The New Year is all about No. 1’s

Residents say sky skiing, future wedding are highlights
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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This New Year is a celebration of No. 1’s as we kick off January with 1/1/11. Ralph Gibson, program manager for Placer County Museums, said he thinks the No. 1 historical event for Auburn is Claude Chana’s discovery of gold in the Auburn Ravine in May 1848. “That’s what got us all here,” Gibson said. “It’s what started the town. People were moving around so much during the Gold Rush, but with him discovering it, that got people to come to this area.” Gibson said he thinks the No. 1 historical moment for Placer County is the introduction of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, because it allowed farmers to ship agriculture much easier to areas they had never been able to access before. Mayor Bill Kirby said his No. 1 goal for the city is to promote business and bring in more visitors. “I think the No. 1 goal needs to be to continue the city on a road to prosperity,” Kirby said. “Auburn is really positioned right to do very well. (I hope) to help Auburn move forward economically as well as maintaining public services at their high standard. The city manager has a plan to work with the business associations to promote Auburn, and now is the time to do it.” Jim Bril, president of the Downtown Business Association and member of the Placer County Visitors Bureau board, said the city advertises in the Tahoe and Reno area to help achieve this goal. “The real goal is to sustain business here,” Bril said. “We have got to draw from the 100-mile radius. We want people to come here and stay here.” Auburn resident Sue Nott said her No. 1 most memorable experience for 2010 was retiring. “I retired after 35 ½ years with the federal government,” Nott said. “Retirement has been awesome. (I have been) fishing, and swimming, and canning and hiking. It’s just been a dream come true. I’m going to Italy in April.” Foresthill resident Teresa Gonzales, who works at Sunrise Natural Foods in Auburn, said her No. 1 New Year’s resolution has to do with her love of art. “(It’s) to get back into my art work again,” Gonzales said. “Get backing into painting and get into more of my arts and crafts. We moved, and it’s been put off, so I would like to get into that more.” Melodie Louree, who also works at Sunrise Natural Foods, said her No. 1 resolution has to do with thinking outside her routine. “(It’s) to, each day, do one new thing and go out of my comfort zone one time,” Louree said. Louree said the No. 1 memorable thing about 2010 was spending her first official year as an Auburn resident. While the 49 Fire started near her apartment complex, Louree said she is thankful her home was not lost and that she was able to continue living in Auburn. Colfax resident Lou Booth said his No. 1 resolution is to build prosperity for his business. “We bought Stinky Mulligan’s Sports Bar and Grill in Lake of the Pines,” Booth said. “I want to make our new business successful and fun.” Booth said the business is having a huge party for New Year’s. Emily Rhoads, who works at the Verizon Wireless store on Grass Valley Highway, said her No. 1 resolution consists of two parts. “My resolution is to finish baking and patisserie school and start my life with my new husband,” Rhoads said. “I’m getting married in February.” Lake of the Pines resident Jeff Kral said his No. 1 memorable experience for 2010 was learning a water sport. “I learned to do something unusual,” Kral said. “It’s a new sport … new for me, called sky skiing. And I keep telling people it’s the most fun I have ever had since high school.” Reach Bridget Jones at