Our community's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony is put on by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Our Tree Lighting

December 1, 2004 - Santa was here. Yes, despite what you may have heard about his massive responsibilities at the North Pole where he prepares for Christmas Eve toy distribution activities, Santa Claus took time to greet and talk to Happy Camp children at the annual tree lighting in front of the Forest Service building.

There was some controversy going on around town. People were wondering if Santa was invited, if the lights were in the tree, and if everything was really set for the traditional lighting ceremony. Would a musician appear? Would children be invited? Would refreshments be served? Would songs be sung? Is Santa really a poseur?

But as usual the event took place without a problem in sight. Eddie Davenport, a local musician transplanted here from Las Vegas, provided the music. There are no longer music classes at the local schools so we couldn't enjoy their performances this year. Instead everyone attending got a song sheet and helped fill the air with beautiful Christmas music.

Eddie Davenport and the kids who sang for us

Eddie Davenport and a group of volunteer Christmas carolers.


Our traditional refreshments - warm apple cider and popcorn - were provided and served by the Family Resource Center staff and JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli.

Community Calendar

December 21 - Neighborhood Watch, 7pm at the Grange Hall.

December 22 - Movie night at the Family Resource Center, 20 Davis Road, call 493-5117 for the time. Movie: Santa Clause 2. Children under 7 must be with an adult.

December 25 - Merry Christmas! - there will be a community Christmas dinner at the Karuk Community Center from 12 noon to 2pm.

December 31 - New Years Eve Party at the Old Headway Market, with The Genuine Draft Band.

January 1 - Happy New Years!

January 7 - Desert Potluck and Bingo at the Seiad Valley Firehall, 7pm, first and third Friday every month. This is a fundraiser for the Seiad Valley Fire Department.

January 21 - Writer's Club, 2pm, call Pete Winslow for location: 493-2778. All writers are welcome. Each writer is requested to bring something they've written using the word "writer". Also bring PEN and PAPER (and something like a clip board to write on).

January 21 - Desert Potluck and Bingo at the Seiad Valley Firehall, 7pm, first and third Friday every month. This is a fundraiser for the Seiad Valley Fire Department.

July 1,2, & 3, 2005 - Happy Camp River Run - There will be a $30 pre-registration fee. This includes camping, a t-shirt, and a pin if payment is received before the cut off date. After that date the registration is $35 and no t-shirt/pin is included. The 2005 Vendor fee will be $50.00.

Gold Prospecting: See events planned by the New 49'ers at their website.

Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce: Events Schedule.

To add your event to the Community Calendar, email , or call Linda at (530) 493-2099, or send announcements and press releases to Happy Camp News, P.O. Box 603, Happy Camp, CA 96039.

Remembering electrical
safety makes for
happier holidays

Pacific Power - December 15, 2004 - One of the greatest gifts you can give your family this year will never appear under your tree—it’s the gift of safety.

Pacific Power offers several suggestions to help ensure a safe holiday season:

Never use indoor lights outdoors.

Check electrical cords for frayed wires.

Only use safety-tested lights and extension cords that carry the UL label.

When using a ladder to hang lights outdoors, keep at least 10 feet away from any overhead power lines.

Never modify three-pronged plugs to fit into two-pronged sockets.

Don’t overload extension cords or outlets with too many plugs.

Test extension cords. If they’re hot to the touch, it’s likely a sign of a serious problem.

Always turn off holiday lights when going to bed or leaving home.

Never put extension cords under rugs, and keep them away from water, heat sources or metal pipes.

Keep a multi-purpose or “ABC” fire extinguisher in the home in case of electrical fire.

Also, children should be reminded of the basic rules of electrical safety. Keep electrically-powered games, toys and appliances away from water, and keep little hands away from wires, cords and outlets. Adults also should help children heed the safety precautions that are included with games, toys and other electronic items.

Pacific Power encourages people to always think twice about safety both during the holidays and throughout the year, and to remember the most basic rule of all—use common sense.

For additional safety information, call toll free at 1-888-221-7070 or see PacificPower on the web, and click on Safety.

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Check out local musician Brad Burn's performance history and new CD release on the Entertainment page.

On the Columns page:
Home Country by Slim Randles
and A View From My Hill by Linda Martin

Happy Holidays!
Check out MacroMedia's Penguin Game.

It was a very snowy day

December 6 brought the first snowfall of the season to Happy Camp. Photograph by C. Goggin.

A Review Of:
Protecting Children From Child Protective Services
By Alan L. Schwartz

Reviewed by Linda Martin on December 12, 2004

Alan L. Schwartz was a CPS caseworker who worked for many years with families on an Indian Reservation. His experiences gave him the desire to write Protecting Children From Child Protective Services (2004) when he retired. He still believes the agency has a place in our civilization but that around thirty percent of the cases are mismanaged to the detriment of children and their families.

His philosophy is that children should be listened to more than they are at this time. He mentions that children not only don't know who their attorneys are, they are usually not brought to court to give input to the judges that make decisions about their lives. Some do not even know who their caseworkers are.

Schwartz also believes Juvenile Court judges should take time to make a connection with children and parents, taking them into their chambers to talk to them to get a sense of who they are working with. He says the judges should listen to the children and take time to learn what they would like the hearing's outcome to be. He is concerned that usually Juvenile Court judges just rubber-stamp CPS case plans without giving the opinions of parents and children any credence or thought.

But that isn't the only part of child welfare services he finds fault with. He covers the subject very well, discussing topics such as lack of proper legal representation for poor families, faulty psychological evaluation and counseling services, child safety in foster homes and problems involving adoption.

This is a valuable book because of the perspective it was written from - that of a CPS caseworker who cares about the children and families he worked with. He gives us an insider's view of the agencies. The book is full of tips for parents who are alarmed about case mismanagement. He tells why it happens and suggests what might be done to have a better chance of winning in court. However it appears that the book was primarily written for legislators - to give them information on how the system should be reformed.

In my opinion the biggest flaw in the book is that Schwartz assumes the child welfare agencies are still needed though he recognizes a lot of traumatic injustice occurs. My philosophy is that child welfare services should be disbanded (except for a small foster care unit) and that true child abuse cases should be investigated by law enforcement. I don't have any reason to believe this out-of-control agency can be brought to a condition where corruption therein wouldn't harm families.

However Schwartz's observations about child welfare and the harm it does to about thirty percent of the children involved are a helpful and needed contribution to what is published about CPS agencies and colluding professionals as they exist today.

This book can be purchased online
at Amazon .

Notable Sites

Toren Van Beren - this can be fun.

Top 15 Biblical Ways To Acquire A Wife - how did they do it?

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Recommended Reading

Scenic Byways of Northern California: From the Siskiyous to the Cascades

By Marie Wisebrod
Visit the remote Northern California region from the Siskiyous to the Cascades. Meet the locals, learn the history, enjoy the landscape that includes whitewater rivers, old growth forests, and lava-strewn backcountry.

In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country

By Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed
Two young women from the East Coast, sent to the remote Klamath River Valley to live with the Karuks, left this fascinating record of life in this valley in 1908-09.