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Letters to the Editor for the week of 12/11/19

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 noon; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing’s offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to [email protected].

Keep asking the questions

Pay attention. Ask questions. That is the role and duty of any person serving on a Board. Take your job seriously and serve the constituents, looking out for their best interests. Feather River College has an elected five-member Board of Trustees, each representing this County’s supervisoral districts. Evidently the non-resident President of FRC does not like independent Trustees. Well, as a long-time resident of this county and a former Trustee, I say more power to the board member (Trustee!). FRC is a shining gem in our community and our county and it serves many needs for young and old. This college is a publicly funded institution, paid for with our tax dollars. As such it is not free from public scrutiny and oversight. That is why we have Trustees. So, more power to Dr. Saxton. Ask your questions Dr. Saxton and share your findings with the people of the County. This is your job.

Current President of FRC, Mr. Trutna, after nearly seven years has never seen fit to move to Plumas County and bring his family here. He still commutes from Yuba City. I understand he does not think that Trustees should ask questions or get information from anyone except him personally. Well, it’s a nice paying gig if you can get it. I say — challenge other board members, ask the questions and seek more knowledge, truth and facts. Didn’t our teachers always say: there’s no such thing as a dumb question? I say ask all the questions you need.

Leah West
(former) Trustee at FRC

Basic Journalism

Feather Publishing has clearly become the public relations arm of Feather River College as Linda Satchwell has teamed up with Kevin Trutna to try to rid the board of that pesky trustee, Trent Saxton. And the rest of the board has joined in and circled the wagons around Trutna to protect him from … what? To the objective third party, what seems to have happened is that Saxton — through his observations and questions — has stumbled upon something that Trutna and the rest of the Board is desperate to keep under wraps. Because of this, the very attributes that make him a good Trustee — his willingness to do his homework and to ask tough questions — have come under fire.

Indeed, we are being told that his questions and actions ‘raise legal issues,’ and he is being demonized for demanding transparency and accountability. The extreme bias and lack of objectivity being demonstrated by Plumas News is shameful. The way the editors at Plumas News are allowing Team Satchwell/Trutna to control the narrative is a disgrace. Perhaps the ‘threat to accreditation’ is not the questions being asked by Saxton, but what the answers to those questions would reveal. Ever heard of ‘the other side of the story’? Basic Journalism 101.

Terri Woods

Editor’s note: It should be noted that reporter Linda Satchwell attended the meeting and represented what was said by Kevin Trutna, Trent Saxton, trustees and others present — accurately portraying the issue. She also sought clarification from legal counsel for accuracy.

Lump of coal

Merry Christmas, Portola. Verizon has brought us a huge lump of coal in the form of a permit application to build a 133 foot “monopine” cell tower within steps of our hospital, and just blocks from Portola High School (more than 70 feet taller than city code allows for antennas).

This, despite clear evidence of wireless health risk and a study by Michigan Technological University last week that recommends minimum 1600 foot distances for cell towers from hospitals and schools.

A 5G-ready cell tower in the proposed location poses unacceptable wildfire and microwave radiation risks to our most vulnerable residents. It means industrial equipment that brings noise, blight, and lower property values to our community.

A new tower is not needed for reception or emergency communications. Verizon just built one with greater capacity and coverage on Beckwourth Peak this year. How many do they need, and why does one have to be right next to our hospital and neighborhoods?

The landowner is a victim as well. He signed a lowball lease agreement that fails to cover radiation exposure, noise, ugliness and fire risk, not to mention liability coverage for health damage to our community. The insurance industry does not cover wireless-related illness, because they consider the financial risk too great.

Speak out at the next hearing at Portola City Hall on Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. Our new city manager has a big responsibility in front of her and should deny this permit. Portola City Council must also enact a protective telecom ordinance immediately, so more inappropriate wireless developments don’t waste precious city time and money. Let’s stand up to Verizon-the-Grinch and not allow our Christmas to be stolen with their fake ugly, hazardous “tree.” Our community’s safety is not for sale.

Josh Hart
Plumas Residents for Safer Telecom

Conservative explosion

During the impeachment testimony of Maria Yovanovitch, president Trump tweeted what amounted to criminal witness intimidation.  Adam Schiff actually read this tweet to her while she was testifying. This is a subtle crime.  It is not like armed robbery with a pistol whipping. Other subtle crimes are money laundering, campaign finance fraud, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Emoluments clause.

The Muller investigation found witness number one had performed all these subtle crimes. I am wondering if Conservatives are smart enough to understand the criminal nature of these subtle crimes and that these crimes are not healthy for a country that is governed by truth and the rule of law. The United States is in danger from within by the Republican Party. Imagine if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had done the very same crimes. Conservative heads would explode.

Don McKechnie

Hydro-power 4 ever

Photographs, and even the finest artists using oil or watercolors, have trouble conveying the splendor of a great waterfall. Niagara, Bridalveil, Feather and Frazier Falls; you have to catch them at just the right time of year.There is also a great utilitarian purpose for the way the earth’s gravity affects water — run the water through a generator to produce electricity. That clean electricity can then be used to charge a Leaf, a Volt, a Tesla, or any other soon-to-be-developed brand of EV.

But, whatever shall we do if we are faced with a drought year? By sheer luck, drought years coincide with abundant sunshine — install solar panels! In places that tend to get more wind than sun, you might consider a windmill; just make sure it is 100 feet or more from any residence, still on your property and not within sight of one of the President’s golf resorts.

Regarding the question of who is selling what to whom, how many underhanded, sneaky and nefarious practices are being employed in sales practices?Close your eyes and try to remember the many commercials you’ve seen promoting petroleum products. Now open your eyes and try to remember a few ads for windmills or solar panels. Is there a realistic comparison?

Gene Nielsen
Crescent Mills

Walking and reading

Perhaps, when the Internet completes its drive toward self-destruction and a society that has spent the past few decades in an orgy of greed, escapism and self-orientation, begins to recover from the shock, a vague remembrance of those matters that once made our past lives more liveable will resurface. In this small village, it takes a dog to force its owner onto the sidewalks. The only other people on foot- seem to be those who are walking to and from a store and the nearest parking place. Never, throughout hundreds of towns and cities, have I seen such an extreme dependence upon the automobile.

Perhaps, in time, we will begin to remember the enormous value of books and libraries as our once great sources of enlightenment and learning. Common conversation might even come back in vogue. The damage that the Internet has done to our society will probably never be fully assessed. The claim that the Internet contains masses of information is certainly true, yet most of that information has never been validated. Validation and the dismissal of false information require an ability to think. We seem to have neglected this part of our learning process. It might be a few more years before we are forced to reconsider our status as the inheritors of this unique experiment. It might be even longer before we accept personal responsibility for the retention of our self-proclaimed rights and for the preservation of our nation’s natural resources. In the interim, we might begin to remember what we have lost. Reading, walking, and direct person to person conversations might regain some semblance of their former standing in the maintenance of a healthy society.

Wallace B. Eshleman

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