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District 4 Update

Sue Hoek

Greetings, District 4. First off, thank you so much for electing me to serve you for another four years as District 4 Supervisor. I’m honored to have your support and I’m excited to continue working hard to make our county a great place to live, work and play.

Resources for those Losing DSL Service

We understand that DSL service is being decommissioned in some parts of Nevada County. We are as frustrated and concerned as you are with this unfortunate news. Your local county government has very little control over this, as telecommunications are not regulated at the county level. We suggest that anyone affected by this change take these steps:

1. Search for other telecommunications providers serving your area. See the County’s broadband webpages for other service providers in Nevada County and share information with your neighbors: nevadacountyca.gov/broadband. In one example, a Truckee resident tells us that after her DSL was decommissioned, her household switched to a T-Mobile 5G Gateway.

2. Be prepared to receive news about emergencies via radio. Tune in to KVMR (89.5 FM), KNCO (830 AM), or KTKE (101.5 FM) for updates. On Red Flag Warning days, stay connected with neighbors and keep a radio on.

3. Collaborate with neighbors to establish a local radio network for emergencies. Some communities are working to close the communications gap by using privately purchased two-way FM radios to communicate as a neighborhood. These radios can be used to quickly pass information about a new fire start in your area. When coupled with a communications plan and a neighborhood watch program these radios can be very effective.

4. Utilize co-working spaces and public computer facilities. There are at least two co-working establishments in Nevada City and Grass Valley (Sierra Commons and The Workspace). Additionally, public computers are available for free at all Nevada County Library locations. Computer use is limited to two, one-hour sessions per day. Chromebooks and MacBooks are available for in-library use for two-hour time blocks; patrons must have a library card or photo identification.

Meanwhile, Nevada County leaders will continue to work to expand broadband access across Nevada County. Visit our broadband webpages for more information on what we have done and are currently doing in this area: nevadacountyca.gov/broadband.

Local Volunteer ARES Group Offers Assistance in Setting up Neighborhood Emergency Communication

The Nevada County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) group is offering neighborhoods another way to communicate during fires, winter storms, and power shutoff events. “When these events happen, regular communication services can be interrupted and personal radios can be a good replacement to allow residents to communicate with each other,” stated Mark Triolo, ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator. “We have designed an orientation program to share information with local neighborhoods as to how they can use emergency radio backup equipment,” said Triolo.

This is a free service. The Nevada County ARES group will customize their orientation session to each neighborhood ranging from 5 – 20 homes. They will provide a primer on how to use radios, what equipment to buy, where to buy it, how to get it licensed, and how to set it up. “Although this sounds daunting, it is relatively easy to start out and we will work with you to answer any questions or resolve problems,” said Triolo.

In terrain such as Nevada County, where both cell service and internet can frequently be disrupted, inability to receive emergency communication from fire and law enforcement can be life threatening. In the Tubbs Fire, near Santa Rosa, 57% of cell phone towers failed. In the Camp Fire in Paradise, 56% of emergency alert calls failed. “We think this radio system can help resolve communication gaps in emergency warnings as well as help neighbors communicate with neighbors. We want everyone to get out alive,” stated Triolo.

Vickie Deam, Chair of the Greenhorn Firewise Community, confirmed the value of this system, “At first I was a little hesitant. I could see the value but wasn’t sure it would work for our community. However, after our recent snowstorm, I am convinced. If we had already set up our program, it would have resulted in getting help to people much earlier. The ARES Radio Advisory service assisted us in all aspects of the program. We are now expanding the program to all residents and it is being accepted with enthusiasm. This is another tool in keeping our Firewise community safer and I would certainly recommend it for all Firewise communities.”

For information, visit the Nevada County Amateur Radio Emergency Service website.

For more information or to set up a meeting for your neighborhood, email marktriolo@gmail.com.

Summer Activities at the Penn Valley Library

The library staff has put together an excellent summer learning program that will keep you and your family thinking and engaging in fun new experiences for the next few months. At the Penn Valley Library branch, they have lined up:

Crafternoon, July 7, 2 p.m. – Come and join us at the second Summer Learning Crafternoon! The featured craft: button making! All materials and instructions are provided at the library. Space is limited and reservations are recommended (call (530) 432-5764). The last Crafternoon in Penn Valley will be Thursday, August 4 at 2 p.m.

Grab and Go Craft, July 11, 18 and 25 (all day) – Join us at the Penn Valley Library this week for a Summer Learning Program Grab & Go craft. Different craft project offered each week. All supplies will be included.

NorCal Bats, July 29, 11 a.m. – Come get batty for bats at the library! NorCal Bats is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of bats throughout Northern California. Come meet these amazing creatures in person while we learn about them and their importance as insect control. Dispel misconceptions and save these highly valuable mammals with education and rescue.

Lego Club, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. – Join us at the Penn Valley library for an afternoon of building and creating with Lego!

Free lunches for kids 0-18, every weekday at noon – at the Madelyn Helling and Penn Valley libraries from June 13 – July 29.


• California CareForce’s free health care clinic at Nevada Union High School July 15-17.

• Let me know your emergency preparedness priorities: readynevadacounty.org/future.

As always, please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or ideas you’d like to share with me: 530-265-1480 or Sue.Hoek@co.nevada.ca.us.





Hello, friends, neighbors, and fellow residents of District 4. I hope the latest issue of my newsletter finds you staying cool, enjoying the last days of summer before school starts back up, and looking forward…

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