Hard Summer Work For A Chosen Few


When I was a teenager, I mowed some lawns, delivered some newspapers and worked hard only at avoiding real work. I would have been a poor candidate for the Youth Conservation Corps, in which 15- to 18-year-olds get up at dawn to put in 40-hour workweeks that include lots of manual labor in the summer heat.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is accepting applications for its Youth Conservation Corps program through May 13. The chosen crew of six will work 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily for eight weeks beginning June 13. Pay is $8 per hour.

The Park Service’s Wayne Pero, who oversees the program, said the young workers are immediately incorporated into the park’s facilities team. They build and maintain trail benches and bridges, groom the lakeshore, collect trash, cut back vegetation at campgrounds and perform other basic maintenance.

“The first thing I tell kids is to make sure they get their parents’ permission,” Pero said. “They are undertaking a huge responsibility. We’re not babysitting them, and we tell them that.”

The Park Service does provide a great deal of training – first aid, junior lifeguard, CPR, working with hand tools. Training is part of every workday, according to Pero. The program introduces kids not only to the rewards of hard work, but to the world of careers involving the outdoors, the environment and science.

Typically, the Park Service gets about 75 applications and, because it requires no skills ahead of time, conducts a lottery to get a 3-girl, 3-boy crew. Pero said the number of applications could drop this year because gasoline is so expensive now. Applications are available at the counseling offices at Shasta, Enterprise, Central Valley, West Valley and Anderson high schools, as well as at the park headquarters on Kennedy Memorial Drive.


Hello, Palo Cedro … The inaugural SpringPalooza community celebration is scheduled for this Saturday, May 7, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bishop Quinn Catholic Center in Palo Cedro. The event includes a rummage sale from 7 a.m. to noon, art and craft vendors displaying their works all day, food and live music in the outdoor amphitheater from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local favorite Mumblefinger is scheduled to close the show in the late afternoon. Proceeds from the event will go toward playground improvements at Chrysalis Charter School.

Ready, aim … The fanatics started gathering nearly a week ago for Straight Arrow Bowhunter’s 28th annual Western Classic Trail Shoot. The event runs this Friday through Sunday, May 6 through 8, at Straight Arrow archery range on Swasey Drive, just west of Redding. Arrows start flying at 8 a.m. every day, and spectators are welcome for free.

E-hunting … The California Department of Fish and Game has taken hunting licenses online with a new automated license data system. Hunters may use the system to purchase a license and apply for a coveted big game tag. Visit the DFG website for all of the details and rules.

Fast moms … It’s not uncommon for race tracks to shut down for the Mother’s Day weekend. However, a lot of moms in our area must be race fans because both Shasta Raceway Park in Anderson and Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico have big events scheduled this weekend. The Airport Auto Brokers late model stock car series is set to make one of its three stops this season at Shasta on Saturday evening. Time trials are scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with racing at 6:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Silver Dollar on Saturday hosts the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial, one of the highest paying races on the new King of the West sprint car series schedule. Silver Dollar also offers sprint cars, limited late models, modifieds and dwarf cars on Friday night. Qualifying is set for 6:30 p.m. both nights.

Don’t go … The Mother’s Day art fair and fiddle jam in Old Shasta has been canceled once again this year. Here’s hoping that event returns in the future.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and survived three months of swing shifts at 7-Eleven. 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.

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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