|Published every Tuesday Phone/Fax (530) 336-6262 P. O. Box 224, Fall River Mills, CA 96028|
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
President Abraham Lincoln
To say my mind isn’t focused on writing a column would be an understatement. We just had four days with our son and his wife from Nebraska; four days that went entirely too fast. They flew into Reno last Wednesday and left today. The trip home was in a vehicle loaded down with “treasures and stuff” that needed to go from our house to his. So now, as you can guess, my mind is on them and the 23 hours that lay ahead.
It was a great visit. We packed in as much as we could, all while trying to give them the time they needed to just relax. The great news that came out of the trip was that they would be back for Christmas, which is a great thing for this mom! (It would have been the 3rd Christmas without them).
Leslie, Nick’s wife, isn’t a big fan of flying so I am anxious to see how she feels about the 23-hour drive across the country. There is not a lot of scenery through Nevada and Utah. I guess it will make for good conversation time. We have driven the distance to Nebraska once when we took Nick to college. That was the ONLY time. I for one, would rather spend 4 hours on a plane.
So by the time this issue of the Mountain Echo is published, they should be close to their home in Hermann, Nebraska and I should be a lot more focused.
Here we are at the end of August and school is back in session. Fall sports are here, youth soccer is underway and the Inter-Mountain Fair is just around the corner. I would like to wish all of the students a great year with much fun and success. Parents, enjoy each second, it goes way too fast. We have already been out of the school system for three years. It’s hard to believe our daughter is now a senior in college.
One thing I realized over the last four days was this community provides some amazing memories for each of us. It is nice to have a place like this to come home to visit. Reminiscing about old times, the days when the kids were small and all of the fun memories were definitely a highlight of the weekend.
Here’s to a great school year and memories to be made; great time that the current students can “come home” to talk about.
I wrote a spirited editorial last week leaning on people with trashy yards.
I don’t apologize for it.
However, One of those I took on was a vacant lot on Second Street in Fall River Mills. It was and is pretty bad at the moment. The property owner who has only had the property for a few months dropped by the office and explained.
The place had been a rental before he bought it. Whoever was renting it allegedly totally trashed the residence and when leaving left the trash almost knee deep inside.
He says the pile of trash, which doesn’t have any garbage or other decaying matter in it is the junk he removed from the house and that he will haul it all away once he finishes getting trash and the construction debris out.
In the meantime he said he is buying tarps and will cover it.
It is only right to let folks know that he isn’t some slob who doesn’t care and that he is doing his best to improve his property and wants to be a good neighbor.
On another subject...
Mayers Memorial CEO Matt Rees and the hospital district’s board of directors quietly parted ways late last week.
I’ve watched the hospital, its boards and CEO’s operate for the past 34 or so of my 38 years of reporting. I have also watched them come and go and as far as I’m concerned Matt was one of the best ones.
I’m glad he was here, sorry to see him go and wish him the best in the future.
Mayers has gone through one of the roughest periods in its history in the past five years.
The state has made impossible demands like forcing the hospital, already having a hard time financially, to rebuild to new standards without providing the money to do so.
The State, Feds and major insurance companies have demanded that the hospital serve people, claim they are paying for those services and yet dragging their feet in paying and only paying portions of their treatment.
Doctors are being pirated by large urban hospitals and becoming scarce in rural areas.
In the early days the hospital attracted doctors, wooed them, supplied them with offices and other perks. Now that is against the law.
It used to be that rural hospitals handled their major emergency patients because the only way to a trauma center was by ground ambulance. Now they are flown to those trauma centers often without ever seeing the Mayers Emergency room.
It takes a special person, a qualified person, to come into an established rural community and as an outsider make necessary changes, modernize, meet the challenges, and keep everyone happy while going forward.
Matt was lucky and unlucky at the same time. He was sharp, experienced and energetic. He had a good board to work with. He had an excellent staff and continued to develop and recruit that staff. He had a good, caring community.
Over the past five years Mountain Echo has recorded the changes, the improvements, and the accomplishments.
Matt set the atmosphere for improvement and moving forward.
He did a lot of work in the healthcare field that benefited Mayers.
At the same time he hired and set the stage for people like Val Lakey who lobbied and worked so hard to get the state to make changes. He hired and set the stage for Caleb and Louis to not only put major systems in place to modernize the hospital, but to make policy and directional changes that help the hospital survive. Marlene has done a marvelous job raising funds for a number of things including the pending construction. He helped the Chief Financial Officer and others, all the while doing things that increased morale of employees throughout the hospital.
As far as I’m concerned Matt was a good CEO and I’ll miss him.