Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Jake, left, and Josh Irwin are extreme sports enthusiasts and have opened Vizions Boardshop in La Contenta Plaza to service the growing market of skate, snow and wake boarders.
Extreme sports shop opens at La Contenta
Two brothers with an eye for the extreme sports involving boards
have opened Vizions Boardshop and Apparel at La Contenta Plaza.
Situation in Suite 6 at 1919 Vista Del Lago Drive, Jake and Josh
Irwin own Vizions.
“There’s was nothing local,” said Jake, “ and I wanted to
open this a few years ago. It should go good.”
The new business, which opened its doors at the end of September,
caters to skate, snow and wake boarders. The brothers, both Calaveras
High School graduates, want to make it a four-season store for the
extreme sports enthusiast. They’re working on expanding their winter
line of hard goods and soft goods and increasing their shoe line.
“You don’t have to go to the valley anymore, you can stop
here first,” said Jake.
Josh, 26, is a 1999 graduate of CHS, while Jake graduated in
2001. Both are wake and snow boarders.
They carry a variety of lines at their shop including apparel and
skateboards from Elements, Zooyork boards and soft goods, Electric
snowboarding goggles and sunglasses, Von Zipper apparel, sunglasses and
goggles, Sanuk sandals, Plan B skateboards and soft goods, and Dakine
Hurley, DC and Eziekel will be coming soon, Jake said.
The brothers are planning to hold a grand opening ceremony next
month at the shop and are working to attract an extreme sports pro for
The shop is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday and
the phone number is (209) 772-3220.
Scenes at the "Sweet 16 Party" for Karla Everett included a candlelight vigil for the seriously injured teen and a birthday card signing.
Community rallies around injured teen - Benefit dinner Saturday evening
By Alexander Beck
It is a blessing that citizens of Calaveras County are able to
live in such a wonderful area. With the community so close-knit, when
unfortunate circumstances occur, friends and neighbors are always there
to help out.
On Sept. 28 Karla and Aubrey Everett, the daughters of Marsha
Bock, were driving home when they were in a single-car accident on
Hartvickson Road in Valley Springs. Jenny Lind Fire Department was the
first to arrive on the scene and aid the girls. Both Karla and Aubrey
were flown by air ambulance to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
Eighteen-year-old Aubrey was released from the hospital, but 16-year-old
Karla remains in a coma. Karla was sent to a rehabilitation facility in
Madera to assess her condition and begin muscle therapy.
Karla's 16th birthday was on Oct. 7, and even though she was
still in the hospital, a Sweet 16 party was held to honor her. More than
100 people attended the gathering, which was held at Calaveras High
School. The party consisted of card signing - a card thanking the Jenny
Lind Fire Department, get well cards for Aubrey and Karla, and a
birthday card for Karla. Following that there was a candlelight vigil,
where attendees stood in a circle and offered prayers to Karla, Aubrey
and Marsha. Funny stories and memories were shared about Karla, and
there was a great sense of unity among the congregation of friends and
It is unknown how long Karla may remain in a coma, or how long
her rehabilitation will take. The family is under financial and
emotional distress, and the community is banding together to help them.
There will be a benefit spaghetti dinner for the family at 5 p.m. Nov. 3
at the Jenny Lind Fire Department. The dinner tickets cost $15 for
adults and $8 for children 16 and under. There will be raffle-prize
drawings and donations for the raffle are welcome. Several businesses
and individuals have already donated. An account called the Karla and
Aubrey Benefit Fund has been opened at Umpqua Bank for any donations to
help the family.
Julie Moore posts one of her five values of living in Valley Springs at last Wednesday evening's community design workshop.
Community workshop explores public's values, concerns for the area
The first installment of what is being billed as a two-part
community design workshop for the greater Valley Springs area attracted
approximately 90 people Wednesday evening.
The community design workshop, sponsored by MyValleySprings.com,
will conclude Saturday with a “walkability audit” of Valley Springs.
Saturday’s activities begin at 9 a.m. at the Valley Springs Elementary
School Multi-purpose Room, 240 Pine St.
Paul Zykovsky, director of Land Use and Transportation Programs
for the Local Government Commission, led Wednesday’s workshop. He was
the featured speaker at a MyValleySprings.com presentation last
February, where 200 people were in attendance.
The workshop included community participation in writing a
personal vision statement for Valley Springs, identifying the values of
living in the area and what are the important issues that need to be
addressed in the community.
In between those exercises, Zykovsky repeated a portion of his
“Smart Growth” presentation from last February.
Several residents had the opportunity to express their personal
vision for the community,
Lots of trees, a pedestrian friendly environment, a uniformity or
consolidation of special districts, such as fire and water districts,
reducing traffic congestion and a theme to attract more tourists were
envisioned by Gary Caldwell.
He received a round of applause when he added elimination of the
billboards entering town.
Jeff Davidson, builder and Calaveras County Water District
director for District 5, said the community needs to recognize the need
for economic development and creating more jobs.
He said 75 percent of those who live in Tuolumne County work
within the county and 67 percent do likewise in Amador County, while the
Calaveras figure is only 33 percent.
Creating jobs closer to home will be beneficial for local family
life and the area also needs more parks for the children, he added.
Marti Crane said she looked forward to having a walking
community, while Don Urbanus, owner of Rising Sun Nursery in Burson,
campaigned for more streets lined with trees that will thrive in the
area. He also wanted to see more commercial and residential areas, more
parks and a larger community hall, a plug for a “yes” vote for
Measure C on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The evening concluded with the audience identifying a number of
important issues to be addressed and then prioritized those issues.
Maintaining the area’s rural atmosphere and preserving
agriculture received the most votes, followed by preserving the native
oak trees, code enforcement, water conservation, and traffic concerns.
Calaveras Transit's new a.m. run to Lodi will begin Nov. 5.
Calaveras Transit adds early morning bus route to Lodi
By Nick Baptista
Calaveras Transit has added an early morning commuter run through
Valley Springs to Lodi.
The new run, along with several other changes including a fare
increase, were approved Oct. 19 by the Calaveras County Board of
The new Lodi run will start at 5:50 a.m. in San Andreas and reach
Lodi at 6:45 a.m. for connections to public routes throughout the
valley. The route has stops in Valley Springs, Burson, Wallace, Clements
and Lockeford. The service will then return to San Andreas at 8 a.m. The
existing runs to Lodi leave San Andreas at 9:20 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and
4:20 p.m. The last run of the day from Lodi to Calaveras leaves at 6
p.m. and arrives at the Valley Oak Center at 6:49.
The new morning run will begin Nov. 5.
Also beginning that date, Calaveras Transit’s one-way regular
fare will increase from $1 to $1.50. The Lodi route will be $3.
The price for an all-day pass will go from $2.50 to $4, while a
ticket book of 15 rides will increase from $14 to $20 and a monthly pass
will go from $38 to $45.
Transfers in Calaveras County will remain free and children under
8 will continue to ride for free on the buses.
The board also expanded services to Copperopolis. The revised
service schedule will include five round trips between Angels Camp and
Copperopolis. The new Copper route will makes stops at the Chevron
station, Payless Center, the public library, Little John Road and Copper
Cove Drive, and the new Copper Town Square.
Part of the façade on the Highway 26 side of the Valley Oaks Center
fell on five vehicles late Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Vip Hale.
Part of the façade on the Highway 26 side of the Valley Oaks Center fell on five vehicles late Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Vip Hale.
Falling overhang disrupts business at Valley Oaks
Several vehicles were damaged and business as usual was
interrupted last Wednesday afternoon in a portion of the Valley Oaks
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center
received a call at 4:22 p.m. about a sign falling down and landing on
some vehicles at the center. Shortly afterward, Foothill Fire Protection
District was dispatched to the scene in front of Round Table Pizza and
Dr. Benedicto Estoesta’s clinic at 55 Highway 26.
Foothill Fire Chief Mike Siligo said it appeared the building’s
structural integrity was possibly compromised and an evacuation was
ordered. The fire department alerted county building officials and the
shopping center’s property management company.
The property management firm contacted a construction company,
which shored up the overhang Wednesday night.
Siligo said it appears water infiltrated the area between the façade
and overhang and caused the collapse, which damaged five vehicles parked
in the vicinity.
His crews were released from the scene at approximately 7:45 p.m.
With the temporary repairs, businesses along the Highway 26 side
of the shopping center re-opened Thursday, but a portion of the center
continued to be taped off and access restricted for safety concerns.
Health officials have issued a warning for these lunch bags.
Lunch bags from health authorities contain lead
By Nick Baptista
Some canvas lunch bags distributed by the state’s Public Health Department have been found to contain unsafe levels of lead.
The Calaveras County Public Health Department on
Wednesday issued an advisory warning the public to stop using the canvas
lunch bags with the message “Eat fruits and vegetables and be
active,” printed on them.
Small amounts of lead can build up in the body and cause lifelong
learning and behavior problems. According to the California Childhood
Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, lead poisoning is the most common
environmental illness in California children.
State testing of the soft-sided lunch bags showed unsafe levels of lead in some of them. There were approximately 300 lunch bags distributed in Calaveras and Amador counties. Not all of the nutrition education lunch bags have known lead concerns. However, the State Public Health Department recommends that none of the nutrition education lunch bags should be used.
The canvas lunch bags were distributed in California by the state
Public Health Department to local agencies providing nutrition
education. In Calaveras County, the lunch bags were mainly given out as
part of a local project, the “Take A Step” nutrition and physical
The campaign was a project of the multi-agency Connecting HANDS
Nutrition Coalition. The lunch bags were given out at community events
and to “Take A Step” participants.
No known cases of lead poisoning have resulted from use of the
lunch bags. Health officials stated that it is unlikely that any person
will become acutely ill from lead if they have a contaminated lunch bag.
However, because some of the lunch bags may have lead in the painted
logo or on the bag surface, it is possible for food to become
contaminated with lead and then be eaten.
People should take the bags to the Rock Creek Solid Waste
Facility,12021 Hunt Road, Milton, or the Public Health Department, 700
Mountain Ranch Road, Suite C-2, San Andreas, or the annex, 373B W. St
Charles St., San Andreas.
The lunch bags that tested positive for lead were obtained
through a manufacturer, TA Creations, which has factories in Canton,
China. In all, Approximately 56,000 of these lunch boxes have been
distributed throughout California at health fairs and other events.
Additional information about lead poisoning or the lunch bags is
available from the Public Health Department at 754-6460, 1-800-754-8889,
or at www.co.calaveras.ca.us.
The warning came a few days before Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, which was observed from Oct. 21 to 27.
Mike Jurek, left, and Dave Valladao are striving to restore the former Valley Springs train depot to its historical look.
Luster returns to old depot
Plans being made for '08 celebration
Valley Springs’ historical railroad depot has a new coat of
paint and plans are brewing to showcase the 1885 building in a community
celebration next April.
Mike Jurek, the building’s owner, and Dave Valladao, owner of the Ice Cream Depot, teamed up to buy the paint for the former station built along the Calaveras County line of the San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Railroad.
With the help of Sal Manna, president of the Society for the Preservation of West Calaveras History, the depot was restored to the color scheme it had back in the 1910-20 era while under Southern Pacific Railroad ownership. The building now features two tones of yellow and trim in a chocolate brown.
But work to restore the old depot to its former appearance is not stopping with the paint job. Jurek plans to rehabilitate the facia board trim along the roof line back to its original appearance and install Valley Springs signs on the east-west sides of the building, similar to those it had when it served as a train station.
Additional signage is also being planned along Highway 12 to draw attention to the historical building and Valladao will devote a wall in the Ice Cream Depot as a visitor information center.
Jurek, who along with his wife LeAnn, have owned the building for the past 10 years, plans to have the project completed in time for Valley Springs Train Times, scheduled for April 26, 2008.
Manna says the railroad-themed event will mark the occasion when the first train rolled into Valley Springs on April 25, 1885. It will include music and entertainment, vendors, history presentations, such as blacksmithing, and an old-fashioned ice cream social, which would encourage people to attend in 1880s dress.
George Heagerty’s “Never the Same” band has been booked for the occasion.
The historical preservation society is seeking community assistance and ideas for the event. Manna can be reached at 772-0336, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eventually, Jurek’s vision is to turn the property surrounding the old train station into a town square with arbors, benches, landscaping and even a restroom facility for visitors’ use. He would also like to get his hands on an old-time train and some track for the site.
Justin Pipitone assisted Jurek with the painting and the paint was obtained at a substantial discount through painting contractor Kurt Cosgrove.
Sons on the San Joaquin – Jack, Joe and Lon Hannah - are back by popular demand for this winter's "Ovations" performing arts series.
Arts Council announces line-up for "Ovations" series
Five performances plus a prelude holiday concert will be featured
this winter in the Calaveras County Arts Council’s “Ovations”
performing arts series.
For 27 years the non-profit arts agency has been presenting a
variety of high quality concerts to the rural residents of the Gold
All of the performances will be in the Bret Harte Theater,
323 Highway 49, Angels Camp. Season tickets, which are $120 per
adult, can be obtained by calling Calaveras Arts at (209) 754-1774.
Single tickets for all concerts are $25 per adult and will go on sale
online Nov. 19 at www.highsierratickets.com.
There are reduced rates for children up to age 18 and for groups of 12
The Ovation series will begin at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 with “Prelude
to the Season - A Holiday Concert for Families.” The energy of
Rod Harris and the 25-member Columbia Kicks Big Band will resonate with
a truly American classic holiday repertoire such as “Winter
Wonderland”, “Sleigh Ride”, “Frosty” and dozens more.
Also on the program will be another local group, the 20-member
all-female choir Mountain Melody directed by Julie Shelby. A public
sing-along of holiday favorites will conclude the concert.
“The Sons of the San Joaquin” with traditional Western
harmonies will perform two shows at 3 and 7 p.m. Jan. 13. They’re
back, again by popular demand. Jack, Joe and Lon Hannah pay a melodious
tribute to all aspects of Western life and history, from simple cowboy
songs to the Spanish songs of the vaquero.
Diane Ferlatte, a spellbinding storyteller, will take the stage
at 3 p.m. Jan. 27. With a repertoire of hundreds of African,
African-American, and multicultural stories and songs, Ms. Ferlatte has
thrilled and touched audiences around the world with tales of
inspiration, struggle, values, and character. Adding to the dynamics are
her colorful garments, her percussion playing, and the music of Erik
Pearson on banjo and guitar.
Theatre Flamenco, preserving Spanish heritage through dance, will
perform at 3 p.m. Feb. 17.
Theatre Flamenco is the oldest
ethnic dance company in California is known for passionately showing the
highest level of artistry in its presentations of Flamenco dance and
The company’s venerable artistic director is dancer and
choreographer Miguel Santos. He has promised a varied program that will
electrify the audience. With gorgeous costuming and staccato footwork,
the five dancers, including renowned Carola Zertuche, will be
accompanied on stage by guitarists, percussionists and a singer.
Alasdair Fraser, one of the finest fiddle players
Scotland has ever produced, will entertain at 3 p.m. March 16.
He performs “…the expressive gamut from deep Celtic
melancholy to joyful jig, unbelievable fiddle imitations of the bagpipe,
the whole rendered with a humble sincerity, flawless virtuosity and just
about the sweetest sound since Fritz Kreisler.” – L.A. Times.
Joining Fraser will be Natalie Haas, a vibrant young cellist who
unleashes textures and deep, powerful rhythms that drive fiddle tunes.
“Both compliment the other’s playing…. fluent, varied and
highly entertaining.” – BBC Radio Scotland.
The Mother Lode Friends of Music Orchestra, featuring violin
soloist Corina Stoian and cello soloist Alex Dumitrache, will conclude
the series at 3 p.m. March 29.
The Ovations audience will experience the joy of a live,
top-flight 60-member orchestra and maestro Henrik Jul Hansen. The
program includes Ludvig van Beethoven, “Egmont” Overture; Felix
Mendelssohn, “Italian” Symphony no. 4; Johannes Brahms, Double
Concerto for violin and cello.
For information, call the Calaveras County Arts Council at
(209) 754-1774, or visit www.calaverasarts.org.
A crew from Granite Construction Co. was busy Friday pouring concrete for a new entryway at Valley Springs Elementary School.
School getting new, improved entrance through donations
When Valley Springs Elementary School students return to campus
next week, they will find some attractive changes.
Work has continued during the fall break on the $4.2 million
expansion project and a group of fathers, along with plenty of help from
Granite Construction should have put the finishing touches on a new
school entrance at Pine Street and Sequoia Avenue.
The old curb, ugly yellow posts and narrow sidewalk at the front
of the school has been removed and in their place will be a landscaped
entryway. Dan Stocard donated plans for the facelift and Granite
Construction donated $30,000 in labor and materials toward the project
spearheaded by the Valley Springs Elementary School Parent-Teacher
“Granite Construction really came through big time, said Jean
Gonsalves, PTO vice president. Rising Sun Nursery also donated plants
for the new landscaping.
Students’ fathers in the meantime are working on the
landscaping, irrigation, fencing and other items associated with the
improvement project, which is expected to be completed when school
resumes on Monday.
The overall expansion project calls for the installation of 16
new classrooms and a 4,600-square-foot library that will be shared with
the community. The new classrooms, which were delivered last week, are
of modular construction.
Once completed, the expansion project will increase Valley
Springs Elementary School’s student capacity from 498 to the
Half of the funds for construction and rehabilitation are coming
from the state.
Space is being set aside for construction of a new gymnasium, which depends on future funding.
Burson Postmaster Wendi Sherman has launched her annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign at the post office.
Postmaster begins breast cancer awareness crusade
By Nick Baptista
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Burson Postmaster
Wendi Sherman, a cancer survivor, is drawing attention to the disease in
a variety of ways.
Sherman has set aside bulletin board space titled “Breast
Cancer Has Touched My Life” where customers can post pictures of
themselves, family members or friends who have had or are fighting the
In addition, she is promoting sales of the Postal Service’s
Breast Cancer Awareness stamp by holding a drawing at the end of the
month. Customers who purchase a sheet of 20 Breast Cancer Awareness
stamps can enter the drawing. Sherman will have a grand prize basket
containing items associated with breast cancer awareness, including a
hand-painted awareness T-shirt. She will also have three runner-up
baskets. The drawing will take place Nov. 1.
A similar effort last October sold 84 of the sheets and she is
looking forward to increasing those sales this year. The stamp has
raised more than $54.6 million for breast cancer research since it was
first issued July 29, 1998.
Designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, the stamp features the
phrases, "Fund the Fight" and "Find a Cure" and an
illustration of a mythical "goddess of the hunt" by Whitney
Sherman of Baltimore.
The stamp costs 14 cents more at 55 cents for first-class
postage, but the additional charge goes to the National Institutes of
Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.
The additional expense of $2.80 for a sheet of the stamps is
tax-deductible and customers will receive a receipt to save for tax
Informational literature – such as “The ABCs of Breast
Health” from the American Cancer Society and breast self-examination
cards are also available at the post office.
Sherman has found her informational crusade to be helpful to at
least two of her customers who have told her they were prompted by her
efforts to get examinations and cancer was discovered in treatable
Lisa Hubbs in her kitchen with her award-winning jams and jellies.
Valley Springs woman wins state fair ribbons for delicious jams & jellies
By Nick Baptista
After a 21-year hiatus as an award-winning jam and jelly maker,
Lisa Hubbs of Valley Springs entered the 2007 California State Fair and
captured two blue and two red ribbons.
Hubbs, who learned the culinary art of canning from her late
grandmother Aileen Reece, decided to re-enter the state fair after a
21-year break to replace the ribbons she won in 1986, but lost in a 2001
fire that destroyed her home. Hubbs won two firsts and a second back in
Hubbs proved she had not lost her touch, with a blackberry jelly
that received all 100 points from the judges and a strawberry jam that
garnered 95 to capture coveted blue ribbons. Hubbs’ strawberry jelly
collected 85 points and her blackberry jam came in with 80 to win red
“Ripe fruit is the key,” said Hubbs. In addition, she
does not use as much sugar as called for in recipes.
She and her husband George pick local blackberries and the
strawberries come out of the family garden and local fruit stands.
Another secret is freezing the strawberries before canning them.
“They just taste better that way,” she said.
Hubbs learned her craft in Grandma Aileen’s kitchen at first
canning peaches and tomatoes. She still cans tomatoes, a family
In all, Hubbs spends about a week out of each year picking and
canning. She prepared about 15 batches and gets seven to 10 jars of jams
per batch and a few less jars per batch in the jellies.
Now that she’s gotten back into the groove of entering the
state fair, she plans to return to next year’s event with a few
variations mixing blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.