Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Calaveras County's Gold Award-winning booth at the 2009 California State Fair.
County booth wins special & gold award at State Fair
Calaveras County has struck gold at the 2009 California State Fair in Sacramento.
The county received a gold medal for its state fair booth and the “Best Experience Award,” which is given to the booth that best engages fairgoers to experience the county.
“This is a huge win for Calaveras and gives all those fairgoers very real reasons to take the short drive to visit Calaveras County,” said Lisa Mayo, executive director of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau.
Calaveras County Supervisors Gary Tofanelli and Russ Thomas as well as a number of volunteers and Calaveras Visitors Bureau staff who helped with the booth attended the awards ceremony, which took place Friday afternoon at Cal Expo.
This year’s state fair theme is “Weird, Wild and Wacky.”
“We know we have some weird, wild and wacky things to share
about Calaveras County, but we wanted to do it tastefully so we focused
on our wild side – things like the Pioneer’s Cabin Tree at Calaveras
Big Trees State Park, our wild rivers, wild adventures and wildlife,”
Throwing in some wacky Calaveras-only experiences, such as
Twisted Oak’s Rubber Chicken National Forest was in keeping with this
year’s state fair theme.
Creating and building a booth for the state fair is a major
undertaking. This was the first year the Calaveras Visitors Bureau had
sole responsibility for the project. With the help of state fair veteran
Anna Davies of the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance and booth builder
Richard Bay, the exhibit is a true representation of all the attributes
of Calaveras County.
Mayo and niece Chloe Crawford of Avery gave a presentation to the
judges. The booth is judged
on content, marketability, craftsmanship, creative use of products,
produce and/or artifacts and technology and/or animation, special
effects and experience.
The Calaveras County exhibit, along with about 35 other county
booths, can be seen at the California State Fair, which runs through
Sept. 7. More information
on the fair can be found at www.bigfun.org.
The California State Fair’s Counties Exhibit Program dates back
to in the 1870s, and has been a favorite among fairgoers ever since. The
long-standing program offers counties the opportunity to showcase what
makes their county exceptional; agriculture, commerce, ethnic heritage
and natural resources are just some of the unique genres displayed by
the diverse group of counties that participate.
Former Calaveras County Building Department Head Ray Waller hands documentation concerning The Ridge at Trinitas project to the County Planning Commission.
Trinitas scores a bogey before planning panel
The Ridge at Trinitas developers Mike and Michelle Nemee lost
another round Thursday in efforts to legitimize their Ospital Road
property as a commercial golf course.
The Calaveras County Planning Commission on a 4-1 vote denied the
Nemees’ appeal that they had the right to use their agriculturally
zoned property for commercial golfing operations.
The Nemees’ plans to have a full-scale golf course resort with
a clubhouse, lodge, restaurant and 13-home gated community were rejected
in May by a majority of the Board of Supervisors. Board members Merita
Callaway, Tom Tryon and Steve Wilensky voted to deny the project, while
Russ Thomas and Gary Tofanelli voted in favor.
Shortly after the board decision then-interim Community
Development Director Brent Harrington wrote a letter to the Nemees
cautioning them against using their property for golfing.
The Nemees responded to the board decision and the Harrington
letter by filing a pair of lawsuits and filing an appeal, which was
heard Thursday by the planning panel.
The Nemees’ attorney, Christine Griffith, challenged staff’s
recommendation to deny the appeal, saying commercial golfing is a
permissible recreational activity on agricultural land according to the
county’s recently revised agri-tourism ordinance.
Griffith said the agri-tourism ordinance is broad in its
definitions of what are permissible recreational activities. She added
there is no exclusion list, so golfing should be allowed on the
In addition, Griffith said the county was well aware the Nemees
wanted to place a golf course and county officials helped them along the
Former Community Development Director Stephanie Moreno went so
far as to meet with banking officials considering a loan on the Nemees’
property and assured them it was a lawful development and their was no
reason to believe the entire project would not be approved by the
county, Griffith added.
She also cited a decision by former Planning Director Bob Sellman
that the Nemees were within their rights to have a personal golf course
for their use only on the property and the county has been taxing the
land as a commercial golf course for the past five years to the sum of
Ray Waller, the former head of the county’s building department
and the chief enforcement officer, supported Griffith’s arguments.
Waller is the official who initially cited the Nemees for grading, but
eventually allowed the grading to continue when it was determined there
were no violations. In addition, Waller said staff had been encouraged
by Supervisor Steve Wilensky and then-Supervisor Bill Claudino to help
the Nemees through the planning process.
He said it was obvious through those directions that the
supervisors supported the project.
Victoria Erickson, the District 5 supervisor from 2002-2005,
spoke about her recollection of when the agri-tourism ordinance was
being revised and there was never any talk of excluding golf as a
She said it was “unthinkable” that Harrington would even
mention the Nemees needed to remove their golf course.
Mark Connelly, representing Trinitas opponents Keep It Rural,
Calaveras and the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, said a
house of prostitution would be legal on agricultural land using
Connelly also questioned Waller’s representation of the facts,
especially concerning the grading work, which initially was represented
for pastureland or a vineyard, and not for a golf course.
He asked the planning commission not to compound the gross
mistakes or dereliction of duty by county officials in the past by
approving the appeal.
“Deny this request of revisionist history and ridiculous
arguments,” he added.
Planning Commissioners Ted Allured, Suzanne Kuehl, Bill Mason and
Fawn McLaughlin voted against the appeal, while Commissioner Steve
Kearney voted opposite.
Veteran of the Year Ed Anderson
Assembly recognizes Burson man for service to community
A Burson man’s service to his country and efforts to help his
fellow veterans has earned him statewide recognition.
Edward “Ed” Anderson, 69, a 31-year resident of Burson,
earlier this summer received the 2009 Veteran of the Year Award for the
25th Assembly District. Assembly Member Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto,
presented the award during an annual ceremony hosted by the Assembly
Veterans Affairs Committee.
Anderson was selected among veterans in the Assembly district
that covers Calaveras, Mariposa, Mono, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.
Anderson enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July of 1958 and after boot
camp and schooling to learn the intricacies of interior communications
electronics, he served aboard the U.S.S. Walker, DDE 517, an
anti-submarine warfare destroyer.
“There were a lot of Russian submarines in those days,” he
Anderson handled the ship’s gyrocompass, pitometer, public
address system, soundboard, power telephone system and 16mm
Before joining the Navy, Anderson was a second level
carpenter’s apprentice, but he decided to join to get his military
obligation completed prior to getting married and settling down.
He had three brothers who served in the Army, Marines and Navy
during World War II and “my brother in the Navy is the only one who
didn’t starve. Food was a criteria in my decision.”
The Walker was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and
Anderson’s tour of duty included two “Westpac” cruises, which were
six-month-long deployments ranging from the Aleutian Islands in the
north to Australia in the south.
Anderson was honorably discharged in 1964 at the rank of Petty
Officer Second Class and began civilian life working for the North Coast
County Water District. After two years there, he went to the Belmont
Water District where he worked for a dozen years before deciding to get
into plumbing in the San Mateo area.
When it began to take 20 minutes to travel two miles in the Bay
Area, Anderson and his wife Kiss decided it was time to move to
“God’s County,” Anderson said.
He was familiar with Calaveras County through camping and fishing
trips and he lived “The Great American Dream” – buying a 10-acre
lot near Burson and using his carpentry, plumbing and electronics skills
acquired over the years to build his own house at the site.
Anderson would spend about half the year working on plumbing jobs
in the Bay Area and when things were slow down there, he’d work on his
new house. It took about five years to complete and get the final on the
Anderson’s plumbing career came to an end after breaking his
back in 1987. He decided against surgery at the time because it was
Since retirement, Anderson has been busy on the public front. He
served four years on the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial District Board of
Directors, is in his fourth year on the Foothill Fire Protection
District Board of Directors, was a director of Operation Military
Support and was American Legion Post 102’s post commander for three
Anderson’s connection with the Foothill fire district goes back
to 2000 when he was one of the people seeking signatures calling for the
creation of the district.
However, it’s his efforts through the American Legion where he
has had his greatest impact helping veterans.
The post and Anderson led the charge to exempt veterans’
organization from paying sales taxes on their fundraisers, such as
“Patriotism costs money,” Anderson said.
Veterans routinely visit schools, talk to students about their
experiences, their duty and hand out American flags, he said. The money
collected from the veterans’ fundraisers goes toward offsetting those
expenses, such as the gas and the cost of the flags.
In addition, fundraisers are also used to support the Legion’s
Boy’s and Girl’s State leadership programs, and various youth
activities such as Little League and softball.
Anderson lobbied for the sales tax exemption for several years
and his efforts were rewarded when Assembly Bill 189 passed in the
legislature and was signed into law.
“I became very familiar with the halls in the capitol,” he
said. “It takes a lot out of you, but it’s an adventure and an
He was also instrumental in reviving interest in building a
Korean War memorial at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery near
Anderson doesn’t know how Assemblyman Berryhill’s office made
the selection, but “I was told I was on the top of the list.”
This is the second year the Assembly has recognized veterans
throughout the state with the awards.
“It’s quite an honor and I’m pleased the government is
recognizing veterans at this time for the work they do in their
communities,” Anderson said.
One of the two young bald eagles that died last month near Pardee Reservoir is seen a few days before its death spreading its wings. Photo by Stacey Hebrard.
West Nile virus likely killer of Pardee eagles
A state Department of Fish and Game study has confirmed that at
least one of the fledgling bald eagles being raised near Pardee
Reservoir likely died from the West Nile virus.
According to Kyle Orr, DFG information officer, a Fish and Game
veterinarian has confirmed earlier test results obtained from the
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at the University of
The tests determined one of the bald eagles contracted the virus and it is assumed the second eagle died from the virus, but the carcass was too far along in the decomposition process to accurately determine the cause of death, Orr said.
The young eagles’ development had garnered the attention of
area bird watchers, who reported the two were beginning to develop their
flying skills only a few days before their deaths.
The bald eagle, recognized as the national bird, once was on the brink of extinction in the continental United States. The bald eagle population has stabilized and the bird officially has been removed from the federal government’s list of endangered species.
However, federal and state laws continue to protect the animal.
Area Red Hat Lady chapters at their recent "Christmas in July" luncheon, which benefited The Resource Connection Food Bank.
Red Hat Ladies help food bank
The local chapters of the Red Hat Ladies hosted their “Christmas in July” luncheon July 30 at Utica Park in Angels Camp to benefit The Resource Connection Food Bank.
Many local chapters were present including the Mistletoe Gals of
Valley Springs, Calaveras Red Hat Mama’s, Red Hat Angels, Mad Hatter
Madams from Arnold and others.
The Red Hat Ladies local chapter in Valley Springs – The
Mistletoe Gals of Valley Springs - got together and purchased 2,364
pounds of food from Mar-Val Food Stores at cost. The food was brought to
“Christmas in July” and presented to the food bank.
“This is a wonderful example of our community coming together
to support hungry families”, said Jeannie Hayward, the food bank’s
program director. “It’s great to see our local stores partnering
with The Red Hat Ladies’ local chapters in such a creative and unique
way. This was a great event with a lot of very fun Red Hatters.
We are seeing more and more people come into the food bank who
have never had to ask for food or assistance before.
Donations like these help so many people in need right now.”
In addition, The Resource Connection Food Bank is extending its
free produce distribution farmers market through October, Hayward said.
The additional free produce distribution – farmers markets are
set for 9 to 11 a.m. Fridays on Aug. 14 and 28, Sept. 11 and 25, and
Oct. 9 and 23.
State Goose Calling Champion Nathan Kreshon of Valley Springs proudly displays his plaque.
Valley Springs lad wins state goose-calling title
Valley Springs is home of the 2009 California State Goose Calling
Sixteen-year-old Nathan Kreshon, the son of Dan and Traci Kreshon,
captured the state open junior goose and open goose titles Sunday
enroute to also winning the state goose calling title Sunday at the
California State Championships in Modesto.
He plans to compete later this month in Oregon to earn a shot at
the world championships later this year in Minnesota.
Kreshon’s interest in goose calling began in 2003 when he and
his father attended a goose-calling competition. He met goose hunter and
outfitter Chad Belding who showed how to begin goose calling. Kreshon
now works on his goose-calling skills 24/7 and the long hours of
practice are beginning to pay off.
“He’s very successful for such a young age and sometimes the other callers get mad,” said Dan. “They can’t believe he’s improved so quickly and that he’s the same caller they heard just a few years ago.”
Nathan uses a Tim Grounds Triple Crown caller. He said he’s
excited about his recent success and the opportunity to move on to the
The family recently moved to Valley Springs from Oakdale where
Nathan still attends school. He is entering his senior year at Oakdale
Grace Anderson Bane
set for 1994 Citizen of the Year
Marilyn Grace Anderson Bane of Valley Springs passed away in her
sleep July 28, 2009. She was 85 years old.
She was born Feb. 8, 1924, in Chicago Ill. She was a graduate of Northern Illinois Teachers College with
a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She taught school during World
Her husband George Albert Bane, Lt. Cmdr. USN Ret., preceded her
in death in 2000. She and George met in Biology 101. Seated
alphabetically, she, Anderson and he being Bane. They married within 10
days of George’s return for the Pacific Theater in November of 1945.
They traveled the country and world together and alone.
They resided in Dublin, Calif., from 1964 until they retired to
their home in Valley Springs in 1984.
Mrs. Bane loved to read and never left home without a book. She
was instrumental in raising grants and funds, and in helping to passing
political bonds to build Calaveras County’s new library.
Marilyn and George were Citizens of the Year in 1994. They were
acknowledged for activities in Calaveras Community Television, Friends
of the Library, Calaveras Democratic Central Committee, Valley Springs
Area Business Association and American Association of University Women.
The last three years of her life she lived with her daughters and
in assisted living as Alzheimer’s had robbed her of her intellect,
reason, and memories.
Her daughters Cynthia Ann Bane Mammon and Nancy Lynn Bane-Cresta
and their husbands Roger and Steven, grandson Joel Bane Sanchez, and
sister Dorothy Anderson Biging survive her.
A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in San Andreas beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Family requests that remembrance be made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association or any of the organization she supported with her love and time.