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Letter to the Editor: Whose decision was it?

On Monday, two days before Tax Day, I rode my bike along the bike path, heading toward the high school. I was delighted to see that someone or a group of someones had used the bike path for chalk artwork, to commemorate black people who had died most recently from the use of excessive force by police. It gave me hope that in our small community there was some awareness of what is going on in the larger parts of our country, and that at least some of our Plumas colleagues are willing to speak out for equality and justice.

It was truly a shock to return the next day and see that it was all gone, completely obliterated. I have asked around and I don’t pretend to have all the facts, but apparently there were complaints that the artwork was “political,” and also that it was an act of “vandalism.” Upon receiving the complaints, public works took it upon itself to spray the chalk off of the bike path. So, where is the free speech around here? And is it vandalism to use chalk to express opinions on a bike path? And does public works have the final say on these questions?

I am fortunate enough to own my home and for 20 years I have been happy to pay taxes to Plumas County. I am not happy to see my tax dollars used to suppress free speech on the bike path or anywhere else in Plumas County.

Wayne Cartwright


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