By Meg Upton
This time last week, I was ubering with a few writer friends of mine to the base of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts stairs in the rain. We ran up the stairs humming the theme song to the Rocky films and then ran back down them to the statue of Rocky to the right of the museum where a Ukrainian flag was draped over Rocky’s shoulders the way a towel normally would have been. Bucket list item checked off.
It is that kind of world that we live in—where real life and imaginary lives intertwine. It was cold and damp in Philadelphia in a way that I forgot winters can be. How long have we lived in drought conditions that I didn’t even remember what damp ground is.
It’s not that I’m ever trying to forget the fire but I try in non-Plumas County spaces to just live in that space. I heard about your town—sorry someone I sort of know says to me at the conference I’m in Philadelphia for. What? Oh yeah…the fire…I think to myself. At other points in the conference, I found myself tuning out pedantic discussions and finer points of argument about language because how unimportant are those things in the land of fire? These thoughts outside of Plumas County can feel alienating. The Rocky steps though? That was pretty darn cool. Maybe that’s what we all need—some Rocky-like determination—and a couple of Adrianne angels to see us through.
Behold this week’s events and happenings in Indian Valley. If you know of or have something to inform the public of, please let me know and I’ll try and get it into the column for the week.
Oh, and to the people leaving their trash and old tires on burnt-out lots while owners of those lots are trying to clean them up? There’s a phrase in Spanish for you: “sin vergüenza” (shake my head, no shame). Really? Really? Special thanks to gas-and-propane angel, Stephen Murray, for offering to clean up after these scoundrels leaving their old tires for someone else to clean up.
The place to be on Saturday is Crescent Mills, where Crescent Country will be celebrating its grand re-opening. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a Saturday market, live music, food and more weather permitting.
Artist of the month is photographer Dennis Hayes. Food provided by Sammy Prior’s Taco Bar.
The Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center will be hosting their grand reopening on the other side of the Crescent Country building.
Shelly’s Main Street Boutique (on the other side of Crescent Tow) will also be celebrating its grand opening starting at 9 a.m.
Festivities for all the openings will wind down around 2 p.m.
Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center
The Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center (RGRC) had this to say about its grand re-opening:
“PRS and RGRC are extensively grateful to the North Valley Community Foundation and the Dixie Fire Funders Roundtable for a Wildfire Relief & Recovery Fund grant to support the resource center financially for the months of March and April. The organizations who collaboratively fund awards as the Dixie Fire Funders Roundtable have allowed the RGRC to transition into its new space without compromising critical service delivery.”
The new resource center has COVID tests, first aid supplies, heating assistance, pet food, and toiletries available at the RGRC reception desk. There’s a computer lab for anyone needing to use a computer, needing WiFi, or a printer.
RGRC staff are working with Indian Valley Food Pantry, sending pantry items to them for distribution. Indian Valley Food Pantry is located at 127 Crescent Street, Unit 5. The food pantry gives away food items on Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
RGRC and PRS would like to thank all the RGRC volunteers that have helped pack up donations, set them up for display, and get the new resource center up and running.
For all unmet needs, donations, and questions about RGRC, contact Coordinator Lara Wheeler via text (preferred method of communication) at (530) 778-4309, phone at (530) 283-2735, x833, or fax at (530) 778-4309.
According to the Plumas Wildfire Recovery bi-monthly newsletter, the state removal program with 696 lots participating has removed debris on 515 lots, and 162 of those have now been returned to their owners. For the 113 lots participating in the alternate program, 46 have had debris cleared with 32 of them returned. We’re getting there.
Looks like we are really starting to see food in downtown Greenville. Region Burger is hiring (check their post on Rebuilding Greenville’s Facebook page).
Action News Now had a brief story on the Concrete Preservation Institute working to keep parts of the Masonic Hall, Sheriff substation, the Way Station, and Village Drug. Sounds like they managed to secure the substation and the Way Station and a wall of the Masonic Lodge in some manner of preservation. The person leading up the preservation was Dr. Tanya Komas who grew up in Greenville. According to her interview with Action News Now, Komas believes “that we are writing a playbook for how to manage something like this that quite honestly state governments don’t have, which is a forest fire response in a historic downtown.” Clearing debris of businesses in downtown Greenville has begun.
Greenville High School Events
Seems like many of us had similar ideas of how to celebrate the Class of 2022 and other GHS kids who would have graduated in Indian Valley had it not been for the Dixie Fire. The two celebrations that have emerged to do the good work of celebrating our students are as follows:
On May 14 there will be a prom for ninth- through twelfth-graders in Indian Valley, inviting back the Class of 2021 since they did not get to have a prom. GHS Boosters seems to have information on that one on their Facebook page.
Judy Dolphin is planning a celebratory luncheon for Class of 2022 seniors on June 11 (the day after graduation). She is trying to get in contact with all graduating seniors. Check the GHS Boosters page for information on this one too. If she hasn’t reached you and your family yet, reach out to her.
Two items of note on the Dixie Fire Collaborative report to be presented to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on April 5 are as follows. The DFC noted that two Cal-OES housing trailers were moved from Greenville to the fairgrounds in Quincy without the DFC or Greenville residents being part of the discussion to move the trailers.
“Disaster victims who are still without stable housing could have utilized those trailers. That kind of action, made without explanation, is extremely frustrating. Communication may have prevented that loss to the survivor community, or at least helped us understand it. That is why we seek closer departmental engagement. Please include us when making these kinds of decisions,” read the report from the DFC.
The second request had to do with helping underinsured or uninsured fire survivors to rebuild their homes and the need for the county planning staff to research and come up with a plan in light of the DFC’s findings it details in the same report (included below).
“Our second request is that Plumas County help underinsured and uninsured fire victims rebuild their homes through a program that only you are qualified to manage. The Cal Home Loan Program provides loans up to $150,000 to disaster victims that are low interest and can be deferred for up to thirty years. California provides the loans, but they have to be managed by a qualifying nonprofit organization within the county or by the county government. The nonprofit needs to meet certain qualifications, such as having worked to provide housing previously for a minimum amount of time. After searching, we can find no nonprofit in Plumas County that qualifies. Therefore, the only way Plumas County victims can access those state funds is if they flow through the county. The grant application window will open in August. I am sharing this now to let you know that it is coming and we will need your support to allow the State to help our fire victims. For many uninsured and underinsured victims, this may be the only way they can “go home.” We are requesting that you make it a priority for county planning staff to research and bring you the information you need to proceed. We have a team of grant writers who are available to help.”
If you have anything you want to alert the Indian Valley public to, just email us at [email protected]. Thank you and have a great week ahead. Cue the Rocky music…