October 26, 2020 

Clips from Alleghany


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 By blackjack

02/02/2010  12:47PM

Maui Black Jack call me at 808-348-3466
 By smithsgold

02/02/2010  12:26PM

Cool cant wait to see it !!!!

02/02/2010  10:11AM

Origins of the Earth program featuring the Sixteen to One Mine will air on Tuesday February 9th on the history channel. Check your local listing for the time.
 By Maui Black Jack

01/28/2010  2:32PM

Keeping watch of events from Maui. Would like to help shovel snow if I was there. It's hot here on Maui. Wouldn't mind a short stay to cool off. Good luck to all those involved.

01/26/2010  9:38AM

Winter has finally arrived in Alleghany. We got close to four feet of snow over the last week, then yesterday it started raining. Yuck. Luckily it did not rain a lot, today it is just cloudy. The snow depth varies from three to four feet.
Last week a large oak tree fell on the pump house for the town's water system. The pump house will have to be rebuilt and the power line is still disconnected. Thankfully none of the equipment inside the pump house was damaged and we are able to pump water using our propane generator.
The power was out for about four days, parts of town had power restored a couple days earlier than other parts of town.
A large fir tree fell across Miner's Street last Friday. Luckily the only thing it took out was a phone line. Yes we are feeling lucky.

Mike Miller and son Reid are in Sacrament today and tomorrow taking the OSHA safety rep. and gas tester course. Rae Bell is doing year-end payroll and sales taxes for a few different entities including the mine this week.

Ray Wittkopp returns from his trip to New Zealand tomorrow.

The fire department is looking for volunteers to help shovel out the fire hydrants in Alleghany. This is a never-ending job when it snows but "many hands make light work" and the four hands that have been doing it have sore backs!
 By blackjack

01/25/2010  3:38PM

Whats the latest weather conditions in your area.Here in the Islands we are enjoying 82 hi 70 low and some 40 foot waves.

01/18/2010  5:18PM

Thanks to input from a reader about Scoop’s wording in the last paragraph of the prior entry: “Now a new group of elite intellectuals are being paid to suppress those lofty economic realizations.” Your opinion trumps Scoops thought on the Department of Conservation, which goes like this.

(1) It is not a new group. (2) It’s well established in California and parts of other American states. (3) The elite intellectuals are not the ones being paid. Indeed, these out-of touch- with-reality groups are actually paying others for political and egomaniac gain. (4) Their perverted minds and tactics are experienced manipulators of human behavior. (5) Most public employees (those working for pay through a government job) and non public executioners ( grant recipients or soft service industrial workers) project and enforce actions they believe help California are so caught up in slogans disconnected with past and present actualities. (6) Most are good Californians, inexperienced, uneducated or in too many sad cases, over educated. Good luck! You’ll need it!

Scoop thanks the person who contacted Original Sixteen to One via its Feedback offer.

01/16/2010  12:27PM

Driving down the lower road into Alleghany is a reassuring sight at the entrance to the Sixteen to One mine. Parked next to the gate is the Cat 966 front-end loader and the smaller Cat 910 loader all chained up. A major storm is predicted to hit California tonight and lasting for a week. One report said to expect up to twelve feet of snow in the high Sierra Nevada Mountains. The locals are scratching their heads in disbelief at today’s temperatures: warm and sunny and THERE IS NO SNOW ON THE GROUND. Yes, no snow in mid January.

Company geologist, Ray Wittkopp, is in New Zealand and is expected back in the area next month. He and Mike are talking about the block of ground out north on the 1500 level. Talk, talk, talk! Gold mining is grinding down during a time when an ounce of gold never cost more. Even the mines in South Africa are making news about reduced production, labor strife and closures.

If you get a chance, read Ron Paul’s new book titled, “End the Fed”. He makes some good points about our financial conditions. Ignorance and apathy still rule the American public. How about that new building in Dubai! It is the tallest in the world. Shortly after it officially opened someone jumped off the top in what he described as an exhilarating free fall. Well, you get the picture, not much news to tell you. The mine office seems very busy, probably all those government guys working to get money or close the last mine. Mike and crew have their hands full with water nonsense because the Kanaka Creek watershed is as beautiful as any in California.

Oh, here is a scoop. Another California state agency seems poised to attack the industries of California. Once upon a time California taxpayers supported a Department of Mines and Geology. It is in the public’s best interest to protect, preserve from urban sprawl and encourage the growth and development of California’s natural mineral wealth. That was its mission. Now a new group of elite intellectuals are being paid to suppress those lofty economic realizations. Ignoring due process and administration procedures, this agency is striking out with a financial club to beat miners into submission and extinction. Facts are just emerging, so Scoop must dig deeper. Jobs, especially those that add to our gross national product, create new wealth and spread that wealth throughout the social structure, are what the taxpayer should demand from its public servants. Seems that many have forgotten that they are employed to serve the needs of the public. Seems that the public has also forgotten many things as well.

01/04/2010  4:12PM

Mine related deaths hit a record low last year of 34. It was the fewest since official records began almost 100 years ago. Eighteen deaths occurred in coal mines. Most deaths took place above ground in truck related accidents. Contrary to popular beliefs, trucking and other means of transportation are currently the most frequent accidents in mining.

The deadliest year in recorded U.S. coal mining history was 1907, when 3,242 deaths were reported. That year, the nation’s most deadly mine explosion killed 358 people near Monongah, West Virginia. The industry takes safety seriously.

In 1977 Congress declared in legislation titled, “An Act”, that: “the first priority and concern of all in the coal or other mining industry must be the health and safety of its most precious resource, the miner.” If you don’t know the following, most operators do. Scoop wants you to knows this: To protect America’s precious resource, its miners, the industry relies on the miner as its first line of defense while the first line for security is the operator. No deaths must be each operator’s goal.

12/10/2009  2:40PM

Alleghany and most of Northern California continue to receive a very cold blast from the Arctic storm. Reid opened a two-inch water pipe at the shop before leaving last Friday so the 1000 feet of water line would not freeze. On Tuesday when he checked the mine, he found a solid lump of ice. The flow was frozen. Outside thermometers in Alleghany reached lows of nine degrees over the past four days (cold for us). The temperature at the elevation of the portal always feels colder than town so maybe it reached zero.

Inside the mine it is almost always 50 degrees. The entrance adit is called the 800- level. For about sixty feet from the portal the 800-level was a beautiful sight. Eight-foot icicles flowed down from the roof. It was spectacular but dangerous. The fool killer haunted the underground. Maybe it would be a first: MSHA Fatal gram… miner stabbed by falling icicle. The unexpected dangers of winter are always there.

What’s with this price of $1100 an ounce? The better question is, “What are people doing about it?” From the gold mining activity in California, the answer is, “Not much!”

Scoop has a hunch that our favorite Sixteen to One mine will have a better 2010 that the last three years. Why not? Optimism never hurt anyone or any situation.

Cinnamon, a local dog with a hernia, was taken under the protection of Rae and David. They took her in for an operation last week and yesterday took her back to the vet for drain tube removal and a check up. Cinnamon will see 2010. Thanks to David and Rae, who took responsibility for this sweet dog.
 By Dave I.

11/26/2009  10:53AM

Wish all of the folks a happy Thanksgiving and blessings for the future.

11/17/2009  9:47AM

This was a good year for fruit production in Alleghany. A few apples are still dangling on the trees around the office.

No snow yet. WE've had two nights down to 28 degrees F. (our low so far).Later this week snow is in the weather prediction.

An MSHA inspector visited the mine a couple weeks ago with no citations issued.

Not much to report from the mine.

A board of directors meeting is scheduled for Monday.

We finally heard from the producer of the "Origin of the Earth" episode that features the Sixteen to One. It should air on the history channel on February 22, 2010. The series starts next week.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

10/16/2009  3:16PM

Are the underground mines in the United States under regulated for safety?

Up to today’s date there have been sixteen fatalities in the metal/nonmetal mining industry. Fourteen occurred at surface operations. Two occurred at underground mine sites: a lead/zinc mine and a salt mine. Of the remaining fourteen surface operations only one (Newmont) was a gold mine.

Most mining organizations care about and demand safety. In California the mines are inspected by Cal/OSHA and the federal Mines Safety Health Administration (MSHA). Rumor is the current Secretary of Labor issued orders that will have the effect of creating more citations by the MSHA inspectors. Citations do not necessarily increase safety. Positive or constructive suggestions work best and have for many years. This is not to excuse misguided management or careless miners who flaunt safety. Let’s hope that MSHA contributes to underground safety in a constructive manner as the years advance.

10/04/2009  10:45AM

It is a fantastic crisp FALL morning in the High Sierra. Chance of snow in Truckee. Mostly clear in Alleghany. Full harvest moon popping up about 6pm. Life is grand within a physical environment like this AND we sit on top of a gold mine. Where is all the environmental degradation? Where is the Central Valley Water Board’s alleged Public Nuisance? It cannot be found in Kanaka Creek or the surrounding National Forest. The hills are alive with the fundamentals of life: physical nourishments, clean air and wonderful water.

Then there are the lawyers and employees working on behalf of the public 100 miles away in the Sacramento Valley. They consume precious Tax Dollars to pursue a mythical threat. Shame on them. Stop this flagrant abuse. Force them to change their misguided efforts to improve California, so our true Social-economic and Environmental problems will be addressed. Shame on them and everyone who follows their Path towards improving our Diverse Environments.

The Gold within this precious Mountain Range can fuel the necessary Revival in a very sick Californian economy. Do you agree or disagree? Scoop says, yes.

09/23/2009  9:31AM

Scoop is back from an unplanned summer break. Alleghany days are hot. Yesterday the town discussion revolved around concern for the gusting north wind whipping through the cedars, firs and pine trees. Fire continues to be in the news. People in the West and our fellow citizens throughout the United States are well advised to discuss fire. Its costs are staggering with questionable benefit to the earth.

Forest restoration could become the path leading our country out of its economic depression. Scoop isn’t crazy. The crazies are the well-meaning advocates, yapping that the forests must be left untouched by human hands. Balderdash! The most knowledgeable folks (certainly not many living in our overpopulated cities who spend an hour or two driving back and forth to work each day) want to move the concept of fire prevention into the realm of forest restoration. There is a significant difference.

How about the cost of an ounce of gold? It wasn’t long ago that a measly ounce cost $300. It’s over a thousand with some “gold experts” predicting another doubling. Scoop doubts we’ll see $2,000 and ounce gold in the coming months. What financial readjustment (not turmoil for those who have some) a price like $1500 would spawn! Even at the current price Alleghany should be alive with gold seekers, gunslingers, those “colorful characters” that appeared here in the gold rush of the 1970’s, serious financiers, adventurers, bored businessmen, wealthy oil profiteers, flim-flam floozies, young men seeking work and miners shouting, “Fire in the hole…Fire in the hole” each shift. That’s a Federal and State requirement each time a miner spits a round, and it is repeated twice. Fire in the hole is music to the gold miners’ minds: the sound of each timed hole exploding, the following smoke and smell plus a look at fresh broken quartz sometimes laced with gold.

Alleghany is quiet as fall approaches, although strangers pass through the last historic gold mining camp in the high Sierra. Some never get out of their truck or car. Some are full of questions. Gold is the attraction and one-reason strangers point their vehicle up a one way nineteen mile trip.

Scoop read about the latest antagonistic business thrust on the mine by the Sacramento water folks and allegations that the entire community has suffered a “Public Nuisance” because of water flowing down Kanaka Creek. Scoop and everyone living nearby knows that the creek poses no public nuisance. Scoop read that a cause of action in a civil lawsuit must state facts or the Court could reprimand the responsible lawyer for knowingly misleading the Court. Can lawyers allege something without any evidence? The Civil Code section 3479 defines nuisance as anything that is injurious to health. What isn’t toxic to health if the dosage is high enough? Oxygen is toxic then because pure oxygen can kill.

Glad to be back. Wish there were thirty miners working here. What’s wrong with this? Here is the oldest producing gold mine in the entire United States, one that has survived over 100 years of uncertainties and lacks the money to mine. If anyone believes that less gold remains on the Sixteen to One mine properties than has been mined in the past, they are not informed. Scoop has asked for an exclusive interview with Mike for his thoughts.
 By bluejay

08/23/2009  8:40PM

I was wondering, any strangers around town? The linked article below states that some of the nation's unemployed are headed back, again, to the California Goldfields.


08/22/2009  9:42AM

Scoop is impressed!!! Company registered geologist, Ray Wittkopp, ascended Mount Shasta in northern Siskiyou County, California this week. The first leg of the journey stopped above the 8,000-foot elevation where he and his son, Richard, spent the night. Ray says there is no defined trail but we scrambled up spans of talus where they experienced talus creep. Oh, talus creep is the slow downward movement of rock fragments, either individual rock fragmented or the mass as a whole.
Naturalist and author John Muir said of Shasta:
"When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”

When they got to the top. They realized it was a false summit and another steep climb was still ahead. Ray is a determined walker (now a rock climber) and finished the climb to the very top of the mountain. Not bad for a 66 year old.

While the view was an emotional high, Ray noticed the brown haze sitting atop the blue smoke that drifted about northern California from various forest fires. What’s a most serious environmental threat to the future of humans and other forms of breathers? Brown air. As in any toxin, it’s the dosage that counts. Remember you will die if you breathe pure oxygen or drink too much pure water.

Hats off to Ray and tip your glass to his spunk.
 By cw3343

08/19/2009  10:42AM

Regarding the last post: just a small clarification, SPI's owner is Red Emmerson. Not sure who Red Perkett is...
 By bluejay

08/15/2009  7:40PM

Relating to the fair, this is a reaction from a Quincy resident:

The fair's theme is "Relive the Memories~Recapture the Fun" and has always featured mining, railroads, ranching, timber, agriculture and homearts. Thursday's attendance was up from previous years, probably because the laid off mill workers were looking for some fun time with their family. I just had a dozen trees removed from my property and three 40' logs were donated to the fair for Saturday's logging show. This is because Sierra Pacific Ind. owner Red Perkett reneged on his offer to donate logs. Red Perkett is the largest single, land owner in the U.S. But the sawmill in Quincy (largest west of the Mississippi) isn't closing. They just are milling more lumber than they can sell because no one is building homes. It's a business decision to keep Red happy at the expense of his workers. But I haven't heard any complaints...it's a way of life for the mill workers that they've adapted to through generations.

08/14/2009  6:57PM

The Plumas/Sierra County Fair opened yesterday in Quincy, the Plumas County seat. The theme of the fair is “What makes our counties tick?” The directors decided to feature mining, agriculture, timber and railroads. Mining was first. And most historical mining was for gold.

Sierra County borders Plumas County on its northern flank. Both have a common boundary with the state of Nevada. Plumas population is about 21,000 while Sierra has 3,600; however Sierra operators dominated the gold show by setting up an eclectic display of gold specimens, historical posters, photographs T shirts and jewelry.

Sierra County made a huge and significant cultural jump by displaying its own 1000-ounce placer nugget collection, the first time is has left the County. Retired sheriff and current supervisor, Lee Adams, guarded the display, well sort of. He engaged the passer bys with the nugget stories and history but confessed that all the pieces (158) were replicas of the real nuggets. The fair goers interest was very positive in bringing the real nuggets back home. Everyone agreed that this would be the right thing to do for the real Gold Country.

Thursday’s attendance was a real flop. The rural people of northern California are not having much fun since special interest Americans have attacked the mining, timber and agricultural industries that are the foundations of and reasons for their existence. Maybe rural cleansing needs to expand its name. Maybe the West is seeing cultural genocide in the mountain and rural areas of the west. There weren’t many miners. Only a few hangdog hobby dredgers were moping about. As of a few days ago the fair directors couldn’t even find enough loggers to make a splash for Friday’s celebration. Everyone seems pretty sad about the sawmills closing in Quincy.

The most vibrant part of the fair was (and probable will continue to be) with the animals and their handlers, young 4-Hers. They maybe the last vestige of the once productive and vibrant rural mountain communities coming into the deadly sights of the most self-centered, entitled, arrogant men and women breathing the air, drinking the water and eating and excreting their waste that the West has ever seen. These kids with their animals may be the last ones standing.

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