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Portola Reporter
Portola , California
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April 3, 2013     Portola Reporter
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April 3, 2013
 

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:i i:i :ill ...... Z,~ .... , i~ ~i, i:: i:~:i: iZ ~iii:iiii, ....... ~i , .... ::~Z !;:~ :~ Z.,.iZ.., ii:: la and Surrounding Areas Vol. 85, No. 49 Feather Publishing Co., Inc. 530-832-4646 , Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Carolyn Carter Staff Writer ccarter@plu masnews.com Last week Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa showed District I voters that no town was too small and no setting too informal to meet his constituents when he had lunch with a handful of community members in Graeagle. A native of Oroville, LaMalfa spent all last week touring his Northern California district, meeting with the public and discussing issues in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday he covered Plumas County in a whirlwind of meet and greets and whistle stops extending from Chester to Graeagle. In the wake of heavy criticism for a tea party meeting he attended in Redding, LaMalfa was very cordial and comfortable as he spoke to residents while eating one of Graeagle Restaurant's famous burgers. According to a report last week in the Redding Record Searchlight, the Redding Tea Party invited members of the media to attend a meeting March 25, but then ordered a media blackout during the question-and-answer portion of the meeting. Congressman Doug LaMalfa speaks to a group of Graeagle residents March 27 while having lunch at was doing a tour of his district during the House of Representatives' break from Washington, D.C., constituents all over District 1. Photo by Carolyn Carter LaMalfa was criticized for with the individuals present gun legislation and compared adhering to the blackout and about simple things such as the House of Representatives, not standing up to the tea the county, and the success trying to stand between issues party members in the name of Feather River College. at the Capitol, with the "300 of of the First Amendment. Then he addressed the Thermopylae," a group of However, LaMalfa showed group about what he as an Spartans who held offthe no caution to the media in elected official is striving to Persian army in 480 B.C. attendance while in do in the House of "As we stand up for things Graeagle. Representatives. He spoke on we're trying to do, like For the first portion of the the state of the budget and balancing the budget and lunch he conversed freely Medicare. He also addressed making government more Graeagle Restaurant. He and spent time with his accountable, we get a lot of criticism," LaMalfa said. "That's fine, we're good Spartans, but it is tough going." The lunch then filtered into a question-and-answer portion where the attendees asked about the post office closing on Saturdays, regulations on schools and holy to get more effective marketing strategies for the Republican Party. When asked about the tea party meeting in Redding, LaMalfa said he did not know until 10 minutes before the meeting that they would close the question-and- answer portion to the media. He also said it was the sixth time he attended a Redding Tea.Party meeting, and it is "interesting" every time. "I couldn't have imagined it would be such a big deal for people," said LaMalfa, "It was their meeting, I was their guest, and I respect the rules of my host." LaMalfa also expressed his appreciation for media representatives, saying he is always very open with them and believes he really needs to communicate with them. But, since he was asked to come to the meeting, he said he didn't feel it was appropriate to tell Redding Tea Party how to run it. He ended his tour of Plumas County by continuing on to Sierra Valley. "We always enjoy it here," he said. "I'm thrilled to have Plumas as a constituency, and I plan to be spending as much time as possible in this area." II Carolyn Carter At the City .Council paying back. Staff Writer meeting March 27, hospitalHayes and his team at ccarter@plumasnews.com CEO Tom Hayes updated the EPHC have been working council on the fight against toward finding a way to ease The Portola City Council Assembly Bill 97, a bill that the pain of these cuts by and Eastern Plumas Heath authorizes a 25 percent cut asking to be exempt from Care set up a united frontto MediCal reimbursements them, or for implementation against the impending and demands retroactive of a payment option over a MediCal cuts that are payments from 2011 that the course of 10 or 15 years. coming to the hospitaL hospital will have to start "It is a cash issue," Hayes Carolyn Carter Staff Writer ccarter@plumasnews.com The small-town tenacity commonly found in the city of Portola is raining down upon the Bank of America as locals continue to advocate for their closing bank branch. At the City Council meeting Wednesday, March 27, the council adopted a resolution to send letters to the corporate offices at Bank of America to oppose the closure of the Portola branch. The resolution stated that the city recognizes the relationship Bank of America has with the businesses and citizens in the area as an integral part of the economic health of the community. The resolution also states that the abandonment of the building will be a detriment to the citizens, businesses and efforts to revitalize Portola. Also, customers will not stand for the inconveniences of traveling 50 miles round trip for their daffy banking needs. ro subscribe-to the Reporter, call 530-832-4646 In the letter written to the discussed that it would be licensing manager of Bank of unlikely the bank halts the America in Washington, closure, but it would be D.C., Mayor John Larrieu important to at least express stated that he strongly their disapproval on the opposes the closure on behalf issue. of the city of Portola. "We should not go down "At a time when the without a fight," said economy is just beginning Councilmember Michelle to rebound, the loss of a ' Gault. national bank branch is According to a sure to delay the effects of spokesperson for Bank of economic recovery in America, there is not enough Eastern Plumas County business for the bank to and the City of Portola," he remain open in the area. wrote. "On behalf of the : However, there has been City of Portola, I strongly an extensive display of recommend you reconsider disapproval by the public the closure of the Feather on the closure. So far the River Branch, Bank of bank branch will still be America." closing permanently Members of the council June 28 at 2 p.m. Log shortage curtails operations at Quincy mill Sierra Pacific Industries would temporarily sideline announced last week that it about 25 workers. He said plans to shut down one of its the company 'expects to run Quincy sawmills for about out of large logs Friday. two weeks, beginning "It is not unusual for this Friday, April 5. to happen this time of year," Sierra Pacific spokesman Pawlicki said. "We run into Mark Pawlicki said the this (wet condition) just short-term curtailment is about every spring." due to wet weather and not He said Quincy's small- market conditions, log mill would not be "It's just too wet in the impacted and would remain forest," Pawlicki said. "We operating. He added that are unable to bring logs into the two-week closure is an the mill until forest estimate, it depends on conditions improve." the weather: Pawlicki said the "We will resume shutdown would affect the production as soon as the large-log sawmill only and weather improves," he said. said. "How quickly they want to collect the cash will determine how long we can stay open." Hayes spoke to the council about the possibility of having to severely limit the hospital's services. That included the threat the cuts pose to the skilled nursing facility and how the elderly living at EPHC's facility are at risk. Hayes explained that the Department of Health Care Services conducted an analysis before the cuts were passed. He said that the department wanted to make sure if the cuts went through each county would still have adequate access to care. However, the analysis only grouped the counties by two categories, urban or rural, resulting in Plumas County being matched up with rural counties a.s far away as Ventura County. The Department ofHealth Care Services concluded that the similarities of the two counties make Ventura County, or a rural county like it, an acceptable place for the patients to go if the skilled nursing facility at EPHC is closed. However, Hayes said the hospital has called more than 16 facilities that claim to have open beds. He said of the i6 facilities that stretch all the way down to Sacramento, only five beds were available. He also discussed the unlikely possibility of hospitals or free-standing nursing facilitiesaccepting the patients from EPHC. "They're going to take easy patients that don't take a lot of work," he said. "We always take higher care patients because we have rehab physical therapy and occupational therapy. That's the whole point of distinct-care nursing facilities. We are providing a higher level 0f skilled nursing care. They're not going to want to take our patients." When a member of the public asked what would happen to the patients if the distinct-part skilled nursing facility closes at EPHC, Hayes replied, "Ask the governor that question." Hayes has contacted 15 legislators and he said he is pleased he is starting to see a response from them. "A month ago I was really disheartened, but now I'm a little bit more encouraged," he said. Council Member Phil Oels asked Hayes what the community could do to help the hospital and he suggested the community continue to write letters to everyone involved: legislators, the governor and the Department of Health and Humans Services. He also asked that the public continue to use the Scott takes first! The smile says it all! Ryan Scott, of Portola High School, wins the high school division of Business Wars with his presentation for his consulting business, Tau. Scott's proposal to 'work with rural electric companies to obtain funding for energy- producing turbines and create jobs installing and maintaining the turbines impressed the judges to the tune of first place and $500! Dr. Kevin Trutna, president of Feather River College,. presented the awards. Photo submitted 1