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April 30, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE home through the The first week of May is Wildfire Awareness Week and California's extraordinary drought conditions have increased the risk of wildfire. So what are the experts saying about this upcoming fire season? The Predictive Services Group in Redding provides fire weather and fire behavior information for wildland fire mangers in northern California. Our seasonal outlook for Northern California shows a much below normal snowpack, which is supportive of the Northern WHERE I STAND us all take notice of how ..................................................... properties look. Last SUE McCOURT PLUMAS COUNTY FIRE PREVENTION SPECIALIST California timber fire season having an earlier onset, perhaps by three - six weeks. An early start usually means a lengthier fire season in our Mediterranean climate also. As always, dry lightning will be a "wild card." It can make any season suddenly busier, especially during drought years. So what does that mean to those of us in Plumas County? This should make our summer our news sources were filled with images of the fires that threatened communities in the West. Locally one lightning storm in August started numerous lightning fires that threatened communities in Indian Valley. Last year we were lucky, and with our lack of moisture this winter, things could get critical on the fire front fast. Think about this: A typical house has about 10,000 board feet of nice dry lumber in it. If you are going to live in the mountains and valleys you have to separate that fuel from the fuels in the forest. Neatness counts! So what's up with the 100 feet you are supposed to clear around your house? There is science behind those numbers. It is your first defense against wildfire. This doesn't mean your landscape must be barren and every tree needs to be removed. That cleared area is called defensible space. It's the area around a home or other structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow f the spread of wildfire. It is all about starting at your house and working your way outward. By spacing your plants, limbing your trees and getting rid of any dead materials that could burn, you create a lean, clean and green zone. Firefighters have to make choices about which homes they may be able to protect if there is a wildfire, and ybu definitely want to be on their list. Showing that you care enough about your property to make it safe and do your part shows firefighters you have taken personal responsibility. Not only does it give your home a chance to survive, it provides room for fire fighters to do their jobs when fighting wildfn'e. What are the researchers saying? Jack Cohen is a research physical fire scientist with the U.S. Forest Service based at Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory and has four decades of experience studying why homes burn during wildfire events. The numbers are in from his and other studies over the years. Many of the See Wildfire, page 12B LETTERS to tlle 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-pat:ty, 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 dmcdonald@plumasnews.com. Editor's notefWith the local primary election scheduled for June 3, Feather Publishing will not print election-related letters in the May 28 paper unless they are a rebuttal to a May 21 letter. Feather Publishing will not print letters about candidates that we consider to be too went beyond his duties as a Supervisor. He was a catalyst that got things done and citizens Concerned. The high praise for his involvement to save Eastern Plumas Health Care was well deserved. I questioned his involvement in Portola's issue with its city manager. I respected his involvement in the education of his children. He worked well under pressure and in crisis management. A new general plan was approved despite protests from concerned citizens. Supervisor Kennedy brought a greater sense of responsibility for the direction that the county was taking. The Kennedy family is only one of many that have had to make the tough decision to leave a county and job that they love. This has become a trend for Plumas County in the last decade. Others cannot afford to leave. It has nothing to do with Agenda 21. Pot calling the kettle black This is for our complaining friend in Graeagle. I read just enough of your latest rant about the forest thinning only for profit until I remembered that you always put that you're a Graeagle resident but you have Nevada license plates? BTW, if you don't like debris burning which has been going on forever, go back to Nevada with your Tea Party. Quit trying to re-invent the wheel on how life goes on in our community. If you don't like it -- leave. If you'd like to meet up for further conversation, I'll be in my yard with a beer in one hand, history book in the other, sitting near my burn pile. Jay Morris Delleker Ban on burning I just read the article regarding the ban on burning proposed by Mark Mihevc. I am totally behind him. personal or in poor taste. We This is the problem that the We have been coming up to reserve the right to edit Board of Supervisors andGraeagle since 1994 and letters to remove personal community have to face. It is : bought a home in 2006. I or "' .... m .... th6 brk that Mr. Kennedy is never knew how mUch moke unsubstantiated claims, leaving undone, would pollute the air until Positive impact I seldom ever write a letter to the editor, but I wanted to express my and Eastern Plumas Health Cure's thanks to Jon Kennedy, Plumas County Supervisor. Last year, EPHC faced the prospect of enormous cuts to our skilled nursing facility's reimbursement, which seriously threatened the future of our entire organization. Many people worked hard to support our efforts to stop these state-mandated cuts. Jon Kennedy put in a tremendous amount of effort to help persuade our state elected officials that these cuts would be a devastating blow to EPHC. He made countless trips to Sacramento to lobby lawmakers as well as to testify in front of the Senate Health Committee in support of our bill, SB 646, which would have rescinded the cuts. His efforts on our behalf made a huge difference to our hospital and, consequently, to our community. It is gratifying to know we have such strong support from our county supervisor. While I am loath to get into political discussions, I wanted to make sure people knew the facts about Jon Kennedy's positive and enormous efforts in helping save our hospital. Tom Hayes Chief Executive Officer Eastern Plumes Health Care Portola Tough decisions As Plumas County anticipated a contest from three highly qualified candidates for the offme Of District 5 Supervisor, we were shocked to learn that incumbent Jon Kennedy bowed out of the race. During his time in office, I have engaged him in wars of ideas. His leadership and skills successfully filled a void. I always knew where Supervisor Kennedy stood on county issues. His sphere of influence We agreed to disagree. I respect his passion for his work and his love of family and country. We fought for a democracy and all of its human shortcomings. I wish he and his family love and prosperity as they return to an environment that is better for his family. They will be missed in Plumas County. We now hope that the new supervisor will continue to work as hard and passionately not only for District 5 but also for the future of Plumas County. Larry F. Douglas Portola District 5 Supervisor I endorse Jim Judd as our next Supervisor for District 5 in Plumas County and I encourage you to do the same, I In'st met Jim through our association with the Graeagle Men's Golf Association. We have worked together on several club projects over the past five years. The GMGA is very active in the local community holding numerous events some of which benefit local charities, including our annual men's Invitational tournament that Jim headed up for two years. I have continually found him to be a levelheaded individual who listens attentively to others expressing their ideas and suggestions for improvement to our County. When he began his campaign for District 5 Supervisor, he asked ifI would be his campaign chairman, a job I enthusiastically accepted. Jim is bipartisan in his thinking and approach to problem solving. With his significant business background and experience, I believe he is the best candidate to serve our District and Plumas County as a whole. Jim will be appearing at several District functions in the next several weeks. Come and hear him for yourself. Bryan Hansen Chairman, Committee for the election of Jim Judd Graeagle burning time came. I now dread it. I am so happy to wake up to the beautiful smell of Jeffrey pines and a sunny day. I get my bike out and suddenly people start burning and I have to go back inside because of the smoke. I have asthma, we have a man who has had a double lung transplant in our neighborhood, a friend of mine has COPD, and children are coming down with asthma and allergies like there is no tomorrow. DO we really have to pollute the air so terribly? Composting is a fabulous alternative. Plus, now that every day of the year is fire season anymore, how can we not ban burning? Kathleen Friedman Graeagle Thinning yields results A letter last week was critical of forest thinning and biomass operations as for-profit enterprises. Forest treatment costs must be carried totally by the revenue they produce -- otherwise, we have welfare forestry (and who will pay for that)? We have the choice to reduce fuels on a continuing basis during the field season, or let them build up. If no one pays for fuel reduction, we will be stuck with increased fire danger via overstocked stands or thicker layers of organic matter. The risk is not just one of fire ignition, but the rapid progression from ignition to conflagration, using millions of public suppression dollars, releasing all the carbon in consumed trees, and followed by the rehab costs. Last week's writer correctly recognized the forest contribution of fresh water infffltration and carbon sequestration. But an untreated duff build-up will re-evaporate all but the heaviest rainstorms and won't transfer moisture underground. Post-conflagration (impermeable) soils lead to erosion of forest slopes and result in sedimentation of stream courses. They delay or prevent re-forestation. Thinning operations attempt to leave the largest trees alive, so they can sequester carbon at a faster rate, hold the site in forest production, and keep softs permeable. The science and safety behind the still-unappreciated QLG approach yield benefits in forest health and conflagration risk reduction. QLG steers us away from doing nothing to reduce the risk of losing the entire forest and its carbon, water, and softs sequestration. Instead, it assumes a strategy that commercially viable thinning will support continuous risk reduction across an entire working circle of this forest. The final alternative of last week's writer was to consider business and profits of solar energy instead of thinning and biomass. I'll save 3,000 words by saying -- that's not feasible. Bill Martin Quincy Leave the brookies alone So now, the state wants to take the brook trout out of Gold Lake. Really? This state is going down the tubes. The liberals, tree huggers, animal lovers, environmentalists and the Humane Society of the USA, which is the worst of all, they banned lead amino. No more hunting bears with dogs. Last year was the first year bear hunting did not make the quota. Bears will be all over the place this year. We can't hunt mountain lions in California even though they are devastating the deer herds, killing ranchers' animals and people's pets, Years ago Hewlett Packard wanted to build a place above San Jose and they couldn't because of an endangered butterfly! And now they want to take the brook trout out of Gold Lake for a stupid frog. Fishermen drive to Silver Lake then wall about for about an hour to Gold Lake to catch the brookies. I bet no one has ever seen the yellow-legged frog. And what if they fred the frogs at Lake Almanor, Bucks Lake or Lake Davis? This is the dumbest and stupidest thing the Department of Fish and Wildlife can do, it is completely ludicrous! So, I suggest you fishermen leave your fishing poles at home and make that beautiful hike to Gold Lake. Bring a frog gig and frying pan and enjoy the frog legs! Bob Baitinger Quincy Practice defensive driving I enjoyed reading the recent article by CHP Commander Lt. Joe Edwards concerning "Defensive Driving," especially as it pertains to Highway 70. It's a beautiful drive down the canyon, but it is best negotiated safely if one keeps alert for rockslides, icy bridges, the many curves, not to mention intrusion by animals. I believe there was an earlier vehicle fatality in the valley north of Chico involving someone hitting a couple of pigs. I had a close call coming down the canyon one night when I entered a curve into one of the steel bridges a little too fast and received a slight dent on the passenger side of my pickup. Back east at the Darlington Raceway they would have called it a "Darlington Stripe" when they brush the guardrail. As a former National Safety Council Defensive' Driving Instructor, I should know better, as I have traveled this road many times over the years. One time, several years ago, coming back from a day at the Johnsville Ski Area with our boys, we came around a curve late at.night in a heavy rain storm just as a rock slide came dow]n ahead of us. I thought we had only ran over a couple of small rocks, but our red light came on as we had a hole in the oil pan. We were real fortunate that a vehicle behind towed us to Belden and gave us a ride home. After a new oil pan we were "on the road 0gain.!,! :: like that country Song. SO :.: folks, practice defensive driving like Commander Edwards says: The life you save may be your own. (And others) John H. Babcock Paradise Great response What a day we had last week. Peggy and I were out for a walk by the river when she tripped and fell directly on her knee. She knew something was very wrong because she heard a cracking noise and felt instant pain. A lot of pain. I ran to our neighbor, Tommy Yandell, to ask for help. We ran back to Peggy who was in so much pain that we could not move her. The call to 911 was handled very quickly. The ambulance from Eastern Plumas Health Care, Chief Bob Frank and his wife Elaine from Eastern Plumas Rural Fire District along with a group of EMTs and other responders arrived in short order, t believe there were 14 people who responded, including the Sheriff. Tommy waited at the road and led them into the area via 4x4. They slipped a backboard under Peggy and carried her to the ambulance. It was a slow drive out because of the rough terrain and bumpy road. The driver was very cautious and careful not to bounce too much. We arrived at Eastern Plumas Health Care where X-rays and the doctor saw her right away. She had to be transported to Reno because of the horrible break and into surgery. Actually found out that the bone was in 8 pieces. Peggy and I want to thank all of the responders, our wonderful neighbor Tommy Yandell, Chief Bob Frank and spouse Elaine, from Eastern Plumas Rural Fire District who stayed with us until we went to Reno. That was a long night for them. Thanks also to the ambulance driver and EMT from Eastern Plumas Health Care along with the EMTs from EPRRD who were so caring and handled the event professionally. I am sorry I don't have the names of all the responders. In case anyone living in this area has an emergency issue be confident and thankful that we have such quick response and caring professionals who stop at nothing to make sure we are safe and taken care of properly. Steven and Peggy Wheeler Questions to consider Intermountain Disposal (IMD) is planning to build and operate a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Plumas County. The MRF will be located in Delleker in the general area near Longfellow Lumber and Les Schwab Tires. A MRF is a specialized solid waste See Letters, page 15B 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) 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; TrY/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, OroviUe, CA 95965; 2885 Chum 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, E1 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 (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.