Public High-Speed Internet in Downtown and Solar Power Highlight Adam McElvain’s Council Campaign

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McElvain outlines his campaign during a noon rally at the Atrium in downtown Redding.

McElvain outlines his campaign during a noon rally at the Atrium in downtown Redding.

A municipal Internet service, a beefed-up police force and an emphasis on solar energy will be the focus of Adam McElvain’s campaign for the Redding City Council, he said Tuesday at a rally in downtown Redding.

McElvain, 36, envisions an Internet utility that would start with the downtown area and eventually encompass the entire city. Using existing fiber-optic cables and the Redding Electric Utility distribution network already in place, the taxpayer-owned Internet service has the potential to transform downtown into a magnet for tech-related business, he said.

More importantly, the fiber-optic Internet access can be financed with regional, state and federal grants, he said. Fiber-optic Internet, which uses pulses of light, offers the potential for 1-gigabit speed, which is up to 20 times faster than cable or DSL.

The Shasta College Health Science & University Center, the new courthouse, a possible five-story apartment building where the Dicker’s building now stands and other downtown businesses would benefit from the service, McElvain said.

“Downtown will become extremely desirable to businesses … the city can give downtown a powerful economic boost,” McElvain said.

Approximately 90 braved Tuesday’s steady rain to attend the noon rally in the Atrium at the south end of the Market Street Promenade. McElvain was introduced by his campaign chairman, Bob Brennan, who noted the candidate’s work with the Community Services Advisory Commission and the now-dissolved Redding Electric Utility Commission as well as the Active 20-30 Club and Friends of Whiskeytown.

McElvain, left, confers with campaign chairman Bob Brennan, center, and KRCR-TV News anchor Mike Mangas.

McElvain, left, confers with campaign chairman Bob Brennan, center, and KRCR-TV News anchor Mike Mangas.

Brennan said McElvain’s upbringing on a Nebraska farm, the leadership skills acquired during his service with the U.S. Air Force and California National Guard and his experience as a business owner combine to make him well qualified for a seat on the council.

McElvain began his campaign outline with a vow to improve Redding’s public safety by transforming the Police Department back into the proactive force it was a decade ago before the Great Recession decimated its ranks. He said he’s eager to work with Shasta County on improving mental health services and he also supports the gathering communitywide effort to solve homelessness.

Economic development, the other principal component of McElvain’s campaign, can be spurred with a large-scale investment in solar power. With its abundant sunshine and its own municipal electric utility, Redding is perfectly poised to capitalize on clean, low-cost solar power, he said.

“We should be up to our ears in solar power,” McElvain said. “We need to create a new Shasta Dam, and we can do it with clean solar energy.”

McElvain met his wife, Courtney, while attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. Courtney McElvain was serving in the Army at the time. The couple moved to Redding in 2005. They have two children, Rook, 7, and 4-year-old Pepper. All three joined McElvain on the stage.

McElvain holds his daughter, Pepper.

McElvain holds his daughter, Pepper.

“I love Redding. I love it here,” said McElvain, noting that he’s had the opportunity to live in several cities. “Redding’s the best. I’m very optimistic about our future.”

McElvain joins candidates Lea Tate, a Redding psychologist, and Julie Winter, a nurse practitioner, in a race for two seats on the council. Mayor Missy McArthur has already announced she will not seek re-election and freshman Councilor Gary Cadd has yet to decide if he will seek a second term.

The election is Nov. 1.

Photos by Jon Lewis.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at
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11 Responses

  1. Avatar david kerr says:

    Redding will never catch up to its number one competition in Reno, Carson Sparks.  They have the largest data center in the world, plus a new Apple data center and campus and a new Ebay data center.  Reno’s lead in fiber is insurmountable.  Reno has a great strategic location on the I-80 truck and rail routes, four hours from the container port of Oakland, an research university with a medical school, an international airport and Nevada has one of the best business reputations in the country.

    The Reno area is the next Silicon Valley.  Products designed in Reno or Palo Alto can be manufactured in Reno, Carson Sparks.  Take a drive to see the Industrial park around Carson City airport.  That’s what Stillwater was supposed to be.  The model of products designed near Stanford University and assembled in China from components made in Japan and S. Korea may not last.

    Precision Castparts is one of the many impressive plants in Carson.  It makes very high tech stainless steel and titanium parts for aerospace and energy.  With additive manufacturing is has a bright future.  That’s why Warren Buffett bought it.

    The Redding newspaper’s sister publication, the Reno Gazette Journal, should be required reading for Northstate political leaders.  The “Reno Rising” series in the has talked about the thirty companies which moved to Northern Nevada in the last year and the need to build thousands of homes to accommodate the booming economy.  The gigafactory was just the start.

  2. Avatar david kerr says:

    Warp Two provides high speed internet from an antenna on Bear Mountain.  It  expanded to cover Mountain Gate and Palo Cedro/Millville.

    Clearwire , acquired by Sprint Nextel, provides high speed from an antenna on the west face of Bear Mt.  It covers Shasta Lake City.

    WIMAX (microwave) high speed internet from towers on mountain tops is a also provided by Com Pair as mentioned in another article.

    Vandalism is a problem.  Clearwire services their antenna by helicopter.  I think they made about twenty flights in the last year.  Warp Two has an easement across private properties.  The road has three locked gates and is not open to the public.

    Warp Two does not advertise, except for signs posted on the roads in the service area.  If you can see Bear Mountain, it may be worth a phone call.  Tell them you hear about it on Anewscafe.

    DSL is not available to many ATT customers who are not close to a substation.

    I gave up my ATT landline when it went out for six weeks and appointments for repair were not kept.  The box on the pole had broken in a windstorm.

    Cell only has the disadvantage that emergency services don’t have your address.  In many counties you can register a cell phone address with 911.

    I get phone service from Broadvoice over Warp Two.  It does provide your address to 911, is less costly than ATT and includes free long distance.

  3. Avatar david kerr says:

    Digging up the utility trenches to lay fiber in cities like Redding, Chico, Yuba, Bakersfield, Eureka?

    Tech is not spreading out to small cites.  It is becoming more concentrated around tech centers near research universities.  Bell labs used to have branches in middle size cities.   It has been tried many times since then.  In the 70s, we had a network to fix up Bell Labs scientists and engineers with medical technologists at the hospital.  We lost our best chemistry technologist when they married and moved away.

  4. Avatar Teuchter says:

    This candidate should be given the same interview space that was afforded Julie Winter.  Otherwise, it may be viewed as unbalanced coverage or suggested support for one candidate early in the race.  We all know that’s not cool.

    • Doni Chamberlain Doni Chamberlain says:

      Dear Teuchter, I’ll tell you what’s not cool: to make assumptions about unbalanced coverage or implied support for one candidate over another. Frankly, I resent it.

      You might be interested in knowing that I sent Adam McElvain questions for his Q&A on December 1, 2015. I am waiting for his response.

      Julie completed her answers first, so they were published first.

      I paid a reporter to cover Adam’s launch, as I will pay a reporter to cover Julie’s launch.

      Thanks for reading.