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]
Big congratulations are in order for the staff and volunteers who helped put on the Third Americana Festival over the Labor Day weekend. The music was good, the setting even better and the ambiance was perfect. John Steffanic’s vision of a homegrown ode to Blue Grass and other traditional music played itself out in fine form. And the opportunity for local musicians to be a part of the fete generated an inclusiveness that was not lost on those who attended. Congrats to all.
Elliott Smart and Jody Johnson
Firstly, I would like to say how much myself and my family enjoyed the Taylorsville Pioneer Days, the staff/volunteers did a really good job and it was evident how much time had been given to put this event on.
Secondly, I would like to comment on the incoming 5Gcell towers that are being introduced. An acquaintance of mine has a brother who works in the Sacramento area installing these services. He has to wear a ‘radiation tag’ that when it shows he has reached his daily limit he has to stop work. He did not have to wear this type of tag when working with the 3G. I realize that I may have too simple a comprehension of the specifics, but it does cause one concern that this ‘service’ has so much information when researched, demonstrating its dangers.
It was August 6, one month ago today, when a little girl on a bicycle hit me from behind as I was walking on Center Street in East Quincy. That collision resulted in my letter to the editor which was published as a “Where I Stand” opinion piece the following week.
Since then, my bruises have faded, although they remain visible. I have a couple of scars, which I’m confident will disappear with time, and there are tender places on my leg. I’m still grateful that I wasn’t more seriously injured, but realizing that I could have been has made me more watchful.
Because I’m more observant, I continue to notice things that concern me. It was only a few nights after the little girl ran into me that I saw another (somewhat older) girl weaving down Center St. on her bicycle. When she came closer to me, I saw that she was steering with one hand while she held a cell phone in her other hand. Needless to say, her entire focus was on the phone.
That same week, I saw a dark gray Toyota 4-Runner, going east on Center St., blast through the 4-way stop at Sierra Way without even slowing down. Since then, I’ve noticed very young children out on bikes after the streetlights have come on. And I’ve seen little ones riding without helmets.
Once again, I would like to appeal to parents to make sure your kids are ready for the responsibility before you let them ride unsupervised on the street. I don’t think it is unreasonable to have rules that require them to leave their cell phones at home or in their pockets, wear helmets, and return home before dark. You can’t control what reckless drivers do, but you can try to keep your kids (and old ladies who walk) safe.
Teachers unions vs. Charter advocates
If you are like me, you may be interested to know that an agreement has been reached between California Teachers Unions and Charter school advocates that will finally place restrictions on Charter schools.
The deal, reached at the end of August, gives public school districts more authority to reject petitions from new charter schools, phases in stricter requirements for teacher credentialing at Charter schools and allows public school districts to close Charter schools if they feel a financial hardship is being placed on the public schools.
Assembly Bill 1505 aims to ease the burden caused by education funding based on enrollment being taken away by the competition for students and to provide a more equitable learning environment in California’s public schools.The agreement will require that Charter schools meet the same performance standards as traditional public schools.
What this means for Plumas Charter Schools I don’t know, but to me it’s about fairness. When I questioned the need for Charter schools in a county of just 19,000 I was shunned, ridiculed and even turned into the Sheriff for harassment. That is when I knew the deep-pocketed Charter advocates have the power and don’t seem to care about the public schools. Hopefully this will change some day.
Need a different resolution
Congratulations on the non-enforceable, feel-good “Resolution” regarding the Earth’s climate by Portola’s City Council. Oh, bummer. NASA, a federal government agency, finally admits the truth after 60 years — global warming is because of our solar orbit not because of fossil fuels. They have known this for years — but the Obama Administration kept it hidden or outright lied about the facts. Now the question is, when will the other agencies admit they either lied or hid the truth?
Why doesn’t the City pass a resolution that states “The Plumas County Board of Supervisors continues to unnecessarily steal $50,000 per year, from the citizens of Portola” at least this resolution would be based on a fact. “Local officials can negotiate alternative formulas” as Colusa County did (Government Code §56381) to pay for LAFCO.
The City leaders still allow the 50 percent LAFCO fee on their citizens. This “fee” could be more fairly distributed to “all” residents of Plumas County. Is Portola so wealthy it can pay $50,000 per year (in tax dollars) to the County? The County pays its half to the State of California for 18,000 residents. The city pays (because of subservient leadership) the other half for its 2,000 residents. LAFCO laws (see above) allow this fee to be divided “evenly”. This $50,000 fee on the city residents could end in two Board of Supervisors meetings! Where is the leadership from the city? When will they stand up for their citizens’ equality? When will the BOS realize they are treating Portola residents unfairly?
A “County” resident pays roughly, $2.77 per year for LAFCO overhead. A “City” resident pays $25 per year for the same service. There are only two special Districts in the City Limits, the Cemetery and the Hospital and they haven’t annexed anything. There are 51 remaining LAFCO districts outside the city limits … Hello?
Climate change is real, it is here and scientific evidence from hundreds of world-renowned scientists say that human activity is the major cause. Our own national security agencies cite climate change as the most critical challenge of the time.
We know that warming temperatures are creating droughts and beetle-infested trees. We know that we are not isolated in the ravages of climate change. The severity and frequency of storms is driven by warming seas. The effects of climate change impact tens of millions of people in our country alone. The rest of the world is also suffering. Melting glaciers are projected to result in the loss of year-round water supplies, sea level rise is drowning island nations, drought is making arable land unproductive and entire ecosystems are collapsing. Climate refugees are fleeing their former homes seeking safety and survival in hostile nations.
Closer to home, our county and many other rural counties are living with the fear of catastrophic forest fires. Residents who lost homes and businesses in the Camp Fire know too well the devastation that a wildfire can bring. Will our county be next? Insurance companies seem to think so. Many of us have lost our house insurance, many of us wonder if our property values will spiral downward because our homes are uninsurable at a reasonable cost. This threat must be taken seriously. These reasons alone should be sufficient to call for action.
We have the capacity to mitigate climate change. We know that fossil fuel production and utilization has been identified as a critical cause of warming temperatures. Scientists know that there are a variety of agricultural practices, which can help sequester carbon and reduce CO2. We can address this issue if there is enough outcry to demand it … before it is too late.
Formerly known as continental drift, it is largely beyond the interests of the general public, just as so many fields of interest are beyond my own comprehension. In 1830, the geologist, Charles Lyell, believed the earth to be cooling, and the valleys and mountains to be wrinkles. In 1896, the French chemist, Antoine Henri Becquerel, discovered radioactivity. Certain elements were slowly decaying and releasing heat. In 1912, a German meteorologist, Alfred Wegener, laid out considerable evidence for continental drift. America’s geologists (who were not geophysicists) refused to consider it. Final proofs came in the 1960s. The Pacific plate, for example, has drifted over a stationary thermal plume and, over millions of years, 1600 miles of Hawaiian Islands have been formed.
Pangaea became a supercontinent after the major plates began to coalesce about 300 million years ago. 250 years earlier another supercontinent, called Rodinia, had already broken apart. Of course, plate movements also cause earthquakes, build mountains and alter the weather. India spent 100 million years drifting north until it ran into Asia, and is still pushing up the Himalayan Mountains. Africa also drifted north, and that slow collision has created all of the mountains around the Mediterranean Sea, from the Jura Alps to the Atlas and the Caucasus. Plate tectonics have been a reality for at least two billion years. Its occasionally disastrous consequences for us (Japan and Christchurch in 2011, Sumatra in 2004, Alaska and Chile in the 1960s) can often be alleviated. Knowledge is the key. As is the case with all of this world’s serious threats, ignorance, dogmatic beliefs and exacerbated fear simply compound the danger. We should never be afraid to learn.
Wallace B. Eshleman