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To you and your family

Happy

Meet your neighbor See page 9 November 28, 2013 • volume 111, No. 48

B ulletin B oard BAZAARS Is your non-profit organization or church having a Holiday or Christmas Bazaar? Have your information included in the Bulletin Board. Send your information to editor@ lakechelanmirror.com,

Christmas Bazaar The annual Brewster Grange Christmas Bazaar will be December 6 & 7, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall. Lunch will be available on the premises. For more information call Marge Hagy 689-2748.

BREWSTER Thanksgiving Dinner American Legion Post 97 in Brewster will be hosting a Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day, at 1 p.m. at the Legion Hall. The meal is free, but any donations to help cover the cost of the food is much appreciated.

Thanksgiving Day Service Hope Lutheran Church will be having a Thanksgiving Day Worship Service, on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m. They invite everyone to come and sing praise and thanks to God with them this Thanksgiving. The church is located at 1520 Sunset Drive, 1/2 mile west of Brewster High School. For more information 689-3106.

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Large crowd shows for Brewster hospital board meeting By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor Nearly 50 were in attendance at this past Tuesday’s Three Rivers Hospital regularly scheduled board meeting. Attendees included hospital employees and area residents, all waiting to hear the fate of their careers and their community hospital. After months of discussion on how to remedy the hospital’s financial woes, board directors focused a majority of Tuesday’s meeting to hearing suggestions on the hospital’s next steps. Hospital CEO Bud Hufnagel was called upon to bring options to the board for consideration on how to remedy the issues. Hufnagel’s presentation began with a background on the hospital’s condition. “As a practical matter, this hospital has been bankrupt since 1998,” Hufnagel said. “We have been fully bankrupt since 2000. “We have been in to warrants with the county full time, and it’s been a growing number over the years. “The net of it is, we, as an organization, have not been able to sustain itself from its own operations since at least 2000,” Hufnagel added.

“When we started into this adventure a couple of years ago, the intent was to find a way to turn around what we had going on at the hospital, so that we could get to the point where we could be sustainable again. Since 2000, says Hufnagel, Three Rivers Hospital has experienced declining volumes, declining revenue from operations, shifting demographics and loss of physicians. Intended as a short-term fix, the hospital began relying on county warrants to fund operations. Nearly 13 years later, the hospital is still in debt to the county. The number has fluctuated from $1.9 million to $3.2 million, and currently, the hospital is sitting on $2.2 million in debt to Okanogan County. Hufnagel says hospital administrators have been trying for the past few years to figure out the issue, complete with changes to the hospital’s programs, staff and other avenues. “At the end of the day, where we have ended up is that the key thing (is that) we have continued to lose physicians out of the community for several years.” Hufnagel says one of the largest reasons physicians leave the local area is due to the way in which they get paid or reimbursed.

“Because it wasn’t worth the battle with the government to get paid for all of the effort they’ve put in,” Hufnagel said. Hospital administration had begun to replace lost physicians by participating in a joint recruiting program with Confluence Health and Family Health Centers in February of this year. “So far this year only one physician recruitment has been successful and we remain below the necessary level needed to support the hospital district,” Hufnagel added. “The real crux of the issue is that we don’t have enough doctors here. We don’t have enough physicians to do what we need to do. It’s just as straightforward as that.” As a domino factor, benchmarks have also declined over the past few years. Hufnagel said admissions to the hospital is down by 23 percent OB deliveries are down 36 percent, length of stay at the hospital is down by 16 percent, in-patient revenue is down 37 percent, outpatient revenue is down 13 percent, surgical revenue is down 28 percent and total patient days are down by 37 percent. “In response to general declines, we have initiated affiliation discussions in March

Brewster couple says hello to retirement

‘Pearl Harbor Remembrance’ The American Legion in Brewster will be having a F l a g C e r e m o ny o n Saturday, Dec. 7. They will be holding the “Pearl Harbor Remembrance” Ceremony at 11 a.m. (8 a.m. Pearl) with the Flag B u r n i n g Ce r e m o ny t o follow at Noon.

HOSTS mentors needed Brewster Elementary School is in need of HOSTS mentors. HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) is a program that pairs community members with students grades 1st – 6th who need help reading. Just 45 minutes once a week is all it takes to change a child’s life. For more information please call 689-2581, ext. 631.

S.O.S. Bible Club

S.O.S. Bible Club has begun at the Community Log Church. All area kids, kindergarten through sixth grades, are invited to attend. S.O.S. is held on Wednesdays through the school year from 3:155 p.m. Snacks are served at 3 p.m. S.O.S. is a time of games, music and Bible lessons.

Quad photo by Amber Schlenker

Two weeks ago, friends and family of Bob and Regena Fateley celebrated a life-long career at the Triangle Exxon in Brewster. The couple said their goodbyes to the business they owned for more than 40 years, while remembering the good times they’ve made along the way. The couple says they’ll miss the customers and employees the most. Now that they are retired, the two plan on taking summer trips, fishing more and spending even more time with their family.

2012 with regional providers,” Hufnagel said. In addition to the financial woes of the hospital, they are also facing challenges from state and federal mandates, funding and reimbursement options, too. “The federal government wants to eliminate cost-based reimbursement to critical access hospitals: That by itself will put all of us out of business. Just that one thing, all by itself, will do us all in.” “The federal government in the rules of what we get paid, they have continued the 2 percent reduction that came with the sequester, 2 percent of what we should be getting paid, just because they can.” With all of the setbacks and challenges faced by Three Rivers Hospital, Hufnagel began offering suggestions to hospital board directors, on how to eliminate expenses. The first option would take the hospital’s 104 full time equivalent, employees, down to nearly 82. That option suggests eliminating services at the hospital, which include; labor and delivery, cardiopulmonary rehab, HealthBeat Fitness, Advantage DME and total joint replacement surgaries. Option A also suggests modifying re-

School & Menus .................................... 3 Letters .................................................... 4 Opinion .................................................. 4

NCWBusiness.com

Sheriff & Obituaries ................................ 5 Schools .................................................. 9 School .....................................................9

spiratory therapy to operate only Monday through Friday; revising the emergency room from a trauma level 4 facility, to a level 5; and only opening the surgery suite Monday through Friday, eliminating emergent and after-hour procedures. This option would still leave the hospital about $224,225 to cover annually. Option B is almost identical to “A” with the exception of keeping Labor and Delivery services at the hospital. That option would leave the hospital See Hospital on Page 3

New hope for local mental health services By Bill Forhan In March, the state legislature appropriated $5 million for the development of three mental health evaluation and treatment facilities one of which is to be located in Eastern Washington. In July, the Chelan-Douglas Regional Support Network submitted a proposal to the Department of Social and Health Services requesting $1.7 million be dedicated to the completion of the Parkside project. That level of funding appears to be sufficient to complete the project and add 16 beds to the current statewide inventory. No decision has been made but the program does hold some promise of relief for the CDRSN. According to the architect Lenka Slapnicka the projects current estimate to complete Parkside is $1.4 million plus $370,000 for carpeting and furniture. To date the project has cost $3.6 million and has exhausted the financial resources of CDRSN leaving them unable to pay for their current operating needs including obligations to the state of $686,000. An email from Chelan County Commissioner Doug England in May laid out the steps that needed to be agreed upon before deciding if the CDRSN needed to be kept operational. England said; 1) The governance must be changed to something that allows control to be shared equally between Chelan and Douglas Counties; 2) The issue of debt to both Douglas County and the RSN cash reserves created by Parkside must be addressed in a way that does not hinder the new group; 3) Ongoing Supplemental funding by the State [must be secured]; 4) The bed allocation deficiency be settled to our satisfaction with the State; 5) The provider’s contracts be cor-

Continued on Page 2 Index Bulletin Board ..................................... 1-2 News/Community ............................... 2-3

Bud Hufnagel

Health & Beauty ..................................... 3 Church Directory .................................... 5 Businesses & Service ............................. 9

rected to address over utilization responsibilities. The Governing Board has been reorganized with 2 commissioners from each county and an at large representative. The two Douglas County commissioners will be Ken Stanton and Dale Snyder. Ron Walter and Doug England will represent Chelan County and the at large member will be Dr. Peter Rutherford, CEO of Confluence Health. Walter will serve as the Chairman of the newly constituted board. No plan for resolving the debt to Douglas County or the RSN cash reserves has yet been established. The state has formulated a plan for forgiving the $686,000 owed to the state, but much of the rest of England’s conditions are still in question. The good news is that the state has recently announced it has awarded $1.3 million to the CDRSN to improve intensive mental health services with local programs. What is unclear as of this writing is exactly how those funds can be used. It appears that the program is part of a new statewide effort to improve mental health care. How that money can be used to address the CDRSN’s current financial problems is unknown. The CDRSN has completed its review of all providers through its RFQ (Request for Qualifications) process and awarded new contracts for 2014. It recently announced that Catholic Family & Child Services would be the main provider of mental health adult crisis and outpatient services beginning Jan. 1, 2014. What that means exactly is still being negotiated. According to John Young, President and CEO of Catholic Charities in Yakima, the contract is still being negotiSee new HoPe, Page 2

Classified Index Classifieds/Public Notices .................. 6-8 Puzzles ................................................... 6


November 28, 2013 • Quad citY HeraLd

3

Schools & Community

Brewster gets jump on Christmas

On the menu Bridgeport Elementary Nov. 29- No school

Brewster Secondary Nov. 29- No school

Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Breakfast: Biscuit and sausage, Breakfast: French toast, yogurt yogurt Lunch: Meatball marinara sub with Lunch: Whole grain corn dog, green mozzarella cheese on wheat, beans, perfect peaches, baked steamed carrot beans Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Breakfast: Breakfast burrito, string Breakfast: Maple bar, string cheese cheese Lunch: Whole grain bean and cheese Lunch: Enchilada burrito, Tex mex burrito, salsa, broccoli florets, juicy coleslaw, peas orange Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Breakfast: Breakfast pizza, yogurt Breakfast: Breakfast burrito, yogurt Lunch: Pizza slice, golden corn, sweet Lunch: Breaded chicken nuggets, garlic bread stick, Jell-o strawberries, dark green salad Dec. 5 Breakfast: Pancake on a stick, yogurt Lunch: Hamburger on wheat bun, baked potato wedges, yellow banana, crunchy baby carrots Dec. 6 Breakfast: Breakfast pizza, yogurt Lunch: Breaded chicken nuggets, green petite peas, crisp carrots, Washington grown apple

Bridgeport Secondary

Dec. 5 Breakfast: Pancakes, String cheese Lunch: Specialty pizza slice, winter squash

Dec. 6 Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit topping, yogurt Lunch: Toasted cheese on wheat, tri tater patty

Brewster Elementary Nov. 29- No School

Dec. 2 Breakfast: French Toast slices, YoDec. 2 gurt Breakfast: Biscuit and sausage, Lunch: Whole grain bean and cheese yogurt burrito, steamed baby carrots, fruit Lunch: Whole grain corn dog, green and veggie bar beans Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Breakfast: Breakfast wrap, string Breakfast: Maple bar, string cheese cheese Lunch: Chicken crispito, string Lunch: Enchilada, Tex mex coleslaw, cheese garden peas, fruit and veggie bar Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Breakfast: Breakfast burrito, yogurt Lunch: Spicy chicken burger, golden Breakfast: Breakfast pizza Lunch: Breaded chicken nuggets, corn oven fries, jell-o Dec. 5 Breakfast: Pancake on a stick, string Dec. 5 Breakfast: Pancake, String cheese cheese Lunch: Bacon cheeseburger on Lunch: Cheese pizza slice, winter squash, fruit and veggie bar wheat, baked potato wedges Nov. 29- No school

Quad photos by Amber Schlenker

Sharry Farrington of Brewster hands homemade goods to a customer at the annual bazaar at the Brewster Legion earlier this month. At right, the room was filled with various handmade goods for locals to begin getting into the holiday spirit.

Hospital: Large crowd at hospital meeting Continued from Page 1

needing to recoup $309,316 annually. “It’s ok, we can do that, but the community is going to have to decide how they are going to support the hospital,” Hufnagel added. The presentation was halted to allow the numerous folks in attendance to speak, as some needed to get back to work. Many pleaded with the directors to not cut their specific programs or services. A resounding “no,” was heard, however, on behalf of the labor and deliveries services at the hospital. “It’s clear the community doesn’t want us to do away with (labor and deliveries),” Board

chairman Dan Webster said. “We want you to know, we’ve heard you.” The other options included focusing the hospital’s efforts on emergency services and an outpatient clinic, shutting the hospital down completely and delaying the board’s decision. Three Rivers Hospital board directors weren’t able to make a decision, just yet, but have decided to revisit the issue at the Dec. 16 meeting. More detailed information on the meeting, and efforts being made by the hospital to remedy the financial crisis, can be read in next week’s Quad City Herald.

Dec. 6 Breakfast: Breakfast pizza, yogurt Lunch: Breaded chicken nuggets, garlic bread stick

Dec. 6 B r e a k f a s t : O a t m e a l , Yo g u r t Lunch: Hamburger on whole wheat bun, Tri tater patty, chilled fruit cup, fruit and veggie bar

HEALTH CARE Family Health Centers

Centros de Salud Familiar

MEDICAL

716 First Ave. S., Okanogan 509-422-5700 106 S. Whitcomb, Tonasket 509-486-0114 525 W. Jay, Brewster 509-689-3455

DENTAL

1321 Main St., Oroville 509-476-4400 626 Second Ave. S., Okanogan 509-422-6705 101 6th, Brewster 509-689-3789 Toll Free: 800-660-2129

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I’m thankful for...See pages 9-10 December 5, 2013 • Volume 111, No. 49

B ulletin B oard Christmas Services, Special Events Is your church having special events, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Services this month? Have your information included in the Bulletin Board. Send your information to editor@lakechelanmirror. com,

Christmas play and sing along Students of Brewster Adventist Christian School will be performing “An Angel’s Christmas Carol” an adaptation of Charles Dickens Christmas Carol, on Thursday, Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m. The evening also includes a Community Sing Along with refreshments. Everyone is invited.

Christmas CarolSing and Bonfire Hope Lutheran Church will have their annual Christmas Carol-Sing and Bonfire on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. The church is located at 1520 Sunset Drive in Brewster. From 7th Avenue, turn West at Brewster High School. Driveway is on the right, approximately 1/2 Mile

Christmas Eve Services Hope Lutheran Church wishes you joy in your celebration of Christ this Christmas. Join them for their Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service on Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m.

BAZAARS Is your non-profit organization or church having a Holiday or Christmas Bazaar? Have your information included in the Bulletin Board. Send your information to editor@lakechelanmirror.com,

Christmas Bazaar Th e a n n u a l B r ewst e r Grange Christmas Bazaar will be December 6 & 7, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall. Lunch will be available on the premises. For more information call Marge Hagy 689-2748.

BREWSTER ‘Parade of Boats’ A “Parade of Boats” is being planned for Saturday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. Boat owners are invited to dress up their boats with Christmas lights and cruise around Brewster Bay. Boats will launch from Cove Park in Brewster. Anyone interested can George Pearson at 509-686-1022.

‘Pearl Harbor Remembrance’ The American Legion in Brewster will be having a Flag Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7. They will be holding the “Pearl Harbor Remembrance” Ceremony at 11 a.m. (8 a.m. Pearl) with the Flag Burning Ceremony to follow at Noon.

HOSTS mentors needed B r ewst e r E l e m e n t a r y School is in need of HOSTS mentors. HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) is a program that pairs community members with students grades 1st – 6th who need help reading. Just 45 minutes once a week is all it takes to change a child’s life. For more information please call 6892581, ext. 631. Continued on Page 2

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Pateros volleyball squad makes history with WIAA award By Matt Baide Staff Writer The WIAA made a special appearance at Pateros High School last Tuesday with a special presentation. WIAA Assistant Executive Director Cindy Adsit spoke at the assembly to Pateros students and staff at the assembly. She congratulated the volleyball team on its fifth place State finish. She said that the officials talked about a tournament sportsmanship award, and when the officials discussed which school to give it to, they decided to give a sportsmanship medal to the entire volleyball team. Along with the WIAA mascot Sporty, each player on the Pateros Volleyball team stepped up and got a medal for sportsmanship. “It is overwhelming,” Pateros volleyball coach Gene Dowers said. “To have the whole team get the award is amazing. It is the first time it has ever happened and it is humbling. Out of so many teams, to be singled out is humbling.” Dowers said that this is not just an award for the volleyball team, but for the Pateros School District. “This is a good place,” Dow-

Quad photo by Matt Baide

The Pateros High School Volleyball squad earned the State tourney sportsmanship award. Last Tuesday, WIAA officials presented the award to the team at a special assembly. Pictured here are (front row L-R) Emily Larsen, Madison White, Kat Wilson and EmmaLee Luft; (back row L-R) WIAA Mascot Sporty, Ana Vasquez – Assistant coach, Bobbi Hall, Beatriz Morales, Kerlyn Heen, Chloe Gill, Jessi Dowers, Grace Williams, Brandy Woodward, Ashton Steggall, Gene Dowers – Coach and Dakota Salcido, dressed in the Billygoat suit. ers said. “The staff teaches respect and it trickles down. This is a good place to meet good people.” The WIAA then presented

Pateros with its fifth-place trophy to Pateros ASB President Jonathan Gelstin. Pateros volleyball earned its highest-ever State finish

this year, with fifth-place honors. The team won its first match against Quilcene, but lost its second match to Christian Faith.

Pateros won its next two matches, including the final match against rival, AlmiraCoulee-Hartline to earn fifth place honors.

Family Health Centers coming to Bridgeport By Matt Baide Staff Writer Bridgeport used to have a Family Health Centers clinic before it was forced to close its doors. It has recently been announced that the Family Health Centers is coming back to Bridgeport next year. Family Health Centers CEO Mike Hassing said Bridgeport was open and would welcome a Family Health Center back in Bridgeport. “Bridgeport has always been part of our strategic plan for many years, looking at it and

seeing what we could do down there,” Hassing said. “Our board of directors said it was a good time for it… the city and the mayor have been very helpful in working with us and has been very welcoming to Family Health Centers.” The board applied for a new access point grant to open up the center. The application didn’t earn the grant in the first application process, but the Health Resources Services Administration decided to fund some additional new access point, they were selected for funding. The initial grant award is for $858,000.

The clinic will be at the old North Cascade National Bank building in town. With the grant money, $150,000 is going to be used for renovation. “This is going to give them an option to receive services right there in town,” Hassing said. “Because of our area… (people) have real significant transportation issues, public transportation issues. So what we are hoping then is by having a clinic right in town, that many of those people that have not been able to travel to Brewster… can walk to the clinic if they need to. So we are hoping to see quite a few new

patients there.” There will be limited services offered when the clinic first opens. Hassing said that he expects the clinic to be open sometime in the spring with limited services offered. The clinic’s services will be expanded as the clinic gets going. Services provided will be medical, dental and limited mental health services. Both the City of Bridgeport and Family Health Centers are excited to be welcoming a clinic back to town. “I have lived in Bridgeport for 32 years, we have never had a medical clinic here,” Bridgeport

Mayor Marilynn Lynn said. “We have never had a dental clinic here. We have never had a mental health clinic here as long as I’ve been here. All of those things are coming with this new clinic. For the citizens of Bridgeport, having a health clinic that they can walk to or minimally drive to within just a few blocks is going to make the accessibility to basic health care needs available.” “Years ago, we had some services in Bridgeport, but due to budget issues, those had to be curtailed,” Hassing said. “This is coming home and we’re excited to be coming home to Bridgeport.”

Locals wait to hear fate of Brewster hospital By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor

to the board for consideration on how to remedy the issues before the board and those affected by After months of discussion the decisions. Hufnagel’s presenon how to remedy Three Rivers tation began with a background Hospital’s financial woes, board on the hospital’s condition. directors focused a majority of a “As a practical matter, this meeting held last month to hear- hospital has been bankrupt ing suggestions on the hospital’s since 1998,” Hufnagel said. next steps. “We have been in to warrants Hospital CEO Bud Hufnagel with the county full time, and was called upon to bring options it’s been a growing number over

the years. “The net of it is, we, as an organization, have not been able to sustain itself from its own operations since at least 2000,” Hufnagel added. Since 2000, says Hufnagel, Three Rivers Hospital has experienced declining volumes, declining revenue from operations, shifting demographics and loss of physicians.

Intended as a short-term fix, the hospital began relying on county warrants to fund operations. Nearly 13 years later, the hospital is still in debt to the county. The number has fluctuated from $1.9 million to $3.2 million, and currently, the hospital is sitting on $2.2 million in debt to Okanogan County.

Physician recruitment

“At the end of the day, where we have ended up is that the key thing (is that) we have continued to lose physicians out of the community for several years.” Hufnagel says one of the largest reasons physicians leave the local area is due to the way in which they get paid or reimbursed. “Because it wasn’t worth the battle with the government to get paid for all of the effort they’ve put in,” Hufnagel said. Hospital administration had begun to replace lost physicians by participating in a joint recruiting program with Confluence Health and Family Health Centers in February of this year. “So far this year only one physician recruitment has been successful and we remain below the necessary level needed to Quad photo by Amber Schlenker support the hospital district,” Dr. Gordon Tagge, a local specialist, reads a letter to hospital commissioners at last month’s meeting. Hufnagel added. “The real crux of the issue is The letter was signed by nearly 10 area physicians. The letter urged hospital commissioners to that we don’t have enough docconsider the effects of cutting programs at the hospital.

Index Bulletin Board ..................................... 1-2 News/Community ............................... 2-3

School & Menus .................................... 3 Letters .................................................... 4 Opinion .................................................. 4

NCWBusiness.com

Sheriff & Obituaries ................................ 5 Community ............................................. 9 Community ........................................... 10

Health & Beauty ..................................... 2 Church Directory .................................... 5 Businesses & Service ............................. 9

tors here. We don’t have enough physicians to do what we need to do. It’s just as straightforward as that.” Since 2011, Hufnagel says the area is down “net seven physicians.” Dr. Joseph Matel spoke at the meeting, and has decided to leave the area. “A lot of the reason why that happened is because of the uncertainty here. I came out four years ago. “I can’t give up doing OB in my career at this point. I need to keep doing it. I’m going for less money, but I get to keep doing OB, and that’s what is important to me,” he said. Dr. Matel obtained his BA in Biology at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and received his Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota. He did his residency at Santa Rosa Family Medicine in Santa Rosa, California and graduated in 2009. Followed by an OB Fellowship at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM where he graduated in 2010. Dr. Matel’s special interests include Obstetrics, Women’s health, Sports Medicine and Integrative Medicine. Matel says with two young children in his family, “I can’t get a pink slip in six months or however long it will be.” See Hospital on Page 2

Classified Index Classifieds/Public Notices .................. 6-8 Puzzles ................................................... 6


Quad City Herald • December 5, 2013

2

News Hospital: Community, doctors say ‘keep OB program’ Continued from page 1

Board directors and spectators at the meeting all agreed a decision needed to be made, before more physicians followed in Matel’s footsteps.

is down by 23 percent, OB deliveries are down 36 percent, length of stay at the hospital is down by 16 percent, in-patient revenue is down 37 percent, out-patient revenue is down 13 percent, surKeeping OB open gical revenue is down 28 percent Board director Jerry Tretwold and total patient days are down also spoke, saying he’s received by 37 percent. The actual nummany letters from the public. bers of these percentages were Nearly 50 letters came in to the not available before press time board, expressing their desire this week. to keep the OB department of “In response to general deThree Rivers Hospital up and clines, we have initiated afrunning. filiation discussions in March “I am prepared to make a mo- 2012 with regional providers,” tion at this time that we actively Hufnagel said. and aggressively promise our community that we will secure Federal, state challenges In addition to the financial to the best of our ability the OB program, the baby-friendly woes of the hospital, they are program that we have here in also facing challenges from state Brewster. Not just today, but and federal mandates, funding into the future, the long future. and reimbursement options, That’s my motion,” Tretwold too. “The federal government said. With no seconds to the mo- wants to eliminate cost-based tion, board vice chair Vicki Or- reimbursement to critical access ford said, “I don’t think it needs hospitals: That by itself will put to be a motion. We are all going all of us out of business. Just to work our very best to keep that one thing, all by itself, will OB open, to keep respiratory do us all in. “The federal government in therapy open, to keep cardio the rules of what we get paid, open. “We don’t want to close any they have continued the 2 perof these departments, any more cent reduction that came with than you want to see it, but we the sequester, 2 percent of what also have to make a decision, we should be getting paid, just and we need to do it, diligently, because they can.” With all of the setbacks and and not quickly. It hasn’t come quickly, but we can’t keep put- challenges faced by Three Rivting off your lives, by saying ers Hospital, Hufnagel began ‘we’ll make a decision next offering suggestions to hospital board directors, on how to elimiweek’. “I think you need to know, nate expenses. it’s definitely true, that we are Options going try to and save all these The first option would take the programs.” hospital’s 104 full time equivaTretwold added, “If we don’t have a motion, I think this room lent, employees, down to nearly deserves a consensus that we 82. That option suggests elimiare in agreement.” nating services at the hospital, Dwilndling numbers which include; labor and delivAs a domino factor, bench- ery, cardiopulmonary rehab, marks have also declined over HealthBeat Fitness, Advantage the past few years. Hufnagel DME and total joint replacesaid admissions to the hospital ment surgaries. Option A also

HEALTH CARE Family Health Centers

suggests modifying respiratory therapy to operate only Monday through Friday; revising the emergency room from a trauma level 4 facility, to a level 5; and only opening the surgery suite Monday through Friday, eliminating emergent and after-hour procedures. This option would still leave the hospital about $224,225 to cover annually. Option B is almost identical to “A” with the exception of keeping Labor and Delivery services at the hospital. That option would leave the hospital needing to recoup $309,316 annually. “It’s ok, we can do that, but the community is going to have to decide how they are going to support the hospital,” Hufnagel added. The presentation was halted to allow the numerous folks in attendance to speak, as some needed to get back to work. Many pleaded with the directors to not cut their specific programs or services. A resounding “no,” was heard, however, on behalf of the labor and deliveries services at the hospital. “It’s clear the community doesn’t want us to do away with (labor and deliveries),” Board chairman Dan Webster said. “We want you to know, we’ve heard you.” The other options included focusing the hospital’s efforts on emergency services and an outpatient clinic, shutting the hospital down completely and delaying the board’s decision. Three Rivers Hospital board directors weren’t able to make a decision, just yet, but have decided to revisit the issue at its next meeting, slated for Monday, Dec. 16 at noon. More, detailed information on the meeting, and efforts being made by the hospital to remedy the financial crisis, can be read in the coming issues of the Quad City Herald.

Douglas, Okanogan among seven counties added to Stage 1 burn ban Submitted by Brook Beeler, Ecology Stage 1 bans start immediately in Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, and Pend Oreille counties, according to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology). In addition, Stage 1 burn bans in Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Stevens, and Walla Walla counties will continue. Bans are necessary since poor air quality and stagnant conditions are expected to continue for the next few days. Ecology’s Stage 1 burn ban for these counties will continue until at least 10 a.m. Sunday, when they could be called off or extended. The Stage 1 ban applies to the use of uncertified wood-burning devices (includ-

ing wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces) and to all outdoor burning. All outdoor burning – including residential, agricultural and forest burning – is prohibited. Under a Stage 1, ban the use of uncertified wood-burning devices – including fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts – is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Ecology’s burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction. Burn ban violators are subject to civil penalties. You can report violators by calling Ecology’s smoke complaint hotline (1-866-211-6284). For burn ban updates, go online to www.waburnbans.net

A ‘home-for-the -holidays checklist’ for family of aging relatives WENATCHEE – The holidays are often a time when family and friends visit their parents or other aging relatives whom they haven’t seen since the last holiday season. And when they visit they discover their loved ones aren’t doing so well. Maybe mom and dad appear frail and their typically tidy house is in disarray. They might find unopened mail and bills tucked in a drawer. These can be the signs of declining health and triggers that mom and dad need some assistance to remain safely at home. The Alzheimer’s Association has put together a checklist of things to look for that may signal help is needed: Look in the fridge – Is the freezer full of TV dinners and the vegetable drawer empty? Has the milk gone sour? A quick scan can tell you whether your parents are still able to shop and prepare meals. Take a peek at the mail – Unopened junk mail is nothing to worry about, but if personal mail is piling up it may be cause for concern. Unpaid bills are a red flag that things may be getting out of control. Drive the car – Ask your loved one if you can take the wheel at a family outing, and check under

the hood when you get home. Are they keeping the oil changed? Are the tires low? Is there enough antifreeze to protect the vehicle? Investigate the bathroom – The bathroom is one place where it’s hard to cover up if they’re having a tough time keeping the house clean. A quick once-over can tell you if your relatives are struggling and could use help with chores. Take note of how the pets are doing – And check the plants too. The ability – or inability— to care for other living things may offer clues to how they’re managing their own care. The Alzheimer’s Association can help adult-age kids and relatives understand how to address the signs of dementia. The Association can be reached at 1-800-8487097 or visit www.alzwa.org. Resources are also available locally. Aging & Adult Care of Central Washington (AACCW) has services to help seniors, including in-home chore assistance, homedelivered meals, and respite for family caregivers. Programs are state and federally funded. AACCW has offices in Omak, Moses Lake, and Wenatchee, and covers all of Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Lincoln and Okanogan Counties. For more information call 1-800-572-4459 or visit www. aaccw.org.

B ulletin B oard Continued from Page 1

S.O.S. Bible Club

S.O.S. Bible Club has begun at the Community Log Church. All area kids, kindergarten through sixth grades, are invited to attend. S.O.S. is held on Wednesdays through the school year from 3:15-5 p.m. Snacks are served at 3 p.m. S.O.S. is a time of games, music and Bible lessons.

Pool tournaments Brewster American Legion Pool Tournaments are every Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Legion Hall. There is a $5.00 entry fee and the tournament pays 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. American Legion Pool December 1. There were eight players. First place went to Mike Flanagan; second Larry Boyd; third Keith Downing. Legion Turkey Shoot will be Dec. 15 with $10 entry fee. Guaranteed to pay five places. Everyone is welcome. They’d like to have more players, so come on out on Sundays.

Friday Night Pinochle Join them starting at 6 p.m., at the Senior Center (you need not be a member) and have lots of fun. The group would love to have more players. Win $2 for High, and $1 for low, door prize, and pinochle. New faces and new friends always welcome.

OKANOGAN COUNTY Genealogical Society Christmas party

It is time again for the annual Okanogan County Genealogical Society Christmas party to be held on Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at the Wilson Research Center. It is a day of sharing both goodies and your successes in the past year. If you have completed a project bring it to show off. If not, plan to tell us about what you have had good luck learning. They will have their usual sale of goodies, both eatable and otherwise. Also bring goodies to share for the party and bring a friend to share the fun. For further information call Maggie at 509-422-3944.

Auditions for Toto

Centros de Salud Familiar

Have you always thought your small dog was destined to be a star? Here is your chance to find out. Auditions for Toto, Dorothy’s faithful dog in The Wizard of Oz, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, 12:30-2 p.m. at The Fitness Academy, 14 Main Street, Omak. They are looking for a small breed that can be easily carried, is well mannered and friendly, to join the cast of the show to be produced in Omak by Okanogan Valley Orchestra & Chorus on May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11, 2014.

MEDICAL

716 First Ave. S., Okanogan 509-422-5700 106 S. Whitcomb, Tonasket 509-486-0114 525 W. Jay, Brewster 509-689-3455

DENTAL

1321 Main St., Oroville 509-476-4400 626 Second Ave. S., Okanogan 509-422-6705 101 6th, Brewster 509-689-3789 Toll Free: 800-660-2129

Look who is cavity free!

Send your Bulletin Board item If you have a Bulletin Board news item about a nonprofit event, you can e-mail it to reporter2@qcherald. com, FAX it to 509-682-4209 or mail it to P.O. Box 37, Brewster, WA 98812. Deadline is noon on Monday. Items will run two weeks maximum and must be 100 words or fewer.

Colton Bjorklund and Aubree Clark are our Cavity Free Winners for October 2013.

Wenatchee’s only pediatric dental specialists

Call Today!

664-5000 246 N. Mission St., Wenatchee www.WenatcheePediatricDentistry.com

correction Errors appearing in the Quad City Herald will be corrected in this space. We are accountable for the paper’s content. If you find an error in the newspaper, bring it to our attention by calling (509) 689-2507 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or send an e-mail to reporter2@ qcherald.com.


Fire claims home...See page 5 December 19, 2013 • Volume 111, No. 51

Your Best source of News for Lower okaNogaN aNd dougLas couNties

Hospital board makes decision

B ulletin B oard Christmas Services, Special Events Christmas programs for children and adults New Test Baptist Church in Brewster on Dec. 22, will hold its Adult Christmas Program at 10:30 a.m.

Christmas Eve Services Hope Lutheran Church wishes you joy in your celebration of Christ this Christmas. Join them for their Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service on Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. New Test Baptist Church in Brewster will hold their Christmas Eve Service at 6 p.m. at the church.

BREWSTER ‘Parade of Boats’ A “Parade of Boats” is being planned for Saturday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. Boat owners are invited to dress up their boats with Christmas lights and cruise around Brewster Bay. Boats will launch from Cove Park in Brewster. Anyone interested can George Pearson at 509-686-1022.

Single Copy $1.00

Santa Claus is coming ... to Pateros, Brewster Lights line Pateros Mall for the Holiday season. A “Pateros Town Holiday Celebration will be on tap this Saturday, Dec. 21, from 1-4 p.m. The day will include Santa, sleigh rides, treats and crafts. Admission is free, but, donations will be accepted to support local charities. The event is set to be held at the Central Building, at 207 Pateros Mall. In Brewster, the Brewster Sky Lantern Festival is on tap for this Friday, Dec. 20, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Brewster City Soccer Field. Tickets to purchase a lantern are on sale at various businesses around town.

By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor

Quad photo by Amber Schlenker

Bridgeport School Board proposes bond By Matt Baide Staff Writer The Bridgeport School Board has written a proposed $3.9 million bond to help build an addition to Bridgeport Elementary School. In total, the project will cost $8.5 million. The state is matching 89.6 percent on the building construction. The estimated tax rate on the bond is at $2.12 per $1,000 assessed property valuations. The bond is an 18 year bond ending in 2033.

HOSTS mentors needed Brewster Elementary School is in need of HOSTS mentors. HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) is a program that pairs community members with students grades 1st – 6th who need help reading. Just 45 minutes once a week is all it takes to change a child’s life. For more information please call 689-2581, ext. 631.

Bridgeport School District Superintendent Scott Sattler presented the proposed bond at the Bridgeport City Council meeting last Wednesday. “The need is great,” Sattler said. “We’ve got a growing student population and the need is great, we really need to do something for the kids now. If we push this out further, it’s going to be a bottle neck in 15 years and we are going to have to take care of an elementary and a middle school…I’d like to do the planning now, take care of one portion of it and that’s

paid for, we go out and we take a look at what’s next.” The plan is to demolish and replace the building pods that were originally built in 1977. The new construction will add on to the existing main elementary school building which includes the library, gym and 10 classrooms right now. The addition would include 16 new classrooms, a music room, a computer lab, modern kitchen facilities, a multi-purpose room and a complete elementary playground. See Bond on Page 3

Ice cold

S.O.S. Bible Club

S.O.S. Bible Club has begun at the Community Log Church. All area kids, kindergarten through sixth grades, are invited to attend. S.O.S. is held on Wednesdays through the school year from 3:15-5 p.m. Snacks are served at 3 p.m. S.O.S. is a time of games, music and Bible lessons.

Pool tournaments Brewster American Legion Pool Tournaments are every Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Legion Hall. There is a $5.00 entry fee and the tournament pays 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Guaranteed to pay five places. Everyone is welcome. They’d like to have more players, so come on out on Sundays. Due to the passing of Zearl Wilson, who diligently updated pool tourney results, current results are unavailable. Staff of the Quad City Herald extends our sincerest regards to friends and family of Mr. Wilson. He will be missed.

Friday Night Pinochle On Dec. 13 they had seven players, Jeannie Johnson took High, and Traveler, Gene Anson took Low and Door Prize. There will be no Pinochle on Friday nights until Jan. 10, weather permitting. They wish all Merry Christmas, and a Safe and Happy New Year.

Photo courtesy of Lynda Kent

Frozen falling waters show freezing temperatures near Pateros last week near Hwy. 97.

After months of researching, discussing and hearing local comment on how to remedy the hospital’s financial woes, the Th r e e R ive r s Hospital District Commissioners finally made a unanimous decision on the near future of Three Rivers Hospital. This past Monday, Dec. 16, the board room was standing-room only, as many area residents and hospital staff came to hear the fate of their local hospital. The unanimous decision Dr. James made by hospital district commissioners earlier this week was to accept, of the revised options, “Option 2” presented by Three Rivers Hospital administrators. Option 2, as presented to commissioners is to discontinue Cardiopulmonary Rehab, HealthBeat Fitness and Advantage DME. The motion, made by Commissioner Mike Pruett was to accept Option 2, with the revision that the Cardiopulmonary Rehab State, federal limitations department would get a second In addition to the financial look after the end of this month. Administrators are currently woes of the hospital, they are also undergoing negotiations with facing challenges from state and Confluence Health, for that entity federal mandates, funding and to take over the cardio depart- reimbursement options, too. With all of the setbacks and ment at the hospital. Other facets approved by board challenges faced by Three Rivers commissioners include reduc- Hospital, Hufnagel began offering ing respiratory therapy hours options for the commissioners’ to Monday through Friday and considering on how to eliminate limit the surgery suite to Monday expenses and generate revenue through Fridays with no after- for Three Rivers Hospital. One of the main concerns for hours procedures, except for keeping with cardiopulmonary emergency c-sections. This option also reduces staff- rehab department open, is a ing by 103.95 FTE (full-time equiv- new federal mandate, titled the alent) positions, to 85.79 FTE’s. “Direct Supervision Rule,” reAdministrators say that though it quired for each rural hospital in appears many will lose their jobs, the nation. “The direct supervision rule,” some positions are already vaHufnagel excant and won’t plained, “says be replaced. a p h ys i c i a n CEO Bud Hufor physician’s nagel says that a s s i st a n t o r in reality, two nurse practitioor three fullner who is adtime equivavanced-trained lent positions and certified in will be elimicardio must be nated. This in the area of option leaves where the test the hospital’s is being done.” numbers in the That means black, with net the medical exrevenue numpert must be bers showing “immediately $422,349. available.” The decision “If they are to accept this wo r k i n g o n option, howsomething else, e ve r, d i d n ’ t they have to be come without able to get up months of disCommissioner Jerry Tretwold and leave imcussion and protest from community mem- mediately when called upon,” bers and area medical profes- Hufnagel added. “That means you can’t use a sionals. physician in town, because they Background are not immediately available. Hospital CEO Bud Hufnagel You can’t use somebody in the was called upon to bring options same building, like a provider in to the board for consideration on ER, they can’t just drop what they how to remedy the issues. Hufna- are doing to go help.” gel’s presentation at the Nov. 25 With the cardiopulmonary deregular commissioner meeting partment seeing just 23 patients began with a background on the in the last year, Hufnagel says adhospital’s condition. ministrators can’t justify hiring “As a practical matter, this one specialist to sit in the cardio hospital has been bankrupt since department full-time. But, with 1998,” Hufnagel said. “We have hopeful negotiations with Conflubeen fully bankrupt since 2000. ence Health, Hufnagel says they, “We have been in to warrants do, have the specialty resources with the county full-time, and to provide a cardiologist to the it’s been a growing number over department. the years. That decision, should be made “The net of it is, we, as an by month’s end. If Confluence organization, have not been able See Hospital on Page 2

Continued on Page 2 Index Bulletin Board ..................................... 1-2 News/Community ............................... 2-3

to sustain itself from its own operations since at least 2000,” Hufnagel added. Intended as a short-term fix, the hospital began relying on county warrants to fund operations. More than 13 years later, the hospital is still in debt to the county. The number has fluctuated from $1.9 million to $3.2 million, and as of Nov. 25, the h o s p i t a l wa s sitting on $2.2 million in debt to Okanogan County. Hufnagel says the majority of the problem lies within the inability to recruit physicians to the Brewster Lamberton area. As a domino factor, benchmarks have also declined over the past few years. Hufnagel said admissions to the hospital is down by 23 percent, OB deliveries are down 36 percent, length of stay at the hospital is down by 16 percent, in-patient revenue is down 37 percent, out-patient revenue is down 13 percent, surgical revenue is down 28 percent and total patient days are down by 37 percent.

School .................................................... 3 Letters .................................................... 4 Opinion .................................................. 4

NCWBusiness.com

Sheriff, Obituaries, Community .............. 6 Sports & Recreation .................. 8, B3, B4 Santa Letters ...................................B1-B2

Health & Beauty ..................................... 2 Church Directory .................................... 5 Businesses & Service ............................. 9

Classified Index Classifieds/Public Notices .................. 6-7 Puzzles ................................................... 6


Quad City Herald • deCember 19, 2013

2

News Bridgeport CounCil Briefs By Matt Baide Staff Writer

the situation to the council. The council approved the staff to take out a loan to pay for the Tacoma Water Main Project line. The staff Tacoma Water was told that it would be ‘inapproMain Project Funds priate’ to borrow the money when the city has enough money in the The Tacoma Water Main Proj- reserves to pay for the project. ect funds was a topic of discussion By paying for it with city funds, at last Wednesday’s Bridgeport Bridgeport will save $222,000 over the next 20 years, according City Council meeting. Mayor Marilynn Lynn explained to Lynn.

Attorney Chuck Zimmerman was in attendance and explained his thoughts on the situation. “We were asked to look at the loan document and we asked why are you borrowing the money,” Zimmerman said. “If you have $1.3 million in reserve, borrow to replenish your reserves when you need them. It’s not like you don’t have borrowing capacity, you have plenty of that…Why

would you not rid yourself of 0.2 percent investment instead of pay five percent interest for borrowed money?” The council agreed with the attorney. “It makes a lot more sense to me to pay for it out of our funding and not borrow the money,” Councilman Kevin Morris said. The motion was made to use reserve funds to fund the project

and the motion passed unanimously.

2014 Budget The Bridgeport City Council was presented with the first reading of the 2014 budget ordinance at last Wednesday’s council meeting. See CounCil Briefs on Page 3

Hospital: Commissioners make decision before year’s end Continued from Page 1

decides to decline the request to jump on board with the hospital, Hufnagel says they will have to discontinue the department all together.

Options After months of recalculating, and listening to hospital employees and area residents, as well as input from local physicians and commissioners themselves, Hufnagel approached this past Monday’s meeting with two options on the table for commissioners to decide on. The decision didn’t come without several minutes of scheduled public comment and discussion between commissioners, and the occasional outburst of public opinion.

The meeting began with an executive session, where commissioners were slated to talk about personnel issues. Once the meeting was again called to order, Dr. James Lamberton was allowed to speak for 10 minutes, where he gave his opinion on the possibility of cuts to hospital services and staff. At 10 minutes of speaking time, Board Chairman Dan Webster told Lamberton he’d allow him another two minutes to speak. Lamberton responded, “I’ll tell you what, we have a group of people here... I want to be respectful to you, the board, the people and respectful of Mr. Hufnagel... but we have a group of people here today that need to hear this. I plan to finish what I started.”

During a total of nearly 30 minutes of speaking time, Dr. Lamberton also read a letter, signed by seven area physicians, that stated their disapproval in the current administration of Three Rivers Hospital. “We feel the hospital is in peril due to lack of positive leadership,” Lamberton read from the letter. The letter, signed by doctors Lamberton, Hanson, Matel, Wallace, Haeger, Tagge and Bryant, called for a change in the board’s direction by the start of 2014. Other calls to action stated in the letter included full disclosure of all financial numbers, the cessation of eliminating services until a new plan is in place, an outside auditor/reviewer to come and analyze charges, billing and accounts, a community advisory committee and the immediate resignation of Hospital CEO Bud Hufnagel.

Keeping OB open At the Nov. 25 meeting, Commissioner Jerry Tretwold also spoke, saying he’s received many letters from the public. Nearly 50 letters came in to the board, expressing their desire to keep the OB department of Three Rivers Hospital up and running. “I am prepared to make a motion at this time that we actively and aggressively promise our community that we will secure to the best of our ability the OB program, the baby-friendly program that we have here in Brewster. Not just today, but into the future, the long future. That’s

HEALTH CARE Family Health Centers

Centros de Salud Familiar

MEDICAL

716 First Ave. S., Okanogan 509-422-5700 106 S. Whitcomb, Tonasket 509-486-0114 525 W. Jay, Brewster 509-689-3455

DENTAL

1321 Main St., Oroville 509-476-4400 626 Second Ave. S., Okanogan 509-422-6705 101 6th, Brewster 509-689-3789 Toll Free: 800-660-2129

my motion,” Tretwold said. With no seconds to the motion, board vice chair Vicki Orford said, “I don’t think it needs to be a motion. We are all going to work our very best to keep OB open, to keep respiratory therapy open, to keep cardio open. “We don’t want to close any of these departments, any more than you want to see it, but we also have to make a decision, and we need to do it, diligently, and not quickly. It hasn’t come quickly, but we can’t keep putting off your lives, by saying ‘we’ll make a decision next week’. “I think you need to know, it’s definitely true, that we are going try to and save all these programs.” Tretwold added, “If we don’t have a motion, I think this room deserves a consensus that we are in agreement.” Tretwold again tried to get the commissioners to agree on the motion at the Dec. 16 meeting. “I made a motion here at the last meeting that died for a lack of second and I’m very disappointed in that. The one good thing we can put in the papers is that we are a baby-friendly hospital and we do a good job here, we get (commendations) for that. We had a consensus, and I hope my fellow board members understand that a consensus is to do the right thing. I’m going to make that motion again. Tretwold stated a motion that the “Brewster hospital makes OB the cornerstone of our next year and into the future, that we are a baby friendly hospital.... and that (discontinuing) any other department is put on hold, until we as a board have a time to carefully look at what needs to be done. That’s my motion. I’m looking for a second.” With a few seconds of silence, the audience began to mumble. One attendee said, “Oh, come on.” Webster stated, “I would support that if you were talking about OB in particular at this point.” Commissioner Tracy Shrable contributed, saying, “OB isn’t even on the table for closure right now, is it?” Tretwold responded, “No, I’m asking for a motion for (OB to continue to be open) and always will be.” Commissioner Orford responded, “We can’t guarantee it, we can’t guarantee what this

hospital is going to look like next year at this exact same time. “There are budget cuts all across the line.... we can’t guarantee it. There’s no guarantee of the future. I can’t second it and I will oppose it. Commissioner Pruett said, “I will second the motion with the addition that... OB being identified as one of the cornerstones of three Rivers Hospital, with the ability to review (its status) in six months and every six months after.” Tretwold accepted the addition to the motion and commissioners unanimously agreed on the motion.

Final steps Three Rivers Hospital will indeed continue to keep the OB department. Also, the hospital administrators now will, by commissioner approval, sell DME and the health club. They will also modify the surgery schedule so that it’s open during the day. “Now we can sit down and see what we can do to put this thing together. We don’t anticipate having non-emergency surgeries. “We are going to do OB, and will have on-call surgery people to take care of emergency Csections. “The surgery department will require a restructuring, we will be reorganizing that department so we can accommodate our marching orders.” Also as part of the approved option is cutting back on FTE positions. “Since we started working on this with the departments at the end of October, most of the physicians we expected to leave under this option, did.” So administrators are down to two to three FTE’s that need to be eliminated. That makes for a total of 18 FTE’s that will be cut from the annual budget. “It’s important people understand, it’s 18 FTE’s not 18 bodies,” Hufnagel added. Hospital commissioners slated a special meeting, Monday, Dec. 30, at noon, to swear in a new board commissioner, to discuss dealings with Confluence Health, and to celebrate Webster’s time of service to the commission. Amber Schlenker can be reached at 509-682-2213 or by email editor@lakechelanmirror.com

Holiday Gift Guide

B ulletin B oard Continued from Page 1

PATEROS Pateros Town Holiday Event Dec. 21, from 1-4 p.m. Santa, sleigh rides, treats and crafts. Free admission, donations accepted to support local charities. Held at the Central Building, 207 Pateros Mall, Pateros.

OKANOGAN COUNTY Earn diploma, GED

The Omak Learning Center, located in the WorkSource Office in Omak, can help students age 16-21 who want to earn their high school diploma or GED. For more information, call Monica Garza, (509) 826-7310. ext. 7546, or 1-800-887-8057. -

WENATCHEE Auditions for Bat Boy: The Musical Producer Don Fox and Director/Choreographer Jaime Donegan, who reimagined the Broadway version of the cult-classic “Rocky Horror Show” in 2013, will return in August of 2014 to run Bat Boy: The Musical on the PAC stage starting Thursday, July 31. Fox, and Donegan are thrilled to bring this graphic novel (comic book) rock opera to life. The production is based on the original 1992 “Bat Boy Found in a Cave!” Live auditions will be held at the Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee on January 20 and 21, 2014. For audition information, contact Jaime Donegan at jdproducing1@ mac.com.

Support group The new NCW Lyme Support Group meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month from 6:30 p.m. at 208 North Chelan Avenue in Wenatchee. They focus on providing information and resources to anyone whose life has been disrupted by Lyme disease as well as interested providers of care. Lyme is the most frequently occurring vector-borne infectious disease in the U.S. and can cause arthritis, mental illness, and neurologic problems. The co-leaders of this group have over 18 years of cumulative experience with this debilitating illness. For further information, call Mary (RN) at 509 630-3400.

Send your Bulletin Board item If you have a Bulletin Board news item about a nonprofit event, you can e-mail it to reporter2@qcherald. com, FAX it to 509-682-4209 or mail it to P.O. Box 37, Brewster, WA 98812. Deadline is noon on Monday. Items will run two weeks maximum and must be 100 words or fewer.


Mustangs begin baseball season See page 10

Your Best source of News for Lower okaNogaN aNd dougLas couNties

March 27, 2014 • VoluMe 112, No. 13

Quad City Sunset

B ulletin B oard Have a non-profit Bulletin Board item? Email it to editor@lakechelanmrror.com

Scott Graham named as new Three Rivers CEO

Attention churches: Have your Lenten and Easter Special Events published in the upcoming issues of the Quad City Herald, email them to the above address.

Lenten/Easter Services Hope Lutheran Wednesday Soup Suppers and Devotional Worship for Lent will be held We d n e s d a y e v e n i n g s through April 9, 6 p.m. Soup Supper, 7 p.m. Worship at Hope Lutheran Church. Special Worship Services for Holy Week are: Holy Thursday: 7 p.m., April 17; Good Friday: 7 p.m., April 18; Easter Worship is 11 a.m., Sunday, April 20. Everyone is welcome! For more information 689-3106.

BREWSTER Friday Night Pinochle

Join them starting at 6 p.m., at the Senior Center (you need not be a member) and have lots of fun. The group would love to have more players. Win $2 for High, and $1 for low, door prize, and pinochle. New faces and new friends always welcome.

Pool tournaments Brewster American Legion Pool Tournaments are every Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Legion Hall. There is a $5.00 entry fee and the tournament pays 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Everyone is welcome. They’d like to have more players, so come on out on Sundays.

PATEROS Pateros Friends of the Library garage sale Items wanted for garage sale. Do you have 5 good sellable items to donate towards a 2014 Spring Garage Sale? All monies will be donated to the Pateros Friends of the Library. You may drop off smaller items at the library. They have available a pick-up service for larger items. Call the Pateros Public Library at 923 2298 or the pick-upperson 509-630 2028. Visit the Library today and apply for your free library card. Dr. Seuss is waiting to inspire little minds and hearts.

Scott Graham By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor Photo submitted by Lynda Kent

A beautiful view of the sunset over the Quad Cities.

Brewster finances have come a long way By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor Not many may want to step into a job where there is a mess. But for Misty Ruiz, it was all about figuring out the puzzle. The first step in getting the City of Brewster’s finances back in good order was for the newly appointed Clerk and Finance Director, Ruiz, to see what she was dealing with. “We were in a bad fiscal situation because of mismanagement,” she said. “The first step was calling in a representative, a financial consultant, to help us determine a game plan,” Ruiz said, after her official start date as the new finance director in April of 2011. The financial consultant first recommended the city change its utility billing software. That’s when Ruiz learned about Vision Municipal, software that is especially made for Washington municipalities to use to balance the books and keep records of all financials the city deals with. Ruiz says with the former software used by the City of Brewster, it was “easy to make mistakes,” because the software used a different kind of accounting than what is required by Washington cities. “This was a big step in giving the council a better understanding of the financial situation of the city,” she said. Another step in getting Brewster finances back on its feet was to change the way Labor and In-

dustries was accounted for. Ruiz says the former finance director paid L&I for all hours accounted for, but only hours worked, are required to be reported to L&I, not sick days. “We only needed to pay L&I for the days our employees actually worked, so that helped us save a little money there, too,” she said. Next on the list of reviving the city’s finances was to review each and every expense the city incurred and look to see how the city could cut costs. Ruiz says, though it may be minimal, she looked into the bank the city was using and tried to get charges decreased. Ultimately, the city ended up changing banking institutions, to drastically reduce the fees. Ruiz says city administrators and council also looked at the way the utilities were being billed, and changed it so that everyone was paying the same. No one was getting billed more, or less, “we moved to a more uniform billing system for utilities,” she said. The council also looked at the hours the city’s building inspector was working and ultimately decided that there wasn’t enough work to sustain a full-time salary. So, that position was eliminated and the city now contracts with Okanogan County, and is paid per job. “We also make sure every bill is paid on time,” Ruiz added. “That reduces fees we’d be charged.” In addition to the other cost saving measures, the city also purchased a copy machine and

Pateros Chamber to meet

The Pateros Chamber of Commerce will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 2, 8 a.m., at Rivers Restaurant in the back. The general public, along with business owners are encouraged to attend. For more information call Joni Parks at 509-670-8185 or email at parksjoni@gmail.com Continued on Page 2

Quad photo by Amber Schlenker

Brewster City Clerk and Finance Director Misty Ruiz recounts the last three years on the job.

Index Bulletin Board ..................................... 1-3 News/Community ............................... 2-3

School News & Menus ....................... 2-3 Letters ................................................. 4-5 Opinion .................................................. 4

NCWBusiness.com

folding machine, instead of paying for leasing. After extensive research, Ruiz says purchasing the equipment saved the city a bit more money than leasing. “We also do as much car maintenance as we can, in house,” she added. “Such as oil changes and those sorts of things.” When Ruiz came on board, the city was in the red with its Okanogan County Jail fees. “At this point, we are current,” she said. With paying a little more than the current bill each billing cycle, Ruiz says the city finally caught up to become current. In addition, the city was also recently awarded an energy efficiency grant to the tune of $500,000, which will help with upgrades around the city, as well as longterm energy-saving costs. With almost three years on the job, Ruiz says the city has also paid off a line extension at the airport. In addition, the loans on the rec center and the city pool’s slide are scheduled to be paid in full this year. Including the energy efficiency grant, Brewster officials have also gone after as many state and federal assistance as possible, through grants, or low-interest loans. “We need our grants to survive as a small city,” Ruiz said. In recent years the city has acquired two grants for patrol vehicles, printers and scanners for patrol vehicles, and radars for police officers. Also part of getting the city back on its feet was raising utility rates. “We needed to raise rates to sustain the waste water treatment plant upgrade in 2002, but we didn’t,” she added. So slowly, the city began making up for the lost rate revenue, by slowing increasing the rates, instead of increasing the rates all at once. “The sewer system wasn’t covering its deficit, so we did a gradual increase,” she added. “The main thing we’re worried about is making sure we are covering our debt.” Amber Schlenker can be reached at 509-682-2213 or by email editor@lakechelanmirror.com

Sheriff ..................................................... 5 Sports & Recreation ............... 5, 8, B1-B4 Health & Beauty ..................................... 2

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It came down to two final candidates for the open position of Three Rivers Hospital CEO.

Background The search began earlier this year after current CEO Bud Hufnagel turned in his resignation, Dec. 30. Hufnagel’s official last day of work is set for the end of April. After more than 25 candidates turned in their applications, the hospital board of the commissioners held special meetings to whittle the list down to a final four or five. The final four were interviewed in an open public meeting, via the telephone. After the telephone interviews, commissioners whittled away again, eventually inviting two candidates to the Brewster hospital for a tour of the city and surrounding areas and for an in-person interview, in an open public meeting forum, with the public invited to attend.

Then there were two At this public in-person interview, the two candidates, Eugene Suski of Crescent City, Calif., and Scott Graham of Grand Coulee, were asked a list of the same questions. Questions ranged from what

the candidates thought about rural health care, what their language abilities are and what style of management they prefer. But after the many meetings, numerous questions and almost five hours of interviewing this past Tuesday morning (March 25), the Three Rivers Hospital District Board of Commissioners chose Graham as the new Chief Executive Officer for Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster. At the end of the meeting, Commission Board Chair Vicki Orford issued the following statement: “The board would like to thank both of the qualified candidates. “The board stands united that Scott Graham is the best candidate to fill the CEO position. We based this decision on extensive research, skill sets, best fit, interviews and previous employers. “Due to regulations, Scott Graham was not able to state his side of the conflict of why he is leaving Grand Coulee. We respect his integrity and professionalism. “We are fully confident that Scott Graham will help move Three Rivers Hospital forward in the future environment of rural health care. “This has been a long process. We have decided on what is best for the entire hospital district and will stand behind Scott Graham as our CEO, and he has our complete support. Graham has been the CEO of the hospital in Grand Coulee for the past few years, and has since decided to move on. There had been some rumblings in the local media regarding Graham, but he says, due to his position, he cannot speak to the issue. Graham comes to Three Rivers with extensive background in the medical field, he sits on the Executive Board of Directors of the Washington Hospital Association, and is President of the Association of Public Hospital Districts, as well as working with committees devoted to critical access hospitals. Contract negotiations are set to begin shortly, with a tentative start date for Graham of May 1.

Recall correction A clarification to last week’s story on the recall of Bridgeport Mayor By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor Quad City Herald staff have been following the Bridgeport news about a resident, whom is forging an effort to recall Mayor Marilynn Lynn.

Background One of more than a dozen complaints by Bridgeport resident Mike Knox, against Bridgeport Mayor Marilynn Lynn, was deemed factually and legally sufficient, allowing for a recall effort, spearheaded by resident Mike Knox, to move forward. Of the 14 complaints written to Douglas County Auditor Thad Duvall, in January, requesting the recall of Bridgeport Mayor Marilynn Lynn, 10 were denied or dismissed at a sufficiency hearing by Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The remaining four complaints were “taken under advisement” by Douglas County Superior Court Judge Hotchkiss. Three of the four complaints were considered insufficient by

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Judge Hotchkiss in the judge’s decision released on Feb. 21. But, Hotchkiss found complaint #3, the illegal hiring of a city employee, sufficient, allowing the process to move forward into a recall election. The next step would have been for Knox to circulate a petition, asking the county auditor’s office to create a special election, to ask local residents to vote on the recall of Mayor Lynn. But, Lynn filed for a motion for reconsideration to the courts. Hotchkiss released his ruling on the motion for reconsideration March 11. “Mayor Lynn has provided the court with several documents that were not submitted at the time of the hearing on the recall petition. Pursuant to CR 59(a)(4), any new evidence must be newly discovered evidence. Only newly discovered evidence which was not available may be considered on a motion for reconsideration, pursuant to CR 59(a)(4). Morinaga v. Vue, 85 Wn, App. 822, 831 (1997). The documents provided to this See CorreCtion, Page 5

Classified Index Classifieds/Public Notices .................. 6-9 Puzzles ...................................................6


Lady Bears still undefeated See page 10

B ulletin B oard Have a non-profit Bulletin Board item? Email it to editor@lakechelanmrror.com

BREWSTER HOSTS mentors needed Brewster Elementary School is in need of HOSTS mentors. HOSTS (Help One Student To Succeed) is a program that pairs community members with students grades 1st – 6th who need help reading. Just 45 minutes once a week is all it takes to change a child’s life. For more information please call 689-2581, ext. 631.

Brewster Schools ask for levy in Feb. By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor

The four-year levy would increase the amount the district would receive by $40,000 per Brewster residents will be year and keep the annual rate asked to decide on a school at $2.87 per $1,000 in 2015, $2.91 levy this coming February. per $1,000 in 2016 and $2.98 per After a residential survey, $1,000 in 2017-18. school district officials say that In addition, senior citizens residents preferred a four-year could be eligible for an exemplevy, over a two-year levy. tion from levy taxes if they “Response was overwhelm- are 61-years-old and have an ingly a four-year levy,” officials annual income of $35,000 or said in a district newsletter. less. For more information, Two years ago the levy was senior citizens are encouraged $3.12 for $1,000 of assessed to find out more information at property value. The proposed the Okanogan (509-422-7190) or four-year levy would keep the Douglas (509-745-8521) County price tag under $3 per $1,000. Assessor offices.

Hufnagel resigns By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor After a special board of commissioners meeting of the Three Rivers Hospital District, held Monday, Dec. 30, Hospital CEO Bud Hufnagel turned in his letters of resignation to board commissioners. According to the hospital’s Director of Community Relations, Rebecca Meadows, Hufnagel will continue his duties as CEO until April 30. He has also offered to assist commissioners with the selection process, which is to begin in the next two weeks. Additional information on the matter was not available before press time. Amber Schlenker can be reached at 509-682-2213 or by email editor@lakechelanmirror.com

Three Rivers Hospital 2014 First Baby of the Year

S.O.S. Bible Club

S.O.S. Bible Club is held at the Community Log Church. All area kids, kindergarten through sixth grades, are invited to attend. S.O.S. is held on Wednesdays through the school year from 3:15-5 p.m. Snacks are served at 3 p.m. S.O.S. is a time of games, music and Bible lessons.

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Your Best source of News for Lower okaNogaN aNd dougLas couNties

January 9, 2014 • Volume 112, no. 2

Parents: Maricela Carrillo and Jose De Jesus Ramirez Baby: Anahy Guadalupe Ramirez Carrillo Born: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014 at 10:26 p.m. Attending Physician: Dr. Keith Hanson Siblings: Jesus Ramirez Carrillo, 6 years of age Adrian Ramirez Carrillo, 4 years of age Residence: Bridgeport, Wash.

Pool tournaments Brewster American Legion Pool Tournaments are every Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Legion Hall. There is a $5.00 entry fee and the tournament pays 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Guaranteed to pay five places. Everyone is welcome. They’d like to have more players, so come on out on Sundays.

Friday Night Pinochle There will be no Pinochle on Friday nights until Jan. 10, weather permitting.

Bud Hufnagel

Pateros brings back Chamber of Commerce By Matt Baide Staff Writer About three years ago, the Pateros Chamber of Commerce was shut down. Former chamber president Joni Parks said that she has had people approach her about why the chamber closed. “We have several new merchant faces in town,” Parks said. “And there has been some rumblings in the last year or so. A couple of people approached me wanting to know why the chamber was not functioning and what it would take to get it going again.” And now the town has generated enough interest to bring the Pateros Chamber of Commerce back. The chamber closed down because of a lack of officers, according to Parks. Many of the officers got new jobs or had other things come up, not allowing them enough time to dedicate to

the chamber. “It’s basically been sitting in a holding pattern, with officers waiting to start it back up,” Parks said. Parks said that a few people have expressed interest that they are willing to be officers, which is a big reason why the Chamber of Commerce is coming back. A meeting was held on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 8 a.m. to decide whether or not to reinstate the Chamber. If reinstated, elections would be held for officer positions. At the meeting, Parks hopes to figure out what direction the Chamber of Commerce will be headed, whether they want the chamber to promote businesses or the community of Pateros as a whole. “I have talked to all the business owners and they want to see more activities,” Parks said. “Activities in town helps bring people to town, in return, helps See Chamber, Page 2

PATEROS Pateros Chamber to meet

The Pateros Chamber of Commerce will be holding a reorganizational meeting and election of officers on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 8 a.m., at Rivers Restaurant in the back. The general public, along with business owners are encouraged to attend. For more information call Joni Parks at 509-6708185 or email at parksjoni@ gmail.com.

Items wanted for garage sale Do you have 5 good sellable items to donate towards a 2014 Memorial Day Weekend Garage Sale? All monies will be donated to the Pateros Friends of the Library. They will pick up the items you wish to donate. Visit the Pateros Public Library located at 174 Pateros Mall Way, and read good book this winter. They also accept used donated books. To arrange a pick-up of your items call 509-630-2028 or the Pateros Library at 509-923-2298.

CHELAN Wellness Group Cancer Support Group The Women’s Wellness Cancer Support Group monthly luncheon will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 11:45 a.m. at the Lake Chelan Community Hospital board room. For more information Anne Brooks at 509-682-8718.

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Why they chose Three Rivers Hospital for the birth: “I have had all my children at Three Rivers Hospital and everything has always been real good.” Pateros, Wash.

Prepared for winter? By Amber Schlenker Assistant Editor Though the Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties roads aren’t showing usual January snow, local tire experts say it’s still important to be prepared. “Traditionally speaking we have at least a foot (of snow) on the ground by now,” said Chelan Les Schwab Tire General Manager Jason VanRensum. Regardless if there is one or 10 feet of snow on the ground, or a blanket of ice, VanRensum says traction comes into play when motorists are taking long trips, or simply going in to work. “We’ve done a very good job throughout the years of keeping the valley prepared,” VanRensum added. In addition to acquiring traction, stud or stud-less tires for your vehicle, VanRensum says there are a few more things that folks can do to be prepared year-round.

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“It’s important to be checking the brakes, shocks, battery life and fluids,” he added. “We offer to check a lot of these things for free,” VanRensum said. “It’s important to check these, especially in the winter, for peace of mind knowing (your) car is ready for winter. VanRensum also says checking your tires tred life is important all year, but especially in the winter. “Make sure your car is in a good condition for the winter, check your tires, you may not need snow tires on your cars,” he said. One warning sign that a motorist may be sliding around more than what is normally accepted, is if the tire’s have low or inadequate tredding. As said before, VanRensum’s shop does check these for free, but he also says locals can check this themselves by conducting the Abraham Lincoln Penny Test. Place a penny into several tread grooves across the tire. If part of

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Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32” of tread depth remaining and are good to go. If you can see the former president’s head, its time for new tires. According to most state laws, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32” of remaining tread depth. To help warn motorists that their tires have reached that point, tires are required to have indicators molded into their tread design called “wear bars” which run across the tread pattern. However, as a tire wears it’s important to realize that the tire’s ability to perform in rain and snow will be reduced. With 2/32” of remaining tread depth, resistance to hydroplaning in the rain at highway speeds has been significantly reduced, and traction in snow has been virtually eliminated. For locals, that means extra winSee Winter, Page 2

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Mirror photo by Amber Schlenker

Pictured are examples of studded, stud-less and winter tires.

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