FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION APPROVED — Madera Unified trustees approved the controversial Family Life Education curriculum by a 5-2 margin Tuesday night. The issue, however, is hardly dead. The vote came after nearly 90 minutes of discussion among concerned board members. Most of the dissension surrounds the issue of contraception. Public opinion is split. Many view the teaching of contraception as inherently condoning premarital intercourse and contradictory to the abstinence message required by law. Trustee Benny Barsotti and Marshall Padilla provided the dissenting votes. Board President Gloria Kunz and trustees Bill Driggs, Gus Gustaveson, B. J. Robinson, and Joe Rossi voted to approve the program. Superintendent Tom Riley joined board members in supporting the program.
BRAY FIRST WOMAN MEMBER OF MADERA KIWANIS CLUB — Madera District Chamber of Commerce Administrative Assistant Debi Bray became the first woman to join the Madera Kiwanis Club. Bray, 31, was invited to join the club by Rich Mostert of the Madera Industrial Development Commission. Bray said her father was a former Kiwanis Club member, and she grew up in a family that believed in community service. A 1975 graduate of Madera High School, Bray worked for the Madera Unified School District and Multigraphic International out of Sacramento before joining the Chamber in 1986. “Being female, she said, “is only secondary to the fact that she is an individual who hopes to accomplish community goals in the Kiwanis.”
THANKSGIVING JUST ANOTHER DAY FOR TURKEY GROWER — Thanksgiving is no big deal to Bob Bitter. He may be a turkey farmer, but the biggest day of turkey consumption is nothing out of the ordinary for his ranch. “Turkey farming is a year-round business that requires a lot of time and care,” Bitter said. “This is a constant job.” Bitter has only three employees who work full time to run the farm that produces 80,000 to 90,000 birds four times a year. “Every day we walk through each building several times and check the birds,” Bitter said. He clapped his hands loudly and for a moment the loud gobbles of the turkeys were silent and their necks stretched searching for the source of the noises. This shows they are healthy, he said. Bitter was a pharmacist before going into the turkey business.
SUPERVISORS VOTE TO REDISTRICT — Supervisors voted 4-1, with Jess Lopez dissenting, to approve the redrawing of the boundaries of their districts. The move culminated two months of work by District 5 Supervisor Harry Baker who has been trying to even up his overpopulated district. He and the county planning staff estimate that Districts 1-4 have between 16,000 and 18,000 residents. District 5 is estimated to have almost 25,000. To even up the districts, Baker proposed shifting some voting precincts to District 1, Rick Jensen’s District. As proposed, Jensen would inherit the foothill portion of Baker’s district, including Spring Valley, Yosemite Lakes, and the Raymond precincts. “There is nothing in this that will adversely impact any ethnic or minority group,” Baker said...