Lorraine’s Lowdown: Keeping Li’l Town safe | TheUnion.com
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Lorraine’s Lowdown: Keeping Li’l Town safe

By Lorraine Jewett | Special to The Union

Ever-public Gil Mathew, rehired last month by the Economic Resource Council as executive director version 2.0, was asked by ERC job interview panelists to share something private that most people don’t know. Replied Gil, “I speak Farsi and I worked at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in the 1960s.” Jaws dropped. Gil’s mission was apparently classified because when pressed, he’ll admit only to working as a “clerk/typist.” His Farsi has waned as the foreign language refrain of “use it or lose it” warns, but his memories are vivid. “There’s nothing like spending the Fourth of July at an American embassy anyplace in the world. Ex-pat Americans from afar gather. We hosted thousands inside the walls of the Tehran Embassy…”

Out standing in his field, Gil Mathew has been hired for a second stint as Economic Resource Council executive director. Mathew’s ability to speak Farsi was a surprise, not a deciding factor.
Submitted to The Union

From Blue & Gold to Red Carpets. Sarah Marie Stidham graduated from NU in 2010 and promptly moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream career. She worked in the restaurant industry before becoming a full-time actress. Because she was a teenage tomboy with a speech impediment, Sarah Marie faced her share of bullying. “Looking back, I truly do appreciate going through all that because I can now walk into any conversation or event and naturally morph into whatever it takes to fit in, all the while still remaining true to myself,” she explains. “My work entails constant rejection and resilience. Being on set is just half of the job. Going to events is always interesting and I finally feel like I naturally belong somewhere when I hit the carpet…”

Nevada Union High School graduate Sarah Marie Stidham says her career as an actress in Los Angeles requires the ability to handle rejection as well as shine on the red carpet.
Submitted to The Union

The Hollywood Rumor Mill is abuzz with news Sarah Marie may soon land a coveted new acting role! The tenacious thespian offers this encouragement: “If you’re lucky enough to have a dream, look at it from the perspective of having no other option than to achieve it…”



The All-volunteer Washington Fire Department is applying for and winning grants to keep Li’l Town safe. The department received $9,000 from the California Fire Foundation for fire prevention and evacuation signage, and the Firewise Washington Committee received $10,500 for roadside fuel reduction along evacuation routes. Fire Chief Mike Stewart says the department has applied for a Public Safety Power Shut-off grant from the CA Office of Emergency Services to help fund a standby generator for the fire station and water treatment plant. That grant would also subsidize firefighters’ handheld radios that work much better than cell phones in the communications void known as Washington. The department has also applied for federal grants to replace the fire engine ($291,000) and purchase personal protective equipment ($39,000). The chief wants to thank the NevCo Office of Emergency Services for its help with many of those applications…

The all-volunteer Washington Fire Department, led by Chief Mike Stewart, has been awarded multiple grants that funded projects such as this sign to help safeguard the town from wildfires.
Submitted to The Union

More from Chief Mike: “This Washington Fire Department now has 44% of our active firefighters representing the female gender. I’m pretty sure that’s a national, if not international, record…”



The Nevada County Contractors’ Association has selected cover art for its annual Guide to Building and Remodeling. The bath project that will adorn the magazine’s cover is the creation of Matthew Sutherlin, owner of Green Bee Construction. Executive Director Bre Deschaine says a panel of judges selected the photo among dozens submitted by NCCA members. “The bathroom featured on the cover is stunning and would be the pride of any homeowner,” says Bre. The guide, which includes a list of NCCA members and their industry specialties, will be on newsstands next month…

The Nevada County Contractors’ Association will feature this photo on the cover of its annual Guide to Building and Remodeling. The project is the work of Matthew Sutherlin, owner of Green Bee Construction. Noam Halpert with Syn Design Labs designed the project. Kat Alves was the photographer.
Submitted to The Union

“Fulfilling the Hopes and Dreams of clients is what makes my work exciting and rewarding,” says Matthew, who has owned and operated Green Bee Construction since 2009. “The home features an open–frame natural wood look, so we blended that style with modern cabinetry and tile work to make this bath remodel project unique. It was a privilege to work with the homeowners to turn their vision into reality…”

She’s All In. Silver Springs High School Counselor Bethany Williams was named an “All in for All Students” award winner during National School Counselor Week. Bethany was recognized for outstanding services to the students at SSHS, the local continuation/alternative high school. She was chosen one of the top three counselors in the entire U.S. by BASE Education, a worldwide Social Emotional Learning platform. “Working during COVID and distance learning is beyond challenging, and often I’ve struggled to know if my efforts as a school counselor are making an impact,” says Bethany. “This recognition lifted my spirits and was a great reminder of why I love being a school counselor…”

Silver Springs High School Counselor Bethany Williams was named an “All in for All Students” award winner, one of three counselors recognized nationwide during National School Counselor Week.
Submitted to The Union

Happy 50th Anniversary to the Alta Sierra Property Owners Association. “For a nonprofit, that’s quite a run,” says ASPOA President Mike Toomey. The association is currently focused on fire safety, such as brush clearing and installing highly-visible reflective poles at fire hydrants. Next up: signs with color-coded evacuation directions delineating the most safe and fast routes depending on where a fire may be burning within or near Alta Sierra. The association boasts 1,500 property owner members out of about 3,500 homes. “Dues are only $40 per year,” says Mike, “and membership includes a sizable discount from Ferrellgas on propane deliveries…”

Web Wisecracks you may have missed: Just because it pops into your head doesn’t mean it should come out your mouth; Bread is a lot like the sun: rising the yeast and setting in the waist; We did some financial planning and it looks like we can retire at 65 and live comfortably for 11 minutes…

Keep on Keepin’ on: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan (1963- ), American businessman, principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association, and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player…

Sink a three-pointer and send your happy news to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.



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