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Walking, Voting, Drugs, Guns and More

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I’m up to my eyeballs in news tidbits. So, rather than regale you with fascinating stories of how I spent my weekend, I’ll go right to the stuff of broader interest.

• Keep an eye out for a lot more children than usual walking to school this coming Wednesday, October 6, which is officially designated as “Walk to School Day.” Although I poked fun at the event a while back, I’m a big advocate of kids walking or cycling to and from school. It’s good for them physically and socially. Parents and civic leaders in Redding, Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro and Burney will be leading groups of kids and “walking school buses” during Wednesday’s event.

• If you’re like most people, you flush out-of-date medicines down the toilet. Turns out, that’s a bad idea because the pharmaceuticals end up in our rivers, lakes and groundwater, where the drugs harm wildlife and plants. What’s more, water treatment processes are ineffective against some drugs, which may even end up in our tap water. Yuck. So, for the third year in a row, the City of Redding is having a “no drugs down the drain” event. This year, it’s scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, October 7 through 9, at the garbage transfer station on Abernathy Road. Dump your old prescription pills, over-the-counter meds and even kitty and doggy pills into an envelope or paper bag, and haul them to the transfer station for free disposal. The city will have the drugs incinerated by a licensed company.

• Have your sample ballot all filled out? If not, and if you live in Redding or Anderson, you might want to attend one of the candidate forums conducted this week by the League of Women Voters. Redding City Council candidates will gather at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, at First United Methodist Church, 1825 East Street. The forum for the three Anderson City Council candidates is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 7, at the community room in Anderson City Hall,  1887 Howard Street.

• The $7.7 million curve realignment project on Highway 44 near Lassen Volcanic National Park is complete. The road work straightened some tight turns, extended a truck climbing lane and widened the shoulders of what had been a rather treacherous stretch of highway, especially during bad weather. Caltrans and JF Shea Construction completed the project four months ahead of schedule.

• Speaking of Lassen … The National Park Service has completed its review of a long-term plan for the park’s Warner Valley area. The recommended plan calls for building tent cabins, a bathhouse and a concession building near Drakesbad Guest Ranch (pictured below), restoration of wetlands throughout Warner Valley, and removal of the Dream Lake dam so the area may revert to a natural wetlands complex. Also in the plan are hiking path improvements and safety upgrades to narrow Warner Valley Road.

Warner Valley

• North Valley Bank has joined the Redding Affordable Housing Loan Fund, boosting the revolving loan pool for affordable housing projects to $6.5 million. Shasta Regional Community Foundation runs the program, which also gets participation from Catholic Healthcare West, Northern California Community Load Fund, Premier West Bank and Redding Bank of Commerce.

• The Department of Fish and Game is encouraging nonprofit organizations to sell big game hunting tags for the 2011-2112 season. The state gets all of the money from the tags for deer, bighorn sheep, elk and pronghorn antelope, but the organizations often sell the tags at fundraising events. The deadline for nonprofit organizations to apply is October 11. Details and the application are available on the DFG website.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and promises never again to flush Vicoden or goldfish. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

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Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.

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