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Letters to the Editor for the week of 2/12/20

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].

School issue

Many times, a student is simply not aware of the consequences of his or her actions. When I was a member of the school board, we had an incident where a young boy had abused almost all the girls in his class by reaching out and hitting them on the shoulder as he raced pass; he later referred to this behavior as “flirting,” and/or “friendly hellos.” He was caught when he hit someone who had an injured arm, causing that student to scream out in pain.

We later invited the Sheriff to speak, with the entire student body, in an assembly at each of the four high schools, on the subject of improper, and even illegal, behavior. Those assemblies were highly successful; Sheriff Abernathy was the presenter and student participation was high. Community involvement in school issues is a very valuable tool, especially if the problem is outside the realm of class work, and it’s obvious that intervention would be helpful.

Nansi Wattenburg Bohne


Grant for District 2

I’m writing this letter in support of Mike Grant for the District 2 Supervisor

I have known Mike for over 20 years. During these years I have worked with Mike in many ways: EMS/Search & Rescue, Plumas County Fire Chiefs Assoc., and the County Communications System.

Mike has always proven to be a great leader — honest, trustworthy, caring, calm and a quick problem solver. When faced with critical life and death situation, Mike remains calm, focused and determined to resolve the situation no matter what it takes. Mike is always open to suggestions and ideas from others.

Mike is a man of integrity and honesty. This is why I recommend him for District 2 Supervisor.

Ed Ward

Fire Chief, Paramedic, Graeagle Fire

PCFCA, President

Not funny

Last week’s article reporting the results of the forum for District 2 supervisors, hosted by the League of Women Voters, was very informative. I was pleased the League bravely posed the question, “What do you think about climate change.” Mr. Grant’s response about putting a cork in cows (implying a plan to reduce methane gas release), was not funny at all, and a real slap in the face for the 79 percent of Americans who believe climate change is real and directly related to human activity. He went on to comment that no one wants to give up their cars, yet another inane climate statement with no basis of truth.

The citizens of Plumas County deserve better. Is there anything amusing about the recent fires in Australia or the lost town of Paradise? No, nothing is funny about climate change.

Robbin Anderson


Grant for District 2

This letter is to endorse Mike Grant for District 2 Supervisor. In the past six years I have gotten to know Mike in the professional arena, as well as a neighbor. I believe that he has all the skills and character traits that would make an exceptional Supervisor. I believe he is a person of highest character and integrity, and I have never had a reason to think otherwise.

His decades of public service in Plumas County and intimate knowledge of how the county works set him apart from the other candidates. He knows what works, and what needs to be fixed so that our county can run as efficiently as possible.

I have witnessed his dedication on a daily basis, as he is on call virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the citizens of Plumas County. He responds to all Search and Rescue calls, most of which happen after he has finished his “shift” at PCSO. Mike does nothing halfway, and I know that he will devote 100 percent of his energy into being District 2 Supervisor and working for his constituents.

I will be the first to admit that Mike and I have not always seen eye to eye when we are working

an emergency scene. We look at things through different lenses. Mike looks at Rescue, while I

look at Emergency Medicine. But he always listens and we come to common ground that best suits the needs of the citizens we are trying to help.

I don’t know that you can ask much more from a candidate for Supervisor. Someone who possess great integrity, gives 100 percent to the task at hand, knows the strengths and weaknesses of our county and is willing to listen before making a decision. That is Mike Grant, and that is who will have my vote.

Sam Blesse



Give property owners their property rights back.

Stephen Graffweg

Lake Almanor

Moscow correspondent

Here’s a true story. My name is Dylan Coffman. I’ve been living in Moscow, Russia, since July of 2019. I was born in Plumas County and have been there most of my life. When I turned 18 I left my family and even moved back, hoping I could carve my own slice of the American Dream for myself in my hometown. I was dead wrong. There is no future for young folks in this country the way things are. My wife, a Russian, was the first person to make me question things here. We lived in Portola for a few months a couple years ago before her visa expired and she had to return home. So I went with her.

I realized there’s a few problems back home. For most people born here higher education is out of the question. We can’t afford it and it’s getting more expensive. So, we got to work from the get go. And thus the second problem; employment. I was working like a dog cutting firewood and barely made a red cent. And I didn’t have health insurance. If I cut off my fingers I’d be better off dead. When the only jobs for young people out here are either underpaid or overly dangerous there’s a big problem. Let alone the meek job prospects over time.

I suppose the thing I’m trying to convey is that I’m lucky. I’ve seen in Russia what a few basic human rights can change. Russians can go to college for free, whether they be from Moscow or Kamchatka. They have free healthcare. Even homeless people are free to see a doctor. Social welfare is not a socialist scourge. It’s a human right. And I thought America was a free country.

Dylan Coffman


Carrying capacity

I found it interesting and informative reading last week’s opinion, “Forests: A renewable resource is undervalued.” Mentioning the first Earth Day, some 50 years ago, was a real blast from the past. Id like to add-on to the statement of “migration, adaptation, or extinction,” by bringing up “carrying capacity.” My ballpark estimate of the carrying capacity of an acre of the Plumas National Forest would be 200 – 250 healthy pine trees. On an acre with too many trees, the competition for water is fierce, resulting in fewer healthy trees. On a range with too many deer, the vegetation is insufficient to feed them all. Plenty of civic-minded Lassen and Plumas residents would generously offer to free up some freezer space to accommodate that surplus population.

It gets trickier with the arguably endangered species, the Homo-Sapiens. With a constantly increasing population, combined with a shrinking amount of inhabitable land, somebody could end up between a rock and a hard place. Mr. Crummer pointed out the folly of locating near an earthquake fault, a volcano, too close to the coast, or in a “tornado alley.” If we added to those hazards: too near a river prone to flooding, too near a refinery prone to toxic emissions and accidents, anyplace that often suffers severe drought and anywhere close to a coniferous forest that has a high risk of wildfire … well, there isn’t much room left to live. Thin the trees near your home, prune the remaining trees, and keep a pulaski handy, in addition to the parka and sunscreen.

Gene Nielsen

Crescent Mills


It appears that the gentleman from Graeagle (“Kiss the rule of law goodbye” Portola Reporter, February 5, 2020) is engaged in a contest to see who can compose the most over-the-top diatribe that can sneak by an editor on its way to public print. If this is the case, and the contest is fairly local, I believe that he has won and I congratulate him on his new championship.

If this is not the case, and he is simply motivated by his own hysteria, he is worthy of our pity and more compassionately, our hopes that he finds useful psychiatric help.

Bill Mainland


Examine your souls

Oh, the times are changing

Used to be you could lie about fooling around but that was still sufficient grounds

Oh, the times are changing

Now you can lie till the sun don’t shine and everything will just turn out fine

Oh, the times are changing

Shame on you for enabling this amoral tyrant.

This is the message that I e-mailed all Republican Senators the day before the impeachment trial ended (except for Ted Cruz who has a ridiculously small comment section).

So, here we are now. There are those in the alternative universe of Trump worship who are jubilant. Those of us who want truth, respect, honor and dignity in our Commander in Chief are left gutted. The only Senator who truly took his oath seriously was Mitt Romney. If you did not hear the speech he gave with his vote to convict, please do. It demonstrated a man whose belief in the truth and his promise to God was taken very seriously. I called his Washington D.C office to thank him and I encourage others to do so too (202-224-5251).

Our election system is in trouble. The Guardian US edition online newspaper, Feb. 7, 2020, contained two articles of interest. One describes the mocking, vitriolic speech “It was all bullshit” that Trump delivered at the White House yesterday. The other is titled “Love the billionaire bucks flooding the 2020 elections? Thank Charles Koch.” It discusses how the Buckley v Valeo decision equated spending money with free speech and paved the way for the Citizens United decision.

I live in a conservative district with many Republican voters. I hope you are all examining your souls and consciences with what is happening in your party and acting accordingly.

Laura E. Rodriguez


Wall can’t keep out virus

In his State of the Union address last week, President Trump made only a brief reference to the deadly Corona virus that is spreading from China to many other countries, including the U.S. He said that we were “coordinating with the Chinese government” and were “working closely together on the Corona virus …” He said his administration “will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.” However, his actions undermine his words. His administration has weakened the agencies in charge of preparing for and preventing just this kind of outbreak.

Trump’s administration has cut funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For this year he proposed cutting the CDC budget by $1.3 billion, almost 20 percent below last year’s budget. This includes cutting funding for research into infectious diseases like the Corona virus. Although with overwhelming bipartisan support, Congress reinstated much of this funding, the US still spends 10 percent less on preventing diseases than it did in 2016.

Also, in 2018, the administration eliminated the National Security Council’s global health security and biodefense directorate. This was our ‘early warning system’ of the emergence of infectious diseases. A rapid response is the best way to prevent outbreaks from becoming epidemics.

Trump cannot build a wall high enough to keep out these deadly pathogens. Fighting these diseases when they do come to this country (and they will) requires research, planning and coordination with hospitals and medical professionals. And all of this will take adequate funding that it is not getting from the Trump administration.

Bill Gates’ foundation has been involved in global health initiatives around the world. He warns that “If history has taught us anything, it’s that there will be another global pandemic.” Will the United States be prepared for it?

Bob Kimberling



The Origins of Valentine’s Day

When celebrating Valentine’s Day we should ponder the lessons of Feb. 14 and the origin of this historic love story.

In the third century, the Roman Emperor Claudius wanted to keep his Roman Legion warriors strong and ready to fight. But many men were unwilling to join the Legions because they would rather stay home and cuddle with their lovers.

So Emperor Claudius banned marriages and engagements in Rome. A brave man named Valentine thought this was unfair and anti-love, so he defied the policy of the empire and he kept performing secret marriages for lovers.

So Emperor Claudius ordered Valentine to be arrested and suffer the death penalty (that crude tool of governing is still with us). While in jail awaiting his fate, Valentine was befriended by the jailer’s daughter, who supported Valentine and his courageous defense of love. They wrote letters to each other and he signed his letters “From Your Valentine.”

For standing up for love, and against imperial rule, Valentine was beaten to death and his head was cut off. The date was Feb. 14.

So when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we should celebrate courage, as well as love.

Kevin Danaher


Post Impeachment

Since President Trump announced his candidacy the powers in the USA have made every effort to destroy him, his businesses, his family members, his reputation, and anything else, as needed. The latest fiasco was the impeachment effort. Mrs. Pelosi, the Speakster of the Gang, made it clear that they were prepared to lose the game. She said that Trump was impeached forever and if not removed from office, the next election would take care of it. That seems to predict failure, caused by the ill-prepared impeachment. All the while the Dummocrats repeated that “the American People want to know.” They did want to know and they do know a scam when they see one, especially such a blatant scam. The underlying scam was to maliciously affect the President in the upcoming election. Apparently, that sort of backfired.

The power to impeach is vested in the House of Representatives. The House members have the power to prepare and commence impeachment procedures. They did so. The Senate has the power to remove the President, or not. As Hamilton warned, the impeachment process is dangerous because it may become a political movement. That’s precisely what happened.

Fortunately, the foresight of the framers of the Constitution saved the day, again. They probably knew some “bad guys” and wanted to protect us from crooked politicians. Let’s suppose for a minute that President Trump had been removed, and he ran again in the coming election and won. Then the Swamp Creatures would have … But it is not over. Millions, if not billions, has been spent over many years to establish a powerful swamp. He promised to drain the swamp and must be very successful in that effort because the Swamp Creatures are somewhat upset. They will not stop their attacks. Whatever it takes will be used. Just remember, the Swamp Creatures will use the same tactics to control the American population as used against the President.

If they ever succeed, we may well take the time to kiss the Constitution goodbye. It can’t happen here? It just did against President Trump.

Jan Klement


On privatization

The moment our public entities fall under the control of the ignorant, greed-ridden privatizers, the quality of service is diminished. Hospitals, prisons, postal service (already diminished by the Internet) and schools have been reduced to the status of poorly regulated businesses. Money is immediately siphoned off the top of our public funding. Money becomes the primary goal in place of service and quality. Absolute minimums of service are sought. Employees are required to follow strict instructions for maintaining the highest profit levels for the privatizers and their stockholders. Service to the paying public is reduced as far as possible. A push button mentality, with recorded instructions and miscellaneous gibberish, replaces live, formerly helpful employees. The public’s time is now deemed to be secondary to the privatizer’s desire for efficient profit making.

If the quality of the product was to be greatly improved, then there might be a slight rationale for accepting external control, but the opposite is true. Efficiency relates solely to profit making, and our greed permeated society neither wishes to pay for service or to demand higher levels of quality in service and products. The privatizers are not doctors, prison guards or teachers. They are essentially leeches, allowed in on the false premise that our public facilities were failing — premise sold to ignorant congressmen and to an equally ignorant, insecure and narrowly self-oriented public.

Wallace B. Eshleman


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