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Chester Progressive
Chester , California
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March 12, 2014     Chester Progressive
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March 12, 2014
 

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4A Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Chester Progressive MEASURE A, from page 1A pointed out by comparison, will cost less than a soda a day. The mailing of the ballot coincides with the mailing of the CalFire fee ballots, and it should not be confused with them. The district does not benefit from the state's CalFire fee and has been against this "tax" from the start. As an unfunded district, PFPD receives no county funds It does, however, receive I percent of the property tax collected from the 3,400 parcels located within the district This accounts for one-fourth of the district's annual budget Since 2008 the amount collected has dropped by $77,081, causing the district to decrease staffing and defer necessary maintenance in order to stay on budget. ff Measure A fails, the district will be forced to cut services further, said Pini. In painting a realistically grim picture for residents in the district he said the ambulance Service would end, which could mean response times of up to an hour; 75 percent of on-duty staff will be gone; water rescue will be suspended; district vehicles and buildings will not be repaired; there will be delays in service calls and public assists; lot inspections will cease; and the Office of Emergency Services fire engine will be returned to the state. Pini also said insurance rates would also increase due to an expected increase in PFPD's ISO rating. The district is currently rated a Class 4 t'n'e department and, based on its last assessment, is expected to decrease to a Class 3 -- if Measure A passes. Pini explained the lower the class the less homeowners pay on insurance premiums. He said districts are rated on a scale from one to 10 based on communications, water supply and fn'e equipment and response time. Last year the district responded to a total of 215 calls -- an increase of 15 percent from 2012 -- and averaged a five-minute response time. Calls consisted of 141 medical, 41 fire and 33 public assist. Current staffing consists of one full-time fire chief, one per-diem assistant chief, one full-time captain, three full-time and eight per-diem firefighters/paramedics, two full-time and five per-diem firefighters/EMTs, eight per-diem firefighters/paramedics and one full-time administrative assistant. The district has GRANT, from page 1A suggestions and address findings. The Operational and Revenue Cycle Project will be conducted by Western Health Alliance under the supervision of the Rural Healthcare Center and the California Department of Health Care Services' State Office for Rural Health. In her grant request letter Wagner said, "Reviewing some of the factors for the cash crisis we've been experiencing, we feel that our only option to recover and sustain our viability is to identify and correct both our operational and revenue cycle deficiencies." She said the grant gives the district an opportunity to do just that, as it would not be able to afford an assessment otherwise. The project is expected to begin at the end of March. James Matthew Brown Ben Ramsey 257.6162 2920 Riverside Dr. Suite 102 .S "-" mlll II '''' ...... Serving Chester & Lake Almanor Postal service: USPS (No102-980.) Periodicals postage paid at Chester, CA. Published: Every Wednesday moming by Feather Publishing Co. Inc. Office location and hours: 135 Main St. #C. Mailing address: P.O. Box 557, Chester, CA 96020. Office is open Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. How to contact us: (530) 258-3115. FAX: (530) 258-2365. Email: mail@plumasnews.com; website: plumasnews.com Ownership and heritage: The Progressive was established June 30, 1946. Published weekly. It is part of the Feather Publishing family of newspapers serving Plumas and Lassen counties. Deadlines: Display advertising: Thursday 3 p.m.; display classified: Thursday, 3 pm; legals: Thursday at noon; news: Friday, 3 p.m.; classified reader ads: Monday 9 am.; breaking news: Anytime! To subscribe: Call (530) 258-3115, come to the Progressive office or use the handy coupon below. Adjudication: The Chester Progressive is adjudicated a legal newspaper by Supedor Court Decree No. 5956 and qualified for publication of matters required by law to be published in a newspaper. Postmaster: Send change of address orders to the Chester Progressive, P.O. Box 557, Chester, CA 96020. .I Michael C. Taborski Linda Hursh, Cobey Brown Co-Owner/Publisher Rhonda Williams Vice Pres./Operations Ked Taborskl Classified/Circulation Tom Forney Co-Owner/Legal Advertising Cited Molnlire, Production Manager Kevin Mallory Velode Chbholm Vice Pres./Admin. Advertising Eli== Monroe Bookkeeper Dan McDonald Sandy Condon Managing Editor Human Resource Director Jenny Lee . ' Photo Editor M. Kate West, Sherd McCoanell Samantha R Hawthorne Display Advertising Eva Small Staff Writers Manager Composing Manager Member, 1 California N .eqper Prl Publishers  ...... recycled paper I I i liB  i in= i Ill i IIIII ill lille Bill II I - Subscription Order Form II Chester Progressive P.O. Box 557, Chester, CA 96020 I ,== my =b=d00o. ,.= I - ' 1 Endoud find my check for $ I  In County $26 per year [ Out of Stats $44 per year I I Q ,. =, per I I ,am, .... I I -- -:-- -I I z,p ...... I S4utadldJOnS can be , but Mt refuml. I- i ....., ,,.. i i i i i .., ..... -I been short two full-time firefighters ever since the economy started to decline. Four firefighters are currently on duty each day. If the measure falls to pass, Pini said that would be reduced to just one per day. When responding to fires, state law requires four firef'w, hters to be on scene before entry can be made into a building. Without the additional support on staff, PFPD firefighters would have to wait for help from other districts before attacking a fire, he said. In addition to covering the PFPD, firefighters are contracted by the state to respond to emergencies in other areas throughout California. The state not only compensates the district for time spent in other areas, it also provides them with an OES engine free of cost. If Measure A does not pass the district will be have to return the vehicle, as it will no longer be able to respond to outside emergencies. Pini continued his discussion about' the benefits to the residents living in the district ff the measure does pass. He said the district will be able to maintain its ambulance service and continue providing quick response times; maintain and possibly increase fire personnel; continue OES response throughout California; maintain and improve its ISO rating; perform overdue maintenance on buildings and grounds; continue lot inspections; continue service calls and public assists; continue water rescue services; and respond to hazardous material calls. District history George Radvich and Ed Clifford formed the Peninsula Volunteer Fire Department in 1955. By 1964 the department was recognized by the state and the Peninsula Fire Protection District was formed. This May marks the f'n-e department's 50th anniversary. The district purchased a brand new engine in 1974 and an additional engine in 1976, both of which are still in use today. Prior to those purchases the district operated a used 1950s model open cab engine. Two more engines were purchased in 2008. Basic support ambulance services were established in 1982 when Leon Briley donated an ambulance to the district. By 1993 the district was able to provide advanced life support ambulance services, now covering more than 2,000 homes. In 2008 the California Qffice of Emergency Services assigned PFPD an engine to assist in "one of the worst fire seasons in California history," said Pini. The district covers 17 square miles of land and water within Lake Almanor. This area expands coverage to a population of 1,158 residents, as recorded by the 2007 census. In the summer that number increases to more than 5,000 residents. The district is also contracted to provide management and staffing to the Hamilton Branch Fire Protection District. According to its mission statement, the fire district provides life and property safety against the threat of forest and structure fires, natural or manmade disasters and medical emergencies. Last year personnel logged more than 3,185 hours of fire and EMS training. One of the firefighters on staff explained that before he or she can tackle his or her first job, a firefighter logs thousands of hours of intense training. "We come from the factory preassembled and ready to go," he said. He added that the firefighters employed by the district have the same qualifications and the same training as any other " "We firefighter in the state. are trained at the highest standards; I will put any one of these firefighters against ones from larger districts and I guarantee you we will do the same job." In favor of the special tax assessment, one member of the public said, "I have lived here for almost three years and am about to buy a house in Bailey Creek. I have had the opportunity to experience the district's services when Dad died. They (responders) were at the house within two minutes. The professionalism they exhibited, and respect they showed for a dead person was remarkable. They made what was a very tragic event bearable. To lose the capacity for them to respond to events like this is a tragedy." The resident continued, "This (Measure A) is an absolute necessity for this region. We are not getting any younger and will all be in need of these services at one time or another. Heaven help us if we have three people go down at the same time." After these sentiments were expressed, similar comments were made from those in attendance, all recalling their own personal story. As a last comment, one of the district's volunteers spoke to the fact medical response times would increase. He said, "A house, it burns, but a life you can't replace." FEMA, from page 1A focusing on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to catastrophic natural disasters or terrorist acts. Balbiani said the training is offered frequently throughout the year. The courses are federally funded and offered at no cost to state, local and tribal emergency response professionals or their agency. Private sector personnel pay to attend the courses. Resident training at CDP includes health care and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation's only hospital dedicated to training health care professionals in disaster preparedness and response. A number of resident training courses culminate at the CDP's Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological Training Facility, the nation's only facility featuring civilian training exercises in a true toxic environment using chemical agents. The release advises that the advanced hands-on training enables responders to effectively prevent, respond to and recover from real-world incidents involving acts of terrorism and other hazardous materials. Responders participating in CDP training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents or potential WMD events. Plumas ChristianSchool cuts upper gracle00; The board of Plumas Christian School announced Tuesday, March 4, that the school will only be offering kindergarten through sixth grade beginning this fall. The reluctant cutback comes as a necessary economic response to countywide low enrollment among upper grades. However, the Quincy school says enrollment is robust in younger grades, and the board is both open and hopeful regarding reinstituting grades seven through 12. In a letter handed out during a special parents meeting Tuesday, the board said reinstituting upper grades will depend on adequate enrollment, availability of qualified teachers and the overall funding picture. There is no danger of the school closing altogether, but the letter ; explained that upper grades were having to be subsidized by lower grades, and that that could not continue indefinitely. The announcement was received with some tears. Immediately after the meeting several parents began preliminary work to explore an independent-study option that might allow students to utilize texts, study space and possibly tutoring services Retirement May Be Far Off, But the April 15 Deadline for IRA Contributions Isn't. To learn more about the advantages of an Edward Jones Individual Retirement Account (IRA), call or visit today. Cada Parsons, AAMS Financial Advisor 361 Main St Chester, CA 96020 53C25&3552 www.lwardJones.om ;..l'.r 5c: I Real Estate Sales ~ Vacation Rent0000, I | Our real estate market is gaining | | momentum. If you are ready to buy or sell, | I please give us a call today. I I Free market evaluation | I Experienced friendly sales team I I Two Office Locations to Serve You I I In p452n :e(5 3%s) u/96D;;3 I III,w 119 Main Street, Chester i I I L DRE License#01237446 I =L- AIILI, I wmw, LakeAImanorBrokera,om from Plumas Christian. The board requested any proposals be delivered in writing for evaluation. John Sturley, who will be retiring as administrator in spring 2015, ,said he is very interested in helping coordinate a program for indeperident-study families and students, h0uld one materialize. Graham Shea (alumnus 2002) announced he would be encouraging other alumni and friends of the school to donate to the Plumas Christian School endowment in order to enable the eventual rebuilding of upper grades. "This school is one of the best things I've had in my life," Shea said. "Every organization has cycles, and in a sense I am glad for this new chapter because it will help grow and gather the school's most precious and vital resource -- parents who are interested and actively involved in their children's education." Plumas Christian held a special gathering, Wednesday morning to distfass the decision with students. Through tears, senior BreighAnne Turner encouraged her younger schoolmates to maintain their close friendships wherever they go to school next fall, and continue to shine their light. Each upper-grader is paired with one or two lower-graders through a "little-buddy" program that creates close-knit inter-grade relationships and positive role-modeling for the elementary school. One parent said her daughter cried through most of the night knowing her big buddy will not be at school next year. Graduating Seniors Lassen College www.assencollee.ed u