Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
William Heinselman of Valley Springs has released a "how to" book on fishing titled, "Old School Basic Fishing."
Valley Springs man pens book on fishing
By Nick Baptista
William Heinselman of Valley Springs has turned his passion for
fishing into a book.
“Old School Basic Fishing” is the title of Heinselman’s
book, which has begun appearing on area bookshelves.
The book retails for $14.95 and is available at Norm’s Chevron
in Valley Springs, Camanche’s north and south shore bait shops, Pardee,
Glory Hole Sports outside of Angels Camp, Bubble Gum Books in Sutter
Creek and Hein and Co. Bookstore on Main Street in Jackson.
It can also be ordered directly from the publisher, Authorhouse,
by calling 1-800-839-8640.
“‘Old School Basic Fishing’ is designed for the beginning,
part time and basic angler who wants to improve,” Heinselman said.
“It’s also a great book for the single-parent mom who has no
knowledge about fishing, but wants to take her children on a fishing
The purpose of the book is to dial in the readers by teaching
anglers how to prepare prior to taking a fishing trip and outlining the
do’s and don’ts of fishing, he added.
“No more fishing in the wrong place, using the wrong bait and
catching nothing but a sunburn,” said Heinselman, who has resided in
the tri-lakes area for 50 years. “I teach when to be in the right
place, with the right bait and most importantly, how to have fun and
enjoy the outdoors.”
The book deals with a wide variety of fish. It teaches how to
catch native tout, planted trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass,
perch, kokanee, catfish, crappie, salmon and land-locked striper.
“Just learning a proven, consistent method for catching
stripers at New Hogan is worth the price alone, but this book does so
much more,” he said.
It is a quick read and printed in a font easy for young people
through older adults to read. In addition to the best fishing
techniques, it teaches fishing ethics and the best way to clean fish.
“For the price of one dinner, this book will give you meals for
the rest of your life,” he said.
When he’s not fishing, Heinselman works as a dealer at Jackson
Rancheria. Prior to that, he worked 28 years at the lumber mill in
Heinselman can be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Clark with some of her photos.
Loan office a haven for local artists
By Nick Baptista
mixture of art and commerce at the Countrywide Home Loans office in
Valley Springs has expanded with the addition of scenic Calaveras County
still photos by Katie Clark.
new office in the Valley Oaks Shopping Center at 200 Highway 12, Suite
E6 opened a little more than a year ago and in a unique twist, the staff
encouraged local artists to display their work on the office’s walls.
the daughter of Bob and Terry Clark, has been taking scenic stills,
exclusively in Calaveras County, for the past three years. Her work has
won awards at the fair and a local following. In addition to the display
at Countrywide, Clark’s photos are on display in her mother’s
Farmer’s Insurance office at 10-A Nove Way.
interest in photograph started with a class at Calaveras High School.
She is pursuing her associate in arts degree through Modesto Junior
College and plans to transfer to Sacramento State University and major
in business. She plans to continue studying photography in college and
it could become her minor.
County’s older buildings attract Clark’s photographic eye.
like old buildings,” she said. “I hunt for them.”
addition to the dozen or so photos on display at Countrywide and those
at her mother’s office, Clark’s work can be viewed on the internet
like having photography in the office,” said Countrywide Loan
Consultant Kathy Laughlin, who is also an artist. “It’s different
and Katie’s photos promote this area. We’re all for it.”
said they are always looking for more area art work to display in the
office. She can be reached at 772-7401.
is also working on a DVD slide show with her mother entitled, “A
Salute to Those Who Serve” for the West Calaveras Rotary Club.
black and white photos, matted and framed sell for $40. She also sells
her work hand-painted for $55 matted and framed. She can be reached at
Can do attitude
Diane Leal of Valley Springs displays the canned items she entered in the Calaveras County Fair and the ribbons she won.
Valley Springs woman's canned goods a winner at county fair
By Nick Baptista
While frogs and pageants were capturing most of the spotlight at
the 2007 edition of the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee,
Valley Springs resident Diane Leal captured a basket full of ribbons for
her canning efforts.
Leal, who has been canning for the past 25 years, brought home
four blue, one red, three yellow and one purple ribbon from the fair,
which concluded Sunday. The blues represent first places and the red a
second, while two of the yellows were for best of division, the third
was third place in sweepstakes and the purple was for “Best of
Leal estimates she cans about 250 to 300 jars a year and uses
them for Christmas presents for her friends.
“That way I don’t have to do all that shopping – it’s
just too crazy,” she said.
Leal and her husband Stephen are retired. They worked for more
than 30 years in the aerospace industry and moved to Valley Springs two
and a half years ago from Southern California.
Best of Show was for her apricot and pineapple jam. Best of
division was for her bread and butter pickles and tomato basil sauce.
Her other award-winning preserves were chunky applesauce and raspberry
In the world-famous frog jump competition, Brent Bloom of
Sacramento jockeyed “Lisa Can Do” to first place Sunday with a jump
of 21 feet, 4 ¼ inches, just an inch and a half shy of the world-record
mark set by “Rosie the Ribiter” and Lee Giudici in 1986.
Miss Calaveras Scholarship Pageant winner Shayni Emerson, center, of Avery and first runner-up Amy Mazzaferro, left, share smiles Wednesday night shortly after the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee court was named, which included Aimee Eason, right, of Valley Springs as the second runner-up. Emerson, a senior at Bret Harte High School, was also selected Miss Photogenic. She sang “I Just Cain’t Say ‘No’” from the musical Oklahoma for the talent portion of the pageant. Mazzaferro, also a Bret Harte senior, won the talent portion of the pageant singing Jerome Kern’s “I won’t dance.” Eason, who plans to attend University of the Pacific in the fall to study music, performed a flute solo. Rose Fischer of Valley Springs received the Miss Congeniality award, Erinn Olson of Arnold won the Pageant Director’s Award and Lauren DeValle of Murphys received the Community Service Award.
Plenty of chrome
Carl Von Euw of Valley Springs and the Foothill Classics Car Club had his 1951 Cadillac on display at Saturday’s car show and swap meet hosted by his club. The event, in its fourth year at Veterans Memorial Park, attracted a record-high of 250 vehicles and 40 vendors for the swap meet, said Ken Boyd, one of the show’s organizers. “All in all we had a great day,” he added, with a large crowd coming out to see the 1972 and older vehicles on display. Tom Rhoades of Valley Springs was the winner of a special drawing for a 350-hp crate motor. A percentage of the proceeds at the car show benefit local charities and sponsorships. Additional photos from the event appear below.
Not a typical day at the ballpark with 250 cars on display.
Raised hoods got plenty of attention.
Bill Souza's 1919 "T" bucket.
Tim and Lisa West's 1967 GT350.
Landon and Carol McCuin's 1935 half-ton pick-up.
Jerry Rhoades' 1957 Chevy Bel Air.
Carolyn Alvarez' 1968 Camero.
A stone basement is all that remains of one of Calaveras County's early landmarks, Catts' Camp, a vital road stop near present-day Wallace.
Preservation of old ruins sought in Wallace
By Nick Baptista
Old Calaveras County will converge with new Calaveras County when
the Planning Commission considers a proposal Thursday for a 33-lot
subdivision surrounding the site of Catts’ Camp, a Wallace-area road
stop dating back to the Gold Rush.
Paul and Tarja Martin of Orinda are seeking a zoning amendment
and tentative subdivision tract map to create 33 lots from 203 acres
located off Camanche Parkway South at the end of Hawks Landing Court.
The proposal will be considered when the Planning Commission
meets at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 891 Mountain Ranch
Road, San Andreas.
In addition, Unit 2 of Wallace Lake Estates is also on the agenda
for consideration. That proposal asks for a zoning amendment and
tentative subdivision tract map to create 124 single-family residential
lots on nearly 62 acres in the vicinity of Wallace Lake Drive.
Consideration of a third west Calaveras County development, North
Vista Plaza near La Contenta, was scheduled for Thursday’s meeting,
but has been postponed.
Myvalleysprings.com and the Central Sierra Environmental Resource
Center have voiced opposition to the Martins’ proposal, begin called
Crestview Estate Subdivision, without completion of an Environmental
Impact Report. The Sierra Club’s Tuolumne Group is strongly opposed to
any and all general plan and zoning amendments while the county’s
General Plan is being revised and Sheriff Dennis Downum has recommended
the project not be approved until there is a formula in the General Plan
to provide for an increase in Sheriff’s Department staffing levels as
Sal Manna, president of the Society for the Preservation of West
Calaveras History, submitted a letter to the county calling for not only
the Catts’ Camp site being protected, but also “properly marked and
made available for the public good.”
According to Manna, “The stone ruins at Catts’ Camp are among
the oldest stone ruins in all of Calaveras County and almost certainly
the oldest in West Calaveras County.”
Samuel Catts’ ox team transported the first load of supplies
from Stockton to the main mining camps of Sonora and Mokelumne Hill as
well as miners working Camanche and Bear creeks back in 1848, Manna
“Catts’ Camp was a vital road stop during the Gold Rush era,
and existed until the early 1880s when the arrival of the San Joaquin
& Nevada Railroad line made it superfluous,” he said. “Its
remnants were then moved down the hill to what is today Wallace. The
stone ruins at the site may be from as early as 1848.”
Rather than the site being covered with soil as a protective
measure, Manna would like the historically significant portions of the
site to be cordoned off, preserved and marked with a monument and plaque
noting their importance. The site should also be made available to the
public for educational and historical purposes, he added.
He would be agreeable to access being restricted to only certain
days and times and suggests that a long-term monitoring protocol be
established “whereby a local historical entity such as the SPWCH would
periodically monitor the preservation of the site and report any changes
to the appropriate government entity.”
The planning department has recommended approval of the Crestview
Estates proposal with the addition of more than two dozen mitigation
Valley Springs Elementary School Principal Jan Matson completes a jumping jack challenge during a May 2 luncheon rally to spark interest in the Governor's Challenge.
Area schools gear up for fitness challenge
The challenge is on.
Jenny Lind and Valley Springs elementary schools have volunteered
to be Calaveras County pilot sites for the upcoming Governor’s
Kenny Rogers, executive director of the Governor’s Council on
Physical Fitness and Sports, visited Valley Springs Elementary last
Wednesday to encourage the students to sign up for Gov. Arnold
John Brophy, Calaveras County Superintendent of School, brought
Rogers to the school and is working on getting all of the county’s
schools to eventually take up the governor’s physical fitness
The governor’s challenge was developed to encourage the
state’s students to become more physically active. Only 40 percent of
California teens meet minimum daily targets for physical activity and
close to 74 percent of the state’s youth are unfit.
Research shows that regular physical activity during childhood
and adolescence helps build healthier bones, muscles, increases
self-esteem and reduces the risk of obesity and diseases such as Type 2
The challenge is to be active 30 to 60 minutes a day at least
three days a week for four weeks in addition to the physical activity as
part of the school’s regular physical education classes.
The schools will be competing for physical activity equipment and
the grand prize is a $100,000 fitness center.
Statewide, more than 50,000 students have signed up for the
challenge, more than twice the governor’s initial goal.
Bill Renwick and his great-grandfather Reason E. McConnell's autobiography - "The Man Who Shot Black Bart."
History society to re-enact Black Bart's last heist
The only eyewitness account ever written of Black Bart’s last holdup will be revealed and recreated for the public for the first time at “Who Really Shot Black Bart: The Untold Story,” presented at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 24, at The Metropolitan, 59 Main St., San Andreas, by the Calaveras County Historical Society.
Special guest Bill Renwick will read the words of that stage
driver, his great-grandfather Reason McConnell, from the until-recently
unpublished manuscript McConnell penned in 1912. Other noted county
personages will also participate, including Glenn Wasson, long-time
Black Bart impersonator. Across
the street, the historic courtroom where Black Bart was sentenced will
also be open to visitors from 5:15 to 6 p.m.
For lovers of Mother Lode, Western or outlaw history, the event
promises to be historic in its own right.
A complete tri-tip dinner provided by chef Don Cuneo is included
in the $20 per person admission. An
RSVP by Friday, May 17, is required to the Historical Society at
Copies of the just published “The Autobiography Of Reason E.
McConnell: The Man Who Shot Black Bart” will be available at the event
for $18 and Renwick will autograph each one. For those unable to attend
but would like a copy, send a check for $20, which includes shipping and
handling, to Wm. Renwick, 9011 E. Eight Mile Road, Stockton, CA 95212.
Dianne Sandoval of The Spa at Valley Springs
Spa continues to expand services
The Spa at Valley Springs inside the Valley Springs Sports and
Fitness Center reopened earlier this year under the guidance of
certified message therapists Dianne Sandoval and Marnene Waid.
The spa is open to the public seven days a week and by
Sandoval said the spa offers a wide variety of services and
continues to expand its offerings. You do not have to be a member of the
fitness center to use the spa, but fitness center members do receive a
Those services include therapeutic massages, facials and waxing,
spray tanning, manicures and pedicures, mud treatments, body wraps, ear
channeling, bio-feedback and more.
The spa plans to have month specials on products and services,
“We also hope to expand by bumping a wall out, adding quite
rooms and becoming more of an all-service salon,” she said.
The spa is located at 145 Mangili Road and the phone number is
moving forward without county's OK
By Nick Baptista
Efforts are under way to market memberships and solicit
tournament and group play at Trinitas Golf Club, although the owner has
not completed the county’s approval process for such a commercialized
venture in what has been a rural and agricultural area.
Mike Nemee, the owner and architect of Trinitas, has submitted an
application to the county to turn what has been his personal 18-hole
golf course off Ospital Road into a commercial venture offering private
memberships and including development of a clubhouse, spa and lodge.
An environmental review of the proposed project is under way, but
the proposal has not been before the county’s Planning Commission or
Board of Supervisors for approval.
Although the project has not received county approval, the golf
course’s website – www.trinitasgolf.com - touts it is “Coming
Soon” and has webpages for membership, tournament and group play
Don Winter, Trinitas’ head golf professional, says the
operation is accepting members; people speak freely about obtaining
$50,000 memberships to the club, and others talk about playing $150
rounds at the course, but Nemee denies he is selling memberships, nor
are people paying to play golf on his property.
Nemee says the public can buy a bottle of olive oil at his
property, take a tour of it and he won’t charge them to play a round
of golf. He is selling his olive oil for $75 to $80 a bottle, he added.
Nemee termed what others have called “memberships” as
Nemee said they are loaning money to the project. Instead of
buying traditional memberships that continue to charge fees, Nemee said
his “founding investors” could play golf free for the next 20 years
on the course. At the end of that time, he will return them their money.
People in the golf industry have issues with Nemee and the
Nemee is selling memberships and opening the course to play
without completing the public review process, they say.
Dave Tanner of Tanner Consulting Group, which provides
golf-engineering services, said a lot of work has been done at the site
without all of the necessary permits, which were required by other golf
courses before being built in the county.
He said Trinitas has not gone through a fraction of the public
scrutiny Saddle Creek in Copperopolis went through and wondered why the
county has turned a blind eye on the work that has already been done by
He added that water should be a key environmental issue and
Trinitas will use plenty of it. He said the county needs to determine
whether the watering of Trinitas will draw down the water table in the
area and if so how that situation will be mitigated. If the county does
not, there is plenty of case law that will hold the county as well as
Nemee liable for damages to area property owners.
Rod Metzler, a general partner for La Contenta Golf Club, said he
couldn’t believe the county has not stepped in to stop Nemee from
charging green fees and memberships without the proper permits.
The situation creates an unfair disadvantage to other courses in
the area that have gone through the regulatory process, mitigated their
impacts on the public, paid all of their necessary fees, and also pay
property taxes as commercial ventures, he said.
“It appears Mr. Nemee believes in asking for forgiveness
instead of permission,” Metzler said.
Trinitas is located within Supervisor Bill Claudino’s district.
Claudino said he had no problem with Nemee selling memberships prior to
the county granting approval.
“We have no control over his business operation,” Claudino
said. “It will be a long and arduous process. He will have to be in
compliance before he goes into business and there will be no shortcuts
The District One supervisor said, “I guess (Nemee’s)
optimistic about the project and is trying to raise capital.”
District 5 Supervisor Russ Thomas said he has to keep an open
mind as the project goes through the planning process, but he had a
problem with the appearance of memberships being sold prior to any
approval from the county.
He added that Nemee and his consultant had talked to county staff
about some upcoming articles in several golf magazines. Thomas said it
was his understanding that staff had advised Nemee or his representative
not to give any appearance that the county had granted entitlements to
Public sentiment toward the project has been less than
A “public scoping session” was conducted in February of 2006
in the Old Burson Firehouse and nearby residents expressed their
concerns with Nemee’s proposal.
In addition to issues over water, Nemee’s neighbors said
Highway 26 and Ospital Road were already inadequate and could not handle
any additional increases in traffic without major improvements.
Residents also complained about the way Nemee initially
circumvented the county’s planning process by installing what was
first called a personal golf course that did not need a permit, and now
it was the cornerstone of his proposed commercial development.
In addition to the golf course, Nemee plans to build 13 homes on