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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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February 1, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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February 1, 2012
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 9A Bee fights seal of Moonlight docs Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com The Sacramento Bee lost its effort to keep legal docu- ments from being sealed in lawsuits between the federal government and Sierra Pa- cific Industries (SPI), yet they won in a way, as well. The legal maneuverings and mountains of paperwork between Sacramento and Plumas County are similar to a Rube Goldberg-style contraption. "Many things have been sealed in these two law- suits," Sacramento Bee Le- gal Affairs Reporter Denny Walsh said of the federal cas- es that will be heard in the Sacramento U.S. Court. "And I finally got tired of it." In a Jan. 19 article, he de- scribed the documents as a potential "coverup of mis- conduct and fraud on the part of U.S. Forest Service employees in connection with the agency's investiga- tion of the Moonlight fire." And even though the docu- ments, including sworn testi- monies, might show a coverup, SPI is willing to ac- commodate the government by allowing them to "be sealed, kept from the public. Sacramento Bee attorney Karl Olson filed a brief against the sealing, which was unopposed by Sierra Pa- cific attorneys, Walsh report- ed in a second article Jan. 26. Misconduct on the part of Sierra Pacific was also mentioned in Walsh's report, when he quoted U.S. District Judge Kimberly L.J. Mueller. She said Sierra Pacific was free to file those documents publicly, yet even their at- tempt to do so seems improp- er, because they have al- ready been ruled immaterial to their suit against the For- est Service. Doing so will also open them up to possible sanc- tions, or monetary penalties, according to Walsh. "Sierra Pacific's attorneys did not oppose The Bee's op- position to a sealing order, explaining it was only be- cause the government wants the material 'made inaccessi- ble to members of the public' that they asked for such an order," Walsh reported. "The government's response to The Bee's opposition makes clear that is an accurate characterization of its posi- tion." Maneuverings aside, the documents were already filed as sealed and are part of the court docket, accord- ing to Walsh, something the judge did not address. Damages and interest claimed in the lawsuits, both state and federal, total more than $1 billion, he reported. Jury trials in both courts are scheduled to begin in April 2012. Walsh's complete reports are available online by en- tering the word Moonlight as a search term at sacbee.com. Forest Service withdraws Basin Project Plumas National Forest Supervisor Earl Ford re- cently withdrew the deci- sion for the Basin Project. "We'll continue to move for- ward with the resource work, but in a more efficient manner and with updated information," said Ford. The project has been in liti- gation for almost eight years. The Basin Project (August 2004) is generally located in the vicinity of Bucks Lake in Plumas County. It is one of three Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group (HFQLG) projects (Basin, Empire and Slapjack) even- tually included in Sierra Nevada-wide litigation involving a region-wide planning effort commonly referred to as the 2004 Sierra Nevada Framework. Among numerous points, litigants contested Framework deci- sions involving intensity of fuels reduction activities across the Sierra and the use of group selection (open- ings in vegetation two acres and smaller) in the HFQLG Project area. Including approximately 1,2!5 acres of group selec- tion, the Basin Project was designed to restore a natural mosaic of vegetation types and increase the recruit- ment of native pine species, while providing socio-eco- heroic benefits to the com- munity. While a subsequent court injunction allowed all pro- ject work to continue as planned in areas near com- munities (referred to as wildland urban interfaces or WUIs), it halted work in ar- eas away from communities. Most of the Empire and Slapjack projects were locat- ed in WUIs, while most of the Basin was not. Project work on Empire and Slap- jack has largely been accom- plished or is on schedule to be accomplished. Ford's withdrawal of the Basin decision technically would stop any project activ- ities; there were none in progress due to winter weather. Ford noted the con- tract purchaser, Sierra Pa- cific Industries, would be compensated according to the terms of the contracts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has sent the Sierra Nevada Framework litiga- tion back to Judge England in the Eastern District Court of California to con- sider species monitoring is- sues related to the Basin Project and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) issues related to the Sierra Nevada Framework as a whole. In considering these is- sues, England will also like- ly address the legal effect of the agency's decision to withdraw the Basin Project decision. The Eastern Dis- trict Court is scheduled to hear the matter June 14. I:air board elects chailinan, reviews budget Mona Hill Staff Writer mhill@plumasnews.corn 'Plumas-Sierra County Fair directors met Jan. 25, after a lengthy hiatus. The board's last meeting was in October. /k Dec. 8 meeting (combined to avoid conflict with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays) was canceled due to lack of a quorum. Fair manager John Stef- fanic gave a budget update. Last fall, the Board of Super- visors agreed to a plan pro- posed by Jon Kennedy to re- duce Steffanic's pay by 50 percent, including retire- ment benefits. At the time, the road de- partment agreed to employ fair office manager Kathy Tedford at 10 percent -- ef- fectively canceling out the planned reduction in hours -- and transfer $14,200 to the fair's budget. The supervisors also agreed to cancel plans to charge the fair for county overhead costs. As reported in the newspa- per Sept. 7, under instructions from Chief Administrative Officer Jack Ingstad, Steffanic overstated budget- ed grounds rental revenue by $24,649 in lieu of a request for a county contribution. As of Jan. 19, the county was still charging overhead costs to the fair, $16,300, and had not canceled Steffanic's retirement plan participa- tion. In addition, the road de- partment did not employ Tedford as planned and the expected transfer of funds did not occur. Steffanic estimated the fair has $60,000 in cash on hand and that he would soon ask the Board of Supervisors for contingency funds. Steffanic said it will be a busy summer for the fair- grounds, with activities scheduled nearly every weekend. He is currently awaiting permission from the Old Mission Bay Club in San Diego for an Over the Line tournament. The club has "franchised" the tourna- ment in a number of other locations that have proved it a popular moneymaker. Tentatively scheduled for June 9 and 10, the GET READY FOR SPRING! Winter Golf Lessons 1/2 hour video swing analysis with take-home copy s50 Gift Certificates Available for use in 2012 BIG Golf Shop Sale Brandon Bowling, PLUMAS PINES. Golf Resort PGA Head Golf Professional 836-.1420 402 Poplar Valley Rd., Graeagle www.plumaspinesgolf:com tournament features three- member softball teams on a restricted playing area. The'San Diego clffb t0ur- ney attracts 50,000 people, al- though Steffanic acknowl- edged 500 would be a great turnout for Plumas County. New board officers , Dt,Iliber, tAbbott-was unan- imously elected board chair- man; with Kenny Chance con- tinuing as vice chairman. TACO FEED Benefit for Rainbow Girls trip to Grand Assembly Sat., Feb. 4 4-Tpm Masonic Hall, 70 Harbison St.. Quincy s6 meal includes 2 tacos, beans & rice and beverage To Go Meals Available I Plumas DISTRICT HOSPITAL Lisette Hokanson, RN OPPSI Ciinical Systems Analyst/ OBTV System Manager/ Temporary EMR Coordinator/Clinical Informatics Specialist Lisette's eagerness to utilize technology to benefit Ptumas Oistrict Hospital's patients is admirable. Her enthusiasm for clinicat apptications of technotogy and her perseverance has and wit[ continue to contribute treatty to the organization. It was her vision that ted to PDH apptying for and subsequentty being awarded two significant grants - the PacifiCare/ United HeaRh Care grant which funded the OB electronic medical record project and most recentty, the UC Davis Catifornia Teteheatth Network grant which is providing a new state-of-the-art digita[ uRrasound machine and severat new tetemedicine units. Now she has taken on a very important rote in the Eagle I imptementation project. Lisette - thank you. You are inspiring. Congratulations Lisette Hokansonl Plumas District Hospital Employee of the Month of January 2012 Man to stand trial in car- chase shooting Dan McDonald Staff Writer dmcdonald@plumasnews.com A Plumas County judge ruled there is enough evi- dence for a Reno man to stand trial on eight felony charges, including murder. Gregory Chad Wallin-Reed is expected to have a jury tri- al this summer in the shoot- ing death of Rory McGuire, of Susanville. Wallin-Reed, 36, is accused of killing McGuire and wounding two other men with an assault rifle follow- ing a July 2, 2011, car chase near Antelope Lake. McGuire died two days af- ter being shot in the head. The two wounded men, who were among five passengers in McGuire's car, survived. At a Jan. 19 preliminary ex- amination, Plumas County Superior Court Judge Ira Kaufman set a Feb. 10 ar- raignment date for Wallin- Reed. Kaufman rejected a defense request to reduce Wallin- Reed's bail to $100,000. The defendant was returned to the Plumas County Jail where he is being held on $1 million bail. "This is a very serious and important case on many lev- els," Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister said. "We look forward to try- ing the case in the courtroom and ensuring justice is served." The Jan. 19 hearing lasted nearly three hours and in- cluded testimony from Plumas County sheriff's Gregory Chad Wallin-Reed deputies and detectives. After hearing the evidence, Kaufman issued an order binding WaUin-Reed over for trial on charges of murder, shooting at an inhabited vehi- cle, five counts of assault with a firearm and posses- sion of an assault weapon. Wallin-Reed, who reported- ly admitted to the shooting when he made a 911 call, was arrested July 3, 2011. He was charged with murder after McGuire, who was 20, died at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno July 4. Wallin-Reed is accused of firing several rounds from an AR-15 assault rifle at a car driven by McGuire during a late-night chase that began at Wallin-Reed's residence along the Janesville Grade. During the 911 call, Wallin- Reed told dispatchers he chased the fleeing car after the occupants stole solar lights from his property. About seven miles from where the chase began, McGuire was shot in the head and hand. Reno attorneys Richard Young and John Ohlson rep- resented Wallin-Reed. February Dental Special! 20% OFF Scaling Polishing Bloodwork. I.V. Catheter (good thru February 29) Doyle Rolston, DVM ~ Suzanna ElMer, DVM INDIAN CREEK VETERINARY CLINIC 258 Old Arlington Rd. qO 1 g_ IOT Crescent Mills, CA /-0- ]1J. O1 25% II1.., "" Procedureslll Scaling. Polishing Bloodwork- I.V. Catheter (valid during the month of February 20 i 2) Dr. Gary Klement D.V.M. American Valley Animal Hospital Corner ef Alto and Lee Rd., Quincy 283-4500 ! 4