"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

                                           
President Abraham Lincoln
“Hubs” is gone But not forgotten Not only did Donna and I lose a good friend this week when Bill Nesbit died, But even though they never knew it, he was a major reason the Mountain Echo will be able to celebrate its 40th year in October.

When I walked into a meeting at the then Mountain Echo office in Juniper Center in late 1979 I had no idea that I was, through fate, luck and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, form a 36-year bond and friendship with two wonderful couples I’d never met before, the Nesbits and the Martinsons.

Thirty-six years is a long time, especially when you are in business and riding a roller coaster economy in a rural area. I still look back in amazement and so much gratitude for all their patience and help. Each of them went out of their way to help us over the years. Bill was the businessman of the four, but a businessman with faith and a heart. There were many times over the years that we succeeded, not in spite of Bill, but because of him. Like so many people who have to reflect at times like this – after the fact – I wish I had told him how much I appreciated him more often.

After losing Kira Brazo, we lost Bob Martinson in January 2015 and now Bill.

I remember Bill for a lot of reasons, but one incident that really helped mold the way I operate today sticks in my mind.

He was a practical, no nonsense guy who would say what he thought, when he thought it. He took exception to one of the letters to the editor I published and thought I needed to know that there are times when enough is enough.

It was less than a year after I took over the editorship. We had moved to the building now occupied by Up Town Pizza.

Having the big mouth and sharp pen that I am known for, and an audience who wasn’t totally used to me at the time, I was often receiving less than flattering letters to the editor regarding everything from being downright stupid to being one of several 4-letter words. In those days I would just shake my head, clean up the 4-letter words and run the letter.

I wasn’t too experienced, but had and have always felt that if I was going to have my say, the reader ought to have a right to theirs. Finally I got a letter (there wasn’t any e-mails in those days) from Bill. He pointed out that yes, the reader had a right to vent about me, however, I had a right to reply. Ooooh what a difference that made in my morale.

I don’t use the privilege too often, but I do use it. It is amazing how much better I feel just knowing that I can legitimately defend, clarify or whatever when it is called for. He and the other three are the reason the Mountain Echo is still in business today.

Both Donna and I miss Bob and we will miss Bill (or “Hubs” as his wife Sharon referred to him so often in “Sharon’s Shelf”). He was a good guy and also had the good sense to marry Sharon.

When I Works....Lessons from Grandpa

This is me lately... too much thinking is making me tired. Does our brain get the summer off? Oh how I wish!

My grandpa has had this plaque in his office as far back as I can remember. I have always thought it was funny! The ironic part is that my grandpa has never done anything without 100% effort and seldom did he fall asleep unless the task is done! I saw this plaque still hanging in his small home office. It brought back some pretty great memories!

As a child my grandpa would let me pretend to be a secretary in his office. He was an electrical contractor and had a big office. (At least when I was small it looked pretty big to me then!) I would get to answer the phone occasionally (when I was older), “Good afternoon, Modern Electric!” I felt so important. I would usually sit at my nana’s desk and type on the old manual typewriter. I would type anything, copy papers that were on the desk, memos to grandpa, anything to “look” busy. Occasionally I got to sit at grandpa’s BIG desk! I think back on those times and I am full of great memories. My grandpa let me do things and feel important. I truly believe that has helped me my whole life through. Because of grandpa...I believe “I Works” pretty hard! “ Always give a hundred percent, and you’ll never have to second-guess yourself.”
Comment
We have had a major problem with the major provider of internet service in the Burney-Fall River area, Frontier Communications.

The problem isn’t anything the local guys can fix – God knows they try.

Speed of uploads and downloads is two of the three things vitally essential. So is reliability. A customer who is paying for the service has to know that they can turn on their computer and instantly have internet if the service is plugged in and the bill paid. In so many businesses, especially those like mine, we cannot do business without it. We are dead in the water.

In the past couple of years Frontier Communications has became unreliable. It appears that because we live and work in a rural area we don’t count. We don’t really matter. Again, it is not the techs or the local managements fault. They are local. They grew up here, have the service themselves along with relatives and friends who have it. Those folks spent a tremendous amount of time with me, checking this or that, not blaming their bosses, but trying to fix a problem. I also spent more time than I could count on-hold on the corporate help lines. What it boiled down to was that if there was no signal, there was no internet. I was a smart enough businessman to have service in both Burney and Fall River, which helped when there was an isolated problem. Then the service just started going down and would be down for days at a time.

I called everyone I could think of. The local folks bent over backwards to help, but it was too little and too late.

There were two solutions, I was lucky enough that there were two other providers, one covering the Fall River area and one the Burney area. I cut Frontier off and switched to Compare in Fall River Zeto in Burney. I have screaming fast and reliable service in both locations and I haven’t had a problem since.

There is another possible solution for those who can’t pick up other services.

I was talking to a customer who is locked into Frontier because of his location and he had a potential solution.

A friend of his had really played detective and discovered that a Mr. John Lass who is apparently the Executive Vice President of Frontier Communications, earning $1,490,449 in 2016, has two phone numbers and he has a secretary who takes his calls and lets you know the big man’s answer. The phone numbers are 203-614-5600 which sounds like a number you’d have to ask for the Executive Vice President or 203-614-5328 which sounds like a direct line to his office.

My friend said that the secretary took his call and made a promise on the VP’s behalf to get his problem fixed. So far the problem hasn’t been fixed, but he is hopeful.

It is like my friend says “Burney and Fall River need a little love!”

That sounds to me like a slogan that should go viral in the Intermountain Area. If everyone with a problem called , talked to the secretary and then called back if the promise wasn’t fulfilled, maybe Burney and Fall River would get a little love and Frontier wouldn’t have the horrible reputation it now has.

 

County Pettiness Hurting Area
Editor: I did not enjoy the editorial this (last) week, but I did appreciate it.

Those California state and county bureaucrats are the reason I’m reading your paper in Reno and not in Burney. I hope Walt has some follow-up stories on the new people in town who are having issues with the county bureaucrats.

I truly wish the people and businesses in the Inter-mountain Area will stand by these people and put the county bureaucrats in their place. I have a lot of empathy for those people even though I don’t know them.

You and I both know it hurts deeply to have our dreams crushed for no good reason. And the actions of the bureaucrats are not only hurting the artist and barber. Their actions are also harming the community.
John Penny
A former long-time Burney area resident

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