Lorraine’s Lowdown: Time for a National Night Out | TheUnion.com
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Lorraine’s Lowdown: Time for a National Night Out

By Lorraine Jewett | Special to The Union

The Bartender Apologized and said he could not prepare the blended drink a friend had just ordered, but said he could serve it on the rocks — thus began a recent PG&E outage. When the lights didn’t come back on, workers informed guests the restaurant would be closing. One customer called out, “That’s what PG&E stands for. Power Gotta Exit…”

Tuesday’s National Night Out lived up to its billing as an annual event promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. When it was time for the Color Run, hundreds of children and their brave parents ran a circular gauntlet while being bombarded with powder in all colors of the rainbow. A gi-normously tall ladder truck had a Grass Valley Fire Department firefighter at the top who sprayed the runners below. The water shower blurred all the colored powder into an ombré blend on the skin and clothing of kids and parents. It was like a tie-dye tattoo convention…

During the annual Color Run at the local National Night Out, children and their parents were coated with colorful powders. The more trips around the course, the more colorful the result.
Lorraine Jewett

Our Local Law Enforcement Agencies — Grass Valley and Nevada City Police Departments, NevCo Sheriff’s Office, and California Highway Patrol — were the lead National Night Out local organizers, with help from Citizens for Safe Parks. The CHP presented three members of its draft horse Mounted Patrol Unit, and a staffer was shovel-ready when an equine left its calling card at Devere Mautino Park. The band Public Safety, some of whose members work in law enforcement, performed gratis and added to the festival atmosphere. Among the dozen informational booths, flags, kids’ badges, candy and fridge magnets abounded…



Three members of the California Highway Patrol Mounted Patrol Unit assigned to the state Capitol attended Grass Valley’s National Night Out. George Steffenson, commander of the local CHP division, alternately posed for photographs with the draft horses and took pictures for others who posed in front of the gentle giants.
Lorraine Jewett

Nights Out Help Law Enforcement Days In. “Typically, law enforcement personnel are called to intervene in stressful or volatile situations and our interaction with citizens is in that context,” says GVPD Captain Steve Johnson. “Events like this are a tremendous opportunity for officers and deputies to interact with kids and community members in a casual, fun setting. This helps build relationships that are key to our ability to serve our community well…”

Children and parents who braved the gauntlet known as the Color Run were bombarded with colorful powder dyes. The colors are not permanent, but there are no scientific studies revealing how many wash loads are needed to get freebie National Night Out T-shirts white again.
Lorraine Jewett

He’s the RAM Van Camper Man. Zach Yeager is founder and chief test pilot of NevCity-based Cascade Campers (http://www.CascadeCampers.com). His van conversion projects are so popular all across the U.S. that Zach’s company was featured on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace Report.” Since 2017, Zach and his team have been converting RAM ProMaster city cargo vans into fully functioning campervans. “I’d had VW vans forever,” says Zach, “and I always wanted to recreate a VW bus for modern times. These are campervans that you can drive every day, plus go on amazing road trips.” Zach says customers become friends. “Anyone who wants one of these belongs to a special group of people…”



Zach Yeager is founder and chief test pilot of Cascade Campers, based in Nevada City. The growing popularity of Yeager’s company earned it a feature story on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace Report.”
Submitted to The Union

Duck Farts have nothing to do with campervans, but you can hear a few if you telephone Zach’s Cascade Campers company at 916-468-4007. The recorded message says, “If you’d like to hear a duck fart, please press one.” Doing so rewards you with a series of duck farts that enliven any boring day…

Dion Reif Sells Pedal-assist Electric Bikes at his Sierra EBike and Scooter Superstore in Penn Valley’s Holiday Shopping Center. The family-owned business boasts the largest showroom north of San Francisco, with more than 100 bikes and scooters in stock and ready to test ride (http://www.SierraEBike.com). Dion runs the business with help from his two children, 31-year-old Andrew and 15-year-old Riley. Dion is an icon in the EBike industry because he has designed five bike styles that are sold at 192 dealerships across the country. “One of the first thing people ask is, ‘Where in the world is Penn Valley?’” says Dion. “People drive for hours to visit our superstore, and some have since purchased homes in Lake Wildwood.” You may recognize Dion’s name and his business from news coverage about EBikes he’s donated to Patriots of Honor and military veterans who have lost limbs…

Don Rief, who has designed five bike styles that are sold at 192 dealerships across the country, owns the Sierra EBike and Scooter Superstore in Penn Valley.
Lorraine Jewett
Sierra EBike and Scooter Superstore owner Don Rief uses his sense of humor to help keep the peace between spouses.
Lorraine Jewett

Weekly Witticism: Do you miss the days when bread was good for you and no one knew what kale was…?

Expanding Its Response and Rescue Capabilities, Nevada County Consolidated Fire purchased a Polaris Ranger side-by-side utility vehicle that allows first responders emergency access to remote areas. The rear of the 4WD UTV can be outfitted with equipment such as a water tank and pump, or a patient-rescue module with ropes and hardware. “This vehicle is almost like playing with Legos in that we can manipulate it any way we need so we can accomplish the mission at hand,” says Consolidated Fire Chief Jim Turner. “We plan to deploy the unit at the fair to demonstrate its versatility.” The Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council donated $2,451 to equip the UTV with skid plates, Nerf bars, and a headache rack on which additional accessories can be mounted…

Nevada County Consolidated Fire Chief Jim Turner accepts a donation from Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council President Lucas Mijaries. The council donated $2,451 to equip the UTV with important accessories.
Lorraine Jewett

Anthony Pritchett is a Nevada Union High School senior, who is also student representative on the high school Board of Trustees. “I hope to establish clear and effective communication between students and faculty, especially as pandemic restrictions begin to ease and we emerge into a new world,” says Anthony. “I also hope to provide agency for sports falling outside the school district’s official teams or clubs in the form of physical education credits. Too many athletes dedicate time and effort to sports that are not recognized by the school, going without PE credits to fulfill their graduation requirement. I hope to change that.” Anthony isn’t sure what career he’ll pursue, but he hopes to attend college in Canada, perhaps Vancouver or Victoria…

Anthony Pritchett, a Nevada Union High School senior and student representative on the Nevada Joint Union High School Board of Trustees, says he has few photographs of himself. “I know, it’s an awful picture,” says Pritchett. “My wake would be full of empty picture frames.”
Submitted to The Union

“If You Can’t Be a Good Example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” ― Catherine Aird (1930 – ), English author of crime fiction novels…

Sending your tidbits to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com is all it takes to be a good example…



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