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Portola Reporter
Portola , California
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January 28, 2009     Portola Reporter
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January 28, 2009
 

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"~" ............. " ....... : rving Portola and Surrounding Areas Vol. 81, No. 39 * Feather Publishing Co., Inc.. 530-832-4646 Wednesday, Jan, 28, 2009 50 Change 'to TOT approved Diana Jorgenson Portola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews.com Portola's city council held its final public hearing Jan. 14 on the proposal to revise the Transient Occupancy Tax codes to apply to the occupant of the room rather than the person who rented the room. The code currently allows renters for over 30 days' occu- pancy an exemption from paying TOT. The revised code wotild tax transients who stay in a contracted room for shorter periods. -~Mark Rode, representing Sierra Motel, appeared before the council a second time to plead his case. The motel currently has 10 rooms con- U'acted to Union Pacific for its employees' use. In the past, since the rooms are contracted annually, Union Pacific has not paid TOT to the city on these rooms. The changes would re- quire the operator to monitor the stay of the occupants in the room and charge TOT to any individual staying less than 30 days. Rode informed the council the contracted rooms were Halls of justice Here comes 'da judgel A couPle of them, in fact, from two different counties -- but not until August. The state's first joint county courthouse, housing Plumas and Sierra county courts, seems to be on schedule and has thus far escaped any hold on its funding. Photo by Diana Jorgenson not the only rooms used by Union Pacific employees and that UP did pay TOT on rooms they used in addition to the contracted rooms. Contracted rooms, he in- formed them, Were only for conductors and engineers. He reported UP pays about 15 percent of the TOT he collects. Portola currently only has one motel and one bed and breakfast inside the city lim. its, a situation the city feels limits growth in tourism. In a report prepared by Sierra Motel and presented to the council, owner William Rode wrote, "The Sierra Mo- tel owners are aware of times when more rooms could be rented, but there are not enough of those days that the demand exceeds the supply of available rooms for rent." Rode said the motel was adding five rooms to address that issue. He pointed out it See TOT, page 7A OHV plan proposes new routes Joshua Sebold . She announced the current including roads and trails cross-country off-road usage Staff Writer, ,- ~ draft incltule2.,an additim~l that were dead-end spurs, wasbanned. jsebold@plumasnews.com 367 miles of new routes on top some went through private She said cross-country us- of the more than 4,000 miles property, and some were cre- age would likely continue to Plumas National Forest already open for motorized ating drastic environmental be banned in thenationalfor- Supervisor Alice Carlton ap- access, impacts, est system. peared before the Board of She said'that she wanted She emphasized all of these Backup material in the Supervisors Tuesday, Jan. 13, the board and county citizens routes were originally unau- board's informational packet to update them on the recent- to know she supports open thorized by the Forest Service mentioned that one 36-acre ly released draft environmen, access to the forest but thinks and were either old trails that plot would be exempted, tal impact statement related a sustainable usage plan weren't well defined or new allowing cross-country use in to off-highway vehicle usage, needs to be in place, trails made by non-Forest what would appear to be a She told the board this The forest supervisor said Service off-roaders, sort of"off-roadingpark." draft was opened for corn- some additional routes could Forest Service Transporta- She added that hundreds or ment in late December, easilybe made sustainable in tion Engineer Pete Hochrein, thousands of changes had which she admitted was bad the near future, while others who was heading the project, been made at this point in re- timing when it came to the would take more long-term said five different alterna- sponse to public comment. public's seasonal attention work. rives were created. The cur- Olsen, commenting on the span. She said that 1,000 addi- rent draR provided the most fact that 400 out ofl,000 possi- Carlton acknowledged the tional miles of trails, includ- usage to off-roaders, ble miles were added, said a county's request for a 45-day ing the 367 approved, were Supervisor O1e Olsen asked lot of the public wonders extension on the comment initially under review for how many public requests what good it is to give a sug- period and noted many other inclusion, were granted. Carlton said gestion if it isn't adopted. He counties had requested simi- She explained those not there have been over 20 pub- said members of the public lar provisions, as this was included in the list were licmeetings since the process part ofa nationwide project, rejected for many reasons, started in 2005, when all See OHV, page 7A Portola Fire Department keeps growing Portola Fire Chief Bob Stone was pleased with the generous gift of a Life Pack 10 Heat Monitor-Defibrillator from Burney Fire Department in Shasta County. This model requires a para- medic to monitor the readings, but the department has another automatic defibrillator that can be utilized by other firefighters, The automatic external defibrillator recently saved the life of a patient with neither breath nor pulse. Stone reported the petlent is recovering and glad to be alive. Photo by Diana Jorgenson Diana Jorgenson P0rtola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews.com As of March 1, :the Portola Fire Department will be Ad- vance Life Support certified through the Northern Cali- fornia Emergency Medical Services Agency and offer ad- vanced life support services, joining Graeagle Volunteer Fire Department and Beck- wourth Volunteer Depart- ment in this designation. "Our department has stepped up to the next level of medical response. We can provide skills at the Para- medic and EMT II level, which includes advanced air- ways, administration of drugs, use of cardiac monitor and defibrillator. It;s another level of service in the chang- ing ticn~s that we're in," Fire Chief Bob Stone announced a few days after city council approvals Jan. 14. "The only thing we can't do is transport patients," he added. "While it adds an- other level of protection, it doesn't replace the ambu- lance. We are there to assist with advanced life support skills." Eastern Plumas Health Care isthe department's as- signed base hospital. In Stone's report tothe city council, he said EPHC had had two ambulance crews in Portola, but "due to cut-backs and the acquisition of the Loyalton ambulance, the sec- ond ambulance crew in Por- tola was eliminated. During any Portola ambulance call, the crew from Loyalton am- bulance is staged mid-valley for any possible medical emergency here in Portola or the rest of the east county. At any given time, both ambu- lances could be in service with the closest ambulance responding from Quincy, Truckee or Reno." "Entering into an agree- ment with the NorCal EMS to provide Advanced Life Sup- port Non-Transport would al- low the qualified members of this department to provide advanced care until an ambu- lance arrived, should that ambulance be delayed," said Stone. NorCal is the regulatory agency under contract to Plumas County to regulate and oversee all aspects of emergency medical care as defined by Title XXII and the Health and Safety Code. The changing times Chief Stone referred to are the growing number of medi: cal calls that summon the See Grow, page 8A Library launches book clubs Diana Jorgenson Portola Editor djorgenson@plumasnews.com Portola Library is now offering a number of book clubs for the benefit of winter readers and book lovers, adults or teens. The free adult and teen book-club-in-a-box discussion programs are provided by the California Center for the Book. The library is not only looking for interested readers to join a book club, but also for discussion leaders as well. Each group is outfitted with enough books and book- marks for each of the book club members. Discussion leaders will also receive a list of discussion question, sup- plemental activity ideas and a list of recommended films. There are four programs: "Mysterious California/' a film screening and book dis- cussion program featuring four California authors and four California locales; "Women of Mystery,!' also a film screening and bqok dis- cussion program about three writers "who forever changed detective fiction; .... Caught in the Crossfire: Young People and War" and "Comix#$@!" -- a graphic novel discussion program. Some of the programs have accompanying DVDs for the program that highliglit either the topic or the authors. Mysterious California fea- tures "Southland" by Nina Revoyr, "The Art of Detec- tion" by Laurie R. King, "Shell Games" by Kirk Rus- sell and "Sharpshooter" by Nadia Gordon. The Women of Mystery program features "S is for Silence" by Sue Grafton, "Vanishing Point" by Marcia Muller and "Fire Sale" by Sara Paretsky. The Comix.@$#! series fea- tures comics and graphic novels for teens. Each week, the group will explore a dif- ferent area. One week is called Beyond the Screen (ranging from Astro Boy to See Book, page 8A