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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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February 1, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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February 1, 2012
 

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FEATHER RIVER rrounding Areas Since I866 Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 Vol. 145, No. 25 Feather Publishing Co., Inc. 530-283-0800 www.plumasnews.com 50 CENTS PUBLIC SAYS: DON'T CLOSE QUINCY EL Sheriff wants to build new jail near Pioneer school Delaine Fragnoli Managin9 Editor dfragnoli@plumasnews.com One hundred citizens spoke with one unified voice at the first public forum of the Quincy school closure committee. The message to the so-called 7-11 committee Thursday, Jan. 26, was direct and unanimous: Do not close Quincy Elementary School. Among the strongest voices was that of Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood. He told the assembly that he planned to build the county's new jail "a few hundred yards north" of Pioneer Ele- mentary School, the school district's preferred site for a consolidated K - six campus. Moreover, he said he wanted to partner with Plumas Unified School District to use the Pioneer campus as a kind of annex for the jail so he could offer the "ancillary services," such as education and vocational training, neighborhood, as provided by Quincy El, and supports a walkable, livable community. Parent Lucinda Wood noted, "It's very healthy for children to walk to school." Others praised Quincy E1 for its proximity to such important support institu- required now that the county tions as the county court- jail is housing long-term state inmates. "This (arrangement) would serve the best interests of the whole county," Hagwood said. The theme of location, location, location recurred throughout the meeting. The community was very clear about its priorities: it values a close-knit, watchful house, library, museum, downtown shops and offices, community garden and after- school activities like music, dance and drama classes. "Quincy is made for walk- ing," said parent Joe Hoff- man. "I don't know how you put a number, a value on that." Speaker after speaker praised the sixth-grade watershed curriculum and Quincy El's proximity to Boyles Ravine, which serves as a natural laboratory for the program. Jim Boland noted that folks in the neighborhood served as "extra eyes and ears" to keep watch on kids. He also pointed out the health benefits of children taking walking field trips not only to Boyles Ravine but also to the aforementioned downtown institutions. In contrast, speakers blasted the location of Pioneer El, which is situated across the street from a major indus- trial site, Sierra Pacific In- dustries' mill. Chris Murray described the difference as being a choice between a "neighborhood school" and "an industrial-zoned site." A chemical spill at the mill in November 2009 forced the district to cancel after-school activities at the Pioneer campus. The only reason the school wasn't evacuated was that the spill occurred on a Monday, which is an early- release day for the district. There were questions about the mill's reporting of the incident, with emergency ser- vices not notified until after injured workers showed up at Plumas District Hospital's emergency room. In August 2007, SPI paid $13 million to settle alleged air- quality violations at four of its Sierra facilities, including the Quincy mill. From 1999 to 2001, SPI allowed excess nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions, exceeded opacity limits, falsified re- quired source tests and failed to promptly report the viola- tions at the Quincy plant, according to court papers. Hagwood called the loca- tion of Pioneer "a problem" and said to "knowingly put all kids there" was to take on "an amazing level of liability." Citizens also assailed Pioneer as being unsafe for kids to walk to and from. There are no sidewalks on See Close, page 6A Tomorrow: Regular meeting of the Quincy area school closure and consol- idation committee, 4:30 p.m., Quincy High School cafeteria. Under action items, the com- mittee will consider a letter to the school board requesting an extension of the timeline for the committee's recom- mendations and another voicing concern about the district's failure to follow best practices guidelines. Public forum, 6 p.m. (follows regular meeting), Quincy High School cafeteria. Friday: Last day to order $20 Super Bowl barbecue tri-tip. Fund- raiser benefits Quincy Little League. Pick up Sunday, Feb. 5, noon - 2 p.m. at Sav-Mor. For information, to order: Michelle Morrison, 283-3322. Opening gala, 5 - 7 p.m., Main Street Artists' Gallery. Featuring SweetArt, dedicated to tender feelings. Wine, chocolate, appetizers will be served. For information: 283-1909. FlyWire and Friends perfor- mance, 7 p.m., Pangaea Cafe and Pub. Free concert; food and drink available for purchase. FlyWire string r American Valley Community Services Authority board chairman Denny Churchill (fourth from left) addresses the audience during an AVCSA meeting Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Quincy library. The AVCSA board, comprised of Quincy and East Quincy services district board directors, held a public meeting to address district consolidation issues. Board members Seated from left are Henry GIover, Dick Castaldini, Ruth Jackson, Churchill, Howard Hughes, Mike Green, Greg Margason, Ernie Eaton (not visible) and EQSD general manager Shawneen Howe. Photo by Dan McDonald  : E. Quincy still doesn't want to consolidate Dan McDonald Staff Writer dmcdonald@plumasnews.corn Quincy still wants to consolidate the town's two services districts. East Quincy still says "no." That was the consensus following a joint meeting of the districts' board of directors Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Quincy library. All five Quincy directors voted in favor of asking for more time to resolve consoli- dation issues. Only one ast Quincy director voted that way. East Quincy's newly elected chairman, Greg Margason, cast that board's lone "yes" vote. "I would like to see this (American Valley Com- munity Services Authority) keep going and the two boards keep talking to each other and coordinate with each other," Margason said. "That's about as far as I think we can go right now." The AVCSA is the joint board comprised of both the Quincy and East Quincy board members. The direc- tors agreed to have another joint meeting March 21. The Jan. 25 meeting, which was attended by about two dozen members of the public, represented the first AVCSA gathering since the consolidation effort fell apart April 20, 2011. Although each board has added a new member since the last meeting, the dis- agreements and:hard feel- ings that divided the boards were still apparent. At one point, East Quincy board member Howard Hughes argued with Quincy board member Jim Bequette about the treatment of former East Quincy general manager Mary Henrici. Last spring, the Quincy board endorsed its general manager, Larry Sullivan, as its choice for manager of the combined district. The East Quincy board considered that a "lack of respect" for Henrici. East Quincy resident Les Ellis spoke up to try to calm See Districts, page 8A quartet blends classical and contemporary. For informa- tion: Plumas Arts, 283-3402, info@plumasarts.com. Saturday: Semi-monthly Pancake Break- fast, 7 - 10:30 a.m., Masonic Hall at 70 Harbison St. across from the library. Breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, sausage, O J, coffee, hot chocolate, all-you-can-eat pancakes. Donations at the door: adults $6, children under 12 $3, students with ID $5. Proceeds benefit scholarship fund, other fraternal purposes. Bucks Lake Poker Run, regis- tration 9 - 11 a.m., Lakeshore Resort. Sponsored by Bucks Lake Snowdrifters. Barbecue, giveaways, cash prizes. If no See Q, page 6A I1!1![1[!! !111! !!!! To subscribe to the Bulletin, call 530-283-0800 FrostyJabba i ....... Sharp-eyed residents called the newspaper to alert us to a snow sculpture in a galaxy very, very nearby: on the corner of Main and Harbison streets. Scott Cash, proprietor at Stoneleaf Productions, said he had fun creating the frosty Jabba the Hutt from the "Star Wars" movies. Hopefully, more snow will result in appearances from Darth, Luke and the gang. Photo by Mona Hill Current tax ca n fund new ER/OR Mona Hill Staff Writer mhill@plumasnews.com At a special meeting of Plumas District Hospital's board of directors Jan. 24, Chief Executive Officer Doug Lafferty presented the first draft of the hospital's strategic plan. Lafferty focused on PDH's demographic, financial and utilization information sup- porting the plan. Members of the administra- tion team prepared compar- isons of 2000 and 2010 census information depicting a de- clining and aging population. Financial trends clearly in- dicate Medicare and MediCal reimbursements are ever- increasing shares of the hos- pital's revenue. However, the level of reimbursement (50 percent or less) from those same payers does not offset 'the actual costs of health care. Skip Alexander, who attended the meeting, asked Lafferty to explain how the hospital covered those costs. Lafferty said PDH continues to raise its rates so that insurance companies, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield that pay about 90 percent of the amount billed, help make up the difference. FollOwing discussion of the supporting information, Lafferty laid out the plan's broad goals. When he explained the facilities goal, Lafferty told the board and audience that he had thoroughly reviewed the plans for the previous hospital renovation and con- sulted an architect. He said the current facility is in good shape, with another 30 years' life in it. Lafferty thought it would be possible to build a new emergency department and See PDH, page 6A L i