Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Susie Marin has opened Valley Springs Sign & Graphics on Laurel Street near the downtown intersection of Highways 12 and 26.
Downtown shop offers wide variety of signs, other print items
Valley Springs has a new sign shop catering a wide variety of
signage and other print needs.
Susie Marin opened Valley Springs Sign & Graphics in August
on Laurel Street near the downtown intersection of Highways 12 and 26.
“When the other sign shop closed I saw an opportunity,” Marin
She does full color banners, real estate and construction signs,
magnetic signs, posters, window graphics, large format digital printing,
business cards, vehicle and boat lettering and graphics, construction
plans, T-shirts and more.
She uses a large-format digital printer and plotter to do the
work in her shop.
Valley Springs Sign and Graphics is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The shop is closed on
Marin can be contacted at 772-1188 or 918-4665. The shop’s
email address is email@example.com.
State Sen. Dave Cox
State approaching financial disaster says State Senator
By Nick Baptista
The state is approaching a financial disaster, according to State
Sen. Dave Cox.
Sen. Cox, who represents the residents of the First Senate
District, which includes all or portions of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras,
El Dorado, Lassen, Placer, Plumas, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Sacramento and
Sierra counties, issued the assessment at the Oct. 30 meeting of the
Rotary Club of West Calaveras.
The unemployment rate is at 7.7 percent and projected to go up to
9 or 9.5 percent, which will be a financial disaster for the state, he
“We have to get back on track growing jobs,” he added.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has set Nov. 5 - the day after the
General Election - as the start of an emergency legislative session to
address the state budget deficit.
Cox, a Republican, attributed the flawed budget to a process that
gives the minority party no say-so in the initial budgeting process. The
only time the minority party has any leverage in budget talks is at the
very end when a super majority of two-thirds in necessary for passage,
The budget process begins in January at the committee level and
the Democrats have two members on each subcommittee to the
Republican’s one, he said, and the minority’s views generally are
ignored at the committee levels.
Cox said he has been in conversations with Democratic Sen.
Darrell Steinberg, the Senate President pro Tempore-elect, to change the
Cox has suggested expanding the number of subcommittees from five
to 10 and giving both parties two senators on each committee. Cox
believes compromises will be reached at the subcommittee levels and that
will translate into the budget being adopted sooner when it reaches the
In addition, Cox advocates changing the state constitution to
create a two-year state budget. A two-year process would add a measure
of funding stability to government entities such as schools and the
counties, he said.
In regards to the Nov. 4 election, Cox said he is in favor of
Proposition 11, which will take state Senate and Assembly redistricting
out of the hands of the state legislature and give it to a 14-member
Power Up! Fitness Studio owner Jennifer Scheidt with her daughters Ginger, center, and Summer. Scheidt has created a family-friendly and supportive environment at the fitness studio and welcomes all fitness levels, men and women.
Power Up! encourages healthy life with exercise
Power Up! Fitness Studio opened its doors at the beginning of the
month in Suite E at 42 Highway 26 and offers a wide variety of
activities whether young or mature, man or woman.
Owner Jennifer Scheidt has been in the fitness business for more
than 15 years starting in Santa Cruz.
“I have a passion to teach and I love to see people excited
when they see changes in their body,” she said.
The studio opens at 8:15 a.m. Monday through Friday and closes as
7 p.m. except for Friday when there are no p.m. classes. Noon to 2 p.m.
is quite time at the studio.
Scheidt is offering 25 classes at the studio ranging from Fitness
For Fun, which encourages parents and children to play and exercise
together, to Seated Cardio, designed for the maturing population or
Other classes include Cardio Kickboxing, Praise Moves (a
Christian alternative to yoga), Cardio-N-Core, Total Power Sculpt, Ball
Pilates and Power Cardio.
The classes, for all fitness levels, are an hour long. She also
has two other instructors to help her with the wide variety of classes.
The family oriented fitness studio features a childcare room with
plenty of toys, but older children are encouraged to exercise with their
The 2,100-square-foot facility also features special flooring
comparable to suspension floors to help absorb the impact on the body
during workouts, and a wide variety of exercise equipment including
barbells, dumbbells, Versa tubes, mini-Pilates balls, stability balls,
hula-hoops, and exercise steps.
For more information, call the studio at 772-2898.
Madam Butterfly's owner Teri Hooper displays some of the clothing and accessories available at her new store.
Women's boutique opening in downtown Valley Springs
Madam Butterfly’s Unique Fashions & Accessories opened Friday
at the corner of Highways 12 and 26, across the street from Good Friends
Owner Teri Hooper, who has lived in the area since 2004, decided
to venture into the fashion boutique business after undergoing heart
“The entrepreneur in me said the area needed a nice affordable
shop and now was the time,” she said. The shop offers a wide variety
of women’s clothing, including evening clothes, jeans, sportswear,
Capri’s, dress blouses and sweaters at reasonable prices.
The list of accessories includes belts, purses, bracelets, hats,
tattoo jewelry and scarves.
Hooper is partnering with Renee Donofrio who will expand the
After Friday’s soft opening, Hooper held Madam Butterfly’s
grand opening on Saturday.
The grand opening included a fall fashion preview and light
The fashion boutique shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mondays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
The telephone number is (209) 772-9300, or (209) 981-2248.
Josh, Elizabeth and Rohls
Hemmes accept the first-place trophy for the chili cookoff, a part of
Saturday’s Community Day in the Park festivities. The Bank of Rio
Vista finished second and took the People’s Choice Award, while the
Valley Springs Area Business Association took home the plaque for third
"Day in the Park"
seen for next year
The inaugural "Community Day in the Park" attracted nearly 400 people, according to event chairman Dave Evans.
The event raised funds for construction of a new veterans hall and community center, but Evans would not have those figures until later in the week.
"We had a good day," Evans said after the event, and his committee is planning for a bigger and better Community Day in the Park next year.
Festivities included a chili cookoff, arts and crafts booths, a children’s play fair, and an appearance of a Dale Earnhardt Sr. No. 3 replica stock car. Ticket sales for an opportunity to take a spin in the replica car at Altamont Speedway will continue up to the Nov. 1 Veterans Day Dance and Dinner.
The committee received a pair of outright donations of $500 from the Calaveras County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and $210 from Pawier Inc. and Joan Bohl, Evans said.
Foothill Fire Protection District Station No. 2 in Valley Springs will be a topic of discussion at next week’s meeting of the Valley Springs Public Utility District Board of Directors. The utility district, which owns the property and has received an offer to sell it to a private interest, will talk to fire district officials about the matter.
fire districts ponder what to do with VS firehouse
Two of Valley Springs’ special districts are trying to figure
out what to do with the downtown fire station.
The Valley Springs Public Utility District owns Foothill Fire
Protection District Station No. 2 at 129 Highway 12. The utility
district leases the property to the fire district for $1 a year.
However, the utility district has received an offer to sell the
property to a private party.
PUD General Manager Mike Fischer and Foothill Fire Chief Mike
Siligo have been in discussions with each other and their boards on the
The fire district at this time cannot afford to buy the Valley
Springs station and the utility district would like to realize more than
$1 a year from the property.
“We’re trying to work something out where it works for both
of us,” Fischer said, but he admits it’s new territory for the
utility district to explore.
“We don’t know if we can just sell it to the fire
district,” he added.
The utility district needs to research questions into how it
should handle the sale of surplus property, he said.
“We hope to work this out and come to an agreement,” Siligo
said, but the fire protection district at this time does not have
$220,000 to match the offer made to the utility district.
The fire district likes the site because of its quick access to
Highways 12 and 26, but has outgrown the existing building. Some of the
district’s equipment, such as its ladder truck, cannot be housed in
the current station.
The fire district had been in discussions with developer Ryan
Voorhees about a new Valley Springs fire station site in the proposed
Ponte Ranch subdivision, but those plans died when the Voorhees project
If the utility district were to sell the property to the fire
district, the station could be modified to meet the fire district’s
needs, Siligo said.
The history of the building also needs to be taken into
consideration, he added, since residents financed and built the building
to serve as the community’s fire station.
If the utility district sells the property to a private party and
the station is closed, fire district response times in Valley Springs
would double as units would have to dispatched from the fire station in
Burson, Siligo said.
“We don’t want the fire district kicked out,” Fischer said.
Discussion of the fire station situation is on the agenda for the
utility district’s next board meeting. The meeting will begin at 6:30
p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the PUD office at 150 Sequoia Ave.
Financial Advisor Chris Schurawel refers to a chart that shows the Stock Market's major ups and downs since the Great Depression.
Advisor: Main Street "cautiously riding out storm" on Wall Street
The woes on Wall Street this past week have kept one man busy on
main street Valley Springs.
Although stock prices have taken a tumble, Financial Advisor
Chris Schurawel of the Edward Jones office in Valley Springs said most
of his clients have stayed invested in the market.
The past week has been a hectic one for Schurawel, who saw call
volume to his office triple as the Dow Jones Industrial average slipped
to a low of 8,451.19 by Friday.
Last week was the worst ever for the Dow, which lost 1,874
points, or 18.2 percent, erasing $612 billion in market capitalization.
The index also saw its most volatile day ever, swinging 1,000 points in
Schurawel was in the office by 6:30 a.m. most of last week as the
market continued to slide each day, prepared to handle those calls and
making his own calls to clients.
Overall, Schurawel said his clients were "cautiously riding
out the storm." In all, 90 percent remained invested in the market
and most of those clients have a long-term investment horizon, he said.
The recent crisis in the financial markets points to the
importance of having a diversified investment portfolio with not only
stocks, but bonds and cash reserves, Schurawel said, something he
stresses as a financial advisor.
In addition, at the beginning of any investment relationship with
a client, Schurawel said he gauges the client's tolerance for risk.
Fear had entered into last week's sell off, Schurawel said, and
he was cautioning clients against pulling out in the middle of a panic.
Schurawel expected the market to rebound, but not by as much as
the 900-plus gain on Monday.
The Dow closed at 9,388, a one-day 11.1 percent gain from
Friday's closing numbers.
"Most are feeling validated they didn't pull the plug,"
he said, and one of his investors saw it as an opportunity to buy.
Pinpointing the bottom of a market is impossible, Schurawel
added, but investors see some high growth companies looking very
attractive at current prices.
Last Wednesday's Candidates Night in Valley Springs drew an audience of approximately 50 voters to hear Zerrall McDaniel and Gary Tofanelli's views on local issues.
Supervisor candidates voice subtle distinctions
District 1 voters looking for differences between the two
candidates running for supervisor had to dig deep to find some nuggets
of distinction at Wednesday’s Candidates Night hosted by The Valley
One question posed by an audience member to candidates Zerrall
McDaniel and Gary Tofanelli said, “The two of you sound a lot a like
to me tonight. You must disagree on some issues. To help me understand
better, please answer the question which current supervisor do you most
Both candidates managed to sidestep the question, with McDaniel
saying she has agreed with all five supervisors from time to time, while
Tofanelli said he wants to work with all four supervisors and did not
want to take sides.
Both agree something needs to be done immediately to clean up
Cosgrove Creek and reduce the potential of flooding in the area.
Tofanelli said he would form a coalition of concerned citizens to trek
to federal offices on a regular basis if necessary to convince those
officials to issue permits for the clean up.
The pair agreed it was important for the county to continue
funding public transportation, especially now as gas prices have
increased and many people are out of jobs and can’t afford to run
Both outlined their support for a Delta College satellite campus
in Valley Springs. McDaniel, a member of the Calaveras Unified School
District Board of Trustees, said the district would offer several
portables being replaced at Toyon Middle School to the five-acre site
the Coe family has offered to Delta, while Tofanelli said he has been
working behind the scenes to convince Delta to accept the free five
acres, although college officials have reservations the site is too
Tofanelli said research supplied to Delta officials shows other
community colleges have five-acre satellites and if Delta does not take
advantage of the offer, other colleges such as Columbia, should be
The two candidates were reluctant to show their cards concerning
the proposed Trinitas development. The project off of Ospital Road calls
for a clubhouse, lodge and gated community surrounding an 18-hole golf
course that was built without an environmental review.
Tofanelli said the county is at legal risk whether the board
votes for or against the proposal and he would follow the guidance of
the county’s attorneys on the matter.
McDaniel said the county’s handling of Trinitas was “a
formula for failure” and “county leaders need to make sure this
doesn’t happen again.”
Both candidates said they were against the trio of billboards
proposed off Highway 12 between Burson and Valley Springs. Both said
they would not like to see the matter go to litigation. McDaniel said
she did not believe it was too late to speak with the billboard company
and reach an agreement that would take into account citizens’
concerns, while Tofanelli said the applicant was following the law and
it is the county ordinance that needs to be changed.
Both said changing the sign ordinance would be high on their
priority list, but Tofanelli cautioned that total elimination of
billboards might be impossible. McDaniel said an updated ordinance
should encourage signs to follow a historical “Gold Rush” era theme
similar to the Calaveras Chamber of Commerce’s welcome signs at the
county line featuring enlarged ore carts.
Hiring additional county staff to complete the necessary
paperwork to obtain a complete allotment of $1.2 million in Proposition
40 parks and recreation funding also received the blessing of both
Neither balked at diverting 10 percent of the funds from
recreation projects to staffing.
“As a businessman you need to spend money to make money,”
Although McDaniel said she had some reservations about spending
the 10 percent on staffing, she did not want to jeopardize the bulk of
On the question of re-opening the Sheriff’s Department’s
substation in Valley Springs, both candidates said public safety is a
top priority and they would work toward re-opening the office. McDaniel
said she has spoken with CUSD Superintendent Jim Frost and the school
district has office space they can offer the sheriff’s department.
Tofanelli said he has concerns about too many holes in the
department’s radio communications system and he would work diligently
to upgrade the system.
Road repairs were also called into question. Both agree the county needs to better inform the public about road projects, the sooner, the better. They also questioned the rational in determining which roads are repaired.
The need for a traffic signal at the downtown intersection of
Highways 12 and 26 was also questionable, both candidates said.
They were in favor of exploring other alternatives.
McDaniel said a signal would ruin the downtown, while Tofanelli
said a mile of roadway linking Hogan Dam Road with Lime Creek Road would
alleviate most of the existing congestion during rush hour.
A video of the Candidates Night can be seen at www.thepinetree.net.
Sitting in front of the goat bridge at the Dodasa Ranch Pumpkin Patch are, from left, Sara Parker, Dawn Parker, Riley Barney with Buttercup, and Don Parker.
Family ready to start a Halloween tradition
A variety of activities await families as the Dodasa Ranch
Pumpkin Patch opens on Friday for its inaugural season.
Dodasa Ranch owners Don and Dawn Parker want to make a visit to
their pumpkin patch a Halloween season tradition. The pumpkin patch is
located 1.4 miles south of Highway 12 on Burson Road and Carol Lane.
In addition to grabbing a soon-to-be-jack-o-lantern from the
seven acres planted in pumpkins, visitors can pan for gems, or visit a
petting corral with a wide variety of animals including chickens, ducks,
emus, geese, goats, horses, llamas, pigs, and even a buffalo.
There is a catch-and-release fishing pond at the ranch and a hay
bale maze. A tractor tire pyramid and giant slide also await visitors,
along with a kiddies cow train and hayrides to and from the pumpkin
Visitors entering the ranch will be greeted by a wide variety of
scarecrows, all vying for the public's votes to win the honor of best
The Parkers, who bought the ranch in 2002, had offers to
subdivide the property for housing, but want to make it an agri-tourism
site eventually open nine months out of the year. They are in the
process of obtaining a winery license and plan to make the former
chicken farm someday resemble an old western town.
Beginning this Friday, the pumpkin patch will be open from 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 2.
Oct. 24 to 26 is Wallace/Burson Weekend sponsored by the Wallace
Burson Association and will include games, activities and entertainment.
Visitors during the weekend are asked to bring non-perishable food items
for the WBA's annual holiday food basket drive.
To add to the festivities at night, the Rotary Club of West
Calaveras is sponsoring haunted hayrides the evenings of Oct. 24, 25, 26
and 31, and Halloween will be especially entertaining as the Parkers
host safe-and-sane trick-or-treating on Oct. 31. Those festivities will
include a costume contest.
Fresh baked pies and other refreshments, including beer and wine
will be available at the pumpkin patch.
Group and school field trips are also available by appointment
from Tuesdays through Thursdays.
Formerly the Nunes Ranch, the Parkers added the first two letters
from their first names and their daughter Sara's to come up with Dodasa.
For additional details, visit www.dodasa.com.
Crews were busy installing artificial turf last week at Toyon Middle School.
Toyon's new field expected to be ready later this month
A field of dreams is being installed at Toyon Middle School.
Crews from Beyond the Barn, ProGrass, SDS Grading and John Allen
Construction have been busy the past few weeks at the lower field on the
campus and last week work began to roll out the new, green artificial
Project Manager Donald Kountz of Beyond the Barn said the lower
field should be completed by Oct. 20.
“It’s moving along pretty good,” he said.
In all, 19 people are working on the project.
In addition to the new full-sized field for football and soccer
use, a 440-yard synthetic, oval track will begin to take shape in a few
days, Kountz said. The field will be fully lined for the area’s youth
sports, which are expected to begin using the field shortly.
artificial surface differs from the one installed at Calaveras High
School, Kountz said. The Toyon field has less of the rubbery feel as the
turf at the high school.
ProGrass is based on the East Coast where their artificial turf
is very popular, Kountz said. The installation at Toyon will be one of
the firm’s first in California.
In addition to the new track and field, a block retaining wall
and concrete curbing have been installed between Toyon’s lower and
middle fields, and four-foot fencing is also being installed.
Kountz expects work will begin in January to install artificial
turf on the middle field. It will be identical to the lower field turf,
but it will not include a track.
All of the portables adjacent to the middle field will be moved
except for one pair, which Kountz, who serves on the local soccer board,
hopes to use for construction of a snack bar. The snack bar would be for
the use by all of the youth sports organizations using the fields.
Volunteers will be needed to transform the portables into a snack bar. Volunteers can contact Kountz at (209) 223-1575.