Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Better Together: Nevada County, Housing First Logo

Better Together: Board Approves Resolution with Turning Point Community Programs, Supporting Mental Health and Homelessness Services

At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved a contract renewal of $2,345,893 with Turning Point Community Programs for mental health services including community-based psychiatric treatment, 24-hour crisis intervention and wraparound services, case management, and housing and job assistance.  The Turning Point Providence Center, located in Nevada County's Crown Point Campus provides Adult Assertive Community Treatment (AACT) and Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT).  Under this contract, Turning Point Community Programs will continue to provide the AACT program services, supported independent living program services, and integrated health care services.

The AACT team operates 24-hours, 365 days per year to provide flexible crisis intervention and wraparound services that are tailored to address each participant's unique and changing needs.  Services for this program include: assessment, therapy, peer support, rehabilitation, housing assistance, job development skills/assistance, psychiatric services, medication support, outreach, and linkage to other community supports.

The Independent Living Program provides structured day and evening services, 7 days a week with rehabilitative mental health services, case management brokerage, and night and weekend supervision.  By continuing such program services, the County serves a critical ongoing need of providing safe, supportive housing in the least restrictive environment for appropriate clients, brings clients back to their own community, and reduces the dependence on higher-cost residential facilities in other counties.

An Integration Services Team (IST) was created to help people achieve health, wellness, and recovery through integrated health care services from treatment providers, community partners, consumers, and family members. Personal Service Coordinators, who are Turning Point Community Programs staff members, serve as members of the IST team and link clients to primary care services at the Nevada County Behavioral Health Clinic, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and other community resources.

Through a multi-pronged approach, Turning Point Community Programs has proven to be an effective community partner in providing an array of client driven services that increases consumer and family participation, and advances a coordinated care structure.

For more information contact the Behavioral Health Department at

Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) Logo

Free Global Trade Services Workshop, September 13th

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and the Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC) are hosting a Global Trade Services Workshop for local businesses and community members on Wednesday, September 13th, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at The Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley.  The workshop is free, includes a complimentary lunch, and allows participants to network with international trade experts. 

Attendees will learn the basics of starting or enhancing opportunities to export products and services to global markets. The workshop will provide a high-level overview of the exporting process, the "need to knows," the resources and funding available to businesses new to exporting, and ways to enhance exporting opportunities for businesses that are already exporting. The workshop features speakers from successful local businesses, industry experts, and international trade experts about the variety of resources available to you.

Nevada County's RCRC representative, District 3 Supervisor Dan Miller, says, "RCRC is constantly looking for ways to assist rural counties in the area of economic development.  With the help of ERC and the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce in promoting the Workshop to their members, it is a great opportunity for local businesses to receive training and gain a better understanding of the international markets available to them."

The program is funded by the Rural County Representatives of California, Sacramento Center for International Trade Development, U.S. Commercial Services-Sacramento, and the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. Sign up for the Global Trade Services Workshop online. If you have questions about the workshop, please contact RCRC's Terrance Rodgers or Sarah Bolnik at (916) 447-4806.

Martis Creek Recreational Area - Public Health and Safety Announcement

As a public safety precaution, the Army Corps of Engineers working in coordination with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Vector-Borne Disease Section will be placing insecticide-treated rodent bait stations throughout the Alpine Meadows campground at Martis Creek Lake to control the elevated number of fleas observed on golden-mantled ground squirrels, chipmunks and Belding's ground squirrels.  Rodents that enter the tubes to feed on bait will come into contact with insecticide treated carpet. The treatment will help reduce the number of fleas on rodents and decrease the potential transmission of plague to humans. The Army Corps of Engineers will also be posting yellow Plague Warning Signs throughout the area.

Nevada County Environmental Health/Vector Control Staff were notified by the CDPH Vector-Borne Disease Section of an increased risk of plague in the Alpine Meadows campground area.  Historically, plague is endemic in much of Sierra Nevada and rodent species have tested positive for plague in 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2012 in the Martis Creek Lake area.  There have been no human plague cases associated with the Martis Creek Lake area. 

Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Today, plague in humans is rare in the United States and can be treated effectively with antibiotics if diagnosed early. Plague is most common in the foothills and mountainous areas of California. It is absent from the southeastern desert region and the San Joaquin Valley. Rodents and their fleas maintain plague bacteria in nature. The major threat of plague is from wild rodents, primarily chipmunks and ground squirrels, in rural recreational and wilderness areas.

People become infected with plague bacteria most commonly through the bite of an infected flea. Infection is also possible when the blood or other body fluids of an infected animal enter through cuts or breaks in the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, and nose). Cats are especially susceptible to plague and, if infected, represent a serious source of potential human exposure. Cats may also transport infected rodent fleas into a home or campsite.

As a health and safety precaution, the Nevada County Environmental Health Department recommends the following:


  • Be aware of areas in which plague-infected rodents might exist.
  • Follow the instructions on plague notices that are posted at the Martis Creek Lake camping and recreation areas.
  • Avoid all contact with rodents and their fleas, especially sick or dead rodents.
  • Store food and garbage in rodent-proof containers.
  • Do not feed rodents in campgrounds and picnic areas.
  • Do not place chairs, tents, or sleeping bags near rodent burrows.
  • Wear long pants tucked into boots and use insect repellent to avoid flea exposure.
  • Do not allow pets to approach sick or dead rodents, or to explore rodent burrows.
  • Be cautious when handling ill cats that may have had contact with wild rodents; take ill cats to your veterinarian for examination.

The initial symptoms of plague develop two to six days after exposure and include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, and weakness. Three forms of plague are known: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. Bubonic plague, the most common form, is characterized by swollen and tender lymph nodes (called "buboes") in the groin, neck, or armpit. In septicemic plague, plague bacteria enter the bloodstream, causing high fever, fatigue, weakness, and bleeding disorders. Pneumonic plague is an infection of the lungs that can follow bubonic or septicemic plague, or occur directly from inhalation of plague bacteria. Patients with pneumonic plague have difficulty breathing, develop a cough, and may spit up blood-tinged saliva.

If you become ill within seven days of being in a plague area with any of the symptoms listed above, contact your physician immediately.

Nevada County Environmental Health/Vector Control Staff will remain in contact with the CDPH Vector-Borne Disease Section for updates on CDPH surveillance conducted subsequent to the placement of the bait tube insecticide treatments throughout the campground and recreation areas. 

For more information on plague, including risk assessment and risk reduction measures for recreational areas, visit the CDC's website page on the plague.


Upcoming State CDBG Application

The County of Nevada will conduct a public hearing on August 30, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., in the Empire Room, Second Floor of the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave, Nevada City CA 95959, in order to discuss possible applications for funding under 2017/2018 funding cycle of the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and to solicit citizen input on possible activities to be included in the application. Nevada County will be eligible to submit an application for CDBG funds under the "Notice of Funding Availability" (NOFA). It is estimated that up to $5,000,000 will be available in total for the County to apply. 

The application may request funding in support of two eligible activities and one planning and technical assistance project. Eligible activities under the above allocations in the NOFA consist of: homeownership assistance and housing rehabilitation programs; public facility and public improvements projects (including public improvements in support of new housing construction); public service programs, planning studies, economic development business assistance and microenterprise activities.  Eligible activities paid for with State CDBG funds must meet one or more of the three national objectives listed in CDBG federal statutes as follows: benefit to low income households or persons; elimination of slums and blight; or meeting urgent community development need.

The purpose of this public hearing is to give citizens an opportunity to make their comments known regarding what types of eligible activities the County should apply for under the State CDBG program.  A separate public hearing will be held to discuss and approve the application prior to submittal to the State.

If you plan to attend and require special accommodations to participate in the public hearing, or would like more information, you may contact the Housing and Community Services Office at (530) 265-1645.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing, you may direct written comments to Rob Choate, Administrative Services Associate, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, CA 95959 or you may call the Office at (530) 265-1645. In addition, information is available for review at the above address between the hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.

The County of Nevada promotes fair housing and makes all its programs available to low and moderate-income families regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual preference, marital status or handicap.

Carl F. Bryan II Juvenile Hall

Solar Energy at Carl F. Bryan II Juvenile Hall Producing Energy

The solar system at the Carl F. Bryan II Juvenile Hall has been turned on and is now producing energy and cost-savings! The Juvenile Hall is the third of five solar sites to be completed as part of Nevada County’s Solar Generation and Energy Efficiency Program; the remaining two sites are finishing construction.  The Juvenile Hall solar site is capable of generating approximately 84kW of power, meeting nearly 100% of the Juvenile Hall’s needs and preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 164 tons of waste being recycled instead of landfilled each year.

Nevada County received the 2017 Exemplary Renewables Award from the local Climate Change Coalition and Sierra Club organizations for the County's Solar Generation and Energy Efficiency Program. When completed, Nevada County's five solar sites will be producing 4.4 million kWh per year, meeting around 80% of the County's energy needs.  This is the equivalent to removing the greenhouse gas emissions of 653 cars or 981 tons of waste that is recycled instead of landfilled.

The program is projected to save $7 million in energy costs over the next 20 years, which will increase to $1.3 million annually in year 21 and beyond.  In addition to the program's five solar sites that include over five thousand solar panels, the County also accomplished $1.7 million in deferred maintenance costs with the replacement of HVAC units, lighting, and energy efficient building controls at seventeen different County sites.

Community Beyond Violence Logo

DVSAC is now Community Beyond Violence

This August, the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition (DVSAC) changed its name to Community Beyond Violence to "reach a wider and more diverse audience." The organization says that the new name more accurately reflects the agency's mission and vision for our community with its positive, solution-oriented phrase.

Community Beyond Violence's mission is to offer resources for building healthy relationships and to work with community partners to provide services for healing the effects of interpersonal violence. Earlier this year in June, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved a contract renewal of $88,268 with Community Beyond Violence (then DVSAC) for the provision of coordinated and intensified domestic violence related services for CalWORKs participants and families. 

Under this contract, CalWORKs participants receive a safety plan that can include assistance with temporary restraining orders, accompaniment to court, mediation, support group counseling, individual counseling, and referrals to appropriate community organizations. Community Beyond Violence helps to ensure that no CalWORKs participant "falls through the cracks," and that all necessary services are provided and tracked. CalWORKs families have access to Community Beyond Violence's emergency housing shelter, or shelter at a local motel if needed.  Families also receive services such as assistance in finding affordable housing, health and wellness groups, immediate emergency therapy, and legal clinics.

Nevada County's contract with Community Beyond Violence is important in providing services that help CalWORKs participants transition from domestic violence to a safe, productive, independent, and self-supporting life.

Ropes Course at Annual Summer Day Camp

Annual Summer Day Camp

The Nevada County Children’s Behavioral Health (NCBH) annual summer day camp has experienced some positive changes in 2017. Every year for the months of June and July, the therapists of NCBH come together to plan therapeutic outings and groups for children that are enrolled in counseling services. Thanks to a grant that NCBH received at the end of last summer from the Welz Foundation, the program has increased funding in order to provide a wide variety of new activities, outings, and equipment for the summer program. With the assistance and outreach of a new summer intern, generous donations from local community businesses, and the Welz Foundation Grant, children were able to go to new community destinations such as: Roller King, The Folsom Zoo, Sky Zone, and OnCourse Ropes Course. Children were mesmerized by the magic of beloved local entertainer Izzi Tooinsky, took safe risks learning to kayak and paddle board in the lake, increased awareness and appreciation for the natural environment, and gained wood working skills in a local wood shop. Some of the youth were even able to attend a 2-week camp in the Trinity Alps, called Camp Unalayee.

There are a wide variety of intrinsic benefits to providing youth with leisure opportunities such as social skill-building, new coping strategies for emotion regulation, and increased self-esteem. The benefit of having a 1 to 3 ratio of kids to therapists is that it allows the therapist to support and coach kids in the moment when they are feeling stressed, struggling with interactions with their peers, or need some help using their coping skills. The NCBH summer program offers a unique opportunity for therapists who often only see their clients in the office once a week, to observe these kids in a more natural environment, for 6-10 hours a week, and to provide them with feedback and therapeutic support. Leisure activities have been proven to increase quality of life by decreasing stress, isolation, and depression. Exposure to new recreation activities can replace other negative coping skills such as drug use and self-harm. Children who participate in the summer program often embrace new leisure skills that they can continue for the rest of their lives.

The children and youth who attend the summer program have had numerous positive experiences to share this year. Many children, some of who struggled to build friendships prior, return to school with new friends whom they have met over the summer. Other children build more meaningful relationships with their therapist that fosters increased trust, deeper work in therapy, and substantial progress toward treatment goals. One of the adolescents who attended Camp Unalayee for the second summer in a row, reported that he can’t wait to attend next summer so that he can see all of his friends again. He stated that he plans to become a camp counselor at Camp Unalayee in a few years. Experiences like these have the potential to change the life path of the youth involved in a positive and lasting manner.

The goal of NCBH staff each summer is to come up with new and innovative activities and group ideas that will enhance the experiences for children and adolescents during the following summer. This time around, the planning began early as a collaboration between kids and staff. As a long and fun-filled day drew to a close on the drive home from the traditional final trip to Lake Tahoe, the county cars of NCBH therapists and children were already buzzing with excitement over planning next year’s summer program.

Sammie's Friends Logo

Sammie's Friends is Launching a Spay/Neuter Campaign

Sammie's Friends, a local non-profit that provides medical care for pets and contracts with Nevada County to operate the Nevada County Animal Shelter, is starting a spay/neuter campaign to try to combat the pet overpopulation crisis they are currently facing. With 210 cats currently in their shelter, Sammie's Friends is over capacity by almost 60 percent.  Spaying or neutering your pets is a great way to prevent overpopulation among pets, reduce the burden on our animal shelters, and suffering for the animals.

Each kitten season, Sammie's Friends receive over 400 kittens to be adopted. Only 15 percent of animals coming into the shelter have already been spayed or neutered, with about 1,550 shelter animals getting spayed or neutered annually. Sammie's Friends is one of many community partners that helps reduce pet overpopulation in our community by providing free spay/neuter services. Sammie's Friends provides a spay/neuter voucher program that helps to spay or neuter over 1,000 pets annually over the past six years.  AnimalSave, Pound Puppy, and the Grass Valley Animal Shelter also contribute free spay/neuter services to our community and together our local animal organizations spay and neuter over 5,000 local pets annually. Even with over 5,000 spay/neuter procedures performed each year, our community and our shelters still experience pet overpopulation.

Sammie's Friends is launching a spay/neuter campaign to reduce the number of cats coming to shelters. For more information about this campaign, visit Sammie's Friends website  or their Facebook page.

Inmates Participate in Acting Up at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility

Inmates Participate in Acting Up at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility

Nevada County Arts Council has just wrapped up an important series of workshops called Acting Up at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, our County Jail. Over the course of the last three months, the Council commissioned experienced actor, director and playwright, John Deaderick, to teach theatre and acting to close to twenty inmates, varying in age from early twenties to early seventies, and serving time for a variety of offenses. The series was the result of an unusual partnership with California Lawyers for the Arts, a statewide organization with headquarters in San Francisco.

Captain Shannan Moon says, "We are really pleased with our collaboration with Nevada County Arts Council. Anytime we can provide evidence based programs to our incarcerated population, it has the potential to assist and help prevent them falling into the same cycle of committing crimes when they are released.  The inmates enjoyed the Arts-in-Corrections classes, as seen by their participation and completion of the program – and there are obvious signs of increased respect for one another and our staff."

What do participants of Acting Up say of their experience?  When asked about the changes inmate participants now planned to make in their lives, here was some feedback jail staff and Nevada County Arts Council received:

"My interactions have become deeper. I feel I understand each person more… I feel happier, and have become more outgoing and cheerful..."

"The space help me to explore myself better. I feel I'm more relaxed and friendly and therefore able to make better decisions…"

Deaderick adds, "My own experience has been profound… and I've been humbled working with these men. They tell me they are far less judgmental of one another, and life's lot, having participated in Acting Up – and that it's changed the way they think about their future. I feel that I, too, have become far less judgmental and more compassionate."

Broad evidence-based research shows inmates engaged in arts programs are less likely to be involved in disciplinary incidents and to re-offend after release. Jeff Pettit, Nevada County Sheriff Captain, and Robert Bringolf, Executive Lieutenant in Corrections at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility speak highly of the program.

Where does Nevada County Arts Council's work with incarcerated adults and youth go from here? Tudor says, "We'd like to do more work with disadvantaged youth caught up in the juvenile justice system at Juvenile Hall, and we'd also like to work with female inmates at our County Jail. We are hoping that with the fantastic staff at each of our county institutions, we'll be breaking ground in these areas soon."

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