Liz Writes Life

July 12, 2011

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

Dan Doresy of Mt. Shasta TEA Party asked about eight of us who are leaders in groups, who want to live by the U.S. and California Constitutions, to network as a Siskiyou Alliance. We have met with Congressman Tom McClintock, California Senator Doug LaMalfa, Congressman Wally Herger. Last Friday, we met with Assemblyman Jim Nielsen in Mt. Shasta at Lalo’s. The Siskiyou Alliance includes the Mt. Shasta TEA Party, Yreka TEA Party, Siskiyou Water Users Association, Scott Valley Protect Our Water, Republican Central Committee, KARE – the pro-timber group, Grange and the suction dredge miners.

Nielsen listened and shared info as well. He is frustrated over the redistricting commission, bus said there is nothing that legislators can do about the redistricted boundaries, because it was taken out of their hands by a CA. Proposition in 2008 passed by the state voters. The last map I have seen puts all of Siskiyou County back together and places us with Modoc, Lassen, Plumas and down the eastern side of the state.

Shasta County has now been lumped into the coastal counties. The hearings are also closed, but the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission is still taking emails and letters. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters to keep Siskiyou County together. We may still lose Nieslen as our assemblyman, who has been a champion for Siskiyou issues, but at least we won’t be with the extremely different coastal communities. Nielsen also promised that he will continue to give voice to concerns from Siskiyou County at the state level. To him, I say “thank you!”

We also discussed the PUC rate increased proposed by Pacific Power regarding dam removal. There are two new difficult problems for farm and ranch irrigators. One is the drastic increase in Water Master Service by the CA. Dept. of Water Resources. The other is regarding maintenance on the expensive fish screens that have been installed in Scott Valley as demanded by the CA. Dept of Fish and Game back in 2002, because of the proposed listing of coho salmon to the California Endangered Species Act.

This agency has spent over $1.2 million to engineer and place 95 fish screens on diversions in Scott Valley, but the agency is dragging its feet to maintain the fish screens. After the high water this year, many have been damaged by debris. In the agency’s regulations it states they are to maintain the fish screens, but they are not.

I complained to the State Director John McCammon at Scott Valley Protect Our Water’s meeting with him in April, but nothing has been done.

Several assembly bills were also discussed and the problem gold miners are having with the California Dept. of Fish and Game. There was plenty to talk about.

Things are growing

Gardening is still front and center. Finally there is more color in the wild flower garden as the multi-colored rose and red rose are blooming. Oh, the fragrance is gorgeous. Also the tall yarrow is turning yellow. The pedal-type bright purple lambs ears and red snapdragons are blooming together. There are also the yellow coreopsis, Shasta daisies, purple wandering Jew and a pink bearded discia. And the orange day lilies just started opening everyday. Quite a variety of color, but that is why I call my flower garden “wild.”

Mixed Miracle Grow and sprinkled the entire garden vegetables on Saturday. Also did the five zinnias, one large dahlia and three smaller ones that just popped up.

The cabbage is making heads and the broccoli produced nice-sized bunches, which needed to be picked this week. These plants are the healthiest I’ve ever grown and I think the volunteer dill that is growing among them may be discouraging the aphids.

I combined two recipes and made a broccoli salad with green onions from the garden and bacon and raisins – not from the garden.

I was trying to irrigate the potatoes every other day, but on Saturday they were so sad by 3 p.m. that I realized they either need more water or when it is over 90 degrees need to irrigate an hour every day. The plants are blooming and grew another foot this past week! I put new photos up on lizbowen.com and the “beginning of summer” garden photos.

I have added a bag of steer manure to one spot where I will plant snow peas this week. It is supposed to be cooler just in the 80s this week, so I hope to get a long row of carrots to germinate. They will go in where I pulled the 70 garlic plants, which need to be braided and hung on a pine tree limb to dry. I need to find some fabric to place over the carrot seed bed and irrigate several times a day. I have never had much luck planting carrots in the heat of summer, but I want to eat carrots all winter, so they need to get to growing.

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Liz Writes Life

July 5, 2011

Published Siskiyou Daily News

 Man was that rain last Tuesday and Wednesday great for the gardens. I swear the green beans doubled in size in two hours. And the potatoes! They really went to town and are over a foot tall now. I’ve been told there is fertilizer –type nutrients in rain, but this was amazing. The temperature was just right as well. By Thursday, I knew I had to get after the weeds or they would take over. Because I have kept the weeds down in the vegetable garden, I had it weeded with the hoe and by hand in less than two hours, whew.

The onions are finally growing well, but my corn is only six-inches tall.  Sounds like some of you, like Mike and Pauline Cramer, planted their corn early enough that will be “knee-high by the 4th of July,” which is the optimum height for Scott Valley. Personally, I’ve never known it to freeze here in the valley in July, but I have had vegetable-killing-frosts in late June and late August.

The elephant garlic was heading out with a seed pod, so I pulled it up. It really didn’t get huge and looks more like large regular garlic. Maybe I harvested it too early as the tops had not fallen over, but I planted it in late fall and was told it could be harvested in June. The regular garlic hasn’t gone to seed head yet, so I will leave it in a while longer.

My problem is that I have never been able to dry my garlic well and I have lots of garlic this year. So I looked it up on the Internet. The pulled-up garlic was lying on the porch when it rained for two days. It isn’t moldy, but I am going to braid the tops and use twine to hang it under the pine tree. It is shady and windy there, which will help it dry. I guess it takes longer for the elephant garlic to dry – maybe up to four weeks.

Next what to do with all that garlic? I know that Doc and Judy Coatney can or freeze theirs. Hum, guess I should give them a call for suggestions. But I think I will also try making garlic power. One of the Internet articles said to slice the pealed cloves very thin and dry them in the dehydrator at 150 degrees. When dry, use a coffee grinder or motor and pestle to grind it into powder. I like the garlic salt brand that also has parsley in it. So I will dry parsley and make my own garlic, parsley and salt mix.

I had to finally break down and buy a curly-leafed parsley plant, because the parsley seed I planted in the garden did not grow. Basil are finally poking up, but I think I need to start the parsley in the house in March next year. My friend, Kathy Varnell, gave me a flat-leafed parsley, so I should have enough for the winter. I also bought a thyme plant. I have planted several here and they don’t seem to survive. But the oregano, mint and sage grow every spring. In fact, the spearmint is becoming obnoxious it is creeping around so much! Anyway, I need to replenish my dried herbs, so will be busy drying this year.

I sure do appreciate the snap dragons that come back every year and are blooming right now. And because I didn’t get to two flowerbeds, I was pleasantly surprised to find four o’clocks and cosmos are popping up on their own. The hollyhocks and lilies will be blooming soon. I am being tough on the amaranth and only plan on letting one grow to its four or five feet and produce the maroon huge elephant head, but they grow like weeds, so who knows how many I will end up with. Oh, and finally I found some blue morning glory seed, ‘cuz I didn’t save any from last year, and they are up about two inches. Whew, I was worried. I really like the wall of green leaves and blue flowers in August.

POW meeting

Our meeting last week was packed with information. There is one thing we are telling folks about the California Dept. of Fish and Game, which is: Do not even consider getting their Incidental Take Permit, especially if you have a fish screen on your diversion. And do not get a 1602 Streambed Alteration Permit. Both are an illegal push by the state agency to make you pay for a Permit that will cost you upwards of $20,000 for the environmental impact reports that will need to be done by biologists, etc.

If you have any questions for our reasoning, please call me at 530-467-3515 or Mark Baird at 530-468-5967 or Tom Pease at 530-468-2414.

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Liz Writes Life

June 28, 2011

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

It is never a dull moment for those of us trying to protect our rights under the U.S. and California Constitutions. Budget deficits are turning bureaucrats and government agencies into tyrants and dictators. So we will stand our ground and hold another Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, because several new threats loom.

On Wednesday night, June 29th at 7 p.m. POW will meet at the Fort Jones Community Center. As president, I will try to keep the meeting as short as possible, but there is important information to share.

First: Threatening letters were sent out by the California Dept of Fish & Game last week telling irrigation diverters they must obtain two permits in order to use their legal adjudication of their Water Right. One is called an Incidental Take Permit or ITP, which protects the irrigator from accidentally harming juvenile coho salmon.

In 2002, when the coho was being listed to the California Endangered Species Act, Fish & Game officials told us that each irrigator would be protected by putting in the costly $20,000 fish screens. There are now 95 fish screens protecting Scott Valley diversions from allowing fish into ditches. The cost was approximately $1.2 million. But this isn’t enough. Fish & Game now claims that removing irrigation water will “potentially” harm the juvenile coho. POW states Fish & Game is over-stepping its authority.

The second: Fish & Game are now advocating that removing irrigation water from the stream is “altering” the streambed – even if no gravels, etc. are touched. This is ridiculous. POW claims this 1602 Permit is illegal and our supporters will not obtain it.

Fees to go up 700 fold

Another vital discussion for the POW agenda is the enormous increase in the Water Master Service fee. At our POW board meeting last week, we voted to fight this illegal demand that will increase the fee for the simple service by 7 times. This gigantic jump will affect the bottom-line for our local ranchers, who, in most cases, are just getting by. The problem is that the fee has been placed on property taxes and is now considered a tax. So while we figure out how to get out of Water Master Service or find an alternative, the fee will go on property taxes starting July 1. If the fee isn’t paid, the county can add a fine and a lien will be placed on your property. This is outrageous and should be illegal.

Dr. John Menke, rancher and POW board member expressed his frustration and wrote a letter to Senator Doug LaMalfa. Others should as well. The fee is based on the amount of water one receives and John receives a significant amount of legally adjudicated water. His fee cost has been $1,430 and will increase to $8,400 a year — beginning this coming Friday.  Lot’s of notice time! 

We have learned that other areas in the state are outraged as well. John stated in his letter that there has been little to no “policing” of the increasing salaries of state department employees and the state is now burdening the public with this huge fee increase. Good point. Check Pie N Politics.com to read John’s letter.

John and several neighbors will be petitioning the court to be released from Water Master Service, but that will take time.

Those who are not affected by this huge service fee increase may wonder why POW is taking such a strong stand against it. The reason: Once government agencies believe they can push the public around and will pay their wasteful budgets, this type of fee increase will escalate. Our government is too big. Taxes, fees and fines from increased regulations and laws are destroying the economy and our society. We must say “no more.”

Also on the POW agenda: Update on Happy Camp Districts’ and Sheriff Lopey’s coordination process for local managing Public Lands of the Klamath National Forest.

Mike Duguay is working with a Task Force to do coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service on the 2,000 page document for coho recovery. POW is not part of his project, which is writing comment for Siskiyou County on the federal recovery plan. POW is also not part of Happy Camp Districts’ coordination project, but we are learning and watching both with plans of our own.

Garden

Corn and potatoes are growing like crazy. I fertilized most everything that was up last week. The cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe are putting on their third leaf. And I finally found a few carrots, but the weeds are so thick it will be difficult to thin them. The snow peas are producing, but don’t seem to be very sweet. I am keeping the lettuce harvested and more continued to grow in the little area I planted, but the next batch of hot weather won’t be good for it.

Liz Bowen lives near Callahan, CA. and helps individuals write autobiographies/biographies. Check out her website/blog at: www. lizbowen.com

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Liz Writes Life

June 21, 2011

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

Yep, today will be the longest day of the year, well the longest of daylight as it is the summer solstice and officially the first day of summer. So, believe it or not, the sun will start moving back to shorter days now, but luckily our summer really does start now and we should have two months of great growing. Planted much of the garden on June 11th and then the corn on the 14th and was pleased to see inch-tall corn Monday morning, the 20th, popping up! A few cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelon just let out their first two leaves as well and the beans are really cracking the soil. So the garden is officially underway.

Been irrigating by hand-sprayer every morning, but the not-too-hot weather last week worked wonders. The two packs of small onions I planted a month ago are really taking off. I am having a hard time telling which of the teeny tiny plants will be carrots and those that are weeds. Another week will divide the carrots from the bad. On Friday, Kathy Varnell gave me two Roma tomato plants and one that is good for drying, as well as bell peppers and a hot pepper. I planted them on Saturday and they look happy.

To show how late some flowers are blooming this year, I took a photo of the yellow and purple iris blooming next to the Oriental poppies on June 18 and put it up on Liz Bowen.com. These usually bloom in mid-May. My husband weed-eated this weekend and it looks so much better. Been chopping Marlahan mustard, but didn’t stay on top of it like I should have.

Pat Swanson told me she is eating zucchini! Yep, she planted it in February in her greenhouse and it began producing last week. I just planted my seeds, so it will be August, before I get fresh zucchini. Way to go, Pat.

Father’s Day

My youngest son, Justin, became a father last week. Mason Miles Bowen was born a few days early, but baby and Mom Joni are doing well. I called on Saturday to ask Justin if his life has changed any. The answer was a resounding yes. It is interesting to note how both the new mom and dad quickly found a deep love and bond with their new baby. Being a great father is a challenge, but one well worth all the effort. Happy late Father’s Day to all you dads out there.

Redistricting

I don’t think I explained redistricting very well last week. These districts are for our elected representatives. When we go to the polls to vote, we vote for individuals who will represent us in the assembly and senate of our California State legislature. Then at the national level, our congressman or woman represents an area, which is also called a district. These are the districts I am talking about, when I explained that the boundary lines have been changed.

A 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission held meetings throughout the state earlier this year and on June 10th released their draft map with these new boundary lines. No meetings were held in Siskiyou County and the one in Redding was not publicized up here, so I am miffed about that.

The western portion of Siskiyou County was cut out of the assembly, state senate and congressional districts that we have been in. Jim Nielsen has been our assemblyman. Doug LaMalfa is our state senator and Wally Herger our congressman. If we don’t get the map boundary changed, they will no longer be our representatives.

Scott Valley and Happy Camp have been cut out of Siskiyou County and moved into the coastal districts. This makes no sense as the headquarters or offices for those districts are on the coast, likely Eureka, which is a four-hour drive through our rugged coastal mountain range.

The boundary of Siskiyou County stays the same. It is the voting districts that have been changed. The districts are created through the census and each voting district is expected to have approximately the same number of residents and voters.

Some urban counties have many districts.

County Clerk Colleen Setzer has weighed-in and is extremely unhappy at the additional cost for creating different ballots at election time. This will add expenditures that the county does not have. Clerk Setzer already runs her department on a bare-bones staff.

Please, write a letter or get on the internet and write the commission. Tell them it will be a hardship. Make your comments personal. I get to Eureka about once every 20 years. Explain that  Redding, where our elected representatives are available, is much closer and safer journey.

Address is: Citizens Redistricting Commission, 901 P Street, Suite 154-A, Sacramento, CA 95814.  Fax: is (916) 651-5711. Email is:  votersifrstact @crc .ca.gov. 

Liz Bowen lives near Callahan, CA. and helps individuals write autobiographies/biographies. Check out her website/blog at: www. Lizbowen.com

 

 

 

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Report on the garden

Blossoms on snow peas quickly turned into pods!

Enough peas for several stir-fries.

Tomato plants are starting to grow.  Still have lettuce to eat, which is to the right.


For new flower photos, check out:

 

www.lizbowen.com

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Liz Writes Life

June 14, 2011

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

Today is flag day and, yes, I proudly salute my flag of the United States of America and pledge to work that we may be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I also feel great gratitude for our veterans and soldiers, who have served and are serving our country. Thank you for helping us remember that we do live in a country with freedoms worth fighting for.

The sun is beaming down warm rays and it feels like a summer morning. Finally, I planted most of the garden on Saturday night. June 11th is pretty late for me to be planting, but between the weather and being fairly busy, it just didn’t get done sooner.

The frost-bitten tomatoes are growing tiny green leaves and so the roots are growing and I won’t replace them. Oh, I went to irrigate the snow peas and they are producing, so I ate a half dozen. Will make a stir fry this week. The potatoes needed irrigating and I weeded them as well. Got to weeds just in time and the plants look good. I will begin harvesting some baby potatoes in July.

Water Master Service fees

It should be illegal for the state to increase fees for which there is no service. With the state budget crunch, the Dept. of Water Resources announced it is planning on increasing costs for a water master by five times or more. This will affect landowners, who have a Water Right and are under a court-ordered water master. A water master is an engineer and his job is to measure water at headgates making sure landowners are taking their correct amount of water adjudicated to their property right.

In Siskiyou County, only one-and-a-half men are paid by Dept. of Water Resources for water master service. And their measuring work is for typically six to seven months of the year. The total cost for the service in the entire county is about $180,000. It is paid for by the landowners who are under the service. That is a lot of money for just two employees and one is part time to boot. There surely are extra costs that are not attributed to the actual work of the two employees.

Now with the governor slashing agencies’ budgets, DWR claims it will need to increase the fees by at least five times. What! The present cost more than pays for one-and-half-employees and now it will increase five times! Just what will all that extra cash be paying for? Ranchers cannot afford this huge increase in a state fee. Many are already on the breaking point. Ranchers in both Shasta and Scott Valleys are scrambling to offer alternatives and or petition the Siskiyou Superior Court to be removed from Water Master Service.

Today at 3 p.m. the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors will hear the newest proposal. The supervisors must realize the importance of supporting these ranchers as they are local businesses. Agriculture is the largest economy in the county. For the county’s continued existence, these ranchers, farmers and landowners need to stay in business. The proposal is to use the county’s Flood Control District to hire the one or two needed employees through the Public Works Dept. to provide water master service. The service fee will remain much the same.

At last week’s board meeting, Supervisor Marcia Armstrong representing District 5, complained about the liability issue. But from what John Menke Ph.D. told me this morning, an insurance company has been found that will provide the needed insurance at a minimal premium. There is a difference between being a slave to the state and standing up to the state. We need our county to stand up to the state. Please, county supervisors, take a stand.

Check out Pie N Politics.com for more info on this subject.

Re-districting

Well another blow hit us on Friday, when Erin Ryan from Senator Doug LaMalfa’s office called to say that the new maps were out showing how the election/representative districts will be made up. The new 14 person Commission for re-districting voted 14 to 0 to draw the line on the east side of Scott Valley. This takes the western portion of the county, including Happy Camp, out of assembly district under Jim Nielsen; senatorial district under Doug LaMalfa; and Congressional district under Wally Herger. It puts us with the liberal districts on the coast.

Please, these maps are not yet set in stone, so write the commission and state that the coast is four hours away. We should be in with the rest of Siskiyou County, because Yreka is our cultural center providing the services we need – and it is only a half hour away.

Address is: Citizens Redistricting Commission, 901 P Street, Suite 154-A, Sacramento, CA 95814. Fax: is (916) 651-5711. Liz Bowen helps individuals write autobiographies/biographies. Check out her website for photos and life in Scott Valley at: Liz Bowen.com

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Liz Writes Life

June 7, 2011

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

My mother used to ask me this profound question: If everyone else is jumping off a bridge, will you do it to? Yep, I was smart enough to pick up the meaning, which is still pertinent: Just because everyone else was doing it, doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. Sometimes you need to take a stand and not follow the crowd, especially when the overwhelming majority claims it is the only thing to do.

While working hard on the American Dream during the last 66 years, since the end of World War II, many have failed to recognize we are being herded like sheep to a slaughter. It has become fashionable to jump off the bridge. No matter the consequences.

“Get a long” and do as government agencies demand is the attitude currently in fashion. And it will be our demise. 

I, for one, will no longer be herded. I will not be bullied. Yet, it is difficult to stand against tyranny. But stand up we must, because too many government agencies, at all levels, have become oppressive. The constant addition of more laws, regulations and codes do not protect “we the people.”

The fault lies in the mere fact that much of the U.S. population believes the great lie; which is that we must be protected from ourselves — and only continued regulations and intolerant enforcement will accomplish this.

So oppression is continuing. This is being in done, because budgets are slashed! There isn’t enough tax dollars to pay for all the waste.

Our custom and culture in Siskiyou County is under attack and I see no officials willing to protect “we the people” from the onslaught. At a meeting in Sacramento on May 18, officials in the California Dept. of Fish and Game openly discussed how to “get” that farmer in Siskiyou County who turned on his water on April 1st without a permit (remember there is no permit to get). This is outrageous. Mark Baird, and the 150 others who decided to stand with him, turned on his water — legally. Subversion of our property rights is now openly admonished.

And yikes! Fees for Water Master Service are threatened to increase by 7 times. Ranchers can’t afford this cost. These are small family-owned businesses.

The Siskiyou County Water Users Association has put forth a viable alternative and it will be shared at a special meeting at the Greenhorn Grange tonight, June 7th, in Yreka at 7 p.m. There are other ideas, including petitioning the Siskiyou Superior Court for release from Water Master Service. In most cases, the service was created because of a dispute on a ditch and the Superior Court settled it. Water Masters under the Dept. of Water Resources state agency then measure allowing for only the legal portion of water to be taken. Some ditches no longer have disputes, so this is an option.

The new regulations and fees continue to harass and cause harm. Talk about feel like a lone lamb with wolf packs boldly circling.

At this point I turn the analogy of jumping off the bridge on its heels. It looks like the bridge is a highway to the gas chambers – we need to take the leap of faith and jump off.

Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn about protecting your basic rights. Attend the Siskiyou County Water Users Association meeting on June 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenhorn Grange. Do not become apathetic. We must be brave on this matter. Check out Pie N Politics.com for more.

Gardening

I am writing this on Monday morning and the sun just popped out. The bright orange Oriental poppies are beginning to bloom, which is about three weeks later than the last few years. I didn’t say normal, cuz there just isn’t a normal in Siskiyou County. Most people are tired of the last few weeks of cold and rain complaining it is unusual. Once again, I say that it isn’t unusual.

I remember back in 1982, when we were living on Rancho del Sol in the middle of Scott Valley. It had been a very foggy winter and I thought it crazy when I was weeding the garden one June morning in the fog.

Cabbage, broccoli and the lettuce have really enjoyed this weather. The peas are blooming and even my garlic looks good. New leaves are on the tomatoes, but I feel like everyone else who gardens around here – late. But I have found as soon as the soil warms up, the seeds sprout quickly and the plants really start to grow. I do like to use some fertilizer like Miracle Grow in June several times to get those roots spreading, especially on plants purchased from nurseries.

Liz Bowen helps individuals write autobiographies/biographies. Check out her website for photos and life in Scott Valley at: Liz Bowen.com

 

 

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