Letters to the editor for the week of 9/4/19

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

On behalf of Eastern Plumas Health Care’s engineering department I would like to thank you for this great event for the support of our hospital. Us engineers are no pros by any means however it is a great opportunity for us as well as all the staff to just get out and have some fun as we support our organization.

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Thank you.

Stan Peiler
Portola

Health care

Thanks to Portola’s reporter for her through coverage of local meetings. Members of our city and others turned out to the support young entrepreneurs who are making plans to purchase our privately owned pharmacy. They turned out to address the board of Eastern Plumas Health Care District regarding the hopes of future collaborative efforts rather than competition. The present owner informed the board that he closed his pharmacy in Quincy because his business eroded due to competition with Plumas Health Care.

The CEO for EPHC kept his word to the prospective buyers. He announced that EPHC wants to move forward in supporting the new ownership, as well as looking to the future best care of the community as a whole. The private ownership of the local pharmacy provides a check and balance system. The human behavior of our community is being impacted by an epidemic of addictions. Collaboration not competition is needed to control substance abuse. EPHC is doing their best in our their district.

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The Chief Nursing Officer gave thanks to the EMS personnel for their willingness to assist in Portola and Loyalton. They are making a valuable contribution to patient care. From where I stand they should be compensated for their service to our disadvantaged cities. Portola is now contracting out police and fire protection with EMS services. Its result in a duplication of services without compensation to some. In other cities ambulance services are contracted to one company as first responders.

From my experience EPHC has been the first responder. To be fair and bet the best service the city needs to contract only with EPHC for EMS health care and rebuild our fire department or consolidate fire services with Eastern Plumas county fire districts.

Larry F. Douglas
Portola

Wildfire insurance solution

There may be a partial solution to the wildfire/casualty insurance dilemma, but it will require a change in State insurance law.

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The problem that we are experiencing with cancellation of casualty home insurance policies in parts of California is due to the fact that by law such policies must include coverage for wildfire risk. Wildfire risk is, from the standpoint of a specific property, generally of rather low probability for a given period of time, although if it eventuates, the aggregate damage for an entire area can be huge. This is not unlike the risk presented to insurers by earthquakes in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and other parts of California and the West.

However, unlike wildfire risk, earthquake risk is excluded from standard home casualty insurance policies. Importantly, bank lenders then do not require earthquake coverage when underwriting loans to homes, even those in quake-prone areas. Homeowners are therefore free to decide if they wish to obtain earthquake insurance from the same or another insurer that is comfortable underwriting such risk and can do so more efficiently.

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Why shouldn’t wildfire risk be treated the same way? If State law permitted, standard casualty policies could exclude wildfire risk, while still providing fire coverage as to fires resulting from other sources, such as electrical shorts, furnaces or wood stoves. Homeowners wishing to do so could purchase wildfire-specific coverage to augment their standard casualty coverage. Banks would presumably be persuaded not to insist on homeowners having such additional coverage, and this would ensure that such properties continue to be financeable and marketable, with or without wildfire coverage. Admittedly, there will be a line-drawing problem in the law and the policies themselves, differentiating wildfires from run of the mill fires originating in the vicinity of a home, but this should not be an insurmountable hurdle.

This is a market-oriented solution, which does not rely on government programs or additional taxes. Legislators in areas with elevated wildfire risk should be asked to investigate and support this potential solution, by adoption of appropriate changes to the State Insurance Code, permitting the separation of wildfire vs. other casualty risk. The possible alternative is a severe drop in real property sales and in the local economy, of Plumas County and similarly affected areas, as a result of general inability of buyers and homeowners to obtain or maintain bank financing due to lack of casualty insurance on their homes.

William Harvey
Graeagle

The difference

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Are you a Conservative or a Socialist/Progressive? Ever asked yourself, “how can they (the other party) be so irrational?”

Actually, neither is irrational. They simply have different perspectives.

Conservatives believe the individual has the God-given rights to life and liberty and the right and responsibility to determine their own destiny.

Socialist/Progressives believe in those tenets, too.

The difference being that Conservatives believe the individual determines their own path.

Socialist/Progressives believe the “State” sets those boundaries.

Conservatives rely on the U.S. Constitution — a detailed blueprint for our government system, delineating federal, state and individual rights and responsibilities.

Socialists/Progressives rely instead on the State to dictate conditions, and the workers (collective) to work harmoniously together, produce the means and live their lives to the benefit of everyone else, in order to attain “equality.”

Want to own a gun? Open a business? Become a teacher? Have six kids? Need long-term healthcare?

Ask the State. It will decide what you can and cannot do or have, based on its value to the collective.

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But what is the “State”? Who has the power, how do they get it, are there limits to it?

Scandinavian countries are cited as successful Socialist states. But look closer. They are actually based on capitalism and citizens are rebelling against some of the Socialist practices.

There is no doubt that America needs to address a host of issues that are negatively affecting our society.

But is Socialism the answer? Who would comprise our “State”? Ask Bernie or AOC or Lizzie. They will not tell you.

As Isaac Newton said, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

For Socialism/Progressivism to succeed (action), you must forfeit your individual rights and succumb to the edicts of the State (reaction).

Are you sure you want to do that?

Lynn Desjardin
Portola

How tariffs (don’t) work

It sounds like somebody is a fan of revisionist history or maybe they just have a few important wires crossed. Tariffs were initially placed on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports by President Trump on March 22, 2018, using a memo citing the trade act of 1974; source: New York Times. About two weeks later China responded in kind. For a few months President Trump and Chinese leaders went back and forth with offers and threats. On June 15, 2018, Trump submitted his final list of Chinese goods that would be subject to tariffs. Soon thereafter China responded in kind. A similar pattern of: Trump threatens, China responds, has played out over the course of this summer.

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I read that Sen. Lindsey Graham warned on one of the Sunday news shows that American farmers should be prepared to sacrifice to benefit Trump’s trade war. I feel it should be Trump and Lindsey Graham who sacrifice.

President Trump has often claimed that the U.S. has collected substantial amounts from China from the tariffs; actually, it has been American distributors and/or consumers who have paid the tariffs. In effect it is an additional sales tax.

President Trump’s appointee as Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, cracked a big joke at a farmer’s meeting in Minnesota. “What is it when two farmers get together in a basement? A whine cellar!” Those farmers in Minnesota didn’t find it funny either. The other drawback to Trump’s tariffs and China’s response is that the market for American grown agricultural products such as soybeans, almonds and wine (not with an “h”), markets that were painstakingly developed over decades in an atmosphere of trust, those markets have all dried up. This gives a double whammy to farmers: prices of equipment and supplies are higher and the market for goods is greatly diminished.

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There are also some indications that large agri-businesses get the lion’s share of subsidy payments and small farmers get the short end of the stalk.

Gene Nielsen
Crescent Mills

He’ll bring us to ruin

In response to the conservative letter writer who takes offence at the comparison between the Trump administration and the Hitler rule.

I grew up during Hitler’s rise to power and he didn’t start out putting people in camps and gas chambers, he started his murderous rampage just like Trump and his supporters with hateful racist speech and jack-booted brown shirt thugs who acted just like I.C.E. agents are acting now.

Hitler brought Europe to ruin and Trump, left unchecked will bring the planet to ruin.

Frank Kortangian
Graeagle

On war

On Aug. 6, 1945, we detonated an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. On Aug. 8, the Russians invaded Mongolia, at the urging of President Truman, who thought the Japanese might need an additional motivation to surrender. On Aug. 9, we exploded a second atomic bomb over Nagasaki. The Russians were later rewarded with control over North Korea. We paid dearly for that expedient political act. Following our blundering invasion of North Korea, we were warned never to engage in a war in Indochina. But we blundered into that war anyway. Our greed-ridden invasion of Iraq was enabled by deliberate falsification. Our military adventure in Afghanistan was a product of appalling ignorance and cold war mentality. We had long supported Saddam in his conflict with Iran, and we had trained and equipped the Taliban. Our experience in Vietnam should have warned us that both wars were unwinable.

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Civilians are always the major casualties in war. Ignorance, insecurity and greed are the primary causes. For some who survive, war is remembered as an exciting adventure. For others it is an unending horror. Few of those who initiate wars take part in actual combat.

I recall a long conversation with a Japanese Catholic priest, at Hiroshima, in 1962. We were sitting alone on a bench across from the small flowing stream that borders the shell of the mechanics building — a remaining symbol of the holocaust. After a bit, he mentioned that he had been a grade school student near what was to become ground zero. That morning, he had been taken to work in a potato field beyond the railroad station. On his return, he attempted to gather the scorched bones of his classmates. There were not enough left to fill his shoebox.

Wallace B. Eshleman
Quincy