Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Photo of a fan

Tips to Beat the Heat and Be Fire Safe this Weekend

Summer is here and that means heat!  Are you prepared for another summer of temperatures reaching 100 degrees or higher?  Extreme heat is dangerous for anyone, but especially the very young, senior citizens, and those with chronic medical conditions. These groups of vulnerable people have a harder time regulating their body temperature.

Some tips for hot weather include:

  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages
  • Dress in loose fitting, lightweight, and light colored clothes
  • Protect your face and head by wearing a wide brimmed hat
  • Pace your outdoor activities
  • Use an air conditioner, if possible.  Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine, if air conditioning is not available
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day.  Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks
  • Never leave any person or animal in a closed vehicle
In addition to high temperatures, hot weather, low relative humidity, and wind create high wildfire risk conditions, also known as Red Flag Warning conditions.
Remember to be fire safe by following these tips:
  • Do not use a lawn mower on weeds or dry grass
  • Properly dispose of cigarettes and matches
  • Avoid power equipment that creates sparks
  • Make sure no vehicle parts drag on the ground, including towing chains 

Nevada County Office of Emergency Services encourages all residents to sit down with their family and create an emergency plan to prepare for high fire season. The 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 will continue to experience high temperatures and Red Flag Warning conditions through Sunday.  The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and Public Health are monitoring weather conditions and issues related to heat and high wildfire risk conditions.

Nevada County Board of Supervisors seal

June 26th Board Meeting Preview

Board of Supervisors meetings take place every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. At the beginning of each meeting, the public can address the Board on items not appearing on the agenda, but are of public interest and are within the jurisdiction of the Board.

At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board will be recognizing Ms. Marlene Sharon for her years of dedicated service to the Bear River Recreation and Park District.

Following consideration of the consent agenda, at 10:30 a.m., a public hearing is scheduled to hear the Planning Commission's recommendation on a rezoning of two contiguous parcels.

Later, at 11:00 a.m., the Board will consider a resolution establishing an Outdoor Event Ordinance Fee Schedule which, if approved, would go into effect for applications received in 2019.

Lastly, the Board will consider a resolution approving a contract between Sammie's Friends and the Nevada County Sheriff's Office to operate and administer the Nevada County Animal Shelter for the next two years.

View the meeting agenda or watch Tuesday's Board meeting live or archived online from our website.

Nevada County Librarian Yolande Wilburn

Appointment of New County Librarian

Nevada County is pleased to announce the appointment of Yolande Wilburn as the County Librarian for the Nevada County Community Library. Since January of 2018, Yolande has been serving as Interim County Librarian providing oversight over the County's six library branches with a staff of over 30 people.

Previously, Yolande worked as the Branch Librarian for the Nevada County Library where she was responsible for the daily operations of both the Madelyn Helling Library and the Penn Valley Station, and assisted the County Librarian with the oversight of operations including materials processing and collection development, the digital branch, marketing, outreach, and implementation of the Integrated Library System.

Yolande has a Masters of Library Science from San Jose State University. She has worked at Chicago Public Library, where she worked to develop the award winning, Innovation Lab; University of Chicago, Regenstein Library in the office of library access and privileges; as a Supervising Librarian at Higher Colleges of Technology Library in Dubai, UAE; and as a large branch manager with County of Los Angeles Public Library

Supervisor Weston and Sheriff staff at Purdon Crossing with Call Box

Emergency Call Box Installed at Purdon's Crossing

On June 20th, the Office of Emergency Services completed installation of one Emergency Satellite Call Box at the Purdon Crossing of the South Yuba River. The call box will provide visitors a quick way to report an emergency situation without cell service. It operates on the Iridium Everywhere system ensuring operation in remote areas and is powered by solar panels. The Purdon Satellite Call Box Project will help alleviate emergency needs within the area and will provide a "proof of concept" for current and future emergency communication grants within the area.  PG&E provided the grant funding for this call box project.

With approximately 1,500 visitors to the Yuba River each day during the summer season and a lack of cell service due to its remote location, there is a heightened public safety hazard in the area. Current response times are upwards of twenty minutes before emergency responders can reach the crisis location. The Purdon Satellite Call Box provides close access for visitors to call 911 when they would otherwise have to drive out of the Yuba River canyon until they received cell service to report an emergency.

Sheriff's Captain Shannan Moon said, "Unfortunately, river and fire emergencies happen every year in the South Yuba River Canyon. Having emergency call boxes in the area will allow our first responders to be alerted of emergency events faster, potentially saving lives."

The Purdon Satellite Call Box was recently identified as an action item by the Yuba River Public Safety Cohort in order to decrease emergency response delays. The Safety Cohort is a multi-agency workgroup that includes Federal, State and local agencies and organizations that have identified various initiatives in order to promote public safety and law enforcement efforts at the South Yuba River. 

District 4 Supervisor, Hank Weston, said, "The South Yuba River Cohort has been instrumental in getting multiple public agencies together in one room to identify safety issues in the South Yuba River canyon, and put plans into action as to how we can address them. Installing emergency call boxes at the most remote entry locations to the South Yuba River is a step in the right direction for improving emergency response."

Vandalism has been an issue with existing signs in remote locations such as Purdon Crossing. Officials are asking the community to help prevent and report any vandalism in an effort to keep the Wild and Scenic South Yuba River Corridor beautiful and, most importantly, safe for all visitors.

"This emergency call box is an extremely important resource for visitors to our community and it needs to be protected. This is your lifeline," says Supervisor Hank Weston.

Resurfacing of Nevada County road

New Gas Tax Funding Used to Improve and Preserve County Roads

The results of the 2016 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment show a steady downward trend in pavement condition throughout the State. Forty-nine of California's fifty-eight Counties were found to have pavement conditions that were considered "at risk", and 7 counties had pavement conditions that were considered "poor".

In response to the growing infrastructure funding crisis, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in April 2017 to address significant transportation funding shortfalls statewide. SB 1 includes accountability and transparency provisions that will ensure the residents of Nevada County are aware of the projects proposed for funding in our community and that funding goes where it is most needed – into much need road maintenance and improvement projects.

Starting next week, Nevada County will begin work on its first major pavement rehabilitation and improvement project utilizing SB 1 funding. Highlighting the proposed project is a unique "Hot-in-Place" road recycling treatment on portions of Indian Springs Road between Penn Valley Drive and Spenceville Road. This process is relatively new in California, and may potentially save the county 30% or more in costs over traditional pavement overlay projects.

In addition, new road surfacing will be installed on a number of county maintained roads:

  • Penn Valley Drive (Spenceville Road to Highway 20 west)
  • Pleasant Valley Road (Highway 20 to Bitney Springs Road)
  • Spenceville Road (Penn Valley Drive to Indian Springs Road)
  • County owned portions of Ridge Road (Rough and Ready Hwy to Nevada City Hwy)            

While traffic control measures will be in place, significant traffic delays are to be expected beginning this week and continue on these roads over the next month or so. Motorists are encouraged to find alternative routes or minimize travel along affected routes during weekday hours.  Nevada County Public Works appreciates your patience during these upcoming months as we work to complete work on these critical roadways. When complete, these roads should provide improved access to the public for many years to come.

National Safety Month - Week 4: Driving

National Safety Month: Summer Driving

June is National Safety Month and the theme is "No 1 Gets Hurt".

In the first two weeks of June, Matt Furtado, Deputy Fire Marshal for Nevada County and Fire Captain for CAL FIRE, shared important information wildfire and emergency preparedness, and Shannon Glaz, Tobacco Project Director from Nevada County Public Health, Jamie Sweet, Tobacco Project Coordinator and Daniela Fernandez, Community Engagement Specialist from Connecting Point, spoke about the Nevada County’s Tobacco Prevention Program.

This week, Diane Miessler, Registered Nurse Coordinator of the Nevada County Senior Outreach Program and Karen Marinovich, Falls Prevention Coalition, spoke about falls prevention. They spoke about how falling is not a normal part of the aging process, however, certain physical changes may increase one's risk of falling.

To reduce the risk of falling:

  • Begin a regular exercise program (exercise improves muscle strength and balance)
  • Make your home safer (e.g. remove things you can trip over, use night lights)
  • Have your health care provider review your medications (i.e. some meds or combinations of meds can make you drowsy or light-headed, which could lead to a fall)
  • Have your vision checked

Nevada County also has a Senior Outreach Nurse Program that is free to seniors 60 and older in Nevada County. Nevada County nurses provide home assessments to review a client’s medical, social, and environmental needs.  Nurses can also provide health education, necessary referrals, and resources, as well as review medications and set up programs to ensure safe administration. 

For more information about Nevada County's Senior Outreach Nurse Program, call (530) 265-1470 for Western Nevada County and (530) 582-6378 for Eastern Nevada County and Truckee. Residents can also access 211 Connecting Point's Senior Assistance Line by dialing 2-1-1, contact FREED Center for Independent Living regarding their Fix It Program at (530) 477-3333, or attend balance and strength classes with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and find more information at (530) 274-6170.

The focus of the final week of National Safety Month is summer driving safety and becoming familiar with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in today’s new cars. Whether buying a new car or renting one for that summer road trip, learn when to appropriately use or rely on these safety features. Information on the week’s topic will be available in the lobby at the Rood Center. More information can also be accessed on the National Safety Council's website.   

Please note the presentation on Summer Water Safety originally scheduled for Monday, June 25th has been postponed, date to be determined.

Nevada County Library - Truckee Branch

Truckee Library Summer Learning Program

The Truckee branch of the Nevada County Community Library kicks off its Summer Learning at the Library program, Read the River, on Friday, June 22nd, which coincides with the last day of school for most Truckee students. Participants will receive a Learning Log with fun summer tasks to complete and a free book of their choice. There are Learning Logs for pre-readers and teens can pick up a Summer Challenge bookmark and a free book as well.

There are eight major events planned for Wednesday afternoons, starting June 27th, as well as six weekly programs, including story times, scavenger hunts, craft programs, and LEGO Club.

New this year is a Truckee River StoryWalk, along the Legacy Trail, starting at the Truckee Regional Park. Find pages of Follow the Track All the Way Back from June 30th through July 28th. For more information about programming for the Truckee Summer Learning program, view the flyer online.

Learning Logs and bookmarks need to be completed by August 15th. The first 100 finishers will receive a gift card from Word After Word Book Shop; pre-readers, teens, and all others will receive a prize.

Sample EBT Card

EBT Access Will be Unavailable on June 23rd & 24th

The Nevada County Department of Social Services issues Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to customers who receive cash assistance through the CalWORKs and General Assistance programs, as well as those receiving food benefits through the CalFresh program.  For a 24 hour period this month there will be a statewide system change that will affect all EBT cardholders in California.  At that time, the State of California will be converting these benefits to a new EBT system. 

During this conversion time period EBT customers will not be able to use their EBT cards or benefits.  Fortunately, this will only be for a 24 hour time period, from Saturday, June 23rd beginning at 11:00 p.m. until Sunday, June 24th at 11:00 p.m.  However, Medi-Cal healthcare cards will not be affected by this conversion.

The State has sent out information about the system interruption and vendor change to all active EBT customers, and County Social Services staff are also letting current and new EBT recipients know about the change during office visits.  EBT cardholders are urged to plan ahead for their shopping needs and for getting cash in advance of the shutdown period.  After 11:00 p.m. on June 24th, people will be able to use their EBT card again as usual.

All retail vendors who allow our customers to use their EBT benefits (grocery stores, banks, etc.) have also been notified of the conversion event by the state.  During the time period when access is down, the EBT machines will not show any information and will likely read that there is no account on file.  This will change after the system is converted after 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 24th.  Vendors will not require any changes to their EBT equipment, and their same machines will be used once the new system is up and running.

Customers will not need new EBT cards after the conversion.  The same cards will be used and access to benefits is expected to restart and run smoothly at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday June 24th.  In addition to the Customer Service telephone number on the back of each card, the EBT customer support website (in English and Spanish) is available where EBT card holders can check their food and cash balances, see their card use history, and find places to use the EBT card.

For additional questions about EBT, the conversion to the new system, or other programs offered by the Nevada County Department of Social Services, please contact us at  Residents can also stop by one of the local Social Services offices at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City, or at Joseph's Center at 10075 Levon, Suite 202 in Truckee; or contact Social Services at (530) 265-1340 in Nevada City and (530) 582-7803 in Truckee. 

Photo of child eating watermelon

Summer Lunch at the Grass Valley Library

The Summer Lunches at the Library program at the Grass Valley Library – Royce Branch is off to a busy start. In the first five days of the program, 167 lunches were distributed to young people 0-18 years old in the backyard of the Library.

This is the first summer that the Grass Valley Library is serving as a host site for this important community service. Lunches for children are prepared by staff of Grass Valley School District Child Nutrition Services and served in the backyard of the Grass Valley Library from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Adults may enjoy a selection of organic fruits and other treats donated by BriarPatch Food Co-op.

From 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, the Library organizes activities ranging from science to art to movement, while on most Fridays, Nevada County Public Health plans programs to introduce young people to health, nutrition, and fitness in an enjoyable and hands-on manner.

Next week, the planned programs include water games on Monday and Thursday, Plants and Growing on Tuesday, Paint Fireworks on Wednesday, and Eating to Be Healthy on Friday.

All children and teenagers in Nevada County are welcome to enjoy lunch in the shady backyard of the Grass Valley Library. For more information contact the Grass Valley Library at (530) 273-4117.

Photo of"Learn"spelled in wooden blocks

Want to Learn a Language? Learn with Pronunciator from the Library

Are you planning to travel abroad, corresponding with an overseas pen pal, new to the US, or just want to improve your language skills?  Nevada County Community Library is pleased to announce the newest digital resource, Pronunciator. Pronunciator is an online language-learning system that is free for all library patrons. With more than eighty of the world's most popular languages and ESL courses for speakers of fifty non-English languages, Pronunciator is focused on quickly building conversational skills through live online classes, interactive online drills, scored quizzes, movies, music, and downloadable audio lessons and phrasebooks.

Pronunciator offers a variety of learning levels and guided courses for each language, covering vocabulary, verbs, sentence creation, and conversation. One level, specifically for tourists and business travelers, teaches 1,500 essential phrases covering everyday situations.

Full-featured, free apps for Android, Apple, and Kindle Fire devices let patrons learn on-the-go. Appropriate for children as well as adults, Pronunciator is designed to meet the language-learning needs of the entire community. In addition, a citizenship preparation course helps new Americans prepare for the Naturalization Test.

Stop by one of the Nevada County Community Libraries for an introduction to Pronunciator, or access the program via the library website with your Nevada County library card.

I voted sticker

Nevada County Certifies June 5, 2018 Primary Election - 2 Weeks Earlier Than Ever Before 

The Nevada County Elections Department has certified the June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election to the Secretary of State on June 21, 2018. The official final results were released on June 20, 2018.  All votes were tabulated by 5:00 p.m. on June 20th  two weeks earlier than ever before. We saw near record voter turnout of 57.03% of eligible voters, a full 12.45% more than in the 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election. Of votes cast, 95% of votes were cast by mail.

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