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October 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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October 13, 2010
 

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Proposition 21 WHERE I STAND PATRICK DORINSON POLITICAL STRATEGIST One definition ofa scam is "an attempt to intentionally mislead a person or persons." The victim is usually known as the "mark" with the goal of financial .or other gain. That is exactly what Propo- sition 21 is: a scam. In this case the "mark" is California taxpayers and the financial gain is getting us to accept a new car tax and then taking money already allotted in the budget to fund parks for use on other programs. Proposition 21 would raise the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) $18 a year on everY vehicle, personal or commercial under 10,000 pounds. Whether you are a single mom struggling to make ends meet or small business with two or three service or deliv- ery vans or Fed Ex with its fleet of thousands, you will pay the new tax. Make no mistake: It is a tax. The money collected would go into a special fund to maintain and repair Califor- nia's state parks. In exchange for this regressive tax, motorists would gain free entry into state parks. While free park entry sounds great, as we all know nothing is free. So let's look at the facts. State parks are funded by a combination of money from the general fund and from user fees for things like overnight camping. In the current fiscal year, Proposi.tion 21 WHERE I STAND that instead of being greeted ............................................................................................................. by a park ranger, you'll be ELIZABETH GOLDSTEIN greeted with a padlock and a PRESIDENT CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS FOUNDATION From San Diego's sandy shores to the towering red- woods in the northernmost portions of the state, Califor- nia's 278 state parks repre- sent the rich natural and cul- tural heritage of our state. With more than 1.5 million acres, and a wide diversity of environments, California's state parks were once con- sidered the crowning jewel of state parks in America. Unfortunately, the sparkle that was once associated with California's state parks has worn off. If you visit a California state park today, it's possible "closed" sign. For decades, California's state parks have been chroni- cally underfunded. Roofs and sewage systems leak, re- strooms are not cleaned regularly, bridges have collapsed, trails are washed out, campgrounds and visitor centers are shuttered and buildings and other struc- tures throughout the system are badly deteriorated. Crime in the parks has nearly tripled, and destruc- tion and vandalism of the parks themselves has grown fourfold. Altogether, state parks have amassed a $1.3 billion backlog in needed mainte- nance and repairs, turning a misleading car tax scare that number is $330 million. Governor Schwarzenegger's revised budget provides $140 million for parks from the general fund to fully fund them for the next fiscal year. At a budget conference committee hearing June 7, the Democrats, who run the Legislature, wondered out loud what would happen to' their little tax increase as embodied by Proposition 21 if they fully funded the state parks as the governor proposed. In a remarkable but all too common cynical moment in the Legislature, Senator Alan Lowenthal (D- Long Beach) said, "Part of the argument for voting for the park pass is that we didn't fully fund the state parksl That's really why we are putting it on the ballot ... And now that we are fully fund- ing, they're going to say, 'Why do we need this park pass?'... It's just going to be a very hard sell if we fully fund..." Indeed, Senator Lowenthal, it will be a tough sell not because Californians are against parks. They know the parks need to be restored and repaired for future generations. But not by adding another tax burden on their already stressed pocketbo6ks while you and your fellow politicians continue your addiction to wasteful spending." The geniuses in Sacramento want to take that money and spend it on other programs that populate the bloated state budget. .. More robbing Peter to pay Paul, only Peter can't afford it right now. Call it what you want -- ballot box budgeting, earmarking or just plain old budgetary flimflam -- now is not the time to throw another financial brick on the load folks are already carrying. There is no question that our parks are in need of repair after years of neglect by those who have the power to spend our tax dollars. For at least two decades they have taken money that should have gone for that purpose and spent it on other things they deemed vital to California. Well the parks are impor- tant to California and restor- ing them will be expensive. But choosing this road back to restoring our state's parks only plays into the hands of the politicians who are desperate to trick you into new taxes so they can keep spending and spending. Come November vote No on Proposition 21 and send a message to the politicians in Sacramento to stop trYing to scam the taxpayers and start making the hard spending choices so we can restore our parks for future generations without adding to the tax burden of the current genera- tion. Patrick Dorinson is a pplitical communications strategist and commentator who has been on both sides of the aisle and in the aisle itself, working for Republicans and Democrats in both politics and government. restores luster to state parks', the nation's best state park system into one of the country's most endangered sites, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As if that weren't bad enough, twice in the past two years, a majority of Califor- nia's state parks and beaches were on the brink of total closure. Only last-minute budget reprieves -- in re- sponse to the outcry of thou- sands of state residents -- kept them open. Nearly 150 state parks were padlocked for the winter or their days and hours of oper- ation reduced because of last year's budget cuts. State park funding in the current budget proposal isn't expected to be much better. Without stable funding, California's parks will continue to deter iorate. That's why our organiza- tion, the California State Parks Foundation, has joined the unprecedented coalition of more than 409. organiza- tions from the business, edu- cation, labor, environmental, conservation, seniors, public health and safety communi- ties in supporting Proposi- tion 21. Other organizations sup- porting Proposition 21 in- clude The Nature Conser- vancy, California Teachers Association, California Travel Industry Association and the California State Life- guard Association. Put on the ballot by citi- zens, who are fed up with the games politicians play with our state parks, Proposition 21 will provide state parks with the reliable and adequate funding needed to ensure they remain open and maintained. Under Proposition 21,'Call - fornia vehicles receive free, year-round, day-use admis- sion to California's state parks and beaches, in exchange for a new $18 annual surcharge on most California vehicles. In comparison, many state parks and beaches charge as much as $15 for a single day- use pass or $125 for an annual pass. All money from the sur- charge will be deposited into a trust fund, where, by law, it can only be spent on state parks and wildlife conserva- tion -- politicians can't touch it. The funds will be subject to an annual audit, and review by a citizens' oversight committee to ensure funds are invested properly. From providing the lifeblood for local businesses and economies that they neighbor; to the outdoor classrooms they provide our students; or the rich, afford- able opportunities they offer our families to connect, state parks are as much a part of the California identity as sunshine. California's state parks are priceless public assets and a legacy for future generations that deserve our support. We hope you will join the millions of Californians Nov. 2 who are already sup- porting Proposition 21. For more information, visit YesForStateParks.com. Plumas Coun Economic Recovery Committee concerned:by lack. of support WHERE"I STAND BILL WlCKMAN CHAIRMAN PLUMAS ECONOMIC RECOVERY COMMITTEE Honorable Senator Diane Feinstein" Honorable Congressman Wally Herger Honorable Congressman Tom McClintock Assemblyman Dan Logue existing hospitals were built with federal Hill-Burton funds in the 1950s. These facilities have met the medical needs of our communities for over 50 years but now are in dire need of modernization. As you are all aware, Cali- fornia has also placed an addi- tional burden on our hospitals with the earthquake stan- dards (S.B. 1953) that have been adopted. The current issue for Plumas County, as well as most other small rural counties across the nation, is that the federal gov- ernment and state have aban- doned our hospitals as far as assistance to upgrade these outdated facilities. Because of this loss of sup- port, our communities are struggling to keep this vital medical infrastructure open and updated. Plumas County has seen the closure of one of our four rural hospitals in the last five years. Recently in Quincy, our largest community, voters re- jected a bond measure that would have provided funding to allow for the modernization necessarY to provide the mod- em technology, emergency services, operating room up- dates as wellas infection free inpatient rooms that are so badly needed., The current economic downturn that has affected so much of our country is having a larger impact on our small rural counties in the ability to provide local support in such critical community needs. This rejection, by property The Plumas County Eco- nomic Recovery Committee (PCERC) wishes to express a critical need and concern to you. The specific issue is our small rural hospitals and the ever.increasing rate of closure of these critical facilities. In Plumas County our owners, was related, to the high cost 6f the tax necessary to build a hospital in a small population hospital district. Without adequate support, it is highly likely Plumas County could lose a second rural hospi- tal. ff this occurs, businesses win slowly close, property values will decline further, families will move away and we will be confronted with another dying community. The Plumas District Hos- pital (PDH) in Quincy is the only facility in Plumas County that provides 24-hour emer- gency and obstetric service. It is also designated as a critical access hospital. With the closure of the Indian Valley Hospital in Greenville, PDH is also the only local medical facility that is reasonably close to meet the needs of that community as. well as Quincy and the sur- rounding communities of Meadow Valley, Twain, Cromberg and Bucks Lake. With continued aging of our facility in Quincy, more and more patients must travel to Reno, Nev., or Chico for their medical needs and that means a trip of 80 miles. During the winter months, this is 80 miles over icy or snowy roads or down the Feather River Canyon with the additional hazard of rockslides and a closed road. In addition, it is becom- ing ever more difficult to maintain or attract doctors and specialists, su,ch as orthopedists, that will practice in PDH. This leads to continued loss of revenue that is vital to keep PDH open. Given the situation we have outlined, we invite you or your representatives to tour PDH to personally see and discuss this critical issue, as well as learn about rural health care. PCERC and all of Plumas County are requesting your assistance in this critical funding issue and can only hope that there are federal assistance funds and support available. If we can provide more specific information or meet with your office, we would welcome the opportunity to do so -- the future of our community depends on it. ' LETTERS to th.e EDITOR Feasible The Courthouse was al- ways the grand attraction during my early years in Quincy. That era from the late 1940s through early 1960s saw a lot of activity in town. Main Street was two-way, thus more traffic and more Courthouse exposure. It was and still is the center of focus in downtown Quincy. It would be a shame to lose the "Grande Dame" to another site. I live in Pasadena, home of the Langham Huntington Ho- tel (circa 1907). This master- ful hotel was demolished approximately 20 years ago and rebuilt to resemble the previous building. If you did not know about this "resur- rection" you would never have guessed it happened. The hotel remains "spectacu- lar" today. Is this a feasible idea for the Courthouse? John Selby Pasadena Hypocrisy It was recently reported that in 86 months, the total number of casualties in Afghanistan was 630 under the Bush command. Under Obama's weak, waffling, hand-wringing and navel- gazing command, in just 19 months, the US casualty count as of Aug. 31 is now 632 and counting. This writer would like to know where is the loud, ob- noxious anti-war protesters that were given front page ex- posure in our liberal media? The Obama liberals don't know the meaning of the word "hypocrisy." Roy Wallis Westwood Think about it This letter is not intended" to endorse any particular person, nor make a specific recommendation. Nobody needs to be re- minded of the national situa- tion. People are angry, disap- pointed and feel insecure with federal, state and local government operations. There appears no limit to the spending and the riew laws which put additional burdens on the taxpayers. We, the voters, are partially to blame for the problems. We put them in office and mostly because we were dumb enough to believe the multiple, feel good promises. We failed to examine the candidates' qualifications. Promises to do a good job are insufficient. We need to look at the can- didates' background. A nice personality does not count. In other words we need to check out the person's experience, his or her accomplishments, the candidate's business ex- perience, familiarity with governmental procedures, successes in business and personal reputation in the community. Qualifications are learned through experience. Being a supervisor is a job which calls for dedication. There are legal matt.ers to consider. Personnel problems arise. Financial issues always raise questions. We need a person who wants to do the job as super- visor and has the time and energy to actually do the job. We don't need a person looking for a job. Please think about it. Jan Klement Quincy Good for Plumas I've known Jon Kennedy for almost 15 years. In that time I've witnessed Jon's gen- erosity and willingness to help others. He has a natural desire to serve, whether he's helping out family, friends or business clients. His business and financial experience, his cooperative spirit and his sense of community will be good for Plumas County. Thdse are just some of the reasons I support Jon Kennedy for Plumas County Supervisor District 5. Norma Williams Blairsden-Graeagle Local support It has come to our attention that yet another Main Street business could possibly be leaving Chester. Jeffroe's Produce has been a supporting member of com- munity functions for several years. Jeff Ogle always has a friendly word and a big smile for all. He has supported the Chamber of Commerce, with breakfast items for their meetings, and is always at Second Fridays. He supports potlucks, charity raffles and many golf tournaments with endless gift certificates. He also hosts a wonderful coffee for the Chester Red Hat Mamas every year. All this along with the freshest pro- duce in town and a great lunch and treat menu. We need to support all of our local businesses so that we don't have any more vacant storefronts and that our town is welcoming to tourists and residents in the future. Lynn Rickman Canyon Dam Unqualified support Your District 5 vote for county supervisor is an im- portant one. , Dick Lun.dy was one of the first businessmen I met and had the opportunity to associ- ate with when I moved to Graeagle in 1978. From that early experience, I came to See Letters, page lOB 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, countyofphimas.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; TrY/TDD: (202) 22.4-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "feinstein.senate.gov." U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D:C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd. Suite #200, Granite Bay, CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-636 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. ,(916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quinc 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capital Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. gov.ca.gov / interact# contact