Lorraine’s Lowdown: An award fit for a mayor | TheUnion.com
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Lorraine’s Lowdown: An award fit for a mayor

Two Local Best Buddies are all over the news. Kaleb Bentham and his rescue pit bull “Buddy” made international headlines after a 350-pound bear grabbed the dog and tried to drag him away. It happened the day before Thanksgiving near Kaleb’s You Bet Road home. Kaleb tackled the bear and punched it until it released Buddy, then rushed his beloved dog to a local veterinary hospital. The 90-pound dog had surgery lasting several hours, and Buddy is expected to make a full recovery…

The Training Tower that’s been under construction since September at the Sierra College-Nevada County Campus was finished last week. The tower is four-stories high, which allows students enrolled in the community college’s 20-week Fire Academy to practice rappelling, ladder training, and more. “The tower is a Class A-type training simulator that burns wood and typical home-type construction materials in the burn room,” says NCC Operations Supervisor and Project Manager Donna Brazil-Bloche. The $700,000 price tag will pay for itself many times over as future firefighters are prepared for challenging careers. Adds Donna, “The tower can be used by local law enforcement to do tactical training as well…”

Bang for the Buck. “We can light a fire in the tower, which allows us to simulate a residential fire and train cadets how to respond, pull lines, get water, and extinguish the fire,” says Sierra College Fire Technology Programs Coordinator Jason Hemler. “We no longer have to travel for real training. The taller tower floors provide opportunities for rescue training, throwing ladders, and going aloft to fight fires and make rescues. Water expands 1,600 times when it turns to steam. Cadets learn how to go inside, avoid getting burned, and ventilate the steam and poisonous gases. Using anchors on the upper floors, they also practice rappelling and climbing…”



Outlaws with a Cause. The 29th Annual Nevada County Food and Toy Run that benefits more than 400 needy families won’t have law enforcement officers at intersections today, for COVID reasons. Take care along the route from the Rood Center to the Interfaith Food Ministry on Henderson St. in GeeVee (http://www.ToyRun.org). The motorcycle parade will stop at traffic signals and stop signs, so some vehicle drivers may inadvertently interrupt or join the procession. Organizer Thom Staser will station volunteers with signage at key intersections, but says the event will sorely miss law enforcement support. “The safest toy run has been turned into an ‘Outlaw Run,’” says Thom. Public donations of toys and non-perishable food should be dropped off at Interfaith Food Ministry at least 30 minutes before the Toy Run roars off at noon…

4WD’ing to the High Country isn’t the only way to play in the snow. Stucki Jewelers is spreading holiday cheer and SNOW from the store’s rooftop 4-8 p.m. Fridays and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays through Christmas (http://www.StuckiJewelers.com). “We purchased two snow machines similar to those used by the Hallmark Channel and Disneyland,” says James Arbaugh, who owns Stucki Jewelers with wife Nicole. The simulated snowstorms are sprayed whenever visitors request, or when Stucki Santas think downtown GeeVee needs a dusting. “We’d been considering for a few years buying the snow machines,” adds James, “and decided with COVID this year, we had to do whatever we could to bring joy to our town…”



And Then There Was that intrepid bicyclist who carried his Christmas tree astride his bike through downtown GeeVee. I’d tell you more about his Christmas mission, but he was a speedy peddler…

Ed and Barbara Thomas received the 2020 Grass Valley Mayor’s Award, and their names will be engraved on a perpetual trophy at City Hall. The couple watched Tuesday’s meeting via Zoom, and were genuinely surprised by the honor recognizing their countless hours of service to the city. “We’ve moved 22 times,” said Ed, “and Grass Valley is the best place we’ve ever lived.” Added Barbara amid tears, “We have so much passion for this community and we’re honored to be a part of it…”

The Mayor’s Award was presented by outgoing mayor and City Council member Lisa Swarthout, who did not seek reelection after 16 years. Howard Levine also stepped down Tuesday after eight years on the council, including one term as mayor. Said Howard, “We achieved so many things because we worked together and respected each other…”

Congrats to New City Mayor Ben Aguilar, who has big goals. “I’d like to extend the Wolf Creek Trail, plus improve and expand recreational opportunities,” says Ben. “Most importantly, I will work to shepherd us through what we hope are the final months of this pandemic, and ensure we remain a kind and loving community…”

Just Before the state placed NevCo on stay-at-home orders, Mike and Alice Lawrence were dressed in holiday festive finery in downtown GeeVee. “We must try to make people smile,” Mike says. “We really need to show our holiday spirit now more than ever…

In that Same Pursuit of boosting holiday spirits and continuing a three-year tradition, Cork 49 last week served its holiday specialty: Warm mulled wine. Now: “To meet state guidelines, we now sell our mulled wine in to-go bottles that contain six or seven mugs’ worth,” says owner Bob Thompson. “Customers can add their favorite libations at home to further spice it up, and perhaps buy our custom Cork 49 mugs to create gift packs…”

You May Have Read in these pages that the critically acclaimed video “An Evening with Ellen” celebrating the life of suffragette Ellen Sargent features local actor Mary Baird. The video was written by public relations professional and promoter of All Things Nevada County Pamela Biery. “We submitted the video to a new, online international art exhibit and it was accepted,” says Pamela. “It’s only available online through the end of December…” Check it out at http://www.WomenSoaringProject.com/gallery

A Rib-tickler Making the Rounds: “A CoronaCoaster reflects the ups and downs of the pandemic. One day you’re taking long walks and exercising, baking sourdough bread from scratch, and loving the serenity of quarantining. The next day you’re crying, drinking cocktails for breakfast, and missing people you don’t even like…”

Throughout our ups and downs, please continue to send your tidbits to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

While watching Tuesday’s Grass Valley City Council meeting via Zoom, Ed and Barbara Thomas received the 2020 Grass Valley Mayor’s Award for their selfless dedication to serving and improving Grass Valley.
Submitted to The Union
Mike and Alice Lawrence dress in holiday festive finery to help make people smile.
Lorraine Jewett
Stucki Jewelers spreads holiday cheer and snow from the store’s rooftop 4-8 p.m. Fridays and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays through Christmas.
Lorraine Jewett
Doors and windows of the new training tower at the Sierra College-Nevada County Campus are designed so firefighter cadets can practice extinguishing fires and rescuing victims in multi-level buildings.
Submitted to The Union
There are repelling anchors on the upper floors of the Sierra College-Nevada County Campus training tower so firefighting cadets can practice throwing ladders, climbing, rappelling, and making rescues.
Submitted to The Union

An intrepid bicyclist who carried a Christmas tree astride his bike through downtown Grass Valley inspired downtown shoppers.
Lorraine Jewett

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