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Autumn 2020

ALIVE and KICKIN’… What’s Up at the FRC?

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:24 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:31 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Although we will continue to post FRC and San Juan Ridge news on our website, from now on hard copies of Ridge Connections will be printed seasonally rather than monthly. Our last print copy until January 2021, this first seasonal edition is an experimental undertaking based on the simple fact that we have been unable to produce the kind of fundraisers that substantially contribute to handling regular financial obligations such as cleaning, propane, electricity, and printing a monthly newsletter. We also realized that since mid-March we haven’t had as much to report. The threat of covid-19 contagion has been great enough to cancel our annual Earth Day Celebration, Sports Camps, Art Camp, children’s classes and activities, community meetings and gatherings, weekly playgroups, drop in access to our food pantry, clothes closet, computer and laundry facilities.

We are presently repurposing the Oak Tree site to adapt to a new normal. It is our belief that we will emerge stronger and better than before, honing our services to address community needs without sacrificing community health and wellbeing.

For the past several months, food has been available from Nevada County Food Bank volunteers at drive-in distributions on the Oak Tree Campus on the second Tuesday of every month, 10am-noon. FRC Food Pantry changes are so great that they deserve an article all their own.

In early July our attic was emptied of every stitch of summer clothing. Soon all clothes closet shelves were emptied as well. Carefully sorted piles of men’s, women’s, and children’s attire were folded and displayed for easy access on tables in the Oak Tree Lodge. Opened to the public in mid-July, FRC’s weekly Colossal Clothes-a-rama has served needs of people of all sizes and ages. In mid-September, fall and winter clothing, as well as a wide selection of Halloween wear were added, as well as another day of community “shopping”. For the first two weeks of October the Colossal Clothes-a-rama is open on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9am-1pm. After October 14th, we will begin to pack up remaining clothing, shoes, and costumes so that the Lodge can be repurposed for future children’s activities. We have an abundance of beautiful, barely used infants’ clothing, as well as diapers, young children’s books and puzzles, clothing for toddlers, children, teens, women, and men, and more. As always, everything is FREE! We hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Oak Tree Lodge on Mondays, Oct 5th & 12th and Wednesdays, October 7th and 14th to give your wardrobe a boost.

Now filled with empty shelves, the old clothes closet is being refurbished for community computer use. We are now awaiting delivery of a new computer that will be made available to the community in November. To make an appointment for computer time, get further information, or make suggestions regarding any of San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center’s services or activities, you can call us at 530.292.3174 or email us at

Times may have changed but our mission has not. We remain here to serve the needs of San Juan Ridge families and community and will continue to do so.

Since this is the last Ridge Connections of this year we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very, very, very HAPPY and HEALTHY :





posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:22 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:28 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

We are now in the home stretch and in less than a month it should all be over. This is an election year, friends. We are not going to tell you what candidates, issues, and initiatives to support. We are going to tell you that it is probably easier than ever to cast your vote. If are a traditionalist, the North San Juan Community Center at 29190 State Hwy 49 in North San Juan, is the place where you can cast your vote in person on Election Day, November 3. The polls will be open from 7:00am to 8:00pm.

If you just want to get it done, you can drop your ballot into an official drop box at Sweetland Mercantile and Garden Supply, 29435 State Hwy 49 in North San Juan. The secure drop box is located inside the store so you must go during business hours. Call 530.292.9000 for hours of operation.

You can also cast your ballot at the Rood Center, 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City. Signage will direct you to the voting center once you have arrived. Voting has already commenced and will continue from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.

Last, but certainly not least, you can drop off your mail-in ballot at any post office. The Nevada County Registrar of Voters Office recommends that using drop boxes or visiting polling places may be preferable to mailing in ballots so as not to overburden the postal system. Whichever way you intend to deliver your ballot, it is important that you cast a vote. Not only is this a national election year, but local offices are vied for, as well. Voters have a direct say on propositions regarding medical research, funding schools and local government services, dialysis clinic regulation, rent control, consumer privacy, and other issues that affect the lives of all Californians.

If you have any questions on voter registration, where or how to cast a ballot, please call the Office of the Registrar of Voters for Nevada County at 265.1298. They will be happy to take your call and help in whatever way they can. All ballots were mailed on October 5, 2020. Once your ballot arrives check to make sure that it is the one you have requested. Study the candidates and the issues. Determine how you will return your ballot. Remember to use only a black or blue pen to mark your choices. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! Sign the envelope, seal the ballot inside, and deliver it by Election Day, November 3, 2020 at 8pm.

Voting in America is a hard won right that should not be taken for granted so make the most of it.

New & Improved Food Pantry Coming to FRC Soon!

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:21 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:31 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

It’s been a long time coming, but San Juan Ridge’s new Oak Tree Food Pantry will be worth the wait. In March, just as the pandemic was beginning to rear its ugly head, a break-in was attempted at the FRC’s Food Pantry. The metal door was pried and misshapen to such an extent that the room was no longer secure, so all the food was moved off site and distributed to those in need from a new location. Although the door was eventually replaced, we realized that community need had outgrown the existing pantry space and began to pursue a bigger and better alternative.

Nevada County Food Bank Director Nicole McNeely has stated that the number of Nevada County residents served by the food bank has risen from last year’s 2,500 to over 10,000 this year. It seemed obvious that, not only had we outgrown our old food pantry space, but community need had risen. At its spring board retreat, Twin Ridges Elementary School District Board of Trustees approved use of the Oak Tree School kitchen for food storage and distribution. Kitchen repairs were assessed and estimates were submitted. With the assistance of PARTNERS Coordinator Laura Harter, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center requested $3,000 from the Nevada County Relief Fund.

Once the funds were granted, we set to work. A sagging and broken ceiling was repaired. The roof and exterior walls were pressure washed. The perimeter of the building was cleared of all debris. After the removal of large defunct appliances, a team of cleaners will eagerly descend upon the old kitchen and make it shine. After a new coat of paint, new appliances will be moved in, as well as food donated by the food bank and toiletries purchased with Relief Fund monies. We hope to be up and running by next month. 292.3174 for info.

As is true in most cases, it is taking time to achieve the vision of a new and improved food pantry for the San Juan Ridge Community. This undertaking would not have been possible without the support and assistance of Ed Acosta, Jeannine Bordeaux, Caleb Dardick, Laura Harter, Melissa Madigan, Jessica Martines, Kelly Moreno, Jessica Nix, Marc Ryan, Christiana Stroud, Nevada County Relief Fund, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools and Twin Ridges Elementary School District. We are grateful to all the help and encouragement we continue to receive. Thank you.

Nevada Union Outreach at Oak Tree

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:20 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:30 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Did you know that Nevada Joint Union High School District has initiated an outreach program for all NJUSD students on the San Juan Ridge? Students from any of the NU schools are welcome to drop by the FRC on Wednesdays, 11am-1pm to access hearty lunches and bags of nonperishable foods, donated by United Way. NU Assistant Principal Tim Reid greets each visitor with warmth and enthusiasm, offering not only nourishment but wifi access and tech support. Students can also be provided with text books, research materials, chrome books, art supplies, tutoring and counseling services. All they have to do is ask. “We really care about all of our students learning at high levels and we understand to do that they need support. Our goal is to get them support wherever it’s needed.”

To request specific services or get further info on this excellent opportunity, call Tim Reid at 530.273.4431 ext. 2007; or email him at:


Clothing Distribution Underway

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:18 PM by Kristin Snell

The San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center remains CLOSED for all other services until further notice


Call 292.3171 with any questions or contact us via email at


No Donations, Please!

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:17 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:39 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Although very grateful for the generosity of our community, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center is not accepting any clothing donations at this time. There is simply no way for us to process clothing at this time; and we wouldn’t know where to put new donations, no matter how fabulous they may be. As always, we do not accept donations of housewares, furniture, toys, etc. We still have plenty of clothing to share with our community but will not be accepting more until further notice. Thanks for your continued support.


Thank You Volunteers!

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:16 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:38 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Many thanks to the Nevada County Food Bank, Hansen Brothers Enterprises, George McNeely, and volunteer extraordinaire Judy Arbuckle for repairing very worn parts of the Oak Tree School Campus’ driveway. The years are unkind to graveled, hillside roads in these Sierra Foothills. Pot holes widen and deepen over the years as rides evolve from mildly bumpy to teeth-grindingly jarring. We are so grateful to the above parties for taking it upon themselves to mend our poor, worn driveway. All we had to do was say “yes” and they did all the work. THANK YOU!


Community Library Update

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:16 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 9, 2020, 9:54 AM ]

by Roo Cantada, San Juan Ridge Community Library

Happy Autumn! We are excited as the weather changes to welcome the new season and the goodness that comes with it. Students and teachers alike have been stationed in our parking lot, utilizing our amazingly fast WIFI. The leaves are beginning to crunch underneath, and the ANNEX project is in full swing! In case you were not aware: WE ARE OPEN three days a week -Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-5pm and Saturdays from 12-4 pm. We are allowing people inside with a MASK, and limiting it to 2-3 patrons at a time. We encourage families to use us for any materials that they need to supplement the distance learning. We also have a wifi printer and I will help you to use a computer if you can limit it to 10-15 min sessions.

ANNEX project
We have poured the foundation and the wood has been delivered. Actual construction will be starting soon and we anticipate having it done for the new year! The Annex will be a multi-purpose space for library programs, classes, and events. It will be utilized during library open hours for additional internet seating. It will also be available for community use for meetings, etc. Super pleased with the progress and eager to see it through! It will be a beautiful space! Thanks NC Friends of the Library and Oak Tree Parks & Rec District for funding, and Brain Jones for doing all the excellent work! It’s shaping up nicely!

New Software!
The NC county library has generously gifted our little library a new circulation software program. We are still separate from NC Library, but we will be utilizing the same program and eventually you will be able to search our unique collection online, receive texts or emails about items and most importantly, have your card SCANNED and beeped, just like the REAL libraries! We are very excited about all the bells and whistles, but even more about the accuracy, speed and usability of our new system. Its slow going barcoding all these books (over 12,000 now), but we are steadily making progress!


We attempted a movie night, but the smoke was too thick, so its been put on hold. Look for our DRIVE IN movie night, happening this fall soon.

The DOG PARADE is back and a perfect, entertaining socially distant event to distract from all the world’s hullabaloo.
2nd Annual Dog Parade

Sponsored by the San Juan Ridge

Community Library

Sunday October 18, 2020 at 1 pm

All dogs must be leashed. Costumes encouraged. Prizes!

We are still looking for good, socially distant ideas for the future and we will keep you posted! Meanwhile stop in (with your mask) and check out our awesome collection! See you there!

Support Your North San Juan Community Center

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:14 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:48 PM ]

by the Board of the North San Juan Community Center

Over the decades the NSJ Community Center has addressed and adapted to the many growing needs of the community. During this pandemic and times like these we are the only refuge in NSJ during power outages, we provide a winter warming shelter, and a place for the homeless and less fortunate to be served, and so much more. We have adjusted our outreach in many ways this past year to serve the vulnerabilities of our community and all of that and more are currently threatened.

In August 2020 our well went completely dry. Our permit for temporary holding tanks expires on November 30th and we are praying that the county will issue an extension while we raise the urgent funds. It is essential to drill a new well and to cover many demanding costs to keep our doors open. We are deeply humbled to ask for support from our local and extended communities. Like most non-profits all over our community, we are praying for your support during this unprecedented times.

Will you kindly help us now with your donation?

The services we offer are many-fold. We have a 10-year contract with PG&E as a Community Resource Center for selected Public Safety Power Shutdowns. People come to the center for information, bathrooms, water, to charge their phones and many to cool off, etc. We are an essential winter warming shelter. When temperatures are 37* and below we provide free hot meals and a warm place to sleep. We are a no-barrier, grassroots, volunteer run shelter that is not county funded. Last year alone we were open 28 nights, served over 780 meals and sheltered about 200 people overnight. In a town that is categorically listed as a disadvantaged community, with very limited resources for assistance, this is an incredibly important and vital service.

The Center offers numerous community services including an American Red Cross Evac center, regularly provides food and supplies for people in need, hosts space for distance learning and is a long-standing voting center. NSJCC hosts a weekly farmers market and gathering, serves affordable dinners and provides an open sourced community garden. This facility is utilized by the greater community for private events including everything from weddings to end of life celebrations. We have a fully stocked commercial kitchen.

The NSJCC is a volunteer run non-profit. All funds raised through hall rentals (severely impacted from COVID), memberships and fundraising events support costs of operations, improvements and supplies.

In addition to running this campaign, we have a request for funding assistance from the State Water Board to help with the costs to drill a new well. However, we will need additional support from the community at large to help subsidize the cost and address a variety of ongoing maintenance needs.

Thank you to those who continually donate to support this incredible resource and to all new supporters who understand the value and services we provide by keeping our doors open.

In Community, NSJ Community Center Board of Directors

PO Box 324, North San Juan, CA 95960

Contact Barbara Walley: 530.955.5490

**********************************************************************************************************************************************Editor’s Editor's note: To contribute, please visit

Every donation, large or small, really counts!


Fall Update from the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association

posted Oct 8, 2020, 5:13 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 8, 2020, 5:45 PM ]

by the Board of the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association

Dear Members and Friends—

We hope this finds you in good health and spirits—it’s been a challenging year for all. The SJRTA Board of Directors is writing to let you know that despite Covid-19, fires, power shut-offs and hazardous air quality, we’ve been holding monthly virtual board meetings and working on issues and plans to the extent possible.

At our September 7 Board meeting, we passed a motion opposing the re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine and supporting the clean-up of the Centennial Site in Grass Valley, where contaminated tailings of previous workings of the Idaho-Maryland reside. The proposed mining project is on a massive scale that would severely disrupt the quality of life of surrounding residents and businesses and threaten the groundwater and wells of a large area. See details of the project at, and news and opinion pieces at

On August 7, SJRTA submitted extensive comments to the Nevada County Planning Department on the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the Idaho-Maryland Mine Project. You can see our comment letter at

Although this project will not have direct impacts on the San Juan Ridge, it will impact our neighbors and businesses in Grass Valley. The SJRTA board opposes it on principle, in order to send a message to mining corporations and the county that these types of projects are a totally inappropriate land use in Nevada County (especially in populated areas), face opposition and should not be permitted. We hope our members agree, and invite your comments and feedback.

The Edwards Crossing bridge project continues to move forward. GPA Consulting contacted SJRTA to ask if we’d like to submit comments about the proposed project as it relates to historic properties. We notified local historian Hank Meals, who submitted a letter detailing some interesting history and illustrations of the bridge and location. Thank you, Hank! You can see GPA Consulting’s request for comments and Hank’s letter at

We’ve had to postpone events we’d hoped to produce this year until it’s safe to do so: a meeting of Firewise Communities, a prescribed fire workshop, and a “Ridge Summit” meeting of local organizations.

You’ll be hearing from us again later this year. Until then, we hope all will stay safe and that the rains will come early!


Sol Henson, Daniel Fink, Sara Greensfelder, Jeff Lauder, Badri Matlock, Rhea Williamson

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