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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 4, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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February 4, 2015

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IOIB Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter D ITORIAL AND OPINION EDITORIAL is sure It has been nearly a decade since the fn'st reports of the nationwide housing bubble started making the news. In 2007 -- fueled by a collapse of shady mortgage-backed securities that nearly led to an all-out collapse of the banking system the bubble burst. The fallout rocked economies worldwide. Trillions of dollars in wealth evaporated in a matter of months and led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. All of us were hurt in one way or another. Millions of Americans lost their homes. Millions more lost their jobs. An untold number of people lost both. Plumas County wasn't spared. Property values plummeted. Hundreds of people fled the area when they couldn't find a job. Empty shops dotted the maIn streets of our once-thriving small towns. It has been a painful eight years for many local residents. But finally we are starting to see signs of improvement. A story in this week's paper gives us another reason to believe better days are ahead. We are referring to the news that home sales are surging in the county. And not just any homes, but the million-dollar variety. The luxury market is alive and well in the Lake Almanor area. For the fn:st time since 2007, homes are selling for more than a million dollars. Eleven homes recently sold for more than $1 million in the Basin. Four of them sold for more than $2 million. Two homes in the greater Portola area went for more than $1 million as well. Skeptics could argue that these home sales aren't really relevant. "The millionaires among us are doing well. So what. Why should we care?" We should care because, like it or not, this is how economic recovery starts especially for a vacation destination like Plumas County. Half the homes here are second homes. And many of them have been vacant since the great foreclosure tidal wave. Economic recovery often begins in the urban areas and spreads outward from there. The fLrst ripples of that recovery are finally washing ashore here. The impact will soon benefit the county coffers in the form of property taxes. Local businesses will start to see more people in their shops. And, following formulas of economic geography, jobs will begin to appear. Soon we should see greater sales of the $190,000 homes -- homes that will be primary residences. Just this week we .learned that the stalled Woodbridge housing development in Portola is showing signs :of, life. The proposed 1,O05-home~ developme t ws pm'chused'by SchOmac Gr0dp In . ..... Schomac also owns the Nakoma Golf Resort and Spa and the Feather River Inn, and is building The Lodge at Nakoma in Clio. Economic conditions are becoming more favorable for a local recovery. Interest rates on 30-year mortgages are still near all-time lows and bankers are increasingly willing to lend to young homebuyers as the federal government slowly eases restrictions on the banks. In a world where more people are working from home, an increasing number of them could soon end up in rural areas. Why should a Google employee spend two million dollars for a Bay Area condo when she can do her job anywhere that has high-speed Internet access? That kind of access is fmally becoming available here. A year ago we reported in this column that the economic tide had turned in the Sacramento Valley. It was only a matter of time before it arrived in Plumas County. Based on recent real estate statistics, it looks like that tide is finally heading our direction. Here's to better days ahead. Editorials are written by members of the editorial board and should be considered the opinion of the newspaper. The board consists of the publisher, managing editor and the appropriate staff writers. Feat hshmg spaper For breaking news, go to Michael C: Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ...Legal Advertising Dept. Dan McDonald .........Managing Editor Jenny Lee ................. Photo Editor Ingrid Burke ................ Copy Editor Staff writers: Miriam Cody Debra Moore Michael Condon Maddie Musante Makenzie Davis Ann Powers Ruth Ellis M. Kate West Will Farris Aura Whittaker Susan Cort Johnson Sam Williams Greg Knight James Wilson Feather River Indian Valley Bulletin Record (530) 283-0800 (530) 284-7800 Portola Reporter Chester Progressive (530) 832-4646 (530) 258-3115 Lassen County Westwood Times PinePress (530) 257-5321 (530) 256-2277 Missing groundhog shows up just in time "Should we actually attach a mustache to him, or have him holding up one of the paper ones we have left over as props from our wedding?" This is the kind of absurd question I found myself asking as one of the organizers for the Groundhog Fever Festival last year. My wife and I were two of a group of eight that started the festival two years ago. The event, much to everyone's surprise, was a hit. Way more people than we expected showed up to the festival the first year, and we were a little unprepared. The second year, we had a better idea of what to expect and tweaked the layout and format of it to better suit a larger crowd. One aspect that didn't change was the need to publicize the event to work up some energy around town. One way we did this was by taking the festival's groundhog, Chuck Wood, and snapping photos of him engaging in various activities. These activities ranged from playing cribbage and drinking beer to participating in the longboard races at Johnsville. We would post these photos on Facebook, allowing anyone who likes Groundhog Fever Festival to stay up to date on Chuck's happenings. I should point out that Chuck isn't an actual groundhog he's an animatronic toy groundhog. Fake though he may be, he's still the star of the Groundhog Fever Festival. MY TURN JAMES WILSON Staff Writer We can have a groundhog fest without a food-eating contest. We can have the fest without a buy-a-date auction. But we can't have a groundhog fest without a groundhog. About one week before last year's festival, my wife and I were getting ready to go to a mustache-themed party. We decided to bring Chuck along to promote the event, and, in specific, to promote the mustache contest that was to take place at the festival. We dressed Chuck up with a bowtie, and had him prop up a paper mustache on a stick. We hoped the sight of him might help create buzz about the event. The party, held at our friend's house, was a blast. Every room in his house was packed with people sporting real and fake mustaches. We set Chuck up on the table near the appetizers, thinking everyone would see This week's special days NOT JUST AN ORDINARY DAY COMPILED BY KERI TABORSKI Not just an ordinary day....a sampling weekly notable special days and facts throughout the year. of February 4 1789 George Washington is elected the first president of the United States. 1932 The first Winter Olympics is held in the United States, in Lake Placid, New York. 1938 The film "Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs" ig released nationwide in ., the United States as the.fwst feature~ , . , , length Film to use the cel in animation. 1940-- The second full-length animated Walt Disney Film, "Pinocchio," premiers and wins two Academy Awards that year: best original score and best original song for "when You Wish Upon a Star." 2014 -- The opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics are held in Sochi, Russia. February 8 Today is Boy Scout Day, celebrating the founding of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910 in Washington, D.C., by Chicago newspaper and magazine publisher W.D. Boice. 1974 Heiress Patty Hearst is kidnapped from her Berkeley home by the Symbionese Liberation Army. 2004 Facebook, the mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg. February 5 1919 -- The United Artists film studio is formed by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. February 6 1788 Massachusetts, "The Bay State," is admitted as the sixth U.S. state. 1971 Fore! U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard hits a golf ball on the moon. 1998 Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport. February 7 1935 The board game Monopoly is marketed for at-home play. 1918 -- "Stars and Stripes," the first United States Army newspaper, is published for the troops of World War I. him positioned there. At one point I felt so crowded I had to go outside just to catch some fresh air. I looked inside and my pregnant wife looked like she was ready to go. (I can imagine that sort of party is just not as much fun when you can't have a drink.) "Let me grab our coats and Chuck and we can get out of here," ! said, trying to speak over the noise of the crowd. I grabbed our coats and wandered over to where I had left Chuck. He was nowhere to be seen. I checked under the table. Nothing. I scoured the whole house, goIng from room to room. Nothing. Finally, I let the host know that Chuck was missIng. He stopped the party and everyone looked around. Nothing. After about an hour of searching every inch of my friend's house, I gave up. Either Chuck was kidnapped or he had run away. I couldn't sleep that night, worried about how to replace Chuck. The thought that someone would steal him made me sick. The next morning I searched the Web, found a replacement groundhog, and clicked "purchase,'~praying it would be delivered in time for the festivities. As I slouched down on my couch and let out a sigh of relief and exhaustion, my phone vibrated. I had a friend request on Facebook.~ I opened my Facebook app to see who wanted to be my friend, and, lo and behold, saw Chuck's picture staring me right In my face. Someone actually went through the trouble of creating a Facebook profile for ' Chuck. He was wearing the bowtie we put on him, and holding a bottle of Maker's : Mark in his profide picture. I browsed through his page. Naturally, hid favorite movie listed was "Groundhog Day.''; Chuck had posted only one comment on his ' wall. "The mustache party was offthe hook! Totally woke up in the wrong hole. Don't ' worry guys, I'll fmd my way home soon!" I was mad. One of my "friends" stole Chuck and caused me all this grief. At the same time, I was relieved. Chuck wasn't gone. One of my friends was just being an &!$#! "Hey Chuck. Miss you bud. Would sure like to have you back home," I passively aggressively wrote on Chuck's wall. "I'm sure I'll run into you sooner or later," Chuck whimsically wrote back. I was stewing. There was nothing I could do but wait. But if Chuck wasn't back before -- ElizobethlI isproclaimed Queen the festival, and the g ogndhog I ordered . , . ,. . ~._ q 'ng and,, ! ...... ," ,, .......l,', .dldn t e0n3e, m o atmle, we weregoing ~t9 , ....... have t0: ow a groundhog festival without' 1969 --' The "Saturday EvenIng Post"a groundhog! publishes its last issue. February 9 1900-- The first Davis Cup tennis tournament is held in Boston. 1942 -- Year-round daylight saving time is reInstated in the United States as a wartime measure to help conserve energy. 1964 -- The Beatles make their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," performing before a record-breaking television audience of 73 million viewers. 1965 -- The first U.S. combat troops are sent to Vietnam. i972 -- Former Beatle Paul McCartney founds a new musical group: Wings. February 10 1993 Coca-Cola introduces its new advertising campaign slogan: "Always Coca-Cola." I waited all day, and received no more response from Chuck, I was about to write him back when I heard a knock on my front door. I opened the door, and Chuck was standing there, bowtie intact, with a note around his neck thatread, "Man, what a party!" I ran out on the street to see ifI could spot anyone running away, but didn't see the perpetrator. Chuck was back home, safe and sound. The next public appearance he made was predicting the weather at the festival. This year, the committee played it a little safer. Whenever we took him out, we made sure he was within sight at all times. To this day, I still don't know who kidnapped Chuck Wood, but I am glad he came back. The other groundhog I ordered wasn't delivered until two weeks after the festival. A new rule we made this year is that Chuck is no longer allowed to attend any rowdy parties. Until the festival. I EMEMBER WHEN from Quincy Drug Store including beeswax, ............................................................ paraffm, resin, canuba wax, etc. KERI TABORSKI Historian 100 YEARS AGO .... 1915 Advertisement: Sweet apple cider 40 cents a gallon. Write C.A. Sheldon, Keddie, California. Delivered to all parts of Plumas County. Advertisement: We have the dope. Everything that goes to make a first class bottom for longboard skiis may be obtained 50 YEARS AGO ..... 1965 Five candidates have Fried for positions on the Plumas Unified School Board: Dr. Harold Leigh and Dr. Maynard Christian, both of Quincy; Richard Rutherford of Meadow Valley; Orphie Pierson, Sr. of Storrie and Mrs. Mary Ellen Garrett of Chester. 25 YEARS AGO ..... 1990 Mary Mooney and Manfred Endres, both of Quincy, have announced their intention to run for the office of Plumas County Auditor-Controller in June. Mooney has been supervising account clerk in that office for the past 15 years while Endres has been assistant auditor for the past eight years. 10 YEARS AGO ..... 2005 Beginning in 2006-2007, the four Plumas County high schools and Loyalton will become the Feather River League and compete in all sports except football. Some drivers can do us all a favor by slowing down' Nothing in this world grinds my gears harder or drives me closer to road rage than a singular act that occurs on roadways across this country every single day -- drivers exceeding the posted speed limit, especially here in Plumas County. It's a terrifyIng experience for me, as I drive down Highway 70 every day on my way Into work, for some hotshot leadfoot to scream up behind me and hover about 4 feet off my bumper for 6 miles before passing me at 50 mph In the 35 mph zone of East Quincy. And that is just one example. No matter where I drive in Plumas County there is always some aspirant to the Speed Racer throne that wants to get somewhere faster than the law allows. Even in the 65 mph stretch on the west side of Lake Almanor there is always someone that zips by going 75 or 80 mph. It's Plumas County, folks; slow down and enjoy the scenery, would you? More than just being an annoyance and a cause to wonder why people who are ;~- higher speeds. The article states that a : narrowed field of vision, less effective safety cushion of maneuvering space, ' reduced ability to safely negotiate curves '~ -,~i: and reduced ability to react to other ' motorists encroaching on their lane of ' travel, thus avoiding a collision, are some of the hazards Inherent in driving too fast. I MY TURN A deterrent to this behavior on our GREG KNIGHT Sports Writer most likely law-abiding citizens insist on breaking traffic laws -- slowing down to the limit is also a matter of public safety. The old adage of speed kills is no joke and the most proximate cause of automobile-related deaths usually involves excessive speed by drivers. A 2006 article published in Police Chief Magazine pretty much lays it down when it comes to what dangers you face at highways and county roads might be for the California Highway Patrol or Plumas County Sheriffs Office to place additional ' resources into speed enforcement in the 55 mph zones and the transitional 40, 35 or 25 mph zones near city limits. Another hotspot is the stretch of Lawrence Street in Quincy where I have personally witnessed drivers going at least 15 mph over the 25 mph limit on a number of occasions. There really is no motivation quite like i hitting traffic scofflaws where it counts the most, in the wallet. And please, do the ' safe drivers and pedestrians of Plumas County a favor; slow down. }