JENSEN QUESTIONS PUBLIC LASHING OF TAX COLLECTOR — Supervisor Rick Jensen questioned Tuesday the courtesy of the board in the wake of the public scrutiny it gave Madera County Tax Collector Janice Whipkey and her office last week. But other supervisors noted an elected official’s actions can only be discussed in public session, unlike employees hired by the county, who can be discussed in a closed session of the board. Irate taxpayers tied up the county’s phone lines, making it impossible for other departments to get their work done, according to County Auditor-Controller Bob DeWall and County Assessor Dick Gordon.
SUPERVISORS THINK “PRISON” IS A DIRTY WORD — None of the names that the board of supervisors will suggest to the State Department of Corrections for the new women’s facility will contain the word “prison.” The deletion of the word came from a suggestion by Supervisor Harry Baker who said, “Just because you have an ugly kid, you don’t name him Ugly. Prison is an ugly word.” Supervisors are divided over whether to use “Madera” or “Madera County” in the name. Some suggestions from the public have included “vocational institute.” Supervisors jokingly said this name would imply it was a school, and some might want to sign up for job training.
MUSD ANGRY AT CITY COUNCIL — When Madera High School students return to their campus in the fall, they may not find the police officer there. The city’s budget for 1988/89 does not include the school officer program. Madera Police Officer Fabian Benabente has been patrolling the school since April. School officials, Benabente, and students agree that since his arrival, problems have diminished. The news of the school’s loss came as a surprise to the administration. “I have not gotten over my dismay with regard to this,” said Superintendent Tom Riley. High School Principal Beau Carter, who spent last week with Benabente planning for next year, was also surprised.
AREA RESIDENTS POP CORK ON “GREAT OUTDOORS” — Champagne flowed Thursday night as about 200 people crowded the Ponderosa Pines Theater for a special viewing of a film that was shot last fall at Bass Lake. The “Great Outdoors,” starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy pumped $12 million into the local economy. While viewing the film, local residents also caught glimpses of Ducey’s, an area landmark destroyed by a kitchen fire June 2. Bass Lake residents not only saw familiar sites in the movie but also familiar faces. About 1,000 extras were used during the filming. One of these was former teacher Ed Dent, who said he had some spare time, and “it seemed like a nice thing to do.” ...