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February 3, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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February 3, 2010
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 91B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Business group gives state legislators a checklist for 2010 WHERE I STAND JOHN KABATECK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDE- PENDENT BUSINESS, CALIFORNIA Our elected leaders have been back in session for just over two weeks and once again it is clear that the ma- jority of their time will be-- must be----dominated by the budget. Our recession still runs deep, scores of Californi- ans are still waiting in the un- employment line, and busi- nesses-mostly small busi- nesses-from Del Norte to Del Mar are still shutting their doors at a clip. As we face an- other crushing multibillion dollar state deficit, who can blame them? Well, California voters can, and they'd be justified. Voters actually have an op- portunity to make a positive change for the Golden State this November. We can make the bold decision to remove those officials who continue to force us to bail them out for their reckless partying, and insfead we can support indi- viduals who demonstrate that they genuinely care about Main Street, jobs and the livelihood of our state. Tenants of the Assembly and Senate: It's not too late. You still have a shot at legisla- tive salvation. You still have a chance to protect and save many precious California jobs--not just thousands throughout the many commu- nities you represent, but quite possibly your own come November. The following is a "Small Business Checklist" to give our elected officials a road map in 2010, to make sure they're staying the course by taking a number of critically important fundamental steps to protect small businesses and working families in their respective districts. Hats off to any legislators who may al- .ready be headed down this path on their own; but our guess is that most haven't given this careful considera- tion and would truly benefit from a checklist as they em- bark upon a busy year in the Capitol. Small business checklist I reject any effort to impose new costs upon small busi- nesses at this time. Approximately 99.7 percent of all businesses are small busi- ness. The majority of the 3.6 million small businesses in Cal- ifornia are already operating on razor-thin profit margins. Most employers have cut about as much as they can from utilities, overhead, con- tracts and other non-adminis- trative expenses; if govern- ment now forces a new cost, the likely casualty will be the employee. Our government leaders are looking at all sorts of new costs: a split roll prop. erty tax, a business net re- ceipts tax and an oil or gas tax hike, to name a few. I will support the governor and Legislature's work to real- ize small business regulatory reform. As a small business owner who owns an electrical engi- neering company in Bakers- field recently told me, "Regu- lations are strangling small businesses out of existence in California." Whether it is onerous diesel regulations, a pending AB 32 cap-and-trade system or other restrictive labor regulations, such as the daily overtime re- quirement, small businesses , and their employees are being asphyxiated by costly regula- tory mandates. According to a 2005 study by the U.S. Small Business Ad- ministration, businesses with fewer than 20 employees on average pay 45 percent more to comply with federal regula- tions than businesses with more .than 500 employees. There is always one re- sounding message: Regulatory reform is needed if we want to Save and create jobs in California. In 2009, Senator Rod Wright took an important step in that direction with SB 356, Small Business Regulatory Reform legislation, which NFIB/California was proud to co-sponsor. This legislation would hold state agencies and departments accountable by requiring them to involve and inform small businesses throughout the regulatory process; conduct a specific small business economic analysis; and consider an al- ternative that is less of a bur- den to small businesses. Smart regulations protect jobs and economic growth. I commit to working with the governor and Legislature to stem the overwhelming tide of frivolous lawsuits. As Governor Schwarzeneg- ger said in his final State of the State address, tort reform is critical to California's eco- nomfc recovery. California narrowly dodged designation as a "Judicial Hell Hole" by the American Tort Reform As- sociation last year. In 2008, the Legislature and governor took a step in the right direction with the pas- sage of SB 1608 that encour- ages disability access, while providing some protection to businesses from those who would use a good law for their own benefit. However, this is clearly not enough, as greedy lawyers continue to get away with le- galized drive-by robbery. Rea- sonably limiting non-econom- ic damages and shielding in- nocent retailers of potentially dangerous products would be continued steps in the right direction for legal reform. I promise to facilitate ira- proved access to capital and credit, and to identify other fi- nancial resources that will help grow and create jobs Most small business owners today tell me that what they need the most is more cus- tomers walking through the door. Our leaders can truly help protect small businesses, jobs and the local economy by taking thetime with other lo- cal community leaders to get these struggling employers the financial and investment support they desperately need. California leaders, now is the time to show your true col- ors and "walk the walk" that you regularly verbalized dur- ing your days as a candidate. But the clock is ticking, and Election Day will arrive all too soon. You can take the high road and save jobs and communities in our state, or you can continue with the status quo. The choice is yours. But, re- member, come November, it is also ours. What women need to know about heart disease and heart attacks WHERE I STAND MILIND DHOND, M.D., F.A.C.C. CARDIOLOGIST EASTERN PLUMAS HEALTHCARE Did you know that Febru- ary is American Heart Month with the first Monday desig- nated as "national wear red day"? The day is being pro- moted by the American Heart Association to raise aware- ness of heart disease in women. I thought this would there- fore be an appropriate time to discuss women's heart disease. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women 65 and over and kills more women than all cancers combined? Heart disease in women typ- ically presents seven to 10 years later than in men and may present with different symptoms. Surprisingly, a recent NIH study showed that fewer than 30 percent of women reported having chest pain prior to their heart attacks, and 43 per- cent reported have no chest pain during any phase of the attack. Major symptoms for women suffering a heart attack in- clude shortness of breath (58 percent), weakness (55 per- Kent), fatigue (43 percent), cold sweats (39 percent) and dizzi- ness (39 percent). Women are also less likely to survive heart attacks than men. It may be women don't recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and seek help lat- er. It may also be because women's smaller hearts and blood vessels are more easily damaged during a heart attack. One thing men and women do have in common are the same risk factors for heart disease: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, di- abetes and family history. Age is also a factor. Smoking is the most likely reduced by decreasing salt intake, increasing exercise and weight loss and with medications. Cholesterol can be reduced by keeping fat calories to 30 percent or less of total calories and the addition of"statin" medications that block the production of cholesterol in the liver. Diabetics have an especially high risk as two-thirds of dia- betics die from heart disease. Therefore, maintaining good control of blood sugars and One other factor for women is hormone replacement thera- py that is prescribed to allevi- ate menopausal symptoms. It was once thought HRT could help protect against heart dis- ease. New studies have shown that when it comes to heart health, HRT actually does more harm than good. Regular exercise and keep- ing ybur weight in check also reduce risks of heart disease and increase the feelingof well-being. February's heart month is a degree at the University of Lon- don, U.K. He completed his res- idency at the University of Lon- don, U.K. and the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He elected to complete his feb lowship at the University of California-Davis, where he re- mains an associate professor of medicine. He is certified by the Ameri- can Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular medicine and internal medicine. He has been serving Plumas County since 2000, as cardiologist at cause of heart attacks in the other risk factors is essen- good time to set some heart Eastern Plumas Healthcare women under 50. Stopping tial in this population, health goals and try and main- ' and Plumas District Hospital.. ". smoking reduces Your risk by "':-:eating or eliminating the ....... thrift then for the rest of the ;efir! iealso se/vesas the director Of risk factors has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease: Dr. Milind Dhond, M.D., F.A.C.C., received his medical a third within two years of stopping. High blood pressure can be LETTERS to the EDITOR peripheral vascular interven- tion at North Bay Hospital in Fairfield. l 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 will 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 Good deed Not all teens are lazy or as bad as our media would have us believe. Last Friday morning a teen showed up at my back door, shovel in hand, and offered to shovel my long drive and large front steps for free. He said he just wanted to do a good deed. Thank you, Tanner. Yes, I gave him some money. Velda Krafft Taylorsville Avoid conflict This is a small community and planning your event to avoid conflicts is important. It is very frustrating to spend a large amount of time and bf- fort to plan a benefit and then have another event draw away a large group of people. There are several Plumas websites that have an events page: plumasarts.org, cham- berorganizer.com, plumas- county.org, graeagle.com, psrec.coop/community_calen dar.php, quincychamber.com and lakealmanorarea.com, to name a few. Please use these resources and everyone should be more successful. Robert Burney Quincy Hard work Thank you Plumas County Road Department-Chester Di- vision for your careful and helpful efforts to keep the roads passable in Almanor West. Recently, you pushed dozens of trees off the road- ways, which had broken un- der the weight of the heavy snow that fell Jan. 18--21. You worked to minimize the berms in our driveways. You stopped and got out of your truck to check our property, before blowing snow, with the rotary plow, into our yards. Without you, we would still be shoveling our way to the highway. Thank you for all your hard work in adverse condi- tions. - Laura MacGregor John Forno Lake Almanor West Dog not gone Our 10-year-old beloved Brittany spaniel, Rusty, was lost in Meadow Valley Jan. 10. We hunted and hunted for him every day and hung posters in Quincy and Mead- ow Valley, but no one spotted him. We notified California Highway Patrol, sheriffs de- partment, Caltrans and the county road department, as well as the animal shelter to be on the lookout for him. We contacted out-of-the-area shelters in Butte and Lassen counties. We drove the mud- dy dirt roads looking for him, to no avail. On Friday, Jan. 15 we got a call from Dr. Klement's of- rice. Our dog had been found. We rushed to his office to see our Rusty in bad shape; he had injuries and was almost in doggy heaven. Dr. Klement did an extraordinary job in saving his life, and we were able to bring home Sunday. Now my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to learn who had saved him. All I knew was that he had been picked up on the railroad tracks by Virgilia by a rail- road employee and brought to Quincy. Today, I finally tracked down the man who had saved his life and learned the rest of the story. Don Laverge was following a westbound train from I Twain to Belden. He was per-i forming his job when he spot-! ted Rusty three miles east ofi Rich Bar between the rails; i he was thinking no way I could a dog survive a train I going over him, but as he ap-! proached Rusty, he saw signs 1 of life. He picked him up and i put him in his truck, noticing I his injuries. He finished his! job and then this kind-heart-i ed man brought Rusty to I Quincy. I can't thank him enoughi for what he did. He healedl our hearts, for sure. He is tru-i ly a wonderful person. I want to thank all the kind! people I was in contact with' in our hunt for Rusty, espe- I cially the people of Meadow i . See Letters, page lOBi CONTROL, from page SB and with very different fans following them for most of their careers, would be upset by the action that our govern- ment took Thursday, Jan. 21. On that day the Supreme Court altered a law that used to limit corporations' abili- ties to spend money on politi- cal campaigns in a con- tentious 5--4 vote. For some time the power of corporations to influence the political winds and our day- to-day lives has grown. In many ways corporations have much more power than your average person. Companies like Goldman Sachs have exponentially more influence over both the political and financial sectors of our country than a similar number of regular people. What I mean by that is: the employees, administration andinvestors associated with the company would have a very hard time affecting the fiscal and political aspects of our country to the extent that they do if they weren't part of the company, which has vast resources focused on one goal--making money. A similar number of people would never agree on any single political issue, but un- der the banner of Goldman Sachs, they become a group united by the goal of shaping a country that allows that company to make more mon- ey at any cost. Many of those companies give their employees less than subtle suggestions on who they should vote for to help their company get an ex- tra boost for the next four years. Even ff the individuals don't vote for the person the company supports, they con- tribute their time or re- sources to the company, which then hires lobbyists to pursue its goals. On top of this, the company doesn't make choices based upon whether it will help each investor and employee e,lany,,,,n,, of the companies that received bailouts recent- ly announced they would cut costs by firing low-level em- ployees, like janitors and sec- retaries, instead of limiting bonuses to higher-ups. All of what I just said was true before this law was even changed. Now the Supreme Court has decided that large corporations should also have free speech rights simi- lar to an average person when it comes to political campaigns. The inost ironic part of this turn of events is that John McCain was one of the co- writers o'f the law overturned by the court and President Obama has already criticized the new ruling. According to the official presidential election results in 2008, 98.58 percent of Ameri- cans voted for either John Mc- Cain or Barack Obama. Both candidates ran primarily on declarations that they would limit the power of special in- terests (corporations and large unions, both of which have now been given more power by the court). The court also ignored precedent in this case, with tw 9 previous cases having upheld or strengthened limi- tations on corporate cam- paign spending. As Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissenting opinion, signed by the four judges apposing the new rul- ing"The only relevant thing that has changed" since those previous precedent setting decisions, "is the composi- tion of the court." In case you're wondering, he's not talking about Justice Sotomayor, who voted with him on this issue. The rive members of the court who voted for this change did so against prece- dent; the will of the Ameri- can people; and all levels of common sense. The Supreme Court hurt us all today. How will we react? Have we fallen so far that we don't even notice when the structure of our country moves beneath us? Do we even care anymore? What will it take before people look at politics and our power structure differ- ently? Will we wait until our chil- dren are singing "God bless the Trix Rabbit" or "I pledge allegiance to the Shamwow rag?" Do we feel any connection to the idea of the American dream: that an individual person has some control of her own destiny? Do we remember or even care that democracy is sup- posedly a system where all individuals have an equal ability to control our coun- try's future? Do we want to control that future or is it just easier to let our power slip away and watch our country's course be direct- ed by a few CEOs on a spon- sored reality TV program? The irony of everyone be- '. ing so afraid of the govern- i merit controlling every as- pect of our lives is that we ig- nore the fact that major cor- : potations practically do al- : ready. Part of the answer is for po- larization over left and right, liberal and conservative, to take a step down the priority list. You should care just as much about political candi- dates' ties to major unions and corporations and their thoughts on the powers of in- dividuals and companies. If we continue to spend all our time trying to decide whether Democrats or Re- publicans should win the game, we won't be paying at- tention to the fact that major corporations and large spe- cial interests are playing too.., And they've practically won :: before we even noticed they ' were on the field.