Many drivers have time to absorb the view along the highway as they sit in traffic stops going to and from Greenville. Photo by Meg Upton

Greenville Rising: Nov. 4 – The three-month mark hit us when we’re down

     Demolition and the cleaning up of lots are happening in downtown Greenville, marking slow but steady progress in all things fire aftermath. It’s good to hold on to that fact because waiting for 40 minutes to get over the grade can send you into road rage or despair.

     It’s been a busy week—or rather a hurry up and wait sort of week. I feel for those of us living in Indian Valley still. God forbid we need to hop over to the market to pick up a gallon of milk or some gargantuan task like going to work or school. From the bottom of the grade to Greenville seems to take 40 minutes at the very least. Traveling from Greenville to Quincy took my husband from 1:25 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday. This morning we left before 7 a.m. so we only had one road stop instead of seven like we did the day we had to go from Quincy to Chester. At least the attendance clerk at Quincy Junior/Senior High School is taking this into account for lateness in first period. How much earlier can students possibly leave without winter road conditions of early mornings being too hazardous for newish drivers to navigate? It’s not sustainable.

     It feels like maybe the powers that be at Caltrans could coordinate this a bit better. The traffic stop on the grade is a particularly road rage worthy stop as we Indian Valley folk navigate yet another injustice piled onto our lives. It doesn’t feel particularly safe to be sitting ducks on a road prone to mudslides either. Yet here we are. On some days, we get to sit and watch more green non-dead trees being chopped down because on a desk somewhere someone decided that tree that never did anyone any harm is now deemed too close to the road. Thanks. There’s a stump we wave to now as we pass to remind us, what nature doesn’t take, Caltrans will.

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     To add insult to injury, as we check out the sheriff’s blotter for this week, there’s been a number of break-ins in Genesee Valley. Speaking with officer Johnny Cervantes a few days ago, he conveyed a stepped up effort to patrol areas reporting break-ins. My own place in Mount Hough Estates was the site of some sort of party with sheets and blankets stomped on, a cowboy hat crushed. A thong clearly not my size left in my bed and a beer not good enough to even make beer bread left under the tiny house day bed, (it’s beer mates found empty and dumped at the edge of the property). Thanks guys. It’s a two-fold feeling—survivor guilt for having a house at all, coupled with violation of knowing someone you don’t know crashed in your bed. I just read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower which I highly recommend if you like apocalyptic reading about people run amok and taking things from each other and laying waste to houses and landscapes. It may or may not be helping me cope.

     Along with this, The Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center in Crescent Mills reported earlier this week that hoarders who are not fire survivors are coming in and loading up on canned goods and food meant for other people. In Spanish there’s a great phrase for this sin verguenza! (people without shame). Lara at the center pleads for people to do the right think and leave camping gear and supplies for people who need them.

     After much investigation and speaking with people in both Greenville and Quincy it’s been discovered that to no one’s surprise, the trauma of our summer is weighing on our mental health both collectively and individually. There are very few avenues for most of us to take here. Plumas Rural Services is offering “a limited number of free sessions” for those impacted by the Dixie Fire (paid for by the Common Good Community Foundation). Contact Plumas Rural Services  www.PlumasRuralService.org for more information.

      Statewide, the COVID pandemic has made it so more and more therapists are working via telemed, but more are also booked solid and not taking new clients—whether or not your insurance provider covers sessions or not. This is reaching crisis level as we move into winter. As a county, we need more anonymous providers who can deal with trauma recovery. Residents find it exceedingly difficult to open up to people that they know in their daily lives and see at the market—the drawback of small town living. The good news is telemed makes it possible to find a therapist in other parts of the state. The process of finding one is difficult and time consuming and almost as traumatic as living through the fire itself. Hang in there.

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     For those not fatigued by telling our story again and again, yet another film crew is going to be at the Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center starting today at noon. Starting this weekend the center will now be closed on Sundays and Mondays until more volunteers step up to keep it open on those days. Readers interested in volunteering can contact the center on Facebook or come by the center when during regular business hours Tuesday through Saturday to volunteer.

Better News

     The people of Greenville, SC sent us T-shirts with slogans of solidarity. They are currently at Crescent Country and are free and awaiting distribution. Want a shirt?

     Artist Sally Posner has an art exhibit of her watercolors up at Patti’s Thunder Café this month and December. The artworks are of homes and buildings lost to the Dixie Fire in Greenville. The café is open daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. except closed on Wednesdays in Quincy.

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     The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is touring the Sierra Institute’s mill site at Crescent Mills as it begins its transformation into a working mill site tomorrow at 11 a.m. The sawmill was purchased with funds from a grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

     The annual Veteran’s Day parade is still scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in downtown Greenville as it always has. A large turnout is expected.

     Plumas Bank announced on social media on Nov. 2 that while their building will take a while to repair, they will be installing a new ATM machine on the premises as soon as possible to make life a little easier for Greenville residents trying to do banking.

     Last call for the Healing Through Writing Workshop. It will take place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Feather River College and is sponsored by FRC, Plumas Arts, and Pachuca Productions. Participants must call or text (714) 746-4093 to reserve a spot as seating and materials are limited.

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     Corrine West and Ken Cawley are doing a performance fundraiser for Dixie Fire  survivors at the Drunk Brush on Friday, Nov. 5 at 6 pm. on the patio. The donation suggestion is $11 and the fiscal sponsor of the event is Lost Sierra Wings.

     If you have an item, a tip, and event, etc., relating to Greenville’s recovery please get it to [email protected] as soon as you think of it and I’m happy to follow up on it.

Deadlines

     The FEMA DR4610 Individuals and Households Program (IHP) registration and Small Business Administration (SBA) deadline was extended for 2 weeks. The last day to apply is now Monday, Nov. 8. 

 

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