We talk with painter Frances Miller who for three decades has been using transparent watercolors to depict birds and animals. Her paintings are currently on display at Chico's Snidle Gallery. We also commemorate next week's holiday with classic satire about our nation's first Thanksgiving, as well as an original, contemporary Thanksgiving song by a Chico singer-songwriter.

Photo by Henrique Pinto

We head up the road this week to Big Sur.

The poet Robinson Jeffers described this redwood and rock coast as “that jagged country which nothing but a falling meteor will ever plow.” So it’s fitting that this area was known as Jeffers Country long before it became Big Sur. Writer Henry Miller said Big Sur was “the face of the earth as the creator intended it to look,” a point hard to argue. Here, sandstone, granite, and the sundown sea crash together in an endless dance of creation and destruction.

In her career as a humorist, former Miss North Carolina Jeanne Robertson has written three books encouraging all of us to develop our sense of humor. Also, local humorist Eric Miller will be dropping by before co-hosting Butte County's 11th annual Trivia Bee. This week join Nancy for stories from two writers who see the humorous side of life.

Adia White

It’s been three days since the mass shooting in Rancho Tehama where five people were killed and 14 were injured by 43-year-old Kevin Janson Neal. During his shooting rampage, he targeted a local elementary school and officials recognize that swift response from the school’s staff saved many lives that day.

In California, there are no statewide specific active shooter regulations for schools other than that schools need to have a plan. It’s up to each school district to decide what that plan is and how to implement it, so school plans vary across the state.  

More details have emerged about the chronology of Tuesday’s shooting rampage in at Rancho Tehama Reserve, with officials describing an unhinged gunman executing his wife and neighbor before unleashing terror on the neighborhood elementary school.

Kevin Janson Neal, already under a court order to surrender firearms and out on bail and awaiting trial after allegedly stabbing a neighbor who complained she lived in fear, opened fire at seven different sites, shooting at neighbors, passersby, and into homes.

Tehama County authorities lavished praise on quick-thinking teachers and other school employees after Tuesday’s deadly shooting rampage.

Phil Johnston is the assistant sheriff of Tehama County.

“I really and truly believe we would have had a horrific bloodbath in that school if that school hadn’t taken the action when they did,” he said.

As rapid gunfire echoed through the hills of Rancho Tehama Reserve, a school secretary rushed out to shoo children inside. A custodian swooped in, yelling "get into the classrooms," at kids in the play yard.

The right tools can make all the difference in our lives and in our work. This is as true in gardening as in all other aspects of life. This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Dorian Winslow, president of Womanswork. Almost 33 years ago now, Womanswork introduced the first work and garden gloves designed specifically for women. 

Death Toll Rises In Rancho Tehama Mass Shooting

Nov 15, 2017

New details are emerging in the deadly mass shooting that happened in the small community of Rancho Tehama Tuesday morning. The shooter was shot and killed by police after driving through the area and sending a barrage of bullets into cars, homes and the local elementary school.

Adia White

The rural Northern California community of Rancho Tehama lies about 135 miles north of Sacramento. It’s nestled in ranchland off the I-5, not far from Red Bluff.

About 1,500 people live here, in a town with a volunteer fire department, a small airstrip and one coffee shop. The community is still in shock, after a local man went on a shooting rampage Tuesday morning for reasons unknown. Five people were killed, including the shooter. And 10 were injured, including 2 children. Law enforcement and residents are still trying to piece together how something so awful could happen in their town.

Shooting In Tehama County Leaves At Least 5 Dead

Nov 14, 2017

Updated 2:54 p.m.

A man killed four people and injured 10 in a shooting rampage this morning in the small community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, southwest of Red Bluff.

Police fatally shot the shooter, bringing the total number of deaths to five. 

Of those being treated at hospitals, two are children who are expected to survive. One child was shot at Rancho Tehama Elementary School; the other while in a car with his mother, who is in critical condition. 

No children are among the dead.