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Bulletin, Record, PrOgressive, Reporter Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE America's depression: Robin Williams and millions more Robin Williams made us laugh but v e're not laughing now as we mourn his suicidal death. His tragic ending has placed a national spotlight on the seriousness of depression. In the midst of this heart-wrenching tragedy maybe good will come as people may openly discuss their daily demons of clinical despair. We know that millions of Americans deal with WHERE I STAND mental battles. --Did he have two or three surgeries. He had gone through Robin Williams had it all, it people in his life that he could an aortic valve replacement, a GLENN MOLLETTE seemed. Something was missing really talk to? Most people don't, very serious surgery. COLUMNIST and even with clinical help he " --Had his life become void of For all of us who have known couldn't eliminate the internal challenge? Maybe the lack of at least a few dePressing depression. The statistics differ monster that dogged him to his new goals and new ambitions moments in life I would offer from sources but we can safely unfortunate ending, dulled the sound of the morning the following: Try to have one say most Americans have been Who am I to spout out a few trumpet that beckons us to or two people that you can talk depressed a few times during answers in lieu of one who had spring from our beds withto about anything. Reinvent life. Many are never treated accomplished so much and was energy, yourself from time to time and while others sadly become loved by so many? My rambling --Further, we know that he do something different. addicted to alcohol, prescription feeble thoughts are was dealing with his health; it is Get out of the house as much drugs and even turn to illegal insignificant but I have to commonly reported that as possible. Limit your dally drugs to cope with theirwonder some of the following: depression surrounds heart media, including TV, social media, etc. Try to get daily exercise. Physical work and activity clears some of the mental cobwebs. And, connect with your Creator. Look up for a source of help and strength that nothing or no one else can give. Glerm Mollette is an American oolumnist and a uthor. Contact him at GMollette@aol.eom. Like his Fa cebook page a t faogoook.congglennmolletta Government failures disappoint citizens of every political bent As election season WHERE I STAND Yet the issues surrounding approaches, I've been pondering ............................................ government performance don't a crucial issue about the role of government in our society. It's that our government often fails -- and that we need to address this. What's odd is that while the frequent failures in government's performance are very much on ordinary people's minds, politicians don't talk much about fixing them. True, you might hear a few words about the issue when members are back in their districts this month rewing up their re-election campaigns, but for the most part they'll be focused on issues like jobs and the economy. This is understandable, because that's what their constituents expect to hear about: But it's also a shame, because we need a healthy dialogue about why government often fails and how to fLX it. There's ample cause for concern. The VA appointments scandal; the LEE H. HAMILTON DIRECTOR CENTER ON CONGRESS AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY botched launch of the Affordable Care Act; duplicative programs to help low-income families; the 28 years of missed inspections that led to the explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas; scandals at the General Services Administration and the Secret Service; a broken federal appointments process; the regulatory screwups that contributed to the Great Recession; auto recalls that should have happened much sooner than they did; the failure to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks by sharing information within government; bridge collapses and infrastructure failures... There's a long and dispiriting list of occasions when the federal government has fallen short. stir the passions. Progress comes slowly, the media's not especially interested in the tedious story of building competence and politicians themselves look for home runs, not singles. They want to make grand proposals, not spend their time digging into the nuts and bolts of fixing bureaucracies. Moreover, as political scientist Paul C. Light has amply demonstrated, government failures happen for a long list of reasons that cannot be fixed easily, painlessly or quickly. Sometimes problems are rooted in policies that were ill-conceived, too complicated or not well-communicated. Sometimes the policies were fine, but the resources necessary to implement them were inadequate or misused. Politics often gets in the way of good policy, with efforts to undermine programs by making their implementation difficult or by cutting staffs and budgets. There are organizational and institutional problems, poor oversight, poor leadership -- no matter how good a policy is, if good people aren't available to carry it out, it will fail -- and government's alarming difficulty attracting and keeping highly qualified administrators, Often, leaders are bored by the nitty-gritty of management. Still, these are challenges, not barriers. If our political leaders wanted to focus on improving government management and policy implementation, there's no shortage of fixes they could make. --They could ensure that federal agencies use pilot and trial programs much more frequently than they do now. --They could mandate better and more rigorous evaluation procedures and the use of metrics that lay bare what works and what doesn't. There's more attention being paid these days to efficacy than there used to be, but it's still a trickle compared to what's needed. --They could avoid rushing to announce programs, strive to get it right rather then get it quickly, and pay as much attention to follow-through as to the launch. Think about long term, not the next election, and make sure the mission is sharply defmed. --They could devote far more attention to how government will recruit: retain and train the smart, highly qualified workers we need to carry out ever-more-complex programs. And they could vow to reduce the number of political appointees in favor of filling most positions on the basis of merit. --They should certainly flatten the chain of command and reduce the layers of bureaucracy within federal departments and agencies, so that it's easier for top administrators to see what's taking place on the front lines. --In the case of Congress, it needs to ensure that vigorous oversight of programs becomes a habit, not the rarity it is now. All of us want government to fail less often, whatever our political stripe. So here's my suggestion: As election season approaches, insist that your favored candidate work harder on making government more effective and efficient. Lee Hamilton is director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.& House of Representatives for 34 years. For information about the center's educational resources and programs, visit aenteronoongress.org. Go to the Facebook page to share thoughts about Congress, civic education and the citizen's role in represa'2ta tive democracy. LETTERS to the EDITOR Guidelines for Letters have such an excellent All letters must contain an resource in our community. address and a phone number. Thank you, Jesse. We publish only one ietter per Jeanene Ha fen we ,R pers ) p lyone. .............. Indian Falls letter per person per month regarding the same subject. Put a frog on our flag We do notpublish third-party, For gosh sakes, what is up anonymous, or open letters, with Portola's leaders? Letters must be limited to a All this effort at getting the maximum of 300 words. The people good water. It will editor will cut any letter in probably drag on until the excess of 300 words. The drought ends, if it ends. deadline is Friday at 3p.m. It will end up costing more (Deadlines may change due to money to legislate our rights holidays.) Letters may be to the water that flows taken to any of Feather beneath our feet, than to Publishing's offices, sent via .supply Portolans with free fax to 283-3952 or e-mailed to bottled water forever. What a dmcdonald@plumasnews.mm, waste. Just when the Lack of humanity environmentalists could do Occasionally things happen some good for the people, the that make you question city tries every other legal people's lack of humanity, angle available to it to spend This is one of those times, money fighting the state. Many of you may know Buba, Do as the biologist does; the our local sign maker. He has official state amphibian is a painted most of the business frog. Frogs need water. signs in Chester and around Portola has frogs. Frogs are the lake. dying in Portola. Computer Buba has one arm and one models have shown that the leg. He requires special two dead frogs discovered in vehicles that he built to get our well died of thirst. around and a wheelchair that The state will, at that point, he needs when he is painting, no questions asked, give us You may have seen him in enough water to flood front of his business on Main Commercial Street. Street painting in his Buy sandbags. wheelchair. The remaining four Portola Recently someone stole frogs could mean more to us Buba's wheelchair. This is than one can imagine. where the lack of humanity Won't a single envirowacito comes in. A person that come forward to save us from would do such a thing is thirst and dust. absolute pond scum. Whoever Killing trout wasn't done to did this horrible thing needs keep them frbm eating fi'ogs, to return Buba's wheelchair it was done to keep them from or replace it. drinking the frogs' water. In David Price these harsh times, I'm afraid Chesterthe trout are going to lose. What is our state fish? Great IVCSD staff German brown or Jerry With all of the different Brown? emotions swirling around Put the frog on the flag. The about the Indian Valley bear died. Lack of water, I Community Services District, think. I want to say how grateful I Ed Laurie am to the staff there. Portola We have a small community water system Oxygen here in Indian Falls that is The sculptor is rightfully well outside the boundaries of credited with creating the IVCSD. This summer we have statue, but it wasn't the had major electrical and sculptor who created the clay. mechanical trouble with our One letter in the Aug. 27 delivery system. Jesse edition asserts that it is Lawson was especially acceptable English and a helpful with technical advice logical truth that oxygen is and with trouble-shooting created by trees. The letter some of the problems. He further stated that created even offered to sPend a and produced are synonyms Friday night (it was day and claimed backing from eleven with no water) helping Merriam-Webster online. us. We're just fortunate to Obviously that letter was aimed at me, or at least at my letter in the Aug. 13 edition. So right back at you. For starters, the letter to which I replied asserted that there'aren0 scientific studies to support the practice of forest thinning. Since he mentioned science, I gave him science. One of the few things that I remember from high-school science, way back when, was that the number of molecules on the left side Ore-reaction) would always equal the number on the right side (post-reaction). A report of a car wreck might say, "the vehicle was completely destroyed," but the metal and other materials are still there and hopefully the driver and passengers were wearing their seatbelts and survived the wreck. It is said that a tomato plant "creates" or "produces" tomatoes. But we know it's the DNA contained in the seed, the water (H20), the sunshine, the minerals contained in the earth, the N.P.K. in the fertilizer, and enough of a frost-free season that actually produce the tomato. I credited Antoine Lavoisier with the principle of the conservation of matter and cited the page number and the biology text in which it can be found. So, I'll be waiting for you to either "produce" or "create" those "lots of people better qualified than (you) to explain it." I hope they can make everything comprehensible for radically ignorant, so-called wannabe environmentalists, and for human beings as well. One more question; you didn't directly mention if you favor or oppose forest thinning and the installation of a biomass boiler, yes, no, or undecided? I'm in favor of both; Indian Valley (and other Plumas County communities) needs a biomass boiler and the forest needs defensible space A.S.A.P. Gene Nielsen Crescent Mills The biomass sales job Although several writers have responded to my letters concerning the devastating effects of forest thinning for biomass, I will first respond to the letter from the Sierra Institute. Sierra Institute's justification for the thinning and biomass engines has little to do with healthy forests or fire mitigation (my words) but rather it's about jobs, a market for chips, and profit. I know this because Sierra Institute's Biomass lead and other forest professionals basically said that without a market for biomass, this massive " thinning would not be done. That's right-- the only true motivation is the chip market. Promoting healthy forests and fire mitigation is just a sales job. Biomass is not a traditional renewable energy source considering it takes decades for trees to grow. The 3,500 acres per year required for the biomass chips is only an estimate and realize that this is also 3,500 acres per year destroyed. I've seen the massive thinning areas -- i.t is near clear-cut, with. equipment-caused road ruts, dead/dying trees and large remaining slash piles. Who will own the proposed chip plant? Once installed, the desire for more profit would demand more thinning and the excess chips exported. Biomass demand will only increase and ergo there goes our forest. What about the air pollution produced by the biomass engines and the increased truck traffic? What about people's ill health caused by this pollution? Just like clean coal, there is no such thing as clean biomass burning. Do you really think tourists will come to a polluted, deforested and once beautiful county? So, Plumas County, be prepared for polluted air, increased illness, sparse forests, less tourism, and fewer new businesses (Rec & Tech-less?) in exchange for a few people having a job. Free energy, like solar electric, is the only answer. Mark Mihevc Graeagle The truth Rosanne Barr once said that for a workingman to vote for a Republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. I would like to apply that comment to Republican La Malfa. He has repeatedly voted against the worker and his family's needs, which include worker unions, social belittling President Obama? security, Medicare, The truth is the nation is workplace safety, going forward again: Public unemployment benefits, health is improving by nearly raises in minimum. . .,., wages.> every measure, including and anythmg WOuld ' :rising longevity and falling enhance the workei"s ability rates of most diseases; even to make ends meet. many forms of cancer are in And all this time, not only decline. Environmental has he been taking a trends are nearly all positive, government subsidy for his with all forms of pollution, farming business totaling in except green house gases, in the millions, but he has split steady decline. Drinking,, his farm among each of his smoking and most forms of children who are now drug use are declining. Teen receiving the same pregnancy is declining. entitlement hand-outs that he Welfare rolls are shrinking has been receiving, without an increase in Yes, this is a politicalpoverty. Women, statement in favor of Heidi immigration and minority Hall, but unlike much ofgroups are acquiring an Republican comments, it is ever-larger slice of the the truth, national pie. The divorce rate Salvatore Catalano has stopped increasing. Taylorsville Personal freedom has never been greater. Art and culture are more active, interesting The right direction and diverse. Crime has Polls suggest that 50 to 60 declined so rapidly that the percent of Americans think fall has been almost eerie. the country is heading in the Believe only what you see wrong direction. Could it be a and hear for yourself and response to six years ofenjoy Labor Day. incessant Republican and Tea Ron Lowe Party negative spin aimed at Nevada City 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, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,: NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov/contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne 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 l Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (4!5) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710i 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 Chum Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center: 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, E1 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/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.