Take West Nile precautions

I received a call from Mary at the Mono County Health and Human Resources office the other day. She told me that someone in our area had found a dead bird, put it in a bag and brought it to her office to be checked for West Nile virus. Unfortunately, the office was closed so they left it on the steps with a note. By the time it was found, it was not in acceptable condition to be checked by the health department. Since the virus is a legitimate concern, Mary wanted me to advise everyone of the procedure for having birds checked. She said we should go online to www.westnile.ca.gov or call the state of California at (877) 968-2473 (West Nile Hotline). The state will ask the finder a few questions and either send the health department out to get it, or they will give you further instructions. Since the virus has been identified in some nearby areas, it would be a good idea to follow through if you find any dead birds.

Changes at the Antelope Valley Fire Department

I'm sure that everyone in Antelope Valley is aware that there have been major changes within our fire department in the past several months. We have a new fire chief, assistant chief and many new volunteer firefighters. The volunteers have been receiving training at least once a week in the various types of services they will need to be able to perform. This sort of education isn't an overnight process, but we have been assured at the Fire Commission meetings that substantial progress is being made in their readiness. We have been very fortunate that Fire Chief Mike Booher from Bridgeport offered to supervise and assist our department with this learning process. He is doing it strictly to help our department and community, and we are very lucky he has been so generous with his time and knowledge.

A "flicker" update

In the July 19 and 26 columns, I talked about the power "flickers" we have in the Valley and what I had been told by a representative of Sierra Pacific Power. To my surprise, I was contacted by the senior regional administrator of Sierra Pacific on Aug. 8, letting me know that the columns were being forwarded to the district regional engineer to follow up with me. After the second column, I received some very interesting and pertinent information from a gentleman in Topaz Ranch Estates about the power we receive, which will enable me to ask some pretty straightforward questions when I am contacted. As of last Friday, I hadn't had a call, but am hoping to have one after this column's deadline. I'll keep you informed of any progress, or lack thereof.

Walker Senior Center gift shop has handmade items for sale

Just a reminder that the gift shop at the Walker Senior Center is open, with some very nice handmade items for sale. Their hours are noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. They also would appreciate any volunteers to help out with the shop. Another reminder for anyone with blood pressure issues, the health nurse comes to the center on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For the times she'll be there, contact the center at 495-2323.

This and That

n I'd like to hear more from those who've had smoke alarm issues such as I mentioned last week and how they were handled. It's been a week and a half with no problems, but I'm still not confident it won't happen again.

n The fire commission and Regional Planning Advisory Committee exist for the benefit of our Valley. It would be good for all of us if more people would attend either or both of these meetings and learn what is being done or planned, rather than be unhappy or angry about it after something is done. They each have only one meeting per month, which isn't much time out of your everyday life. RPAC is the first Thursday at 7 p.m.; the fire commission is the second Wednesday at 6 p.m.

n There was a disaster preparedness meeting at the community center last night, hosted by the County Emergency Services, in conjunction with our fire department. I am sorry I couldn't let people know it was happening, but I wasn't told anything about it until last Wednesday evening. I'll try to pass on more information next week about what was covered.

n Lynne Katusich can be reached at lynnekat@gbis.com or (530) 495-2552.


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