MADERA COUNTY October - December 2011 Issue
BREAKING NEWS! Tesoro Viejo Court Has Ruled (Story On Page 9)
RIO THE RESCUE DOG
EDITORIALS S P O N S O R E D
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR B Y
T H E
M A D E R A
O V E R S I G H T
C O A L I T I O N
YOSEMITE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT
JEREK MANUAL MARTINEZ-#52 O/L-Center, D/L Nose Guard
MATT HARDY- #64 O/L – Left Tackle LB
Jerek is a seventeen year old senior at Yosemite High School. He lives in Yosemite Lakes Park. Jerek weighs in at 180 and is 5’10” tall. He has played football for seven years and this is his second year playing varsity football, and also competes in swimming. Jerek’s future plans are to attend Questa College where he plans to obtain a degree in automotive engineering. His favorite hobby is working on cars and maintaining strong physical fitness through weight room training with the team. “I think the strongest element about our football team is how strong we are together. There isn’t just one leader on the field. The whole team are leaders. Coach Eames is the best coach I have ever known. He brings out the best in all of us.”
Matt is a seventeen year old senior at Yosemite High School. He lives in Raymond. Matt weighs in at 175 and is 6’2 ½” tall. He has played football for three years. He says that baseball is his hobby. Matt’s future plans are to attend either Fresno Pacific or Reedley College where he looks forward to playing baseball. Matt has a 3.0 GPA and says his favorite class is Strength and Fitness/PE. He says, “If I had to take one class all day long, this would definitely be the one!” Matt says the football coaches are great! “They push to levels we would never have thought we could reach as a team. Our team may be small in numbers, but we’re one of the strongest teams on which I have had the privilege to play. Our team is solid! Our team is family!”
Jerek Martinez’s nickname is “J-Mart .”
COUNTY LINE MADERA MAGAZINE Sponsored by:
The Madera Oversight Coalition
The County Line - Magazine, is a community based quarterly publication, sponsored by the Madera Oversight Coalition. Our Mission is to provide accurate, and important information relevant to citizens of Madera County and the Sierra Mountain Communities. We welcome your comments, suggestions and article submission. Please feel free to contact us: PUBLISHER
Mr. William Whitehead (559) 676-0587 firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR 2
Mr. James Chappel email@example.com
Matt Hardy’s nickname is “Hardy Party.”
THE PRESIDENT’S REPORT Written by:
Milestones & Memoriam We all have them, memories of tragic events both personal and societal. One of the most significant of course is the ten-year remembrance of 9/11. I do not use the term anniversary as there is nothing here to celebrate, for that date shall live in infamy like December 7, 1941. There are events in our lives that can bring about profound change in the way we look, feel, and approach the outside world and those who would cause us harm. 9/11 demonstrated to the world the indomitable American spirit. We shall never forget those brave NYPD officers and New York City Firemen who willingly gave up their lives so that others might live. May the victims and their families find peace in the knowledge that we Americans respect and honor their memories and will never forget . Madera County Milestone The Madera Irrigation District (MID) has opened its “Water Banking Doors” to potentially billions of gallons of water. On a 13,646 acre parcel the MID will be sending enough water over the next several years to fill half of Millerton Lake. This is the first major water storage project in decades in this area. As the area grows, the bank could become an important water source for housing developments. It could also ease a countywide groundwater overdraft of more than 150,000 acre-feet annually – about the amount of water Fresno uses each year.
In years of abundant rainfall, excess river water is diverted to the property. During dry years, the water is pumped for use on farms or in area cities. In addition officials will raise money to operate the bank by selling shares to cities, developers and other farm customers. Money from valley customers outside the district could amount to hundreds of dollars per acre-foot of water -- or millions of dollars in some years. California Milestone Yes, you guessed it, the California High Speed Rail System is the one issue that has raised more questions than anyone has answers for. Do we really need it? Can we afford it? How will we pay for it? How much fertile farmland will be lost to it? How many jobs will it create? Are you forward thinking? Are you afraid of the future? Will our children use it? Will our greatgrandchildren still be paying for it? Who is making money on it? Will it be outsourced? Will it be subsidized? Will it ever be completed? How many farms will it destroy? Will they take the land by eminent domain paying only a pittance for the land’s actual worth? As you can see the issues surrounding this proposed project are both immense and diverse. But if you are like so many you will simply sit back, apathetic to one of the biggest land grabs in the history of California. Go on and enjoy your lives and wonder why big government is trying to break the backs of our hard working California farmers and why you’re paying higher and higher taxes.
Y osemite H igh S chool F ootball S chedule October 14 —
7:00 PM, Liberty High School, (Madera, CA)
October 21 —
7:00 PM, Kerman High School, (Kerman, CA)
October 28 —
7:00 PM, Chowchilla High School, (Chowchilla, CA)
November 4 — 7:00 PM, Washington Union High School, (Fresno, CA) November 11 — 7:00 PM, Sierra High School, (Tollhouse, CA) 3
SACK LUNCHES I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought. Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan. After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time... As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.' His friend agreed. I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.' Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?' 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.' After eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars. 4
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers. Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm. When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars! Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.' Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little... A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'
“RIO” THE RESCUE DOG Written by: Rio & Melody Dewolf
She later discovered the Search and Rescue organizations and when I was 11 months old I began my training. Mom and I belong to state and county Search and Rescue organizations. We both went through an extensive 18 month training program and I have been certified to search for lost or missing people in the wilderness and in urban environments. I am also trained for HRD which is Human Remains Detection.
Hi there, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Rio and I’m a 6 ½ year old Australian Shepherd. My mom went to an Australian Shepherd breeder to get a “pet” and picked me out of the litter because I was the cutest. Well, even she will tell you that it’s not the smartest way to choose a puppy, even if you’re looking for just a pet. However, she will also tell you that she lucked out, since I’m not only cute, I’m very smart. I was so full of energy that mom also discovered that I needed a job.
I love people and I hope to be able to meet you sometime, not because you’re lost but because I may be lucky enough to see you while I’m out training or maybe while I’m working at the Coarsegold Emporium. I’m not there too often since most of my time is spent training or helping my mom at home or we’re up in the mountains getting some exercise or just having fun. I love my job and I’m proud to be a part of an organization whose motto is:
Coarsegold Emporium (559)
A Motherlode of Treasures by Local Artisans
info@CoarsegoldEmporium.com www.facebook.com/Coarsegold.Emporium www.CoarsegoldChamber.com/events.html
Gold Creek Center: 35335 Highway 41, #6
Coarsegold CA 93614
“So That Others May Live”
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SAVING LIVES?
Search and Rescue is always looking for people who may be interested in joining the team. There are several disciplines within the unit including K9, mounted (horseback), 4X4, dive team, quads, man trackers and foot pounders (those who search on foot) and there’s always a need for overhead (people who run or assist with Incident Command). The K9 team schedules training twice a week and takes place at numerous locations throughout Madera and Fresno Counties. Search and Rescue is a very gratifying activity and you get to work with your best friend as you’ll be training to save lives. If you are interested in getting involved call or stop by the Coarsegold Emporium and ask for Melody Dewolf & Rio 5
RADANOVICH TALKS ABOUT HIS BOOK “The New World Order Is The Old World Order” AT WILLOW BRIDGE BOOKS IN OAKHURST
Former U.S. Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA), who served eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, on August 27, visited Willow Bridge Books in Oakhurst and talked about his new book, “The New World Order is the Old World Order.” A leading voice in Congress on the need for cultural reform, Radanovich argues that with the world is in decline due to failed political philosophies such as Communism, Fascism, Socialism, and liberal progressiveness. Radanovich argues that rebuilding the four institutions of faith, family, work, and government are the cornerstones for real change in American society and governance. “Sixteen years as a member of Congress in Washington have given me a clear view of what works and what doesn’t,” Radanovich said. “Americans have historically put their faith in their leaders to keep this nation on the right track, but I am convinced that politics is downstream from culture. We have seen the country and the world in a slow decline over the past decades, and Washington politicians are not going to correct that. It’s not just a matter of giving the power to the right person or the right political party. Real reform begins not in Washington, but in our culture at home and in our communities.” “We are in desperate need of a new world view. Living a life of freedom in the face of God, with a Constitution of limited powers, and free access to
strong institutions of faith, family, work, and government is the way back to American Exceptionalism.” Congressman Radanovich, is the founder of The Four Institutions (www.TheFourInstitutions.com), a foundation for cultural reform. He also serves as the senior adviser to The DEH Group, a Washington, D.C. government affairs firm. Elected to Congress in 1994, Radanovich served as president of the House Republican freshman class of the new majority, and pressed the need for cultural reform to accompany the reduction in the size of government. He represented California’s 19th District for eight-terms in the House of Representatives. Following his retirement from Congress in 2010, Radanovich returned to his hometown of Mariposa, where he oversees his family vineyard. Willow Bridge Books is an independent bookstore
located in the Vons Center stocking new books, gifts, educational toys, and greeting cards. The bookstore welcomes special orders which are delivered usually within two days to the bookstore with no shipping charges. If you would like to order your book from home, you can place your order by going to your local bookstore website: www.willowbridgebooks.com. If you have questions about our special events schedule at the Willow Bridge bookstore please call:
Willow Bridge Books is an independent bookstore located in the Vons Center in Oakhurst, stocking new books, gifts, educational toys, and greeting cards. The bookstore welcomes special orders which are delivered usually within two days to the bookstore with no shipping charges. If you would like to order your book from home, you can place your order by going to the bookstore website:
www.willowbridgebooks.comI If you have questions about our special events schedule at the Willow Bridge bookstore please call:
559-692-BOOK (2665) 6
BARBER CHAIR POLITICS
I DIDN’T KNOW THAT
WHY WAS THE U.S.A. CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADED?
Written by: Frank
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000 New debt: $1,650,000,000,000 National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000 Let's remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget: Annual family income: Money the family spent: New debt on the credit card: Outstanding balance:
$21,700 $38,200 $16,500 $142,710
(on the credit card)
Total budget cuts:
* If you ran your family budget like the federal government how long would it take before your credit cards are maxed, the collection agencies start calling and the banks foreclose on your home throwing your family out on the street? Now you know why the US was down-graded.
We hear all this talk about building a high speed rail through central California and yet what most of us do not know is that it actually already exists. Several decades ago the Southern Pacific Rail Road installed what is known as high speed Ribbon Rails. These tracks can handle train speeds in excess of 90 mph. The State Transportation Department will not approve train speeds above 70 miles per hour. Are you wondering why? There are those within the department that claim the higher speeds would place undue risk on crossings and vehicle traffic. Others claim the expense to construct over or underpasses would be to costly. Still others claim that the Rail Road actually paid the various municipalities to construct these over and underpasses but the various city and county municipalities absconded with these funds hoping the public would not remember. One can’t help but wonder what kind of power grab is going on? Isn’t High Speed Rail just another expensive pipe dream we simply can not afford? If it actually made economic since then why not outsource it to private enterprise?
“YOU CAN’T FIGHT CITY HALL” Written by:
Why is it that whenever the County makes a decision that adversely affects the citizens or their properties, we hear those famous words? “YOU CAN’T FIGHT CITY HALL” We’ve all heard them. We may have even repeated them ourselves on occasion. The words seem to be born of frustration at not being heard by our elected officials. They are a feeble response to bad decisions that “seem” to be the last word. I say “seem” because, usually, we citizens stop there and don’t pursue any further. The history of the Madera Oversight Coalition (M.O.C.) is the mountain’s story of a group that did pursue it further. In 2006, two respected mountain community leaders realized the futility of depending on the system to function properly on its own. They saw, first- hand, valid objections to particular development projects, out rightly disregarded by the County Supervisors and their planning commissioners. Refusing to accept the County’s decisions as final, they pushed back. Other frustrated residents were recruited, money was pooled, and an attorney was hired. M.O.C. soon learned there is strength in numbers and the bills are more manageable that way. A name reflecting the goals was chosen along with a mission statement and by-laws. M.O.C. has since acquired its 501C-4 designation from IRS and a WEB site (www.moc1). Membership in the mountain organization grew as citizens realized M.O.C. was the only readily
available source of information regarding all the upcoming development projects being considered by Madera County and what impact each proposal will have on water, septic and roads. The real question was, could M.O.C. actually accomplish anything? I am proud to say that M.O.C.’s own track record of winning three of four lawsuits against the county speaks for itself. M.O.C. is monitoring and actually involved in various degrees with other projects currently under consideration by Madera County. Is M.O.C. being successful? That answer is best supplied by the Supervisor who referred to M.O.C.’s, successful lawsuits and cautioned the other supervisors, “make your decisions carefully. M.O.C. is not going away until their goal is accomplished. When asked what that goal is, M.O.C. told the supervisors it was “to not be needed.” When the county stops authorizing developments that are deficient and end up costing the tax payers more money, there will be no need for M.O.C. The days for euphemisms like “you can’t fight city hall” or “it doesn’t concern me or my property” are over. Every development anywhere in Madera County or its corridors will affect each and every one of us via water, septic or roads. More importantly, we are learning you can fight city hall, especially, in large numbers. Come join the fight: if not for your community, then for the well-being of your own property and your pocket book.
The Publishers Message Written by: William Whitehead
Dear Readers, I wanted to thank everyone for your wonderful calls and letters of support for our publication: “The County Line.” This is a magazine that is here by the people and for the people. – Please feel free to contact us regarding any issues you believe should be addressed within our County. We welcome your suggestions and submissions including topical articles, historical stories and Letter’s to the Editor. Remember, we are a quarterly publication so make your submissions as early as possible. And again thank you so much for your support. Advertising inquiries are always welcome. Email your questions or submissions to our editor: firstname.lastname@example.org (or) call our publisher directly at (559) 676-0587 8
BREAKING NEWS Tesoro Viejo Development ~ “The Court Has Decided” Written by:
The McCaffery Development, in 2008, submitted a development plan to the Madera County Supervisors for approval. The Plan was of course approved with the normal fanfare and we are off to the races. Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC), in conjunction with The Dumna Tribal Counsel and Revive the San Joaquin Group, having reviewed the plan and determined that there were major flaws, filed suite against that approval. MOC as well as the other groups understand that growth is necessary and beneficial if done within the constraints of County and State land use laws. In this case it was thought that there were several violations of those laws to the detriment of the residents of Madera County. One area of concern in this project related to the availability of approved and certified water supply. The project proposed the use of water holding contract (Contract No. 7) designated for the express purpose of agriculture for this development. This idea has been unsuccessful in the past based on previous projects and litigation on said plans. The next concern is the traffic control plans related to the project and Highway 41. The traffic impact study the developer used was based upon the 1995 general plan as it related to the Rio Mesa Development area. The study did not incorporate an
actual base to determine the real impact of the additional traffic associated with the Tesoro Viejo Development. Additionally, within the confines of the proposed project area, there are several Cultural resource sites that would require special handling and or restricted development areas. These sites were simply not recognized nor addressed within the development plan. The California Appeals Court has just handed down it’s decision on this litigation, and The Court agrees that the Tesoro Viejo Development Plan did violate the rules relating to the items discussed and the project has been sent back to Madera County for decertification. We welcome the McCaffery group to come back with revisions that will address our concerns and better suit our community needs. William Whitehead—Publisher MADERA OVERSIGHT COALITION MEETING TIMES AND PLACE
Oakhurst Library 2nd Monday of each month—6:00 PM Website: www.MOC1.ORG Our meetings are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Dine In or Take-Out Enjoy the finest in Northeast China Cuisine Whether for lunch or dinner The Taste Of China Is Always The Perfect Choice
IN VON’S SHOPPING CENTER 40034 Hwy 49, Suite A-1, Oakhurst, CA
The Property Rights Battle: Rights vs. Rights You often hear talk in Santa Barbara County about private “property rights,” and the need to defend them from wrongful attacks by the government, NIMBYs and know- nothing environmentalists. There is some truth to this. Often the talk comes from self-proclaimed property rights advocates who want the public to believe that private property owners have the “right” to do pretty much whatever they want with their property, and that the public has no right to interfere. As a private property owner, I must admit that quite often I have these same feelings. However, this has never, ever been true in America. In America, rights in private property always have accrued to the individual property owner, the neighbors and to the community at large. Here is a great example: In the 1600s, a private property owner in colonial Massachusetts was arrested for the way he used his private property. His defense was that he was simply clearing the land in order to plant a garden to feed his family through the long New England winter. He was tried, convicted and jailed. As this indicates, the task facing the community is to balance the rights of the individual property owners and the rights of the community. Neither side has a claim to the high ground in the discussion, because both sides are equally legitimate participants. What makes this challenge, besides the huge amount of money at stake, is that this is not a classic struggled between right and wrong. Except for people with sociopathic tendencies, anyone can tell the difference between right and wrong. The difficulty comes from the fact that this is a balancing act between rights and rights. Private property owners have important rights to use their properties and to seek profit and pleasure from such use. It is imperative that these rights are protected. Likewise, the public has important rights related to private property that also must be honored. Health, safety and welfare must be protected. That is why you can’t set “your” woods on fire or pollute water. Economics is another reason. Something that an individual might want to build or do could have a huge negative effect on a neighbor’s property value 10
or even on the neighborhood. Such things as visual impacts, pollution and traffic can adversely affect when developments become large enough to impact entire communities. We all have rights to a degree of peaceful enjoyment of our properties, so an individual’s wish to conduct activities that produce excessive noise, lights or traffic may not be acceptable. A great example is the ongoing controversy at the Crossroads property on Foxen Canyon Road just outside Los Olivos, involving an individual property owner’s insistence on holding large “parties for profit” at the expense of the neighbors’ quality of life. What could be the first land-use policy to evolve in what is now the American West may be a useful guideline in resolving this rights-versus-rights debate. It arose in the early 1600s, almost 400 years ago, out of a water dispute between a private landowner and the public commons in the Capitol City of New Spain – Santa Fe, New Mexico Fe. The Spanish colonial governor temporarily shifted water rights to the private landowner for a year, to see what the effect would be. The result: the public’s ability to use the common for grazing livestock suffered badly. Returning the water right to the common, the governor established the principle of “bien common” literally “the community good.” The governor further explained the individual should not profit at the expense of the community. Note that this principle does NOT say that the individual shall not profit from his private property. It simply says not at the expense of the community. With regard to our balancing act today, this would seem to be a very helpful principle to apply. PROPERTY RIGHTS: PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE IMPORTANT RIGHTS TO USE THEIR PROPERTIES AND SEE PROFIT AND PLEASURE FROM SUCH USE. VS. PROPERTY RIGHTS: LIKEWISE, THE PUBLIC HAS IMPORTANT RIGHTS RELATED TO PRIVATE PROPERTY THAT ALSO MUST BE HONORED. HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE MUST BE PROTECTED.
(reprinted by permission of syvjournal)
Written by: Barbara Ulman
Hello friends of the Mountain Community, the local citizens group "Keep Our Mountains Beautiful" has been working with the Madera Board of Supervisors and county government officials to get a covered load ordinance passed requiring those driving open vehicles to the North Fork transfer station and Fairmead dump to cover and secure their loads to avoid litter falling out of these types of vehicles. California already has a code for covering open loads which many do not know or obey. The covered load ordinance would encourage people to cover their loads by charging a small fee for loads that arrive at the above locations uncovered. Covering open loads isn't difficult nor expensive and would keep our mountains beautiful by decreasing the unsightly litter that falls off open vehicles. The board is expected to be voting on this ordinance in SEPT. Please help to keep litter off the road by supporting this ordinance by writing/emailing/phoning your local supervisors. (Turn to page 16 for Madera County supervisor contact information) *Note: Tom Wheeler supports this but we need the other supervisors on board
40179 Enterprise Drive #G Oakhurst, CA 93644 (559) 658-2300 www.geocities.com/eaglelube 11
The Fickle Finger of Fate “Madera County and the Great Wall of Coarsegold” The Great Wall starts construction in 2003 - improper plans - improper inspections - no county intervention when red-tagged - no code enforcement no accountability from “Top to Bottom“. January 22, 2008 the Board of Supervisors gets its own “Red Tag” from the Grand Jury. A real wakeup call of all the things that went wrong with the project. “The Board of Supervisors responds to Grand Jury Recommendations”. (punt - hands it to RMA) The responses come from the Director of the Resource Management Agency and then handed back to the Board of Supervisors to certify. Mr. Beach (RMA Director) simply lists the department’s policies for all recommendations saying they are in place or are in the process, but fails to state anything that will be done to correct the problems with the Wall.
Now its September 2011 ~ Almost 4 years after the Board’s letter acknowledging the problems and a total of 9 years with nothing to show for the patience of the people. I for one, am darn tired of looking at the Eye Sore with its white band aid trying to cover the scars of Madera County Government. Please do not tell me that the problem is personnel turnover, this does not happen in a real business. Where does the buck stop??? The Grand Jury Final Report 2007-2008 - Great Wall of Coarsegold is located at this web address, and starts on page 64 (pdf page 79) http:// www.maderagrandjury.org/pdf/2007-2008-FinalReport.pdf K. Kilroy ~ Madera
U PD AT E S F RO M L A S T I SS U E
NUCLEAR FRESNO: Since our last publication the Fresno “Board of Supervisors” has revoked their support for this project due to strong public input against Nuclear Energy in the Valley. (We voted for it, before we voted against it). The Madera County Board of Supervisors is still in favor of Nuclear Energy in the Valley. http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/energy/9963-fresno-board-declines-nuclear-support-letter HIGH SPEED RAIL: Chowchilla residents upset that the Rail Authority’s lack of concern for the City and its Farmers at their Rail Workshop. The City Council voted unanimously to extend an emergency ordinance that would keep the rail authority from starting any highs speed rail projects without consent. Current estimates are between $50 to $100 million dollars, per mile. The Madera residents were not as upset as Chowchilla but they still stood up for Madera, seeking answers that have been very slow to come. One question I was asked was; does the current plan with its ever changing price tag include a train for the tracks. I waited for 30 minutes until I got the answer. Are you ready? The answer is No - No trains have been included in the Billions of dollars being spent. The Environmental Impact Reports for the Merced to Fresno and Fresno to Bakersfield rails were released on August 15, 2011. Comment for the Merced to Fresno are due by September 28, 2011, and comments have been extended for the Fresno to Bakersfield line and are due October 13, 2011. Comments can be made by anyone. To make a comment simply log onto the website listed below and choose which section you want to comment on: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/contact.aspx?cat=Merced_-_Fresno 12
~ UPDATES FROM LAST ISSUE—Continued ~ MADERA QUARRY: Located 4 miles up and behind the 22 mile gas Station. The Bates Station residents have officially challenged the quarry a second time in the 5th District Court of Appeals. They won the first time setting “Case Law Precedent” - the developers mitigation was to give residents bottled water for drinking, and grey water for their animals to drink. One of the Appeals Judges went so far as to ask if they were going to recycle the empty bottles. This determined group of residents is serious about not having their neighborhood inundated by air pollution, noise pollution, and high volume of trucks on a daily basis. GREAT WALL OF COARSEGOLD: Guess? We are working on the settlement with all parties and the plans will be out soon. Meanwhile 2T Storage is in full operation.
BRAIN TEASERS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
(Find answers on bottom of page 18)
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? What 11-letter word does everyone pronounce incorrectly? A horse is tied to a 30 foot rope. A haystack lies 40 feet away, but the horse is able to eat it. How is that possible? I went into the woods and got it. I sat down to seek it. I brought it home with me because I couldn’t find it. What is it? I’m light as a feather, yet the strongest man can’t hold me for much more than a minute. What am I? All about, but cannot be seen, Can be captured, cannot be held, No throat, but can be heard. What is it? How much dirt is in a hole in the ground that’s two feet wide, three feet long, and four feet deep? You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat? A farmer had nine sheep, and all but seven died. How many did he have left? Three large people try to crowd under one small umbrella, but nobody gets wet. How is this possible? I have two U.S. coins that add up to fifty-five cents. One is not a nickel. What coins are they? If you take two apples from three apples, how many do you have? What do you call a zipper on a banana? What vehicle is spelled the same backwards and forwards? What do lazy dogs do for fun? Which months have 28 days If a fire hydrant has H20 on the inside what does it have on the outside? How many animals did Moses take with him on the ark?
Dine In or Take-Out Whether for lunch or dinner The Taste Of China Is Always The Perfect Choice With family and friends
IN VON’S SHOPPING CENTER
40034 Hwy 49, Suite A-1, Oakhurst, CA
The Liberty Groves Development @ the Ranchos Located adjacent to the Madera Ranchos, the project would develop 1,320 acres into new homes, neighborhood commercial, community commercial, and a light industrial business park. The Liberty Groves Group is a proposing 7,012 housing units at build out. (22,648 new residents, 15,426 new Vehicles with 70,120 vehicle trips per day) Two of the three housing parcels are located on either sides of Avenue 12 west of the ranchos. The third parcel is approximately ¼ mile further west of the project site which is propose as a light industrial business park. The applicant has held two scoping meetings. The first meeting held on June 22 had a low turnout. A second scoping meeting was held on July 11th. Over 3,000 notices were mailed out, for which over 200 people attended the second scoping meeting. Residents Concerns about Traffic The residents noted Avenue 12 has become the second most traveled east west corridor, second to only Avenue 9 for commuters to and from the Fresno area. These commuters use 12 and 9 to connect to State highway 99 and State highway 41. Two proposed circulation alternatives for Avenue 12 are propose by the County. Avenue 12 widened to either a 4- lane or a 6- lane highway. Liberty Groves would pay their roadway portion. This project will add 4 signals located on Avenue 12 at roads 34, 34 ½, 35 and 35 ½ all about ½ mile apart. Will this create a serious backup that the expansion was supposed to alleviate? Residents Concerns about Water Where will the water come from and will it be sustainable for the required 20 year period? Water is always a critical issue in the Ranchos, where in the middle of the summer you can assume your well will draw sand. Sometimes we stretch a hose across the street and use the neighbor’s water. According to the Integrated Water Management plan (2008) the Ranchos, at the time had –4 to –5 foot aquifer decline per year. This totals to approximately 22,000 acre feet per year that is gone and not coming back. Note: 1 acre foot is used to calculate 1 household use. Domestic Water Supply and Conveyance / Per scoping literature Existing municipal wells in nearby Madera Ranchos are adequate only to serve existing customers. The Liberty Groves project area currently has no municipal water or sewer service. Portions of adjacent Madera Ranchos receive water service from two Madera County Special Districts: Maintenance Districts 10A and 95. Boundaries of both are in proximity to parts of the project area boundary. Formation of a special district (including possible annexation into an existing district) will be provided via ground water wells located within the project area. Imported surface water may be used either to recharge groundwater aquifers or as supplemental agricultural irrigation water, providing in-lieu recharge of the groundwater. Project Information
http://libertygroves.com/ http:www.madera-county.com/rma/archives/uploads/ 1310398658_Document_upload_ libertygrovesnopextension_final_7611.pdf
The Liberty Groves Development @ the Ranchos (continued)
Developer Information Applicant: Owner: EIR Consulting Firm: Land Use Planners: Madera Planner:
Liberty Groves, LLC. Igal Treibatch (Madera Resident) Michael Brandman Associates, Irvine CA. Hogle-Ireland, Inc, Irvine CA. Scott Harmstead 559-675-7821 / email@example.com Reference Information
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06039.html 3.23 persons per household http://www.clrsearch.com/Madera_Demographics/CA/Number-of-Vehicles-per-Household 2.2 vehicles per household http://www.pwconserve.org/issues/transportation/vtdcalculate.html 10 vehicle trips per day per residential household
“The Last Ride of Clyde Farnsworth” Written By:
Clyde Farnsworth's funeral didn't go according to plan. Old Jake brought the body to Prunedale in the back of a borrowed pickup. A camper shell hid the Costco coffin. The Costco coffin was Old Jake's. He kept it in his garage, and rented it to poor families to transport bodies to their burial places. Usually the poor families can't afford a regular funeral, so they bury the bodies of their loved ones in an orchard or an out of the way place. Jake brings the body in his Costco coffin. The family hires a willing pastor, and a short service is said. The family leaves, and the body is dumped into the hole so the coffin can be reused. The only trouble is some of the rowdy kids discovered the coffin in Jake's garage and covered it with graffiti. It had been a nice-looking maroon coffin before the taggers got to it, but it still serves its purpose, and one size fits all. And - best of all Jake makes a few bucks from the rentals. Anyway, we chose Prunedale because Old Jake’s frient, Jose, has a job with PG&E trenching with a backhoe up by the Jack London eucalyptus grove. It's a perfect place - close, but yet kinda isolated. Jose said he'd have a hole dug for the body at the top of the hill when he left work. All we had to do was bring the coffin there, dump in the body, throw in some dirt, and get the coffin out of there. Jose said he'd finish the burial the next morning using the backhoe. We kinda owed this burial to the old Clyde since he had been our high school teacher, and he saw to it that we got our diplomas ten years ago. After he retired, the economy went down the tubes and the State gave IOU's to pensioned teachers instead of real paychecks. Farnsworth soon lost his house and then he lost his car. We'd see him bumming around on his old yellow bicycle, checking out the dumpsters or window shopping at Salvation Army. Sometimes we'd play Chinese checkers in back of the Monte Mart and talk about the old days. Like most homeless, he seemed to have an eternal cough. We learned he once had a family- a wife and four kids. When the house was repossessed, the wife left. His kids scattered
everywhere, living lives of their own, so Farnsworth ended up back here in Salinas. I found him out by the Salinas River where he used to sleep. He was face down next to a dead campfire. I called Jake and Jose and we brought him back to Jake's garage and planned the final arrangements. Our plan was to wait until it was nearly dark, then drive up the hill to the grove, dump the body, and go have a few beers. I didn't know that somehow Jake had acquired a fancy chrome coffin carrier – the kind used by real funeral homes. When you pull the coffin out of the hearse, the wheels pop down, and you can roll the body to its destination. Unbeknown to me, he had the Costco coffin riding on this retracted carrier in the back of the pickup. At Prunedale, we pulled off 101 and started up the hill toward the Jack London grove. The three of us were in the front of the pickup and Farnsworth in back. I didn't realize how steep that hill is, but about half way up, gravity took control. As we analyzed it later, the latch didn't hold when the coffin rolled back and crashed into the tailgate. The gate flopped down, the coffin shot out, the wheels popped down, and Farnsworth started down the hill feet first. The road was paved, so the coffin picked up speed and was probably doing 40 miles an hour when it crossed the intersection of Highway 101 and Jack London Lane. Amazingly it went right in between moving cars and trucks and into that little shopping mall on the westside of the freeway. Still moving pretty fast, it headed directly toward the Rite Aid Pharmacy. If we had aimed it, we couldn't have been more accurate as it flashed between two parked cars and right through the motion-activated front doors of the store. Not yet out of momentum, the coffin streaked up the aisle and crashed to a halt at the prescription counter in back of the store. Behind the counter an amazed pharmacist stared at the first graffiti-covered coffin he had ever seen. The impact of the sudden stop sprung the lid of the coffin, and Farnsworth was thrown into a sitting position facing the paralyzed pharmacist. Continued on top of page 18
HOW TO CONTACT A POLITICIAN Part - 1 Madera is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976. The vast majority of Madera is part of California’s 19th congressional district, which is held by Republican Jeff Denham; a tiny part of Madera is in the 18th district, which is held by Democrat Dennis Cardoza. In the State Assembly, most of Madera is in the 25th district with a small part in the 19th district. Both districts are held by Republicans, Kristin Olsen and Linda Halderman respectively. In the State Senate, Madera is part of the 12th and 14th districts, which are held by Republicans Anthony Cannella and Tom Berryhill respectively. County of Madera Board of Supervisors
Supervisor (Name & District) 200 West 4th Street Madera, California 93637 Phone: 559-675-7700 Fax: 559-673-3302
District One: Frank Bigelow District Two: David Rogers District Three Ronn Dominici District Four: Max Rodriguez District Five Tom Wheeler Chief Clerk of the Board: Tanna G. Boyd
Senator Dianne Feinstein 2500 Tulare Street, Suite 4290 Fresno California 93721 (559) 485-7430, Fax: (559) 485-9689 http://Feinstein.senate.gov/public
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510-0504 (202) 224-3841, Fax: (202) 228-3954 Senator Barbara Boxer 2500 Tulare Street, Suite 5290 Fresno California 93721-2201 (559) 497-5109, Fax: (559) 497-5111 http://boxer.senate.gov/ 112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510-0505 (202) 224-3553, Fax: (202) 228-2382
Congressman Dennis A. Cardoza 2222 M Street, Suite 305, Merced, California 95340 (209) 383-4455, Fax: (209) 726-1065 http://www.house.gov/cardoza U.S. House of Representatives 1224 Longworth Building, Washington D.C. 20515-0518 (202) 225-6131, Fax: (202) 225-0819 District 19
Congressman Jeff Denham 1040 East Herndon, Suite 201, Fresno California 93720 (559) 449-2490, Fax: (559) 449-2499 http://www.house.gov/denham U.S. House of Representatives 2410 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510-0519 (202) 225-4540, Fax: (202) 225-3402
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Written By: Paul
I began to volunteer in the 1960s. It was my first experience in volunteering and I have never regretted my decision to be of service to others. Working with the blind by teaching them to read and type Braille, I helped my students to live independently in society. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with senior citizens. Listening to their stories about families, politics and even their romances. The elderly have a wealth of information about the past that they are always ready and willing to share. Thirty-two years ago, I became a Fire Fighter and enjoy being a first responder. I feel blessed when I can be of help to those who have lost everything – their homes and all they have worked for. Some of those I HOW TO CONTACT A POLITICIAN - Part 2
California State Senate 12th District
Cannella, Anthony 918 15th Street, State Capitol Modesto, CA 95354 Room 3048, Sacramento, CA 94248-000 (209) 577-6592 (916) 651-4012 1640 N Street, Suite 210, Merced, CA 95340 (209) 726-5495 369 Main Street #208, Salinas, CA 93901 (831) 769-8040
Berryhill, Tom 6215 N. Fresno Street, State Capitol Suite 104, Room 3076, Fresno, CA 93710 Sacramento, CA 94248-0001 (559) 253-7122 (916) 651-4014 4641 Spyres Way, Suite 2, Modesto, CA 95356
California State Assembly
have helped in the past have little more than the “shirt on their back.” I have come to enjoy the simple things of life! I have ridden horse back through the Sierras for days at a time as a volunteer with the Search and Rescue Team. I ride with other volunteers looking for signs of survival and tracking animal tracks. In an effort to give back to my community, I volunteer on my days off from the Fresno City Fire Department with the Madera County Fire Department. I help staff Station No. 10 in Yosemite Lakes Park. I assist in covering all of Madera County responding to everything from breathing difficulties to fatal car accidents. Every Tuesday, I volunteer with the Community Food Bank in Madera County. Volunteers bag pallets of fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute to the needy. The look of appreciation and hope in the eyes of the recipients are my reward for this effort. Whenever I “give” through involvement in a volunteer program, I “get” back so much more. This experience keeps me wanting to do more. I have made life long friends through these programs. It is a pleasure to get to know others who find satisfaction and joy from the volunteer experience.
“Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.” Robert C. Gallagher
719 Tully Road, State Capitol Suite C, Room 2111, Modesto, CA 95356 Sacramento, CA 94249-0025 (209)576-6425 (916) 319-2025
Experience, Concern & Service
29th District 6245 N. Fresno Street, State Capitol Suite 106, Room 4009, Fresno, CA 93710 Sacramento, CA 94249-0029 (559) 446-2029 (916) 319-2029 MADERA OVERSIGHT COALITION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman CFO Secretary Member Web site E-Mail
Bruce Gray William Whitehead Carol Yandell Jim Lamb www.moc1 info2moc1.org
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Rich Regert Sharon Regert Owner/Broker
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“The Last Ride of Clyde Farnsworth” Slowly the corpse moved its hands to clutch its own throat. Then it spoke: "Have you got anything to stop this coffin?" (Just kidding.) Actually, we don't know what happened inside that Rite Aid. We didn't stick around to find out. We took off and drove back to Salinas. A week later Farnsworth's obituary appeared in the Salinas Californian. The obit said he was born and grew up in a little copper-mining town in Eastern Nevada. After trying
(Continued from page 15)
his hand as a newspaper reporter, he turned to teaching. His first love was photography, and he documented his own life with photographs and journals. He told his friends, "I tried to be a good neighbor." Well, adios, Farnsworth. We hope you liked your ride. We'll see you on the other side! Actually, Clyde is alive and well, living in Coarsegold with his wife. Clyde was a teacher and journalist before moving to Coarsegold.
THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS — UP TO THE CHALLENGE Written by: Richard E. Lamontague
From the time of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. We are men of faith and men of action. We are worldwide. We are up to the challenge of a fast changing world. Last year alone, in addition to raising and donating more than $151 million to charitable needs and projects, we Knights volunteered 69 million hours of our time to charitable causes. We look at need through the eyes of faith and we generally approach projects together as a team. Our Charitable activities encompass a variety of local, national and international projects. From international partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity to our own Food For Families and Coats for Kids projects and other purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless. In central California there are forty-one Knights of Columbus councils. They are divided into eight districts and all participate in some of the many charitable opportunities offered by the Knights of Columbus worldwide. Although it is in the small community of Oakhurst in the foothills of the Sierra’s, it nonetheless, modestly does its part to fulfill the mission of the Knights. For example, we participate in the Campaign for People with Intellectual Disabilities by offering Tootsie Rolls one day a year at selected locations. No donation is too small. For this, we
count on the good will of local business owners who permit us to set up outside their establishments. For the past several years we have donated an average of $3,000 to Heartland, Mountain Hope and Social Vocational Services helping the disabled in our community secure better lives. The youth of our community is a special focus for our work. We contribute annually to Yosemite High School’s Sober Grad Night and we donate to and enter two soap box racers in the Sluice Box Derby held annually in conjunction with the Oakhurst Heritage Days. Finally, our council organizes the local portion of the Knights of Columbus National Free Throw Competition. So far, we have advanced three young people to the California State finals. It is heartening to see the enthusiasm of us “seniors” at these events. It almost rivals the energy of the young people who participate. One youth activity that deserves special mention is our support of men who are preparing for the ministry. The Knight’s R.S.V.P. (Refund Support Vocations Program) returns $100 to each council that sends a $500 support check to a seminarian in the course of a year. So far, we have managed to help two such men and we intend to continue this worthy practice indefinitely. Good old camaraderie and friendship fuel all our efforts as we join together to chop and split wood for the elderly, cook and serve a spaghetti feed for the community every first Friday, flip hamburgers in our specially.
Brain Teaser Answers: (from page 13)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
A Towel Incorrectly The other end is not tied A splinter Breath Wind
7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
None Ear of Corn Seven The sun is shining A nickel & a half dollar (only one is not a nickel) Two
13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
A fruit fly Racecar Chase parked cars They all do K9P None, it was Noah
LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER Dear William, Congratulations on your new County Line magazine. To get full color, slick paper cover, advertising, and interesting content is nothing short of a miracle. Then to give it away is a financial feat. You must be as busy as a beaver. I’m impressed. I did have one thought, for what it’s worth. In your “Letter from the Publisher,” you purport your goal is to inform “without bias, political objectives, or hidden agendas.” Good luck. First, it is impossible to avoid bias, and “hidden agendas” are lurking in every page. I have nothing against bias, and I suspect your publication will be more successful if you come right out and state your biases. Rush Limbaugh didn’t get where he is by being unbiased. The Madera Oversight Coalition is not a group of neutral ninnies. You folks have your agendas and your opinions. Come right out and admit it. That said, I do believe in fairness. It is possible to be biased and fair. Keep it honest and accurate, and, my boy, you (and your magazine) will go far. Best wishes, Clyde Farnsworth “Find Us Next To The True Value Hardware Store In Oakhurst”
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EDITORIAL Water is our most precious resource. We can not survive more than a few days without it. It is the source for recreational fishing, kayaking, rafting, boating, skiing, swimming and power. Everything about our lives, agriculture, work, travel, and adventure are all involved with water in some way. It is a resource we must protect, defend, manage and promote. Photograph by: JF Chappel - Editor