The Shasta County Connection—5-17-19

We all will be slowing down on Interstate 5 between Redding and Anderson for a while.  Last week was the groundbreaking ceremony at the Shasta Gateway Outlets for the beginning of the lane expansion project.  The section of I5 first opened in 1966, and with the increased traffic needs, a third lane in each direction will be added.  The $132 million RASL Project should be completed in three years with J. F. Shea Co. as the lead construction company.  I know it is an inconvenience, but in the long run, we will enjoy the expanded access to more lanes and less congestion in that stretch of highway in the future.

Cal Fire’s new Chief, Thom Porter, came to Redding, along with with local representatives from the Forest Service, Cal Fire, local law enforcement, Leonard Moty, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, and a representative from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to bring the “Wildfire Preparedness” Week to the north state.  They held a news conference at the Northern Operations on Airport Road to highlight the need for defensible space and hardening your homes.

The community of Oak Run held a meeting recently to discuss forming their own Fire Safe Council.  Communities such as Oak Run, have legitimate concerns about their fire hazard risks.  There was a good turnout and this meeting gave the local residents an opportunity to get to know each other better and organize phone trees, talk about escape routes and their communication systems.  I appreciated the invitation and wish them well getting their Fire Safe Council off the ground.

I stopped in on the Mental Health First Aid Training held in Burney kicking off a week of activities for the Intermountain Mental Health Week.  I hope many of you were able to take part in the various events that were scheduled and I appreciate all the efforts of the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency for organizing and holding these educational activities.

Another great turnout in Burney was the Reducing Risk from Wildfire workshop spearheaded by Garrett Costello from the Burney Basin Fire Safe Council and the Fall River RCD.  Presentations by Nick Wallingford from Cal Fire, Kari Haley from Haley Insurance and Rick Satomi from the Shasta/Trinity/Siskiyou UCCE were very informative and helpful for those at the session.  Also thanks to Todd Sloat for emceeing the workshop and offering his expertise to the evening’s discussions.

Our last Board of Supervisors meeting included a proclamation, which designated May 2019 as “Older American’s Month.”  The older generation has much to offer our communities with their wisdom and life experiences.  We also covered the issue as to how to proceed with the state funding available for helping the homeless.  As I have stated previously, the homeless issue is complicated.  With the limited dollars provided by the state, deciding where that will be spent is going to take some time.  We want to be sure we can leverage those dollars to the maximum and stretch them as far as we can.

We seem to be in a rainy spell these days, and a welcome one in my opinion.  The long, hot days of summer will be here soon and we will be wishing for a shower to cool things off.

If any of you have a question, please contact me at

Mary Rickert

District 3, Shasta County Supervisor