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Quincy, California
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February 11, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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February 11, 2015
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE In school gardens, our children bloom in many ways What do we want most for our children? We want our children to be happy and healthy. We want them to be compassionate, kind and well-liked. We don't ' just want our children to do well in school, we want them to love to learn. This is a tall order for even the best of teachers and most diligent of parents. I would like to offer the idea that a school garden program can play an invaluable role in helping students develop in these areas at a relatively small cost. By bringing garden programs into our schools we are helping our students grow as whole people. School gardens help students develop in three fundamental ways. Social emotional health A school garden offers a plethora of opportunities for students to develop as social emotional beings. According to the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, social emotional health is defined as a child's capacity to form secure relationships, experience and regulate emotions, and explore and learn. It is now widely recognized by childhood development experts that social emotional development is WHERE I STAND learn in a vibrant, hands-on ........................................................... environment. Many students KARl O'REILLY GARDEN EDUCATOR DIGGING IN PROGRAM i perhaps the largest determining factor in leading a happy, successful and fulfilling life. One study found that school gardens serve as a "safe place" for students. Studies show that large numbers of students report "that they feel 'calm,' 'safe,' 'happy,' and 'relaxed' in the school garden" (Habib.and Dohert, 2007). A study of third- through fifth-graders showed that students who spent time in a garden program had increased self-understanding, interpersonal skills and cooperative skills when compared to nongardening students (Robinson and Zajicek, 2005). Time spent in a school garden can help our students develop into the types of citizens we need for our community to flourish. Cognitive skills With schools increasingly focusing on meeting standards and excelling on standardized tests, a school garden offers a rare opportunity for students to are physical learners and are helped by garden activities that reinforce lessons from the classroom. A school garden is the perfect place for students to connect what they are learning in class to the broader world around them. One study of third- and fourth-graders involved in a school garden and nutrition program found that "the school garden supports student inquiry, connection to the natural world, and engages students in the process of formulating meaningful questions" (Habib and Doherty, 2007). Students who participate in school garden programs were shown to enjoy learning, and possessed a positive attitude toward their education (Canaris, 1995; Dirks and Orvis, 2005). Studies have also shown that students who participate in science-based activities in their school gardens score consistently higher on science achievement tests than students who learn in traditional classroom environments only (Klemmer, Wallczek and Zajicek, 2005). In a garden, students who sometimes fend learning in a traditional classroom challenging can experience (sometimes for the first time) what it feels like to be a leader in the classroom -- that school is a place where they can feel successful and inspired. Physical health Although it may seem obvious to say that gardening has the potential to positively impact children's physical health, there have been many studies that corroborate this very idea. With obesity steadily on the rise and children increasingly turning to TV and video games in their after-school hours, there has never been a better time to expose children to gardening. Studies found that children who are familiar with growing their own food tend to eat more fruits and vegetables (Bell and Dyment, 2008), and are more likely to carry those healthy eating habits with them into adulthood (Morris and Zidenberg-Cherr, 2002). Another study found that gardening during childhood exposes children to healthy food, moderate exercise and positive social interactions and can often lead to a lifetime of gardening (Gross and Lane, 2007). The Digging In program The good news? There is currently an amazing garden program called "Digging In" hard at work getting kids out into the garden here in Plumas County. I work as an educator for the Digging In program at Indian Valley Elementary in Greenville while my colleague Cody Reed works at Pioneer-Quincy Elementary. Whenever Cody and I walk onto our respective campuses students call out to us with excitement "Are we coming to the garden today?!" It's inspiring and amazing how much our students love exploring, eating from and learning in the garden. While we work closely with Plumas Unified School District, the Digging In program is run by Mountain Passages, a small nonprofit in Quincy. The program subsists entirely on community donations and small grants. Our goal is to work with the amazing teachers at these schools to provide garden-based, hands-on learning opportunities for students that reinforce classroom lessons and incorporate state standards. We would love to see this program expand to serve Chester and Portola and right now the only thing standing in our way is limited resources. It's an easy thing to say that one "stands" for promoting children's health in our community; who doesn't? Everyone also understands that our schools don't have the budgets they once had, and that every year amazing and life-changing programs like art and music are being cut. But where do we get the most bang for our buck? I have seen with my own eyes that garden programs make a significant difference in the lives of our children. I have watched as students build healthier relationships with' their food, and as they learn to care for and about other living things. I have witnessed science come alive for them. If you would like to show ' your support for this program, please visit our website for more information on how you can get involved or to make a donation. Take a stand for healthy children -- help us make school gardens a priority in our community! LETTERS to the EDITOR Guidelines for letters All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be publishe.d. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name: ' wish only to carry out the dreams of their imagination, get some fresh air and exercise in what amounts too a small business. They contribute to local economies. They are singled out and run out of the woods for daring to be industrious. Conflicts with hikers and fisher people are few, the forest large and the number of places where gold occurs is small. Can't we all just get along?. ,, The dgadline 'FHddy ' aT 3 p.m.; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to dmcdonald@plumasns.cort Dredge mining isn't destructive In defense of reporter Miriam Cody and Feather Publishing, the suction dredging moratorium is indeed arbitrary and unfair. The truth is that dredging is not deleterious to fish. Fish and Game has studied this issue for over 30 years and have been unable to prove otherwise. Any mercury encountered by the dredger is removed from the watercourse by the same principle as gold is recovered: namely specific gravity, with a good chance of gold in the amalgam. Stream sediments are subject to upheaval in high water events so perhaps the agencies will figure out a way to cite Mother Nature for moving that mercury and for that excessive turbidity. The facts, however, are really not the point. It is politically correct to pile on the miner whatever the scope of the endeavor. The USFS has been diligently stamping out mining by way of arbitrary, unfair and illegal regulation and now every government agency known to man is pitching in. Now comes a former editor of the newspaper who, in addition to specious argument, allows that a story such as Ms. Cody's would have never seen the light of day on her watch, nor would there have been such a creature as a miner writing for the paper. Ms. Cody offered opposing views with the comments focused on "... [protecting] our waterways, wildlife, and cultural resources from destructive mining" and the genocidal proclivity of today's miner. These over-the-top statements are emblematic of the weak argument. No one has proven that dredging is harmful to anything or anybody. Miners are a minority who ............  "Digger"Dan Burns Twain Pipe dream I, for one, am pleased to see that northeast California has so few real problems that people can spend time on pipe dreams instead of putting their energies towards something productive. Terry Southworth C-Road We don't need a new state There's a movement afoot to try to break off from California to form a new territory called Jefferson. Recently our county supervisors were asked to endorse the idea, and, although they refused, several agreed with the premise that the people of this area have no representation in California government. They even want a special election that will cost $60,000 to find out what the citizens want. Let's assume the people vote to secede, and then California agrees to it. CHP, Caltrans, FRC, and other state agencies would relocate, taking their employees and their salaries with them, Teachers, no longer credentialed here, would leave as well. The new state would have to quickly set up infrastructure built over decades, all in months or years. Who would pay for it? Something tells me the people who support this don't like taxes, and we're going to need a lot of money up front to create the new state. Would we still be part of th e United States? Probably not, as the process for admitting new states to the Union is daunting. The more you think about this "idea" you realize it's never going to happen, other than the $60,000 election. Is it true that we have no representation? It depends on what "we" means. California has a Democratic supermajority and governor, leaving the secession fans out in the cold. However, they do have representation. Not getting your way and "taxation without representation" are two different things. Liberals in Kansas face the same dilemma. Progressives represented by Doug LaMalfa do, too. In a Republic like ours, we pay our supervisors to wade through complex issues for us. For them to ignore the practical truths, and agree with this faulty premise, is embarrassing. What we need are qualified representatives, :not a new state.  Paul Cavahaugh Quincy State of comedy State of Jefferson is more comical than serious. Does anyone really expect this to pass in our lifetime? The BOS should not waste one more minute on this subject. And, if the backers are so serious, then they should pay for the cost of a special election. By the way, which Jefferson are they attaching themselves to, Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Davis or the Jeffersons, who recently moved on up to the East Side? They also need a marketing company to come up with a better name. Here are my ideas, State of Perpetual Bliss, S O Peace, Love and Understanding, S O Confusion, S O Denial and my favorite, S O Make Believe. Anymore ideas out there? They could use all the help they can get. Bob Raymond Clio Wasted energy I agree that the attempt (desire?) to create the state of Jefferson is unrealistic. The cold reality of that situation is that it's not going to happen. So, I suggest the Jefferson group put their energies into something that will actually give the Lake Almanor area a financial boost. There are several groups doing just that. One, mentioned in the Jan. 28 issue of the Chester Progressive (page 5A), organized by Terry Collins, is nothing short of a great idea. Another effort, offered by the Chamber of Commerce in the Jan. 28 Business & Classifieds touts, "The chamber is gearing up for the Travel and Adventure show Feb. 7 & 8 in Santa Clara." And, yet another group: Caribou Alliance for Trails (CATS) is moving forward with regional trails maps that will be published and made available to outdoor enthusiasts of many interests. It seems to me that if a person wants to do something positive for He Lake Almanor area then supporting these groups would be a good option. Steve Salisbury Pacifma Movement without merit In reference to the state of Jefferson, I find it interesting that long before any attempt had been made to create a new state, a section of southwest Oregon wanted to break away from Oregon and join California. Although that never happened, Califoriiia:seems to have been desirable. Sometime after that attempt, Shasta County wanted to break away from California and create the 49th state called Shasta. Hawaii and Alaska did not become the 49th and 50th states until 1959. It was agreed that one would not be admitted without the other because one was essentially Democratic and the other Republican, thereby balancing off the number of new senators. Not too long after the Shasta attempt failed, as I understand it, there was the first attempt to create the 49th state of Jefferson. That attempt lost support when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Since then, over the years, there have been unsuccessful attempts to create a new state and fruitless talks of creating a new one. This time, I am told, a Silicon billionaire is funding the movement for a 51st state, following his own agenda and sparing no expense. The people have found the movement without merit in the past, and I believe they should find it without merit nOW. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Solution will be found Let us not panic and assume that the Quincy Nursing Home will close. I know that families are concerned and may opt for moving their loved one now. But in doing so they may make it less viable for Plumas District Hospital to adopt the facility as a "distinct part" of its hospital. It is vitally important, essential that we keep our disabled and elderly here. Thanks to Mimi Hall and Dr. Kepple who on such short notice called the Feb. 4 meeting and set in motion the steps needed to save the beds and the jobs. More than 200 people crowded into the Mineral building last Wednesday. They expressed overwhelming determination to save the place where many of our elderly neighbors live. It is their home. It is also the jobs that so many dedicated nurses, cooks and staff depend on. When the Greenville Hospital closed, our nursing home residents were transferred to other facilities. More than half of them died shortly after being transferred and they were in nearby facilities. There are not such alternatives today: Bypullingtogfher, : ' :   :   speaking with one voice, a solution will be found. Nancy Lund Greenville Funding source To quote a statement in last week's Letters to the Editor concerning Secure Rural School Funds: "If we don't get it, it doesn't affect the budget, if we do, it's a surplus." Really! Plumas Unified School District has already been highly impacted as a result of cutbacks to that particular funding source. There used to be adequate busing, we had two full time school nurses; and a school psychologist, and we paid our certificated, classified and administrative staff very well. We had all the necessary transfer programs in each of the four community schools; math, science, English, band, art, a great sports program, drama, homemaking, shop, programs for the educationally handicapped, and for those students who excelled above and beyond. Compare all of that with elementary through high school program in all four community areas now. There's still the threat of closing Greenville High School, busing has been drastically cut back, teacher ' salaries are not nearly as :C0titliiciWtb tracting and holding new teachers as they once were; classified staff has been cut back, Taylorsville Elementary has been closed; Pioneer Elementary has been consolidated with Quincy Elementary and, now, I understand there's rumors to the effect that there's to be even more cutbacks to the sports prtgram. And just where are our teachers on the salary schedule now as compared to other counties our size? Surely, there must be a way to address our past reliance on Secure Rural School Funds in such a way as to insist on a formula that is stable and meets our need for supplemental funding; a formula that can be relied on at budget time each year, regardless of arbitrary new laws and ever changing administrations. Nansi Bohne Quincy 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@countyofphmas.com. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofphmas.com PRESIDENT- Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. 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) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710. Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 5011 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563. 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224=3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPREsENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. www.LaMalfa.House.gov.; Faeebook.com/RepLaMalfa; twitter: @RepLaMalfa. DISTRICT OFFICE: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965, (530) 534-7100, FAX (530) 534-7800. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. E1 Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center: 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding Constituent Service Center: 1670 Market St., Suite 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225- 3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 1ST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Suite 2158, Sacramento, CA 94249-00001, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916).319-2103. District Office, 280 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR- Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/(916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.