I’ve become a little obsessed with watching the web cam stream of the Redding bald eagle nest on Hwy. 44 at Turtle Bay. I’ve been following Liberty and her string of mates since they became famous fighting The Man in 2007. Caltrans thought construction on the Hwy. 44 bridge over the Sacramento River would disturb the nesting pair in the nearby cottonwoods. Workers placed a big black cone over the nest to dissuade them from wintering there, but the eagles insisted and the cone was removed. Female Liberty and Patriot, her first mate, fledged two offspring that year – amid the construction – and won our hearts.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park installed a web cam over the nest and most years we watched them return in November, fix up the nest, lay eggs, hatch, feed and fledge the eaglets, then leave in July.
In March of 2013, Patriot disappeared when a couple males, Newbie and No. 4, entered the picture. Newbie killed and ate two newly hatched eaglets while cam viewers watched in horror. When Liberty returned to the nest, Newbie just sort of shrugged like, “Babies? Oh yes. Delicious.”
We all cheered when Patriot suddenly returned in April, but he was killed in May during a midair fight with another eagle and fell dead into a parking lot. His opponent may have been No. 4, who was later renamed Spirit, Liberty’s second mate.
The couple fledged offspring over the next few years, some at the Turtle Bay nest and some at Riverview golf course. Spirit disappeared in January of 2019 and Liberty immediately hooked up with a much younger male. She is now 22 and Guardian, her new mate, is 6. That whole “mating for life” thing doesn’t apply when you’re a hot eagle cougar.
You can watch the live stream of the Turtle Bay nest on YouTube on the Friends of the Redding Eagles channel. Visit their Facebook page for clips, photos and history.
And speaking of live streams, why is it that a couple eagles can be streamed 24/7 onto YouTube, and we can’t watch 4 hours a week of supervisors’ meetings? This week, the audio wasn’t even working on the website, although one could listen in over the phone. By the time I figured it all out, I’d missed Public Comments.
The phone system has been improved so the audio quality is very good now, but there is still loud feedback should a caller want to participate in the discussions or public comments. And goddess forbid you have a hearing impairment. There is no way for that segment of our community to participate. This is unacceptable and a violation of the Brown Act.
I wrote to CAO Goodwin about the lack of audio on the website, which is the official public record, and he wrote back that they didn’t realize it wasn’t recording until lunchtime, so they used a handheld recorder for the afternoon session.
That’s right. There is no record of what was said the entire morning. Good grief. I took a bunch of notes while listening, but I like to check for accuracy so I always go back and listen again. You’re going to have to take my word for it this week.
Indefatigable Val Lucero, Public Health executive director, was giving her report when I joined. She gave updates on the vaccination schedules, which have been accelerated by the decision not to hold back the second round for those who already have the first. That is in response to an expected increase in the number of vaccines we’ll be receiving here. Great news.
Later, committee and commission assignments got heated, especially after last week’s vote not to create a policy for choosing those assignments. One might imagine the more coveted positions being fought over like our dogs fight over choice donkey turds. We weren’t disappointed.
For example, the National Association of Counties (NACo) gets one or more representatives from our board. Supervisor Bob Williams has held the position for at least several years and is determined to keep it, but Supervisor Candy Carlson wants a turn. She wants to learn more about veterans services that the federal government pays for but can be accessed at the county level. Carlson rightly accused the longtime board members of circumventing her ability to represent her constituents. Ouch. The truth hurts.
Williams insisted he should go because his membership in another organization pays for his trips to the conferences, which are apparently a lot more fun than they sound, judging by the way he fought for the spot.
Supervisor Steve Chamblin said he didn’t think it was right to spend $9,000 to send Candy to the conference, but Carlson reminded him that it’s only $3,000. That amount was OK with Chamblin, but since it wasn’t budgeted for, he thought it would be best for Williams to continue. Maybe they could have used some of the $100 a month Pizzagate salary raises to pay for Carlson’s trip. You’d only need three out of the dozens approved.
Supervisor Dennis Garton wants us to pull out of NACo completely because he attended once and someone put a tack on his chair. That’s not the real reason, but I can’t remember what he said and there’s no recording, so I’m going with the tack on the chair.
Finally, in an embarrassing act of hubris, Williams blurted out a motion to retain the incumbent, aka himself. Crickets. Garton asked for a second, but none materialized, so the motion died. Why didn’t Williams then move for both he and Carlson to go? He needs to fly solo on this? Why? They finally opted for the ever popular “table it.”
The afternoon session was dedicated to a discussion on raising purchasing limits for department heads to avoid that pesky bidding process and capitalization thresholds for fixed assets and leases.
More about that next week. Gotta run – Guardian is trying to place a crooked stick in the nest and Liberty says it doesn’t go with the end table.
Liz Merry has been half of Merry Standish Comedy for 30 years and is a former downtown Red Bluff business owner. She now has a home-based business and is locked and loaded in Manton. She can be reached at email@example.com.