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Quincy, California
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February 10, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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February 10, 2010
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 11B Attorney general's appeal does not represent Plumas interests WHERE I STAND BILL WlCKMAN CHAIRMAN, PLUMAS COUNTY ECONOMIC RECOVERY COMMITTEE To: Edmund O. Brown Jr. Attorney General To: Ken Alex Senior Assistant Attorney General 1515 Clay Street, 20th Floor P.O. Box 70550 Oakland, CA 94612-0550 The Plumes County Eco- nomic Recovery Committee wants to go on record against your representation of the people of California in your Jan. 4, 2010, appeal of the 2004 Sierra Nevada Framework. The specific appeal was filed with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in relation to the Eastern District Court's decision on the 2004 Sierra Nevada Framework. PCERC was formed to ad- dress the existing and in- creasing economic impacts associated with natural re- source issues within Plumas County. The specific issue deals with the lack of proper vegetative management of our national forests. Of greatest concern is the issue related to the growing need to thin our forests to assist in the reduction of catastrophic wildfires, as well as maintain our wildlife, watersheds and recreational values so important to Plumas County. As your office is well aware, Plumas County has been the location of very large catastrophic wildfires over the last several years. In 2007, the Moonlight and Wheeler fires consumed over 88,000 acres of critical water- shed and wildlife resources. We feel strongly that your opposition to the Eastern District Court's December 2009 decision will only lead to more delay in accomplishing the projects on national forest land that are critical to the protection and enhance- ment of our county's natural resources. We recognize your staffs concern for trying to empha- size the importance of having the National Environmental Policy Act be as precise and accurate as possible. How- ever, your office, as well as several environmental groups, is putting our small rural county at extreme ecological risk over word- writing exercises. As a result of your overzealous effort to over- turn the December 2009 deci- sion and to reinstate the 2001 Framework, you are ignoring the social and economic im- pacts to Plumas County as well as numerous other rural counties in the state. In addition, your continual efforts to delay sound ecologi- cal and environmental pro- jects put the infrastructure for accomplishing economi- cally viable projects at risk. In your Jan. 12 letter to Ron Pugh, deputy regional planning director, you assert the following: "Sierra Forest Legacy v. Rey, 577 F.3d 1015, 1021-22 (9th Cir. 2009). Absent from the Notice of Intent, for example, is any commitment to examine alternative methods of funding fuels re- duction work, other than the logging offlarge trees." PCERC maintains and can verify that projects on national forest lands within Plumas County are not accomplished by logging large trees. As stated in the Declaration of Peter Stine filed Nov. 5, 2008, with the Eastern District Court in response to Sierra Forest Legacy v. Rey No. CIV-S-05- 0205 MCE/GGH, page 3, at 8.: "Over a century of human use and occupancy of.the Sierra Nevada, combined with fire suppression, has changed the structure and composition of most mixed conifer forests. What were once forest stands generally characterized by large, pri- marily shade intolerant species such as pines and black oak in low densities, have been usurped by very dense stands of small to inter- mediate sized trees (for pur- poses of this discussion I de- fine small trees as less than 20" diameter at breast height and intermediate trees as 20"- 30" dbh), largely shade toler- ant species such as white fir and incense cedar (Taylor 2004, North et el. 2007)." As stated above, large trees would be trees over 30 inches diameter at breast height (dbh). Because there are restric- tions to log trees over 30 inch- es dbh, the projects that oc- cur in Plumes County do not treat the large trees as you state in your January letter. Projects on national forest land within Plumas County combine the removal of bio- mass, as well as small and intermediate diameter trees that are essential for removal to meet the fuel reduction objectives described in the NEPA decisions. Even in favorable econom- ic times, these projects are marginal at best for selling versus having to supplement the treatments with appropri- ated dollars. It is critical to not continually use appropri- ated dollars versus being able to offset the costs of treat- ment with the product value associated with the smaller diameter material. What assures that many of these projects are economical is the ability to remove less than one tree per acre, on av- erage, of trees between 24 and 29.9 inches diameter at breast height. Such treatment and removal does not have any ecological impact on water- shed or wildlife values. On the contrary, such treatments allow more acres to be treated to assure that our county's natural re- sources are protected. These LETTERS the EDITOR treatments assure the reduc- tion of catastrophic wildfires, reduction of sediment deliv- ery to our streams and PG&E's hydroelectric facili- ties and a reduction in the loss of suitable habitat for California spotted owls, fish- ers and several other species. Your office should be well aware of and sensitive to eco- nomic impacts that are taking a tremendous toll on the state of California. Your appeals and litigation are only com- pounding the issues in the small rural counties that are dominated by federal lands. It would show well for you to realize these impacts and become more sensitive to the plight of our rural counties. This is not only relative to our natural resources, but the survival of our schools that will soon have to again depend on receipts from the National Forests when the Secure Rural School Act expires in 2012. PCERC would appreciate, in any further appeal to the courts or letters from your office to the Forest Service, that you exclude Plumas County from your supposed representation of the people of California. Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish only.one letter per week, per per- son and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same sub- ject. We do not publish third-par- ty, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maxi- mum of 300 words. The editor wil cut any letter in excess of 300 words.The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change dueto 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 Proud anti, thankful The purpose of this letter is to thank two people in our community, Gil Driscoll and Gary Cudworth, for their out- standing dedication to helping out a fellow person in need. Last Thursday evening I re- ceived a call from Teri West- phal and she said her hus- band, Mike, was in down- town Graeagle and needed help. Evidently, Mike was out riding Thursday in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area with two police officers from the Sparks Police Department and Matt, one of the Sparks policemen, got separated from the group and was last seen near Hawley Lake. I got the call from Teri at around 6:30 p.m. and Gil and Gary were there in Graeagle, gassed up and ready to go shortly after they were called. After putting a plan in place and getting details on where Matt was last seen, they were off to Hawley Lake. They found Matt at a cabin there and got him safely back by the early morning hours. Gill and Gary dropped whatever they were doing and responded immediately as they knew time was of the essence. I just wanted the community to know about these two gentlemen and that I am proud of them. We all should be proud and thankful to have people like Gil and Gary around. Doug Rodr$gues Clio Where's your job? Jobs, jobs, jobs. That is what I have heard for many years and yet we ourselves continue to shop in the Dollar Store, where most of the product is made in China, buy petite green beans from France, pasta from Italy ... and on and on the list goes. Don't we grow beans and wheat in this country any- more? I continue to see local folks, educational institutions and agencies of all sorts buy- ing gas for their vehicles from places that have no employees, including the yellow buses, while complaining about drop- ping school enrollment. What about all of the money spent out of town or with online merchants by all of us, including county, state and federal agencies while still asking our local mer- chants for donations or expect- ing to keep their jobs while tax revenues in the county, State and country decrease. Don't we have some re- sponsibility ourselves? And, the biggest job killer of all, health insurance (not health- care). How much of the county's now $3 million a year budget line item for health insurance is used for actual healthcare and how much is funding someone like William McGuire, the CEO of United Health~ Care, a salary and compensation package of $124 million a year? There are many more just like him who get large compensation packages and actually produce nothing. Where is that money com- ing from? Taxable sales and property taxes, which are de- clining? What will the tax- payers in Plumas County not get in services because some of you (not me) would rather give our tax dollars to health insurance companies that seem to have no purpose oth- er than shuffling papers and denying benefits? Valerie Nellor Quincy Lifeline I believe having a good hos- pital in the future is very im- portant. Many very reason- able people signed the recent petition to limit the hospital levy at $50 per $100,000 in as- sessed value. Seemed fair. As all of us started to learn more about this, we learned that this amount would not build a $21 million hospital. Next we learned our hospital was 50 years old, and show- ing many signs of decay. We also found out the hospital had been having a tough time recruiting doctors. It seems like a death spiral for our hospital. Either we build a new one, or we lose what we have over the next number of years; no one knows when. There are com- munities around us like Greenville that have lost their hospital. Perhaps they couldn't unite behind a com- mon plan. Weekly there are stories about someone else that was saved or rescued by our hos- pital and the caring and com- petent people who work there. Why would anyone want to risk that valuable lifeline? What good does it do one to have extra money in their pocket if they have to be transported to Reno or Chico for emergency room care? Economically, the hospital employs 200 people (150 full- time equivalent). This makes it the second- or third-largest employer in Quincy. If you lose that emPloyment base, the businesses start to dry up and there are even more housing vacancies. Property values drop even further. If these things concern you, you should contact those who serve on the hospital board. They are Valerie Flantgan, Bill Elliott, John Kimmel, Fred Thon and Dr. Mark Satterfield. Recently they have primarily been hearing from those who pushed the petition idea. We asked the hospital board to communicate more effectively, and they did. We expect them to protect, ex- tend, improve our hospital and the attendant doctors for the next 50 years, and they are trying to do exactly that. Finally, let us not expect "Big Government" to come in here and build a hospital for us. That won't happen, and I'm not sure it should. Bill Coates Quincy Value of compromise Having been through hun- dreds of policy decisions both as a school board member and a member of the board of supervisors, I know the value of compromise. In a small rural area, 1,000 signatures on a petition protesting any- thing local government does is worth another look. There is a process that has settled many a political finan- cial standoff. Place the tax dollars collected into a trust fund. Appoint a local finance committee (conservators) to oversee the payouts. As the work progresses, this com- mittee will review the work orders, and pay the bills in increments as they become due. If there's money left over at the end of the fiscal year, lower the next assessment ac- cordingly. The committee should con- sist of five members. A CPA, a building contractor, an attor- ney, a member of the hospital board and a member at large. Th is committee would meet in open session so that any member of the community with concerns can be heard. There's no doubt that Quincy desperately needs its hospital updated, but leaders should never stand aside of those they lead. Nansi Bohne Quincy Wants chicken I think most people love KFC and it sure would be nice to have one in Quincy. We've now got a Subway, which is good, but a KFC would be great. I'm sure there are a handful of people who do not like KCF, but the majority of folks do. Is there any businessperson out there who would be able to place a KFC in Quincy? It would be a big success! Ricki "Best Greenhorn Ranch Road rave I was pleased (but not sur- prised) to find that a study of road conditions and mainte- nance in Plumas County ranked high in the state. Thanks to Richard Humphrey, past deputy roads commissioner of Mainte- nance and Construction, there was a plan for keeping our roads in excellent condi- tion. This included the formulation of a plan for resurfacing, maintenance and construction of all public roads in Plumas County. Richard passed away short- ly after his retirement, but I remember his dedication to public safety and his desire to insure that all citizens of Plumas County enjoy "a good ride!" We are fortunate that Richard's successors, Mike Manit and Joe Blackwell have carried on Richard's legacy. I was also pleased to see the letter to the editor from Laura MacGregor and John Forno commending the hard work of the Chester division of the Plumas County Road Department. Plumas County manages to do an outstanding job, no matter the limited funds and personnel. Kudos to all the men and women who main- tain our roads. And thank you, Board of Supervisors, for allocating funds to the equipment needs. Robert Rean Plumes County Road Foreman, District 3, Retired Chester His turn I oppose the Feb. 3 "My Turn" by Joshua Sebold. The first half argued that music companies are "greedy" fo~ exercising professional and personal judgment concern- ing what music they invest in and produce. If I recorded singingin the shower, should companies be obligated to spend tens of thousands of dollars to take it public? As an amateur economist, I sub- mit that would be a misallo- cation of resources. Spending capital to produce a product the public may not want leaves businesses with fewer resources to produce some- thing the public wants. A subsequent effect would be lost jobs. In a "free" enterprise sys- tem, artists are free to per- form, companies free to in- vest, and consumers are free to purchase. Freedoms are our most cherished rights, and one of the rights is how to spend our money. We must fight against ill-conceived ef- forts to destroy our freedom of ownership. A quote from Thomas Jefferson, considered the founder of the Democratic Party: "A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of indus- try and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned this is the sum of good government." Congress passed healthcare legislation that would force people to spend for a product (insurance) they may not want or need. TheHouse ver- sion even includes a threat of imprisonment for noncompli- ance. Again from Jefferson, "When the people fear their government, there is ty- ranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." The leaders of the Democ- ratic Party are more tyranni- cal and less Jeffersonian, and their oath to uphold the Con- stitution-where authority to enact such legislation is pro- hibited-has been violated. Sebold's second half, about corporate greed (profit) is right out of Karl Marx' "Com- munist Manifesto" and "Des Capital." Gene Kailiag Sierra, ~$1~,y " " ~ "~ " :P'.," f:LHP Cox named chairman With the arrival of a new legislative year, the Senate pro tempore reshuffled com- mittee assignments and named state Senator Dave Cox as chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee. Cox, a former county supervisor, is a longtime supporter of local control. "Given the tough reality of the state and local govern- ment budgets, it is impor- tant for local officials to have more control of the pro- grams they provide," said Cox. "It is a position that I will continue to advocate in my new role." Known and respected for his directness, Cox was also asked to continue his service as vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. In a committee that tradi- tionally appropriates funds for service programs, Cox regularly advises individu- als and organizations of the state's persistent budget deficit. Added to Cox's legislative portfolio is a seat on the Public Employment and Re- tirement Committee, which is charged with the review of all legislation pertaining to public employees and their benefits. Cox will remain on the Health; Energy, Utilities and Communications; and Bank- ing, Finance and Insurance committees. Senator Cox represents the residents of the First Senate District, which includes all or portions of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Sacramento and Sierra counties. Contact his office at (916) 651-4001, or via e-mail at senator.cox@sen.ca.gov. Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 4,56-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov / contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) i 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; ] Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "feinstein.senate.gov." U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Bay, CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 6514001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quincy, 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capital, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 31"9-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 8954217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. gov.ca.gov/interact# contact ,i ~ ...... ..-7 . ~.,~ ,,~. ~ .......................................................... _'-~-'P~- -- --