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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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January 3, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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January 3, 2001
 

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Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2001 9B ss NIl E life in log- in Mis- teaching Ferry, Ida- of my hus- as a woodsman, Wash., I logging town in Car- We've been for sev- we love it places, san2e: jobs and environmental protec- tion. How can we have both? Personally, I believe most folks who have the privilege of liv- ing in beautiful places like Plumas County support both logging and environmental- ism. And, we have to fred ways to have both. Logging has changed a great deal in recent decades. A good logger isn't just someone who cuts trees; he or she is some- one who knows about growth rates and species differentia- tion, soil moisture, fungi, para- sites, hydrology. A good logger is someone who cares a great deal about trees; someone who knows that cutting trees is just one half of the business---grow- ing trees (or managing their growth) is the other half. To be successful in the logging busi- ness in the 21st century, a per- son has to be a tree expert-- practically a forest biologist.. As with all the other profes- sions in our modern world, ed- ucation, specialization and in- formation are replacing brute muscle strength as the keys to success. Similar changes are occur- ring in the wood products in- dustries. Millworkers must now be trained computer tech- nicians. To be competitive in the world market, wood processors must utilize tech- nology-intensive methods that require huge investments in equipment and specialized training. Giant mills run by multi national corporations (mostly in Japan) have it down pat, churning out whole-wood and woodchip products by the freighter load. They are the WalMarts of the wood process- ing business, and small family-run businesses have a heck of a time holding their own against them. Such is the way of the world, it seems. Mechanization, com- puterization imd big money are rapidly taking over small town America. The harsh reality is that there are fewer logging and mill jobs, and those few that are available require much more education and training than in the past. Brute muscle strength just doesn't count as much as it used to in this age of computer-driven skidders and loaders. Of course, in- creased environmental restric- tions also play a big part in the decline of jobs in Plumas County. So, what should we do? How do we keep ourselves from be- ing taken over by city slickers who can't survive without a WaIMart on every corner?. Of course, as a teacher, I be- lieve that education is the an- swer. There is so much that we can do to help ourselves--by learning and developing new ways to cope with this chang- ing economy. We have excellent programs in our schools, including a community college that offers fantastic programs for those who want to learn new trades or start their own businesses. Far too many people in Plurnas County look to Reno or Chico for their shopping and service needs. Many of the people who are building expensive vacation homes complain loudly about the lack of goods and services here. I say, there are fortunes to be made right here! Don't let the vacation-home owners pay out- rageous rates to big city busi- nesses for their repair needs, or their landscaping, decorat- ing, courier, window washing, catering, paving, computer in. stalling, picture framing or pet grooming needs. These--and thousands of other small busi- nesses-are all things we could be doing right here! My dear sweet husband had to learn a new trade a few years ago, at the ripe old age of 50. He grumbled a bit about it, but all in all, I know he's hap- pier now for having done it. He made a comment a couple years back that has stuck in my memory. He said, "Oh well, I don't suppose the fellas who made wooden wagon wheels spent too much time blaming Henry Ford for putting them out of business. They just learned how to weld. Then they got rich, too." Letters an address :nUmber. We publish Per week, per per- letter per person, the same not publish third- Letters must a maximum of 300 in excess of 300 cut by the editor. is Friday at 3 p.m. taken to any of 's offices, sent or e-mailed at it to express my of Seneca Hospi- crew for the of their ser- They were her to emer- than five min- a Physician there her arrival. She care. She assigned a to point out not know what a )ital Seneca is I have seen a )itals and the was not always ; to this hospital. Concerned of the if we lose and all the em- n atter what the support our lo- Albert Glines Chester gwatmr let's have the es. I think thing. I feel to express this because in our society with our speech" you to hear such a anywhere, page in an ob- newspaper in an power shortages wake-up call soci. ring, hello! We a sustainable those of us who asleep in this the answer to is... more power plants. hydro, coal, it as long as we our ever-expand- with the ex- logic is that is f'mite with of resources. much maxed as humans go. I g statis- on earth lived as Americans, planets. i that we approach :es as if this we (and get to living and the planet in- to conquer it philos- ways, but idea to get you your refriger- know that your sucks up more any other ap- it can be fun to guarantee you'll have fun comparing your reeferless electric bill to your previous bills. Besides, doesn't it seem a little weird to you that you're paying to keepyour house warm and paying to keep your reefer cold inside your house when there's all that free coldness right outside? A little less convenient food would be a boon to all you post-holiday dieters, too. And you'd probably have to shop a bit more often. That can be fun, too, if you shop at a great store like Quincy Natural Foods. Anyway, give it a try, there are lots of benefits you only discover by going there. Leslie Mink Quincy We Imve an mmy This morning I was separat- ing bottles and cans for recy- cling. Then I just threw them all in the trash. I may be wrong but my gut said back- lash. Suddenly I don't want any- thing to do with recycling, conservation, environmental- ism, et al. I can see the value in all of these philosophies and I have tried to live within the common sense parameters of them. But now they have become my enemy. A heartfelt basic enemy. An enemy that will de- stroy me and my home. An en- emy that is at my throat. In the '70s, PG&E tried and tried and tried to get a power- plant online in California. Af- ter Diablo Canyon they gave up. Not a single new power- plant since the '70s in Califor- nia. The environmentalists won that one. Now the electric rates have gone up fourfold and more, and businesses, large and small will fold and lay off workers. Local busi- nesses. Families are seeing their electric rates go beyond their ability to pay. The envi- ronmentalists won that one. Before I go on, you may de- tect a note of sarcasm in what I've written. It's not sarcasm; sarcasm is basically unfair. What I've said is truth. Envi- ronmentalists and environ- mentalism have without any doubt in my mind created the situation we have now with electricity. I challenge them (environ- mentalists) to state any offset in their favor. Any common sense gain against our loss. I am, I think, a typical Plumas County resident. I held out great hope for the Li- brary Group's efforts. They got consensus between people who made their living from the forest and environmental- ists. They went to Washington and got a consensus there. Laws were passed. All of the people who counted agreed. I guess I was blithely ignorant as to what was expected from this consensus. I think I'm in the company of most of your readers. And I think I am as blind- sided as most of your readers to find the woods shut down. And the mill is shut down. And the environmentalists won again. After all of that, do our local environmentalists feel blindsided as well? Or do they feel a job well done? Don't ask me. I am newly prej- udiced. To say that I am disappoint- ed with the Quincy Library Group's effort is as if to de- claim an honored and naive student. One who was misled by experts. I am so sorry and I share their disappointment. Unfortunately, this student's naivet6 is cause for familial suffering. And we could hard- ly blame naivet6 I think. We could and should blame those who take advantage of naivet . As quiet and relaxed as Plumas County is, there are those of us who yearn for even quieter places. The Black Rock Desert in Nevada has been a place for Quincy resi- dents to get away to for gener- ations. No one tore it up. No one defaced it. The Black Rock Desert will soon be closed. And the environmentalists win again. I guess they won fair and square. They shmoosed us and we faded. We ate what they fed to us. We wanted to believe. Their arguments sounded good for hll, and they included all. Now the gate is shut. Am I bitter? Do I feel like I've been rooked? Yes I am and I do. I've been forbearing to environmentalists for how many years now? The next time an environmentalist asks me the time of day, I'm going to tell him to look at the sun. He's earned that honesty. That's more than he's given to me. Butch Gagle Quincy ! was Last night I was given a re- prieve. I got to feel the ab- solute fear of losing a child without the actual loss. My mom's intuition was in over- drive when the sirens went by the house at about 5:30 and I looked around and asked, "Where's Joe?" My husband got the scanner out and lis- tened to the response of the rescuers and told me where the accident was. I was still asking, where's Joe? I almost had dinner ready and had just burned my hand on the top of the oven when my son came in the door. He was very cold and shaking all over. He said, "There was a re- ally bad accident and I was there." He just put his arms adults with lives of their own. I think that a lot of what I have tried to teach my chil- dren sounds like so much griping to them. Last night taught me that I could never teach them enough. They were very scared, and I hope they have learned a big les- son. Camille Alfred Quincy miss I would like to make a com- ment, if I may, in reference to the unified school district of- fering teachers an 11 percent pay raise. While I do not currently live in Portola (but will be within the next calendar year), my husband's family lives there. I currently live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and we just had a public teachers' strike which lasted over 3 weeks. It was over many things, includ- ing money, and in the end nothing was accomplished and much lost. 11 percent is a very good of- fer, I don't believe there has ever been that kind of an offer made to Hamilton teachers, and we have a population of over one half million people, so the budget is considerable. I believe the teachers of the unified school district would be less than prudent to turn down such a generous offer and I hope they do accept it. Mrs. April Burrows Hamilton, Ontario, Canada With rogmd to H rgw Boy, am I tired of cheap shots. One more that qualifies is your latest release (in the perennial string of 'era) from Congressman Herger, where he performs the typical politi- cal "tapdance" of piling on, or baiting and switching--what- ever your readers will toler- ate. Why do you tolerate it in the first place? Power troubles in Califor- nia have been brought to us not by Democrats in general, or the Clinton Administration in particular. The last Repub- lican governor signed electric- ity deregulation legislation (passed unanimously in the legislature). Deregulation is one of the mantras of the Con- gressman's party, but I see on- ly his perfect hindsight, deliv- ered in typical partisan rhetoric. The Congressman says that U.S. energy policy is on a backward track, as evidenced by the "lock-up" of 16 billion barrels of oil beneath the Arc- tic National Wildlife Refuge. The last time we "convinced" the citizens of the U.S. to tap energy reserves of Alaska's North Slope in 1977, it took a promise from our government that all oil pumped to Valdez for shipment by sea would be refined and consumed only in the U.S. The previous Presi- dent Bush was the one who lifted this restriction, and ever since,, much of the pipeline's crude has gone to Asia. So sad that the recent hikes in gasoline prices which an- gered Americans couldn't have included this informa- tional tidbit. We gave so much trust to the shipper (Exxon) and they gave so much trust to their captain (Hazelwood), that they retained this multi- ple, convicted drunk driver to control the supertanker which polluted Prince William Sound. But, perhaps the two new "oil-slicks-in-charge," can find a better way to trust industry to hire only the safe opera- tors. Trusting the corpora- tions in Texas to regulate air emissions themselves (as W. has) kept the City of Hous- ton's air quality the best in the nation per capita, hasn't it? And if we run too short of crude because of the Democ- rats and their "failed poli- cies," can't we send another half-million plus combatants to the Middle East, to "secure" the west-friendly oil fields while leaving the adjacent nutty despot in power?. The Congressman has also failed to see Yosemite Valley for what it really is---a won- derful hydropower opportuni- ty, providing much needed multiple-use recreation, so close to energy consumers and recreation seekers in the population centers of Califor- nia. Why hasn't he lambasted the Democrats for missing this obvious opportunity? Could it be that he and his partisans can only see the oil and not the trees? Congressman Herger would do more to steer us from ener- gy shortages if he took a deep breath, stepped into the lime- light, and announced a cam- paign to sell federal hy- dropower at a "blended aver- age" of all wholesale electrici- : ty costs to utilities, and rec- ommended time-of-day meter- ing for all. This would make energy costs fairer for all re-, gions of the country, promote installation of conservatf0ii and renewables, and shave generation "peaks" to the : shape of "blisters." But I don't think the Con- gressman is any more likely to step up with a real sugges- : tion than any other politician of any party. Like our gover- nor, he's a Teflon-dependent politician, armed only with a polymer coating and an index ! finger. Blame slides off, and the finger points blame to- : ward someone else he doubt- : less feels is "partisan." Hey America! Until some se- : rious campaign finance re- form is passed, you'll never see any politician do anything : but seek Teflon (or its equiva- : lent) to stay in office or influ- :, ence. Term limits simply in- crease the periodic turnover. : Unless we all study the issues before voting instead of only i viewing the TV commercials paid for by campaigns, you're going to see many more "puff pieces" slipped into newspa- ,. peru like the Bulletin by the ; same kind of politicians. Bill Martin,' Quincy ,Besides traditional mailed letters, " Feather Publishin around me and we stood there tore by fax and E-mail. a moment and shook together. All letters must'contain an address and a phone number:We pub- I turned off the dinner and we went to the hospital where lish only one letter per week per person and only one letter per beingtW oflookedhiS bestat byfriendsthe doctorsWere month per person regarding the same subject matteri We do not and nurses in the emergency publish th,rd-party or open letters. The deadline is FridaY at 5 p.m. room. Andy's mother and Fax: 283-3952; Mail:RO. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971 E-Mail: plumaspub@aol.com grandmother were there and Brendan's stepfather was there waiting for his wife. Those of us there were able to hug and comfort each other and thank the stars that our sons would be OK. The burn on my hand still hurts, and looks awful but it is nothing like the feeling that hit my stomach and heart last night. This morning I was able to look at my son and see that he was still alive. I could touch his head and his hand and tell him to stay home to- day. I am still shaky today as I write this. I spent a long time thinking about Annie last night; she was so lovely and smart. We have such a short time with our children as R is; they grow up and become t