We had a good solid start last winter for a new Yuba-Sutter tradition honoring those who served in our military: the Wreaths Across America program not only honored the veterans whose graves were decorated, and their families, it also made all of us stop and think for a little bit about what their service meant to them and to us.

Coordinators are out to make it happen again this year, bigger and better.

We received word a couple weeks ago that the Yuba Sutter Veterans Stand Down registered eight local cemeteries in the Wreaths Across America program: Sutter, Meridian, Noyesburg, Yuba City, Live Oak, Sierra View, Lofton and Wheatland.

Now’s the time for all of us to start chipping in – they need donations to procure the wreaths, as well as people to help lay the wreaths on the gravestones at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec 16. 

Wreaths can be purchased for $15 each or you get three for $30. 

If you help at the cemeteries, you will actually say the veteran’s name as you lay the wreath on the headstone.

To donate, you can send a check to Yuba Sutter Veterans Stand Down, 604 D St., Marysville, CA 95901 and write the name of the cemetery you want to help in the memo section. Please make the check out to Wreaths Across America. You can also go on-line to wreathsacrossamerica.org and order them, but please be sure to order for the cemetery you desire. 

For more information call Cindy at 301-3074 or Tom at 218-3847.

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Thumbs Down: We’ve had a few readers call in the last couple weeks cautioning us all about those IRS scams going on. They are calling people in our area – claiming that there is a problem and that they need to send money or asking for personal information.

No one from the real IRS will tell you to send money or cash cards or ask for personal information  or tell you a refund is due but you need to send your bank account information ... stuff like that. Don’t fall for it. There are various scams being run with IRS themes.

We heard from another reader about getting a voicemail from someone telling them that  the maintenance contract on their computer had expired. The scammer was trying to make her voice sound like it was a digital recording ... but didn’t quite pass the audition.

Watch out, folks.

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Thumbs Down: Our state Department of Water Resources won the “California Golden Fleece Award” (a copyrighted thing, believe it or not) from a group calling itself the Independent Institute out of Oakland.

DWR is this quarter’s winner, the group stated in a press release, for “its reckless mismanagement of Oroville Dam – including its concealing of safety hazards that put lives at risk when rising water levels at Lake Oroville last February overwhelmed the dam’s two spillways ...”

They give an “award” out every quarter to government agencies or programs that “swindle taxpayers or violate the public trust.” 

“After the spillway failures, which prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people in downstream communities, details emerged showing that DWR failed to act on specific warnings about spillway integrity, provided insufficient inspection and repair processes, and made poor design and construction choices.

“Worse, the agency also concealed safety problems from the public.”

The group also made a recommendation that dam ownership be transferred to a private water company or private irrigation districts, which would have stronger incentives for preventive maintenance.

“Regardless of the Oroville Dam’s future ownership, downstream communities should be made to feel that their interests are top priority.” 

Can’t really disagree with that last point, regardless of how you might feel about the ownership issue.

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Ughhhh: An older guy is stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and is asked where he’s going at such an hour.

“I am on my way to a lecture concerning the abuse of alcohol and the effects it has on the body, as well as smoking and staying out late.”

“Really,” the officer says. “This is an odd time of day for a lecture like that.”

“I’ll pass that along to my wife.”

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