Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Mina, left, and Samira Nasser are owners and operators of the new Valley Springs Quiznos Subs.
opens for business
By Nick Baptista
Valley Springs has a new sandwich shop.
Quiznos Subs opened its doors Friday to the public at the
Valley Springs Plaza at Highway 26 and Nove Way.
Mina Nasser is the owner of the new Valley Springs Quiznos Subs
and her daughter Samira Nasser is the manager.
The mother-daughter team the past few days has been busy putting
the finishing touches on the new business and training a staff of
approximately 15 employees.
Samira said Quiznos Sub’s initial hours will be from 10:30 a.m.
to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
The new Valley Springs Quiznos is situated in the front corner of
Valley Springs Plaza across the street from Norm’s Chevron. The
1,100-square-foot sandwich shop has an adjacent outdoor patio area for
Quiznos Subs is the No. 2 franchise according to Entrepreneur
magazine’s 27th annual “Franchise 500” rankings. Subway is ranked
In addition to eat-in and take-out dining, Quiznos can cater
meals. Samira added that the Valley Springs shop would feature a wide
variety of drinks including energy drinks for its customers.
The phone number for the local Quiznos is (209) 772-8822 and the
fax number is 772-3129.
Mike Dell’Orto, CRV Enterprises representative, presents a check to Valley Springs Public Utility District Administrative Secretary Dee Myshrall, Director William Whitaker and President Lucille Allee at the June 28 board meeting.
district receives $669,690 check
By Nick Baptista
The Valley Springs Public Utility District is $669,690 richer.
The district received the money June 28 after entering into a
service availability agreement with CRV Enterprises, Inc. to provide 63
sewer and water connections to Charboneau Estates, a moderate-income
housing development proposed for an area in the vicinity of Valley
Springs Elementary School past Oak Street and between Cedar and Chestnut
The stick-built homes on a site previously approved for a mobile
home park will range in size from 1,500 to 2,000-plus square feet, said
CRV Enterprises representative Mike Dell’Orto.
PUD General Manager Mike Fischer said approximately $440,000 will
go toward sewer improvements, especially Regional Waste Quality
requirements that need to be completed on the system, and $220,000 will
be used for water system improvements, which eventually include the
addition of another well to the system.
Dell’Orto said an application to develop the property will be
submitted next week to the county and if it is processed within six
months, construction could begin next spring.
Fischer said the district has somewhere between 10 to 15
additional connections available at this time.
CDF near the scene of Monday's fire. Photo by Barbara Utterback
Hogan area fire blackens 200 acres
cause of a 200-acre grass fire that began late Monday afternoon near the
Whiskey Creek Recreation Area on the south shore of New Hogan Reservoir
was still under investigation as of mid-day Tuesday.
to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the blaze
was contained at 9:30 p.m. Monday and crews were expected to be in the
area most of Tuesday mopping up at the scene.
outbuildings were destroyed in the blaze, but no homes were threatened,
according to CDF.
CDF air tankers and an air attack helicopter responded to the fire along
with six CDF engines, four CDF water tenders, three bulldozers and five
CDF ground crews.
from Foothill and Jenny Lind fire protection districts responded to the
call, along with water tenders from Altaville, Mokelumne Hill and San
A Vallecito Conservation Camp crew constructs a covered picnic area at the park.
Park adds covered picnic area
By Nick Baptista
Crews from the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection’s Vallecito Conservation Camp have been busy constructing a
covered picnic area in the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial District Park.
Barring any fires or other emergencies that could draw the crew
away from the project, the 20- by 40-foot covering is expected to be
completed by July 4, according to Hugo Scotto, a director on the Jenny
Lind Veterans Memorial Park District board.
“Give these guys (the Vallecito work crew) credit,” Scotto
said. “Without them many of the improvements at the park would not get
The Vallecito Conservation Camp is one of 39 CDF is currently
authorized to operate statewide that house nearly 4,000 inmates and
wards. The camps are operated in conjunction with the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The crews are available to
respond to all types of emergencies including wildfires, floods, search
and rescue and earthquakes. When not responding to emergencies, the
crews are busy with conservation and community service work projects
such as the covered picnic area and last year they constructed a trail
in the park.
When the covered picnic area is completed, the crew will begin
fixing up the area near the gazebo, Scotto said.
These combination fans/growing lights evenly distributed air and light to some 200 marijuana plants discovered in a sophisticated growing operation in the Jenny Lind area.
Marijuana farm found in Jenny Lind area
By Nick Baptista
Calaveras County deputies uncovered a sophisticated indoor
marijuana growing operation last Friday morning at a secluded, six-acre
compound at the end of Ricky Court in the Jenny Lind area.
Acting on an anonymous tip, and after a 10-day investigation,
seven officers used a search warrant to gain access to the property at
8:35 a.m. Friday and found the property owner, Clydene Taylor, 44,
hiding in a shower. Once located, he surrendered without incident.
Taylor, believed to be a resident of Clayton in the Contra Costa
County area, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana,
possessing marijuana for sale and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose
of selling marijuana. He was booked into the Calaveras County Jail, but
was later released on $85,000 bail.
Approximately 200 plants were growing in the residence and a
secondary building. A member of the county’s narcotics unit said most
signs and the suspect indicate the growing operation had been going on
for two months. The plants were in their first cycle. There had been a
small harvest and some of the plants were in the process of being
The two structures had been set up nearly wall-to-wall for
nothing but growing marijuana. There was a drip irrigation system and a
sophisticated ventilation system that pumped room air out the ceiling to
reduce the chance of anyone smelling the plants when they walked past
the structures. All of the windows were covered in black plastic from
Sophisticated growing lights situated at the end of fans hovered
over the plants to evenly distribute air and light. The narcotics
officer said approximately $25,000 was spent on the growing operation
and it was designed to provide maximum yields with little or no daily
A system was also set up to steal electricity to power the
Taylor’s visits to the property had become less frequent as the
operation became more automated, the deputy said.
“With all of the sophistication involved, you can tell he’s
been doing this for a while,” the deputy said. “He’s a good
Taylor, who listed his occupation as a contractor, bought the
property in 2001 with his wife at the time. The property changed hands
several times until 2004 when he became the sole owner, according to
The sheriff’s department will look into whether Taylor’s
property and his belongings qualified for asset forfeiture and seizure
In addition to the six acres and two building, there were two
boats, several vehicles, a couple of tractors and a trailer.
David Molina uses the new
optical scanning voting system obtained by the county when he finished voting in
Tuesday’s Primary Election inside the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Hall in
District 5 supervisor race goes to November runoff
By Nick Baptista
The race for District 5 supervisor will continue, but with one less
Challenger Russ Thomas was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s election to
determine who will represents the Calaveras County communities of Rancho
Calaveras, Jenny Lind and Copperopolis on the Board of Supervisors for the next
four years beginning in January of 2007.
According to preliminary results, Thomas received 736 votes, or 41.3
Incumbent Victoria Erickson finished second with 649 votes, or 36.42
percent, while Mike McDaniel trailed the trio with 387 votes, or 21.72.
The need for a runoff would have been eliminated if any of the candidates
had received 50 percent plus 1 vote in the primary.
Erickson’s colleague on the board, District 3 Supervisor Merita
Callaway, managed to collect 56.58 percent of the vote in a three-candidate race
in her district to avoid a runoff.
McDaniel, although he was eliminated for the supervisor race, could
provide the key to victory in the fall.
Thomas and Erickson both said they would work hard the next few months to
attract McDaniel’s supporters.
Thomas said he thought the outcome was “remarkable” taking into
account that he was outspent three times by Erickson and came out as the
He finished 151 votes shy of winning the race outright.
Thomas said last-minute campaign literature saying he would not represent
the Rancho area was inaccurate and he will strive to make those constituents
aware he will represent them.
“I was where I thought I was going to be,” said Erickson. “I
thought it was going to go to a November runoff.”
Erickson said she was going to drop her political consultant,
Spinnovations, going to the fall campaign. Erickson said she thought the move of
hiring a consultant would save her time, but it didn’t.
Erickson said her strategy will be to “stay on message, talk to
McDaniel’s supporters and see what their concerns are, understand them and
meet their needs better than in the past.”
“The vote was not as good as we would have liked,” said McDaniel. He
cited his late entry into the race and limited exposure as factors in this
However, McDaniel said he is not going away.
“I intend to keep issues alive and represent the people who are not
being heard,” he said.
"Blame Sally" to perform June 28 in Valley Springs
The Calaveras County Arts Council will present Blame Sally at its
free “Music in the Parks” concert Wednesday, June 28, at the Ball
Field above the school in Valley Springs.
Blame Sally is an all-woman-band from San Francisco with a
folk-pop sound that has been described as passionate and compelling with
a unique command over the song. Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones
and Monica Pasqual are four exceptional artists from very different
musical backgrounds who sing, play and write, each with her own
Sitting between Pasqual's classically influenced keyboards and
Delgado's world-influenced percussion, Harcourt and Jones effortlessly
trade back and forth on bass and guitar, bringing their own Americana
and pop flavorings to the mix. It's like Tori Amos meets Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young or ... The Beatles meets Rickie Lee Jones. Whatever you
call it, it seems to be working.
In February of this year, Blame Sally performed to great acclaim
at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Austin, Texas,
finishing the weekend of showcases with performance offers from all over
the country. This summer, in addition to performing at Music in
the Parks, they will be touring the Rocky Mountain states, performing at
several music festivals - including the world renowned Strawberry Music
Festival - and releasing their third album.
Their second album has received airplay on non-commercial
stations all over North America, charting in several different markets.
Three songs from that album were featured on United Airlines’
in-flight programming last spring and they were the honored "One to
Watch" on the nationally syndicated radio program Acoustic Cafe. On
the strength of that album, Blame Sally was invited to perform three
concerts last year in Sardinia, Italy.
The free, public concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Low back chairs and
picnics are encouraged. To reach the ball field, turn north at the
intersection of Highways 12 and 26 onto Laurel Street. Turn left on
Daphne Street. Drive up the hill to the ball field. Look for the
stage canopy donated by the Valley Springs Area Business Association.
For more information, call Calaveras Arts at (209) 754-1774.
Valley Springs Principal Mike Merrill is flanked by students who donned facsimiles of his typical wardrobe.
Valley Springs students say goodbye to principal
was a festive morning June 5 at Valley Springs Elementary School as
students and staff honored their soon-departing principal, Michael
school resumes in July, Merrill will take over as principal of Calaveras
High School, replacing Mark Campbell, who has been promoted to assistant
Campbell is replacing Betty White, who recently retired, and Jan Matson is scheduled to move from Toyon Middle School to Valley Springs Elementary to replace Merrill.
San Andreas School Principal Jep Peckler will move to fill Matson's
shoes at Toyon.
Springs students gathered in the morning to say goodbye to their
principal all wearing paper shirts and ties to resemble Merrill’s
The students, accompanied by the school band, sang “Merrily he goes along to Calaveras High” and there was a big sign on the playground saying “Thanks Mr. Merrill, we’ll see you again in 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 years.”
The event included another Merrill favorite, ice cream.
Kathy Laughlin, left, and Laura Evans inside the new Countrywide Home Loans office featuring the works of local artists. Photo by Rocio Miller
Area artists have a home inside Countrywide office
By Rocio Miller
stepping into the new Countrywide Home Loans office in the Valley Oaks
Shopping Center at 200 Highway 12, Suite E6 might be confused for a
moment thinking they have entered an art gallery.
space once an endless sea of light blue paint is now adorned with
beautiful paintings and photographs produced by local artists
strayed from the conventional ‘printed posters’ office theme to
encompass local artists and local subject matter,” said Laura Evans,
Countrywide sales manager.
Laughlin is a home loan consultant for Countrywide and also a published
artist. Her watercolor painting of a draft horseshoe placed on an anvil
has been published on the cover of Anvil magazine, which features
artistic trades such as horseshoeing, metal art and blacksmithing.
was visiting clients in Prestige Gallery of Angels Camp when she came up
with the idea to feature area artists in the new office.
wanted to expose the local community and those who wouldn't normally
visit a gallery to fine art," she said.
subject matter in most of the art work is wholesome, showing home and
landscapes around Calaveras County, Paloma Road, Murphys, Lake Alpine
and everywhere in between.
might even recognize the two men standing by an antique car in the
painting "dirt in the fuel line" by Marylin Hindsdalen, as one
customer already has.
Roberts of Valley Springs also has many beautiful pieces on display. The
price range of each piece varies from $35 to $2,000.
Even though the building may seem like a professional art
gallery, artists who display their pieces are not charged a commission
if they sell.
does not handle any of the transactions between artist and buyer, they
just display the art and interested buyers can contact the artist
directly from the business cards that they leave with each piece.
artists get a chance to sell their art, ordinary people get to view fine
art, and people who are processing a home loan might see art that would
look nice in their new house; it all works out to everyone’s benefit.