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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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September 22, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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September 22, 2010
 

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10B Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL and OPINION EDITORIAL ! a This week, county supervisors found them- selves in the uncomfortable position of having to lie in order to do the right thing. A year ago they suspended the process for raising rates for Intermountain Disposal's ser- vice area. At the time they said they wanted to see a management audit of both of the coun- ty's waste haulers, IMD and Feather River Disposal/Waste Management, before they made their decision. The audit has been com- pleted and found both operators do a good job. The supervisors were set to proceed with the rate increase. But county counsel (a different county coun- sel from a year ago) told them if they were basing their rate decision on the audit, they would have to re-start the ratepayer notifica- tion and hearing process. If the supervisors were using this new information for their de- cision, then ratepayers had a right to com- ment on that material. If the board ignored the report, the process could resume where it had left off last year. Counsel also expressed nervousness about going too long after a public hearing before making a decision. Counsel also reminded the supervisors they had an obligation under their existing con- tract with IMD to act on the company's rate re- quest a request now more than 15 months old. During that time, the company has jumped through every hoop set before it. So the supervisors squeezed their eyes shut, put their fingers in their ears and collectively I-.|,, said, "Audit? We don't see no stinking aurar. so they could move ahead with IMD's long- overdue and completely justified rate increase. The only supervisor who seemed not to be dissembling was Terry Swofford, whose district is in IMD's service area. But he was engaged in his own brand of denial -- refusing to believe the audit findings and continuing to rail against the rate increase -- an increase that will amount to 32 cents a week for resi- dential customers. No one seemed to realize there is a sizeable public record, including this newspaper's re- ports, Which gives the lie to their pantomime. Meanwhile down the street, the Plumas District Hospital board continued its own pantomime. They met yet again to discuss their review of and contract with Chief Executive Officer Richard Hathaway and took no action. Speculation abounds Whether he wants to stay or go, whether the board will let him stay or make him go. The ongoing indecision is bad for the com- munity, bad for PDH and bad even for Hath- away, who has effectively been rendered a lame duck. It's hard to see how the community can heal and move on from the acrimonious Measure B campaign if the board continues to dither about the future of the man most responsible for the hospital expansion and Measure A campaign. At an earlier meeting, Hathaway's contract was extended to the end of September. Board members, don't extend it again. Either give him a new contract or his walking papers. You were elected to govern, not waffle. Decide. go A hing paper Breaking News .... to plumasnews.com I Michael C. Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ., .Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli ........ Managing Editor Diana Jorgenson .......... Portola Editor Alicia Knadler ........ Indian Valley Editor Kate West ............... Chester Editor Shannon Morrow .......... Sports Editor Mona Hill .................. Copy Editor Staff writers: Joshua Sebold Cheryl Frei Will Farris Ruth Ellis Sam Williams Brian Taylor Barbara France Pat Shillito Susan Cort Johnson Linda Satchwell 0 MY TURN ALICIA KNADLER Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com By now, you all know what a gadget gal I am, ready to delve into the intricacies of each new piece of modern technology re- leased to the public. Podcasts, Websites, YouTube, digital mu- sic and movies: I'm all over that and eager for the next big thing. I know that's rather geekish, though I as- sume there are lots of you who feel the same way. But maybe I'm wrong, like way out there wrong. Two of my coworkers and I recently at- tended a seminar at Chico State, where we learned about "futurizing" the news from Tim Harrower, formerly of Oregonian fame. Imagine not covering board meetings any- more, but only the issues important to read- ers. Oh, yes. Let's get rid of allthat he-said- she-said stuff. That just reads like meeting minutes taken by the clerk of the board. I'm all ov, er that too. Imagine news articles that are only three to six inches long, which gives readers the gist in a nutshell, with additional informa- tion alongside it in the form ofbulleted lists, quotes and resources - chunk and crunch were the terms he used. "Tim Harrower was a bit of a provoca- teur," Managing Editor Delaine Fragnoli said. "He talked a lot about 'today's readers' and how they didn't want to read 'your fa- ther's' newspaper." Our Copy'Editor Mona Hill and myself kept blurting out questions, which he took in stride and tried to answer, though some- times we were left unsatigfied or in disbelief. She thought his remarks about today's readers had nothing to do with us, we who live in the communities served by the'home- town weeklies of Feather Publishing. Are we scared to modernize our newspa- pers and start winning those coveted news- paper publishing awards again, and all be- cause you readers will balk at change? Genna and Bryson Battagin of Genesee, along with friend Aja, journeyed to New Denver, British Columbia, where they are pictured atop Idaho Peak. Next time you travel, share where you went by taking your local newspaper along and including it in a photo. Then e-mail the photo to smorrow@plumasnews.com. Harrower really made his point with the AARP magazine, and how it has been mod- ernized. He also held up as shining examples Maxxim and The Week. True, a newspaper is not a magazine, but he also showed us examples from several newspapers that have taken those same steps to provide shorter, more relevant sto- ries with sometimes provocative photogra- phy. After looking at several examples, I think Harrower really makes sense about keeping articles short and shoving the basic details and resources off to the side- that's the stuff interested readers have to go back and look for after reading anyway- why not pull it out and make it easier to fred? So, here I am, bucking the opinions of my coworkers. But really, be honest. Are we all old fuddy-duddies who are stuck in our ways? Do we all want to keep our father's newspaper just the way it is, with no modernization, no efforts to make it easier to read and more informative and entertaining? Harrower also had lots to say about news- paper Websites, and guess what? My coworkers and I share different opinions about plumasnews.com, as well. But I realize it's hard to invest a lot of time and money in- to that department when we are all strug- gling so hard in this blasted economy. Rather than sit on the sidelines and mope about it, I'm already embracing the technol- ogy I'll need when the time comes to bring our Internet presence up to date. Harrower pointed us to the New York Times Website as the best newspaper Web- site in the country so I'm planningon vis- iting often to see what's new there. Meanwhile, we've got homework to do. Ed- itorial staff members, like ~ne, are supposed to recruit four to six people to help us figure out what we're doing right and what we need to fix. So heads up in case you are asked. Here's your assignment: When you are done reading the paper this week, take up a marker or a crayon and go back and circle the parts of it you actually read. Was it a headline and a caption on one page, and the headline and first three para- graphs of a story on the next? Or did you read the headline and the whole article, even if it continued onto an- other page? I would love it if we could collect lots of marked up newspapers, even if just to see who is right about "futurizing" the news, my coworkers or myself. So if you are a willing participant, please drop off your newspapers to us, or e-mail us with your comments. You can find the e-mail address for your local editors by clicking on the "Contact Us" button at plumasnews.com. REMEMBER WHEN 'KERI TABORSKI Historian 80 YEARS AGO... 1930 Fire Wednesday destroyed the Arcade Dunn Hotel in Seneca. Erected in 1902, the resort hosted mining men, fishermen and motion picture companies while taking scenes upon the North Fork of the Feather River. 50 YEARS AGO... 1960 Resignation of Redge Lichtym as superin- tendent of Plumas Unified School District was announced this week. He had been su- perintendent since July 1, 1957, coming from Placerville where he had been superinten- dent of E1 Dorado High School District. Beef raised by ranchers in Plumas County were shown and served at the Buckaroo Buf- fet staged for 400 representatives of the press and television at the California State Fair.held last month to promote Plumas County beef. 30 YEARS AGO... 1980 More than 200 pipes from all over the world have been donated to the Plumas County Museum by Greenville native Joe Hunt. He has collected pipes representing different styles and construction for over 30 years. A spectacular pre-dawn blaze early Satur- day morning destroyed the Portola Opera House, leaving only the front section of the building standing. 10 YEARS AGO... 2000 , Plumas County is now on the tour route of Leisure Vacations, a world-wide tour operator from Sacramento. Quincy and eastern Plumas County are among the scheduled stops billed as "Fall in Feather River Country." Note: items included in the weekly Remember When column are taken from our bound newspaper archives and represent writing styles of that particular period. The spelling and grammar are not edited, so the copy is presented as it actually appeared in the origi- nal newspaper. Effort to saree historical site ends in... MY TURN LINDA SATCHWELL Staff Writer Isatchwell@plumasnews.com (...continued from last week) A date was set. Foster, with whom I'd worked a bit on the Yeats biography, readily agreed to represent me in the case. I knew enough about Irish-American relations to know that an American standing up and telling the Irish what they could and could- n't build, based on Irish heritage and histo- ry, would not go over well. Foster might teach at Oxford, but he was born and raised in Ireland; he received his doctorate at Dublin's Trinity; College. In ad- dition, he's a speaker who tends to make men take note and women swoon. All good qualities in this case I thought. When An Bord Pleanala (the Irish National Planning Board) granted the oral hearing, to take place in Galway, and set the date, Feb. 25 2003, it was Gerry who convinced me I had to fly to Galway and attend the hearing myself: He said, "I understand what the tower means to you. Don't deny your soul much longer." We couldn't really afford for me to go, but mansion, raging in the dark." when he put it that way, I couldn't afford not For ages it had been read by scholars as a to. As it turned out, it was one of the most general philosophical commentary when, in momentous occasions of my life. fact, it was a personal comment on Yeats and I met with Foster and Keogh the night be- his dearest friend, Lady Gregory. It was to fore the hearing at Jury's Hotel, Galway, to be near her that he'd purchased his tower plan strategy, home in the first place. Foster is brilliant and self-effacing, gets All of these things swirled in my head-- lost in long corridors and loses pens. "I hate how do I.explain that the words of a poem, hotels," he said, when he finally made his their exquisite order, could animate my life? way out of the maze and into the bar. Keogh, Or that these things lay behind my drive to the consummate architect, was organized "save" Yeats's tower? and treated us like children. I mentioned to Foster that I'd been perusing a He'd brought a tie for Foster to wear at the local auctioneer's (real estate agent's) website. hearing. "I've got my own, thanks." said Foster. It had a Picture of Thoor Ballylee with the "But, do you really think that's necessary?" phrase, "Come live near Thoor Ballylee." "You need to appear reputable," said Foster turned his back and looked out at Keogh straight-faced, the gray street, the cement sky. "They ex- We arrived early at the hearing, at ploit it ruthlessly," he said. "But, will they Keogh's insistence. He spent an hour setting protect it?" ' up his laptop for a slide presentation on the In the end, they did. Foster gave his talk, heritage and architectural significance of tying the history of Yeats and the tower di- the tower, rectly into the course of Irish history. Foster and I sat outside near a window, Dermot Lynch, the chief inspector from where I removed a copy of"The Collected An Bord Pleanala, had my report in front of Poems of W.B. Yeats" from my briefcase, him and directed P. Fahy's agent to "discrep- "I should've known you'd have that," he ancies in site levels which I believe should said, and asked to borrow it, searching for a be questioned." quote he might want to use in the hearing. As to Galway Planning Authority's mis- He turned to a short poem and told me it handling of the case, he said, "One can only had originally been part of a longer one. surmise" why this was or wasn't done. Knowing where it had originally appeared In the end, An Bord Pleanala overturned made all the difference in its meaning, "The Galway County Council's grant of planning intellect of man is forced to choose/Perfec- permission "for a house on an elevated site tion of the life, or of the work,/And if it less than 100 meters from Thoor Ballylee, the take the second must refuse/A heavenlytower house restored by the poet W.B. Yeats." i