Friday, August 31, 2012

Livestock Processing Project Meetings Sept 17th and 18th

Come learn what the buzz about a Regional Meat processing Facility is all about on the evenings of September 17th and 18th in Amador and Calaveras counties!

In 2010 CalaverasGROWN secured a grant from the USDA to study the feasibility of and plan for a Livestock Processing facility for the Central Sierra region.  While this idea is nothing new, this recent
effort has finally gotten the train moving towards the creation of a USDA inspected livestock harvest and processing facility.  The steering committee, which includes members with diverse backgrounds from throughout the Central Sierra region,  has done an enormous amount of research, investigation, planning and modeling.  We are now ready to present these findings to the greater community.

We invite all those who are interested in a USDA inspected livestock processing facility to come out to one or both of our upcoming public meetings.  On Monday, September 17th in Sutter Hill and again the next night, September 18th, at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds we will present our extensive findings to residents, businesspeople and potential investors.  Both meetings will be held from from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.  We look forward to seeing you, the interested public of our Central Sierra foothills communities so we can answer your questions and show you what we have learned about the potential for livestock processing in our region and the positive economic and employment impacts such a facility would ripple through our communities.

Who: All those interested in improved economic conditions for all foothill residents.  We are especially looking for those people who might be willing to invest in a regional livestock processing facility but invite everyone to attend.

What: Two meetings to discuss the extensive findings of the Central Sierra livestock processing committee, funded by a USDA grant through CalaverasGROWN.

6:30 - Introduction and History of the Need for this Project
6:45 - Overview of the models and information compiled
7:00 - Plans for specific facilities and locations
7:30 - Questions from the public - all steering committee members
7:45 - Adjourn

When and Where: 2 Meetings - choose the one that is most conveniently located for you or come to both.

-Monday, September 17th, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in Sutter Hill at the Amador Co. Health and Human Services Bldg, 10877 Conductor Blvd.  Sutter Creek CA  95685 (there will be a Grass-fed Beef Dinner available before the Amador meeting - look for more details to come)
-Tuesday, September 18th, 6:00 to 7:15 p.m. in Angels Camp at the Calaveras Co. Fair Frogeteria, 101 Frogtown Road  Angels Camp, CA 95222 (there will be a half hour social, starting at 6:00 before the Calaveras  meeting with food and drinks provided)

Why: Because we can improve the economics and employment opportunities in our region by starting a business which is based on existing economic drivers in our communities and which will not detract from, but instead enhance the rural and agricultural nature of our region.  Don't miss this opportunity to learn about and become part of an important project for our the Central Sierra region.

For more information, visit our website at and/or contact Carina Bassin at

Prior to our meeting on September 17th in Sutter Hill, the Amador Resource Conservation District will host a workshop on Niche Meat Marketing.  The workshop will run from 2:15 to 5:15 p.m.. at the same location as the meeting, Amador Co. Health and Human Services Bldg, 10877 Conductor Blvd.  Sutter Creek CA  95685.  Regional livestock producers and meat marketers Dan Macon and Dan Port will present an information rich session along with other knowledgable presenters.

Finally, in between the workshop and the Amador meeting, there will be a Grass-fed beef dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., free for those who RSVP to

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park Needs Your Help!

The Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock Association is offering an opportunity to win a beautiful quilt handcrafted by two talented local artisans and Association members. The quilt features a fall maple and oak leaf color motif and is decorated with 10 authentic Native American baskets and other items. The quilt will be given away to a lucky ticket holder at a drawing to be held on Sunday, September 30, during Big Time at the park. Tickets are only $1.00 each, 15 tickets for $10.00, or 30 tickets for $20.00 and are available at the museum. All proceeds from the drawing will directly benefit educational and cultural activities exclusively at this local park. You can buy tickets and see the quilt on display at the Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum located in the park.

You don't need to be present at the drawing to win the quilt, but Big Time at the park offers a unique opportunity to experience current Native American culture first hand. There will be vendors offering many hand made Native American items, Indian tacos, as well as traditional ceremonial dancing. (Dancing will not be held in the Round House this year due to the need for structural repairs, but the dancing tradition will continue in another park venue.)

Also at the park this summer, the Chaw'se Association will be sponsoring its annual invitational Native American art show in the museum building . It opens on September 8 and continues on weekends through Big Time, September 29 and 30. The show features traditional and contemporary California art (including basketry, jewelry, paintings, and sculpture) from talented Native American artists.

Amador County's only state park, Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, was spared from the budget axe: It was not on the list of 70 state parks slated to be closed to meet state budget cuts. However, that doesn't mean status quo for this oak studded salute to Miwok culture nestled on Pine Grove-Volcano Road between Pine Grove and Volcano. Budget cuts have been the rule for more than 10 years at the park. The museum was once open 7 days a week for a total of 37 hours, and was open year round. Currently, it is only open Friday through Monday for a total of only 14 hours. The campground, one of the only available campgrounds below the snow line, is now closed during the winter months. And the school tour program, which exposes thousands of 3rd and 4th graders to Native American culture, has had its staffing severely cut.

What can you do to help? Support the Chaw’se Association by buying tickets for the opportunity quilt. You can also join the Association in its continuing efforts to support educational opportunities at the park. Annual membership is only $15 for individuals, $25 for families, or $50 for businesses.

The park is open daily from dawn until dusk. The museum is open Friday through Monday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. For more information about the park, call 296-7488 to contact park staff.

To contact the Association, e-mail us at, or contact Lynda Burman, association board member, at 296-3795.

Mother Lode Harvest Newsletter - "Good Food News" Volume 4 Number 35 August 28, 2012

Click on the link below to view newsletter:

Hay Rides Cancelled at Jackson Rancheria for This Year

JACKSON, CA –The Jackson Rancheria Tribe of Miwuk Indians has reluctantly announced that there will be no Holiday Hay Rides on the reservation this year.

“Although we know that the Hay Rides have become a popular tradition with thousands of people,” explains CEO Rich Hoffman, “we have two other major projects underway this year and simply cannot free up the resources to produce the extravagant Hay Ride experience we are known for.”

The first project involves plans for an enormous Grand Opening Celebration to mark the completion of extensive renovations.  After several years of construction obstacles, moving entrances and gaming areas, venue closures and openings, the caution tape will soon be coming down and it will be time to replace the hard hats with party hats.
The celebration will feature music, food and over $600,000 in prizes, including a House, five brand new Cars, and large amounts of Cash and Free Play. Watch for details coming soon.

The other more long term project is the Amador County Park Restoration Project. This commitment by the Tribe to restore every single park and field in the county is a massive project involving many, many volunteer hours, equipment, and funds from employees and community individuals.

The Park Project has already completed renovations to Mollie Joyce Park in Pioneer and improvements throughout the town of Volcano. Detert Park and Aime Field in Jackson are the current focus of efforts, which will continue throughout the winter.

With the Grand Opening Celebration and the Park Restoration Project underway, the resources are simply not available to adequately provide the almost four months of effort it takes to put up the over 2.5 million lights for the Hay Rides, manage the actual rides (including food and beverages, traffic control, security and so much more), and then take down the lights.
So Jackson Rancheria is taking a break from the Hay Rides for this one year. The plan is to bring them back next year, even bigger and better.

“We know our guests will enjoy the all new Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, and the people of Amador will appreciate the efforts of the Park Project for generations to come,” added Rich. “We regret not being able to produce the Hay Rides this year, but wait until you see what we do next year, Rancheria Style®.”

Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel is located at 12222 New York Ranch Road, Jackson, CA 95642. For more information, call 800-822-9466 or visit

Located in the Sierra foothills town of Jackson, CA, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is owned by the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. A sovereign government, the Rancheria is dedicated to developing projects that not only enhance the tribe’s ability to remain self-reliant, but also reflect a commitment to be a good neighbor.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Escape from Preston Castle - Sat Sept 15

To register, go to:

Escape from Preston - 5K run/walk
Saturday, September 15
Enjoy a fun run or walk around the Preston grounds, followed by a tour of the magnificent Preston Castle.  The course will take you past areas of Preston that are not ordinarily open to the public, including the cemetery and reservoir.  Registration fee includes a ticket for a tour of the Castle.
Registration: 7:30am
5K Run: 8:30 am
5K Walk: 8:45 am
Awards: 10:00 am
Unpaved sections of the course are not conducive to strollers.  Event T-Shirts will be available for purchase.
Event Fee: $20 General (13 and up); $10 Youth (ages 6-12).  Register online at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

6th Annual Great Chili Cook-Off and Car Show - Sun Sept 9

6th Annual Great Chili Cook-Off and Car Show
Sunday, September 9th from 11 am until 3 pm
Sponsored by Save Mart Supermarkets
   Taste buds are gearing up as historic Main Street in Sutter Creek will be transformed into one of the HOTTEST events of the year and the location for lots of fun on Sunday, September 9th, from 11am to 3pm! The 6th Annual Great Sutter Creek Chili Cook-Off and Car Show is a favorite annual event for adults and children. For only $5.00 ($3.00 children) you can sample homemade Chili and Salsa from more than 40 participating Teams and cast your vote for your favorite. Then stroll down Main Street listening to music and view the display of over 100 of the most beautiful Classic Cars, Hot Rods, and motorcycles, gathered together in the picturesque backdrop of historic Sutter Creek.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 11th, to come to Sutter Creek. This is one fun event you won’t want to miss!

Car show is free, chili and salsa tasting $5.00 entry $3.00 for children.

For information visit or call Lisa at 209-267-2237 .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Master Food Preserver Free Jams & Jellies Class – Sat, Aug 18

Home gardens are flourishing throughout the county and more people are interested in eating what they grow or what they find at their local farmers’ market.  Sometimes this interest is health related; sometimes it’s driven by economic necessity. And sometimes it’s just fun to grow and eat your own food!

But what do you do with a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers or blackberries?  Learn how to preserve them so you can enjoy the bounty produced by your garden all year!  The new UCCE Master Food Preservers offer free classes to demonstrate how to safely preserve food through a variety of processes.

Join us for our first class in Amador County on Saturday, August 18, from 9-11am at the GSA Building in Jackson. This class will demonstrate the basic principles of safe water bath canning while teaching how to make jams and jellies. Master Food Preservers will explain why each step of the process is important to ensure that your home preserved foods are not only delicious, but safe.  If you learn the why behind each step in the process you’ll know how to properly adjust recipes you may find on the internet and in magazines.

The class is free and reservations are not needed.  Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter at  For more information call the Amador County UC Cooperative Extension office at 209-223-6482.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

TSPN INTERVIEW: George Wendt, O.A.R.S President - Moke River rafting

TSPN's Tom Slivick talks with George Wendt, president of O.A.R.S. Outdoor Adventure Guides of Angels Camp about a BLM pilot study looking at opening the Mokelumne River to commercial rafting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

State Launches Fire Prevention Fee Website

Sacramento - The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has launched a website to provide residents across the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA) with information about the Fire Prevention Fee bills. The Board of Equalization will begin mailing the bills alphabetically by county on Monday, August 13th.

The website,, contains comprehensive information about the fee and helpful links to maps, the law language, and answers to frequently asked questions. Beginning Monday, August 6, 2012, a customer service Fire Prevention Fee call center will be staffed Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays) to further aid homeowners that have questions regarding the bills. The call center number is 1-888-310-6447.

The fee, signed into law July 7, 2011, establishes and annual fee to pay for fire prevention services within the SRA. These services include brush clearance and activities to improve forest health so forests can better withstand the damaging effects of wildfire. Other fire prevention services funded by the fee include fire break construction, defensible space inspections, fire prevention engineering, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention education, fire hazard severity mapping, implementation of the State Fire Plan, and fire related law enforcement activities such as fire cause determination and arson investigation.

Master Gardeners Annual Tomato Tasting Contest - Sat Sept 1

If you are like most gardeners, tomatoes are number one in your heart. Most of us eagerly anticipate the first delicious fruit of the season. We are all looking for the perfect tomato. Saturday, September 1st is your chance to put your tomatoes to the ultimate test! Amador Master Gardeners are sponsoring a tomato judging and tasting at the Sutter Creek Farmers Market.

Bring at least one washed tomato of each variety (at least five cherry tomatoes) to the Sutter Creek Farmers Market by 9:00 AM on Saturday, September 1st. The judges will announce their favorites at 10:30 AM. The largest tomato will receive a special award.

Join us for the public tasting and you will have the fun of tasting all kinds of tomatoes, from tiny grape-size tomatoes to giants the size of grapefruits, and a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, tiger striped, and of course, ruby red. We are sure to have a tomato you’ve never tasted before and that may become your new favorite.

Questions, email Janice at

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jackson Rancheria Presents: UFC Fight 150 - Sat Aug 11

JACKSON, CA – The exciting world of mixed martial arts (MMA) continues at Jackson Rancheria
Casino Resort with the Ultimate Fighting Championship© (UFC) Fight 150 on Saturday, August 11.
This pay per view event will be available on the screens in the Grand Oak Ballroom at the Hotel at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Pub style snacks and ice cold beer will be available for purchase. Must be 21 to purchase tickets or attend the event. Tickets are just $10 and are available at the Casino Cage or online at

One of the leading candidates for 2012 Fight of the Year will get a second chapter on August 11, as UFC
Lightweight Champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson meets Frankie “The Answer” Edgar in a rematch of their February five-round war.

The first time, it was former WEC Champion Henderson outlasting the blue-collar battler from New
Jersey. In August, Edgar promises that he will take back his title and hand Henderson his first UFC loss.
Fight Card may change at any time and some fights may not be broadcast. Check for the latest

Watch UFC 150 Rancheria Style© with your friends at Jackson Rancheria.

Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is located at 12222 New York Ranch Road, Jackson, CA 95642. 800-
822-WINN (9466),

Located in the Sierra foothills town of Jackson, CA, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is owned by the
Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. A sovereign government,
the Rancheria is dedicated to developing projects that not only enhance the tribe’s ability to remain self-
reliant, but also reflect a commitment to be a good neighbor.

Adopt a black kitten!

We have an abundance of black kittens at the FEED BARN - spayed or neutered, first shot, dewormed and potty box trained.  The gorgeous babies are looking for forever homes - $50 for one and only $85 for two with all funds going back to A-PAL to fund more rescues...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jackson Rancheria going even greener

JACKSON, CA – In continuing efforts to be good stewards of the environment, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort has announced it is replacing over a million individual bottles of water with more easily recycled cups starting August 1, 2012.

A thorough analysis of the bottled water consumption at the resort revealed that while all efforts are made to recycle the small bottles and lids, many still end up in landfills. Studies show that although many people intend to recycle disposable water bottles, 69% of bottled water containers end up in the trash and not in a recycling container.1

“Our employees are always eager to recycle any and all possible objects on the property,” states General Manager Michael Graninger, “but of course we cannot control what happens to each bottle. Many are carried from the property only to end up later in a landfill.”

In spite of having easy access to clean drinking water, the United States is the world’s largest bottled water consumer.2 In 2008, the U.S. used enough plastic water bottles to stretch around the Earth more than 190 times.

It takes 2,000 times more energy to produce a bottle of water than it does to produce tap water.3 And as Dr. Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, told The New York Times “there is no reason to believe that bottled water is safer than tap water.”

In the last year Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort has purchased over 1,000,000 individual bottles of water. In 2011 the resort recycled over 4 tons of plastics, as well as over 69,000 lbs. of pallets, 1,400 lbs. of aluminum, 675,000 lbs. of metal, 196,000 lbs. of cardboard, and 105,000 lbs. of shredded paper, but is always looking for ways to do better.

The cups and lids that replace the bottles and lids are more easily recycled and break down faster when they do end up in the environment.

Adding to the effort, more water fountains, some designed to fill reusable water bottles, are being added on the Casino floor, making it easier for guests to reuse cups or their own water bottles.
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort has always been green and is going even greener, contributing to a cleaner environment Rancheria Style®.

Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is located at 12222 New York Ranch Road, Jackson, CA 95642. 800-822-WINN (9466),

1 “IBWA Rebuts Misleading and Factually Incorrect Video about Bottled Water”. Alexandria VA, March 22, 2010
2 Un-Habitat & UNEP, Sickwater? The Central Role of Wastewater Management in Sustainable Development.” 
3 Gleick, P.H, Cooley, H.S,  “Energy Implications of Bottled Water,” The Pacific Institute

Located in the Sierra foothills town of Jackson, CA, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort is owned by the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. A sovereign government, the Rancheria is dedicated to developing projects that not only enhance the tribe’s ability to remain self-reliant, but also reflect a commitment to be a good neighbor.

Mother Lode Harvest Newsletter: "Good Food News" Vol 4 No 32 Aug 3 2012

Click on the link below to view newsletter:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

TSPN INTERVIEW: Rich Hoffman - Jackson Rancheria Casino & Resort CEO

Today's news guest, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort CEO Rich Hoffman, talks to Tom Slivick about the progress of the casino and resort remodel project.

Amador County Fair - 2012 Wrap Up

Amador County, CA - A year of preparation culminated in four days of community pride as families and friends flocked to the Amador County Fair. With the gate keeping par with 2011's record-breaking year, the Amador County Fair called it a wrap for 2012.  With parking, carnival and concessions all showing gains, the support of the county for their hometown Fair was readily apparent. Final numbers will not be available for several days.

The annual Junior Livestock auction also claimed success with a gross sale of over $330,000 for 212 lots sold, up from 2011's $321,000 and up for the second year after a gross in 2010 of $276,000.
The other highly acclaimed contest of the 2012 Fair was the Miss Amador County Scholarship CompetitionCicily Swason was named Miss Amador County with Angela Faryan, Jordan Ohm and Chelsea Anderson making up her court.
Fair visitors expressed their appreciation for the eclectic entertainment line-up and there were especially large audiences for the Spazmatics and the Chris Gardener Band. The antics of the Balloon Man Skip Banks, Uncle Sam on stilts strolling the midway, and the stray gun-blast from the Mountain Men camped out in Frontier Town kept visitors on their toes. 49’er Kids Town provided plenty of free, hands-on entertainment for the youngest visitors while The Puppets and Players Little Theater enchanted everyone with Han Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina and The Jumbo Shrimp Circus delighted all while teaching kids to juggle and walk a tight rope.
What seems fairly normal to Amadorians had out-of-the-area visitors in wonder. Many stopped to visit with the men and women driving and displaying antique tractors, and running the turn-of-the-century sawmill and the stamp-mill gold mine. The living history lesson continued with the authentic Miwok basket-weaving in the Lodge and across the fairgrounds as Ron Scofield teased spokes into his wagon wheels.
"We were impressed at how many folks we spoke to had come from outside the county.  Being featured on Huel Howser's California Gold has been significant and we learned that those who came last year, brought their friends this year for the authentic country fair experience," said Troy Bowers, CEO.
The Mutton Bustin' program was filled with youngsters wanting to try their hand at being a cowboy, crowds filled the grandstands for the Hot Rod Truck Pulls and the professional rodeo.  With all seats reserved, the Destruction Derby was sold out early on Sunday morning and Kyle Wilson crashed his way to victory.
With the four-day party for 30,000 people behind them, the Amador County Fair staff is still hard at work tearing down, cleaning up, writing checks for entry winners, and returning hundreds of exhibits. 2013 will mark the Fair's 75th anniversary and plans are already underway.