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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
May 7, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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May 7, 2014

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 it Vol. 147, No. 38 Feather Publishing Co., Inc. 530-283-0800 * 50 CENTS Editorial: A CAO on the way?  A new supervisor could mean a change in the way Plumas County goes about its business./Page 10B Perspective: Overlooked -- Rural residents shouldn't be ........ marginalized when it comes to health care./Page 11B Streak snapped -- The iii high-flying Chester High School baseball  team saw its 10-game  winning streak come to !ii an end./Page 1C ii I Today: Candidate forum, 12:15 p.m'., Plumas County Library meeting room. Plumas County Special Districts Association hosts event; open to the public. Power wash The historic Clinch Building on Main Street, built in 1908, gets power-washed April 27 by Plumas Painting, owned by Dave and Jesse McKee. The local painters used a man-lift with a 35-foot articulating boom to spray the west and north sides of the building with a solution before power-washing. In the next week or so, after stucco work is completed, Plumas Painting will give the Clinch Building, which survived the Dec. 15, 2013 fire, a fresh coat of paint. Photo submitted Cal Fire to host meeting tonight Presentation to address SRA fe inspections Debra Moore Staff Writer This is the public's opportunity to learn more about Cal Fire's defensible space inspection program. Shane Vargas, Cal Fire's local fire captain, encourages everyone to attend the meeting that is set for Wednesday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Veterans Hall in Quincy. In addition to information about the inspection program, Chief Dave Shew will present an update on the $150 fee that is paid by those who live in the state's See Cal Fire page 7A Meet the candidates during two f )rums today Debra Moore Staff Writer Plumas County voters have two opportunities today to hear the officials running for office June 3, but only those in District 5 have a choice on the ballot. Residents of Graeagle, Mohawk Valley and East Quincy can see candidates JeffEngel and Jim Judd in following its quarterly /the Qulny4ibray,eeting  , which begins .t: room, first at 12:15 p.m. and later at 6:30 p.m. The third candidate on the ballot, incumbent Jon Kennedy, announced that he won't campaign to retain his seat on the board. The Plumas County Special Districts Association will host the first forum, immediately this evening. The League .... 'collects written qUesti0Is 11:45 a.m. Larry Walker, president of the association, said that the format will include introductory remarks made by the candidates, followed by questions posed directly from the audience. This differs from the format that will be used by the League of Women voters from the audience, melds similar inquiries together and poses the m to the candidates. The elected officials who are running unopposed for another term in office have been invited to both forums. During the special district forum, they won't male formal remarks, but will answer questioS posed by the audience. During the League's forum, they will make formal introductory remarks limited to three minutes, but will not be given an opportunity to respond to questions. This is in order to allow more time for the District 5 contenders to speak. Public Cal Fire meeting, 6 p.m., Veterans Hall. Topics include defensible space inspection program, state responsibility area fee, questions and answers. All elected officials, public encouraged to attend. Candidate night, 6:30 p.m., Plumas County Library meeting room. League of Women Voters hosts forum allowing local candidates to speak, answer question.s. "Beauty and the Beast" opening night, 7 p.m., Town Hall Theatre. Feather River College presents Disney musical. Runs 7 p.m. through May 10, 2 p.m. May 11. General admission $12, tickets available at Epilog Books, Carey Candy Co., Great Northern Hair Co. Tomorrow: Words & Music, doors open 7 p.m., Patti's Thunder Card. Featuring Adrienne Johnson. Open mic begins 8 p.m., sign up at the door. Admission $3; beverages available for purchase. For information: Plumas Arts, 283-3402. Saturday: Black Bart re-enactment, 2 - 4 p.m., Plumas County Museum, First-person account of "gentleman bandit" presented by Old West historian, re-enactor Lee Dummel. Donations accepted, proceeds benefit museum. Refreshments served. For information: 283-6320. i To subscribe to the Bulletini call 530-2.83-0800 : Kepple reports on first month as hospital CEO Stresses Debra Moore Staff Writer Dr. Jeff Kepple's approach to his new position as interim CEO of Plumas District Hospital can be summed up as the two C's: communication and collaboration. "I've done a lot of listening; I've met with 21 of 23 department managers," Kepple said during the hospital district's May 1 meeting, exactly four weeks after the board appointed him to the CEO position. "It's been very informative and a bit of a wild ride." The board appointed Kepple as interim CEO following the departure of Doug Lafferty. Kepple is encouraging more communication between the departments by asking them to rely less on email and more on face-to-face talking. He also wants employees to job shadow in other departments. "I believe the morale is improving," Kepple said. In addition to internal improvements, Kepple is looking outside of the hospital; specifically at Eastern Plumas Health Care in Portola. Citing the possibility of : . sharing a surgeon and receiving more obstetric referrals, Kepple said, "I would like to work collaboratively with Eastern communication and Plumas." Kepple and Tom Hayes, the CEO of EPHC, were scheduled to meet May 2. Kepple reported that a surgeon, Dr. Ma.rk Williams, spent a week visiting Plumas District Hospital, and he had received good reports from patients. A shared surgeon would boost revenue for both hospitals. And that's critical to the future of both entities. PDH has not met targeted budget figures. Chief Financial Officer Cindy Crosslin reported that net patient revenue is $1.64 million below budget year to date. The hospital lost $650,339 in March and just over $1 million year to date. Patient days have dropped 22 percent, from 916 at the end of March last year to 713 this year. A bright spot has been a 1 percent increase in visits to the medical clinics. Those visits could increase even more with the arrival of Dr. Joey Schad in August. Schad's wife Karen is a pharmacist and she and the couple's two young sons have collaboration already moved to Quincy. Billing Billing issues continue to plague the hospital so Kepple is hiring a consultant from Western Healthcare Alliance to do a ,top to bottom assessment" of the billing system and then make recommendations about what can be done to improve it. Because he is working through a consortium, the cost of $6,500 is far less than the typical $20,000 fee a private contract would entail. Kepple also discussed the apology letter that would be sent to 2,600 patients who received statements that included "collections language." "I really like the apology letter," said director Valerie Flanigan, a recipient of one of those statements. "It has a very nice tone that follows your leadership style." Facilities While building a new hospital isn't feasible in the near future, Kepple wants to improve the patient and obstetric rooms. "We will do whatever we can," he said. During last month's meeting he discussed approaching businesses such as Sierra Pacific Industries and Plumas Bank to sponsor See PDH, page 7A /va ur zl arrangement Violet irises are set off by low-growing lavender and white phlox in a sunny spring garden setting. Yellow iris is often used in ponds for water purification, as the roots improve water quality by consuming nutrient pollutants. Irises have been the subject of many artists, including Vincent van Gogh in his famous 1889 painting "Irises." Photo by Laura Beaton .H 1 J