Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Post office ready for growth, the holidays
Valley Springs Post Office is preparing for the holiday season rush and
its list of addresses is growing at an incredible pace.
The post office is serving 5,468 addresses in the Valley Springs
and West Calaveras area, up from 5,127 since February of this year, said
Valley Springs Postmaster Chris Mondragon. He attributed the bulk of the
recent growth to new homes begin completed in Gold Creek Estates.
Mondragon is also planning to add a ninth route. Six years ago
when the post office moved to its present location, it had five or six
routes, the staff reported.
Using an industry standard of 2.6 people per household, Mondragon
estimates the Valley Springs area has a population of 14,216.8.
To service all of those people, the local post office is
extending its hours from Dec. 5 to 23. The post office will open an hour
early, at 7:30 a.m., Mondragon said.
He anticipates business at the post office will jump the first
Monday of December.
“All of us elves will be working hard,” Mondragon said.
And Mondragon’s advice to all postal customers is to avoid
waiting until the last minute to mail holiday packages.
The Parcel Post deadline for packages to reach their destination
before Christmas is Dec. 14, Mondragon reported. The first-class
deadline is Dec. 19, Priority is Dec. 21 and Express is Dec. 22.
The 2005 commemorative holiday stamp, “Holiday Cookies,” is
also available at the Valley Springs Post Office, along with traditional
religious stamps, Mondragon said.
Packaging products, boxes and holiday gift bags are also sale in
Holiday shopping time
Unique Christmas cards made by Eileen Shumate, pictured here, and Karla Schuster of Valley Springs were some of the many hand-made items for sale at the recent Rancho Calaveras Holiday Craft Faire. Shumate and Schuster work the entire year to make the cards and raise money to attend the Ronald McDonald summer camp in the Reno-Tahoe area.
John Miller, left, Garry
McGinness and Mark McGinness are mixing ice cream and electronics in
their new business at the old Valley Springs railroad depot.
Monster mixes computers with ice cream in old depot
Monster Electronics and Computers opened for business last
weekend in the old Valley Springs train depot.
Monster owners John Miller and Mark McGinness, both of Valley
Springs, are combining the new electronics and computer store with the
old Ice Cream Depot at the 25 California St. location.
So in addition to the latest piece of new computer hardware or
software, customers can grab an ice cream cone or espresso at the
The ice cream and coffee shop opens at 6:30 a.m. seven days a
week and the electronics store opens at 8 a.m. Miller and McGinness plan
to stay open till approximately 7 p.m., but will stay longer to help a
Eventually, they hope to wire the ice cream and coffee shop as an
internet “hot spot.”
The computer store has a limited amount of stock on hand, but
“if we don’t have it, we’ll get it,” said McGinness, and he
expects a two-day turnaround for most special orders.
“We need the residents to tell us what they want. We can’t
add to the inventory until we know what they want.”
In addition to sales, Monster will provide support and service.
Miller, retired military, is the IT guy and master technician. He worked
for the Department of Defense for a number of years on computers and is
a network engineer.
Miller said he strives to provide solutions to businesses as well
as personal computer users.
“We’ll purchase, build and give computer instructions,”
Why did they call the computer and electronics shop Monster?
“It’s a name that reaches out and grabs you,” said
McGinness. “We want to reach out and grab you for our services.”
The business is a family affair with their children involved in
the operation, whether behind the ice cream counter or sweeping the
The historic building is not lost in the transition to a computer
“We want to keep the history of this building alive,” said
McGinness. Old photos of the train station are situated in both the
computer and ice cream store. In addition, railroad signage continues to
decorate the ice cream portion of the business.
The ice cream store will host birthday parties and future plans
call for an outdoor barbecue at the location.
“We want this to be a caring, family type of place,” McGinness said. The ice cream shop also features a big screen for movies and video games.
Back for more
At the end of last week it
looked as though sight-line improvement work at the intersection of
Highway 26 and Silver Rapids Road had been completed. However, on Monday
traffic controls were back in place and crews were at the site further
shaving the hillside and cutting through a layer of freshly sprayed
Perfect so far
The Calaveras Redskins capped a perfect regular season and won The Bell Trophy with a 20-0 Big Game victory Friday night against the Bret Harte Bullfrogs. The varsity Redskins advance to section playoffs with a game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at home against Patterson.
Happy 100 CHS
Calaveras High School celebrated its centennial at a special dinner Saturday evening. Saturday’s dinner in the San Andreas Town Hall attracted almost 300 alumni and was marked by several alumni speaking about the school’s place in the community, the traditions and their importance to the community. In the photo above, all gather to sing the school’s alma mater.
Wallace/Burson Association ready to provide Santa Smiles
The Wallace/Burson Association's annual Santa Smiles program is
about to kick off.
Santa Smiles provides food and gifts to needy Burson and Wallace
area residents during the holiday season.
Barbara Sutton is organizing the program for her second year. She
said donation boxes for food, clothing and toys will begin to appear the
day after Thanksgiving at the Burson and Wallace post offices, Burson
Market and Wallace Chevron. The boxes will remain until mid-December
when the items will be collected for packaging and distribution.
Families in need are identified in several ways, she said, by
word of mouth, through the school and this year the association has a
message center to receive the names of families in need.
“We would like to ask the public to recommend the names of
needy families or seniors in our area; they can call anonymously to our
WBA message center at 547-3244,” said Sal Manna, Wallace/Burson
Santa Smiles also works with Santa Express to make sure every
needy family in the area is covered, Sutton said. Last year, Santa
Smiles assisted 10 families in the area.
Wallace/Burson Association members get into the spirit of giving
by buying clothing and toys for children of the families in need and
then gather for a “wrapping party,” Sutton added.
She calls the families in need prior to the wrapping party to
find out whether they’re willing to accept the help and the names,
ages, sizes and holiday season wishes of the children in the families.
She then passes the information to WBA members so they can shop for each
In addition to toys and clothing for the families, the
association packs a food basket with a holiday dinner and other items.
Area merchants have been very generous in this effort, she said.
In addition to the message center phone number, Sutton can be
reached at 772-3542.
Valley Springs goes to the polls
Fourth-grade teacher Rochelle
Pena, left, signs in at the Veterans Memorial Hall polling place before
casting her ballot in Tuesday’s statewide election. Assisting her are
Bev Rushing, center and Carol Shrum. In the background are polling-place
workers Linda Larson and Diana Ponte.
Two of three incumbents lose in Foothill Fire race
Steven J. Sugar and
appointed incumbent Gary West won four-year seats to the Foothill Fire
Protection District Board of Directors, while Steffen Sommer won a
two-year seat on the five-member board.
Incumbents Kenneth “Ken” Glissman of Wallace and William P. McFall of
Valley Springs lost in their bids to remain on the board.
Sugar of Burson, a firefighter, was the top vote-getter in the four-year
race with 919 votes, to West’s 682 and Glissman’s 673.
Sommer of Burson, a firefighter/paramedic, received 825 votes to 603 for
McFall in the two-year race.
The Foothill Fire Protection District, which covers 64 miles in western
Calaveras County, was the only Valley Springs area race on Tuesday’s state
special election ballot.
While voters statewide cast a majority of ballots against all eight
propositions up for consideration, Calaveras County voters bucked the trend on
Propositions 73, 74 and 75.
Proposition 73, parental notification about abortion, received a 54
percent “yes” vote in Calaveras County. Proposition 74, the five-year
teacher tenure proposal, was acceptable to 55 percent of Calaveras voters, while
Proposition 75, the government employee union dues initiative, received 56.2
percent support locally.
BloodSource sets Nov. 29 blood drive in Valley Springs
A Valley Springs community blood drive is scheduled for Nov. 29
to meet the community’s need for blood and blood products.
The blood drive at the Valley Springs Health & Fitness
Center, 145 Mangili Road, is sponsored by the local Knights of Columbus.
It will be from 3 to 7 p.m.
The Knights and BloodSource will continue to team up for area
blood drives in 2006. Those blood drives will be set for the last
Tuesday of the month in January, March, May, July, September and
Blood donations are used to treat burn victims, transplant
patients, people who must undergo surgery, those injured in accidents,
patients with leukemia and more.
BloodSource provides blood to Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital
in San Andreas, Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Sutter and
To give blood, you must be in generally good health, free from
cold symptoms for at least 48 hours; be at least 17 years old (16 years
old with parental consent); and weigh at least 110 pounds. There is no upper age limit for donating blood. Prospective
donors must bring a photo ID. The entire process takes about an hour.
All walk-ins are welcome. There will not be appointments. There
will be a drawing for one extra large pizza from Pizza Factory and one
meal for two from LaContenta Golf Course. For more information, call
Entries sought for annual Christmas Parade
The Valley Springs Area Business Association’s 22nd
annual Christmas Parade is less than a month away and the call is out
The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, rain or
shine on Daphne Street, turn right at the Veterans Memorial Hall and
then right at Sequoia where it will disband.
The judge’s stand will be at the corner of Pine and Daphne
streets. Trophies and ribbons will be awarded immediately after the
parade at the judge’s stands.
ABA Chairman Tillie Soyland said they’re always looking for
youth groups, such as the Boy Scouts and 4-H, to participate in the
parade. In addition, it would be nice to have more bands and animals in
the parade and encouraged.
All children under 12 will receive a participation ribbon.
Dave and Mary Cahal, the ABA’s Citizens of the Year the past
year, will be highlighted in the parade, she added.
Santa and Mrs. Claus have agreed to make a special trip from
their home in the North Pole to the parade and have politely requested
that no other Santas show up. He’s had a problem with identity theft
in the past.
Liz Weaver of Sheng Chi is handling parade applications. She can
be reached at 772-1760. The deadline to return applications is Nov. 23.
Parade categories include float, auto group, vintage or classic
auto, band, honor guard, show horse, mounted adult, junior and group,
vintage farm equipment, bicycle, horse-drawn carriage, golf and go
carts, costume for single and group, comic single and group, emergency
On the day of the parade, the registration table will be located
at the corner of California and Chestnut streets and registration prior
to 9:45 a.m. is requested.
The Craft Faire at the Vets Hall will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Soyland said several booth spaces remain. To reserve a booth space, call Vicky Henkle at 772-0285.
Valley Springs, Camanche last to regain electricity
Valley Springs and Camanche were the last in line to receive
power after Thursday’s electric outage, according to a PG&E
The first report of the outage to 53,000 customers in a four-county area came in at 3:52 p.m. and Valley Springs and Camanche were the final 5,000 customers to regain power at about 6:15 p.m., said Emily Barnett of PG&E.
In addition to much of Calaveras County, the outage affected
customers in Amador, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.
Barnett said the outage began when a large transmission
substation in the Linden area went down. The substation is the feeder
for 11 distribution substations. PG&E “back feed” power to each
of those transmission substations to restore service in the four-county
Barnett said helicopters and survey crews were on the patrol
Friday morning looking for the cause of Thursday’s outage. They
believe something, such as a tree, touched a line to cause the loss of
Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Miguel Delgado Jr.
Operation Military Support sets Veterans Day fundraisers
Operation Military Support has plans for two fundraising dinners on the Veterans Day weekend to accommodate people in upper and lower parts of Calaveras County. The purpose is to raise funds for mailing packages to the troops.
The fundraiser on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, will begin at 5:30 p.m.
at Sequoia Woods Golf Club in Arnold and feature Senior Chief Hospital
Corpsman Miguel Delgado Jr. The cost is $75 per person. For information
and reservations, call Suzette Glanville at 728-2000.
Sunday, Nov. 13, the fundraiser will begin at 4 p.m. at the
Calaveras Senior Center on Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas. The cost
is $75 per person. For information and reservations, call June Downum at
Senior Chief Delgado was instrumental in getting Operation
Military Support up and running, through his care for the troops, while