Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
T.W. Meat Co. has opened under the ownership of, from left, Debi and Wendell Heier and Tim Brant and Merresa Kohler.
New butcher shop to feature wide selection
A new butcher shop opened Monday in The Terrace at the corner of
Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago.
Two Mountain Ranch couples – Wendell and Debi Heier and Tim
Brant and Merresa Kohler – have opened T.W. Meat Co., a full-service
Tim and Wendell most recently were butchers at Big Trees Market
in Arnold before starting their own shop. Between them they have more
than a half-century of experience behind the meat counter.
Debi has worked in the deli and food service industry for 15
years and owned her own retail business for 16 years, while Merresa has
experience in catering.
Wendell’s resume includes 25 years at Big Trees, while Tim
began his butchering career with ACE Meat Co. in the Bay Area, with
additional experience at Pure Sausage and Meat Co. and Sorrento Cheese
The foursome, along with a little help from their children, will
staff the business.
With the recent closure of Pliler’s, the families saw an
opportunity to open a new butcher shop to serve the community.
“This is a nice complex,” Tim said of The Terrace, “and
Valley Springs is a growing community with great people.”
The business will be built on excellent customer service.
“You’ll see the meat you will go home with,” Merresa said.
“And if you don’t like it you can bring it back,” Tim said.
The state-of-the-art butcher shop will have a wide selection of
meats, including Wendell’s 30 varieties of sausage, beef, pork,
chicken, turkey and seafood. Some organic and natural beef will be
available, along with organic buffalo, specially marinated chicken
breasts, rotisserie chicken, marinated tri-tip, stuffed chicken,
certified Black Angus and occasionally barbecued ribs.
Wendell’s sausages are made on the premises with no chemical
preservatives and only all natural seasonings.
T.W. Meat’s opening special will feature their sausage.
Customers who buy $25 worth of meat will receive a free pound of
sausage, except organic sausage, for the first two months.
In addition, T.W. Meat will offer 10 percent discounts to all
customers on Tuesdays and a golfer special on Saturdays with 10 percent
off just by showing your scorecard from one of the local courses.
Located next to Villa Bakery, T.W. Meat Co.’s opening hours
will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4
p.m. on Sundays.
They are planning a grand opening celebration in the spring.
Outlaw Rob Robbiere (Marty Tedder), left, and accomplice Lil’ Rob (Josie Tedder) attempt to steal a bag full of money from Valley Springs’ ATM, but have to get past Sheriff Shane McWhite (Don Urbanus) to enjoy the spoils of their crime.
Evil takes good to task at annual melodrama
Escape to Valley Springs in the 1890s when the annual melodrama
presented by The Valley Springs Friends of the Library debuts next week.
“Showdown at Lola’s Saloon” or “Let Lillie Alone …”
will have a western theme and poke fun at local personalities and
current events when it hits the stage Friday, Feb. 27, in the Jenny Lind
Veterans Memorial Hall, 189 Pine St. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the
melodrama will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the opening night-no
Written by Don Urbanus, “Showdown” is set in Valley Springs
in the last decade of the 1800s as the outlaw Rob Robbiere and his
sidekick Lil’ Rob plan to blow up the ATM at the Bank of Valley
Meanwhile, Lillie White comes to Valley Springs from New York
City to find her lost father. She stays with Aunt Edna and her four
children, who are being foreclosed on by Edgar the Banker.
Follow the plot as Lillie is robbed in the bank of her $500,
which is exactly the amount Aunt Edna owes the bank to prevent the
foreclosure. Sheriff Shane McWhite is the town drunk and he and Deputy
Dancy Trueshot can’t handle all of the robbers at one time.
The climax of the melodrama is a showdown between the forces of
law and order and the devious and dirty Rob Robbiere.
The production continues Saturday, Feb. 28, with a no-dinner
matinee. Doors will open at 1 p.m. and the play will start at 2. Tickets
The dinner shows are scheduled for the following two weeks and
will feature pork loin. The cost is $20 per person for the March 6 and
7, or 13 and 14 dinners and shows. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and there
will be a no-host bar. Dinner will be served at 6:45, while the
melodrama will begin at 7:45.
Tables for eight can be reserved on the dinner nights for $160.
Ticket and table reservations can be made by calling Willine at
772-1000, or Jackie at 772-0591. Individual tickets are available at
Health Habit in the Terra Plaza.
Proceeds from the event go toward the library.
Jennifer Millmore and son Aaron participate in a baby yoga session.
Baby yoga class forms to enhance social experience
A mommy and me class featuring baby and toddler yoga, baby
massages, mommy and baby exercises and an opportunity for other moms and
children to meet is under way at the Sheng Chi Kung Fu studio at 139
Main St. in Valley Springs.
Jennifer Millmore is starting the classes, which will be broken
down into two sections for children from infants to one year old who are
not walking and toddlers from one year old and walking to 4-year-olds.
The infant classes will be from noon to 1 on Mondays, while the
toddler class will be from noon to 1 on Wednesdays.
Millmore is a certified massage therapist.
Parents are encouraged to bring a pillow and lotion for the
infant classes, and a security blanket or favorite small comfort toy for
the toddler class.
Millmore, who has a young son, Aaron, said she was looking to
participate in such a group and when she could not find one locally she
decided to start one.
The cost is $25 per session for walk-ins, or $80 a month.
Registration at Monday’s opening will include discount pricing.
Participation in not just limited to children and their mommies,
she said, fathers are also welcomed to join in.
The cover of "Something From Nothing" features Burson's Allison Store.
Feb. 20 mixer to include release of historical publication
A compilation of Sal Manna’s popular historical column
appearing in The Valley Springs News will debut at the newspaper’s
anniversary celebration Friday, Feb. 20.
In a 52-page magazine format, “Something From Nothing, The
Early History of West Calaveras County, Volume I,” will feature
Manna’s first 20 articles dating from March 1, 2006, to Aug. 1, 2007.
“’Something From Nothing’ has been an outstanding addition
to The News,” said Nick Baptista, editor of The Valley Springs News.
“We’ve had countless people asking us for back issues with Sal’s
columns and we’re pleased he decided to re-release them in this
Chapters in Manna’s first volume of “Something From
Nothing” include the 1895 fire that destroyed most of Valley Springs,
how the town’s name evolved from Spring Valley to Valley Spring and
finally Valley Springs, the naval career of one Calaveras County native
who became the first U.S. Navy admiral born in California, and one local
pioneer’s quest to catch the outlaw Joaquin Murietta.
Manna, a west Calaveras resident, veteran journalist and writer,
previously co-authored the “Northern Calaveras County” edition of
Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series along with Julia
Costello and Judith Marvin, and the trio has another book in the series,
“Angels Camp and Copperopolis,” being released Feb. 23.
“Something From Nothing … Volume I” will sell for $10.
In conjunction with the Valley Springs Area Business Association,
the Feb. 20 open house and mixer will mark the fourth anniversary since
Baptista and Vip Hale purchased the publication from Frank and Suzanne
Eckblom on Feb. 1, 2005, and changed the name a few months later to The
Valley Springs News to reflect the publication’s main focus of
attention and coverage, the Valley Springs area.
Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. in and next to The Valley
Springs News office located in The Nove Plaza, off Highway 26. The
public is invited.
“The mixer is an excellent opportunity for us to meet and visit
with our loyal readers and clients,” said Hale. Refreshments will be
The anniversary celebration will also mark the newspaper’s 26th
year of publication. The Eckbloms started what has evolved into The
Valley Springs News back in 1983 when they began a publication to cover
the emerging golf course community of La Contenta.
By the mid-1980s, the publication was covering the communities
and homeowners associations of La Contenta and Rancho Calaveras and took
on the name Action News. The Eckbloms expanded their publishing
properties in October of 1990 by introducing The Daily News, which for a
good many years continued to publish on a daily basis, the only daily
newspaper emanating from Calaveras County, while the Action News was
produced on a monthly basis.
Mike Nemee talks about his line of Trinitas products.
Controversial project close to a showdown
The environmental review process for the controversial The Ridge
at Trinitas project is scheduled to reach two important milestones this
The project’s long-awaited revised Environmental Impact Report
was released Monday afternoon and the Calaveras County Planning
Commission is scheduled to consider the report at its Feb. 19 meeting.
Trinitas developers Mike and Michelle Nemee want the proposed project off Ospital Road to include a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse that could seat 300 to 350 people for events; a 30-room guest villa, and a 13-home gated community, with a minimum size of 2,500 square feet per house.
Mike Nemee was the guest speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the
Rotary Club of West Calaveras. He spotlighted some of the features of
his proposed development and outlined his existing agri-tourism
Skeptics of the project question whether the planning commission
will have adequate time to review the Revised Environmental Impact
Report before the Feb. 19 meeting.
County approval of the project would stimulate the local economy,
Nemee said. Construction of the proposed facilities would be a $39
million investment and it is estimated $20 million would go directly to
local labor and suppliers, he said.
In addition, the proposed destination resort and golf course
would create 48 full-time jobs at the facility alone and another 12
full-time jobs indirectly in the community, he said.
A recent economic study concluded The Ridge at Trinitas would
generate $250,000 to $1 million a year in sales tax and $24,000 to
$64,000 a year in room tax for the county, he added, with the 30 guest
villas catering to high-end occupants and running from $250 to $300 a
The resort would include a 10,000-square-foot spa using Trinitas’
own line of olive-oil based lifestyle products such as soaps, lotions
and body butter, and a “retail platform” for Calaveras Grown members
to sell their products.
Trinitas has more than 1,100 producing olive tree and more are on
the way, Nemee said. Trinitas also has more than 6,000 oak trees, which
will be preserved.
The agri-tourism business could be the wave of the future, Nemee
said, and Trinitas could be the “crown jewel” for Calaveras County.
The county has the potential to realize $20 million in ag-related
revenue by resurrecting what are now dormant agricultural operations, he
Trinitas olive oil, the lifestyle items and a wood-product line
including desk top sets, bowls, wooden clocks and shaving brushes are
available on the internet, at farmer’s markets and 14 retailers, he
The 13 residences proposed for Trinitas would cost in the $3
million range, he said, and if the project is approved, it will pay
$250,000 in school fees and $500,000 toward road improvements, much of
them along Ospital.
Nemee and Calaveras County Water District General Manager Dave
Andres outlined their efforts to eventually bring piped raw water to the
CCWD is seeking federal funding for a $600,000 feasibility study.
Nemee said his wells produce enough water for the golf course and
his agricultural operations, but it could cost less to use piped water
if the proposed project pencils out and it would open the entire area
for higher agricultural uses.
Andres said CCWD is looking for a private-public partnership to
bring the water from the Calaveras River to users along Ospital Road and
eventually connecting to the Wallace area. The project is estimated to
cost $30 million and the more landowners who participate, the less cost
it is per participant, he added.
Kathy Mayhew for Keep It Rural, Calaveras on Thursday sent a
letter to the planning commission questioning The Ridge at Trinitas
timeline for consideration.
With the EIR being released on Monday and the planning commission
hearing set for Feb. 19, “(T)that leaves just 7 ½ working days for Planning Commissioners, public agencies and
concerned members of the
public to review the adequacy of the responses to public comments on the
Revised Draft EIR, and prepare for the hearing,” she said. “Many
reviewers found the previous document biased, inaccurate and legally
Mayhew asks for a longer period from release of the EIR until the
planning commission hearing.
“In the interests of a full and fair hearing, we respectfully
request that the Planning Commission consider extending the public
review period preceding the hearing by two weeks, and remain flexible at
the hearing to allow an adequate time for public comments,” she wrote
to the commissioners.
New CCOG board member Pat Maurer of Valley Springs.
Valley Springs resident on transit council board
Pat Maurer of Valley Springs began her term Wednesday night as
the newest board member on the Calaveras Council of Governments.
The council, also known as CCOG, is the regional
transportation-planning agency for Calaveras County. The board generally
meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month in the Board of
Supervisors Chambers located at 891 Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas.
Maurer is one of three at-large public members on the board. The other four seats are divided between two members of the county Board of Supervisors, Merita Callaway and Tom Tryon, and two members from the Angels Camp City Council.
“I’m interested in traffic flow and how it supports the local
economy,” Maurer said. She has lived in Valley Springs the past three
years at Gold Creek Estates and runs her own mobile notary service.
“The council was looking for someone from west Calaveras
County,” Maurer said. “I know Valley Springs best, but it is
necessary for every member to look at the best interest of the whole
county and my business takes me to every part of Calaveras and I will
look at the transportation system as a whole.”
In addition to Maurer, the candidates for the opening were Steve
Difu, Michael Hathaway and Sarah Lunsford.
“I was very impressed with the caliber of the other
candidates,” she said. “They were smart, had relative backgrounds
and were well spoken. It’s good to known in a county of this size we
have that caliber of people.”
Maurer attend an all-day orientation meeting prior to beginning
“I’m finding it to be an interesting and exhilarating
experience,” she said. “It’s fun learning about new things and I
need a challenge to keep my brain active.”
In addition to running her own business, Maurer’s previous
experience includes project and program planning for a telecom company.
Maurer sees the proposed economic stimulus plan as an opportunity
to improve the county’s road system.