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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
February 8, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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February 8, 2012

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FEATH R R VER Serving Quincy and Surrounding Areas Since 1866 Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 Vol. 145, No. 26 Feather Publishing Co., Inc. 530-283-0800 50 CENTS iff il Delaine Fragnoli Managing Editor Quincy citizens continued to voice their concerns about the proposed consolidation of Quincy and Pioneer elemen- tary schools at two public forums Thursday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 4, offered by the Quincy 7-11 Committee. While speakers at the forums overwhelmingly supported keeping Quincy E1 open, the committee has re- ceived a number of written comments in favor of keeping Pioneer as the one elemen- tary campus. During the regular meeting of the committee Feb. 2, before the public forum, Plumes County Sheriff Greg Hagwood expanded on his previous public statement that he wanted to locate a new jail near Pioneer. He said in a best-case scenario a new jail was at least two years out, but that a myriad of other county services could be housed immediately at Pioneer, which would create a revenue stream for Plumas Unified School District. Hagwood noted the county was looking at property consolidation, too, and he will be meeting in coming weeks with Public Health, Feather" River College, Veterans Services and a number of other entities. Committee member Frank Carey pressed Hagwood for his safety concerns about the lumber mill's proximity to Pioneer school. The mill is not just a mill, but a co-gen plant, said Hagwood. Logging trucks pass within feet of the play- ground and there is a four- lane highway to the south. "I think those are safety issues for children of that age." Carey noted that the school had been operating near the mill for decades, so why were people suddenly so concerned? "I think it's always been a concern," Hagwood replied. "OK, so there's only been one (mill accident that affected the school), but you have to look at potentialities when you do risk management. It's an inescapable factor, especially if you're to desig- nate it as the only elementary school." Committee members who attended other area's 7-11 meetings reported their im- pressions. Sara Patrick said the Portola committee had a lot of questions about the budget, particularly the $1 million of the $4 million deficit spending that goes to a special reserve fund. Susan Donald said it was clear to her at the Indian Valley meeting that "No one is going to put their kid on a bus to Chester. It is not going to happen." Chairman Dwight Pierson, who attended the Chester meeting, said that committee had particular concerns about closing Chester Ele- mentary since the district does not own the site, and it would revert to a private owner. All three said there was great interest in a county- wide meeting of all 7-11 com- mittees. All the committees want to see updated budget information. To further encourage public input, the Quincy com- mittee has an email address,, where citizens can send their comments. Pierson said the League of Women Voters had invited members of the committee to See Forums, page 9A Tonig nig Delaine Fragnoli Managing Editor When the governing board of Plumes Unified School District meets this evening, Feb. Or-in themut~i-purt0ose-- room at Quincy Elementary ,~hool, 246 Alder Street i Quincy, it will take up a number of issues related to proposed school closures. Although the meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m., because it follows the Plumes County Office of Education board meeting, it may begin later. Once they have approved the agenda, school board members will go into closed session to hear two expulsion cases. The district estimates the closed session will take 30 minutes. Members of the public will have a chance to comment Once the board reconvenes. A public hearing specifically for input about the district's See Board, page 9A Sachets on display ] Valerie Nellor, Quincy resident and co-owner of Ada's Place on Lawrence Street in Quincy, creates unique lavender-filled sachets using recycled fabrics, such as vintage silk kimonos, silk and velvet secondhand garments, and old Jerry Garcia ties. Nellor embellishes the sachets with vintage buttons, shells, beads, ribbons, lace and other small items that strike her fancy. She uses them in the decor at Ada's Place and gives them as gifts. Asked to teach people how to make them, Nellor said she loves the sachets too much to sell them. "1 make them to give as gifts to special friends and am not the levant bit interested in making them to sell." Fortunately, Nellor's collectian will be on display at the Plumas County Library in Quincy beginning Feb. 14. Photo by Mona Hill in Dan McDonald Staff Writer The .family of a woman who died of a drug overdose is suing Plumas County f(rr haft a million dollars. The lawsuit claims the county was negligent and failed to perform mandatory duties by not providing adequate alcohol and drug services. Barbara J. Withrow died Dec. 4: 2010, of "acute com- bined drug toxicity," accord- ing to her family's lawsuit. fraud and deceit" and seeks punitive damages for wrong- ful death, and a writ of mandate ordering the county to provide alcohol and drug treatment services. Plumes County has not offered formal alcohol and drug services since it shut down its Alcohol and Drug department in October 2008. The Board of Supervisors voted to close the office after years of personnel and budget problems within the department. By doing so, the county hasn't received up to $500,000 "I think it represents a real tragedy of a county that has gone fiscally wrong," Cunan said, "to the point that short-sighted ~noney con- siderations take Eprecedent over much deeperl considera- tions over morality and government respor sibility." Williams & Associates of Sacramento, attorneys for the county, said the case should be thrown out because the county and Ir gstad had no "direct involvement with Ms. Withrow's self-inflicting drug overdose." The defense added that it's from 28-year-old Withrow's drug and alcohol addictions. The complaint stated Plumes County Superior Court ordered the county to make all reasonable efforts to reunite the children with their mother. Those efforts were to include alcohol and drug treatment. Nine months later, social services told the court that Withrow had successfully complied with her- reunifica- tion case plan, according to the court document. A month after that, With- The suit named the county per year in state alcohol not a "mandatory duty" of a row died in bed with her 3- and its administrative and drug funding that it was county to provide alcohol year-old daughter sleeping officer, Jack Ingstad, as the eligible for. and drug services. They said next to her. defendants. Quincy attorney Jeff the plaintiffs were taking Cunan said the treatment It alleges "negligence, Cunan filed the suit Dec. 20, a .... kitchen sink approach, Withrow received didn't in- i 1 2011, on behalf of Withrow's citing a string of statutes to clude a licensed therapist, mother, Norma Jean Hovey camouflage the fact there is which he said would have I who ,is guardian: for no statutory liabiiity fpr the been available if the county Withrow s four children- county." had an alcohol and drug and ithrow's husband, According to allegat s in department. MichaelBoyles. " the court document , the "Instead they had this Cunan said this is a caseof county's social servicespuffy 'how to make good B32 0: r= the county trying to save department placed Withrow's choices' group session once a ] To subscribe to the Bulletin, ] money at the expense of the 3,year-old daughter and 1- week for 10 weeks," Cunan people who are the most year-old son in foster care be- needy, cause they were in danger See Lawsuit, page 10A 1 call 530-283-0800 I -- '-- -- "1 "We do not need to spend any money (on improve- ments), not a cent right now, unless mandated to do so... Folks I know would rather have a job and no parking lot than a parking lot and no lob." Joe Hagwood "The quandary is how to save money, not which school to close as framed by the administration ... We are in this as a communi The committee has the opportunity to influence the process for the benefit of all rather than marginalizing one side of town." Jim Belsher Howe "If I fight with my parents I can walk to school (Quincy El), instead of it getting worse while we're driving to Pioneer." Sabrina Walmer Q ES student "Eighteen staff voted, mostly classroom teachers, and 16 preferred Quincy, there was one abstention and one voted for Pioneer." Faith Strailey t "1 appreciate both sites.., but liability is a big issue when we daylight issues at the mill." Paul Hardy "If we close Greenville High School, to be a rocket scientist to know it will devastate the commum socially and economically." Guy McNett "Looking through the lens of sustainability and resiliency, I think we should keep Quincy El because of its possibilities." Pamela Noel "It's so important for kids to have a concept of food and agriculture (through the Alder Street garden near QES)." Elizabeth Powell "Why are we even considering dismantling our education infrastructure? Who is going to move here where there's insufficient infrastructure and number of teachers?" Mark Mihevc "1 have a renewed sense of con 'dence thanks to the work of the 7-11 comndttees and others." Jim Boland "Adminhtrators, teachers, parents should all be brought into the decision making process from the beginning and not m i-streom ... To get $ogather in small rooms and st making decisions -- that's degradih and insulting." Shellc Morrison E en though there are tspf-e,,ork, ng parents, the schools run like there;s a parent at home." An na Thor son, on the importan of kids having places they can walk to' after school "As a special education teacher who works 1 with children with health and mobility needs, QES accommodates wheelchairs with no problems. i II Lynne Koeller "Closing QES means closing the best performing-arts i auditorium ... It's sad that after all the investment in the youth of this community in music, they may have nowhere to perform." Johnene McDonald ,g %