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October 17, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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October 17, 2012
 

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lOB Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL AND OPINION EDITORIAL Governor signs Brown Act enforcement bill Good news for the public's right to know. With the deadline approaching for taking action, Califor- nia Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a measure that restores the public's ability to enforce the Brown Act when a violation occurs. Co-sponsored by the California Newspaper Pub- lishers Association (CNPA) and Californians Aware, Senate Bill 1003, by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), overturns an appellate court's decision that existing law does not provide a remedy for past Brown Act violations by a local agency. According to CNPA, when the bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2013, SB 1003 will allow a district attorney or interested person to submit a.letter to an agency within nine months of an alleged violation setting forth the circumstances of the violation and de- . manding that the agency cease its behavior. The agency will then have 30 days to issue a "commit- ment letter" stating it will end the conduct that gave rise to the allegation. If the agency continues to violate the act after the issuance of the letter, or if the agency refuses to is- sue a commitmentletter, the interested person has 60 days to file an action in court for declaratory re- lief or a writ to enforce the law for the past viola- tion. The measure was prompted after the Tulare County Board of Supervisors held more than "46 regular lunchtime meetings outside of public view, without public notification and paid for with pub- lic funds," according to CNPA. When the case w.ent to court, the board said it had suspended the practice, despite the litigation filed by Rich McKee, the Visalia Times-Delta news- paper and CNPA. The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled the Brown Act did not provide a remedy for past violations. According to a Visalia Times-Delta article, Jim Ewert, CNPA's general counsel, said the court's ruling created "a vicious circle" where govern- ment agencies could violate open-meeting laws, suspend the practice for a short time to avoid a court case and then continue the violations again until another suit was filed. "It eviscerated the Brown Act," Ewert said. "It gave governing .bodies a free bite at the apple." CNPA and the Sacramento-based government transparency advocate Californians Aware then approached Yee to sponsor legislation that allowed lawsuits against governing boards for recent past violations. "Now the public doesn't need to wait until they do it again," Ewert said. "It protects the public's ability to properly oversee the agencies that are governing them." "You don't have to hire a high-priced attorney," Yee said in the Visalia Times-Delta article. "It can be as simple as writing a letter and raising the is- sues of concern." In a written statement, Kathleen Bales-Lange, Tulare County counsel, said, "Tulare County is passionate about the peoples' right to know. Senate Bill 1003 clarifies and imProves the existing Brown Act law and is a win-win for the public and local government." Editorials are written by members of the editorial board, which consists of the publisher, the managing editor and the appropriate staff writer or writers, and should be considered the opinion of the newspaper. Fe iishing spaper l For breaking news, go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski Publisher Keri B. Taborski Legal Advertising Dept. Dan McDonald Managing Editor Jenny Lee Photo Editor Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor Ingrid Burke Copy Editor Staff writers: Laura Beaton Jordan Clary Michael Condon Ruth Ellis DJ Estacio Will Farris Mona Hill Samantha Susan Cort Johnson Debra Moore M. Kate West Aura Whittaker Sam Williams James Wilson P. Hawthorne Feather River Bulletin (530) 283-0800 ,Westwood PinePress (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Times (530) 257-53211 Portola Reporter (530) 832-4646 Chester Progressive (530) 258-3115 Indian Valley Record (530) 284-7800 My husband almost stood up in his con- cern last week when I exploded in a painful gasp, but he could see that whatever it was that hit me so hard was something I was reading in the Sacramento Bee. Breakfast was forgotten Tuesday, Oct. 9, while I read "ADHD drugs for lagging stu- dents: Doctors target academic gap for the poor," by Alan Schwarz of the New York Times. You readers who have been around a while might recall past My Turn columns when I've railed against the attention deficit disorder label, ADD. I've also lambasted our drug-loving soci- ety, where so many people want pills to make life easier, to cure everything. I mean, how many of you know someone who runs to the doc for antibiotics the sec- ond day of a cold because she doesn't have time to be sick? The doctor tells her to rest and drink liq- uids, that the virus will run its course and antibiotics should only be used for compli- cations like secondary infections. But does she listen? And does he keep that prescrip- tion pad in his pocket? No. It's the same with ADD, or ADHD, with the hyperactivity thrown in. "'We are using a chemical straitjacket in- stead of doing things that are just as impor- tant to also do, sometimes more,'" Schwarz quoted Massachusetts child psychiatrist Nancy Rappaport. Dr. Michael Anderson, the pediatrician Schwarz interviewed, told him that the AD- HD diagnosis is made up and that it's just an excuse to "prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children's true ill -- poor. academic performance in inadequate schools." MY TURN ALICIA KNADLER Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com "Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining inter- est among some physicians," Schwarz wrote. "They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of ex- tra money -- not to treat ADHD, necessari- ly, but to boost their academic perfor- mance." He told Schwarz that the problem kids were like square pegs trying to fit in the round holes of public education. He and others like him are scribbling and tearing the pages off their prescription pads as quick as they can because that's what so- ciety wants, an easy solution that doesn't take a lot of effort. Besides, other solutions just would cost too much money. But what about the parents who knowthe diagnosis is bogus and don't drug their chil- dren? Back when mine were in scho )l, that meant terse notes on the report cards. "Child failing; parent refuses to med- icate," was a familiar note during those ear- ly years of disorder labeling. This week's special days NOT JUST AN ORDINARY DAY COMPILED BY KERI TABORsKI Not just an ordinary day a sampling weekly notable special days and facts throughout the year. of Oct. 17 A1 Capone was convicted of income tax evasion in 1931. In 1979 Mother Teresa of Calcutta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek ship- ping tycoon Aristbtle Onassis. In 1991 the Oakland Hills (California) fire destroyed 31469 homes and apart- ments, causing more than $2 billion in damage. Oct. 21 The silent film "The Sheik" starring Rudolph Valentino premiered in Los An- geles in 1921. tn 1959 the Guggenheim Art Museum in New York City, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public. Oct. 18 Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick," originally titled "The Whale," was first published in 1851 in London. Alaska Day -- In 1867 the United States took possession of the Alaska territory, purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Oct. 23 Oct. 20 In 1915, In 1968, former United States first lady New York Oct. 22 In 1883 the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City officially opened with a performance of Gounod's "Faust." In 1966, The Supremes became the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album for their album "The Supremes A-Go-Go." some 25,000 women marched in City demanding the right to vote. My boys were quite exuberant, and would often run right into a painful accident in their hurry to experience things. But they were also very smart when they arrived in kindergarten. They could speak better than their peers, they knew a lot about the world around them, and both had outstanding vocabular- ies, well above their grade levels. They could function quite well outside the classroom, although they were rarely given credit for their extracurricular studies. On the way to work one Saturday, a friend dropped off what was to become not only the lesson of the day; the unfortunate goose that collided with his grill was also dinner that night. Headless, it rested on the stump out front where the boys wanted to try plucking, until one accidentally leaned on the body. "Honk," came the sound only a goose can make. "How did it do that?" one of them asked. "It has no head on." "Well, it still must have air in its lungs," I answered. "Maybe there's a voice box in there somewhere." That was all it took. They dissected the neck, giving it CPR and making it honk until they discovered the voice box. They cut it out, washed it off and ran around taking turns blowing through it. The plucking was left to Morn, who now looks back and wonders if she should have made them stop playing for a moment and pluck the fowl creature. Would that have helped the one whose teachers never figured out how to engage him with must haves and maybes? And after reading the Sacramento Bee, this morn is still sure that ADDled minds are gifts from God, and that we just have to figure out how to make the most of them. And I'm not the only one who believes this. Imagine my delight when I came across this 2010 book, "The Gift of ADHD: How to transform your child's problems into strengths." Author and psychologist Lara Honos- Webb offers a message of hope in the second edition, with chapters including "Difference is Not a Disorder," "How You Can Trans- form Your Child" and "How to Become Your Child's Advocate, Not Apologist." Instead of a disorder, she sees the differ- ences as gifts of creativity, attunement to nature, interpersonal intuition, energetic enthusiasm and emotional sensitivity. She shares stories of reai" peopl~ with:` ADDled minds who have becohie success- ful, and even offers some DIY tips, like a list for when the teacher calls, an idea she got from renowned health guru Hagen Panton, whom she thanks in her acknowledgements. Not all readers see her book as a gift, con- sidering some of the reviews by detractors who claim to be miserable with the disorder and think her claims are dangerous. "This is the greatest health care fraud in modern medical history," said child neurol- ogist Fred A. Baughman, co-author of"The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes 'Pa- tients' of Normal Children." Sometimes I wish I could turn the clock back 30-something years, or even 50. REMEMBER WHEN KERI TABORSKI Historian 75 YEARS AGO 1937 A tabulation of reports from the Plumas National Forest checking stations this week revealed a total of 428 bucks reported taken from the forest in the first day of deer hunting season. The figure does not include tag validations by California state officers or game wardens. More of the bucks taken this year still have their horns and have more velvet than usual. 50 YEARS AGO 1962 Registration for the upcoming general election in November showed an increase of 407 (6440) total in the number of voters as compared to the total number (6033) at last spring's primary election. 25 YEARS AGO 1987 A Plumas County proposal to build a logging museum, recreation vehicle park and campground near the entrance to the Plumas County fairgrounds will get its first formal hearing this week by the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. 10 YEARS AGO 2002 The Plumas County Board of Supervi- sors adopted the 2002-2003 budget, the largest spending plan in the history of the county --just over $8 million. Farmers and ranchers in Plumas Coun- ty are feeling the consequences of being hit by another dry year. The ski hill at Plumas Eureka State Park will not open by order of the Califor- nia Department of Parks and Recreation, citing certain health and safety issues that have not been addressed. The Plumas Ski Club is making other plans for its annual Longboard Races. Note: items included in the weekly Remember When column are taken from our bound newspa- per archives and represent writing styles of that particular period. The spelling and grammar are not edited, so the copy is presented as it actu- ally appeared in the original newspaper. Humans have maw.facets, work to do If people took care of their insides as much as their outsides, the world would be a much better place. In other words, people spend a lot of time perfecting their appear- ance, but little time looking within and working on personal issues. And, well, it shows. My favorite aunt sharedthat view with me many years ago and I've never forgotten. She always said she thought everyone could use a therapist or counselor. I agree because it certainly wouldn't hurt anyone to have a neutral party to help unload the heavy bag- gage that inevitably comes with living life. And, yes, everyone has baggage. Everyone in Susanville, everyone in the entire coun- try, everyone in the world has baggage. If you're human, you have baggage. Be it per- sonal issues, suppressed hurts, insecurities and/or whatever you've endured while ha- bituating this earth with other human be- ings. Some of us carry our baggage around like a trophy and boast about ill-fated experi- ences and wrongdoings. Others hide their baggage, denying any weakness, and at- tempt to present a flawless front. Whether your facade is a brick wall or a wallowing victim, you have the ability to make things better. It really is possible to you to overreact to small things and blame others. Your hurt may show up as insecuri- ty or mask itself as anger. Bitterness can re- sult in negativity and aggressiveness. The point is, whatever you are trying to deny and cover up will rear its ugly head and interfere with your life to no end until it is dealt with firmly and effectively. Maybe MY TURN you don't even know you're ignoring gnaw- ing feelings. You might think your stomach AURA WHITTAKER hurts because you ate something bad, but in Staff Writer actuality, your stomach hurts because you awhittaker@lassennews.comlied to a friend yesterday. One of my other favorite pieces of advice improve upon what's inside of you, just as it is that if you do not want to tell someone is feasible to change your outward appear- something, you probably should. Suck it up ance with food, exercise, clothes and hair- and do the right thing. Take responsibility cuts. for your thoughts and your actions. Be hon- We work on fixing our hair, washing our est, even if it hurts. And, then, be nice to clothes and cleaning our body because that yourself. You're human. You make mis- is what people see. We have magazines and takes. Don't beat yourself up. Identify the is- commercials to tell us how to look, so it's a sue, learn from the experience and move on. no-brainer. However, thinking about your There is a reaso .n the self-help section of personal problems is work, a lot of work. most bookstores takes up vast space-- we And, most of us d&'t know where to start, know we have issues! We may not want to It's way easier to hide or deny what's inside, talk about them, but theY're there. You're No one has to know, right? Wrong. not the only one either. We all have issues. You can suppress your anger, hurt and Own it. Spend some time working on your- bitterness all you want but it will come out self and maybe you'll feel as good on the in- one way or another. Your anger may cause side as you look on the outside. }