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November 5, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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November 5, 2014
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 91B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Diversity, structure make governing this country hard work I have been working in or around government for over 50 years, and if you asked me to boil down what I've learned to one sentence, it is this: Governing is much harder work than most people imagine. This doesn't excuse its lapses or sluggish rate of progress, but it does help explain them. Why is it so hard? Partly it's the country we live in. There were 130 million Americans when I was in high school. NDw we number over 300 million, with a diversity and cultural complexity that were impossible to imagine when I started out. Finding common ground, meeting complex needs, answering to an overwhelming diversity of interests -- this is not work for the faint of heart. The structure we do this with makes it even tougher. WHERE I STAND LEE H. HAMILTON DIRECTOR INDIANA UNIVERSITY CENTER ON CONGRESS We have governments at the federal, state and local levels, and they in turn have branches -- executive, legislative and judicial -- and a cornucopia of massive agencies. To solve a problem .you have to navigate a slow, complex, untidy system whose transparency and accountability are always less than they should be. This is magnified by an American public that, these days especially, wants mutually contradictory things. We want to rein in Wall Street excess, but we don't support the regulatory structure to do it. We want affordable health care but don't like Washington's involvement in the health-care system. We want to shrink the deficit without any cuts in defense spending or entitlements. Our diversity, complex structure and difficulty settling on coherent policies make the hardest part of governing even harder. Building a consensus is the most important and most difficult part of political leadership. If politics is ultimately about the search for a remedy -- I know, for many politicians it's about ego or power or money, but I'm interested in the ideal -- then you have to be able to get a consensus around that remedy. You need a majority in the U.S. House, 60 votes in the Senate and 'the president's approval. This country cannot be governed without compromise, dialogue and accommodation, and it comes apart at the seams when we go too long without them. We often have disagreements in politics, but good politicians know that we have no choice but to work through them. The best want to bring different groups of people together, not pull them apart. They understand that not all the good ideas come from one source, and they reject the idea of constant conflict and permanent gridlock. In a divided country with a government specifically set up to divide powers, we need to follow this process -- not because we want to but because we have to. They know, too, that you have to treat every person with dignity and respect, even though the clashes may be hard. I used to watch Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill engage in tough, hard-hitting dialogue over the issues of the day, but for both of them the underlying premise was that they had to reach an agreement and move ahead. They knew civility had to be the rule -- and always ended by trying to top each other with a good Irish story, doing their best to leave everyone in the room in an upbeat frame of mind. Don't get me wrong. The clash of ideas is important. In a dynamic system, with competing power centers and a panoply of interests trying to use their power to achieve their objectives, better policy -- a policy that more nearly reflects the will of the American people -- can emerge from this debate. Playing one side against the other, or merely stating the problem in order to rile up listeners -- these are easy. Moving ahead to reach a solution: that's the hard part. Which is why our system worksso slowly. It's unwieldy, messy and often very noisy, but most of the time, it gets there. Yet there are no guarantees. Our system is not self-perpetuating. There is no automatic pilot. The question Abraham Lincoln asked at Gettysburg 151 years ago is as fresh today as it was then: Can a nation so conceived and so dedicated long endure? We're still finding out, but we know one thing: It will take hard work. Lee Hamilton is the director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representa rives for 34 years. LETTERS 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 3p.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 dmonald@plumasnews.com. Kudos Caltrans A note to say what a great Paxton and Jackson A few years ago I was having a nice conversation with Jackson Browne. We have some friends in common and we were at a surprise birthday party for one of them and I have worked with his guitarist, Mark Goldenberg, on some records. I asked him, "So, Jackson... I heard you spent some time and cut a record at Paxton Lodge. Does that ring a bell?" He looked at me with a bit of a question, so I said, "Along the Feather River up in Plumas County." I saw a look of recognition come over his face and he started to laugh. He said, "You are from that area, right?" I said "God's country for sure. Bet you jothe Beckwouh ; .......... ................. ,. ...... haven't,thought about .that Cattrans:group isdoilg -,' ,::,, f6f a!tine; huh?" cleaning up the sides of the He said "Yeah," grinned, road. The mowing looks fabulous ... keep up the great work. Kelley Bowling Chilcoot Ghost story memories I enjoyed the article, by James Wilson concerning Paxton Lodge, that appeared in last week's Regional section. I was just a child, but I well remember some of the conversations concerning ghosts in that building; so I have one more story to add to the ghost tales. There were several sightings of a woman wearing a long skirt, ruffled high-neck, long-sleeve white blouse, and an upsweep hairdo. She was seen more than once sitting in a rocking chair that's described in the newspaper article, and supposedly, several other times standing at the end of a long. hallway. She would appear and then disappear within seconds. However, most people who saw her always described the same lady. I also remember that psychics came from far and wide to investigate, but she never appeared while they were there. It was eventually named the Paxton Lodge, but when I was very young it was "The Rainbow's End," named for the fact that the original owners saw a huge rainbow end right at that spot and so decided to build there. It was also very well knoWn for formal dining and dancing in those days. I remember how my dad used to shine his dress shoes while he waited for my mom to get ready to go, and I'd get to see other Greenville couples dressed in their best clothes, meeting at our home to carpool. For me, "The Rainbow's End" will always be that landmark building that meant, and still does mean, we're just about home when driving up the Feather River Canyon. Nansi Bohne Quincy then said, "That was the worst record I have ever made," and started laughing. "It was so bad I was too embarrassed to release it. Paxton was fun though. Maybe too much fun to make a good record." I could see that he enjoyed the memory. Michael W. Herndon Meadow Valley Fair and balanced headline? I was rather disgusted, but not surprisedl that the Feather Publishing Company would run a headline on the front page stating Supervisors Decline to Support State of Jefferson. The supervisors have only heard the proposal but have, as yet, not made a decision: The headline should have stated as such. The proposal for the State of Jefferson has no downs:des. This county is one of the poorest in this state and the outlook doesn't look all that great for our future. Our supervisors should keep an open mind to Mr. Baird's proposal. They should consider the people of this county and how they would benefit greatly by joining this movement, not their own personal agenda. The State of Jefferson would mean a sovereign state, fewer taxes and less bureaucracy. This means, in turn, more freedom and rights, the kind our forefathers gave this nation. I only hope and pray that the people we elected to serve as our supervisors take a more proactive look and give consideration regarding the State of Jefferson. People can go to the State of Jefferson website, Jefferson Declaration.net, to get the real information from the source and not listen to the few uninformed. Sharon Storms Greenville Editor's note: As the writer stated, the headline was not correct. Feather Publishing printed the following correction in the Oct. 29 edition of the Indian Valley Record: A headline in last week's Indian Valley Record declared that the Board of Supervisors declined to support the state of Jefferson. The supervisors did not take any action or state a preference, but refrained from passing a declaration of support as requested by proponents of the new state. Pride of the West Despite negative comments during the campaign, the city of Portola is moving from their Dark Age of high unemployment and loss of population to a progressive time in the near future, due to enlightened leadership and staff performance. It can become the "Pride, of the West" if we unite in a common cause of community development and economic development. Trust in our leadership is being restored. The management needs to be consolidated. Robert Meacher's performance as the new City Manager is a beacon of light. There is a movement to examine the municipal code. Reforms of city codes and policies can slow the loss of businesses and attract investors. The volunteerism of all of the present council and concerned citizens needs to expand. Together they are taking positive actions in the city. We need to continue to voice our concerns after the election. Our budget and contracts need further scrutiny. Effective checks and balances were used at the last meeting when council questioned a contract and expenditure. Meacher followed the code and the direction of the Council. A new policy was created to use one-time funds for economic development. The money came from the 215 fund not the general fund. More progress can be made through the effective use of public funds. The council could consolidate our management by making Meacher the chief financial officer. The results of the election are unknown at the time this letter is being written. If we have new members, they need to become informed before attempting to derail the progress which is underway. They do not need to wear combat boots or start a war. We in the community need to continue to be concerned and active citizens. Larry F. Douglas Portola Flu shot misinformation To the lady pushing the "research" of the totally fraudulent Peter Doshi: He's not a scientist, he's a pharmacological economist and supposed safety researcher. He has no training in epidemiology or laboratory studies of influenza. He relies solely on the work of others to support his self-serving conclusions. Nearly all of the real scientists with credentials to address the issue of vaccine safety, Thimerosol, and epidemiology consider Dash: a fraud and most of his resources are viewed as even worse. I can't personally review and/or deconstruct Doshi's vaunted article because it hasn't been provided as promised, and the British Journal of Medicine doesn't hand those things out for free. Imagine that -- academics making big bucks publishing research that's mostly funded by the the system has been in place a few years. The children and parents are suffering, and teachers waiting for parent advocates as their positions require cooperative involvement. Young parents, please investigate this new teaching curriculum. On the surface the general public is lead to believe it is amazing. However, there are many hidden agendas for your child. Be aware, parents were not notified of this system until it had already been set in place. In all my years in Quincy (Golden Grad), I have never written a letter to the editor. However, I feel so strongly against this system, I feel compelled to voice my concerns and urge readers public, to listen to the above I'm not going to rehash all material. By social media the benefits of the flu shot; ....... "hese messages-dh'h be ":;' nor am I going to waste time refuting the conspiracy theorists. It's all well documented, and if you have doubts, Google can be useful (even if it's mostly a gigantic identity theft operation.) I will, however, address one issue the lady brought up, the shedding of virus by persons who have received the "live" vaccine. You shed a lot more virus if you get the real flu, and not the attenuated (weakened) vaccine version. The number of infections from shed vaccine-produced flu viruses are van:shingly small. This is just one example of the rhetoric I hear from almost everyone I know these days. Hyperbolic nonsense and fear-mongering. "I haven't had the flu in years." Maybe because you were getting the vaccine? Perhaps you don't tend to spend much time in public? Maybe the people around you have gotten the vaccine or are themselves protected by others who got the vaccine? Or maybe you don't think having the flu is a bad thing. Bully for you. Gary Terhune East Quincy Eliminate Common Core An article in the paper, Oct. 22, pg 13b, was very enlightening on The Common Core education system implemented in our schools this year. My understanding of this system was/is limited to how it will enhance students in the area of critical thinking. After reading the article, I listened to Dr. James Dobson Family Tall broadcasts on Oct 26, 271 and 28th. Three masters-degree educators explained their views of the devastating ramifications of this system. I also heard negative comments on Oct. 30 Channel 3 News. In addition, I viewed a web video entitled "Building the Machine." This video views parents in New York where spread far and Wide. Write, call, or Facebook for an appeal in California; many states are opting out. I want to also thank Cheryl James for returning my inquiry within an hour. As of this date, Oct. 31, our local school district has not done so. Sandy Fitzpatrick Quincy Flawed message Today's newspaper included a letter that listed a number of wasteful projects run by the federal government and paid for by us taxpayers. The writer concluded with tongue firmly in cheek: "Big government is working so well, let's elect more progressives." For half a century now conservatives have been arguing that government does little well and that private enterprise, by contrast, is wondrously productive, efficient and effective. And so it was interesting to learn about the October 29th failure of a rocket meant to supply the international space station. Built and owned by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia, the rocket blew up a few seconds after launching. Happily, no one was injured. Orbital Sciences is a private enterprise that has a $2 billion contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Founded in 1982, the company has a distinguished history in aeronautics and defense. Private enterprise, like government bureaucracy, is full of human beings. ., ': nuttiiii b6ih poh to all kinds of problems: mistakes, foibles, incomplete knowledge, unanticipated events and more can ruin anyone's day. Is it possible that private enterprise is not superior to government, that each is imperfect, that the conservative message is flawed? If conservatives want to remove the mote in the eYe of progressives, they should first remove the beam in their own eye. Andy Johnston Clio Bad influence Three weeks ago, sustainable business leaders, entrepreneurs, residents, writers and science gurus gathered for the Sierra Business Council's 20th anniversary conference; a two-day event. See Letters, page 11B , 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, countyofpktmas.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: 501 1 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart I Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. HOB U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon i Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. lamalfa.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 2885 Chum Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. 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, 1ST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Room 2174, Sacramento, CA 94249, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (.530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.