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April 2018

Celebrate Earth Day!

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:47 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Founded in 1970, by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the first EARTH DAY was conceived as a day focused on education about environmental issues. Forty seven years later, EARTH DAY has grown into a global phenomenon. More than one billion people now rally, plant trees, pick up garbage, make speeches, and engage in a widely diverse range of activities as they rededicate themselves to the task of caring for our planet. EARTH DAY has become the largest secular event in the world.

On Sunday, April 22nd, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center will host an EARTH DAY celebration on the beautiful Oak Tree Campus. Our EARTH DAY commemoration is a joyous gathering to celebrate life. We humans are not separate from the planet we inhabit. The elements that comprise our bodies are present throughout the great diversity of life that shares this beautiful world, as well as throughout the planet itself. It doesn’t matter if you consider global warming to be a hoax or a fact, or believe that you reside on a disc or a sphere. What matters is that you are here now and are part of, not apart from, Planet Earth.

We hope that you will join us for a day of fun and frolic at our 3rd annual EARTH DAY CELEBRATION on the San Juan Ridge. There will be Native American drumming and song, music, food, vendors, children’s games and activities, a raffle, bake sale, “International Celebrity” fashion show, and more. In addition to being a fundraiser for children’s summer camps, this gathering is a celebration of the great beauty and diversity of life that is all around us. Happiness is good for us and good for the Earth!


Where: Oak Tree Campus 18847 Oak Tree Road (1 mile from North San Juan)

When:   Sunday, April 22, 1-9pm

Cost:     Adults $10 – Kids FREE

If you would like to be a vendor, volunteer or need additional information please call the Family Resource Center at 292.3174.

See you on EARTH DAY!









The Changing Face of North San Juan

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:45 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Of the many California Gold Rush settlements on the San Juan Ridge, North San Juan has survived as the last functioning town site. “Small but mighty,” she has withstood the ravages of time and continues to provide an assortment of goods and services for those who live in our densely forested, sparsely populated foothill community. Slowly but surely, the face of North San Juan is being changed by local entrepreneurs who have seized upon the opportunity to fill a community need, often providing jobs for others. This article is one of a series that showcases the people and businesses that are changing the face of North San Juan.

Sweetland Garden Mercantile:

Meet Darlene Markey

Born and raised in New York State, Darlene Markey has made her home on the San Juan Ridge since 1983. Soon after her arrival she began volunteering in our local schools, then moved on to working in the classroom as a teacher’s aide. She also managed the AIC Youth Center’s program in North San Juan. Darlene then worked directly with families who received cash aid. She was a case worker, motivational speaker, and activist for women, helping them dress for the workplace and prepare for job interviews. During that time, she also created two job fairs. Darlene then earned her teaching credential from Sac State and taught for the next 16 years, spending two years teaching in Guatemala, then continuing her teaching career at Grizzly Hill, Oak Tree, and Washington Schools. Now a businesswoman, as well as an educator, Darlene Markey owns Sweetland Garden Mercantile in the town of North San Juan.

“I was looking to work in an industry that promoted sustainability. I’ve always had a life-long love of gardening; so in 2006 I bought the store and started teaching people how to grow organically. Sweetland Garden Mercantile is a woman-created business. We offer classes in soil amending, organic gardening, microbiology, and compost tea. In 2018 we expanded to become a mercantile, as well as a garden center. Our goal is to meet the Ridge’s household project needs. We carry hardware, small tools, chainsaw equipment, drill bits and plumbing supplies as well as gardening supplies. We still offer the same gardening advice that we always have and we still offer deliveries.”

Open 9am-6pm Monday-Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday, Sweetland Garden Mercantile is located at 29435 Hwy 49, N. San Juan. For more info call 292.9000 or check out their website at

Upcoming events at Sweetland Garden Mercantile:

Soil amendment classes – April 14 & 28 10am – noon

GRAND OPENING (food, vendors & sample products) –April 20 noon - 4pm





Community Legal Offers Monthly Clinic on the Ridge

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:43 AM by Kristin Snell

by Erin Noel, Community Legal

FREE legal advice and  referrals from lawyers.  Donations welcome.  Date for April TBA.  At the SJR Family Resource Center—18847 Oak Tree Road.

You must make an appointment to be seen.  Please contact Community Legal at 265.3425 for more information or to schedule an appointment.  This clinic is staffed by volunteers, and is not affiliated with PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, or Nevada County Superintendent of Schools.


Kuk Sool Won at the Family Resource Center

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:42 AM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Apr 2, 2018, 10:48 AM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Thanks to the generosity of Best of Nevada County’s Teacher of the Year Tony Reyna (pictured at right), San Juan Ridge youth will soon have the opportunity to be introduced to traditional Korean martial art, Kuk Sool Won. Having also been honored by the Parents Resource Guide, receiving its Parents Choice Award as the best martial arts school in Nevada County, Kuk Sool Won was founded by Tony Reyna in 1994 and has made a positive difference in the lives of many students over the past twenty-four years.

The San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center will be hosting a five week series of Kuk Sool classes taught by Tony Reyna in The Oak Tree Lodge on Monday afternoons. This series of classes will give children an excellent opportunity to experience genuine martial arts training in a safe environment without having to travel far from home. Acclaiming the value of martial arts, 6th degree black belt Tony Reyna explained, “In this fast paced culture, martial arts can be grounding. I tell my students that if they learn the value of etiquette, patience, practice, and hard work, they can do anything.”

The Turtle Tots class, for children aged 2 ½-5, will meet on Monday afternoons 3-3:30. Tony describes Turtle Tots as, “a fun introduction to martial arts. Children will work on balance, motor skills, and flexibility while having a great time. We incorporate animal stretches and exciting exercises with the mat and pads. Children will also be introduced to Korean language counting as well as the three most important aspects of Kuk Sool Won training: Etiquette, Patience, and Practice. This class is fun for boys and girls.”

Following Turtle Tots will be the Children’s Class for ages 6-14 years. Kuk Sool students in the 3:45-4:45 class, “will build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and self discipline while having a great time learning a comprehensive and dynamic martial art. The three most important aspects of Kuk Sool training are: Etiquette, Patience, and Practice. Kuk Sool Won combines stretching, kicking, hand strikes, self defense techniques, and falling techniques. Internal energy breathing techniques are used for self defense as well as healing. Students will also develop Jung Shin, a Korean term that translates to focusing your mind and heart 100 % on whatever you are doing in a given moment. This may be applied to schoolwork, sports family, or career.”

To participate in Kuk Sool classes, children must be pre-enrolled with forms signed by their parents and on file at the FRC. For more information, call the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center at 292.3174.


TURTLE TOTS for ages 2 ½-5       

Monday afternoons 3:00-3:30

CHILDREN’S CLASS for 6-14        

Monday afternoons 3:45-4:45

Classes will meet in the Oak Tree Lodge, 18847 Oak Tree Road NSJ




Raffle Tickets on Sale Now!

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:39 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Raffle tickets for goods and services donated by local merchants are ON SALE NOW!  All proceeds from the Earth Day Raffle will help fund children’s summer camps at the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center. Costing only $1 apiece or 6 for $5, just one ticket could provide a delicious meal, a night at the movies, hardware, gardening supplies, a good book, pet treats, original art, a load of crushed rock, or many other fabulous prizes. Although the winning tickets will be drawn at the Earth Day Celebration on April 22nd, you need not be present at the drawing to win. Raffle tickets are on sale at the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center anytime during business hours. (See page one.) Go ahead and take a chance. This could be your lucky day.









Time to Get Ready for Summer Camps

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:37 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

SPORTS CAMP and ART CAMP fill up fast every year. If you would like to register for either or both of these camps it would be wise to do so as soon as possible. Camp registrations will begin on May 1st. More information will follow in future issues of Ridge Connections. This is just a reminder that summer is coming and with it, 2018’s summer camps at the FRC.

JUNIOR SPORTS CAMP (ages 5-7)……….July 9-13

INTERMEDIATE SPORTS CAMP (ages 8-10)……….July 16-20

SR SPORTS CAMP ART CAMP (ages 11-14)……….July 23-27

ART CAMP (ages 5-12)………….July 30- August 3

For more information please call the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center at 292.3174.


A Night Under the Old Oak Tree Postponed

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:36 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Our gala variety show fundraiser, “A Night Under the Old Oak Tree” was postponed. Our good friends, Jeffrey Dupra and Marissa Hernandez will reschedule the event to an evening in May. The good times will continue!


Schedule Your Free Tax Assistance Appointment

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:35 AM by Kristin Snell

From PARTNERS Family Resource Center-Penn Valley newsletter

Need some help filing your taxes this year? The AARP Tax Aide volunteers are gearing up to provide preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns for folks with low and middle income.

This service is free for Nevada County residents of all ages.

If you bought health insurance through Covered California and received Premium Tax Credits, you must file a return. Let AARP help! The Tax Aide group can handle most common personal tax returns, including those that have salary, interest, dividends, itemized deductions, pension, IRA withdrawals, capital gains, or stock transactions.

Tax appointments are available every Monday between February 5th and April 9th. Appointments are required. To schedule your appointment, call 211 (just dial 2-1-1 or 877.847.0488) and press 4.


Candidates Night on the San Juan Ridge

posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:32 AM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

On THURSDAY, APRIL 19, at 6:30pm, in the OAK TREE LODGE, we will have the opportunity to hear presentations from three candidates who are vying for the office of NEVADACOUNTY SHERIFF. San Juan Ridge voters will also have the opportunity to meet Susan Hoek, who is the unopposed candidate for NEVADA COUNTY DISTRICT IV SUPERVISOR.

Co-hosted by San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association and San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center, CANDIDATES NIGHT will provide an opportunity to see the candidates, to hear each one explain why he or she is the best person for the job, and listen as they directly address issues that are of concern to San Juan Ridge citizens. An informed electorate truly is a force to be reckoned with.

Ridge Candidates Night will follow a traditional format in which each candidate will have an opportunity to introduce him/herself, then answer pre-selected questions that will be presented by a moderator. Topics may range from transportation, homelessness, environmental issues, land use, fire safety, crime and law enforcement, cannabis, and more. Doors will open at 6:00 pm; so there will be time to submit written questions prior to the presentations. Questions and/or comments will not be taken from the floor. Members of the public will be able to access additional information on the candidates by visiting tables in the Lodge, where it will also be possible to register to vote. Wearing or displaying campaign buttons or other articles that endorse, denounce or identify political candidates or issues will not be permitted in the Lodge. If you have any questions regarding CANDIDATES NIGHT, please call the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center at 292-3174. We encourage one and all to represent our beautiful and diverse community’s interests and get to know these new public servant nominees with us.






posted Apr 2, 2018, 10:32 AM by Kristin Snell

by Hank Weston, Nevada County Board of Supervisors—District 4 Supervisor

Fire Safety, Fire Safety, Fire Safety. I’ve uttered these words many times throughout my career and continue to do so. In previous years, I worked directly with the District I Supervisor on public safety issues for the Purdon Crossing area, whose district is adjacent to District IV in this area. We would hold an annual meeting ahead summer to bring a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Bureau of Land Management, California State Parks, Sheriff’s Department, CalFIRE, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and California Highway Patrol, to strategize how to take a coordinated approach to prevent and mitigate wildfire and other public safety hazards. At the end of 2017, Supervisor Hall and myself decided to take a more aggressive approach and convene the meeting monthly to ensure that a wide variety of actions are taken ahead of this year’s river season. The group, called the Yuba River Public Safety Cohort is looking at a number of action items to address illegal parking, illegal camping and camp fires, coordinated enforcement between agencies and improving public safety communications. With an estimated over 800,00 people coming to the river annually, it is our goal that should a fire or public emergency occur within the Yuba River Basin, we are well prepared and have taken all the necessary steps needed to mitigate its impact. 

My fellow colleagues are in agreement that fire prevention must be a major priority for the County, which was identified as a Priority A objective at the Board’s annual workshop in late January. Specifically, the Board’s objective is to prioritize the implementation of existing County policies and programs to reduce the risk of wildfire and the effects of wildfire on life, property and the environment. Pursue hazardous vegetation mitigation funding sources and support related community partners with their efforts. Explore other ways to reduce the threat and damage from wildfires. The state legislature is looking heavily into what can be done to mitigate wildfire with over sixty-five (65) bills being introduced last month to address fire in some way. One of the highest priorities for our community is to ensure access to affordable fire insurance. I encourage you to reach out to your state senator and assemblyman and let them know how important this issue is for our County.


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