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IN THE NEWS
August 30, 2016
Masons Donate Back Packs
by Alex Colvin
On Wednesday morning July 23, Master Mason Larry Hawthorne and
Senior Warden Jim Crockett from the Fort Crook Masonic Lodge
gave new backpacks filled with school supplies to 93 children at
Fall River and Burney elementary schools.
Each backpack contained a ruler, notebook paper, pencils,
crayons, and erasers. The school supplies were donated by Patty
Williams, owner of Intermountain Floors and past Honorary Mayor
Hawthorne and Crockett handed out 40 backpacks in Fall River
Mills and 53 in Burney. This is the 15th year that Fort Crook
Lodge 250 has done this program. The Lodge gives backpacks to
all second-grade students from Burney to Alturas.
Lodge secretary Bob Boyce said that 3 years ago when much of
Weed was destroyed by fire, the young students in Alturas asked
that their packs be donated to the children in Weed.
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Power Plant Fate Still in Limbo Friday
By Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
BURNEY — The fate of Burney Forest
Power and of Shasta Green were being kept secret as of last
State Assemblyman Brian Dahle’s
office said that the Assemblyman was not in a position to make
any statement as to progress in negotiations at that time.
Dianne Franklin, CEO Shasta Green
and Franklin- Trucking and Franklin Logging says the power plant
hasn’t been keeping her informed but she hopes their
negotiations with PG&E are going well.
Paul Moreno, Public Affairs officer
for PG&E gave a history of the situation.
He says the utility and Burney
Forest Power had entered into a 30 year agreement in 1990
regarding what PG&E would pay for power from Burney Forest
Power. The agreement is set to totally expire in 2020.
A price amendment was negotiated
that gave Burney Forest Power a couple of options they could
Last year, Burney Forest Power
exercised one of those options giving them the rate they needed
at that time. That option expired yesterday (Monday).
Rumor Mill is Wrong
Facebook posts and the rumor mill in
Burney immediately started, insinuating that Perry Thompson was
capitalizing on Burney Forest Power’s problems for his own gain
and that he had enlisted the help of his aunt, the Shasta County
Supervisor for the area.
Supervisor Pam Giacomini says she
was not contacted. However it is not uncommon for applicants
seeking approval of projects going before the Planning
Commission to contact their supervisor to make them aware of the
project so if it has to go before the board of supervisors, the
supervisor in question is familiar with it.
The fact is that the Shasta County
Planning Department ran a legal notice advertising the request
for a use permit, soliciting comments and setting a public
hearing for August 11 in the Mountain Echo. That notice ran in
the paper’s legal section of the July 12, 2016 issue. Mountain
Echoalso was the first to break the story of Burney Forest
Product’s problems in the August 2, 2016 issue. 20 days after
the Planning Department announced Thompson’s request and an
unknown amount of time forming its limited liability
corporation, researching such a project’s feasibility, potential
location, cost and preparing the documentation required before
its staff review and posting to go before the commission.
The law, SB1122, has different
requirements and rules than the law Burney Forest Power operates
In comparing the projects, Burney
Forest Power’s facility produces 30 Megawatts of Power, while
TLT Enterprises, LLC requested the okay for a facility that will
produce 3 Megawatts of Power. Burney Forest Power’s facility
generates ten times the amount TLT requested.
Borney Forest Power generates power
to sell PG&E in a quantity that makes sense for a large
commercial operation. Thompson’s request is more in line with
supplying the various enterprises at his site with power. They
are two entirely different types of projects.
Lakey Testifies at Hearing
SACRAMENTO — Mayers Memorial
Hospital District (MMHD) was represented at the first oversight
hearing of the Little Hoover Commission pertaining to Special
Districts. The Commission met for the first hearing August 25th
at the State Capitol in Sacramento. MMHD’s Director of Public
Relations, Valerie Lakey was asked by The Association of
California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) to present several
talking points related to Healthcare Districts. Lakey
representing MMHD and Ramona Faith representing Petaluma
Healthcare District were the only speakers representing
ACHD’s Senior Legislative Advocate
Amber King provided oral testimony and responded to Commission
questions on behalf of the Association and the healthcare
districts ACHD represents. Other presenters included
representatives from the California Special Districts
Association, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District, the
California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions,
CaliforniaCityFinance. com, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers
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Crowd Had Many Questions
by Alex Colvin
The Fall River Lions Club’s facility was packed for last
Wednesday’s meeting on why Mayers Memorial Hospital ended its
Mayers CEO Louis Ward said the decision to end OB services was a
management decision fully supported by the Board. It was not a
decision arrived at quickly or easily.
The California Department of Healthcare Services mandates all
California Hospitals that provide obstetrical service do so 24
hour a day, 7-days a week, 365 days a year active service. Such
service requires a doctor on call, nurses trained in OB
delivery, and anesthetics.
The hospital has struggled for years to adequately meet these
requirements. It has become increasingly difficult to recruit
experienced trained OB nurses largely due to the fact that
Mayers delivers the least number of babies of any hospital in
the state of California. Last year the OB department only
delivered 54 babies.
It was pointed out that no one nurse could be on duty 24/7, so
to fully staff the facility each nurse wouldonly deliver a small
number of babies each year. The management at Mayers has tried
many strategies to recruit experienced OB nurses. They have
offered above market-rate pay and financial incentives, but
still have been unable to due so. It has also been difficult to
recruit OB/GYNs & Family Practice Physicians.
Complete Story Subscribe
Program Closure and Computer Glitch Among the
Items Discussed by Mayers Board
By Walt Caldwell
Mountain Echo editor
Regarding the closure of the
Obstetrics’ program announced in July, the subject of a public
meeting (see above), prompted a response from Board Chairman Abe
Hathaway who summed up the situation saying, “This decision is
based on liability and staffing, there is not a financial piece.
As a board we are concerned about patient safety, quality and
care and being able to provide the service we advertise. The
Board has made this decision based on keeping the hospital
viable. We are in a liability disadvantage. We cannot advertise
something we cannot provide. The board has the best interest of
the whole community at heart.”
Staff explained the lack of
financial statements explaining that the district had been
exposed to a major computer problem that lasted several days
during the period normally covered by the current financial
statements. The computers were back up and running, and an
additional backup system that will allow data transfer between
the Fall River and Burney locations in the case of future
problems is now in place but the transactions normally entered
into the system by computers had been done by hand and as of the
date of the board meeting, had not been completely entered into
the computers so they weren’t available to the board.
A daughter of an elderly resident in
Mayers’ Long-Term Care told the board that her elderly mother
had been callously mishandled by a member of the Mayers staff
and in the process the lady had received a severe cut on her
leg. Additionally the staff member had ignored the situation and
was seen on a surveillance camera texting someone while not
paying attention to her elderly charge or her injury. The
daughter said she had filed a complaint with the State.
In an interview after the meeting,
Mayers Director of Nursing Sherry Wilson said Mayers was well
aware of the incident. She said she didn’t know if the family
had filed a complaint with the State, but that the minute Mayers
became aware of the situation they had, as was normal operating
procedure, reported the incident to the state.
Wilson said that after reviewing the
tape, the hospital’s understanding of what had transpired was a
little different than the family’s. They did a thorough
investigation and taken the appropriate disciplinary action.
She said the State investigation,
including a review of the security tape, had resulted in the
State determining that it was an accident. However, the hospital
was cited for a deficiency.
Wilson said the employee involved
had been reprimanded and received additional training.