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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
July 7, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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July 7, 2010

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lOB Wednesday, July 7, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL and OPINION EDITORIAL Put those cell phones down while driving Did you know last Thursday, July 1, marked the two-year anniversary of California's hands- free law? According to California Highway Pa- trol statistics, far too many motorists "are still not dialed-in to the rules and are either being cited for it or becoming a grim statistic." CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a re- cent press release he thinks that many mo- torists may have been used to driving and using a cell phone at the same time before the July 2008 law went into effect. We would like to say that might be a factor, but since 2008 more drivers who think they de- pend on cell phones are also on the roads. Cell phones are not just for making calls anymore, but for text messaging, looking at social net- working sites and surfing the Internet. Cell phones are part of many people's moment-to- moment existence and consume so much atten- tion that cell phone usage is becoming an ad- dicting habit. Driving a motorized vehicle requires full at- tention and even a moment of inattention can have disastrous consequences. According to Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System data complied by the CHP, since the inception of the hands-free law, there have been more than 1,200 collisions through- out the state in which a contributing factor was a driver using a cell phone. Those same colli- sions resulted in 16 fatalities and more than 850 victims injured. To make it clear: The law states no driver can text message while driving, and no driver un- der age 18 can use a cell phone at all while dri- ving. Drivers over the age of 18 can use a hands- free device such as an earplug or SYNC. Statewide CHP officers have issued more than 244,000 citations to motorists violating the law. The fine is not high. The minimum base fine for the first offense is $20 and $50 for the second offense. Of course, other fines and court costs can make the offense expense. But is it worth the extra costs, which undoubtedly could be property damage, injury or vehicular - manslaughter charges? Put your cell phone down or if you don't have the willpower to leave it alone while dri- ving, put it in the vehicle's trunk. No call, text, e-mail or Internet curiosity is worth an accident or a life. 00ea0000s00ing / Breaking News .... go to Michael C. Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ...Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli ........ Managing Editor Diana Jorgenson .......... Portola Editor Alicia Knadler ........ Indian Valley Editor Kate West ............... Chester Editor Shannon Morrow .......... Sports Editor Mona Hill .................. Copy Editor Staff writers: Joshua Sebold Will Farris Sam Williams Barbara France Susan Cort Johnson Kayleen Taylor Ruth Ellis Brian Taylor Pat Shillito Linda Satchwell Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Times (530) 257-53211 Portola Reporter (530) 832-4646 Chester Progressive (530) 258-3115 Indian Valley Record (530) 284-7800 Check Out Our PLUMASNEWS.COM Wor00s can't describe vacation of a lifetime .... 60iiiiiiiiiiii00 MY TURN MONA HILL Staff Writer You have to know, given my last My Turn, what's coming in this one. Yep, you got it in one: My Italian Vacation. In a word: magical, restorative, relaxing, delightful and fabulous -- wait, that's five words. Well no matter, any one of them is accurate. After a long two days flying from Reno to Napoli, our young Italian driver and his nice BMW met us at the airport. During the two-hour drive to our apartment in Pra- iano, he pointed out the sights along the way. I confess I didn't take in very much. I was busy concentrating on not becoming carsick -- something I am notorious for becoming. Still, the Amalfi Coast is a dramatic sight. The careworn peaks show their age and the centuries of use; they are steep, eroded and towns cling to the hillsides, stacked vertically in a riot of Mediterranean pas- tels. Beaches are small and few; as we ar- rived on a Sunday, they were also crowded with escapees from Napoli and Sorrento, as well as tour buses full of tourists from the US, UK and other European countries. We met the apartment owner at the only intersection in Praiano so he could show the driver the way to our apartment. He on- ly spoke Italian and German, which made communication a bit dodgy, but we all made do and got the job done. I don't know which came first, Holly- wood or the real Italian male, but the stereotype and the reality are nearly a per- fect match. On observing what our driver received, our landlord immediately offered us a dis- counted price for the return to Napoli. We smiled and said we'd see, but thank you. That offer was followed with another for a trip on his boat. I'm sure he thought the rich Americans had arrived to augment his income. We never took him up on either of- fer. Steve walked down the hill each morning for fresh bread, prosciutto, fresh H/here in the world? Joani and Ray Duncan of Portola visited Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii. At one time the valley had many residents, but in 1946 the most devastating tsunami in Hawaii's history swept far into the valley. No one died, but most of the residents left, and now only around 50 people live there. Next time you travel, share where you went by taking your local newspaper along and including it in a photo. Then e-mail the photo to mozzarella and strawberries. That was the closest we came to cooking anything. Like France, the food was freshly pre- pared from fresh produce, fish and pasta. The flavors melted onto our tongues, noth- ing too strong, all still individual tastes. Unlike Positano and Amalfi, Praiano is most definitely a local's town. Everyone knows everyone and a lengthy conversa- tion always followed "ciao." When our bus to Positano failed to ap- pear at several of the scheduled times, the local taxi driver stopped and offered a ride for a mere 10 euros. He knew our landlord and his family. Asked for a restaurant recommendation in Positano, he replied with one for Pra- iano. The people were unfailing kind and wel- coming. On the hottest day, we were walk- ing up the hill in Positano to the bus stop. I was suffering badly from the heat, my face was beet red and I had to stop every 50 feet or so to rest and cool off. As we neared the top, one of the shop- keepers, a woman about my age, came out with a small block of ice and a small cup of nearly frozen limoncello the local lemon liqueur, obviously very alarmed by my col- or. That generosity of spirit was evident everywhere we visited. Our only dedicatedly "tourist" trip was to Pompei. I don't quite know how to de- scribe except as a living ghost town. Quite a lot has been excavated but there is plenty still that hasn't been started. Like Bodie, the city just stopped in its tracks, pre- served in pumice and ash, waiting to be dis- covered anew. A whole villa (a real one) had been exca- vated, down to the half finished remodeling interrupted by the eruption. Faded but clear trompe l'oeil adorned the wall of the interior atrium, as did sexual frescoes at the intact bordello. Most disturbing was the warehouse that modern-day archeologists had constructed just off the forum. I don't know if they were reproductions or not, but the shelves were filled with amphora, jugs, pots and other household goods -- and, disturbingly -- the occasional human form. There was a seated woman covering her mouth and nose to breathe as the ash piled up around her to bury her for centuries. The train station in Venezia opens onto the Grand Canal with St. Mark's basilica rising above the city. While Steve went to sort a water taxi to our hotel -- a converted convent -- I stood on the steps, mouth men- tally agape, thinking, "I, Mona Mosley, no- body in particular from Quincy, am in Venice. OMG, I am in Venice. That's the See Vacation, page 11B lEMEMBEFZ WHEN KERI TABORSKI Histodan 80 YEARS AGO...1930 Advertisement: Summer dances every Saturday night at the Hot Springs aerodome in Greenville. Swim, eat, dance. Admission: $1.00. Sandwiches and tamales served. Advertisement: Comfortable rooms with hot and cold running water await the trav- eler at the Hotel Quincy. Unexcelled foods, cooked with every regard for the retention of natural flavors may be had at Hotel Quincy Grill. 50 YEARS AGO... 1960 Historic Johnsville Lodge will become property of the State of California and will become part of the new Plumas Eureka State Park. The old building, now com- pletely remodeled, was built in the late 1850's and some of the hand hewn timbers measure 23 feet by 25 feet and hand made nails were used for the construction. 30 YEARS AGO... 1980 Well known actor Marion Brando was a recent weekend visitor at the Fire Moun- tain Lodge on Highway 36 and he also paid a visit to Chester's Timber House Restau- rant before leaving the area. It was announced this week that the Plumas County Board of Supervisors re- named the Beckwourth Airport as Nervino Airport, honoring Frank Nervino, the manager of that facility for more than 35 years. 10 YEARS AGO... 2000 Bar codes on some 50,000 pieces of li- brary materials including books and videos are being placed this week by li- brary staff and volunteers in all Plumas County libraries. New library cards will be scanned as well. See USA in ),our Chevrolet? Not MY TURN DIANA JORGENSON Portola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews,com There's something thrilling about the open road. Even though you have a destina- tion firmly in mind, it seems as though you could go anywhere and at any time. For me and for my daughter, road trips are the time and the opportunity for taking pic- tures, for seeing new sights, for capturing new images and for looking forward to a field of wildflowers just around the next bend. That is the lure of the open road to me. The problem is, America's roads are just not that user friendly. Modern transportation experts apparently don't want you to actual- ly see the USA while you are driving your Chevrolet; they want you to keep your eyes on the road. They don't want you to stop either; they just want you to get to your destination as fast as possible and with the least amount of trouble to anyone. On interstate highways, there are signs stating that parking is "emergency only," and while I might find that a scenic sunset requires an emergency stop, I probably risk a fine in doing so. Somewhere in Nebraska, a "Freedom Arch" was built covering the entire six lanes of Interstate 80. It was a fairly massive structure, but I can tell you little about it, except that large eagle sculptures adorned the top. That's all I could see as we whizzed by at 70 miles per hour. For miles in advance, signs warned that the fine for stopping was $1,000. Why did they put it there if they didn't want us to look at it? Once along the Colorado River in the fall, there was a section of aspen so golden they lit up a glow in the sky for miles. Again, knowing that people are drawn to beauty, some sadistic highway bureaucrat placed signs along the highway forbidding anyone to stop. Why, what's it to him? The same bureaucrat must also be respon- sible for the "View" signs on the back roads of northwestern Colorado. Every so often a sign with either "View" or a picture of binoculars will appear along the road, duly followed by a scenic view. So far so good, except that there is no place to stop along the two-lane road with no shoulders to look at the view or to pull out binoculars. So what are the signs for -- a tease? Or do they think we will not recog- nize a view without being so told? I also wonder who decides where pullouts should be placed and if beauty ever enters the equation. Many times, in my search for a good spot to stop to take a picture, I have finally come to a pull-out, only to find it in front of a rock wall or a line of trees, in short, the one spot in 10 miles in either di- rection that was not scenic. Go figure. As more and more guardrails are added to our roads, less and less of America can be seen. When I cross the Platte River, I want to see the Platte River. Instead, I see guardrails. I realize that ifI had a SUV or a truck, I could see over the barrier, but not for long. I noticed during my last trip that the newest bridge construc- Cl tl ttl O t' tion calls for concrete barriers that are quite high. If the highway authorities-that-be have their way, no driver in America will ever see a river again. After miles of "emergency parking only" signs through the Great Salt Desert of Utah, there is finally another series of signs near the end of the desert stating that sleepy dri- vers are dangerous drivers. Damned if you do Rest stops are blessings on cross-country road trips and shouldn't be underrated. Rest stops keep sleepy drivers from becoming dangerous drivers; provide bathrooms where there are no other facilities around; and offer trashcans in lieu of potential litter- ing. That's enough to justify their existence. However, I am always particularly pleased when they place the rest stop in a pretty spot. I give Nebraska, a state not noted for its scenic terrain, top marks for its pretty rest stops. Set along creeks or among trees, its rest stops actually make you linger a bit. It would seem that if we are ever to reduce the level of stress produced by modern liv- ing, we ought to encourage stopping. Make allowances for peaceful moments and let people actually spend time with the natural beauty of America. It's not always necessary to have a fully equipped rest stop to serve the purpose. Just an extra wide shoulder here and there along freeways and a graded ditch from time to time on backroads should do the trick. And, get rid of the signs and the fines. If you must have a sign, then make one that says, "Stop if you want to." If you want a kinder, gentler America, you have to mean it.