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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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January 4, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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January 4, 2012
 

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6A Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 Feather River Bulletin Study finds no negative effects of cloud seeding Dan McDonald Staff Writer dmcdonald@plumasnews.com There's no evidence that cloud seeding has negative ef- fects on the environment or public health. But more re- search should be done. That's what an advisory committee told the Plumas County Board of Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20. Almanor Basin Watershed Advisory Committee Chair- man Ryan Burnett said, "We don't have any smoking gun to suggest that they (PG&E) should stop (cloud seeding) right now. "There's certainly potential benefits to cloud seeding. And we found nothing in our re- search that really was com- pelling to say that they should stop doing it," Burnett said. "But we have some concerns." The advisory committee, which was formed by the Board of Supervisors in 2005, began studying cloud seeding last spring in response to pub- lic concerns. The nine-member commit- tee presented the supervisors with a five-page report that b BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ROUNDUP included recommendations for the board. Burner said PG&E was "a huge help" in the study, which included talking to some of the leading experts in the field. Many of the committee's questions came directly from the public. The committee hosted a community forum in the AI- manor Basin last spring that attracted about 75 people, ac- cording to Burnett. PG&E rep- resentatives attended the meeting, as did several scien. tists who had studied cloud seeding. "After that meeting, there were a number of unanswered questions that the public had, and that we had as a commit- tee,." Burnett said. "So we formed a subcommittee, specifically on cloud seeding. "We worked for six months and talked to some of the leading experts about some of these issues -- especially some of the nano-particle is- sues which became the fore- front of this." Burnett said the subcom- mittee included two members of the public. "We had quite a good group of people working on this," Burnett told the supervisors. "And that's.how we came to our recommendations that you see before you." Those recommendations in- cluded asking PG&E to do the following: --Assure cloud seeding in- stallations located in Plumas County are secure, including all chemicals stored on site. --Inform the county of any proposed changes to current cloud seeding programs. --Work with PG&E science staff and outside experts in the fields of ecotoxicology, at- mospheric chemistry and nano-technology to develop a rigorous monitoring program. --Include silver as a moni- tored constituent as part of the long-term water quality monitoring of Lake Almanor. --Use a website to provide real-time notice of when cloud seeding activities are occurring, as well as cloud seeding activities to date. Although cloud seeding has been happening for 50 years in the Almanor Basin, Burnett said there are very few rules in place. "One of the biggest things we discovered is that this is highly unregulated by the state of California," Burnett said. ?It's overseen by the De- partment of Water Resources. But there's no regulation." The committee's vice chair- man, Dick Daniel, pointed out that the chemicals for cloud seeding "could be quite toxic when they are sLtting in a box." "But the process that they go through to disperse them high into the air involves very high heat. That re-aggregates the chemicals such that they are relatively inePt when they are actually doing their cloud seeding," Daniel said. "The concern dealing with our first recommendation is the fact that, like many chemi- cals, these things can be haz- ardous -- certainly in volume, certainly if inhaled as dust," Daniel said. "We wanted to make sure that the public was protected from that. And we got assurances that that is the case." Chester-area Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, who initiated the advisory committee's study, said she was pleased with the committee's work. "It was an interesting study for everybody. Because there is so little known. What little is known is not aggregated in- to a single repository of infor- mation," Thrall said. "So they had to spend a lot of time look- ing for information. "I'll be sitting down with you guys (Burnett and Daniel), and with PG&E, and we'll look through the recom- mendations and come up with a plan and bring it back to the board for approval." New Plumas Corporation leader Greg O'Sullivan will be- come the new executive direc- tor of Plumas Corporation in January. O'Sullivan is replacing John Sheehan, who is retiring after nearly 20 years as Plumas Corporation's execu- tive director. Sheehan introduced O'Sullivan, who will be mov- ing from Red Bluff. Sheehan added that O'Sullivan was the unani- mous choice by the panel that interviewed four finalists for the job. "Greg has worked through- out the country, and particu- larly throughout Northern California, in executive direc- tory positions," Sheehan said. "Because of his background, it just seemed to be a real good fit to everybody who was on the interview panel." O'Sullivan has been in Quincy for about a week "try. ing to immerse himself in things that we have going on," Sheehan said. "I have been going layer by layer through John's desk, trying to brief myself," O'Sullivan said. "I think we are down to the 1990s now." Probation department The supervisors approved a supplemental budget of $130,619 for the probation de- partment as part of the state funding of Assembly Bill 109 Public Safety Realignment. The money will be used to help pay for community su- pervision of inmates released from the county jail on proba- tion and parole. Whatever happened to A civil jury trial is sched- uled to begin May 15 in Quin- cy resident Ruth Jackson's lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol. The trial will be held before a visiting judge in Plumas County Superior Court in Quincy, according to Jack- son's attorney, Julia Jackson. Julia Jackson is also Ruth Jackson's daughter. Jackson's civil lawsuit stems from her Sept. 12, 2009, arrest and jailing by the CHP on charges of driving under the influence. Jackson's civil complaint against the CHP, filed Aug. 27, 2010, stated she had a blood al- cohol level of 0.00 and had no drugs in her system at the time of her arrest. The lawsuit names Officers Lacey HeRman, Jim Wheaton and former Quincy Area Com- mander Paul Davis as defen- dants. The civil complaint listed seven causes of action: "false arrest; false imprisonment; battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negli- gent hiring, training and su- pervision of officers; negligent infliction of emotional dis- tress; and unlawful search and seizure." A narrative section of the complaint reported Jackson was pulled over after she exit- ed an Oktoberfest event at the N!E00W ilmll Ruth Jackson's case against the Clip Blairsden Barn, where she was working as a volunteer. The complaint indicated Jackson drove 150 feet to a stop sign and turned left onto Highway 70, before being pulled over less than half a mile later. The brief said Jackson was told she failed to make a com- plete stop at the intersection, which she stated was not the case. The narrative stated that the officers noticed bottles of alcohol in the trunk of Jack- son's car when she opened it to get her driver's license out of her purse. According to Jackson's complaint, the officers "Everything winter" is on sale Savings start at 15% off & up! ignored her explanations that she was volunteering at the event and was bringing the bottles home to be recycled. The brief stated that a portable breathalyzer regis- tered Jackson's blood alcohol level at 0.00. The complaint said Jackson told the officers she hadn't taken a prescription drug in more than 12 hours and had never used narcotics. The complaint alleged the officers didn't take into ac- count that Jackson had had 12 foot surgeries when she had trouble with "fine balancing" during the field sobriety tests. According to the narrative, Jackson: was arrested at 10. p.m. and was never contacted by a certified drug recognition expert at any point during her encounter with the CHP. The complaint stated that after Jackson was taken to the CHP office in Quincy, her re- quest to call her husband, lo- cal attorney Michael Jackson, was denied. The court document stated that Jackson was transported in handcuffs to the Plumas County Jail for blood testing, which detected no drugs. According to the narrative, the test results arrived after Jackson spent a night in jail. The complaint said that two days after the arrest, an unidentified CHP officer read !  : '. : : I a police blotter over the local radio station, identifying Jackson by her name, age and residence and asserting that she had been arrested for dri- ving under the influence of Oxycontin. After the radio broadcast, a press release by Julia Jackson stated the radio report was "es- pecially shocking because they named a specific drug, one widely associated with abuse, when no drug testing had been initiated and no drugs had been found in Mrs. Jackson's car or on her person." 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