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Chester Progressive
Chester , California
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March 17, 2010     Chester Progressive
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March 17, 2010
 

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Serving the Chester & Lake Almanor Areas No one to run against Thrall Delaine Fragnoli Josh Sebold Managing Editor dfragnoli@plumasnews.com The filing period for the June 2010 election has come to a close; candidates intend- ing to run have submitted financial statements indicat- ing their intentions to form election committees. Sheriff Greg Hagwood and retired deputy Bob Shipp have publicly announced their candidacy for sheriff and begun campaigning. In January, county supervisors appointed Hagwood to finish the term of Terry Bergstrand, who retired. Assistant District Attorney Dave Hollister has likewise filed financials and started campaigning for district attorney. Incumbent Jeff Cunan has said he will not run for a third term. Plumas Unified School Dis- trict Superintendent Glenn Harris, District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, Clerk- Recorder Kathy Williams and Auditor Shawn Montgomery remain unopposed in their re-election bids. Assessor Charles Leon- hardt faces challenger Mike Gardner in one of the rare races with both an incumbent and a newcomer. J.P. Kennedy and Richard Lundy have filed paperwork to run for District 5 county supervisor, a seat long held by Ole Olsen, who is retiring. Julie White has signaled her intent to run for treasurer- tax collector. Treasurer Susie Bryant- Grant, appointed by the board to fill that position last February after the incumbent retired, has signaled she won't be running. To subscribe to the (7 Pro,ressive, call 530-258-3115 Vol. 63, No. 37 Feather Publishing Co.,Inc. : . . 2010 5O Life is ,good Life is good at Lake Almanor with a decent snow pack at the higher elevations and warmer than usual temperatures on the Basin floor. The combination makes for great recreational opportunities whether on snowmobiles, cross-country skis or even sneakers for jogging or walking the dog. The lake is rising steadily with levels reported at 4,482.90, two feet higher than this same time last year -- it's encouraging to see landlocked docks at the North Shore Campground are now free and floating. Photo by M. Kate West County sounds off on OHV use Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.com The Plumas County Board of Supervisors authorized Chairwoman Sherrie Thrall to sign a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture arguing for maintaining pre- vious levels of off-highway vehicle use in local national forests at a meeting Tuesday, March 9. County Public Works Di- rector Bob Perreault brought the letter before the board, explaining Butte, Lassen, Shasta and Plumas counties were trying to all pass the same letter as a show of solidarity. He explained the Lassen and Shasta-Trinity national forests recently received "notices of decision" regard- ing their motorized travel Food pantry has record use M. Kate West Chester Editor chesternews@plumasnews.com "Different situations in everybody's lives brings them to the door of Helping Hands," said board president Bill Cheek as he recapped 2009 and looked toward 2010. He said there were a tremendous number of fac- tors influencing the fluctua- tion in the monthly and year- ly tallies of recipients served. "2009 was a banner year for us; we had the most visits ever at 547 and we noted that more people came more of- ten. I don't know what this means for 2010. We are still in a recession and still having hard times," he said. According to Cheek, most of the recipients coming in are families. He said those with three or four children have remained consistent throughout the service year. Another constant for Help- ing Hands is seeing more recipients in the winter when the resorts and the woods are closed. The high service months are December and January and February and March. Tlie rest of the year remains fairly consistent serving approximately 35 recipients. Statistics show the average number of monthly visits for each recipient is 3.13 with an average family size of 4.27 persons. Challenges The challenges listed by Cheek include the mainte- nance of a strong, volunteer work force; winter snow re- moval; food purchasing and delivery to Helping Hands, He said shopping includes out-of-town purchasing trips, as well as monitoring and watching for sales in local stores. "This takes some effort, but many times you will_find a especially during the Wlhtei better price locally," said months; and last, but certain- ly not least, storage of frozen food items during extended power outages. Cheek has done most of the snow shoveling to keep the front door to the food pantry open but said he would wel- come any and all volunteer assistance with the task. "We are also looking for a couple that would have an interest in helping us with the large responsibility of purchasing," he said. Cheek. He said the board is seeking a couple in particular because a great deal of the shopping is for heavier, bulk items. "A man usually is usually needed to help with the lifting from the store to the car to the shelves here," he added. Community partners In addition to monetary contributions, Helping Hands See Pantry, page 4A management plans, which in- dicated less OHV use would be allowed compared to the previous arrangement. Perreault said the Plumas Forest hadn't received its no- tice of decision yet, but parts of the Lassen National Forest extend into Plumas County. The director explained the objections were mostly related to the fact that most existing "mixed use" road- ways used by passenger cars won't be open to off-highway vehicles. Perreault's background material for the agenda item read, "Such rules will severely constrain backcountry recre- ation mobility." The letter Thrall will sign argued "hundreds of miles of unpaved forest roads and other routed will be closed to motor vehicles" in the three forests. See OHV, page 4A Supervisors refuse to jump EMS ship Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@ plumasnews.com The Plumas County Board of Supervisors decided to avoid hysteria and remained patient while considering how to react to a new trend in other counties' choices of local emergency medical ser- vice authority providers at a meeting Tuesday, March 9. Chairwoman Sherrie Thrall began the discussion on the item by telling the au- dience in the boardroom, "There's been a ton of corre- spondence and e-mails and lobbying of all kinds" regard- ing the trend. County Public Health De- partment Director Mimi Hall told supervisors two counties have recently left NorCal EMS, the local service for Plumas, after being with the group since 1997. Hall said several other counties claimed it was time for everyone involved with NorCal to jump ship. In a short telephone inter- view, Hall said all counties have to have a LEMSA, an in- dependent agency to ensure all medical personnel and organizations stay in com- pliance with rules about licensing, certification and training. She also said NorCal provided services to Plumas that other groups wouldn't, such as upkeep of the county emergency communication systems. At the board meeting, Plumas County Administra- tive Officer Jack Ingstad told the supervisors Shasta County's CAO invited him to meetings to see what the re- maining counties should do in reaction to two counties leaving NorCal, but Ingstad could not attend the meet- ings. He said several CAOs pullecl him asitle at a meeting in Sacramento recently and told him several CAOs were planning to tell their county boards they should move to a rival of NorCal, Sierra-Sacra- mento Valley EMS Agency, the same organization that the previous two counties moved to. Ingstad told the board he didn't know much about the issue at the time so he forwarded information to Thrall and Hall. He explained the county's contract with NorCal was about to expire and the other CAOs were going before their boards soon, possibly even that same day. Ingstad said he had a feel- ing NorCal would probably have to make some changes if all five of the counties, whose CAOs approached him, decided to leave the group, leaving only four. Thrall summed up his concern, "If they start losing most of their member counties how viable are they?" Hall said she thought most of the counties were assum- ing NorCal wouldn't be viable if any large counties decided to leave the group but she didn't necessarily agree with that prediction. "One of the large counties considering leaving is Shasta County. There's a lot of work that costs a Iot of See EMS, page 4A College trustees say no to faculty layoffs Tiffiney Lozano Staff Writer IsatchweU@plumasnews.com Feather River College trustees voted unanimously against sending layoff notices to six full-time faculty mem- bers in a special meeting Tuesday, March 9, a decision that earned them a roomful of applause. At stake was the football program as well as the men's and women's basketball pro- grams; two vocational pro- grams -- office career and technology and outdoor recreation leadership; and a library science position. College president Dr. Ron Taylor, in attendance via conference call, said after the vote he was "very encour- aged" by what he had heard. "It's going to be a chal- lenge, let's not kid ourselves. Every bit of savings will be a sacrifice, but I am encour- aged by the spirit of coopera- tion," he said. The trustees cast their votes after nearly an hour of discussion during which several bargaining units spoke, indicating they would be flexible with pay cuts when and if the actual budget required such measures. Calling for "transparency" throughout the budget process, Academic Senate president Chris Connell reminded all parties of FRC's unique environment. The small geographic area forces people to live and work together very closely. He said that relationship was vital to maintaining trust through- out the budget process. "The faculty and staff have saved this campus many before by doing without," said Connell. "They can do it again." Interim Director of Student Services Lisa Kelley told the board "good decisions are made on behalf of students." Rick Stock, director of the outdoor recreation leader- ship program, told the board a possible decision to elimi- nate his program was based on erroneous numbers. The figures evaluated were based solely on the fall semester, and his greatest enrollment is always in the spring, said Stock. "If you're going to judge football, you'd better count the fall semester," he said for comparison. Stock also clarified that Darla DeRuiter was mis- takenly counted as a full-time instructor for his program when, in reality, DeRuiter holds a split position working 50 percent of the time for recreation and the other 50 percent for environmental studies. Faculty union president Michael Welser brought a list of suggestions to the board that amounted to $970,000 in potential cuts that could be made without having to lay off any faculty. Suggestions included cuts to the textbooks made avail- able to the Incarcerated Student Program; reduction of the soccer program from full to part time; and not hiring a new athletic trainer, in addition to several more. In a later interview, Welser explained his priority was to find ways to save money that would not affect the full-time equivalent formula that generates state revenue for the school. Welser urged the board to See Layoffs, page 4A q !!