Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 28, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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January 28, 2015

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 7A CHURCH, from page 6A expedient and political reason or answer. But the biggest question is: in an age in which Christianity and churches everywhere are being squeezed from influence in society, are these string of coincidences really a coincidence?" Thrall said she knows the government is not supposed to choose a religion to support, but other than that, "Church and state is not my area of expertise." She said the renovations were being done in the ARC because the timing was right. She said it was the first time she had the equipment, some funding and a list of volunteers to get it done. She said she wanted to have the work -- kitchen remodeling, floor repairs, exterior lighting installation, etc. -- done during the off season. , "His church or any other church.., they're all my constituents," Thrall said. "It's my responsibility to take care of their public buildings." Thrall told DuBord in an email dated Dec. 2, "I am so pleased that your church/theatre project you began last spring is moving forward. I am sure it will be a very positive contribution to our community and enhance our downtown area." She went on to say, "There is no 'workaround' for public use during closure. (The church was informed in November that the ARC would be closed for the months of January and February.) "The center will be unavailable during this timeframe due to liability issues alone." Thrall said she felt the alternative building the county offered to MLCC was sufficient. She told Feather Publishing, "I'm sorry that Pastor DuBord doesn't think (the Veterans Memorial Hall) is appropriate for his church, but it's Mount Lassen Community Church members congregate in the Mount Lassen Theatre building as a last resort after being told they can no longer use the Almanor Recreation Center to meet for church because of renovations. Photo by Miriam S. Cody appropriate for the vets, and everybody here (who uses it regularly)." County of Plumas legal counsel told DuBord in a letter dated Dec. 30, 2014: "It would be a significant undertaking to move the equipment into and out of storage every week, so that is why the decision was made to close the ARC entirely during the renovations." Counsel told DuBord that "The actual agreement that the county and MLCC signed states that the license is for 2014 only." This was in response to DuBord's argument that the facility attendant told him his contract was good for 2015 also. Feather Publishing found that the agreement did in fact provide for use in 2014 only. It was also discovered within correspondence that the facilities attendant did tell him he did not need to renew his contract. The attendant stated that was the direct word from the county facilities director. Facilities director Dony Sawchuk confirmed that he thought the contract was good for 2015. He said he later realized the agreement was indeed limited to 2014. "I did say 'yes it looks valid'," Sawchuck said. "That was my mistake .... I should have sent it over to county counsel." Bringing it to the board DuBord presented his case in an informational hearing a t the Plumas county Board of Supervisors meeting Jan. 20. Dubord outlined the events of the last several months, at times struggling to contain his emotions. Often DuBord spoke directly to Thrall as he laid out the series of coincidences that led him to the possibility of religious discrimination. At one point he told Thrall, "We forgive you." "I don't feel I did anything to deserve forgiveness," Thrall responded. "I worry about you talking about religious discrimination; I worry about you talking about Plumas County government," said Supervisor Lori Simpson, who referenced at least one other occasion she knew of when the county rented one of its buildings to a church in Quincy. Supervisor Terry Swofford said that he belonged to a commission that had been meeting regularly at the county museum, but had been told the practice couldn't continue because it had to be available to others as well. Deputy County Counsel Steve ManseU advised the supervisors that they should refrain from talking about the issue because there was the potential for litigation, which would require any discussion to be conducted in closed session. DuBord asked for reassurance that his congregation could meet in the ARC once the renovations were complete, thus allowing his church ta continue its own renovations on the theatre. But the board didn't give him a defmitive answer. However, the supervisors did state their intention to review the rules and regulations on use of county facilities and said they would publish better ground rules in the future. The pastor said his main purpose for bringing the issue forward was to protect the freedoms of any religion to meet in a public place. "I just don't want to see this happen to anyone else," he said. State schools chief seeks sponsors for summer meal sites State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently urged schools, camps, nonprofits, Indian tribal governments and government offices to become Summer Food Service Program sponsors so they can provide free meals to underprivileged children. "Low-income children often don't have access to nutritious school meals during the summer break, which can cause them to lag behind academically when classes start up again in the fall," said Torlakson. ,'We need to sign up as many sponsors as possible to provide free meals so no child will go hungry this summer." Under SFSP, sponsors are reimbursed for the number of meals served that meet federal meal pattern requirements. Sponsors may also use the funds for operating and administrative costs. The meal sites must be located in areas where at least haffthe students are low income. The meal sites start operating 15 days after school ends for summer break or when year-round schools are off track. Families can go to any meal site and their children will receive free meals -- no questions are asked and no income verification is needed. Many meal sites may also offer fun activities for children. The California DepOnent of Education administers the program in the state for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an equal opportunity provider and employer. To apply before the June 1 deadline and to receive training, visit, call 800-952-5609 or email For tips on how to run successful meal sites, visit The CDE will update its summer meal service sites interactive Web map at early this summer to help families locate meal sites or sponsors close to their homes. BE HEARD Don't sit back and let others do the talking for you. 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