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Rec and Tech aims for the public

Carolyn Shipp
Staff Writer
7/18/2014

The concept of Lost Sierra Rec and Tech can be a muddled one for the people of Plumas County. When they hear the phrase “rec and tech,” they often think it means high-speed Internet access at their home and nothing more.

That’s what John Steffanic, owner of Sierra Promotions and the public relations coordinator for Rec and Tech, said at a meeting of the minds at work on the project July 10.

Steffanic walked through a Rec and Tech public relations plan for the more than 25 public figures in attendance.

“Public relations has nothing to do with selling or expanding the product,” he said in his presentation. “It does, however, plow the way for a more effective marketing effort.”

In 2010, Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications received a stimulus grant to put fiber optics in the infrastructure all over the county. Since then, a small group has been working to market Plumas, Lassen and Sierra counties under the banner of Lost Sierra Rec and Tech.

According to Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications General Manager Bob Marshall, the fiber optics project brought with it “a chance to reverse the population decline” by attracting new residents with home-based businesses that only need reliable and fast broadband access.

“There are millions of people who can live anywhere they want,” said Marshall. “We want to attract self-contained businesses here.”

In order to start marketing the idea to the right people, Steffanic said first the public has to be on board.

“We want to make sure the public in our county has a grasp of what’s going on,” he said. “They can be our salesmen.

“Fiber optics is only one more amenity to the area,” he continued. “The one product we’ve always had is our way of life … The key to our message is that fiber optics folds right into all the reasons as to why someone would like to relocate here.”

Steffanic addressed the differences between Rec and Tech and getting fast Internet in your home. He said there is some negative feedback because people have been disappointed at the cost of getting fiber into their homes.

“If you want fiber in your home, contact PST,” he said. “But if we’re trying to woo businesses up here and the public is sending a negative message because of the cost … the public needs to know it’s two very different situations.”

Marshall chimed in as well, saying an established business person could sell his or her $2 million house in the Bay Area and move to a $250,000 house that is just as nice in Plumas County. The cost to install and run the extremely fast Internet is nominal compared to living in the peaceful mountains and still being able to thrive as a business.

He continued to say that the message is not that everyone gets fiber, “the message is the infrastructure is here.”

Steffanic said the marketing plan will take effect in a few months. They previewed a commercial and a few interviews to show examples of the group’s marketing campaign. However, for right now, the goal is to get the public’s support.

“We want to grow our community back,” said Marshall. “All we want to do is get where we were 10 years ago.”

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That "established person" with a $2 million house in the Bay Area has probably become accustom to all the other services provided in the Bay Area. Although Plumas is beautiful, it's unlikely masses will flood our county and make a difference in population, just because they can now get high speed internet.
VOTES:1
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I agree Gary. The bay area has the fastest internet I have ever experienced too. It will be a while before we can catch up. We still do not have 4g either. No good Asian food, museums, or culture in general here either. I can not see leaving a city where most people drive quiet cars for the loud stinky trucks I always hear around here. This place is too industrial. Why give up a 2$ million home in a quiet neighborhood with ordinances for the noise of the mill or some neighbor who drives around a back hoe all day! Also taking a hike in the nature in and around the bay area is peaceful. I have had a few experience walking on dirt roads around here where guys in large trucks or off road vehicles almost run me over and dust me out. Too many cigarette smokers here too. Quincy needs more healthy options.
VOTES:-3
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The Bay Area also has traffic, smog, nonstop sirens, and extremely high prices. Depending on the area, the crime rate is through the roof as well. As for the museum, I think our local Plumas County museum is terrific, as is the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, the Taylorsville Museum, our local Plumas Arts gallery. Culturally, we are extremely lucky to have live music, locally produced theater, a movie theater, and a strong arts community. If you aren't experiencing "culture," I suspect you haven't been paying attention. There's never a dearth of events here.
VOTES:0
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It takes minutes to walk through those museums but hours at the larger ones in the bay. You can not compare the two. Same with the rest of the arts. I've been to ALL of these plays, music, & arts events. Its not the same experience and talent is lacking. I do not like bluegrass, country or jazz which is all I've heard around here because everyone at these events seems to be old. And the movie theater is very uncomfortable and the movies they show are usually out on DVD or soon to be released. And if you are near the ocean the smog isn't that bad. The mill here and all the wood and debris burning is much worse. Don't forget the wildfires. Never seen smoke like that in the bay area. In fact Marin county is one if if not the cleanest air quality in the state. You have the money thing right though. It is only nice to live in the city if you make a decent living. Which is why I do not see a person who can afford a 2 million dollar home moving here unless they've always wanted to be a redneck.
VOTES:0
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Good grief ! If you don't like our way of living LEAVE!!! We don't like your way of living & that's why we're here and don't go to SF. This area is the place were MEN work with their backhoe & trucks so wine drinkers like you can sit & complain about everything,,,,,GO AWAY, STAY AWAY! This is OUR lively hood!
VOTES:4
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Don't like wine! Too poor to leave. Never even been to SF, just other spots around the bay, I'm a local. Wasting gas does not make you a man. If you need to do the work with the machines fine, but I see a lot of guys driving heavy machinery around cause they have nothing better to do, just like the fairground races. I see lots of sitting & complaining around here. The best is when "men" complain they were yelled at for not working at work.
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rec& tech will leave us with a bunch of yuppies like ot- can't fix a thing unless there's an app for it
VOTES:1
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People who want city things will hang with their city abodes. People who want to live somewhat rurally may come to our area, but don't count on it.I think comparing our local historical museums with the cultural and historical museums of the SF Bay region misses the point that our museums have an interesting but limited scope, while the SF region has literally hundreds of museums covering an impressive breadth of culture, art, and history. There is no comparison, literally, nor need there be.
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All that said, I don't see a lot of sense in the effort as cast. Once you eliminate businesses that need more than fast Internet for their business, the number of potential targets shrinks considerably. That “There are millions of people who can live anywhere they want,” and “We want to attract self-contained businesses here” does not in my mind constitute the basis of an informed plan. Money spent on this public relations effort would be better spent on research to put numbers to who, from where, why, and to do what, and therefrom develop a plan.
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Giving up a 2 million dollar property for one of much lesser value does not seem like good move unless you need the money or are retiring. Although the cold winters and hot summers are probably bad for the elderly. Its much cooler in the bay in the summer and much warmer in the winter and you don't have to shovel snow.
VOTES:1

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