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March 17, 2010     Chester Progressive
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March 17, 2010
 

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Chester Progressive, Westwood PinePress Wednesday, March 17, 2010 5A Hospital directors take first step toward election By Linda Satchwell Staff Writer Isatchwell@plumasnews.com At its March 11 board meet- ing, Plumas District Hospi- tal's directors voted unani- mously to "appoint the Plumas County Clerk as its Election Official to process the petition regarding the Tax Limitation Initiative, includ- ing, but not limited to, in- specting the voter signatures and, if proper, certification of such initiative petition." When attorney Robert Zer- nich took the petition signa- tures to County Clerk, Kathy Williams, he learned she was authorized to count and certi- fy petition signatures. Richard Hathaway, PDH's chief executive officer, and Dr. Mark Satterfield, board president, said a second reso- lution would have to be adopt- ed at a later board meeting to authorize the election itself once the initiative petition is certified. Previously, when the PDH board, on advice of its coun- sel, refused to appoint an elec- tions official, the petitioners brought a legal suit against the hospital. Now, according to Satterfield, negotiations are going in a positive direc- tion, and he is confident attor- neys for both sides will soon reach a workable agreement. Part of the agreement in- volves assurances by the peti- tioners' counsel that the cur- rent $3.2 million in bonds won't be put at risk if the tax limitation initiative passes. Though Satterfield and Hathaway said they didn't know exactly how the petition- ers could guarantee the safety of the original bonds if the tax cap of $50 per $100,000 of as- sessed house value passed, Satterfield said the attorneys "are ironing that out; they're wrestling with how to do that legally ... how it can appear on the ballot but also protect the bond holders ... and they do think that can be done." PDH's board and adminis- tration feel it is important to resolve issues with the peti- tioners without a costly and time-consuming court case that they "cannot win." They also feel it is impor- tant at this juncture to under- stand whether or not the com- munity wants to go ahead with the new hospital project, though given their choice, the hospital would have chosen a less expensive means of assessment, such as a commu- nity survey. Satterfield and Hathaway made clear, as they have since they first began advocating for a new hospital, that they believe the hospital will close eventually if the tax limita- tion initiative passes. "The voters of this district need to know that this proposed initiative will tie our hands fi- nancially and will not provide us the funding we need to make much-needed improvements to our hospital. Even though man- dated seismic upgrades have been delayed by the state, we still need to replace our failing infrastructure. "Our hospital needs to be brought up to 21st-century standards to attract and re- tain physicians and to ensure quality health care is avail- able to all residents into the future," Satterfield said. Tax cap proponents have said there will be time to ei- ther fix the existing structure or to raise the money to build in the future. Hathaway added that a number of rural, critical ac- cess hospitals are facing the same problems as PDH, since so many of these rural dis- tricts had their hospitals were built initially with Hill-Bur- ton funds in the 1950s. No one thought about how these hospitals would survive 50 years on when they would need to rebuild and when no funding would be available. Like PDH, most of these rural, critical access hospitals are doing well if they can buy or replace much-needed equipment. Some, like A1- turas in Modoc County, are struggling to survive; they cannot look to the future. Satterfield pointed out the petitioners are looking at the current situation while the hospital board is charged with looking toward the fu- ture. "I think the referendum people are looking to now, to their pocketbooks, and we're responsible for health care go- ing forward 10, 20 years down the road. And, we feel we'd be neglecting our duty to the community to do anything that would prevent the project going forward." Rural ctric co-op to lay off nine-10 employees Diana Jorgenson Portola Editor djorgenson@plurnasnews.com off between nine and 10 em- ployees, effective March 31. General Manager Bob Mar- shall issued the following statement. "Recently Plumas- Sierra Rural Electric Coopera- tive went through a reduction- in-force process. We have re- duced our staffing levels over the past 18 months through re- tirements, attrition and now Citing the country's eco- nomic downturn, Plumas-Sier- ra Rural Electric Cooperative, which provides electricity to many rural areas in Plumas, Sierra and Lassen counties, announced Friday it would lay Resourc e committee meets March 26 about the legislation or the Resource Advisory Commit- The Plumas County Re- source Advisory Committee will meet March 26, from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., in the Mineral Building at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy. The purpose of the meeting is to review applications sub- mitted for next year's funding (Cycle 10) and to make fund- ing recommendations to the Plumas and Lassen national forest supervisors. Approx- matel' $745:263 in 'project Work has been  submitted for $463,000 in funding in 2011. Projects must benefit local trails, roads, forest health, watershed, and fish and wildlife habitat on Forest Ser- vice lands in Plumas County. The public is welcome to observe and comment during applicable comment periods. For more information about this meeting, special needs or to request copies of the sub- mitted projects, contact Lee Anne Schramel Taylor at 283- 7850. For other information Advertisin, g works! Hurry in, at prices this low they're selling fast! HOT BUYS Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice 640Z. s149 Early Garden Peaches tee, go to fs.fed.us/r5/plumas. voluntary and involuntary lay- offs. The downturn of the econ- omy affected both the electric side of our business and the telecommunications sub- sidiaries. I'd like to thank the affected employees for their hard work over the years." PS-REC is one of the largest employers in eastern Plumas County and emplo,ed 76 em- ployees at its peak, some hired in anticipation of up- coming retirements. High unemployment rates and the general downturn in the county impacted telecom- munications subsidiaries, while the loss of local con- struction upended expected growth in electrical usage. Six jobs were excised in the Mother Crow Says... Come Celebrate Our One Year Anniversary... 25 to75 off All clothing in the store!! THE CROW 135 Main St., #A, Chester 530-258-1000 Sale good thru 3120/10 - 3/27/10 5" to 18". Sizes colors vary by store =299. 1999 SAVE UP TO $20 SAVE UP TO You'll always find these everyday low buys on 2% Milk Eggs Butter 1 gallon 18 pack lib. Challenge $259 S199 S199 .Sale Starts March 16 .---- while supplies last u-q 1616 Main St. Susanville 251-2581msz past 18 months through attri- tion and retirements, leaving 70 employees currently. Marshall said he was work- ing with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to develop a "soft land- ing" plan for affected workers, a plan that includes a sever- ance package. In addition, he said the company was actively trying to place workers with other local employers. One, pos- sibly two, employees found em- ployment with Eastern Plumas Health Care thus far. "It's purely economic," Marshall said. "These are good workers." PSREC looked first to em- ployees who might choose an early retirement, or even choose to be laid off. Marshall is currently working through the union's process, sorting through seniorities to make the cuts. As it has worked out so far, co-op staff in Lassen County and in Quincy will not be affected. Marshall estimated he is still a week away from know- ing the exact number of the layoffs or which workers will be affected. Marshall was hopeful about the future, saying the co-op applied for stimulus funds and was actively pursuing greater broadband capabilities, which he thought were critical to at- tracting businesses and new employers to the area. If the economy does a turn around, the co-op win replace those lost jobs, Marshall said, but cautioned it would be awhile. i))llv V V V VVV VV VV I'V V V V VVVVVVV V V VVV VV VVTVVVV V V V VV VVV VV VVV =1 E : ':  "= ================================== |   I I[M; Jl.' ] f  = :: :=:: = : = ==:i: ': F. ! ; ii IlIlilllilli iii il OPEN FOR BREAKFAST [ Starting Feb 5th  Friday, Saturday, Sunday 7am - 12prn l Pancakes/French Toast Omelettes l Biscuits :&.,Gravy,..Huevos Rancheros. ::i- $2 offany 2 breakfasts t hru Feb.  , ' L Available To Go [] !!. ...... 686 MainStj. Che;ter- 258-,879 i THE OLD MILL CAF[ 324 Birch Street, Westwood, CA 256-3180 When we started serving dinners on Saturday night at the beginning of February, we advertised in many ways: in house, word of mouth, and we requested a blurb in the business section of the paper. After speaking with our Advertising Representative, Valorie Chisholm, about the possibilities of advertisin$, we decided to run our weekly dinner s[p e_c!als in Lh. .Westwoo d Pine Press and TI'). Chester Progressive newspapers. This advertisement included our new Saturday dinner specials, but did not overtly mention the addition. I know the advertisement works because of comments made by both regular and new customers alike. People I've known for years learned about our new Saturday dinners from the ad, and even customers that frequent the restaurant mentioned seeing the ads and deciding to come in for dinner. We'll continue to use ads in the paper because they work. Sincerely, THE OLD MILL CAFE Jason Theobald, Co-Owner 287 Lawrence Street, Quincy, CA 283-0800 135 Main Street, Chester, CA 258-3115 Greenville, CA 258-3115  ..... , 1_ 100 Grand Ave., $usanvllle, CA 257-$321  We,twood PinePre LNITO[ | P.O. Box 790, Westwoed, CA 258-3115 133 W. Sierra (Hwy 70), Porlola, CA 832-4646