Letters to the Editor

Written statement collected at Nubieber town meeting, July 26, 2006

I would like to say that it was a really messed up situation. We were told to leave and go to the Memorial Hall but noone was there and we never got any water or food. We sat at a picnic table. We could not even get our medicines. Our animals were all left at home. I really feel there were no people who knew what was going on. We had to go to Burney and came right back. We had to go down Foothill Rd. and that was a real mess. We almost got hit. The people were driving crazy. I will never forget this. We asked to get my husbands medications and were told no. This needs to be more organized. There were older people and we had to sit on a woo bench, This was a horrible thing and I hope I never have to go through it again.

Debra Boyer, Nubieber

Written statement collected at Nubieber town meeting, July 26, 2006

(This person did not slip through the cracks, she was caught in them!)

I came down Big Valley Mountain, the county had 299 blocked where they were detouring people on Foothill Rd. I asked the county guys if my boys were out of the house. They said they didn't know. They asked where I lived and I told them.  They told me I could go as far as the Nubieber Fire Hall and find out where my boys were.  So I proceeded to go past the road block. Right after that a Highway Patrol car pulled me over. He was parked by the road block. He asked me "Where do you think you're going?" I told him the county let me through so I could find out where my boys are. County told me I could go as far as the fire hall. He asked "Are you sure?" I said "yes", he said "Are you really sure?" I said "I'm not lying". He then said "Stay here!" and I said "OK" He then said "Make sure you don't go anywhere!" and I replied "OK" 

He then said "Don't start going when I leave!". At that point I just looked at him so when he backed up to the county guys and asked them if they let me through. He came back and I said "I have a kid at my house who got burned in a house fire 10 years ago and you're not doing this to me" That was harassment.

I went down to the fire hall where there were about 8 or 10 sheriffs. One of them I talked to and asked if my sons had been evacuated. He said "Where do yo live?" I told him "By the 2 story house by the post office" He said he didn't know. I asked him and another sheriff "Are they still in the house?" They said they didn't know. I asked "What do you mean you don't know?"

Finally one of them got on their radio and called another cop that evacuated people and he didn't know. This young cop finally said he would follow me to my house to see if the boys were there, but that he would have to go in. I said "Fine, I don't have anything to hide" He then wrote down my name and address which really ticked me off because they didn't have a list of names on who was evacuated. We pulled up at my house. About that time another older sheriff pulled up and told the younger cop to leave. The older sheriff sat in his car while I ran into the house and yelled for my sons. They weren't there. I then asked the older sheriff where my kids were and he answered that he saw 2 boys walking down to the trailer in the field but he did not know if they were my boys. I went to the trailer and asked the boy if he saw Johnnie and Eddie. He said "No" but people were evacuated to the Memorial Hall. It took a kid to tell me that! Out of all those cops, not one of them said anything about the Memorial Hall.  All the cops were doing is gathering together like it was their party!

I came out of the driveway of the trailer in the field, got in my car and walked up to young cop and said "You guys should know where my kids are!" He took a bite out of his pizza and shrugged his shoulders and I threw my arms up in the air and I left. I was so mad!

I then went out through the detour, was going out through Kramer Rd. and a Highway Patrol car was coming the other direction. I flagged him down and said "If you had kids, would you not want to know where they are?. He then pulled into a driveway and I pulled in and told him about how no one in Nubieber knows their ass from a hole in the ground and what I had been through. His name was Fletcher. He made a lot of calls to try to help me find my boys, but still nothing. Fletcher even called Lassen and Shasta county to get the Memorial Hall's phone number and neither of them could give it. That's funny, it's in the phone book. (Editor's note, the number IS in the phone book but it took me a long time to find it. It's in the white pages under Lassen County, Community Center, Memorial Hall 294 5464) 

I told Fletcher that when there is an evacuation, they should have a list of who was evacuated, especially the kids and the elderly. After all, the young cop took the time to take my name and address. I then thanked Fletcher for all his help. At least someone tried. This whole thing was a joke!

I went to the Memorial Hall where my boys were out there for 8 hours with no food or water. My son, who is burned, cannot be out in the hot sun because his body temperature can go past the degrees outside and it could kill him, and no water to boot! No one was there from the railroad or the sheriff's department or the fire department to make sure people had what they needed. No one was there to take names on who was there and who wasn't and then I find out that when the young cop who had to evacuate and Eddie asked "How?" the cop replied "You got a bicycle?".

It was up to the sheriff to make sure he got to safety. Thank God I had neighbors. What were these cops thinking and what were they doing. This was not a party, it was a railroad wreck and evacuation. I would like to know who is responsible!

June Loveland, Nubieber

Email received Friday, July 14, 2006

I happen to be a resident of Nubieber, and I was evacuated.  I find it terribly strange that no one from the railroad or the other 3 communities in Big Valley came to the Memorial Park in Bieber to even see if anyone wanted something cold to drink, or if we needed anything.  I am really irate about the treatment we got.  We own our home in Nubieber, and are good citizens in standing, we pay property taxes, and then we get treated this way.  I'll tell you one thing, if someone wants to sue Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, I will be first in line.  They seem to think that our lives don't mean anything.  If you would happen to have a petition that I can sign against the railroad, I would be glad to sign it.  As far as the other 3 communities here in Big Valley go, if anything ever happens in their community, they don't want to come knocking on my door, or they will get it slammed in their face.  At the park with me, I happened to have a developmentally disabled son, and our dog.  Thank goodness I took water for my dog, but I forgot my medications, and no one knew how long we were going to have to be there.  No one remembered to bring insect repellent, and it's a wonder we didn't get carried off by mosquito's.  The more I write, the more angry I'm getting, so I will close with this note.  Burlington Northern Santa Fe had better put a warning system here in Nubieber, and handle things a lot better if this ever happens again, or I will sue them, big time!!!!  As you can see, my name is on here, and I happen to live at 550-555 Babcock Rd.  I'll bet if it was McArthur's, Gehrig's, or Kramer's who were in danger, they would do something.  I know that you will be getting other letter's from people here, but I decided to send an e-mail.  Thank you so much for finally informing us as to the danger we are in here, because I never knew all of this, and I have lived here since 1991.  

Sincerely Yours, Mary Jane Rateliff

Email recieved Thursday July 13, 2006

Just a note to thank you for the fine website and excellent reporting.  I've just read the article on the train wreck and am awaiting the promised photo's.  
Keep that newshound dog of yours sniffing out stories...Lord knows we have had nothing but word of mouth before you started the BVN
Regards,   Kathy Harris