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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
July 3, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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July 3, 2001

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~ive, Rec~ Progressive Record, Reporter Tuesday, July 3, 2001 LI.| i I PUBUC AFFAIRS OFRCER labo#r to moving to Plumas tuatio one and one-half ..~.~ago, I had never lived :e with a population :avor than our entire, county. A prayer or unite for a highway pa- ire dr--i(trnily of only 12 years. usine er, also a highway pa- Lper in ' reties next year af- .. ,~years o! service. He .e me the promotion road, tO lAtin. 51 brought our family to meren~geles in 1972. ms CHP and California's o mak ng . public have experi- Like th# many changes (for the :) in that time: a reduc- tion of the mileage-death rate; tougher driving under the influence laws; mandato- ry seatbelt/child restraint laws, to name a few. The steady reduction of the mileage-death rate is in di- rect correlation to DUI and restraint legislation. From 1989 to 1996, I pa- trolled the highways of Ven- tura County, located on the coast of Southern California. During that time, I began pursuing additional training in the field of accident recon- struction. In 1996, I received an assignment to the CHFs Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) in the Southern Division (Los Angeles), MAIT is responsi- ble for investigating CHP/Caltrans-involved colli- sions resulting in injuries or fatalities. Typically, the MAIT inves- tigates multiple-fatality colli- sions not involving the CHP or Caltrans. For the next four amount of time our bodies ex- speed limit- and every occu- tions still sound like an acci- years, I was a MAIT investi- perience the forces involved pant who is not properly re- dent?. An unforeseen event? gator whose discipline was in the collision, the more se- strained. The commitment made by vehicle dynamics. The major- vere the injuries. But what about the ira- every CHP employee is and ity of the collisions I investi- Therefore, two of the mostpaired drivers we don't find, has always been to ensure gated involved, among other critical factors involved in or the vehicles that speedthe safety of those utilizing things, determining the re- predictability of collision when we're not around, or California's transportation Iocity of the involved vehi- severity is how fast the vehi- the folks that haven't quite system. It's that simple; how- cles using mathematics and cle was traveling at the too- got in the habit of buckling ever, in order for that corn- physics, and whether or not ment of impact, and whether up? These are the collisions mitment to produce signifi- the vehicle's occupants were or not the occupants were we respond to, these are the cant, positive results, there properly restrained at the properly restrained. Both of frustrations of the officers has to be some level of COOl> time of the collision. The ma- these are under our control, who grow tired of seeing the eration on the part of those jority of these investigations our responsibility, results of, whether intention- we've sworn to protect and took months to complete, and If there were three areas of al or not, careless and sense- serve. It's true that enforce- resulted in a complete under- traffic concern the CHP had less tragedies, ment brings a spirit of coop- standing of the collision, to focus on, they would be: Most people refer to colli- eration at any level, but rm The severity of a collision, driving under the influence; sions as accidents, but are sure we can all agree that in- and more importantly the vehicles exceeding the maxi- they?. If we know that when fmitely more could be accom- post-impact condition of the mum/safe speed limit-, andwe drive impaired (alcohol or plished if we're all on the involved occupants, is direct- properly buckling up all oc- drugs), or speed, or don'tsame sheet of music. ly proportional to the too- cupants, buckle up, that we're moreI encourage everyone who mentum a vehicle possesses Regardless of your back- likely to be involved in a col- cares about the sanctity of and the amount of time in ground, education, or experi- lision and/or sustain severe human life to demonstrate which the forces act on the ence, these three concernsinjuries, is it really an acci- that belief. Please join the vehicle and its the occupants, just make good common dent? Webster defines an ac- CHP in a zero tolerance cam- Momentum is a product of a sense. We can stop and arrest cident as "an unforeseen and paign against the three vehicle's weight and its every drunk driver we find; unplanned event or circum-traffic- related problem areas speed. The shorter the every vehicle exceeding the stance. "Do the previous ac- in our county. = p . rvice pay [overn!lCO{ ouste STATE SENATOR r serv" -~__. -rnians are people to , We have the nat- v" "V auty of the Sierras, are Pat ductivity of the Cen- 'alley, spectacular tppeniflines, and weather the I covets. What more not wa~we want? How a,bout a ent that doesn t rob ) back ." _ b_ac.k~Ln point: high gas unu . California's gasoline aretraditionally high- L 0nly the national average, er ele e the fact that Califor- .haves [a .major l oducer of on is rLif" We produce more " eum thanany other xcept Texas and Alas- ka, but we have far too many special "reformulated" gaso- tition in the refining busi- taxes, the total tax on gaso- Gasoline suppliers must people to be self-sufficient, line. This gasoline is refined ness. California once had line sold in California is 50.3 contend with a host of incom- And, since there are no according to a unique process over 150 refineries, but now cents per gallon. Only theprehensible and contradicto- pipelines connecting Califor- that is more expensive than there are only 13 that pro- states of Hawaii and Nevada ry environmental laws, labor nia to the rest of the United the ones used everywhere duce our special fuel. The six have higher fuel taxes, laws, building regulations, States, we are essentially an else, and our refineries were largest produce over 90% of To make matters worse, and competing enforcement island when it comes to ira- forced to spend billions of this special gasoline. Even California applies a sales tax agencies that do not coordi- porting oil. dollars be able to pro- without collusion or price- to gasoline purchases. We are nate with each other. It is Geography makes it very duce it. fixing, these six refineries the only state that applies a difficult to estimate the ira- expensive to haul The full cost of this refor- can take advantage of their sales tax to both the state and pact of California's hostile large quantities of petrole- mulation may exceed 15 cents powerful position by restrict- federalexcise taxes. This business climate and our ex- urn into California by truck per gallon. Integral to this re- ing output, whether inten-sales tax varies by countycessive regulations on thep- or train, forcing us to rely on formulation is the use of tionally or not. The result from 7% to 8.25%. Unlike ex- rice of gasoline, but there is oil tankers from distant lands MTBE, a cancer-causing andwill assuredly be higher cise taxes, sales taxes in- no question that these costs to supply our refineries in insidious pollutant. There is prices, crease with theprice of gaso- are passed along to con- the Bay Area or Los Angeles. no way to know at this time Even before the state man-line. Thus, ourstate govern- sumers in the form of higher However, this is not the on- how much it will cost to clean dated uniquely reformulated ment is reaping a windfallprices. ly reason that we are a petro- up the MTBE that now pol- gasoline, Californians were profit from the recent spike Gasoline is essential to our leum island. There are nu- lutes our reservoirs and already paying higher prices in the price of gasoline - and way of life. We should de- merous policy decisions that groundwater. Now, with thebecause our excise taxes are we are being taxed on taxes! mend the elimination of the our governmenthas made phase-out of MTBE, our re-the thirdhighest in the na- Of course, a portion of Cali- regressive sales tax on gaso- which really leave us isolat- fineries will once tion. The average state's tax fornia's higher-than-average line and establish a fuel start- ed. And, the Legislature again spend billions of dol- on a gallon of gasoline is 23.6 gasoline price is directly at- dard thatbrings us into the bears much of the responsi- lars to retool. That cost, too, cents, according to the Amer- tributable to the fact that our Union when it comes to dis- bility for this problem, will be passed along to con- ican Petroleum Institute (in- government has made Call- tribution. The primary reason that sumers. But this is only the cluding local sales taxes). In fornia a very expensive place Island life may be grand, California's gasoline prices tip of the iceberg. California, that tax is 31.9 in which to do business. In- but California cannot afford are higher than those of the California's unique refor-cents (35.2% higher than come taxes and corporate tax- it when it comes to gasoline. rest of the nation is that Call- mulated gasoline has also thenational average). Whenes are among the highest in fornia law requires the use of dramatically reduced compe- combined with federal excise the nation. I Most residents believe Plumas year made a difference?" tion. County government has improved The poll was not scientifically con- About 19 percent believes the ira- since a year ago, but they are divided ducted, provements can be traced to the pres- over why. Rather, site visitors are asked to ence of two new county supervisors. The poll was conducted to get an state their opinion on a topic, and Meanwhile, 25 percent said it sees idea of how residents feel about the there is no way to verify whether the improvements but more are needed. issue, which was asked in light of a poll actually reflects communityNearly 13 percent is not impressed, new grand jury report, which also opinion. It is for entertainment pur- saying, "Different faces, same prob. saw some improvements, poses only. lems." The poll, which ran from June 25 About 38 percent of the respon- Another 6 percent, a/a Fox Mul- to June 29, asked site visitors, "A dents said government is better,der, said that the government should year ago, county government was chiefly because of County Adminis- never be trusted. considered to be a disaster. Has a trative Officer Jim Stretch's resigna- l What are your thoughts on the new grand jury report? ] must contain an i and a phone number. is SO~ only one letter per week, t that~rson and only one letter ind rson, month regarding mine suoject. We do not lb]~Lh third-party or open let etters must be limited to ; um of 300 words Any let- ie xcess of 300 words will be pened the editor. The deadline is ier. ~ at 3 P.m. Letters may be of to any of Feather Publish- ire ffices, sent via fax to 283- ,, or e-mailed at ,COm. second year, my hus- I were able to par- the mLife, wonderful "Re- . The people do a fantas- YOu! Please ceremonies are mean- and the opening and speeches by cancer and their families ry touching and in. I doubt that there eye in the crowd. especially meaning- how the communl- together and made for them in times of need. Some- ill and injured people to be accommodated ~un.mmunity faces just e now. There was last Week. all that were in- jured will heal; some will need more time than others. Some will need more help than others. As a community we again need to pull together and help the injured and their families get through this. Prayers, understanding and helping hands are again needed. We need to show compassion and make accom- modations for them and their families wherever and when- ever we can. Debe Burns Quincy We would like to publicly thank Dr. Martin Schafer of the Plumas Veterinary Ser- vice in Beckwourth for sav- ing the life of our dog, Maver- ick. On Saturday, June 9, our sheltie was accidentally run over by a car. He was badly injured, and we were afraid he would not live. The acci- dent happened at our cabin at Lake Davis. When we c~lled around to locate the nearest emergency vet, we were told there was none open closer than Reno. We headed for Reno (where we live) but stopped at Plumas Vet Ser- vice. Although he was closed for the day, Dr. Schafer agreed to look at Maverick. Dr. Schafer did prelimi- nary X-rays and got the dog stabilized and on painkfllers. Later that day and in the fol- lowing two days, Dr. Schafer called us in Reno to advise of Maverick's status. Finally, he referred us to a specialist in Reno. Even after we trans- ported Maverick to the vet here, Dr. Schafer continued to call to learn of Maverick's progress. Now, over two weeks later (June 26), we are pleased to report that Maverick is home after reconstructive surgery. He will likely fully recover. Dr. Schafer is still calling the Reno vet for updates on Mav- erick. We want everyone in the Portola area to know what a wonderful, caring vet you have in the community. He saved Maverick's life, and then went "above and be- yond" by continuing to keep in touch. Thank you, Dr. Marty Schafer. Bill & Sheila Freed Reno, NY In your June 6 edition, a contributor to the "Letters to the Editor" felt that the For- est Service should have do- nated some blow-down trees for a particular beneficial use. The trees in question were ones that had come down over this past winter. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this issue, as it comes up frequently during the year. Congress authorizes the Forest Service to permit the use/sale of forest products on public lands. The money gen- erated is returned to the Fed- eral Treasury. Twenty.five percent of the funds generat- must be on a leash. I live on a ed from these permitted ac- busy street; adults and chil- tivities comes back to the dren of all ages walk by my counties of origin from the house. A lot of them stop to Treasury, in what are com- look at or smell my roses and monly referred to as "forest sometimes, the children tire receipts." The Forest Service and sit for a spell on our does not have the authority lawn. We planted the lawn to simply give away any for many reasons. Some of product of value from public these people who walk their lands., dogs don't even have leashes The Forest Service has the on them. obligation and discretion to The people allow their dogs decide what to do with dead to relieve themselves on our and downed trees when they vegetation - some on pur- present a hazard to the pub- pose. lic. In the instance of concern First of all, there is an ordi- to the writer of the "Letter to nance against this. It falls un- the Editor," in fact, wood der the nuisance ordinances from snags was left from the and the owner of these pets prior winter, as personal fire- could get a visit from the ani- wood permits had been pur- real control officer. chased for that purpose. The Please find another place blow-down trees from this for your pet to do his or her winter were sold as a small thing. After all, our yard was timber sale to a local contrac- planted wiht grass and flow- tor. As noted above, the ers for our enjoyment, and monies generated from this we shouldn't have to go out sale go to the Federal Trea- in the yard only to find out sury and twenty-five percent that your pet has already vis- comes back to the counties as ited our yard and so now we forest receipts, have to dispose of it. If anyone has other ques- So, please, when walking tions about this, or any other your dog, have some respect concerns on the Mt. Hough for other people's yards. Ranger District, I encourage Sherflyn Smith them to call me at 283- Portola 0555/7610. Thank you again for the opportunity to clarify Rhm e, Lmm this issue. Excuse me folks, but is TerriSlmon-Jackson everybody asleep at the District Ranger wheel in the Bailey Creek/ Lake Almanor area of Plumas County?. Wha~ do you call this idea of 400 cheap lit- tle trailers that are to be towed in and used as rentals? R'm flu I would like to address those of you who walk their dogs. The law states they The twenty trailers by Peninsula Market are bad enough, but 400 more? There apparently isn't much of a master plan for Bailey Creek. If there were to be a true in-st class country club setting, then we'd at least see something like Graeagle. We all know that change is a part of life, but to cheapen one of the most beautiful lake areas of Cali- fornia with cheap little trail- ers that won't hold their val- ue and overcrowd the area with big city density is Just beyond me. If I was livIng in the area full time Fd be attending some meetings to see If Plumas County couldn't be convinced that this a very poor idea. If the area has to grow, then let's grow with class, first class. George Chekouras Boulder Creek, CA Property owner in Hamil- ton Branch. r.a M A perfimct~ry review of the 2000-2001 Plumas County Grand Jury Final Report in this week's paper was confus. Ing to this writer, specifically complaint #00-01-08. Back- ground paragraph was less than accurate on someone's part and will be challenged elsewhere... Concerning the original complaint, I would like to use some hypothetical figures, as L