Minutes- August 18, 2016


Public Meeting

Thursday, August 18, 2016, 6:00-8:00pm

Little Red Schoolhouse/Cobb Mountain Lions Club

15780 Bottle Rock Rd., Cobb, CA 95426

Draft Minutes

Present: Eliot Hurwitz, Barbara Flynn, Jessyca Lytle, Jessica Pyska, Gary Prather

(Cindy Leonard took minutes; 36 people signed in as attendees.)

Eliot Hurwitz, acting as Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm.

  1. Introduction of Guests:
    1. Rob Brown: Announced he will be the Clayton Fire Coordinator. Mentioned that the Clayton Fire will not receive FEMA funds for recovery because it did not reach the required size of disaster for help at the federal level.  It will be a very big challenge for Lake County because of the high percentage of people who live in poverty in the affected areas. Mr. Brown answered a question from the public, stating that landowners must cut down dead trees that are endangering a neighbor’s home.  Call Rob Brown with any questions:  707-349-2628.
    2. Jim Wright of CalFire: reported on the cause of the Valley Fire. The 2016 report has been out about a week and can be viewed at: http://calfire.ca.gov/fire_protection/fire_protection_firereports, Valley Fire (CA LNU-008670). All rumors are addressed in the report.
    3. John Colon from the Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary at Seigler Springs (historically known as the Seigler Springs Resort). There are several large water sources on this property (ponds, lakes) and they would like to integrate with the greater community to fight fires. They have a 40,000 gal. reservoir for filling fire trucks, as well as firefighting equipment, truck, etc.  Can we put up a communication system to help in an emergency?
    4. Middletown Area Town Hall: The board has an ongoing invitation to attend our C.A.C. meeting to offer comments and suggestions.  No one from MATH was in attendance today.
    5. Dan Desmond from the Lake County Resource Conservation District.  This organization is the implementation side of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and was created after the dust bowl to help communities with sustainable conservation of natural resources. They have been a tremendous help to our community, offering supplies for the school gardens, supporting training for the garden teachers, creating ongoing education for 4th graders with the “Creek Days” event at Putah Creek, as well as watershed education.  Most recently, the RCD is sponsoring a chipping program to help residents clean up from the Valley Fire, as well as taking care of ponderosa and sugar pines and Douglas fir seedlings to help replant the forest.
    1. Valley Fire Anniversary events
      1. David Leonard announced that Cobb School will host a 1year anniversary ceremony at their outdoor amphitheater to thank the many firefighters and others who helped to save our school and to recover from the fire. This will be mainly for the school community, so that we keep a safe environment for the students.
      2. Barbara Flynn announced a 2nd anniversary of the Pub/ Valley Fire Anniversary on Sunday September 11th from 2:00-? for the community to come share stories/reflections and healing.
      3. Karl Parker announced a benefit concert at the Ely Stage Stop on September 10th.  This event is a fundraiser for Hope City to help rebuild homes after the Valley Fire (and maybe Clayton fire?).
      4. Twin Pine event Sunday?
      5. Black Rock event?
    2. Other Announcements:
      1. Joan Moss said CA Human Development workers had been put on hold while a discussion about equity in pay was resolved.  They will be back to work on Monday.
      2. Deb Helleren has concerns about people mowing on hot days.  Can we create guidelines, or are there guidelines we can promote? Reply from Gary Prather that Department of Forestry guidelines are that mowing should only happen in the early morning since fire can spark and it spreads quickly in the heat of the day.  Nevertheless, everyone should be watchful. The fire that occurred on Seigler Mountain the week before at 10 a.m. was discovered to have resulted from a spark at a sawmill that was used early, at 8 a.m. to mill just 6 boards.
      3. Rose and Dave Geck gave a Cobb Valley Fire Recovery Center update. The center will be closing September 11, 2016. There is speculation that the center will relocate to Middletown to assist Clayton Fire. No final details yet, as confirmed by Melanie Garrett of the Red Cross. All gave thanks to those working at the Recovery Center and to the Lion’s Club for hosting for this year!
      4. David Leonard announced that there will be fresh food available at Cobb School on Fridays from 3-4:00 weekly, thanks to North Coast Opportunities and Food Bank of the Redwood Empire. This donation of food is to help support our community during recovery.
      5. A thank you to the Red Cross for their assistance was given.
      6. California HOPE gave an update on what they can offer during the final days they are deployed to our community (paid by a FEMA grant).  Their last day is October 12th, one year from the day the Valley Fire was declared a National Disaster. Lance Bushmandirected people to their flyer that lists the support meetings.  He noted that the fire anniversary can create triggers with anxiety. Lorna O’Kelley mentioned that self care is very important and H.A.T. (healing after trauma).
      7. Mike Dunlap, Secretary of the Mountain Lions Club, stated that the Lion’s Club is in need of financial and physical help.  With the recovery center open they are seeing $800 PGE bills.  He invited people to join the Lions Club, which Eliot immediately did! The community is invited to the annual Labor Day (Sunday) pancake breakfast.
    3. Approval of the minutes of June 9: Motion–Dave Geck, Seconded–Karl Parker, all were in favor
    4. Approval of the minutes of July 26th: Motion–Rose Geck, Seconded–David Leonard, all were in favor
  1. Committee Reports
    1. Emergency Preparedness — Gary Prather, Committee Chair
      1. Communications — Jill Martin: nothing to report at this time. Repairing old sirens is too costly, Tim Kaminsky working to get brand new sirens.
      2. Hazard mitigation — chipping program from RCD, there might be a flyer from CalFire regarding mowing/milling guidelines.
      3. Maps — David Rogers is a new volunteer to help with this.  Ron Sharp is the county contact for maps.
      4. Resources — Robert Stark. Hydrants: Robert did the water element for the S.L.C.F. District and will use this information for water resources. Grant: they will be going door to door this weekend in Pine Grove and Bonanza Springs to get paperwork complete so we don’t miss the grant opportunity for water consolidation.
      5. ** Volunteers needed at South Lake Fire District!! Age 18 or older and must live in district**
    2. Neighborhood Watch — Inez Wenckus. A meeting is being planned at the Pub, date to be announced soon. Neighborhood Watch is happening all around the lake.
    3. Cobb Abatement Monitoring — Karl Parker.  Due to the Clayton Fire, he was unable to put together the handout he had planned. The committee has had 3 meetings with Scott Schellinger (Development Director) and Dan Nelson of Hoberg’s.  Karl does believe there is real movement happening towards cleanup of property and has taken photos. Of the 65 structures, each one needs testing (by the Forensic Analysis Consulting Services) and a separate abatement plan. These have been done. They have been submitted to the county for approval. There are complex mitigation and inspection procedures.  There is a segregation of metal happening and 100 cords of wood per week are being processed. The community is invited to take photos to document any things that concern them or that they want to share.  A helper is needed to construct an information board at the Post Office. To contact Karl Parker, call 529-1649.
  1. Information Only discussions
    1. CalFire Report on the Valley Fire CA LNU-008670.  Discussed earlier in the meeting.
    2. Lake County Grand Jury Report 2015-16
      1. state of the county Office of Emergency Services (9 pages) — not covered
      2. state of fire safety in the county — Eliot read out
      3. nuisance abatement after the wildfires — Eliot read out
      4. BOS has 90 days to respond, and the report was issued June 30, 2016–Rob Brown clarified that the Board compiles responses from the various departments that were listed in the report and then presents these responses in a single document. Also, planning is one thing, implementation is another.  There are not enough funds for the $180,000 3 warning sirens. Right now if we are fundraising, it might be best to put it towards those affected by the Clayton Fire.  He has only one staff person to help at the LAC (local assistance center).
      5. Joan Moss commented that there are still NOAA Weather radios available from the Sheriff.
  1. Decision/approval items:
    1. Cobb Community Investment Fund application. The application will be for $3,000.00 for: website creation, a post office box, printing, and map updating. Motion:____________ Second: Cindy Leonard, all approved.
    2. Karl Parker described an idea he has to commemorate the 1 year Valley Fire anniversary with a tour of the area.  There was a lack of interest to pursue idea.
  1. Council and Additional Announcements
    1. Skilled people needed to take turns taking minutes. No takers.
    2. Random acts of kindness are encouraged during this week.

Meeting adjourned at:


Respectfully submitted,

Cindy Leonard