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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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August 20, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE ather River WHERE I STAND. KEVIN TRUTNA SUPERINTENDENT/PRESIDENT FEATHER RIVER COLLEGE The dormitories are full at Feather River College. More students are arriving and school is about to start. This is a scene that repeats itself every fall semester. Being a California community college, FRC has the mission to provide transfer education, basic skills instruction and career/technical training. As a small, rural community college, FRC has challenges and opportunities that do not impact larger schools. For example, FRC is oneof only seven community colleges in California with student housing as approximately 1,000 students set foot on campus. The current FRC Foundation dormitory only accommodates 165 students, and this is one of the challenges that FRC faces every year. College 'funding formula Because FRC is a community college, its budget comes from a funding formula determined by the legislature and administered by the California Community College Chancellor's Office in Sacramento. FRC cannot set its own tuition fees nor can it increase the general budget outside of the parameters set for all community colleges. Enrollments are capped and the only way that FRC can grow is through increased enrollment as determined by the statewide system. Feather River College cannot exist solely based upon declining adult population numbers in Plumas County.,FRC needs additional students as fewer than 150 seniors graduated from all Plumas County high schools, necessitating the recruitment of students from out of the area -- all of whom will need housing. Unique academic programs draw in people from across many states. FRC is proud to support one of only four college fish hatchery programs in the western United States, the equine program is nationally recognized, and outdoor recreation leadership is a niche program that exists in only a handful of schools. ll needs Thus, students come from all over the country and need housing in the Quincy and surrounding areas. Housing demand The FRC Foundation has become very successful at the dormitory business. Occupancy rates have been at or above capacity since 2011. Because the dorms are in better shape than they ever have been, sophomores are choosing to remain in college housing and a record number of students apply for college housing every year. On-campus rentals can only absorb about 165 students, so housing in surrounding areas becomes important. In the past two years, on-campus dormitories were full before the Day in the Mountains orientation; any student who attended the spring orientation day could not enter the dormitory because it was already full. There is a shortage of affordable housing and students are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain rentals. In 2013 alone, 39 identifiable students did not attend FRC because they could not get housing. That is a decrease to the FRC budget by over $200,000, not to mention the purchasing power loss of these 39 students in the local community (gas, groceries, sandwiches, electricity, health care, feed and tack, rent, supplies and other amenities throughout the year). Economic impact Nearby colleges have done research and shown that for every dollar invested in a community college, the economic return to the local community ranges from 1.7 to 2.5 times the budget. Because FRC has an approximately $11 million budget, conservative estimates place the economic impact of FRC on the local community at over $18 million yearly based upon the multiplication factors above. Both permanent residents and college students can coexist and be mutually beneficial, as having a local college brings in many nonfmancial benefits to an area including increased population, income levels, job training, cultural events, tourism, athletic activities ti and an educated populace. Potential solution Where does FRC house students from outside of Plumas County? Feather River College is seeking to increase its dormitory capacity to address the situation of recruiting qualified students with the shortage of available college housing. Inherent to the discussions and decisions are considerations of proximity to campus, maximizing the use of public transportation, cooking facilities, nearby consumer services, aesthetic concerns and the impact to the environment. The college is als0 very concerned with potential impact of visual appeal, interaction with existing neighbors, loss of housing rental capacity, resident noise and the effect on existing renters. Zoning regulations also play a role. A new dormitory must be financially serf-sufficient, as the rents must not only cover the cost of the facility but also maintenance and necessary improvements. In all discussions about increasing dormitory capacity, it is l housing understood that it will be . available as a short-term rental for summer camps and the High Sierra Music Festival -- the way existing dormitories currently operate. FRC has a long-term plan to increase dormitory capacity. Several options have been studied, including new construction to leasing to purchasing existing housing. FRC considered the factors listed above to minimize the impact to the community and maximize the available housing for students. The college will work hard with neighbors and existing renters to mitigate any impact that might occur should the college eventually purchase or build additional housing. The purpose of this article is to let the community know that FRC is looking at expanding student housing in order to maintain and grow existing academic programs. The college is also deeply committed to maintain its mutually beneficial relationship with Plumas County as FRC carries Out its mission to provide high-quality educational opportunities to all residents. 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 tMrd-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 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change dueto holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of'Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or e-mailed to " dmcdonald@plumasnews.com Fund the excavation The Board of Supervisors is hesitant about spending $100,000 on the excavation of an old well by the Sheriffs Office. This is understandable. It is a lot of money, especially right now. Still, it should be done. Apparently, there are fairly strong indicators that a person is buried down there, possibly a long-missing resident of this county. We should not give up on someone, and not close an investigation, while it is still reasonable to keep trying. Scott Corey Quincy Proven benefits of forest thinning I read with some surprise a letter (8/6/14) stating that there is no scientific proof of the benefits of forest thinning. I know for a fact that over the years there have been numerous articles in our papers as to the benefits of thinning forest.s that included scientific references, because I wrote some of them. There've been articles discussing benefits to homes and communities from hazardous fuel reduction projects, benefits and scientific findings from HFQLG projects, and cited scientific case studies in the publication of "Living With Fire" supplements. Those articles described the benefits of thinning forests to lessen impacts from catastrophic wildfire, addressed additional benefits provided to humans and natural resources and usually referenced scientific studies. To further the letter writer's scientific understanding I suggest the following references as a starting point. I'm providing the titles so one can easily fmd the documents using their favorite Internet search engine. They are: 1) Protecting Communities and Saving Forests -- Dr. Bonnicksen. 2) How Fuel Treatments Saved Homes from the Wallow Fire 2011. 3) An Assessment of Fuel Treatment Effects on Fire Behavior, Suppression Effectiveness and Structure ignition on the Angora Fire. 4) The Cone Fire: A chance Reckoning for Fuel Treatments -- A Fire Science Brief from the Joint Fire Science Program. 5) Summary of Fuel Treatment Effectiveness in the HFQLG Pilot Project. 6) Science Basis for Changing Forest Structure to Modify Wildfire Behavior and Severity. ' I have 45 years of wildland fire experience, 35 in Plumas County, and can unequivocally say: If you want to manage the intensities at which fire burns, and the consequential damage that occurs, you must manage the fuel it burns! Fuel is the only element of the fire behavior triangle (fuel, weather and topography) that humans can manage. And it's scientifically supported. Jerry Hurley Portola Biomass is a local, renewable resource I am writing to correct misinformation shared in a letter to the editor titled "Forest preservation." The Sierra Institute has been working on a renewable energy plan to install biomass-fired boilers at public institutions. Installing biomass-fired boilers at local schools, hospitals and county facilities will reduce and stabilize heating costs by offsetting expensive fossil fuels with a local, renewable resource." The ierra Institute and partners are also working to design a 3-megawatt combined heat and power facility in Crescent 1Vfills. This facility will sell power to PG&E and offer opportunity for business development in the immediate area. The Sierra Institute's biomass energy plan calls for 8 biomass-fired boilers and one combined heat and power facility, and will require approximately 35,000 tons of wood chips annually. Senate Bill 1122 mandates that the fuel for these facilities comes from sustainable forest treatments that reduce fire threat and restoration projects that improve forest health. This forest biomass already exists as part of management activities conducted by the Forest Service, the Fire Safe Council and commercial operations, and will not necessitate harvesting additional biomass. Furthermore, this material can be obtained from management activities on 3,500 acres a year- a fraction of Plumas County's 1.4 million forested acres. The Sierra Institute is a non-profit organization with a mission of building thriving rural communities while promoting resilient, ecologically rich forests and watersheds. The proposed energy plan is rooted in the concept of utilizing local, renewable resources for the benefit of local residents. This plan improves forest health and reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire, while also lowering heating costs at critical public institutions and creating new jobs in Plnmas County. The profiteers in this case are the people who work and live here. Mik McKee Sierra Institute Biomass Lead Taylorsvine Frogs eat caterpillars Having read of the decision to save the yellow-legged frog from the trout population and of the caterpillar infestation in the county, I have come up with a solution. Just collect the frogs and take them to the caterpillars. Frogs absolutely love caterpillars and would eradicate them in no time. Sounds stupid? No more so than the proposal to remove the trout to protect the frogs. Who comes up with this? Our tax dollars at work! Anne Ruffner Taylorsvine Sustainable? Green, sustainable, local... They are the catch phrases of the neo-liberal. We know what these words mean in our daily context, but do the globalists mean the same? Trade agreements such as NAFrA, GATT, CAFrA and currently the TPP have been created by the same internationalists that push the green agenda. They want us to be sustainable by reducing GHG radically as they trade the offsets, while the same public private partnerships of private corporations and government dislocate the natural sustainability of countries' food and resources worldwide. One main destructive element of globalized resource meddling is the idea of specialty regions. Through regulation, strong arming, market manipulation and artificial subsidies, the global corporate behemoths, working with private and government stakeholders, have transformed formerly autonomous food production regions into specialty regions. A simple trip to the supermarket shows the result of the government connected big-agri middleman. Meat, dairy and seasonal produce, ponuted with growth stimulants and anti-bacterials, comes from outside the area when it could be produced locally. They call it efficiency. Cottage industries never had to end. The motive and method was simple. If Jane takes her produce directly to market, the international middleman gets no cut. Apply pressure to the small specialized local producer. Eventually the large producer dominates the land and market. The middleman now makes a cut taking product into as well as out of a region. It's a two-fer for the big boys. They prefer slave labor to make up for the unsustainable, increased cost of transport. And we get sick, undernourished and underemployed as their profits grow. We could produce much of our own right here, but among other things, it now may "hurt" the environment. Even heavy cream has preservatives now. Oy! Robert Milne, Clio False positives There is a problem with the testing of people on Drug Court and Prop36 programs. There are people getting false positives with the test strips. Option to send to a lab. Also, some of the lab results could be erroneous. I personally know of one that was. Over two decades ago, I found out that some foods could cause a false positive. Granted, over time things could have changed, but not always. I feel that the people in charge should see what, if anything, could cause false positives. If there are, print and distribute to their clients a list. I don't know the reason for these issues. Is it poor quality test 'strips, poor lab work, incompetence, unknown factors or any kind of combination? With the county saying how little money is in the coffers I'd " hate to see a false arrest and/or false imprisonment charges filed behind these false positives. Hopefully someone in authority of these programs will do some checking and fred a solution. Daniel L. Funke Quincy The sport of wealth From time to time, we are told how many people are billionaires and just how many billions they have. The figures seem to shift each time we are told, but the message I am getting is always the same. The accumulation of wealth has become another contest as to who is the best, or, in this case, who is the richest. Should acquiring money be a competition like a sports event? If so, how far can that go? How can building fortunes just to see who can amass the most be considered fair and proper? Especially when a great percentage of the people barely make ends meet or are on food stamps. The billionaires have gone beyond disgraceful greed. I think that in their competition with one another they have lost sight of the damage they can wreak with their new gaming event. websites were lighting up last Friday saying that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (leader of ISIS Muslims) will attack the U.S. homeland. Gosh, the Democrats' leader stirred up a Muslim Jihad against the United States. At least we are safe in Plnmas County by golly. I feel like I am watching a bad movie. But Barrack said that "He" got us out of Iraq. Mixed messages? So, Barrack, was Major General Green (murdered in Afghanistan) a victim of work place violence too? World literature, as far - . , ... ..^,......~... ~,.,^ ^ a ...... "~ininK aoout where we Ima is filled with stories ourselves. America, a lana emphasizing the evil of where illegal cattle are acquiring wealth for the sake of wealth. Just a few decades ago, the wealthy felt responsible for their less fortunate countrymen. In fact, John D. Rockefeller was convinced that his wealth was going to be an impediment to his hopes for a blessed after-life. It was for that reason that he became a philanthropist. Today, those who are critical of the ones who amass billions are called "billionaire bashers," which, like so many other derogatory epithets, ignores the issue. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Don't trust Obama Nice going Barrack, the director of the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), Steve Salinski, said jihadi detained but illegal citizens rbam free. We're in the midst of a border crisis to our south (Presidential amnesty soon for millions of illegals), a civil war in Iraq, (Iraq will become a terrorist state); an aggressive expansion of Russian territory (inciting trade and cold wars, causing inflation and furthering the U.S. recession); a historically unpopular healthcare initiative (Obamacare falls apart in 2015); record numbers of Americans receiving disability payments from the government (more medical fraud); a crisis where our (Democrat-run) IRS admits to targeting conservative Americans, then pleads the 5th, then "loses" the emails of the suspects involved, destroys their See Letters, page lOB 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, 1600Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov/contact/ U.S. SENATOR - Dhnne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/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. DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 2885 Churn Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, i Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center. 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, El 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/ 2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. I i