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September 17, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Answers to questions about those blue trucks in county Pacific Gas and Electric Co. WI-]_EI E I STAND Almanor Basin. This project, in the company's history. crews have been busy in ...................................... which began in 2013 and will Our northern area Plumas County. You may I.IA WHITE ffmish this year, cost nearly hydroelectric powerhouses have seen our blue trucks or PACIFIC 6AS AND ELECTRIC CO. $4 million, provide clean, renewable our men and women in hard We are investing $450,000 energy and can produce as hats. You may be wondering affordability of gas andto improve electric reliability much as 1,500 megawatts of what we're doing in your electric service across our for Chester by replacing nine electricity. Our Lake neighborhood. PG&E's local service area, which stretches poles and making other Almanor, Bucks Lake and division leadership teams are from the Oregon border to improvements this fall. We other reservoirs also provide continuing to make a real Bakersfield. To do that, we're are also donating more than recreation and tourism that difference in providing our upgrading gas and electric $100,000 toward t'we helps local economies. customers safe, reliable and facilities, conducting prevention efforts to be spent Over the last four years, affordable energy with a advanced testing, replacing in Plumas County this fall. PG&E has undertaken a strong focus on excellent gas pipelines and electric We've also been improving massive amount of work service. As PG&E's North wires, installing new our ability to remotely across its system. Some Valley Division leadership technologies, and putting monitor and operate our highlights include the team manager -- one of highly skilled employees on electric system, allowing us following: PG&E's 19 division the ground to fred and fix to pinpoint power issues and ---We built new gas and leadership teams i'd like problems and strengthen the restore power faster in many electric operations control update you on our work in existing system, cases, centers from which we can the community. Here in Plumas County, The investments are monitor our entire system PG&E is investing billions we've been upgrading 32 paying off for customers as and respond more quickly of dollars to enhance the miles of electric transmission last year we had the fewest and effectively to safety, reliability and lines to better serve the Lake and shortest power outages emergencies. The control centers employ the most advanced 21st-century technology. --We digitized millions of asset records, increased our monitoring of facilities and deployed new system controls. --We recently became one of the first utilities in the world to earn two of the highest safety certifications the International Organization for Standardization 55001 and Publicly Available Specification 55. These stringent certifications must be re-earned every year. This is a big accomplishment, but our work is far from over. PG&E employees living and working in your community will continue to improve our system with the goal of delivering the residents of North Valley cleaner, safer and more reliable energy. On behalf of PG&E, we thank you for your help keeping the community safe. As always, if you see a downed power line, leave the area immediately and then call 911 or PG&E at 800-743-5000. Never, ever touch a downed power line or go near one. For more tips on gas and electric safety, visit pge.com/safety. Lia White is manager oPacific Gas and Electric Co.'s North Valley Division leadership team. Ana five and near lifelong resident of the North Valley, she has worked for PG& E for 84 years. 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 third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limitedto a em X. imum of 300 words. The tor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words. The deadline is Friday at 3 p.rn. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or e-mailed to dm lonald@plumosnew m The double standard After graduating from UCLA in 1949 with a Phi Beta Kappa Summa Cum Laude, earned in her junior year, and being well-grounded in languages, specializing in German and French but also versed in Italian, Swedish and Spanish, my wife applied for a job in the State Department. The interviewer asked her one question, "Can you type?" While she knew her way around a keyboard, she did not meet State Department standards for a typist. It was obvious that her proficiency in languages meant nothing to them because she was a woman. She decided to return to UCLA and earn higher degrees with the intention of becoming a professor of German and French. After having completed all the course work and having passed her doctoral exams and orals with the highest marks, she was told that in order for her to get a position in any university with a good reputation, she had to be at least twice as good as any male who applied. She didn't bother to finish her thesis. Women's rights have improved since then, but the unfair double standard still exists, and if Doug LaMaffa had his way, women would lose the advances they have made and become victims of the Tea Party mentality. LaMaffa has repeatedly voted against attempts for women to achieve their full rights as workers, mothers and wives. Obviously, women are biologically different from men, but it is socially, economically, morally and domestically wrong to treat women in any other way than equal to men. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Bring back Bambi As stated in a recent letter, the lady built her house in a deer field, a place w, Rere the deer and buffalo roam. The deer left, so now she sees her destructive ways and wishes to discourage others from doing the same. In her efforts to bring back Bambi, she suggests we convert housing for humans into open space for the deer. I whole-heartedly agree. The first place to go ought to be hers; she is the one who pioneered human habitat in the valley in the In'st place. Well, it's like the man said, "A developer is a person who wishes to live in the valley, an environmentalist already has a house in the valley." Save the sand hills, remove the humans. Don't those people know there are frogs here? The valley was cared for by ranchers and farmers for over 100 years, but the deer herds didn't leave until the "environmentally sensitive" got here. If you want deer back, you're gonna hafta move, madam. They don't like people like you. Ed Laurie Beckwourth Tree removal improves a forest Our forests need to be thinned. If no thinning were to occur, the first devastating thing that would happen will be catastrophic wildfire. It is not a matter of if but of when. Since European settlement of western North America the natural fire occurrence has become increasingly less frequent. To the point that now we have several decades of trees and undergrowth that have never been thinned by fire in its natural stage (a low intensity in'e) possibly accompanied by rainfall and increased humidity from a summer thundershower. This practice of tree removal used to be called TSI (Timber Stand Improvement) and is a good thing to do to maintain forest health. If this practice increases job opportunities in our county that is also a good thing. It is fairly expensive to complete this thinning and a market for the residue (chips) is vital to keep the costs manageable. It is not the only motivation; the motivation is a sustained habitat and forest health. According to tree-ring data, the forests of pre-settlement Plumas County were burned by natural fire about every 10 - 15 years, especially east of the Sierra crest. We now have over a hundred years of tree growth. Add to that the understory of bitterbrush and sage and we have a fuel situation that is untenable. It will be very destructive when the large fires do destroy our forests, our homes and the animals' homes. Thinning redtices tree transpiration and allows more water to flow into our creeks and streams and enter the underground aquifers. Thinning is needed and may be necessary for anyone to continue to enjoy and live here, and it may proviile jobs and save our forests. I agree solar power can be the answer, but 'free' is hardly an adjective that describes a photovoltaic array. Dave Rudolph Portola Don't burn us out The mess along the state, county, Forest Service roads and the forest boundaries is a concern. Our forests are an overgrown mess, with a potential to explode in flame. While the expounders of a green earth tell us fire is nature's way, even though tremendous amounts of carbon-based gasses are being released into the atmosphere, these gasses pose health hazards to children, and those with breathing problems. The supporters of U.N. Agenda 21, the green movement, want all national forests returned to a pre-contact environment. This is unattainable. Fire suppression in our national forests is a priority. The hauling into court of every effort the Forest Service constructs must be stopped. Good examples of their interferences, the Keddie Ridge Project. The Keddie Ridge project is designed as a in'e suppression effort to protect forest lands, local residents and the towns that surround Indian Valley. Why can't we accept the Forest Service's mission statement, and then allow them to maintain healthy and productive forests? The mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service is to: "Sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forest and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations." Who has the expertise to manage our forests, the U.S. Forest Service or the expounders of U.N. Agenda 21? We do not need mountains covered with dead ghost trees surrounded by dense brush just waiting for the slightest spark to explode in flame. Are ghost forests the pristine forests the expounders of U.N. Agenda 21 want their great great-grand children to see? Janet and Richard Naas Greenville Excessive rate increase The Graeagle Water Company (GWC) is requesting a rate increase: In an undated notice letter received by ratepayers (postmarked 8/27/2014), they are requesting a 52.25 percent increase in our water rates to generate an additional $225,698.70 in revenue. They want this increase backdated to Jan. 2014. Ratepayers can send in protest letters or a simple response and must be sent within 20 days of the date of the notice. The date is unclear as the notice was undated. The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public meeting Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Graeagle Fire Station. I paid for a copy of the off'mini filing Advice Letter #50. It is dated Jan. 8, 2014 and requests a 53.10 percent increase, which is different than what the letter states. Seeking more information, I went back to the GWC and paid for a copy of their rate increase justification workbook. The workbook contained yet another Advice Letter #50 but that was dated Sept. 5, 2014 and stated that the public has 20 days from that date to protest. The reasons for the increase are to pay for meters, increased expenses, and to provide an adequate rate of return. State law requires metered water by 2025 and GWC has about 440 customers requiring meters ($700/meter installed). Ratepayers should pay for the meters and cover reasonable and appropriate expenses. The rate of return is simply net profit. Since GWC is a private S-Corporation (providing a public service), their shareholders are entitled to every penny of net profit. The workbook shows where 11 special people will proportionately split the net profit of $143,914- about 22 percent of your-anticipated yearly bill. A 52 percent hike in our water bill seems excessive. Be sure to attend the public meeting. Ask your questions and be heard. Mark Mihevc Graeagle Laura Benton will be missed We want to share how much we always enjoyed Laura Beaton's writing in this paper. Laura was a terrific feature writer with boundless curiosity, always able to dig up interesting tidbits about Plumas County that even those of us who have lived here a long time didn't know. In doing that, she re-introduced us to this very intriguing and scenically gorgeous spot on the planet. And, hey, the word "scenic" reminds us how much we appreciated Laura's knack for photography. Many of the pictures she took of Plumas County were art gallery quality, and her natural enthusiasm for the outdoors benefited all of us who don't always take the time to poke around the environs of the area in which we live. while we'll miss Laura's contributions to the paper, we wish her well in her new undertaking. The world of education is fortunate to have someone with her talent join its team. Thanks, Laura, and good luck! Susan Christensen and Bill Martin Quincy Engel beats the odds Jeff Engel came within a whisker of winning the Fifth District Supervisori l seat in the recent primary election. And he did it against horrendous odds. First, he was running against an incumbent. Next, he had to go against a well-funded "country club" type who enjoys the steadfast support of the "good or boys," who seem quite happy with the (jobless) status quo. In fact, a person could mount a credible argument that some of them are, in fact, responsible for the status quo. Finally, just to add a little spice to the contest, a late-comer jumped in as a write-in candidate. In spite of these odds, Jeff fell just 84 votes short of outright victory. (Yes, Martha and Matty, your vote does count.) He did it because people in the know recognize Jeff as a man of the people, an honest, hardworking guy who appreciates the importance of job creation... And knows how to get things done. Be a winner. Vote for Jeff Engel. John Olofson Graeagle IVCSD recall I'm writing this as one of three members of the public who regularly attended board meetings of the IVCSD before the last few months, and have attended periodically for over 20 years. Some information regarding the recall system: The proponents aren't required to provide documentation to back up their accusations. None. The accusation's must be published, but any rebuttals aren't. The recall is paid for by the IVCSD, which means the ratepayers, you and me. I think there are flaws in this system. This particular recall: Possible problems were first mentioned in the paper over two years ago. Some of these proponents have never attended a meeting, none have regularly until recently. None of them stepped up to the plate when one of the board members resigned in July. The current board members have always acknowledged they made mistakes, however to suggest that they engaged in "willful blindness," that they consciously ignored that embezzlement was happening, is both ridiculous and offensive. All of the issues relatedto checks and balances were addressed over two years ago. The Fire Department has never been unfunded; all were underfunded. If there hadn't been a plan, the district wouldn't have survived on its own. Remember the story about the little boy who cried wolf?. If you get asked to sign this petition, please ask for proof, talk to the staff, know what you're signing. Lanis LeBaron Greenville A question of character Some readers have a distorted view of my opinion of our president. Let me clarify. I don't like or trust or respect him. Among many other things, I ask: why defend black men in the national news but ignore hundreds of black men and kids killed in Chicago and other U.S. cities? Why let thousands of undocumented immigrants into the country for political gain when the black unemployment rate is sky high and we already have families -- of all colors -- who could use job training, a decent education and a job? Why put up an Internet site for citizens to petition for his help and then ignore them when they do? why delve into the affairs of a local police department and yet have to get information about the economy or terror or problems in his administration from the evening news? Why try to make friends with and appease those who want to kill us? Why send his family and a huge entourage on multi-million dollar vacations when Americans are lining up for food stamps and welfare checks? And those vacations are not here where the money would benefit Americans. Why would a Constitutional See Letters, page 9B Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Marl: pcbs@countyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can also be E e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov / contact / U.S. SENATOR - Di'anne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/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 Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dora& Hills Constituent Service Center:. 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112,1 E1 Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding I Constituent Service Center. 1670 Market St., Suite 244, Redding, CA i 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. i GOVERNOR Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, Statei Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ i (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. I J