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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 22, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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August 22, 2012

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I~IB Wednesday, Aug; 22, 2012 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL AND OPINION EDITORIAL As the county struggles to somehow close a nearly $1.9 million-gap in the county's fiscal 2012 - 13 budget, it seems clear that more employee con- cessions are going to be needed. We're sure the county workforce feels the way many private employees do, as this recession drags on (no, we don't buy the "expert" opinion that it's over): they're being asked to do more with fewer resources for less pay and fewer benefits. We're equally sure county supervisors are up against a wall. They have few places left to cut oth- er than employee pay and benefits. As interim budget officer Susan Scarlett has said, "Personnel is the bulk of the expenditures. Payroll is always a huge part (of the county budget)." But the shouting match that erupted between county safety officer Pat Bonnett and supervisor Jon Kennedy during last week's board meeting is- n't going to do anyone any good. The exchange began when Kennedy suggested Bon- news duties no longer constituted a full-time job. "Who's going to take care of your safety pro- gram, Mr. Kennedy? You?" Bonnett said. "You want to go there?" Kennedy responded. "Bring it on," Bonnett shouted back. "You want to call a recess?" Yes, tension and feelings are running high. But when you're dealing with something as serious as people's livelihoods some decorum is in order. "Alright you guys. Let's be civil," Supervisor Lori Simpson told Kennedy and Bonnett. We couldn't agree more. Cool heads and good negotiating skills are in or- der here. It's likely that health benefits on the table, as will retirement plans. Scarlett recom- mended that the county explore both: She stressed the need for the county to institute a two-tiered re- tirement plan for new employees and said the county needed to "shop around" for a cheaper health insurance plan. '. Another area where the county shouldseek con- cessions is in its sick leave policy. The Plumas County Grand Jury honed in on this, and the cur- rent scandal in the state parks department high- lights the potential pitfalls :of.employees being'able~' to accrue unlimited sick or vacation time. ' There should be a cap on accrued sick and vaca- tion time, and a use-it-or-lose-it provision. Ac- crued sick or vacation time should be used for the intended purposes --- not to pad a longtime em- ployee's retirement. ' But getting to any kind of agreement about all this is going to take some finesse -- not verbal sparring. Supervisor Simpson gets it. "I don't think you could do either of those instantaneous- ly. There are labor issues involved," she said at last week's board meeting. "I'm going to speak from personal experience as a labor negotiator: One of the most important issues to the employees is their health insurance. And employees are not going to give up (insurance) they like unless (the new insurance) provides good coverage. There are people who have existing conditions. It's a very important issue to them." May cooler heads like hers prevail. 'Editorials are written by members of the editorial :board, which consists of the publisher, the managing editor and the appropriate staff writer or writers, and '~hould be considered the opinion ol the newspaper. Fea ing spaper " For breaking news, go I Michael C. Taborski Publisher Keri B. Taborski Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli Managing Editor Jenny Lee Photo Editor Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor Ingrid Burke Copy Editor Staff writers: Laura Beaton Susan Cort Johnson Jordan Clary Dan McDonald "Michael Condon Debra Moore Ruth Ellis M. Kate West DJ Estacio Aura Whittaker Will Farris Sam Williams Mona Hill James Wilson Samantha P. Hawthorne Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Cheste Progressive Times (530) 258-3115 (530) 257-53211 Indian Valley Portola Reporter Record (530) 832-4646 (530) 284-7800 "I'm in the wrong house!" That's what the intruder was pleading as my wife stood a few feet away with a shot- gun aimed at his gut. My heart was still racing as I took a deep breath and tried to respond to the under- statement of a lifetime. "Yes." I said. "You are definitely in the wrong house." My wife, Shelley, said that if she had been alone the guy probably would have been dead. No questions asked. And I believe her. "Think about it," she said later. "A woman alone and a man breaking in I wouldn't have had any choice." The fact that Shelley is a former police of- ricer might have saved the guy's life. She didn't panic. Couple that with an incredibly fast and professional response by Plumas County Sheriff'~ r~,~, m the intruder's lucky night. But we sure didn't feel lucky when we were jolted awake last Tuesday at 1:30 a.m. Our dog was barking at a man walking through our dark bedroom. I thought I was dreaming. The intruder was talking very fast. But I couldn't make out what he was saying. Was he talking to his partner in crime? Shelley quickly grabbed the gun and called 911. For the next 10 minutes, we grilled the intruder behind the dooT. He spoke quickly and nervously and his answers were all over the map. He was obviously high on something. I told him my wife had a gun aimed right MY TURN at the door. I tried to emphasize how impor- tant it was that he not even attempt to DAN McDONALD touch the door. I told him my wife would Staff Writer shoot him. I think he could tell I wasn't kid- dmcdonald@plumasnews.c0m ding. At that point, his tone quickly changed. Was he armed? Was he telling us to stay in He told us his name was "Billy" and he was bed or he would kill us? I had no idea. staying in a cabin near ours. He said he With no lights on and our small husky on walked into our house by mistake. his heels, the guy bounded down the hall, We knew he wasn't one of our guests at through the kitchen and into our utility Camp Layman. We asked him to describe room. the place he was staying. The description "Holy sh**!" I said, as I jumped out of he made up wasn't even close to matching - - -1. any of our neighbor~' cabins. "There's a guy in our house!" I said to I asked him if he had been drinking. "I Shelley as I stumbled out to the hallway. In had a couple beers," hesaid. retrospect, that probably wasn't the bright- "Anything else?" I asked. est move on my part. If the guy had a gun, "Not that I can remember," he said. my story would have ended right there. I looked at Shelley, who was standing I could hear the intruder banging into firm with the gun still aimed in the direc- things in the pitch-black utility room. I ran tion of the intruder's voice coming from the through the kitchen, closed the door behind other side of the door. We both rolled our him, and locked it. eyes. Our fear had turned more toward skepti- This week's special days NOT JUST AN ORDINARY DAY COMPILED BY KERI TABORSKI Not just an ordinary day a sampling weekly notable special days and facts throughout the year. of nonstop from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey Aug. 26 -- Illinois, the Prairie State and the 21st state of the Union, was admitted to the United States in 1818. -- In 1920 the 19th amendment of the United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote. -- National Dog Day has two goals: to honor dogs as pets and working-assistance animals and to rescue dogs from homeless- ness and abuse. Aug. 22 -- In 1851 the yacht "America" won the first America's Cup race near the r Isle of Wight, England. Aug. 27 -- Burning Man, the weeklong -- In 1902 Cadillac Motor Company is event held in the Black Rock Desert in founded, northern Nevada, 110 miles north of Reno, begins through Sept. 3. The 26-year-old Aug. 24--- Thomas Edison patented the event was founded in San Francisco in 1986 motion picture camera in 1891. and movedto the Nevada venue in 1990. -- Irt,1912~Alask.a becomes a United, AUgust 28 -- Priiice'Charles and Lady States Territory. Diana Spencer were divorced in 1996, -- In 1932 aviator Amelia Earhart be- after marrying July 29, 1981, at St. Paul's comes the first woman to cross America Cathedral cism. We weren't buying the guy's story, but we didn't want to provoke him. We knew it was probably best for all of us to keep him as calm as possible until the po- lice arrived. Considering where we live, we figured help wouldn't arrive for about a half-hour. It turned out to be 15 minutes. I lied to the intruder and told him we be- lieved his story. "I'm sure we will all laugh about this tomorrow, Billy." But I also told him he would have to tell his story to the police, who were on the way. "Oh yeah, definitely. I don't blame you," he said. He repeatedly said how sorry he was. The intruder said he knew he could es- cape if he wanted to. There was a door in a room behind the utility room that led out- side. I've been teased and criticized merciless- ly for what I did next. The guy kept saying he was scared and hot and thirsty so I gave him a Coke. "Billy, there is a refrigerat6r behind you. Help yourself," I said, as Shelley hook her head. See Alive, page 11B EMEMBER WHEN brother Smith Openshaw and C.T. Bedell in 25 YEARS AGO 1987 the Plumas Meat Market in Quincy. Sacramento television newsman Mike K ERI TABORSKI Boyd was the grand marshall of the Portola Historian 50 YEARS AGO 1962 Railroad Days last weekend. The attendance at the Plumas CountyThe Plumas County Board of Supervisors 75 YEARS AGO 1937 Fair in Quincy was up this year by 1,569, ended a long week of hearings by adopting Fire of undetermined origin destroyed with a total of 28,946 attending the five day a final $24.9 million budget for the fiscal the large barn on the Hosselkus Ranch in event. Highlight of the exposition was the year 1988. The bottom line is $2 million Genesee Saturday night. It is thought that visit of California Governor Edmundmore than last year's total and pays five one of the wires short circuited and caused Brown on Saturday afternoon and night additional Plumas County employees. an explosion. Uninsured, the barn stored who flew into Quincy. Attending a recep- two trucks, a hay rack, mower and two cars tion hosted by the Appaloosa Horse Club, owned by Frank and John Hosselkus. he then toured the fairgrounds and he was 10 YEARS AGO 2002 Funeral services were held in Oroville an honorary judge at the Logger's Show A $15 million bond issue measure yesterday for Myron L. Openshaw, Plumas Saturday night, for Plumas Unified School District will rancher and business owner, who was The preliminary budget of Plumas County be on the November ballot. The measure, killed when his horse fell backward killing for the 1962 fiscal year, as set by the Plumas if passed, will be used to improve district him at his Crescent Mills ranch Sunday, County Board of Supervisors, is $2,484,245 as facilities, many of which are over 30 years Mr. Openshaw was a partner with his compared to $3,258,586 last year. old and one that is almost 100 years old. Camping with kids is worth the effort I love nature. Bugs, dirt, plants, animals and water -- I'm very comfortable with all of it. I didn't do much family camping as a kid, however, since I grew up close to na- ture in a small mountain town. But, as a teen, my friends and I made camping an annual event. A big group of us would carpool and share tents and food. We'd play games and talk late into the night. Those were good times. Then, I started backpacking as a young adult, with a little camping thrown in here and there. I still feel connected to the Trinity Alps because that is where I went most of the time. Hiking The Lost Coast in the sand was a whole different challenge. My husband and I still try to get out there at least once a year. I looked forward to going every sum- mer, at least until I had babies. Now, unfortunately, it's hit or miss. If my husband and I have time and can find a babysitter for a weekend, we go backpack- ing somewhere nearby. I start to miss it so much that I even start to feel depressed if I don't get to sleep in the wilderness at least once a summer. (I'm not tough enough to camp in the winter.) We took our kids car camping for the first time when they were 5 years.old. That was a lot of work and a little discouraging! We didn't even try the next year but we did get motivated to go again last year. We camped lakeside and did a little boating. It was a lot of fun, but still a lot of work. If you don't already know, car camping requires a lot of gear, especially for a family of four, plus a dog. MY TURN AURA WHITTAKER Staff Writer awhittaker@lassennewsc m Just last week, however, I was complain- ing that summer is almost over and we haven't done any camping or backpacking. So, I dragged out the calendar and told my husband to pick a date. I was determined not to let this summer go by without don- ning my pack. And, this year we are going to take the kids with us for their first back- packing trip. Of course, they are not as excited as we are, but they don't know what fun they're in for. Sure, there are new challenges with car- rying your own gear, sleeping on the ground and noises in the night, but I think they are ready for it. They are tough girls and nature lovers, and I can't wait to share the wonderful experience with them. Before you scoff at the idea of my towing kids along, know that I am fully aware that although I will plan every detail, things will not go as expected. My children will whine hurt. They will be too hot. They will get blisters. They will pee on their shoes. They will want to sleep in their own bed. Shall I go on? I suspect they will not actually appreci- ate the experience until they are safely home again. Only then will they reap the rewards of communing with nature, whether they realize or not. One of the biggest advantages of taking my kids camping is that it will instill in them a love for nature. It is a simplified way of life, and is a nutshell experience of the lives of our ancestors. With the luxuries that have worked their ways into our lives these days, it is no won- der most people are not exactly comfort- able outdoors, without their cell phones, televisions, computers, etc. Camping is not only a way to unplug, it also has health benefits. Stress and anxiety levels can significantly decrease in nature, without all the worries and complications of everyday life. Being outdoors allows you to clear your mind and look at current situations from another perspective, or just forget about them altogether (temporarily). Camping is one of the best ways I know to connect and bond with friends and fami- ly. It gives children something to feel a part of. Tasks that even small children can per- form help increase self-esteem. Camping can be a wonderful bonding experience; it allows us to speak more freely about feel: ings and concerns. about being tired. Their legs will See Camping, page 11B