Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
July 9, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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July 9, 2014

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, July 9, 2014 5A Laura Beaton Staff Writer ] What could be more appealing than clear, cool flowing water; fresh, delicious gourmet meals; cabins amidst tall pines; and fun, family activities day and night? Oakland Camp is practically a household name in Quincy and surrounding environs. 'Nestled in the forest along a stretch of Spanish Creek, the camp began as a getaway in the mountains for city folk from Oakland in 1924. A historical overview of Oakland's Feather River Camp, written by Mary Maniery in 1987, reports that ithe city of Oakland built and Tan the 55-acre camp, with a ifocus on providing outdoor 'experiences and adventures for children and families. Maniery's overview begins with mining history along Spanish Creek from 1850 to the 1920s. Her research shows that the site was first claimed and :mined by Andrew Hall, who eventually went to court to try :to stop the city of Oakland from building its camp, but failed Maniery includes historical photos and news stories from the Oakland Tribune as well as the Plumas Independent and, later, the Plumas National Bulletin. She reports that a 1924 fight over water rights ended in favor of the city of Oakland, and that year development of the site began. She wrote that tent platforms and a kitchen were built to accommodate 150 people per session. According to Maniery, the camp proved so popular that it was expanded, and in 1925, improvements such as a lodge, dining hall and a swimming hole enlarged by dynamite were made. Maniery documents several eras at the camp: camp development from 1924 to 1941; the war years, between 1942 and 1945, when operations slowed and n als were no longer provided; renovation and expansion, from 1947 to 1965; and changing with the times, from1965 to 1987. Fifteen years ago, at its 75th anniversary, the 22-foot Harmony Totem Pole was Oakland Camp staff member Franklin Mullen is enjoying his sixth year working at the popular family-centered camp, celebrating its 90th year of providing Oaklanders and others a relaxing Sierra Nevada experience. Photos by Laura Beaton installed in the heart of the camp to demonstrate commitment to and appreciation of the natural environment, according to a commemorative plaque. The plaque describes the efforts and contributions of various indigenous peoples, as well as Oakland residents, in constructing the Harmony Totem Pole. Details about the carved figures and icons on the pole are presented on the plaque. At the top is a Pacific Northwest Coast-style eagle, followed by other animals and symbols: a Spirit of the Lake head wearing a grizzly bear cape, clutching a redwood staff; an acorn, representing the diet of Native American people and its symbolic journey as a tiny seed to a mighty oak; a sun star; the Feather River; a pair of red flickers; a coyote; and an oak tree -- the official symbol of the city of Oakland. 90 years old Some 90 years later, the camp is still running strong, providing the same peaceful mountain splendor to those who may never have been out of the city. One reason the Spanish Creek site was chosen was because of its proximity to the train tracks, according to the camp's brochure. Folks from Oakland could board the California Zephyr in the city and nine hours later arrive right at the camp. These days the passenger train no longer runs through the Feather River Canyon, and campers have to make the drive themselves. However, the appeal of the mountains continues to draw nature lovers from Oakland and elsewhere to the beautiful Oakland Feather River Camp. Office manager Carolyn Guerrero said her family has been attending the camp for four generations. Some campers have been coming for 65 years running, she said. This year, the camp, run by the nonprofit Camps in Common since 2003, celebrates nine decades of priceless memories for city dwellers and locals alike. The 22-foot Harmony Totem Pole in the heart of Oakland Camp demonstrates commitment to and appreciation of the natural environment. It was presented at the camp's 75th anniversary. Fishing, swimming and floating lazily downstream in inner tubes are just a few of many activities offered at camp. Crafts, games, fine arts, stargazing, story-telling, music and dance classes, horseback riding and roasting marshmallows over the campfLre have created lifelong family traditions for generations, Guerrero said. She added that as much as the camp has provided a rejuvenating mountain experience for city folk, Quincy and Plumas County have likewise benefited from the influx of campers' dollars in their communities. Many of the weeklong summer sessions are open to the public, such as a recent adult art camp featuring world-class artists who taught classes in glass blowing, fiber arts, painting and more. Oakland Camp hosts at least six sessions each summer, beginning in mid-June and continuing into mid-August. The camp is also available for post-season rental. More information may be found on the camp's website,, or by calling 510-336-2267. Ribs & Chicken Fridays from 5-8:30pm (Salmon and Veggie Kabobs w/reservations) Bonfire Sing'A-Long with S'Mores! Horseshoe Tournaments Swimming Horseback Rides 10am-3pm Wagon Rides Start at 6pro Once again the popular... 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Settlemire guided the supervisors through the process, while Deputy County Counsel Steve Mansell assisted Assessor Chuck Leonhardt. At issue was the valuation of 160 acres with several structures in the Sierra Valley. The value on the tax roll was set at $872,763 while property owner Dwight Ceresola wanted a $570,000 valuation. After more than a year of trying to reach a settlement, the appeal reached the supervisors. During an interview following the three-hour public hearing, Leonhardt said that his office has received about 25 appeals for each of the past two years, but this is the first that has come to the board. In most cases the property owner and the assessor are able to reach an agreement. The public hearing had originally been scheduled for June 17, but Leonhardt asked for it to be postponed until July 1 because all five supervisors weren't available for the earlier date and he wanted more time to resolve some issues. During that two-week delay, Leonhardt reassessed a residence on the property from $558,000 to $401,000 and planned to reassess a garage from $139,000 to $26,500. "When was this made available?" Ceresola asked of the new information. "Last Friday," Leonhardt said, which was June 27. Ceresola, while appreciative of the new values, questioned why it took so long to reach those conclusions. He also questioned the quality of service and competence of the assessor's office. "There are concerns regarding miscommunication and customer service of the auditor's office," counsel Mansell said. "But the question here is what is the value of the property?" It's a complicated issue because of Proposition 13, which mandates values, and the number of buildings on the property and their various states of use. For example, there is a home on the property that is no longer habitable. Ceresola said he would like to tear it down, but has been told it would require a $12,000 study to determine if it has any ' historical significance. As a result, it is still standing and he is being assessed for it. There is also a chicken coop and other buildings at issue totaling $49,466. After hearing testimony from both sides and receiving the submittal of evidence, Kennedy closed the public hearing and the supervisors will discuss the protest in closed session and then issue a decision. Assessor Leonhardt asked for a 'Trading of facts," which means that the supervisors must reveal why and how they reach their decision. Following the meeting Leonhardt said he expects to see more appeals reaching the supervisors in the future. "When we start raising values, we will probably get more protests," Leonhardt said. 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