Letters to the Editor for the week of 9/18/19

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]

Great event

What a wonderful affair the Veterans Day activities at the fairgrounds was Sept. 7. All the volunteers and professionals and other experts made a wonderful day for veterans. There were all kinds of provisions and services, lots of new clothing, shoes, outdoor gear and lots of personal items and food and barbeque lunch for all attending, dentist, x-rays, optometrist, with exam and new glasses, massages, barber and hearing exams, lots of free everything — a wonderful day and may thanks to all the volunteers and to all that put this event together.

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Gordon Lewis

Quincy

Crystal Lake closure

Our forest service needs to stop denying access to our land and start managing the people that are in charge and making decisions. There is no call for access to our country to be denied.

A young man recently returned from a deployment that cost him the use of his leg. Mobility is a problem. He can still enjoy exploring the back country roads in his jeep and he recently attempted a return trip to Mt. Hough’s, Crystal Lake, a place he and his family have enjoyed for years. Unfortunately he was denied access to the lake.

The forest service recently closed the 4-wheel drive road down to the lake, why? This was a local decision made by local employees working for our forest service. Shame on you, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Perhaps you have two legs to carry yourself down to the lake, this young man cannot.

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Jim Barnes

Quincy

Editor’s note: The Mt. Hough Ranger District (Plumas NF) in partnership with Plumas County Coordinating Committee and Sierra Access Coalition, is developing an alternate route to Crystal Lake that will allow access and protect lake quality. The existing unauthorized route continues to deteriorate and more and more sediment is flowing into the lake.

Walk for Liberty

I read in great concern the article by Stacey Fisher Aug. 28, regarding the Walk for Liberty group and their desire to be able to dredge for gold in the streams and tribs that are located in the Middle Fork Feather River Canyon and on down near Seneca.

I wish I was born in an another era too, before the dams were built and we lost all the salmon and steelhead that ran up the canyon annually there was another form of gold in the rivers and creeks. But it’s never going to happen again, it’s too late “another dam story” and our economy has suffered over this issue ever since, look at Weaverville, the salmon and steelhead capital after November to gain a little insight in what the Upper Feather lost.

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Areas I fly fish and know that were hydraulic mined around Jamison Creek, Two Rivers and Camp Layman are still covered in a loam silt that insects don’t prefer until after the bend, and on down into Sloat and the Middle Fork Canyon.

It’s been proven, areas where you stir up sediment and old skeletons like mercury pots can lead to a decline insects, trout, animals and on up the food chain. Being born in the wrong era is something we have to live with, but unlike the California Gold Rush where they used water and rivers to extract gold from Mother Earth, the Liberty Walkers should consider mining endeavors based on what happened 10 years later over in Virginia City, Nevada. and mine mountains to extract gold, it doesn’t impact others down stream who use the river for swimming, fishing and drinking. This is another example of a few impacting many, possible for many future generations if not done right.

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Jack Trout

Graeagle

History and vocabulary matter

It is hard to sympathize with local business owner Ken Donnell, who wrote about “How Trump’s trade war is impacting my business.” He is certainly correct when he says Trump’s trade war “has become a complete and unqualified failure,” and I wish his business good fortune. But history and vocabulary matter. Trump has nothing in common with Chairman Mao — but a lot in common with President Herbert Hoover and the Republican senators Smoot and Hawley who passed the tariffs in 1930 that led to the Great Depression.

Trump is imposing tariffs without Congressional approval, meaning he comes closer to the Merriam-Webster definition of fascism: “a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.” Like Trump at a rally, Mr. Donnell labels anything he hates as “socialism.” Anybody who begs us “to please help keep socialism out of America” sounds a lot like somebody who voted for Trump in the last election, and who “will not quietly stand by and watch,” but will likely vote for him again.

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Hal Stemmler

Taylorsville

Disposal increases

There’s more to the ‘garbage disposal rate increase’ than the flippant “about $3” and “That’s a cup of coffee … ” from Public Works and Supervisor Simpson. Is $3 the total additional yearly amount or per month or what? Flippant.

For Feather River Disposal (FRD), a 17.22 percent increase using 2018 gross revenue numbers equates to an additional $423,459 extracted from Plumas residents. I don’t bother with FRD as they just do what they want including arbitrarily increasing their rates (per Minutes of the May 7, 2018 ‘Plumas County Integrated Waste Management Task Force’ (PCIWMTF), suing Plumas County, and according to Public Works publicly stated comment at the June 6, 2019 PCIWMTF meeting, a consulting group found where FRD transferred expenses from a non-county subsidiary into the County’s financial statements. Hmmm.

Rate increases are only triggered when their ‘operating ratio’ falls outside a contractual percentage. This is a very flawed methodology to determine rate increases, but of course it favors the contractors. There is no means to reduce rates even if they are making a fortune.

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Intermountain Disposal (IMD) has a different story. Poor IMD hasn’t had a rate increase for 5 years. The 4.22 percent increase will extract an additional $73,875 using 2018 revenue numbers. IMD is actually doing quite well, increasing revenues by 9.64 percent adding $158,148 from 2017. Their expenses went up too — 18.78 percent equating to an additional $266,539 from 2017. Interestingly, one-time expenses that will not occur in the following year(s) totaling over $90,000, triggered the rate increase. It’s called a windfall.

I commented at the rate increase Public Hearing stating these and additional facts to the Supervisors. There was absolutely no discussion except Supervisor Sanchez remarked that ‘IMD hasn’t had a rate increase in 5 years.’ They all voted yes.

Hey, it’s only your money. It’s only $3 (supposedly). But, it is typical that a certain political party caters to corporations and not the people. Ever wonder why Plumas County always has closed storefronts and businesses?

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Mark Mihevc

Graeagle

LaMalfa take action

My heartfelt thanks to the Portola City Council for passage of a climate change resolution that also endorses a carbon fee and dividend plan, namely the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act HR 763, as the best way to move forward. This demonstrates genuine concern for the citizens of Portola as we deal with an increasingly warmer climate leading to ever increasing fire risks, poor air quality, potential flooding, and the unaffordability or loss of home insurance. Nearby Oroville, Truckee, and Nevada City have all enacted climate resolutions, and municipalities nationwide have done the same.

Unfortunately, in a letter to the editor “Need a different resolution” published Sept. 11, the author misconstrues the truth by labeling the Portola City Council resolution as “non-enforceable” and “feel-good.” The real truth is that a climate change resolution, especially one enacted by our community leaders, sends a strong message to our elected officials: “we are hurting and legislation to tackle climate change is needed now!” The city council sent a copy of their resolution to Representative LaMalfa. Let’s hope he reads it and finally takes action.

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Robbin Anderson

Clio

Climate change: What to do

Eliminate fossil fuels, scrap nuclear power, ban plastic straws, eat beetles …

If you eliminate fossil fuels, fire-fighting trucks and aircraft will have to take time out to find battery-charging stations.

Think nuclear waste takes up too much space and causes additional environmental damage?

What happens to dead car, truck, bus and aircraft batteries?

Banning plastic straws will, um, something. Maybe end pea shooting?

The only thing eating beetles will cure is America’s obesity problem.

Remember back in the 70s when restaurants put up half walls between the tables to keep the smoke on only one side of the restaurant?

Great ideas, right?

If these “solutions” sound not only bizarre, but breathtakingly stupid, it is because they are.

The uproar over climate change is not really about climate.

It is about controlling how we live, what we eat and where food comes from, what and where we drive, how we work and play, etc.

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Climate change, however, is real and man is at least partially responsible.

But get serious. This is not American or German or African climate change.

It is global climate change.

And only an honest, concerted global effort will favorably alter the situation.

Ideas like the Paris agreement punish some world players, give others a pass, and ignore many more.

Our politicians and cohorts with their absurd ideas are either pathetically juvenile or profoundly ignorant.

To solve adverse climate change we must gather unbiased and trustworthy scientific professionals from around the world, arm them with unabridged data and put their collective genius to work.

So stop screeching “existential threat” and playing Chicken Little or Superhero.

If climate change is a serious concern, then it deserves serious, impartial and intelligent deliberation.

With today’s political climate — don’t hold your breath.

Lynn Desjardin

Portola

We’re doomed

Bear in mind that the season in Australia is currently late winter/early spring; a report from the BBC indicates that, “More than 140 fires were already raging across the eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales. The article I found on “Vice,” reported a “change of heart for the minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, who suggested earlier this week (late Aug.) he didn’t think climate change is man-made.” But asked about the wildfires on Thursday, (29 Aug.) Littleproud said, “I accept the science on man-made climate change. Always have.”

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A map of the Amazon region on AFP, highlighting the fires in that region, made it look like a measles outbreak in the area. And Inciweb reports that the Walker Fire has surpassed 50,000 acres. Until the end of August, the fire season locally was relatively mild.

Seeking an explanation, I reached for the letters section of the local paper. There it was: “Global warming is because of our solar orbit, not because of fossil fuels.”It sounded vaguely familiar; where did I hear that one before? Oh yeah, it was an episode from “The Twilight Zone.” In one of the episodes from Rod Serling’s brilliant program, the trajectory of the earth’s orbit brings the earth gradually closer to the sun each year. It might be available on Netflix so I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you.

I’ve made an effort to cite the sources for the information presented: AFP, Vice, BBC, and Feather Publishing. This allows the reader to double-check the info. Hopefully, someday soon, you will do the same.

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Gene Nielsen

Crescent Mills

Dishonesty in the Oval Office

As Hurricane Dorian approached the United States, attention was diverted from the plight of the Bahamian people to Trump who tweeted an inaccurate storm warning for the state of Alabama. He referenced old data, but instead of apologizing for the mistake, he doubled down and altered a NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, storm warning with a sharpie. This despicable, overt attempt by Trump to mislead Americans is unconscionable. To make matters worse, Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary, was instructed by Mike Mulvaney to pressure NOAA employees to disavow a tweet from the National Weather Service’s regional office that contradicted Trump’s claim under penalty of being fired. Where will this end?

When the American people can no longer trust the information that is generated from the Oval Office or the agencies on which we depend, the very fabric of our Democracy and our personal wellbeing are at risk.

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According to the Washington Post, Trump had made more than 12,000 false or misleading claims before Aug. 12. He and his administration have been guilty of more abuse of power and corruption than any other presidency in the history of the United States. They have removed “inconvenient” data from agency websites. They have transferred an entire department within the Agriculture Department to a distant city. Some of the research the department conducted, studied the relationship between agricultural and climate change. The plan was devised to encourage career employees, who are familiar with vetted data, to quit rather than move. Climate change is “inconvenient” to this administration because mitigating it could cut corporate profits.

Climate change is real and human activity is to blame. Our future and that of the natural world are at risk. Stand up to the lies. Join us Sept. 22, 1 p.m. on the courthouse steps for the Climate Change Event.

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Faith Strailey

Quincy

IQ

‘Intelligence Quotient’ is an unfortunate term. It was utilized by insecure individuals to categorize the members of our society as superior or inferior. For decades, IQ tests were employed in support of racism and classism. Many of the test questions were either unvalidated or irrelevant. Environmental influences, such as language, education, wealth and family occupation were largely ignored. Furthermore, there are many forms of intelligence. Our innate potential for success in music, mathematics, language, science or athletics varies greatly from individual to individual. This potential is difficult to assess prior to the early intellectual development of a child. Furthermore, self-competition, rather than group-competition, will always be our greatest source of intellectual development, whether we prove to be an athlete, a musician or a scholar.

Particularly striking today is the vast discrepancy between learning to think and learning to know. Our capacity to memorize information may well be considered another unique form of intelligence, but it is of little value until we acquire an ability to apply critical analysis to that information in order to determine its validity. Today’s narrow training of specialists in every field often precludes broad general educations. This is unfortunate, as broad educations are necessary if we are to correlate specialized fields. Our capacity to use common sense, to distinguish right from wrong, and to acquire enough moral intelligence to refrain from harming others will never provide the sort of statistical data that is currently utilized to define intellectual potential. And a falsely rendered determination of innate intellectual potential can adversely affect a student for life.

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Wallace B. Eshleman

Quincy