Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Burson Postmaster Wendi Sherman, left, receives 24 priority boxes containing Quilts of Valor from Lynne Storm, chairman of the Quilts of Valor program for the Loose Threads Quilt Guild and the guild’s past president. The quilts are bound for Marines in “The 1/8.”
Quilts of Valor reach new milestone
The Loose Threads Quilt Guild’s Quilts of Valor program reached
a milestone earlier this week when 24 quilts were shipped individually
to Marines in the First Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment, known as
It was the guild’s largest single shipment to date, reported
“The 1/8” was in the front lines in Iraq at the November 2004
Battle of Fallujah and is preparing to return to action, Belmont said.
Valley Springs area women have been creating quilts for wounded
U.S. service men and women since hostilities began in Afghanistan and
Iraq. Quilts of Valor is a nationwide foundation with similar groups
across the county working to provide quilts to comfort all
combat-wounded service members.
Belmont Quilts of Valor has become the Northern California Quilts
of Valor coordinator and that involves receiving donated quilts from
other guilds and sewing groups and shipping them to the troops.
In addition to the Loose Threads Quilt Guild of Valley Springs,
Contra Costa Quilters, East Bay Heritage Quilters and the St.
Barbara’s Guild of Sonora prepared the 24 quilts for “The 1/8.”
Two weeks ago, 21 Quilts of Valor from the Independence Hall Quilters of Arnold were shipped to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Landstuhl is the largest military hospital outside of the continental U.S. and serves as the nearest treatment center for wounded soldiers coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. A large proportion of serious casualties from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters are treated there, flown in via the Ramstein Air Base.
Beyond Juice employees Robin Aldrich, left, Caitlyn Jeffries and General Manager Jason Gibbs prepare a drink for a customer at the recently re-opened shop.
Beyond Juice re-opens under new ownership, staffing
Beyond Juice, one of the early tenants in the Terrace Plaza at
Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago, has re-opened under new ownership and new
Doug Hoiles and Marianne Morgan are the new owners. Beyond Juice
is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week and the evening hours
will be extended to 9 p.m. as the weather warms up and the days get
Jason Gibbs is the general manager of the staff of eight, many of
whom are familiar faces from Morgan’s other business, Health Habit,
which is moving next month from the Valley Oaks Center to the Terrace
Beyond Juice and Health Habit are natural fits, Morgan said.
Beyond Juice prides itself in being more than just a smoothie juice bar
and the goal is to create a product that is a healthy alternative to
fast food. The company’s slogan is “A Meal In A Cup.”
Beyond Juice’s basic blend formula includes amino acids, wheat
germ, brewer’s yeast, beta-carotene, folic acid, Vitamins A, B-1 and
B-2. The 100 percent pure fruit juice also has half the calories
compared to many other juice places, Morgan said.
In addition, Beyond Juice serves breakfast and has a variety of
sandwiches, salads and desserts. The breakfast choices are waffles and
muffins, while the egg salad sandwich is a popular choice for lunch,
which also includes a menu of honey roasted turkey, turkey cranberry,
California Veggie, white albacore tuna and toasted cheese.
The salads include a large garden salad, tuna salad, season
chicken salad and Greek salad featuring feta cheese, Greek olives and
Salonika peppers. Dessert menu offers large, low-fat brownies, jumbo
cookies, poppy seed and banana breads.
Plans call for the introduction of a variety of soups next fall
and winter, and the Valley Springs Beyond Juice eventually will carry
vitamins and health books, Morgan said. She also plans to expand the
breakfast menu to eventually include pancakes, breakfast burritos and
The Taco Bell worksite at the Valley Oaks Center has been a beehive of activity as workers strive to have the restaurant open by mid April.
Taco Bell could be open in a month
The Taco Bell under construction off Highway 12 at the Valley
Oaks Center is on track to open in mid April.
Dave Redfern, superintendent for American Building Concepts of
Valley Springs, which is constructing the restaurant, said the building
should begin looking more like the finished product by the end of next
The worksite has been a beehive of activity.
“From here on out it will amaze you to see how quickly things
come together,” he said.
Interior tile work is under way, kitchen equipment is due to
arrive next Monday, the color coat of paint will go on in the next few
days and the final coat will be applied the following week, he said, and
if the weather allows, paving should also get under way by the end of
The restaurant will break the traditional Taco Bell mold and be
what they call a “new generation store” featuring a new design and
color scheme, Redfern said, and it will be a Taco Bell-only restaurant
without a KFC.
“You don’t know how many times people have asked me that
question,” he added.
As soon as the Valley Springs Taco Bell is completed, its sister
store in Jackson will be torn down and a “new generation store” will
take its place, Redfern said. Many members of the crew at the Jackson
store will shift to Valley Springs during the construction period.
The Valley Springs Taco Bell will be the latest of the chain’s
nearly 5,600 restaurants in the U.S.
Preparing the Highway 26 entrance site for a new Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce ore cart last week were, from left, Jim Heryford, Tom Tutthill, Jeff Davidson, Ron Dwelley and Chamber President Jack Boeding.
Chamber placing greeting sign on Hwy. 26
The landscape entering Calaveras County on Highway 26 from San
Joaquin County is expected to change come this spring.
In addition to green, rolling hills and new leaves on the oak
trees, visitors to the county will see a new landmark off the side of
Preparation work has begun for installation of a Calaveras County
Chamber of Commerce ore cart on the highway near the county line.
The enlarged ore carts found off many of the entrances and exits
to Calaveras County have become the chamber’s trademark hospitality
symbol. The ore carts welcome those coming into the county and thanks
those who are leaving for their visit.
The chamber has ore carts on Highway 12 near Wallace, Highway 4
at the Stanislaus County Line, Highway 49 near Mokelumne Hill and
Highway 26 near West Point.
The Bank of Rio Vista branch in Valley Springs is sponsoring the
Highway 26 ore cart, which costs several thousand dollars to build and
Chamber Executive Director Diane Gray said work to build the base
for the latest ore cart began last week on property owned by Steve
Watson of Abbey Well Service. The cart will be on the westbound side of
The work is going slow due to the soggy nature of the field, but
she anticipates the site will be ready by mid-April for installation of
the cart and a ceremony to recognize the bank and Watson will be
scheduled shortly afterward.
The Sacramento Valley Division of the Toy Train Operating Society will participate in the first-ever Valley Springs Train Times set for Saturday, April 26.
Busy day shaping up for first-ever Train Times
Activities and plans for the upcoming Valley Springs Train Times
will outlined when Sal Manna, president of the Society for the
Preservation of West Calaveras History, speaks at next week’s Valley
Springs Area Business Association luncheon.
Train Times, to be centered at the revitalized Historic Valley
Springs Train Depot, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April
26. The ABA luncheon, open to the public, begins at noon Wednesday,
March 19, at Good Friends Chinese Restaurant at the corner of Highways
12 and 26.
Valley Springs Train Times will be the first-ever celebration of
the area’s railroad history. It was created by the nonprofit Society
for the Preservation of West Calaveras History in conjunction with the
Historic Valley Springs Train Depot and the VSABA. Railroad and history
buffs from throughout the region are expected to join the community-wide
festival. Admission is free.
For model railroad enthusiasts, the Sacramento Valley Division of
the Toy Train Operating Society will bring its major model railroad
layout, 14 feet by 26 feet, which will be set up at Sheng Chi Kung Fu,
139 Main St., Manna said. The layout features Standard Gauge, O-Gauge
and S-Scale (American Flyer) trains. The group will also bring a test
track and invite anyone with a model railroad car of HO, O or standard
gauge to run their car on that track.
The group will be happy to provide advice and information about
model railroading. The public is also welcome to see the group set up
its layout and a club member is bringing another, smaller layout called
The Rusty Spike.
In addition, the Sacramento-based Recreational Railroad Coalition
will display at least two of its “speeders,” classic railroad
maintenance vehicles, Manna said.
Locally, the Optimist Club of Valley Springs is expected to debut
its newly remodeled Circus Train, a longtime favorite of parades until
it fell in disrepair, and The Valley Springs News will publish a special
commemorative edition for April 26, 1885, the day after the San Joaquin
& Sierra Nevada Railroad pulled into Valley Springs for the first
time. The commemorative edition will feature a re-created article about
the train’s arrival in Valley Springs and a recap of worldwide events
from April 25, 1885.
Music will include acoustic folk singer-songwriter-guitarist
Patricia Jackson, a Burson resident; the country rock band Never The
Same; and The Train Gang, led by Mike Jurek, who with his wife LeAnn are
the owners of the Historic Valley Springs Train Depot.
In addition, Manna said the Society for the Preservation of West
Calaveras History will display for the first time in Valley Springs its
entire “Something From Nothing” photo exhibition of early West
On the literary front, well-known Calaveras writer Glenn Wasson
will read from his new book “Tales Mark Twain Would Have Loved To
Steal,” including his poem “Saturday Night in Valley Springs” and
Bill Renwick, the great-grandson of the stagedriver on Black Bart’s
last hold-up, will read from his ancestor’s autobiography.
The Ice Cream Depot will host an Olde Tyme Ice Cream Social from
2 to 4 p.m., featuring ice cream specials and period music, and the
Calaveras Gunfighters, a local shoot-‘em-up theatrical group, will
perform skits at High Noon, 2, and 4 p.m. at the Train Depot.
Ceremonies include the Matuca Chapter 1849 of E Clampus Vitus
rededicating the State Historic Landmark at the Train Depot and
participating in the unveiling of the new “Valley Springs” sign that
will be affixed to the depot.
Vendor booths will offer everything from framed historic photos
and books to contemporary photography and popular music CDs, both estate
and handmade jewelry to massages and gift and beauty items, vintage
railroad artifacts and Train Times T-shirts to wooden train whistles and
train engineer hats for children.
Numerous local organizations will also be represented with
For more information and vendor reservations, call Manna at
772-0336. For reservations to the ABA luncheon, call Ester Taber at
Steve Bolewine, owner of Common Grounds
New business serves sense of community along with java
Creating a sense of community, along with serving a good cup of
coffee or a variety of other beverages, is the idea behind Valley
Springs’ latest coffeehouse – Common Grounds.
Located in the Terrace Plaza at Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago,
Common Grounds is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The genesis for Common Grounds comes from owner Steve
Bolewine’s visits to the Pacific Northwest and witnessing how
coffeehouses there are an intricate part of the region’s social life.
“It’s something we’re missing so I brought it to Valley
Springs,” he said. “We’re a place where people can come together
to socialize and converse. People can come here and just hang out.”
The serving area takes up a small portion of Common Grounds’
1,600-square-foot interior space with the majority of room set aside in
numerous conversation areas for a pair of people or up to a small group
that can sit and talk in front of a cozy fireplace. In addition, with
the weather getting warmer, there is seating outside under umbrellas in
a food court.
To help create a sense of community, Common Grounds has a
community bulletin board inside to promote local events and
organizations, but not businesses, and local photos by Jack Forkner
grace the premises.
“We’re trying real hard to bring in things that will build an
overall vision of our community,” he added.
Bolewine and his wife Kim have been area residents for the past
20 years. They lived in Wallace for about 14 years before moving to a
Salt Springs Valley ranch where they enjoy riding horses. Steve has been
in a furniture-related, wholesale warehouse business the past 20 years
that is based in Stockton, but the coffeehouse is where he sees his
Before taking the plunge into the coffee business, Belowine
educated himself and gathered the information to launch his dream by
attending a barista college. The school, Belowine said, was instrumental
in giving him the necessary information and options to use in
establishing his own coffeehouse.
When Bolewine was ready to start his own coffeehouse, he
initially was looking at locating it in Copperopolis. A visit to The
Terrace and a chat with the center’s owners Greg and Donna Thompson,
who are long-time acquaintances, convinced him his idea would work in
Common Grounds uses a roaster out of Seattle, Wash., Caffe
D’arte, “The art of coffee” in Italian. A traditional Italian
coffee roaster, Caffe D’arte, has been in business for 24 years, has
won multiple awards, and uses 300-year-old recipes from Italy.
And coffee is not the only item on the Common Grounds menu. Tea
connoisseurs will find more than two dozen types ranging from herbal,
black and green tea on the menu. The non-coffee menu also includes
chocolate, cider, steamers, Italian soda and milk shakes. The lunch menu
includes a soup of the day and grilled Italian gourmet sandwiches called
Pannini. The sandwiches are prepared fresh daily and grilled to order.
The business opened on Valentine’s Day and has nearly 15
employees to cater to the customer’s needs.
Bolewine has no fear of competition.
“We can do it better,” he said. “We have a superior
product, nicer ambience, and a better location. What we produce here
speaks and screams of local.”
Author Matthew Gollub fostered respect for other cultures by conversing in Japanese and Spanish during last Wednesday’s assemblies at Valley Springs Elementary School.
Award-winning author stresses the need for children to read
Award-winning children’s book author, performer and literacy consultant Matthew Gollub stressed the importance of reading during a daylong visit Wednesday with Valley Springs Elementary School students.
Gollub was featured in three school assemblies and celebrated
language arts, rhythm and a respect for foreign cultures during his
talks with the students. In the evening, he participated in the
school’s Family Literacy Night, which was open to students and their
He is the author of 14 books and has received 21 national awards
and distinctions for his work. His books include “The Jazz Fly,”
“Ten Oni Drummers,” “The 25 Mixtec Cats,” “The Moon Was at a
Fiesta” and “Uncle Snake.”
His latest book is “Give the Gift, 10 Fulfilling Ways to Raise
a Lifetime Reader,” which shows parents and caretakers simple, but
powerful “literacy customs” to help children cultivate a love of
In a morning assembly with kindergarten and first-grade pupils,
Gollub used his award-winning picture book “Gobble, Quack, Moon” to
entertain them. With the help of PowerPoint to display the book’s
illustrations by Judy Love, Gollub recited the rhythmic lines in his
Gollub encouraged the children to read every day and polled them
as to whether they have books or televisions in their bedrooms.
For those students who had TVs in their rooms, Gollub said, “Be
glad that I’m not your father, because I wouldn’t allow a TV in your
room. They’re more appropriate for the living room.”
Deborah Giorgi, the school’s Learning Center coordinator,
organized the visit, which coincided with the National Education
Association’s Read Across America Day.
Foothill Fire Chief Mike Siligo, left, presents the Chief's Achievement Award to Wayne Fry.
Foothill Fire honors top firefighter, past board member
The Foothill Fire Protection District on Saturday held the first of what is planned to be an annual event – the district’s Firefighter Appreciation Dinner.
The dinner was at La Contenta Golf Club with 50 attendees. Dana Jorgensen, district director for Sen. Dave Cox, presented each firefighter, each chief, and the district with a Certificate of Recognition, signed by Sen. Cox and Assemblyman Tom Berryhill honoring the district’s accomplishments of a 100 percent response rate for the year 2007.
In addition, the evening’s festivities included a presentation
by Chief Michael Siligo of the Fire Chief's
Foothill firefighters were presented with a monetary check for
performance points earned in 2007 and service pins corresponding to
their years of service.
The dinner concluded with the presentation of the Firefighter of
the Year Award being given to Brad
“I must say his brothers and sisters in the fire service hit
the mark when picking Brad. He has been an inspiration for the entire
district and I have watched him mature into an outstanding gentleman and
seasoned firefighter,” Chief Siligo said. “With his positive
direction and his calm demeanor our newest members could certainly learn
from Brad’s example.”
The chief in closing remarks complimented his board members,
staff officers and firefighters in supporting the district and thanked
them all for supporting him over the past 10 months.
"The road has sometimes been rocky and some hard decisions
were made, but this district has