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Letters to the Editor for the week of 4/8/20

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].

Helping one who helped

I don’t know how many of you have heard of Rita Johnson and her medical conditional: Rita has been diagnosed with stage four cancer in her pancreas, liver, lung and spine. Rita (and her family’s) faith in God gives her the courage to continue to fight the good fight.

I wanted to write a letter to the editor of the Portola Reporter regarding Rita and everything she had done for the City of Portola, Plumas County and Sierra County residents.

I don’t know how many of the citizens from Cromberg to Loyalton are aware of what Rita did during the 32 years of Project Santa Claus. We started Project Santa in 1981 and helped provide food, clothes and toys to any local family in need. For the first 15 years, Rita, along with her family (parents Reverend and Wanda Driggers, daughters Linda and Sharon) were in charge of collecting and distributing the food. Wanda always made sure the volunteers were fed over the several nights we distributed the food. Rita formed Holiday Helping Hands so we could determine donations that came in check form i.e. Project Santa, Holiday Helping Hands and the Plumas County Sheriff’s Assoc.

When the Portola Food Bank was formed Rita took on the job of not only helping to distribute the toys, but to type out the list of families and coordinate between the sheriff’s department and Project Santa. It would take a book to tell you everything Rita Johnson did over the 32 years.

Rita needs our help now. There is a Go Fund Me Page.

If everyone that was ever helped during the 32 years of Project Santa Claus would donate $1.00 to the fund, there would be enough to help with the medical bills as well as funding Rita’s bucket list wish of seeing Mount Rushmore.

Please let Rita know what she has meant to all of the citizens she has helped.

Fran Roudebush


Congratulations graduates of 2020

Dear College and High School Graduates of Plumas County,

You worked hard and put in  years of studying at your respective schools. You were looking forward to walking at your commencement. Had this been normal times you would have been doing just that.

Our daughter, Nicole, is a part of the 2020 class and her commencement at Southern New Hampshire University has been postponed. Hopefully your  commencements will be rescheduled. You are all still graduates and like her will receive your diplomas. I am proud of each and everyone of you.

Congratulations on your accomplishments. Best wishes for your future.

Laurine Prinvale


Pandemic health care professionals

We need to recognize our local high school graduates who are courageously on the front lines of this pandemic. Graduates that are working in health care.

Our Amy left California the end of January to work at Rochester New York General Hospital before info about the coronavirus was released to the health care workers nationally. Amy Wormington/Winslow graduated from Portola High School in 1986 and has been a respiratory therapist since the early 1990s.

Patricia Wormington

Sierra Valley

We are part of history

A month or so ago I was not able to understand why all the commotion about Covid-19 and to this very day I am still perplexed.I get what this is  — this is history being made and we’re all a player in that history. This is a “flu” for which there is no vaccination. People die from the flu every year — tens of thousands of people die every year and hundreds of thousands get ill every year from the flu. This flu is no different except it is new.

I listen to our president, I listen to the doctors, I listen to the experts and then I go online and check how the regular flu hits, who’s affected and how many people are admitted to hospital and how many recover or die. The numbers are astonishing for the regular flu, and remember there are vaccinations for that.

So yes, this Covid-19 flu is new and there isn’t a vaccination. I have used social distancing for a decade now, starting in September or whenever I hear the flu or cold season has started. I never shake hands during those periods and I always keep my distance. It’s more important now of course since there is still no vaccination.

To all my fellow Plumas County residents, please keep safe. Please believe this is real and please try to remain optimistic that this will be over soon. And it will be over soon.

Remember we are a part of history now.This will be written about in history books, this will be made into a movie and this will have a long-lasting impact on society. Please make yourself an unknown character in this by being safe and keeping others safe. Hopefully there will be no Plumas County residents on the list of those who did not survive. That is my hope.

Be well.

Peter Skeels

Lake Almanor

Need to focus

When my kids were growing up they took great pleasure in fighting, tattling, scolding, calling names, shifting blame, denying guilt, shouting over each other as they pled their case, then protesting my “misguided” disciplinary actions.

Reminds me of our government.

Even now, when we need to focus on our very survival, these clowns cannot act like responsible leaders of a nation in trouble.

We have elected them to serve us. Instead, they act like eight-year-olds arguing over who gets the biggest piece of cake.

Our politicians need to stop pushing their own interests and start cooperating on looking out for ours.

Financial relief packages are supposed to be helping the American people cope with an unprecedented catastrophe that will impact our lives and livelihoods from now forward.

This is not a time to be diverting funds to special interest groups who have nothing to do with the health and financial consequences of COVID-19.

Read H.R. 748. There are billions of dollars going to organizations, groups, political cronies and more, who do not need to be “rescued.” They are only funded because they make the right political contributions.

We must stop blindly believing every reporter/pundit/politician trying to stir up hatred and fear with their “gotcha” questions, finger-pointing and contention that however shady their action, it is done on “behalf of the American people.”

Instead, put on your “parent” hat.

Sort through the cow pucky and figure out who is right/wrong, truthful/lying, innocent/guilty.

Whose interests are the politicians really supporting?

Contact your representatives and ask.

Simply providing relief for individual Americans and necessary American businesses will already financially burden our children and grandchildren for years to come.

If we support every pie-in-the-sky social issue pretending it will somehow help all of us, there won’t be any cake left to fight over.

Lynn Desjardin


In response

I would like to respond to the one who said “the Democrats have pulled off a successful coup against Bernie Sanders.”

The Democratic Party is a “big tent” party and many of us were looking for a more moderate candidate than Bernie. But all of us would have voted for Bernie against Donald Trump, the most corrupt, dishonest and incompetent president in American history. The moderate tent of the Democratic Party is winning out by rallying around Joe Biden.

I would like to explain to you that people voting is not a coup. This is government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Joe Biden won five states  Super Tuesday where he spent no campaign money. That is because we “the people” wanted a moderate, competent candidate to run against, and win against, Donald Trump. Also, we believe that the will help Senate candidates down the ticket to take the Senate back from the absolutely corrupt lead on a leash by Donald Trump “Republicans.”

This election is, to  me, the most important in U.S. history. It is our chance to remove the human wrecking ball, who is an absolute disaster with no respect to others, from the White House and preserve our democracy that is on the verge of becoming an autocracy.

Dan Hopkins


Retaining sense of humor

Probably just like all the rest of you, the imposed and voluntary self-isolation and social distancing is beginning to wear on me. I really miss being able to go to restaurants and other regular social gathering places to be with friends and acquaintances. Plus, it’s a little weird seeing so many bandits on the street and in the stores. Uh, people with masks on, that is. And that was a joke, and that is the point of this letter. In these trying times it is very important that we keep a sense of humor, to the point that it is appropriate, of course. Laughter, after all, is the best medicine, or so it has often been said.

I do not mean to make light of what is a very serious situation. We Plumas County residents are very fortunate that the COVID 19 virus has not affected us greatly; others have not been as fortunate, and that is a tragedy. It is also the way of the world and this just has to be accepted and we have to deal with it the best we can. Humor is one way of doing that.

So, next time you call a friend or a loved one, tell them a joke or ask them to tell you one. Watch a comedy on the internet. Laugh, even if you have to do it through tears. It won’t be a cure for this nasty virus but it will make you feel better.

So, did you hear the one about … ?

Forrest R. Prince


Coronavirus: Are you a liability?

The Coronavirus has turned our lives, our nation, and the world upside down. Distress and uncertainty pervades our thoughts. It is compounded by the feelings of frustration and anger that our country is lacking the leadership we need to get us through this crisis and back to normalcy.

Trump and the White House administration downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic for nearly two months before taking any meaningful action to assuage the impending catastrophe. Trump’s lack of leadership has prolonged the crisis and is bankrupting the nation and our states as he balks at providing direction and federal assistance in a national emergency. Failure to procure necessary equipment and contain the virus at the outset has resulted in a lack of testing kits, PPE, and ventilator shortages. Of even greater consequence, needless lives have been lost including those of courageous unprotected health care workers who knowingly risked their lives to provide care.

Trump and his wealthy supporters view the economy of this nation in terms of profits, losses and liabilities. Workers are merely tools to promote an economy which is perverted to un-proportionately benefit the wealthy. Profits for the rich rule decisions.

Trump and his followers view Americans who are poor, sick, disabled, on Social Security or Medicare as liabilities. If you are an environmentalist who believes this planet is worth defending or you fight for social justice, you are a liability. After all, social programs and regulations cut profits. Telling workers to “shelter in place” affects Wall Street profits. Certainly high risk citizens would rather risk infection and death than slow down the economy.

There is apprehension that we will never fully recover from this pandemic.  The leadership of this president has failed us all. We must elect leadership which puts people above profit! VOTE 2020.

Faith Strailey


Another virus

Perhaps it was bound to happen. The ‘me-generation’ virus is something we have long endured. In an era that might best be described as belonging to the extremely self-oriented residue of that generation, the ease with which panic is now induced is not surprising. Whether the governor’s bureaucratic health department mandate will prevent the spread of this new virus more effectively than ordinary common sense is unknown. On this first day of spring, it has yet to reach Quincy (unless we are being misinformed). A warning that shops would be required to close as soon as it appeared in a local area might have been sufficient. Premature closing of all restaurants would appear to have been a costly act of bureaucratic panic and insecurity.

It is not so much Trump’s self-serving lies and rationalizations that are so disturbing. Those are to be expected. It is our nation’s diversion of funds from health and education to an out-of-control military budget and to the richest amongst us, that is truly disturbing. Allowing the bulk of our critical drugs to be manufactured in China is also disturbing. The threat of corona virus is real but so are the millions of deaths every year from cigarette smoke, other addictive drugs and street violence-deaths that we try to ignore. We have become a mentally gated community. Our egocentric, take-it-for-granted view of America has left our constitution, our uncontrollable population growth and our environmental integrity in the hands of uneducated politicians, greedy robber barons, and social and economic extremists. It’s time to wake up and accept personal responsibility for maintaining the integrity of our republic. It is also time to stop focusing solely upon our own lives, benefits and privileges.

Wallace B. Eshleman


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