No Rain, No Worries … Yet


Do you feel guilty yet about this weather we’ve had the last few weeks? Me neither – at least not yet.

While most of the rest of the country is digging out from recent snowstorms, we’re digging the sunscreen out of the medicine cabinet. I spent parts of last weekend at Clear Creek Greenway, at Swasey Recreation Area and on the Sacramento River Rail Trail. Each place was the busiest I’ve ever seen it when there was no organized event.

Paving the rail trail was unpopular with some people, but the asphalt has clearly increased use of the trail between Keswick and Shasta dams. Bike riders of all abilities are enjoying the flat sections of trail.

I’ve also seen a fair number of cyclists venturing off the Sacramento River bike path and up the newly paved Middle Creek Trail. Not everyone seems quite prepared for the Middle Creek Trail’s climb from Iron Mountain Road to Highway 299, on the edge of Old Shasta. But those who make it most of the way are rewarded with some great vistas.

Of course, if we don’t get a lot more rain, we’ll be dealing with drought conditions and a nasty fire season later this year. I’m trying not to think about that while wearing shorts in early February.


• Speaking of fire season … The National Park Service is planning prescribed burns of 50 to 300 acres at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area over the next few weeks. Crews will ignite areas near the east boundary and along the Buck Hollow Trail. The exact size and timing of the fires depends on weather and air quality. If all goes as planned, the Buck Hollow and Salt Creek Loop trails will be closed for a period, and traffic will be controlled on Mule Mountain Road at times. For updates, check with the visitor center at (530) 246-1225, or the park’s fire management office at (530) 242-3443.

• It’s a little-known fact … OK, so Cliff Clavin probably would not survive the elevator pitch competition. But if you’re a teenager or young adult who has that knack for a clever sales pitch – and you’ve got a business idea – the Shasta College Small Business Development Center’s third annual Business Concept and Elevator Pitch Competition might be just your ticket to riches. The contest is open to anyone 14 to 27 years old. Participants first formulate a business concept and marketing strategy before creating and posting a YouTube video presenting the concept. Six finalists then get the opportunity to pitch their ideas in a live showdown at the Shasta College Theatre on April 7. The top prize is $1,000, and everyone receives free business consulting. The registration deadline is February 25. Details on the center’s Young Entrepreneurship Program website.

• Your table is waiting … Wednesday, February 9, is the deadline to purchase a sponsorship for Redding Rancheria’s annual Community Fund dinner, scheduled for March 5 at Win-River Casino. Keyhole Mystery Theatre will provide entertainment, and the best costume will earn $250. Sponsorships start at $500, while individual tickets cost $50. Call the rancheria for details, (530) 242-4516.

• Rock on … Actually, the rocks are finally off Highway 299 two miles east of Helena, in Trinity County. A rock slide hit the highway on December 18, and traffic had been controlled during daylight hours to permit crews to clear the mess and stabilize things. That work is now complete and traffic controls have ended, according to Caltrans.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and a frequent worrier about the weather. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

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.

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.