Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
A crew from the California Department of Forestry camp at Vallecito works on a vegetation fire Saturday afternoon that got close to some structures. The Foothill Fire Protection District, the California Department of Forestry and the CDF work crew from Vallecito responded to a vegetation fire reported at 1:12 p.m. at Paloma and Hillwood roads. The fire was limited to a quarter-acre. The cause is under investigation.
Fire seasons begins on Monday
California Department of Forestry will officially open fire season in
the Tuolumne/Calaveras Unit at 8 a.m. Monday, June 5.
unit includes the counties of Calaveras, Tuolumne, and those eastern
portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus that are within the State
Responsibility Area. All TCU fire stations will be opened and staffed.
Helicopter 404 is in full operation at Columbia Air Attack Base, with
the air attack and two air tankers scheduled to come on base June 16.
All fire crews at Baseline and Vallecito Conservation Camps are
CDF Unit Chief Fred McVay asks all area residents to "firesafe"
their property for the fire season and
reminds everyone that maintaining 100 feet of defensible space around
their homes is the single most important step in preparing for a
rains have caused a seriously abundant crop of grass in the
foothills," said McVay. "This needs to be cut down and removed
now while conditions are still safe and the growth has not dried out to
a hazardous level."
declaration of fire season, the public needs to have a heightened sense
of awareness with any activity that may start a wildfire. Burning is
currently allowed by permit on permissive burn days only
and due to increased hazardous fire conditions, the
Tuolumne/Calaveras Unit will be restricting burn hours from 7 p.m. to 8
a.m. effective at 8 a.m. June 5, 2006. Burning is allowed by permit
Kyle Latt of Jitters offers up a delicious drink. Photo by Rocio Miller
Area has plenty of business for everyone
By Rocio Miller
Springs is growing rapidly with new businesses and developments. This
change poses the question, are the local businesses going to be all
Roeben has lived in Valley Springs for the past 15 years. She has owned
Country Charm Cafe for almost four years. She previously worked at Jenny
Lind Elementary as an aide and loves to bake and cook so when the
opportunity came to own a small restaurant, she took it. Her business
has donated items and gift certificates to local causes including the
flood victims relief.
developed a lot of relationships and customer loyalty that might make a
difference," said Roeben. She is slightly concerned about the
incoming competition corporate sandwich giants Quiznos and Subway will
have with her popular sandwiches and salads. But she also remains
close at three, so they can serve the community at hours when we
don't," she said.
are more in direct competition with the new Quiznos that is going
in." said Lucky Sibia, owner of two Subway franchises including the
new one in Valley Springs.
more than enough business to go around," said Valerie Latt, owner of Jitters.
She doesn't show any concern for the new Starbucks in town,
saying, "I don't think Starbucks being around the corner is going
to hurt at all.”
has been blamed for shutting out small, locally owned coffee business.
So has it hurt Jitters? Latt said the was a slight decline in sales the
first week of April when Starbucks opened, “but that was also the week
of the flood and the week that gas prices went up."
it wasn't for Starbucks, none of us would be here,” she said.
“Starbucks was the beginning. I go to coffee seminars where people
have said that when Starbucks comes to town the mom-and-pop stores do
better, because there is a comparison. We are small so we attend to the
quality of coffee."
has donated coffee for the parents at school events and sponsors a
softball team every year.
Miller, manager of the new Starbucks, is making sure Starbucks is
keeping up with the generosity of the other businesses.
are in the process of displaying student artwork from the Calaveras High
School,” he said. “We also provided coffee and pastries to the
sandbaggers during the flooding”.
is praised for offering many benefits to even part-time employees, he
live in Lockeford and I'm a small town person.
If you do things right and you take care of people there is
enough business out there for everybody."
addition, Valley Springs has a local “ma and pa store” challenging a
long-time corporate franchise in the community.
Monster Electronics and the Ice Cream Depot owned by Gary McGinness and
his sons Mark McGinness and John Miller offer a unique combination of
originally started the electronic store and then bought out the ice
cream store, so now when you come here you can get an ice cream and get
your computer fixed,” said Mark.
are up against the long-established RadioShack franchise in the Valley
a fairly new residence around two to seven years, generating a history
of our own," said Mark.
are also preserving and renovating the history of Valley Springs in the
old train depot.
in a historical building, this used to be the railroad depot,” he
said. “We've displayed original railroad signs and photos.
When we purchased the ice cream depot the photographs were all
stacked up in the back so we reframed them and hung them on the wall.”
Nifty '54 Chevy
Bob Niederbrach Jr.’s 1954
Chevy, above, was selected the Best Retro automobile at Saturday’s
third annual Foothill Classics Car Show. The event attracted nearly 200
Foothill car show attracts nearly 200 classics
By Nick Baptista
Frog jumping and the fair had some competition this past weekend
as the third annual Foothill Classics Car Show attracted nearly 200
vintage automobiles and approximately 2,000 spectators to Valley
Saturday’s car show at Veterans Memorial Park featured vehicles
that were 1972s and older. Tony McAfee of the Foothill Classic Car Club
said the event had 188 vehicles, 20 of which were cars from club members
and not included in the judging.
Money the club earns from the car show is used to help support
various youth organizations and special needs in the community, McAfee
reported. In addition, the Valley Springs Boosters and Loose Threads
Quilt Guild were selling raffle tickets to help support the annual
fireworks show at New Hogan Lake and other community work.
Plaques were awarded in 20 categories. The winners were:
Best of Show – 1936 Ford owned by John and Anita Rhoades.
President’s Pick – 1933 Ford coupe owned by Jerry and Sally
Best Paint – 1947 Chevy coupe owned by Don Lutz.
Best Upholstery – 1935 Ford owned by Jack Taylor.
Best Motor – 1923 T-bucket owned by Bill Hildenbrand.
Best Stock – 1932 Ford owned by Jason Freitas.
Best Hot Rod – 1932 Ford owned by Bill Reis.
Best Custom – 1947 Chevy owned by Gordon Ellingston.
Best Graphics – 1929 Ford coupe owned by Mike Hackett.
Best Commercial – 1955 Chevy pickup owned by Tom Reeves
Best Ford – 1939 Ford owned by Don Clawford.
Best Chevy – 1955 BelAir owned by Bill Elshdz.
Best Retro – 1954 Chevy owned by Bob Niederbrach Jr.
Best Under Construction – 1949 Dodge owned by Frank Corpening.
Ladies Choice – 1940 Ford owned by Wayne Johns.
Men’s Choice – 1040 Ford owned by Fred Loya.
Youngest Rodder – 1970 Monte Carlo by Adan Prado.
D.J.’s Pick – 1928 Model A special couple owned by John
Club Participation – Over the Hill Gang of Elk Grove with 16
Longest Distance – 1949 Ford owned by Herman and Sharon Vincent
Barbara Thomas, left, and
Gail Belmont display a custom quilt they made that will be auctioned at
Saturday’s barbecue to benefit victims of April’s flood in Valley
Springs. Thomas was the piecer and Belmont was the quilter. The minimum
bid for the quilt is $500 and it has a vlue of $1,500. Tickets for
the event at Sheng Chi Kung Fu, 139 Main St., are $20 per person and can
be purchased by calling Bonnie Thygesen at 642-0114 or 772-8959.
Chicken barbecue Saturday to help flood victims
Area Realtors are spearheading an effort to help the victims of
the April 4 flood in Valley Springs.
The group has set up the Valley Springs Flood Victim Relief Fund
and plans a May 13 chicken barbecue at Sheng Chi Kung Fu to raise funds
for families that sustained losses due to the flood.
An application to receive assistance can be obtained at Calaveras
Title Co., Century 21 and RE/MAX offices in Valley Springs. In addition,
a hotline has been established. The phone number is 786-9111.
The May 13 barbecue will feature live music. The cost is $20 per
person and a number of items will be available in a raffle. The contact
person is Bonnie Thygesen and she can be reached at 642-0114 (cell) or
The goal is to sell at least 150 tickets to the barbecue. Tickets
will be sold in front of MarVal. All proceeds will go to flood victims.
In addition, area businesses are encouraged to donate toward the raffle.
In addition, the committee is also placing donation jars around
town to aid the flood victims.
If individuals would like to make cash donations, a trust fund
has been established at Central California Bank.
Sonia and Lucky Sibia, above, have opened the new SUBWAY restaurant in the Valley Oaks Shopping Plaza.
Sandwich giant opens for business
By Nick Baptista
The No. 1-ranked franchise in the nation has opened its doors in
Valley Springs and the No. 2-ranked franchise is not too far behind.
Husband and wife Lucky and Sonia Sibia opened their new SUBWAY
restaurant Wednesday at the recent annex to the Valley Oaks Shopping
Center. They also own the SUBWAY in San Andreas.
Quiznos Subs, the No. 2 franchise according to Entrepreneur
magazine’s 27th annual “Franchise 500” rankings, is scheduled to
open in about three months at the Valley Springs Plaza at Highway 26 and
Lucky, who has been associated with SUBWAY the past six years,
said his Valley Springs sandwich shop would be open from 9:30 a.m. to
9:30 p.m. during the summer. He may adjust the hours during the winter
The restaurant will employ eight to nine people, he added.
SUBWAY has nearly 26,000 shops in 84 countries and recently
eclipsed McDonald’s as the largest restaurant chain in the country.
SUBWAY has 13,247 stores in the United States, 148 more than
McDonald’s as of the end of last year.
SUBWAY has held the No. 1 ranking in Entrepreneur magazine’s
top 500 list since 2001.
Mina Nasser is the owner of the new Valley Springs Quiznos Subs
and her daughter Samira Nasser is the manager.
Samira said Quiznos Sub’s initial hours would be from 10 a.m.
to 9 p.m., but they can be adjusted depending on the market. The new
Valley Springs Quiznos will be situated in an 1,100-square-foot space at
the front end of the new plaza and have access to an adjoining patio
Hiring at Quiznos is expected to begin in a few weeks and Samira
said the restaurant would employ about 20 people.
Area cancer survivors started this year’s Relay For Life activities April 29 at Bret Harte High School. The annual event benefiting the American Cancer Society raised more than $185,000. See Friday’s edition for more on the Relay For Life.
Stitchers raise $10,000+ for '06 Relay For Life
The Valley Springs-based Stitchers For Hope team raised at least
$10,000 for the fourth annual Relay For Life held April 29 and 30.
The team is planning more fundraising to benefit The American
Cancer Society including the second annual Stitchers For Hope Golf
Tournament. The tourney, originally scheduled for April 8 has been
postponed to July 29.
In all, Relay For Life in Angels Camp raised more than $185,000.
The winner of the Miss Relay For Life Pageant was Valley Springs
resident Rick Iwanciow, also known as Miss Bernadette.
In flip flops and mini skirt, Miss Bernadette had the
crowd’s attention early as “she” made her way around the track
“soliciting” votes along with a stylist, make-up artist and
manicurist. It was a repeat performance for Miss Bernadette, who also
won the Relay For Life pageant title in 2005.
Skip Thomas, center, is surrounded by, from left, Mike Cammisa, Charles Neuerburg, Tony Daniello and Kris Hinds. Cammisa, Neuerburg and Daniello rescued Thomas from the front porch of the Thomas Center during the April 4 Cosgrove Creek Flood, while Hinds rescued a woman on Grouse Lane.
praised for efforts during April's flood
By Nick Baptista
Volunteer firefighters from the Jenny Lind Fire Protection
District were honored for their bravery and devotion to duty during the
April 4 Cosgrove Creek Flood at a special ceremony on Friday.
The meeting room at Jenny Lind Fire Station No. 1 was filled to
capacity with the honored firefighters, family, friends, fellow
firefighters, district constituents and those who were rescued during
Firefighters received commendations and letters of appreciation
from District 5 Supervisor Victoria Erickson, representing the County
Board of Supervisors; Dana Jorgensen, district director for state Sen.
Dave Cox; Jenny Lind Fire Chief Brian Chavez-Ochoa and Jenny Lind Fire
Board President Dennis McCord.
Four of the firefighters – Mike Cammisa, Tony Daniello, Kris
Hinds and Charles Neuerburg – received special commendations from the
Jenny Lind board for water rescues during the flood.
Cammisa, Daniello and Neuerburg were helping sandbag a home on
St. Andrews when Foothill Fire District was dispatched to the Thomas
Center at Highway 26 and St. Andrews Road for a trapped vehicle.
Foothill asked the three Jenny Lind firefighters to bring rope
rescue equipment to the scene and help evacuate occupants in the
vehicle. The vehicle was in 3 ˝ feet of swift moving water and the
Jenny Lind firefighters set up a rescue harness. Cammisa was the first
at the vehicle and a rescued a toddler. He and Daniello then rescued two
female occupants. Neuerburg stayed at the rigs to monitor the ropes.
In addition, there were two women stranded on the porch of the
Thomas Center at the intersection of Highway 26 and St. Andrews Road.
Cammisa and Daniello rigged a taut line to the women. They were placed
in harnesses and hooked to the line as the water was approaching four
feet deep and moving very swiftly. All five people were evacuated to dry
ground with no injuries.
Hinds had been dispatched to Grouse Lane during the flood. One
woman was stranded in her house and when she saw the high water level
she panicked. Hinds carried her on piggyback to safety.
At the end of the ceremony, area resident John Raine said its
time that the public think about approving a tax assessment for the
department to hire full-time firefighters.