Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 9, 2004 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

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Ukiah, California
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Tuesday, March 9, 2004
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Spring training 2004 Page 6 Your health: Ask Dr. Qott Page 3 HONORS Students of the month .Page 9 INS In Brief .... Class, ads.. Comics ... Crossword Forum Jumble ... Landers .. 50 cent The Ukiah Mendocino County's local newspaper URMAL Tomorrow: Mostly sunny TUESDAY March 9, 2004 County mental health department further in the red The Daily Journal After cutting 45 jobs and setting up a special fund to deal with a $1.7 million deficit last year, the Mendocino County Mental Health Department is reporting that it will likely be almost $1 million further in the red this year. Mental Health Director Beth Martinez will ask the county supervisors to allow her to make more cuts in the department right away. Citing problems with a new computer system that was supposed to give mental health employees good information about how much they were spending and how much they were collecting in fees to keep the budget neutral, Martinez said the new system didn't get going until January of this year. "This meant that once again, the Department was running blind for the first six months on program-specific revenue data," she wrote in a memo to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Martinez added that they have found that while the ideal is to be repaid for all services the county provides, "there are still several large programs which will never be able to generate enough revenue to pay for themselves." The department is also facing a payment to the state this year of $380,000 which the state says the county was overpaid after an audit of the 1998-99 MediCal collections for mental health patients. Those two problems bring the department's red ink to a projected $586,000 this year. Add to that the department's inability to pay the $344,644 it is supposed to repay on the $1.7 million it owes the county already and the department's deficit comes to about $930,000, Martinez said. In order to combat that, Martinez has several ideas, not all of which are getting the support of local advocates for mental health patients. The first thing Martinez proposes to do is cut the Mental Health Department's hours by closing Fridays at noon which she believes would save about $425,000 a year and, if made effective April 1, would save $106,250 this year. The new Crisis Center that replaced the county^s psychiatric health facility known as the "PHF" unit, apparently has not saved the county the $500,000 a year in hospitalizations outside the county that the department projected. Martinez says the Crisis Center was configured with more services than mandated under law - for instance being able to send crisis workers both to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center and to the jail See COUNTY, Page 10 OLD TRADITION, Native American game finds popularity here By TONY ANTHONY Special to the Daily Journal Now that Ukiah has a lacrosse team, it may be accurate to say, "lacrosse has returned to Ukiah" because historians have found evidence that the sport was played by Native Americans in British Columbia and Northern California centuries ago. We know that the sport was played by North American Indians as early as the 15th century, on the East Coast and upper Middle West, making lacrosse this country's oldest indigenous sport. American Indians played the game not only for recreation, but also to settle tribal disputes and to toughen warriors for fighting, contests between as many as 1,000 men lasting as long as two or three days, beginning at sunup and ending at sundown each day. They used trees for goals and usually placed them 500 yards to a half- mile apart. Sometimes games ranged several miles across the countryside. French Jesuit missionaries, in the 17th century, wrote home about a game they watched being played by the Huron Indians With sticks resembling a symbol carried by bishops called the "crosier" (la Crosse). A sport steeped in myth The origins of lacrosse are rooted in Indian legend. Oneidas and other Iroquois revered the game as entertainment and for physical conditioning but lacrosse also held deeper religious significance. The Oneida Story of Creation describes a Spirit World, which preceded our earth and hangs above it. A world where its inhabitants know only happiness - some say, because they enjoyed lacrosse. Other tribes believed that See LACROSSE, Page 16 Amy WellniU/The Daily Journal Andrew Anthony prepares to throw the ball during a practice of the Ukiah "Crushers" Lacrosse team. Family and dogs unhurt in fire But home is a total loss By PEIJEANTSAI The Daily Journal A donation fund has been set up for a Redwood Valley family left homeless this weekend after a fire destroyed their home. The Troppy family - Carl, Vina, son Dustin, and their 11 puppies - were away from their Foothill Drive house when a fire started Saturday morning in a bathroom. Three other family dogs were play- ing outside and were unhurt by the fire. Redwood Valley- Calpella Fire District first received a call about the incident at 11:24 a.m. Saturday. Neighbor ZoeAnna Thies, who is housing the family in her home after the incident, has set up a fire relief fund at the West America Bank in Ukiah. Those wishing to obtain further information about the fund can contact Thies at 485-6277. The back half of the house was consumed by fire and the remainder suffered heavy See FIRE, Page 10 Chesbro heads first foray into health budget Chesbro Housing plan, setbacks on city agenda The Daily Journal The public is still welcome to comment on the city's draft General Plan housing element at a continued public hearing Wednesday night at 6: 30 p.m. before the Ukiah Planning Commission at the civic center. The plan outlines the city's housing strategy for the next five to seven years. The first hearings was held Feb. 25 and continued to this meeting as staff was asked to research information on topics such as: floating a bond measure to help fund affordable housing, providing finan- cial assistance for infrastructure improvements for residential infill projects, discussing "redevelopable" land in the city limits and providing incentives for hous.- ing projects that provide bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Also on the agenda is a request from Baruk Palmerin, owner of property at 742 and 740 Maple Ave. for a variance on setback requirements for second dwellings to add housing to both properties. The properties are on the north side of Maple Avenue adjacent to the school bus yard and there's a house already on one of the properties. The owner wants to build a house on t he second property and second units on both. The property owner wants relief from the rule that requires setback of second units to be the same as that of the primary home. In this case, the owner wants the second units to be about 20 feet from the street. The 750-square- foot second units will be built between the two primary residences and the street, essentially it the front yards of the two primary homes. City staff is recommending approval of the request. The Daily Journal In its first action on the governor's budget proposal, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, chaired by Sen. Wesley Chesbro Arcata), rejected proposals Monday to cap enrollment for state health programs. On Monday, the state legislature began its process to review the governor's 20042005 fiscal year proposed budget, which was introduced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in January. The legislature will continue discussions of the proposals over the next two months. The governor's budget proposes suspending enrollment at the Jan. 1 level for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, Healthy Families Program, Genetically Handicapped Persons Program, and the California Children's Services Program. "Capping enrollment in these programs will not save California any money; it is just cruel and irresponsible," Chesbro said. "These programs provide life-saving services and without these programs, the state would be responsible to pay for catastrophic healthcare costs that are currently being prevented by these programs." An Assembly committee will next review the same state health program proposals. After the action of Senate and Assembly committees, the governor can then choose to adopt the amended proposals in his updated budget draft in May. In its search to fund state health programs, the Senate health and human services subcommittee also identified $21 million in unused AIDS Drug Assistance Program rebates. The money comes directly from routine drug rebates the state receives from drug manufacturers. The committee also found nearly a million dollars in program inefficiencies that could be eliminated. "It is our responsibility as elected leaders to find ways to cut waste and streamline state government," Chesbro said. The subcommittee chose to hold off on taking action on the governor's other health care proposals, pending more research and information. One of those proposals aims lo adjust Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to Federally Qualified Health Clinics and Rural Health Clinics, including the elimination of the Alternative Rate Method currently used by 67 percent of state clinics. 009 8, Slut* $t* UJdui, 1892-2004 ro-G»<»wn 4k X*ro R*ym 4 »

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