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Quincy, California
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March 17, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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6B Wednesday, March 17, 2010 r00DITORIAL an.d OPINION Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL History of women often written with invisible ink Even when recognized in their own times, women are often not included in the history books. Since 1997, the Plumas County Museum, in col- laboration with the Plumas National Forest, has presented a Women's History Luncheon Program to recognize those women who played a part in Plumas County and its regional history. Call the Plumas County Museum at 283-6320 for informa- tion and tickets to the Women's History Luncheon March 31. This year's overarching theme "Writing Women Back into History," established by the National Women's History Project, hearkens back to the very core of why the recognition was established in the first place -- to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history. To take one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes the day will soon come when it's not possi- ble to teach or learn history without remembering these contributions. By honoring those contribu- tions and accomplishments this one month, they may one day be in the everyday consciousness of history. Although the first International Women's Day was celebrated in Europe March 8, 1911, it wasn't until 1978, here in America, with the rising aware- ness of women's issues and the growing sense that history -- as taught in the schools -- was incom- plete without the contributions of "her story" as well, that California lead the way in celebrating a Women's History Week. In 1980, President Carter issued the first Presi- dential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as the first National Women's History Week. At the urging of the National Women's History Project, in 1987 Congress expanded the week into a month declaring March as National Women's His- tory Month. Every year since, Congress and the president have proclaimed March as National Women's History Month. We here in Plumas County truly recognize the important contributions local women have made to the rich history of our county and are always proud to present their stories, struggles and suc- cesses with the public at large. As with all history, their stories are varied and colorful. Local ladies we have showcased include Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe; more famil- iarly known as "Dame Shirley." From her log cabin on the banks of the Feather River near Rich Bar in 1851 and 1852, Dame Shirley penned a series of letters to her sister back East that were later published as "The Shirley Let- ters from the California Mines," considered one of the foremost works of the California Gold Rush. For all of these presentations, we had always re- lied on female presenters -- not by design -- most- ly by happenstance. Several years ago, this changed when Quincy's Will Lombardi presented an engaging program on Ina Coolbrith, California's poet laureate and the first child across Beckwourth Pass. Among our many presenters were locals Lor- raine Hanson on her mother, Wanda, who sta- tioned several fire lookouts; Margaret Goodart who spoke on women in the westward movement and Betsy Schramel on Mary Schieser and her life- time service to Indian Valley education. Several of our presenters are accomplished au- thors, working well with this year's theme of writ- ing women back into history. Jann Garvis of La Porte presented her outstand- ing history of southern Plumas County, "Roar of the Monitors"; JoAnn Levy, noted author of books on women in the California Gold Rush, was our first presenter; Marlene Baranzini-Smith gave a great overview of her work, the latest edition of "The Shirley Letters"; and Jane Braxton-Little and Sally Posner showed the behind-the-scenes as- pects of their book "Plumas Sketches." This year's theme is also very relevant to this year's subject, Bertha Muzzy Bower. B.M. Bower, as she was known, was a prolific and talented author of Western genre books, au- thoring some 68 in her lifetime, plus hundreds of short stories and magazine articles. Many of her readers never suspected her gen- der, and her publishers preferred to keep it that way, She penned "The Lookout Man," a novel about a young man stationed as a fire lookout on Mt. Hough in 1917. To learn more about B.M. Bower and her long, exciting and varied career, see next week's paper. i A Fea g I / Breaking News .... L_ go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ,. ,Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli ........ Managing Editor Diana Jorgenson .......... Portola Editor Alicia Knadler ........ Indian Valley Editor Kate West ............... Chester Editor Shannon Morrow .......... Sports Editor Mona Hill .................. Copy Editor Re, 00ber, you heard it here first MY TURN MONA HILL Staff Writer mhill@plumasnews.com Have you ever heard some phrase you've said for years, suddenly go national? It hap- pened to me quite recently; however, I was so shocked I forget where. For nearly 10 years, my friend and I have disputed credit for, "There's a reason some species eat their young." I say I heard from her first; she says she heard it from me first. No matter, a couple of week's ago someone in the national media stole our line. I hate that. The above line usually follows or precedes, "Never let them outnumber you," another line I've been quoting my dad on since I heard him say it. Now, anyone who has ever endured teenaged children will no doubt recognized the wisdom behind such sentiments. Grand- parents know grandchildren represent their revenge on their children. I'll never forget when my oldest girl, then 6 or so, terrorized the clothing racks in Sears. I was along for the ride with my folks who were buying a shirt for my brother. Now Ron chooses shirts by how they feel on his skin... it takes a while. Sara was running and hiding in all the racks; I was wishing I was anywhere else. Finally, Ron picked a shirt and we left. On the way out of the mall, Sara asked for an ice cream. I said no and she hurled herself to the floor and pitched a complete fit. Calm- ly I bent over, took her by the shoulders and raised her to my eye level. With my best "mom look" and deadly morn tone of voice, I hissed at her "Knock that s**t offi." My dad laughed himself sick all the way to the car. Trials and tribulations -- and someone steals my best line! So, you heard it here first. I thought of this when our esteemed attorney general formal- ly pitched his hat into the ring, because I am old enough to remember his first two terms: "Governor Moonbeam -- been there, done that. This is the T-shirt." Mike Royko, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times at the time, gave Jerry the moniker in 1978, after Jerry proposed estab- lishment of a state space academy and pur- chase of a satellite to be launched to provide emergency communications for California. I called Stone Leaf Productions in Quincy the other day to place my order. Residents of Indian Valley and members of the Quincy Library Group already know that Brown filed an appeal "on behalf of the peo- ple of California" with the Ninth Circuit re- garding the Eastern District Court's decision on the 2004 Sierra Nevada Framework. You W00ere in the world Bill Melms and his son Tyler, residents of Quin- cy, are photographed in front of the Panama Canal. Next time you travel, share where you went by taking your local newspaper along and in- cluding it in a photo. Then e-mail the photo, along with where you re- side, to smor- row@plumasnews.com. Photo by Jennifer McQuarrie would think someone as gung-ho green as Jerry would understand carbon and the role forests play in sequestering it. Nope old Moonbeam doesn't get it-- he's more concerned with red-bellied sapsucker frogs and three-toed mosquitoes' continued ex- istence among black sticks in scorched earth that will burn again and again and again. You'd think he'd figure out global warm- ing, climate change or crisis d'jour could be at least partially managed by sequestering carbon in forests and preventing wildland firestorms. But I digress. In a Sept. 24, 2009, article for The American Prospect, "See Jerry Run. Again," (prospect.org), Joe Matthews discusses Brown's gubernatorial candidacy and his gov- ernorship, which ran from 1974 through 1982. He points out Jerry is 71, which surprised me; he looks older than my dad who is... let's see... 56 +19... 75. OK, my dad is not old-- he's just experienced -- why does Brown look like he's been run through a knothole backwards? Proposition 13 passed during his tenure, mostly because Jerry would not cut out-of- control property taxes despite a massive state surplus. Many coalitions are now try- ing to unwind the initiative enough to raise some badly needed revenues for a few minor programs: education, state infrastructure, jobs, etc., never mind the more controversial social services and healthcare programs. Anyway, Matthews wrote in his article, "Progressives, both then and now, argue that Brown's brand of anti-government liberalism fueled the Prop. 13 fire. If the government is- n't all that important, what does it matter if you cut taxes? Brown had frozen highway construction, criticized funding for adult education and food stamps, and slashed social service. "I am going to starve the schools financially until I get some educational reforms,' he said in one encounter with reporters." Hey, PUSD, are you hungry yet? What about you high school students with no re- medial or AP classes, time to eat yet? FRC, time for lunch yet? While Rome -- California style -- was burning in the property tax rebellion, where was Jerry? Running for president and out of state more often than not. Matthews also pointed out Jerry claims to have become more grounded in details of of- rice. Reading on, it appears that means becom- ing a glory hog on environmental and lending legal issues while ignoring more minor mat- ters: consumer protection, gambling, etc. so, aUyou newbie voters0ut there who have never seen Jerry as governor take it from me and check out his record as gover- nor and the state of the state back then. I don't think you're going to find he'll be much help for our future. If Californians elect Jerry again, well, we will get what we deserve. Get your T-shirt now, before they start sell- ing like hotcakes. They were presented a vase of flowers ac- ................... .W[.......W....!!..t ......................... companied by a message of support and goodwill from the residents of Greenville KERI TABORSKI Historian 80 YEARS AGO... 1930 Advertisement: Buy your Ford automo- bile at W. J. Hamblin's service garage in Greenville. It is your authorized agent for this section of Plumas County. The Greenville Meat Market, recently closed, has been reopened Monday by Riehl and Openshaw, butchers of Indian Valley. pledging their support and patronage. 50 YEARS AGO... 1960 Advertisement: Grand opening and under new management: The Pit in Canyon Dam. Dinner served 4 p.m.-9 p.m. with smorgas- bord at 11 p.m. Fire consumed the former quarters of Glenn's Market in Greenville early Friday morning and did considerable damage to Wanda's Cafe next door. 30 YEARS AGO... 1980 Plumas County's first full .time recreation director, Bob Best, began duties this week in a hastily assembled office in the rear por- tion of the county courthouse in Quincy, Finding that the current affiliation of Feather River College with the Peralta Com- munity College District in Oakland has proven to be unsatisfactory, the Plumas Uni- fied School District governing board has passed a resolution calling for the de-annex- ation as soon as possible. Calling it like it is in words and service MY TURN DIANA JORGENSON Portola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews.com One of the things I hope we learn as we try to reinvent our economy and our values in these unpredictable times is to call things by their proper names and to honor the simple truth. In our capitalistic society, money is not the only thing subject to inflation. Words, too, have been inflated past all meaning. My telephone bill, a standard monthly charge covering unlimited usage, went up $6 per month. There was a great deal of fine print, but it only talked about increased tax amounts. That only accounted for 61 cents; so I called the phone company. They had raised their rates, the customer service rep said. He didn't know why, they just had. Retroactive billing and advance billing accounted for the fact that the amount on the bill was double the rate hike. I'd heard that before. He then checked to see if I might be better off paying my long distance by the minute, but no, I was a heavy long distance user. Long distance? Nearly all my "long dis- tance" calls were to Quincy or Loyalton -- 30 miles in either direction. I remember when one could call most of one's area code in base service. Then one day, many of the area code's numbers be- came toll calls. Now, "long distance" is somewhere between 10 and 30 miles. The customer service rep and I had a con- genial conversation: He couldn't do any- thing, and I didn't expect that he could. In closing, he told me I might be contacted for a customer satisfaction survey. Now I had a real belly laugh. I have participated in dozens of these sur- veys in the course of my life from dozens of service companies and manufacturers. Lap- tops, cameras, television cable service, tele- phone service, credit card companies-- the list goes on-- and not one of these surveys ever asked me about the product I pur- chased or the service I was paying for or the company I was paying it to. Instead, they ask if the customer service rep had answered all my questions and was he or she nice about it. If you do want to make a statement about the company, complain about the product, well, it just doesn't fit into the preordained questions, which are usually yes or no ques- tions, or offer a range from highly dissatis- fied to highly satisfied. I say "preordained" because no one wants to get someone fired or to put a black mark on their employee record for just doing their job. The independent companies that do these surveys (to prevent any claim of bias) know that. So the next time you see "rated first in customer service," know that it's bull and no customers have ever been asked whether they're happy with their service or with the company. The last time I moved I ended up paying about $40 in extra charges from this same phone company. Most were typical corpo- rate slyness, like paying for an extra month of dial-up Internet from the same company when the landline had been disconnected the previous month and indeed, I had al- ready moved. The computers were just set up that way, the customer service reps told me. Nothing they could do about it. All of the half dozen people I talked to were nice people-- use- less, but nice. High marks to all of them in "customer service." That didn't make me a satisfied customer. The food industry is rampant with exam- ples of inflated word usage or downright misleading nomenclature. Take fat-free half- and-half, for example, I hudder to think what might be in it; but I know one thing: if there are no cream fats in the product, it's not half-and-half. Low-fat sour cream, no fat sour cream -- if it's not cream, what is it? Too many manufacturers advertise boldly what is not in the food and list what is in print to small to read. If the label listed MSG in legible print, we would no longer have to frustrate ourselves trying to read bouillon cubes. If it's a synthetic product trying to repli- cate a natural one, give it its own name. That's honest at least. Trading on the estab- lished product's reputation, while being something else entirely, is chicanery. My point is: Just as inflated money buys less and less, inflated words become mean- ingless. Word inflation doesn't just happen in advertising, in politics, and in the food in- dustry, it creeps into every day language. Conservatively speaking, I'll bet I've heard the word "awesome" applied to 1200 different things in the past year and none of them were even remotely awe-inspiring. Ex- citing, maybe, but not awesome. If we are ever to increase our understand- ing of one another, we must use words that mean the same to all. There is a way to check: It's called the dictionary.