Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Miss Calaveras 2010 Rebecca Marie Fischer, left, with her court of Jessica Evans, center, and Rebecca Erin Gilbert.
Springs lasses shine in Miss Calaveras Pageant
Rebecca Fischer of West Point won the title of Miss Calaveras
2010 the opening night of the county fair, but two Valley Springs misses
figured prominently in the scholarship pageant.
Rebecca Erin Gilbert, 18, the daughter of Tom and Judy Gilbert of Valley Springs, finished second runner-up for the Miss Calaveras title and won the talent portion of the competition, while Katherine Jones of Valley Springs, a sophomore at California State University, Fresno, gathered $500 in scholarships by winning the Director’s Award, Community Service Award and Miss Congeniality.
Gilbert, a senior at Calaveras High School, impressed the five
out-of-county judges with her singing performance to the aria of “Into
the Night” by Clara Edwards. She received a $100 scholarship for
winning the talent competition, $400 as second runner-up and another
$100 scholarship as “The Belle of the Camp” for selling the most
tickets to the Coronation Ball.
She plans to attend American River College in Sacramento in the
fall and transfer to University of the Pacific to study vocal
performance and business management.
Fischer and Gilbert were joined as the finalists by first
runner-up Jessica Evans of Angels Camp. The contestants were judged in
four categories – talent, which accounted for 40 percent, interview at
30 percent, evening gown and personal statement at 20 percent and health
and fitness at 10 percent.
Fischer, also an 18-year-old senior at Calaveras High School,
sang “My Favorite Things” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical
“The Sound of Music” enroute to her title, while Evans, an
18-year-old senior at Bret Harte High School, played the piano to a
piece by Chopin.
Fischer, who plans to attend CSU, Channel Islands in Camarillo
where she will double major in early childhood studies and English, with an
emphasis in creative writing, received a $1,000 scholarship for winning
the pageant and $100 for being named Most Photogenic.
Evans received a $600 scholarship as first runner-up.
The fair concluded Sunday with Michael Wright jockeying “4 Peat” to a win in the frog jump competition with a leap of 19 feet, 1 inch.
Tri-Dam 4-Hers, from left, Logan Sullivan, Dane Ehlers, Casey Copulos and Matt Elliott with their organically grown meat goats.
4-H club on cutting edge in push toward going organic
A local effort to bring more organically grown animals to the
Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee has increased four-fold
The push toward bringing organically grown animals to the fair
took root last year when Nick Elliott from Campo Seco brought a goat
that fetched $1,210 at the livestock auction. His goat sold for $8 a
pound, nearly twice the going rate for non-organic goats.
Nick’s brother Matt and three other members of Tri-Dam 4-H –
Casey Copulos, Dane Ehlers and Logan Sullivan – hope to achieve
similar results with their organic meat goats.
The 2010 fair began Thursday and runs through Sunday, which is
also the day of the junior livestock auction. Prior to Sunday’s 9 a.m.
auction, the market goat show is schedule for 8 a.m. Friday.
The four organic goat growers – who are students at Valley
Springs Elementary and Toyon Middle schools - will be very visible
during their barn duties at the fair with T-shirts reading “Ask Me
About My Organic Goat.”
Trish Elliott, Nick and Matt’s mother and the meat goat leader
for the local 4-H club, said the animals come from organic stock and it
costs about 25 percent more to raise a goat organically through the
purchase of certified organic feed and organic alfalfa.
The higher price for feed is just one of the cons about raising
organic meat goats. If injured or sick, the animal cannot receive any
shots and only topical treatments are acceptable.
Three of the boys raised a pair of goats, so if one of their
animals needed medical treatment, they would have another to show at the
fair. The move was a wise decision, as one of the animals did need
Trish has been working to expand the organic meat goat program to
other 4-H clubs and explains the pros and cons to other 4-Hers.
When the animals are judged at this year’s fair, the four
Tri-Dam 4-Hers will receive special recognition for their goats being
organically grown and there will be bonus based on their placement,
As for Nick, he has a steer at this year’s fair.
Builder and Calaveras County Water District Area 5 Director Jeff Davidson outlines his concerns with the Valley Springs Community Plan as proposed.
Valley Springs Community Plan update criticized
The proposed Valley Springs Community Plan update that has been
in the works for the past year did not receive a warm welcome at
Tuesday’s meeting of the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.
After hearing several hours of pros and cons about the proposed
update, which would replace a community plan established in 1975, the
board unanimously decided to postpone consideration of the update until
its May 25 meeting.
In the meantime, District 1 Supervisor Gary Tofanelli is in
charge of working to resolve conflicts that have arisen out of the
proposed update and preparing a more attractive document for the
board’s final consideration.
The community plan was unveiled Tuesday by Calaveras Council of
Government officials Tim McSorley, executive director, and Tyler
Summersett, project manager and transportation planner. They outlined
the methods used to arrive at the final map including a recent
Builder and Calaveras County Water District Area 5 Director Jeff
Davidson was critical of the community plan update process and
unsubstantiated votes superseding the rights of local property owners.
“There was no map of what individual property owners wanted,”
Davidson said. “That should have been the first map presented.”
He said it was easy to manipulate the questionnaire process with
multiple voting and voting by people who do not live or own property in
Tonja Dausend of Burson said the questionnaire was “blatantly
slanted” and regardless of what the results are, a popular majority
can’t vote away the rights of a minority.
Area resident Michael Weitrick was also critical of the
questionnaire and said the results could easily be manipulated.
"I would like all of those outside people to take all of
their social engineering and do it someplace else," he said.
Valley Springs Elementary School teacher Joanne Randall took a
day off from her job to defend her family’s property rights.
Randall’s mother Betty Snyder owns a five-acre commercial
parcel between State Route 12 and Lime Creek Road that was being
downgraded to agricultural use in the proposed community plan update.
The property has been appraised at $305,000.
“Please do not take away my mother’s security,” Randall
If the county pursues plans to downgrade the property’s land
use, Randall said she would send a bill for the difference and
“hopefully it is paid promptly.”
She also questioned whether her mother’s property and other
property along the east edge of Valley Springs proper was being
downgraded in land use so Caltrans could eventually purchase the
property for less money to construct a bypass.
Caltrans provided a $204,648 grant toward the $255,000 community
She also questioned why the electronic questionnaire was given
more weight than a recent survey of 217 Valley Springs residents who
rejected the “smart growth” approach used in the community plan
Valley Springs area resident Marti Crane defended the process.
She said there was plenty of outreach and those who participated
throughout the year should not have their views dismissed.