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Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.

By Chris Neklason
Published Jul 01, 2024

Um, how much for the fire extinguisher? Um, how much for the fire extinguisher? Image credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr   Creative Commons 2.0

Staying Safe and Sane

Back when I was a young kid growing up in sixties era Redwood City, the Fourth of July was a big deal because I loved fireworks. 

As the day approached, I'd gaze at the colorful newspaper ads and brochures, and consider which of the different assortment packs my brothers and I would wheedle and plead our father into buying.

The fireworks sold from stands in parking lots back then all came from the Red Devil fireworks company. 

A favorite was the Piccolo Pete, a thin cardboard tube with a portruding fuse and a little plastic stand that was placed upright on the ground. I'd light the fuse and then run back a few yards and a bright vertical geyser of sparks would erupt with a loud piercing whistling noise.

Another favorite was pinwheels, round cardboard discs with a little rocket on the outer edge. Our father would nail one to a telephone pole and light the fuse and the wheel would spin furiously, propelled by the sparks from the blazing rocket in a flaming circle.

Like many industries, the fireworks business has consolidated and Red Devil was acquired by TNT Fireworks in 1989.  TNT has come a long way since it began in 1920 when Clyde Anderson started selling fireworks from his newsstand in Florence, Alabama.  

My perspective on fireworks, though,  has been altered over the years by being a land owner and a pet owner.  

The booms, bangs and whisling shrieks are distressing to many pets, and the houses and acres ignited by celebratory revelers keep fire departments across the state busy for days and days.

This Fourth of July marks the 248th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and we at California Local wish you (and your pets!) a safe and sane holiday. 

An App For That

This issue of The Newsletter continues our focus on fire season as the Flash/Bolt and Basin fires burning in Fresno County have thus far consumed a combined 22,000 acres. The fires grew very rapidly, and evacuation orders have been issued for several affected areas.  Folks didn't get a lot of notice to get up and go.

The need to know "what is happening near me right now" has become more pressing as fires increase in frequency and intensity.

Our featured story is about how a resident of northern California turned their experience from the awful summer fires of 2020 into One Good Thing.

Volunteers Keeping Watch Over California

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Watch Duty has all the details in one place.
The Watch Duty team monitors a variety of real-time information resources and compiles all the information in one place.

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El Dorado County's Homepage

Direct your browser to to catch up on the latest news in California and El Dorado County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Fire Season is Mosquito Season is West Nile Season

More than an itch-inducing nuisance, the mosquito is the world's deadliest animal.

Mosquito season is already underway after a wet winter and spring, and testing has confirmed West Nile virus present in Sacramento, Yolo and San Joaquin Counties.

Learn more about West Nile and the efforts to control mosquito populations in the articles below.

West Nile Virus Survivor Offers a Warning and a Plea

In the years since she recovered from a severe illness brought on by West Nile Virus, Marie Heilman has helped spread the word about the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District's "Fight the Bite" campaign.
Marie Heilman of Winters, who is happy to be alive, wants people to guard against mosquitoes and the deadly virus they carry.

Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population

Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
The pesky mosquito can be deadly as well as annoying. Here’s how local governments in California have been waging war on mosquitoes for more than a century.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Summer! cookbook.

Pop apricots on the grill for this flavorful summer salad

Grilled apricots are the star of this early summer salad.
New! Grilled apricot and feta salad with balsamic vinaigrette

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Get to Know a Group

El Dorado County Community Concert Association logo El Dorado County Community Concert Association

Formed in 1950, El Dorado County Community Concert Association is proud to be the oldest performing arts organization in El Dorado County.

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From Our Media Allies

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Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Mechanical Forest Thinning Project to Begin on the West Shore

The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is scheduled to begin mechanical forest thinning (fuels reduction) on Monday, July 1, 2024, on approximately 355 acres located on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe near Blackwood Canyon and Paige …

Folsom Times logo Folsom Hometown Parade Draws Huge Spirited Patriotic Crowd

The Historic Folsom Hometown Parade, once again captivated the community with its patriotic spirit and local charm in grand fashion on Saturday.

Folsom Times logo Four New Officers Sworn in on Folsom Police Force

The City of Folsom has welcomed four new faces to the Folsom Police Department this week as it continues to strengthen its force to serve the city’s growing needs.

Tahoe Guide logo Ultimate Tahoe Family Summer Bucket List

The Tahoe Sierra is an adventureland of fun family friendly activities to enjoy from easy hiking trails to free concerts, movies and shows.

Tahoe Guide logo Help Fund Hotel Demolition

Tahoe Fund is launching a fundraising campaign to fill a $200,000 funding gap in California Tahoe Conservancy’s efforts to demolish the Motel 6 building, restaurant and parking lot that sit within the Upper Truckee River watershed in South Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo New Defensible Space Guide Available for Lake Tahoe Residents

As we move into summer and the vegetation dries out, the Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team would like the public to remember the importance of creating and maintaining defensible space.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Forest Service Begins Restoration Activities at Burke Creek

In April 2024, the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in partnership with the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, issued the final decision for restoration activities to restore the natural function of Burke Creek and Rabe Meadow.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Free Food for Children-Bread & Broth 4 Kids Summer Program Begins June 26

The 2024 St. Theresa Bread & Broth 4 Kids Summer Program begins June 26 and will continue every Wednesday through August 21.

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Recent Local News

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• Summer Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival Opens

This year the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival is presents The Merry Wives of Windsor along with the musical Always…Patsy Cline through August 26.

(07/01/2024) → Edible Reno-Tahoe

• El Dorado County Prepares for Fire Season

Representatives from the El Dorado Sheriff's Office, Cal Fire, South Lake Tahoe Police and Fire, Lake Valley Fire, Fallen Leaf Lake Fire, CHP, USFS, and CERT met on June 29 to discuss evacuation planning and the county emergency alert system.

(07/01/2024) → South Tahoe Now

• Support for Olde Coloma Theatre Renovations Sought

The nonprofit Olde Coloma Theatre is asking the community for donations to fund the next phases of renovations for the theater building on Monument Road in Coloma.

(06/28/2024) → Mountain Democrat

• Annual Community Clean-Up in South Lake Tahoe a Success

An astonishing 229 tons of mattresses, furniture, appliances, electronics and other refuse was dropped off by residents and collected by volunteers during the annual "$5 dollar dump day" held on June 8 in South Lake Tahoe.

(06/27/2024) → South Tahoe Now

• Draft EIR for Generations at Green Valley Project Released

The El Dorado County Planning and Building Department-Planning Division has released a draft environmental impact report for the 280 acre senior housing development proposed to be built on Green Valley Road near El Dorado Hills.

(06/27/2024) → Village Life

• Law Not Violated in South Lake Tahoe Bear Shooting

Based on an investigation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the El Dorado County District Attorney has declined to press charges in the shooting of a bear in a South Lake Tahoe residence on May 27.

(06/26/2024) → South Tahoe Now

• Funding Allocated for Lake Tahoe East Shore Trail Expansion

$24 million in federal funds have been granted to expand the popular trail.

(06/26/2024) → South Tahoe Now

• South Lake Tahoe Vacancy Tax Impact Report Disputed

In the June 16 meeting of the South Lake Tahoe City Council, the conclusions of the report commissioned by the city to explore the impact of the proposed vacancy tax were discussed, and disputed.

(06/25/2024) → South Tahoe Now
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Recent Statewide News

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• Does a Proposed $10 Billion Bond Favor Richer California School Districts?

Small and low-income school officials say the bond measure deal is unfair. The money is allocated through matching grants, so wealthier districts that can raise more local funds will get more money from the state.

(07/01/2024) → CalMatters

• SCOTUS Rules Cities Can Ban Homeless Camps

The Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in the City of Grants Pass v. Johnson case found that the fining and arresting of homeless people does not violate Eighth Amendment rights.

(06/28/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Supreme Court Gives Cities in California and Beyond More Power to Crack Down on Homeless Camps

The ruling by the conservative court majority means cities no longer are prohibited from punishing homeless people for camping if they have nowhere else to go.

(06/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘Total System Breakdown’: California Firefighters With PTSD Face a Workers’ Comp Nightmare

Even when suicidal, California firefighters struggle to find medical help and navigate the workers’ comp morass to pay for it.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters

• Drinking Water of Almost a Million Californians Failed to Meet State Requirements

Almost 400 suppliers, two-thirds in communities of color, don’t meet safety and reliability standards. Fixing them would cost billions.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters

• California’s Debate Over Coastal Zone Reforms Has Created a False Choice Between Homes and Protections

A push to bolster housing production in California's coastal communities in recent years has led to heated battles over potential state reforms. Below, a veteran elected official believes the debate has created a false choice between housing and protections. The opposing view: A former attorney for the Coastal Commission says the state Coastal Act has failed to deliver on what it envisioned.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (06/30/2024)

Michael Foods Inc. Recalls Fair Meadow Foundations Liquid Egg Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2024 - M.G. Waldbaum dba Michael Foods Inc., a Gaylord, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,620 pounds of liquid egg products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens...
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/24/2024)

Totally Cool, Inc., Recalls All Ice Cream Products Because of Possible Health Risk

Totally Cool, Inc. of Owings Mills, Maryland is recalling multiple brands of ice cream products, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others w
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/24/2024)

Wildly Beloved Foods is Recalling Orzo (Vegan) Dried and Campbell (Vegan) Dried Due to Potential Mold

June 24, 2024, Wildly Beloved Foods of Clinton, Washington is recalling approximately 30 packages of Orzo (vegan) Dried and 30 packages of Campanelle (vegan) Dried, 10 oz, due to potential mold growth contamination. The recalled Orzo (vegan) Dried, 10oz were distributed through Payless Foods, The
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/24/2024)

DSD Merchandisers, LLC Announces Voluntary Recall of Deluxe Roasted & Salted Mixed Nuts Due to Undeclared Peanut

DSD Merchandisers, LLC is voluntarily recalling UPC 6-51433-99651-6 Deluxe Roasted & Salted Mixed Nuts, Sell by: 10/09/24, due to the presence of undeclared peanut. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to specific type of allergen peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening aller
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/21/2024)

Vitakraft Sun Seed Recall of Sun Seed Vita Prima Hedgehog Food Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk

Vitakraft Sun Seed Inc. of Weston, OH, is voluntarily recalling one lot of Sun Seed Vita Prima Hedgehog Food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is also a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products,
Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (06/20/2024)

New: Housing Community Office Hours

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (06/20/2024)

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Barton Avenue and 2nd Street Drainage Project

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (06/19/2024)

City Expands 4th of July Celebration Over Two Days

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Substance Abuse Treatment Center Response to County Supervisors

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/19/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Sexually Violent Predator Transient Release Concerns