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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 11, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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August 11, 2010

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 11A. New board member sworn in at EPHC' Linda Satchwell Staff Writer Eastern Plumas Heath Care's board added a new member at its July 29 meet- ing, after interviewing Jay Skutt, the one candidate to ap- pear for the board's open ses- sion interview. One other candidate, Mary Hildebrand, applied before the filing deadline for the seat left open when Lester Premo resigned for personal reasons. She didn't appear for the in- terview, however. A third candidate attempted to put her hat in the ring ac- cording to board president Gail McGrath, but applied af- ter the deadline. Skutt worked his way through a series of questions after highlighting his previ- ous work experience, and its relevance to this position. He worked nearly his entire career at Delux Corporation, the largest printer of checks in the country when he began. He started on the ground floor and worked his way up to be- come a senior vice president and the head of research and development for manufactur- ing and procurement. The company, he said, was smart enough to foresee the demise of the printed check and diversified into other ar- eas. He's also been on its foun- dation board. Skutt said his experience looking at the big picture for his corporation to "protect the company and go a differ- ent direction," to survive will aid him as a board member at EPHC. He's aware of the struggles the hospital has been through, and he knows it is continuing to define its role in the community. In answering the written board questions, Skutt placed the need to ,'restore communi- ty confidence," high on his list of priorities as a board member, saying he would consider it one of his duties to learn the issues and convey them to the community when out in public. After his opening remarks, board members asked ques- tions of their own. Janie McBride asked why he was optimistic about the future of the hospital. Skutt said the hospital and its board have "been through a lot ... you've made it through that with hard work, and you've remained positive," he said, adding he has a "sense that the commu- nity recognizes they need a hospital." As a new board member, Scutt felt his role, initially, will be to listen and to learn. He looks forward to getting some outside training to "get up to speed." McGrath, seemed appre- ciative of Skutt's thought- ful, quiet approach. He'd at- tended one of the first meet- ings of EPHC's new commu- nity Leadership Council. Eastern Plumas Health Care's board president Gall McGrath enjoys swearin newest member, Jay Skutt, at the July 29 board meeting. Photo by Linda Satchwell She was impressed, she Skutt agreed to run for ingfor stab: said, because he didn't say a election when his seat nuity. The lot, but when he spoke it comes up in November unanimous was very constructive. 2010, as the board is look- Skutt. g in the board's lity and conti- board voted [y in favor of City joins Graeagle Alliance at highest level Diana Jorgenson Portola Editor At its latest meeting July 28, Portola's city council vot- ed to become a member of the Graeagle Plumas Alliance at the $2,000 level. All council members voted for the mem- bership except William Weaver, who had been in fa- vor of a lower level, lower cost ($600) membership. The ex- penditure required a budget amendment as well. Arguing for the higher level and greater benefits avail- able, City Manager Jim Mur- phy said Portola businesses were having a difficult time right now and many of them could not afford an individual membership. He asked some business owners whether marketing the city heavily through an expanded Internet presence and the distribution of city brochures would help them and the answer was yes. "That's one of the ways the city can help with eco- nomic development," Mur- phy said. "Perhaps when they see the benefit, they will join individually." Basic level memberships in GPA are $600 and provide an interactive listing on graeagle- as well as a link to the member's website. The $2,000 membership adds distri- bution of members' brochures and fliers at marketing events and an expanded Internet presence, as well as other spe- cial considerations. Jack Bridge, president of the GPA, attended the July 28 meeting to explain GPA's mis- sion and to answer questions from the council members. Other GPA board members include Rob Young (Grizzly Ranch), Chris David (David Enterprises), Brandon Bowl- ing (Plumas Pines Golf Re- sort) and Bob Hickman (Chalet View Lodge). The group was established in fall 2008 as a nonprofit, mu- tual benefit corporation, with the initial investment coming from the core members. Their mission: To effectively mar- ket eastern Plumas County by promoting tourism and eco- nomic development for the community. Bridge addressed the board with a preliminary message that GPA was not trying to compete with the chambers of commerce or merchants asso- ciations or "anyone else try- ing to create business for the county covering the area from Q, ~Valley. .... Talking about the eastern part of the county, he said, "We have tremendous resources here but they're underutilized and underpromoted." Answering council mem- bers' questions, Bridge listed the trade shows the group had participhted in over the past two years -- from Reno, Nev., to the Bay Area and de- scribed the focus of current marketing efforts. Bridge said GPA is expand- ing its Internet presence with more social marketing, such as Facebook and Twitter. Peo- ple were planning their vaca- tions on the Internet, he said, and GPA was finding out that people increasingly wanted vacation packages. He explained the concept of packaging as providing.,golf, dinner and hiking, for exam- ple, around a special commu- nity event already Offered in the county and making the reservations for all those pieces for the vacationer. Thus, a single afternoon event might become a three-day weekend and summer visitors would expand their experi- ence of the county beyond what they already knew. Currently, GPA is working with. a group in Reno, who are taking reservations for Plumas vacation packages, but he saw the need for a local concierge business to develop. Bridge believes that to pool the efforts of individual busi- nesses, chambers, merchant associations and the visitors bureau, marketing efforts had to promote the region as a whole, offering a full range of recreational opportunities and with individuals sharing in the lodging and dining bus,iness that would~ come with increased tourism. ' To this end, GPA went to the Railroad Days committee to ask if it would be willing to make Railroad Days more re- gional in nature and found the group receptive to the idea of extravaganza perfor- mances, such as Stars in the Barn in Blairsden. The addition of a special train (and the associated film- ing by PBS) to Railroad Days had already expanded the Railroad Days concept consid- erably. The influx of 400 peo- ple on a special train, all of them staying the night and needing options in entertain- ment, but without transporta- tion to get to their lodging and dining places, presented a problem. Chris Skow, of Trains and Travel and creator of the spe- cial Railroad Days train, solved the problem by hiring coaches to deliver people to i!ii!i !!ili!!i!! Over Top Channels including HD Channels for 12 months and HD I$ FREE FOR LIFE Act now and also get: "Brings It Down To Earth" Brings it Down to Earth Tim V. 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Offer ends 9/28/10. HBO@ and rolatnd ~nne~ and ~iso marl~ ~o ihe proporty of Home Box Office, Inc. SHOWTIME and relatnd marks ore ragislernd 13rndemex~ of Show,me Networks i~c., a CBS ~y. their destinations. The sud- den availability of buses dur- ing the day also provided the key to expanding Railroad Days into a regional event. Currently, the buses are scheduled, for public benefit and a modest fee, every 30 minutes 1 - 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, leaving the parking lot of the Western Pacific Rail- road Museum of Portola on the hour and on the half hour. The coaches will travel to Nakoma Golf Resort for wine tasting, stop to let off passen- gers at the Graeagle craft show and deliver show atten- dees to the Stars in the Barn matinee performance and travel back to Railroad Days in Portola. The last bus of the day will performance back to Portola. Bridge said the group is working with Skow to plan a "Snowflake" express train for winter, which would arrive in Truckee, then bus the train visitors to the area. A "captive" audience isideal for mini-vacation packages, and Bridge said GPA wanted to combine the Rotary Poker Run, sled dog races and other winter activities to encourage tourists to visit Plumas in winter. Bridge said his group saw the need to develop winter- time recreation enticements to even out the seasonal finan- cial fluctuations businesses now endure. He felt that they needed to bolster the spring and fall shoulder seasons. City council member Dan bring pe0ple from thema}inee. Wilson reques~[e~ particulars of GPA's ao and Bridge re his questions Murphy's ob~ phy was app advisory bo, tended man, year. Council McBride offl the GPA me: on his parti Railroad Day,. the ensuin8 with GPA. In the end, unanimous i: greater effm developmem tourism in P, essary. Four bers voted tc forts of GP.4 membershipl PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT ',omplishments sponded fully to and fleshed out ,ervations; Mur- )inted to GPA's ~rd and has at- meetings this aember Curt red support for ~bership, based ~ipation in the Committee and collaboration [he council was ] believing that ts in economic and increased )rtola were nec- )f the five mem- endorse the ef- at the highest evel. ,, .... ... WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MEASURE B. When asked how essential updates to hospital could be made under their $5 cap, Mr. Zernich and Mr. Herr have both in public that it's the Board's responsibillty, not theirs. The plain fact is that essential u hospital can't be made under a $50 the chief Cappers wash their hands, le the rest of the community to fix the they've given us. to our So In passing Measure A by a 77% majori two years ago, we adopted a good plan. We can still activate that plan without further and on very favorable financial terms. Whose judgment do you trust more? Cappers who wash their hands, or the hundreds of your neighbors who last put their names in the newspaper, in opposition to Measure B? Please do the responsible thing for our community. VOTE NO ON MEASURE B PAID FOR BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SAVE OUR HOSPITAL COMMITTEE