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May 16, 2012     Indian Valley Record
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11B COMMUNITY PEAS PE C T I.VE Partnerships make mountain learning possible WHERE I STAND as the day I started working ............................................................................................................. here: the seasons turn, the ROB WADE PROJECTS C OORDINATOR OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT/ WATERSHED EDUCATION PLUMAS COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION Sixteen years ago when I took an offer from Bill Cotini and Joe Hagwood to run the Plumas County Office of Education sixth-grade Out- door Education Program it was a simple one-night pro- gram conducted in the spring. With the help of local resource professionals from industry and the Forest Service, a small budget went far. It was a good program focused on learning right where we live. It was a seed. In the many years that have passed since that begin- ning I have worked with amazing teachers, principals, parents and volunteers through the administrations of Dennis Williams, Mike Chelotti and Glenn Harris. Through that time the seed has grown. It has grown be- cause while every tomorrow is uncertain, I can count on some things that are as true snow falls, the conifers grow, the Feather River runs from the Plumas to Pacific, and every day life begins and ends. This natural world is an ever-available abundance that surrounds us each day of our mountain life. While we lack big budgets for our schools we do have moun- tains, rivers and meadows in spades. Something else I can trust is that the people of Plumas County and the com- munities here will rally around their children. This is where I truly want those who have appreciated these outdoor learning oppor- tunities for our kids to under- stand that what has grown from the small Outdoor Ed seed has come through com- munity partnerships. These are partners that raise the fundsand develop the ideas that make these programs possible. The reason that the sixth- grade Outdoor Ed program has grown from two days to 12 - 14 days is because the Feather River Coordinated Resource Management (FR- CRM) group stepped forward to support a bigger vision. Along with the very signifi- cant sixth-grade teacher com- mitment, the Feather River College Outdoor Recreation Leadership program provid- ing whitewater rafting, and parents and kids taking on fundraising for room and board costs, the FRCRM has provided steady leadership and support that has reached almost 2,000 Plumas Unified School District sixth-graders over the past decade. The reason that the Learn- ing Landscape program is successfully creating outdoor classrooms on every campus in the region, providing walking-distance access to forest, creek and meadow habitat sites for every school in the watershed, and sup- porting teachers with kits, training and stewardship activities is because the Feather River Land Trust (FRLT) brought the program to our schools. Our teachers deliver the education but the FRLT supports them in a very essential way with the help of local land-owners so that any day at school can include outdoor education. The reason that the Storrie Fire Restoration Project is beginning to provide exciting restoration activities on pub- lic land in and around the Feather River Canyon is be- cause the Forest Service is providing the funding and partnership opportunity through our local national forests. This includes teacher workshops, field trips, educa- tional resources, vocational training and even summer employment opportunities for our youth. In addition to the FRCRM, FRLT and USFS, there are many other examples of indi- viduals and organizations that make our schools great by actively coming forward to answer the question; "What can I do to support outdoor education and natural re- source stewardship in the Feather River region?" The answer to that question is a difference that changes our kids' lives. Examples include: Sierra Institute's work with Green- ville High School, Feather River Trout Unlimited sponsoring the Trout in the Classroom program and an almost endless list of collabo- rators and supporters. These include Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, Feather River Resource Conservation Dis- trict, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Collins Pine, Feather River College ETS and CTE programs, UC Cooperative Extension, Plumas Fish and Game Commission, UC Forestry Camp, Plumas Audubon, Sierra Pacific In- dustries, Natural Resource Conservation Service, A1- manor Fishing Association, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, Women's Moun- tain Passages, Plumas Rural Services, Pumas County Pub- lic Works, Plumas County Planning Department, city of Portola, Greenville Cemetery District, Wilburn Construc- tion, Folchi's Rock Garden, Quincy Community Services District, J's Feather River Rentals, Les Schwab, Feather River Materials, Quincy Thrift, Rotary, Courthouse Caf6 and many more. Parents and other individuals round out the amazing support that I receive on any given day. Just today Les Schwab did not hesitate to let me dump a truck full of tires that had been cleaned up from a Learn- ing Landscape property. The willingness of PUSD to welcome these partnership opportunities should be applauded. Collaboration is a way to increase capacity and PUSD has welcomed new efforts that support teachers and students to use the local forest, creek and meadow habitats as an integrating context for standards-based learning. Still, without these organizations so much of the good going on would be gone. Without them the seed may have never grown to bear the fruit that our children now enjoy. We live in mountain towns and our mountain kids de- serve an education that looks and feels as unique as the valleys we live in. I am grate- ful for these visionary orga- nizations that do so much to support PUSD and a brighter future for our mountain kids. The kids deserve our best efforts and these organiza- tions deserve our thanks for making it possible. Forming a child's character should be a priority WHERE I STAND DR. DAVID JOHN SEEL COLLEGE COUNSELOR AND AUTHOR ST. ANDREW'S ACADEMY "Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny." --traditional saying Human babies are not like most animals when born. They are far more dependent on their parents for far longer than most nimals. The academlUterm is "under- socialized." Human babies are highly dependent on their parents for life, nurture and direction. This is why responsible parents invest heavily in their child's future. Usually these investments fall into three areas: spiritual forma- tion, character development and academic preparation. Everyone is generally agreed that education is highly im- portant if a son or daughter is to achieve his or her full potential. A child without the ability to read and write is severely crippled in his or her prospects in the modern world. Reading failure is the single most significant fa&or in those forms of delinquency which can be described as anti-socially aggressive. Compared to other par_.:of the world, American parents are generally lax. Leisure; entertainment and sports are given a far higher priority in the United States than in other countries. Moreover, American individualism and child-centeredness parenting tend to undermine the influence parents have on pushing their children academically. The public controversy surrounding Yale law professor Amy Chua's book on parenting, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," largely proves this point. American readers saw the parenting practices advo- cated by Chua and largely taken for granted in India, Korea, Singapore and China as draconian. But a good education is not enough. A trained mind with- .. mtcharacter is a dangerous combination. Ernest Boyer writes, "To have people who are well informed but not constrained by conscience is, conceivably, the most dangerous outcome of educa- tion possible. Indeed, it could be argued that igno- rance is better than unguided intelligence, for the most dangerous people are those who have knowledge without a moral framework. It is not the lack of technological informatiOn that threatens our society; it is the lack of wisdom, and we run the risk today of having our discoveries outdistance our moral compass." Brilliance without morals is deadly. So most parents acknowl- edge that it is far better to relativism emphasis affirms that no one's opinion is to be preferred over another with the exception of a taboo against making any forms of judgment. Tolerance of individual whim is the logical consequence, and with it the death of character. But intellectual and moral education does not float in a vacuum. The "why" behind the "what" must be itself grounded in a philosophical or religious tradition. T.S. abandonment of a spiritual perspective in education, or its casual disregard by parents and teachers, is surely a problem. Author John Piper warns, "If you leave the infinite all-defining, all-controlling, all-pervasive God out of account, all under- standing and all interpreta- tions and'all analyses are superficial. When the main thing is missing, what's left is distorted and superficial, whatever it is." have educational rigor com- Eliot wisely noted that all Ideally, then, spiritual birfl.wth .CoReentrak,.. ,::,.,:. edWation  rog,t-0 a ,:- .,.-,  formation,.haraer de. :,-.  character formation. Sacliy, "piilosophy of l]e)' Religious velopment and intellectual however, this is a task largely abandoned by many forms of education today where progressivism and relativism reign. The pro- gressive emphasis is to allow the child to serve as his or her own authority. The instruction has historically been tied to educational aspiration. If the root of all reality is spiritual, and our flourishing is dependent ori being rightly oriented to this spiritual reality, then the outright preparation should be found together within a school. But it is not always the case. Conscientious par.ents have to seek carefully and make informed, individualized decisions about their chil- dren's educational choices. LETTERS to t:he EDITOR 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. The deadJine 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. Boat dock This letter concerns the public boat dock at Canyon Dam on Lake Almanor. I'm assuming the U.S. Forest Service is responsible for the upkeep of this dock. 1 think the boating public is in urgent need of a new boat dock, I know there have been repairs made over the years but this dock is beyond repairs and is falling apart. I seriously doubt there is another public boat dock in P'lumas County that gets more use than the Canyon Dam boat dock does so it seems to me that there should be some priority status given to a new dock as soon as possible. I think the boating public certainly deserves a lot more for their money than what they're getting here. Mark Jimenez Chester Whoa In response to My Turn article Wednesday, May 9, whoa, whoa, whoa! Open season on mountain lions? I do understand the grief of loss of assets and pets, but since when has it become so necessary to open up a heinous killing season on unique animals that don't have the luxury of shopping at a grocery store to feed their young? It is spring, people. Cubs are being born and, I'm sorry, but the circle of life goes on. Yes, it makes sense for ranchers with livestock damage, but for the trigger happy hunters out there, some I know that even get tags for antelope fawns out of state, please put down the rifles and take a deep breath and count to 10. We all have seen an excruciating amount of bloody deer on the roadside due to human error, and also half-dead deer from a misplaced arrow or gunshot wound. Don't just blame the decline of deer on mountain lions. Remember, we as humans choose to live here and encroach on their land, not the other way around. Kathy Chambers Quincy Blame and praise Glenn Harris on the move again, I hope the next school board that interviews Mr. Harris will take the time to research Mr. Harris' occupa- tional record. This oversight by the Plumas board of education failed to reveal Mr. Harris' dismal job histories. If the board had taken a few minutes to do the research, they would have found in some cases his term of employment lasted only two months to a year or two before he was fired, recalled or resigned. Each time he left a school district he took with him a handsome severance pay. This oversight cost the Plumas County schools a mere $140,460 it cannot afford. Changing the subject, I would like to join the many residents of Plumas County and thank all the members of the 7-11 committees for their fine and tireless work they did in coming up with such professional and comprehen- sive reports. Richard E. Naas Greenville Supports Huffmon When I heard that James Huffmon was running for supervisor, I had conflicting feelings. On the one hand Plumas County would be gaining a great leader, but on the other, we would be losing a proven asset. James Huffmon and I have been conducting business together for over 10 years, completing commercial con- struction projects all over northern California: He runs his business with the highest level of integrity and profes- sionalism. He has proven to be the kind of person and profes- sional that we can count on, day or night. James has the ability to make things happen and get things done. I feel that Quincy will benefit once James Huffmon is elected as county super- visor. Through his leader- ship skills anddedicatin' Quincy and Plumas County will be a better place to live, conduct business and raise your children. Ron Meade Vice President RC Pacific Construction Roseville Paralysis "After the failure of Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008, the globe's economic leader suffered its longest economic contraction in 80 years. Its markets were scythed in half, and Washing- ton's political paralysis spooked investors. Most distressing were the num- bers: annual deficits over $1 trillion, 8.75 million jobs lost, $4 per gallon gasoline .... A rapid, decisive, and suffi- ciently effective policy re- sponse was the precondition for a return to growth .... America's recovery since has been fueled by a resilient and nimble private sector." (Newsweek, May 7, 2012) The county has a political paralysis. It is facing a possible $1.5 million deficit. The city of Portola is plan- ning to reduce its deficits in its general fund, the water and sewer funds by increas- ing rates to a community with a majority living at the poverty level. As the Board of Supervisors and City Council tackle their budgets It is time for them to think outside of their current plans to positive goals for economic growth. Permitting the Belden music festivals is a good start. The meaningful objections of Darrel Smith to the BOS have helped the event comply with county health and safety standards. It is time to make job creation in the private sector the county's top priority! Portola's City Council and I have had different goals and policies. They were concerned with goals like the eradication of northern pike and reconstruction of the Lake Davis Water Treat- ment Plant over job creation and economic development. The BOS has cut funding to our economic development tools like Plumas Corpora- tion, the visitors bureau and our chambers of commerce. They are our county's economic engines which need to be fueled with money. It is time to free the county of its political paralysis. Larry F. Douglas Portola Enjoy the show It's not even summer yet, but the 2012 election circus is upon us. How to cope with all the propaganda? Things to remember: Capitalism is a tool for generating food, clothing and housing for citizens. It is demonstrably more efficient and effective than socialism (or any other "-ism"). But it is a tool, not a god. To para- phrase. Jesus, man is not made for the economy; the economy is made for man. Successful capitalists are human. They may be smarter and work harder than ordi nary folk; they are certainly more driven. They are not superior beings. As they See Letters, page 12B Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quinc CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; 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), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/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 (D). District Office: 501 1 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) 22843454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcdintock.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) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. Roseville office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; Jackson office: 33 C Broadwa: 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, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.