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December 17, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Look up, Americans, it's not as bad as you think LEE H. HAMILTON DIRECTOR, INDIANA UNIVERSITY CENTER ON CONGRESS We are one glum country. Trust in the federal government is at historic lows, according to Gallup. More than half of the respondents to an October Rasmussen poll think our best days are behind us. And just a few weeks ago, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that the one thing Americans agree upon whatever their race or circumstances is that the system is stacked against people like them. Scratch an American, it seems, and you'll get a litany of complaints about our representative democracy. I see this defeatism all around me. When I speak to classes of university students, I almost always ask for a show of hands on whether these young people believe the U.S. is in decline or on the rise. Every time, the room is evenly sPlit. That's a lot of people who are losing faith in. our system. So I have just one thing to say: Could we all take a deep breath? For one thing, we deal with our challenges from a position of strength. We have friendly neighbors to the north and south, oceans to the east and west and a growing, relatively young population. We possess abundant natural resources, the world's most capable military force, a nuclear arsenal second to none and a deterrent power envied by every other country on earth. We face no existential threat from foreign powers. We can choose the role we want to play in the world We created the major mechanisms for world stability -- the United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank -- and we still help maintain them. We lead the way in pressing for open markets and free trade. Our fundamenta].s -- from our military to our technology to our system of higher education -- remain strong. We're doing better economically than any other major industrialized nation, and have put more people back to work since the recovery began than the rest of the industrialized world combined. Does that sound like a once-great nation on its knees? Our people possess strengths in abundance. We have a remarkable reservoir of talent both in the workforce and, to judge by the students I encounter every day, preparing to enter it. We're blessed with a strong entrepreneurial tradition that nurtures inventiveness and creativity, and that draws countless people from abroad eagerto make something of their future. Though we're hardly perfect on this score, we have friends across the globe who genuinely admire our accomplishments. I'm not blind to our shortcomings -- if you read this column regularly, you know that -- or to the severe challenges we confront. But in the face of extraordinary difficulties, we adapt, persevere and eventually , emerge stronger. After decades of trying, we have begun to wean ourselves from foreign oil. Our response to the Ebola crisis was initially halting and clumsy, but the federal government and the nation's hospitals reformed their protocols remarkably quickly for a set of complex institutions. It's taken a long time to put a coalition together to fight the Islamic State, but international coalitions are difficult to create, and by dint of hard work we're better off now than we were a year ago. In the end, government may act slowly, and it's often well behind where you'd wish it to be, but it does act. All these things give our society a resilience to keep in See Hamilton, page 8B LETTERS TO THE E D I T 0 R 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 3 p.m.; deadlines may change due tO holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing's of]ices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to dmcdonald@plumasnews.com Inconsiderate Very recently I had an incident at a local restaurant business with the owner. She was very inconsiderate to me. Didn't communicate that well of why. I've been very supportive over the years, which helps any type of business to survive. Sorry to say, she has lost mine. R's importantto put customer first or to let them know of why no more service. What I witnessed was baffling. Best of luck. Gary Bryant Twain Concert was magnificent Last Sunday I had the privilege of attending the Chester Chorus Christmas Concert. The joy and enthusiasm which shined throughout the event were, truly, the essence and spirit of Christmas. In these times of crass commercialism which pervades the holiday season, it was heartwarming to see and hear this marvelous performance. So to the singers, the ringers, the hard working back stage crew, the accompanists and of course, the magnificent Jane Brown, my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks for bringing the true meaning of Christmas to me. Roberta Carlson Chester Beautiful surprise To all who participated in Portola's Christmas Parade and were involved in decorating the floats and for coming up California Street. It was a beautiful surprise and greatly enjoyed and appreciated. Merry Christmas to you all. Chet and Carrie Vance Portola Kennedy's impact On behalf of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), I am writing to express my gratitude to Plumas County Supervisor Jon Kennedy. Although he will be leaving office soon, Supervisor Kennedy's service has certainly helped shape the county's future. Moreover, as a member of the CSAC Board of Directors, he has had an impact on statewide issues ranging from health care to public safety. I have especially valued his input on concepts related to civic engagement. How do counties get more people more interested and actively involved in local government? This is important work, and although Jon is leaving office, I know he will remain committed to enhancing public engagement. We wish him well, and we will miss him in Sacramento. Matt Cate Executive Director California State Association of Counties Pipeline would help I read with interest your editorial on the Feather River Canyon train derailment. Sure, a derailment of a train carrying oil would be a disaster, however, if the radical environmentalists and Obama would allow building of the Keystone Pipeline, the chances are much less. Oh, my gosh, I just realized Obama's big contributor, Warren Buffett, owns a big stake in Burlington Northern. What a coincidence. Doug Drebert Paradise Indian Valley resignations I have been out of town since before Thanksgiving so I am just now catching up on the continuing saga of the Indian Valley Community Services District. Ilearned that, Dec. 10, three of the board members resigned, more in sorrow than in anger. It is hardly surprising that they chose a dignified exit after enduring months of vicious personal attacks. Unfortunately, the Indian Valley Record played a part in this debacle. It seems to me that the editor of Feather Publishing should have guided the new reporter into presenting a factual report instead of allowing her to be manipulated into presenting a skewed version of the situation. The Indian Valley Record's front-page story of Nov. 28 had very little to distinguish it from a 'hand-out' from the self-named Citizens for Better Government. Readers of the story would have no way of knowing how many people refused to sign the re-call petition or how at least one of the petition gatherers disrupted a local business, declaring, ironically, that signing the petition was 'secret.' Adequate reporting would have covered the district's actual success in recouping funds for the district without countering those facts with unfounded accusations by the opponents. As to the quote from Jane Braxton Little about 'griping.' It is a fact that there has been a long history of griping in our valley. For many years, it centered on the administration of our local hospital. Sadly, Indian Valley's hospital was griped out of existence. My husband and I chose to retire in Greenville 39 years ago. We were welcomed warmly and gave back through the years, joining with the positive forces in the community. Remember the AARP? Volunteers all we supported the schools, the hospital, fire department, library and the 'gleaners.' Will that kind of positive, forward-looking effort prevail now? Who will step forward to do the work and spend the , many hours that the out-going board members did? Are there volunteers prepared to take a job, without pay, without even recognition let alone  appreciation? I hope so. Nancy Lund Greenville Smells like a witch-hunt There is much to say regarding the three Indian Valley CSD board members resigning.., too much. First, I have to say that I have not attended board meetings. However, I do feel I have educated myself enough about the issue and the accusations that have been leveled at the board members to have some strong feelings. Also, these comments come in large part from my personally knowing Jane Braxton Little and Mike Yost for decades. I certainly place no blame on Blake Shelters for removing himself from being the net 'target'. And Brad Smith?He must eat nails for breakfast. Let me put it this way, I will be surprised if the folks whom have flung the most vitriol will now step up to the plate to replace these three qualified, dedicated and honest community members. In my opinion, there are very few people in Indian Valley who are willing and capable of doing as good of a job as Mike Yost, Jane Little and Blake Shelters, for so little in re'turn. How the rest of the IVCSD board can be associated with the misdeeds of Ms. Moore smells of a witch-hunt to me. Actually, I feel somewhat to blame because I did not attend board meetings where I could have defended the good character of those now departing. I thought it would never come to this. Bill Battagin Taylorsville Don't attack IVCSD directors I am concerned by the recent controversies surrounding the IVCSD. I understand the serious concerns about water transfer issues, and the embezzlement of funds by the former IVCSD manager. But what concerns me is the negativity, animosity, and mis-information which has surrounded many public comments regarding these issues. I am particularly concerned about attacks on the unpaid volunteers on IVCSD Board of Directors, and which have sometimes become very mean and very personal. Critical public discourse is a cornerstone of our democracy. But such criticisms need to be expressed in respectful language, and with everyone having the right to express their opinions without interruption. When we have such respectful discourse, our communities and our governments grow stronger. When we devolve into animosity, personal attacks, and emotional outbursts, our communities and governments become much more weak. Public animosity is a tool for self-serving persons who seek to use public funds and public resources for personal gain. When a community is united around healthy and respectful discourse, it is much more difficult for such self-serving persons to commit their crimes without notice. Yes, let us respectfully debate, and argue, and have active contested elections. These are signs of a healthy community and healthy democracy But please, let us put this meanness and animosity behind us before we destroy what is left of our beautiful and wonderful community. Ken 'Kd" Donnell Greenville Not surprised Three African Americans have been killed by the police within the last few weeks. I am not at all surprised that none of the officers has been indicted. The media muddied up the water with so much irrelevant hoopla that it seemed to me a foregone conclusion. With the present trend of an increasing atmosphere of hate, we can probably expect more. I was surprised, however, at the argument of the defense in the trial regarding the death of Brown that Brown smoked marijuana. What did that have to do with his death? If every person who smokes or has smoked marijuana can be killed legally by officers, then, from what I understand, half the youth of Plumas County can be mowed down legally. Also, in the Garner case, a mystifying comment by the media was that Garner died from an officer's chokehold because he was obese. Well, does that mean that all the over-weight people of America can be choked to death by officers? Of course, the reality is that something is lacking in police training. If obesity is a factor in using the chokehold, then techniques should be used to circumvent the possibility of death in using the chokehold on the obese. In the case of the pre-teen and his toy gun, why did the police have to tackle his H-year-old sister? I respect the fact that most police do serve and protect. They have chosen a difficult profession; but then, Justice Black once said that in a free democracy police work should be hard. Salvatore Cataiano Taylorsville Insulting I thought it was insulting enough to see "warmers" categorized in the "fiat earth society" and said to "completely lack reality," but another letter in last week's edition took things even further. The one side, the "deniers," seem to keep chanting: "you can't prove it's human-caused" The flaw to this argument so heartily endorsed by Rush Limbaugh and his dedicated following, is that by the time that there actually is sufficient evidence to conclusively link the extraction and use of fossil fuels to the rise in global temperatures it will, in all likelihood, be much too late. As swaths of the polar ice caps melt, and instead of reflecting the energy from the sun, the darker seawater absorbs that energy. Which in turn makes more of the polar ice caps melt. The melting will result in higher sea water levels, and a coastal city, like Galveston, could turn into one big wading pool. You wouldn't want that to happen, would you? That insult was trumped, however, by the opposite side. The entire populace was described as "stupid, ignorant, apathetic and psychotic." Which prompts the recurring chant of the "warmers," regardless of the change in the weather you will always hear, "that's exactly according to the model." It could be drought, flood, heat wave, cold spell, strong gusts of wind, or complete calm, "that's exactly according to the model." Assuming that the intention of the writers is to convince those people who are undecided on the issue to join that writer's cause, it seems they are much more likely to drive people in the opposite direction. Gene Nielsen Crescent Mills Liberal liars What motivates liberals to lie? Psychologist Robert Feldman cites a lack of self-esteem as one of the biggest culprits in their lying ways: "We fred that as soon as people feel their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels." I believe they want to be "right" but they are afraid to face reality when their stories just aren't true; so they lie to others and to themselves. Liberals don't stand their ground, they have no convictions. Count the spineless liars that abandoned Obama to get re-elected. Rolling Stone magazine reporter Sabrina Erdely didn't do her homework when she'd fabricated the rape of a female student at the University of Virginia. The magazine admitted to discrepancies in its 2012 bombshell story but the damage was done. The reporter and Rolling Stone management failed to. interview any of the seven suspects in the case. The immediate consequences of that lie enhanced the author's prestige and magazine sales, but destroyed innocent lives. Professor John Gruber, architect of Obamacare, mislead congress because Obamacare wouldn't pass as a tax. They're "stupid." Then their president knowingly lied, "You can keep your doctor." Liberals in Congress justified their vote by saying it was "necessary" to pass the bill before reading it. Remember, it was only Democrats that voted for the lie. Who's stupid? The purpose was to achieve single-payer health care and to play to the liberal party base. There is the lie that the LRS wasn't targeting Conservatives; this lie is currently developing. And now the "Hands up, don't shoot" lie in Ferguson, Missouri. Liberals self-righteously defend .their lies. They will collectively absolve each other of their individual and collective fabrications. Most Libs lack a "conscience," and I wouldn't be too far from the truth. Woops, I almost forgot the "Climate change" liars. Trent Saxton Lake Davis 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, countyofplumas.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; TrY/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 Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-5076. 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, El 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) 319-21(J3. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. 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 t I