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Quincy, California
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September 19, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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September 19, 2012
 

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6B Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL AND OPINION EDITORIAL Keep fighting against the illegal fire tax In the next few weeks, 10,991 Plumas County residents will find a $150 bill in the marl from the state. The bill is actually an illegal tax to help pay for wildfire protection. Legislators, citizens and taxpayers associa- tions are speaking out against the illegal tax that will affect about 825,000 state residents. The f'n:e prevention tax is meant to generate more than $85 million in revenue for the state to help pay for fire-prevention in State Areas of Respon- sibility (SRAs). Aside from the fact that many residents who receive the bill already pay for fire protection, the new state fee is simply an unconstitutional tax. It's a tax because many homeowners will not see a direct benefit from paying the bill. The California Constitution requires two- thirds approval in both houses of the legislature for any new tax. That never happened. But the bin is on its way. So what can we do? Many legislators,, includ- ing U.S. Congressional candidate and former State Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) want us to protest the tax. LaMalfa and other legisla- tors have joined with the Howard Jarvis Tax- payers Association to oppose collection, seek re- funds and ultimately overturn the law in the courts. We share that view and encourage residents to protest. But we have to do it quickly. Protests must be filed within 30 days of paying the fee. (The fee is actually $115 ifa taxpayer's structure is already in a local fire district). The 30-day window to protest begins on the date the bill was mailed, not the date you receive it. To protest, visit firetaxprotest.org, sponsored by the How.ard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and follow the.procedures for protesting the tax and how to file for a refund. Look for the specific form that must be fried within the 30 days. Resi- dents without Internet access may call their elected representatives' office for help. Once CalFire has received a petition for a re- : fund, it has 60 days to review it and issue a writ- ten decision. The decision,which will be provid- ed in writing, will explain whether the fee is valid, should be modified or eliminated. The bottom line is the state is asking us to make up the difference for budget cuts made to CalFire. The governor's argument is that we should help pay for services we receive. Using that logic, the state could charge a fee for just about any service it wanted. What's next; a fee for police protection? The fire fee should be ruled unconstitutional in a court of law and be overturned. But until that happens, the best thing we can do is contin- ue to fight it. It's our right. 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 should be considered the opinion of the newspaper. spaper For breaking news, go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ...Lega! Advertising Dept. Dan McDonald ......... Managing Editor Jenny Lee ................. Photo Editor Alicia Knadler ........ Indian Valley Editor Ingrid Burke ................ Copy Editor Staff writers: Laura Beaton Susan Cort Johnson Jordan Clary Debra Moore Michael Condon M. Kate West Ruth Ellis Aura Whittaker DJ Estacio Sam Williams Will Farris James Wilson Mona Hill Samantha P. Hawthorne Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Chester Progressive Times (530) 258-3115 (530) 257-53211 Indian Valley Portola Reporter Record (530) 832-4646 (530) 284-7800 Lodging providers should tax themselves Crusty old Chester Cromberg was in his "I don't have to clean them anymore," I usual spot, crouched on the bank of the said. "But they are cleaner than ever. Middle Fork swishing muddy gravel in his Things are going great. Thanks for ask- rusted gold pan. ing." "Howdy Mac!" barked the grimy week- "Are ya gettin' psyched up to be the tax end prospector as he spit the remains of a man for the county?" he said, still staring hand-rolled butt into the river, into his pan. "How the hell are ya, Chet? Still search- "What are you talking about, Chet?" ing for the Mother Lode, I see." "That T-I-T thing. Isn't the board of city Cromberg -- if that's even his real name MY TURN slickers in Quincy raisin' it up a couple -- claims he found a nugget so big that he .............................................. DANMcDONALD ............................................. notches? That's what I read in yer paper." quit his regular job in 1977. He said he used Managing Editor to run a bed and breakfast. But Chester dmcdonald@plumasnews.com Cromberg says a lot of things. He says he lives in a cabin. I think he sucker for pretty little rocks. lives in a car. "It's Camp Layman, Chet," I said. "When Yet when the skinny, wrinkled old dude are you ever going to get that right?" speaks, I always listen. He's sort of a poor "Ha ha ha, I know how to say it," man's Howard Stern. Cromberg said with a chuckle that made So I tossed my pole on the bank, sat on a his boney naked shoulders bounce. "I just rock beside him and dangled my feet in the like saying Cam Play Man... PLAY MAN. river for another 20-minute session of"The Get it?" World According to Chester." "I get it, Chet. You are a witty guy." "How are things going at Cam Play "How are things going at Play Man? Still Man?,' he said, tossing a few stones from cleaning all those toilets?" he said, one the dented pan into a plastic sack. hand stroking his dirty gray beard. Cromberg rarely finds gold, but he's a 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 faas throughout the year. of Sept. 19 -- In 1981 Simon & Garfunkle reunite for a free concert held in Central Park in New York City. Sept. 20 -- In 1880, Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassina- tion attempt on James Garfield July 2. Garfield died of his inj uries Sept. 19. -- In 1973, Billie Jean King defeats Bob- by Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome in war. Established by resolution of the United Nations in 1981, IPD was first ob- served in 1982. Sept. 22 -- The first issue of National Ge- ographic magazine was published in 1888. --- Business Women's Day recognizes the value and contribution of women in the business world. First celebrated in 1982, in 1983 a cCongressional resolution was passed and signed by President Ronald Reagan. Sept. 23 -- The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opens in 1962. The arts complex consists of three buildings: Av- ery Fisher Hall (formerly Philharmonic Hall), the Metropolitan Opera House and the David H. Koch Theater (formerly the New York State Theater). Sept, 24 -- The Honda Motor Company was founded in Tokyo in 1948. Houston, Texas. -- In 1968, the television news show "60 Minutes" made its debut on CBS. Sept. 21 J.R.R. Tolkien's:children's .......... ' book "The Hobbit" was first published in sept. 25 --In~i890, the united States 1937. Congress establishes Sequoia National -- In 1981 Sandra Day O'Connor is Park located east of Visalia, and famous unanimously approved by the United for its giant sequoia trees. States Senate as the first female Supreme Court justice. -- Ground is broken for the construc- -- International Peace Day seeks a goal tion of baseball park Fenway Park in of global nonviolence and ceasefire of Boston, Mass., in 1911. "Chet! ... You can read?! ... I had no idea. I always figured you for a lookin'-at-the- pretty-pictures type of guy." Cromberg made rare eye contact after that dagger. He tried to look mad, but his eyes were smiling. "You got me good that time, Mac. Ouch. Stop it." His fake anger morphed into a 10-second belly laugh that ended with a few raspy coughs. "Sorry, Chet. I promise I won't make you laugh again. It's too painful to listen to. "First of all, it's called T-O-T not T-I-T," I continued, "And the supervisors aren't raising a tax. They don't have the authori- ty to do that. They are simply putting it on the ballot so we can vote on it. In case you hadn't noticed, the county is in pretty bad shape, Chet." Cromberg was silent for a few seconds. When he realized I was finished he said, "You gonna vote for it, Mac?" "Not sure," I said. "Would you?" I knew Cromberg hadn't voted since Nixon was re- elected. "No way," he said. "It's not fair that the county gets more of the cabin owners' money for nothin'. I say let the supervisors come and clean yer toilets. You can pay 'em for that. That's fair." "Chester, I thought you said you could read .... The TOT is NOT the lodging providers' money. It's a tax that visitors pay when they spend the night. The resort owners like me just collect it. The tax mon- ey is used to help pay for the services visi- tors can use when they are here, like police protection, roads, parks, that sort of thing." "Yep, and that's exactly where the mon- ey's gonna go," Cromberg said. "It's gonna help pay for deputies." "So what is wrong with that, Chet?" I said. "Hey, if anyone wants to keep deputies employed, it's me. They saved my butt after a guy broke into my house a cou- ple weeks ago. "But I do understand your point, Chester. The lodgingproviders should have some say about how the extra money is spent. After all, we are the ones who have to explain to our guests why we are raising our prices." "Exactly, Mac! That's only fair!" Cromberg said. For the next five minutes, Cromberg See My Turn, page 8B R.EMEMBER WHEN The amount which will be charged pa- ; ................................................................... tients at the Plumas County Hospital in KERI I"ABORSKI Quincy will be increased from $12 per day Historian to $18 per day. 75 YEARS AGO ........ 1937 Incorporation of Quincy as a city was fa- vored in a resolution adopted by the Quin- cy Chamber of Commerce this week. Property title to a triangular lot at the junction of Main Street and Lawrence Street in Quincy by J.D. Harrison of Mas- sack was transferred to him this week and 25 YEARS AGO .......... 1987 Today at 10:30 a.m:, eastern standard time, President Ronald Reagan will lead the nation in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in honor of Constitution Day, a celebration of the founding father's sign- ing of the document. Feather Publishing has teamed with the Plumas Unified School District to include, a copy of the legislation recently passed, called the "bottle bill." 10 YEARS AGO ............ 2002 The historic Swiss Mine cabin near Seneca was vandalized again, for the third time. The vandalism was under the juris- ' diction of the United States Forest Service, not the Plumas County Sheriffs office so the USFS re-secured the cabin. The first football game in the history of Feather River College took place Saturday when the Golden Eagles defeated Yuba College 37- 16. he plans to build a service station on the document in all Plumas newspapers this property. week and another 5,000 copies were print- Note: items included in the weekly Remember ed for Plumas County school students. When column are taken from our bound newspa- 50 YEARS AGO ........ 1962 As 1988 approaches, retail stores selling per archives and represent writing styles of that The Plumas County Board of Supervi- soft drinks and beer must prepare to re- particular period. The spelling and grammar sors this week accepted the proposed for- ceive a greater quantity of returnable are not edited, so the copy is presented as it actu- mation of the West Almanor Fire District. cans and bottles with the new California ally appeared in the original newspaper. for After preparing to evacuate for the Moonlight Wildfire I knew the importance of being organized, but somehow I've got- ten a bit scattered since then. The cute little basket on the kitchen counter used to hold a month's supply of medications, and the medical paperwork used to be in my purse, until I quit carry- ing one. The old photos, all gathered up and sent out to the fireproof gun safe after the Moonlight, somehow made it back into the house, where they've since been scattered into three different rooms, at least. Just five years ago I would have been ready for disaster to strike, but the week- end before last, I was not, to my horror. My husband was turning blue and mak- ing funny noises, I was in a panic, spin- ning around in fruitless circles, my brain unable to cope. Where was the street number we've been meaning to put out front? Thank goodness for a son nearby to hold his dad while I ran to the street flapping. my arms when I heard the sirens getting close. Where was the meds list? Where was his advanced directive? Where were his pills? I flunked all the important questions the nything? t me MY TURN ALICIA KNADLER Indian Valley Editor 'aknadler@plumasneWs.com emergency medical technicians and para- medics asked. Eventually all was found within mo- ments, but only after several --- a macabre dance I hope never to do again, Afterward, when all was well, I went to put the advanced directive away where it belonged. There in its organizer-type folder was the missing meds list. Go figure. Instead, the emergency crew had to deal with assorted bottles, not all of them la- beled, and all stuffed into a plastic bag full of a puppy kit that I dumped all over the kitchen table. I never want to go through this again, I want my husband to live forever-- and I want to be more organized when disaster strikes again. I remember Ken and Centella Tucker, lo- cal FEMA volunteers giving a presentation after the flood of 1997. So now 15 years later, here I am trying to remember everything they said to keep in the grab bag-- a suitcase on wheels. Some of the more important items were a month's supply of meds and a spare pair of eyeglasses, maybe an older prescription, but still better than none. It would have been nice to just grab that bag and jump in the car to follow the heli- copter he was in. Instead, I arrived at the hospital two hours away without his glasses or shaving kit and without any pocket money or change for vending machines. I even had to go buy him a new set of clothes, because one of those mad circles was interrupted and the only clothes I grabbed were his long johns, socks and an undershirt. So I'm making a New Year's resolution, something I don't usually do; I'm going to prepare for an emergency, maybe even do a couple of drills, like the fire escape plans kindergarteners and their families are en- couraged to do.