The Shasta County Connection 4-4-18

By Mary Rickert

Hopefully, everyone had a blessed Easter and had the opportunity to stop and reflect on the beauty of Shasta County that surrounds us.  The brilliance of the yellow wildflowers is truly spectacular in the Palo Cedro area this year.  The rain continues to come, and it is very much appreciated.

There are two road construction projects beginning in District 3 under the management of Cal Trans.  Work has begun on the Stillwater overpass that will help with the traffic bottleneck on Highway 44.  When you consider the fact that Deschutes Road provides access to Junction School, Foothill High School, Chrysalis Charter School, Liberty Christian, North Cow Creek School and Bella Vista Elementary School, it is no wonder the bottleneck occurs in the Palo Cedro area during the morning rush hour.  The improvements to the Stillwater/Highway 44 interchange will be welcomed by those who travel that route to one of these many schools in close proximity.

In Johnson Park, a meeting was recently held to inform the residents of the construction about to begin this month on Highway 299E.  The traffic operation will make improvements by having a median, bike lanes, and increased shoulder width.  For the public’s information, work hours on the project will be from 7 am to 7 pm for Monday through Thursday and on Fridays from 7 am to 3 pm.  There may be additional night and weekend work needed.  Expect traffic control operations and up to 15-minute traffic delays.  The anticipated completion date is September 2018.

Supervisor Les Baugh and I have been discussing the need to support our volunteer firefighters for months and I want to express my appreciation to Supervisor Baugh for following through and working on supporting Assembly Bill 2727. This bill would encourage volunteers by providing a personal income tax credit for costs incurred for training and equipment for volunteer firefighters.  Supervisor Baugh traveled to Sacramento to testify in support of this proposed legislation. The bill has passed out of committee and will continue with the process.  I certainly hope that the bill will be successful and become an incentive for those who serve their communities in this selfless manner.

In honor of Martin Luther King’s passing, I attended a bell ringing at the Redding City Hall on April 4th.  It is hard to believe it was 50 years since he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.   I had a conversation with a very young 25-year old the other day…..we may be experiencing some difficult times in this day and age, but I reminded her that during the 1960’s it was a turbulent time too.  Many of us recall in that decade we lost John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to assassins.  I remember those tragic events very well and it was unsettling to say the least.  But we are a strong and resilient country and will continue to be so.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Rickert at

In 2016, Mary Rickert was elected to serve as Shasta County District 3 Supervisor. A 42-year resident of Shasta County, Mary has lived near McArthur since 1988.  Attending California Polytechnic State University as a Dairy Science major,  Mary also holds degrees in Business & Human Resources Management and Psychology from Simpson University.  Along with her husband Jim, the couple are owners of Western Agricultural Services— a farm management, appraisal and real estate brokerage firm.  They are also the majority owners of Prather Ranch— a nationally recognized, vertically integrated beef cattle operation. Mary and her husband Jim have three grown children and five grandchildren.