Wednesday February 20, 2019

Featured

Ok folks, this is it the big weekendCabin Fever Spaghetti Feed and Raffle (great prizes) at Downieville Community Hall on Friday February 23rd at 5pm- 7pm and then hotfoot it over to the Yuba Theatre for the Home Grown Talent Show at 7:30pm. The DHS Sock Hop is the same evening CORRECTION THE SOCK HOP IS AT 5:30 PM so a great place for parents and kids to enjoy a QUICK meal before the dance.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Downieville on April 5, 6 & 7. Purchase tickets locally at the Downieville Day Spa or on-line at www.brownpapertickets.org or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1(800) 838-3006.  Tickets go on sale at 9:00am Friday, Feb. 22.

Lots of local news and events, Firehouse News, Mountain Messenger, Nick Anderson’s Cartoon, Sheriff’s Log, Cats, Dogs, Carrie’s Corner, On The Shelf Board of Supervisors, and Phil’s Photos. Well, be sure to read Matthew Johnson’s column this week, as it clearly outlines the direction we need to be traversing before we as a nation tumble into the crevasse. This is not an over reaction,  it is imperative we wake up and stop just shaking our heads over the inanity emanating from the Oval Office. Lawrence Wittner offers more to think about.and Jennifer Finney Boylan offers a light touch to madness with a chill. To answer Robert Koehler’s question, I am human.

This week the court case involving a Restraining Order brought by a health professional against a member of our village, one who had suffered serious head trauma in an accident caused by a drunk driver was partially settled in court. Although by all the legal constraints the Judge had no option but to bring a Guilty finding to the restrained accused, I then watched a compassionate effort by the Public Defender Cooper, District Attorney Groven and Judge Durant to have any punishment to the defendant be reasonable, responsible and fair. None of them were happy but they worked together to assist the defendant in atonement for the violation. Although the whole situation is fraught with the conflict of a health provider unable to be less over-reactive. At least this part is over, now on to the second accusation brought on by the same party. But kudos to the justice system for their part.

So many beautiful photos of the joy of almost non-stop two weeks of snow.. but I had to pick one for the front page and I think this shot of the Hill’s Place Cabins in Sierra City taken by Miriam Dines takes the snowcake.

Herrington’s Newbies 2/20/19

Featured

Mike & Beverly Herrington, with Cindy & Glen Haubi

Herrington’s Sierra Pines Resort, the vacation spot you know and love, is happy to announce new ownership and preparations are underway for an exciting 2019 season! Cindy & Glen Haubl purchased the resort from Mike & Beverly Herrington in January of this year and we are excited to continue the tradition you know and love with the possibility of something new. Stay tuned!

Cindy, Glen & their chocolate lab, Jasper are settling in and will live on-property year-round. We are excited to meet you. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out via phone, FB messenger or email with any questions. We hope eventually to be able to extend the summer season into spring and fall and we’re working on ideas to offer events (Weddings, Reunions…) in the expansive meadow as well as on the river; not only for private groups, but for the local community as well. We have moved to the Sierras from the Bay Area and have two children in college. Cindy has a hospitality background and Glen been building startup companies.

We are committed to preserving the lodge and restaurant that you love and will work on a few upgrades such as an online reservations system, and possibly an expanded menu to include lunch options and happy hours.

We welcome your input and feedback on the things that you love as well as the things you’d like to see changed. Meanwhile, do keep in touch and please be sure to like our Facebook page by clicking here! We are now taking reservations for the 2019 season and look forward to meeting you soon!

Cindy & Glen
(530) 862-1151
SierraPinesResort@gmail.com

On The Shelf by Paul 2/20/19

Featured

Issue 2019 – 3

New Online Services

The Plumas County Library (of which Downieville Library is a station) has announced four new services available online to library patrons. Instructions for all of these are available at the Plumas County Library website (http://www.plumascounty.us/index.aspx?NID=546).
New York Times: free access to the online New York Times, from 1851 to the present. This can be accessed at the library or, by using your library card number, from any other location.
Archives Unbound: topically-focused digital collections of historical documents that support the research and study needs of scholars and students at the college and university level. Collections cover a broad range of topics, from Middle Ages to twentieth-century political history. Using your library card number, you can access this from any location.
Encyclopedia Britannica: a comprehensive interactive resource for research and learning for grades K-12. It includes correlations to CA Content Standards and other valuable teacher resources. Versions are available for elementary school students (in English and Spanish), middle school students (in English and Spanish), and high school students. Only available at library locations.
TeachingBooks.net: a website dedicated to enriching every student’s reading experience, it offers book guides, meet-the-author movies and readings, vocabulary lists, help to build your own booklists, and much more. Only available at library locations.

What’s New On the Shelves
Many new books of fiction have found their way onto our shelves. Here they are:
Tales from Margaritaville, by Jimmy Buffett
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
Dark Sacred Night, by Michael Connelly
The Wanted, by Robert Crais
101 Animal Stories, by Anne-Marie Dalmais (juvenile)
The Waterworks, by E.L. Doctorow
Dragonfly in Amber, Outlander, & Voyager, by Diana Gabaldon
A Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George (mystery)
Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson
Y is for Yesterday, by Sue Grafton (mystery)
The House of the Seven Gables & Twice-Told Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Password to Larkspur Lane, by Carolyn Keene (juvenile)
The Mercedes Coffin, by Faye Kellerman (mystery)
The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo (graphic novel)
Cadillac Jack, The Evening Star, Some Can Whistle, by Larry McMurtry
Kingdom of the Blind, by Louse Penny (mystery)
The Lost City of the Monkey God, by Douglas Preston
Innocent in Death & Treachery in Death, by J.D. Robb (mystery)
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
Mystery, by Peter Straub
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Mysterious Stranger, The Prince and the Pauper, & Tom Sawyer Abroad/Tom Sawyer Detective, by Mark Twain (young adult)
Rabbit at Rest, Rabbit Is Rich, & Toward the End of Time, by John Updike          Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith (audio book on CD)

Thanks
Our collection continues to grow mainly due to the generosity of people who donate books from their own collections or purchase books just for the library. One of those people recently is Will Clark, who allowed the library folk to go through his collection and select books that would enhance the library experience in Downieville. Thank you to Will and people like you!

Carrie’s Again Corner 2/20/19

Featured

 Folks up this way know how to handle this weather we’ve been having. It’s called ‘Winter’, and although we’ll be the first ones to plead with the powers that be to make it stop snowing, we all also know how badly we truly need the snow. We’re locals. We can handle this stuff. We deal with power outages, icy roads, chain restrictions, road closures, phone issues, Internet issues, and sometimes, just getting to our jobs can be impossible, all thanks to Mother Nature. This is how we roll. We’re got this. We know how beautiful it is, and we know how treacherous it is. That being said, please, for the love of anything you consider sacred in your life, stop trying to come up the mountain – for any reason! Just…stop.
     We love our tourists. We really do. However, we prefer living ones. The mountains aren’t going anywhere any time soon. You can ski, snow mobile, snow board, ice skate and sled until your heart is full when it’s safe to be here. Right now…not safe. Up here, we see the Sun come out, and rejoice. We also know that this means that our road crews, the PG&E crews, the Cal Trans crews, and the local workers can get their jobs done without having to endure being pelted in the face with everything from snow to freezing rain, and back again.
    I know I wrote about a similar topic last week, but after seeing CHP offices, Cal Trans work crews, PG&E offices and road department crews put out messages on social media pages, and in news articles, pleading with everyone to please stop trying to come up the mountain…I felt it was necessary to write a bit more on this topic. We all love you up here….stay home. That is about as simple as I can put it. So, here is the information for you to check and see what the roads are like BEFORE you trek up this mountain:
1. PG&E Outage information: 1-800-743-5002 OR www.pge.com
3. National Weather Service: www.weather.gov

CalTrans we love your Traffic Control Snowperson

Please, use this information prior to attempting to come up this mountain. These information pages will tell you, very clearly in fact, if there are any storm warnings, travel issues, chain restrictions, road closures and downed power lines that may effect travel. Stay warm. Stay healthy. Stay safe, and if you’re thinking of coming up here to sightsee…stay home.

Mountain Messenger (who knows) 2/20/19

Featured

The question this week is who knows what The Don knows? Many people have theories about The Don’s knowledge. Some actually know some things he knows and they quake when thinking about what would happen if The Don actually opened his rather vociferous mouth and admitted his knowledge. This isn’t just about local knowledge but includes county, state, federal and yes, international knowledge. How does The Don know this….ask yourself …how could he not know?  As co-publisher of The Mountain Messenger, Editor, Scribe, in charge of all thing pulp he has the ability to know things we could only dream of…Jim Roos use to have more knowledge but now the tables have turned and The Don knows more (please don’t tell Jim this). Meanwhile Miss Jill has asked we not discuss what she knows as this would upset The Don but apparently she has job security.

Miss Jill secretly smiles as The Don tells her what she already knows…

Send anything you need published to Miss Jill, ROTP at yesdearyousuck@yahoo.com or call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to The Don. For a subscription: send money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to The Don Russell at mtnmess@cwo.com and tell him you subscribed because the sierracountyprospect.org begged you to….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Sunny Measuring job 2/20/19

Featured

Mia Earns Honors 2/13/19

Featured

SAN DIEGO, CA (02/07/2019)– University of San Diego student Mia Haubl of Sierra City (96125) earned First Honors in the Fall Semester of 2018. First honors students have a grade point average of 3.65 or higher.

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 77 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest, independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and align new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.

Bogus Concept 2/20/19

ARE YOU BLACK, WHITE OR HUMAN? by Robert C. Koehler

Some of my best friends are colored. All of them are, actually.

Robert Koehler

And so I introduce you to Lowell Thompson, artist — indeed, psycho-realist, as he calls himself — recovering ad man and “colored person.” He’s also, you might say, the king of irreverence and political incorrectness, but this is only because he’s also a dragon slayer. The dragon is racism. There’s no way to engage with race politely, but there’s a way to yank the seriousness out of it.

What race are you? What color are you? Race is the American divide, a border wall deeper and more profound than the one Donald Trump wants to build. Cultures merge and evolve, but race — “color” — remains impenetrable, a line more fundamental, it would appear, than humanity itself.

Thompson had a revelation about this some years ago, with the help of the profession to which he had devoted his life: “The key to understanding the race problem is one word: branding,” he said in a 2014 interview. “Not only were cattle and slaves branded, but America became the world leader in branding through advertising. And the greatest ad campaign in American history was for American racism: By branding Africans as subhumans, it justified the slavery that America’s success is based upon. My job now is unselling racism.”

In his determination and commitment to do so, Thompson has given his life over to creating transformative change. Martin Luther King called it “creative altruism”: deconstructing the walls that divide, undoing institutional prejudice and unfairness. He has become, in the process, part of the bubbling cauldron of social evolution.

Thompson, who is African-American, grew up in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. He was a kid who loved to paint and found his way into one of the city’s major ad agencies when he was a young man. This was in the late ’60s; doors were opening, thanks to the civil rights movement. But the opening was fleeting. By the early ’90s, there were almost no African-Americans left in the business. He told me one of his memories from those days. The receptionist at one of the agencies where he was then freelancing challenged his presence in the office: “Aren’t you the mailroom guy?”

Finally he had to address the situation. He did his research and wrote an article called “The Invisible Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” That was the beginning of his transition to political activism.

“I’ve been trying to come up with an idea to solve America’s race problem for over 25 years,” he told me. “Could I use what I learned in advertising?”

Turns out the answer was yes. The first thing an ad has to do is capture attention, grab people by surprise, pull them in. An irreverent sense of humor also helps, along with an ability to see through and beyond the basically unquestioned social realities that shape our lives.

Thus, as Thompson began to see it, confronting and eliminating racism in American society wasn’t simply a matter of moral scolding. This is called political correctness: demanding, pleading for, better behavior from white people in positions of power toward non-white people in positions of vulnerability. As he saw it, the problem is race itself — a bogus concept of division.

He decided to take on the concept, to challenge the idea that the “color of one’s skin” was a natural division among people, a reasonable igniter of distrust . . . and that, my God, all the human occupants of Planet Earth were one of five colors — black, white, yellow, brown or red — and those colors negated their complexity as human beings. This offended him not just as a man but as an artist.

And this is where the irreverence started coming in. Race was simply too absurd to take seriously. So, in the mid-’90s, when he wrote a book called White Folks: Seeing America Through Black Eyes, he decided to step over the PC line. He devised an ad campaign for the book announcing, simply, “White Folks for sale.”

Oops! Way too funny, and way too non-PC. A local radio station refused to run the ad. We can use sex and violence to sell products, but we dare not stir up the horrors of American history.

Flash forward a couple of decades and Lowell Thompson is walking through a Barnes and Noble store. He notices a large display of adult coloring books and realizes these are a thing now — and suddenly another politically incorrect idea pops into his head. He decided to create a coloring book. The title would be: “Some of My Best Friends Are Colored.”

Thompson has pursued the project through hell and high water, you might say. Shortly after he came up with the idea, “I almost died,” he told me. His blood had stopped coagulating at one point, he collapsed on a public street and was rushed to a hospital. They saved his life and he was able to push on with the project, which includes holding public events in which participants get a chance both to color and talk about race. A flyer he passes out asks: Are you black, white or human? A box next to each option contains the appropriate color. Only one of them makes sense.

Initially the project was funded by a charitable foundation, but, oops again, the word “colored” proved to be too controversial to higher-ups in the organization and they backed off, and he has pursued it on his own.

The irreverence and the crayons are both central. With both, he’s reaching, I believe, for a child’s openness and sense of possibility. We can’t free our thinking until we let go of what we know.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

Board of Supervisors 2/20/19

COUNTY OF SIERRA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
REGULAR MEETING
The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in regular session  on February 19, 2019 in the Loyalton Social Hall, Loyalton City Park, Loyalton, CA. This meeting was  recorded and posted on the Board of Supervisors’ website www.sierracounty.ca.gov.The Clerk of the Board may be reached at 530-289-3295 or at the following email
Heather Foster clerk-recorder@sierracounty.ca.govThe Board of Supervisors may hold a Closed Session as the agenda schedule permits.REGULAR AGENDA  9:00A.M.

STANDING ORDERS

  • Call to Order – Paul Roen
  • Pledge of Allegiance – Jim Beard
  • Roll Call – Supervisors Adams, Huebner, Roen, Beard, Dryden
  • Approval of Consent Agenda, Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board –Approved 5/0
2.

PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITY – Wendy Jackson, Adult Education Coordinator wjackson@spjusd.org March 13th 6-7:30 pm in Loyalton and the next day in Downieville.

3.

COMMITTEE REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – Supes Adams and Huebner gave reports on meetings and refunds to state. Sierra County was one of two counties who escaped reimbursement costs.

4.

DEPARTMENT MANAGERS’ REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS –

5.

FOREST SERVICE UPDATE

6.

HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES – VICKIE CLARK

6.A.

Authorization to hire at the higher classification of Social Services Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Coordinator III that was previously budgeted as a Social Services Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Coordinator II.

Documents: QAQI SWIII Board.pdf

7.

PUBLIC WORKS/TRANSPORTATION – TIM BEALS

7.A.

Presentation of bids and adoption of resolution rejecting bids for the Sierra County Wellness Center Addition Project.

8.

CLOSED SESSION

8.A.

Closed Session pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2) – conference with legal counsel regarding anticipated litigation – 1 case.

Documents: Closed Session.pdf

9.

TIMED ITEMS

9.A.

10:00AM

PUBLIC HEARING – VACATE PUBLIC ACCESS EASEMENT

Conduct public hearing and direction to staff with regard to Resolution 2019-014 declaring intent to vacate an existing public access easement as shown on Sierra County Assessor’s Parcel Map Book 15, Page 5 in the town of Sierraville situated between Sierra County Assessor Parcels 015-052-002-0 and 015-052-013-0.

Documents: – Intent to vacate ph.pdf

9.B.

10:30AM

CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING – VACATE OREGON CREEK ROAD

Conduct continued public hearing with regard to the resolution of intent to vacate Oregon Creek Road (#295).
9.B.i.

Resolution terminating vacation proceedings for any portion of Oregon Creek Road, County Road 295 and directing the preparation of resolution terminating maintenance of a portion of Oregon Creek Road, County Road 295 for the portion between the Zumalt property and the Kate Hardy Mine property in accordance with California Streets and Highways Code § 954.5 and setting public hearing.

10.

CONSENT AGENDA

Items placed on the Consent Agenda are of a routine and non-controversial nature and are approved by a blanket roll call vote. At the time the Consent Agenda is considered, items may be deleted from the Consent Agenda by any Board member or Department Manager and added to the Regular Agenda directed by the Chairman.
10.A.

Contract amendment A01 of Agreement 2018-106 between the Department of Health Care Services and the County of Sierra for the Drug Medi-Cal Program. (BEHAVIORAL HEALTH)

10.B.

CalSAWS Consortium Second Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement. (SOCIAL SERVICES)

10.C.

Memorandum of Understanding between the CalSAWS Consortium, a California Joint Powers Authority, and the County of Sierra, a member county of the Consortium. (SOCIAL SERVICES)

10.D.

Resolution terminating agreement for services, 2012-035 and subsequent amendments 2017-025 and 2018-012 with Earth Surgeons Construction Company. (PUBLIC WORKS)

10.E.

Authorize payment of invoice 192676 to Intermountain Disposal for tipping fees for waste that has been diverted to Delleker Transfer Station. (PUBLIC WORKS)

Documents:

  1. IMD ROP.pdf
10.F.

Minutes from the regular meeting held on February 5, 2019. (CLERK-RECORDER)

11.

CORRESPONDENCE LOG

11.A.

Letter from Tahoe National Forest Supervisor, Eli Ilano, regarding the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation Project.

11.B.

Letter from Board of Forestry and Fire Protection – Notice of Preparation of a Program Environmental Impact Report for the California Vegetation Treatment Program.

11.C.

Letter from California Department of Parks and Recreation, Office of Historic Preservation, regarding Webber Lake Hotel Listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

ADJOURN

Info on OSV 2/20/19

Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation – Project Summary and FAQ

On February 8, 2019, the Tahoe National Forest released the Draft Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation Record of Decision (Draft Decision) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS). The Draft Decision and Final EIS were originally scheduled to be released on January 4, 2019, but were delayed due to the recent lapse in government funding.

The Draft Decision designates areas on the Tahoe National Forest for cross-country, over-snow vehicle travel and specific snow trails for over-snow vehicle use, some of which are available for grooming. Specifically, the designation allows for:

  • Cross-country, over-snow vehicle* travel on 410,703 acres of Tahoe National Forest managed lands when there is adequate snow depth to avoid damage to natural and cultural resources. Over-snow vehicle enthusiasts can continue to recreate in popular wintertime areas including Sierra Buttes/Lake Basin, Robinson Flat, Donner Summit, Yuba Pass, Carpenter Ridge, White Rock Lake, and other locations.
  • Up to 34 over-snow vehicle crossings of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
  • Continued grooming on over 247 miles of over-snow vehicle trails where there is 12-18 inches of snow. This includes popular trails such as the Sierra Buttes, Yuba Pass, China Wall, and Little Truckee Summit trail networks.
  • 135 additional miles of non-groomed, over-snow vehicle trails located outside of cross-country, designated areas. This includes 53 miles of easements crossing private property. These trails will be subject to the same snow-depth requirement as cross-county, designated areas or, where there is an underlying Tahoe National Forest System road, a 6 inch snow depth requirement.

 

Formal opportunities for public comment regarding the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation have passed.

For more information please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), attached. Additional details, including the entire Draft Decision, the Final EIS, the Legal Notice, and project maps can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45914.

* For Class-1 OSVs including snowmobiles, tracked motorcycles, snow-cats, tracked all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and tracked utility terrain vehicles (UTVs). 

Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: For cross-country use designation, what is “adequate snow depth to avoid damage to natural and cultural resources?”

A: As a guideline to avoid damaging resources, a minimum of 12 inches of moderate to heavy density, uncompacted snow is generally needed. Sierra storms typically have a moderate to high water content. Snow water equivalency (SWE) is also an indicator for avoiding damage to resources. An SWE of 4 inches can be a reasonable baseline for avoiding resource damage.

On designated OSV trails with underlying roads (non-groomed), a minimum of 6 inches of uncompacted snow is typically needed to avoid damage to the underlying road surface.

Q: What is the basis for the 12-18 inch snow-depth requirement for trails designated available for grooming?

A: The California State Parks’ Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division snow depth standards for grooming is currently 12 to 18 inches of snow. Much of the grooming of over-snow vehicle trails on the Tahoe National Forest is accomplished through grants from California State Parks. Thus, adherence to the state snow-depth standard is mandatory to accomplish grooming activities.

Q: I commented on the Draft EIS in 2018.  Where can I see the response to my comments?

A: The Tahoe National Forest received over 2,200 comment letters in response to the Draft EIS. The content of all comments was read, considered in the development of the Draft Decision, and entered into the project record. Responses to public comments were categorized and organized by seven general topics and seventy-four subtopics and are documented in Appendix H (FEIS Volume III). Each comment was assigned a unique identifier number. Appendix H contains an alphabetical list of commenters and the identifier number assigned to each comment. To find your unique identifier number, your comment, and the response, view Appendix H (Volume III of the Final EIS) located at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45914.

Q: Can I object to the Draft Record of Decision?

A: The draft decision is subject to two different objection processes because it includes both a project-level decision as well as a Forest Plan amendment decision.

Individuals or entities who have submitted timely, specific written comments about the proposed project during any designated opportunity for public comment are eligible to file an objection on the project.

Individuals or entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to the plan amendment during the opportunities for public comment are eligible to file an objection on the forest plan amendment portion of the Project.

For complete instructions on objection eligibility and how to object, please see the Tahoe NF OSV Project Opportunity to Object Legal Notice athttps://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45914.

Q: Were there changes made to the Selected Alternative between the Draft EIS and the Final EIS?

A: In response to comments and public involvement, there were a number of changes made to the selected Alternative between the Draft EIS (April, 2018) and the Draft Decision/Final EIS (February, 2019). For details regarding changes to the Selected Alternative please see the Final EIS, Volume I, pp. 24 -25 athttps://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45914. A few of the key changes include:

  • Expanding areas designated for cross-county, over-snow vehicle use in the

o   Donner Lake Interchange area

o   Granite Flat area (west of HWY 89).

  • Not designating over-snow vehicle use in

o   Fisher Lake and its watershed

o   A 300-500 foot zone near the ridgeline adjacent to Tinkers knob.

o   Tahoe National Forest parcels adjacent to Frog Lake

  • Adding designated snow trails (not available for grooming) outside of designated cross-county, over-snow vehicle use areas.

o   Several OSV trails across private lands where the Tahoe National Forest holds easements.

o   Sawtooth Snow Trail

o   Cabin Creek access

o   Carpenter Ridge access

  • Changing OSV Class from width basis to ground pressure basis (pounds per square inch -psi), which will be indirectly determined by vehicle type

o   Class 1 OSVs: These are vehicles that typically exert 1.5 psi or less. This includes snowmobiles, tracked motorcycles, snow-cats, tracked ATVs, and tracked UTVs.

o   Class 2 OSVs: These are OSVs that typically exert over 1.5 psi. This includes tracked 4WD SUVs and tracked 4WD trucks.

  • Changing the amount, and type, of Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) crossings. More PCT crossings were added based on public comment.

Q: Why are there designated crossings of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT)?

A: Approximately 99 miles of the PCT traverse the Tahoe National Forest. Of that, 76 miles of the PCT are on National Forest System lands. OSV use on the PCT is prohibited by the National Scenic Trails Act, P.L 90-543, Section 7(c). To provide a legal opportunity to cross the PCT, the Draft Decision provides 34 designated OSV crossings of varying crossing widths. The purpose of these crossings is to allow OSV users to get across the PCT in situations where OSV use is designated in areas located on either side of the trail.

Q: How are over-snow vehicle users supposed to cross the PCT?

A: Of the 34 designated PCT crossings, fourteen crossings will utilize underlying roads identified on the Tahoe National Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Map and will be the width of the underlying road (approximately 14 feet).

Twenty OSV crossings of the PCT will not utilize underlying roads and will range in width up to a 1/4 mile. These wider crossings are located where snow conditions are highly variable such as areas prone to wind loading of snow and the formation of cornices. These wider crossings give OSV users options to select a safe crossing of the PCT.

In all cases, OSV users would be required to cross the PCT at 90 degrees, or as close to 90 degrees as is safe to cross, to minimize the time and distance needed to cross the trail. Additionally, OSV users would be required to cross the PCT at the designated location, or as close to the designated location as is safe. These situational variance allowances for the PCT designated crossings were added to the Draft Decision/Final EIS based on comments to the Draft EIS, and are designed for the safety of OSV users in highly variable snow conditions.

Q: How many acres were previously designated for over-snow vehicle use before this process? Why has this amount changed?

A: Before this Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation process, 636,000 acres were available for over snow vehicle use according to the Tahoe National Forest Land and Resource management Plan.

The largest factor that accounts for decreases in OSV designated use acreage is elevation and adherence to the Travel Management Rule’s Subpart C Regulations.

Subpart C regulations state – “Over-snow vehicle use on National Forest System roads, on National Forest System trails, and in areas on National Forest System lands shall be designated…where snowfall is adequate for that use to occur, and, if appropriate, shall be designated by class of vehicle and time of year…”

Based on decades of managing and monitoring OSV use on the Tahoe NF, it is rare that there is consistent snow coverage to provide OSV opportunities under 5,000 foot elevation. Therefore, areas under 5,000 feet in elevation were generally not considered “adequate” for managed OSV use and were generally not included in the selected Alternative –which accounts for over 145,000 acres previously designated as available for over-snow vehicle use.

Madness & King Donald 2/20/19

By Jennifer Finney Boylan

Contributing Opinion Writer NYT Feb. 20, 2019

I was going to watch the State of the Union speech the other week, honest I was, but I have this new policy of only screaming into my pillow once a day, so it didn’t pan out.

Instead, I figured I’d watch some cartoons, but even there I ran into the fundamental problem of our age: Everything reminds me of Himself. Pepe Le Pew: Donald Trump. Wile E. Coyote: Donald Trump. Foghorn Leghorn: Well, you get the idea.

So instead I streamed the new BBC/Amazon version of “King Lear.” Surely, I thought, Shakespeare’s tragedy would provide me with the escape I needed, although to be honest whenever I see Anthony Hopkins I start getting the traditional heebie-jeebies about fava beans and Chianti. “The Silence of the Lambs,” alas, is one of the most transphobic films ever made, but what the heck: I’d try to look past this, if only Sir Anthony would help me forget that a man who cannot spell “unprecedented” is the leader of the free world.

(And don’t @ me about how much you love “The Silence of the Lambs.” If you were a transgender person, you would feel differently.)

Curtain up, Act I: We start with the leader’s outsize narcissism, his conviction that, whatever the country’s problems, he alone can fix them. He has no use for counsel, or compromise, or, for that matter, facts themselves. The kingdom is about to be invaded by the French, who are bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good …

It was right about here that I wondered if there was still time to go back to Pepe Le Pew, which is what I watched last year, instead of the State of the Union. It was on that occasion that I first learned the terrible truth: Pepe Le Pew is fake meows.

Nevertheless, I persisted. Now Lear was deciding to divide his kingdom on the basis of whoever flatters him best. It was pretty hard, at this moment, not to recall that bizarre cabinet meeting from 2017, where everyone had to sing the president’s praises. “On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President,” said Reince Priebus, his chief of staff, “we thank you for the honor and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda.”

Admit it: You kind of forgot about Reince Priebus, didn’t you? That’s O.K. Cabinet members under the bridge.

“Lear is mad,” observes his friend, the duke of Kent, and everyone else in court wants to say, Well, duh. But (with the exception of Kent, and daughter Cordelia) they hold their tongues, because in their far-off, unimaginable world — so different from our own! — it is more important to cling to power than speak the honest truth.

As I watched the king slowly come undone, I did wonder, fleetingly, whether Lear’s madness, at least in the opening acts, is somewhat calculated. He’s a narcissist, of course — but the man is not without cunning.

Thus raising the question: Is the king crazy like a fox? Or just crazy, like on Fox?

Soon enough, though, the madness is no ruse. There’s the king, wandering around the heath half-naked with his Hannity. Before you know it, everyone is murdering everyone else, and the French are revolting (sic), and the duke of Gloucester has had his eyes gouged out.

“Vile jelly,” I believe is the exact quote, also reminding me of an experience I once had at a late-night diner in King of Prussia, Pa.

At this point, I hit pause and checked back with the State of the Union, wondering whether I’d made a bad choice.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation,” said the president, “there cannot be war and investigation!”

Yeah, back to Britain. By now the king was at the center of a terrible storm, surrounded by madmen. Looking at his subjects, it occurs to Lear that his people are wretched. Why, he wonders, did he not try to care for them when he had the chance?

Why, indeed. “They told me I was everything,” he says, understanding, too late, that his own narcissism has been the catalyst for his country’s ruin. “Tis a lie.”

Oh, if only.

This new “Lear” is short, as these things go — under two hours. Even after the end credits, I still had time to catch the tail end of Bernie Sanders’s response to Mr. Trump’s speech.

I like Bernie, but after the tragedy of King Lear it was hard for me to stay focused, being depressed already about 2020. Will I be able to watch the State of the Union then? Or will I spend the rest of my life vainly seeking solace in Looney Tunes?

There was Senator Sanders, holding forth. Somehow he’d decided that Stacey Abrams’s response, delivered moments earlier, was not sufficient.

“Somethin’s wrong with that boy,” said Foghorn Leghorn. “Always mopin’.”

Jennifer Finney Boylan, a contributing opinion writer, is a professor of English at Barnard College and the author of the novel “Long Black Veil.” @JennyBoylan

Hindu Mantras 2/20/19

Another Nevada 1st: Hindu mantras to open both Nevada Senate & Assembly daily for whole week

Rajan Zed

After Nevada became first US state with majority-female legislature, now it seems to be making another record of opening both legislative chambers for one entire week with Hindu mantras.

Both Nevada Senate and Assembly in capital Carson City are scheduled to start their day with ancient Hindu prayers for the entire week of April 22-26, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the daily invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Senate and Assembly. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use; besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayers with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he will then interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reading from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge Senators and Assembly Members to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

In the state of Nevada, Zed has already delivered Hindu invocations at City Councils of Las Vegas, Henderson, Sparks and Boulder City; in addition to Board of Commissioners of Clark, Douglas, Lyon counties and Carson City Board of Supervisors. Besides Nevada, he has also read opening prayers in United States Senate, US House of Representatives, various state senates and houses of representatives, county boards and city councils all over USA.

Rajan Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader. Bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award; Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc. He has been panelist for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post; and produces a weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” in Reno Gazette-Journal for over eight years.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

With Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshal as President and Kelvin D. Atkinson as Majority Leader, Nevada Senate has 21 senators. With Jason Frierson as Speaker, Nevada Assembly has 42 members. Nevada, largest gold producer and 7th largest state, was admitted to USA in 1864. Nevada, also called “Silver State”, is known for Las Vegas, Burning Man, Lake Tahoe, etc. Steve Sisolak is Governor.

Sheriff’s Public Log 2/20/19

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log

ACT-Active ARR-Arrest Completed CIT-Citation Issued CNC-Cancelled or No Report Required  INA-Inactive   RPT-Report Taken   TRA-Transferred to Other Agency   UNF-Unfounded UTL-Unable to Locate or Gone on Arrival – and here is Ca Code Source

2/11/19

0115 – Night time guitar player is disturbing Loyalton – CNC SCSO
0326 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton -TRA LOAm
1135 – Fire alarm beeps every now and then in Loyalton – TRA SCSO
1656 – Upset person yelling in Downieville – CNC SCSO
2346 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance Loyalton – TRA LOAM

2/12/19

0949 – 9-1-1 request for patient transfer in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
1100 – Super duper Confidential
1150 – Broken windshield in Downieville – RPT SCSO
1324 – Intoxicated person wants more in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
1422 – Deputy needed for uninvited interloper in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
2139 – Sparking powerline in Sattley – TRA SCF
2159 – Case Information needed in Downieville – CNC SCSO

2/13/19

0835 – Trees on Hwy 49 in various locations – TRA CALT
0853 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance – TRA LOAM
0912 – Power Line down in Downieville – TRA DVFD
1120 – Welfare check on subject near Downieville – CNC SCSO
1456 – Snowed in family in Calpine needs supplies – CNC SCSO
1552 – Medical assistance needed in Verdi – TRA WASO
1954 – Reckless driver in Downieville – CNC SCSO

2/14/19

0716 – Flooding on Hwy 89 near Calpine – TRA CALT
0834 – Downed power line in Downieville – TRA DVFD
0853 – Two cedar trees across road in Goodyears Bar – TRA DPW
1011 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Downieville – TRA DVAM
1322 – Tree across Ridge Road Near Pike City – TRA DPW
1546 – Welfare check needed in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
1748 – 9-1-1 report of fire in Downieville – TRA DVFD
2039 – Restaurant bill not paid in Loyalton – RPT SCSO

2/15/19

0246 – Stranded motorist in Downieville – TRA DPW
0909 – Semi truck stuck on bridge in Downieville – TRA CHP
1041 – Vehicle in snow bank Hwy 49 MM 5.9 – TRA CHP
1042 – Vehicle into snow bank Hwy 49/89 MM 16 – TRA CHP
1150 – Ambulance request near Verdi – TRA WASO
1840 – Abandoned vehicle blocking Main St. Sierra City – CNC SCSO
2204 – Chains being put on vehicle Hwy 49 Loganville – CNC SCSO
2234 – Suspicious vehicle parked near Ramshorn – CNC SCSO

2/16/19

0157 – Someone stuck on Hwy 49 near Bassetts – TRA CALT
0248 – Semi Truck on top of parking sign in Downieville – TRA CHP
0552 – Semi truck jackknifed on Hwy 49 – CIT CHP
0957 – Tree across Hwy 49 near Fournier Ranch – TRA CALT
1509 – Hit and run reported in Sierra City – RPT SCSO

2/17/19

1042 – Hey 49 blocked by pickups in Sierra City – TRA CHP
1217 – House fire reported in Sierra City – TRA SCVFD
1608 – Welfare check requested Indian Valley – CNC SCSO

Implicit Theat 2/20/19

Should the U.S. Government Abide by the International Law It Has Created and Claims to Uphold?  – by Lawrence Wittner

Lawrence Wittner

The Trump administration’s campaign to topple the government of Venezuela raises the issue of whether the U.S. government is willing to adhere to the same rules of behavior it expects other nations to follow.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, U.S. foreign policy was characterized by repeated acts of U.S. military intervention in Latin American nations.  But it began to shift in the late 1920s, as what became known as the Good Neighbor Policy was formulated.  Starting in 1933, the U.S. government, responding to Latin American nations’ complaints about U.S. meddling in their internal affairs, used the occasion of Pan-American conferences to proclaim a nonintervention policy.  This policy was reiterated by the Organization of American States (OAS), founded in 1948 and headquartered in Washington, DC.

Article 19 of the OAS Charter states clearly:  “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State.”  To be sure, the Charter, in Article 2(b), declares that one of the essential purposes of the OAS is “to promote and consolidate representative democracy.”  But this section continues, in the same sentence, to note that such activity should be conducted “with due respect for the principle of nonintervention.”  The U.S. government, of course, is an active member of the OAS and voted to approve the Charter.  It is also legally bound by the Charter, which is part of international law.

The United Nations Charter, also formulated by the U.S. government and part of international law, includes its own nonintervention obligation.  Attempting to outlaw international aggression, the UN Charter declares, in Article 2(4), that “all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”  Although this wording is vaguer than the OAS Charter’s condemnation of all kinds of intervention, in 1965 the UN General Assembly adopted an official resolution that tightened things up by proclaiming:  “No State has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State.”

Unfortunately, the U.S. government has violated these principles of international law many times in the past―toppling or attempting to topple numerous governments.  And the results often have failed to live up to grandiose promises and expectations. Just look at the outcome of U.S. regime change operations during recent decades in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Cambodia, Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and numerous other nations.

Of course, there are things worth criticizing in Venezuela, as there are in many other countries―including the United States.  Consequently, a substantial majority of OAS nations voted in January 2019 for a resolution that rejected the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term as president, claiming that the May 2018 electoral process lacked “the participation of all Venezuelan political actors,” failed “to comply with international standards,” and lacked “the necessary guarantees for a free, fair, transparent, and democratic process.”

Nonetheless, the January 2019 OAS resolution did not call for outside intervention but, rather, for “a national dialogue with the participation of all Venezuelan political actors and stakeholders” to secure “national reconciliation,” “a new electoral process,” and a peaceful resolution to “the current crisis in that country.”  In addition, nonintervention and a process of reconciliation between Venezuela’s sharply polarized political factions have been called for by the government of Mexico and by the Pope.

This policy of reconciliation is far from the one promoted by the U.S. government.  In a speech to a frenzied crowd in Miami on February 18, Donald Trump once again demanded the resignation of Maduro and the installation as Venezuelan president of Juan Guiado, the unelected but self-proclaimed president Trump favors.  “We seek a peaceful transition to power,” Trump said.  “But all options are on the table.”

Such intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs, including the implicit threat of U.S. military invasion, seems likely to lead to massive bloodshed in that country, the destabilization of Latin America, and―at the least―the further erosion of the international law the U.S. government claims to uphold.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb (Stanford University Press).

FireHouse News 2/20/19

 “AT THE FIREHOUSE”

ALLEGHANY: All’s quiet…..
CALPINE: All’s quiet…..
DOWNIEVILLE: February 11th EMT Continuing education. February 12th EMT Class. * Responded for a public assist. February 13th Responded for a live wire down on Main Street – fixed by PG&E. * Responded for a live wire down on Belle Street  – fixed by PG & E. * Responded for a live wire down – cancelled. February 14th Responded for a live wire down – fixed. * Responded for an injured female, who was transported to SNMH. *Responded for a transformer fire – cancelled, PG&E fixed. February 17th Mutual aid response to SIERRA City, for a structure fire.
LOYALTON:
PIKE CITY: All’s quiet…..
SATTLEY: All’s quiet…..
SIERRA CITY: February 17th Responded for a structure fire.
SIERRAVILLE: All’s quiet…..

CalTrans Hiring 2/20/19

from Sacramento Bee 2/18/19

Caltrans on hiring spree to improve road maintenance

Caltrans will consider hiring nearly anyone for 333 maintenance jobs it is trying to fill.

The department is on a spree to hire enough workers to improve road upkeep as called for in a 2017 gas tax bill that in November survived an initiative that would have repealed it.

The department has worked with hiring organizations to consider candidates ranging from recent college graduates and veterans to people who have been homeless or incarcerated, said Michelle Tucker, chief of the department’s human resources division.

“They are good entry-level jobs for people with a variety of backgrounds,” Tucker said.

Those without experience can start at about $39,000 per year, while those with more experience or skills can make up to about $75,000 per year, according to the department’s figures.

The department is also planning to hire more engineers, planners and surveyors in its Capital Outlay Support Program, a spokeswoman said, but the number of those positions wasn’t readily available.

The department has already hired more than 1,000 new employees for a variety of jobs since July, including at mass-hiring events during which people could interview and get a job offer the same day.

The department could hold more rapid-hire fairs this spring and in the fall depending on need. Otherwise the process typically takes about two months, Tucker said.

The money for the jobs comes from Senate Bill 1, also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act, which the Legislature passed in 2017 and voters affirmed in a November ballot measure.

“Maintenance is the backbone of our organization,” said Matt Rosenberg, a Caltrans spokesman. “Having more boots-on-the-ground maintenance employees is part of our strategy to deliver on the promise of SB 1.”

In addition to the maintenance jobs, the department is hiring 13 equipment specialists to draft specifications for new equipment ranging from dump trucks and bridge repair trucks to more specialized vehicles.

The law increased California’s gas tax by 12 cents, bringing it to 30 cents per gallon. The bill also hiked the diesel tax and added annual vehicle fees. It is expected to garner about $5.4 billion per year for road projects over 10 years.

An American Society of Civil Engineers assessment of California’s roads in 2018 rated them the second-worst in the country, saying 51 percent of the state’s major urban roads were in poor condition and that its aging bridges faced a backlog of maintenance and repair needs.

A budget request Cal-trans filed with the state said that by keeping on top of repairs, the department can prevent roads from deteriorating to the point that they require more costly and substantial repairs.

Maintenance workers patch roads, fix bridges, keep up guardrails and lights, take care of rest areas, pick up litter and perform other needed tasks for the state, Tucker said. Workers will be hired across 12Caltrans districts according to work loads for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which starts July 1, Rosenberg said.

The department expects to patch about 220,000 potholes in the coming fiscal year, up from about 86,000 in fiscal year 2017-2018, according to the budget request. It anticipates improving its response to wrecked guard rails, responding to 90 percent of them within 72 hours. The department plans to perform maintenance work on 112 bridges in the coming year, up from 38 in 2017-2018.

The department’s job openings may be viewed at http://dot.ca.gov/jobs/. It also publishes a list of recruitment events it is holding around the state.

CSAF Meeting 2/20/19

Early Registration Deadline Feb. 19!
The State of California is Burning: Is This Our Future?
California SAF Winter Meeting February 22-23, 2019 Folsom, CA
California just experienced its most destructive, deadly, and largest wildfire season ever last year.   Can we prevent this from happening again?  What is being done?  What needs to occur to prevent or minimize these destructive wildfires?  Is this the new normal?  “The State of California Is Burning: Is This Our Future?”, will be the topic of our annual winter meeting of the California Society of American Foresters. The 2019 Winter Meeting will be held at Lake Natoma Inn, Folsom, CA. We look forward to an excellent dialog about wildland fire policy with the California forestry and forest conservation community.
Friday will start off with the California SAF Executive Committee (EC) meeting.
The EC meeting be held at Lake Natoma Inn, 702 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom, CA 95360.  The meeting is open to all interested individuals, however there is limited seating for non­-committee attendees.
Friday evening from 5-8pm, there will be a no-host social gathering at a site to be determined.  This will be an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and meet individuals from around the state.
 
Saturday’s conference will be at Lake Natoma Inn, 702 Gold Lake Drive,Folsom, CA.  The presentations and speakers will cover topics such as Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Policy, Cal Fire and California Board of Forestry’s Vegetation Management Program and Forest Task Force, Fire-Resistant Community Planning, Fire Safe Building Design and the Woolsey Fire: Case Study.
Mark your calendars now and register for the 2019 California SAF Winter Meeting.When booking your reservation be sure to call (916) 351-1500 and ask for “Society of American Foresters” to get special rate. Come early and enjoy the Folsom, CA area!

No Fence Now 2/20/19

Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him? – by Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson

While I commend efforts to turn Presidents’ Day into a display of outrage over the non-emergency declaration rather than a celebration of non-existent presidential grandeur, I would much rather impeach Trump than protest him.

I was on the fence on the merits of pushing impeachment before the long-awaited arrival of the Mueller report, but the cogent essay published in The Atlantic thoroughly convinced me that beginning the impeachment process immediately is the way to go. I don’t see the utility in waiting if there is no guarantee the public will ever see Mueller’s findings—thus averting further outrage that could force the hand of Senate Republicans. Moreover, the argumentthat the Democrats shouldn’t try to impeach because they would lose is not only contrary to the goal of attempting to enforce the rule of law but is also cowardly. One could easily reduce this argument to if you can’t win, then don’t play. This lose-first mentality has been a fixture of the Democratic strategy for far too long. The Democratic party must move beyond compromise with an uncompromising opponent if it wants to win in 2019, 2020, and beyond.

Well-intentioned friends of mine have brought up the point that even if Trump is removed from office, “Commander” Mike Pence would take his place. And Mike Pence is just as evil but far more boring and, therefore, able to conduct his machinations outside public scrutiny—and more effectively. It’s a clever argument, but I don’t buy it for two reasons: the first is that Trump enjoys far more grassroots support than Pence (for the aforementioned reason that watching Pence speak, or do anything, is worse than—to borrow Colbert’s word play–watching paint lie), and the second is that the downfall of Trump would undoubtedly mire an accidental Pence presidency into an inability to effectively pursue the Trump/Pence agenda. We should recall that former President Ford has already gone down in the dustbin of history as a less-than-one-term president who pardoned Nixon and did little else. Pence would likely follow suit.

Trump ought to be impeached not because most Americans dislike him but because the Constitution demands it. You can have a constitutional government predicated on rule of law and separation of powers—or you can have an autocracy. But you can’t have both.

Matt Johnson, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is co-author of Trumpism.

Page 1 of 531
1 2 3 531