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January 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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IIllllIllilllllld _ _ . .'-:"  . _ -  ....... Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Schwarzene00der's call for jobs sounds hollow WHERE I STAND work the central feature of ........................................................................................................... moving people from depen- ELLIOTT SMART dence on government assis- DIRECTOR, PLUMAS COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES Governor Schwarzenegger's call to the Legislature to "get our priorities straight" and for "jobs, jobs, jobs" is something we at Social Services could not agree with more. Fundamen- tally, a job is the core element leading to an individual's suc- cess, and by extension, the suc- cess of their families. All the buzzwords of the decade--personal responsibil- ity, self-sufficiency and inde- pendence--have, at their core, meaningful and sustained em- ployment as a basic and fun- damental element. That is why we here at the Depart- ment of Social Services em- braced "ending welfare as we know it" and the implementa- tion of reforms that make tance to self-sufficiency. And, .bY all accounts, we have been successful in doing so. But that success is slowly being blunted by dramatic re- ductions in state funding for social services programs that threaten to do the very oppo- site of what the governor calls for. Instead of building jobs and providing supports that will enable a workforce that will be ready to accept them, cuts to basic social services threaten to build a class of poverty-stricken children and families who will lack hope. In our recent reports to the Plumas County Board of Su- pervisors, we have highlighted the profound effects that the recession has had on Plumas County citizens. More of our residents are receiving Food- stamp help today than at any time during the past 10 years. And, more and more of the people we see today are folks we know: People who have worked for much of their adult lives. The last thing they want to do is to come to us seeking help, and yet, here they are. When recovery finally be- gins to take hold, some of these folks will be the last to benefit from it. The recession has created a new class of the poverty stricken; and, they are people who may be there for some time to come. The end results for people (and particularly children) who fall into poverty and who are unable to escape it, are profound. The California Wel- fare Director's Association cites studies by the family re- search group, First Focus, showing that children who fall into poverty during eco- nomic recessions are less like- ly to obtain jobs as adults, will earn less when they do work, and are at greater risk of be- ing poor themselves as adults. By putting the state's Cal- WORKs program in the crosshairs of budget reduc- tions, the governor is target- ing the very program that can provide the work supports that families with an unem- ployed parent need to lift themselves out of poverty. We've proven that in Plumas County already with our suc- cess at moving people off pub- lic assistance. More profound are the gov- ernor's cuts to Child Protec- tive Services programs. Here is a program that has been squeezed for years because the state has failed to fund the program at a level that their own studies and those by oth- ers have shown is necessary to provide just the basic levels of protections for children. The cuts and the failure to adequately fund Child Protec- tive Services wilI result in many more children being re- moved from unsafe homes and spending time in foster care. Because cuts will make it more difficult to provide services to make homes safe, the likeli- hood, too, is that children will stay in foster care longer which will ultimately dimin- ish their chances for taking ad- vantage of things like higher education, which the governor wants to protect and is a foun- dation for the skills necessary for the jobs of the future. And beyond that, the gover- nor has also cut supportive services to children who are leaving foster care, services that help them ffmd jobs and stable housing and are likely to keep these young people off the streets and out of prison. Last, we note the gover- nor's recent threats to com- pletely do away with the In- Home Supportive Services program, a proposal that " would eliminate jobs for 350,000 California in-home care workers at a recession- cry time when most of these workers would be unlikely to replace this income through other minimum wage jobs. And when more than 65 per- cent of the costs of these wages are paid for by federal and county dollars, it seems awfully hard to find the eco- nomic sense in it. Yes, indeed, jobs are the priority. But there is a bal- ance, too, in not sending more of our citizens into the despair of poverty, the lack of hope and an inability to move out of that circumstance. And one way to do that is to make sure that the safety net for those who've fallen stays in place and that we continue to fully protect the most vulnerable el- ements of our citizenry. Colleague pays tribute to his friend, Spike Young WHERE I STAND DAVID L. ADRIAN ATTORNEY AT LAW AND FRIEND resident of Quincy. With the exception of run- ning for the state Assembly in 1968, which would take him to Sacramento, Spike never ex- pressed the desire to live any- where else. This was not be- cause he knew of no other places to live because during his 20 years as a sitting Supe- rior Court judge he was as- signed to courts in nearly every county in the state of California. With the exception of those individuals he sentenced to jail or prison, nearly everyone with whom he came in contact enjoyed him and was glad -they had the opportunity to be around him. There were certainly times This past New Year's morn- ing.Quincy and Plumas Coun- ty lost "one of its own. One of its own refers to the fact that Stanley C. Young, who was af- fectionately referred to by his many friends as "Spike," was born to parents who lived in Plumas County and was a true native. With the exception.of four years while attending San Jose State and another three years attending Hastings Col- lege of Law in San Francisco, he spent his entire life as a Es ), " $8 WlflflCF" when people were surprised that a Superior Court judge could have such a delightful sense of humor and quick wit. Whether sitting on the bench in his black robe or on the golf course, Spike always seemed to find and express humor where others would perhaps grumble or take a negative view. Virtually everyone who was called to serve as a juror will recall that while he put them at ease he was serious about his responsibilities as a judge. He had the understanding of his role as the single Superior Court judge to maintain a sol- id working relationship be- tween law enforcement, attor- neys and court personnel. Certainly those attorneys who regularly practiced in his court will recall his occasion, al admonishment to put aside individual petty differences and focus on representing our clients to our best ability. We will also recall that his door was always open and we could seek his opinion or counsel, never in a conflict sense, but rather as someone who not only had a great un- derstanding of the law, but al- so its practical application. He never had a lock on his door or declined to hear any cases because they didn't per- sonally interest him. He un- derstood his role as a judge in a small "cow county" (there is even an Association of Cow County Judges of which he was a member since its incep- tion). Certainly there were oc- casions when he felt the need to step aside and let another judge hear a particular case. Spike did not hold himself aloof and in an ivory tower, but rather gladly participated in the affairs of the county and the community, He did not on any occasion that I can recall attempt to use his posi- tion as a judge improperly to influence or do anything of a selfish nature. He would look for ways to make our commu- nity a better place to live. Nearly everyone who knew him was aware of his never- ending desire to have a golf course in Quincy. Certainly golf was his passion, which in- cluded serving as a member of the board of the prestigious Northern California Golf As- sociation. He was directly in- volved in the development of two outstanding golf courses, Poppy Hills and Poppy Ridge. Unfortunately, he was not able to see his dream of a golf course in Quincy fulfilled. Nancy and I and our family always felt truly fortunate to have Spike as a close friend. I would not have become a lawyer without his encourage- ment and mentoring. We will miss him and yet know that he is in a better place where the fairways are always green and he makes par on every hole. Tke time as c e to s playing at ar WHERE I STAND computerized worlds as harm- ......................................................................................................... less playgrounds or outlets, AUSTIN HAfiWOOD such games succeed only in QUINCY HIGH SCHOOL FIRST PLACE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS ESSAY CONTEST creating unrealistic and ro- manticized ideas about vio- lence, undermining the Values of a peaceful society. War games such as "Delta Force: Black Hwk Down" and "Call of Duty" pride them- selves on providing realistic combat simulations, but should supplying such graphic images be a goal? Young chil- dren may turn on a console and commence to storm the digital beaches of Normandy, killing fictional enemies and immersing themselves in sights that many veterans sup-. An explosion shatters the still, calm night. Bullets whiz through the air as a company of troops charges an unseen enemy. As pandemonium and carnage ensue, horrific atroci- ties take place on the battle- field. But this is no battlefield at all. In fact, nothing unfold- ing on the television screen is actually taking place. This is "only" a video game, and while some people view these press to this day. As a male in contemporary America, I have inevitably been exposed to these games through, my peers, and I have learned firsthand that such a hobby only serves to promote violence. Those playing war games and pulling the trigger on their console quickly develop an apathetic and desensitized attitude to- ward killing, and such an atti- tude eventually culminates in the conviction that violence is acceptable. While the United States em- ploys drones to attack strong- holds in Afghanistan, the no- tion that video games could provide practical experience for controlling a drone is ab- surd. A simple joystick found on a controller cannot provide an equivalent for the years of complex technical training re- quired to gain dexterity when handling advanced military equipment. Such gaming skills cannot simulate the repercus- sions of shooting actual hu- man victims on a battlefield. What are the far-flung con- sequences of indulging war games? Many youths who once spent leisure time ex- ploring reading, music, athlet- ics and art now devote count- less hours pursuing the next level on the newest game. A subculture is rapidly emerg- ing in society, one that knows how to conquer "Call of Duty" but stutters when asked a question in school. In war video games, a player may sustain a ridiculous amount of damage through gunfire be- fore "dying;" however, unlike real soldiers, they can always be resurrected. Such unrealis- tic representations of the bru. tality of war devalue the frag- ile nature of human life and dangerously underrate the lethality of guns and other weapons. People receiving and accepting such messages may very well underestimate the consequences of violence, resulting in a greater willing- hess to partake in antagonis- tic actions. Through playing at war, in- dividuals view conflicts as ex- citing and "fun" rather than real and dangerous. Turning on the PlayStation has re- placed the simple pleasure of spending time outdoors con- necting with others and dis- covering oneself. Most impor. tantly, war games accelerate a removal from reality a sense of apathy, detachment and ig- norance which grows more prevalent every day. The time has come for society to stand up and demand moderation and education, and for all of us to stop playing at war. LETTERS to EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor wil cut any letter in excess of 300 words.The deadline is Fri- day at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed at mail@plumasnews.com Support system I haven't been involved, thus far, in the public dia- logue taking shape over the hospital bonds. I have read whatever published material I could find on the subject, however. It seems to me that being in one group or another may limit dialogue. The hospital belongs to all of us. We have benefited from having an ex- cellent hospital for the last 50 years or so, and a very dedi- cated medical community. Some of that was passed on to us by those who paid taxes before us. All of us can share . wonderful stories about the care someone close to us, or we, received. Other areas of our state commonly have higher taxes than we do. One only needs to study the huge impact fees for new development charged in the valley counties. In our- county, we are primarily served by excellent and well- trained volunteer firemen, at a fraction of the cost of a full- time paid department. Tim- ber receipts for roads and schools have sheltered our citizens from millions of dol- lars in local taxes over the years. Being able to take our solid waste out of the state has saved us large amounts of local tax money (instead of the cost of maintaining our own landfill, under Califor- nia rules). We all enjoy a great road department, a good law enforcement level with a relatively low crime rate and a good school sys- tem-all for a moderate price. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't listen to those around us that have concerns about this new bond mea- sure. Serious mistakes were made in describing the bonds, and it seems to me that the outside counsel- ing was very poor. I think that there is (or ought to be) room to bring the two sides together. It doesn't do us much good to own property here in Quincy if we don't have a high quality medical commu- nity for a support system. Bill Coates Quincy Indignation Measure A to raise money. for the hospital may have been a Ponzi scheme on the voters. It led the voters to be- lieve that if we voted yes, on- ly $22 per $100,000 would be needed in the first year, and in later years it may go as high as $87 per $100,000. However, we all know that in the first year they stuck us for $122 per $100,000, and now after 1,000 voters have signed an initiative to cap this amount at $50 per $100,000, the hospital's board of direc- tors' legal counsel has ad- vised them that the voter's initiative is unconstitutional. Does this unconstitutional- ity really apply ff Measure A was deceptive and fraudulent to the voters as stated? Shouldn't they listen to the voters over the advice of spe- cial counsel, or is the lan- guage of lawsuits and legal counsel the only thing the board understands? Could it be indignation? The greatest motivator known to mankind, a simple definition is: someone who has been unjustly wronged by something that is unfair or untrue (in short lie to or deceived). If the voters be- lieve you lied, then you lied. Hiding behind legal counsel to obstruct tl/e voters' initia- tive will not reverse this growing indignation. This conflict between the board and the voters will not go away until they allow a second vote to solidify the first vote. Remember, we won our freedom from the British in the Revolutionary War (triggered by indignation), but it took the War of 1812 to solidify that victory. Let the board make new calculations and restate the correct facts of what it will take to fix the problems and let the voters re-vote on a new Measure A. Dan Jackson Quincy A force Sunday night, Jan. 3, 98- year-old Grace Keller passed away under the warmest and most coincidental cwcum- stances. Her far-flung family had gathered at the Kellers' Genesee home for a number of reasons none having to do with Grace's coming death. Of her immediate fam- ily, only her son Donald and See Letters, page 12B , ..- _ ;  .  .. : .. . . . : .,.- : .....:. I- .. , How to contact your elected officials... PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pelmsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-maih whitehouse.gov/contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841, FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "feinstein.senate.gov." U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclhltock.house.gov. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Ba36 CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783- 5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651- 4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quinc)6 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capi!. Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Offi, .% 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160 gov.ca.gov/inteact#contact