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May 2015

Celebrating Young Artists

posted May 4, 2015, 1:57 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

This May, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center will be hosting two Showcases for Young Artists. The culmination of this season of art classes on the Oak Tree Campus is an event worthy of celebration. It’s been a long time coming and we have many people to thank for giving our community’s children the opportunity to develop their skills and expand their horizons. We are grateful to the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, PARTNERS Family Resource Centers, and Twin Ridges Elementary School District for their enduring support. We are also grateful to our talented teaching artists, Richard Stone, Tara McArthur, Jenny Travers, and Mariana Worden for patiently sharing their skills and passions with our youth. We are very grateful to the families of the San Juan Ridge for entrusting their children to us. Most of all, we are thankful that our young artists have elected to spend their precious time here.

 Every Thursday afternoon the Oak Tree Campus is filled with eager young violinists, dancers, weavers, and painters who are here to have fun and to work. Sharing in a young artist’s evolution as he or she plays a note, learns a step, or completes a textile project is a joyful process. We look forward to sharing that joy with the young artists, their families, and friends as we gather in the Oak Tree Lodge to bask in the glow of our students’ success. Rather than imagining that the arts are merely icing on the cake of life, we understand that the arts are an essential ingredient in the cake itself; and we are enjoying a great big slice!


Celebrate Mother’s Day by Supporting Your Local Firefighters!

posted May 4, 2015, 1:57 PM by Kristin Snell

by Marilyn Mociun, Member-North San Juan Fire Auxiliary

Although spring came early this year, our annual Scotch Broom Breakfast will be held on the same day as always: Mother’s Day!

On Sunday, May 10th, from 8 AM to Noon, at the North San Juan Fire Community Hall on Reservoir St., the NSJ Fire Auxiliary invites all our neighbors to attend our main fundraiser of the year: an all-you-can-eat pancake, eggs and ham breakfast; giant plant sale, and raffle of special prizes that run the gamut from movie passes to a truckload of gravel; from gardening tools to a stay at Wilbur Hot Springs Spa!

Suggested donation for the breakfast is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. All proceeds will be used to support our brave volunteer firefighters.







This year’s grand prize of the Scotch Broom Breakfast raffle-- a queen-size, hand-stitched quilt-- is another fine work of art created and donated by the talented and very generous artist, Mary Moore.





Library Update

posted May 4, 2015, 1:52 PM by Kristin Snell

by Julie Childs, Board President-San Juan Ridge Community Library

Exciting times at the NSJ Community Library….The much-awaited Book Drop has arrived and you can use it whenever the library is closed. You will also see the new kiosk from the County Library. This has been long anticipated and when finally full of books, it will enable one to check books out at any time.  However, you will need a county library card to use it.

Our shelves are full of amazing books and we keep adding new ones….the Local History section is growing, Young Adults’ shelves overfloweth with awesome reading, and in the Children’s section, Mary and Roo have been adding some of their most beloved children’s books. There is an ever growing Western section, for all you cowfolk. We have added a book sale shelf where we’ll sell, by donation, books we have duplicates of, etc. The DVDs are multiplying. There are computers available to the public and workstations also. For people who need internet, you’ll be happy to know our internet bandwidth has doubled. Thank you to the county for that.

This summer we are planning a children’s program, more on that soon! We are always welcoming new volunteers, while having much appreciation for all of our volunteers! There are assorted tasks and spending time at the Library is amusing, and deeply satisfying.

Our Open hours remain Tue and Thu, 11 am-7pm, and Sat 10am-4pm. Our phone number is 292-3008. The Tapestry Project goes on in the backroom Tue 1pm-3pm and Thu 10am-12pm. Come and stitch with us, no previous experience is necessary and the tapestries are stunning!



posted May 4, 2015, 1:51 PM by Kristin Snell

by Hank Weston, District IV Supervisor-Nevada County Board of Supervisors

On Friday, March 20 I had the honor to attend a dedication ceremony for the new Rice’s Crossing land acquisition.   In June 2014 the Bear Yuba Land Trust, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, acquired 2,706 acres of pristine lands along a 9-mile stretch of the Middle Yuba River.  Bordered by New Bullard’s Bar Reservoir to the north and Englebright Reservoir to the south, the property, known as Rice’s Crossing, was acquired for $3.25 million with a combination of funds from Proposition 84 (the Sierra Nevada Conservancy), the California Natural Resources Agency, and the CalTrans Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program.  

The acquisition and protection of Rice's Crossing will make open space and river access points available along a six mile stretch of the Yuba River, offering miles of outstanding river corridor and river canyon ridge trails for mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking.  There will be new trails connecting to public lands in the South Yuba River State Park, Plumas National Forest, New Bullard's Bar Recreation Area and the Tahoe National Forest, including a trail connecting Bullard’s Bar to Lake Englebright.

In addition to public access, the Land Trust acquisition of Rice's Crossing will enable restoration of wildlife corridors and important river fish habitat. Sustainable timber harvests and cattle grazing will play an important role in land stewardship.  Furthermore, it will save a pristine area from development, for people to enjoy forever, while protecting our valuable watershed.

An estimated 250,000 people visit and enjoy the Yuba River every year.  The new trail network, new access to the river, and magnificent views will increase the recreational opportunities in Nevada County and give us even more bragging rights as one of the most beautiful counties for outdoor recreation in the State.

Thanks to the Bear Yuba Land trust and its partners for their work in opening sections of the landscape to the public. The Rice’s Crossing land acquisition is a huge benefit to the Nevada County community and another reason why the 4th District is the best area of Nevada County.

As we reflect on enjoying and protecting the beautiful landscapes where we live, it is important to remember that fire has been a natural part of our ecosystem for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  The relatively recent practice of suppressing that fire cycle to protect our homes and livestock has created an overgrowth of volatile fire fuels that would normally be cleared out by periodic small, relatively cool low-lying fires.  Similarly, a lack of proper timber management has created dense, unhealthy forests that are susceptible to pests and catastrophic fires.

A healthy forest and healthy landscape not only protect our most valuable resources, but are important to our economy.  Those industries engaged in fuels reduction and forest products infrastructure (sawmills, biomass/co-generation facilities and wood products) all stand to benefit from fuels reduction activities, providing a boost to our economy and maintaining attractive landscapes that draw tourist.

Now that we are in our 4th year of drought, it is more urgent than ever to clear our defensible space.  Do it now while the weather is cool and before brush has a chance to turn brown and ignite.  Clearing low-lying fire fuels around homes and along roads mimics the work normally done by naturally-occurring fires.

Our new Fire Marshal, George Morris III, has indicated that CAL FIRE is taking a new, aggressive strategy on fire prevention.  Part of their strategy will include increasing defensible space inspections around the County.  Maintaining defensible space is a requirement of the California Public Resources Code and thus enforceable by fire agencies.  If a property owner is found to be in violation, he or she is typically given at least 30 days to bring their property into compliance before a citation is issued.  Most property owners who are in violation are unaware of it, and they usually comply with no further complications.

If you are not sure how to make your property fire safe, the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County offers free defensible space education to anyone (though they would welcome a donation if you can afford it).  You may call them at 272-1122 for an appointment, or visit their website for more information at

Photo credit: John Hart, The Union newspaper



May Events at the Schoolhouse

posted May 4, 2015, 1:34 PM by Kristin Snell

by Belle Star, Executive Director-North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

Community Art Show Opening

Friday, May 8, 7 pm

The community art show will feature an eclectic mix of work from some of Nevada County’s most talented artist. The show will hang from May 8th to June 6th.  Join artists and patrons on Friday, May 8, 7 P.M. for wine, light fare and “art talk”.

David Evans, with Marc Ryan and Marina Bokelman

Saturday, May 16, 8 pm

$18 members/advance $20 at the door Tickets available online, Briar Patch and Mother Truckers.

David Evans brings both tradition and creativity to his down home country blues, and it’s no surprise: his book “Big Road Blues” is subtitled “Tradition and Creativity in Folk Blues”.  It explores the role of each in performances by blues artists recorded by Evans in the deep South during the ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, when elderly musicians still played the early styles pioneered in the 1920’s.  Evans always carried his guitar, and before long could play and sing most of the blues and gospel he was documenting. 

Marc Ryan was playing guitar with songster and bluesman Babe Stovall in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1964 and ’65.  When the two traveled to Boston in search of wider recognition in the folk circuit, they landed in David Evans’ dorm room at Harvard in Cambridge. It wasn’t long before David was regularly visiting Babe and Marc in New Orleans and beginning his lifelong work of recording the music and the lives of its creators.  Over the years, Ryan and Evans collaborated on field recordings and developed a natural facility for the complementary, interlocking guitar duets that were a highlight of the original styles.  Ryan’s own solo work combines old themes with unique arrangements on 9-string guitar.

Marina Bokelman accompanied Evans on many field trips and absorbed many of the same musical influences.  To this she adds her own sense of folk tradition as gleaned from her teacher Bess Hawes (of the seminal Almanac Singers) and her studies in folklore and mythology at UCLA, where she first encountered David.  Her unaccompanied vocals carry echoes of the earliest and most moving themes within the folk blues and gospel tradition. 

Annual Plant Sale and Flea Market

Sunday, May 17, 10 am- 3 pm

Join friends, neighbors and new comers at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center’s annual Plant Sale & Flea Market! The sale will not only include plants, herbs, and flowers, but also jewelry, art, clothes, and other handmade crafts and gifts. Lunch and concessions will be available. This Flea Market is one of the most unique sales in Nevada County and promises some rare finds. You can expect to see all your favorite vendors as well as some new vendors. So come on out, get your garden starts and enjoy a lovely spring day with us at the Schoolhouse.

If you are interested in vending please contact the Schoolhouse at (530) 265-2826 or simply go to our website and register on line at

Gamelan Sekar Jaya

Saturday, June 13, 2015, 7:30 pm

Returning favorites Gamelan and Seker Jaya will grace the Schoolhouse with their incredibly authentic Balinese music and dance.

Over sixty musicians and dancers will descend on the green slopes of North Columbia, for a Saturday evening performance on the amphitheater stage. This will be an unusual opportunity for families to experience the shimmering music and highly structured dance of Bali.

Food and drinks will be available from Krepalicious and can be enjoyed on the picnic ready lawn and tables. Doors open at 6:30 P.M. so guest can get a bite and find a great seat. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets or sit on the built in benches.

This is sure to be a magical night under the stars and the tall pines at the Schoolhouse.


Community Legal Empowerment Project

posted May 4, 2015, 1:30 PM by Kristin Snell

by Erin Noel, Attorney at Law

When:            Friday, May 8th, 2-5 pm

Where:           San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

                          18847 Oak Tree Road ~ North San Juan

What:             Legal and Mediation Clinic

Cost:                Free, donations welcome


· Need a lawyer, but want more of a say in the legal process?

· Need help, but cannot afford an attorney?

· Not sure which form to download, or can you use a form?

· Have a dispute but don’t want to go to court?

· Want to enjoy instead of tolerate the legal process?


This clinic is for you!

Do you have a dispute that you do not want to bring to court?  A need to understand more about the law before you make a binding agreement?  Need help resolving a landlord/tenant issue, code enforcement, easement or property law issue, need help with legal issues you do not understand?

Visit our monthly legal clinic!  Erin Noel is the clinic attorney, who has experience with court mediation, property and land use law, landlord/tenant law, and other areas of law.  If she does not have expertise, she may be able to refer you to another free or low cost lawyer, and help you to prepare the questions you have.

Walk in, or MAKE AN APPOINTMENT so we can better serve you. 

To make an appointment, please contact Erin Noel at 913-5076.

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.


Tip of the Month

posted May 4, 2015, 1:29 PM by Kristin Snell

by Ned Russell, Drug Free Nevada County

Tip – Asset # 16 - High Expectations – Parents and teachers expect young person to do his or her best.

Research has shown that children who are praised for their solid effort do better in the long run than children who are praised for being smart. Try not to make a big deal about grades, either high or low. Do reward them for trying hard and remind them that practice makes perfect. This applies to parenting also.

To learn more about the 40 Developmental Assets (Got40?), call 271-5617 or send email  to  or


New CalFresh Rules! Do You Have a Prior Drug Offense? You may now be eligible for CalFresh!

posted May 4, 2015, 1:28 PM by Kristin Snell

From the web at:

Starting April 1, 2015, if you have a felony drug conviction, and you are complying with your probation or parole, or have completed probation or parole, you may be eligible for CalFresh!

How to Apply

As of March 1st, 2015 you can apply for CalFresh in order to   receive benefits in April 2015. Here’s how to apply:

If You Live In a Family with Others Who Receive CalFresh

If you have a drug-related felony conviction and live in a household with other people receiving benefits, your household may be eligible for additional CalFresh food benefits starting April 1, 2015. Contact your county worker to be added to your family’s existing case.

If You Live Alone or No One in Your Family Currently Receives CalFresh

If you are complying with your probation or parole or you are no longer on probation or parole, you may now be eligible for CalFresh and should apply.

· Go into your County Human Services Agency: Find a location at

· Call toll-free English: 1-877-847-3663 Spanish: 1-888-926-6432

· Apply online at

· Apply with the help of a local application assister.

If you’ve never applied for CalFresh or if you have been denied in the past due to your drug-related felony conviction, you should consider applying in March, 2015. If you are in compliance with or have completed probation and meet income requirements, you could benefit from CalFresh!

For more information about CalFresh rules, go to:


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