20,000 artifacts, 7,000 photos at Sutter County’s Community Memorial Museum

Sutter County Community Memorial Museum Director/Curator Jessica Hougen addressed the South Yuba County Sunrise Rotary Club this morning. The museum, although located in Sutter County, preserves history of the entire Sutter-Yuba region. It is currently conducting an inventory of its 20,000 historic artifacts and 7,000 photos depicting the region’s history, dating back to pre-contact with the Native Maidu. 

Sutter County’s Community Memorial Museum opened in 1975 on land donated by the Harter Family. Today, it is home to 20,000 historic artifacts and 7,000 photos depicting the Sutter-Yuba region’s rich history.

Director/Curator Jessica Hougen addressed the South Yuba County Sunrise Rotary Club this morning, describing the unique permanent exhibits at the museum, plans for updating some of the oldest exhibits, regular children’s programs (including showing the movie “A Night At The Museum”), the current temporary exhibit on hunting in Sutter and Yuba counties, and how the museum was recently featured in an episode of the KVIE 6 PBS show, “Rob On The Road: Marvelous Museums.” You can view that episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rcxywlDR2Q

Hougen is especially excited about an upcoming program at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 1, where a falconer will bring six of the raptors to the park behind the museum (1333 Butte House Road, Yuba City) to demonstrate their hunting skills. Should be a fabulous opportunity for everyone, especially for kids.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

You can follow the museum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Community-Memorial-Museum-of-Sutter-County-154950013615/

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Yuba Community College celebrates nine decades of educational excellence

Sutter County Second District Supervisor Dan Flores (left) and Fifth District Supervisor Mat Conant (right) were on hand Wednesday, September 13, when Yuba College celebrated its 90th anniversary. The supervisors presented College President  G.H. Javaheripour, Ed. D., with a framed document recognizing Yuba Community College District as the first ever formed in California.

Sutter County Supervisors Dan Flores and Mat Conant represented the County at an event today marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of Yuba College.

Community colleges play a vital role in workforce development, and California’s is the largest community college system in the nation. The Yuba College Community District was the first in the state of California.

To mark the occasion, Sutter County prepared a special framed document honoring the legacy of Yuba College. Sutter County is proud of the Sutter County campus opened by Yuba College in 2012. The campus is located in north Yuba City just off Highway 99.

Here’s the document:


Registrar of Voters Donna Johnston achieves highest honor in her field


Sutter County Clerk Recorder Donna Johnston, the County’s Registrar of Voters, has achieved the highest professional honor one can acquire as an Elections Official. After completing 12 core courses taught by the Master’s in Public Administration faculty of Auburn University, she was designated as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator through the Election Center’s Professional Education Program.

Courses included ethics, voter registration, election law, planning, communications, and voter registration.

Sutter County voters can have confidence in the elections conducted by Sutter County. Congratulations Donna, and good work.


County program that imbeds Behavioral Health workers at Rideout Emergency Department earns statewide recognition


Sutter County received word on Thursday that it will be receiving a Challenge Award from the California State Association of Counties for a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health Services and Rideout Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department that imbeds Behavioral Health workers in the Emergency Department, saving valuable time and hospital bed space when individuals are being diagnosed for possible mental health issues.

Emergency Departments across the country are facing a crisis. Patients who present with mental health issues must be evaluated by mental health workers, in addition to any other medical condition they might have. It takes time to get a mental health worker to the hospital, and hospital beds for psychiatric care are increasingly hard to come by. Because Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health workers have been stationed at Rideout’s emergency department since late 2015, however, the time it takes to evaluate patients with potential mental health issues has been decreased, and so has the need for psychiatric hospital placement. In short, patients are spending less time in the emergency room and fewer are being hospitalized altogether.

If patients need to speak to a psychiatrist for evaluation, Rideout’s Emergency Department provides the service remotely through tele-medicine. It greatly speeds the diagnosis.

CSAC is an organization that provides lobbying and continuing education for California’s counties. Its Challenge Award program recognizes excellence in local government programs. Because Sutter-Yuba Mental Health Services is a bi-county agency providing services to both Sutter and Yuba counties, Yuba County will be receiving a Challenge Award as well. The awards will be presented at a future joint event. Stay tuned!


Natomas Basin Conservancy Plan mitigates impacts of urban development in southernmost Sutter County, preserving wildlife and agriculture

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Sutter County Fifth District Supervisor Mat Conant (left) and Sutter County Administrative Officer Scott Mitnick on Wednesday, September 6, toured some of the areas preserved under the Natomas Basin Conservancy Plan.  The goal of the NBHCP is to preserve, restore, and enhance habitat values found in the Natomas Basin while allowing urban development to proceed according to local land use plans. The basin is comprised of parts of northern Sacramento County and parts of southern Sutter County.

Sutter County Fifth District Supervisor Mat Conant arranged a tour by kayak of some of the preserved areas in the Natomas Basin that fall under the Natomas Basin Conservancy Plan (NBHCP) on Wednesday.

The Natomas Basin Conservancy Plan (NBHCP) applies to the 53,341-acre interior of the Natomas Basin, located in the northern portion of Sacramento County and the southern portion of Sutter County. The Basin contains incorporated and unincorporated areas within the jurisdiction of the City of Sacramento, Sacramento County and Sutter County.

The purpose of the NBHCP is to promote biological conservation along with economic development and the continuation of agriculture within the Natomas Basin. The NBHCP establishes a multi-species conservation program to mitigate the expected loss of habitat values and incidental take of protected species that would result from urban development, operation of irrigation and drainage systems, and rice farming.

The goal of the NBHCP is to preserve, restore, and enhance habitat values found in the Natomas Basin while allowing urban development to proceed according to local land use plans. For more information, you can read about the history and the full scope of the NBHCP at this website:  http://www.natomasbasin.org/

Their Facebook page has a ton of wonderful photographs: https://www.facebook.com/TheNatomasBasinConservancy/

Time running out for fix to a bad bill for California counties


Sutter County has joined with almost every other California county in opposing Assembly Bill 1250, which would restrict our ability to contract with non-profit agencies and private companies to provide certain services. This week in the California Senate, AB 1250 was moved from the Appropriations Suspense File to the Senate Rules Committee.  A number of Senators on the Appropriations Committee spoke on the bill expressing concerns with infringing on county service delivery, but also indicating support for labor and their supposed intent to ensure contracting out is done in a manner that is transparent and cost effective.

It was also their stated intent to bring organized labor and counties together to discuss potential amendments.  A number of Senators focused their comments on the impact to non-profits and social and health care service delivery to the public.

Time is obviously short to fix AB 1250 with less than two weeks remaining in the legislative session and the 72 hour in print rule that would preclude a vote on the bill unless amendments were decided by Tuesday, September 12th.

It is unclear how agreement will be reached considering the significant problems with AB 1250 even with the expected amendments.


Independent Forensic Team releases interim report on Oroville Dam spillway failures


The Independent Forensic Team hired by the State of California to get to the bottom of the failure of the spillways at Oroville Dam has issued a preliminary report in the form of a memo to the Department of Water Resources that doesn’t quite point to a single cause of the failure of the main spillway, or the erosion of the emergency spillway. It also suggests that regular physical inspections, while necessary, would not have caught the problem in advance. The memo was released yesterday. You can read it yourself at https://ad03.asmrc.org/sites/default/files/districts/ad03/files/IFT Memo_0.pdf

Here is an excerpt:

  1. Physical inspections, while necessary, are not sufficient to identify risks and manage safety. At Oroville Dam, more frequent physical inspections would not likely have uncovered the issues which led to the spillway incident.
  2. Comprehensive periodic reviews of original design and construction, taking into account comparison with the current state of the practice, are needed for all components of dam projects. These reviews should be thorough, taking advantage of all available information; critical and independent, rather than relying largely on the findings of past reviews; and completed by people with appropriate technical expertise, experience, and qualifications to cover all aspects of design, construction, maintenance, and failure modes.