Since You Asked: Reader miffed over Facebook requirement
Q: As a longtime home delivery subscriber to the Appeal-Democrat, I'm mad that the newspaper no longer accepts my log-in account for comments and requires me to use a Facebook account. I deleted my Facebook account for several reasons surrounding privacy. Why doesn't the Appeal-Democrat allow longtime customers who refuse to use Facebook to comment using their old Appeal log-in accounts?
A: The move requiring Facebook accounts was intended to reduce occurrences of anonymous users posting inappropriate comments.
Requiring Facebook accounts to comment on news stories was a decision made in October of last year by the Appeal-Democrat's parent company, Freedom Communications. Tri-County Newspapers, the Appeal-Democrat's sister newspapers in Colusa, Glenn and Tehama counties, also made the switch.
The old log-in accounts were disabled and no longer function.
While many readers may not like Facebook and some have legitimate reasons for preferring anonymity, too often users made hateful, racist or sexist comments that only eroded civil discourse.
While the system may not be perfect, we do feel requiring user accountability has greatly improved the quality of the public debate on the website.
Highway 99 speed limit
Q: Why is the speed limit 65 mph when I'm going south on Highway 99 at Bogue Road and Oswald Road, but only 55 mph hour when I'm going north on the same road? Did they just forget to update the northbound sign or did they do that on purpose?
A: Caltrans simply forgot to change the northbound sign.
The discrepancy was "just an oversight" and it was corrected last week.
In mid-July, Caltrans officials increased the speed limit to 65 mph in both directions on that stretch of Highway 99 south of Yuba City, but only changed the southbound sign, Caltrans spokesman Gilbert Mohtes-Chan said.
"We checked on Wednesday to make sure the sign had been corrected," Mohtes-Chan said.
Drivers heading north must still reduce their speed to 55 mph after Bogue Road because they are approaching residential neighborhoods in Yuba City, Mohtes-Chan said.
Ellis Lake injured ducks
Q: Who can I call when I see ducks and other animals injured at Ellis Lake?
A: You can always contact the Marysville City Services Department, Director Dave Lamon said.
However, don't expect them to immediately dispatch a crew to find the injured animal.
The city doesn't have the resources to respond to every distressed-animal call.
"If we do get a call, it's something we will definitely keep in mind when we're out there," Lamon said. "And, if we can catch them without injuring them further, we will, but frequently the birds move around and don't want to be caught. They are wild animals and sometimes trying to capture them only makes their situation worse."
The City Services Department can be reached at 749-3902.
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 749-4785.