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3ulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 1B Co MMUNITY PERSPECTIVE It's lig'hts out for incandesc.ent,bulb's WHERE I STAND to the people regarding CFLs ......................................................................................... is this: You can use any bulb TED GAINES SENATOR, 1ST DISTRICT As we say hello to 2012, it is time to say goodbye to an old friend, the trusty tnd depend- able 100-watt light bulb. It will disappear into the new, un- comfortably bright white world of the compact fluores- cent light (CFL), where green utopianism is killing con- sumer choice, shipping jobs to China and lowering the dimmer switch on freedom. The government's benevo- lent, freedom-loving message you like, as long as it's fluo- rescent. That's because CFLs are the chief replacement for the traditional incandescent light bulbs that the federal government will effectively ban in stages starting Jan. 1. The problem with that Hob- son's choice is that people al- ready have real choices when it comes to bulbs for their homes and they don't need the wisdom of bureaucrats to light the way for them. Many are getting by with the same inefficient, global- warming villain known as the incandescent bulb that has only survived more than a century without significant change. Among things it does that CFLs do not do is glow with a light people actually enjoy and does not give them headaches. Who would want that when the government says otherwise? It also doesn't spill mercury -- a poison -- onto the linoleum when it breaks, re- quiring a scary list of EPA cleanup instructions that in- clude emptying the room of people and pets, airing out the room for 10 minutes and turn- ing off any central heating and air systems. And it's cheap. The CFL has its advantages over the traditional bulb. En- ergy efficiency is the CFL's calling card. It uses a fraction of the incandescent's energy. It lasts longer. The government, though, isn't weighing the benefits of one against the other, like con- sumers in a free society do day after day with product after product from candy bars to cars. No -- it has made up con- sumers' minds for them and put the fear of global warming above everything else. What do consumers want? When standing In the light bulb aisle, with the bulbs sit- ting right next to each other on the shelves, they ignore the dictates of the green bien pensants and overwhelming- ly choose incandescent bulbs. Apparently, they are suffer- ing from a collective delusion about what product is better. The ban has all the hall- marks of bad government. It's a nannyish, meddling, superi- or regulation that will force people to buy a product they don't want for more money. The green jobs that were supposed to be one of the many blessings of the forced transition were not a myth, however. They appeared -- in China. Apparently, labor-in- tensive CFL manufacturing doesn't pencil out in America. As we say goodbye to the signature invention of Ameri- ca's greatest inventor, let's re- member that we won't lose our freedom all at once, but one light bulb at a time. Sen. Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, Arnador, Calav- eras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento and Sierra counties. New .tax interpretation aids farm solar power WHERE I STAND Each day, my staff and I ............................................................................................................. work hard to ensure that tax- GEORGE RUNNER MEMBER STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION As an elected member of the California State Board of Equalization, I have the unique privilege of serving as a taxpayer advocate for the citizens of California. California is the only state in the nation that has an elected tax board that is di- rectly accountable to voters. The five-member board on which I serve administers more than 30 tax program s and fees, including sales and use tax, tobacco tax, fuel taxes and timber yield taxes. My fellow board members and I hear appeals relating to these taxes and fees, as well as state personal income tax appeals that originate from the Franchise Tax Board. payers are treated fairly when dealing with California tax bureaucracies. Whether the issue is a tax appeal or an au- dit, we want [o see taxpayers treated with the respect they deserve. The district I represent is comprised of more than 9 mil- lion Californians and more than half of the state's land mass. The district spans much of inland California -- from the Oregon border to Southern California -- and in- cludes the entire Central Val- ley. As you might suspect, tax issues impacting California farmers are of great interest and concern to me. One of the issues my office has worked on this past year relates to the agricultural ex- emption for farm equipment. Current California law pro- vides a partial sales and use tax exemPtion for equipment and machinery primarily used in agricultural activi- ties. Farmers who purchase this equipment need not pay the state General Fund por- tion of the sales tax, but must still pay local sales taxes. The definition of farm equipment and machinery is fairly broad and includes, among other things, agricul- tural heating and cooling equipment, livestock systems, irrigation systems and wind machines. This seems straightforward enough, but someone must de- cide which specific equip- ment qualifies for the exemp- tion, and which does not. The Board of Equalization makes these calls. Given the high cost of farm equipment, the fi- nancial impact of even a seemingly small decision can have ahuge impact on tax- payers. Here's a realdife example: A growing number of California farmers are purchasing solar panels to help lower their irri- gation system energy costs. Given that diesel generators receive a tax exemption, it came as a complete surprise when they were told that their new solar systems would not qualify for the same tax exemption. This initial interpretation hinged on the fact that Cali- fornia law requires that these new solar systems be directly connected to utility distribu- tion lines rather than to the irrigation systems they are purchased to power. Because there was no direct connec- tion, farmers were initially denied the tax exemption. Considering our state poli- cymakers' enthusiasm for al- ternative and renewable ener- gy solutions, this interpreta- tion seemed simply absurd. It is at times like this that taxpayers need a friend they can call for help. When I learned of this issue, I direct- ed the staff to take a closer look. Working closely with the impacted farmers and the California Farm Bureau, my office was able to provide ad- ditional information to bring about a more reasonable out- come for California farmers. I'm pleased to report that the Board of Equalization staff has released an opinion clarifying that the tax exemp- tion can be applied to solar equipment if the taxpayer can "demonstrate that the solar facility is specifically de- signed to provide power to qualifying machinery." Now that we've found a pathway to ensure this tax ex- emption is available, it's im- portant for farmers to ensure they will qualify for the ex- emption before they make a purchase. However, farmers who have already purchased a-solar system and paid the full tax should be aware that they may file a elaimfor re- fund for up to three years af- ter a purchase. I look forward to working with staff, the Farm Bureau and other interested parties to ensure that this informa- tion is available in a clear and concise manner. As always, my office stands ready and willing to assist taxpayers who en- counter problems with the board or other state tax agen- cies. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need assistance. Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than 9 million Cal(fornians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit boe.ca.ov /Runner. ,L E !T,TE, RS,:} o t 1i: e ' :R ......,. Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an ad- dress and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words, i The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed to mail@plumasnews.com. School site When I heard that one of the elementary school sites in Quincy will be closed due to shrinking budget and enroll- ment, my first thought was that based on location, the downtown site should be the one to save and invest in. In my mind, the question should be not which school to keep open but rather, is there any- thing that absolutely pre- cludes the downtown campus as the new consolidated school site. Thinking that I may be missing some vital piece of in- formation I attended the first school they come streaming out of the doors filling.the sidewalks and dispersing. Some to the vehicles of wait- ing loved ones but many more to the county library, music lessons, the pizza par- lor, their homes, their friends' homes/etc. Which campus location would you prefer for your child with all other factors be- ing relatively equal? I've ex- pressed my opinion even if it is value-loaded with feelings about safety, inclusion and aesthetics. Three public fo- rums are planned for the com- ing weeks. If you have an opinion, please let your voice be heard. Karen gusener Quincy Eloquent defense I have seldom agreed so wholeheartedly with an opin- ion piece as I do with Igor Bir- man's "Nothing to hide, everything to fear" in the Jan. 4 paper. Mr. Birman's moving analysis of American freedom from his unique perspective as a former Soviet, now new American citizen, and his stirring opposition to a dan- gerous increase of central government power inherent in the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act re- meeting of the committee mid/ne again that there are tasked with garnering public major values shared by Re- input and determining public publicans and Democrats sentiment as well as examin- throughout the country. ing other pertinent factors to form a recommendation for the school board. No, there was nothing Compelling that changed my opinion. They are both old and run-down and will require upgrades to ,accommodate the combined elementary school popula- tion, The precise cost of going with either option is almost .essly debatable. S'imply stated, while the Pi- oneer campus is situated in a primarily industrial and com- mercial area, the Quincy cam- pus is nestled and cradled (loaded words but true.!) in the main residential area of down- tow n Quincy. Many families live within the five- block cir- cumference of the campus. Scores of children walk to school in the mornings: After As a life-long Democrat, and as someone who believes in democratic and Democrat- ic values, I salute Mr. Birman for his eloquent defense of American values and his hard work for the people of Ameri- ca in opposing anylessening of our freedoms. To be fair, I should also commend Congressman Mc- Clintock for making Mr. Bir- man his chief of staff. Now, let's work across party lines to get things done for all the American people. Michael B. Jackson Quincy How stupid? Regarding your headline that ran in the Indian Valley Record Dec. 28, 2011: "Board of Supervisors. Roundup: Study finds no negative ef- fects from cloud seeding," it should have read: "Plumas County Board of Supervisors, and scientific panel receive $30,000,000 and land grants via The Monterey Settlement from PG&E, to keep their mouths shut!" Or better yet,. "PG&E pays Plumas County and various Sierra Clubs to say it's safe during the FERC re-licensing agreement." How can you say anything of the sort, when there has been absolutely no environ- mental impact, studies, hu- ,man health surveys or water, soil, plant or aquatic tests per- formed by PG&E, or your pan- el of experts, to come to this conclusion on cl6ud seeditlg? At least not made to the pub- lic for viewing, wow! PG&E's track record is aw- ful. Plumas County Board of Supervisor Sharon Thrall is a close second. Come on, Sharon Thrall, how stupid do you think we are? Well that just does not matter now does it! Dr. Richard West Reno, Nev. Hamilton Branch Need to mature "Study finds no.negative ef- fect from cloud seeding" (Indi- an Valley Record, Dec. 28, 2011) failed to mention infor- mation that was substantiat- ed in the ABWAC subcommit- tee on cloud seeding. Was this information left out on pur- pose? Of course it was. PG&E is our biggest taxpayer and property granter around. Hasn't everyone heard of the Monterey Settlement Agree- ment? But what if: The need or necessity to attack another for various reasons; not agreeing with their view- point, ridicule for not under- standing all of the content, etc. This is the human nature of the 21st century. I would propose that we con- sider the alternative. We ale all on the same planet and part of the same human race. To an outside observer, we act in a manner that we should be ashamed of. Instead of work- ing together to represent a unified front, and to achieve our collective best, most of us seek personal fame or gain. Where would some of the greatest achievements of the past be if everyone who partic- ipated in achieving them took every opportunity to diminish others because of weaknesses? Instead, great feats such as the Constitution, Statue of Liber- ty, a man on the moon, etc. were achieved through a col- lective environment where everyone supported the goals of the collective, offset the weaknesses of others by benevolently educating them, so that they could become a stronger member of the collab- orative. Imagine an ant hill where every ant in the colony worked against each other be- cause they had to prove that they were the best individual, not the best colony. We need to mature, as a race, species, whatever, if we are to persevere. This can on- ly come from developing com- passion and understanding for all, teaching each other to attain our personal best in support of the entire human race. ABWAC should form a subcommittee on that! Margie Strite Chester Community On Dec. 3, 2011, at 1:38 a.m., our home and neighbor's were destroyed by a fire (caused by a faulty electrical plug in our garage). By the grace of God and our pets alerting me, we all made it out safely and managed to save one vehicle. Everything else was lost, but this letter isn't about what we lost; it's how thankful we are for the blessings we have received. Instantly our amazing fami- lies and community jumped into action! From neighbors wrapping my son in a blan- ket, having coffee for us and firefighters, Grandma taking us in at 1:45 a.m. and taking care of us for two weeks, my family wiring money and con- tacting the Red Cross, Larry Richardson and the Lake A1- manor Community Church, friends and strangers bring- ing clothes and hugs ... lots of necessary hugs! Many individuals and groups provided generous monetary gifts. I have hand written "thank you" cards, but felt everyone needs to know how wonderful our community is! Our family, the Red Cross, the Lake Almanor Community Foundation, United Methodist Church of Chester, CalNeva Broadband (my employer) and Central X/alley Cable, Almanor Bowl- ing Center, Mel Soares, many friends and individuals. God bless and thank you all for your tremendous support! Cindy, Ricky and Logan Harrell Chester One-finger salute Of all the subjects you could do a full-plus page on, about a bike rider. What a waste: There are dozens of folks out there that do more for our country, state, county and cities. Our roads and highways and freeways were built for motor vehicles, not bicycles. I resent bikes on our roads. I re- sent that I am expected to give them leeway. No. Did he tell about the road rage he created? How about all the one-finger salutes? I am supposed to move over, slow down, follow till a safe passing place shows up: Not me. Marvin Reed Palomino Valley, Nev. Dangerous tech This letter is in response to Mona Hill's article on ado- lescent depression Jan. 4. She states that family genet- ics and developmental changes in adolescent brains are leaving them poorly equipped to deal with emo- tions and stress. But there are environmen- tal influences also. Modern technologies are encouraging disassociation from the real world. Excessive use of these products guarantees that young people will involve themselves in superficial con- nections instead of deep ones. Using a cetlphone to tweet and See Letters, page 8B Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 28,3-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov/contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D)I 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer iD). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICE: 8700 Auburn Folson Rd, Suite #100, Granite Bay, CA 95746; (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3056, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 6514001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. Roseville office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; Jackson office: 33 C Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642, (209) 223-9140. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, i FAX (530) 8954219. GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ i(916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. State