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March 10, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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March 10, 2010

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, March 10, 2010 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Regional alliance opposes the proposed 2010 water bond WHERE I STAND Sierra Nevada Alliance The Sierra Nevada Alliance generally supports water bonds and other funding sources that support sustain- able water projects in the Sierra and California. Howev- er, in the instance of the No- vember 2010 water bond, the Sierra Nevada Alliance oppos- es the bond for the following top three reasons: The bond supports a num- ber of new dams in the Sierra Nevada that are unnecessary and cause significant ecologi- cal, historical and cultural impacts. Mega-projects that would likely receive signifi- cant funding boosts from this bond if passed are in the Mokelumne, Yuba-Bear, Merced and San Joaquin wa- tersheds of the Sierra Nevada. This bond shifts some miti- gation costs from the propo- nent/beneficiary of projects to the general public. This bond expands privatiz- ing public water, with ramifi- cations for restoration, public water strategies and social justice issues. The Sierra Nevada Alliance was formed to support conser- vation groups across the range and our mission is "to protect and restore the natur- al resources of the Sierra Nevada for future generations while promoting sustainable communities." This water bond is not in the best interests of the entire Sierra and, consequently, the state and nation, which rely on the Sierra for clean water, diverse wildlife and outstand- ing recreation opportunities. While this bond does provide funding for some good projects that would benefit some areas within the Sierra, these good projects should be funded us- ing other mechanisms that do not require harming other sig- nificant areas of the Sierra. The Sierra Nevada Alliance encourages organizations, businesses and others to op- pose the November 2010 water bond and urges all California voters to vote no. The position of the Sierra Nevada Alliance does not repre- sent the position of each of our member groups and is solely the position of the organization. November 2010 water bond supports new mega-dams in the Sierra, causing extensive environmental damage. The November 2010 water bond sets a bad precedent of funding environmental miti- gation with public dollars. The bond would allow money to be used for environmental mitigation of surface storage projects that provide public benefits like recreation. So in- stead of the beneficiaries of these dams, like the West- lands Water District, paying for mitigation, bond money could be used instead. The November 2010 water bond opens the door to water privatization. The bond pro- vides for the formation of what are known as joint pow- ers authorities--usually a coalition of public entities that pool resources for pro- jects they probably couldn't do, or couldn't afford to do, on their own. The water bond, though, specifically allows for the creation of joint powers authorities that "may include in their membership govern- mental and nongovernmental partners that are not located within their respective hydro- logic regions in financing the surface storage projects." It is, effectively, privatiza- tion of a vital public resource. According to Carolee Krieger, president of the California Water Impact Network, a wa- ter consumer advocacy orga- nization, "That's very, very dangerous because that... opens the door to the privati- zation of water." She predicts that would harm consumers. "If someone is doing this pri- vately they are doing it for their own profit.., and if there is a profit motive there, the price is going to go up for everyone." For more information on how this bill would allow in- dividuals to profit from bond water privatization and for a brief review of the negative effects of previous California water privatization, go to these sites: californiaprogressreport. com/site/?q=node/7285 ters/wilderness-resources/ stories/california-bond-al- lows-private-companies-con- trol-of-water To read the bond in its entirety, go to: leginfo sb_0001-0050/sbx7 2 bill 20091109_chaptered.pdf. Rotary test prouides an objectiue guide to liuin 2 a life that matters JoAnna Waterman Student, St. Andrews Academy Special to Feather Publishing The Rotary Four-Way Test is a set of questions to help live a life that matters. But what is a life that matters? Who or what determines the standard for a "good life?" The relativist would say the individual judges whether his life is a good life, since he does not believe that what others define as "good" neces- sarily applies to him. Those who believe in objec- tivity would say there is a cer- tain standard to live by that applies to everyone. The re- sults of asking the questions of the Four-Way Test are very different for these two oppo- site views. So let's take a look at the Four-Way Test from the typical relativist American's view. Is it the Truth?This is ah almost impossible question to ask a relativist avidepect a satisfac :! tory answeY.What is truth? A relativist would say that there is no such thing as "the truth." "What is true for someone isn't necessarily true for someone else. You just gotta do what you think is right for you." But where does this lead? what if half of America decided that traffic laws should not ap- ply to them? That they weren't true for them? Or worse: what if all children decided that they shouldn't have to obey adults? That morals and ethics were not "true" for them? I'm afraid that this is where our culture is taking young people. The culture tells them to choose what they want, what they think is true. But how can anything that is not true for everyone, that is even a huge lie for some, be good? How can it make the world a better place? How does it help one live a life that matters? It doesn't. The relativist has failed the very first question of the Four-Way Test. Is it fair to all concerned? This is another hard question to ask a relativist. After all, a relativist believes what is fair to one person is not necessari- ly fair to someone else. what I think is fair, and whatever is nothing to compare it to. The relativist cannot even always use other people's experi- ences because what works for one person will not necessari- ly work for anyone else. And while this is true to some de- gree because not all people are the same, this doesn't mean that there are no set ba- sics that apply to everyone. Will it be beneficial to all con- cerned? The relativist individ- ual says that if it benefits me and doesn't obviously hurt someone else, it is beneficial to all concerned. After all, who is going to judge whether it bene- fits all if there is no objective standard, no set definition of beneficial to compare it to? The relativistic viewpoint is selfish. The individual takes the role of God, deter- mining right from wrong with no higher authority to guide his choice. Unfortunately, man is not objective truth to determine whether the answers to the test are satisfactory or not. Robert Ingersoll, an Ameri- can politician during the Civil war, said, "The real searcher after truth will not receive the old because it is old, or reject the new because it is new. He will not believe men because they are dead, or contradict them because they are alive. With him dn utterance is worth the truth, the reason it contains, without the slightest regard to the author. He may have been a king or serf-- a philosopher or servant -- but the utterance neither gains nor loses in truth or reason. Its val- ue is absolutely independent of the fame or station of the man who gave it to the world." Or, as Winston Churchill put it more directly, "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, igno- rance may deride it, but in taught to be and what they knew to be good and true. They lived in a time where the truth not only mattered, but even existed! Fairness is supposed to be objective. Just. Unbiased. Fair. While it is true that dif- ferent people do encounter different circumstances, they all are given the same ways to deal with it. When a student would tell our former assistant head- master "that's not fair," he would always answer, "Life is fair. We all get twenty-four hours a day." The students quickly learned to find a more sympathetic ear. But he was right. Even if people are not acting fairly, even if a person is in difficult circumstances, they still have a choice to do what is right and fair for everyone. Will it build good will and better friendships? If it is not can to help himself, good will and better friendships really happen,.not just from the per- son's view. Benefiting all concerned is possible with an objective view. Not looking at what an individual judges to be best be- cause it benefits him is the on- ly way to be fair to everyone. When there is a standard that says what is good and beneficial and what is not, it becomes quite obvious whether everyone is benefit- ing or not. A relativistic view and an objective view; the one view leads to anger, hurt, and a completely useless Four-Way Test. But if we look through the other, the objective lens, then the question, "How then ought I to live my life?" is an- swered by the Four Way Test. If there is an ultimate truth, one that culture has always in the past believed was true to best for me, is what I will perfect, and therefore cannot do the end; there it is." selfish me deciding what . measure by fairness is actual- choose:to do. SO much for jU :this correctly all the time: This .... Both of these men believed, bUfid.s good will,and improves, ly fair, Good will and friend- tice and equity. .... : ! Selfish viewpoint  only lead an ulfima[e standardthat my friendships without any ship are no longer one-way. Will it build good will and to anger and hurt, and to a life " never changes and always ap- outside opinion or advice, the Beneficial to all involved better friendships? Once of bitterness, greed, and hate. plies to everyone. Most of the answer to this question will becomes truly beneficial to all again, our culture says if it makes me happy, then it builds my goodwill and makes me feel friendlier. The individual is the judge of what builds good will and better friendships, and has Rotary's Four-Way Tes is only worthwhile from an Ob- jective position. These ques- tions have to be asked with a set standard to compare the answers to. For all of the questions, there has to be an greatest men in history are great because of their belief in objective truth and set morals. They are great because they did not do what they thought would benefit them, but be- cause they did what they were be different to me than to everyone else. When this question is asked by a person with discretion, wisdom, and a standard of what is good, a person who is not looking to do whatever he involved. And by questioning our actions using the Four- Way Test, we live a life that truly matters. Waterman's essay won the Chester Rotary Club's Youth Speech Contest. LETTERS to the EDITOR Allies The letter from Jan De Boer unfairly lumps together Plumas County teachers with the administration of Plumas Unified School District. The irrlication is that teachers have some input regarding staffing, available sections, and other budget issues. We do not. Teachers share the same concerns as parents and stu- dents regarding Greenville's future. PUSD sits on a re- serve of $9 million while stu- dents throughout the county see their section choices evaporate, lose classroom aides and see support programs eliminated. Students and quality educa- tion have always been the pri- ority of Plumas County teach- ers. Concerned parents, con- sider us your ally, not your adversary. Adrienne Stenson, PUSD Teacher Quincy Head bobble There is a new rule of en- gagement that must be fol- lowed by any citizen partici- pating in "public input" dur- ing a PUSD board meeting or retreat. The new rule -- as conveyed by PUSD board pres- ident Brad Baker during the Feb. 24 retreat of the govern- ing board-- prohibits insults. Specifically, should any member of the public, while making a presentation to the board, insult Superintendent Harris, board president Bak- er or any other board mem- ber, she/he will be asked to leave the meeting, or will be escorted out, or something. Baker wasn't clear about the repercussions, but he did made it very clear that when citizens approach the board, they had better be vary careful about how they exercise their First Amendment rights. And the self-appointed speech po- liceman Baker will adjudicate insults. So, if you are subjected to Baker's cheap shots or emo- tional outbursts during your board encounter, just ignore him. Any parry and riposte will be taken as an insult. And under no circumstance approach the board with facts. Challenging any state- ment or action made by Har- ris, Baker or the board with facts that substantiate your accusation is the most egre- gious insult. If you are uncomfortable with confrontation, or you would be too embarrassed if asked to leave a board meet- ing, then piay it safe when you provide your board input. If you just keep to those gen- uine concerns that are con- structive, heartfelt and bla- tantly ignored, then you will not incur the wrath of the speech policeman. But if you have fact-based claims with which to chal- lenge the superintendent or the board, just keep quiet. Stay in your seat, smile, do the board member head bobble and take whatever the PUSD board authority dishes out. Acquiescing to authority is the worst enemy of truth and justice! H. Win. Gimple Indian Valley Put to rest On Thursday, Feb. i8, a friend's Australian shepherd was shot and killed in my yard. I was gone about 15 minutes when a pop and a yelp were heard by neighbors. I came home about two hours later to a yard and kennel full of blood and this little dog dead under her favorite hiding place, the cedar tree. I invite the person who did this horrible deed to come for- ward -- my number is in the phone book -- and tell me why they did this and assure me that my dog is not in imminent danger of also being killed. I don't think (or don't want to think) the person who shot Molly did it to kill her. I would like to think it was done out of sheer ignorance of the power of pellet guns -- the assumption that the shot would be funny, not fatal. You know who you are -- for your sake, mine and Mol- ly's owners, let's please put this issue to rest and contact me. Now. Rose Buzzetta Quincy Misses Molly Someone shot Molly and she died. It happened quickly, while Molly was in a fenced yard and my friend was away from her home for a short time. My friend came home to find blood in the yard and on the steps to her door. She looked more closely and found sweet Molly, dead, ly- ing under a tree in the yard. She had blood all over her and had been frothing at the mouth. It had not been a pain- less death I write this at 2 a.m. because I know my friend isn't sleep- ing, and this is my connection to her grief. I heard her grief and felt her tears earlier. There is really very little any- one, including hie, can do to help her through the night. I made a promise to Molly and to my friend that I would let folks know about the hurt that this action caused. Not everyone likes animals, whether it be dogs, cats, skunks, bears or any of the other critters we have in Quincy. I understand that. But I don't understand sense- less killing, causing an ani- mal to suffer so much, and then the grief that follows for those of us who love animals and are left behind. I beg whoever did this to look at another perspective, the viewpoint that those of us who care about animals share. If there is an animal who is causing a disturbance or who annoys you, let the owner know so they become aware and can do something about it. Don't just shoot a very sweet dog like Molly and let her die in such pain. We miss her licks and kind, gen- tle nature way too much. She was an Australian shepherd, a dog known to have a won- derful, kind temperament. The sheriff's office has the report of this crime, so if you have knowledge of what hap- pened on Thursday, Feb. 18, about 11 a.m. in East Quincy on Redburg Avenue, please call 283-6375, even anony- mously with any information -- the reward is up to $670. Molly would have appreci- ated it. Linda McDermott Quincy Museums In Plumas County, muse- ums have been great tourist attractions. Our elected offi- cials have realized their con- tributions. At their last meet- ing, the Board of Supervisors approved of Supervisor Meacher's donation from his community services funds to the Greenville Cy Hail Memo- rial Museum. He has had an eight-year commitment to support the local museum. Portola's City Council has been committed to the William's House Museum. There are museums that have not had the recent atten- tion and financial assistance of our elected officials. One such museum is the Western Pacific Museum of Portola. Though Portola's city council just approved $10,000 for this year's Railroad Days, it has not allocated funds to the city's other museum. It not only is a tourist attraction during the event, but also is a feature tourist attraction for most of the year. Feather River Rail Society work attracts tourists, non-lo- cal volunteers as well as local volunteers and visitors. It has a master plan in place for its development which would benefit the local economy and community development of Portola. The society's devel- opment has been hindered by a lack of funding. It was origi- nally formed through a part- nership with the railroad and the local civic leaders. The work of Chris Skow, in- novative businesses like Tains and Travel, and the Feather River Rail Society are stimulating local economies and serving their communi- ties. They are bringing atten- tion to Pumas County in a pos- itive way. Through Mr. Skow's work, this year's Rail- road Days will have aanyon excursion train with passen- gers from Martinez, Davis and Sacramento, as well as cover- age on PBS. This partnership hopes to have trains running for the spring flowers and fall colors. Mr. Skow was one of the founding fathers of the rail society and now manages Trains and Travel. Hopefully, as our elected of- ficials make budget decisions for the next fiscal year they will acknowledge the Feather River Rail Society and its mu- seum for their community service to the city and county. Larry F. Douglas Portola Use script When I was lO-years-old, my family, along with others, went through the "Great De- pression." I remember that my mother kept a huge pot of chili on the back burner. She traded this in for what they called in those days, "script" paper money'. With the script, she could trade bread, eggs, all kinds of things, even have her hair done. Instead of money, she used "script." I wonder why we cannot do this again. I was too young then to understand how it worked, but I am sure that someone reading this is old enough to remember how the system worked and can write in and tell all of us. I know that it was traded for many items instead of currency. I also want to thank the la- dy, Mary Shelters, attorney at law, who is putting all the wonderful information about the credit card rip-off. She is the only one that I have seen help everyone to understand and fight the banks and oth- ers. She has the guts to tell it like it is. Even Time magazine has not made note of their un- fair credit practices and the huge interest rate they are charging people. The govern- ment isn't stopping them, even with all the folks out of work and struggling to eat and pay bills. She is a blessing to all of us. The article Navigat- ing Financial Waters is great! Mildred Balben Clio