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Letters to the editor for the week of 6/19/19

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].


On Saturday, June 8, I had a severe COPD attack. The Graeagle Volunteer Fire Department EMTs, the EPHC ambulance EMTs and the emergency room nurses saved my life. Thanks. We are lucky to have them.

Neil Beck

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area desecration

I was born and raised in Plumas County by parents who loved and respected our beautiful outdoors, that we are so blessed to be able to enjoy, for the 60 years they were able to be on this earth. My husband and I have lived in Butterfly Valley for nearly 30 years; raised our kids here and now have our grandkids visit here often. One of the appealing factors for us in buying property here was that it was next to Forest Service property and a short ride to the Botanical Area. We have spent many hours of peace and enjoyment on that beautiful mountain.

That said, I was absolutely mortified and sad when last year I took my granddaughters on a Jeep ride up the mountain to visit the Botanical Area. As I began to turn the corner to take them to the pitcher plants, I realized the road was gone, covered with rocks, dirt, trees; anything “they” could find to desecrate one of my favorite places to go. I literally cried. I am no longer able to hike that mountain like I used to, but I was still able to take my family and friends on rides up there to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. (The Botanical Area is not the only part of the mountain that is having its old dirt roads turned back to “nature.”)

I question the decision to take out that road, as it used to be used for trains to pass through on. It should have been considered an historic area. But, whether or not it was, everyone knows that the old dirt roads on our local mountains cause no harm. They not only provide a way for families to get out and do something besides TV and computer stuff, they also provide ways for our fire fighters to have access to forest fires to put them out quickly.

I find it interesting and upsetting, that a June 15 group tour was planned (guess it will already have happened when, and if, my letter is read), and that they were encouraged to wear appropriate shoes for “boggy and wet conditions.” That obviously means they are going to be walking through the same botanical area, squishing the precious little plants that grow there, that we were told was being protected by desecrating the road that passed by it.

So wrong that a few people can make decisions for “public land” that affect the lives of so many people. That road was not hurting anything, but it brought a lot of happiness to the people who know that mountain, love that mountain and wanted to spend time on that mountain. (The last place I took my mom before she died was up that mountain for our yearly outing to view the beautiful dogwood blooms that she loved so much.)

Glenda Herbert
Butterfly Valley

Death and taxes

We are living longer and getting taxed more. California voters passed initiatives of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association for taxpayer’s rights in Propositions 13 and 218. They are established in the state constitution. HJTA is leading a revolt since our essential protection is being wiped out.

Pro-tax legislators have never been more aggressive in their attacks. They dominate the Assembly 61 to 19 and 29 to 11 in the Senate. The government-union bosses have unprecedented influence in Sacramento. “Pension Reform” or “Spending Caps” are not on their agenda. HJTA has never seen a “Reform” that wouldn’t weaken, undermine or “Repeal Prop 13.”

Property owners are leaving California as a result of over-regulation, taxation without accountability in the misuse of public funds. Legislator’s efforts are to find additional revenue resources. Taxpayers are paying for the homeless and mentally ill.

We have a Constitutional Amendment qualified for the 2020 ballot under the misleading title “The Schools and Local Community Funding Act.” We voted additional funding to our schools already. Our local community funding can come from community development not more taxes. Growth and creating well-paying jobs should be the top priority for City Council.

The City of Portola remains the economic and conservative religious center of eastern Plumas County. It has sustained a stable population for the last 70 years. It enjoys a strong and stable fiscal situation due to its conservative values with the aid of Prop 13 and 218. City Council established policies to search for additional revenue resources. Recent attempts like the drastic water and sewer increases that reformed the Prop 218 process were rolled back. The litigation with DFG was a frivolous lawsuit. The Fire Tax failed to provide more discretionary funds.

Larry F. Douglas

In response

In response to the sarcastic anti-socialist letter of June 5.

I can’t speak as to the disparity between a burger flipper and brain surgeon, but ask me if a man from the wrong side of the tracks who couldn’t afford the time or money for a higher education, who probably served in one of our stupid wars and is earning a living by the honest sweat of his brow should make the same money as some lazy lawyer or real estate developer, my answer is hell yes.

And just imagine a world where we don’t need health insurance companies; how sad.

Frank Kortangian

Self-pitying killers

Every few weeks another item appears in our nation’s press concerning an individual who has committed suicide. This is not the decision to die that remains our only inalienable right. It is a secondary response to an act of murder. Apparently, it is not enough for the self-centered, self-pitying killer simply to leave a world in which job, family or social environment has become too stressful. These suicidal killers must first murder family members, fellow workers or random members of the public in order to express their ‘poor little me’ rationale. Of course the act is insane. It frequently reflects the influence of gun availability and screen violence and the killers often require help from the police for their final act of suicide. Death precludes punishment.

Outright criminal insanity seems to be rare and more in accordance with serial killer mentalities. Yet, introversion, insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-hate and guilt undoubtedly play a part. However, it is an extreme self-orientation that allows these self-pitying individuals to throw their final adolescent temper tantrums. Without statistical evidence, it is difficult to determine if this is an essentially new phenomenon or simply a greater gathering of reports by desperate journalists. Nevertheless, from the 1930s through the 1970s most of us focused on social improvement. Interacting and conversing with our neighbors was once an every day practice. In today’s world, most of us don’t even know our neighbors’ names. Since that long ago era of my youth, we have entered a new era — one in which self-orientation, personal isolation greed, intentional ignorance, drugs and a me-generation mentality have taken over our lives and, in some cases, our minds.

Wallace B. Eshleman

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