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September 23, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE What do we mean by "representative government?" With a presidential WHERE I STAND Indeed, no single feature election year fast LEE H. HAMILTON does. One of our core tenets approaching, we're in for a DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER holds that the people are lot of public talk about the ON CONGRESS sovereign -- that we give state of American iNDIANA UNIVERSI our consent to be governed democracy. Much of that through regular discussion will be insightful often hear from the podium, participation in the elections and thought provoking, but Perhaps the best way to that decide who will there's a good chance you'll start thinking about what represent us. Yet, elections also find a lot of it vague and American representative in and of themselves don't hard to pin down. democracy really means is define our republic either; There's a reason for this. to recall the Pledge of there are plenty of countries Even our political leaders, Allegiance, which is an oa$ around the world whose the people who are most to the Republic that our flag elections are used to distort familiar with the system's symbolizes an ideal: that our democracy. workings, have a hard time nation will strive for liberty So the rule of law is also describing it. and justice for all. Plenty of key, and along with it the In fact, they even have a well-meaning people, in the notion that everyone ought hard time labeling it. Ours is heat of the political moment, to be subject to equal justice seize on one or the other of not actually a pure under the law. The democracy: it's more those twin poles to support separation of powers among accurate to say that we live their agenda -- they insist the different branches of in a "representative upon liberty or they demand government creates a democracy," -- that is, the justice. The Pledge, people don't themselves, however, makes it clear that balance designed to protect the people from overweening make decisions, but delegate these core principles are power. The rights that authority to their inseparable, guaranteed by our elected representatives. In Still, they are ideals. Constitution ensure that the this sense, we really live in a They're not sufficient to rights of minorities of all republic, a word you don't define a representative kinds are safe. democracy. The big challenge in all inspiring set of beliefs about called into question. this is to set up the how a nation ought to In fact, it is our great structures and practices that govern itself, but they also strength. It protects against protect and defend these ignored women and chose toarbitrary authority, strives beliefs. The courts, set aside the question of for justice, hears our varied legislative bodies and slavery. This was a and conflicting opinions executive branches at the democracy of white males of before it acts, and moderates federal, state and local level a certain age who owned tensions among competing are an example of this, along property. Representative interests. It works in a with a system of checks and demoCracy by its nature ismeasured fashion that tends balances that promotes always a work in progress;-- over time -- to encourage accountability and we never really get the policymakers to find transparency, balance between liberty and consensus. So are the freedoms we justice exactly right. It is the form of often take for granted. Under This is worth government that, when our Constitution, we do not remembering at the allowed to work properly, is put to a vote whether to moment, when the problems most likely to lead to wise continue protecting freedom we confront seem so policy, firmly rooted in the of religion orthe right tooverwhelming and our consent of the ordinary express unpopular institutions are under so people on whose shoulders it sentiments or publish newsmuch strain. The problems rests. that challenges those in they have to resolve -- the For information about our power, outsized role of money in educational resources and While representative politics, excessive programs, visit our website democracy rests on a core partisanship, the sheer at centeroncongress.org. Go set of principles, it remains complexity of the policy to Facebook to express your a constantly evolving challenges we face -- are views about Congress, civic concept. At the beginning,daunting, but that doesn'teducation and the citizen's ours was limited: our mean representative role in representative Founders began with an government itself should be democracy. JACOBSON, from page lOB bowlers meant we were set for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. More than anything though are the memories I had watching each of my sons toddle up to the lanes with their daddy and grandpa helping them take that first roll. Yes, like many, I have great memories of Ponderosa Bowl and am sad to see it gone. Gone is the hope that maybe somehow, someday, it would open again and provide a much-needed diversion for kids, teens, adults and seniors so desperately needed in town from my front-row seat at right now. the newspaper, the positive Yet despite the loss I felt changes underway: that day as I clicked away Portola has a unified City the images of the rising Council that is working inferno ending with the tirelessly to listen and act excavators tearing apart the with good purpose for the crumbled walls, I still felt betterment of the town. hope. A city manager and This I know becomes a public works director matter of disposition -- how supported by City staff you ultimately view life. Is seeking and pursuing the glass half empty or half multiple ways to not only full? It may be evident to sustain, but improve Portola readers of other articles I across the board for have written that I am businesses, residents, and definitely a half-full kind of visitors. a gal. Which makes the story Young people that grew here not over. up here standing up and I have been "back" for taking the oath to serve in almost a year now and am law enforcement or pleasantly surprised to see, volunteer protection roles unlike other cities Local schools staffed conflict that has held it back nationwide, with dedicated, visionary from what it can be. Retirees and families like principals enriching the So, for those that see this ours making the decision to lives of our young as in the as an opportunity to rise, I depart from the pressures of distant past. challenge you to BE THE urban America and return That day, through the CHANGE! Step up and lend a to our roots fueled to make a crackling embers, I heard hand, support local positive impact on comments of disgust. I sawbusiness, donate to schools, tomorrow, the posts on social media do business with the A local hospital trying to and negative letters hospital, volunteer for the grow, provide services and circulated, but those are the fire department, make a seek creative alternatives to half-empty folks, difference! provide residents with local As I drive by the crumbledWhile many things are out options in effort to meet debris that currently sits at of our control, how we react their range of healthcare the west end of Commercialto those times is completely needs. Street, I see change, up to us. I, too, have gone up Resort properties possibility, opportunity and in flames in business and in embracing the local hope. life in the past, but again I population, providing much This isn't another "nail in am choosing to make a needed employment and a coffin." This a challenge difference. Roll up your community support that will for the city of Portola to at sleeves Portola! Let's get be mutually beneficial, last break free of any started! LETTEKS To THE EDITOR Guidelines for letters All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m.; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to dmcdonaid@plumasnews.co m. Great coverage I was pleased to see your wonderful article and photos about the Junior Livestock Auction that is held on the Sunday morning on the last day of the fair. The auction is a less attended part of the fair but I feel it is a very integral and gratifying part of our county fair. Wesley Neer does a terrific job of auctioneering. Hope your coverage will continue every year. Bretta Hall Quincy Vital services Law enforcement and fire protection are vital services to permanent residents and second homeowners. We have dedicated fire fighters and law enforcement officers in Plumas County and in the City of Portola. They are under-funded but not begging for more. Sheriff Hagwood, District Attorney Hollister, and Supervisor Engel demonstrated their show of support to the residents of La Porte when the community felt exposed and helpless. The sheriffs department, our district attorneys and fire fighters are giving us more for less. A prime example is in Portola. The sherhff signed a contract, which gives more effective law enforcement with less expense than when we had a contract with the sheriff and had a community services officer. The sheriff now receives 100 percent of the state's grant money. It is intended for front-line law enforcement. The sheriff has agreed not to ask the city council for general fund money. We welcome the presence of Sgt. Jeremy Beatley who has excellent qualifications. He is working directly with our city manager. This now gives the council the discretionary use of funds saved. In the past, additional expenses for the CSO came from the general fund. Some would consider this a good thing, others like myself are disgusted with the discretionary use of public funds. We have a city manager and chief financial officer. One should be eliminated like the county did. The council needs to make choices that do not make us feel exposed and helpless. Our sheriffs services and our fee department are the most vital services to the public. Supervisor Engel and other elected officials need to pledge to do more to see that law enforcement and fee protection funding are not cut. Larry F. Douglas Portola Get your history straight Please. The U.S. Constitution was not "signed into law" on any date. Once completed and signed by convention delegates, it was sent to the states for ratification, a process that took several years and involved much acrimonious discussion. Peter H Rast Blairsden Counter history hate us because we (& the When someone proposes Brits) overthrew their "remembering the truth" as president to keep the oil. Feather Publishing reporter From the Congo, Cuba, Greg Knight does, we've Philippines, Mexico, Central learned to brace for a America, Chile, Southeast counter history. Which Asia, Arabia -- where doesn't make bigotry, with nothing ever happened -- swipes at "Black Spring" they're all a bunch of and "whitewashing," any ungrateful envious peons. less appalling. I think fair Eric Lund people observing the events Greenville of the last year would conclude that though we've Shrinking middle class come a long way, Blacks still Bernie Sanders' Labor receive second-class Day comments were on the treatment from law mark. The middle class is enforcement, courts, disappearing in proportion prisons, employers, realtors to the weakening of the and banks. But this is a part unions. Historically, it was of "Big Brother" that doesn't the unions that gave us our bother Mr. Knight. middle class and our Our founding sins were enviable standard of living. two-fold. We exterminated Although the corporate and cheated the Indians out world was always of the land. And we used the anti-union, the first real labor of slaves to create our attack against the unions in initial wealth. I guess with my memory was that by the "party of Lincoln" Henry Ford. Edsel, his son, flipping into the party of was much more reasonable Jefferson Davis we should and influenced his father to expect poison fantasies come to terms with the about what a wonderful unions. revolt it was against the Another highly publicized "tyrannical government attack was by Cecil B. under Abraham Lincoln." DeMille, the powerful Lincoln did what he had to Hollywood director. It was do, was a great man who over an assessment of one grew greater. While dollar. Jefferson Davis was a Not too long after Reagan diabolical villain, who along became president, he began with the other nutters, was his campaign against the embarked on, as Grant unions by firing the federal correctly put it, the worst air traffic controllers who cause that man ever fought had demanded better for. working conditions. Even Mr. Knight's family Although Reagan said he history is subject to was not against unions, distortion - "The greatest pointing out the fact that he time in this country's had been president of the history." As if the Irish were Actors' Guild, with the help welcomed, when in fact they of the Supreme Court, the were much more reviled power of the worker began than the Mexicans are today, its decline and the middle As if a person of conscience class began to shrink. could print the truth in a Recently, Disney and state like Tennessee. Southern California Edison If you take mythology for freed hundreds of US tech history the Vietnamese had workers. Industry presently no reason to oppose us when is allowed to bring in 65,000 we substituted for their foreign tech workers each colonial masters. The year with temporary visas Iranians have no reason to only if America cannot supply those needed our very being? workers. Firing workers to What gain do we get by import cheap labor is giving Iran this insane against federal law. The visa proposal? A country that holders do not receive professes to hate our prevailing wages and do not country, our people and our get promotions. After a few very way of life. years of use, they are sent I hear this is supposed to home and a new batch of keep us from war. I say if cheap labor is brought in, you want to be on top -- you eventually to be disposed of. must stay on top. Labor Day is now all but a Again I say. Are our hollow holiday, congress and our president Salvatore Catalano Americans? TaylorsvilleWe need strong leadership. I pray that our Praying for America congress will come to its What is wrong with our senses. congress? Be they I am praying for our Democrats or Republicans,country. are they really ready to give B. Mowrey away our country, our Portola freedom, our children and 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: 202-456-2461. 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 Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393 -0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710. Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR- Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 5011 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563.112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, IST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. www.LaMalfa.House.gov.; Facebook.com/RepLaMalfa; twitter: @RepLaMalfa. DISTRICT OFFICE: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965, (530) 534-7100, FAX (530) 534-7800. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. E1 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, IST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Suite 2158, Sacramento, CA 94249-00001, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 280 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR- Jerff Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814.Website: gov.ca.gov/(916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.