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Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
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November 6, 2007     Lassen County Times
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November 6, 2007
 

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LASSEN COUNTY .i. '?:.i: : i i.~>i i. ~ L.~ :i'~i :~ ,--.' ' ".~ .i~::.:~ ", Serving Susanville and Surrounding Areas . .L Vol. 29, No. 3 Shayla Ashmore Staff Writer sash more@lassen news.corn It could be several months before Lassen County responds to the lawsuit three groups filed to stop the Dyer Mountain Four Seasons Resort. Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Sierra Watch and the Chico-based Yahi Group of the Sierra Club filed Is Ruth Ellis Staff Writer rellis@lasse nnews.com Four Lassen County school districts have received grant money from the California Instructional School Garden Program Grant. The districts will use the funding to help beautify school grounds, improve sci- ence classes and provide stu- dents with hands-on experi- ence. Janesville and Shaffer Union Elementary School Districts each received $2,500. Sierra Primary School, Herlong High School and Fort Sage Middle School, all locat- ed in the Fort Sage School District each received $2,500. Diamond View School, McKinley School, and Meadow View School, all in lassennews.com Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007 (530) 257-5321 50 cents : : . ~ ~:. ~:.:- --- : ~.~::-:':- : :: :~-~ : .:: ,~ ~ = ~,~,~.~ =.~~~, =~, ~T::~:.~=!-~,~ ~:==-==~:.=.==:~-:-:==~-,---~,:,:=r=~-~:=.=---C--- : Vampires roam Uptown Main ,Street Members Of the Classified Dancers, Marki Angona, left, and Meg Sheehy perform a dance dressed as vampires during Safe and Sane Halloween in Uptown Susanville on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Photo by Barb France Accreditin team notes positive hanges coil Sam Williams News Editor swilliams@lassennews.com Lassen Community College President Dr. Douglas Houston said the college rep- resented itself well during a Monday, Oct. 29 visit by a two: person team from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association or Schools and Colleges. Houston said the team rec- ognized many changes on campus and noted people were "openly respecting each other and openly working together." That hasn't always been the case at LCC, and the lack of civility landed the college on probation. Following up on a July 2006 report, ACCJC placed LCC on probation on Jan. 31, 2007 after the commission's evalu. the lawsuit in Lassen County Superior Court asking the court to set aside certification of the Environmental Impact RePOrt, development- agree- ment and tentative parcel map approved.by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors. Rick Crabtree, the county's special cohnsel for the Dyer Mountain project, said he has seen the lawsult but the coun- ty had not been officially ga the Susanville School District, each received $2,500. ShatTer Superintendent Jason WaddelI said the grant money will be used to upgrade Sharer School's greenhouse and flowerbeds will be planted on the cam- pus. A portion of the funding has also been set aside for staff development opportuni- ties in agricttlture Waddell said normally there-isn't specific funding for agriculture at .the elemen- tary level. The grant provides an opportunity for Students to get hands-on, .training, he said. Approximately 175 stu- dents, about half of the stu- dent population, live on a ranch, involved in FFA or served as of Tuesday, Oct. 30. The first step in the coun- ty's response will be prepar- ing the administrative record and that will-take a few months, Crabtree .said. The county's first Rting with the court will occur sometime after that record is complete. The lawsuR also seeks an order directing the county to comply with the California Environmental' Quality Act, a are 4-H members. The grant will provide a way-for stu- dents to tie in school projects with other areas of .their lives, he said. In the Susanville School District, McKinley School plans to use the money to landscape the .back area of the school, which faces Paul Bunyan. Road. According to Diamond View School Principal Patty Gunderson, Diamond View will use the funding to expand the school's recently purchased greenhouse pro- gram. Equipment, materials and supplies will be pur- chased to integrate an envi- ronmental-based education in combination with the tra- ditional curriculum, See Garden, page 6A temporary stay and restrain. ing order and-preliminary and permanent injunctions stopping the county and its agents from taking any -action to implement the pro- ject until full compliance with CEQA. The suit claims the county failed to provide sufficiently detailed analysis of the resort's impacts. It "failed to fully account for the resort's cumulative and growth- inducing.impacts" improper- ly deferred mRigation mea- sures, failed to analyze an adequate range of alterna- tives and its analyses of cul- tural, traffic and air quality impacts were legally flawed. 'There are no surprises contained in the lawsuit," Crabtree wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper. "The lawsuit presents the classic battle between project opponents and proponents: how much environmental analysis is enough? There is never enough environmental ana!y- sis to satisfy those opposed to the project." County: officials believe they met CEQA requirements in-the EIR, Crabtree wrote, adding the environmental review for the project took several years "and included thousands of pages of reports and analysis." "Further environmental analysis will follow when the project developer submits specific applications for development of the project," he wrote. As a programmatic EIR, which analyzed the overall project and not specific aspects of the development, the E1R was a "very appropri- ate first step m a series of additional reviews and a .series of additional environ- mental analyses that'we will perform" according to Dyer Mountain Associates' attor- ney Bill Abbott. He told the board on Sept. 25 the EIR did not represent the final envi- ronmental analysis. "This process will go on for a number of years," he said, "and that works hand in hand with your development agree- ment. The development agree- ment does not preclude you from imposing the required mitigation measures neces- sary to mitigate impacts. This is by no means the end of the journey." The suit, which also seeks court costs and attorney's fees, claims the discussion of the effect on global warming was inadequate and necessi- tated recirculation of the EIR The three groups-rifled the lawsuit on Thursday, Oct. 25, the legal deadline for lawsuits based on CEQA. The act's See Dyer, page 7A ation team visited the cam- to review the college's status During-the July visit, the evaluation team noted a ',pathologic :college cul- ture," "unprofessional and insubordinate behavior on the part of mid-management" and expressed its grave con- cern over "a .r Rily:apparent power struggle" that has ' crippled the College gover- nance structures." In fact, the evaluation team reported until LCC's. pro- found governance issues were resolved; the college- probably .would be unable to address the other issues fac- ing the institution. According to-Houston, the college still faces Some chal. lenges, but the college's gov- ernance issues and others already have been addressed. "As I've said before, I'm very impressed with the gov- ernance system that was put together before I got here," said Houston, who succeeded Dr. Homer Cissell as presi- dent on Aug. 20. "One of my purposes is to implement that system. We've Still got a lot of work to do, but we're making solid progress. We're moving in the right direction." Houston said he recently took a survey on campus and 90 percent of the respondents said they felt they had a voice in college governance. In a similar poll taken a See College, page 11A Silva Sam Williams News Editor swilliams@lassennews.com Lassen County District Attorney Robert Burns final- ly got a murder conviction for the gruesome 1981 killing of Kevin Thorpe. Benjamin Wai Silva, 54, pleaded, nolo contendere on Friday, Nov. 2 in the 26-year- old murder case as part of a plea bargain struck by Burns and defense counsel Frank O'Conner. Judge John T. Ball accepted Silva's no contest plea and handed down a 25-years-to-life concurrent sentence for Thorpe's murder. While the defendant neither admits nor denies guilt s no c, through a no contest plea, it is the same as a guilty plea in the eyes of the court. Silva displayed no emotion during the sentencing, but Thorpe's cousin made an emotional victim's statement to the court. "No one deserves to die the way'Kevin was murdered," she said. "The family has to live with that every day I only pray he never gets out of . prison." Silva was convicted 26 years ago for abduction, rob- bery and murder using an automatic weapon for the crimes he committed on the Madeline Plains in Lassen County, Silva was sentenced to death for Thorpe's murder to fi egree murder in1982, but that conviction was overturned in 2005 due to prosecutorial misconduct duringthe original trial. Because Burns believed Silva might someday be released on parole without a murder conviction, he decid- ed to re-try, him on that charge. The district attorney said he believed Silva should spend the rest of his life behind bars due to the mur- der conviction. The soonest he could come up for parole is when he's 62 years old, but Burns said the parole board is not granting parole to mur- derers. And if Silva ever ' wins parole, he still faces a 10-year sentence on federal charges of manufacturing metham- phetamine. If Silva got the earliest possible parole and See Silva, page 11A Correctional officers take Benjamin Wai Silva back to prison afte, r he made an appearance in the Lassen County Courthouse last year. Silva, 54, pleaded nolo con- tendere on Friday, Nov. 2 and was sentenCed to 25-years-to- life for the 1981 murder of Kevin Thorpe. Lassen County District Attorney Robert Burns said he hopes Silva spends the rest of his life behind bars. Photo by Sam Williams