Author Archives: Dana Nichols

Dana Nichols

Dana has worked as a journalist for The Record since 1988. He now lives in San Andreas in Calaveras County and covers the Mother Lode region.

Sidewalks in Rancho

The flaggers were out this morning stopping traffic on Highway 26 where a sidewalk is being constructed between the Rancho Calaveras clubhouse and Driver Road. The crews are making rapid progress. Already there’s a stretch of brand new concrete sidewalk near Driver Road. Interestingly, there was some controversy over this safe-routes-to-school project that will enable [...]

Posted in Calaveras County, Rancho Calaveras, Valley Springs | Leave a comment

Another cruel financial truth for rural counties

  In California, water flows toward money. Money also flows toward money, with the understanding that most of the money and power is concentrated in certain urban regions, especially Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Here’s one way that plays out: When the state government takes actions that can reduce revenues to local governments, state [...]

Posted in Alpine County, Amador County, Calaveras County, politics | Leave a comment

Grants, contracts, the Calaveras Sheriff and who pays the piper

Does anybody besides me feel vaguely uneasy that our local law enforcement is gradually becoming more dependent on doing contract work for outside entities? What I’m talking about are contracts under which the Calaveras Sheriff provides services to various federal agencies. Things like patrolling in national forest areas, or around the lakes like New Hogan [...]

Posted in Calaveras County | Leave a comment

Tussle over Calaveras Community Plans

People up here like democracy. When Calaveras County leaders seven years ago invited the various towns, hamlets and sprawling rural communities to come up with their own plans for future growth and development, lots of them acted on the offer. Hundreds of people came to meetings. And they drafted plans. Now all that democracy is [...]

Posted in Calaveras County, politics | Leave a comment

Prosecution of women

Another interesting moment in Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that I’ve not mentioned yet in writing came during the very first item on the agenda, and not just because of the grim statistics about the 112 cases of sexual assault reported to law enforcement during the 2012-13 fiscal year in Calaveras County, or the many [...]

Posted in Calaveras County | Leave a comment

Is Red Cross a Christian organization?

During a discussion at Tuesday’s Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Darren Spellman said that Red Cross is a Christian organization. His comment came during discussion on whether the Board of Supervisors should honor Door of Hope, a Christian anti-abortion group based in San Andreas. Spellman was responding to criticism from fellow Supervisor Merita [...]

Posted in Calaveras County, politics | Leave a comment

Yard Waste Amnesty

So folks here mostly burn their yard waste these days since the county landfill and other disposal sites charge $4 per cubic yard to dispose it. Disposal used to be free of charge. Problem was that the cost to run the landfill and disposal sites over the years was rising, and elected leaders did not [...]

Posted in Calaveras County | Leave a comment

More on whether to try to save the Sierra forests

For several years now, national forest managers, private timber land owners, environmentalists, scientists and others have been discussing the woes facing the forests here in the Sierra Nevada. The issues are complex, but for the sake of brevity, it largely comes down to whether we let catastrophic fires destroy the forests. Nobody wants this. Not [...]

Posted in Alpine County, Amador County, Calaveras County, Forests, Tuolumne County | Leave a comment

Translating resource-speak

My heart sinks when I get a news release and it’s initially tough to figure out what the heck it’s about. Here’s the headline to a release I got today: ¬†Collaboration and Facilitation in Natural Resource Management ¬†Yikes. Long words. All either abstract concepts or very general. “Natural resource” can refer to everything from the [...]

Posted in Amador County, Calaveras County, Forests | Leave a comment

Muir symposium

On March 22 University of the Pacific will host a day-long symposium that asks this provocative question about the 100 years since the death of conservationist John Muir: What has been saved? What has been lost? This question is provocative for a variety of reasons. It suggests the idea that in fact something, some small [...]

Posted in John Muir, wilderness | Leave a comment
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