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Portola Reporter
Portola , California
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January 28, 2009     Portola Reporter
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January 28, 2009
 

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JOB Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009 ED ITORIAL and OPINION Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL Rumor mills actively grinding n't panic The truth of the adage that we have noth: ing to fear but fear itself was made abun- dantly clear to us this past week as we chased down a number of"tips" that turned out to be nothing more than rumors. First, we heard that new regulations would force thrift stores to test children's items even clothes -- for the presence of lead, or stop seiling them. Needless to say, this sent area thrift stores, most of which are charity operations that benefit, among other programs, our local hospitals, into a dither. That tip came in an e-marl message that included a link to a seemingly legit Los Angeles Times story and included inter- views with thrift store operators who were equally panicked. A quick check of the rumor at Web sites urbanlegend.com and snopes.com, howev- er, revealed the new regulations apply to manufacturers, not retailers like second- hand shops. Feather Publishing 1, Los An- geles Times 0. The other rumor circulating last week was that Sierra Pacific Industries was going to lay off workers at its Quincy mill, includ- ing the co-generation plant, for three months. (It's interesting how little details, like the specificity of three months,, add a degree of believability.) SPI sources denied the claim and registered displeasure that the rumor had apparently been circulated, in part, by certain folks in leadership posi- tions, which also added a veneer of credibil- ity to the murmurs. We can understand how these sorts of ru- mors gain traction. It's hard not to panic. We are rapidly approaching the beginning of February, the date the state is expected to run out of money and start issuing IOUs. (We're dying to see what these things look like: Will they be certificates or more like receipts, maybe more like a child's hand- , scrawled ticket,or, perha~p~, ~ri Imp ersoffal .... e-marl notification?) With that bleak prospect on the horizon, it is more important than ever to be accu- rate in our reporting. How can we focus on the truly calamitous, if we're all atwitter about this, that and the other thing that turn out to be nothing but vaporous? Fea g / Breaking News .... go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ...Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli ........ Managing Editor Diana Jorgenson .......... Portola Editor Alicia Knadler .~ ..... '.Indian Valley Editor Kate West ............... Chester Editor Shannon Morrow .......... Sports Editor Mona Hill .................. Copy Editor Staff writers: Joshua Sebold Ruth Ellis Will Farris Scott Blackwood Sam Williams Pat Shillito Barbara France Jeanie Jones Susan Cort Johnson Traci Bue Anthony Larson Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Chester Progressive Times (530) 258-3115 (530) 257-53211 Indian Valley Portola Reporter Record (530) 832-4646 (530) 284-7800 Check Out Our [ PLUMASNEWS.COM Try a slice of nice for a chany, e MY TURN JEANIE JONES Staff Writer jjones@plumasnews.com Is common courtesyreally a thing of the past? I don't understand why some people find it so difficult to just be nice. Especially now, with the impending drought and tight economy and the un- certainty of the future, most folks seem to be more on edge than usual. Growing up in a small northern Cali- fornia town, I can remember neighbors getting together to welcome a new addi- tion to their street. It was a common practice to bring the new neighbor wel- coming baskets and introduce them- selves. I would like you to now stop and think about the people on your street. Do you know them? Have you had them over for coffee or a summer barbecue? I am guilty as charged. I have lived in my home for over five years and I can honestly say I have not made any at- tempt to get to know my neighbors, ex- cept for one. What has happened? I used to be the first person to approach a new family and make them feel welcome. In this faced-paced, cynical society, we seem to have forgotten about others and began concentrating only on our- selves. Admittedly, when there is a tragedy in our small communities, people really seem to pull together to help out by or- ganizing fundraisers and attending those functions. But, what about the other days? How about striking up a conversation with the person standing next to you in the grocery line, or if you're too shy, at least offer up a nice smile and a hello. You would be surprised about the effect you could have on someone just by smiling at him. Think about it, you're having a bad day, the water heater broke, you were late for work and your boss got on you about it, then you ran out of gas on the way to the hardware store to get the part for the water heater..While you're waiting in line, the person in front of you offers up a smile and says, "You look like you're in a hurry, why don't you go in front of me?" For that mo- ment, your troubles are lifted away. There was a time people would loan their lawn mowers to friends and neighbors; these days now they just complain the neighbor's unkempt lawn is bringing down home values. I actually read something a few years back where a woman called the police on a neighbor because the neighbor re- turned a borrowed vacuum without emptying the bag first. Are you kidding me? Come on people, don't we have bet- ter things to do with our time? I am sure the police do. Think of how your actions may affect the people around you and then act ac- cordingly. Let someone go in front of you in traffic. Offer to help someone load their groceries into their car. Instead of grumbling at the new cashier in the store for being slow, re- member that at one or more times in your life, you too were learning a new job. I'm sure that cashier is nervous enough about making a mistake. Smile and tell the clerk to take her time, and tell her you were new once too and you understand. Make sure the others in line with you hear you so they too may offer support to the cashier. There are so many small ways to "just be nice" to neighbors, family and complete strangers. Why not help your neighbor shovel her drive while you're doing your ow/n? If you have a snow blower, zip iti and clean out your neigh- bor's walk and leave unnoticed. If you get home before your neighbgr on garbage day, bring his trashcan in. I know my neighbor does this for me on occasion and it makes me smile the whole weekend. It really does not take much effort to brighten someone else's day -- go on, give it a try. Not only will you make someone's day, but I bet you will feel better about yourself as well. Mystery photo New life springs from old. Where is this? E-mail mys- teryphoto@plumasnews.com or call your local newspaper office listed at the bottom of this page. Answers must be received by Friday at 5 p.m. All correct answers will be entered into a weekly drawing for a free four- week classified ad valued at $28. To learn the location of this photo, see Section A of next week's newspaper. Photo by Ike Soiset I'll take .country critters over city ones MY TURN WILL FARRIS , Staff Writer First thing is that Tonto disappeared, an event that no longer scares me be- cause bad kitty has done that many times in the past and always returns. But, after about five days, I began to think he might have finally fallen vic- tim to a predator. The food left out at night was gone, but then there are foxes about, aren't there? Tonto, who supplements his regular diet with mice, gophers and rats, has become overly round of late. That fact, plus some simple arithmetic that puts his age at about nine, made me think he had maybe lost a step and some roving lion finally got 'im. About the time I was ready to count him out, he shows up in all his imperial fatness looking for breakfast. Then I heard that the Capplemans woke up on a morning and found one of their goats dead and partially eaten. Tracks and other signs pointed to a mountain li0n. Around that same time another group of neighbors were taking a walk up Rush Creek Road and were confronted by atl animal growling at them from bushes along the road. Fish and Game was contacted and three hunter groups with dogs showed up on the road Saturday, Jan. 10. Later in the day some reported hearing shots but no confirmation was forthcoming one way or the other. Perhaps the most significant sign the lion was no longer around is Tonto has taken back possession of the front porch. Next time bad cat disappears, I will issue a lion warning to the neigh- bors. Generally speaking, the last six months or so has been filled with crit- ter adventures around here. Late sum- mer and fall saw the great apple tree depredation by my bear, including a memorable face-to-face. The skunks are back cruising the front porch at night, and they ain't afraid of nothin.' Also, I had a raccoon that was going after Tonto one night. I went out to chase him off and it was a coin toss to see who would retreat In:st: the raccoon or me. The deer population was quite large and the bucks, some who were born here, wanted to get in my face during the mating season. This, even as I as- sured them I wasn't interested in their prospective mates, who weren't real in- terested in them, truth be told. Maybe it was just a case of unrequited love and the frustration inherent in that situa- tion. But, the most disturbing thing lately has been the weather. Last year we had snow and i'ain right up until the end of February, then nothing. The lower canyon burnt, Rush Creek Road burnt, and none of us wants to go through an- other dry summer. But lately the days, and this in January, have been of the T- shirt variety. All of this comes after a white Christ- mas and the freezing weather that fol- lowed. At one point the pipes in my well house froze and I had to get chains on the truck to get up there before they burst. Then we had a little power outage and for the first time since I bought the thing, my Honda generator didn't chug up when I pulled the string. But we should be thankful. Back in the Midwest the temps are running double digit below freezing, and in the cities you got helicopters hovering over the neighborhoods and pesky critters are of the two-legged variety.