January 2022, Volume 1
Reach Out - Connect - Take Part

New Years Eve 2021 Was a Blast

The Chamber and our community thank all who helped make the 2021 New Years Eve Fireworks happen. Said Debra Sheehy on Facebook, "It was wonderful.  A real uplift! Thanks so much for the needed entertainment."  We agree.

Catch of the Week

Captain Rob

The Hon family bravely traveled from San Francisco to enjoy a cold new year with friends on our beautiful lake. Pictured is Alex, Emily, Michelle and proud papa Al with a Lake Almanor catch and release.

Welcome New Chamber Members

Ginger Gamble, Gigi's Market, Crescent Mills

Jeff and Dianne Benedictson, Lake Almanor Dental

Lisa Forcino, Crescent Country, Crescent Mills

Mark Lilley, Antlers Motel, Chester

Dana Mollison, Another Man's Treasure, Chester

Suzette Reed, Quarter Circle OS Bookkeeping, Taylorsville

Jennifer Ayres, Mountain Ayres Garden, Taylorsville

Cassandra Barr, Indian Head Properties, LLC., Greenville

Laura Briggs, Coldwell Banker Kehr/O'Brien, Lake Almanor

Town Trivia

Katherine Sansone

Last week’s winner was Mike Phillips winning a $10 gift certificate from Watkins Pet Supply who is also this week’s sponsor.  Correct question was: Who is Herman Brince?  Answer: He was a famed photographer in Lassen, Modoc and Plumas counties from 1878-79 though only dozen or so are known to be existence. 

This week’s answer: In 1902, Julius Howells recorded the creation of a new reservoir to be named Lake Earl.
Please send question to Trivia@lakealmanorarea.com.

This week’s sponsor is Watkins Pet Supply with a $10 gift certificate. Thank you! 

Watkins Pet Supply is located at 607 Main Street Unit C in Chester, CA (Behind Blue Goose Gallery); Phone number is (530) 258-2525.

If interested in being a sponsor, please contact katherine@sansoneplus.com

Please note:

  1. Only emails received after release of Town Chatter Wednesday am will be considered.
  2. Person can only win once a month and not to exceed six times a year.

Job Postings

Sierra Institute Now Hiring

Crew Leaders
Alumni All-Star Assistants
Assistant Youth Coordinator
Contact 530-284-1022

Almanor Energy Plus
Immediate opening for an office manager. $20-$30/hour depending on experience. Submit resume 3732 Big Springs Road. 530-596-3128

Collins Pine has many positions currently available in our Chester location offering competitive wages, on the job training, and full benefits: 
    Entry Level Clean-Up       $16.70
    Common Labor                $16.70
    Electrician                         $26.95
    Millwright                          $26.95   + .75 for certified welder, + 1.00 for certified crane operator
    Mechanic                          $25.95
    Sawfiler                            $27.70
    Dry Kiln Operator             $22.60
    Lumber Grader                 $24.20 with 1 certificate
    $24.95 with 2 certificates
    $25.70 with 3 certificates
    $26.45 with 4 certificates
   Additional $0.60 per hour for 2nd shift (all positions).

About Us

The Town Chatter is made possible through the funding of our Community Partners:

Collins Pine
Coldwell Banker Kehr/O'Brien Real Estate
Rouland Insurance
Seneca Healthcare District.

Chamber Board Meetings are at 8:30 am on the 2nd TUESDAY of each month in the Chamber office at 278 Main Street. All are welcome. Zoom is available.

Lake Almanor Area Chamber
278 Main St., Chester
P.O. Box 1198  96020


Bits & Pieces

Plumas County Search & Rescue Locate Person in Need
Chester 1/4/22 rescue: SAR located a subject who had been reported missing, and who evidently had spent the night lying in the snow. He was extremely hypothermic and was transported to ambulance for immediate medical attention and then to the hospital. See rescue video efforts on Facebook.

Indian Valley Bits & Pieces by Suzette Reed
New BOS Chair
Kevin Goss, representative of District 2, elected as 2022 Chair of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors.

Crescent Country moving foward
Crescent Country begins construction of its smaller store. Lisa Forcino's vision is taking hold. We congratulate her.

Burgers in Greenville at The Spot - Opens January 11.
The Spot, located centrally in Greenville, adjacent to the former Mohawk Gas Station, has been created as a place for the community to gather, reunite and become one while rebuilding. Cassie Bar, Indian Head Properties, along with partners, envisions a little village of food, beverage trucks and businesses - a pop up town of sorts at her place. Legion Burger will be serving burgers 3 day a week, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday starting January 11.
Annual Afternoon Tea
Coventry Gardens at the Walker Mansion in Westwood will host their Annual Afternoon Friendship Tea Sunday, January 16. $21.95 Adults, $14.95 Childen 10 and under. Reservations required 530-256-2133. Conventrygardens@yahoo.com

Elks Crab Feed, January 8 - Sold Out
The Annual Crab Feed at the Almanor Elks Lodge in Chester will be held on January 8. Proceeds from the Crab Feed go toward Elks scholarships to high school students across the area.

Peninsula Fire Crab Feed, February 5
Peninsula Firemen’s Association Crab Feed February 5, 2022 at Lake Almanor Country Club to benefit the Fire Department.  Tickets for sit-down dinner are $65 and include crab, bread, salad and dessert. Also offering Crab ‘N Go for $50. Tickets avalable at Fire Station #2, Tantardinos, Rouland Insurance.

Current Road Conditions

- Highway 70 near Butte/Plumas County line - clean up from mudslide currently underway and being prohibited by inclement weather
- Highway 89 - closed from Lassen National Park South Boundary to SR 44 for the winter
- Highway 89 to 70 - Partially open, one way controlled from Calpine Summit (Sierra Co) to Sierra County/Plumas Line, 24 hours a day. 

Open as of Tuesday (January 4th):
- A24 in the Sierra Valley
- 32 to Chico
- 36 from Susanville to 99 in Red Bluff
- SR 44
- SR 147

Plumas News-Chester Resident Terry Durham speaks out at Jan 4 BOS meeting 

The public spoke during the public comment period Jan. 4, and a few speakers had some pointed words for the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. 

The first speaker, Chester resident Terry Durham, talked about the flooding issue along Stover Creek. He described a frustrating series of phone calls and non-answers after he stepped into a foot of water in his garage one morning. Read Full Story on Plumas News Here.

For daily (and sometimes hourly) news and information, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lakealmanorarea

Farewell Lassen Gift Company

A fond farewell to a wonderful woman and a Chester icon. Sharon Henry, we wish you all the best in this new chapter in your life. It was a bit of a tear jerker to see you and Will captured in this Facebook photo shoveling snow for the last time. Look to a future Town Chatter for our in depth review of the career and service to our community of Sharon Henry, an admired and celebrated business woman and beloved member of our community.

Community Meetings - New Feature

Make 2022 your year for community involvement. There are many people and organizations that put in hours and hours of time to maintain the services, resources, and support needed within our community. Have a question? Want to volunteer? Become an advocate for community excellence. Attend a meeting and find out what's happening.

We will publish these meeting dates in the first Town Chatter of each month.

Almanor Recreation & Parks District Meeting

Plumas County Board of Supervisors Meetings
01/11/2022, 01/18/2022, 02/01/2022

Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Hamilton Branch Fire Department Meeting

Chester Cemetery District Meeting

Community Town Hall

Chester Public Utilities and Fire Department Meeting

Peninsula Fire District Board Meeting

The Almanor Foundation Board Meeting

Seneca Health Care District Board Meeting

If you would like your organization's meetings posted here, submit your meeting times here. Or email info@lakealmanorarea.com for assistance.

Photo of the Week

Photo courtesy of Kristen Stelzreide

Have a photo to share? The Lake Almanor Area Chamber and DiscoverPlumasCounty.org are seeking photographs to be used in marketing and promotion of the area. Send your photos to info@lakealmanorarea.com with your permission for either organization to use the photo. If your photo is chosen, you will receive a gift certificate from one of our Photo Contest Sponsors.

Welcome Mark and Mary Lilley, New Antler's Motel Owners

Jordan Russell

On September 30, 2021, the Antlers Motel was acquired by new owners; Mark & Mary Lilley. I asked Jonathan Seward (the property manager) what his thoughts were on the Lilley’s, and he explained they are “... genuine people, gracious, kind, and caring. Mark and Mary set excellence standards”.  While the Lilley’s are running the Railroad Park Resort located in Dunsmuir at the base of Mount Shasta, they were interested in expanding to this area as a potential place to retire. 

While the Lilley’s work tirelessly on one end of the business, the front is taken care of by Annie and Jonathan Seward. Jonathan told me a bit about Annie since she was unable to make it to the interview. He said Annie was from Swansea, Wales while Jonathan was born not far from here in Portola. When Annie visited Jonathan in the United States back in the early 2010’s, she loved both him and the U.S., making the decision to stay. Together they make a fantastic team managing our local staple motel. 

What changes have you made to the motel? 

Since taking over the motel, we have been able to make great improvements. We added soft, plush comforters to all the beds; the internet is faster since we upgraded; and Annie adds little touches here and there to help people feel like this is their second home. It’s not the tourist type of people that we are used to. There are a lot of crew members working on helping our community recover from the fire. Those are the people we are connecting with. 

Any decorating, or beauty you see in the motel is because of Annie; if it’s ugly, I did it, Jonathan jokes while highlighting his wife's keen eye for decor and her ability to create a warm atmosphere. I can attest to this as I walked into the main office that featured an electric fireplace, warming me; and a voluptuous Christmas tree, greeting me, as I took in my surroundings.

While new management has been making upgrades and changes to this establishment, they are intent on keeping the “Antler’s Motel” name for its historical significance and understanding how deep rooted it is to Chester. A sense of community, growing together and an overall caring attitude are important attributes the motel wants to emulate for the town. They not only talk about it, but show us how caring they are as they take the time and effort to maintain their operations. 

What is it that you want the community to know about the ownership of Antlers Motel? 

We care for the community, we desire for it to grow. We want it to be a get away, for people to relax and enjoy nature. And we want people to say “we want to go to Chester”. 

We are open year round! If the door is locked, ring the bell and we will answer. 

Jonathan has moved around the country, but being back in Plumas County made him feel like “...we found Mayberry, we found Americana”. To him, this means friendly neighbors, people helping one another, and “...showing their children that this is how people should be”.

The Antler's Motel can be found at 268 Main Street, downtown Chester. You can call them at (530) 258-2722 or make reservations on their website

Almanor Fishing Report

John Crotty

Lake level currently sits at 4478.05 as compared to January 2 of 2021 4478.60. We are up 3.3 feet since the seasonal low on October 23rd. Water temp ranges between 35.5-37 and we have ice forming throughout the lake. The Canyon Dam boat ramp remains buried in snow, as a result there is currently no public boat launch access on Lake Almanor.

There were a few boats out this past weekend and fishing was good once the sun got on the water. There are fish along the East Shore from Dorado to the dam, we caught an even mix of Browns and bows slow trolling plastic and crawlers. Fish were scattered throughout the water column. 

Shore fishermen are picking up a good grade of fish around the dam as well, access is tough as we still have a few feet of snow on the ground at lake level. There has not been any fishing activity at Hamilton Branch recently.

There is a storm expected to drop snow Sunday evening through Tuesday morning and another coming in on Friday.

Fishing Association News
It’s hard to believe we have another year in the record books, 2021 was a blur and I for one am thankful to be done with it. I am optimistically looking forward to 2022 and returning to normalcy here in Plumas County. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of AFA; through your generosity AFA is financially sound.  Deb is starting on our annual newsletter, we will soon be mailing out membership renewal notices and we are currently in the planning stages for our Veterans Fishing Day, youth fishing events and our annual picnic. Our pen fish are fat and healthy and will be ready for release in late April. I am proud to announce our volunteer feeders have not missed a day of feeding in more than two and a half years. While this board is extremely proud of our accomplishments we must remain diligent, Project 2105 and PG&E’s relicensing contract is currently in front of FERC for approval. I recently attended a ZOOM Meeting hosted by Susan Bryner of the Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce, LACC and the Lake Almanor Foundation; a synopsis of the meeting was posted on the Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce Town Chatter last week.

Snow Report

Image from Central Sierra Snow Lab

West Almanor Bulletin
Like most of the region, the Lake Almanor basin received an exceptional amount of snow during December. The west shore area (a.k.a. “Little Siberia”) registered 82 inches of snowfall during the month. That’s more than three times the monthly average. Much of that snow was relatively light and dry, making life a little easier on those who needed to relocate the stuff from driveways and such. Our season total snowfall at the end of December was 84.5 inches, a whopping 228% of the long-term average at this point.

The snowpack represents our water “savings account”, the stored water that will be withdrawn from savings during the spring runoff. It is therefore important for water managers to know the water content of that snow, along with the rainfall that came before and during winter. December in the mountains was also a very good month for water content. PG&E’s weather monitoring site at Prattville registered a large amount of water during December, some 11.37 inches of total precipitation. That brings our July-June season total to 22.23 inches, or 186% of the long-term average.

Both the heavy snowfall and substantial total precipitation figures give hope that we might be done with our recent drought period. The graph below shows the July through December totals for the past dozen years, very clearly pointing out our current encouraging trend. However, as helpful as it may be to get an early wet start, we still have another six months to go before we tally up our season total. And our history shows that a big start may or may not be an indicator of a truly wet year. For example, the big start in 2012 ended with an annual total precipitation that was just under average. So we’ll wait until at least late February to declare precipitation victory.

December temperatures were relatively close to average for the month. Our average morning low was 19.2 degrees, which is 1.5 degrees colder than the norm, while our average high was 43.8 degrees, 1.7 degrees warmer than the long-term figure. The extreme high for the month was 64 degrees on December 1st. The extreme low was 0 degrees on the morning of the 17th.

Historically, the next three months are wet months, bringing us about 48% of our annual precipitation. But each year is different and the distribution of rain and snowfall varies widely. We’ll just need to be patient and see what nature sends our way.
Town Chatter - January 2022, Volume 1