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Rosemarie Smallcombe, Mariposa District 1 Supervisor

RosemarieMy first two and a half years in office have been exciting, and I am working very hard - in the office every weekday and working on the Board packet during the weekend in preparation for the next week’s Board meeting.  I’ve also been traveling a lot in my conjunction with my responsibilities with the County and Governor’s tree mortality committees and working groups. I continue to pursue my efforts to assure those who live in rural communities, especially those in the Sierra, have access to affordable home owner’s insurance.

 

Sierra National Forest Fire Restrictions

The Sierra National Forest has imposed fire restrictions at elevations below 4,000 feet in Mariposa County. Caltrans and the Forest Service are coordinating to place various signs on the way to and within the River Canyon to alert visitors of the fire dangers.  Click here the Forest Order.

Detwiler Fire

Mariposa County Environmental Health is making a lot of very good information available to residents impacted by the Fire. That includes information on removal of household hazardous waste (HHW) and health hazards associated with exposure to ash on burn sites. The County has developed the Right of Entry form necessary for the agencies to remove the HHW.

County Environmental Health has also developed a brochure to help residents evaluate their wells after the Fire and ensure their water is safe to drink.

 

Above is a way we can all have some fun and help those who lost their homes in the fire. The event is on Saturday 7/29 at 7 PM and is sponsored by the Yosemite/Mariposa Tourism Bureau.

Here is the AM report from CAL FIRE for 7/29 AM with 80% containment.

Here is the report from CAL FIRE for 7/26 AM with 65% containment.

Here is the report from CAL FIRE for 7/25 PM with 65% containment.

There is a new update on 7/25 from PG&E available here.

Here is the report from CAL FIRE for 7/24 PM with 60% containment.

The 7/24 morning report (here) shows 50% containment and the number of our friends and neighbor’s homes destroyed has risen to 63. Total personnel on the fire: 5128!

Returning Home After a Wildfire is document from CAL FIRE and PG&E that gives good advice on how to check out your house and property.

Here is the news that the folks in Midpines, and many others, have been waiting for - the noon update on 7/23.

Here is an update from CAL FIRE on 7/23 that now reports 40% containment!

There is a new update late on 7/22 from PG&E available here.

Mariposa County Human Services and Public Works are offering additional services to help people recover from the Fire.   Specifically, Public Works has set up food waste disposal behind the Chamber of Commerce and the Solid Waste Facility will be open Monday through Saturday.  Download the details here. They’re also offering disposal services in other areas of the County as described here.  Human Services will hold a Local Assistance Center at the High School on Tuesday. Details here.

Click here for information on insurance issues I received from a personal property consumer advocacy group – United Policyholders – that I’ve worked with on insurance issues in the Tree Mortality Task Force. 

Also, for those with respiratory and other health issues, here are some things you might want to consider.

This is a very useful map that uses color to show the progression of the fire. Click here to download a higher resolution version.

The next CAL FIRE community meeting will be at the high school in Mariposa at 7 PM.

Here is a quick update from CAL FIRE on 7/22 that now reports 30% containment!

CAL FIRE and the Sheriff's office took the County Supervisors on a tour today, July 21st, of some of the areas affected by the Detwiler Fire. After dropping off the other Supervisors, CAL FIRE and the Sheriff's office took me to the top of Telegraph hill to see the conditions and fuel breaks there. Pictures are available here.

Here is the latest press release from the American Red Cross about the resources they are making available in this area. Note that the 559-343-2549 phone number can also be used to help in locating family members or friends.

You can read the CAL FIRE Incident Update Sheet as of 7 PM on the July 19th here, the 20th at 7 AM here, 7 PM on the 20th here, and 7 AM on the 21st here, and 7 PM on the 21st here.

The Detwiler Fire that started on July 16th, 2017 is currently threatening a number of communities in Mariposa County. I’m in contact with a number of officials, including CAL FIRE and PG&E regarding this dangerous situation. I’ve created a Detwiler Fire page to pass information along. There clearly are other sources of information including fire related Facebook pages and those pages often contain useful information, maps, etc. However they also can contain incorrect or out of date information because things change so fast. The Detwiler Fire is especially dynamic. The Sheriff’s Department evacuates people at CAL FIRE’s request, so if any emergency personnel tell you to leave, do so as soon as possible. CAL FIRE’s goal is that everyone who is evacuated will return to find their home is also safe. It is far better to have our firefighters saving homes, than dealing with last minute evacuees.

CAL FIRE held a community meeting at the Mountain Christian Center in Oakhurst on July 19th at 7 PM. Here is an audio recording of that meeting. A video recording can be found here thanks to CAL FIRE and the Sierra Sun Times. The ABC30 video of the meeting is also available here. A video of the CAL FIRE meeting in Merced on Thursday the 20th is here, again thanks to the Sierra Sun Times.

The Governor has declared a State of Emergency and issued an Executive order to aid in the recovery from the Detwiler Fire.

 

 

Historical Preservation

Here is a presentation about historical preservation that I would like to present for ideas as to how we might preserve our history.

The Temporary Sorting and Debris Reduction (TSDR) operation at the corner of Triangle and East Westfall

A few months ago there was lots of discussion of placing a Temporary Sorting and Debris Reduction (TSDR) operation at the corner of Triangle and East Westfall for use by PG&E and those companies that PG&E has contracted with to remove the dead trees that they have felled near peoples homes as part of PG&E’s debris management program. The plan was that at the TSDR site, logs that were merchantable would be separated and sent to appropriate sawmills, etc. , and slash and otherwise unusable wood debris would be chipped and sent to biomass facilities. Some people with properties nearby objected. PG&E has abandoned plans for using this property and is now hauling the same logs and debris to a similar site in Oakhurst. PG&E reports that using Oakhurst has significantly raised their costs.

Tree Mortality

As can be seen below, working with Don Florence from the Mariposa County Office of Emergency Services, I started the Mariposa County Tree Mortality Committee in July of 2015 to focus efforts within the County on mitigating the effects of Tree Mortality on our community. Since then I have been asked to join the Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force, which meets in Sacramento, as well as subcommittees on Biomass Utilization and Regulations where we work with various state and federal agencies to address the tree mortality disaster.

In March, I was invited to testify before the State Senate Committee on Insurance on how the current tree mortality disaster affects the ability of homeowners in the County to obtain fire insurance. You can read my testimony here. Fortunately I was able to meet twice with the State Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, the week before the testimony and give him a “heads up” on how this disaster is affecting rural communities.

One of the things I addressed in my testimony before the Senate Committee, is fire insurance through the FAIR plan, a state-sponsored insurance organization designed to be the insurer of “last resort” for those who can not obtain insurance otherwise. As you can read in my testimony, however, the FAIR plan is becoming far too often the only viable option for fire insurance for many homeowners in the Sierra. The FAIR plan is not ideal however as the coverage is not as broad as normal homeowners’ insurance and homeowners then typically have to obtain additional coverage, e.g. liability insurance, through some other insurance provider. At this time it is also not clear whether it is necessary to remove excess vegetation around the home to obtain insurance under the FAIR plan.

It is the job of the Governor’s Task Force and related committees to understand and eliminate issues keeping our state agencies from quickly and effectively dealing with the tree mortality disaster that places our mountain and foothill communities in danger. I am pleased to be able to contribute to this effort.

The tree mortality problem is truly a disaster for the Central and Southern Sierra so I’ve posted a somewhat lengthy description of what I am doing on the Mariposa County Issues page. I have also posted about this on my Facebook page and would welcome your input there.

Mining in Mariposa County and the Conditional Use Permit II 

Tuesday afternoon, November 17th, the Mariposa Board of Supervisors held a public hearing and voted to adopt proposed changes to our General Plan and zoning code related to mining operations on privately owned property (as opposed to such operations on publicly owned lands (e.g., Forest Service and BLM lands)). The second and final reading of the proposed changes is scheduled for the Board meeting on December 15, 2015.

From a practical standpoint, the changes approved by the Board are

(1) Mining operations that fall below the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) thresholds (less than 1 acre and 1,000 cubic yards of material) will be subject to an Administrative Use Permit;

(2) Mining operations on parcels in the Agriculture Working Landscape classification that are 160 acres or more will be subject to a Conditional Use Permit; and

(3) Existing legally permitted mining operations will be grandfathered.

Read more on this subject here.

 

Great News! On October 30th, the Governor declared a State of Emergency relative to Tree Mortality in the Sierra and asked Secretary Vilsack for federal funds to help with mitigation and recovery efforts.  Read the details here.

I have now also added a page on Mining in Mariposa County and the Conditional Use Permit.

Contact Rosemarie: rsmallcombe@mariposacounty.org

The material below appeared while this page was in campaign mode

Rosemarie Smallcombe has won the election for Mariposa Board of Supervisors, District 1.

The unofficial final results are now in. With 100% of the votes counted:

Rosemarie Smallcombe 58.6%
Karen Smith 24.2%
Brad Aborn 17.2%

Rosemarie wins outright with more than 50% of the vote and will not have to compete in the November election! The phone has started to ring with calls of congratulations!

See Rosemarie's Certificate of Election.

I just received her official notice of the Swearing-in Ceremony on January 6th. I very much appreciated the effort so many people put into getting me elected and I hope you all can attend the ceremony at 9:00 AM at the Board of Supervisors Meeting. See official notice here.

Gazette

SST Poll

 

The Sierra Sun Times conducted a poll the day after the election about whether or not people were surprised about Rosemarie capturing almost 60% of the vote in a three-person primary.

 

Information posted prior to the Election

At the various candidates' events, I have advanced the idea of a biomass facility here in Mariposa County as a way of promoting forest health and fire safety while diversifying our local economy. We now have a website for the Mariposa Biomass Project for those interested in learning more details about the proposed project.

The J.C. Fremont Healthcare District has had financial challenges in the last few years because of Medi-Cal budget cuts. Find out how Rosemarie helped the Healthcare District in this crisis.

Mariposa Gazette

I am proud to have been endorsed by organizations with a wide range of interests including the Mariposa Gazette. See my new Endorsements Page, or read Letters to the Editor from my supporters.

You need to be registered to vote to vote for Rosemarie. May 19th was the last day to register to vote for the June 3rd election. If you are not registered, make sure you register to vote before the November elections when the District 1 representative to the School Board will be elected. You can register to vote online: http://registertovote.ca.gov

Water Bottles

A video for the AAUW May 7th District 1 Candidates forum in El Portal is now available thanks to the Sierra Sun Times. Note which candidate brought great tasting local water to the event in a reusable bottle.

There is a new item on the FAQ page concerning Rosemarie's experience with handling complex issues. Even here supporters are likely to learn something reading this entry!

The AAUW sponsored a candidates forum on April 30th with all 8 candidates for Supervisor present. A Sierra Sun Times video of the event is here.

Read Rosemarie's views about the proposed Conference Center/4-star Hotel and the NPS Visitors Center on the updated Mariposa County Issues page.

The Mariposa Gazette asked all the candidates to respond to a series of questions. Read the answers to the first question about the candidates' top concern here. The second question in the Gazette series asks the candidates about the County's economy and jobs. Read the responses here. The third question and answers are about fiscal responsibility. The forth question and answers are about career and life experience. And the fifth about why do you want to be a County Supervisor.

All of the District 1 and 3 of the District 3 candidates spoke at the April Mariposa Democratic Club Meeting. Here is a link to a video taken by the Sierra Sun Times of the various candidates and the Q&A sessions.

The June Election: It's been so many years since we've had more than 2 candidates running for Supervisor in District 1 that many people have forgotten the election on June 3rd is essentially a primary election requiring at least one candidate to receive 50% plus 1 to win.   With three candidates in the race it is unlikely that one candidate will achieve the necessary 50% plus 1 votes and the top 2 candidates will compete in a runoff on the November ballot. Here is an article from the Sierra Sun Times that discusses this process relative to the 2012 election.

Rosemarie Smallcombe: Rosemarie has used her business and management experience combined with her love of the environment and her fellow citizens to make a difference in Mariposa County as can be seen in the Rosemarie in Action page and various articles in the local press. There is also a very special story called Rosemarie, Reagan and the Prince of Darkness.

Read Rosemarie's campaign announcement as it appeared in the Mariposa Gazette and the Sierra Sun Times.

"Service to community is one of my core beliefs. My demonstrated commitment to the community, success in building relationships among groups with varied interests, and experience you can trust to solve complex problems will benefit District 1 and Mariposa County.

Helping small business and developing the economy, while preserving the rural character of the region, is a priority for me. Resource protection and job creation are not mutually exclusive -- they should be partners. Serving the people of District 1 would be a privilege. I want to give back to the community that I call home." - Rosemarie Smallcombe, Candidate for Distict 1 Supervisor

Frequently Asked Questions: Check out the new FAQ page for other questions you might have about Rosemarie and the campaign. For example: Does Rosemarie hate horses? Not even close. She loves them!

Merced RIver

Photo by David Greenwood of the section of the Wild and Scenic Merced River that Rosemarie is fighting to protect.


Vote for Rosemarie on June 3 or on your mail-in ballot

Contact Rosemarie: rsmallcombe@mariposacounty.org

River CleanupResolutions