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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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February 25, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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February 25, 2015
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 5A Supervisors talk GRAP at meeting Debra Moore Staff Writer dmoore@plu masnews.com Fearing that it's just another needless government regulation that will restrict land use and impose more fees on county property owners, the Plumas Board of Supervisors opposes the Grazing Regulatory Action Project, commonly referred to as GRAP. The State Water Resources Control Board is behind the effort to address potential impacts to water quality by implementing grazing regulations. "The good news is that we don't have a problem here; we have clean water," said Sierra Valley rancher Rick Roberti during the board's Feb. 17 meeting. "It's hard to clean up clean water." But with 40 million acres of grazing land in California, Roberti thinks there might be another driving force behind GRAP. "I think money is talking more than the actual problems are," Roberti said of potential fees. Roberti was part of a contingent of ranchers from Plumas and Sierra counties who attended an informational meeting and public comment opportunity in Redding, one of three such events held by the state water board regarding. GRAP. Roberti said that during the first meeting, held in San Luis Obispo, those representing the water board "didn't take notes, film or record" the proceedings, leading Roberti and others to think that the state water board has already made a decision. In their letter opposing GRAP, the supervisors wrote, "Creating another expensive, bureaucratic program that takes money away from our rural communities and benefits third-party consultants out of the area does nothing for resource protection in our watersheds." The letter goes on to point out the regulatory options that already exist for the state and the local efforts that have ensured clean water. "Honing in on local success and demonstrating what local government and agriculture accomplish without burdensome State regulation is best described by reviewing those programs and efforts undertaken in Plumas and Sierra counties," read the letter. "Here agriculture is deeply rooted in historical, cultural, social and economic fabric of the two counties and strong sense of pride, land and resource respect and stewardship, as well as environmental protection is readily apparent among agricultural property owners and operations conducted on the land." The letter concluded by calling on the water board to abandon GRAP. Water problems Cathy Wheeler described her water as so foul that she can't drink it or cook with it. She said it stains her laundry and appliances and contains levels of arsenic and iron bacteria that exceed state standards. Wheeler lives in the Old Mill Ranch area of the Feather River Canyon. She and a couple dozen other residents want to upgrade their aging water system, but the estimated cost is $409,000. "We were the first to request funds from Prop. 50," she said. "We'd be grateful to get even half of the money." Proposition 50 was passed in 2002 to address water quality and supply to California residents and to ensure safe drinking water. Though the county had allocated the money for various projects, when the Board of Supervisors abandoned the Last Chance II project in November 2013, it freed up $2.2 million to be spent elsewhere. More than half has already been earmarked for the Greenville sewer and water project. Rick Roberti, representing the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District, said that his group would also be pursuing Prop. 50 funds. "We are just chasing grant money to do projects and survive," he said. The effort is taking too much time for the all-volunteer board. "We need to fund a person to write the grants," he said. Russell Reid, representing the Feather River Resource Conservation District, agreed with Roberti on the need for funds. Chester green waste Public Works Director Bob Perreault announced that for the next few weeks, Lake Almanor area residents will be able to haul their green waste to a vacant lot adjacent to the road department. Perreault said the temporary arrangement is in response to the storm-related debris that needs to be removed from residents' yards. Organic green waste, including leaves, pine needles, branches and logs, will be accepted through Sunday, March 17, at no charge. Logs and branches cannot be longer than 4 feet. The site will not accept garbage, building demolition debris or stumps. New airport manager Kiwani Murphy is the new manager of the Chester Airport. He succeeds longtime manager Dan English. Murphy has been employed at the airport for the past several years. Positions available Due to a resignation, a road maintenance worker position is available on the Chester crew. The position will be advertised to the public. The Public Health Agency is seeking a registered nurse. The position was initially filled in December, but the applicant recently resigned to take a better-paying job. Power surge blows out lights and more Debra Moore Staff Writer drnoore@plu masnews.com A power surge late Sunday afternoon, Feb. 15, caused light bulbs to explode and destroyed appliances in the Feather River Canyon, while simultaneously cutting power to parts of Quincy, Meadow Valley and Indian Valley. Power returned to Quincy, Meadow Valley and Indian Valley within a couple of hours, but many customers in the Canyon remained without electricity the following morning. Twain residents, the most impacted, had their power restored at 2 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17. Will Farris, a Rush Creek resident, reported that several light bulbs exploded during the surge, which also destroyed his television, satellite receiver and DVD player. "Pretty much everything in the entertainment center took a hit," Farris said, "but my computer survived." Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman Paul Moreno said that he isn't aware whether other customers were impacted as Farris was, but he explained how the surge and outage occurred. A tree fell into the utility's transmission line near Gray's Flat and that high-voltage line came into contact with the lower-voltage distribution line on the same pole, which then damaged seven transformers near Twain. At the height of the outage, 1,000 customers were affected, but most had their power restored within a couple of hours. Moreno said that those who suffered damage can obtain a claim form by going to pge.com or by calling 800-743-5000. R00ocl 5ottom Pgces EVERYTHING MCIST GO!! Plagstone & Pavers River cobble .Sand Gravel Boulders Great Selection ROCKS REQCIIRE NO WATER! Fire, Water or Wind Damage have you frustrated? Don't be misled: It's ultimately your choice what contractor you use for repairs, not your insurance company's choice! Insurance- related repairs are one of our specialties. Emergencies 24/7 CONSTRUCTION SINCE 1984 General Building Contractor Cif. Lic. #453927 (5 283-2035 Richard K. Stockton, CLU ChFC, Agent Insurance Lic. #0B68653 Providing Insurance & Rnancial Services 65 W. Main St., Quincy, CA 95971 (530) 283-0565 Fax (530) 283-5143 www.richardstockton.us WE LIVE WHERE YOU LIVE Open an IRA by April 15. An IRA could reduce your taxes and it's a great way to invest in your future. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there? CALL ME TODAY. 00StateFarm  Farmi B CLOSURE,'from page 1A involved throughout the process and her department funded the feasibility study. "Mimi has been completely indispensable," Kepple said of her assistance. He also credited Easton for working with him through the process and for offering the generous donation. In addition to the reduced purchase price, the consultant's initial analysis looked promising and it appeared the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid would approve the hospital's application for the facility to become a "distinct part" of its hospital. Such a designation would allow the hospital to receive the reimbursement rate necessary to make the acquisition fiscally viable. But then Kepple received final notification Monday that the application for a distinct part skilled nursing facility had been denied because the facility must be within 250 yards of the hospital, and it is 1.5 miles away. After originally being denied in the San Francisco office, Hall and Kepple sought the assistance of Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Congressman Doug LaMalfa, and it was elevated to the Baltimore office, but also denied. Low reimbursement rates had contributed to Cambridge's $1.2 million loss in 2014 and a $700,000 loss in 2013. Kepple learned from the consultants at 4:30 p.m. Monday that without distinct part reimbursements, the hospital would be looking at an annual loss of approximately $1 million. The annual loss would be on top of the initial $200,000 purchase price and roughly $300,000 in facility improvements. "The initial costs don't bother me that much; it's the sustainable," Kepple said. "This is a definite magnitude of losses that could jeopardize our hospital." What can be done Plumas District Hospital is in the second phase of obtaining a license for swing beds -- beds that are available for patients after a three-day stay in acute care. Though they are designed to be transitional, they can become long-term, and some of the nursing home patients could go there. Kepple also contacted Seneca and Eastern Plumas (both facilities have skilled nursing) and learned that the former could accept three female patients and the latter could accept four patients with up to 10 or 12 more at its Loyalton location, but it would require more staff. Kepple said he would encourage his counterpart Tom Hayes, the CEO of Eastern Plumas, to begin the process as soon as possible since Cambridge has set a closure date of April 3. Hall assured those present that the doors wouldn't close until all patients had acceptable relocation plans. "My biggest concern is where those folks will go," she said. Hall said that up until Monday, she thought the acquisition was possible. "I'm really proud of our hospital," she said. "They were trying to do something peripheral to their mission. I extend my heartfelt thank you to all of you; you didn't have to do this." Hall and Kepple also recognized the outpouring of support from the community. Dr. Ross Morgan, the nursing home's medical director said, "Until yesterday I was pretty excited. But as disappointed as I am, I am pretty certain every stone was turned over." Editor's note: This story was written as the newspaper went to press; more details will be available in next wreck's issue. [CANYON AUTO PARTS Has Teamed Up With Irerrellq OUR 00UCKS GIVE Deal good for the entire month of March 2015. 530-283-0660 1759 E. Main St,, Quincy, CA 95971