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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 1, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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October 1, 2014

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 9A Anjeanette Damon Reno Gazette-Journal Almost two years after he issued a report finding "no systemic fire problem" associated with NV Energy's installation of smart meters on homes across the state, Nevada Fire Marshal Peter MulvihiU said new information has come to light that warrants further investigation into whether the meters are safe. Mulvihill acknowledged that the data he relied on to determine that NV Energy's smart meters did not pose a fire threat were incomplete, but said his findings were valid at the time. Now, with Reno and Sparks fire departments reporting a spate of recent blazes associated with the meters, Mulvihill said it's time to reassess the situation. "As of January 2013, there was no evidence a meter caused a fire," Mulvihill said. "Since then, four incidents have been documented. Time has passed and additional information is now available. It certainly is worth further investigation." Mulvihill's 2013 report was based on a review of historical data on the number of electrical fires in the state. He found no "spike" in the data from when NV Energy first began installing them in 2010. But his data from 2012 did not include any fire reports from the state's two largest fire departments: Reno and Clark County. This year, Mulvihill said his office has received two reports each from Reno and Sparks in which investigators "conclusively found the meter to be the origin." Although Mulvihill has information on four fires, Reno and Sparks fire chiefs say their jurisdictions have handled a total of nine blazes associated with the meters since 2012. NV Energy steadfastly maintains that its smart meters -- manufactured by North Carolina-based Sensus -- have been found to cause no structure fires. Fire investigations generally include two components: the origin of the fire, or where it started; and the ignition source, or cause of the fire. In the Reno and Sparks cases, the smart meter was determined to be the origin of the fire, but the actual ignition source or cause could not be determined, largely because the meter itself was consumed. "The information they provided to us is that the origin is within the meter itself," MulvihiU said. "We don't know why it started in the meter at this point Court rturns rni convi ion In a unanimous ruling the three-judge panel of the California 3rd District Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of suction dredge miner Brandon Rinehart and ordered a new trial. In what the Western Mining Alliance is calling a significant win for mining in California, the appeals court found there was sufficient probability the California law runs afoul of federal law to order a new trial. Brandon Rinehart is a young miner from the Bay Area who was cited for dredging without a permit on a mining claim he and his family had legally mined for the previous 20 years. Rinehart pled not gui.lty is Plum Su ri r Court.. He went to trial in May 2013 and the judge convicted him of the misdemeanor crime. Rinehart appealed the conviction, arguing the state :"requiTed the impossible." It 'required a permit, but then refused to issue the permit even though the 2011 environmental impact report issued by the state found no significant impacts on Rinehart's mining claim. This impossibility of obtaining a permit persuaded the appeals court there was a ' strong likelihood the California , law that bans dredging is i pre-empted by a federal law that aUows mining. The panel stopped short of ruling on whether the law was Pre-empted and sent the case back to the lower court for a full trial, in which Rinehart 'will argue the only economical i means of recovering gold from '.the rivers is with a suction : dredge. The appeals court relied heavily on two mining cases. : In the U.S. Supreme Court case known as Granite Rock, a mining company sued the state of California over the requirement for a permit by the California Coastal Commission. The justices ruled" a state could require reasonable environmental regulation, but at some point this regulation could become so burdensome it could be considered a prohibition. The second case, heard in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, rejected the notion a local government could prohibit mining by denying the location of new mining claims on federal land. The court ruled the ordinance was prohibitory and overturned the ordinance. The California appeals court found the federal appeals court ruling strikingly similar. The Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed an amicus curiae briefing in support of Rinehart, said, "It's a big win for the miners. As we requested in our briefing to the appeals court, the court adopted the 8th Circuit's South Dakota Mining Association decision. The California ban is pre-empted for miners who can't work their claim except by a suction dredge." THIS WFI=KEND AT NAKOMA GOLF RESOI T Swinging for the Schools Golf Tournament Oct. 4 - Plumas Pines Golf Course in Graeagle Featuring PGA Tour Professional Robert Garrigus and family 10:30 a.m. shotgun start - scramble format $110 per person or $400 for a complete foursome (includes greens fees, cart, BBQ steak dinner) Prizes: TaylorMade irons, drivers, bags and more.* Sponsored by the Sierra Schools Foundation: All proceeds directly benefiting Sierra and Plumas County school children. Register: o it t o t om __ BAZAAR & LUNCHEON Methodist Fellowship Hall 282 Jackson St., Quincy, CA Sat., Oct. 4, 2014 9am-2pm Bazaar will feature jewelry, plants, dishes, stuffed animals handmade items, holiday decorations, baked goods cookies, jams, etc. Luncheon Served 11am - 1 pm I Choice of Soups, and Salads with Bread...$6 Slice of Fresh Homemade Pie...$2 student of Sean Connery who teaches @ FRC and works @ Longboards Daily Specials Great Menu Beer and Wine Come enjoy the food and exper, ence o Chef Chr/s! New Hours: Thursday thru Monday 7am - 9pm Tuesday and Wednesday 7am-3pm 2061 E. Main St., Quincy 283-1949 i in time." Energy, who had access to an appropriate course of Reno Fire Chief Mike the Reno Fire Department's action once that process is Hernandez and Sparks Fire investigation and evidence, completed," Kostes said. Chief Tom Garrison have said "it's not physically The PUC i charged with asked the Public Utilities possible" that Sherman's regulating NV Energy, the Commission to investigate smart meter caused the fire major utility that provides whether the smart meters are because data show it power service to nearly all a fire hazard, citing the nine continued to transmit well of Nevada's electricity blazes in their cities, after the blaze began, users. Most recently, 61-year-old Peter Kostes, a spokesman Kostes did not have an Michelle Sherman died after for the Public Utilities estimate for when that sustaining fatal burns in a Commission, said the review may be completed. July 27 fire at her Rhinestone commission has received the Circle to,wnhome that Reno report from the two fire Editor's note: This story was investigators say started at chiefs and is reviewing it to orJginallypublished in the the smart meter. The cause determine whether an Reno Gazette~Journal's Sept. itself remains investigation is warranted. 16 edition. It is being "undetermined." "The staff and the republished with permission An expert hired by NV commission will determine from theRJG. Paid Political Advertisement On NOV. 4 Elect Alice Berg * Write-In Candidate 5th District Supervisor Alice has what it takes to represent District 5: * 3rd Generation Native -- Alice knows District 5. Alice has started and managed three small businesses, all in rural areas -- she will work to expand and support small businesses. Alice has over 10 years of board governance experience. Alice Berg will represent the best interests of District 5. Alice has served over 10 years in public service -- she has worked directly with leaders in Sacramento and will engage effectively when it counts. Alice has worked to position District 5 as a prime recreation venue through her event promotion company. Paid for by the Committee to Elect Alice Berg Mark your calendar for Plumas District Hospital's semi-annual low cost health screening event Low-cost tests to monitor your heoith! Free--diabetes A1C blood.glucose test ! Comprehensive blood screening-$7S i! 7~,;.':~' ~' ~" '~'l~ "","~ ~ "'~ "'~' .' ' '~"~7", '~;~'"ii:,,";~i~;'~',.~" " ~ ' ~' '~; ~ "' ~ '~ Bone density screening--$50* Prostate cancer screening (PSA)--$25 i Monday, Oct. 6 A-F Tuesday, Oct. 7 G-M October 6 9 " Wednesday, Oct. 8 N-S 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. i Thursday, Oct 9 T-Z i North Fork Medical Building I Do not eat for 12 hours prior to blood draw i Must be 18 years of age. Continue normai 1060 Valley View Drive, Quincy i intake of water and medications, i: Behind the Hospital i ' " *Appointment required. Appointments will be scheduled at time of screening only. No phone appointments will be made. AIC tests are funded with a grant from UnitedHealthcare Group I I