Los Angeles Times covers Genesee helipad issue

Last week, The Los Angeles Times published a story on the Genesee Friends group and their war against the Palmaz helipad.

In it, the reporter, Hailey Branson-Potts, explored the angle of whether or not a helicopter could be the modern day tractor of the skies — an argument successfully made to keep the helipad on the Palmaz’ ranch and whether such noise constituted a change to the “pristine,” environment, according to the story.

Residents of Indian Valley and Genesee immediately took to the Internet to refute such claims and took umbrage that the story remained a little one-sided in the telling.

“They just can’t let it go,” commented one supporter of private property rights in the valley.

“Absolutely ridiculous. This county’s obsession to not let people live their lives or allow any progression to happen here is why we continuously lose population and our schools and hospitals close,” said another.

Some also disagreed with the description of the Genesee Store, which for many years prior to the Palmaz’ ownership had been used for special occasions and a seasonal restaurant. Currently the store is closed for renovations to bring the building up to code and to re-open in the future as a restaurant.

Others took offense to the depiction of the skies above Genesee as never having had helicopters when both fire fighting helicopters and military trainings had taken place in the years prior to the Palmaz’ ownership of the ranch.

The comments on the Times’ article ran the gamut from Times readers in southern California sympathetic due to the current issues of gentrification in Boyle Heights and Highland Park areas — a comparison made in the article — and local Genesee and Taylorsville residents explaining that motorcycles and off-road vehicles make just as much noise and that helicopters have landed other places in the valley.

The story is part of an ongoing feature in the Times called “California,” which covers issues around the state north of Los Angeles to provide its readers with a better sense of what’s going on in the rest of California.

This is not the first article regarding Indian Valley to be featured by a reporter for the Times. A few years ago, Indian Valley was featured in the travel section as part of a series on rural travel in California.  There have also been mentions of Plumas County in watershed and dam related articles.