Friday Memo, County of Nevada
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CAL FIRE Announces Burn Ban

After another wet winter, warming temperatures and winds are quickly drying out the abundant annual grass crop. The increasing fire danger posed by the high volume of dead grass and hotter, drier conditions in the region is prompting CAL FIRE to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning within the State Responsibility Area of Nevada, Yuba, Placer and Sierra Counties. This suspension took effect June 11th at 8:00 a.m. and bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves.

“This year is turning out to be just as volatile as last year. The public cannot let their guard down and must continue to be involved in preparation efforts for the upcoming wildfires,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “Again, this year the abundant dead grass will only serve as a fuse to the heavier vegetation still suffering the lasting effects of over five years of drought.”

Since January 1, 2018 CAL FIRE and firefighters across the state have already responded to over 1650 wildfires. While outdoor burning of landscape debris by homeowners is no longer allowed, CAL FIRE is asking residents to take that extra time to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around every home and building on their property and being prepared to evacuate if the time comes.

Here are some tips to help prepare homes and property:

  • Clear all dead and or dying vegetation 100 feet from around all structures.
  • Landscape with fire resistant plants and non-flammable ground cover.
  • Find alternative ways to dispose of landscape debris like chipping or hauling it to a biomass energy or green waste facility


The department may issue restricted temporary burning permits if there is an essential reason due to public health and safety. Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other industrial-type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE official inspects the burn site and issues a special permit.

The suspension of burn permits for residential landscape debris does not apply to campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property. Campfires may be permitted if the campfire is maintained in such a manner as to prevent its spread to the wildland. A campfire permit can be obtained at local fire stations or online.

For additional information on how to create Defensible Space, on how to be prepared for wildfires, as well as tips to prevent wildfires, visit CAL FIRE's Ready for Wildfire website. While you’re preparing for high fire season, don't forget to practice your emergency plan with your family, think about making a Go Bag, and sign you and your family members up for CodeRED emergency alerts.


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Citizen's Academy 2018 Now Accepting Applications!

Nevada County is now accepting applications for its 5th year of Citizen's Academy! Citizen's Academy offers a behind the scenes look at County government where participants tour six County facilities, and learn from over twenty department presentations that cover a wide range of services from A (Agriculture) to Z (Zoning).

Citizen's Academy participant, Susan Meagher, said, "I gained a valuable understanding of the scope of county services, as well as insight into the complex budgeting process. I came away with a tremendous respect for the expertise of our county employees and officials."

Citizen's Academy takes place on ten consecutive Monday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. starting in late August through early November. Specific dates and topics for each session of Citizen's Academy can be found on Nevada County's website or on the Citizen's Academy flyer.

The goal of Citizen's Academy is to increase civic engagement within Nevada County and acquaint community leaders with the various functions of County government.

Applications are due July 13th.  Find more information and ways to apply on Nevada County's website.


Photo of Bridgeport Covered Bridge

Historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge Receives Funding

On Friday, June 8th, the State’s Budget Conference Committee voted to include the additional 2.8 million in funding needed to restore the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge as planned in late summer.

On Monday, May 21st, Nevada County was informed that a funding shortfall for the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project emerged which, if left unfunded, would delay the project for at least one year and likely drive costs up further threatening the project. In collaboration with the Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee and many other community advocates, County Supervisors sent letters to California State Assembly Committee on Budget members to advocate for the funding needed to keep the project on schedule, and received news that the Budget Conference Committee voted in favor of the additional funding.

With the additional funding approved, the California Department of Parks and Recreation will be able to continue to select a bid with construction starting as early as August 2018. The reconstruction will include raising the Bridge eighteen inches to allow for higher river levels, with hidden new structural elements to ensure the future integrity of the Bridge. The Project also includes replacement of some of the existing interior support structures, roof, wall and other failing structural elements as needed, all while preserving the Bridge’s historic nature.

Upon completion of the construction project, the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to the Park will be able to cross the Bridgeport Bridge once again since it was closed to foot traffic in 2011.


PG&E logo

Fire Safety Power Outages for PG&E Customers

Recently, Nevada County PG&E customers have been alerted that PG&E is considering possibly turning off power temporarily for safety when extreme fire danger conditions occur. Although they are considering this possibility, they will only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety, and as a last resort during extreme weather conditions.

In an effort to keep residents and local PG&E customers informed and prepared during a weather event (such as a Red Flag Warning day), Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services (OES) has created a webpage with information and resources regarding PG&E temporarily turning off power. PG&E has reached out to Nevada County, recognizing OES as a key partner in emergency response and communications. OES will continue to update their webpage on PG&E possibly turning power off temporarily as more information is available.

As a part of their Community Wildfire Safety program, PG&E has created several resources for residents to stay emergency-ready and safe during an outage. Residents should update their contact information on PG&E's Wildfire Alerts webpage, and visit their website on the Community Wildfire Safety program to find more information on the program, why PG&E is considering shutting off power for safety, and how they can prepare. If PG&E customers have any questions, they are encouraged to contact PG&E at wildfiresafety@pge.com.

Nevada County OES encourages all residents to sit down with their family and create an emergency plan. The recently released 2018/2019 Fire Season Guide contains information and checklists for emergency planning. Make sure you and your family are signed up for CodeRED emergency alerts, are familiar with your neighborhood and possible exit routes, and have a Go Bag ready in case of an emergency event.


Nevada County Community Library: Create. Connect. Inspire. logo

San Juan Ridge Community Library Gets High Speed Broadband Service

Visitors of the San Juan Ridge Community Library now have faster internet service, thanks to a partnership with Nevada County Community Library.

Nevada County Community Library is working through the State's library partnership with the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) to provide high-speed connectivity to all Nevada County Community Libraries. Last year, the Madelyn Helling Library went online with the first connection and this week San Juan Ridge Community Library became the second library to gain access.

Broadband Internet service is essential to the economic stability of Nevada County. This new service will provide San Juan Ridge residents with easier access to the Internet to search for jobs, find government and health resources, and engage in online educational opportunities including video streaming, and delivery of digital content to e-readers.

The CENIC broadband initiative is in alignment with Nevada County Community Library's Strategic Plan priorities, which seek to provide equal access to the library and its resources and to embrace technologies that improve libraries and empower communities.

The Grass Valley Library, Truckee Library, Doris Foley Library and Penn Valley Library are expected to go live with their connections by the end of June.


Photo of kids coloring

Increased Access for Children's Mental Health Services through CPS

Nevada County Child Protective Services (CPS) and Nevada County Children’s Behavioral Health departments have strengthened their partnership to ensure that children entering the foster care system receive expedient and effective trauma informed mental health services.

Based in part on a State initiative to improve mental health services for youth in the child welfare system, these two Nevada County departments have worked together closely to design an efficient and seamless process for accessing care. The process assures that within 5 days of any child entering foster care, a social worker will provide a detailed screening and referral to Nevada County Children’s Behavioral Health consisting of a Mental Health Screen, a Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Risk Assessment tool and relevant history. This process provides for an in-depth trauma informed assessment, allowing each child to receive mental health treatment targeted to his or her individual needs.

Over the past year, Nevada County Child Protective Services and Nevada County Children’s Behavioral Health shared cross training on Adverse Childhood Experiences research, trauma informed care, mandated reporting protocols, crucial referral information and the High-Fidelity Wraparound service model. Social Workers with CPS have referred 54 dependent youth to Children’s Behavioral Health since this strengthened collaboration started in January 2017, in addition to 15 voluntary cases for a total of 69 youth mutually served between the agencies. This shared knowledge has strengthened the inter-departmental partnership in serving our most vulnerable children and families.

To assure timely communication, the Departments’ program managers meet weekly, while social workers and therapists join in collaborative quarterly meetings to ensure clear communication among those serving the child. This comprehensive assessment process, close multidisciplinary collaboration and timely, individualized mental health services result in better outcomes for children who have experienced trauma.

For more information about mental health services for children and youth, or on becoming a foster parent, please contact Program Manager Cindy Morgan at the Nevada County Children’s Behavioral Health Office at (530) 265-1779 or cindy.morgan@co.nevada.ca.us or Program Manager Nicholas Ready at the Nevada County Child Protective Services Office at (530) 265-1654 or nicholas.ready@co.nevada.ca.us.


Improved Capacities and Collaboration Coming to Child Support and Social Services

Starting July 1st, Mike Dent, currently the Director of Social Services, and Tex Ritter, currently the Director of Child Support Services, will be switching positions.

Both Mike and Tex will bring a new lens of objectivity and a fresh prospective to these two, already high performing departments in an effort to further improve capacities, and find new innovations.  Trading leadership roles amongst these two closely related departments encourages a strategic cross-pollination of departments in the Health and Human Services Agency and will bring enhanced service to the citizens both departments serve. 

Both Mike and Tex will be working towards bringing flexibility to the Health Services Specialist role at Nevada County. Health Services Specialist staff will be cross-trained with the ability to transfer across Child Support and Social Services depending on needs, strengths, and talents of the individual departments and staff.  To begin this collaboration among departments, the department Directors will be leading the transition to help guide staff through both challenges and new innovations. 

Mike has dedicated over twenty-three years to working with Nevada County, and has previously worked in Child Support, Probation and Social Services.  Under Tex, Sierra Nevada Regional Department of Child Support Services has ranked as one of the top performing Child Support departments in the State over the past several years. In addition to Child Support, Tex also has experience working in Medi-Cal, Juvenile Justice, and Public Health.


Photo of Wolf

Gray Wolf visits Nevada County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) confirmed a gray wolf visited Nevada County the morning of June 8th about a mile and a half North of Interstate 80 near Boreal Mountain Resort in Soda Springs, CA. This is the first known visit of a gray wolf to Nevada County, the gray wolf has since returned north and is currently presumed to be in Sierra County.

Nevada County’s gray wolf visitor is being referred to as OR-54 (collar number) by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She is a 2-year-old female originally from an Oregon pack that was made famous by OR-7, who was the first confirmed wild wolf in California since 1924. OR-54 is most likely the offspring of OR-7. OR-7 is the offspring of a controversial wolf reintroduction effort launched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1995, where 14 wolves were transplanted from Canada to Yellowstone National Park after becoming an endangered species in 48 states.

It is unclear why OR-54 visited Nevada County, however, Fish and Wildlife biologists believe that she is dispersing from her Oregon pack and it is unknown where she will end up.

Gray Wolves pose very little safety risk to humans. If one should encounter a Gray Wolf do not run. Maintain eye contact and make noise while retreating slowly. The public is reminded that Gray Wolves are covered under the Endangered Species Act in California. It is unlawful to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, or capture Gray Wolves. Gray Wolf sighting can be reported to CDFW online or by calling CDFW (530) 225-2300.


National Safety Month poster on falls

National Safety Month: One Fall Can Change it All

June is National Safety Month and the theme is "No 1 Gets Hurt". Join the Nevada County Safety Committee for National Safety Month Lunch Talks on Wildfire Preparedness, Wellness and Tobacco Prevention, Fall Prevention, and Summer Water Safety scheduled each Monday in June from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Each presentation will take place in the Board Chambers at the Eric Rood Center that will focus on how you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Last week, Matt Furtado, Deputy Fire Marshal for Nevada County and Fire Captain for CAL FIRE, shared important information wildfire and emergency preparedness. This week for Wellness and Tobacco Prevention, Shannon Glaz, Tobacco Project Director from Nevada County Public Health Dept., Jamie Sweet, Tobacco Project Coordinator and Daniela Fernandez, Community Engagement Specialist from Connecting Point, spoke about the Nevada County’s Tobacco Prevention Program. The speakers discussed new forms of tobacco products (e-cigarettes, cigarillos, vaping) and the marketing strategies of these products that target the teen population, and their efforts to educate the community and youth throughout Nevada County with free cessation classes. 

Many people incorrectly believe that e-cig/vape pens produce a water vapor when in fact they create aerosols that contain harmful chemicals, and ultra-fine particles that are inhaled into the lungs and out into the environment, making them harmful to the user and others nearby. Recent studies have shown that the butter-flavored e-cigs can cause a condition known as “popcorn lung”, which is irreversible and life threatening. Diacetyl is the chemical used to make the buttery flavor, but is also found in fruity flavors too (watermelon, cherry crush, and pomegranate). While safe to eat, it is detrimental for the lungs when inhaled.
 
Starting July 11th, 211 Connecting Point will be leading 8 free classes on cessation. For more information on cessation, call 1-800-No-Butts, visit the California Smokers Helpline website, or visit 211 Connecting Point's website.

The theme for the third week is Falls Prevention. On Monday the 18th, Diane Miessler, Senior Outreach Nurse for Nevada County Adult Services, and Karen Marinovich, Coordinator of the Falls Prevention Coalition of Nevada County, will be sharing ways to create a safe environment and to prevent falls at 12:15 p.m. in the Board Chambers at the Eric Rood Administrative Center in Nevada City.

Information on each week's topic will be available in the lobby at the Rood Center for the entire week. More information can also be accessed on the National Safety Council's website.


Eric Rood Administrative Center

Adult Services Moves to Eric Rood Administrative Center

Effective today, Friday June 15th, the Adult Services Division of the Nevada County Department of Social Services will begin operating out of the Eric Rood Administrative Center at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City.  Adult Services includes the In-Home Supportive Services Program, Adult Protective Services, The Public Guardian and the Senior Outreach Nurse Program.  

This move was made to relieve workspace limitation issues at Adult Services prior location at the Crown Point Facility, and to accommodate expanding services from Public Health and Adult Behavioral Health.  This relocation will also increase customers and Adult Services staff's access to eligibility services.
Nevada County Adult Services new office location and contact information will be as follows:

Physical Address:
Nevada County Adult Services
950 Maidu Ave
Nevada City, CA 95959
 
Mailing Address:
Nevada County Adult Services
P.O. Box 1210
Nevada City, CA 95959-1210

Phone:  (530) 265-1639
Email:  Adult.Services@co.nevada.ca.us
New Fax Number: (530) 470-2625

If you have any questions please contact Program Manager, Tamaran Cook, at (530) 265-1639.


Photo of Nevada Country Gold Country Stage buses

June Free Fare Days on Gold Country Stage

Gold Country Stage will provide system wide Free Fare Days on all routes Thursday, June 14th, through Saturday, June 16th, and on June 21st for National Dump the Pump Day. Routes will be operating their normal schedules, days, and times from 5:50 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, with free fares for all.

County of Nevada Transit Services has received a Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) air quality grant that provides public transit funding assistance for projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility.

National Dump the Pump Day is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and encourages people to ride public transportation and to take them where they need to go, instead of driving a car. Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a viable travel option that also helps people save money. According to the March APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $10,134 annually by downsizing to one car.

Additionally, public transportation is a cornerstone of local economies in urban, suburban, and rural communities. In fact, a public transportation helps to make a community economically prosperous and competitive. Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns, powering community growth and revitalization.

For residents attending the Father’s Day Bluegrass Music Festival at the Nevada County Fairgrounds this weekend, the Route 3 fairgrounds bus stop on Brighton Street and McCourtney Road. (near Gate 8) provides travel to and from the event on an hourly basis. Dump the pump, ride the bus!

Gold Country Stage bus schedules are available in the Gold Country Stage Rider’s Guide, at www.goldcountrystage.com or call the office (530) 477-0103 x 0 for travel planning information.

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