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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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November 20, 2013     Feather River Bulletin
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November 20, 2013
 

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8B Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL AND OPINION EDITORIAL The prospect of consolidation has never been better It's time for the American Valley to consolidate its two water and sewer services districts into one. The idea isn't new. The East Quincy and Quincy districts have been talking about it for more than two decades. Unfortunately; the talks sometimes resembled bar-room brawls more than genuine negotiations. For years it seemed the districts' respective boards of directors simply didn't trust each other. But times have changed. The two boards are no longer made up of Hatfields and McCoys. The attitudes and makeup of the current boards have never been better for making this important change -- a change that should have happened years ago. The bottom line is the American Valley, with fewer than 5,000 residents, is just too small to support two services districts. Joining forces to become the American Valley Community Services District could ultimately save valley rate-payers money -- especially if the aging treatment plant in Quincy, which both districts use, has to be replaced. Everything is in place to quickly move forward on this idea. The American Valley Community Services Authority is already in place. The two boards regularly meet as the AVCSA to discuss issues that affect both districts. A vote by the AVCSA to resume the consolidation would be the first necessary step in the process. The next step would be for the East Quincy district to call off its search for a new general manager. Quincy general manager Larry Sullivan is an experienced, competent, trusted leader and would be a solid choice to manage the new, combined district. It was the suggestion by the Quincy board that Sullivan manage a consolidated district that led to the most recent unraveling of consolidation talks nearly three years ago. The East Quincy board, at that time, viewed Sullivan as a symbol of a hostile takeover and not a consolidation. The East Quincy board said recommending Sullivan showed a lack of respect for its own GM and board. Again, the East Quincy people didn't trust their neighbors on the other side of the hill. But that East Quincy general manager is gone. And the prospect of consolidation appears more realistic than ever. Both boards are more concerned about protecting the valley's ratepayers than protecting their own turf. , . The next step would be for East Quincy to scrap plans to build its own wastewater treatment plant. The American Valley doesn't need two sewage plants. It certainly can't afford to pay for two of them. The valley will be better served by upgrading the current plant or combining the districts' money to replace it if the state says it can't be fixed. A consolidation would make the valley better armed to deal with either scenario. A merger could eventually cost a couple of board members from each district their seats. But the consolidation wouldn't cost either district's workers their jobs. The two districts agreed a long time ago that the consolidated staff would be reduced by attrition and retirements until it was the right size. Yes, it is time to consolidate the two districts into one. The template is already in place, and so are the board members with the power and willingness to make the consolidation happen. Feath 00t00hshmg /0000spaper " /  J i 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 Ingrid Burke ................ Copy Editor Staff writers: Laura Beaton Debra Moore Carolyn Carter Maddie Musante Michael Condon M. Kate West Makenzie Davis Aura Whittaker Ruth Ellis Sam Williams Will Farris James Wilson Susan Cort Johnson Samantha P. Hawthorne Feather River Indian Valley Bulletin Record (530) 283-0800 (530) 284-7800 Portola Reporter Chester Progressive (530) 832-4646 (530) 258-3115 Lassen County Westwood Times PinePress (530) 257-5321 (530) 256-2277 California Newspaper Printed on Merer, recycled paper Publi.ra Assoc. Norman The holiday season is fast approaching. -.,,,m Next week brings us Thanksgiving, that venerable day of thanks when families gather and eat way too much, drink way too much and watch (or play) football. Back East, in my youth, Thanksgiving was the holiday I loved second only to Christmas. There was the vacation from school, the delicious feast, all the leftovers, pie for breakfast and the big football game we would play after dinner. Most years we went to my uncle Dick's farmstead in Grafton, N.H., for Thanksgiving. I loved going there -- it was out in the country where the land spread far and wide. There was a babbling brook and a haunted barn down the road. Our neighbors, the Bassetts, had cows, . ducks and a huge garden. There were three kids we played.with. My siblings and I made fun of their hick accents while they teased us about our Boston accents. My dad was the de facto caretaker of his brother's place, as Dick wasn't much of a handyman, My dad, on the other hand, was the engineer of the family, full of ideas and knowhow to keep the rambling house, built Rockwell memories just get better with age another a boarding house, still another the sheriffs off.me. They were all pretty much fallen to ruin, but we had fun poking around looking for treasures. The big Thanksgiving feast took place in the back room of the house. This room was usually not heated, but whenever we had occasion for a big family gathering, we'd MY TURN open the doors to the kitchen and let it heat ................................................................................... up. LAURA BEATON Staff Writer Ibeaton@plumasnews.com in 1860, in good shape. The place was an old farmhouse with several additions tacked on. Back in the day, it was the biggest house in a town called Slab City, which was a stop along the old stagecoach route. The house's foundation was built with huge slabs of granite. Another flat slab served as the front step, or stoop, as we called it. The clapboard siding was painted white, and the multi-paned windows were made with wavy glass. Ramshackle outbuildings were scattered here and there -- one a blacksmith shop, This week's special days NOT JUST Concorde flight London to New York AN ORDINARY service. DAY COMPII.I:D BY KERI TABORSKI Not just an ordinary day....a sampling of weekly notable special days and facts throughout the year. Nov. 20 1969 -- Native American activists seize control of Alcatraz Island until being ousted by the United States government in June 1971. 1985 -- Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released. Nov. 21 1877 -- Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph. 1789 -- North Carolina, "The Tar Heel State," is admitted as the twelfth U.S. state. 1995 -- "Toy Story" is released as the first feature length film created, completely using computer-generated imagery. Nov. 23 1936 -- Life Magazine is redesigned and redistributed as a photo magazine and enjoys instant success. ,Nov. 24 1932 -- In Washington, D.C., the FBI crime lab officially opens. 1963 -- Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy's alleged assassin, is murdered by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas, Texas, police department headquarters. 1971 -- A high-jacker calling himself Dan Cooper (aka D.B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines airplane over Washington state with $200,000 in ransom money and is never found. Nov. 26 1789 -- A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States, as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress. 2003 -- The Concorde, a super sonic transport, makes its final flight and is retired. Nov. 22 1928 -- The premier performance of Ravel's "Bolero" takes place in Paris, France 1963 -- United States President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. 1977 -- British Airways inaugurates the The tables were sheets of plywood set on sawhorses and covered with tablecloths. We used every chair in the house and old crates to sit on. After the feast was devoured and the cleaning up was done, we'd go outside, choose up teams and begin the traditional football game. The rules were pretty loose: two-hand tag, count-three-before-you-rush, razzle dazzle, which, in Beaton parlance, meant passing-over-the-line-of-scrimmage. We played in the field that the Bassetts mowed in exchange for grazing their cows on the outer fields. Ours was an athletic family -- all seven of us kids loved to play sports. Usually we had cousins join in and the neighbors often showed up too. It seemed like we played for hours, until the light faded from the sky and my dad shouted, "Next touchdown wins!" We'd all troop inside after the game, good-heartedly bickering about who really won. And then came the indoor games. We were big on cards and board games in my family. Grammy, my dad's mother, loved to play kitty whist while she drank a glass of Michelob. Whenever you played with Grammy, you had to avert your eyes so you wouldn't see the cards she dealt. We usually had other games going too, like Pokeno, Parcheesi, cribbage or backgammon. When it came time for bed, my sister Sandra or I would have to share a room with Grammy. Her room was right at the top of the stairs, and had a low, slanted ceiling and flowered wallpaper. The room barely fit a brass bed and bureau. On the first night we were there, after the house heated up, we had to swat the flies that literally crawled out of the woodwork. And though it was pretty gross, what with fly-smeared wallpaper and piles of dead flies, it was also kind of fun. There was at least one flyswatter in every room of the house. Herman the ghost lived in Grammy's room, which is why Sandra and I would always try to get out of sharing her room. However, the alternative, sleeping on a cot in my parents' room, wasn't much better. My childhood memories of holidays back east have that Norman Rockwell cast to them: nostalgic family scenes just a little over the top. Our memories may fail us when it comes to details, but they're pretty good at remembering that warm fuzzy sentiment that just gets better with age. REMEMBER WHEN KERI TABORSKI Historian 75 YEARS AGO .......... 1938 St. Johns Catholic Church in Quincy, which was built earlier this year, will be dedicated Sunday. Advertisement: Place your order now for turkeys from the Plumas Meat Market... the best birds at the right price. Call Quincy 14 for free twice-a-day delivery service. 50 YEARS AGO .......... 1963 Shop early -for your Thanksgiving dinner. Sale prices featured in local grocery stores: turkeys 35 cents a pound, package of stuffing 33 cents, oysters 69 cents a jar, celery 15 cents a bunch, potatoes 10 pounds for 39 cents, free parsley for your garnishing pleasure. 25 YEARS AGO .......... 1988 The Plumas County Board of Supervisors asked CalTrans to declare the Feather River Canyon a state scenic route, citing the possibility of more tourist traffic if the route is deemed a scenic route. The wind storm this week brought extra work to nearly every public agency throughout Plumas County. 10 YEARS AGO .......... 2003 Eastern Plumas Healthcare bought the land, buildings and equipment of the Sierra Valley District Hospital for $575,000. Note: items included in the weekly Remember 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. I broke down and turned up the heat I pulled into my driveway and saw a familiar envelope hanging from the front door. Instinctively I took a deep breath; the moment of truth had arrived. This year I had implemented a new philosophy for setting my thermostat and I was afraid to see the results. Would I continue to enjoy relative warmth or was it back to wrapping myself in blankets? The answer was hidden in that envelope. when I told editor Dan McDonald that last winter I kept the thermostat at 55 degrees at night and 58 degrees during the day, he choked. The fact that I turned it up to 60 for company didn't seem to impress him one bit. But that was my strategy last year. After two visits from the plumber, I decided I'd rather give my dollars to the heating company and enjoy some warmth than pay a plumber to unfreeze my pipes. It's not that I enjoy the cold; it's just that I don't want to pay for the heat. I am terrified when the oil bill arrives, not to mention its PG&E counterpart. Back in the days of 68 degrees (yes, When the girls lived at home I acquiesced to their pleas for warmth one winter) the bills nearly equaled my house payment. I have a daughter who runs even colder than I do and she would sit atop the heating vent and carry an electric heater from room to room. She refuses to live in snow country ever again. Then someone told me it would be less MY TURN DEBRA MOORE Staff Writer dmoore@plumasnews.com expensive to keep the house at a constant, higher temperature, rather than allowing the house to get too cold and then trying to reheat it. Seemed logical to me. I searched the Internet for verification, but every website I could find indicated that it's less expensive to turn the thermostat down by 10 degrees at night and then raise it in the morning. The closer the thermostat is set to the outside temperature, the less the heating system has to work. That also seemed logical to me. The online consensus: 58 degrees at night and 68 degrees during the day. I've settled on a variati6r-- 58 at night and 64 during the day when I'm home. It seems to be working. During a recent renovation we added a small woodstove to the main-floor study. It keeps that room warm and the top floor toasty, but it does nothing for the rest of the main floor or the basement. That's where the fuel oil furnace comes in. I installed the system when I purchased the home back in 2003. It replaced what I affectionately called "the beast in the basement" -- a combination propane and wood furnace. Gas and fire side by side were unsettling enough, but the two Fire extinguishers flanking the system really rattled me. Upon the recommendation of the heating and air conditioning man who came-to inspect it, I removed the beast, which was a relief not only for me, but also for the insurance agent who carried my homeowner's policy. The new forced-air system ran on fuel oil, which cost only 89 cents per gallon then, but now is four to five times that amount. So I would add layers before I would turn up the heat: silk long underwear, a flannel shirt, a sweater and a fleece vest became my nightly uniform. It was such a lovely ensemble. But this year, with my new heating philosophy, I have been able to shed a layer. Still, every time I hear that heater kick on, it's almost like I see dollar bills flying out the window -- especially in the middle of the night. I retrieved the envelope from the front door. I hoped that it would be no more than 100 gallons and $400. I held my breath as I pulled the bill from the envelope. A drum roll played in my head as I scanned the printout -- 68 gallons and $266! I actually screeched. I would be warm tonight. v