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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
June 9, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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June 9, 2010

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FEATHER RIVER Wednesday, June 9, 2010 INC. SMALL TOWN PAPERS C*' *"i $ uO,"E CALIFORNIA AVE SW SEATTLE WA 98136-1208 ding Areas Since 1866 Vol 50 CENTS Hagwood wins big Leonhardt re-elected De|aine Fragnoli Managing Editor dfrag noli@plumasnews.corn Plumas County voters made an honest man out of Greg Hag- wood, elevating him from ap- pointed sheriff to elected sheriff with an overwhelming 81.9 per- cent of the vote Tuesday, June 8. Incumbent county assessor Chuck Leonhardt retained his seat with a hefty 76.06 percent. The District 5 supervisor's race hung in the balance Tues- day night, with Dick Lundy at 49.07 percent with 95 ballots yet to be counted. Lundy needs 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff with Jon Kennedy who polled at 43.74 percent. That means Lundy must get 65 of the remaining 95 votes to win out- right. Elections officials expected to county those ballots -- provi- sional ballots and vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped at precincts -- at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. (Check plumas- for an update.) Hagwood, reached at a cele- bration party at Sweet Lor- raine's in Quincy, called his poll numbers "awfully good" and said he was honored and hum- bled by the support. "The last 18 months have been challenging -- moving from acting undersh- eriff to appointed sheriff." "This was not a singular effort," he said, before crediting the hard work of his staff which "pulled together in exemplary fashion." Hagwood added, "The support is also a measure of citizens' ex- pectations. They are expecting much much better and it's my responsibility to deliver what they are hoping and counting on." Reached at home, Leonhardt said he was "pleased and hon- ored to have that kind of sup- port." Lundy could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Kennedy said in a prepared statement, "This has been a great experience and I knew it would be a tough race. I made a pledge to the citizens of Plumas County that my commitment was a long-term commitment. Winning the election was not a condition of my promise. I am still committed to the future of our county and I intend to con- tinue working on preserving and improving Plumas County." Plumas County's voter turnout was one of the highest in the state at 49.36 percent, behind Trinity and Alpine counties. Cruisin ' the County Picnic Hundreds of beautiful old cars cruised into Quincy last Weekend forthe County Picnic, which featured a car show at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. Stunning paint jobs and supped-up engines provided much to admire, including these two Ford Coupes, a 1934 on the left and a 1930 on the right. Photo by Shannon Morrow Plumas declares need for homeless services Joshua Sebold Staff Writer Dennis Thibeault, execu- tive director of the Plumas Crisis Intervention and Resource Center, told the Plumas County Community Development Commission at a mid-May meeting that when it came to the number of homeless people in Plumas County, "The numbers that we are talking about are literally in the hundreds." CDC Executive Director David Keller told the commis- sion, made up of the county supervisors and an at-large member from the public, Thibeault was asking them to certify that there was a need for services to help homeless people in the county. Keller said this would help the resource center, a non- profit, get a grant to continue to fund those kinds of services. He added that the resource center was the lead agency in addressing homelessness in Plumas, Lassen and Sierra counties. Thibeault explailed his agency was applying for two federal "emergency shelter" grants, one for transitional housing and one for home- lessness prevention. He added that these grants were competitive, meaning a few other agencies through- out the state were vying for them. He went on to say, "The transitional housing grant is the grant that we have been using to support our project in the downtown trailer park." Thibeault said the resource center had been renting nine units for the past two years, housing people and providing them with case management "with the end being to get them securely on their feet so they can be self-supporting. That has worked out very very well." Case management basical- ly means the agency's assis- tance is accompanied by incentives for the users to take various steps to improve their circumstances. Thibeault later explained, "Self-sufficiency can be work or permanent disability if it warrants it, if the client has a mental impairment or has a physical impairment that limits work." On the homeless pre- vention grant, Thibeault contended, "Most people are just a couple paychecks away from being homeless." "Homeless prevention pro- vides funding for people to keep that from happen- ing when the unexpected happens." He proposed a scenario where "in the middle of win- ter when somebody gets hit with a $400 heating bill and the car breaks down at the same time and something else happens, they find out they can't pay their bills." Thibeault explained the grant cofild be used to pay one month's utility bill for people in that situation or to pay rent on a home they're currently in or even a deposit for moving into a different home if they were evicted. He said this type of grant was also used to buy bus passes for people in need, adding that Ptumas Transit recently reported that  re- source center bought more than 5,000 bus passes for clients last year. Real people The resource center direc- tor also told the board, "Plumas County's homeless problem is not very visible." "I think the stereotype of homeless people are people who are sleeping in doorways or establishing tent cities outside of Sacramento, that kind of stuff. That's not the face of homelessness in rural counties." He said rural homeless people were less socially iso- lated than those in the cities, often ending up staying with friends or family or sleeping in cars. He said Plumas County homeless included all kinds of people, even though most residents could probably only identify "one town cJaaracter." He listed some examples of homeless in Plumas County: "People who are suffering from drug and alcohol addic- tion or trying to recover from that,, as well as mental health problems, a number of veter- ans who have post traumatic stress disorder, who live out in the forests." "Half of the people that we house in our transitional housing units are enrolled at FRC (Feather River College), as retraining." "Right now, money for college is about the only assistance available to a lot of these folks as far as income goes." Thibeault then addressed some of the negative ways that homelessness could impact people with homes. See Homeless, page 15A Quincy: club celebrates a decade of garden tours. See page 1B Turning over a new wheel S olstice Century bicycle ride reinvents intself. See page 1C Ill!!!!! LII! !! !! II To subscribe to the Bulletin, call 530-283-0800 Service district halts work until state pays Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.corn You can't be sure summer has truly arrived until a local government agency begins to deviate from business as usual because of concerns about the state budget crisis. That fateful moment arrived at the May Quincy Community Service District board of directors meeting, when the board decided to halt grant-funded work after a particularly long wait for reimbursement from the California Department of Water Resources. The district has been work- ing diligently on a series of projects funded by Propo- sition 50, a water bond pro- posal approved by the state electorate in 2002. Watershed coordinator Gia Martynn of Feather River Coordinated Resource Management informed the board that DWR was being strikingly difficult with this particular grant. She said the state depart- ment had sent back an in- voice for $177,000, which in- cluded projects for multiple entities, not just QCSD, three times with new demands for reporting on how the funds were spent. Martynn said the invoice was originally submitted nearly a year before and sat on Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conserva- tion District Manager Brian Morris's desk for months after being sent back the third time because he had been tasked with filling the county counsel chair on an interim basis after James Reichle resigned. She said the CRM took the invoice from the swamped district manager and sent back a fourth iteration of the document. "Hopefully, it this time meets their requirements or what they want because the problem wasn't really on our end; it was that they kept changing how they wanted it," she concluded. The watershed coordinator said she expected the re- cipients of the grant funds, including QCSD, would be paid in August or September. Her question for the board was how much more work should the group do before receiving some payment? Martynn' said some of the groups with projects on the invoice were in a holding pattern, waiting for an encouraging sign before spending more money. She said the group did have a signed contract with the state, before adding that every year when the state budget hangs in the balance, people begin to wonder how safe those contracts really are. On the positive side, she told the board the state was already advertising new grants for the next fiscal year, which would be a strange move if the current year's funding was in jeopardy. CRM project manager Terry Benoit summarized, See Halt, page 12A PDH reports bleak financials for month of April Linda Satchwell Staff Writer A blissfully non- contentious Plumas District Hospital board meeting Thursday, May 3, did yield a couple of notable moments. George Terhune, who is spearheading a ,Save Our Hospital group, spoke during public comment about his group's plans to educate the public and advocate against the hospital tax limitation initiative that comes to the electorate via mail ballot election Aug. 31. The most notable topic, however, was PDH's dismal financial statement for April. Comparing this April to last, net operating revenue was down $596,392 -- from $1,992,049 to $1,495,657. Net income/loss figures showed a net income last April of $36,481 compared to a loss in the same month this year of $272,235. Chief Financial Officer John Nadone attributed the weak eigures to a "tremon- dous swing" .... the payer mix--fr..':n the "cst payer. to the worst." That worst payer, which pays less than 20 cents on the dollar, placing it even below MediCal, is the County Medical Services Program. Indigent patients who don't qualify for MediCal use this program. The "loss at the bottom line," reported Nadone, was $272,235, as compared to a budgeted net income of $47,676. Further, net"patient rev- enue came in at $1,489,184, the lowest net figure that the hospital has seen in 18 months, according to Nadone. He said he hoped this month was an "anomaly." But board president Dr. Mark Satterfield returned to the subject during director comments to acknowledge that PDH's board and administration weren't going to just assume April's finan- cial picture was merely an aberration. "The board is acutely concerned that this might be a trend," he said. See Bleak, page 15A