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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
November 17, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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November 17, 2010

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8B Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL and OPINION EDITORIAL Last week's Veterans Day parade in Greenville turned into a venue for controversy as much as for celebration, fueled by rumors that the county was closing its Veterans Service Office. By the next day, the rumors were so hot and heavy that County Administrative Officer Jack In- gstad felt compelled to issue a statement. He said Friday, "There are only discussions on how to bet- ter improve services, not on reductions in ser- vices." The imminent departure of Sheryl Austin, the current, beloved veterans service off-leer, seemed to prompt the rumors. The situation has been brewing for a while now. We reported in June that Austin amended her original budget, which called for a one-day cut to her veterans representative, to eliminate the posi- tion entirely. She told supervisors the employee in that position was out on extended medical leave so the cut wouldn't have much of an impact on ser- vices. She also said she was currently training a retired county employee to handle the medical transportation program when she was out on sick leave or vacation. She said the retired employee would be running the program on a volunteer ba- sis. The program already uses volunteer drivers. Later in the same meeting, a group of veterans gave a stirring series of remarks in support of the department at the public comment section of the budget meeting, as they do every year. Ingstad told the veterans that Austin told him there wasn't enough work in the department for two people and assured them "there is no intent to cut the services." Public Health Director Mimi Hall offered her de- partment to provide administrative support when Austin wasn't in the office. In September, we reported the county was giv- , ing Austin her 90-day notice ,canceling her con- tract as a department head-- but with the stated intent of rehiring her in a similar job, just not as a department head. Ingstad said that during the bud- get process a subcommittee working on depart- ment head reviews realized Austin no longer had any employees to supervise. At the time, he also reiterated his desire to move her office into another department where she could have administrative support. The county could also then rent out the space currently hous- ing the VSO. Austin was subsequently moved-to space iri'{h~ public health department. According to Ingstad, Austin gave notice shortly after the move. Austin's last day on the job is Dec. 2. The county began advertising last week for a new VSO to work full time with similar support from public health. Final interviews for the posi- tion are currently scheduled for Dec. 21. The county is also asking for volunteers for a veterans advisory committee to recommend the best applicants for the appointment. Veterans in- terested in serving on the committee should con- tact the clerk of the Board of Supervisors at 283- 6170 by Dec. 6. Ingstad will be bringing the names of former vet- erans office employees to county supervisors at their Dec. 7 board meeting to give them options for the interim. Ingstad vowed, "There will be an interim veter- an appointment Dec. 7. This will keep the off-me open without interruption. Veterans will have as- sistance from the county five days a week." Now it's up to veterans and the public to make sure Ingstad keeps his word. A Feath ng l spaper 7 Breaking News .... go to 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 Kayleen Taylor Will Farris Ruth Ellis Sam Williams Brian Taylor Barbara France Pat 8hillito Susan Oort Johnson Linda $atChwell Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Chester Progressive Times (530) 258-3115 (530) 257-53211 Indian Valley Portola Reporter Record (530) 832-4646 (530) 284-7800 :iiii! !i" MY TURN WILL FARRIS Staff Writer Fall is upon us. We know that because of all the signs and it's getting a wee bit cold in the mornings. This becomes obvious when the cat clamors to get outside, and then declines when the door is opened. Leaves are everywhere except where they belong-- on the trees. The apples are ripe or past due which brings an untidy scattering of used bear food lying around just about everywhere. Best thing is the firewood. Sheds are filled and there are piles of too-green-to-burn in various places aging for next year. The bonanza of firewood comes from a couple of sources: The Rich Fire that roared through the Rush Creek drainage a couple of years ago and my best friend who happens to be an unemployed carpen- ter and can't stand sitting around. We spent the summer working two days a week, three hours a day harvesting the bounty. I say we, but mostly it was Troy, he did the heavy work as I gave unlooked-for ad- vice since the body no longer cooperates ' with intent. The end result is that I have about two years of firewood, which is true wealth for those of us who rely on wood heat. One beautiful summer evening found me driving down Canyon at about dusk. Suddenly, there she was. A beautiful fig- ure, glorious light-brown hair and com- pelling dark eyes that told of mysterY and late night odysseys in the wild. When she first became aware of my presence, she froze: Then, for some un- known reason, bolted across the road di- rectly in front of the, truck. Alas for this beautiful doe; alas for my The Feather River College volleyball team visited the Samoan Cookhouse in Eureka after you travel, share where you went by taking your local newspaper along and including REMEMBER WHEN the Odd Fellows Hall. Saturday night. Lunch served at 25 cents per plate. KERI TABORSKI Historian 80 YEARS AGO .......... 1930 Advertisement: The holidays are here! Place your order now for your'Thanksgiv- ing turkey, chicken, goose or duck. Plumas Meat Market--Phone 14W, Quincy. Advertisement: Reserve your time and $1.50 for the Old Time Dance to be held at 50 YEARS AGO ..... 1960 An automatic job printing press was in- stalled in the Chester Progressive office on Main Street. The press weighs 2500 pounds and was made in Germany. 30 YEARS AGO ..... 1980 Indian Valley Hospital is suffering from a serious financial crisis which may threaten its continued operation. Sixty employees are on the $50,000 a month payroll and Indian MY TURN LINDA SATCHWELL Staff Writer Seriously, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Company (PSREC), are we still in the Dark Ages? As the lights went out a sec- ond time on Saturday night... After three days of nasty flu, I was try- ing to catch up on my work. Writing arti- cles long hand by candlelight might seem quaint, but it just isn't practical when you're trying to finish five articles and you're still just woozy enough you could swear that's a giant cockroach crawling on the wall. Better than waking up as one (how many readers will get this refer- ence?) I suppose. But, enough whining. I was down at Mountain Cuisine in Blairsden earlier in the evening -- because Randy Hovey and Lynn Hagen are as close to home cooking as I come most nights -- when the lights went out. Lynn looked mildly panicked. Potential customers next door at her Grizzly Grill were peering in the window before hesi- tantly going inside. I probably wouldn't have moved much past my own "dark" thoughts (followed by acceptance, contem- plation, relaxation and early bedtime) if I hadn't first been down to a Graea- gle/Blairsden business which, I know, de- pends on these last pre-winter weekends for income. I imagine Lynn probably had to send everyone home. So, I have to ask, PSREC, are we in the Dark Ages? Really? When someone acci- dentally cuts a power line instead of a tree branch, it doesn't take this long to get the lights back on. And that mayhem, typ- ically, doesn't happen right at dinnertime on a Saturday. I'm happy to report, however, that my freshly made chicken burrito tasted just as delicious cold as it does hot. Maybe that'll get some readers to head down to Mountain Cuisine and try some of Lynn's delicious, reasonably priced takeout fare. And maybe that will, in a slight way, help make up for the money she lost while we were all in the dark on Saturday night: My rant complete, I thought I'd better call PSREC and find out what really hap- truck. Serves me right, I guess. Just that morning I was patting myself on the back for surviving the Canyon so many years without hitting a deer. Before pride goeth the payback. Plumas county is about to lose one of its most dedicated servants. Sheryl Austin is leaving the Veterans Service Office; her last official day is Dec. 6. Her last day in the office is Dec 2. Austin has helped many of our veterans navigate the monstrous bureaucracy that is the Veterans Adminis- tration, including me. Her can-do attitude is complemented by timely action and shekeeps her clients up- to-date on what is happening with their paperwork. It is wonderful to work with her, a person who is act.ually interested in your Plight, rather than a bored VA clerk who has heard it all and is only interested in his next break. Perhaps that is unfair to the clerks, but it is a reality. She will be missed, but perhaps it is time'for her to move on. Or maybe the su- pervisors could find a way to keep her: Time will tel!. I beating College of the Redwoods. Next time | it in a photo. Then e-mail the photo to smor- I Valley Hospital is the community's second largest employer after Sacramento Valley Moulding Company in Crescent Mills. A special bank loan of $25,000 reflects the seri- ousness of the present situation. 10 YEARS AGO ..... 2000 Burfeind Construction of Indian Valley was the only bidder ($19,120) on the reno- vation project designated for the fourth floor of the courthouse to create more room for the Plumas County Probation De- partment. A storage room will be convert- ed into more office space. i pened. Now, I'm happy to say it was a PG&E accident, rather than our local, community-service-minded power source, that caused the problem. Jessica Nelson, Member Services Man- ager at PSREC, informed me that when they lose power, they go to backup d sources. They don't have nearly as much t backup power as they did when the Loyal- ton co-gen plant was up and running, but they do utilize a co-gen out at the prison in Susanville. Another problem, however, is that when the power comes back on, everyone goes joyously back to full volume power consumption. With backup sources, ex- plained Nelson, it's vital to cut down, and use only the power you absolutely need. When I asked why the power went down again Sunday night, Nelson told me that the transfer back to PG&E didn't go as smoothly as they'd have liked. She direct- ed consumer qt~estions and outrage to PG&E itself. Nelson left me with one comment really worth thinking about when peering into the proverbial big picture. "This was an accident," she said. "Someone could have been hurt or killed." I understand a lot of people are very, very angry about losing power. Maybe if they place it along the spectrum with losing a life, it won't seem so terrible.