State Of Emergency: Notes On The 50 Year Dump

Biggest flakes I’ve seen lately. Photo by R.V. Scheide.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not all that excited about President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national state of emergency just so he can build a wall on our southern border.

The Mexicans are coming! The Mexicans are coming!

Really? Cool! We could use a few extra hands for cleaning up around here after the back-to-back-to-back disasters we’ve experienced in northern California the past six months.

Did someone say emergency? (Help! Over here!)

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I speak not lightly of the Carr Fire, the Camp Fire and the 50 Year Dump, the subtropical atmospheric river of rain that combined with cold air from the north last Wednesday morning and slapped Shasta County with an 18-inch thick wet blanket of snow that toppled trees and snapped limbs under its weight, taking down power and telephone lines with them.

The not-seen-since-1968 downfall temporarily paralyzed the city of Redding and most of Shasta County, snarling traffic and shutting down businesses. Most of the public schools closed for the remainder of the week as public officials scrambled to provide warming shelters for thousands of people who were without access to power or heat.

Out where I live, in Whitmore, in the foothills 30 miles east of Redding, I woke up Wednesday morning to discover the power was out and three feet of snow had fallen silently overnight. Boughs slumped under the sodden snow, in relief or anguish, it was hard to tell which. I instantly knew the Subaru would not make it up the 250-foot long, very steep driveway.

We were snowbound, at least for the time being.

My driveway is under there somewhere. Photo by R.V. Scheide.

There are few feelings better in this situation than turning the key on the emergency generator you last tested six months ago and having it fire right up. Without electricity, we can’t run the gas heater, the well pump, the electric stove, the refrigerator, the freezer or log on to the internet.

The generator’s single-cylinder engine runs off of our 500-gallon propane tank and cranks out up to 8000 watts, more than enough to power the house and the well.

The telephone lines were down too, so one of the first things I did was go online to reestablish contact with the outside world. I discovered the winter storm had caused power outages up and down the state and Redding was in the national spotlight as the city hit worst by the storm.

I used my wifi cell phone to call Dad. For once, it actually worked. Although the electricity was out in vast swaths of Shasta County, my parents, who live in Redding, slept through most of the outage and had power restored by Wednesday afternoon.

I knew a quick restoration of services wasn’t likely in our case, since we’re near the end of the line for both PG&E and Frontier. There was no getting up the driveway, so my girlfriend and I settled in for a long wait as the generator throbbed away out in the garage.

The throbbing gets to you. You start to measure your life in pounds of propane per hour of electrical generation. You know there’s probably enough gas in the tank, but cease taking showers and doing the laundry, just to be safe.

At night, you shut the generator down, which cuts off your communication to the outside world. At least the throbbing stops. Lying in the silent darkness, you worry the snow on the driveway won’t melt by Monday, when the propane truck is coming.

Thursday around noon, the generator took on a new roar and I went out to the garage to investigate. I caught a flash of orange out the corner of my eye: My brother, on his small Kubota tractor, carving up the snow in my driveway.

He lives next door. I helped him rebuild the tractor’s engine this past summer, he’s been tinkering with it ever since, and now it’s back in working order.

“Wanna drive?” he asked.

I did, and in the pouring rain, finished the job he started, setting the tractor’s blade at the top of the hill and plowing up 50-foot long slabs of snow that I pushed to the bottom like miniature alpine glaciers.

The more I cut into the three-foot-thick snow blanketing the driveway, the more it melted around me in the rain. The Kubota, with a little help from the 45-degree weather, made short work of it. After two hours of plowing, we were no longer snowbound.

The trees slumped a little less.

Redding homeless encampment morning after the 50 Year Dump. Photo by Chris Solberg.

With most of my immediate issues taken care of, I returned to my other part-time job, solving the rest of the world’s problems.

I’m sorry to say my efforts to persuade the city of Redding to lighten up on the cruel and unusual punishment have failed. The photo above by local homeless advocate Chris Solberg is just one of many stark, sometimes terrifying images of the local homeless community he posted on his Facebook page the day the storm hit.

The day after the storm hit, the Redding Police Department, with representatives of Good Will Rescue Mission and Country Hill Wellness and Health in tow, began warning homeless campers that it will begin enforcing the city’s revised anti-camping ordinance starting this week.

That means if you’re eligible for a bed at the Mission or one of the even more limited spaces at Hill Country, providing a bed is available, you’ll be cited and your camping gear will be confiscated.

Perhaps some people will see the offer for shelter as a leg up and actually get help. How RPD responds to individuals who have a legitimate reason for not accepting available shelter remains to be seen. My guess is it won’t be pretty.

That this criminalization of the homeless is happening in the wake of multiple real, actual disasters that have left thousands of people in the region homeless and might reflect negatively on a city so desperately seeking to polish its public image, never seems to occur to the people who push for, design and implement such policies.

But, hey, I tried.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa isn’t too worried about Trump’s national emergency.

Meanwhile, every one who listens to Sean Hannity, including President Trump, knows that the homeless epidemic sweeping the country, exacerbated by ever-increasing income inequality, isn’t something you’d call a national emergency.

Neither is the pressing need to adapt to the onset of anthropogenic climate change, which promises a future of more Carr Fires and 50 Year Dumps.

The opiate crisis? Diverting funds from drug enforcement to build a wall will do little to stop the tide of fentanyl overwhelming our ports of entry, but gosh darn it, this a national emergency!

The Mexicans are coming!

The Mexicans are coming!

Count on First District Rep. Doug LaMalfa to spot a national crisis when he sees one, although this stalwart Trump supporter’s remarks to KRCR News Channel 7 endorsing the President’s emergency declaration to build that wall were somewhat weak tea.

“The border issue is something that I think the vast majority of Americans want a solution to,” he said. “When you put it in terms of a simple barrier like that I think they support it but when you start putting other political scare stories into it then you get less support of it.”

Does LaMalfa mean a “simple barrier” in the appropriate places, which both parties have supported all along, way before last month’s shutdown? Not a 1000-mile long, 50-foot high concrete wall that Mexico is going to pay for promised by Trump?

By “political scare stories,” does he mean Trump and his media enablers’ ongoing fake news invasion of Mexican rapists and murderers? Or the real news political scare stories about legitimate asylum seekers who’ve had their children taken from them by immigration officials?

BTW, shouldn’t national emergencies be kind of scary, Mr. LaMalfa?

Somehow, I get the feeling LaMalfa isn’t all that into Trump’s vanity wall project or his self-proclaimed national emergency. He knows the real emergency is here in northern California, and he made certain to assure constituents that federal disaster relief aid won’t be diverted from Carr and Camp Fire survivors to Trump’s wall.

For once, I’m with him, but that only goes so far.

Homeless tent crushed by oak limb after the 50 Year Dump. Photo by Chris Solberg.

My girlfriend and I made our first drive to Redding after the storm on Friday, and the nearer we got to town, the more damage that was on display. Ancient oaks toppled over in soggy fields, roots-up. The roof of the occasional barn, shed or outbuilding crushed by a cracked oak limb.

In classic Pineapple Express fashion, the snow was melting rapidly, water pooling in the dips in the fields and turning the Cow Creek watershed’s tributaries into raging, muddy torrents. Trouble downstream, to be sure. That’s a lot of water to dump down the Sacramento River all at once.

We cruised Park Marina Drive and Parkview Avenue, past well known homeless camping spots. It was the day after the RPD’s warning, and there were less tents there than the week before. Very few people were about.

Maxwell’s Eatery in downtown Redding has become our go-to place during local disasters—truth be told, we always went there, it’s just that all these disasters started happening—and Friday afternoon it was filled with people just like us, wearing assorted mismatched rain and snow gear and smelling a little ripe.

I wolfed down a blue cheese-bacon-avocado burger and downed a pair of Racer 5s. I still like beer.

The power came back on Sunday, bringing an end to our temporary state of emergency. Someone should make t-shirts that say, “I survived the 50 Year Dump.”

But it won’t be me. I’ll be busy preparing for the next disaster, which more likely than not around these parts lately, is just around the corner.


R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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49 Responses

  1. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    Here in Phoenix the call is “The Mexicans are here! The Mexicans are here!” Over half my street are Hispanic families, many like my next door neighbor, are Arizona born and raised. He drives garbage truck which is handy because if I need something large hauled away I don’t have to wait for Spring/Fall cleanup. I just put it out on the curb and he swings by on his route and grabs it. Ohh, did I mention when he trimmed his bushes he trimmed mine. “The Mexicans are here! The Mexicans are here!”
    Reality on the “Wall”. A some 200 mile “Wall” on a some 2,000 mile border won’t stop anything. Equally as ridiculous is the claim I saw on TV by a Democrat was this 200 mile wall would impact thousands of ranchers by stealing their land through eminent domain. Really. 200 miles in Texas won’t even affect the Armadillos.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      We have that saying in California, too, “The Mexicans are here!” It just hasn’t reached Shasta County yet.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      It’s Arizona and California. The Mexicans were here first.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Steve, actually the Apache, Navajo, Hopi were here first and still are.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          Good point. And the Hopi and other Pueblo tribes were here looooooong before the relatively recent arrival of the Navajo, Apache, and other interlopers.

          • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

            And actually Mexicans were late coming to Arizona and California, it was the Spanish who were here before Mexico became Mexico.

    • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

      Looking at it historically, the Mexicans were here long before it became the USA. “The Anglos are coming! The Anglos are coming!” Maybe a solution would be to take the top tier of the Mexican states and the bottom western tier of the American states and make it AMERICO.

  2. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    I liked R.V.’s phrase: Trump’s vanity wall. I guess there are some people who think a wall is a great idea, but I haven’t heard from any of them yet.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I’d like to take credit for Trump’s “vanity wall,” but that’s a saying that’s been going around, not original by any means.

  3. Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

    Another intriguing and insightful article from R.V. As pointed out above, this country is loaded to the gills with genuine emergencies. Top of the list are the millions of families and individuals who are homeless due to skyrocketing housing costs and low/stagnant wages, amplified locally by the massive fires that destroyed thousands of homes. The largely imagined threat Trump’s pointless, unworkable border wall will supposedly address is the least of our problems.

    The Rescue Mission (Shasta County’s only homeless shelter) is already operating at or beyond its legal capacity, and can’t meet more than a fraction of the actual need. Redding city officials chose to ignore a letter from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty warning them that enforcing the current ordinance (and taking away gear that enables homeless people to survive in the process) is illegal. It may take a lawsuit to force city officials to behave in a practical and humane manner, which could prove to be far more costly to the taxpayers than creating actual alternatives to the streets.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      As we’ve seen, Redding city officials, from Mayor Julie Winter on down, are still accepting the Mission’s claim that there’s always room at the Mission, at face value. It’s depressing. If it takes a lawsuit to change it, then file away, please, quickly.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      One of the reasons there is a shortage of low income housing is that we welcome the 2.5 million illegal immigrants into our state. Where do you think they are living in? Low income housing, of course. The other barriers to the shortage of housing? Housing prices have skyrocketed in California partly because there is a major shortage of homes within the state. Although California needs to build 180,000 additional units of housing annually to keep up with projected household growth, the state has averaged less than half of that over the past decade. Developers saddled with insane and costly regulations, like the new mandate that all new housing must have solar energy. Environmentalists delay projects by years and years, Anti-gentrification activists and good old fashioned NIMBYs. Unfortunately this is not unique to Redding. California alone accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s homeless population

      My daughter is getting ready to graduate college. Yay!! What is the first thing she is going to do? Move out of California. Here is a young lady with a new career that is much needed in California that will be gone.

  4. Avatar Ginny adorador says:

    Thanks, R.V. for a great article. I’m glad you and yours survived. We did too. But you are right about the plight of our unhoused neighbors. It is awful to watch. Being homeless is a full-time job. Not having your basic needs met on a regular basis create some real cognitive issues. These issues are evident in so many of our unhoused neighbor’s inability to change, move forward or engage in anything but the most basic survival and self-serving levels. That is not to lay fault with the homeless but to simply point out, from my own experience, that a lot of these folks just can’t get out of their own way. An example I just lived through with a friend, who is homeless, revolves around her and her cats. Yes, homeless cats. This friend, who I will refer to as D, has two cats and has been homeless for about 3 years now. Keeping these cats makes it impossible to go to GNRM. Because she feels she can’t leave them alone she also can’t go to the library, social services or many other places where she could maybe get help. D agreed to let me foster her cats for a while starting on Friday. She needed to pack up and get mobile ahead of the RPD ticketing. I went by to check on her yesterday. She had done nothing. when I asked her why she told me she missed her cats too much and so and so came by, and a lady she knows brought her a lot of blankets she needs to give out and on and on. But what I really think is that cognitively D just can’t get out of her own way. It is heartbreaking.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I think I’ve met D before. She was camping in South City Park before they put the fences up, had two cats, became homeless after leaving a domestic violence situation in Oregon. Brought her cats with her. I was amazed the cats actually stick around.

      • Avatar Ginny adorador says:

        Yes R.V., that’s her. As much as I want to help her, with some hard-learned boundaries in place, there just isn’t a lot I can do. Watching her downward spiral is so sad. She has no substance abuse issues, other than tobacco, and no outwardly obvious mental health issues, but again she can’t seem to get out of her own way to better her situation. If she had a place to safely camp and leave her cats she might start the long journey back but until then she will just continue to try and stay one step ahead of RPD.

    • Avatar Patricia Barrett says:

      What we may be talking about in many of these cases are people with mental health issues (obvious or otherwise) which can’t be addressed effectively until they have a safe and stable living situation – free of the endless daily crises and hardships that being homeless involves, and that greatly exacerbate their illnesses. Some have also already gone the route of seeking help, to no avail. Experience has taught them that no matter how many agencies they contact or lines they stand in, they still can’t meet the standard qualifications most landlords require (income at least three times the rent, a fairly lengthy history of positive rental references, good credit, etc.).

      What’s desperately needed is a more adequate supply of housing these people can actually hope to attain. Unfortunately this area is especially hard in that respect. Redding’s rental vacancy rate was less than 2 percent even before the fires, and much of the area’s more affordable housing has been taken over by the thousands of Bethel Church adherents/supernatural school students who have flooded the area in recent years. That loss hasn’t been offset in any meaningful way.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        In D’s case, as Ginny said, there’s no dramatic outward signs of anything wrong going on inside. After she fled domestic abuse in Oregon, she came here, lived with a relative for a while until that didn’t work out, then lived in her car until registration issues caught up with her and it was impounded. She was very stoic about the domestic abuse, said it was water under the bridge, but I’m not sure I bought that.

        • Avatar Ginny adorador says:

          I believe there is so PTSD going on as well as an abnormal attachment to the cats. She gets a small amount of spousal support, like $200, which means she doesn’t qualify for other things. Given a small space of her own and some counseling/psychiatric support I think she could reintegrate into society. I would love to see Redding doing something like Portland or Eugene. Instead, I got to watch RPD, with jail inmates, roust all those people down by the river yesterday. Sickening!

  5. Avatar Russell Hunt says:

    The homeless need basic shelters. Such as 10 x 12 sheds insulated and with electricity . The site at Metz Rd., north of Haven Humane is ideal because it has utilities and a bus route. More so there is minimum interference with neighbors, assuming the one viable house next door is purchased for the camp headquarters. Missions or the like are difficult to live in . Stressful. Let’s face it, group living is not fun and often disruptive. The community can build the sheds and most homeless qualify for SSI. A security guard will be a must . Those who want to revive downtown must realize, the homeless problem needs to be dealt with or the dream dies on the vine. Frankly, the Mission needs to be moved to this site as well. The Parkview Neighborhood has been terrorized enough. And finally, Tehama County has a halfway house for parolees. Keeping tabs on these people is essential.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      The Metz Rd. location seems a little far from services to me, even if the bus is available, but something like little sheds might work to transition people to real housing. However, the city of Redding would no doubt balk at funding such a plan.

      Move the Mission? Seems doubtful, since they just spent millions upgrading two of the buildings.

      Things will continue grinding away in the same old way, until the next disaster comes.

  6. Avatar CODY says:

    Amazing that they did not plow Fern Road there in your photo the next day. Probably at least 20 years since that has happened – usually they are right on it. There were obviously more important areas to hit first.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      You’re correct, they usually get right on plowing Fern road, but apparently they just waited for it to melt this time around. Fortunately, by the time we got the driveway plowed, the snow on the road was gone.

    • Avatar Ginny adorador says:

      The shed idea has worked in other places and so has just a good clean camping spot.

  7. Avatar Robert Scheide Sr. says:

    Cruelty is in, compassion is out. This being led by a supposedly Christian base. What would God say?

    The “DIP SHITS” running our country are the cruelest I have ever seen. All being led by a president who can’t tell the truth is clearly a racist and is destroying most of the environmental programs put in place before him. Flat doesn’t believe in Climate Change, nor his intelligence experts. So I guess we should not expect more from our local politicians.

    Today is my 82 birthday. Lately, I have been taken inventory on the country I now live in compared to growing up during the 40’s and 50″s. During that period I can best describe it is as a roam free time where from a very young age 11 or twelve we had few limits. From early morning to supper time we were up, up and away.

    One of our favorite adventurers was to get a buck from my mom, going to corner store to buy a pound of bologna and a pack of luckies, then off to the old swimming hole, which was about a 3-mile hike through the woods.

    My own kids were raised up in country settings and enjoyed the same freedoms that I enjoyed. They could go just about anywhere. There were off limit places since I always worked around water the dangerous places were off limits.

    This story is a long way from the subject of RV’s post but to get to the point. Since 911 we have become a nation of scaredy cats afraid of everything. Kids were not allowed to go anywhere by their selves. The neighborhood ball game, skating parties, tramps through the woods have been replaced by play dates, team leagues, and all kinds of lessons.

    Overall the country has suddenly gotten more Christian and crueler. The homeless have become a target along with all minorities. The homeless become the easiest target as demonstrated by our city fathers. They put into law, laws that have been already declared unconstitutional and that seems to be a national problem. Do as you damn well please is the way they operate today, nobody knows most of the actions of the city officials. Now thanks to RV this problem is getting some attention.

    Perhaps if those of us who are living comfortably start pinging on our officials they could implement some of the ideas presented by readers of this column. First off the deal between the City and the Mission should be canceled. The fact that the homeless will have a ticket and lose all their gear because a cop is riding with the Mission is enough for me to
    call for the cancellation of the program. It is also making me reconsider my monthly donation to the Mission.

    If you need one more NATIONAL EMERGENCY, how about the 48000 or so folks we have in detention camps even though they have a court order against doing that. Laws only apply to us I guess.

    Mother Nature has been giving us examples of her power. Those that know say we haven’t seen anything yet. Lots believe Trump that this is just another hoax by us progressives. Who are you going to believe, 99% climate scientists, your own eyes, or you’re lying, illiterate president. YOUR CHOICE.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Happy birthday Dad! Sorry the country is so messed up.

    • Avatar Ginny adorador says:

      Happy birthday sir. I enjoy reading your responses to your sons writing immensely! Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Now that I have some time to respond Dad, happy birthday again, and thanks for bringing me back around on climate change.

      I had written it off as unimportant because I became convinced our fossil-fuel addicted society will never do anything meaningful about it. I know we can do something meaningful about it, that it will mean jobs, jobs, jobs.

      I think enough people are worried about it now, and it’s gonna have to be the people that finally do something about. A good start would be voting out every single federal, state and local politician who denies climate science. Which in our district, means ALL of them.

      Did you catch that Dad admitted smoking Lucky Strikes at age 13? I didn’t start till 17. He quit a looonnggg time ago. I’m not saying.

      It’s true what he says about me and my bros growing up in southern Idaho and eastern Washington, it was wide-open spaces back then. Hunting, fishing, camping, dirt biking, the great outdoors right at your backdoor. No fences anywhere.

      That’s one thing that’s changed. When we moved to California in 1978, I said to myself, “What are all these god damned fences?” Everything’s fenced in here! 15 years later, I visited my old happy hunting grounds in Idaho and Washington and discovered it’s all fenced in too. Even worse today!

      And you know what, Dad? I’m with you, boycott donating to the Good News Rescue Mission. The Mission has gone on a little publicity tour since A News Cafe began questioning its capacity numbers, it is still misrepresenting its capacity, and our most respected local journalists, who should know better, keep repeating these claims at face value.

      Thanks for the awesome comment, Dad!

  8. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    I was reading on the news that wants to sell Montana to Canada to reduce the USA debt. A few other states are pleading for Canada to take them also. Maybe the State of Jefferson could convince Canada to take them also.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      California could probably easily afford to buy its own way out of the Union. Think of how much revenue we’d save, no longer having to support the leaching red states!

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        And the leaching red states would never miss California and their try to dominate the rest of the nation.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        Sorry Steve, fake news.

        In 2017 California received $0.99 back for every $1 it paid to the feds. Due to the massive disaster claims in 2018, California is almost certainly now a federal leach and getting back more than it paid…

        A widely circulated 2007 study of 2005 data claimed California got back $0.78 for every $1, but to make all the sums balance balance its methodology assumed the states sent in enough money (in their current proportions) to cover all Federal spending (of course the states didn’t actually send enough money: we’ve been running deficit funding since Eisenhower decided it would be nice to have an interstate highway system). Thus the ideal state would have been down ~10% due to Federal foreign spending and ~10% due to the federal deficit. CA was down 22% vs 20…

        But since 2005, California has been a huge winner in the green energy subsidy game – both in grants & tax credits. Additionally, the deficit has ballooned from 10% to 20% of the budget so that the average federal expenditure per state has climbed from $1.10 in 2005 to $1.22 in 2017.

        And here is the kicker: If you look at where federal liabilities accrue rather than where they are ultimately spent, California has been a net drain all along! That’s because a significiant portion of Californians retire to other states (in 2010 the average retiree expected to get back 137% of what they paid in to social security & medicare) so the “debt” earned in California is disproportionately paid in Nevada, Arizona, & Florida…

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          Contradicts every account of who subsidizes who, and I don’t put much stock in a one-year anomaly (assuming you’re right about the impact of those massive disaster claims).

          But yeah, we’re all leaching off of future generations since the advent of the ongoing Reagan Revolution, when we decided to start running up the nation’s credit cards by a couple orders of magnitude to create the illusion of prosperity.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      If I were to go right-wing and join the SOJ, I’d figure out how to seize Shasta Dam and the water behind it. Then I’d create a small Venezuela-style utopia built on the aqua-dollar.

  9. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    It’s Tuesday, and we’re on Day 7 without power. We don’t have a generator, so no furnace heat, either. Turns out that a big oak branch dropped on my neighbor’s power line, which yanked his power line free from his circuit box. Unfortunately, it also yanked the other end at our shared transformer box, cracking a bushing, and the entire transformer needs to be replaced. Everyone around us has power except our two houses. We tossed well over $500 worth of food from our refrigerator yesterday on the advice of our daughter, the Food Sciences major. PG&E currently estimates we’ll have power on Feb 21. Having lived through three other such projections in seven days, we’re no longer holding our collective breath.

    On top of that, I spent the last two days behind my chainsaw, cutting up future stove wood and stacking big piles of slash. After two days, I’m probably one-third done with the clean-up. We lost half of our big live oak, our largest pine, two mature pluot trees, a plum tree, and a peach tree. I piled up several 6x6x6 piles of pecan limbs as well. A friend who is an expert in disaster recovery said our property looked exactly like the aftermath of a Class 2 hurricane.

    Not far to the south of us is a neighborhood of houses on properties covered with interior live oaks that hold their leaves all winter. Live oaks hate snow. That neighborhood look like it was carpet-bombed.

    Good times.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Geez Steve, sorry about all the damage you got there in Palo Cedro. But it brings up an issue I brushed on lightly in the story. I’ve driven back and forth between Whitmore and Redding three times since the storm hit, and can’t help but notice that the tree damage gradually increases as you go down the hill, and appears to be the worst in Redding itself. Why is that? I have more pine and cedar than oak, we have some big ones that worry me, but we didn’t lose anything. Perhaps the trees at 3000 feet are more used to catching snow? I thought you might know the answer to this.

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        Pines, cedars, and other conifers have evolved to shed snow—gray (digger) pines, which don’t have that conifer shape, not so much.

        On top of that, trees located where it snows regularly shed weak limbs in the winter. Our flat-lander trees aren’t built to support wet snow, and haven’t had the benefit of shedding branches gradually over the years. It’s a recipe for carnage.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Our power has been restored as of this afternoon. 🙂

      • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

        Bravo! Brava! Bravo! Rock on! Hope you are feeling warm and kind of normal again. Silly comment, you are still cleaning up the mess outside, and cold…still, another soul in Shasta County has power again.

      • So happy for you, Steve. I know that feeling of having power restored after playing homesteader inside a powerless house for days. Congratulations!

        Good luck with cleanup.

  10. Thank you, R.V., for this delightful piece of writing, as always.

    (And Mr. Scheide, happy birthday!)

  11. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Excellent article R.V. Have you or your dad read the tales of Patrick McManus who grew up in Idaho and wrote humorous articles for various magazines and newspapers?
    Just out of curiosity…if I were homeless and was sited by RPD, what would I need to do? I suspect I would have to walk down to the Mission to see if there was room for me. And because I’m a good neighbor, I would ask if there were room for myself and 7 other people at my camp site to spend the night. Would I get some kind of placard to place on my tent, as evidence that there was no room, or that there was room for 3 of us but not for the other four and no room for our belongings. If there’s no room for 3 or all of us we need to walk to some other site and go through the same process? I’m tired thinking about it. It sounds more complicated than trying to renew my driver’s license. In the end however, I have a document that shows I went through the necessary steps.
    D’s story is not unusual. There are many adults in our community who lack the skills to be self-sufficient. Many still live at home and are fine until they lose the security of abler adults.
    R.V., you didn’t fail in your advocacy for the homeless. All of your research and work still survives in the articles you’ve written: these articles aren’t going away. They are still there for everyone to read. Real life problems aren’t part of a “news cycle”. They don’t go away because you don’t see it on the news.
    Thanks R.V..