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March 10, 2010     Chester Progressive
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March 10, 2010
 

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ll Serving the Chester & Lake Almanor Areas Vol. 63, No. 36 * Feather Publishing Co., Inc. 530-258-3115 , Wednesday, March 10, 2010 50 Third time's the charm in speech contest A total of six students participated in the Rotary Club of Chester's annual speech contest March 4. Prizes were awarded for the first three places. Judges announced a three-way tie for fourth place. From left: Dennis Gomez, Chuck Golden, Emma Sampey, Seth Cory and winner JoAnna Waterman. See Waterman's winning essay on page 7B. Photo by M Kate West M. Kate West Chester Editor chesternews@plumasnews.com The third time was definitely the charm for St. Andrew's Academy junior JoAnna Waterman when she captured first place in the Rotary Club of Chester's an- num speech contest March 4. In her first two efforts, Waterman was awarded a second place in 2008 and a third in 2009. In }oth those contests, the first-lace win went to other members of her family. Sister Rebekah took first place in 2009 while first place in 2008 went to sister Sarah. This year Waterman went head to head against two other students from St. Andrew's, freshman Peter Bartel and sophomore Emma Sampey. She also competed against three students from Chester High School, fresh- man Annie Sylvester and seniors Hailey Wilkinson and Seth Cory. The second-place award went to Seth Cory and third to Emma Sampey.'Cash was awarded in the amounts of $100, $75 and $50, according to placement. In the next step of the contest process, Waterman will compete regionally March 18 in Susanville. There she will compete against students from the Su- sanville Noon and Susanville Sunrise Rotary Clubs as well as the contest winner from the Westwood Rotary Club. The winner of the regional contest will vie for the top spot May 22 at the 2010 Dis- trict 5190 Conference at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. "At this level, the student winner will go head to head in competitions against 12 regional speech contest win- ners coming from Rotary Clubs in Northeastern Cali- fornia and all over Nevada," said Rotarian and contest chairman Dennis Gomez. This year's theme is "The Four-Way Test--Living a Life That Matters," the standard by which Rotarians every- where measure all things they think, do or say. The next planned event for the Rotary Club of Chester will be the April 1 Student Music Contest. Interested students should contact contest chairman Chuck Golden at 258-2361 for an entry form and contest guidelines. College trustees split on faculty layoffs Delaine Fragnoli John Schramel voted no, and " the school's internal num- Managing Editor dfragnoli@plumasnews.com trustees Bill Elliott and Leah West votes yes. Positions on the chopping block included three sports programs -- football and men's and women's basket- ball; two vocational pro. grams -- office career and technology and outdoor recreation leadership; and a library science position. Faculty, staff and students packed the meeting room. A student forum the day before attracted about 125 students. The overwhelming majority of those who addressed the board asked the trustees not to issue the layoffnotices. Discussion L highlighted ongoing concerns with the school's amorphous budget- ing process. Faculty union president Michael Welser said faculty would not accept In a dramatic 2-2 vote, Feather River CoIlege trustees failed to pass a reso- lution that would have sent layoff notices to six full-time faculty members. The fifth trustee was absent from the Thursday, March 4, meeting. The board was scheduled to revisit the issue at a special meeting Tuesday, March 9. Trustees John Sheehan and ll[l!![IJ!ll!!!![llli :H:?.   i i ..... .i  ...... : i : ili To subscribe to the Progressive, call 530-258-3115 bers because they were not validated and so he was using figures provided by the chan- cellor's office. Librarian Tom Davis pointed out the school had re. cently received a letter from its accreditation committee continuing FRC's warning status. The committee has re- peatedly expressed concerns about a lack of coordina- tion between the school's planning and budgeting processes. Academic Senate president Dr. Chris Connell said the ad- ministration's numbers for the outdoor recreation pro- gram were in error -- by a factor of 200 percent. He said alternatives to layoffs had not been considered and dis- cussions should have started one or two months ago. Several speakers, faculty and student alike, expressed fears that if programs were cut, students would leave and it would become harder and harder to attract and retain younger faculty. English instructor Dr. Joan Parkin said it was ironic that on the eve of her tenure, the school was set "to take away the programs that made me want to teach here. Why would I stay?" (The trustees later voted to grant tenure to Parkin and Dr. Derek Lerch, who teaches environmental and earth sciences.) The layoffs "send a mes- sage of weakness," said art instructor Dianne Lipscomb. "We don't look viable" to the state or to the accrediting body. Parkin suggested the layoff resolution was a bargaining ploy by the administration to get faculty to take a proposed 6 percent pay cut. College president Dr. Ron Taylor told the assembly he agreed with many of the comments. "Nevertheless, we are in the midst of a crisis." He said the school needed to "bring the budget into bal- ance. We are $614,000 in the red this year, and that's expected to grow next year." He cautioned that the lay- off notices were a "precau- tionary action. We don't have to implement them. I regret that I have to recommend it, and I empathize with the anxiety it causes." By law, the district must send layoff notices by March 15 and make a final decision on layoffs by May 15. Trustees asked if it was possible to convene some kind of budget forum. Taylor responded he was using three avenues of dis- course: collective bargaining, the budget committee and the strategic planning commit. tee. He was "leery," however, "to convene an ad hoc process. It's kind of dangerous." As the discussion con- tinued, some divisions among employee groups sur- faced. Welser and Connell pointed out the board ap- proved, at the same meeting, contracts for three adminis- trators -- Chief Instructional Officer Dr. Michael Bagley ($121,199), Director of Facili- ties Nick Boyd ($79,120) and Chief Financial Officer James Scoubes ($119,215) without any discussion of cuts there. Connell said some See Layoffs, page 4A Almanor Recreation to offer spring soccer M, Kate West Chester Editor chesternews@plumasnews.com The Almanor Recreation and Park District board of di- rectors broke new ground at the end of February 2010, when they voted to offer the district's first-ever youth sports league. The vote to accept the league under the district's umbrella was made after a Feb. 22 presentation by soccer coach Eric O'Kelley. O'Kelley, who has coached league soccer for the past seven years, was pleased with the vote, "ARPD will be a good fit with our area and our kids and how we need to run our program," he said. "I know this will be the recreation district's first youth sport but it's coming with 20 years of being in exis- tence. It's established in the community and can offer the district a wealth of knowl- edgeable support. It will be a better program for the kids." O'Kelley met again with the ARPD board during a special meeting held Feb. 25. The purpose of the meeting was to review registration and liability forms and to set league participation fees. Background In the beginning days of the local soccer program, O'Kelley said youth played in Westwood, which was under the jurisdiction of District 9 of the California Youth Soccer Association. "Over the years things be- gan to change and Chester's influence has grown. As time continued to pass, support for the Westwood soccer program diminished while Chester's program thrived," O'Kelley said. He also said despite the growth of the Chester portion of the program it still faced operational challenges under the umbrella of CYSA. "To remain viable, we had to field 10 teams in the fall. As we considered our options, the change to ARPD boils down to the numbers. There just aren't as many kids as there used to be," he said. Offering more explanation he said the league operated youth teams U- 12 (age) and U - 14. Continuing he said challenges arose because those two divisions are gender pure, not co-ed and require 11 players. "It has gotten harder and harder to get those teams together. Because there are not enough kids to play in house (on local fields), we had to take the teams on the See Soccer, page 4 A Reichle resngns as county counsel; Morris appointed Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com Plumas County Adminis. trative Officer Jack Ingstad recently announced the Board of Supervisors accepted a resignation letter from County Counsel James Reichle and appointed County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Manager Brian Morris as acting county counsel in closed session during a Tues- day, March 2, meeting. Morris, an attorney who is the county's resident expert on water law and policy, has served as deputy county counsel for Plumas in the past. On the long-term plan for the county counsel office, Ingstad commented, "We're going to take a little time to think about it this week be- cause we didn't know this was going to happen." The CAO said he would help cut down Morris's work- load by reviewing contracts, as Ingstad has previously practiced law for 12 years. Ingstad said Morris would be paid at the same rate as before, with half of his compensation coming from flood control and the other half from the county counsel budget/ In a phone interview Reichle said he wasn't stepping down because of health concerns, but that some recent time away from work because of a medical issue gave him an oppor- tunity to reflect on his employment. He thought the county deserved the opportunity at this time of transition to have one person in the county counsel office for several years and he couldn't commit to that himself. Reichle said he could see himself working for the county on specific legal matters, as he was before taking his current position, because he liked the idea of saving the county money by performing tasks that a large firm would charge more for, but this wasn't the right time for him to head the county counsel office.