracelet proceeds benefit the Lupus Foundation of America. For race information, call 754-2604.

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Big Trees State Park Needs Hosts New Docent Orientation Classes Tuesday, March 8 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Sunday, April 16 from 12:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Volunteers play an important role in caring for this very special park. There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available to match each person’s interests, skills, and background, including: • trail patrol • greeting people in the Visitor Center • leading tours and children’s programs • trail maintenance • operating the Warming Hut • leading snowshoe tours • and much more… Active volunteers receive free training and use of the park, and can earn passes to other CA State Parks - We hope you will join us!

s w rve Ne rese hP

We are lucky to have Serge Labesque return this year to teach allday classes in both Beginning and Intermediate Beekeeping in the Sonora area. Past attendees agree that Serge's classes are an amazing learning experience and especially enjoy the hive inspection portion of the day. Classes fill up quickly so go to our website to download a class flyer which includes a registration form. Members of the SFBA receive a $10 discount on classes where a fee is involved.

9th Annual Love the Forest Valentine’s Concert

s Fre

Beekeeping forums will be held in Jackson and Sonora. These free forums, sponsored by the UC Davis Ag Extension office, are led by veteran beekeeper and owner of Paloma Pollinators and UCDavis Agriculture/Natural Resource Program Representative, Sean Kriletich. Sean will cover specific beekeeping topics and will give beekeepers a chance to share stories, learn from beekeeping challenges and refine their skills.

February 2011 ● 11

The Red Apple Home Made Pies • Pastries • Donuts • Cider Fruits • Nuts • Veggies • Honey And so much more !


La Chronicle de la Montagne

“Grape Reportage”

February MMXI ● XII

Exploring the Wines of Calaveras Newsome-Harlow Vineyards By Ross Alford It is a true pleasure for me to feature Newsome-Harlow this month. Scott Klann was the first wine maker in Calaveras to advertise with The Mountain Chronicle, and besides that he is also one of the finest wine makers. I tell this story all the time, but last summer when I went on a special birthday backpack trip into the Desolation Wilderness with the Lieutenant, her first backpack trip, I chose to carry a Newsome-Harlow Petit Sarah 10 miles for the Lieutenant’s B-day dinner. It’s one thing to try and decide what wine to serve with freeze dried, but I did not hesitate, I knew what wine I wanted to carry ten miles. In any event, Scott has been a wine maker for a few decades here in Calaveras working with both Chatom and Stevenot before opening Newsome-Harlow with his original partner Mark Skenfield, in 2000. The story goes that as their names, Klann-Skenfield, didn’t exactly roll off the tongue they made up to their mothers for all the trouble they caused as boys, and founded their winery using their mothers’ maiden names - they may still have some work to do on that account.

Regarding The Wine

Scott and Melanie Klann

This is a truism: “Scott’s dedication to sustainable agricultural practices and viticultural excellence is reflected in the artisan wines he produces for his own label Newsome-Harlow and as wine maker at Twisted Oak — a winery that focuses on Spanish and Rhone varietals.” I’m not going to write anything more about the Petite Sirah, but Newsome-Harlow’s “Train Wreck” my be one of the best values in a bottle in Calaveras. A collision of Cab and Syrah, roughly half and half. “The aromas consist of all-spice, anise and cloves combined with raspberry and blueberry characters. The flavors mirror the blueberry and anise and also have a touch of cut hay, tobacco and cherries. The wine is medium to full bodied. The anise, cherry and blueberry characters linger for a bit and the wine finishes with those flavors.” Grown here in Calaveras County, the three Train Wreck lots are harvested in the early morning. The fruit de-stemmed and gently O crushed into small fermentation bins. No yeast is added, instead L they are allowed to ferment with natural yeasts. After primary ferD mentation, the must is allowed to soak on the skins for an additional A week. After pressing, the lots age in small neutral oak barrels for a N period of 20 months before bottling. Music Gallery Instruments & Accessories Thoughtful Gifts & Artful Things

A visit to the Newsome-Harlow tasting room is always fun and usually enlightening.

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Angels Camp 736-9246


Tom’s Automotive

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Bistro Espresso

Enjoy a Slice of Local Color

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Zin Pairing Notes From Melly: “This Zin is bright and juicy. It has great acidity which makes it a very versatile Zinfandel perfect for Italian, burgers, barbecue, and just about anything else you can think of.”



It would be unfair to not mention the 2008 Zinfandel. “Bright raspberry aromas combined with brambly aromas and flavors. The flavors mirror the bright raspberries and add a spicy component. This juicy Zin finishes long and fruity with lingering berry flavors.”



Scott and Melanie are a complementary pair, she’s a “foodie.” “When I try one of Scott’s wines for the first time, I close my eyes....and then smell and then taste. My mind is flooded with flavors that would be a perfect match and then I begin to concoct a recipe in my head.” On their website, there is a whole section dedicated to Melanie’s creations in the kitchen. Check out “The Galley Slave” on page 17 for a few of her more notables. Melanie also runs Newsome-Harlow’s tasting room and heads up the food department, designing pairing dinners that incorporate fresh, local ingredients to highlight Scott’s wines.

(209)795-2778 Avery Auto Center Moran Road Avery

Meadowmont Shopping Center

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Tasting Room & Art Gallery 466 B Main Street Murphys 209.728.1000

Grace Featuring Premier wines & Local art

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L a


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Galleria Continued


Tasting Room Hours 11am to 5pm Daily

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Hatcher Winery

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~Calvin Klein

Tasting Room Hours 7-Days 12 to 5pm



Tasting Room

448-C Main Street Murphys




25th Anniversary Celebration! Public invited November 14, 4 to 6 pm at Tasting Room in Murphys

Open Daily 11 - 5 located in the historic Yellow Cottage near Tasting Room Open 11-5 AlchemyDaily Restaurant 221 Main Street, Murphys Gold Medal Big Zins, Cottage The Historic Yellow Sauvignon Blanc, Cinsault, Near Alchemy Restaurant Raspberry Sparkling Wine, Rose and more. 209.728.2157 221 Main Street Murphys, CA


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~Shake Brazil

Galleria Continued La Galleria’s Disclaimer: Translation, as they say, is at best an echo - You should see this art for yourself!

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Many thanks to Grace, Paulette, Marissa & Juliana True Indigenous Beauty Also, Sabrina Vanzin at AOO Service - She really put on a fine show! All of the swimwear is available through her at: Also, Thanks to the many wonderful people of Cancun Mexico We were treated so well - Muchas Gracias Photos shot at the The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas, Cancun

The End

The Mountain Chronicle

“The Galley Slave”

February 2011 ● 17

Proper Pruning Service Certified In Proper Pruning Techniques 26 Years Experience

A Visit To Sequoia Woods A Hidden Treasure By Ross Alford I had an exceptional meal at Sequoia Woods Country Club the other Saturday night. I’m relatively familiar with their Prime Rib Sandwich with French Fries, that you can get in the lounge every night from 6-to 8pm, but I’d not eaten in the restaurant for some time. It was great. The Lieutenant and I started with the Mussels with ginger, tomatoes & basil; served with grilled bread as a starter. This is the way to go. I learned about these little guys from my nephew, who with multiple sets of grandparents gets around more than I do.

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For entrées, The Lt. ordered the roasted rack of lamb with a wholegrain mustard crust, fried baby spinach, mashed potatoes and rosemary jus. An exceptional choice. And I ordered what can only be called a slab of Prime Rib. First of all it’s good to know that if you need a chunk of Prime Rib you can get one in Arnold, and this one was perfectly prepared, and huge.

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The thing I appreciate about good restaurants and great chefs is that it’s not just about the source of protein, it’s also about the accoutrements. The vegetables have to not only be crisp, but interesting and something you might not see at home. I like to be able to wander around my plate and delight at the various stops. In this Sequoia Woods is successful. They had a varietal of what I perceived to be the broccoli family served with the Prime Rib that was scrumptious. And the Lt.’s fried baby spinach was extraordinary. We finished off with a very nice cup of coffee and a crème brulée that was excellent. One thing worth noting is that the dining room at Sequoia Woods is an exceptional spot for intimacy, up to a point. At the Sequoia Woods dining room, you can easily have a private conversation, and you can hear your companion. The service is outstanding, without being overbearing, and everything is clean and professional.

Chef Melly's Root Beer BBQ Sauce Pair with 2008 Train Wreck Sauce * 2 cups root beer * 1 cup ketchup * 2 tablespoons of tomato paste * 1/4 cup orange juice * 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce * 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar * ¼ cup black strap molasses * 2 teaspoons ground ginger * 1 teaspoon garlic powder * 1 teaspoon onion powder * 1 teaspoons dried mustard * 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon * Pepper flakes to taste * Sea salt to taste Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to mediumlow and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Pour over pulled pork, beef or any other appropriate meats

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Sequoia Woods is a spot that if you were to propose something of intimacy to someone, they might take you seriously.

From Melly’s Kitchen, Newsome-Harlow Cuban Flank Steak Sandwiches Pair with 2008 Calaveras Zinfandel

* 1 1/2 pounds flank steak * 1 cup olive oil 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves * 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves 1 toasted cumin seeds * 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley * 1/4 cup fresh lime juice * 5 cloves garlic * 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning * 1 (14-inch) loaf ciabatta bread * 2 tablespoons canola oil * 1 medium onion, thinly sliced Cut the steak into 2 even pieces and place in a sealable plastic bag or container. Place the olive oil, cilantro, basil, cumin seeds, parsley, lime juice, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt in a blender and mix until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the herb-oil mixture and refrigerate. Add the remaining mixture to the meat, distribute evenly, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice ciabatta loaf lengthwise and remove excess bread from inside, if desired. Remove the meat from the marinade; discard marinade. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Once the pan is hot, add meat and cook until medium-rare, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Place meat on a cutting board and cover with foil. Repeat with other piece of meat, only adding more oil if necessary. Place bread directly on oven rack and toast, about 5 minutes. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the grill pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until just beginning to brown but still crisp, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt, to taste. Take the reserved herb-oil mixture and brush the inside of both halves of bread. Slice steak thinly against the grain and place on the bottom half of the bread. Top with onions and then remaining bread.

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The Mountain Chronicle

“The Nature of Science”

February 2011 ● 18

CSERC Launches New Survey To Locate Elusive Porcupines



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By John Buckley Executive Director Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center The prickly porcupine is one of those interesting and easily remembered animals that kids usually learn about at a very young age. In the same way that we grasp that a skunk poses risk because of its odiferous scent glands, it’s pretty easy to recognize that the spiny quills pose an obvious danger that needs to be avoided. Dogs, coyotes, and other animals that haven’t been educated about porcupine risk soon learn the painful way that the quills have tiny barbs that make it difficult to rub off or remove them, once they’re embedded. Like most wildlife species that can pose a risk to people, the porcupine goes out of its way to avoid confrontation. Although they can range widely to feed on a diverse range of seeds, nuts, grasses and other plants, porcupines are mostly found in conifer forests where they eat tree bark and needles. With forest cover blanketing the landscape, and with porcupines often hidden up in the branches of trees, the animals aren’t highly visible. That lack of visibility is also tied to a significant decline in the porcupine population in the Sierra Nevada region. In past decades, lumber companies and the U.S. Forest Service put out poison bait and paid hunters to shoot porcupines in order to protect young trees in tree plantations. Especially during winter periods, the porcupine can girdle young pines in particular, leading to efforts to eliminate them from productive timberlands. Those efforts apparently worked, because in recent years, porcupines have nearly disappeared from the local region.

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Fishers are so rare in the local mountains that CSERC and U.S. Forest Service photo-detection stations have failed to prove the existence of the fisher locally for more than 15 years. That disappearance or extremely low population of fisher may be tied in part to the decline in porcupines. Starting now, CSERC is organizing a Porcupine Sighting Survey to track porcupine sightings in the local region. We are asking Mountain Chronicle readers and others to be on the look out for porcupines and to immediately contact our Center with any sightings. You can e-mail CSERC staff at or you can call 209 586-7440 to report your sighting. If at all possible, please try to get a photo of the porcupine, and the more site specific and detailed your observation is, the more it can enhance this sighting study. So… join in this porcupine treasure hunt. Get family and friends to be on the look out for clues such as chewed on conifer stems or tracks in the snow with the tail dragging behind. And when you find one of the rare porcupines that still persist in our local region, by all means do not harass or harm the animal. We simply want to know where they can be found and to understand whether or not they are more common than what biologists assume to be the case.

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The staff of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC) spends hundreds of days in the local forests year after year as staff monitors logging projects, takes water samples, and sets up wildlife photo-detection stations. In the past decade not a single porcupine has been detected by members of CSERC staff nor by the many U.S. Forest Service employees we’ve talked with about the elusive animal. CSERC staff has not observed a single road-kill porcupine along roads in the Stanislaus Forest, although we have seen one road kill porcupine down in oak woodlands where the animals are not expected to be found. What has caused the porcupine to nearly disappear from local forests? The population status of the porcupine is especially important when it comes to the plight of the Pacific fisher – a highly rare carnivore that delights in preying upon porcupines and is the only predator that is known to successfully evade their quill-laden tail and spiny coat.

Let the porcupine sighting contest begin!

Editor’s Note: Porcupines Need Love Too!

The Mountain Chronicle

“Stearns’ Page”

The Local Moment “There Is No Estimated Time of Connection” By Jim Stearns


k, so my power went out for a couple of days and it turned out to be a bit of a wake up call. Talk about dependency. For some reason I thought I was less attached to modern technology than the average person but I quickly found out how wrong I was. I’m not of those people who has the check the weather and current events two or three times a day to make sure I’m in the loop. I don’t check my Facebook or emails constantly. Television; a nice distraction but not something I really needed. Being ultra connected: something I could take or leave. I lived completely off the grid for many years and have taken many trips into the wilderness, where I was sometimes without technology and electricity for as much as a month. Who needs it anyway? Why is everybody so obsessed with being connected? Get over it already. So what was I going to do without power and the internet? No sweat. Light a few candles, pull out a good book, sit by the fire, read some stories to the kids, maybe play a few board games. All well and good for a few hours but I was getting antsy. Like a guy who needed a fix, I was starting to squirm a little. Better call the power company. Maybe somehow it’s only my line that’s out, or just a few of us, and everybody thinks the other guy has called. The recorded message coldly replies that indeed the power outage is widespread and there is no estimated time of connection. Well, Go Fish and Yahtzee were good for a couple of go rounds. I’ve already read fifty pages and its getting dark so the lighting isn’t going to be conducive for that kind of activity. Being the poor boy scout I am, I can’t find the extra candles or the oil for the lantern. The radio has only a dying set of batteries and it sounds like something from the 80’s, which it is. The kids are bouncing off the walls and I’m starting to feel a stronger pull for a fix. What do the kids do when they’re around the house? Same thing the parents do. Mess around on the computers, watch some television, eat some food, talk on the phone, read, or do some project. Most of these things are either now impossible or improbable. I’m beginning to come to the stark realization that not only are my kids completely dependent on the great electrical and technological grids, but I am as well. In a moment, I had, like any suffering addict, become entangled a little bit at a time, without noticing the creeping addiction. Needing ever increasing doses to feel satisfied, until I got to the point where I was consumed by it. ( Dear therapist-“It’s taken over my life!”) Yes, it now controls our existence in ways unimaginable only a decade ago. Kids now average 56 hrs a week on the computer and I’m right in there with them.

February 2011 ● 19


Like a great seductress, technology has slipped into every tiny crevice of my life and now I realize that I am now as much a slave to her wiles as anyone. And it’s true with almost everybody I know. Telephones, Blackberries, tweets, Facebook, hotmail, Youtube, I-tunes, porn sites, Skype, Yahoo, Google, instant messaging, news sites, Blu-ray, streaming NetFlix, sports shows, etc. etc. etc. SuddenJim Stearns - Always On Location ly the drug of modernity has taken over.


The entire wave of technology has been like an all consuming, yet somehow subtle and insidious, tidal wave over the last couple decades. Like a current that has swept us away to who knows where, but like all good lemmings we march along. There is nobody at the playgrounds or hiking in the back country anymore. In this beehive of constant bombardment and connectedness there are ever LESS people going into the wilderness areas each year. The fields, where my friends and I spent every day until we couldn’t see the ball anymore, are almost always empty. Nobody wants to unplug from their fix. Suddenly, we are more a product and a slave to our culture and conformity, while paradoxically we are more independent and free than ever. So can we avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water and find some reasonable synthesis or balance? Certainly a formidable challenge.

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But then on the other hand what if it never came back on? What if it was gone, all of a sudden, forever, or for even a year. No internet, no electricity, no television, no Facebook, no email. Would we start neighborhood bonfires and gather together at night like humans did for thousands of years? Would we start to play more music, do some painting or read and write more? Would we notice the stars, the trees and connect with each other again? Would we live by the pulse of the sun and moon? Would we feel the natural rhythm of the seasons? Would we feel closer to our family, our friends, our neighbors, even our animals? The transition might be tough but the outcome might provide exactly what we need and truly want. Connection to each other, connection to the world, connection to spirit and connection to nature. If that’s what it’s hopefully all about, then we sure are going about it in a bizarre and convoluted way.

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P.S. In a oddly related story a radio collared polar bear just swam for nine days in open seas for nearly 500 miles in search of ice and lost nearly 100 lbs. in the ordeal. She also lost her new cub somewhere along the way.


The CHS office is staffed by volunteers and is normally open Mondays & Wednesdays 10 am - 12 noon Tuesdays & Fridays 10 am - 2 pm 4868 Highway 4, Suite E Located in Vallecito, east of Angels Camp on Hwy 4 behind Family 4 Fitness--in the rear of the building.

Mango is an irresistibly sweet shorthaired orange tabby and white young male, about seven months old. Mango is Mr. “Personality Plus”––adorable, playful, social, very friendly and he adores humans. You can’t ignore him. He’ll stick his little paw out of his cage so you just have to stop and give him some extra attention! Mango - Calaveras County Animal Services - Call 754-6509 (San Andreas) - Please request by Intake #AO25806

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WINDOWS A PANE?!? GUTTERS A Mess?!? Don’t Stress!

The Mountain Chronicle

“In The Garden”

Zone 2 is the home of less intensively managed components, such as small pruned orchards, many of our main household crops such as canning tomatoes and sweet corn, and possibly domestic animals. This zone can also include daily traffic patterns but it is more of a production zone than an easily accessible kitchen garden. It can have similar components to zone 1 but its components don’t need our attention as much nor do we need to use them as often. Zone 3 can be called our farm zone, as Bill Mollison puts it. Here we can include our commercial production zone where we grow our cash crops of plants and animals. We can lightly prune our orchards here, if at all. Main water storages of ponds, tanks and swales can be here, for pumping to zones 0-3. We can add elements to our design such as water storage and windbreaks to take the place of our nurtur-

Permaculture Perspectives Permaculture Zone Planning By Gabe Bridges


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February 2011 ● 20

n permaculture design, a major part of the design is the element of zone analysis or planning. We can arrange our living systems from zone 0 to zone 5. Depending on the size of the design target, we may only include zone 0 and zone 1 in an apartment with a balcony or all of the zones on a multi-acre site. Zone 0 is where you live, the center of your human activity. Each consecutive zone is determined by its proximity and the frequency of visits per day. As designers we create zone maps of parcels to overlay on top of the basic parcel map. A simple design is that of several circles inside of each other, the center Gabe in the Sierra most circle being zone 0. However, there are many variables that will influence the appropriate ing hands. placement of each zone. Their actual shapes will be determined by site factors such as slope, aspect, and frequency of visits. Zone 4 is less managed and can be used for firewood, timber production, pasturing, and foraging. We may frequent this area very little. We This month I’ll give an introduction to each zone, more detailed demay also have water storages of ponds here. scriptions can be found in: Permaculture A Designer’s Manual, by Bill Mollison, and Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway. Zone 5 is managed very little, if at all. This zone is naturally managed. We let nature do the work with little or no assistance. We can use this Zone 0 is the dwelling where you reside. Each zone thereafter is arzone for a source of inspiration. Zone 5 can teach us about the interranged according to frequency of use, accessibility and many other connectedness of ecosystems. What we learn here we may be able to factors that are important to the inhabitants. add to our design in any of the other zones we have created. Zone 1 requires more attention than any of the other zones and is the Zone mapping is a wonderful tool when designing permaculture sysmost heavily managed zone. We may place things that need our contems. It is important to note that each zone can overlap with each other, stant care or that we need often in this zone. If we place these comas the aim of permaculture design is to create integrative systems. Our ponents out of sight they tend to be out of mind. Placing them close place of residence can incorporate all of the zones on multiple-acre at hand allows for easily affording constant attention. We are more apt parcels or maybe only a couple in apartment complexes. We can use to tend to a need that is visible to us than one that isn’t. Fresh herbs, the idea of zones wherever we live and apply it to our own dwellings, greens and vegetables as well as egg-laying chickens can be grown in or we could apply it to the town or city we live in. However we apply this zone, as quick access is good for the cook. Due to its proximity, zone analysis it helps us organize our design appropriately for energy it’s convenient for tending crops that might need constant care. Zone 1 use on site. We place energy intensive and dependent elements closer can easily be seen or accessed from zone 0. Our daily traffic patterns to zone 0 while each consecutive zone needs fewer inputs. As we near often go through zone 1. Our constant exposure can alert us to needs energy descent, zone planning can help us appropriate our resources of the components of zone 1. for more effective uses.


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We'll have grassfed beef from the Orvis Ranch in Copperopolis in 25# increments only. They are the quintessential cattle family, grazing their Hereford breeds from Copper to Bear Valley, for well over 100 years. If you are interested in purchasing freezer shares please let us know (25 lb increments mixed cuts).


Citrus time of the year! Hands down, the Washington Naval oranges are the star of the show! Many folks are coming back for more and carrying out 35# boxes!


Artichokes, Brussels sprouts and leeks from Rodoni Farms, Purple baby sprouting broccoli, mini heads of Romanesco cauliflower (light green and spiraled curds), fennel, carr ots, gold, red and striped beets, and the list goes on.

The Mountain Chronicle

“The Zone”

February 2011 ● 21

Diane’s Frame Place

The ASTRO-LOGGER “We do our logging in the stars…”

By AEons Astrology (Ted Denmark) Dowd’s Hill at Avery Contact:

On the Mayans for this “Cancun Issue”


hat then of all the arm-waving and bafflegab about the Mayan calendar “end times,” coming on December 25 in 2012, like maybe with some kind of final bang, thud, or whimper? A huge amount of confusion about this has now been generated in our times of great uncertainty, but a lively topic like this turns over a lot of stones whether something about it might be true or just a red herring confusing the pack dogs on the trail.

around the turn of the Second Millenium (C.E. or “current epoch”). Whether the Mayans had The Astro-Logger notions of a Zodiac with a twelvefold division anything like our traditional one, seems a bit unlikely, though possible through obscure and yet unproven connections among ancient civilizations such as Babylonia, Egypt or China (which all evidently did).

From what I can gather, having read a representative sample of commentators on the mysterious ending of the Mayan Calendar, I am of the opinion that what the Mayans thought was going to happen in 2012 (something like the exact alignment of the Winter Solstice with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy) has now already happened around the Millenial year 2000—so they were a little more than a decade off in their reckonings made some number of hundreds of years ago, even though they were very astute astronomical observers with a complex numeric accounting system for their time. So, the bottom line is that the terrible things that many anticipate and fear for the coming year of 2012 … have already mostly happened—it was the Disaster Decade that is still bedeviling our contentment in the land of the free and the home of the brave (!).

The Mayans appear to have been quite fixated on the motions of Venus, which seems surprising at first in light of what is believed by standard science about Earth’s lovely sister planet—it has been there in orbit where it is now, the third brightest light in the sky after the Sun and Moon, routinely coursing around the Sun as the second planet for … a very long time. But the fragmented histories of ancient star watching civilizations such as the Sumerians, indicate a very different story. There are very dramatic and scary accounts from between four and six thousand years ago of a Venus making wild gyrations in the heavens accompanied by dangerous cataclysms of nature on Earth: tempestuous earthquakes, volcanic fires and floods.

Not that 2012 will be smooth sailing and not have it’s own outrageous share of lumps and bumps, but it will not be the start of our big time troubles or quite the end times either, only the next phase … now being feted … in astrology … as the Grand Cardinal Climax covering the 2008-2016 period, with peaks in 2010 and 2012. So if things are not weird enough for you, there is much more to come, and soon! The next most obvious speculation would be that the Mayans, who probably knew about the Precession motion cycle (thought by Newton to be caused by planetary wobble of the Earth and not yet disproven), may have had a notion similar to our modern astrological one that we are/have been coming to the end of the Age of Pisces (“end times”) at

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A similar unexpected account of Venus has been given in more modern times by Velikovsky, a renegade astronomer/cosmologist, who believed Venus had come into its present orbit only very recently within the same four to six thousand year time span. His account was published prior to the early Soviet space probes that found a Venusian environment almost exactly as he had predicted. If Venus did go through orbital gyrations in ancient historical times, then star-gazing people, perhaps like the ancestors of the Maya, would have been perfectly justified to want to keeping watching it very carefully to see if something that frightening might happen again. Ancient people were also very frightened of comets appearing in the sky; perhaps there may have been a connection between the appearance of a comet and Venusian

Early & Evening Appointments Available

orbital aberrations …

Interesting Headlines


Rumsfeld Regrets: Not Quitting After Abu Ghraib

Olivia Hampton, Agence France-Presse The report begins by quoting Rumsfeld: “’That was such a stain on our country. To think that people in our custody were treated in that disgusting and perverted and ghastly way - unacceptable way,’ Rumsfeld said.

Keith Olbermann Joining Al Gore’s Current TV

Brian Stelter, The New York Times Brian Stelter writes: “Keith Olbermann, the former MSNBC anchor and liberal firebrand, will host a prime-time program for Current TV, the low-rated cable channel co-founded by Al Gore, starting in the spring.”

Rights Groups Vow to Hunt Bush Over Torture

Agence France-Presse Agence France-Presse reports: “Human rights groups vowed Monday to pursue George W. Bush wherever he travels, claiming that the former US president had canceled a trip to Switzerland over fears that he could be probed for torture.

Yoko Ono | Imagine Peace 2011

Yoko Ono, Reader Supported News Yoko Ono begins: “Dear Friends, In two weeks time, on February 18th, 2011, I will be 78. I know you are asking many questions on Twitter and elsewhere about what I am really like. It’s something I would love to know, too!


Civil • Criminal • Divorce Surveillance

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The Mountain Chronicle

“The Traveler”

February 2011 ● 22

The Tropics

Cancun, The Mayans and Puerto Morelos By Ross Alford


The Cheese M

The Lavender Ridge Tasting Room in Murphys Features Artisan Cheese With Tastings Daily!


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“There is no place like home,” but if you want to take a trip I highly suggest Cancun, Mexico. Cancun is warm, the water is outstanding, and the people are very pleasant. We were treated so well, with such genuine hospitality, that I’m very anxious to return. Round trip air is about $425. And one thing we did, which I plan to do from here on out, is stay at the Marriott in Burlingame the night before. The Marriott is great. They have an excellent California Cuisine restaurant with a great bar overlooking the airport – wonderful rooms, a jogging track, a full spa and a workout center. Plus, you can park your car there until you get back from your trip. When you get up in the morning there is a newspaper waiting and the shuttle to the airport takes less than ten minutes. It was the smoothest travel accommodations I’ve ever had. I have a work in progress with the Marriott; I’d like to see them have a section on their wine menu that features Calaveras wines. In fact, here is my new phrase that I say when I go out to dinner: “Do you serve Calaveras wines?” “I’ve been hearing such good things about Calaveras wines lately.”

Humiliated and Ostracized My first embarrassing moment of the trip came just at lift off. Just as we blasted off, the inertia from the rockets slammed my seat into the recline mode and I apparently injured the knees of the lady behind me, as she screamed in pain. I, in a moment of weakness, believed she was screaming because the wing had been torn off the airplane or something like the landing gear had just smashed through the floor and was crushing her pelvic bone, and what with the sudden adjustment to my seat and her screaming I was sure we were crashing - and soon to experience a painful death. So, in sympathy with the distraught woman behind me, I let out a small, barely audible, yelp of my own, which was enough, I guess, to cause everyone in my row and the steward significant concern . . . .

Cancun Visiting Mexico is essentially a primal necessity. The Zappata, Pancho Villa, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, James Taylor, Mexicali Blues vibe has not been homogenized. I think the key to visiting Mexico, though, is to jump over our troubled border towns, and Cancun is a fantastic stress-free way to get acclimated. And although Cancun is more than a bit touristy, as a close friend said, “they can’t take all of Mexico out of Cancun.” And this is true. The second day we were in Cancun we ventured out to town on a grocery store run. Taking the bus was the start of the adventure. For 70 pesos the bus would take you to town. The bus drivers, for the most part, didn’t speak English so you’d have to start negotiating with what language skills you have – I had started a little Spanish refresher course with myself in the mornings, a few Spanish phrases, and the “who, what, when’s and where’s.” So I managed poorly, but managed. My first theory on communication was to start with an exaggerated, and slightly too loud, “Amigo” “por favor.” “Por donde se va el mercado?” This never seemed to work. So then I started conversations with “¿Cómo te llamas, amigo? me llamas Ross.” Then they would usually tell me their name, and then I would spring my question on them “Juan, ‘amigo,’ How do you get to the market?” And then I would say my version of it in Spanish, and then I’d apologize for my terrible Spanish, “Pardon, hablo muy poco español.” In the end, I spoke a lot less Spanish then they did English, but I felt good trying, and in some instances it really helped. In other cases I believe I ordered the expensive tequila when all I wanted was a shot of tequila I’d never tried before.

Two kids I found in Puerto Morelos In any event, our main tourist destination was the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, home of the first ball field known to man. The ball field was quite impressive. They had spectator seats and great edifices for the judges and the king to rest upon. Apparently the game initially was played peacefully, but at some point the Mayans decided the winner should be beheaded – as an honor. In this, they had a “Hall of Fame” where the winner’s likeness was carved into a stone wall. You think baseball is slow – just think if the winners were beheaded! Regardless of their propensity for human sacrifice, the Mayans were a brilliant people, both in their astronomy and architecture, as their buildings cast intriguing shadows at precisely the occurrence of solstices and equinoxes. I was left wondering what it is that we could leave behind that would illustrate our understanding of our place in the universe - maybe a Hubble-like telescope aimed at the beginning of the universe, or a planet known to harbor other humanoid creatures. Along the way we managed to visit some new friends of ours who live with their boys in the little town of Puerto Morelos just south of Cancun. Puerto Morelos is just out of the Cancun tourist district, and a very lovely fishing and snorkeling town - lots of great restaurants and a real sense of communitysmall town living. Visiting Cancun for the people of Puerto Morelos must be like us here in the Mountains visiting Sacramento. The way of life is much less hectic, true Mexican time, not unlike going to the river during the summer. There is time to talk with your neighbors, laugh with your friends, and discuss the strange tourists. And, eat wonderful fish. Puerto Morelos is not a rich place, but you can tell the people know each other. They know who lives in their town. The livelihood of the town is certainly still about tourism, but then, so is Murphys. We found our friend Caesar and family at the Cultural Center about to practice Martial Arts with a teacher who had moved to Puerto Morelos from Mexico City. This you could tell was quite a stroke of luck for the little town of Puerto Morelos, to have such a visiting dignitary as this humble master living in their town, Arnold could stand to be so lucky.

The Second Embarrassing Moment The Photo Shoot. Some of you may be wondering how it came to be that I wound up getting a swimsuit photo shoot in Cancun, Mexico. I wish I could say I planned it that way, but that would be “telling a tall tale.” In actuality, somewhere around the middle of our stay I was down at the pool, reading, using the archaic form of an actual book - most sophisticated travelers now carry some form of “E-reader,” which for “resort-goers,” “which one,” is quite the topic of conversation. But while I was reading, with what I should add was a low-grade tequila buzz, I heard a woman’s voice on the PA announce a line of swimwear in Spanish. And what did my wondering eyes perceive . . .

The Mountain Chronicle

“The Scene”

November 2010 ● 23

Angels 5 Theatre

Murphys Creek Theatre’s 2011 Season! MCT is pleased to announce a great line up of shows for the coming season. With an after school arts program, a summer Shakespeare conservatory, a full indoor season and the popular Theatre Under the Stars, series at Munari winery, MCT is better than ever. And next Halloween we will be presenting a world premiere play based on collected local ghost stories. The 2011 season will open with Ken Ludwig’s hilarious comedy/farce, “Lend Me a Tenor,” playing March 18 through April 10. The play is set in Cleveland in 1934, and this September night is the biggest in the history of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. World famous tenor Tito Morelli is to perform Otello, his greatest role, at the gala season opener. Saunders, the harried General Manager, hopes this will put Cleveland on the cultural map. Morelli is nowhere to be found; when he finally arrives drunk, it is too late for any rehearsal. Through a hilarious series of mishaps, ‘Il Stupendo’ is given a double dose of tranquilizers which mix with the booze he has consumed and he passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he is dead. What to do? A sensation on Broadway and in London’s West End, “Lend Me a Tenor” is guaranteed to leave your audiences teary eyed with laughter. Opening the “Theatre Under the Stars,” summer series at the Cornelia B. Stevenot memorial amphitheater is William Shakespeare’s greatest love story, “Romeo and Juliet,” playing Friday and Saturday nights at 8PM from June 24 through July 23. John Gallagher, who played, “Bottom,” in last summer’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” returns from Paris to put his extraordinary talents to the task of directing this epic love story. “Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight!” Our second show in the summer series is the high energy musical comedy, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” playing Fridays and Saturdays August 5 – September 10. Broadway’s greatest farce is light, fast-paced, witty, irreverent and one of the funniest musicals ever written-the perfect escape from life’s troubles. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum,” takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested, 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright Plautus.

Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands 20 February From Bluegrass to Newgrass, singer-songwriter/fiddler, Laurie Lewis and her string wizards will dazzle the audience with lush harmony vocals and tight instrumentals. You're sure to have a toe-tapping time! 3 pm at the Bret Harte School Theatre, Angels Camp. 209-754-1774 Call or visit for more information.


Projection & Sound Flip-Up Armrest “Loveseats” 1228 S. Main Street Angels Camp

(209) 736-6768

In just about every historical building in the mother lode there is a ghost story of some kind. As a community project, MCT is delighted to be collaborating with screenwriter and producer Suza Lambert Bowser who will be working with MCT Artistic Director Graham S. Green to collect, write and produce an original play based on local Ghost tales. “Ghosts in the Gold” plays Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sundays at 2 at the Black Bart Playhouse from September 30 through October 30. The last offering of the 2011 MCT Season is the beloved tale, “A Christmas Carol” adapted from the Charles Dickens novel. Faced with his own mortality, and the evil results of his misanthropic, miserly ways, Ebeneezer Scrooge is redeemed, reconciled with his nephew and his neighbors, and becomes a second father to his assistant’s son, Tiny Tim. This holiday classic will be playing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 from November 25 – December 18 at the Black Bart Playhouse.


In the end, Cancun was just a great experience, and I recommend it highly. Many of the Mexicans I met asked me where I live, and I always said “Norte California, en la Montaña.” One guy asked if it was cold, I told him we had snow. He laughed and said, “Amigo, all we have in Cancun is warm.” It’s not just that though, or the tequila, or the beaches, it’s the people and the vibe, and experiencing the cultural

Stearns & Martin La Suimsuit Issue

L A S P e c i A L e

or M F s it




im Sw o r t e

Purveyors For The Nouveau Riche . . .

Continued From Page 22

but Gracie moving about the promenade modeling a fashion created by the Mexican designer Carlota La Loca. I may not be the quickest draw in Mexico, but I immediately sized up the situation and realized that this could well be my “long awaited swimsuit edition” - happening right before my eyes. Unfortunately, I was without my Canon, I didn’t feel like carrying “the big boy” around Mexico, so I only had a Nikon “Cool Pix,” the least expensive model offered at Costco. So, the second embarrassing moment of my trip came when they agreed to do the shoot, and I whipped out my handy “Cool Pix.” The models didn’t actually laugh out loud, but it was evident that the esteem of The Powerful Mountain Chronicle dropped significantly. Fortunately one of the models was gracious and said something fast in Spanish to the others, and then they were gone, but I, with my contract in hand, set about my business - after all, as the good doctor once said, “I’m a professional.” Imagine this, if you can, a rather glumsy dude in a t-shirt, wandering around trying to take pictures of moving beauties with a “point and shoot” and trying to say “hold still” in Spanish: “Amiga, por favor, Mi perro ha estado lloriqueando toda la noche y no sé por qué.”

Laurie Lewis

Prestidge Gallery & Frame Shop

A Small Little Side Street In Puerto Morelos differences between North and South. Mexico feels a little bit like Nevada used to feel, the rules are more old west. But more importantly, visiting Mexico gives you the chance to meet the people in our hood, let them know we’re regular folk, and just plain enjoy talking to the neighbors. People you wouldn’t expect came up to me and thanked me for visiting. Visiting Mexico is the neighborly thing to do. ■

Fine Art & Custom Framing Free Estimates 1234 South Main Street Angels Camp

(209) 736-6846

The Mountain Chronicle

“The Sports Page”

February 2011 ● 24

Dodge Ridge Dominates Central Series Ski Racing Bear Valley Scrambles to Catch Up By Warren Alford Strawberry, CA- The FarWest Central Series season is now at the half-way mark with four races down and four to go in a season-long battle for both team and individual competition. The Dodge Ridge Race Team continued its dominance over the Central Series during the Giant Slalom races at their home mountain February 5-6. Dodge Ridge ended the weekend with the highest over-all point total- demonstrating both strength and depth- putting the entire league on notice that they are going to be a force to contend with for some time to come. China Peak finished with the second highest points for the weekend; Bear Valley came in third; and the much smaller Yosemite Winter Club finished at the back of the pack. The opening races of the series were two separate slalom races held at Bear Valley during the weekend of January 8th and 9th. Individual points for the season are given to the top three racers from each team in the J4 (11, 12 yr. old) and J5 (9, 10 yr. old) Boys and Girls divisions with the highest scoring team overall for the season winning the coveted Rasmussen Cup. Bear Valley’s is a classic tale of feast and famine… feasting on the opposition in years past feeling a bit hungry now- a wealth of J4 boys and a dearth of racers in the other categories (e.g., zero J5 girls) and the pipeline ain’t oozing crude, either. Dodge Ridge for instance has nine J6 boys coming up while Bear Valley has just one (and one J7, Etienne). Dodge and China Peak both have six J6 girls while BV has just two; Dodge has six first year J4 girls while BV has two- BV has numbers again in the J4 boys division with three first year’s to Dodge’s one (China Peak also has three)- famine three, feast one for those of you scoring at home. J4 Boys But on to the results- starting with the Big Dogs- the J4 Boys- Dodge’s Spencer Crist remains undefeated after four first place finishes including two over the weekend in the Giant Slalom (GS). Bear Valley’s Gennady Sytnik grabbed second on successive days with Cooper White hiking for 9th place on Saturday but regaining his form to secure third on the podium on Sunday. J4 Girls The J4 Girls have another big three horse-race going between China Peak’s Ashton Peckinpah, Dodge Ridge’s Emily Ryan and BV’s Alyx Fairman, with each having been atop the podium over the last two seasons. Emily and Alyx swapped the top spot this weekend with Ashton finishing second both days. Alyx grabbed first place on Sunday bringing 25 points to the team and a very large trophy home. J5 Boys Trevor Powell of Dodge Ridge stands firmly atop the heap in the J5 Boys division, nabbing first place in every race so far this season, while Reagan Wallace (Dodge Ridge), Griffin O’Neill (China Peak), Sawyer Alford (Bear Valley) and Leo Kari (Yosemite) look like they’re going to play musical chairs for the 2-4 slots all season long. Of them, only Griffin is a 2nd year J5, so this drama should be an entertaining one for awhile. Sawyer finished 2nd on Saturday and managed a 3rd place finish on Sunday. J5 Girls The story in this division is the note coming due on the China Peak investment… 3 years ago they had a passel of tiny girls snowplowing with funny animal helmet covers streaming ribbons behind them- now they’re owning serious real estate with half their racers in the top ten Saturday and 70% in the top ten on Sunday with tenacity replacing the tiaras for these young racers from China Peak. Have we mentioned that BV has no J5 Girls… moving on…

Top: BV’s Nolan Johnson Bottom: BV’s Alyx Fairman J6/J7Boys That’s right- BV has a J7, Etienne Dollar and a brand new J6 racer, Carson Parco. Both guys did great in their debut races with “Etty” finishing 6th both days- establishing the J7 Bear Valley boys at the top of the heap in that category (ok, he’s only one of just two in the league, but that bodes well for the seasons ahead!) J6 Girls Michelle Morozinski, a 2nd year J6 in her first year with the BV team, skied into the top 10 of the J5 Girls category scoring badly needed points for the BV squad on Saturday and ended up in first place of the J6 girls on Saturday establishing herself as a force to contend with. The Rasmussen Cup is named for Maury Rasmussen, a founder of Bear Valley Ski Area who was a vigorous supporter of ski racing in the western United States and was the grandfather of Kyle Rasmussen, a prominent local racer who competed in three separate Olympic Games as part of the U.S. Ski Team.

The Senior Winter Challenge

Umpires Needed

Senior Winter Sports

Dodge Ridge Join us February 24-27 for an exciting four day weekend packed with events for competitors ages 50 and older. We’ll feature both competitive and non-competitive Alpine and Nordic races, an All-Mountain Adventure Challenge, Wine Tasting, Live Music, Fireworks, Brewfest, Kids Activities and much more!

Ebbetts Pass Little League provides opportunities for children to play baseball in the HWY 4 Corridor. Its volunteer board works to ensure all children have the opportunity to play baseball. Please help your community by volunteering to help the kids. Umpire In Chief is a Board member who manages the umpiring activities for the league. Please call EPLL President Mike Steineke @ 678-6112 if you are interested.

In partnership with the California Senior Games Association (CSGA), Bear Valley will host the second annual California Senior Winter Games, March 11-13, 2011. Male and Female sports enthusiasts 50 years old and up will have an opportunity to compete in this Olympic-style event that offers competition in downhill and cross-country skiing, boarding, snowshoeing and more.

The Mountain Chronicle

“Out & About in Tuolumne”

FEBRUARY Starts 2/4 , runs through 3/13 - The Crucible at Stage 3 Thrilling, passionate and explosive, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible blazes with white-hot intensity against the backdrop of the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. The Denver Post called The Crucible one of the ten most important American plays. It is the story of John Proctor, a simple man who finds himself fighting for his life, trapped in the boiling turmoil of his time. He must make the decision of his life. Stage 3 Theater, Sonora, 536-1778, Starts 2/5, runs through 4/3 - Hairspray Musical Comedy at SRT It’s 1960s Baltimore and change is in the air! Loveable plus-size heroine, Tracy Turnblad, has a passion for dancing. When she wins a spot on “The Corny Collins Show,” she’s transformed overnight from outsider to teen celebrity. Can she vanquish her nemesis, integrate the television show, and find true love without denting her ‘do? Don’t miss Broadway’s musical-comedy phenomenon that inspired a major motion picture and won eight Tony Awards. “If life were everything it should be, it would be more like HAIRSPRAY. It’s irresistible!” – New York Times, Sierra Repertory Theatre, East Sonora Theater, Sonora, 532-3120, www. 2/10 - SHS College Information Night 6:30pm at the Sonora High School Library. Students and parents are invited to attend this informational program about two-year and four year colleges. Includes entrance requirements, application procedures and costs. In addition there will be information about financial aid & scholarships, factors students & parents should consider in choosing a college, and a timetable to follow for the college application process. Call 532-5511 ext. 120 or 124. 2/11 - FREE Vision and Hearing Test 1pm -4pm at the Sonora Senior Center, 540 Greenley Rd., Sonora. The public is invited for FREE vision and glaucoma testing, hearing testing and a blood pressure check by the Lion’s Eye They will also be accepting donations of unwanted eye glasses. (209) 533-2622. 2/11 - 12 Omega Nu 2011 Rummage Sale 5:30-8:30 pm at the John Muir Building, Mother Lode Fairgrounds Annual Rummage Sale fundraiser to benefit local scholarships and women and children in need. Featured are fine art, antiques, housewares, furniture, linens, books, clothing (men’s, women’s, and children’s). Friday Night is a silent auction and advance sale featuring antiques and collectibles with wine and hors d’oeuvres and an admission of $15.00. Saturday is free admission and runs from 8:30-1:30. 533-2981 2/12 - 151st Fireman’s Ball 7:00pm at the Sonora Opera Hall. Live music by Chains Required from 7-midnight. Door prizes and older teens are welcome to attend. 2/13 - Sweetheart Spaghetti Feed Dinner 3pm-6pm at the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse, 19130 Rawhide Road, Jamestown. Boy Scout Troop 570 of Sonora invites you to our first annual. For just $8.00 per person ($5.00 for children under 12), you will enjoy fun, festivities and a delicious, full-course Spaghetti Dinner, complete with all the fixin’s. And after dinner, don’t forget dessert! Enjoy the Sweetheart’s Dessert Buffet, full of tasty sweets for your appetite’s delight. 2/13 - Winter Adventure Program 10:0am to noon at the Nordic Trailhead in Pinecrest. Members of the Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol will demonstrate how to build emergency shelters in case you are caught out in a storm. They will also emphasize basic navigation skills, proper winter clothing, Ten Winter Essentials to take along, survival techniques and Leave No Trace ethics. Each Winter Adventure will last approximately two hours and will not require skis or snowshoes in order to participate. Trail maps will be available for those who want to ski or snowshoe after the program. Programs are free of charge and will take place regardless of the weather. For information, contact the Summit Ranger District at (209) 965-3434 or visit us on the Internet at:

February 2011 ● 25

FEBRUARY 2/13 - St. James Concert Series, “Susan Lamb Cook-Cello.” 3:00pm at the Red Church at Washington and Snell Sts. Cost is $12, students $5. 984-0704 2/14 - Emblem Club Valentine Dinner & Dance 5:30pm at the Elk’s Lodge, 100 Elk Dr, Sonora. Enjoy an evening out with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a beef tri-tip dinner to be served at 6:30pm. Music for dancing will be provided by the “Country Flavor Trio,” HC Cotner, Jan Moore and Ken Buffalo. A $5.00 per person cover charge will be required for dancing only from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Reservations for dinner are required by February 7th and can be made by calling Marge Nath 532-2229 or the Elk Lodge 533-1587. Price for dinner and dancing is $12.00 per person. 2/17 - Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson Former Yardbyrds get it on for you! Willow Lounge - Black Oak Casino. Admission is free. 877-747-8777 2/24-27, Senior Winter Challenge and Festival New this season Dodge Ridge will host the Senior Winter Challenge for competitors ages 50 and over benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Tuolumne County. Join us for an exciting four day weekend packed with both competitive and non-competitive Alpine and Nordic races, an AllMountain Adventure Challenge, Wine Tasting, Live Music, Fireworks, Brewfest, Kids Activities and much more! Mark your calendars because this year’s Senior Winter Challenge & Festival is coming to you with a whole new celebration. Amber - 209-965-3474. 2/25 - Donkey Basketball 7:00 p.m. at the Tuolumne Memorial Hall. The Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee will be having a Donkey Basketball Game fundraiser . The teams will be Summerville High School vs. Summerville Elementary School and Tuolumne County Ambulance/Fire vs. Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department. Advanced tickets at a $2.00 savings cost are: Adults-$8.00, 7th-12th grade students-$6.00 and Kdg-6th grade students-$4.00. The cost at the door will be: Adults-$10.00, 7th-12th grade students-$8.00 and Kdg-6th grade students-$6.00. Children under school age will be admitted for free. To purchase presale tickets and save $2.00 call Bobbie Miller at 743-6796 or Cindy Rhorer at 928-1501. Hot dogs, popcorn, soda, candy and bottled water will be available to purchase that evening as well. 2/27 - Hollywood’s Big Night Cost is $75 per person; $125 per couple. Location is the Sonora Opera Hall. Call 533-4117. Friends of Tuolumne County Film Commission will hold “Hollywood’s Big Night Gala”–a celebration of the 81st Academy Awards(R) presentation. The event is a benefit for both the non-profit film commission and the Connections Academy, and honors outstanding film achievements in an elegant setting. The Friends of Film’s local gala will feature a big-screen telecast of the Academy Awards(R) presentation, a four-course dinner and wine, plus a silent auction benefiting the nonprofit organization. Connections Academy students will provide additional entertainment throughout the evening. Guests will be given special ballots and will try to win prizes by guessing which films and actors will win Oscars(R). Prizes will also be awarded for Best Dressed Couple. The black-tie optional event begins at 5 p.m. with a red carpet arrival just as the Hollywood version is seen on the broadcast. 2/27 - Sam Bush Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush doesn’t seem old enough to be a musical legend. And he’s not. But he is. Alternately known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass, Bush has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association. Willow Lounge - Black Oak Casino. Admission is free. 877-747-8777

Feb. 5 through Apr. 3 At SRT

East Sonora

Sierra Repertory Theatre 209-532-3120

Deli Nini’s n lia

ta I en s s a t e &e r i n g c i l t De Ca

403 Main Street Murphys 728-9200

Sequoia Woods Country Club

Presenting Music & Dancing In Our Lounge Visit Our Website For Feburary Events We offer a full liquor bar, an ample wine menu including local offerings andthereislocally-brewed beer on tap!

795 -1000

The Mountain Chronicle

“Out & About in Calaveras”

10 February - Wines of the World


Murphys Historic Hotel - 209-728-9467 Gary Zucca of Zucca Wines will present Port and dessert wines, paired with chocolate and sweet treats. Treat that special someone to an early Valentine by ending your evening with dinner at the Hotel. The Hotel offers attendees $5 off each entree. 5:30 - 7pm. CWA members $20/non members $25. Call for more information.

12 February - Apres Ski, Bus Trip & Wine Tasting Do you live in the Bay Area? Do you ski or snowboard? Do you like wine? Then you’re in luck. SnowBomb and CellarPass have teamed up to combine all three into one awesome trip that takes you through the heart of Calaveras County wine country and to California’s seventh largest ski area, Bear Valley Mountain. For details, visit

12 February - Dinner & Dance

"Rod Harris Big Band Sweethearts Dance" Ironstone Vineyards - 209-296-5495 Join Rod Harris and his band for a fun filled Valentine’s Dinner & Dance. Proceeds fund the West Point Community Covenant Church "Lunch On Us Program." No host reception at 6:30 pm followed by dinner & dancing. $55 per person. Reservations required. Please call 209-296-5495.

February 2011 ● 26

14 February - Valentine's Day

Murphys Historic Hotel - 209-728-3444 Take your sweetie for a Romantic Candle light dinner. Chef Joel will be preparing some mouth watering specials sure to please that lovely lady in your life. Also offering Couples Retreat packages which can include rooms, dinner, drinks, in room amenities and more. Call for more information.

17 February - Viewing of "California Gold"

Huell Howser, Murphys - 209-728-3444 Huell came by during Frog Jump last year and walked around The Murphys Historic Hotel and got a history lesson. Come to the Saloon and join in on viewing the finished product at 8 pm. There will be drink specials and a Raffle after the Show.

19 February - President's Wine Weekend

Murphys - 209-728-9467 11 to 5 p.m. Calaveras Winegrape Alliance member wineries will offer food, entertainment and great wine sales. $10 includes a commemorative wine glass Visit the web site at to discover all that will be offered. Presidents Wine Weekend .

19 February - Soroptimist Chili Cookoff

Big Trees State Park - 209-795-2334 At 1pm. Walk is 1.5 to 2 hours, limited to 30 people. When there is snow in the park, the walk will become a snowshoe walk. Guided walk is free, park entry is $8 per car. Call ahead for more details.

Murphys Historic Hotel - You can't get enough Great Homemade Chili! The Murphys Hotel cooking starts at 8am $25 contestant entry, judging at 11am, tasting ($5 adults, $3 children 10 and under) at noon. Cash awards, (at 3:30), and prizes, music. All monies raised will go to a great cause. For more information and to access cook-off sign up form, visit

12 February - Love the Forest Concert

20 February - Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands

12 February - Guided Walk

Black Bart Playhouse -209-795-3530 Valentine's Concert with Cantamos, Jens Jarvie and Still Bill at the Black Bart Playhouse. Doors open at 6:30pm. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information, call 209-795-3530.

12 February - “Beat-The-Winter-Blahs” Book Sale

Murphys Library - 209-728-3036 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Murphys Volunteer Library in Murphys Park. Ten ($10) bucks buys you a “bag o’ books” of your choice.

12 February - Between the Sheets

9 a.m. to noon, Gallery Calaveras, 22 Main St., San Andreas The Manzanita Writers Press welcomes writers to a romantic poetry writing session in which participants will compose poems with the “secret language of flowers and other Victorian methods”; tickets $10 at 736-0222 or e-mail Monika Rose at

12 February - “Se Terminer”

Now Showing: Gallery Calaveras The gallery is under renovation. We will be ready for a big exhibit in March! Meanwhile . . . Visit:

Bret Harte Theater, Angels Camp, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., an original play written by Bret Harte High School senior Sarah Kraemer and performed by students examines life and the morality of right and wrong during the French Revolution while chronicling two characters in prison; tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.

15 February - Tourism Promotion

Workshop – 1 to 5 p.m., Calaveras County Fairgrounds, Gun Club Road (off Highway 49), outside Angels Camp, the Calaveras Visitors Bureau presents a workshop on tourism, focusing on social media marketing and websites with marketing guru Jeff Stai; $10 at 736-0049, open to the public.

Angels Camp - 209-754-1774 From Bluegrass to Newgrass, singer-songwriter/fiddler, Laurie Lewis and her string wizards will dazzle the audience with lush harmony vocals and tight instrumentals. You're sure to have a toe-tapping time! 3 pm at the Bret Harte School Theatre. Call or visit for more information.

26 February - Spring Health Fair

Ironstone Vineyards - 209-754-2564 7am to noon, Free admission. Health screenings, adult flu shots, senior health services, bone density screenings, blood analysis, nutrition and fitness information. Call for more information or visit Also Lupus Awareness Race @ 8:30 am, call 754-2604 for entry form and info.

25 February - CalaverasGROWN Local Food Dinner

6 p.m. social hour, dinner at 7 p.m., Mokelumne Hill Town Hall, Main Street, Mokelumne Hill, CalaverasGROWN presents a dinner comprised of foods grown in the county with speakers Lynn Miller and Paul Hunter discussing a sustainable community approach to food security; tickets $35 at 772-1604 or e-mail to

Don’t Forget Tune Up Your Skis At SNAC

The Mountain Chronicle

“Out & About in California”

February 2011 ● 27

Chinese New Year Parade

Bear Valley

Saturday, February 19, 2011 5:30pm-8pm

The San Francisco Chinese New Year celebration originated in the 1860s during the Gold Rush and is now the largest Asian event in North America


Sunday, February 13, 2011 7PM Mary Stuart Rogers Theater No group of child musicians has won more renown than the incomparable "Weiner Sangerknaben," founded by Emperor Maximilian I in 1498.

Groceries Deli Fresh Produce Fresh meats Beer Liquor Wine Supplies Open 7 Days All Year


Six centuries later, the famed Vienna Boys Choir continue to delight music lovers across the globe with their purity of tone, distinctive charm and a diverse, crowd-pleasing repertoire that encompasses Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, beloved pop songs, holiday favorites and more.

AN EVENING WITH AL JARREAU Thursday, February 17, 2011 7PM Mary Stuart Rogers Theater

Al Jarreau’s innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time. His unique vocal style is one of the world’s most precious treasures. He is the only vocalist in history to win Grammys in three separate categories: Jazz, Pop and R&B.

Monday February 14

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers 8PM & 10PM $20

Lavay Smith is internationally recognized as The Queen of classic Jazz & Blues in the authentic style of the 1940's and 1950's. Lavay's last album received a prestigious 4 & 1/2 Star review in Downbeat magazine and reached the top 10 on the National Billboard Jazz Charts. This is one of San Francisco’s favorite swing and jump blues band. Lavay Smith’s 7-piece band features some of the finest musicians in the world and is comprised of four horns (trumpet, trombone, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone), piano, bass and drums. Truly an all-star ensemble, Lavay’s musicians have performed or recorded with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, Tito Puente, Lionel Hampton, Jay McShann, Johnny Otis, Wynton Marsalis, Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles, Big Mama Thornton, Erroll Garner, Charles Brown, Rosemary Clooney, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, Rufus Thomas, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, Sy Oliver, Esther Phillips and many more. “I love this band-they’re great!” ---President Bill Clinton

Two Great Events Back to Back February 12th

Grow Your Own Food Seed Share Event

February 13th

Grain Growing Demystified

Continually creating new educational opportunities for self reliance in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.

February 2011  

Hardcopy MtChron February 2011

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