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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Railroad Museum Weekend
Congrats to the Feather River Rail Society for a terrific and successful weekend celebrating the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. With the loss of RR Days you made lemonade out of lemons and placed the emphasis where it always belonged on the WP and its history. Your narrated tours were exceptional with displays of many historical WP pieces and great stories included. Motorcar and loco cab rides were a great addition. Your hands on policy allows visitors to not only see but feel and experience the history, which most museums don’t. Really just wanted to say thank you to all involved and especially to those volunteers who travel great distances to give their time to this historic society and museum. It was refreshing and truly gratifying to return to the true meaning of this annual celebration. Maybe this is the beginning of a new chapter of “WP Railroad Days in Portola, CA.”
Eric and Christie Kroll
I was very impressed with Elizabeth Betancourt when I met her in Quincy several weeks ago and heard her speak. Elizabeth is running for office in a special election to fill the vacant seat in California Assembly District 1. I received my mail in ballot this week and it is due the end of this month. I really enjoyed hearing about Elizabeth’s background in water, forestry and resource management and the different jobs she has held working with government, native tribes, timber companies and the private sector. In her jobs she has worked to ensure a balanced approach to water use, planning and management. Elizabeth is from Redding and she talked a lot about the problems that we have living in rural counties and her ideas for helping us. She has always advocated for smart and responsible forest management that would lead to increased employment, Native American Indian tribal empowerment and making our communities safer from wildfire. While serving as a Director on the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District Board she fought to bring home resources for important projects and programs while making sure our tax dollars were wisely spent. Elizabeth is a small business owner and she believes that it is small businesses that make our rural economy strong. I believe that too. She is energetic, enthusiastic and hardworking and I am voting for her in the special election this month. She’ll be at the Plumas County Fair if you want to meet her.
Supervisors and climate
It is unfortunate that none of the many attendees who attended the recent Supervisors’ meeting to hear about a possible climate resolution were quoted in your summary article. Yes, the author gave a nod to their support in general but she only quoted the one person who spoke against any action and who arrived after the presentation and therefore couldn’t even understand the proposal. This resolution was presented to the Supervisors for their further analysis, not to automatically tune out because of the word ‘tax’.
Some of us spoke about the very present fear of wildfires due to changing climate. Without appropriate action, these fears will become a reality for many in Plumas County. Do the Supervisors have a role in addressing this issue that very directly relates to climate change?
By the sound of the writer’s meeting summary, they are predicted to pass the buck.
It can’t wait
As a nation we are finally recognizing climate change. It’s in the news all the time now. According to Yale Climate Opinion Polls 2018, here in California District 1 71 percent of adults believe that climate change is happening. This is 1 percent higher than the national average of 70 percent. Being a very conservative district this helps affirm my belief that climate change is not a political issue. I think we made it one, when all along it has been a humanitarian issue. What we need to do now is freely put discussion about our warming planet on the table. And in order to move the conversation forward, we need to shed any fears we have about being politically incorrect. Why? Because climate change cannot wait.
Medicare for all
A civilized national public health service (NPHS) would allow you and your family to go to any doctor or provider of your choosing. You present your NPHS id card and you are seen. All aspects of human health (including medical, hospital, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, reproductive, et.al.) are 100 percent covered. Everybody pays into the system and everybody receives healthcare. Public emergency rooms, clinics, hospitals and pharmaceuticals are all available with cost savings measures.
There are no copays, no deductibles, and there are no barbaric constraints like yearly or lifetime caps, and preexisting conditions. Any approved treatment cannot be denied. Coverage begins at nine months (prenatal care) and lasts till your last breath.
With a national health service, the various health agencies like Medicare, Medicaid and the VA, will be combined under one umbrella. Employers will no longer have to provide health insurance and you would be freed from staying in a job that you don’t like or if you want to start your own business. The burden of worrying about having healthcare, or how to pay for it would be eliminated.
Interesting to note is that we already pay for our current bloated inhuman profit-ridden health insurance, so paying for this genuine healthcare system actually costs less (see “The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System” by Charles Blahous) since fat cat insurance executives and stockholders are eliminated. Nobody has a right to siphon money away from your healthcare so that a few fat cats can have five houses around the world.
One idea for funding the NPHS will be based on FICA payroll deductions — a percentage of your income along with employer match (a business tax). If you pay in, you are covered for life.
This health service is called Medicare for all and is essentially what Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are proposing for our country. The only ones against this health service are the rich fat cats who will have to scam people in some other way.
In the July 31 issue of the FRB there was a good write up on the national debt and what would be the best course of action to deal with the debt. Being a Federal retiree I also am concerned on how this problem will be handled, so here is my take on this issue at $22 trillion national debt and growing larger every year congress has no clue on how to fix this mess so every year when budget talks are in the air congress ups the debt ceiling with more insane spending and the can gets kicked down the road again. How long can this kind of insane money management keep going?
It’s a house of cards that is ready to fall and when it does it’s going to be a huge mess, that will hurt many many Americans.
Raising taxes and cutting spending is not a favorite topic of any politician. I hope congress wakes up soon and starts working on a solution to this mess.
The last straw
Utilizing a minor element as an iconic focal point for a larger issue is always questionable. Our fixation on spotted owls, to underscore clear cutting, might very well have limited our focus on the threat of forest fires, species extinction and environmental protection. Spotted owls were often treated as a joke. Water shortage is frequently treated as a local problem. Yet Quincy’s water, for the most part, is recycled into the river. Only within California’s coastal cities does unrecycled water flow into the ocean. However, we still use ‘Don’t flush’ as a conservation mantra. Contamination of our fresh water aquifers, through fracking, and the overexploitation of the Colorado river’s water for distant farms, subdivisions, and golf courses are commonly ignored. For many of us, overpopulation boils down to unwanted immigrants. The cause and enormity of the larger issue, and its threat to civilization, is deemed to be beyond our interest.
Plastic straws are a relatively minute addition to the millions of tons of plastic debris that already cover hundreds of thousands of square miles of our oceans. Straws merely serve as a conveniently dismissable symbol, while billions of equally small plastic sandwich bags are actually killing the last of the sea turtles, bottle caps are wiping out the great albatrosses and the deeply contaminated surface layers remain unsafe for the rest of the sea’s inhabitants. Plastic straws will no doubt become another source of humor. Environmental destruction, water shortage and overpopulation, as well as global warming and sea level rise, are all subject to our capacity for procrastination and programmed ignorance. Unfortunately, our ability to disregard a major problem is even greater when we can pretend that a minor symbol deserves our primary, and sometimes only, attention.
Wallace B. Eshleman