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Quincy, California
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February 26, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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February 26, 2014
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Feather River College students speak: "We are happy" The history of Feather River College is built upon outreach, student support and diversity. FRC originally started as a campus of the Peralta Community College District, which serves northern Alameda County, including the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. A diverse student body was established the very First day that FRC opened its doors in 1968. Therefore, it came as no surprise that while the Political Science 140: Multiethnic America class was working on the 2013 Campus Climate Report, the students wanted to know if the diverse campus was "happy." Dr. Katie Desmond cringed at the statement, "Let's see if FRC students are happy." A professor of political science and sociology, Desmond teaches scientific inquiry and DR. KEVIN TRUTNA SUPERINTENDENT/PRESIDENT FEATHER RIVER COLLEGE fact-based research, even in applied sociological studies. How does one measure happiness? As it turns out, there is a World Happiness Index and the political science students gleaned survey questions from this study while they conducted the latest edition of the FRC Campus Climate Report. The report shows that FRC students are indeed happy! Every two years, Political Science 140: Multiethnic America students learn about demographics, survey methodology and data analysis through this survey and class project. Even the latest Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) accreditation site visit noted the student project as an important part of the campus participatory decision-making process. The class set out to measure campus climate. Through the greater than 20 percent response rate from all students on campus, they found that 90 percent of the respondents report being "very" or "rather" happy at FRC. Overall, 95 percent felt that "being part of the FRC campus community is a positive experience" and campus comfort levels in terms of equality, nondiscrimination and respect were positively rated from 88 to 93 percent, respectively. Some of the findings that warrant further study include statements showing women may experience the campus environment differently than men as well as the relatively low 54 percent comfort level and feeling of inclusiveness from nontraditional-aged students. While more than 80 percent of people reported a campus climate of equality and respect, FRC has some work to do as there was low overall awareness and participation in diversity activities designed to support students ranging from clubs, specific success programs, guest lectures and presentations. Overall, the FRC campus climate is very positive. Campus climate refers to the general atmosphere experienced by the students, faculty, staff and administration of FRC, primarily in terms of their overall comfort, their sense of safety and belonging, and whether they feel valued and treated fairly with respect and without discrimination. FRC recognizes the importance of diversity, inclusion and providing a safe learning and working environment for all students and employees. This is especially important in light of the college history and outreach efforts to bring a diverse student body onto campus. California community colleges are the vehicle for social change, enrolling almost 75 percent of Latino and 66 percent of black students in higher education statewide. In contrast, only 20 percent of these underrepresented students transfer to a four-institution. According to sense of family (belonging)for these students is more important..." FRC scores high in student success and graduation rates compared to peer institutions. As the FRC superintendent/president, I am proud of the work of our entire institution from the students who producedthis report to the policy-level decision-makers on the board of trustees to every faculty, staff and administrator whose supportive environment makes students feel welcome and happy that they attend our college in Quincy. A comfortable learning environment lays the groundwork for classroom success, graduation, gainful employment and social mobility for all of our students. the UCLA Civil Rights Project, FRC is "happy" to report on its "It may be that creating a positive campus climate. Responsible budget would eliminate foolish fire fee In the middle of California's driest winter on record and following an active fire season, our state must provide the firefighting services Californians need and expect. That's why I recently sent a letter to Gov. Brown urging him to eliminate the controversial (and probably illegal) fire prevention fee. I also asked him to restore full funding to CalFire in the revised version of his 2014-15 budget proposal. In this time of drought, CalFire must have the reliable funding it needs to fulfill a mission that benefits all Californians. Remember, the fire fee doesn't pay one cent toward fighting fires, but rather backfills budget cuts made WHERE I STAND GFORGI: RUNNER STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION to CalFire years ago. The third set of bills is currently scheduled to go out in early March. The fire fee is a bad tax, not just because of the unnecessary burden it places on taxpayers, but because it is horribly inefficient to collect. From the beginning, the process of collecting the fire prevention fee has been lengthy and expensive, proving it is a poor method for funding CalFire's fire prevention efforts. Each year the Board of Equalization is required to mail nearly 800,000 bills on behalf of CalFire to Californians who own habitable structures in the state responsibility area. In the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Board of Equalization spent more than $8 million and CalFire more than $9 million to administer the fire fee. That's more than $17 million in new expenses for the state for just one year's billings. It is a gross understatement to say this does not make good fiscal sense. In a recent supplemental budget report, staff notes that the fee "has created a substantial workload that could not be absorbed by the BOE." Staff blames the program's administrative complexity and $1.7 million in cost 1 overruns on numerous factors, including the delay of initial billings, a high protest rate, collection actions, errors in CalFire's data t-fie, high rates of returned mail and an extremely high volume of phone calls and correspondence not typical of other tax programs. To demonstrate just how fiscally unsound the program is, let's compare some numbers. The Board of Equalization collects only $75 million from nearly 800,000 fire fee payers. In contrast, the Board of Equalization collects approximately $20 billion from nearly 1 million sales tax permit holders (i.e., traditional retailers). If we were to redirect the staff currently working on the fire fee to, for example, collect unpaid taxes from the illegal underground economy, the state would experience a far greater benefit. Given questions about the law's legality, the state also faces mounting costs and growing exposure as a class-action lawsuit brought by fee payers moves forward. Should the courts strike down the fee, which seems likely, the state will need to provide refunds to property owners. Rather than continue to pick the pockets of rural Californians, a responsible budget will restore CalFire's full funding using existing revenue. This will save the state the costs of continuing to administer, collect, inefficient tax. The fire fee continues to place more burdens and costs on both CalFire and the state Board of Equalization, without providing additional fire fighters, air protection or even a single hose -- despite our state's increased firefighting expenses this year due to drought conditions. The fiscally responsible thing to do is eliminate this foolish tax. George Runner represents more than 9 million Californians as a taxpayer a dvoca te and elected member o the state Board oF Equalization. For more information, visit Litigate and likely .... boaca.aRaaer or refund this illegal and ...... .... m]/Iraeeecon ......... LETTERS to the EDITOR 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 Friday at 3p.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 to dmana/d@p/umasnewa corn, A waste of money How thrilled I was to learn of the replacement of the Snake Lake bridge. - This replacement will greatly relieve the traffic congestion resulting from a single-lane bridge. It will provide a safer and faster crossing for all 10 or 20 cars that daily use the bridge. All this for a mere $2.3 million. This represents an expenditure of almost $120 for every man, woman and child residing in Plumas County. I'd rather have the money! William Henwood Quincy Activist deserves credit A fight to reapportion Plumas County LAFCo fees is brewing on the behalf of the city of Portola. The past efforts have been to lower the cost of LAFCo expenses. Community activist Trent Saxton deserves the credit for the idea to reapportion the fees in a fair and equitable plan. It is a plan to do what's right, not just what is legal. The plan will challenge the ethics of the Board of Supervisors. I thank an activist outside the city for his contributions. It is not the only fight that will be coming before the BOS from the city of Portola. Concerned citizens in Portola have been lobbying for affordable public services and are focusing their attention on the water rates. In 2012, our City Council imposed fee increases for five years to cover their current deficits and their estimated cost increases. It was not approved by the property owners. Another fee increase is on the horizon for those water districts that have contracts for water from the county. We again will be paying for the development of the water system downstream. For several years we did not pay the county since they could not provide treated water to us. We were saving millions which could have been used to improve our wells and infrastructure. It is too late to challenge the wisdom of past City Councils to bring LDWTP back on-line when the lake was about to be poisoned. Or the million in savings to the city when LDWTP was not in service. It could have been used to improve our wells and infrastructure instead lending money to the county. It is time to renegotiate our contract with the county considering the recent failed negotiations with DWR, and the city's current needs. We can revise our water master plan and bring affordable public services to the city of Portola. Larry F. Douglas Portola The melting pot Two mega-corporations took it upon themselves to make a social comment in their weil-publicized ads. Cheerios showed a child of mixed race in an ad, and when the misguided protested, Cheerios showed, not only the child, but the beautiful parents of the child as well in their next well-publicized ad. Coca-Cola chose to air an ad showing various Americans who have adopted this country singing "America the Beautiful" in the language of their foi'efathers. You would think that educated Americans would either praise these corporations or calmly accept the ads as nothing unusual. However, as Morris Dees has said, we have a long way to go yet in perfecting our social mores. Hate reared its ugly head. As for miscegenation, I might mention the obvious fact that as Homo sapiens we are all descended from the same gene pool. Also, almost every African American descended from slave owners has some European DNA. Jefferson was not the only one who practiced miscegenation, if, after DNA revelations, we can even use the term. Aside from the fact that I have always liked "America the Beautiful" because it admits to flaws that should be mended and it speaks of "brotherhood." I feel that by putting this American patriotic song in their own language, the immigrants are paying us a sincere compliment. The people around the earth from ancient times have always been members of a salad bowl or a melting pot, if you will. Salvatore Cataiano Taylorsville Divisive politics I read some of these letters and it bewilders me that liberals are so willing to go back to a form of government that our forefathers hated so much that they were willing to die to escape it. The first thing I had to realize is the Democratic party of today is not the party of John F. Kennedy. JFK's policies would be conservative in today's politics. My wife and I left the Democratic Party in the '90s because they no longer held the same views of government or values that we did. In recent years so-called blue dog (moderate) Democrats have dwindled to none, thus the swing to a progressive ideology. The Democrats would have you believe the Republican Party has moved too far right but I suggest to you, the opposite is true. The main point I would like to leave you with is to be an informed voter. Find a news outlet that still has investigative journalism and differing opinions. When you do that, then you will know whether there is a smidgen of truth to some of these letters. I'm sorry to say, you will not find good journalism on the same channels that we all used to watch, unless the president is Republican. In all my 64 years living in California (except for the last six months in Oregon), I have never seen the rhetoric, mislabeling and divisive politics of today. All these elected officials take an oath to uphold the laws and constitution of this great country. Some are not because of political gain and ideology. Please hold them accountable to that oath in the next election. Don't let any politician or party take your vote for granted. Make them come and earn it! Randy Cowley Prineville, Ore. (former Chester resident) Violence against women a serious issue I am writing to share my congratulations to the cast and crew of the Vagina Monologues. They put on a powerful show. If you are not familiar with this show, it has been performed in Quincy for the last few years on or around Valentines Day. The Vagina Monologues is part of the V-Day Campaign which is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Their goal is to raise money to fund programs with this aim. In our community, Women's Mountain Passages will receive financial assistance from this fundraiser. The other reason I'm writing is this; this problem, violence against women and girls is a worldwide problem. This doesn't just occur in third world countries, it occurs in the US as well. In our supposedly safe country, 20-25 percent (depending on which statistic you read) of women have survived a rape or attempted rape; and this is reported incidences; I'm sure the number is much higher because of the number of people that fear reporting. This is a problem that can only be improved by education; education of adults and kids. I wanted to bring more attention to this topic because it needs it. For the record, I am male. I have no involvement, aside from being a member of the audience, to this movement, but I am human. I'm sickened by the fact that a topic such as this, no matter how uncomfortable to talk about, is getting swept under the carpet and I want to take some steps to draw more attention to this; open a dialogue that might help one parent talk to their son or daughter and help make a change. Chris W. Anderson, DC Quincy Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Maih 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) 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; ITY/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: 501 1 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, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. lamalfa.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 2885 Churn Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El 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, Room 2174, Sacramento; CA 94249, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002 (530) 223-6300, FAX (53{}) 223-6737. GOVERNOR Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. State ============================================== ..........