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South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 1


2 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Message from the Mayor

Dear Gonzales Residents and Business Owners: I would like to reflect on the past year and share some thoughts with you for the upcoming year. While the economy has shown signs of recovery, I realize that we still have a ways to go. However, I need to start by Thanking you for (a) all that you do, (b) the valuable goods and services and jobs you provide, and (c) most importantly, that you continue to work and believe in your community. As for the City, we continue to make progress and have kept expenditures under control. 2013 saw many positive steps taken for the economic future of the City. On the development front we have several projects underway or about to start that will generate significant jobs and the accompanying economic benefits. These projects include: Significant expansion by Taylor Farms: Under construction is a 150,000 square foot expansion at the Taylor

Farm’s facility. This expansion will be completed and opened by April 2014 and will bring 300 jobs to our community; Construction of a New Health Facility: Over the next few months, we will see the see the construction of a new health facility by Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital that will be the new location for our own Dr. Ponzio and the Gonzales Medical Clinic; New Downtown pharmacy and restaurant: 2014 will bring a new restaurant in the former Windmill location as well as the construction of new pharmacy in the vacant lot on the south side of 4th Street; Construction of a wind turbine to power the Taylor Farm expansion: 2014 will also see the construction of the first commercial large-scale wind turbine in Monterey County. This project will not only provide a reliable and cost effective energy source but further the City’s G3, Sustainable Initiative;

2013 also saw the return of Starbucks, the opening of Skinner Equipment Repair on Gonzales River Road and a new store Excelencia Musical/Metro PCS opening in our Gonzales Shopping Center. On the program side we continue to work hard to offer programs and/or initiatives to you the business community. I hope that you find or are finding some of the following initiatives helpful: City updates its Economic Development Plan: 2013 saw the adoption of a new more robust Economic Development Plan that reflects a lot of your input and suggestions. We are excited about the new plan and look forward to working with all of you to move the plan forward. On this front, along with the Monterey County Business Council, we are taking the lead in creating a Regional Monterey Business Partnership, the creation of a new Regional Economic Development / Marketing Website and an update of our

Maria Orozco City of Gonzales Mayor

own Economic Development / Marketing Website.

See MAYOR page 12

Letter from the President

I

t has been an honor for me to represent the Chamber of Commerce as their President. I have enjoyed working with the board members, Vice-President, Rutilia Baltazar; Treasurer, Harold Wolgomatt; and Secretary, Sheryl Bailey. Linda Fellows has done a great job manning our chamber phone line and Chamber information can continue to be

delivered and or picked up at Russ’ TV at 34 4th St. We are looking forward to our Recognition Dinner that is scheduled for March 8, 2014 and will be held at The American Legion Hall at 419 5th St.. I invite you to view our Member Directory (included in this publication) and I urge you to support our members as they help support our community. I would also

like to invite you to become a part of our chamber. Please see page 15 for an application. You may contact David Celedon at 675-3354 or Rutilia Baltazar at 675-3637 with any questions. We look forward to another wonderful year!

David Celedon President

Gonzales Chamber of Commerce 120 4th St. • (831)675-9019

Recognition Dinner March 8, 2014

6pm Social Hour 7pm Dinner 8pm Awards $25 per person American Legion Hall 419 5th Street, Gonzales, CA

David Celdon, President Rutilia Baltazar, VP Harold Wolgomatt, Treasurer Sheryl Bailey, Secretary


2

South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 3

2014 Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

David Celedon President

Rutilia Baltazar Vice President

Harold Wolgomatt Treasurer

Sheryl Bailey Secretary

Gonzales Chamber of Commerce membership benefits Join the Chamber today!

Business Directory

Your business will be listed in our Local Business Directory, which is distributed in our local establishments and agencies. Once a year the Directory also gets mailed out to about 1,700 recipients in the city of Gonzales’ utility bill.

Web Site (www.gonzaleschamber.org)

Your business will get a page on our website, and if you have your own website, a link will be established. If you have any special promotions you may post them on our special “Promotions Section”.

Annual Chamber Guide

Your business will be included in the membership list of our annual Chamber Guide, which is published in the month of March by our local paper, the Tribune. The Tribune has distribution in all of South County, including Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield and King City.

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Chamber president and board members, along with the Mayor and City Officials, perform the ceremony.

Business Workshops

Training and education, including marketing, finances, City, State and Federal rules and regulations, business development resources, etc.

Quarterly Mixers

Mixers are held in local establishments, agencies, or City facilities.

Newsletter/Bulletin

All available information pertaining to our business community will be forwarded to our members. General information about our community will be included

Business Resource Center

This is located in our office at 120 Fourth St. Gonzales (across from City Hall). Members are welcome to display business cards, brochures, etc. for our visitors. Members also have access to Internet and fax services, as well as to our “Community Bulletin Board” where current promotions may be displayed.

Special Events

As a member, you will have the opportunity to showcase your business at our special events. Members receive a special discount for a booth space. You may feature and sell your company’s products/services and/or distribute your business cards and brochures. Spaces are limited, and members are given first option.

Referrals

All inquiries received by the Chamber for services and products will be referred to members only.


4 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Vista de Santa Lucia Artisan Winery Complex proposed

Photo Courtesy Kirk Kennedy

Local photographer and artist Kirk Kenndy’s photo was taken west of Gonzales before the bridge where the new visitor center will be located. His work will be on display and for sale and the facility.

BY DEBORAH MILLS GONZALES -- There is a proposed Vista de Santa Lucia Artisan Winery complex and Agricultural Visitor Center development that creates an entry point to the River Road Wine Trail where visitors can venture to other local wineries. This proposed project is coupled with the wind turbine project that was approved by the county where one of the 920 square foot foundations is in place to be utilized by the new Taylor Farms expansion. In the project proposal it states that this clean energy technology will be showcased in the winery complex and agricultural visitor

center, along with solar and advances in water filtration/recycling technology. The wind turbines will serve as a beta site for testing new technologies and ongoing monitoring in quantifying wildlife impacts if any in the Highway 101 corridor. The visitor center will be embedded into a temperature controlled warehouse that will feature landscape photographs and old world label art by local photographer and artist Kirk Kennedy. Kennedy’s photographs and produce art will be printed on giant size reproductions and hung from high warehouse ceilings and walls to produce a dramatic visual in recreating Monterey’s scenic beauty and

history. The artisan winemaking village will provide additional warehouse spaces with build-to-suit private winery store fronts that will be available for artisan and consulting wine makers to create old world wines. The temperature controlled warehouse and refrigeration systems will be powered the neighboring wind turbines. The Vista de Santa Lucia artisan winemaking village will create multiple selling opportunities and in the process promote the rich agricultural heritage. The history of agricultural, wine and wildlife conservation will be on full display with various educational kiosk media

forms. Visitors will be introduced to local wines and grown produce which will be available for purchase in an upscale indoor market setting. A variety of local foods, entertainment and educational venues will be offered at the center and shall be bundled with world class regional wines. The visitor’s center will also have a wildlife kiosk to educate patrons on the wildlife habitat to educate the public on the wildlife of the Santa Lucia Highlands mountain range and the conservation efforts being employed by non-profit groups like the Ventana Wildlife Society.


South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 5

Bracero Memorial Highway dedicated at ceremony BY DEBORAH MILLS SALINAS- The Bracero Memorial Highway dedication ceremony was held on Sept. 14 at the National Steinbeck Center where dignitaries and citizens came out to celebrate not only the highway dedication on the stretch of Highway 101 from Gonzales to Chualar but to honor all of the people that work in the fields and who assist with growing and harvesting fresh vegetables that keep agriculture alive in the county. “I heard about the tragedy 50 years ago. I was 10 years old and I was in Pacific Grove with my dad and we would always listened to KIDD radio in the morning before I went to school and before he went to work,” said Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller. “I remembered hearing about that it was such a tragedy. I was 10 years old and I didn’t know what Bracero meant.

He explained it to me about the people that worked so hard in the fields and then this terrible tragedy occurred to then. From then on Bracero was burned into my brain. This has stayed with me all my life.” Miller continued, “I drive through the fields everyday and I see the people toiling in the fields and I know how hard they work for so little.” The Mistress of Ceremonies Leticia Candelario welcomed the crowed, standing room only hall and kept the event moving in the direction of respecting not only the Braceros that worked in the fields but the people who still to this day are very much a part of the local community and how there is still a need for improvement when it comes to their livelihood and working conditions. Dignitaries made presentations from a local level of government all the way up

Archive photo/South County Newspapers

At the event in Salinas, Joel Rafael sang to the crowd the Woody Guthrie’s song “Deportee” that was inspired from the tragic accident that took place in Coalinga on Jan. 28, 1948, where none of the Bracero’s names were recognized and were referred to as Deportees.

See BRACERO page 16

GONZALES MEDICAL GROUP Inc. 133 Fourth St., Gonzales • 675-3601

Christine C. Ponzio, M.D. • Anita Fragoso, PA-C Dr Rod, D-P.M. • Roger Pittman, PA-C

Board Certified Family Practice

*Family Medicine *Infants and Children *Office Gynecology *Healthy Family Program *DMV/Sports Physicals *Work Injuries *CHDP Program *Minor Surgery

We Accept: Medi-cal, Medicare, Workman’s Comp. and Most Insurances ***24 On call service*** ***Se habla Español*** Monday Thru Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm


6 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Members 34 4th St. • (831) 675-2909 • www.GonzalesChamber.org • gonzaleschamber@sbcglobal.net

ABC Daycare................................................................. 675-3755 Alicia Arroyo................................................................. 675-2850 Alta Medical Clinic......................................................... 675-9401 Alta Tax Services........................................................... 675-3765 Mitch Arnesen............................................................... 915-7558 Servicio de Income Tax Constellation Wines, USA........ 753-4505 Calabro’s Plumbing & True Value Hardware.................. 675-2099 California Rodeo Salinas............................................... 775-3102 Carlito’s Steakhouse & Bar............................................ 675-3401 Coast Oil Company, LLC (Commercial Fuel/Cardlock)..800-366-7720 Canton Garden Restaurant............................................ 675-0387 Castro Harvesting Inc................................................... 675-2918 City of Gonzales............................................................ 675-5000 El Rinconcito Restaurant............................................... 675-3859 Farmers Food Market.................................................... 675-3081 Farmers Insurance Group (Craig Hicks Agency)........... 675-3347 Fred Lombardi Sergeant GPD....................................... 675-5010 Gabilan Insurance Agency............................................. 675-3446 General Vineyard Services............................................ 675-2311 La Guadalupana Frozen Drinks...................................... 794-5061 LauraTDecore (Event Coordinator)................................ 261-2100 L & M Ice Cream (Truck)............................................... 675-3775 La Plaza Bakery............................................................. 675-2337 Lucky Bamboo Chinese Rest......................................... 675-0198

Mathias Villegas, FLC.................................................... 675-2655 Mi Tienda Produce/Fruteria........................................... 675-2075 McDonalds.................................................................... 675-8753 Napa Auto & Truck Parts............................................... 675-3631 Oak Shores Realty......................................................... 595-9939 Open Range Communications................................209-858-4900 Pacheco Water Store.................................................... 675-2913 Pembrook Development, LLC................................408-782-1669 Plasco Energy Group ................................................... 524-0408 George Worthy Photography ....................................... 675-1033 Gonzales Dental ........................................................... 675-3354 Gonzales Dental Care ................................................... 240-0865 Gonzales Gift Shop........................................................ 596-4927 Gonzales Irrigation Systems ........................................ 675-2376 Gonzales Medical Group .............................................. 675-3601 Gonzales Rx Pharmacy ................................................ 675-3643 Gonzales Tribune........................................................... 385-4880 Gourley Construction ................................................... 675-3988 Gonzales Shopping Center ........................................... 772-8100 Green Valley Farm Supply ............................................ 675-0168 GTO Packing ................................................................ 678-9612 HealthySoil (Agricultural Manufacturing & Serv.)......... 675-3144 Ismael The Stylist ......................................................... 675-2126 Jalisco’s Market ........................................................... 675-3466

Is a proud member of the Gonzales Chamber. We are honored to serve our Gonzales Community for over 74 years & we look forward to continue serving you.

Here for all your Local News, Newspaper Advertising, Subscriptions, Special Supplements such as the Gonzales City Map, Gonzales Chamber Guide, South County Visitor’s Guide, South County Phone Books, Official Salinas Valley Fair Programs, Little Big Game Insert, Gonzales High School Sports Posters & More.

Main Office: 522 B Broadway King City, CA. 93930

Phone (831) 385-4880 • Fax (831) 385-4799

Jim’s Liquors ............................................................... 675-3875 Jolly Roger Catering Serv. ............................................ 675-0110 Johan Henry Liquor & Foods ....................................... 675-0950 John Pedevilla Electric ................................................. 675-3937 Linda Taqueria .............................................................. 675-0149 Rabobank ..................................................................... 675-3637 Ramsay Highlander (Agricultural Manufacturing)......... 675-3453 Quality Farm Labor ....................................................... 675-3690 RC Farms ..................................................................... 675-0308 Rob’s Run (Non-profit)................................................. 675-3314 Russ’ TV ...................................................................... 675-3393 Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority............................. 775-3006 Sassy Sisters Boutique................................................ 675-0419 Shirley Piffero Bookkeeping ......................................... 675-3961 Harry Singh................................................................... 905-4838 Small Business Dev. Center ......................................... 675-7232 St. Theodore Cath. Church ........................................... 675-3648 Tacos El Jalisciense ..................................................... 675-3634 Taylor Farms ................................................................ 675-1370 The Gonzales Tribune ................................................... 385-4880 The New West (Western wear/Ropa Vaquera)............... 675-8648 TinaMaries Jewelry ...................................................... 675-1757 Harold Wolgamott......................................................... 594-8101


South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 7

Rural healthcare center coming soon BY DEBORAH MILLS GONZALES -- The new healthcare center on behalf of the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) will be built in the vacant lot adjacent to the Chevron Station on Fifth Street, and it will be providing out-patient services to residents of South Monterey County. The project is a partnership between Salinas Valley Memorial and Dr. Christine Ponzio. What makes this project different is that it is not a physician-based rural care practice but a hospital-based rural care practice. The benefits of the new center being hospital-based is that they will receive a higher reimbursement rate from insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare. “This is very exciting because of all the possibilities of expanding services is so much greater,” said Ponzio in an interview last Sept. “And also hospitals need to have more clinics involved because many people go to a hospital because they don’t have a primary doctor. They need more primary doctors in their satellite to improve follow-up with a lot of people.” At this new facility they will be able

to expand their services, such as wellness and nutrition education. This project has been in the works for the last five years and the driving force behind it was Ponzio. She joined forces with John Handel and together they kept the opening a facility like this in the forefront for everyone. “I think the key to the story is we never gave up,” said Handel. “We kept pushing and pushing and pushing Submitted rendering and finally we got a break through and the The new healthcare center will be built in the vacant lot adjacent to the Chevron station on Fifth board (SVMHS) voted Street. The lot has been subdivided and escrow has closed. Mid March there will be a ground breaking ceremony. on it.” “We are very excited to build this state of tina Ponzio, who is currently at a small faPonzio graduated from the University the art medical facility to better meet the cility at the Gonzales Medical Group, with of California San Diego and School of needs of the community,” said SVMHS be the one operating the clinic. Currently Medicine in La Jolla. Chief Operating Officer James Griffith in she has two physician technicians and her Ponzio offers the services of a family an earlier interview last year. “Dr. Christeam will also be expanding.”

See HEALTHCARE page 16

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8 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Skinner Equipment Repair is growing strong

BY DEBORAH MILLS GONZALES — Skinner Equipment Repair at 55 River Road in Gonzales held a celebration of its new 10,000-square-foot mechanic shop on Aug. 30 where employees, customers and family gathered for a Swiss sausage barbecue. “I am really excited that we have the new building,” said owner Cody Skinner. Skinner Equipment focuses on repairing big agricultural equipment but also works on smaller machines and trailers. They have two field trucks, and they often have to go on site to perform services on equipment. They have customers from King City

to Hollister and all along the coast line. Skinner was born and raised in Gonzales. His main passion is working on John Deere equipment. When he was in high school he worked for his uncles, who had a shop just down the street from his current location. After he finished school he did an internship with a local John Deere Dealership and then went out and worked in the field. Three years ago he opened his own business, starting out in a much smaller location. His business grew quickly, and now he has a shop triple the size and he employs four mechanics who also live in Gonzales.

Deborah Mills/South County Newspapers

Cody Skinner, holding his son Prescott with his wife Christy, were outside their brand new, 10,000-square-foot building, welcoming customers and the public to come and see how their business has grown on August 30.

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South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 9

Landfill gas-to-energy project unveiled

Deborah Mills/South County Newspapers

Soledad Councilmember Richard Perez, Palo Alto Vice Mayor Nancy Shepherd, Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority Executive Director Patrick Mathew and Ameresco Senior Vice President Michael Bakas.

BY DEBORAH MILLS GONZALES -- Local dignitaries, energy industry leaders and community members attended a ribbon cutting ceremony last Sept. 11 that was held at the Johnson Canyon landfill to commemorate the completion of its 1.4 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project. “The Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority continues its focus on finding worth in what our community discards, and the Ameresco landfill gas-to-energy project is a great example of creating community value,” said SVSWA General Manager Patrick Mathews. “We are proud of our partnership with Ameresco in creating a brand new renewable-energy source in the Salinas valley.”

This LFGTE project is being recognized as an innovative renewable energy project partnership between Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA), Ameresco and the city of Palo Alto who will be getting the benefit of purchasing electrically at a low, competitive rate. “This is a project that we have been working on for many, many years. We looked at many different options,” said Mathews. “Including piping gas to the adjacent prison, but at the end of the day it turns out for us to simply taking that methane and converting it into energy made the most sense.” “We faced many challenges along the way, we actually started this project in 2008 and here we are in 2013 celebrating it‘s operation,” said Ameresco Vice President Michael Bakas. “A part of that was

the due diligence process for Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority going through and making sure they were picking the right project partner and what is the best project. This is not something that just happened over night.” Ameresco designed, permitted, constructed and now operates the LFGTE facility at the Johnson Canyon landfill, which is owned by SVSWA. They have an agreement for Ameresco to purchase the landfill gas for use in their plant and signed a 20-year agreement with the city of Palo Alto for the renewable energy. A portion of the revenues form the sale of that power will be returned to SVSWA for the duration of the contract. Mathew explained that since the city of Palo Alto has their own utility company, which is conducive to them purchasing

the energy at a reasonable cost verses if PG&E purchased it would have to be at a premium. “No they won’t actually get the electrons from this plant,” said Mathews. The electricity goes onto the PG &E grid but it is accounted for as a transaction on paper with all parties involved.” The LFGTE plant diverts landfill gas through extraction wells and pipes.. The methane is cleaned before specialized engines convert it to electricity. The Massachusetts-based Ameresco was founded in 2000 and has been providing services throughout North America. They are the industry leader in providing comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions.

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10 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Wind turbines bring clean energy to industrial park BY DEBORAH MILLS The update on the Commercial-scale Wind Energy Project is that the City Council approved a lease with the Herb Meyer Trust in mid-December providing the city with access to the two wind turbine sites for which the county board of supervisors granted a “Use Permit” in last July. The Council also authorized the city manager to enter into a sublease with Foundation WindPower to allow the beginning of construction of one of the turbines. Construction of the foundation of one of the turbines was completed in late December. The turbine will be utilized by Taylor Farms to offset some of their electrical power needs. The community development director and city attorney met with the county planning director and county counsel on Feb. 6 to discuss the process of conveyance of the pads to the city. The parties agreed that the city is exempt from the “Subdivision Map Act” so just a deed conveyance of the pads to the city will suffice. The county also agreed that the city will not have to comply with county zoning standards; primarily minimum parcel size. The county agreed to record a “Certificate of Compliance,” which indicates that the county views the pads as legal parcels. The main focus of the discussion was on what happens to the pads in 25 to 30 years, if or when the turbines are dismantled. The parties

agreed that a deed restriction should be drafted that describes why the pads were created and make it clear that they are not developable parcels. The city attorney and Community Development Director Thomas Truszkowski are preparing some language for the deed restriction to share with the county that addresses the afterlife of the turbines. The city had began working on getting approved with the Monterey County Planning Commission (MCPC) in the early part of last year for the installation of the two wind turbines on the agricultural land immediately adjacent to the Gonzales Agricultural Industrial Park on the west end of town. It is the intent to market the vacant land in the park together with wind power to attract high-energy users, such as coolers and food processing operations. On Jan. 30, 2013 the project was brought to the MCPC, which said there were a few corrections that needed to be made on the Environmental Sequel document. The revised document needed to be re-circulated for 30 days before the Planning Commission can take any action on it. The hearing was scheduled for March 13, 2013. The project consists of two commercialstyle wind turbines, which consists of threebladed turbines on tubular steel towers with a hub height range of approximately 262 feet. The pole is 212 feet above the ground and each blade is 126.5 feet, equaling 338.5 feet high.

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For comparison, the three-legged water tower on Fifth Street is about 125 feet tall. The site chosen for the turbines was selected because it is on the outskirts of town and there are also two 130-foot cell towers located within the same area in the industrial park, meaning the turbines should not pose any aesthetic concerns. In the Exhibit B that was presented to the Planning Commission last year was a report concerning biological impacts. Relative to biology, there were no natural vegetation communities found on the site or within a half a mile of the site. Plant species found on the site included one cultivated plant species and five additional common plants. In relation to birds, seven wildlife species were observed which included one on the California Department of Fish and Game list. No bats were observed. Certain bird species, such as the California condor, golden eagle, burrowing owl, California horned lark, ferruginous hawk, northern harrier and white-tailed kite, and bats are susceptible to impacts from wind turbines, but none of these species are anticipated at the Gonzales site. According to the California Natural Diversity Database, the nearest occurrence for any of these species is two to two and a half miles away. A single horned lark was spotted passing through the site in May of 2012. Since there are no trees on the site, raptors will not have a place to nest. The closest raptor

nests were found within one mile of the site. Included in the packet that the Planning Commission received was a letter from Ventana Wildlife Society’s Senior Wildlife Biologist Mike Stake, dated last Aug 3. The letter was to inform the county that they are conducting bird and bat monitoring for the site. They will continue monitoring in the pre-construction for one year and hope to continue monitoring to evaluate levels of mortality after the turbines are in place. The property is owned by Herb Meyer, who has been a long time benefactor to the city. The city will control and manage the turbines and arrange the construction. It was Meyer who hired Ventana to do the follow up after the EIR was completed. “It is a testament of the concern for the condors to have us on site to track and observe the condors,” said Stake. “ With our tracking and observation we use GPS where we can follow their movements.” Currently the condors travel from Big Sur to Pinnacles National Park, but their flight pattern is south of Gonzales, which makes the proposed location desirable. They also fly much higher and near the Salinas River, which is quite a way from the Gonzales. The areas of emphasis for the city is that the project will assist with local job creation, enhance city revenue while being environmentally sustainable.


South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 11

Fourth of July festivities enjoyed by all BY DEBORAH MILLS GONZALES — In Central Park community members filled the grassy area in celebration of the nation’s birthday where the event was geared to local community families. “This is the first year I have attended this celebration,” said three-year resident Theresa Yadao. “They have something for everyone. It is nice how they have the stage located right next to the children’s playground. That gives me the opportunity to listen to the live music plus keep an eye on my children.” Kicking off the day’s events was the traditional Fourth of July parade where people gathered along the sidewalks and waved at all of the participants. The parade route started at Alta and Seventh Streets and went down to Day and across to Fifth Street and back to Alta. Heading up the parade was Gonzales Chief of Police Paul Miller driving a car with lights flashing and sirens blaring as he waved to everyone watching. The Grand Marshal last year was local resident Rodger Baez. A big highlight for parade-goers was the cowboys on their dancing horses. Last year they had with them a cowboy riding a Brahma bull leading the pack. Promptly at 12:30 p.m. on the grand stage local business owner Young Kim sang the national anthem for the second year in a row. Kim is known for singing traditional Korean songs, and since English is his second language he practiced throughout the year. “This year I will do better,” said Kim prior to singing. “Last year I was so nervous. I have it down now.” All of the family-oriented activities started right after the presentation of the colors and the national anthem was sung. They continued all day until 6 pm. There was a beer corral for the adults to have a cold one and a kids corral with supervision. They had as many as 20 vendors serving food and drinks of all kinds, from tortas, tri-tip, and tacos to fruit cups and icy drinks to satisfy both children and adults. Many of the venders were non-profits, who were raising money for local charitable and educational purposes. Live music featuring traditional rock ‘n’ roll bands, like local Gonzales High School alumni band Gonza Bozs, had people on their feet and dancing.

Later on the live music was provided by the well-known Chicano All Stars, Los Nuevos Sauceda and Firmeza Norteña, and the dance floor was packed with people. A classic car show, Trokitas from Central California, had many antique cars and hot rods lined up on Day Street for everyone to see.

Photos by Deborah Mills/South County Newspapers

ABOVE: Every parade must have a marching band, and the Gonzales High School band came out in full force on last fourth of July and entertained the parade goers with their lively music. BELOW: This years Guadalupana Queen and Cinco de Mayo Queen Stephanie Valdez perched herself on the roof of a truck and waved at on-lookers at this year’s fourth of July parade.


12 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Fairview Middle School students honor veterans

Deborah Mills/South County Newspapers

At the Fairview Middle School Veterans Day celebration men and women who served the United States were seated front and center at the event last Nov. 6. BY DEBORAH MILLS GONZALES — All the students at Fairview Middle School participated in a schoolwide ceremony last Nov. 6 to honor local veterans that served and protected the United States. “This is the first year that the middle school has done an event to honor those veterans that served for their country,” said FMS teacher and event coordinator Joni Madolora Renn. “I am so proud of the students and the efforts they put forward to make this a success.” Madolora Renn, several years back when she taught at Gonzales High School, would annually host a similar event. This year was the first time event for FMS. The program began promptly at 11 a.m. in the auditorium. Students filled the bleachers and in the center of the gym was an area where local veterans sat in attendance. A group of core students hosted the event where a slide show honoring the veterans was presented to the packed auditorium. As part of the project students wrote poems, conducted interviews with local veterans and bound them in a book for all of the servicemen and women. Several of these were read to the audience. One poem which was posted on the wall and included in the program was “Keep Our Freedom,” by Alexis Martinez. It read:

“I can’t explain The pain our Soldiers sacrificed To keep our freedom, Caskets row in row, Shattered hearts, Family swelling in tears,

Lost family members Just to keep our freedom Our brave soldiers, Keep their heads held high, And proud to say, We are keeping our freedom.”

“It is important not to forget,” said veteran John Dierolf. “There is in old saying, ‘lest we forget.’ We have to keep reminding people over and over again. There is a price tag on freedom.” “I think it is great that they (students) recognized all the vets again. It was a great ceremony,” Dierolf said. “Tell Joni thanks a million for me. She did a great job pulling it all together.” After the assembly the students escorted the veterans to the American Legion Hall for a luncheon that was provided by Gino’s Fine Italian Food from Salinas. “It was an awesome event. I was left speechless,” said Gonzales Mayor Maria Orozco. “Just seeing the students be a part of it and to remember and acknowledge I think is great.” At the luncheon the eighth-grade leadership students not only decorated the hall in red, white and blue but also served the veterans who attended. “Today had special meaning to me,” said eighth-grade student Erica Arevalo. “Working on this project let us know how they helped our country. We are glad to give them a dinner to honor them.” “This had big meaning for us,” said eighthgrade student Samantha Santos. “We want to honor our veterans and what they have done for us because without them we probably wouldn’t even be free right now.”

MAYOR continued from page 2

Development Incentive Program: I am pleased to report that we adopted a Development Incentive Program in 2013 that provides staff with the flexibility to work with our business community and provide incentives as you contemplate and/or initiate expansion or growth plans. For more information, please visit our website at www.gonzales.ca.us or call or email our City Manager Rene Mendez (rmendez@ci.gonzales.ca.us) or Community Development Director Thomas Truszkowski (ttruszkowski@ci.gonzales.ca.us); Salinas Valley Enterprise Zone: As you may have heard by now, the State of California eliminated the Enterprise Zone program, but there is still time to take advantage of the employee three-year tax credit for hiring new employees. If you hired new employee in 2013 I urge you to immediately contact Mr. Andrew Myrick, Enterprise Zone Manager, at (831) 758-7362 or visit the website at www.salinasvalleyez.com. Governor’s Economic Development Initiative: To replace the loss of the Enterprise Zone the Governor has implemented a new program. Among other things, the program has a new employment credit as well as a manufacturing sales and use tax exemption. Even though the program is currently being developed, if you are interested please contact Thomas Truszkowski (831) 675-5000 so we can begin to work with you to take advantage of this new program. City Business Loan Program: The City continues to run a robust Business Loan Program which currently has $400,000 in resources available. We also hope to launch a micro-business loan program in 2014. I encourage you to contact Angel H. Johnstone at (559) 289-1004 or Thomas Truszkowski for more information and/or an application. Gonzales Grows Green (G3): The cornerstone of the G3 Initiative is the formation of partnerships with private businesses, the Gonzales Unified School District, and other public agencies. The objectives are to improve community sustainability, foster business opportunities, and improve regulatory compliance, community environmental awareness and public safety. We continue to work hard to maintain an incubator environment for environmentally friendly businesses and to help existing businesses take advantage of the ever evolving green/sustainable environment. Benefits to businesses resulting from the G3 initiative include fast track permitting, business loans, business development assistance, and site location. In addition, many businesses in our community have been able to reduce costs significantly by working with our G3 to increase recycling and/or diversion of waste. If you are interested in more information on the G3, please do not hesitate to contact Harold Wolgamott at (831) 594-8101 or hwolgamott@ci.gonzales. ca.us, or Maury Treleven at (831) 675-9124 or mtr11@att.net. Cleaning of the Gonzales Water Tower: After many years, the cleaning and repainting of the Gonzales Water Tower Landmark is almost complete. This landmark has long been a symbol for and of Gonzales and we are very excited to see the completion of this project. For 2014, we are committed to continuing to grow all the initiatives listed above, as well as work and grow our partnership with our business community. In addition, we continue to explore ways to bring more resources to our City, and will look to pursue private-public partnerships where appropriate. On the City Government front, we will continue to keep a close watch on our budget and live within our means. For example, we just completed the first full year of operation of the solar project and I am happy to report that we have significantly reduced our energy costs. We are also committed to always look for ways to improve and streamline our permit and business processes and procedures. We recognize that a solvent, healthy, and balanced City is an essential component to a healthy and positive business climate and on behalf of the City Council, you have my pledge that we will always strive to do our best and provide the highest level of service.

As always, I welcome any suggestions or recommendations that you may have in improving services and programs.

In closing, I want to End by Again Thanking You for all You Do and to Wish You and Your Family a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season, and a Great 2014 Sincerely, Maria Orozco Mayor


South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 13

Rabobank hosts holiday mixer

Deborah Mills/South County Newspapers

Rabobank hosted the joint city of Gonzales and the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce holiday mixer where community members came out to enjoy food and conversation on Dec. 17. In addition, they took donations of canned goods and monies for the Gonzales Food Pantry to assist them with their Christmas food baskets.

Gonzales water tank is getting a new look

GONZALES — The water tank project is almost complete and the protective cover is no longer covering the tank. “We were planning a formal unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony for the tower,” said Gonzales Public Works Director Carlos Lopez. “Mother Nature took care of that for us.” With the recent rains and winds the pro-

Deborah Mills/South County Newspapers

The water tower had the protective covering removed exposing the freshly painted from the legs of the tower, yet the tank itself was still covered on Feb. 10.

tective cover over the tower’s legs became battered. The construction crew removed it and only left the tank portion covered. On Feb. 4, Lopez received an email from them stating it is best if it was removed because it was a public safety issue. The project was a multi-fold process where prior to the covering of the tower the cellular

phone antennas located on the tower have been temporarily relocated during the maintenance. The contractor then had to move everything into position on site and then they did the installation of the scaffolding, which took them approximately 11 days to install. The next part of the project was the containment installation followed by surface prep-

aration and priming of the exterior of the tank prior to the finish coat of paint. The final stages to complete the project is the removal of all the scaffolding, installation of the cellular phone antennas and the demobilizing the tower and site clean up.


14 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014

Highlights of the Christmas Parade

Submitted photo

Santa Claus decided to walk the parade route on Dec. 7 to prepare himself for eating all those goodies that little boys and girls left for him on last Christmas Eve.

Submitted photo

Gonzales Mayor Maria Orosco waved to all the parade goers on Dec. 7 and wished them all a Merry Christmas.

Submitted photo

The Spartans Marching Band performed at their best to entertain the residents that attended the parade on Dec. 7.


South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014• Feb. 26, 2014 • 15

Gonzales Chamber of Commerce P. O. Box 216 Gonzales, CA 93926 Phone/Fax: (831) 675-9019 e-mail: gonzaleschamber@sbcglobal.net

2014 Membership Application/Renewal Business/Organization Name: __________________________________________________ Street Address: ______________________________________________________________ Mailing Address: ____________________________________________________________ Contact Name: ______________________________________________________________ Business Phone: ____________________________ Fax: ___________________________ Web site: __________________________________________________________________ (a link will be established) E-mail address: _____________________________________________________________ Days of Operation: _______________________________ Hours: ____________________ Type of business: ____________________________________________________________ Description of your services: ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

Annual Membership Dues: $75.00 Please make checks payable to: Gonzales Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce meets every 3rd Thursday of the month at the Rabobank conference room at 400 Alta St. at 7:30 AM.


16 • South County Newspapers • Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Annual Guide 2014 • Feb. 26, 2014 BRACERO continued from page 5 to the State Supreme Court, where they all have a hand in trying to change polices and laws to this day to treat farm workers fairly. The presenters were Assembly member Luis Alejo, Project Director and Labor Historian Juan Martinez, Diocese of Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia, State Senator Bill Monning, former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso, California Rural Legal Assistance Jose Padilla, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary of Business Anna Caballero and Monterey Bay Central Labor Council Executive Director Cesar. Three tragic Bracero accidents that were highlighted at the memorial dedica-

tion are the 32 victims that were killed as an airliner crashed in Coalinga, known as the “deportee” on January 28, 1948, the 14 victims that died in the converted truck that caught fire and killed the workers in Soledad on June 17, 1958 and the accident where 28 Bracero workers were killed when a freight train hit the converted truck that was transporting the workers into the field, which happened on Sept. 17, 1963. As part of the ceremonies prior to the finale of the unveiling of the signs, students from Alisal High School did a reading of the names of the dead from the three accidents.

HEALTHCARE continued from page 7 doctor and is a general practitioner who treats most family members from children to adults. She treats physical symptoms, prescribes medications and diagnose conditions. Currently at the Gonzales Medical Group they serve 1,100 to 1,200 patients monthly. They are set-up with the overall electronic medical records systems which helps run the clinic smoothly where they have access to patients information at any time. The medical center is planned to be a 6,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility providing family medicine and some urgent care. The site is three acres total where the clinic will use about one acre of the property. The other two acres will be for commercial development in the future. SVMHS is dedicated to improving the healthcare services provided to the people in their District. Healthcare reform, re-

gional market developments, federal budget challenges, and the condition of the California economy are all factors which must be taken into account and managed as they prepare for the future of SVMHS. The SVMHS Board of Directors believes that to be effective and relevant in today’s healthcare environment, engaging representatives of the community in this discussion is critical to the future success of SVMHS. SVMHS has an advisory committee made up of a cross section of providers, business leaders, community advocates, labor organizations and others interested in the success and growth of SVMHS will be working on a road map for their future. They hold monthly meetings in Salinas where the Advisory committee members and the SVMHS progress panel discuss issues that pertain to the future of the district. There is also a portion of time set aside for public input.

“ The Valley’s Best Kept Secret” 1295 River Rd., Gonzales

(831)675-2441 Fax (831)675-0258


Gonzales Chamber Guide