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October 2019

A Time for Remembrance

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:45 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

I once had a very dear friend who shared his memories of boyhood Halloweens with me. Born and raised in upstate New York, MC’s family unit included his Polish grandfather.  When preparing for Halloween, in lieu of creating a costume or laying in sugary treats, MC and his grandfather prepared for a visit from his dearly departed grandmother. MC and his grandfather laid the table with the family’s finest linens and china. Special delicacies were prepared. Candles were lit. Then, dressed in their very best, MC and his grandfather sat at the table waiting for his grandmother, the beloved guest of honor, to arrive. MC’s telling of the story was so beautiful. The image of a child far more interested in and enthralled with a ritual involving remembrance of a loved one than amassing and gorging on bags of chocolate bars and candy corn is one I will long remember, especially since MC, himself, succumbed to AIDS decades ago and is well worth fondly remembering. 

MC’s story of a celebration of remembrance is not singular. All over the world, cultures and individuals designate special times to commemorate, honor and celebrate departed loved ones. Such times recognize and reinforce a thread of continuity that unites past, present, even future generations. Honoring ancestors and deceased loved ones is the crux of Dia de Muertos. Familiar to Americans as the Day of the Dead, Dia de Muertos has its roots in ancient Mesoamerican cultures. The Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua peoples considered mourning the dead to be disrespectful. Recognizing death to be a natural phase in life’s continuum, Dia de Muertos is celebrated with an explosion of color and life affirming joy. The dead are kept alive in memory and spirit.  

Dark and spooky, creepy and sometimes macabre, Halloween is not to be confused with Dia de Muertos. In fact, considered a living expression of culture, Dia de Muertos has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). This celebration of the continuum of life is one of Mesoamerica’s great gifts to the world.

One needn’t create colorful altars or sweet sugar skulls in early November to celebrate one’s own ancestors. My family lights candles or tells stories, often accompanied by wistful smiles or peals of laughter, when remembering our loved ones. We feel free to indulge in such practices anytime throughout the year. On Halloween we greatly enjoy the fun of carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing in wild attire, and indulging in seasonal goodies. On a solely separate occasion we may share a special memorial dinner to honor and remember a beloved family member who no longer sits at our table. As MC and his grandfather did many years ago, we set out our very best china and crystal. Everyone contributes a sumptuous specialty dish. We savor and appreciate one another’s company and remark upon how much our loved one would enjoy the delicious food. While adults reminisce, young children gain a sense of continuity and place not only in the world of today, but in time. They learn to honor their ancestors and we hope their ancestors are pleased.


Original coloring page featuring Peterson’s Corners by Gem Visuals

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:44 PM by Kristin Snell

Toys-for-Tots Helps with Holiday Giving

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:43 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Every year the Salvation Army helps local families provide a brighter holiday for their children. Once again, the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center is delighted to play Santa’s Helper by interviewing moms and dads to gather ideas for their children’s wish lists. Although the initial goal for Toys-4-Tots is to provide playthings for children, in some cases clothing and footwear may also be requested. San Juan Ridge parents who wish to participate in this wonderful program will be able to drop by the FRC to sign up for holiday gifts from now through November 14th anytime during business hours. Prior to coming, parents are advised to talk with their kids to get gift ideas based on their interests, needs, and desires. We also advise parents to take note of children’s current sizes if they plan to request clothing or footwear.

The Salvation Army will inform parents by mail as to when gifts can be picked up at the Family Resource Center. Usually occurring around the Winter Solstice, Nevada County Sheriff’s Deputies and Posse merrily emerge from trucks and vans laden with holiday surprises for eagerly awaiting families. Over and over again we are deeply moved by the generosity of those who work tirelessly and give freely so that all children may have a Happy Holiday. We at the Family Resource Center look forward to sharing in our families’ holiday preparations by helping to make their children’s dreams come true.

Note to Families: Please remember that the absolute deadline for registering for gifts is November 14th!


NSJ Community Center Offers Dinners on Tuesdays

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:42 PM by Kristin Snell

Community Dinners

** Tuesdays ** 4-7 pm **


292.9048 for info


FREE Skin Cancer Screenings Offered at SNMH

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:41 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer? It is also the easiest to cure, provided that it is spotted and treated in time. On Saturday, November 9, free screenings will be available from 9:00am to noon at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Center, Building 3, lower level. Performed by Matthew Muellenhoff, DO, and Adam Payne, PA-C, the non-invasive screenings will be given on a first come, first served basis. This free screening is available to everyone. No insurance or appointment is necessary.

For more information on this excellent opportunity, please call (530)274-6883. 


Haunted House & Art Sale at Ridge Cafe

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:40 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

On October 25th& 26th, Friday and Saturday from 7-10pm, North San Juan’s Ridge Café will be transformed into a hair-raising House of Horrors. A group of dedicated Grizzly Hill students have been working with paraprofessional & visual art teacher Kacy Matty (pictured at left) to create a Haunted House for those who dare to “take a terrifying journey down the river of death, through the bones of the undead and steaming cauldrons of wicked witches.” There will also be an Art Auction of Grizzly Hill students’ acrylic paintings on Saturday from 5 to 7 pm. The Ridge Café will remain open for business during its regular hours, as well as serving sweet treats and beverages during the Art Auction and Haunted House.

Kacy explained, “I wanted to get the kids some exposure for their art work in the community. We had already done the NSJ Post Office so I wanted to do something a little more mainstream in a community business. I wasn’t sure if the kids were going downtown on Halloween and I wanted to create a North San Juan event that would bring the community and children together for Halloween. I thought the Haunted House and the Art Show would satisfy people’s desire to have an event with the kids downtown. I’m so delighted about how the community has stepped up and helped us out. The hard work and dedication of Mike and Abby and their crew at the Ridge Café is what is making this awesome event possible.” Sweetland Garden Mercantile, Indian Valley Outpost, and the Grizzly Hill School PTC have also generously contributed to this spooky event.


Where…………Ridge Café, 29318 Highway 49, North San Juan

When………….October 25 & 26, 7-10 pm RAIN or SHINE

Why……………Gotta get your ghoul on

Cost……………$3 per person (all proceeds donated to Grizzly Hill School)

Ridge Youth Art showing at Ridge Café throughout October culminating in an

ART AUCTION on Saturday, October 26th

Be there if you dare!

Above: Artwork by Cameron Manley



posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:32 PM by Kristin Snell

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

Visitors who dare drop by the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center on Halloween are hereby warned that they should be prepared to encounter all manner of witches, ghosts, werewolves, skeletons, and zombies during their visit.

Our special guests probably won’t hurt you, especially if you remember to utter the secret password, “Trick or Treat!” when you enter. Do not be distressed by blood curdling screams, plaintive moans, low flying bats, or other horrifying phenomena. Above all, remember that although the FRC will be open for business, it will not be business as usual!


Managing our Fire-Shed: Prescribed Burns

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:31 PM by Kristin Snell

Hank Meals Presents “Just Enough Regional History Course”

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:29 PM by Kristin Snell

From the website of the North Columbia Schoolhouse:

The Just Enough Regional History Course is a series of audio-visual presentations by Hank Meals. It consists of five sessions designed to provide the fundamentals of historical savvy in the Yuba River region. (Editor’s note: The first session took place on October 8th, before this newsletter went to print)

When: Tuesdays at 7 pm

Where: North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, 17894 Tyler-Foote Road on San Juan Ridge

Admission: $10 at the door. (No advance tickets available)

Before the Gold Rush October 22
Spanish exploration – Malaria on the Sacramento River – Yokuts & Miwok horse-trading – The furtraders – Mexican land grants – The Americans – etc.

The Gold Rush November 5
Getting here – Manifest Destiny – Technologies & their environmental impacts – Foreign Miner’s Tax –
Trails and roads – Water appropriation & transport – Degradation of water quality – Early hydraulic mining – Diminishing returns – etc.

After the Gold Rush November 19
Investors and stockholders – Cadastral surveys – Transcontinental Railroad – Lumbering –– The Chinese Exclusion Act – Hydraulic mining – The Sawyer Decision – Hard Rock Mining – Grazing – etc.

Legacy in the Local Landscape December 3
The lasting imprint of former land use activities – Reading the landscape.

The Yuba and Bear Rivers have played a major role in California’s history. Former players and incidents in this dramatic story have influenced science, industry and ethics on a world-wide scale with good and bad consequences. With so much heritage surrounding us how can a person begin to appreciate it?

Local history buff, archaeologist and author, Hank Meals will offer a series of five audio-visual presentations on regional history at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on San Juan Ridge in October, November and December of 2019.

It won’t be the dense and dull history that you endured in High School, but “just enough”, Meals says, “to make you somewhat legacy literate.”

“So much of the tourist-oriented history we’re exposed to consists of jumbled clichés, inaccuracies and cuteness – It’s simply not satisfying enough when the full stories are so engaging and illuminating. I’ve found that knowing what happened in your neighborhood makes you see a place differently, gives it extra texture and creates a sense of regional pride and ownership.”

Each 90-minute presentation in this series is rich with unique historical and contemporary photos, maps and diagrams. Meals will answer questions, provide references and provide enthusiasm for the topics addressed.


Attention Ridge Families with Children 3 to 4 Years Old: This is our Last Chance for a Free Preschool in North San Juan!

posted Oct 15, 2019, 1:28 PM by Kristin Snell

From a flyer

Our goal is to open a free KidZCommunity State Preschool in our community in January 2020. To make this happen, we need to enroll 20 children. The child must have turned 3 by 9/1/19. Families must meet income guidelines.

Preschool location will be located next to the community library on Oak Tree Road.

Organic meals will be provided.

Call to see if you qualify today!

Doe Grady—530.559.5834 or Shawna Hoffmann—530.886.4122

Placer Community Action Council, Inc. / 1166 High Street / Auburn, CA 95603

A Family Focused Program Serving Placer and Nevada Counties


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