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December 5, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 7B CO MMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Community and culture provide real wealth This season of gratitude of- fers us all a time for reflec- tion. On a recent rainy after- noon I took that invitation as a time to collect and appreci- ate the real wealth that sur- rounds me in my life in Plumas County. For one thing I am grateful that my life path brought me here and gave me the opportunity to do mean- ingful work within Plumas Arts, an organization that over the last several decades has helped to shape and build quality of life in this rural mountain county. The work of Plumas Arts Plumas Arts turns 32 in March 2013 and in that time has built a respectable reputa- tion through programs, pro- jects and services. Since 1981, Plumas Arts has been our county's representative to the California Arts Council's State-Local Partnership Pro- gram and is widely recog- nized as a model rural arts agency. The organization has grown in support through the gener- ous support of hundreds of contributing members and volunteers. It has navigated treacherous waters of poten- tially devastating fiscal losses more than once by being re- sponsive, resourceful and re- silient as well as determined and tenacious. In the course of doing this good work we have built effective and mutu- ally beneficial partnerships WHERE I STAND ROXANNE VALLADAO DIRECTOR, PLUMAS ARTS with a diversity of entities across all sectors of the coun- ty. For many, Plumas Arts has also become an essential part of the reasons that we love living here. Since our inception Plumas Arts has served as a commu- nication link collecting and presenting information about artists, events, businesses and services that build local cul- ture. From press releases, newsletters and calendars through an evolution to email, websites then Face- book and other social media, we have been getting the word out for decades. Over that time we have also coa- lesced a voice that speaks elo- quently for the value of the artists and cultural organiza- tions that make Plumas Coun- ty rich in culture. The voice is heard at local government levels. Providing arts education programs in our schools has been fundamental to our work. We have brought hun- dreds of thousand of dollars in grants and donations to help support and ensure that, at whatever levels feasible, the arts remain an essential component of the school cur- riculum. Because the arts, like no other subject, teach our children to find their own solutions, to think creatively and to build the inner strength and confidence that will keep the innovative spirit alive. The many and diverse cul- tural events that Plumas Arts produces throughout the county each year provide a significant number of occa. sions to celebrate the arts and each other. From local perfor- mances by student groups, productions by amateur art groups to internationally renown performing artists, PIumas Arts keeps the arts at center stage and bring the tra- ditions of the world to our doorstep. These cultural programs provide a significant econom- ic benefit to our local econo- my. From the basic aspect for providing a cultural vitality that makes us a place where people want to live, visit or relocate, these productions provide income for local restaurants, motels and shops. With tourism becom- ing such an important part of our local economic engines this presence of an active and colorful local culture set in a glorious natural setting makes us a very desirable destination. Plumas Arts is also respon- sible for keeping the doors of the Town Hall Theatre, our county's "last picture show," open. Initially the movie busi- ness was bought in 1986 and operated by an independent nonprofit that returned the business to its parent organi- zation again in 1993. Keeping a 75-year-old facility dry and functional and 35 mm film screening facility viable in an increasingly digital age is not a task for the faint of heart. Plumas Arts uses all of its skills and resources to make sure that the theatre survives as a showcase for community talent, visiting performances and as one of the last remain- ing single screen film movie theatres around. Gains and losses in 2012 It has been an exfraordi- nary year for Plumas Arts. On the positive side prudent fiscal management over the last 25 years (and a few small miracles) allowed us to trans- form a rainy day fund into purchase the historical Capi- tol Saloon at a foreclosure auction. Dozens of individu- als, businesses and corporate sponsors paid for the materi- als and volunteers did the work that mowl our gallery and office into our new home last June. The Capitol Arts Gallery showcases the work of 70 regional artists and has become another venue where the arts and community con- verge. On the other side of posi- tive, Plumas Arts lost our an- nual county funding alloca- tion, which we have worked so very hard to earn over the last three decades. With the county facing such serious budget shortfalls, we were not surprised, but nonetheless the $30,000 loss provides another fiscal challenge that we will need to meet, somehow. Your support makes an impact Plumas Arts has demon- strated its value as an in- vestment in community vi- tality many times over in the last two decades. More and more we appreciate that it is the support of members and donors that keep the organization afloat. We cordially invite your investment in the com- ing year. Go to a movie, be- come a member with an an- nual and/or year-end dona- tion, attend one of our fundraisers and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. You can find a wealth of in- formation about programs and membership to Plumas Arts on our website, plumasarts.org. The personal and the professional I was raised in a small town largely populated by first- and second-generation immi- grants who came to a new world for a better life. Be- cause of this, being part of an intertwined community has always been important to me. I might not have started out wanting to devote my life to working in the arts, but I con- sider it my good fortune to have been placed there. This work has given me many lessons and bright bursts of light. I continue every day to work on commu- nicating clearly and being kind. I have learned that it is all-important to keep focused on all that is positive instead of giving in to loss. I know that not all ideas play out, but that often the good ones will find their place in the right time. I have let the cre- ative work of people of all ages astound and comfort me. My heart grows every day as a witness to the creative ca- pacity of individuals of all ages. I have come to believe that the lens of culture gives us an accessible and inclusive way to embrace our shared hu- manity; to expand beyond the potentially constrictive limi- tations of political, spiritual or social beliefs and rise to a place of compassion for oth- ers and tolerance or even re- spect for ideas other than our own; and that the arts help us to build better human beings. On a personal level as well as a professional one I am grateful every day to have built a life in this, wonderful place. I feel lucky to share my home with so many talented, generous and big-hearted peo- ple. How blessed we are. How lucky we are to have landed here together. LETTERS tothe EDITOR Failing nation? In the letter to the editor "Failing nation," its author presents an over-simplifica- tion of the struggles we face as a nation. To imply our re-elected president was voted into of- rice by a population of people who don't want to work great- ly misses the point. It is only when the working poor (i.e., the middle class) can afford health care and pay to send their kids to college; it is only when regulations are enforced on Wall Street and the banking industry to pre- vent another recession as bad as the current one; it is only when we face global warming and end our dependence on foreign oil; it is only when our government leaders compro- mise and work together to solve our many challenges; it will only be then that Ameri- ca will once again be a great nation. JeffGlover Taylorsville Bad treaty Do you have a handicapped child or family member? If so, you should know that In- vestor's Business Daffy (IBD) is reporting that "The U.S. Senate is considering ratify- ing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Dis- abilities (CRPD) treaty, which President Obama signed in 2009..." This is another situation where the concept sounds ap- pealing, but where the devil is in the details. For example, "Article 7 would incorporate into U.S. law the authority of the state to determine where children may be educated af. ter the state determines when it is necessary to intervene." Parents and families with disabled children are fright- ened of this treaty, which gives control over the educa- tion, cultural and social rights of our disabled chil- dren over to the state, which ultimately by the terms of the treaty, means the United Na- tions. According to IBD, the treaty says "disability is an evolving concept," which means it will be defined over time, with U.N. member na- tions free to interpret and de- velop policies and procedures on the fly. Control would not be in the Security Council of the U.N. where the U.S. has veto rights. It would be in the U.N. at large, meaning that third. world countries, often run by despots and human rights vio- lators, could band together and outvote any objections the U.S. might bring. Treaties cannot be overrid- den by U.S. federal or state laws, nor can the Supreme Court overrule them. If this is ratified, it becomes the law of the land. Among others, Joni and Friends, started by quadri- plegic Joni Eareckson Tada, "has announced its opposi- tion to the treaty." Per IBD, "Joni and Friends holds deep concerns regarding CRPD language on parental rights and the rights of the unborn with disabilities ... the group said in a statement." Look up this treaty and call your senators. Bill'Desjardin Portola Negative forces The nation has given Presi- dent Obama another four years to steer its course through some rocky times ahead, not the least of which will most likely be those cre- ated by ones who have op- posed him since 2008. Already claims by the oppo- sition designed to scare the people are hitting the various media. The speaker of the House has used scare language to al- low the Bush tax breaks for the rich to continue when that tax law soon expires. Let us not sit on our hands as we did for such a long time after January 2008 and watch the negative forces gain mo- mentum, culminating with the "let them die" Tea Party take-over of Congress. We, the people, elected Oba- ma to do a job for us, the peo- ple. He will not be able to do what is necessary to serve us by himself. He will need our help and constant vigilance during the coming four years. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Get involved In August 2011, Republicans held America hostage with their debt ceiling crisis. Re- publicans were willing to de- stroy America's financial sta- bility in exchange for "deficit reduction." The Republicans succeeded with an unprece- dented downgrade in the U.S. credit rating and another manufactured crisis -- the fis- cal cliff. If nothing is done by Dec. 31, 2012, the Bush tax cuts (that were designed to expire two years ago) and other tax cuts would expire along with $109 billion in automatic spending cuts (half from De- fense). It is important to under- Some like Feather Publish- ing reporter Carolyn Carter discovered the assets of Plumas County by attending Feather River College. She is a new asset from Feather Publishing and the Portola stand how we gott 0 this Reporter. Feather Publishing point. At the end0f the Clin- ton presidency, the national debt was $5.7 trillion, with the unemployment rate at 4.2 per- cent and a budget surplus of $128 billion. America was prosperous. At the end of the Bush pres- idency, the national debt was $10.6 trillion, with the unem- ployment rate at 7.8 percent and a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion. Two wars were start- ed and, unbelievably, Bush gave tax cuts to the wealthy. In Bush's last year, corpora- tions fired millions of Ameri- cans and Wall Street was per- mitted to decimate the hous- ing/financial markets. The result was Bush's Great Recession.,And who made out like bandits from this mas- sive deficit spending? War profiteers, the wealthy, Wall Street bankers, corporate ex- is another community asset with good news. Our commu- nity college is an asset, which is developing entre- preneurs. Our hospitals are assets. Volunteers are assets. Our elected officials will be assets if their policies help to develop new and established businesses in Plumas Coun- ty. While Carolyn is the poster child for young people, I am on the wanted poster for the baby boomers. I have been a spirit of rebellion since my move. I questioned authority and expressed my grievances to them. I was elected to the City Council only to be re- called because I questioned the city's professionalism. One of my goals in 2004 was to lower the cost of government through performance man- agement. It appeared as a ecutives and politicians pock. threat to the staff's work- eted trillions. Now we have a fis- cal/deficit crisis. Republicans refuse to let the Bush tax cuts expire and, instead, want to end our mortgage deduction and address "entitlements." Some Democrats want this too. They stole our treasury and now they want us to pay it back? Forget that. President Obama, correctly, wants to raise taxes on the rich. Addi- tionally, we must reinstate the payroll tax, increase capi- tal gains taxes, reduce defense spending and re-implement the tariff system. And the ultimate fiscal cri- sis solution -- put Americans back to work. Get involved. Call the president, our sena- tors and congressman and voice your opinion. Mark Mihevc Graeagle Assets , Some are familiar with Por- tola only from the poisoning of Lake Davis. Others have never heard of Portola or Plumas County. Others from urban areas who discovered our environment have pur- chased second homes in our county. Others are running their businesses in urban ar- eas from our area. Some are hoping to relocate businesses here. place. The High Sierra Communi- ty Development Center was created in 2008 to fill commu- nity needs and to be a free public servant. One need was citizens' participation in mon- itoring local government. An- other need was to implement our general plan and to create an economic recovery and jobs plan. 25 Commercial Street is being restored for a resource center for the com- munity. I am seeking funding for the Woodbridge Project. Portola has elected a new City Council. We hope it will be an asset rather than a lia- bility to local businesses. We hope that they will change the existing city policies of over- regulation and over-taxation. The average age on the City Council is lower, and it in- cludes two female members. The staff has been improved in the last two years. Citizens have become more involved in city government. We are searching for a new city man- ager. The next Portola econo- my can be rebuilt with the help of elected officials, our volunteers, our local reporter and our Community colleges. Larry F. Douglas Portola Work together I was very saddened by Mr. Saxton's letter in last week's paper. I am a 71-year-old wid- ow, living on Social Security (what Republicans refer to as an "entitlement") and a small pension. I don't have much but then I don't need much. And I want to say this directly to Trent: I don't care what political party you are. If you are hungry, I'll feed you. It might be corn- bread and beans but I promise you it will be good. If you are without proper clothing, I'll help you get some clothes. They might be from the thrift shop, but you can usually find very adequate stuff there. I can't take you in because my house is very small. But if you're homeless, I'll try to find help for you. If you're sick, I make a mean chicken soup! People say it really helps. Or I'll help you find a way to get to the doctor or the hospital. J We are all on this "lifeboat earth" together, and we only survive by helping each oth- er, not by division. I would like to challenge you to go out and do something for one oth- er person without regard to that person's politics or reli. gion, race, ethnicity or sexual preference. Just help some- one, for no reason. It's called random acts of kindness and you'll be amazed at the impact it will have on you. Judith Parks-Stevens Quincy Hatred harmful Every week I pretty much try to ignore the letters of Trent Saxton, but the letter from this week waS just too much. In it, Saxton advises all Plumas County Republicans to start hating all the Democ- rats in their lives. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but there are people from all parts of the po- litical spectrum in my life. Po- litically we might not be on the same page, but as people, neighbors, friends and col- leagues we don't hate each other. Instead we help each other with child care, flat tires, runaway dogs, too much snow and sick horses. We in- vite each other to parties, cel- ebrate accomplishments and extend sympathy when sad things happen. Aside from politics, we have friendly chats when we run into each other on the street, at work or at the grocery store. I find Saxton's appeal to hate inherently un-American. This great country was founded on the idea that a free See Letters, page 8B Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 28,3-6170; FAX: (530) 28,3-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofpluraas.cora. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.cora 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) 224-2501. District Office:. One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA94104; 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 Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICE: 8700 Auburn Folson Rd. #100, Granite Ba CA 95746; (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3056, cramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. Roseville office: 1700 Eureka Rd., Suite #120, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; Jackson office: 33 C Broadwa3 Jackson, CA 95642, (209) 223-9140. ST,TE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capitol, 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) 8954219. GOVERNOR Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. -FAX: (916) 558-3160. State . . . . , ......