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Chester Progressive
Chester , California
March 17, 2010     Chester Progressive
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March 17, 2010

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Chester Progressive, Westwood PinePress Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3A Fire Safe Council meets M. Kate West Chester Editor The Almanor Basin Fire Safe Council met on the morning of March 10, at the West Almanor Fire Depart- ment. The Lake Almanor West Firewise Community project has completed its first major element by adopting an as- sessment report based on the findings of a community inspection. The report has been posted on the commu- nity website. The second major step, preparation of a mitigation plan, is underway and ex- pected to be complete in April. In addition to serving the needs of Lake Almanor West, the overall effort is a prototype for other commu- nities in the region that may wish to consider Firewise certification for their neigh- borhoods. Keith Crummer reported on progress to date on fire hazard reduction efforts in parts of the northeastern peninsula area. Several parcels are involved, for a total of more than 300 acres. Thinning and mastication are the primary techniques being applied. Material re- moved from the parcels will go to the co-generation plant at Wendell. Jay Neuman, of CalFire, reported arrangements are being made to use CDC hand crews to perform fuel break maintenance on nearby parcels. The crews will re- move brush and other fuels from fuel break areas that have become overgrown with time. Initial application is likely to be on areas near Hamilton Branch. An interagency informa- tion booth is again planned for the annual Chester Park Fourth of July craft show. Last year representatives from Lassen National For- est, CalFire, Lassen Park and the local Fire Safe Coun- cil staffed the booth. Similar arrangements are anticipat- ed for this year's event. Roundtable discussions dealt with various other lo- cal fire prevention issues and seasonal staffing expec- tations. The next meeting of the Almanor Basin Fire Safe Council is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14, at 10 a.m., again at the West A1- manor Fire Department. Legislature holds hearing on future of Williamson Act Faced with budget prob- lems, the governor all but eliminated state aid for the Williamson Act in 2009, causing farmers, ranchers and county officials to ques- tion the state's commitment to conserving open space and agricultural lands. State Senator Dave Cox, chairman of the Senate Lo- cal Government Committee, held a hearing March 3 on the Williamson Act: how it works and its impact to lo- cal communities and the state. "The Williamson Act is critical to the preservation of California farmland and open space," said Cox. "With the governor's pro- posed elimination of the Williamson Act, it is vital that county officials, landowners and conserva- tion organizations speak out about its importance." Eracted in 1965, the Williamson Act allows landowners to contract with counties to conserve their properties as farmland and open space. Since 1972 - 73, the state General Fund has paid about $875 million as direct subventions to the participating county govern- ments. The state pays coun- ties to replace the property tax revenues that local gov- ernments forgo. Total costs to the state are estimated at $120 million annually. Officials from various counties that participate in the act testified about its value and how the support of the state is needed. Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation, expressed farm- ers' frustration with the state's questioning of the continued relevance of what many consider to be Califor- nia's most important envi- ronmental protection law. "The idea that the state no longer needs the Williamson Act is a little like saying that we don't need the three strikes law anymore because it has worked so well." Wenger added, "The laws that provide public safety, like food security, are far too important to simply cast aside because they've been so effective over time." Representing the Califor- nia Cattlemen's Association, Jack Hanson emphasized the role the act plays in the survival of family farms. "Reduction in property tax is not a 'subsidy' or 'free lunch' for landowners. In re- turn, the landowner -- at a minimum -- commits to a 10- or 20-year contract to keep the land for farming purposes and open spaces," said Hanson at Wednesday's hearing. Hanson who also owns a cattle ranch in Lassen Coun- ty with his wife and two sons warned that if the act is eliminated, farm lands and open spaces will be convert- ed to other uses. At the hearing's conclu- sion, Cox commented on the statewide benefits of the act. "Having the Williamson Act in place promotes food secu- rity by protecting the land base, encourages agricultur- al support industries and preserves the environment. It is a state program that is worthy of our support." Fight Back Against Identity Theft Deter Detect Defend Leaguers hold pasta fundraiser Those who enjoy a good pasta feast can do so Satur- day, March 20, while helping the Little League program at the same time. Kids need uniforms, equipment, charter fees, in- surance and other things. All proceeds from the pas- ta dinner will go toward these needs. All-you-can-eat spaghetti and fettuccini will be cooked by high school culinary arts students and served up in the cafeteria between Greenville schools from 5-9 p.m. Tickets must be pre-pur- chased and are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. The contact for tickets is Liz Stokes at (530) 701-3653. IT'S TAX TIME Sandra & Mindy Datema Machelle Wheeler HAIR, NAILS * TANNING 300 Main Street, Suite C Chester, CA 96020 530.258.3444 Competitive Interest Rates and a 100% Money Back Guarantee* The New York Life Optimal Fixed Annuity, issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation. is offering: W Tax- Three-Year Guaranteed Initial Interest Rate* The Company You Keep Call 775.673.4456 Dale Lazzarone, Agent CA Ins Lic #0705421 Ro Lazzarone, Agent CA Ins Lic #0D92812, New York Life Insurance Company *Rate is effective as of 2/16/10. Rate shown is for policies whele the three-year initial in'e, st rste is chosen and for a purchase amount of $I00,000. Rates are lower for policies purchased with smaller premium amounts. After the Initial Guarantee Period, the policy will receive a new interest rate eve/year on e policy anniversary. Interest Rates are effective annual yields and ate subject to change. Issued and tees backed by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance i Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010. SMRU#00378322 I Forum looks at weeds Many readers may already be familiar with the spiny, noxious weed bearing yellow flowers seen along roadsides and trails and taking over entire fields and pastures. It is known as yellow star this- tle, or Centaurea solstitialis L., one of several noxious weeds showing up in Plumas County in increasing num- bers. Invasive plants use more water and displace native plant species, degrade pro- ductive range and timber- lands and reduce access to recreation areas. In response to this inva- sion, the Plumas Sierra Nox- ious Weeds Management Group, a consortium of local agencies and nonprofit orga- nizations, has been working to control the spread of these weeds. Landowners and the pub- lic can be an important part of the effort by learning to recognize certain weeds and how to prevent their spread. The Weeds group has invited Wendy West of the E1 Dorado Cooperative Extension to give a presentation on Yel- low Star Thistle Control and Preventing the Spread of Noxious Weeds. The two-hour presentation will include a question and answer period, be followed by a herbicide safety and ap- plication training by the Plumas-Sierra Department of Agriculture. Yellow star thistle, the subject of a free presentation Thurs- day, March 25, at the fairgrounds in Quincy, is making inroads in many of the drier sites in Indian and American valleys. Drier parts of the Crescent Mills Wetland site have been heavily in- fested, as shown in this photograph. Photo by Terri Rust The event will be in the Min- eral Building at the Plumas/Sierra County Fair- grounds March 25, starting at 10 a.m. The presentation and training are free and open to the public. For more information, con- tact Tim Gibson at the Depart- ment of Agriculture, 283-6365. Get the facts about Identity Theft! Learn how to be proactive and protect yourself against Identity Theft. You are invited to a FREE presentation featuring Plumas Bank's Amber Miller, Operations Risk Specialist and Detective Bill Elliot, Plumas County Sheriff's Department. Bill and Amber will explain how Plumas Bank and the Sheriff's Department will help you identify, monitor, and resolve Identity Theft incidences. Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:30-7:00pm at the Plumas Bank office in Chester 255 Main Street 258-4161 -Refreshments will be served- o I C) i+ 9 Lake Almanor FitnEss CEntE00+r is happy to announce, the start of ballet classes ........................ ...... l /..+-+" ! i' ............................................................ . i /,, + ? / ! ", " .... 8 a \\; Class time options 1-2 or 2:45-3:45 Time to bedetermined upon enrollment Tau0ht by Amanda Domingues, former Aptegate Dance Company L dancer from Davis, CA '\\; f \\; ./ :L a LAKE ALMANOR FITNE; CENTER | 60 CEDAR STREET / PO Box 999 CHESTER#:CA 96020 530.258.3900 LAKEALMANORFITN ESS@YAHOO,COM WWW, LAKEAL.MANORFITN ESS,COM