Friday Memo, County of Nevada
South Yuba River HWY 49 Crossing

Yuba River Safety over Memorial Day Weekend

With warmer weather and as we head into Memorial Day Weekend, our local South Yuba River is already starting to see an increase in visitors. In response to heightened public safety issues in the area, Nevada County has been facilitating a multi-agency Yuba River Safety Cohort group to take steps towards keeping the South Yuba River’s approximate 700,000 annual visitors safe while enjoying the Yuba’s natural beauty and recreation opportunities.

Every year, first responders receive many calls for help throughout the summer requiring heroic swift water rescues due to slips and falls, or people swimming in unsafe river conditions. When swimming in the South Yuba River, it is important to remember that you are in a remote location with minimal to no cell phone service, fifteen to forty-five minute emergency response times, and possibly dangerous swimming conditions depending on water flows. Please always practice water safety by letting friends and family know where you are, keeping an eye on children, making sure the water flows are safe before jumping in, and wearing a floatation device if you are not a strong swimmer.

Parking is limited at most river access points. In recent years, public safety agencies and coordinating organizations have noticed an increase in parking violations, leaving little to no through access for first responders. Last year, approximately sixty percent of the parking tickets issued in the South Yuba River canyon were for cars registered to owners from out of the area. For the safety of the whole community, please only park in designated areas.

Due to the recent influx of parking violations, Federal, State, and local first responder and public safety agencies have teamed up to form a Joint Taskforce to provide an increased presence in the South Yuba River canyon during the summer months. Several times throughout the summer, the Joint Taskforce will be out at local entry points to the South Yuba River, such as the HWY 49 Crossing; Bridgeport; Edwards Crossing; and Purdons Crossing, to monitor the areas for safety and to enforce parking laws.

River-goers are encouraged to carpool, rideshare or take alternative transportation like the Yuba Bus instead of driving when possible. As Nevada County residents recently experienced during the Lobo Fire in October 2017, river canyons such as the South Yuba River are highly susceptible to wildfire, especially during the hot, dry summer months. With a seasonal surge of campers and visitors to the South Yuba River State Park during the season with the highest fire danger, please be mindful of fire safety practices such as carefully putting out your cigarette butts, and abiding by the no fires rule, including campfires, in the South Yuba River State Park.

When visiting the South Yuba River, it is important to enjoy the Wild and Scenic River Corridor while also doing your part to keep the watershed clean. When visiting, please remember to pack-in and pack-out all trash and recycling, pick up after your pets, and don’t bring glass down to the river.

From local public safety agencies and coordinating organizations near our South Yuba River, please remember to "Love the Yuba Like a Local" when visiting this summer.


Bridgeport Covered Bridge

Community Advocacy Continues for Bridgeport Bridge Project

Nevada County’s historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge welcomes approximately 700,000 California State Parks visitors annually, attracting a healthy tourism economy to Nevada County. In early 2018, California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced that the plans to reconstruct the Bridgeport Bridge were on track for construction starting in August 2018, which, once completed, would allow the park’s hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to cross the bridge again after its closure to foot traffic in 2011.

On Monday morning, May 21st, Nevada County was informed that a funding shortfall for the Bridgeport Bridge Restoration Project emerged. If left unfunded, this setback will delay the project for at least one year, which would likely drive costs up further and threaten the project. In collaboration with the Save Our Bridge Campaign Committee and many other community advocates, County Supervisors have sent letters to California State Assembly Committee on Budget members to advocate for the funding needed to keep the project on schedule, with construction beginning this summer.

Earlier this year the DPR put the project out to bid, receiving three competitive bids total. Unfortunately, the shortfall only came to light when the bids were opened in the last week, revealing a fiscal gap between current project costs and the budget allotted for the project. All submitted bids are only valid through October 2018, putting importance on advocating with our legislators to include the needed funding before the State finalizes their 2018-2019 budget.

To further complicate matters, construction on the project must adhere to a strict seasonal timeline. Construction crews will need to conduct equipment staging in the area and deconstruct the bridge in time to rehabilitate the existing abutments by the end of this summer before river water levels rise when the season changes.  Should the existing abutments not be fully rehabilitated before the end of summer, the project will need to be called off until the following summer in 2019.

District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston, who has been an advocate for the project since discussions began over six years ago, said, ”Although it is disappointing to be facing this hurdle so close to construction, we have been working hard with our community partners to advocate for State funding to complete this project. The reconstruction of the Bridgeport Bridge is an important economic development project to restore one of our County’s oldest and most iconic pieces of California history, and would continue to bring important tourism dollars into Nevada County by allowing visitors to interact with the rich history of our community.”

This week, the California State Assembly Committee on Budget finished their last subcommittee hearings before Tuesday’s May 29th hearing regarding the adoption of the 2018-2019 budget. With the Tuesday budget hearing quickly approaching, staff and community partners remain hopeful that funding for the Bridgeport Bridge project will be considered by the Budget Conference Committee and construction on the project will be able to continue as planned in August.


2018 Building Fair event photo

3rd Annual Building Fair Next Friday

The Nevada County Community Development Agency (CDA) has partnered with the Nevada County Association of Realtors, Nevada County Contractors' Association, and many businesses and agencies for the 3rd annual Building Fair this summer to kick off the building season.  The Building Fair will have over forty vendors including licensed contractors in multiple fields, architects, utility companies, building material suppliers, industry representatives, construction lenders, multiple city/county agencies, and more. There will be a special presentation to start the event as well as several product demos throughout the day.  This is a must attend event if you are planning a construction/development project, wanting to purchase property, currently working on a construction project, or anything else related to development in Nevada County.

The Building Fair will be held on Friday, June 1st from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Rood Government Center located at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City and is a free event.  If you have any questions about the upcoming fair please do not hesitate to contact the Nevada County Building Department at (530) 265-1222 or the Nevada County Contactors' Association (NCCA) at (530) 274-1919. To follow updates on the 2018 Building Fair agenda and vendors, follow the event on Facebook.


Amanda Uhrhammer Announced as Interim Human Resources Director

Nevada County's Human Resources Director, Seth Schapiro, has announced that he is leaving and relocating back to the Bay Area due to family reasons. Seth joined Nevada County five months ago, bringing over thirty years of experience in labor relations and organizational development, and seventeen years as the head of Human Resources for a labor organization. During his time at Nevada County, Seth showed constructive leadership in helping the County reach agreements with the labor groups on new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering the wages and benefits for a majority of the County’s employees. These Agreements are set to go before the board on June 12th. In addition, Seth has worked with HR staff to prepare the final draft document for the update of the County’s Personnel Code, as well as working with staff on a project plan for implementing the use of a new technology platform in the staff evaluation process.

Seth said about working at Nevada County, "It was a gift to come into Nevada County Human Resources and work with such skilled and dedicated staff in Human Resources and other County departments." He felt truly welcomed.

Starting the first week in June, Amanda Uhrhammer, who currently serves as Nevada County's Assistant County Counsel, will be filling the role of Interim Human Resources Director. Before joining Nevada County as Assistant County Counsel in 2015, Amanda worked in the private sector as a civil litigator for over sixteen years, primarily representing school districts and law enforcement associations with a focus in the areas of employment and labor law. Her experience and existing knowledge of employment and labor laws will bring efficiencies to her new role in Human Resources.

Seth and Amanda are working together to ensure a smooth transition of projects and duties as Amanda steps into the new position in June.

We'd like to thank Seth for his time working at Nevada County, and look forward to having Amanda step into the role of Interim Human Resources Director.


Photo of roadside cleanup

Better Together: Spring Cleanup with Hospitality House

In an effort to provide a cleaner Grass Valley, guests of Hospitality House are spending the morning picking up trash on Thursday, May 31st. Hospitality House staff and volunteers will also join to help clean parts of Brunswick Basin, the Plaza Drive area, and areas across Highway 49. Participants are meeting at 9:00 a.m. at Utah's Place, located at 1262 Sutton Way in Grass Valley, and the cleanup event will end at 1:00 p.m.  Afterwards, the Hospitality House culinary students will provide lunch to all participants. More volunteers are needed to help remove trash from a larger area.  If you wish to volunteer, please contact sue@hhshelter.org for more information.

Nevada County is participating in the effort by providing a dumpster, cleanup supplies, and volunteers. "Coordinating outreach between County services, Hospitality House, and law enforcement is part of the County’s homeless plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors," explains Brendan Phillips, Nevada County's Housing Resource Manager. "Outreach and engagement with campers, businesses, and property owners will help address community concerns, and this cleanup activity led by Hospitality House is a first step. By working together, we can mitigate some of the impacts of homelessness on the broader community, while also engaging people who don't access the shelter and bring them into services they may have had trouble accessing."  

In addition to community cleanup efforts, the Hospitality House Outreach Case Managers, County service staff, community service providers, and law enforcement have started to solidify plans for a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary approach to outreach. The Homeless Outreach Team will work to coordinate camp engagement and cleanups, provide a point of contact for concerned business owners and community members, provide campers with education and resources on fire-safety and other impacts of camping, and connect them to services, shelter, and housing. With law enforcement at the table, the teams will also work to collect data in order to identify and address individuals with a high degree of law enforcement contact, recidivism to our jail, and emergency visits to the hospital. This data will be used to prioritize services, reduce recidivism, and to help the County and community partners apply for grants to support and expand these activities.

Learn more about the County's approach to homelessness, visit Health and Human Services’ Better Together web pages.


Gold Country Stage at Tinloy Transfer Station

Gold Country Stage “Golden Tickets” and Summer Youth Passes

Gold Country Stage has two new pass programs: the "Golden Ticket" and Summer Youth Pass beginning June 1st. Passes are available at the Transit Services office located at 13081 John Bauer Ave in Grass Valley and at the Tinloy Transit Center the first two business days of the month.

Gold Country Stage "Golden Ticket"
The Golden Ticket is a Lifetime Pass for seniors aged 80 and over. It provides the pass holder with unlimited, free rides on all Gold Country Stage routes (1 – 6) for the lifetime of the pass holder. Eligibility is open to all Nevada County seniors with proof of age (valid California ID card or Driver's License).

In addition, Gold Country Stage will be partnering with Connecting Point to offer Travel Training to any interested persons seeking assistance in utilizing the fixed route bus system on Gold Country Stage.

The Golden Ticket pass is not for use on Gold Country Lift paratransit services.

Gold Country Stage Summer Youth Pass
The Summer Youth Pass is available to students ages 6 through 17 with a valid form of age identification (school or age ID document). The Summer Youth Pass costs $25.00 for unlimited rides on all Gold County Stage routes (1 – 6) and for all zones for three months (June, July and August 2018 only). This is a discount of $42.50 compared to the cost of a regular one zone youth pass, and discount of $110.00 for a two zone youth pass for the same three month period.

For more information regarding the Golden Ticket and the Summer Youth passes please contact the Transit Services Division at (530) 477-0103 or visit Nevada County Transit at 13081 John Bauer Ave. in Grass Valley. Additional information regarding Gold Country Stage services is available online, or view an interactive system route map for all Gold Country Stage routes.


Nevada County Recognizes Mental Health Month

The Board of Supervisors approved a resolution proclaiming May 2018 as Mental Health Month in Nevada County to recommit our community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps our citizens can take to protect their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental illnesses at all stages.

The theme of Mental Health Month this year is "Deeper Connections: From Small Talk to Real Talk." Nevada County is embracing this theme by encouraging residents to reach out to people in their lives and let them know you care.

A critical element to maintaining positive mental health is having a strong social network. Research suggests that people with a stronger social network have happier, healthier lives. You've probably had the experience of wanting to show support for someone, but not known what to say. Sometimes a simple affirmation of caring, or acknowledgment that you see someone else's suffering, can allow you to bridge the distance between yourself and the person who is struggling who you would like to help.

Nevada County wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, that recovery is always the goal, and that even if you or someone you love are struggling, there is help. It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and to approach someone who is struggling in a compassionate, judgement-free way. When we engage in prevention and early identification, particularly with the people we care about, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early and provide effective treatment.

Nevada County offers a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line for any individual, adult or child, in the community who experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency. Residents can call (530) 265-5811 or (888) 801-1437 to speak with someone who can provide phone counseling during a mental health crisis or urgent situation, and connect the individual with other resources or referrals for other County services.

Find more information about available services and programs on Nevada County Behavioral Health's website.


Nevada County Community Library: Create. Connect. Inspire. logo

Library Hosts Mind Your Mental Health Event

The Nevada County Community Library will host a community event for all ages, Mind Your Mental Health, on Wednesday, May 30th from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City. This fun and informative event will include a speakers' series, movement classes, the chance to find out about the many mental wellness services provided by non-profit organizations in the County, crafts and activities provided by the Library, and a drawing for prizes sponsored by the Friends of the Nevada County Libraries. Admission and all activities are free and people of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Several nonprofit organizations that support mental health and wellness will host tables in the Gene Albaugh Community Room, giving attendees the opportunity to learn about all of the resources available to them and their loved ones. Some of the participating organizations are 211/Connecting Point, Chapa De Indian Health Clinic, Community Beyond Violence, the Friendship Club, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Nevada County Behavioral Health, PFLAG, SPIRIT Peer Empowerment Center, and Teen Leadership Courses. Attendees who get a special card stamped by each organization will be entered into a drawing for prizes such as gift baskets and gift certificates. The Library will provide materials and guidance for journaling and collage for mental health and mindfulness coloring.

In the Collaborative Technology Center, Kim Honeywell will give a presentation on "Know the Signs," part of the statewide suicide awareness campaign. John Eby, LMFT, and Julie Lang, LMFT, will present on "Mindfulness for Mental Wellness," discussing the importance of mindfulness as well as the innovative program conducted at the Wayne Brown Correction Center.

In the Marian E. Gallaher, M.D. Amphitheater next to the Library, three local movement specialists will offer free classes to the public. At 3:00 p.m., Homer Nottingham of the Vital Energy Arts Center in Nevada City will offer an hour-long QiGong lesson. At 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Jen Rhi Winders will conduct half-hour classes for children with yoga and mindfulness exercises, and at 5:00 p.m., Schuyler Bright will hold an hour-long class on movement for holistic trauma recovery.

 

Mind Your Mental Health is the final event in this year's Nevada County Reads & Writes program. Each year, the Nevada County Reads & Writes planning committee selects a book for the community to read and discuss, along with events to explore the themes in the book. This year's selection is "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng. Mind Your Mental Health has been planned in conjunction with Nevada County Behavioral Health and NAMI. This event is supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. Funding was also supplied by the Book to Action program of the California Center for the Book and the California State Library. As previously mentioned, the prizes for the drawing are purchased with funds from the Friends of the Nevada County Libraries. The Nevada County Community Library is honored and thankful for the support of all of these wonderful organizations.


For more information, please contact Laura Pappani, Grass Valley Librarian, at (530) 470-2692 or laura.pappani@co.nevada.ca.us.


National Foster Care Month 2018 poster by Child Welfare Information Gateway

May is National Foster Parent Appreciation Month

Nevada County Child Protective Services (CPS) is pleased to announce that May is National Foster Care Parent Appreciation Month. Nevada County CPS is grateful to the amazing local foster families who have opened their homes and hearts to children in need of safety, stability, and care.

Currently, Nevada County CPS supervises over 46 children in out-of-home care, with many of them placed with local foster families. While this number is down by 23 children when compared to last year at this time, the need for local foster homes seems to be equally as great. 

In addition to foster family placements, there are many relatives and non-related extended family members who have opened their home to our local foster children to ensure the children have stability, permanency, and safety during this period of transition. Foster families, relatives, and non-related extended family members provide temporary homes, safety, comfort, and a nurturing environment to our children who are in the most need.  When reunification with birth families is not possible, many foster families choose to adopt the children who have been placed in their homes, offering permanency and stability for the children they have opened their homes to. This endeavor is appreciated and admired by Nevada County CPS and other service providers in our community.

Nevada County Child Protective Services would like to recognize the herculean efforts of all foster families, relatives, and non-related extended family members who have impacted, improved, and helped change the lives of children for the better within our community. Our Department is forever indebted and appreciative for your effort.

For more information about becoming a foster parent, please contact Program Manager Nicholas Ready at the Nevada County Child Protective Services Office at (530) 265-1654 or nicholas.ready@co.nevada.ca.us.


Building Safety Month Week 4: Safeguarding Our Water logo

Building Safety Month: Safeguarding our Water

Week four of Building Safety Month is dedicated to outreach and information regarding "Safeguarding Our Water".  Clean water is the world's most precious commodity. The World Health Organization estimates 844 million people lack basic drinking-water service. In the United States, communities such as Flint, Michigan, will continue to suffer the ill effects of unsafe drinking water if we are not vigilant.

Building, plumbing, and green codes help ensure tragedies such as this do not happen, so we can guard this precious commodity for future generations through proper construction, conservation, and safe disposal. Code officials learn not only from situations such as those in Flint, but also from changes in Mother Nature. California droughts fostered water conservation rules, based in part on irrigation standards developed by the International Code Council, that included regulations for using drought-tolerant plants on lawns for new homes with more than 500 square feet of landscaped area, and limit turf grass to 25 percent of landscaping, down from a third.

A clean water supply also is crucial, even if your community offers water and sewage treatment. If there are faulty or no backflow protectors in your home, cross-contamination can happen even while residents are filling their backyard swimming pools, drawing some of the pool's chlorine into the home. Code officials are vigilant protectors of our water supply. Because of their dedicated service, you can turn on the tap in your home and draw sufficient, clean water. They take nothing for granted, so you can.

For complete information regarding safeguarding our water and tips about water safety you can visit International Code Council’s webpage on week 4 of Building Safety Month or their webpage with information on water conservation and efficiency. For more information on building locally in Nevada County, visit the Building Department’s website, or contact them at BuildingDept@co.nevada.ca.us or (530) 265-1222.

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus