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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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June 18, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, June 18, 2014 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE In Plumas County, we take care of our own Very early in my tenure here as the county social services director, I received a phone cll from former county supervisor and grocer Leonard Ross. Ross said he wanted to meet with me sometime when.I had a hall-hour or so. He didn't say what he wanted to meet about, but I knew well enough that Leonard Ross was not an appointment to turn down. We met about a week later. Ross came into my office wearing a Stetson hat, a plaid shirt and a Carhartt down vest. We chatted a bit about my background and he about his. I think he was there mostly to get an idea of who I was and what issues mattered to me. We chatted for much longer than the half-hour he had asked for. He recounted events that occurred while he was the chairman of the county Board of Supervisors and those supervisors (like Della Blust) who both WHERE I STAND ELLIOTI" SMART PLUMAS COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT supported and opposed his ideas. Late into the conversation Ross spoke about his storied fights With the state over welfare reform and welfare regulations. He told me this: "You know,,' he said, "up here it's been important that we take care of our own. I wasn't always sure that people understood that when we were going through all we did." Ross was talking about a time in the late '70s when the county board decided it could handle public assistance programs just t'me on its own, without the state telling members how it ought to be done. They could take care of their own, thank you very much. Taking care of our own. If you try to avoid the patriarchal tones, the phrase can resonate. We do take care of our own here. I'm not sure whether this is a value that is unique to all rural cultures or perhaps just unique to us in Plumas, but that value is here in our communities and you won't have to look very far to see it. Take for example, adoptions and foster parents. You might not immediately know this, but we have many, many adoptive families here, more than you might imagine. There is no way really to know this as fact, but I would guess that on a per capita basis, we have more adoptive families than you would fred in a comparable slice of the pie in an urban setting. We also have large numbers of grandparents and non-related extended family members who've taken in children when the homes those children had lived in are not safe for them. These can be terribly disruptive to people's lives but they do it anyway. Taking care of our own. Providing adoptive homes or becoming a relative foster home are not easy things to do. Children who come from these settings can have lives that have been severely impacted by trauma. Taking them into a fostering or adoptive setting can create stress where there hadn't been any. But the notion of achieving a greater good by taking care of these children seems to be pervasive and, as a value, it overrides the difficulties these situations create. Taking care of our own. It features prominently in the way Social services staff has helped our citizens comply with the law in getting health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. During the three-month period from this past January through March, we've seen close to 800 new customers come through our doors. It has been a huge challenge for the staff at social services but one we've taken on with this notion that we are going to do our best to take care of our own. This, too, has not been easy to do. I know intrinsically that the department's staff may have differing views about the Affordable Care Act. But those differences don't matter at all when it comes to taking care of the customers who come through our doors needing help to get themselves covered as the law requires. We are going to take care of them. Taking care of our own. It happens allthe time when our volunteer firefighters head out to assist with an emergency response or put out a chimney fire. Lord knows what could have happened had we not had trained and well-equipped volunteer firefighters when downtown Quincy started burning. And when the need arose, staff from the county public works crew stepped in, neighbors helping neighbors. Not a job, but a value. Taking care of our own. It happens regularly when my good friends hook up the snowplow to the front of their trucks and start clearing driveways and roads after a heavy snow. I tend to think that when we get mired down in scratching the underbelly of our community, as we sometimes do, we can lose track of the things that we do well and wind up taking ourselves too seriously. We should follow the lead of Sheriff Hagwood when we do that and just give each other an ice cream. Taking care of our own: our neighbors, friends and those we don't always know, but who live here with us. That is one thing we do quite well, thank you. 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 dmvdnald@plumasnews.mm. They love to sing Last weekend I attended one of the Spring Concert sessions presented by the Chester Community Chorus. I was again impressed by the talent as this group brought professional quality music to the crowd -- free of charge! It's a don't miss evening in Chester. Some of the singers are my acquaintances. I asked them how long volunteers practice for each show, It's nearly three months of sessions of six hours per week. In addition, I was told that most related production and presentation efforts are also volunteered. These include services of sound technicians, publicity functions, and the group's newsletter. Their reason for providing this high quality entertainment? They love to sing. A handbell group adds another delightful musical dimension during the winter performance. Again, all volunteer activity. If a person is interested, singers and other participants are invited to join. Just emafl info@chestercommunitychor us.org to become "part of the fun." Because of all the personal participation, the annual cost of of each concert is able to be kept at around $10,000. Sponsorship is greatly appreciated. Arnold Selk Lake Almanor Why I Relay I have walked and participated in Relay for Life for the last 15 years. My father passed away from lung cancer in 1999. I have walked ever since. Several members of my family have had cancer, including myself. Through research and education, they are finding more cures. By educating us, we learn what to look for and signs. As we have our annual physicals and screenings, they can catch abnormalities at an earlier stager Early detection is the best protection. If cancer is caught at an earlier stage, our prognosis could be much better. I have been team captain for our Plumas Bank's Dream Team for nine years. Even if I was not team captain, I would still walk for this great endeavor. Pare Johnson Quincy To You, the Distracted Drivers I do not drive a police car but there sure are times that I wish I could. Maybe then you would put your cell down when you see me. Four times today, I almost got hit by another car whose driver was either texting, talking on the phone or not paying attention. This is only today's count. I commute everyday on the roads in Plumas and Lassen County to and from work. I can't even begin to count how many drivers.I witness on their cell phones and or doing whatever. But I really do not want to become your victim because of your stupid decisions. But both of my daughters have. Have you, the driver that can't wait another minute to text or call, had anyone you love be hit by a distracted driver? Bet not! If anyone has seen what a back end of a car looks like in the front of the car of the one you love, you would never pick up your phone in a car while behind a wheel again. There are skid marks, I am sure, from a police officer who just about hit the back of my car while I was stopped at a crosswalk, in a school zone, who was on his phone. That just happened last Friday in Susanville. My phone says when it goes to voice mail, "Hi this is Glenda. I am either in a meeting or driving, please leave me a message." Please, I do not want to become another careless accident statistic nor do I want anyone to be so either. This is against the law in the first place. I counted over hall of the car drivers on their phone coming home today, which is only about 37 miles. Please stop and pay attention to what you're doing. I want to get to work and then get home without your distraction in my way. Please. Glenda Turnage Chester Gratitude to the county and Forest Service Just a note of thanks to the county for paving the bike path that we all use so much. I noticed the recent new blacktop at the start of the trail near the high school. The bike route behind Lawrence Street was very much in need of help and the county rose to the occasion. Also, I've been hiking some of the newly-completed South Park Non-Motorized Trail System. Many kudos to the Forest Service and volunteers who helped complete this terrific local system. I've run into other hikers on the trail who have been surprised and happy with the trail. One hiker was glad to find the guides to the trail in the Trailhead boxes, and I was particularly glad to find the entire trail so well-marked. It is great that the Cascades Trail is now longer and connects with the Oakland Camp area, plus adding new areas near Route 70. Thanks for making this beautiful county even more accessible to hikers and visitors to the area. Linda McDermott Quincy Great cooperation On the evening of May 23, I responded to a wildland fire near Camp Layman, driving our 2500-gallon water tender. While trying to get closer to the fire, I drove the tender over a narrow dirt road and cut the inside sidewall of the left front tire on the sharp edge of a metal culvert under the road. I was able to get the vehicle off the dirt road but could not move it further without damaging the wheel and suspension. After trying unsuccessfully to contact Les Schwab in Quincy from a nearby homeowner's phone, I had one of our firefighters try calling Quincy Tow to see if they could contact Les Schwab. About this time, Camp Layman co-owner Dan McDonald arrived and said that he would try to call Ron Horton at home. It appears that both Rob Wood from Quincy Tow and Dan McDonald were both successful in contacting Ron. Ron dispatched one of his techs to the garage to await a tire size to replace our damaged tire. After supplying the correct tire size, we were advised that "the repair truck is on its way." While waiting for the repair truck to arrive, Dan McDonald helped me stretch hose to offload the water from the tender so as to not wash out the dirt road surface. This is a great example of how cooperative and responsive our local community is to solve a problem and fix a need. Folks just pitch in and get the job done, as if it were routine -- and around this part of Plumas County it seems to be routine. I, along with the rest of the Long Valley Fire Department, was extremely grateful to have our water tender back in operation in a few hours. This meant that we could return the tender to service that same evening and be ready for our next call, if needed. Dan Kenney Asst. Chief, Long Valley FD, Cromberg Frog needs our help Several comments have been directed toward the recent Endangered Species Act listing of the yellow-legged frog and CDFW's efforts to protect the species in its few remaining habitats. Most comments dismiss the frog, vilify the CDFW and evoke sympathy for fish which will be taken by fishermen anyway, but there is another perspective. The ESA was passed in response to public outcry over the rampant squandering and unregulated exploitation/slaughter of plant and animal species to promote human greed and sell-interest. The icons of the ESA movement include the passenger pigeon exterminated by hunters and farmers in less than a hundred years; the American bison systematically slaughtered over a half century in an effort to starve the remaining American plains Indians into submission; the whooping crane whose feathers were used to decorate ladies' hats; the trumpeter swan whose delicate skin made excellent powder puffs for the application of ladies' cosmetics; the black footed ferret which became collateral damage in the war to eradicate prairie dogs, their primary food source, from grazing lands; the California condor whose populations succumbed from the ingestion of lead which was left in the carcasses on which they fed; and, of course, the bald eagle and brown pelican which became victims of man's unregulated use of pesticides, specifically DDT. Now more than ever, plant and animal species are disappearing due to human activities which pollute the environment, destroy habitats, and intentionally or unintentionally introduce non-native species which out-compete or predate upon native species. The intricate web of interdependence of all living organisms on this planet is being disrupted with consequences that are often not immediately understood. Are we stewards or exploiters? Should we protect our natural diversity for future generations? This little frog needs human intervention to survive. We created the problem; we need to take responsibility to fix it. Faith Strailey Quincy Disappointed for the kids I look forward to the county fair every year  it's one of the few events in Quincy that unites us all as a community. For the past several years, churches around Plumas County have worked to put together an entire section of the fair specifically for kids. The section has included rubber duck races, dirt babies, face painting, balloon animals and, of course, a giant bounce house. The fact that it provides a safe family environment for the kids that is free is great. Multiple churches coming together to work shifts over the separate days of the fair, and the teamwork and community of the churches really shows off what Quincy is all about. We are all family here. Unfortunately, that has come to an end, it seems. Out of the many praises of the kids' section, there were two complaints. Apparently, the two people who complained were offended by the fact that it was church run. Two people. I am going to be honest right now-- two people should not have this much control over anything! We are a large community. Twopeople should not have so much influence in a community made up of so many people. The churches will still be able to be a part of the fair but they will not have the same amount of space. Instead, they will be inside a building. They might get a couple tables to do face painting or balloons, but certainly not the ducks (a kid favorite) and the bounce house. The bounce house will most likely still be at the fair, but the chances of it being free are slim. I know I am disappointed in how this whole situation has been handled. I can't even imagine how disappointed kids all over the county will be when the ducks are gone and the bounce house costs money. Justina Anderson Quincy Pardon on the way Would you vote for a candidate who supported amnesty for illegal aliens? Before you answer, I suggest you consider your current lifestyle. This will be the defining issue in 2016; it will separate the real taxpayers from the freeloaders. Too often the middle class pays for someone else's lifestyle as they slowly lose their own, what an interesting conundrum. American generosity (taxpayers) will eventually end for incarcerating illegals regardless of their age. Send them back! The IRS scandal has too many documents to destroy but a nice fire in the IRS headquarters would solve that problem. President Obnoxious will pardon Bowe Bergdalal, as he leaves office. The shredding of legal and investigative documents regarding "Fast and Furious" under Eric Holder has begun. Next, the Veterans Administration See Letters, page 10B 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; TIT/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, i DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 2885 i Churn Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. " ! i STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, i 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; (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.