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June 4, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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June 4, 2014
 

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Iu.exm, ecoro, erogresslve, Keporter Wednesday, June 4, 2014 11E COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Plumas Audubon Society supports Snake Lake project Plumas Audubon Society's board of directors supports the Snake Lake green tree firewood project. Thinning small-diameter trees from overstocked forests for easily accessible firewood benefits people and protects wildlife habitat. PAS urges people who have obtained green tree firewood permits to clean up after cutting, ffthe project is a success the Forest Service will open more areas for the WHERE I STAND DARREL JURY CONSERVATION LIAISON PLUMAS AUDUBON SOCIETY public to cut green trees. Lee Anne Schramel, spokeswoman for the Plumas National Forest, said that the green tree permits were very popular, selling out in one day. She emphasized that additional areas will be opened for cutting green trees only if permit holders follow through with the terms of the permit, cleaning up after cutting by piling needles and small limbs. Under the existing firewood cutting program, only dead trees are available for firewood. Many woodcutters fall standing dead trees (snags) that are close to the road, preferably above the road: Any'woodcutter knows that snags are a limited resource. Snags are also used by many bird species, which reproduce in cavities excavated by woodpeckers. The availability of nesting holes in snags is often the limiting factor in the ability of cavity-nesting birds to reproduce. Most of the cavity-nesting birds eat insects and help control beetle infestations. We need them for a healthy forest. Thinning trees from overcrowded and unhealthy forests also helps reduce the probability of stand-replacing fires. Maintaining our forests helps all species that need cover provided by trees. David Arsenault, Plumas Audubon Society's executive director, says, "Getting local people involved with thinning green trees from overstocked forests can maintain wildlife habitat by protecting snags and preventing crown fires. This is a win-win program that engages the public in conservation while they obtain fuel for heating their homes." Plumas Audubon Society is a local, nonprofit organization with over 200 members. The mission of PAS is to promote understanding, appreciation and protection of the biodiversity of the Feather River Region through education, research and the restoration and conservation of natural ecosystems. 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 dmonald@pls.oorr Blind by choice Do you remember the fairytale, 'The Emperor's New Clothes'? In legal terms, this phenomenon is known as "Willful Blindness.': During the trial of Enron executive Kenneth Lay, Judge Simeon Lake instructed the jury: "You may find that a defendant had knowledge of a fact if you find that the defendant deliberately closed his eyes to what would otherwise have been obvious to him. Knowledge can be inferred if the defendant deliberately blinded himself to the existence of a fact." Judge Lake maintained that since Lay and Skilling had the opportunity to know how rotten their company was, yet chose not to, did not absolve them of their responsibility to knOW," We believe four of the five directors on the board at IVCSD are guilty of Willful Blindness. During their tenure, they allowed the "Emperor" to allegedly steal $622,628.68 from the citizens of Indian Valley through mismanagement, fraud and felony embezzlement. That is approximately 25 percent of IVCSD's annual cash flow for over five years. And, it doesn't stop there. According to Jesse Lawson, current general manager at IVCSD, there is an additional $182,000 in legal and accounting fees, payroll taxes, medical bills, etc., $162,300 in back due fees that have been paid within the last 30 days plus $129,200 owed to RCAC. So far, that's $1,096,128.68. Now, they want us to pay for their blindness and trust their vision for the future. This all could have been prevented through simple due diligence. Had they chosen to see "The Emperor Wore No Clothes," none of this would have happened. Mina Admire Citizens for Responsible Government in Indian Valley Democracy in action Greenville's townhall was the scene of democracy in action on May 12 when a group of angry citizens presented a nine -point list calling for the recall of four members of the Indian Valley Community Services District (IVCSD) because they allegedly allowed the systematic looting of $625,000 from the CSD and therefore from the people of Indian Valley -- by the former business manager. Because their list was not on the posted agenda, it was not discussed but its contents were courteously heard and will become a part of the public record. Fortunately the district is actively moving toward the future by repairing the existing water and sewer systems and plans to bring much needed revenue into the district. General Manager Jesse Lawson outlined the progress that has been made on water and sewer, these vital, community- owned assets. The work's success is the result of a devoted, understaffed crew, hampered by the above-mentioned alleged embezzlement. Also reported was a project that the board has been working on since 2006; how to be compensated for the water that now flows from Round Valley reservoir into the Feather River without any compensation to us. $500,000 could be made by selling an additional acre-foot of water to a drought-stricken community. A one-year sale would not jeopardize the lake's recreational value. District board members of the IVCSD are all volunteers, people with other jobs. Their obligations include two fire stations, two water systems, two sewer systems, the ambulance services, and with other volunteers oversee the swimming pool in Taylorsville, the Cy Hall Museum, the Greenville Park, the Greenville Campground, and street lights throughout Indian Valley, for the betterment of our community. To my knowledge, the people who seek their recall are not volunteers in any community endeavors. Nancy Lund Greenville No recall It is with disgust and regret that I read of an intent to circulate a recall petition of the board of directors of the Indian Valley Community Services District. I had high hopes that at the local level we were better than that. Washington may be broken beyond repair, but can't we act with more civility at the local level? I do not know all the facts in the embezzlement case, nor do I know the facts in re-tracing the evidence, what safeguards were in place prior to the incident or now. However, I do know all of the board members. There is not a better group of citizens to be found anywhere in Indian Valley. Let's remember, these are volunteers, donating their time for the benefit of all. Obviously, something went terribly wrong and won't be tolerated, but to start a recall will serve no purpose. These board members, along with the general manager and accountant, will all be needed to work through this issue, and prevent another incident going forward. If the recall petitioners want to help in this goal, perhaps they should ask the board how they can be of help, or run for the board in the next cycle. Until then, I will remain resolute in my support of our current board. I can only imagine all board members want to resolve this matter to our complete satisfaction. Jeff Glover Taylorsville Dog in hot car My son and I were shopping at Safeway on May 23. When we parked, there was a dog in the car next to us. Two windows were open about an inch. It was very hot. I called 911. I was told it is not illegal to leave a dog in the car, and "it's not even 80 degrees." Gee, thanks for nothing. I've heard that the temp inside a car can go up as high as 110 degrees, even if it's not quite 80 outside. Inside the store, I told a checker about the dog. She said she would call someone, and a man came over to help. I told him about the dog and he said he would contact a manager. I thought they might make an announcement but they.didn't As we were checking out, the same man approached us and said he had looked around in the parking lot and did not see a dog in a car. I told my son, "If that dog is Still there, I'm breaking the window!" Everyone I spoke to seemed uncomfortable with the whole thing. No one seemed to want to get involved. So here is what I would like to know: What is the correct approach when seeing a dog in a hot car? Who should be notified? Is it really not against the law to leave a dog in a hot car? We see notices about this all the time, but when you try to do something about it, it's a different story. Judith Parks-Steven Quincy Editor's note: According to California Penal Code 597. 7: No person shah lea ve or conffme an animal in any una traded motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or weU-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal. Lack of tourism I just read your article about the Tourism Council meeting. It's great to hear that this problem is being addressed, however, as a downtown merchant I am sick to death of being told it's our fault we have no tourists. I tried being open on weekends for four years. Every once in a blue moon I'd have a weekend where I actually made money, the rest of the time I'd either work it myself because I didn't make enough to pay someone else to do it or I'd pay someone and lose revenue from the week. .Either way, someone was sitting here most of the day twiddling their thumbs at my expense. I love how someone who has been gone for 30 years can waltz back into town and tell us just what the "problem" is. Have you taken a look at downtown on the weekends recently, heck even during the week? Most days you can launch a rocket down the sidewalk and not hit a human being. Tourism has been dwindling every year since the county closed the visitors bureau. Stop blaming us merchants for your tourism woes. Julie Hatzell Quincy No accountability The Portola City Council has shown no accountability to the citizens that elected them. Some city employees verbally attack and criticize private citizens; they forget where their wages either directly or indirectly derive. The bar has been set so low for effective leadership and responsibility, one should prepare to answer to the State's Attorneys General. To the stodgy crowd that runs the city; a BIG FYI, those.that spend money in your city support this city as concerned citizens. We'll never understand why the city chose Robert Meacher against the wishes of the five-member citizens committee that unanimously picked Paul Mugan as the new city manager. For fun, I can imagine the city attorney (Foghorn Leghorn) coughing this up. Ah hum.., ah, perhaps you (council members) shouldn't pick a "genuine" city manager, he'll look into that LAFCo "payoff' matter or the city fimances, sewage treatment fiasco and water enterprise funds. I say, I say, yah know? So, I suggest you chose Meacher because his liberal standing is much closer to yours. You'll be able to squash the city businesses much more easily by freezing them out. Ah, do you hear me, boy? Why be politically correct when you are right? You can attack the messenger all you want but look around the city ... what has changed for the good with this current City Council? Disincorporation, perhaps? Let the county pay for the water treatment plant. Lastly, your ,Portola Fire Department" is so out of OSHA compliance, without mutual aid you wouldn't have a fire department. The city has been entirely without fire fighter protection on some weekends. The City Council is culpable as they have known this for months; plausible deniability won't pass in court and they have done nothing to remedy the eminent disaster. Gene Carson Portola A positive transition The city of Portola is under new management. Robert Meacher was warmly welcomed by the public. Skeptics remained silent. I hope community, staff and council will not be overzealous to accuse, judge and punish the new manager. We need a smooth transition to prevent further resignations. The staff " has filled the vacated position and the council has appointed replacements. The staff and council has worked to regain the trust of concerned citizens. Our community has been filled with accusations, defamation of character and vigilante ethics. It has had concerned citizens that have leaked confidential information. A management transition is in progress. It must included ethical conduct by all. Staff has had fears that their workplace will change when a new City Council is elected or a new city manager is hired. It is not their choice. They must prove themselves worthy public servants. We have a good staff. As a county supervisor, Meacher dealt with critical staffmg. As a city manager, he will have some of the same responsibilities. We know that most of our staff is critical to provide public services. Meacher has the wisdom to maintain our current level of staffing while utilizing them in the most efficient ways. The council will have to focus on providing affordable public services, and economic development if they want to have the trust of the public. Sustainability of jobs and business development has to become the top priority. It may take the next election for the public to voice their feelings concerning the performance of their leaders. We need a majority that will be pro-business and make the difficult decisions to lead the community to prosperity. We must elect servants of the public with ethics, wisdom, experience and common sense. Larry F. Douglas Portola A parting shot? The recent "Where I Stand" article provided by Jon Kennedy takes aim at the citizens of Plumas County for not knowing what the job of a County Supervisor is. However, nowhere in that diatribe did I find an articulation of the job description of a County Supervisor. The only reference to this description is the "job of county supervisor is to manage the government of Plumas County..." Well, what does management of the County entail then? Creating jobs and encouraging new and existing businesses would seem to provide substantial assistance to "managing" the budget and providing more funds for the programs the writer enumerates in his article. Perhaps if the BOS agendas included some discussion about methods that could be employed to increase county revenue, there might be less need for crisis management. In my view, it is the job of a county supervisor to listen to the ideas and concerns of his/her constituents, not chastise them for asking "dream-grasping questions." Tothe best of my knowledge, . there has never been a supervisor-sponsored town hall meeting or citizen forum held in District 5 in the past four years to solicit these ideas and concerns. If I'm incorrect, please provide me the specific dates and places these were held. What we need for Plumas County is more proactive county government and less bureaucracy and that starts with the supervisors. I don't need or appreciate my district " representative talking down to me by telling me what I don't know or understand. Incidentally, since Jon Kennedy announced his withdrawal from the current supervisorial race and is moving out of the area, is this "Where I Stand" article simply a parting shot for the apparent frustrations he appears to have had as a supervisor? Bryan Hansen Graeagle Unnecessary stop Recently my wife and I were venturing home from an event in Chico. It was at night and everything was the usual ho-ham until we could see in our rear-view mirror a vehicle .traveling at excessive speed coming up from behind. Unable to pull over due to a lack of turnout space, we found ourselves in front of what appeared to be someone who didn't have all their oars in the boat. He had his bright lights on and continued to trail our bumper. Interestingly, when a passing lane came, he decided not to take it. This went on for miles. I, therefore, decided to turn up the rear-view mirror to avoid the lights. The next thing we know we see flashing red and blue lights. We know we weren't speeding, as our car is very challenged in this area. What we perceived to be highway patrol was actually the Forest Service pulling us over. He stated that we were failing to maintain our position in the lane. When we addressed the aggressive behavior, he stated that he drove that way because he couldn't see our license plate. That could've have easily been accommodated by getting off our bumper, right? Next, he states that the little light above our license plate was out. Hilarious again because he used that as another excuse for his aggressive behavior. His bright lights were on, therefore, he could plainly see our plates. See Letters, page 12B 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: 202456-2461. 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 HOE Washington, D.C. 20515. (02) 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. E1 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; I (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. I l GOVERNOR Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ i (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.