Liz Writes Life 7-11-17

July 11, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

Surprise! Surprise! Quite a few of the flathead cabbages did germinate and are surviving this heat wave. Some are a half-inch tall. I don’t want to transplant them in this heat. So I checked Mt. Shasta accu weather forecast and it said July 21st (of this year!) it should cool down to high 80s or maybe a few low 90-days for several weeks. Can hardly wait! These nights are just too warm and don’t cool down the house. So hopefully, the cabbages will not grow their roots into too much of a tangle.

Knowing that I shouldn’t transplant the rhubarb in this heat, I decided to do it anyway last week. This is the one I cut-off from the mother plant back in April. I had planted it too close to the mother plant and it needed more space. Using the shovel to dig around it, I took it out of the ground with a big shovelful of wet soil. It was a six-inch wad of roots. For several days, I soaked it morning and night and although it was really sad at first, it is looking better and should survive. It was only about eight-inches high with three or four stalks. But, lots of water saved the day.

I pulled and used the bok choy, old spinach and weeds – where the carrots and beets didn’t grow — for mulch on the green beans, sunflowers, zucchini and cantaloupe. Most of you likely already have zucchini, but ours should produce this week.

I thinned the second crop of corn that is 10-inches tall and used Miracle Gro on it and nearly everything in the garden last week, except the older onions. They seem to be making nice bulbs, so I figure they are doing OK.

The tall Shasta daisies are in full bloom along with bright magenta lambs ears, orange day lilies, red bee balm, pale pink anemones and a fever few. But, the gorgeous blooms on both rose bushes are curling up at the ends of the petals and withering. It may be the heat or could be the fact that I actually gave them a good shot of fertilizer two weeks ago. Oops.

More POW

Richard Marshall, President of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on June 29. He said the group has filed a Freedom of Information Act on the CA. Dept. of Natural Resources regarding the use of Liane Randolph, who is a member of the CA. Public Utilities Commission, because of her apparent bias towards removal of the four hydro-electric Klamath dams. Randolph has been appointed as the oversight person on the Klamath dams on the CPUC. Members of CPUC are expected to be unbiased.

Water Users also filed a response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in opposition to PacifiCorp and the new non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corp. Apparently, KRRC has requested FERC approve the transfer of dam ownership from PacifiCorp to the KRRC with the not-so-secret goal of destroying the dams.

This makes one wonder what the purchase price is? And where the funds are coming from? Congress did not approve dam removal or the funding of dam removal under the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which greatly irritated the pro-dam removal people, Tribes and agencies.

Another opposition by the Water Users is to the federal Dept. of Interior’s environmental reports, which were written in 2012 under the Klamath Hydro-Electric Settlement Agreement and the now defunct Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. The state of California wants to adopt this deficient document to be used as a response for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Water Users allege the environmental reports are not adequate referring to the economic analysis section that was not done regarding environmental damages and impacts that will occur below Iron Gate Dam if the dams are demolished. Richard said these issues were not addressed in the 2012 DOI report.

The controversial TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load of possible pollutants in California rivers raised its ugly head recently as a meeting was held in Siskiyou County by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board staff. Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5., said that every 10 years the agency must analyze the rules and or make new rules. This is the review year for both Shasta and Scott Rivers. Interestingly enough, the state agency has acknowledged there has been improvement in the state-claimed impairments of sediment and water temperature in the Scott River. Shasta River is not so lucky, but I am not sure what the situation is. I will look into it.

Ray said the county will hire another code enforcement officer specifically to address property that is being abused, affecting neighbors’ as a health and safety hazard and or creating a public nuisance.

The state put a monkey-wrench in the ordinance the county was writing regarding cannabis as the state recently changed its regulations stating there is no difference between recreational or medicinal use of cannabis. So the county had to go back and rewrite its ordinance.

Today at 2:10 p.m. the county supervisors will discuss and provide direction regarding the local cannabis regulation and potential for a Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation pilot program. That meeting is at the county courthouse, second floor, in the supervisors’ board room.

Ray did mention that in the latter-half of June, 17 search warrants were issued on illegal pot grows and the sheriff’s dept. led the raid that found 16 gallons of honey oil, which is processed marijuana bud made into a concentrated syrup. State law enforcement was brought in, because the honey oil lab was the largest ever busted in the state. Yep, a lot of pot is being grown illegally in the county.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 7-5-17

July 5, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Garden

Can’t believe how fast the garden is growing. With pride, I would like to announce our first crop of corn is well-past “knee-high-by-the-Fourth-of-July” even if I am short!

I did plant the flathead cabbage, but I keep forgetting to give them some water late in the afternoon. So with this heat, I am not giving enough care and I doubt if they make it. I should have tried putting the seeds in a pot of soil under the pine tree to see if the seeds and soil would stay more moist.

Bok choy: Well, I did pick some and ate several stalks raw. It is a bitter to me, so I didn’t stir-fry it; and the next day, it started sending up tall stems with yellow flowers. I don’t think it likes the heat and should have been planted in late April.

The red onions that were planted late are doing well. They are still small, but have perked up and are looking pretty hardy. Small green tomatoes have started on several plants – yay! I had to thin the basil plants this week and the peas are turning yellow. They need to be pulled.

Oh, I finally got oregano harvested. It was about to bud out, which I don’t like. The cut stems are in two paper bags in the extra bedroom drying. Now to harvest the lemon balm that is also about ready to bloom. Both rose bushes are blooming. I just love the deep red one with its fabulous fragrance. Yep, it smells like a rose!

Gun law

Luckily, I was wrong! Well, I reported correctly last week that a new gun law was going into effect on July 1st making it illegal to possess a high-capacity detachable magazine that holds more than 10 bullets.

But, on Thursday, a federal judge temporarily blocked that CA. law by issuing a preliminary injunction and stating the law was likely unconstitutional because it prevented people from using firearms that employed “whatever common magazine size he or she judges best suits the situation.”

There is a federal lawsuit Duncan v Becerra, supported by several gun associations, which challenges the package of CA. gun control laws passed last year — and became known as “gunmaggedon.” Remember the lengthy petitions that were available to sign!

Apparently, things are looking fairly good regarding this injunction as the judge explained the plaintiffs are likely to succeed because “public safety interest may not eviscerate the Second Amendment.” Wow!

So, those of you who did not want to become an outlaw and had planned on relinquishing your illegal magazines – don’t need to! (Cheshire smile!) This is good news.

POW meeting

Erin Ryan, representing Congressman Doug LaMalfa, said Doug was on the GOP baseball team for the charity event held in June. But, he was not at the early-morning practice, where the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise and several others occurred. Doug was attending a breakfast meeting, but was part of the team that played the next day.

Erin told us threats and constant disruptions by anti-Republican and anti-President Trump activists are still a problem. The staff has to keep the office door locked and even the telephone lines are over-loaded at times. If you need to stop by the office, call Erin and make an appointment. You will be let in. The situation is frustrating for the congressman’s staff as aggressive people are making it difficult to get their work done.

Actually, Erin first reported about the federal judge’s injunction on the CA. magazine gun law. The congressman’s staff is also on the cutting-edge of issues and legislation occurring in California. Doug has voted on several significant bills that passed the House, now if only the Senate would get their act in gear and approve the bills, so President Trump could sign them into law.

Doug has been actively trying to improve the lazy bureaucracy and misconduct in the Veterans Administration and is pleased the V.A. Accountability Act of 2017 passed the House. He voted to streamline permitting for water infrastructure establishing the Bureau of Reclamation as the single lead agency; and for tort reform in the health care industry that would lower insurance costs for doctors by reducing the high-risk malpractice lawsuits.

Also, Doug introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Democrat from Oregon, to streamline processes for removal of hazardous trees and vegetative overgrowth near power lines on BLM and USFS lands to reduce risk of forest fires and electrical grid blackouts.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, shared “happy” news. He met with the EcoTrust Forest Management and found the group is looking to provide economic improvements in the county and to thin for forest health. This group purchased much of the Timbervest lands that reach from Sugar Creek in the south end of the valley and go north in back of Etna and continue on the west side below Marble Mt. Wilderness and into some of the area west of Fort Jones.

EcoTrust wants to create local jobs and are looking for small industrial sites to set up small mills with the goal of reducing fire hazard trees. The group even wants to work with Fruit Growers whose lands that are adjacent to EcoTrust properties.

Ray has received concerns that EcoTrust Forest group will sell its water rights, but Ray said there are no water rights on the properties that would be sellable and these are not diversions for irrigation.

It is the Western Rivers Conservancy that has purchased the Bouvier Ranch and another timber piece near Callahan that is trying to flip the properties and to sell the water rights. These do divert from the Scott River and will affect irrigators downstream. It is confusing, who now owns what properties.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-27-17

June 27, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet this Thursday, June 29, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share. Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, will be speaking on issues facing our county. Richard Marshall, president of the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. will also update up on the Klamath dams issues.

I believe Erin Ryan, who works for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, is planning on attending. She will give us the inside scoop on the shooting of the GOP congressman, security officers and staffer at the annual charity baseball game held June 14, 2017 in WA. D.C. When Doug first went to Washington, he practiced with the GOP team and was on the roster for this year’s game.

Last week, I complained about the fact that The Nature Conservancy is looking to sell its Buske Ranch property near Big Springs to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife adding that the state has not paid its taxes on lands it owns in Siskiyou County. I asked Ray how much this tax now totals. After at least 12 years of non-payment, it totals over $800,000. That is without the Buske Ranch thrown into the mix. Sure is frustrating when our state ignores its counties.

Garden

Hot, hot hot! Soon after the first day of summer, June 20th, the heat hit. Sure makes the garden grow as long as we keep pouring the water to it. I planted the second crop of corn on Wed. and Sunday morning I saw several starting to poke up. Now that’s a fast germination. I’ve had several friends say their corn came up extra quick this year. The first watermelon and pumpkins didn’t make it, so I planted another batch and they are up.

I forgot that I wanted to plant some flathead cabbage from seed, but didn’t want to do it during this heat spell. Will do it this week and hopefully they will get big enough before the cooler weather hits in the fall. I noticed the last time I planted a late crop of cabbage, which was in early June, their growth started slowing down by September. I figured it was because of the loss of light as the sun is moving back into winter mode.

I hope the cabbages reach full term at 110 days, before it freezes as I want to see how well they handle the cold. A friend had good luck pulling back the yucky leaves, in February, and found the cabbage underneath had survived cold December and January.

Gotta mention that the carrots that I thought were coming up – didn’t. Oh, there are a few, but the weeds came up so thick and so fast that I don’t think I can save the carrots. So, I need to decide if I want to plant another batch or not. The beets didn’t come up any better either and I had worked in steer manure to make nice seed beds. Guess there were lots of other seeds ready to pop up. Hum, if the cabbage seeds come up, I can plant the cabbages in that spot.

The bok choy is seven inches tall and I need to start thinning it. I have only grown it once and that was years ago. So I looked up recipes and I think I’ll take some thinnings to stir fry in peanut oil and minced garlic. I’ve been making stir-fry with the snow peas and broccoli from the garden – adding onion, celery and cabbage. I found a recipe that uses one cup of chicken broth, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a heaping teaspoon of corn starch to finish off the dish. I add teriyaki sauce as I am cooking and I love to use peanut oil. It sorta thickens up nice and is tasty. I’ll let you know what we think of bok choy.

We didn’t keep up with the first batch of spinach. It is now tough and going to seed. I should pull it up and use it for mulch. The new crop of spinach needs to be used while it is still young. Oh, the basil I planted from seed came up and now need to be thinned. Also, the dill is growing in the onions and cucumbers, so it should be just right when I need to make dill pickles.

Road kill

Believe it or not, Oregon legislature recently passed a bill and Gov. Kate Brown signed it, allowing the salvage of wildlife killed on the road for human consumption. So, if you hit a deer in Oregon you can stop and pick it up. If there are antlers, they must be turned into the Fish and Wildlife Dept. PETA, the animal rights group, even agrees with the salvaging of deer and elk carcasses saying it is healthier meat than animals under commercialization.

The only opposition was from a Republican official in Josephine County, who told legislators that people have been salvaging road kill meat for years without a permit and shouldn’t need one. Ha! I agree.

Those in power claimed they only want to make sure that people don’t try to kill wildlife with their vehicles as another form of hunting. Really?

Apparently, Pennsylvania tops the nation in road kills, which include turkeys with over 126,000 vehicle wildlife accidents in 2015. And I thought driving through Scott Valley was bad!

Gun law

This is ridiculous. Starting July 1st, some Californians may be violating a new gun law that goes into effect. In the election last November, voters passed the initiative that makes it illegal to possess high-capacity detachable magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. If caught, violation can bring jail time. Talk about creating a bunch of outlaws!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-13-17

June 13, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Fire tax

Yep, rural Siskiyou homeowners are receiving their “bill” to pay the controversial Fire Prevention Fee that some of us allege is a fire tax, because it was passed in the state legislature by a mere majority instead of two-thirds vote that is legally needed to create a tax.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. has taken on the class action lawsuit against the state and recently announced it has reviewed and classified 12,000 pages of documentation obtained from CalFire through discovery. This information regarding inspections of property or lack of inspections or any particular service exchanged for the “fee” will be helpful in their case. Many people sent in written testimony that will also be used for the massive “Motion for Summary Judgment” based on the undisputed facts gathered from CalFire’s own documentation. Howard Jarvis is hoping for a decision this summer, but if the ruling goes against CalFire, you can bet it will appeal.

When this fire tax came down back in 2011, Howard Jarvis told us to send “protest” applications called “Petition for Redetermination” as a way to possibly retrieve back the fees we have been paying – if the class action lawsuit is successful.

For several years, we sent in the protest applications. Two years ago, Howard Jarvis said that if anyone had sent in the Petition for Redetermination, at any time, we no longer need to send in the form. Apparently, our name is on the “list”.  So, you no longer need to send in your form, but you must pay the “fee” within 30 days or interest begins to accrue.

Garden

Whew, good thing the cloud cover continued over Sunday night or we could have had a frost. Sunday morning, I was surprised at how low the snow line was on Mt. Bolivar. It turned cold. I had gathered, buckets, old pots, blankets, sheets and canvas to cover the five-inch tall corn, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, sunflowers, peppers, barely-up basil, radishes, bok choy, tomatoes, impatiens and several other annual flowers. Didn’t have to use them. Yay!

The garlic is starting to die back on its own. I pulled two and one was really good sized. It will be hot by next weekend, so I’ll wait ‘til then to harvest and put them out to dry under the pine tree.

POW

Here is more from the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held June 1, 2017.

Mark Baird reported that 600 State of Jefferson supporters attended a Rally at the California State Capitol on May 31, 2017 to show favor of a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Fair Representation against the State of California. The lawsuit cites the fact that rural areas in California have far fewer elected representatives in the assembly and senate and thus have a huge lack of representation.

The lawsuit was filed the first week of May and the Citizens have received a response from the state claiming the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, so California has filed a motion for dismissal.

Mark said the Citizens were ready for that move. Several motions will now go back and forth with a hearing set for August as the lawsuit does continue to go forward at this point.

Richard Marshall, President of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., said his group filed a statement to the California Public Utilities Commission on a variety of issues. One of those issues is the fact that the new Klamath River Renewal Corp. is a non-profit and as such is not a valid organization to accept $450 million in government monies for destruction of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams.

SCWUA also questions the liability issue regarding PacifiCorp: After years of operation, how can PacifiCorp absolve itself of liability once the dams come out?

Richard also sent a letter to Dept. of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke asking him to meet with SCWUA, Siskiyou County and CA. Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, announced that the county is again looking for a new county counsel. The recently hired, Brad Sullivan, has departed. Apparently, it was not a good fit.

Ray and Michael Kobseff, Chairman of the Siskiyou Supervisors’ Board, were asked by the board of the Farmers Ditch, in Scott Valley, to attend a meeting with CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife employees, including Neil Manji the Regional Manager. The Farmers Ditch members have been having problems with DFW allowing them to receive their legal water allotments.

Ray pointed out that the latest diversion “fix” by DFW included placing giant boulders across the Scott River, which he observed is actually a “take” of coho under the Endangered Species Act. “The fish can’t pass over the boulders,” said Ray, who added that State Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Senator Ted Gaines have been invited up to see the mess made by DFW. Wow, good move!

Ray, Michael and Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen were invited to a private meeting with a few KRRC board members. Michael explained the political fallout regarding the previous Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, where both Siskiyou and Klamath Counties held advisory measures and the voters overwhelmingly approved that the four Klamath hydro-electric dams should remain intact and functioning.

Then, Ray explained the KRRC is not immune from ESA violations and that no environmental impact studies or reports have been done correctly, which, in reality, will set the project on its heels. When questioned by KRRC why it didn’t know about this sooner, Ray said Siskiyou Co. has previously brought these same concerns up time and time again — and has been ignored. Apparently, the KRRC individuals seemed to finally “get it” that formidable government regulations have been ignored and that will truly be a problem. Oops, maybe they should listen better!

More next week –

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-6-17

June 6, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Thank you to all the folks that went out of their way to stop by our yard sale on Saturday. We were surprised about the amount of Trinity and Shasta Valley yard salers that drove over Scott Mt. or Gazelle Mt. and started their treasure-finding trek at the south-end of the valley.

The day was a very pleasant experience. Folks were considerate, talkative and showed up with smaller cash denominations. It was fun to visit with old friends like Mary Rose Periera and her husband. I don’t remember their last name – we’re talking Etna High School time period — and made friends with new neighbors down the road.

I heard it was “a zoo” in Etna and other areas. Sure hope everyone found that special treasure.

Garden

Soil temps must have been just right, because many of the seeds we planted on Sat. May 27th are up with two green leaves. There are two zucchini along with corn, some cucs, radish, bok choy and spinach. Picked several cups of snow peas and made a stir fry and the garlic looks about ready pull up to dry. The potatoes that the freeze knocked back, a month ago, are nearly 10 inches tall.

It took some doing, but I improved the soil and got my flowering plants in by the pine tree. I have also decided to bring in coneflower and coreopsis from outside the fence and, boy, has that been a job digging the rocky ground and adding some decent soil and a bit of manure. But, the coneflowers are in.

World War II

The tide truly turned for the Allies fighting the Nazi’s on Tuesday, June 6, 1944. I have written about D-Day before, but each year I am humbled by the incredible organization, coordination and execution it took for such an invasion. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and the other leaders certainly knew there would be many casualties. I can’t imagine the courage it took for the military leaders down to the private soldiers to commit to the operation. But, wars are brutal and the battles must be fought; and this one had to be successful for freedom to win out over domination and evil.

Here are a few quick facts about D-Day: The invasion did not take place where Nazi’s expected, but on five beaches in Normandy, France. They were code named: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The original date for the attack was on June 5th, but bad weather in the English Channel forced the postponement. More than 13,000 aircraft began flying at midnight into occupied territory chalking up 14,674 sorties from the Allied forces by 8 a.m.

More than 5,000 ships supported the 160,000 troops across the channel. Minesweepers cleared the way for the crafts carrying men, vehicles and supplies. Allied casualties were estimated at 10,000 killed, wounded or missing in action: 6,603 Americans, 2,700 British and 946 Canadians.

Last week, we remembered our service men and women from all wars on Memorial Day. Let us stop a minute, today, and send a prayer of “thank you” for those who fought on D-Day and continued on for a year pushing the fascist Nazi’s back until the European victory was won in May 1945.

POW

Lisa Nixon, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 4, reported on the ad-hoc county-wide cannabis committee at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last Thursday. She said it has turned out to be an “incredible experience” working with the varied-interest group. Lisa said under California law, the county can ban all outdoor growing or can regulate commercial outdoor grows. California state agencies are not yet up-to-speed regarding licensing, but expects to have its commercial growing permits available Jan. 1, 2018.

The new recreational cannabis law was approved by California voters last November and commercial growers are demanding to know if the County of Siskiyou Co. will permit them to grow here.

At odds is the huge black market industry that is severely impacting our county. Lisa said the black market growers are violating nearly every land use regulation and causing tragic environmental abuses. She feels the black market industry must be eradicated — as many of us do.

Lisa said the individuals on the ad-hoc committee have been willing to negotiate and been quite respectful. The commercial growers, on the committee, say they want to undertake the process in steps and legally abide by the permits and regulations. Believe it or not, there are 20 different categories of permits that could be used by the county. A pilot program of a few types of commercial grows is being considered as a compromise for 2018.

Several members from the audience spoke up against Siskiyou Co. allowing commercial grows. Lisa responded by saying that is the crux of the problem and discussing the pros and cons of opening the door to commercial grows will be the basis for the all-important decision that must be made this year or California’s rules will run the show. Currently, it is legal for up to six plants to be grown indoors in Siskiyou Co.

Next week I’ll cover more from the POW meeting.

Clarification

It has been brought to my attention that on the internet I have been referred to as a “Sovereign Citizen Journalist.” I don’t know what that is and have never labeled myself as such. This label is erroneous. I have been writing for newspapers since 1976 and have always considered myself a reporter or simply a journalist. I do not consider myself a Sovereign. I am a citizen of the United States, a resident and registered voter in the State of California and Siskiyou County. I felt that I should clarify the matter. I am truly grateful and proud to be an American.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-30-17

May 30, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

For those who don’t know, today is the real Memorial Day. Yep, that’s right, at least for me. Originally, Memorial Day was May 30th, but not for long. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Time for recollection — sometime in the 1960s, I remember my Dad picking a large bunch of fragrant, lavender lilac blossoms. It was a Saturday and I had gone with him up to the Sullivan ranch that he leased for his Hereford cattle herd. It is up Wildcat Creek near Callahan. The dry hillside yard in front of the old white vacant Victorian Sullivan house boasted huge lilac bushes in full bloom.

Now, my Dad wasn’t much on flowers, so I guess that’s one reason why I recall this day. It was also fairly warm and I think I was allowed to ride the entire trip to our home in Etna in the back of his pickup. Yep, a real treat with the wind blowing against my face, sitting with several dogs – their tongues hanging out! Oops, a no-no nowadays. But, you gotta understand that my Dad never drove very fast at that stage of his life even on Hwy 3.

Then, I remember being at my Grandma Dillman’s home on Wagner Way in Etna and I think a batch of giant red peonies were also picked. What is odd, as childhood memories go, I don’t recall going to the Etna Cemetery to place the flowers. My Grandpa George Dillman was buried there, along with my Dad’s siblings: Bob, Con and Clista Dillman. Hum, a bit of melancholy nostalgia with question marks.

For quite a few years, I have been putting fabric flowers on family and friends’ graves. Now, my Grandma Dillman, Dad, Mom, more of Dad’s siblings and a lot of Fowler relatives are resting there as well. I buy 25 flowers and try to make them stretch as my way to remember my family. This year, I chose the color red and also red, white and blue. They are stunning!

Our cemeteries are beautiful in Scott Valley. The American Legion Perry Harris Post #260 places hundreds of American flags on veterans’ graves. Thank you to all who take care of our cemeteries and those who remember to place flowers, whether they are fabric or real.

Because Memorial Day seems to have sort of lost its real significance, I decided to look it up on the Internet.

Apparently, placing flowers on graves of loved ones has been done since ancient times. But, it was the huge loss of over 600,000 soldiers in the American Civil War that affected nearly every family and community in the USA. It was first known as Decoration Days and specifically honored soldiers, who had died. In some rural mountain areas of American South, extended families still hold family reunions, religious services and or picnic dinners to honor their soldiers.

Following the assassination, in April 1865, of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, commemorating an honored loved one seemed to take on a new cultural significance. Women took the leadership role of establishing a formal practice of decorating graves; and many African Americans — those former slaves — gave huge significance to the observance of Decoration Day after the Civil War.

By 1882, the name had gradually changed to Memorial Day. But, believe it or not, Memorial Day was not declared the official name by federal law until 1967. A few years later, another congressional law took effect in 1971 changing the day from May 30th to the last Monday in May to create a three-day holiday.

Because of that Memorial Day in my early years, I still watch to see if the lilacs and red peonies will be blooming on May 30th. Once again, this year, the lilacs were way ahead of schedule and were about to pop open at my house, when that cold frost killed them on May 7th. My peonies actually started blooming in mid-May and the blooms on one bush are falling down. Nope, didn’t happen this year, but I have a nice memory.

Garden

It took all last week to finish planting the garden. We got the first crop of corn in, along with cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, sunflowers, pumpkins, spinach, radishes, bok choy and another Chinese-type cabbage. The green beans were planted two weeks ago. Oh, I ate several snow peas – raw — and pulled two bunching onions for a dinner, cuz I ran out of onions.

My eyes were bigger than my energy level, as I purchased more flower plants than I normally do. I planted a garden corner of alyssum, ice plants, zinnia, vinca, begonias and transplanted several cosmos for the back. The Shasta daisies are starting to bloom there. Hoping for a pretty spot!

Weekend

Larry Alexander tells me there will be two huge sales during the Scott Valley-wide Yard Sale weekend. (We are having one too! Want an old cider press?) An auction of antiques and collectables will be at The REC in Fort Jones at 1 p.m. on Sat. June 3rd. On Sun. June 4th, a ranchers, farmers and construction equipment auction will be held at the old Marlahan Ranch, now called, Clary Rose Farm, at 1 p.m.

On Friday, June 9th a Community Fire Season Preparedness meeting will be held at The REC at 5 p.m. with a complimentary barbecue followed by speakers sharing vital fire info.

POW

Speakers for the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thurs. June 1st will be Siskiyou Co. Supervisors Lisa Nixon, from Dist. 4, and Ray Haupt, Dist. 5, Erin Ryan from Congressman LaMalfa’s office and Richard Marshall, President of Siskiyou Water Users. It will be held at the Fort Jones Community Center at 7 p.m. Bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-23-17

May 23, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Support Memorial Day by attending one of the honor guard services by the local American Legion Perry Harris Post #260 next Monday. The Callahan Cemetery service is at 10 a.m., Etna Cemetery at 11 a.m. and Fort Jones Cemetery at noon. And remember to thank our veterans!

Garden

Well, I feel really dumb as much of our garden has yet to be planted. With this heat, the seeds would certainly germinate quickly. But, alas we are waiting on the rotor-tiller to get fixed. Meanwhile, I spent a couple days irrigating iris and other perennials that I had ignored. The orange Oriental poppies are starting to bloom with a few purple iris and the California poppies are beautiful with the flowering lavender lupine.

The six red cabbages and six broccoli plants that we planted several weeks ago are doing well, but something is eating the top of some onions, darn it.

Forestry

I need to mention that Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, attended an American Forest Resource Council Conference in Washington last month. He was asked to be on a three-member panel with two county commissioners from Idaho and Montana. He told the April Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, that 200 industry leaders in the timber business were in attendance. The three-member panel explained how rural counties and communities have been hard-hit because of the loss of a local timber economy.

Mills have moved to metropolitan areas and the forestry industry leaders do not always see the economic fall-out from the gigantic loss of the timber industry on public lands in rural areas. Ray and the other panel members explained this has caused a social mess. With the loss of jobs, rural counties experience more social abuses of drugs, alcohol, elderly, domestic and an increase in crime.

“My goal is to replace the spotted owl (poster) with one of abused children,” said Ray at the Protect Our Water meeting. He also said the panel’s goal was to reconnect counties with the timber industry and educate lobbyists who work in WA. D.C.

There are several lawsuits over local timber harvest sales, including the Westside Fire Recovery Plan, that Ray encouraged Siskiyou Co. to support with amicus briefs, which are a friend of the court. Since Ray has been in office, these lawsuits that our county has supported have been successful providing a ray of hope for more active forest management.

The next Protect Our Water meeting will be Thurs., June 1, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. I will have the agenda for you next week.

Trials

Last week, I discussed the inhumane treatment that Ammon Bundy, and possibly other inmates, received in the privately-contracted federal Southern Nevada Detention Facility in Pahrump. And that a protest rally dubbed “Liberty Camp” had set up across the highway from the facility. Although the campers are only staying 14 days, so they would not need a permit, the local sheriff visited the camp and informed them they must get a permit or leave.

When the word got out, a neighboring landowner told the campers they could moved to his property, which is in back of the prison. It is actually a better situation, but hot Nevada winds are not making life easy. Food and supplies have been donated to the campers and the residents of Pahrump seem to be supportive of the group trying to expose inhumane and torturous treatment inside the facility.

But to keep things interesting, detention facility guards have filed multiple false reports claiming the protesters are violating prison space by stepping across boundary lines onto prison property or that protestors slapped a moving prison bus. The protesters are videoing their every move and can prove these reports are not true.

The camp participants are making daily treks around the compound in their “Jericho March” and continue to raise money. Guess that would be a bit intimidating to the prison guards. In one video, I saw Jeanette Finicum on LaVoy’s horse, joining the march. To send support letters or care packages or funds, the address is: Camp Liberty, 1776 East Mesquite Ave., Pahrump, NV 89048.

Camp Liberty has raised over $25,000 for the defense of Ammon Bundy.

Camp leaders are also encouraging supporters to call elected officials and the detention facility administrator saying they have heard of inhumane treatment of inmates in the facility. Nicely ask them to look into the situation.

Janice Killian, facility administrator, 775-751-4500 or fax 775-751-8763.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval: 775- 684-5670.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions: 202-514-2001.

U.S. Nevada Senator Dean Heller: 702-388-6605

U.S. President Donald J. Trump: For comments call 202-456-1111 or switchboard is 202-456-1414.

Here is an update on the trials or re-trails. Prosecutors said they will not re-file charges on Todd Engel or Greg Burleson again on the trial where the jury was deadlocked this spring. Both were found guilty on lesser charges and will be sentenced in July. But, additional “terrorism” enhancements will be asked for Engel, who was found guilty of two charges. A possible 30 years in prison could come from these enhancements.

Burleson was found guilty of 8 of 10 charges and faces a possible 57 years in prison. He was a government informant, so it looks like he has been left high and dry. The other four defendants in the hung jury trial will be re-tried the end of June.

The second group of defendants include Cliven Bundy. But this trial will not begin until after this re-trial of the first group, so it may be October until Cliven’s trial starts.

Then there is a third tier of the Nevada Bunkerville defendants, who most likely will not see their trial until spring of 2018. Talk about a lack to a speedy trial, along with all the other atrocities that have occurred!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-16-17

May 16, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Apparently, I have a lot to learn about growing plants in a cold frame. Quickly, we found that the lid must be up during most days in April and May, because it easily gets too hot. And, except for the few dramatic hot nights we had two weeks ago, it must be closed at night. Jack built the cold frame in mid-April and we planted an Early Girl tomato plant and cucumber seeds. Only one cucumber seed came up. I also planted parsley seeds, but none have appeared.

The snow-line dropped to 4,500 feet on Saturday morning, May 6th. The plants did fine in the cold frame, but Sunday morning the freezing cold must have been several hours long as both the tomato and cucumber were burned a bit. The cuc was only 2 leaves big. Yep, pretty tiny. So, we are now covering the tomato and cuc in the cold frame with buckets, when it may freeze and the double covering is working.

During those hot days and nights, I put the three red solo cups of two-inch tall cucumbers under the pine tree to get acclimated. But on May 5th, I thought they would need more protection and put them in the cold frame, instead of bringing them in the house. (They gotta get tough, you know!) Well, the cold on Sunday morning burned those cucs pretty good. I brought them in the house to perk them up, but they are not going to make it.

The rhubarb was huge, so I harvested it last week. There was about 25 pounds of rhubarb and, yes, to Jack’s relief I gave most of it away. I did make some jam using strawberry Jello, but I cooked the rhubarb sauce down too far, before adding the Jello. It is really gooey. Tastes great, but it is very thick and sticky! So, I’ll make sure it is a bit juicy next time. Ugh!

Jefferson

A rallying cry will be held by the Citizens for Fair Representation at the California Capitol in Sacramento on Wed., May 31, 2017. State of Jefferson supporters are planning the rally that will be held at 11 a.m. A bus has been chartered that will leave Yreka Wal-Mart at 5:45 a.m. on May 31st the cost is $35 per person. To ride the air conditioned bus and join the rally, call Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443 or Pauline Cramer at 530-468-2680. The group needs 55 riders to secure the bus, and, unfortunately, the deadline is very short – tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17th. So call immediately for your seat on the bus.

The Citizens for Fair Representation submitted a lawsuit complaint to the CA. Secretary of State Alex Padilla last Tuesday, May 9, 2017. The rally is to show support for fair representation in our legislative elections.

POW

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Lisa Nixon, Siskiyou Co.  Supervisor for Dist. 4, will be there to speak about the ad-hoc Cannabis Committee she is serving on. There will be discussion and possible action on the report from the ad-hoc Cannabis Committee today at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting. So by June 1, there should be even more info for Lisa to share.

Bundy

Two weeks ago, we learned that rancher Ammon Bundy was tortured in the Pahrump (Nevada) Federal Detention Center – prison. He was shackled around his ankles and handcuffed holding his arms behind his back, then placed in a three-foot by three-foot shower stall and left for 13 hours. No food or water or bathroom breaks. When he was released by several swat team members that were dressed in full tactical gear, he was stripped naked put on the floor, inspected and told to raise his arms above his head. He was not able to do it, so they did it for him! His legs were bleeding from the shackles and he could barely walk.

Then he was put in a tiny solitary confinement cell – naked — again. Guards finally stuffed his undergarments through the food slot. Through a phone call, Ammon was able to relate this latest inhumane treatment. He was told by the guards they intended to leave him in the stall for 72 hours and, if still alive, to be taken to a medical room where an I.V. would have been inserted to keep him from dying from dehydration. In the phone call, he certainly sounds disoriented from pain, abuse and possibly hypothermia.

I don’t understand this type of dreadful treatment, especially when civilians are afforded protections from inhumane treatment and attack through the international Geneva Convention.

Ammon has been acquitted of felonies in the Portland, Oregon trial; and the first trial for the April 2014 Bundy ranch stand-off against the BLM was a mistrial, this year, in Las Vegas. Ammon has been incarcerated for more than 400 days, denied bail and, certainly, the right to speedy trials.

Shari Dovale, writer for Redoubt News.com, wrote an article and released the phone call through a video that has now had more than 92,000 views. As a result, a call-to-action has gone out to rally in Pahrump and protest Ammon’s torture. The federal government responded by locking down the prison and refusing all inmates any visitors over that weekend.

Also, something that is curious is the Facility Leader (new title for prison superintendent) was removed, during the past two weeks, and a new woman is now at the helm

I don’t know who is leading the protest, but it looks to be grass roots driven. Campers can stay for 14 days, without a BLM permit. So the organizers hope more people will show up. It is a peaceful protest across the highway from the prison and local businesses have donated porta-potties and water.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-9-17

May 9, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Blue skies provided the perfect spring day for the Pleasure Park Rodeo last Sunday, May 7, 2017. The 70th Annual rodeo was supported by the California High School Rodeo contestants and also saw the return of local cowboys and cowgirls that have been competing for a decade or two. It was great to see Daryl Lara and J.D. Rose out there.

Thank you to the many people who organized and did the volunteer-work that made the rodeo a success!

Garden

One cucumber has popped up in the cold frame and the tomato plant is doing really well. The peas are about eight-inches tall. Spinach leaves are about two-inches and the lettuce is popping up. The bee balm and Oriental poppies really took off. Cabbages and broccoli transplanted last week are looking good. Asparagus is still lacking in spikes, but the rhubarb is huge. Potatoes are also poking up.

Snowpack

The May 1st snowpack is super duper. Local USFS employees slushed through significant snow to measure the snow depth of the measuring stations. The highest area was Scott Mt. at 5,900 feet showing 45-inches giving it 173 percent of average. Next was Middle Boulder #3 at 6,200 feet located near Mt. Bolivar at the south end of Scott Valley. It had 61-inches with the historic average at 40.3 inches giving it 151 percent of average.

Just below at Dynamite Meadow, at 5,700 feet, was the lowest snowpack at 19.5 inches of historic average of 22.1 inches with 88 percent. Now isn’t that interesting. Maybe there is more sunshine melting the snow? I’ve been told these are in the same area. Swampy John above Etna at 5,500 feet still has 60-inches of snow making 113 percent of average.

Finicum

There were several successful fundraisers last weekend. We have such caring people here in our Siskiyou County communities.

I attended the event for Jeanette Finicum on Friday night at the Miner’s Inn in Yreka. Debbie Bacigalupi met Jeanette, in January, when she attended the one-year anniversary of Jeanette’s husband, LaVoy Finicum’s, death in Eastern Oregon. Thank you, Debbie for bringing Jeanette and her daughter, Thara Tenny, here to raise funds for their wrongful death civil suit.

The 250-ticket fundraiser was sold out and the auction items sold well. I don’t remember how much it was, but Jay Dancer was the winning bid on the airplane flight donated by pilot Mark Johnson. The barbecue beef ribs and dinner by Dave and Kathy Tyler was fabulous. Luckily, I was able to bring home a doggy bag of ribs!

First, Joe (who didn’t give his last name) presented Jeanette with the Purple Heart award he received for life-threatening wounds while fighting in Iraq. May 5th was the anniversary of the day he was medivaced to a U.S. hospital in Germany. Joe said Jeanette deserved the recognition, because of all she has suffered at the hands of the U.S. government. She was clearly touched.

Truths were revealed by both Thara and Jeanette. They learned quite a bit of information through the first Oregon Trial, where the two Bundy brothers and five others were acquitted by the jury — yet have been not released from prison cells.

Thara spoke first – encouraging us to understand the U.S. Constitution and our branches of government. She said her father, LaVoy, had a right to due process and instead he was shot in the back three times by government agents. She added that the agents were fed false rhetoric.

Jeanette said that more than 100 ranchers have lost their land, in their area, due to bullying and regulations of the BLM. Since his death, the BLM refuses to issue LaVoy’s grazing permit to Jeanette. They do not recognize her as his wife — yet and this is a really big yet — since his death they have been placing fines on her from LaVoy’s cattle grazing over a year ago after his death. Those fines are now up to $12,000. The BLM has forced her to move her cattle off of her land. She has been in litigation with them since. Remember, the federal government has deep pockets.

Then Jeanette explained how the media has demonized LaVoy and ranchers. “The press and environmental groups were partners in every way,” she said, adding that the press has redefined words like rancher, patriot even Tea Party to a very demeaning label.

The previous issues Jeanette discussed were not new to many of those in the audience, but the third subject was quite disconcerting. Jeanette said that intimidation by the FBI has been overwhelming. In most of the meetings, where she has spoken, there have been undercover FBI agents and certainly FBI investigating each event.

The FBI has gone so far as to contact city mayors and county leaders with threats for allowing her to speak. She found it hard to believe, but she learned that the FBI nearly raided one event.

Jeanette said her husband was a kind man and an excellent husband, father and neighbor. He believed in responsible government and loved teaching about the Constitution. Through it all, she and her family will continue to remain steadfast. “I will not be intimidated by the FBI or anyone else,” she finished.

At a dinner the previous night at Richard and Susan Marshall’s, I asked Jeanette if an arrest warrant for LaVoy had been issued? She responded, “A warrant was issued the day after they murdered my husband.”

Oh, such very shameful acts by the Oregon and federal governments and agents.

The funds raised for Jeanette Finicum are going to an exemplary cause. This cause must be won, if we are to maintain our freedoms and liberties from ever-encroaching domineering state and federal agencies. These are incredible and courageous women. My hat is off to them.

Check out Redoubt News.com for more on the LaVoy and Bundy situations.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-2-17

May 2, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Remember to get your tickets for the fundraiser for Jeanette Finicum, who is speaking this Friday night, May 5th at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. and Cowboy Barbecue by Dave Tyler is at 6:30 p.m. Call Grace Leeman at 530-598-1908 to get your tickets.

Parade

It is the final countdown to the Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo that will be held this Sunday, May 7th. The California High School Rodeo Dist. 1 Finals will be held Friday night and Saturday at the Etna rodeo grounds.

Jim Hendricks will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Rodeo Parade. Jim has supported the rodeo through years’ of donations to the Rodeo Queen Contest and buckles. But, his biggest donation is the use of his property next to the rodeo grounds as he has allowed parking for decades. It is so handy to be able to use a neighbor’s property for the twice-a-year parking.

Thank you Jim! Look for Jim this Sunday. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.

Drew Travis, Chairman of the Rodeo Parade, will take late entries this week — if you call right at away. His number is 530-468-2410.

POW meeting

Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, brought some good news to the Scott Valley Protect Our Water last Thursday night. Earlier that day, our congressman was able to meet and discuss issues in his district with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. LaMalfa’s office had quickly written up a letter explaining the basic reasons the four hydro-electric Klamath dams should not be destroyed and he handed to him during the three hour visit. LaMalfa included the fact that previous Sec. of Interior Sally Jewel’s agreement to take out the dams was faulty and should be rescinded.

Speaking of Sec. Zinke, he is already re-evaluating the recent expansion of National Monuments after President Trump signed an executive order “to end an egregious abuse of executive power and give that power back to the states and the people where it belongs,” said Trump, adding, “The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power.” Wow and yea!

Our recent Siskiyou/Cascade expansion by previous President Obama may get looked at. It was an expansion of a little less than 100,000 acres, which is the threshold number. But the controversial Bear’s Ears in Utah is certainly in the bulls’ eye as Utah legislators have fought that expansion tooth and nail.

Also on Sec. Zinke, he is taking another look an 11-mile road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska that Sally Jewel denied. Residents of King Cove have asked – for years – for the short road to be allowed so they can better utilize a World War II-era airport for health, safety and economic reasons. My goodness, thousands of acres are off-limits in Alaska. I sure don’t see how an 11-mile road could damage the environment, especially at the expense of a local village.

Erin also told us that LaMalfa and Congressman John Garamendi, a Democrat, have introduced legislation that would lift a de facto prohibition on construction and repair of agricultural barns in areas designated by FEMA as flood risks, which would be a huge benefit to costs incurred by farmers during floods.

There was sad and disturbing news, though. Erin said the town hall meetings have been difficult. Even his staffers have felt threatened. I think it was the Oroville meeting, where she was holding the microphone for questions from the audience members and the people around her were yelling and near to rioting. It was very scary, she said.

The Redding Town Hall turned out to be a bit safer as the county sheriff or Redding Police Chief asked for backup from the CHP. She reminded us that Gov. Jerry Brown had stopped the use of CHP by the congress folks at these town halls, but through the local law enforcement they were able to get their help. Isn’t that outrageous for our governor to do that? Talk about leaving things to get out-of-hand!

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, shared a variety of items. First, he said, the jail situation may have some new life. Like many other counties, Gov. Brown had designated $27 million for a new jail. But, when Siskiyou Co. couldn’t come up with the additional needed funds, it had to return the $27 million to the state. Well guess what? The other rural counties ended up doing the same thing, so Gov. Brown has changed his tune and Siskiyou supervisors have been told he will give the $27 million back. So the county is looking at other lower-cost options.

The application for the county to serve as the Groundwater Management Agency for Siskiyou County has been submitted to the state of California. Of course, the Karuk Tribe is contesting it, but our supervisors will oppose them, Ray said. The deadline for the application regarding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is due in June. I have read several news articles where other counties are scrambling to get in its application, so Siskiyou is certainly ahead of schedule.

Ray also explained more on the Conservation Easements and why they are problematic for the county. Some groups are purchasing land to turn into C.E.s and then sell the water rights to the state agencies. This drops the land value, tremendously, for the next purchaser and provides less tax receipts for the county.

Then some non-profits, like The Nature Conservancy, which owns a large ranch in Shasta Valley has now decided to sell the entire ranch to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. It previously sold its water right to the DFW. But, the problem with DFW is that it is supposed to pay taxes to the county on its lands. It has been more than 12 years, since the state has done that!

More next week –

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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