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June 9, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter r Wednesday, June 9, 2010 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Previous column 2ets districtcounty situation wrong, WHERE I STAND RODERICK M. JONES After reading Bill Wick- man's "Where I Stand," I had to step back and relax for a few minutes and reflect on why, in the early 1990s, I sup- ported and helped run Bill Cottini's campaign for county superintendent of schools. There are a few allegations that Mr. Wickman makes that I believe need to be addressed; and, at the same time, credit should be given for programs that Bill Cottini instituted during his tenure as Plumas County superintendent of schools: The financial drain of creating new staff at a cost of $150,000 to $200,000 to the district. Building another or creat- ing a second empire. That he slowly increased his salary, hired an assistant superintendent, and had his own administrative assistant and director of business. Added nothing to the program and staff. And, by the way, contrary to Mr. Wickman's statement, Bill Cottini did keep his promises. The drain of $150,000 - $200,000 being spent on staff was already in place prior to the separation of county schools and district. This staff included data processing for the district and Feather River College, the print shop for dis- trict and teachers, an accoun- tant for county functions and' a part-time Regional Occupa- tional Program coordinator. The assistant superintendent. was added when ROP for two counties (Plumas and Sierra) grew to support expanding programs and staff. This was all paid for through ROP and ADA funding. Other programs that were being considered for cutting but were continued because of the separation were: Elementary school music in all elementary schools in the county. -Artists in the Schools in all elementary schools in Fit to be paved WHERE [ STAND don't need a permit. His ............................................................................................................. prices seem good; he appears JOHN KOLB Assistant Engineer Plumas County Road Department Here it is 2010, and once again, the Public Works Department has received complaints about paving contractors going door to door offering "great deals" for driveway paving, This recurring problem seems to pop up every spring and summer. You might hear a knock on the door late in the day, with a contractor explaining that he has just enough "leftover" mix in, his truck to do your 4r,e- way. He says that he won't actually connect to the county road, so you really to have the right paving equipment -- it sounds like too good a deal to pass up. Let us give you some good reasons to pass on an offer like this. Many of these 0ut-of-county contractors are either unaware of (or disregard) Plumas County permit requirements and driveway standards. Regard- less of the contractor's assurances, you do need a permit to work within the county right-of-way. The contractor may or may not carry insurance, or even have a contractor's license. ... Often, the driveways built by these "contractors" are thinly paved surfaces over poorly prepared ground, and the county. Outdoor education pro- grams for all sixth-grade students in Plumas County. Programs that also were de- veloped under the leadership of Bill Cottini while he was county superintendent were: Court/community school directly supported students who were expelled and court placements; Preschool program over- sight, development and train- ing ROP programs resulted in expansion of vocational/ technical sections in all high schools (Plumas/Sierra) for grades 11-12. Alcohol, tobacco and drug grants which supported the district with educational programs. A house construction pro- gram at Portola High School was created with the expan- sion of the Regional Occupa- tional Program. This came about through a partnership with Realtors, businesses, PUSD and Plumas County Office of Education. The or not will last but a very short time before they begin to crack and come apart. Whether y.ou are the home- owner or. builder, it is impor- tant that you understand that the ultimate liability for an incorrectly installed drive- way lies with you. If your new driveway does not meet cotmty standards, you may be required to remove and replace some (or all) of the, work done within the county right-of-way -- at your own expense. In addition, an incorrectly constructed driveway could cause damage to our snow- house was built for visiting doctors and was recognized in the Wall Street Journal. The county office was presented an award for its effort. The "Empire," as you would have us believe Bill created, was already in place with staffthat was currently employed prior to the separa- tion of the district and county- offices of education. At the time of Bill taking office there was a concern of those who were on the campaign com- mittee about the lack of accountability at the district level and the co-mingling of funds. Is there the possibility that this is once again hap- pening?. Instead of attacking a previous countysuperinten - dent, maybe you should ask the question, "Why is this happening and how can it be resolved?" The dissatisfaction that one person was in both roles was not the reason taxpayers in the county wanted to separate the two offices, but how those two offices were being run. Look to the present administration and school board for the dissatisfaction that is surfacing. Salary is aflother issue you raised. What you so conve- niently leave out is that the county superintendent's salary is based on the top of the teachers' salary schedule and is given a cost of living allowance increase each year, thus the slow increase, not Bill Cottini giving him- selfa raise each year as you stated. It should be noted that the district administrator salary is based on a salary schedule that is significantly higher than that of the county superintendent. With the present dissatis- faction concerning the current district administra- tion the question should be asked, "Are we as taxpayers in this county getting the best bang for our dollar?" and not attacking a previous administrator whose main purpose was to work with, assistand educate students in this county. What concerned me most was the back door way you at- tacked Bill Cottini's honesty, integrity and his honor. I have had the privilege of knowing the Cottini family for over 30 years and I believe you owe Bill and his family an apology. Bill did what he promised in his campaign: he did run the Plumas County Office of Education separately, economically and provided the communities with what they wanted honesty and integrity. During his tenure as county superintendent, two Plumas County high schools were recognized as distinguished high schools, Greenville and Chester high schools. Bill Cottini was elected to three consecutive terms as county superintendent by the people of Plumas County prior to his retiring. Bill and I discussed the idea that was presented to him about running as a write-in candidate. With the way things are at this time in the district, he has decided not to endure the aggravation. it's still your responsibility At the very least, an incor- rectly paved driveway is usually susceptible to damage from our plows, which (you guessed it) is your responsibility to repair. Any work within the county road right-of-way or connecting to a county road requires a Plumas County Encroachment Permit under the Plumas County Code, Section 4-3.302. That work in- cludes the construction or improvement of a drive. way, placement of over- head or underground Plowing equipment.. and utility services and storm youl as the homt,: : : :on. ,, could be held liable for that Some types of work equipment damage or even (such as the placement of injury to one of our drivers, above-ground landscaping, fencing or permanent advertising signs) are just not allowed in the right-of- way at all, because they will conflict with our snowplowing in the winter. An exception is driveway seal coating, which does not require an encroachment permit unless there are traffic control issues. A driveway onto a state highway requires a Caltrans Encroachment Permit. You may call 225-3400 to request a Caltrans permit application. Connections to non-county roads don't require a county permit, but you must geta no-cos permit veefiom : -: the Public Works Depart- . : ment in order to get a build- ing permit if your new house, garage or addition is served by one of these roads. Whether you are going to be building a new driveway or improving an existing driveway, it is important that you contact thePublic Works Department in Quincy or one of our local maintenance stations to begin the en- croachment permit process. Do this as early as possible to avoid expensive removal and reconstruction in the future. It is also important for you to be extremely wary of paving deals that sound too good to be true. They usually are. 'If 2ou have' questior/s regarding Plumas County driveway policy, please call 283-6268. L E T T E R S i: o E D I T O R Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an addres  and a phone number. We publish only one ietter per week, per oerson 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 ed- i itor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words.The deadline is Friday at 3 p.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 at mail@plumasnews.corn In jeopardy There is a possibility that the Plumas County Museum may lose the assistant direc- tor position due to budget cuts. This would essentially cripple the ability of the mu- seum to function on a normal basis. It is difficult to imag- ine a finer facility or a more dedicated staff. The museum directly pro- motes critically needed local tourism, provides.countless community and scholastic educational programs, and maintains an irreplaceable archive of Pltmas County history. The 'collections, exhibits and local art dis- plays are consistently of the highest quality. All of these aspects of museum manage- ment require constant atten- tion, professional diligence and a healthy dose of creativ- ity. The loss of the assistant director position would put all of this in jeopardy. I will not pretend to be an unbiased observer, since I have moved to Plumas Coun- ty, I have had the privilege to work closely with Museum Director Scott Lawson and the dedicated staff at the Plumas County Museum. Their professional assis- tance and the access they have provided to records and artifacts maintained at the facility have significantly enhanced my own contribu tions as a historian and archaeologist for the Plumas National Forest, and I am exceedingly grateful for this. I believe a community is defined in great measure by its own unique past ... by ordinary folks as well as profound figures in history; by past events that still res- onate with us today; by the places and landscapes that are a part of our cultural identity. This is especially true in rural places like Plumas County. Without doubt, there are currently some difficult choices to be made in this challenging economic envi- ronment. Yet, I urge the Plumas County Board of Supervisors to take the "long view" here and retain the Plumas County Museum's ability to function for the sake of its citizens, our visitors and for future generations. Dan Elliott Quincy Wow! In reading Salvatore Cata- lano's May 26 letter, I realize I am not just an eccentric 81-year-old lady. No, according to him my life is fueled by "greed, bigotry, hate, literal- ism, denial, negativism, hypocrisy, authoritarianism, indoctrination and the big lie." I am so glad he admits to be- ing an "open-minded, accept- ing, charitable, democratic, freedom-loving liberal" so he won't mind if I ask someone to give him a halo and help him down from his pulpit. Betty Faries Clifton Genesee Satan's world It is difficult for me to un- derstand how literalists can read fact into every word of the Judeo-Christian Bible. Logically, it simply is not possible. Even allowing for miracles, the Bible has many entries that can be accepted only as allegorical. In a sense, literalists harken back to scholasti- cism, a time when science was relegated to Satan's world, and a time when the Aristotle/Aquinis structure of the world was not to be challenged. Sarah Palin, I am told, be- lieves that the "creation" oc- curred Sunday, Oct. 23, in the year of 4004 BC, the day that James Ussher, an archbishop of Ireland, chose by working back from the Bible's begats. Trying to make that work has led to bizarre contortions. For instance, in order to ac- count for the dinosaurs, who actually died out 60 million years ago and not since the Bible's flood, literalists have introduced the huge variety of dinosaurs into Noah's al- ready impossibly burgeoning Ark. Well, at least the literalists have accepted the dinosaurs as having roamed the earth. Just a few years ago, the liter- alists denied their existence. Also, the Bible has come down to us through many ad- ditions and deletions from the time the first parts' were actually written down. It was men who chose what would and would not be included. The Bible contains many inspiring messages and lessons. If we take many parts of the Bible allegorical- ly, I believe that it is aptly called a "good book." Perhaps there is a reason why much medieval religious literature is allegorical. One last thought, if we are to return to scholasticism, then Sarah Palin should with- draw from public activity since in Scholasticism women belonged to Satan's world. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsviile SAC Well, folks, as a member of the Sierra Access Coalition, I am proud to let everyone know that the coalition now has 1,000 members. There is power in numbers. So, I want to thank each of the members for giving SAC our power. This is a group that was start- ed by Mike Lazzarino and a steering committee of a half a dozen of its members. SAC is a nonprofit public group, composed of individu- als, local businesses and user groups, working primarily on the Plumas National For- est, Lassen National Forest, and in other areas in north- east California for the public. Our inission is to preserve environmentally sound routes for punic use. SAC is concerned with the ongoing USFS "Off-Highway Vehicle Route Designation" process and is working to protect forest access for the public. Off-highway vehicles include pickups, cars, 4x4s, motorcycles, quads and other motorized vehicles, except for snowmobiles. The Forest Service is cur- rently designating which roads and trails may be used by motorized vehicles in the forest. Routes 1:hat are not designated in this process will be closed to all motorized vehicles. SAC is seeking members. To join the organization, log onto sierraaccess.com. When the web page opens, it is easy to join. There a block at the top that is la- beled JOIN, click on that block and fill in the informa- tion. No fee required. When you are finished entering your information, click on the block at the bot, tom of the page that says SEND. You will receive a message con- firming that you are now a member. You can also stop at DuPont Power Tools or Plumas Motor Supply here in Quincy to pick up an applica- tion and mail it into SAC. Thank you to the 1,000 folks who have joined SAC and to those of you who will be join- ing in the future. There is a list of members on the web page. Take a look to see who has already joined. Rex Fisher Quincy Off radar In response to the article dated May 19, titled "Amid Concerns, Supes OK Music Festival," Robert Meacher's comments'were untrue and shows how out of touch wit]h reality he is. First he said, "The events were small at first and weren't on the coun- ty's radar." Here's the facts. I called the Board of Supervisors' office three times last year to have him comedown to see first- hand the condition of these parties. Meacher wouldn't even return the messages. On the last call to B.O.S., I got a call back within five minutes from Sheriff Hag- wood. He took responsibility for not enforcing the laws. (A county road was completely blocked off with vehicles and partiers.) He made sure it wouldn't happen again. These party events were al- ready on radar. Meacher re- fused to do anything about the problem. That's the fact. All the events from last year and previous years were held without permits. Why weren't fines imposed? Meacher's fail- ure to get involved turned into loss of income for the county (permit fees). Meacher also said "If some- one discovered gold in front of Belden today -- you'd have people from everywhere with their dredges." The facts are gold was dis- covered in Belden area over 150 years ago and is still tak- en out to this day. And dredg- ing was banned last year and likely never to be reinstated. Meacher also said about the events they were "good for the economy." If you'd made the Belden re- sort get permits, maybe the county would have made a few bucks. You screwed that up. Then also we have Porto- la's Terry Swafford's words of wisdom, "These are the kinds of things that we're going to have to depend on." Hopefully, in the next elec- tion, 2012, you both are given the boot! Darrel Smith Belden Assimilate All of my grandparents im- migrated to the USA. My grandfather escaped from the infamous USSR "Iron Cur- tain." All assimilated and be- came plain, unhyphenated Americans. They and other immigrants have unquestion- ably contributed to the his- toric growth and productivi- ty of the United States over the past two centuries. The structure of a proper immi- gration policy is an issue that affects many areas -- jobs, healthcare, inventiveness, cultural development, etc. Unfortunately, there have also been increasing abuses to the welcoming and pio- neering spirit of America. Re- form is now past due. Legisla- tion to facilitate immigrafft assimilation is critical. In 1894, Theodore Roosevelt wrote, "We must American- ize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and princi- ples ... We welcome the Ger- man and the Irishman who becomes an American, (but) we have no use for the Ger- man or Irishman who re- mains such ... He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second." In this regard, while Iap: plaud Rep. Tom McClintock's (R-Elk Grove) efforts in criti- cizing Mexican President Calderon's recent lecture tO Congress, he overstepped his bounds in that Calderon did not express contempt. for American sovereignty. Furthermore, the rhetoric to enforce existing laws is fight-' ing an old battle. We need to adapt to the 21st Century: 1) Make English the interi state commerce language: What is the incentive to assimilate if everything is offered in the native tongue? ! 2) Simple birth in the US should not automatically:: guarantee citizenship. Pro-'. pose a constitutional amend-. ment. See Letters, page lOB i