Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
The lack of recent rain is exposing more shoreline at New Hogan Lake.
figures well below normal
With no rain in sight for at the next few days in the area,
January 2007 will go down in the weather books as one of the driest in
recent memory and rainfall totals continue to lag behind figures for the
past few years.
According to information from the California Department of Water
Resources for New Hogan Lake, the Valley Springs area received .61
inches of precipitation this month. The figure compares to 4.35 inches
the prior January.
The last measurable day of rainfall at the lake was Jan. 4 when
.48 inches of precipitation was recorded.
Overall, Valley Springs has received 6.06 inches of rainfall
since Oct. 1, 2006. That is less than half of last year’s rainfall
figure for the same time period. By Jan. 31, 2006, the area had received
12.55 inches since Oct. 1, 2005.
During the same four-month time period in 2004-05, Valley Springs
already had 19.03 inches of rainfall and 12.79 inches in 2003-04.
The lack of rainfall is visible at New Hogan Lake. Storage capacity at the lake is down by more than 10,000 acre-feet in comparison to the same time last year. As of Monday, the reservoir had 170,152 acre-feet of water compared to 180,687 acre-feet on Jan. 29, 2006. In addition, the shoreline is nearly four feet lower at 672.37 feet compared to 676.02 at the end of January 2006.
An American bald eagle leaves its temporary perch atop a power pole in front of the Valley Springs Chevron station Monday morning and heads west.
Once endangered bald eagle soars over Valley Springs
An American bald eagle, our national bird and once a species on
the brink of extinction, was very visible Monday morning in the skies
over Valley Springs.
The eagle was observed flying northbound along Highway 26, taking
an occasional rest on power poles at Secured Self Storage and the Valley
Springs Chevron station. The respite at the Chevron station attracted a
crowd of onlookers who got in a glance of the rare bird while pumping
After about a five-minute stopover at the Chevron station, the
eagle stretched its wings skyward and headed in a westerly direction.
The species, which is the only eagle unique to North America, was on the brink of extinction in the late in the 20th century, but now has a stable population and is in the process of being removed from the U.S. federal government's list of endangered species.
Sources say the bald eagle population has grown to 70,000 and almost half of them are in Alaska and another 20,000 in British Columbia.
Bald eagles were declared an endangered
species in 1967 in all areas of the United States south of the 40th
There is the possibility the bald eagle may be removed from the “threatened” species list within n the next year or so.
Officials said the action could lead to the removal of the bald eagle from the "threatened" species list within the next year or so.
Burson Postmaster Wendi Sherman, left, and assistant Dove Larsen are promoting a new contest under way to mark Valentine’s Day and the release of a new stamp in the “Love” series.
office has new stamp for Valentine's
The U.S. Postal Service and Hershey are teaming up for one sweet
The Burson Post Office has a new wall display to make customers
aware of the latest addition to the “Love” series of commemorative
stamps and an accompanying sweepstakes with a chance to win $10,000 for
a romantic getaway.
“With Love and Kisses,” the new 39-cent stamp featuring
award-winning illustrator José Ortega's design of a Hershey's Kiss
mirrored by a red heart, was released Jan. 13 and marks the 100the
anniversary of the popular candy.
To celebrate the event, the Postal Service is running a “Guess
and Win Sweepstakes.” Burson
Postmaster Wendi Sherman is encouraging her customers to go on line at www.guessandwinsweeps.com
and guess how many Hershey Kisses fit in a USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail
In addition to one $10,000 check to purchase a trip there are
other great prizes, Sherman said. Her post office also is offering a
free gift to the first 25 customers who purchase a booklet of the new
Airman Apprentice Ryan Schulz aboard the U.S.S. Boxer
Airman Apprentice Ryan Schulz aboard the U.S.S. Boxer
First voyage takes area man to the far side of the world
One Valley Springs man is living the recruitment slogan “Join
the Navy and see the World.”
Airman Apprentice Ryan Schulz, the son of Diana and Keith Schulz
of Valley Springs, is aboard the U.S.S. Boxer in the North Arabian Sea.
Schulz graduated in 2005 from Calaveras High School and entered the Navy
Aug. 17, 2005. This is his first “under way.”
The Boxer is a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship and Schulz works with the aircraft on the flight deck. The aircraft is a mixture of helicopters and Harrier jump jets. In all, the ship has more than 1,000 crewmembers, can accommodate more than 2,000 troops and has the capacity for 82 aircraft. It is 844 feet long, 106 feet wide and displaces more than 40,000 tons of water.
During Schulz’ first voyage, he has visited Hawaii, Singapore and India.
“I wanted to do something with my life - explore new places, meet new people and see the world for the most part,” Schulz said about his decision to join the Navy.
The Boxer is busy 24 hours a day, Schulz said, and the ship is designated to remain at sea until mid-March, but that can always change. In the meantime, he keeps in touch with family and friends half a world apart through the magic of email.
His future could also include the Navy.
“As I get more of a taste of the Navy,
I’ll see where they steer me,” he said. The Navy has opened a lot of
opportunity for me.”
Calaveras County Chief Probation Officer Michael Kriletich, center background, with Gov. Arnold Schwatzenegger during the unveiling of a new prison reform proposal. Office of the Governor photo
County probation leader involved in prison reform
Calaveras County Chief Probation Officer Michael Kriletich of
Valley Springs recently took his place on the podium with Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger and other prominent law enforcement officials as the
governor unveiled his comprehensive prison reform proposal.
Along with the addition of 16,238 beds in state correctional
facilities, and 45,000 local jail beds, the proposal includes a $50
million augmentation to adult probation services for the 2007-2008
budget year and $100 million for both the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 budget
The proposal also commits hundreds of millions of dollars to
juvenile probation programs.
Kriletich was extended the invitation to appear Dec. 21 on the
podium with the governor during the unveiling of the proposal due to his
extensive work during the past two years with the Chief Probation
Officers of California and representatives of the governor’s office.
This work included developing proposed legislation, action plans and
proposals for the support of adult services in California as a tool for
healthy communities resulting in prison and local jail population
Currently, there are more than 300,000 adults on probation in
California with only 1,405 deputy probation officers to supervise them.
Due to the high ratio of offenders to probation officers, approximately
52 percent of all adult probationers are placed on “banked”
caseloads. These cases are administratively supervised and only
produce activity when violations are generated due to arrests.
The inability to provide greater supervision is negatively
affecting public safety through continued recidivism, the lack of
accountability and no measurable changes in the competency development
of offenders. High ratios of offenders to officers, also reduces the
offenders respect and expectations of the criminal justice system.
“I am very honored and excited to know that our
group’s (Chief Probation Officers of California) vision of sorting
to the positive in a system that is overloaded and in distress has
brought forward the true importance of systems, state and local, working
together for the health of our communities,” Kriletich said.
A resident of Calaveras County for 21 years, Kriletich was
appointed to the position of chief probation officer for Calaveras
County in October 2005. Prior
to his appointment, he served as the chief probation officer for Amador
“Public safety is my highest priority and my administration
will continue to address California’s prison crisis while ensuring
that dangerous criminals do not pose a threat to our families or
communities,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said at the press conference. “After decades of neglect as our state’s population has dramatically
expanded, our prison system desperately needs to be overhauled. I
am looking forward to working with my partners in the Legislature, crime
victims, law enforcement groups and correctional officers to bring
lasting change to California’s prison system.”
Channel 13 television journalist John Iander and his cameraman in Valley Springs working on the Calaveras Stonehenge story. Photo by Sal Manna
TV pursues Calaveras' "Stonehenge" discovery
Emmy Award-winning television journalist John Iander came to the
Valley Springs area last week to report for Channel 13, CBS-TV in
Sacramento, the tale of the stone markers called the “Calaveras
Stonehenge” by historian Sal Manna.
The story of the markers first appeared in the Dec. 22 edition of
The Valley Springs News as a special installment of Manna’s
monthly history column “Something From Nothing.”
Iander and his cameraman visited each of the locations where the
stones were placed to mark historic sites in West Calaveras. The feature
aired on the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts that night and the entire video
is available for viewing online for approximately 30 days by accessing
the cbs13.com Web site. The exact web address for the article and video
Included in the piece titled “Mystery of Calaveras County Rocks
Solved” was the just discovered fourth marker at Lunch Hill. Manna says that research into that particular location
New Valley Springs Postmaster Dann Myers.
Myers chosen as Valley Springs' new postmaster
By Nick Baptista
Valley Springs’ interim postmaster has been selected as the
local Post Office’s permanent postmaster.
Dann Myers joined the Valley Springs Post Office as the interim
postmaster on Sept. 20 and the job officially became his on Dec. 29. He
replaces Chris Mondragon who transferred to the French Camp Post Office.
Myers is looking forward to moving to the area and cutting down
his commute, which has been a 145-mile roundtrip from Bethel Island.
“We’re growing at a good, steady pace,” he said. “This is
a nice opportunity and I’ve looked forward to this for many years.”
Myers said he has commuted to his past Post Office jobs while his
children were in local schools, but he and his wife look forward to the
move to Calaveras County and living closer to his job.
Handling the projected growth in the Valley Springs area is on
the top of Myers’ priority list. The Valley Springs Post Office has
eight full routes and a ninth route is on the way. Myers said.
His Post Office has approximately 1,400 post office box customers
and 5,000 business and residential deliveries.
Myers said he has experience with growth issues from his prior
stints as a postmaster and county officials have been helpful.
The growth has Myers looking for at least two part-time people to
work as rural carrier associates, which is the beginning of a career
path in the Postal Service.
Myers said he has met a lot of good people during the past few
months in Valley Springs and the Post Office staff have been helpful in
Part of the job as a postmaster has been to field complaints and
work with the public to resolve postal delivery issues.
The burden falls on the postmaster, Myers said, because
“sometimes the carriers don’t have the time to communicate with
customers” because of their delivery demands.
Myers looks forward to the role and says it is very important to
solve those problems and keep the public happy because each post office
is reviewed and rated through customer service surveys.
“We want to make some gains in the area,” he added.
Another function of the postmaster is to meet with groups, such
as business organizations, and outline helpful services provided by the
U.S. Postal Service, Myers said.
He added he is always willing to meet and speak in front of the
area’s civic organizations and he will be the guest speaker at the
Jan. 17 meeting of the Valley Springs Area Business Association.
Those services include bulk mailing, Click-N-Ship and NetPost
Colleen O'Connell and Brad Nelson are the new owners of the Curves franchise in Valley Springs.
Curves becomes first tenant in new center
It is a new year, a new location and new owners for the Curves
franchise in Valley Springs.
Curves has moved from 65 Daphne St. to the new retail center built by Dave Swarbrick and Greg Thompson on the southeast corner of Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago. Curves is the first tenant to open in the new development, which also will include a Mongolian-style barbecue restaurant and a “Beyond Juice” shop.
Colleen O’Connell and Brad Nelson have assumed ownership of the
local Curves franchise.
O’Connell said the new location is larger and more modern and
has a better floor plan than the old site and will offer new amenities
– such as a new “Stretch Circuit” and surface for members.
Curves is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and 3
to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday’s afternoon hours are 3 to 6
and Saturday’s hours are 6 to 10 a.m.
Curves offers a 30-minute workout that combines strength training
and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective
hydraulic resistance, O’Connell said.
She has been a member of Curves the past four years and from the
moment she joined she wanted to purchase a franchise.
When the local franchise became available, O’Connell said she
knew it was the one she wanted and the move from downtown Valley Springs
closer to members and potential members the La Contenta and Rancho
Calaveras subdivisions is “exciting.”
With almost 10,000 locations in 42 countries, Curves is the
world's largest fitness franchise and the 10th largest of all franchise
companies in the world, O’Connell said.
Curves founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the
innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise
available to over 4 million women, many of whom are in the gym for the
first time, O’Connell added.
Curves also offers a weight management program featuring a
groundbreaking, scientifically proven method to raise metabolic rate and
end the need for perpetual dieting, she said.
The local Curves is offering a special rate for grand opening
memberships. Pricing can be obtained by calling the local Curves at
772-1986. In addition, weight management classes will begin later this
“We’re already seeing an increase in members,” she said.
For more information about Curves, visit www.curves.com.