Saturday, 25 June 2022

Regional

Caltrans broke ground on a new bridge and viaduct replacement project on State Route 162 in the Butte City area of Glenn County, California, on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

GLENN COUNTY, Calif. — Caltrans broke ground on Thursday on a major Sacramento River bridge and viaduct replacement project on State Route 162 in the Butte City area of Glenn County.

The $106 million project includes $13.8 million in funding from Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

“With about 1,200 farms, agriculture serves as the engine that drives Glenn County’s economy,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal. “The new Butte City Bridge and viaduct will enhance motorist safety and meet the needs of today’s larger farm tractors and commercial trucks that serve the county’s $750 million-per-year farm economy.”

For more than seven decades, residents, travelers, farmers and school buses have relied on the Butte City Bridge to cross the Sacramento River.

On average, more than 2,700 vehicles, including more than 270 trucks, travel daily on the bridge, which connects the county seats of Willows in Glenn County and Oroville in Butte County.

The aging structure serves as a vital transportation link connecting Glenn, Colusa and Butte counties. Without the bridge, motorists would have to travel more than 30 miles to connect back to State Routes 162 and 45.

Crews will construct a new bridge and viaduct featuring 12-foot traffic lanes and 8-foot shoulders in each direction just north of the current alignment. The structure will feature a 4,686-foot cast-in-place prestressed box girder.

A 14-foot eastbound shoulder will be constructed on SR 162/Main Street from east of McDougall Street to south of Eureka Street in Butte City.

SB 1 provides $5 billion in transportation funding annually split between the state and local agencies. Road projects progress through construction phases more quickly based on the availability of SB 1 funds, including projects that are partially funded by SB 1. For more information about other transportation projects funded by SB 1, visit www.rebuildingca.ca.gov.

Caltrans District 3 maintains more than 4,385 lanes miles of state highway in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. The department issues updates about road conditions on Twitter and on Facebook. For real-time traffic information, go to http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the free Caltrans QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

The Butte City bridge in Glenn County, California. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — Authorities in Glenn County said they are working to identify an individual whose body was found in the Sacramento River on Sunday afternoon.

The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office said the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue received a report of a deceased person near a sandbank along the Sacramento River south of Hamilton City at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office Boating and Patrol Division located and recovered the deceased person, the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The location of the body later was determined to be within the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.

Glenn County Sheriff’s office said its deputies and coroners responded and took possession of the deceased.

The cause of death, identity and any further description of the deceased were undetermined as of Tuesday.

The Glenn Investigations and Narcotics Task Force is actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the individual’s death and is checking surrounding jurisdictions for any reported missing persons.

Anyone with information regarding the circumstances of this incident is urged to contact the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office GLINTF Division.

Members of the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted in person at 543 West Oak Street in Willows, by phone at 530-934-6431, or by calling 911 in cases of an emergency.

For general information visit www.countyofglenn.net/sheriff or follow the agency on Facebook at www.facebook.com/glenncountysheriff.

Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Chief Luke Kendall. Photo courtesy of Cal Fire.

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. — The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, Mendocino Unit has welcomed its new unit chief, Luke Kendall.

Chief Luke Kendall began his career in 1991 as a firefighter I in the Mendocino Unit.

He worked through the ranks to fire captain in the Mendocino Unit, or MEU, before transferring in 2006 to the Siskiyou Unit Fire Prevention Bureau as the pre-fire engineer.

In 2007, Kendall became a peace officer and moved to the unit’s fire captain specialist position. While in this position he was the unit’s law enforcement field training officer, firearms instructor, and a board member of the Siskiyou County Arson Taskforce.

In 2010, Chief Kendall promoted to battalion chief in the Scott Valley Battalion. During this time, Chief Kendall supervised the unit’s Rescue Group Cadre and assisted in the rewrite of the Units Strategic Fire Plan.

In 2017, Chief Kendall promoted to assistant chief at Deadwood Camp.

Throughout Chief Kendall’s career he has served on several committees and teams including the Redwood Empire Hazardous Incident Team as a hazmat specialist.

Since 2018, Chief Kendall has participated in Cal Fire incident management teams and was recently appointed as the deputy incident commander of Cal Fire Incident Management Team 1.

Chief Kendall is excited to return to the Mendocino Unit where his father was a fire captain for more than 25 years and his brother, Matt Kendall, is the current Mendocino County sheriff.

Chief Kendall is looking forward to building strong cooperative agency relationships, supporting Cal Fire personnel as they face longer and more challenging fires, and serving the community in which he grew up.

SACRAMENTO — Leaders of the Yuki and Round Valley tribes urged an Assembly committee on Tuesday to ensure they have a say in rebranding a prestigious San Francisco law school named for a notorious land speculator and politician responsible for slaughtering their ancestors in the mid-1800s by approving AB 1936, introduced by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland).

AB 1936 would rename the University of California Hastings College of the Law and include restorative justice provisions.

The college was named for Serranus Clinton Hastings who hired private militias that massacred the Yuki and Round Valley people in the 1850s so he could steal their lands.

Hastings then used his wealth, derived in part from the slaughter, to become California’s first Supreme Court chief justice and attorney general.

Ramos is the first California Native American elected to the Legislature in the state’s 172-year history, The lawmaker is a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation whose own clan was almost exterminated in the 1800s by similar militias in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Yuki and Round Valley tribal descendants asked Ramos to help them rename the college which the Legislature created in 1878 when it approved a law creating and supporting the law school.

The 1878 Legislature also approved naming it for Hastings after he contributed $100,000 in gold coins toward funding the college.

“My bill requires the law school, in consultation with the Yuki and Round Valley Indian tribes’ descendants, to rename the campus,” Ramos said. “It allows for a transparent and inclusive rebranding process. For too long, exclusion of Native Americans from decisions affecting them has been the norm. No one in the Legislature asked the Yuki or Round Valley people if Hastings was a good name for the law school in the 19th Century,” Ramos said. “Hastings hired militias to kill Native Americans in Mendocino County and took their land to build his wealth. Afterward, he used his fortune to give money to found the school and bear his name. So, in a very real sense the founding of the law college was paid for by the suffering of the Yuki and Round Valley people. It is time in the 21st Century to remedy this grievous injustice.”

Ramos added, “AB 1936 guarantees a collaboration between the tribes and the college in selecting a new name and in undertaking initiatives, some already underway, to mitigate past atrocities. Rather than just changing the letterhead, my bill is also about making sure the Round Valley and Yuki people feel heard, so their history and suffering are not dismissed. This is a crucial step toward healing a traumatic history and rectifying wrongs that were never remedied.”

“We cannot let a prominent institution that teaches about law and justice continue to be associated with a person who committed atrocious actions against Native Americans. This bill ensures that the Round Valley Indian Tribe and Yuki people get a seat at the table as the university finds a new name,” said Joint Co-Author Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

Yuki Committee Vice Chair to the Round Valley Indian Tribes Tribal Council Mona Oandasan said, “We stand behind AB 1936 because it ensures our inclusion in the selection of a new name for the school. Renaming the law college without the inclusion of our voices is dismissive and offensive and would bypass the difficult conversations that must continue. Last November, the school’s board of directors approved a rebranding of the school, and now the Legislature must also act.”

“I support the continued discussions on this issue and the leadership of Assemblymember Ramos in ensuring that the voices of California’s First People are included in the selection of a new name for the College of the Law,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said.

“Approval of AB 1936 allows the Legislature and state of California to make amends for their role in sanctioning and rewarding the barbarities Hastings committed more than a century and a half ago,” said James Russ, president of the Round Valley Tribal Council. “It is never too late to try to correct a wrong. Hastings’ actions almost exterminated our people and separated families from the lands where they had lived for millennia. Through approval of AB 1936, we hope that along with the school we can reach consensus on a name that honors our ancestors and does not let us forget the high price they paid in its creation.”

Ramos applauds the law school for engaging with the Yuki and Round Valley tribes to acknowledge its founder’s brutal history, for undertaking restorative justice initiatives and its recent agreement to rename the college.

AB 1936 “restorative justice” amendments include having the college:

- Form a nonprofit organization with the descendants’ tribal governments to help in raising capital, organizing pro bono legal assistance and other support for tribal members, to assist tribal leadership with federal, state and county matters, water and property rights, economic development, and efforts to meet the social needs of the community.

- Dedicate a permanent public memorial to the Yuki people on campus that includes historical explanations and cultural presentations.

- Create an Indian Law Program and related academic and education programs at the college available to all students interested in Indian law.

- Assist with efforts to preserve Yuki history.

- Provide financial assistance for Yuki descendants to attend postsecondary educational programs.

- Provide outreach and support so Yuki students can attend the law college.

- Assist with repatriation of tribal remains and artifacts.

- Submit reports on the progress of achieving these measures to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and the Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs.

AB 1936 is sponsored by the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Supporters also include the Barona Band of Mission Indians, California Nations Indian Gaming Association, Cahto Tribe, Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Tule River Tribe, UC Hastings Alumni for Justice and Accountability, and the Yurok Tribe.

Coauthors include Assemblymembers Steve Bennett (D-Ventura), Isaac Bryan (D-Jefferson Park), Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Mike Gipson (D-Carson), Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), Carlos Villeda (R-Stockton), and Senators Bob Archuleta (D-Norwalk) and Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach).

From left to right, Yurok Chairman Joseph L. James, Dr. Walt Lara, Yurok Tribal Council Member Sherri Provolt cut a ribbon to celebrate the grand opening of the Chah-pekw O’ Ket’-toh “Stone Lagoon” Visitor Center, the first tribally operated visitor center within the State Park system, on Thursday, April 7, 2022. Photo courtesy of California State Parks.

On Thursday, the Yurok Tribe, in partnership with California State Parks, Parks California and Redwood National Park, celebrated the grand opening of the recently renovated and renamed Chah-pekw O’ Ket’-toh “Stone Lagoon” Visitor Center, the first tribally operated visitor center within the State Park system.

More than 150 tribal and state park officials as well as state and federal Congress members and agency representatives traveled up to Yurok Country to attend the special celebration.

Broadcasted by Parks California, the livestreamed part of the event featured commentary from the tribe, California State Parks and Redwood National Park as well as Yurok elders who informed viewers about the tribe’s unique relationship to the coastal lagoon.

“The restoration of our role as the steward of Chah-pekw O’ Ket’-toh represents a significant step toward the healing of our people,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “We are extremely proud to be the first tribe in California to operate a visitor center within the state park system. It is humbling to know this precedent sets the stage for many other tribes to follow suit. I would like to thank the North Coast Redwoods State Park for taking the time to build a reciprocal relationship with the tribe and taking action to correct an historic wrong.”

“I hope public land managers from all over California and the entire US use the partnership between the state park and the tribe as a blueprint to build solid working relationships with sovereign tribal nations in their regions,” added California State Parks North Coast Redwoods Superintendent Victor Bjelajac. “Our partnership on the visitor center, renaming of Sue-meg State Park and condor restoration projects are only the beginning. I know we will embark on many more equally exciting endeavors in the not so distant future.”

Managed by Yurok Cultural Resources Director and Tribal Heritage Preservation Officer, Rosie Clayburn, the Chahpekw O’ Ket’-toh “Stone Lagoon” Visitor Center now contains a multitude of digital and conventional displays that reflect the tribe’s longstanding cultural connection to the lagoon.

The tribe and park hired Yurok interpreters to share the tribe's history from pre-contact to contemporary times.

“Visitors have an opportunity to learn about the tribe from Yurok citizens,” Clayburn said.

For countless generations, Yurok families occupied multiple villages, such as Chah-pekw and Cho-chkwee, near the coastal lagoon.

The residents of the villages lived in relative peace until the California Gold Rush, when European settlers attempted a genocide against the tribe and neighboring indigenous nations.

The tribe endured several devastating atrocities during this tumultuous time period, but the Yurok people were never removed from the region.

In fact, many contemporary Yurok citizens are descendants of the Chah-pekw and Cho-kwee villagers who survived the Native American holocaust.

One of the descendants, Yurok Tribal Council Member Sherri Provolt, assisted in the formation of the agreement that paved the way for the tribe to operate the Chah-pekw O’ Ket’-toh Visitor Center.

“It feels really good to regain our rightful place as the primary caretaker of Chah-pekw O’ Ket’-toh,” said Tribal Council Member Provolt. “I know our ancestors would be proud that we are making positive change for future generations of Yurok people and natives throughout the state.”

The tribe is making progress in other big ways too. The soon-to-be realized reintroduction of the California condor was also recognized at the event.

Later this month, the Yurok Tribe and Redwood National Park plan to release the first four condors to take flight in the region since the late 1800s.

The Northern California Condor Restoration Program, composed of biologists and technicians from the tribe and Redwood National Park, will be managing the new flock. A more detailed announcement will be made when the release date is finalized.

Since 2008, the tribe has been laying the groundwork to reintroduce condors in Yurok Country.

With support from Redwood National Park, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Administration for Native Americans, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Gas and Electric and many other contributors, such as the Global Conservation Fund, the Yurok Wildlife Department completed the tremendous amount of work required to reintroduce the critically endangered species.

The following tasks represent a small fraction of what they had to accomplish in order to make condor reintroduction a reality: extensive environmental assessments, contaminant analyses, constant fundraising, planning, designing and constructing facilities, performing intensive community outreach and coordinating with numerous stakeholders and collaborators.

In the Yurok worldview, Prey-go-neesh (condor) is one of the most sacred species. The bird is featured prominently in the tribe’s creation story and performs an essential function in the White Deerskin Dance and Jump Dance.

“The purpose of the Jump Dance and White Deerskin Dance is to bring balance to the world. Our condor restoration work is a representation of this sacred obligation. Through condor reintroduction, we are fixing an imbalance in the natural world and restoring a critical part of our culture,” said Chairman James.

As California State Parks’ statutory partner, Parks California’s mission is to help strengthen parks and inspire all to experience these extraordinary places.

The Yurok Tribe is the largest tribe in California with more than 6,300 members. The tribe’s ancestral territory comprises 7.5% of the California coastline, spanning from the Little River to the south and Damnation Creek to the north. The eastern boundary is the Klamath River’s confluence with the Trinity River.

The tribe is a leader in natural resource management, fisheries restoration and cultural protection.

Work on this intersection on Highway 32 at Nord Avenue in Chico, California, is planned to run from April to mid-July 2022. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

CHICO, Calif. — Caltrans is alerting motorists and residents that construction is scheduled to resume Monday, April 4, on an intersection and roadway project on State Route 32/Nord Avenue near California State University, Chico.

Construction crews will be working during weekday daytime and nighttime hours and on occasional Saturdays between West Sacramento Avenue east and West Sacramento Avenue west through mid-July.

Traffic-interfering work will be restricted to the overnight hours. Residents in the area may hear loud construction noise, including OSHA-required vehicle backup warning alarms, during nighttime roadwork.

The $5.7 million safety project calls for installing new traffic signals and overhead lighting, median curbs and islands at West Sacramento Avenue (east and west), upgrading sidewalks and curb ramps, restriping the bicycle lanes with green paint and rehabilitating the pavement. Lamon Construction of Yuba City is the prime contractor.

Caltrans advises motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert.” The department will issue construction updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

Upcoming Calendar

27Jun
06.27.2022 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Scotts Valley Advisory Council
28Jun
06.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
28Jun
06.28.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
30Jun
06.30.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
2Jul
2Jul
07.02.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Lake ecology
2Jul
07.02.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
2Jul
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
2Jul
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
64th annual Redbud Parade and Festival
4Jul
07.04.2022
Independence Day

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