In Sutter County, a community barbecue to celebrate completion of Phase 1 of major repairs to Feather River levees

KFC_SBFCA_Invite_6.9.18Sutter County residents are invited to a community barbeque June 9 to celebrate completion of Phase 1 of the Feather River West Levee Project and emergency repairs to nearly three miles of Yuba City levee. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Shanghai Bend.

The Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency is a local government agency jointly formed by Sutter County, Butte County, and the cities of Biggs, Gridley, Live Oak, and Yuba City, to repair 44 miles of levees from Thermalito Afterbay below Oroville Dam in south Butte County south to the Sutter Bypass. The goal of the project is to reduce flood risk and eventually remove more than 34,000 properties from FEMA Special Flood Hazard Areas.

Levee repairs were scheduled to be completed in two phases. Phase 1, consisting of more than 30 miles of slurry walls and/or berms, has been completed. A portion of the repairs have been completed on Phase 2, a nine-mile section from south of Starr Bend to the Sutter Bypass, but there are eight more miles to complete. SBFCA expects five more miles to be completed next year, pending federal financial participation

The repairs were needed because levees along the west bank of the Feather River suffered from potential underseepage and through-seepage. Similar problems caused major levee failures in Yuba City in 1955, and Yuba County in 1986 and 1997.

The levee improvement program is designed to:

  • Increase public safety by providing 200-year flood protection to Biggs, Gridley, Live Oak, and most of Yuba City, and improve flood protection for the less populated areas south of Yuba City.
  • Save property owners tens of millions each year in mandatory flood insurance costs by delaying or preventing FEMA floodplain mapping.
  • Allow cities and counties the freedom to implement general plans, which will soon be severely restricted for any urban or urbanizing community without 200-year flood protection. This would not apply to rural communities (areas with fewer than 10,000 residents).
  • Maintain the rights of property owners to make substantial improvements to property without new state or federal land use restrictions.
  • Sustain and grow the local economy by creating construction jobs, protecting property values, and allowing for responsible residential, commercial and industrial development.


Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health’s emergency room partnership with Adventist-Rideout wins National Association of Counties Achievement Award

Achievement Award Winner Seal

Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health’s novel partnership with Adventist Health-Rideout Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

Sutter County received word of the award last week. The award is shared by Yuba County. Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health is a bi-county operation administered by Sutter County.

NACo recognized “Embedding Crisis Workers In Hospital ED Speeds Psychiatric Diagnosis, Treatment” in the category of Human Services. The program embeds Behavioral Health Crisis Workers at the Emergency Department 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This allows patients in psychiatric crisis to be assessed more quickly. The hospital provides access to psychiatrists through tele-medicine. The partnership has dramatically reduced the time patients spend in the emergency Department, freeing beds for other patients, and the time it takes to place a patient in a psychiatric hospital bed, if necessary.

Throughout the nation, hospitals are experiencing a large increase in the number of psychiatric patients in crisis being treated in hospital emergency rooms. Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health’s partnership with Adventist Health-Rideout is a model being considered in other areas. It has received statewide and national attention and honors, and was to be the subject of a presentation to the American Psychiatrists Association meeting in New York last week.

Thanks to speedy diagnoses, fewer psychiatric patients are being hospitalized. Instead, more are being released on a treatment plan after it is determined they are not a danger to themselves or others.

The program also provides a safer working environment for Behavioral Health and medical staff at Rideout. Quicker treatment reduces stress for the psychiatric patient.

“Sutter County is accustomed to doing more with less, so we are always looking for those out of the box ideas,” said Board Chairman Dan Flores. “This idea seems simple—and it is when you think about it in simple terms–but it required a lot of trust and familiarity and hard work to build the chemistry in the Emergency Room. As a result, patients are being treated faster with more dignity, and Emergency Room beds aren’t taken up by psychiatric patients who need specialized care.”

The program received a California State Association of Counties Challenge Award in 2017. Here’s a video CSAC produced explaining the program:

NACo President Roy Charles Brooks said, “Counties seize opportunities to deliver services more efficiently and build stronger communities every day. Achievement Award-winning programs are examples for counties that are determined to enhance services for our residents.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition July 13-16 in Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

In Sutter County, lawsuit against drug manufacturers targets opioid overdose epidemic

opioidThe County of Sutter filed a lawsuit against the opioid manufacturers and distributors for creating the opioid epidemic in Sutter County, joining a consortium of 30 California counties to do so. The Sutter County Board of Supervisors has retained the national law firm of Baron & Budd and a joint venture of law firms to represent its interests, seeking an abatement remedy in addition to legal damages for taxpayer money spent providing social resources in response to the crisis. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of California.

The California Opioid Consortium includes 30 counties, representing approximately 10.5 million residents. All 30 counties are filing suit in federal court and expect their cases to be transferred into the Multi-District Litigation in Ohio, where over 500 public entities have filed similar suits.

“The County seeks to recover taxpayer funds used to respond to the opioid epidemic,” said Assistant Sutter County Counsel William J. Vanasek. “Local government services have been subsidizing the impact of the opioid epidemic, created by irresponsible multi-billion-dollar corporations, which have placed profits over public safety.”

The California Opioid Consortium and its counsel have developed evidence that many of the nation’s largest drug manufactures misinformed doctors about the addictiveness and efficacy of opioids. The manufacturer Defendants include Purdue Pharma; Teva Ltd; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson); Endo Health Solutions, Inc.; Allergan PLC; and Mallinckrodt. Drugs manufactured by these companies include, but are not limited to: OxyContin, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Nucynta, Nucynta ER, Opana/Opana ER, Percodan, Percocet, Zydone, Kadian and Norco.

The lawsuit also names the nation’s largest drug distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – which failed to monitor, identify and report “suspicious” opioid shipments to pharmacies, in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The lawsuit also names other large national distributor/retailers.

The County’s entire legal team includes the law firms of Baron & Budd; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor; Powell & Majestro; Greene Ketchum Bailey Farrell & Tweel; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; McHugh Fuller Law Group. The firms currently represent over 300 cities and counties throughout the United States.

For more information, please contact John Fiske at or at 619-261-4090.

In Sutter County, you can now fast track a building permit online


To help facilitate the Building Permit process for customers, Sutter County Development Services Department has released an online application that now allows contractors and owner-builders to apply and pay for certain fast-track building permits. A temporary permit is immediately issued. The customer will be notified once an official building permit is available for pick-up from the Development Services Customer Service Counter. An official building permit will need to be in-hand before a building inspection can be scheduled.

Eligible fast-track building permits include the following:
•HVAC change-outs
•Water heater change-outs
•Agricultural electrical meters
•Electric meter upgrades
•Gas line permits
•Siding replacements
•Window replacements
•Re-roof permits
•Residential roof mounted solar less than 10KW

It is important to note that the physical location for the work to be performed must be in the jurisdiction of Sutter County and not located within the City of Yuba City or the City of Live Oak.

Links to the fast-track building permits are under the Online Building Permits section on the Building Services page. You can also find on the Building Services page additional information about building permit requirements.

Visit the Building Services page:

In Sutter County, tribute to river guide Jimmy Zanocco erected at Feather River

Friends of the late river guide Jimmy Zanocco raised a monument in his memory Saturday along the Feather River south of Yuba City. With some extraordinary coordination, two large lifts were dispatched to the east bank of the Feather River and the monument was welded atop one corner of a large metal base that previously was the foundation for a high-voltage transmission tower that had been removed.

Zanocco, who was born in Marysville in 1951, and graduated from Yuba City High School, started his commercial fishing guide business in 1973, one of the very first in the region. His son, Aaron, who followed his father into the business, was on the Feather River Saturday during a striped bass fishing derby when friends in other boats began texting him pictures of the monument. Until then, he had no idea…

Jimmy Zanocco became a mentor to many of the fishing guides who work the Feather, Yuba, and Sacramento rivers. The lengths people went to remember him on the Feather River is a testament to both Mr. Zanocco’s temperament and his time on the river.

Fourth District Supervisor Jim Whiteaker coordinated the placement of the monument, which was created and welded into place by Steve Overton of MKM Manufacturing. Jerome Circo and George Pappas, longtime fishing mates of Jimmy Zanocco, were taking pictures of the placement from a boat in the Feather River.

Sutter County joined Sacramento Region business and government leaders at annual Capital to Capital event in Washington, D.C.

Sutter County County Administrator Scott Mitnick (left), Board Chair Dan Flores, and Supervisor Jim Whiteaker (not pictured) joined representatives from six Sacramento region counties in a coordinated effort to address key decision makers in Washington, D.C., this week.

Two members of the Sutter County Board of Supervisors and the County Administrative Officer joined business, civic and political leaders from six counties this week in a coordinated effort to meet with federal representatives and key officials in Washington, D.C. about the Sacramento region’s priorities.

Board Chairman Dan Flores, Supervisor Jim Whiteaker, and County Administrator Scott Mitnick represented the County’s interests during the annual Capital to Capital regional lobbying effort coordinated by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The three divided up the workload to attend meetings scheduled over three days. Meetings were scheduled at the offices of Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein of California, Congressmen John Garamendi and Doug LaMalfa, the offices of various other House members from California, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the House Financial Services Committee, the White House (the Director of Intergovernmental  Affairs), the Department of Commerce, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Brookings Institute. In addition, there were several briefings and speakers at various all-delegation breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings.

County representatives also had a chance to work shoulder to shoulder with representatives from other local government agencies on shared interests, including the City of Yuba City, the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency, the Yuba County Water Agency, and representatives from other counties in the Sacramento region.

City of Yuba City representatives were Mayor Preet Didbal, Vice Mayor Shon Harris, Council member John Buckland, Yuba City Manager Steve Kroeger, and Yuba City Economic Growth and Public Affairs Manager Darin Gale.

The annual pilgrimage, in its fifth decade, continues to provide an efficient opportunity for the counties in the Sacramento region to meet elected representatives, their staff, and staff from key agencies who could be making important decisions about flood control and economic development efforts in the region.

In addition to Sutter County, the other counties participating were Yuba, Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento, and Yolo.

In Sutter County, biking around the World’s Smallest Mountain Range to fight diabetes

About 1,000 individuals have pre-registered for Saturday’s Bike Around The Buttes event that attracts visitors from surrounding counties and raises money for diabetes education and support. Online registration is closed but bicyclists can still register on the day of the event at the Sutter Youth Organization Building, 7740 Butte House Road (at intersection of Butte House Road and Acacia Avenue, across from Sutter High School.)  The event is hosted by Yuba-Sutter Diabetes Resource Center. Saturday’s is the 33rd annual event. There are courses for just about every level of biking experience: 17.5 miles, 40 miles, or 100 miles.

In 2013, more than 150,000 people in the counties surrounding the Sutter Buttes were living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, including 5,800 people in Sutter County, 3,800 in Yuba County, and more than 90,000 in Sacramento County.

On Saturday, April 21, a unique bike ride will raise money for the Yuba-Sutter Diabetes Resource Center, which provides education and support for type 1 and type 2 diabetics and their families. Approximately 1,000 people have pre-registered for any of the three possible courses of the 33rd annual Bike Around The Buttes:

  • A 17.5 mile fun ride in and around the Sutter Buttes, the remains of an ancient, dormant volcano that form the “World’s Smallest Mountain Range.”
  • A 40-mile classic ride that will take in even more of the beautiful Sutter Buttes countryside.
  • A 100-mile “Century” ride in and around the Sutter Buttes and northern Sutter County.

It’s not too late to participate. Bicyclists can still register Saturday morning at the Sutter Youth Organization building, 7740 Butte House Road, Sutter. Registration and take off for the Century ride begins at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 7:55 a.m., and registration and take off for the fun ride and the classic rides begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. (Note: those 18 and under should ride with their parents, and helmets are required for all participants). For more details, including day of event registration prices:

This year, the focus of the fund-raising is for the Children’s Type 1 Diabetes Children’s Support Group.

The major sponsor of this year’s Bike Around The Buttes is California Resources Corporation, a leading producer of oil and natural gas in California, including the Sacramento region. Mark Carter, who has donated his time to help organize the event, said CRS donated $10,000 to help ensure the event’s success.

The Sutter County Board of Supervisors, recognizing the public health value of diabetes education and support services, and the economic benefits of an event that highlights the Smallest Mountain Range in the World, also authorized a $1,500 sponsorship.