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Quincy, California
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October 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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October 13, 2010
 

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lib Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EI)ITOKIAL and OPINION EDITORIAL Supervisor refuses to take lead on rate increase The supervisors' chambers were once more the scene of some inexplicable decision making last week. The contretemps revolved, again still, around a rate increase for Intermountain Dispos- al, which provides solid waste service to Eastern Plumas. The supervisors had managed to drag the process out for more than 18 months. Then, when faced with the actual decision of how much of a rate increase to approve, they rushed through the decision. The decision could not have felt more random or arbitrary had they tak- en out a datboard and .thrown a dart. Way back in July 2009, they were contemplat- ing a 12 percent increase when they suspended the process pending the results of a forensic au- dit. That audit was finally completed this sum- mer and gave both IMD and Feather River Dis- posal a clean bill of health. Following that news, the supervisors resumed the rate increase process. Public Works staff pre- sented the board with five rate-increase scenar- ios: B percent, 9 percent, 10 percent, 11 percent and 12 percent. After the staff presentation, three members of the public added their two cents' worth. The board had barely begun its deliberations when Supervisor Terry Swofford, whose district overlaps IMD's service area and who has been a vocal critic of the company, announced that he had to leave and started gathering his papers. Supervisor Robert Meacher, in an apparent act of deference to Swofford, asked if he wanted to make a motion before he left. "You can make a motion before you go," he pointed out. Swofford demurred, mumbling something no one in the audience could hear. So Supervisor Lori Simpson took up the issue and motioned for an 8 percent increase. Her motion died for lack of a second. Supervisor Ole Olsen, who represents Graeagle, motioned for a 9 percent increase and closure of the Graeagle Transfer Site. Simpson seconded his motion and it passed on a 3:2 vote, with Meacher and Swofford voting no. It was completely unclear to an observer why  2 the board settled on that amount. Did they think that was all people could afford? Did they think IMD could make do with that? (The company was seeking 12 percent.) There was no discussion of whether IMD could probably sue the county for breach of contract -- the company is guaranteed a targeted rate of return of 10 percent, a target it has not hit since 2005. There was no discussion of the relative merits of closing the transfer site either. The site needs $150,000 worth of upgrades and repairs, but clos- ing it will cost $45,000. What was most disturbing was Swofford's re- sponse. Meacher, in essence, was asking him to take ownership of the issue, to show some leader- ship. Instead, he abdicated responsibility. IMD is also in the crosshairs of another touchy subject. It is trying to build a materials recovery facility (MRF) in Delleker. To do so, it needs wa- ter, but Grizzly Lake Resort Improvement Dis- trict and the city of Portola are at odds about the needed waterline. The city, fearing development in Delleker will drive business and revenues away from the city, oppose it. But the county and the waste compa- nies see the MRF asthe answer to the county's solid waste problems. We will need a real statesman to negotiate this situation. Although he is the obvious candidate, it doesn't look like Swofford is the man for the job. And that is a shame for the people of Eastern Plumas and, ultimately, the whole county. A Fea00ng go to plumasnews.com 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 Will Farris Sam Williams Barbara France Susan Cort Johnson Cheryl Frei Ruth Ellis Brian Taylor Pat Shillito Linda Satchwell }'ear of discord r ight vt00ed collaboration MY TURN UNDA SATCHWELL Staff Writer Isatchwell@plumasnews.com amused or enthused.., you can decide which it is here.) The PDH debacle is not the only ongoing story I've been covering. In fact, hate to say that PDH isn't the entire world, but the devil of an economy is bigger than one hos- pital, and it has had a devil of an effect on this county. What I have witnessed and reported on throughout the county and across the year is how different businesses, individuals and groups of people are responding to the current crisis. I see the world, perhaps, too much in black and white, rather than the tepid shades of gray that inform the cultural landscape much of the time. And what I saw in the economic crisis of this past year were two very clear responses to life under threat. One was to turn and claw each oth- er's eyes out, figuratively speaking, for the small portion of the pie that was still avail- able. In the other, the heartening response, in- dividuals and groups came together in ways that were more creative, hopeful and illuminating than before. When the economy fails as ours has, it has a profound effect. I've noted more ill- Rodney King said it, infamously, after getting the !@#$% beat out of him by the LAPD in 1991: "Can't we all get along?" I've been writing for Feather Publishing for about two years--for the past year of that time in Quincy. In fact, I mark my start here as contiguous with the beginning of another infamous event in our county's history--the Plumas District Hospital tax wars. I've learned the news writing business here, honing my craft on hatred, bitterness, division.., and concomitantly on creativi- ty, kindness, community. (Sorry for the over-alliteration, I do that when I'm bored, Hlhere in th world? Dellanie Fragnoli of Seattle, Wash., who is the twin sister of Managing Editor Delaine Fragnoli, took a hang-glider flight in Alpine, Wyo., near Grand Teton. 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. ness, accident, tragedy this year than I can remember in a long time. It's as if a society, stretched to the limit, begins to fail us in ways emotional, mental and physical. Some people respond with a sense of en- ervation to the constant stress. They lack the insight, or the courage, or the creativi- ty to come up with something new at a time like this. Others, in contrast, are energized, chal- lenged. They look for new ways to care for themselves and make sure that those near to them are going to be OK, as well. A couple of examples of this creativity come to mind. See if you can think of oth- ers. If so, I'd like to hear from you. We need reminders of kindness in tough times like these. One example: I was asked, about 18 months ago ifI would help find homes for some dogs that had been waiting at the lo- cal Quincy shelter for a long time. Seven dogs had been there for between four and 12 months. I started writing ads for these dogs. Five dogs found homes within the next three weeks. The other two waited another cou- ple of months before they found a rescuer who fell in love with them. At that time, I started a group, Friends of Plumas County Animal Shelter. After the dogs found homes, I moved on to other homeless dogs. But that group, helmed by Rose Buzzetta and Melissa Bishop, among other kind souls, has gone on to get a $10,000 perimeter fence and outdoor play yards built. They've built a new cat area. They've planted trees. They have trained volun- teers who walk and socialize the dogs. Now, dogs are rarely at the shelter for months. The kindness and caring that came out of a tough time continues to grow and benefit Plumas County's homeless ani- mals. The second example I could go on about for ages, but I'll spare you that and keep it short-ish: Tom Hayes, chief executive offi- cer of Eastern Plumas Health Care, has been talking collaboration and getting our small rural hospitals together for their mu- tual benefit. He's suggested joining forces, for example, to buy supplies, hire a sur- geon and other doctors and nurses, among other things. The idea is that collectively they can do more, offer more to their patients. They can offer more, as well, to prospective doc- tors and nurses and, in so doip,,draw higher quality prospects to the area. This, in turn, benefits patients, which benefits the hospital bottom line, which just might keep our little hospitals alive-- which is something we should all want. With a change in administration and per- spective at Plumas District Hospital, it's looking like this collaboration might come to fruition. Maybe in the wake of the tax wars, we can finally turn from seeing oth- ers as enemies. Perhaps the hospitals can work together for the benefit of all. REMEMBER WHEN KERI TABORSKI Historian 80 YEARS AGO... 1930 Glowing" reports are heard of the efficient work last Thursday night of the Greenville Volunteer Fire Department whose members succeeded in preventing a bad blaze in the heart of the town from spreading and doing possibly untold damage. 50 YEARS AGO... 1960 The number of deer kills in Plumas County is slightly above average according to the Department of Fish and Game, So far J)riving, freedom MY TURN BARBARA FRANCE Staff Writer bfrance@lassennews.com It's official! Mom's taxicab has retired! Yes, my youngest passed her drivers test and has an official license. It's one of those perks that balances the fact that children do grow up quickly and before a parent realizes the home is no longer filled with toys, early bedtimes and the sounds of sing-a-long music of Nick- elodeon channel. I remember those days when I wondered if my girls would ever grow old enough to care for themselves. Well, the time is here and I miss bath time, reading time and even the struggle to get them settled in for the night. For the last 24 years, I have been the main parent to cart children to games, practices, after school programs, dance classes, mid-week church services and to this season 1406 deer have been taken in Plumas County compared to 1383 last year at this time. 30 YEARS AGO... 1980 Greenville'S oldest remaining building, constructed in 1877 and used as a foundry, was torn down this week brick by brick, square nail by square nail. When the min- ing boom passed, the brick building be- came a warehouse, then turned into a rail- road flop house in the early 1930's. In 1940 Jewell Standardt bought it, remodeled the building and ran the Indian Valley Variety Store there until 1960. 10 YEARS AGO... 2000 Michael E. Franklin, who was convicted of first degree murder in the 1996 killing of his wife, has filed a motion for a new Plumas County trial citing that two of the jurors en- gaged in misconduct. Plumas District Attor- ney James Reichle is opposing the motion. Two will vie for one Plumas Unified School District board position. Life-long Portola resident Bob Marshall will chal- lenge four term incumbent Jack Bridge. Note: items included in the weekly Remem- ber 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 original newspaper. ain,tother new stuff affecting my life friend's houses. I have been the one who has stored knitting, crochet and even a pillow and blanket in the car along with a good book for those times when I decided Io wait for the hour event rather than head home or to a store. I remember a time or two when my youngest feel asleep in her car seat while we drove her older sisters somewhere. Rather than wake her, I too would stretch out in the mini-van for a nap, read or write a letter. The second day my daughter had her li- cense, she drove to dance class and then to a friend's house. I put on my jammies ear- ly and settled with my knitting to watch NCIS without interruption. I kept looking at my phone. Would she run out of gas? Did she get a flat tire? Did she get lost? Did she get in a wreck? I kept my feelings to myself trying to feel brave. My husband on the other hand wanted to know why she wasn't home yet. It was about 9 p.m. I told him if he was worried he could call her. He sent her a text message, which is funny in itself because he always says he hates using text messaging. As soon as his baby girl came home, my husband plopped into bed and his daugh- ter looked at me and asked why he stayed up. I shrugged and said he was worried, and get used to it. He did it with your sis- ters, too. Now it is his turn to worry. Her freedom is now his biggest worry. Where is she? What is she doing? Who is she with? Etc. etc. Her freedom is my freedom, and I love it. No more driving around town all night, getting car sick (Yep, I even get car sick driving) or rushing from one place to an- other trying to get her to each place on time. That's her worry, along with manag- ing gas money. When I come home for the evening, I can now cook a meal, clean my house, knit for a while, read a book, talk on the phone and get to bed on time. My older daughters said that it was time I got a break and it was so nice to know they fi- nally understand. Each year of my children's lives, my husband and I gave them more and more freedom based on what we thought they could handle and when they showed us maturity. My daughter is proving to be a safe driver, so far. She is also a bright stu- dent with lots of potential, but even with my evenings freed up from taxi service, I now have to up my game as eavesdropper, watchdog, spy, hound dog on a scent and a royal pain in the you know what. She isn't free from me yet; we are really never free of our parents. That's a good thing. So watch out world here comes the last France daughter to grow up, and right behind her is a tenacious morn protecting her from the world and also protecting the world from her.