Greenville Rising August 18: Grand Openings and New Beginnings

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Beautiful skies over downtown Greenville. Photo by Niki Marceau Hammerich

By now, you’ve hopefully stopped on Pine Street and Highway 89 at least a few times to sample the pop-up cuisine of downtown Greenville. This weekend marks the grand opening of The Spot. It’s been a long time coming. I remember the first meetings of the Dixie Fire Collaborative and other meetings where people floated the idea of ​​reviving businesses in downtown Greenville as early as last fall. And now this vision is happening. The power to make a thought, a dream, a suggestion is real. It’s a testament to collaboration and community and a healthy dose of independence that this is happening in downtown Greenville when so many small towns in Northern California haven’t yet had that bounce for them. It’s definitely part of the tenacity of the Greenville characters for that to happen. Cheer. Let’s celebrate.

Speaking of party. Celebrate the Rotary Club of Indian Valley. They were quick to work creating picnic tables for the pop-up food trailers. You can see them this weekend during the Grand Opening of the Spot. Check them out this weekend. I believe they were put in place today.

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I’m writing this column from afar, taking care of things we don’t have in downtown Greenville, Southern California, in a crazy week. I call it Meg’s maintenance week. In the space of a few days, I’ve done all the things that haven’t yet made their way to downtown Greenville: (optometrist, orthodontist, hairstylist, beautician, CRT bodywork practitioner). I’m most definitely going to get my nails done too because it’s my thing and I make no apologies for it.

Having taught for twenty years and had two children now both graduating from high school, my internal clock is set to show the year in semesters. So even though my kids are now in college and I’m only teaching two private classes (poetry with Community Literary Initiative in Sacramento via Zoom and theater with plays locally) this year that doesn’t necessarily fall with the school year, I’m in this mode.

I think of how far I’ve come to open the Spot and as I go through my own beautification steps, I think of downtown and its steps taken. I am also considering how these measures should also be taken for the school year that is about to begin.

We often talk about how we want Greenville to rebuild better than before, and frankly, these many food options help us come back better. Nelz Towne Pump’s new building is better than its old building. Are we ready to say the same of our schools? Are we ready to nurture them to become better institutions that children in our community not only attend but thrive in? Are we ready to become instead the ulterior motive of the PUSD, but rather the jewel in the crown? What will it take to get there?

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It will take the same kind of imagination and creative leadership as opening the Spot. Admittedly, things weren’t going so well before the fire. I compare this to my own problems, I spend the week trying to get myself on the right track. New prescription for my eyes with an optometrist who is more familiar with recent developments in care. I’m sitting here writing to you with my mouth full of pain as I’m the second day of being middle-aged with braces – the thought being I don’t want my mouth to look like and feeling cluttered, twisted, with the literal headache that my tooth crowding has given me over the past decade. I’m sure the pain will pay off in two years. Preventive and avant-garde maintenance.

The thought of “same old, same old” will do us no good as we begin the new school year. Everything changed for Indian Valley students. Here are some of the things I would like to see – as I have spent time talking about these things with students, teachers and parents, rest assured, these are not just my ideas.

• The Plumas Unified School District must designate an on-site school counselor for Greenville. Last year, we were the only area in the county that did not have a designated on-site counselor for our students, despite being the community whose student houses burned down.

• The Plumas Unified School District curriculum should be less internet-focused and more focused on student engagement in Indian Valley. For those of us who live here, we already know how difficult it is to have a constant high-speed Internet connection. We regularly party like in 1999 online with the DSL speeds of that year. Rather than having students, whose focus can already disappear in a second, waiting thirty minutes for connections to return, let’s empower and support our teachers to teach a curriculum that is not internet-based. Anything else exposes our students to failure. Last year, I saw students moaning and crying every time they were forced back into an internet-based program that wasn’t working. PUSD, there’s no shame in admitting that it wastes valuable learning time forcing students back to a system that doesn’t work. Empower our teachers to opt out of programs like i-Ready, already taken out of circulation by districts across the country.

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•New participation. Parents who lay low and complain, now is the time to intervene! We need everyone on deck. Consider joining the parent club. Consider volunteering. None of the annual events, like the Halloween carnival, can take place without volunteers. Former volunteers and leaders should also welcome newbies.

• Support our teachers and staff. Not all teachers are willing to teach at Indian Valley. Let us respect and honor those who have chosen to be here with our children. Let’s help them make Greenville Elementary School a great place to learn despite the kids having to stare at the bare hills and remember the traumas every time they go out. Let’s make sure to get new playground equipment. Let’s make the high school offer the same courses that other high schools offer their students so that ours can compete in higher education. Let’s stop with the absurdity of challenging teachers’ book choices and methods to calm students down.

•Arts at school. This is where I come in. I am thrilled to see that PUSD will be partnering with PCS in Indian Valley this year to provide athletic opportunities for all students. And the arts now? Every year studies come out that demonstrate the vital importance of the arts in education and every year PUSD offers less or does not promote the opportunities in the arts for our students as much as athletics. In conjunction with existing arts organizations in Plumas County, I will personally promote and do what I can to ensure that Indian Valley students have the same arts education opportunities as Quincy students, but I I will also need help to achieve this. Pupils in Kindergarten to Year 12 could take part in after-school theater programs with parent volunteers driving pupils to the West End Theatre. We can donate and support Plumas Arts by bringing artists from schools to Indian Valley schools. Our new English teacher can champion the Poetry Out Loud program. We can have a choir and a band if we push it to happen. These are just a few ideas.

Have a good week, Indian Valley. See you soon. Here’s some of what’s happening now. As usual, if you want the community to know something, send it for the column at [email protected]. Thanks.

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The inauguration of the Spot

Two full days of events are planned starting tomorrow! The Friday, August 19 fun begins at 6 p.m. with games, karaoke, a bouncy house, and outdoor family movie night starting at 8 p.m. (Pixar’s A Bug’s Life). This is sponsored by Indian Head Properties.

On Saturday, August 20, at 10 a.m., the festivities begin with a vendor fair and a children’s corner. Then, games and a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m. There will also be a street dance with a band at 8 p.m. The Saturday festivities are sponsored by The Way Baby—Way Station.

Bring chairs or blankets to sit on. Vendors are invited to join in the fun. Dial (530) 394-0404 to reserve a spot.

Learn about new or existing businesses starting up, including Hunter’s Pet Corner, Greenville Strong Fitness, and Indian Valley Thrift Store.

The Way Baby, Region Burger, Crushabowl, Hawt Dogs and Mary’s German Grill, and Valley Grind will serve food and beverages. The Dixie Fire Collaborative at the monthly meeting will distribute vouchers at the meeting to eat at The Spot.

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This Saturday, August 20 in the cafeteria of the primary school of Greenville is the monthly appointment. Get updates on businesses, the pop-up neighborhood, Greenville schools, a tool lending library, the innovation hub, and rebuilding areas outside of Greenville (Canyon Dam, Indian Falls, and Warner Valley). The meeting takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Zoom link is available on the www.dixiefirecollaborative.org website.

The following information comes from Lara Wheeler. The Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds proposed the establishment of the Indian Valley Innovation Center. The goal is to organize mentors, experts, tools, equipment, marketing, distribution, funding and branding to encourage Indian Valley people to innovate a product for the Indian Valley export. What types of products or services can be developed with the knowledge and raw materials currently available in this community? What can be made with burnt wood? What crops can be grown well in Indian Valley?

The basic process of the Innovation Hub is that an “Innovator” will bring an idea or concept to a pitch meeting with three people known as an “ITeam”, short for Innovation Team. Their job is to listen to the idea, ask questions, and assign a project advisor to the innovator. Each idea will have time to develop with the help of a project advisor. Research resources will be made available to the innovator and their advisor as they flesh out the idea to the point where they decide whether to bring it back to the IT team or discard it. The objective of this phase is to complete a comprehensive business plan which is presented to the IT team, who will then decide how to bring the idea to market, whether it is micro-loans, commercial, equipment, marketing, sales and/or distribution loans.

If you have a product idea to develop for export, please request an intake form by calling or texting (907) 242-4426 or emailing [email protected] The IVIH team will review intake forms from prospective clients this Monday, August 22.

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