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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
March 26, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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March 26, 2014

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, March 26, 2014 911 COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Affordable Care Act meets special challenges locally As the county public health director and a public official, it is my job to implement the law. The most impactful federal legislation affecting my responsibilities to date is the Affordable Care Act. I have a duty to carry out the law, regardless of my own personal opinion or public sentiment. It is also my obligation as a public servant to utilize every resource possible to improve the health and quality of life of Plumas County residents. I am often frustrated by the rollout of the ACA not being perfectly planned, timed and implemented. Furthermore, I am deeply affected by barriers our residents experience in WHERE I STAND MIMI HALL DIRECTOR PLUMAS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH enrolling for health benefits, accessing their medications, or finding a provider less than 200 miles away who will accept their insurance for life-saving surgery. I have had to assist people from all walks of life in our community, from small-business owners to students, and families with marginal incomes despite having two incomes. However, I can't blame the federal government for its health coverage and health care access problems unless I am sure that the local government entities, including the public health department, have carried out the obligations expected of them in implementation of the ACA. Complaining about what isn't working and pointing out all the flaws in the Service delivery system without taking action toward solutions is a wasted effort. It won't help people get the coverage and the care they need. As the local health jurisdiction, Plumas County Public Health Agency has tried to channel the difficulties we identify into problem solving on-the-ground issues together with local partners, the health plans, legal advocates, statewide associations and the California Department of Health Care Services with a shared goal-- improving the system of services. The key to how well the ACA serves this nation will be determined, to a great extent, by the ability of every organization in each local health system to redesign its business strategies in a way that deliberately leverages the ACA to the benefit of our organization's financial health, the local economy and, most importantly, the citizens we serve. It is clear to me as a public health professional that the provisions in the ACA, properly carried out at national, state and local level, will result in measurable positive impacts. The federal government has been held responsible in the public eye for the success, or lack thereof, of the ACA. However, the degree of improvements in the nation's health expenditures, quality of care and health outcomes is also in the hands of the organizations serving you locally and our ability to work in partnership with the state Department of Health Care Services and health plans. Despite the many challenges in rolling out the herculean effort of health care reform across the nation, California remains a leader in terms of enrollment in Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, and expanded Medi-Cal. As of Jan. 31, 2014, more than 1.6 million applications have been received, representing more than 3 million individuals, for either Covered California health insurance plans or for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Nearly half of those covered -- 728,410 Californians -- selected a Covered California health insurance plan, and 626,210 are eligible for subsidies. See Hall, page lOB PUSD must think of tomorrow's students as well as today's This newspaper published a piece from Plumas Certificated Teachers Association President Ron Logan in which Mr. Logan presented information about the two previous bargaining sessions between PCTA and the Plumas Unified School District. Since that time, I have heard a lot of discussion about the issue of raises. As a trustee, I welcome the conversation within the community because these are our schools, our teachers and, most importantly, our students. But if there is to be WHERE I STAND BOB TUERCK BOARD MEMBER PLUMAS COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT any meaningful conversation, it is important that we are all operating with the same set of facts. To the best of my knowledge, the numbered facts below are undisputed: Budget 1. Based on the district's second interim budget report (which forecasts our year-end balances based on current income and expenses and projected income and expenses for the remainder of the year), the total projected reserve will be $10.7 million ($4,966,548 in Fund 17 for Special Reserve, and $5,813,158 in Fund 01, the unrestricted General Fund). This includes the anticipated Forest Service reserve funding for this year. 2. Our district is currently spending more each year than we are bringing in. Based on our actual year-end budgets, the total reserve balance has decreased from $14 million on June 30, 2010, to a projected $10.7 million on June 30, 2014. This is a reduction of our reserve of $3.3 million in four years. 3. At the beginning of the year, the district projected we would have $10.1 million in reserve at the end of the 2013-14 school year. Based on current income and expenses, the reserve is now projected to be $10.7 million. This is less than we had in reserve at the end of the 2012-13 school year. 4. In 2011, Forest Service reserve funding was scheduled to end. In fact, over the past several years PUSD have been warned that this funding source is going away. 5. In recent years (2008 - 2012), the amount of Forest Service reserve funding for Plumas County (which is divided between the schools and roads department) has been reduced by approximately 40 - 45 percent (I have seen two sets of data, one indicating a 39.6 ercent decrease, the other indicating a 45 percent decrease. 6. PUSD has been deficit spending (spending more than we bring in) since 2010-11. In 2011-12, PUSD's deficit spending was over $2.8 million. Thanks to the very hard work, leadership and incredible efforts of our superintendent and district staff, and the thoughtful input we received from the austerity committee and the community at large, we have been able to reduce deficit spending by more than $2 million. Current projection on deficit spending is See Tuerck, page 12B LETTERS to the EDITOR t Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week per person and only one letter per person per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymOUs, o E befi' letters. Letters must IJlIited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words. The deadline is Friday at 3p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's oSfices; sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed to Support the IVCSD To the Indian Valley Community Service District, its staff, board and customers: In the summer and fall of 2013, the main water line serving my residence at 105 Ayoob Drive in Greenville burst, cutting off the water supply to my home and creating a huge mess. The local Indian Valley Community Services District (IVCSD) responded quickly to keep the mess from growing, and had water service restored to my home within 24 hours. Then, over the following four months, crews of the IVCSD worked regularly to make the repairs to my water line permanent, and to clean up the mess caused by the breakage. It was a situation that required a lot of patience and careful communication, but the end result was a well-done job at a very reasonable cost to myself. I know our community is still hurting from the recent embezzlement scandal surrounding the IVCSD. But I hope we will not be so lost in the pain of past mistakes that we fail to see the good qualities of the present IVCSD. Yes, there are lessons to be learned, and procedures that should be changed or reinforced. But the members of the board are all local volunteers. And the staff, while paid, perform a quality of service far beyond the modest compensation they receive. I hope that we as a community will work to support these good persons, calmly criticize them as we believe appropriate, but never condemn them for their well-intentioned errors. Ken Donnell Greenville Talented performers I wonder how many Indian Valley residents are aware of what accomplished actors some of our Greenville Drama Class (GCDC) students are? Recently, they put on "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "Our Town.' ............ I was very impressed with both plays. As a member of the audience, I could not see any flaws. Everything went smooth as silk. I was especially impressed with "Our Town" because it takes a certain amount of sophistication to catch Thornton Wilder's very serious message. In fact, the narrator of the play was so involved with thai message that she was sure she couldn't continue. She was talked into continuing and she was as professional in the part as any actor I have seen. In fact, they all gave wonderful performances; and, I was t0id afterward, that one of the actresses had only four days to learn her part after the intended actress was no longer available. I have a personal reason for writing about these performances because my neighbor's daughter, Genna Battagin, is one of the key performers. She is the daughter of Bill and Denise Battagin. Be sure to see their next production, which, I understand, is a spoof on high school dramas. Performances are on Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m.; Friday, April 4 at7 p.m.; and Saturday, April 5 at 3 p.m. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the talents of these kids. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville The water business Water businesses in California are facing the biggest challenges in over a half-century. We are now in a drought which could throw the state into an economic recession. The water crisis is leading to discussions on how we manage growth, how we live, how much we waste, what crops we farm. Conditions have gotten so dire that we are listening to ideas once considered ludicrous. There are projects designed to meet the states water needs in times of drought. One of the audacious projects is Cadiz in the Mojave Desert. Its current proposal is to pump 16.3 billion gallons of water from the desert groundwater to sell to water utilities in Los Angeles. The water will travel through a 43-mile pipeline that Cadiz wants to build along a railroad spur, then merge into the Colorado River Aqueduct which leads into L.A. The "company's other major.! .... transport scheme called for storing excess water from the Colorado River under Cadiz lands, then selling it to coastal communities during droughts. Cadiz stood to make as much as $20 million a year in revenue. The City of Portola has an abundance of water that should be exported for revenue. The profits could help rebuild our infrastructure and lower the cost of our public services. Our city's water master plan has goals for storing our runoff and redeveloping our wells. It is a win-win project for our community and other water utilities. We can use our water resources for statewide economic development and community benefit. It is time to encourage our leaders to work together for the good of the entire state. We need to manage growth and not be wasteful of our natural resources even when renewable. We don't have to continue the water wars. Larry F. Dougias Portola Vote for Measure A In the March 19 letter to the editor, a writer wrote of objections to the Measure A ballot initiative for Peninsula Fire Protection District. I support Measure A and would like to give some facts about the measure: 1) The funds of the special assessment remain with the district. There has been no increase for 6 years. The assessment covers three fourths of the budget. The increase for the coming three years would be $3 per month or 27 cents a day, not $25 a month as was alleged. 2) The assessment assures the district maintains fire and medical personnel for full coverage of medical and fire responses within minimal time, which has averaged four to five minutes. It would maintain current Insurance Service Office (ISO) level, currently level 4, and would cover necessary maintenance for the medical and fire equipment and the two fire stations. Without this assessment there would be no ambulance or medical response, and only one fn'efighter on duty. There was one accurate statement in the previous letter - the Peninsula Fire Protection District covers the entire peninsula from its tip to .', Highway A 3:ttlHrihway:3e , Please vote yes on Measure A. Barbara MacArthur Lake Almanor Owning up to mistakes I submitted a "Letter to the Editor" for the March 19 edition of the newspaper titled "Brian DaNe." I was pleased that my letter was published, but dismayed to find that two of the words "fracking" had been changed to "tracking," compromising the content of my letter. I asked the newspaper office how this could occur when the original submission had clearly said "fracking." I was directed to Managing Editor Dan McDonald, who immediately apologized for the mistake and offered to reprint the letter with an editor's apology. Mr. McDonald's willingness to accept responsibility for the mistake and publicly apologize caught me by surprise. It seems that in the present socio-political climate many individuals in authority deny responsibility for wrongdoing. People make mistakes; it is an unfortunate consequence of being human, but we can always try to correct our mistakes. I appreciate this quality. I wish all politicians would be similarly positioned. Any legislation that is passed should be carefully followed and reexamined to determine whether the outcomes measure up to expectations. For example, the "Three Strikes Rule" was intended to get criminals off the streets, but it has proven to be a nightmare for the Department of Corrections. Jails are overcrowded, costs have sky rocketed, and there are far too many instances where a miscarriage of justice has occurred. Prop. 13 was intended to help property owners on fLxed incomes keep their homes, but it has nearly bankrupted our state, dropping California school funding from first in the nation to almost last. Corporate tax loopholes give corporations greater profits, but does it create more jobs or merely line the pockets of CEOs, higher management and shareholders? two questions that had Corporate polluters lobby already been asked and for exemptions from answered? environmental laws, but who Was it ignorance or suffer the consequences? All arrogance that made you of us, reply, when told your In short, citizens need to questions had already been identify "wrongs" when our discussed, words to the effect legislators fail'ice ant   ' that 'OK..-1 llJust hlltt6 !" demand correction[' you one-on-one after the Faith Strailey meeting." , Quincy Was it ignorance or Editor's note: The word arrogance that made you sit "fracking" was apparently for the conclusion of the changed to "tracking" during meeting texting on your the spellcheckingprocess, phone, something you have Feather Publishing regrets publicly chastised others for causing the error, at the BOS meetings? I really could not Is Kennedy ignorant or immediately decide which arrogant? one. Then I remembered your Mr. Kennedy, were your article in the newspaper on actions and behavior at the Dec. 4, 2013. In that article you town hall meeting with used the word 'T' or "My" Assemblyman Brian Dahle on almost 30 times decrying your Thursday, March 6, born out constituency who dare to of ignorance or arrogance? criticize you or your actions Was it ignorance or as a supervisor. You further arrogance that made you stated, "I don't have time to show up to the meeting 20 - 30 respond." Really? You don't minutes late? have time to respond to the Was it ignorance or citizens you were elected to arrogance that made your represent? Is it possible that if arrival loud and boisterous you did not have other jobs enough to take the focus away such as a consultant for the from the discussion and bring city of Portola and Lassen it towards you? County you would? In closing, Was it ignorance or arrogance that made you ask See Letters, page 11B :::: :7 : 7: 7 iiiu IfflLLLtL ..... L-- __1 Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510.-(202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 1 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 2885 Chum Creek R., Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (16) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado l  Hills Constituent Service Center. 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916)933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding Constituent Service Center. 1670 Market St., Suit 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225-3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. i STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 1ST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Room 2174, Sacramento, CA 94249, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR - Jerry" Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.