LOPEZ NEW BOARD CHAIRMAN — The Madera County Board of Supervisors went through its annual changing of the guard this morning as Jess Lopez took over as chairman for the coming year. Lopez presented outgoing Chairwoman Gail Hanhart McIntyre with a plaque for her year of performing the duties. Both McIntyre and Lopez were re-elected to four-year terms in 1988 and were sworn in once again before the start of this morning’s meeting. Leaders of the board are chosen on a rotating basis.
CITY COUNCIL DENOUNCES SF’S BOYCOTT STANCE — Declaring the San Francisco supervisors’ support of a table grape boycott a slap in the face to this agricultural community, the Madera City Council on Tuesday endorsed a boycott of the Bay area city and county. The council voted unanimously to protest the San Francisco board’s December decision to endorse a UFW boycott of table grapes, one of Madera’s major crops. Councilman Patrick O’Rourke said, “It seems the bay fog has the ability to cloud men’s minds.” With the council’s endorsement, it joins the Madera County Board of Supervisors in opposition to the United Farm Worker effort.
SUPERVISORS OPEN ARMORY FOR HOMELESS — Those without a place to call home can keep out of the biting cold by sleeping in the National Guard Armory, thanks to an emergency vote by the supervisors Tuesday. At the plea of Madera area church representatives as well as the Madera County Action Committee, supervisors cut through the red tape of insurance liability to unlock the doors of the armory to the homeless. Rev. John Bliss of the Trinity Episcopal Church and Father Gus Severin of St. Joachim’s Catholic Church approached the board during the public comment session and pleaded for the armory to be opened.
DOGS CAUSING HAVOC FOR CATTLE RANCHERS — Domestic dogs running loose through the county’s rural areas are continuing to maul and kill cattle, which could result in a heavy penalty for pet owners. Missing ears, torn noses, and withered jaws have led to illness and death to cattle that have been preyed upon by dogs continually over the last month. At the Daulton Ranch, dogs have wounded an estimated 20 cattle and killed three. Rancher Nancy Cadenazzi said: “I’d like people to understand that these aren’t wild dogs causing this problem; they’re people’s pets.” Stanley Branco said, “A pack of domestic dogs is worse than coyotes or wolves because there’s so many of them, and they’re not afraid of humans; they’ll go anywhere...