Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society
Twenty-five years ago, Lucille Young, left, the 1990 Old Timers Queen, passed her crown on to Rita Noble in a special breakfast held at Courthouse Park. Rita and her husband Edgar were 1991’s Old Timers King and Queen.
25 Years Ago
Week of Sept. 18, 1991
METER LEGISLATION CARRIES NO TEETH — While water meters will have to be installed on all new residential and commercial buildings constructed after Jan. 1, 1992, they may not be read or change the current billing system. Although SB 229 requires the installation of water meters, there is no enforcement clause in the bill. “We are just trying to provide means for the conservation of water,” said a state spokesperson. “It’s up to the local folks to say how to use them. We don’t care if they flat rate them or set a rate by specific use. Presently in the City of Madera meters are only installed on commercial and industrial buildings.
EARLY-MORNING FIRE CLAIMS ADOBE RANCH BUILDING — Fire claimed the historic Adobe Ranch building early this morning, destroying one of the oldest structures in Madera County. According to CDF Battalion Chief Chris Shrowe, the fires probably started in the attic, running across the top of the multi-level, rambling house. Co-owner Ron Smith said he lost everything in the fire except his dog. “I didn’t get anything out ... my mother’s things and my grandmother’s things are gone,” Smith said. The Adobe Ranch dates back to the gold rush era and was once the headquarters for an Indian Reservation. It was later used as a stage stop for travelers heading to Yosemite.
STUDENTS SAY SMOKING RATE HIGH AT MHS — A new survey at Madera High School claims smoking is more popular among its students than it is among students nationwide. Teenagers interviewed at what they call “Stoners’ Corner,” an area near the campus, said about half the student body at MHS lights up, said Kathryn Synder, coordinator of the peer counseling program. She said students are wary of mixed messages adults give them about nicotine being a drug even though cigarettes are legal. “They don’t always believe the health warnings either,” Snyder said. “The parents have smoked for 30 years, and they are still alive, so they feel you are feeding them a bunch of garbage.”
THEATER PLANS REDUCED TO THREE SCREENS — Plans for a revitalized downtown area, including the Madera Theater, are moving forward but with a new twist. The original plans called for a four-screen theater to be constructed in the building, however, building inspector Larry McClintock said the latest revisions call for only three screens due to the cost factor. Instead of two screens in both the upstairs and downstairs, the first floor will remain the same, but plans for two screens upstairs will go forward. The decision not to cut the first floor in half will keep the original stage intact and provide more seats for that screen. There are no firm plans for the beginning of construction.
LANDOWNERS VOICE OPPOSITION TO PARKWAY FINANCE PLAN — The landowners in the Upper San Joaquin River Association have voiced opposition to the proposed method of financing the acquisition and maintenance of thousands of acres along 33 miles of the river. Acquisition costs are currently projected to be $40 to $50 million to be drawn from a variety of sources, one of which could be an assessment district, which includes all lands within an hour’s drive of the parkway area. A meeting has been scheduled for Sept. 25 at the Madera County Library to discuss the first draft of the San Joaquin River Parkway Plan.
50 Years Ago
Week of Sept. 18, 1966
HAIRCUT ORDERS ISSUED TO 100 MHS BOYS — About 100 Madera High School boys were sent home from school the first day to get haircuts officials said today. All but about five are now back at school with their locks sheared, according to James Hodges, dean of boys, and he expects the others to come in today. Hodges said it isn’t a matter of the length of the hair. It can be fairly long on top, he explained, so long as the ears and nape of the neck are clear. The haircut orders were issued in conformance with written school grooming policies, mailed out to all parents before the start of school, Hodges noted.
ALICE FIMBREZ IS CROWNED AT FESTIVAL — A queen’s crown was donned by Alice Fimbrez, 16, at the annual Mexican Independence Day celebration last week at Hatfield Hall. The new queen was crowned by Mayor D.R. Stephenson. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Fimbrez. She received her scepter and a sheaf of red roses at the opening ceremonies Thursday evening of the two-day festival. Friday night at the dance, the queen was presented a trophy, and her attendants each received a plaque from the Community Service Organization. Miss Fimbrez is a junior at Madera High School and plans on majoring in business in college.
‘IMPOSSIBLE NURSES RECRUITMENT SITUATION’ FEARED — Madera County Hospital has lost three of its 17 staff nurses and has not been able to fill the vacancies because of low pay, the board of supervisors was told Tuesday. Mrs. Donna Peregoy, chief of nursing services at the hospital, reported the vacancies in a letter in which she warned of “an impossible recruitment situation” if salaries remain below $505 per month. The letter was read as a part of a presentation by the Madera County Registered Nurses Association seeking “a substantial increase in pay from the $415 per month scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1.
DA AFFIRMS LOOK INTO CSO CENTER — District Attorney James R. Hanhart confirmed reports that he has looked into the operation of the Community Service Organization child care center. Hanhart flatly denied, however, that he said, “Who’s been taking all that food home?” in regard to a center financial statement, which showed $611 spent for groceries. Benny Garibay, chairman of a newly-named administrative committee for the center, issued the alleged quote at a meeting with federal officials Tuesday afternoon. An unidentified informant launched this probe, Hanhart said. No violation of state law was found, he reported.
BERGON BLASTS OPPONENTS OF FARM BUREAU PLAN — Opponents of the Madera County Farm Bureau’s plan to turn Madera’s former Air Force radar installation into a housing project for farm employees came under attack from Frank Bergon, the vice chairman of the bureau’s labor committee. Bergon assailed farm labor critics and said, “Regardless of what starry eyed politicians, college theorists, highway messiahs, and union pied pipers claim, California is still the Mecca of opportunity in the field of agriculture and will continue to be number one in the nation.”