Greenville Rising: June 30 – the Dixie Fire victims who fall between the cracks – those in the middle
By Meg Upton
Today’s column is dedicated to all those who are falling between cracks of who FEMA, CalOES, PRS and PCIRC deem worthy of help and who were affected by the Dixie Fire, but are in some gray area where denial of help by the powers that be keep happening.
There seems to be very little help for those who did not lose their primary residences or those who did lose their primary residences but had some place to go. Those of us who found some place to go, who had insurance, who had an empty credit card we could max out are very much lucky that we had something in place that helped mitigate our survival without help…but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t appreciate the help or that we don’t need it. That doesn’t mean we are all thriving either.
I know a man living in an airstream on his property with no running water and no help. He happened to have parents living out of the area he could stay with and now he’s having a hard time proving his burned lot was his primary residence because he can stay with his parents when he leaves town.
Those with maxed out credit cards are facing interest payments and struggling to pay them off. Six weeks was a long time to eat out and get hotel rooms.
For these residents of our burned out town, their ingenuity and creativity helped sustain them through the crisis so that they didn’t need to wait around for help—but that doesn’t mean they are completely okay or couldn’t use a stipend to offset their costs and struggles.
When I lived in San Francisco during graduate school in the 90s I was often struck by housing issues in the city. I was lucky enough to live with a boyfriend in a rent-controlled apartment that he’d lived at for ten years before I arrived on the scene. Later when we broke up, I split the rent of a near closet-sized apartment with a friend for double the price of that Edwardian flat I originally lived in. If you had a good deal of money, you could buy anything you wanted in San Francisco—which got bought up by foreign investors and tech bros from all over. If you had no money you could get on a list for public housing. But if you were in the majority, scraping by above the poverty line but far below affluent you were out of luck—and more than likely—like me—you just picked up and left for something else even if San Francisco was your home and community for many years (eight for me).
That’s kind of what it feels like for quite a few residents of Indian Valley who are struggling to remain here. Where’s the help for the middle? What can be done to help residents pay off the debts they incurred through no fault of their own? How do we define primary residences so that those who had the safety net of family in other places are counted?
As we all decipher what this week’s possible insurance cancellation for Indian Valley Fire Department will mean for the rest of us living in the valley, might we consider the more complicated issues that describe residents of Indian Valley? Might we acknowledge that help and recovery are not a one size fits all?
Recovery looks different for each of us and each entity in the valley. Yesterday I took this photo of a dead tree at Clay Park next to the Indian Valley Community Pool. It is not an immediate threat to safety, but the winds are high these days and children play at that park and pool all the time. It is a threat to public safety. It does need to be attended to soon, even if the park and pool can function right now regardless of its removal. It needs to happen.
The following are a list of events and items for the upcoming week. As usual, if you have something to share with Plumas News for the Greenville Rising column, please send it to [email protected] for inclusion in next week’s column.
July Saturday Market
Crescent Country is featuring its monthly Saturday market this Saturday, July 2, featuring local vendors, lunch by Mary’s German Grill from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a book signing of Margaret Elysia Garcia’s new book Burn Scars featuring poems from before, during and the aftermath of the Dixie Fire. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
4th of July
For a valley that has seen so much radical change it is completely refreshing to celebrate a throwback: 4th of July in Taylorsville.
Festivities get underway at 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the Cowboy Breakfast. All you can eat for $10 sponsored by the volunteers of the Indian Valley Museum.
The Indian Valley Museum in Taylorsville will be open on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a raffle at 3 p.m. and a rock dealer on hand between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The museum will be open July 2 and 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The 4th of July parade begins down Main Street in Taylorsville at 10 a.m.
The 72nd annual Silver Buckle Rodeo takes place at 1 p.m. at the rodeo grounds in Taylorsville. Seats are $15 for shaded areas and $10 for bleacher seats without shade.
Jackpot Team Roping takes place from today, Thursday, June 30 through Sunday, July 3 at the rodeo grounds. Admission is free.
There’s a kick-off concert and dancing tonight at 7 p.m. For more information contact Misty Banchio at (530) 394-9294. For tickets contact Veronica Tilton at (530) 258-1550; for parade info contact Suzette Reed at (530) 375-0464.
Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce
Is back in action. They are providing insurance for the 4th of July parade in Taylorsville as well as Gold Diggers Day (see below).
July 9 Mixer
On July 9, IVCC will be co-hosting a mixer with Plumas Bank near the Greenville branch on Ayoob Alley from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Food trailers will be there for the event with beverages available for donation provided by the Chamber.
July 16 Gold Digger Days
Is around the corner—July 16 at 10 a.m. to be exact. Contact Region Burger owner Christi Hazelton (she can be reached on facebook) about entering a float or participating as a vendor or a volunteer. Volunteers are very much needed. Jeff Titcomb, the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce treasure had this to say about the event and IVCC’s sponsorship:
“We are moving forward with Gold Diggers Day on July 16 [with] a parade in the morning, kid’s corner, kid’s gold rush by (Plumas Bank), watermelon eating for adults and kids, possibly crib races, water balloon fights, possible dunk tank, street vendors, street dance with live band (SideFX) in the evening hours. All activities will be held on Church Street, Pine Street, and North Main Street. We want people to stay away from the Old Way Station and that side of Main Street as it is still a hazard area. The IVCC will have a quad runner as a raffle prize and tickets are $20 each. The theme is Greenville Lives! There will be some t-shirts for sale with the theme. Pine and Church streets will be closed all day for the event.”
The next Gold Digger planning meeting is July 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Green Meadows community room off Hot Springs Road.
Water Aerobics started Monday, June 27 at 5:15 p.m. and is running Monday through Thursdays through the summer. No water aerobics on Monday, July 4. It’s $7 a class, with a 10-session card that can be purchased at a discount.
Plumas County Library is hosting its annual Summer Reading Program from June 13 to August 13. As each child reaches their reading goal each week, they may pick up a prize from their local branch and enter into a drawing for a gift card. Raffle winners will be announced at the end of the program in August. This is for children age 0-18. Greenville temporary branch hours are Thursdays from 11a.m. to 12 p.m. July 7, July 14, July 21, and July 28. Greenville Branch is located at Greenville High School, room 402.
The Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center (RGRC) has cooling assistance items in stock for Disaster Case Management Program clients who are residing in new living spaces. A variety of fans and air conditioning units are available. If you are not yet signed up for Disaster Case Management Services, please call (530) 283-2735, ext 883, or email [email protected] to complete an intake for the program prior to coming to the RGRC to pick up a free fan.
RGRC has free COVID-19 test kits, toiletries, food, home goods replacement items, first aid kits, and other over-the-counter medical supplies available. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.