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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 16, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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July 16, 2014
 

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8B Wednesday, July 16, 2014 , ' Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter EDITORIAL AND OPINION EDITORIAL County must brace for the worst wildfire conditions on record California is burning. That might sound like an alarming statement, but it's a fact. Take a look at any of the various state maps that indicate where wildfn'es are currently burning. The maps are dotted with red. And we haven't even reached the peak fire season yet. That, however, is not entirely true. In 2014, fire season arrived early. Actually, it never left. After two years of record drought we are living in the middle of a tinderbox. Our forests are so dangerously dry that the governor declared a state of emergency in early June. In May Gov. Jerry Brown told us to brace for one of the worst fwe seasons ever. The statistics tell the story. From Jan. I to July 7, there have already been 2,990 wildfires in the state. Fortunately, most of them have been quickly contained. They have burned 24,218 acres. But when compared to the ftve-year average for the same period, the numbers are startling. There have been 889 more fwes than average. There is no end in sight. This is the dry season. The fall rains won't be here for at least three months. The rain we do get will be accompanied by lightning strikes. Aside from human carelessness, lightning accounts for most wildfires. Sometimes the lightning-caused fires aren't noticed for days as they smolder long after the storms have passed. They burst into flames as soon as the wind picks up. The threat of fires isn't news to us. We are all aware of the dangers, especially where we live. We are reminded almost weekly with notices and declarations in this paper by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service. On July 1, Cal Fire ordered burning bans across ' the 31 million acres of state land that it is responsible for protecting. Locally, the Plumas'National Forest has issued campfire and woodcutting restrictions. The PNF has urged people to cut their firewood now. If fire conditions get worse, we wouldn't blame the Forest Service for halting woodcutting altogether -- at least until the rainy season. ff we get a rainy season at all. Last week, the National Weather Service reported that the wet E1 Nifio weather pattern brewing in the Pacific Ocean won't be as strong as initially predicted. There were hopes that E1 Nifio would mean an earlier, and wetter, rainy season for Northern California. That now looks less likely. More likely, we are headed for a third straight dry winter and a continuation of our record drought. In short, things are looking grim. Mother Nature is in charge and she's not expected to deliver the moisture we so desperately need. All we can do is be careful in the woods. Be careful riding our ATVs and cooking outdoors. Simply, we have to be careful with fire. This summer, more than any in recent memory, our forests depend on us. So far we have been fortunate. We survived the onslaught of thousands of visitors and fireworks over the Fourth of July. We have survived several small wildfwes that have been quickly extinguished by our hardworking and talented f'we crews. County residents are keenly vigilant this time of year. It's common for 911 dispatchers to get several calls when residents see, or even smell, smoke. Let's hope our vigilance and luck holds out for another few months. California is burning. Let's do everything we can to make sure Plumas County doesn't. Editorials are written by members of the editorial board and should be considered the opinion of the newspaper. The board consists of the publisher, managing editor and the appropriate staff writers. A '' .!:. , Feat00blishing 6wspaper For breaking news, go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski .............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski .... Legal Advertising Dept. Dan McDonald .......... Managing Editor Jenny Lee .................. Photo Editor Ingrid Burke ................. Copy Editor Staff writers: Laura Beaton Carolyn Shipp Michael Condon Makenzie Davis Ruth Ellis Will Farris Susan Cort Johnson Debra Moore Maddie Musante M. Kate West Aura Whittaker Sam Williams James Wilson Samantha P. Hawthorne Feather River Bulletin (530) 283-0800 Portola Reporter (530) 832-4646 Lassen County Times (530) 257-5321 Indian Valley Record (530) 284-7800 Chester Progressive (530) 258-3115 Westwood PinePress (530) 256-2277 (l I-lmnwrml Printed on I'lsovml recycled paper Member, California Newspaper Publishers Assoc. Businesses shouldn't, take Let me preface this criticism by making the point that I love to shop locally. I enjoy patronizing small and ,independent businesses -- from restaurants to service providers to gift shops -- especially when they're locally owned and operated. Here at the newspaper, I take pride in editing press releases and managing the events calendar. Part of this pride stems from the fact that I'm helping to support the local business community and spreading the word about the great resources and gatherings available right here at home in Plumas County. But the "Shop Locally" movement doesn't give businesses carte blanche to let their professionalism slip: owners and employees shouldn't take local patrons for granted just because we're their neighbors. Over the years I have usually had very positive exPeriences with local businesses, and I receive outstanding MY TURN INGRID BURKE Copy Editor iburke@plurnasnews.corn customer service. Just last week, for example, a business owner took half an hour to discuss a product with me, helping me feel confident in my purchase. Recently, though, I've also had a few negative personal experiences that sour those good feelings. In one instance, I arrived at a business five minutes before closing This week's special days NOT JusT AN ORDINARY DAY COMPILED BY KERI TABORSKI Not just an ordinary day....a sampling of weekly notable special days and facts throughout the year. July 16 1916 -- The world's first parking meter was installed at First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 1951 -- "The Catcher In the Rye" by J.D. Salinger is published for the first time. 1999 -- John F. Kennedy Jr. piloting a Piper aircraft, together with his wife and her sister, die when the airplane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. July 17 1955 -- Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California. the confection on a stick in 1908 and trademarked it in 1931, naming it after his favorite racehorse Lolly Pop. 1940 -- California opened its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, formerly the Pasadena Freeway, linking Los Angles with Pasadena. Today is National Ice Cream Day. In 1984 President of the United States Ronald Reagan established the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day July 21 1969 -- United States astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first humans to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. 1983 -- The world's lowest temperature is recorded at 128.6 below zero in Antarctica. July 22 1933 -- Wiley Post becomes the first person to fly solo around the world traveling 15,596 miles in seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes. July 22 2014 -- It is the first birthday of Prince George Alexander Louis, the son of Britain's Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, the forn!er Kate Middleton. Born at St. Mary's Hospital in London, weighing 8 poundsl 6 ounces, he is third in line to the British throne and is known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. July 18 1968 -- The first line of the rapid transit system Metro Paris opened for operation. July 20 Today is National Lollipop Day. George Smith of Bradley-Smith Company in New Haven, Connecticut invented and patented the lollipop, customers for granted time, 5 p.m. I had called earlier in the day to verify the hours, and left work early to get there in time to ask a quick question about a product in the window. I was summarily turned away without even a smile. Maybe I am spoiled now, after those years of excellent customer service from other establishments in Plumas County, including being welcomed close to closing time, but it seems to me that a smile and a cheerful notice that the store will close in five minutes is a better policy than a door locked early. Even if I hadn't bought anything, the business's reputation would be polished. After all, it is a small town, and word of mouth plays a powerful role. Later, I tried for two days to visit a business on Main Street in Quincy. Each day I called first to verify business hours, and each day the shop was closed when I arrived (in plenty of time in this case). There was no note on the door, and no message on the answering machine. The second day, I came upon a distraught woman outside on the sidewalk who had driven from Susanville with two small children in the car in order to meet with someone at the shop I was trying to Visit. She had even made an appointment. This is unconscionable! If you made, say, a dinner reservation and drove for several hours, only to find the restaurant closed without an explanation, would you go out of your way to visit that town again? Notlikely. I understand that emergencies come up, and businesses must occasionally close early or unexpectedly. As good neighbors, we sympathize with family crises and personal illnesses. But a note on the door or an updated outgoing message on the answering machine is the least a business can do in those situations. This newspaper publishes stories regularly about various groups working to improve tourism in Plumas County. This is an admirable goal, and I love the idea that we can share this area's beauty and peaceful lifestyle with others and get an economic boost in return. But for that to happen we need all the players to be on board trying their hardest. Shopping locally takes some extra effort. Products are often more expensive. Business hours are limited, especially on weekends. Sometimes items aren't in the store and must be special-ordered. But I, and many others, still make the effort to support our local community establishments. We want Plumas County to be vibrant and successful, and we want our towns to be inviting to tourists and visitors. We are doing our part; we need the business community to keep up its end of the bargain too. Local business owners and operators, please do everything you can to earn our patronage. REMEMBER WHEN KERI TABORSKI Historian 75 YEARS AGO ..... 1939 It was reported that 275 patients passed through the Plumas County Hospital from July 1, 1938 through June 30, 1939. The Mt. Hough Road which connects Quincy and Taylorsville has been, widened and graded by the United States Forest Service and provides a scenic trip between American and Indian Valleys. 50 YEARS AGO ..... 1964 The governing board of the Plumas Unified School District denied a request to establish a kindergarten class in the Feather River canyon. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held this week for the new 7,000 square foot $80,000 Elks Lodge hall in East Quincy. 25 YEARS AGO ..... 1989 After a three month search, Feather River College trustees announced that Donald J. Donato, currently president of Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York, will be the new president of Feather River College, replacing Joe Brennan, who will retire December 31. 10 YEARS AGO ..... 2004 The Chalet View Lodge on Highway 70 in Maybe has opened, featuring 28 rooms, six cabins and a Starbucks Coffee store that will remain open all year long. Headline: "Leaning Tower": Paxton's outdated and old redwood water tank located next to the railroad tracks above the Paxton Lodge in the Feather River canyon will be replaced with a new 15,000 gallon steel tank. The current water tower tank leans due to the 12-14 trains that rumble past each day. Note: items included in the weekly Remember When column are taken from our bound newspaper archives and represent writing styles of that particular period. The spelling and grammar are not edited, so the copy is presented as it actually appeared in the original newspaper. 00mily As a child, it never occurred to me how important family outings were. Our annual camping trip to Lake Oroville was nothing more than an excuse to spend the weekend in the water; and although fun and exciting, our numerous trips up the Feather River Canyon to crawdad in Ye' O1' Fishin' Hole were exhausting and not worth the effort. Now as an adult with my own child to entertain, I see things differently. Trips to the lake, drives through the Canyon, pizza at Shakey's and kite flying on Table Mountain have become fond memories -- all of which I cling to in hopes of helping my son form his own memories of family tradition. Not only are those memories worth recalling for the excitement of them, they also help remind me of a simpler time and bring back thoughts of family members since departed. And although I did not live in Plumas County at the time, many of its surroundings help me remember those fleeting moments of happiness. Touring the Indian Valley Museum's Gem and Mineral Room reminds me of stories told about my great-grandfather's adventures in Rich Bar. When he was traditions: Some are lost, but none forgotten MY TURN SAMANTHA P. HAWTHORNE Staff Writer shawthorne@plumasnews.com alive, he would enthusiastically share his mined collection with us, which included arrowheads, gold and other precious stones. Now that I am living in Plumas County where many of those stories came from, I am touched by those recollections that give me a desire to get out and search for the lost, but not forgotten. Trips through the Canyon with my son bring back memories of my mom letting my siblings and me scream through the tunnels -- something that was otherwise inappropriate. Now when driving the long windy road, my son enjoys rekindling those family traditions. When passing through OroviUe, we always stop for a bite at Shakey's, a tradition that has now spanned at least three generations. This year my family reunited at Table Mountain for kite flying, something that the new generation of family members had yet to experience. Needless to say, they loved it and it will most likely bring to them fond memories for decades to come. Unfortunately, Memorial weekends on Lake Oroville ended with the death of my grandpa, who brought us out every year on his houseboat and fried up delicious catfish while we swam. The low lake levels also keep us out of the waters; however, living in Almanor is bound to bring its own set of memories and traditions. Although life's distractions make it difficult to get out as a family, the end rewards of hearing my son laugh and play are well worth the effort. By keeping family traditions alive, he will have warmhearted memories to share with his kids; and with any luck, they will enjoy those same outings with their kids for generations to come.