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February 8, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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February 8, 2012
 

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8B Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL A IN D OPINION EDITORIAL Members of the Plumas Charter School board and administration were understand- ably surprised in December when they re- ceived a Notice to Remedy outlining "issues of concern" from Glenn Harris, superinten- dent of the Plumas County Office of Educa- tion and Plumas Unified School District. They were surprised because Harris is tech- nically a member of their board. As such, didn't Harris have an obligation to say something, rather than spring a notice on the school? Yes, say attorneys we have spo- ken to. Harris has a "major conflict of loyal- ty" said one. According to PCS's charter, the superintendent or his designee must serve on the board. Because of the inherent conflict, most districts designate a lower-level admin- istrator to serve on the charter school boards they oversee, explained an attorney who spe- cializes in charter schools. When he took office as county superinten: dent, Harris swore an oath to serve that enti- ty. When he took a seat on the PCS board, he swore an oath to serve that entity. How can he serve two masters at once, especially giv- en his view of their relationship? Harris told us in no uncertain terms that Staff Writer Mona Hill absolutely could not report on the PUSD board because she had a conflict of in- terest since she sat on the PCS board. When we suggested that perhaps the two entities could enjoy a complementary and collegial relationship with a focus on serving the needs of all of Plumas County's children, he said no way, the two are in conflict and com- petition for students and dollars. But he can serve on both boards? Although a permanent member of the char- ter school board, Harris rarely attends meet- ings. For him not to serve a board he has sworn to serve, for him to lurk, as it were, in the background and then slap the school with a notice to remedy, that's downright traitor- ous. But then Harris has.suffered ethical lapses before. In 2004, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing suspended all his cre- dentials for 60 days for "immoral or unpro- fessional conduct, or for persistent defiance of, and refusal to obey, the laws regulating the duties of persons serving in the public school system." We see on the agenda for tonight, Feb. 8, that the school board will begin its annual performance evaluation of Harris. We en- courage the board to take up the matters we've outlined here. We callon them to de- mand that Harris appoint a designee to the charter school board, someone who can actu- ally attend meetings and provide appropriate oversight. If there are problems at the char- ter school -- and we're not convinced there are then at least part of.the blame has to fall on a superintendent with divided loyalty who can not be bothered to fulfill his sworn duties. ea ,ng ewspaper Breaking News .... go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ...Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli ........ Managing Editor Alicia Knadler ........ Indian Valley Editor M. Kate West ............. Chester Editor Shannon Morrow .......... Sports Editor Ingrid Burke .............. . .Copy Editor Staff writers: Michael Condon- Dan McDonald Ruth Ellis Brian Taylor Will Farris Kayleen Taylor Barbara France Theresa Humphrey Mona Hill Sam Williams Susan Cort Johnson Jason Theobald Diana Jorgenson Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Chester Progressive Times (530) 258-3115 (530) 257-53211 Indian Valley Portola Reporter Record (530) 832-4646 (530) 284-7800 Reporter faces the reality of no TV Why bother with the TV when I wouldn't and other goodies. have time to watch it anyway? We are halfway through the fifth season of But then something happened. Winter set "24." That Jack Bauer is one death-cheatin': in, the vacationers went home, and I was left dude. And he never dies. His co-workers? staring at the black-hole Sony. They die a lot. ~:~ ~ Reality has set in. Not reality TV. Real But we've learned that back-to-back-to- ..... :~j.:.. ~ ~ reality, back episodes of watching Jack almost die I've had my finger on the button that dials before we go to bed isn't the best segue to a MY TURN DIRECTV's friendly sales staffat least a good night's sleep. .......................................... DANMcDONALD ............................................ dozen times over the past few months. I've The next morning I stand paralyzed for a Staff Writer been seconds away from securing 360 chan- few seconds at the Express Coffee Shop and dmcdonald@plumasnews.com nels and the ability to record all of them at catch the 24-hour news channel out of the once if I want. corner of my eye. i feel like some guy stand- I didn't watch the Super Bowl. So, what's stopping me? ing outside a TV store watching a black and Seriously. Well... me. white Zenith in the days before everybody I'm probably the only guy in the Nielson I made a damn bet. One of those silly wa- had one. rating's middle-aged-man demographic who gers we make with ourselves on Jan. 1 that But going without HBO, "Justified" and missed it. usually last until about Jan. 3. , "Deadliest Catch" has opened my eyes to a In fact, I haven't watched a live sporting A couple months into the self-imposed new world. I'm doing things I should have event on TV since I moved here in March of television abyss I bet myself I could go 365 been doing all my life. Like, well.., living. last year. days without unleashing the Sony. Trust I hike more, fish more, write more and And it's been a little agonizing for a life- me, it's easier to go a year without a beer read more. long television junkie like myself, than go cold turkey on the tube. I bet i've read about 50 books since March. I crave my all-day sports, 24-hour news and I've not only missed The Masters for the I just read that Steve Jobs could be a real "American Pickers." Sometimes I even linger first time since 1967, I missed the U.S. Open, ass. And I've been reminded why Stephen on C-SPAN, even though I detest politics. British Open and PGA Championship. King scares the living &*%# out of people. I love watching The Masters golf tourna- I missed the NBA Finals, the World Series I've met my neighbors and remembered ment, The History Channel and even that and (this is killing me) THE SUPER BOWL. their names. clown-boy Jim Cramer shouting about the I missed all the worldwide real-time I've played hundreds of games of Scrabble, stock market, breaking news. rummy and Yahtzee. But for the last 11 months I've had none of I missed our Special Forces capping I've even talked to my wife. Not the usual it. Not even an infomercial. Osama bin Laden and some of his pals. I "I love you, honey" stuff either. I'm talking You see, I don't have TV. heard about it from a phone call. The last philosophy~ feelings, ideas, goals, dreams, Actually that's not true. I have a souped- time I got my news that way the caller was stuff like that. up 50-inch Sony flat screen with surround using a rotary phone. You laugh? Try it for a week. sound as the centerpiece of our living room. For a news junkie who craves trivia and It's amazing how much you can learn She's a beauty. A zero-to-260-channels-in- current events ... this has been like an old- about a person when you aren't channel a-matter-of-seconds type of beautiful, fashioned bread-and-water prison diet. surfing. I just don't have it hooked up. But even inmates watch TV. I'm pretty I've even started working out. Well, OK, I Lazy? Nope. Oversight? Hardly. Finances? sure it's considered cruel and unusual pun- joined the gym. That's almost like working out. Not yet. ishment to deny convicts their "Oprah." One of these days I'm actually going to go It started as a matter of priorities. After Actually, Shelley and I do watch a little inside the health club and ride a stationary spending most of the day at the newspaper fake TV. You know, Netflix and some of bike or something. and the rest of it tending to the guests at my those boxed DVD sets. Hmmm ... There are dozens of TVs in family's lodging business, there simply We turn it into a real event. Turn down there. weren't any hours left. the lights, stoke the fire and nuke popcorn Maybe I better wait until March. i Where in the World? Tracy and John Wixted, owners of the Ranchito Motel in Quincy, visit the Haleakala Volcano New Year's Eve on the island of Maui. Haleakala means "house of the sun," and its highest point is 10,023 feet above sea level. The,Wixteds' trip was in celebration of their 50th birthdays. Next time you travel, share where you went by taking your local newspaper along and including it in a photo. Then email the photo to smorrow@ plumasnews.com. Include your name, contact information and brief details about your photo. We may publish it as space permits. I REMEMBER slot machines, pinball games, blackjack Hospital in Chico and other management WHEN .......................................................................................................................................................... and trap tables throughout the county, firms during this interim period. KERI TABORSKI Historian 75 YEARS AGO ............. 1937 Plumas County registration of voters was decreased this week by 671 according to Plumas County Election Clerk John Donnenwirth. Gambling in all forms must cease in Plumas County by March 1 according to Plumas County District Attorney M.C. Kerr and Plumas County Sheriff Braden, acting on orders from the California State Attorney General. The edict applies to all 50 YEARS AGO ....... 1962 The "bug" that has been floating around the state of California, causing much ab: senteeism in the schools, has reached Plumas County and enrollment in local schools has been affected as well. 10 YEARS AGO ........ 2002 The Plumas County Board of Supervi- sors this week chose a Quincy site on a par- cel located on North Mill Creek Road in East Quincy for the new animal shelter at a cost of $46.000. They rejected a proposed Greenville highway frontage property site. 25 YEARS AGO ........... 1987 Indian Valley Hospital will be managed by Washoe Health Network, Incorporated through March 21. The IVH board will con- sider long term management contracts with Washoe Hospital in Reno, Enloe Note: items included in the weekly Remember When column are taken from our bound newspa- per archives and represent Writing styles of that particular period. The spelling and grammar are not edited, so the copy is presented as it actually appeared in the original newspaper. Folks are @re)occupied with closures a n;!ffmte g~ ~::: tc ~:::/Y:i:: ~:m:::b:~ l:~:e : :!h~f!~ii;t~!Y h?:: wth:nr:i.gh t t s P e a k ' ] smv:d:hehno~pe~oreuad:bhutyt::e::t:f w:V:n Icn:itell:aTll:c~ ee mmjtded:ha[~re" hn" Greenville and stood on the highway with pression that members of the public would signs: "Keep GHS Open," "We Need our be allowed their right to speak once at the School," "Keep our Community Healthy." beginning of the meeting, about issues not Charleston Gazette reporters Eric Eyre addressed on the agenda, and then during MY TURN and Scott Finn won both the 2002 Education each agenda item, after board discussion. ......................................... A~iCiAKNADLER .......................................... Writers Award for their "Closing Costs" se- Her impression was that they still operated ries in a newspaper with less than 100,000 in under Robert's Rules of Order, though this is Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com circulation, and the Fred M. Hechinger not the case anymore, at least officially. Grand Prize for Education Reporting. Ever since the 1990s there has been a While Plumas County residents and Findings in their investigation were nu- statewide move to force more boards into school district administrators have joined merous, including a multitude of broken compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, in battle, one parent brings stark examples promises made worse by a top-heavy admin- and I've noticed local boards move away from the hills of West Virginia, where istration that grew despite fewer schools from Robert's Rules, and Plumas Unified is school closures were initiated on a wide and declining enrollment, no exception. scale. For West Virginians, school closures be- Here is their modern take on public par- A member of the Indian Valley School gan in 1990, more than 300 of them one in ticipation, as written on their website: Closure and Consolidation Committee, her every five schools. If the district provides agendas to the pub- task was to research similar situations and Proposed for closure in Plumas County lic at the meeting, there will he a brief de- their outcomes, are at least three in 10, just for a start, scription, contrary to what is found on their The summary she shares is a grim one, Members of each community have been website, which is the following: with echoes of similarity that seem to asked to study the situation in committee "Citizens wishing to speak before the stretch across the continent and the mists and bring their recommendations to the School Board during a board meeting must of time. governing board, sign up in advance. The harshest one was when several stu- Misinformation abounds, and it seems as "To sign up to speak, participants can el- dents from a small town were seriously in- if district administrators are too busy to ther apply to speak to a scheduled agenda jured in mid-winter 2002, when the bus they provide answers, at least that is what item, or to speak during the monthly public rode over a 4,000-foot mountain to school Chester committee members Traci Holt and hearing on any specific topic. was forced off the road by a tractor-trailer Gwen Meinhardt discovered. "Requests to speak must be submitted by truck. Indian Valley members were busy the written request to the Plumas Superinten- Indian Valley parents are especially wor- past two weeks, refining their list of ques- dent of Schools, 50 Church Street, Quincy, ried about this scenario; their murmurs tions to present at the board meeting California before the start of the regularly have been heard during more than one corn- tonight, scheduled Tuesday meeting." mittee meeting. Residents are so worked up about improp- The public's constitutional rights are un- And one doesn't have to go all the way to er interference from administrators that der attack, and it's no wonder people are West Virginia for examples of what happens several were calling for an "occupy the ready to go occupy themselves with correct- after school closures in small communities, meeting" movement, so they could be heard ing the situation. ,, l;I..f~ :l~l~l~iiillll|/, " .. :"i~-