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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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December 8, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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December 8, 2010
 

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lOB Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EI_00ITO R IAL and OPINION EDITORIAL Give the gift that keeps on giving We all have that person who is difficult to buy for. They have everything already, or their tastes are very particular. Maybe they live far away hnd you're not sure about what they might need or want. Still, you can't neglect great-aunt Martha at Christmas. We recently became aware of a local pro- gram that might solve such purchasing dilemmas. In the interest of buying local, giving a meaningful gift, and doing something that will make a difference in the world, we sug- gest you adopt a book for the Plumas Coun- ty Library in honor of people on your Christmas list. By donating to the Friends of the Library Adopt-a-Book program, you can ensure the library maintains a quality collection de- spite its reduced book budget. Books added to the library's collection will be read and enjoyed again and again, making your gift a long-term gift to the community. As we've said before, books give readers entry to new information and ideas; they expand minds and inspire dreams. Reading is a lifelong adventure and nowhere are books more accessible -= to anyone and everyone -- than at the local library. Each donation to Friends of the Library is tax deductible, which is an added gift for you. Books may also be adopted to honor a child's birthday or graduation, in lieu of a present at any holiday, or in memory of a loved one. The library will spend the funds at local bookstores, keeping the dollars circulating in our economy. . You can pick up an adopt-a-book form at your local branch of Plumas County Li- brary. On it, you can specify whoIn you wish to honor with your donation, and you can choose the type of book you'd like the library to purchase. The library will send a card acknowledg- ing your gift to the person you designate, and it will place a commemorative book- plate in the book that your donation fully purchases. Now, that's sure to please.aU the hard.to- buy-for folks on your holiday shopping list -- even great-aunt Martha. A Feat00g l00spaper /2Breaking News .... go to plumasnews.com 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 Will Farris Sam Williams Barbara France Susan Cort Johnson Kayleen Taylor Ruth Ellis Brian Taylor Pat Shillito Linda Satchwell Feather River Bulletin (530) 283-0800 Lassen County Times (530) 257-53211 Portola Reporter (530) 832-4646 Westwood PinePress (530) 256-2277 Chester Progressive (530) 258-3115 Indian Valley Record (530) 284-7800 .19o u,e rea00!ly want to kiss off the truth? MY TUKN DIANA JORGENSON Portola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews.com A long time ago, someone told me that it made people uncomfortable when I spok.e honestly: They weren't used to it and it made them nervous. The fact is, she said, people don't want to know the truth. Well, I had already observed that speaking honestly made people uncomfortable and learned long before to keep most of my opin- ions to myself, but the idea that people did not want to know the truth was a chilling thought. For, while I have only beeii a reporter at various times in my life, I have been a truth- seeker always -- a truth-seeker and to the best of my understanding, a truth-sayer. Be- cause so many people take it ill and are so quick to "kill the messenger," I came to jour- nalism reluctantly. I have learned to brave the name-calling and to turn the other cheek. I have learned to welcome those rare few individuals who ac- tually havenew information and new facts to bring to the issue. , For I believe that, if we look the facts full in the face, we will find the answers to our difficulties. They likely are not easy an- swers, but they will be the correct ones. I hold to that thought and write as I have always written, with as much information as I can find presented as logically as I can make it. Throughout the past five years, there has been a constant trickle of those who expressed their support for detailed and explicit reporting. It has kept me going. I had planned to write this opinion piece a month ago. I thought it was time to revise my opinion that people generally resented a truthful recitation of events. Although I always knew there were many people who valued accurate and truthful re- porting, I was excited to have a more hpeful view of the citizenry at large. A couple of things had sparked my optimism. First, Grizzly Lake Resort Improvement Dis- trict board member John Streeter commended me at length for my truthful articles. The following week, Portola Mayor John Larrieu was equally complimentary about my coverage of city issues, stressing he ap- preciated its truthfulness, even when it "nailed" them. The fact that these two comments came back-to-back from two entities that don't al- ways see things from the same perspective made an impression on me..Those conversa- tions indicated that truth was more impor- tant than personal gratification or public re- lations, and others knew it as well as I. I thought I had perhaps underestimated their numbers. Then the Nakoma tax article hit the stands. I am not sure why Mr. Schoff requested his perspective be delayed until his return from a trip, because I had all the information in hand prior to the publication of Part I. The Schoff press release that was printed was just an expanded version of the press re- lease he previously refused to release for publication. Be that as it may, dividing the information into two parts gave me surprising feedback on whether the truth matters. I was shocked to see how many people ere in the world? Jesse and Alaena Rath went to Reno, Nev., not on vacation, but to have their first baby, Mercy Breanna Rath. Next time you travel, share where you went by tak- ing your local newspa- per,along.and including it in a ptoto. Then e-' mail the photo to smor- row@plumasnews.com spouted off prematurely -- writing Letters to the Editor' before Part II was even published. These people made no pretense of reading all the information before arriving at an opinion. Like people who interrupt you be- fore you've f'mished speaking, they held their opinions, ready-made, in advance. One man, however, came to me with new information and some figures that had bear- ing on the story. Steve Fuqua, president of Gold Mountain Community Service District, brought me actual figures as well as a fairly concise history of the district. All of that led to new information from the county auditor: that, as back taxes for Nako- ma were paid, the CSD would also receive back taxes for the fire suppression assess- ment, which had not been fronted by the county previously. Furthermore, the CSD would be the recipi- ent of those penalties and accrued interest, not the county. The CSD must have been delighted to find that out. It gives the CSD the unforeseen op- portunity to actively support Nakoma Associ- ates instead of just urging the county to do so. Perhaps even now, the CSD's lawyer is looking into how the CSD may go about mak- ing a gift of public funds to Nakoma Associ- ates: Must it go to ballot or is a general meet- ing consensus sufficiently legal? Perhaps even now, they have contacted the gentleman who wrote the letter to the ed- itor saying other counties and cities have given financial incentives to developers and asked: what counties, what cities, what de- velopers, what incentives? Perhaps even now, they have contacted those cities and those counties to see what their financial condition is today. And, perhaps even now, they have Contact- ed those developers to see if those incentives have kept them in business, or if they closed their doors anyway. Because searching for the truth of a situa- tion always uncovers surprising new infor- mation, and that information may contain opportunities for action. I vote for the unvar- nished truth. To those of you who think yourselves bet- ter served by pos itive stories, I can only sympathize; I, too, would prefer to write hap- py, positive stories all day long. To you, I re- late this story: At my very first meeting of a special dis- trict in my role as the newest reporter for Feather Publishing, a board member was re- signing and was given kind words and the requisite plaque by the chairman, who kissed her on the cheek. I took the picture. The next month, a replacement was sworn in, and as the same chairman leaned over to kiss the new board member on the cheek, he turned to me and my camera and said, "No more kissing pictures. My wife didn't like it." "Then, stop kissing," I told him. I took the picture. I'm a reporter. That's what I do. I:EMEMBER WHEN edition packed full with the news and hap- ........................................................................................................................................................... penings of your hometown. $3.00 per year. KERI TABORSKI Historian 80 YEARS AGO ..... 1930 Monday was the coldest day recorded by the United States Forest Service office this season with the thermometer registering 11 degrees that morning with the maximum temperature climbing to 50 degrees. A Christmas gift that will be appreciated all year long: a one year's subscription to the Plumas National-Bulletin. It is a weekly 50 YEARS AGO ..... 1960 Northern California's tallest tree was dec- orated by the Chester Fire Department Sun- day. The 127 foot tree is located on Feather River Drive in Chester located behind the Chester fire hall. Some 250 lights were used to decorate the tree which is thought to be the tallest in the state. 30 YEARS AGO ..... 1980 Verne E. Lillenthal, who was born in nearby Paxton and lived in the area for his first six years has been named the new manager of the Wells Fargo Bank in Quincy. His parents and grandparents worked for the Indian Valley Railroad. 10 YEARS AGO....2000 A 4.8 earthquake shook Plumas County last morning at 7:34 a.m. With a vote of 172 to 13 Plumas County teachers have rejected a seven per cent raise offered by the Plumas Unified School Dis- trict. The teaches are holding out for a nine to eleven per cent raise. The if' an t times of a novice alpaca rancher ,": -, MY TURN ! MONA HILL Staff Writer mhill@plumasnews.com Some five years in the making: Spanish Peak Alpacas is a reality. I first got a good look at the critters in Eng- land. They has the cutest faces; so silly look- ing with their long necks and closely sheared bodies. One of my goals when we returned from the UK was property for alpacas. My hus- band was less enthusiastic -- they can cost serious money. Finally, the boys arrived in November: Ra, Miguel and Energizer (I know, dumb name, but it's on his papers). I was so thrilled: a dream comes true. ' All along Steve has said, "This is your job; you have to let them out; feed them;put them away -- EVERY DAY." Well, duh! Living in Meadow Valley, we have critters -- besides the vicious squirrel-- chiefly bears and mountain lions. The plan was to add livestock guardian dogs and to lock up the alpacas at night. We didn't have the dogs yet, so off I went that first evening about dark-thirty to put the boys away. Now, alpacas are flighty creatures, easily spooked, because they have no real defense instincts except RUN! They hum when they're worried or ner- vous. I think they may hav e a racial memory of Deborah Kerr's "Whenever I Feel Afraid" from the "King and I." They know what "cookies" are because whenever my friend Dorothy wanted to catch them, she'd pull out the alpaca treats and call softly, "Cookies." The boys would stampede over to her and she'd slide the lead around a neck and fit the halter, and lead the alpaca away. Got it, what could be easier? Armed with lots of cookies, I sallied forth and they stampeded over to get them. However ... ...as soon as I made even the slightest move to slip the lead around a neck, they'd also stampede away. Billing and cooing at the little darlings, I slowly tried again. No luck. I'd wander off and wait awhile, let them settle down again and try again. Once, I actually got the lead around Ener- gizer's neck. His aforementioned defense sys- tem kicked in and he ran, dragging me to the ground for a spectacular face plant--just as the UPS guy went by with a delivery. The moon was up; it was getting cold and I'd been in 'the meadow at least an hour, walking, talking, humming and offering cookies. No dice. We went everywhere but the barn. Sigh. Out came the cell phone to admit defeat. My patient husband came to help. It took us another 40 minutes to corner and halter individual alpacas and lock them in for the night. I'd cut myself on the barbed wre, my elbow was bruised and I had dead grass stuck to my glasses-- did I mention the alpaca poo on my boots? I knew it was our first night; armed with cookies and time, I'd have them eating out of my hand -- in the barn. I found two Great Pyrenees pups, 3 months old, in Redding a few days later. We met in Chico when I went to pick up Hannah before Thanksgiving. Thank heavens I had a kennel. Hannah and I were headed up the Canyon when we exclaimed OMG! and rolled down the win- dows -- quickly. The wind chill was about -40, but it was significantly better than the wafting aroma of fresh dog poo. Jack and George spent their first night penned in the garage -- cute as all get out for baby moose. I planned to take them down af- ter work and settle them in with the alpacas. I arrived home to find the pen empty. I asked Steve, "Where are the dogs?" "What do you mean, 'where are the dogs?'" "My. Point. Exactly," I snipped, "WHERE are the dogs?" "Aren't they in the garage?" "If they were in the garage, I'd know where they are." Luckily for Steve, they came running pell mell, tumble bumble, not too long after. Oth- erwise, he'd have been living in their dog- house in the meadow. Great Pyrenees think their territory is whatever they can see, and Jack and George had been out investigating the neighbor- hood. Swell. Everyone in the neighborhood' wants to pet them now. Everyone except the alpacas that is. There was a lot of humming in the meadow when Jack and George moved in. The boys couldn't get away from the dogs fast enough. Everyone has been settling in. Jack and George play and eat. I'm working with them on sit, stay and come. The alpacas are work- ing with them on personal space -- a few well-placed kicks have taught the dogs better manners too. Energizer has been walking me on the hal- ter and lead. Dorothy said to lead like a but- terfly on a string; I just wish Energizer would walk me like that. And, did I mention? Steve went down the sec- ond night, before I got home, to put the alpacas away. The brats followed him into the barn!