Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Plans to construct an additional sports field at Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Park have been in the works for seven years, but the efforts are stalled now due to the state's budget crisis. County officials also are getting some heat for taking so long to get the project through the process.
State funding in limbo for new Valley Springs sports field
State funding to construct a lighted soccer and football field in
Valley Springs is in limbo and there is concern the $290,000 project
will never be completed.
The Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Park District nearly seven years
ago began the process to obtain funding through Proposition 40 - the
California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal
Protection Act - for the lighted sports field.
The district had ambitions of using a portion of the county’s
$1.2 million share to construct the lighted soccer and football field
near the existing baseball fields at Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Park,
which is located behind Valley Springs Elementary School.
However, Andy Ballantyne, president of the Jenny Lind Veterans
Memorial District Board, said the state froze funding during its recent
budget crisis and it will be difficult to complete the project before a
June 30, 2010, deadline.
He was critical of how Calaveras County’s Administration Office
handled the application process.
“The county has played around with this for seven years and
we’re right back where we were when we first applied,” Ballantyne
said. “Who knows what the state is going to do? Who can say the state
will give an extension?”
The Valley Springs project received state approval in December,
but days later, state officials placed a freeze on all Prop. 40
reimbursements, said Mike Miller, senior administrative analyst in the
county’s Administration Office.
Miller said his familiarity with the Valley Springs project goes
back only 2 ½ of the seven years, but to his knowledge, the memorial
district shares some of the blame for the delay.
The district and county counsel wrestled for nearly two years to
reach an agreement that would assure the state the expenditure would be
used for recreational purposes for a 20-year period, Miller said.
If the district were to sell the land or fail to maintain the
property during the 20-year period, the county would have been on hook
to reimburse the state, Miller said, and county files contain more than
a dozen draft copies before an acceptable agreement was reached.
Miller said the state is beginning the process of selling a
variety of bonds that had been frozen during the budget crisis and
eventually the Prop. 40 bond could go on the market and the funding
He added that state officials have indicated the completion
deadline likely will be pushed back.
Work had already begun on two of the county’s Proposition 40
projects and the financially strapped county has to wait until those
bonds are sold for reimbursement, Miller said.
The county has expended approximately $500,000 on the two
recreational projects, one at Bret Harte High School and the other at
Feeney Park in Murphys.
If the Valley Springs project had been completed prior to the
freeze, the county would have paid out nearly $800,000 with no state
reimbursement in sight and the county is not in a financial position to
cover such costs, Miller said.
Vanessa Turner, the District 1 representative on the county’s
Parks and Recreation Commission, said she understands Ballantyne’s
frustration with the process. She has been working the past 1 ½ years
to get the Valley Springs project through the state approval process.
She believes the state eventually will fund the Prop. 40 projects
and extend the completion deadline.
The entire parks and recreation commission is working diligently to prepare all 15 Prop. 40 projects in the county for state approval and eventual completion, she added.
Meaghan Beaudoin has a rinkside view of NHL action as an assistant athletic trainer for the Anaheim Ducks.
CHS grad plays important role in NHL team's drive to the playoffs
A young woman with roots in Valley Springs plays a crucial role
in helping a National Hockey League team reach the playoffs and the
ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.
Meaghan Beaudoin, the daughter of Terry and Sharon Beaudoin of
Valley Springs, is a certified athletic trainer for the NHL’s Anaheim
Ducks. Her responsibilities are to keep these premier, multi-million
dollar athletes healthy and fit to play the rugged sport of ice hockey.
Meaghan grew up in Valley Springs from 1986 to 2000. An athlete
in her own right, she played softball, soccer and some volleyball at
Calaveras High School. She’s also been a competitive snowboarder.
She graduated from CHS in 2000 and left for Cal Poly San Luis
Obispo where she graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in
Her interest and involvement in sports led her to the field of
athletic training. She graduated from Chapman University last year with
a second bachelor’s degree, this time in athletic training, and passed
her athletic training certification on her first try in December.
While at Chapman, she served part of a rotational internship with
the Ducks last season and attributes that experience as giving her the
edge when the Ducks were ready to hire an assistant athletic trainer at
the beginning of this season. She signed a contract with the Ducks on
Sept. 1, 2008.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” she said.
Meaghan spends a considerable portion of her time working with
those players nursing or rehabilitating from injuries.
Every night on the ice is a battle, she said, generally with at
least a few minor injuries after each game and practices are not immune
from bumps and bruises that need to be addressed by the training staff.
“We can’t afford to have players sitting out.”
The Ducks are fighting for one of eight playoff spots in the
NHL’s Western Conference. As of Thursday they were tied in seventh
place with the Nashville Predators, as both teams are at 80 points.
Meaghan’s interest in ice hockey comes from her parents who
grew up in Detroit, Mich., home of the defending Stanley Cup champion
Red Wings, and nicknamed “Hockeytown.”
Mom and dad are Red Wings fans and Meaghan remembers the family
watching the Wings or San Jose Sharks whenever they were on television.
Her only experience at “playing” the sport came one time at
an early age when a creek near New Hogan Lake froze over and dad took
Meaghan and her brother out for a round of backyard hockey.
Although she did not grow up engulfed in the game of hockey,
she’s able to draw upon her experience as a soccer player to help her
understand what is happening on the ice. She received a huge education
this past season near the players’ bench and can now watch a game and
notice the penalties as they happen and pick up on other nuances of the
Having a woman on the training staff is rare for the NHL.
Research by the Ducks indicates Meaghan is only the second woman to be
on an NHL training staff, the first being a trainer for the Montreal
Canadiens during the 2003-04 season with her primary role being a
“Our players are great. They treat me with respect,” Meaghan
said, although the other teams are kind of surprised when they see her.
Since Meaghan’s primary role is to work with players who are
rehabilitating, she does not always accompany the Ducks when they are on
the road, but she has made a few of the trips.
She looks forward to those traveling opportunities and would like
to work in the NHL as long as possible.
“I like working with elite athletes. It’s very exciting. They always want to be the best and I like working with the best.”
Jenny Lind fifth-grade student Alayna Evans proudly stands beside her award-winning display at the school's science fair.
Science takes center stage at Jenny Lind Elementary
Jenny Lind Elementary School is returning to competition at the
Calaveras County Science Fair after an absence of several years.
More than 200 Jenny Lind students vied for one of 15 entries the
school will submit to the county science fair and the school wide effort
was on display Wednesday evening.
Jenny Lind hosted its first science fair in a number of years
that night in the multipurpose room with all of the students’ science
displays were up for public view. The fair also included a number of
Judges selected three first, second and third place entries,
along with six honorable mention entries, that will represent Jenny Lind
at the April 25 countywide competition.
The first-place finishers were fifth-grade student Alayna Evans,
fifth-grader Kaylyn Hedstrom and sixth-graders Erynne Estoesta and
Samantha Johnson who combined on their experiment.
Evans’ experiment was determining which bodies of water –
rural or urban – remains more pH neutral. She determined rural water
is more pH neutral.
Hedstrom’s experiment was titled “Slip-N-Slide – The Force
of Friction.” She was investigating how weight and type of material
affect the amount of force it takes to slide the object across a smooth
Estoesta and Johnson looked at which cola is best or worst for
your teeth. Their display was titled “Soda Lightful.”
Students who are not necessarily the most academic shined in the
science fair, said Principal Amy Hasselwander.
Jenny Lind has an after school science program twice a week under
the supervision of fifth-grade teacher Bunnie Hale. Many of the exhibits
were prepared during the after school program, along with science
Jenny Lind Firefighters Association President Roy Estakhri, lelt, member Matt McKelroy and Vice President Mike Cammisa stand beside a big screen displaying the association's new website and home page.
Jenny Lind firefighters add website to help public
By Nick Baptista
The Jenny Lind Firefighters Association has gone to the World
Wide Web to put a spotlight on their activities, better inform residents
within the fire protection district of fire matters and seek new
Construction of the website, accessed at www.jennylindfire.com, began last July with
financial assistance from the Jenny Lind Fire Auxiliary and the site has
been up for several months.
Firefighter and association Vice President Mike Cammisa updates
the site nearly every day of the workweek with the district’s latest
fire calls and activities, such as participating in the Calaveras High
School Career Day earlier this week.
Association President Roy Estakhri, a captain in the department,
said the association’s members hope the website will familiarize the
public with efforts by the firefighters and the department and also
serve as an early warning system in the event of an emergency or
dangerous situation within the area.
The website will also serve a fire prevention function, outlining
what residents can do to decrease the danger of household and wild
fires, along with posting burn or no-burn day notices, Estakhri added.
“It’s a good tool for the public,” he said, “and it’s a
good recruiting tool.”
Web pages focus on the auxiliary, the firefighters association,
district apparatus, a calendar of events and training, and the
requirements and how to volunteer to become a Jenny Lind firefighter.
Cammisa said the website is attracting 600 visits a month, some
of which are from former members of the department who have moved out of
the area, but find the site as a way to stay in touch with what’s
happening in the area.
“It’s a cool tool and we get a good bang for the buck,”
The website costs $40 a month to maintain and to help defray
those costs, the association has scheduled its first-ever “Flapjacks
For Firefighters,” a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday,
March 21, at Jenny Lind Fire Station No. 1, 6501 Jenny Lind Road.
In addition to flapjacks, the breakfast will include eggs, bacon, orange juice and coffee. The cost is $5 at the door with all proceeds going to the Jenny Lind Firefighters Association. The event will include a 50/50 raffle.
Pardee Reservoir's size could be increased under a new proposal.
Proposal to enlarge Pardee comes under fire
The Foothill Conservancy is challenging East Bay Municipal Utility District’s long-range water supply plans, which involve enlargement of nearby Pardee Reservoir.
EBMUD’s proposed plans to expand Pardee Reservoir, according to
Foothill Conservancy, would flood a portion of the Mokelumne River from
Middle Bar to nearly a mile above Highway 49.
Public meetings to receive public comments on the draft Program
Environmental Impact Report of EBMUD’s Water Supply Management Program
2040 have been scheduled for Monday, March 16, in Lodi and Sutter Creek.
The Lodi hearing will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Lodi Police
Department Community Room, 215 W. Elm St., while the Sutter Creek
meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Amador Water Agency boardroom,
12800 Ridge Road.
Foothill Conservancy says expansion of Pardee Reservoir would:
the entire Middle Bar reach of the Mokelumne River, destroying the river
for whitewater recreation and stream fishing use.
the new whitewater boating takeout and parking area soon to be
constructed below the Highway 49 Bridge.
up to 4,000 feet of the Mokelumne Electra Run in high flow periods.
the historic Middle Bar Bridge, restored by local governments just a few
years ago, cutting off a critical emergency route for local residents.
the historic and cultural resources of the Middle Bar area.
construction of a new Highway 49 Bridge.
In the 1920s, EBMUD began damming the waters of the Mokelumne River to provide water for its users in communities such as Oakland, Richmond, Hayward and Berkeley, according to Sal Manna, president of the Society for the Preservation of West Calaveras History.
Work on Pardee, named after George Pardee, EBMUD’s president and a former mayor of Oakland as well as governor of California, began in mid-1927 and included a spur rail line constructed north from Valley Springs to facilitate the transportation of materials, primarily cement from the Calaveras Cement Co. plant in San Andreas, Manna said.
Pardee Dam was completed and dedicated on Oct. 19, 1929, though the reservoir was finally filled on May 4, 1930. The dam rises 358 feet above the riverbed and is 1,337 feet long at its crest and 244 feet wide at its base.
The reservoir covers 2,257 acres with a capacity of 197,950 acre-feet of water. In 1959, the reservoir was opened for recreation, including fishing and boating, but because of its use as a public water supply, nothing involving bodily contact - such as swimming or water skiing - is permitted. According to EBMUD, the life expectancy of the dam is 2,360 to 5,000 years.
Sherry Looper, top, Miss Calaveras 1972, Sonja Nystrom, left, Miss Calaveras 1952, and Amanda Warden, Miss Calaveras 2008, represented Valley Springs and will be honored at the upcoming Coronation Ball.
fundraising event returns after 53-year hiatus
Friends of the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee
are re-introducing the Coronation Ball after a 53-year hiatus as a
fundraiser for the Miss Calaveras and Saddle Queen scholarship programs
and possibly the junior livestock auction.
The Coronation Ball dates back to 1937 when the then-Belle of the Camp program began. The young lady who sold the most tickets to the Coronation Ball was crowned the Belle of the Camp. Money from the ball went to a designated charity such as the American Cancer Society, but the event was dropped in 1956 when the Miss Calaveras Beauty Pageant was introduced. The beauty pageant gave way to the scholarship pageant in 1983 and talent was introduced into the competition.
The Friends of the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog
jubilee in January voted to bring back the Coronation Ball as an annual
It is scheduled from 5 p.m. to midnight May 2, at the Mark Twain
Hall. The evening will include a no-host bar social hour from 5 to 6, a
special presentation at 6, dinner at 7 and dancing at 8.
“Were looking at ways to enhance the fair and rebuild the
excellent experience we had at the fair when we were kids,” said Kathy
Mazzaferro of the Friends and 1971’s Miss Calaveras.
All Belle’s of the Camp and Miss Calaveras titleholders have
been invited to participate in the resurrected event. Mazzaferro
anticipates between 35 and 40 titleholders will attend. Each will
receive one complimentary ticket with their guest(s) then buying their
own. The reigning Miss Calaveras, Amanda Warden of Valley Springs, and
her first and second princess will each receive a complimentary ticket
as well as will 2008 Saddle Queen Kayte Lowry and her court will be
invited with same complimentary ticket offer.
The cost to the public is $25 per person and includes dinner
catered by the Pickle Patch Restaurant in San Andreas and an evening of
Big Band, swing, Sinatra, country, old-time rock and roll dance music.
Tickets will be available from this year’s Miss Calaveras and
Saddle Queen contestants. They can also be purchased by calling
Mazzaferro at 729-2501 (work) and 754-1354 (home), or through the
fair’s box office.
Going back to the ball’s historic roots, the young woman who is
the top ticket seller will win a “Belle of the Camp” scholarship to
be awarded at the fair the night of the pageant.
A highlight of the evening will be the attendance of Barbara
Valente, 1939’s Belle of the Camp.
“I recently learned that she is alive and quite well in
Sacramento,” Mazzaferro said.
Valente teaches dancing and theater. This year will be the 70th
anniversary of her coronation.
Mazzaferro hopes the fundraiser will net between $3,000 and
$5,000 toward the scholarship programs.
“It’s a way to get involved in raising funds for our kids,”
she said, and is especially important during these economic times.
The first dance of the evening will be the “Queen’s Waltz.”
It will feature the 2008 Miss Calaveras and Saddle Queen with their
fathers and the other titleholders invited to join in with the gentlemen
of their choice, all to the sounds of Natalie and Nat King Cole’s duet
“We’re very grateful for the support of the Angels-Murphys
Rotary,” Mazzaferro said. “”They’ve been very involved in the
Miss Calaveras Pageant for a number of years with their financial
support and they will be manning the no-host bar for us.”
The controversial Rogers Media billboard was installed last week on Highway 12 between Burson and Valley Springs.
Sign of trouble?
Billboard owner silent on whether he still plans to sue
Rogers Media has erected one billboard along a stretch of Highway
12 between Burson and Valley Springs, but the company’s president is
mum on whether he will pursue threatened litigation to build another two
Matt Rogers, president and CEO of Rogers Media out of Davis,
Calif., initially sought Calaveras County’s approval to place three
billboards along the highway. The proposal created a firestorm of
controversy with the county receiving nearly 100 letters in opposition
to the request.
The county Planning Commission recommended denial of the
proposal, but Rogers and then-District One Supervisor Bill Claudino
reached a compromise. Claudino pushed forward a plan to allow only one,
two-sided sign of 128 square feet with no illumination at the 1201
Highway 12 site.
However, the board on a 3-2 vote modified Claudino’s compromise
staying with the one sign, but for a period of five years. Approval
would be for the five-year period to give the county enough time to
update the General Plan and Rogers would have to re-apply at that time
for a new conditional use permit.
Rogers objected to the vote saying it was not worth the
investment in a new sign for only a five-year period and called the
board’s action a de facto denial of his project. He left the Sept. 23,
2008, board meeting threatening to sue the county and seeking
court-approval for all three signs.
When questioned Monday by The Valley Springs News whether he was
going to pursue litigation against the county, Rogers said, “I’m not
prepared to comment about that at this time.”
The Valley Springs Area Business Association opposed the
billboard proposal, and the one sign does not sit well with ABA board
member Candace Keesey.
“It’s a distraction,” she said. “It looks like you’re
driving down I-5 to L.A.”
The billboard is advertising the Black Oak Casino located in
Tuolumne County and Keesey said the ABA was correct in it’s thinking
that the billboards would not be beneficial to Valley Springs or
Rogers had said local businesses would have an opportunity to
advertise on his billboards.
“So much for his argument that there might be local businesses
on the billboards,” Keesey said.