Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society
Twenty-five years ago Thomas Jefferson principal Joe Vivid and teacher Carolyn Ayers focused on the school’s plan for helping students make the transition from elementary to junior high school while students Jennifer Estrada, left, and Gina Potter looked on.
25 years ago in the week of Jan. 8, 1992
SWALLEY READY TO TAKE FLIGHT FROM MADERA — Madera Municipal Airport Manager Jim Swalley has announced his retirement after five years on the job with the city. Prior to that, Swalley retired from the Air Force after 20 years. Swalley plans to retire near his hometown of Olympia, Washington. Swalley said the next manager’s primary concern will be developers encroaching on the airport. “The long-range effects could be disastrous,” Swalley said. In some cities, houses too close to the airports have limited operations and even forced the closure of some facilities. Swalley will leave an airport that he proudly says “is one of the better facilities of this size around.”
CITY TAKES OVER GOLF COURSE — The Madera City Council voted by a narrow 3-2 margin to break its contract with GolfCorp for the operation of the Madera Municipal Golf Course Monday night. Now the question is what to do about an almost $40,000 in missing cash, checks, and credit card receipts at the course. An audit by Finance Director Sami Nassar showed that the missing funds had not been accounted for in bank statements. Nassar reported there were numerous dates, beginning in August, where the daily sales reports were not reflected in the bank statements. According to Nassar, GolfCorp has filed a report with the Madera Police Department. Mayor Bill Weber and council man Pat O’Rourke voted against the action, and council members Margaret Medellin, Marc Scalzo, and John Wells voted for it.
CITY WILL NOT PAY COUNTY’S $47,000 BILL FOR BOOKINGS — The City of Madera has refused to pay $47,000 it owes the county for booking prisoners into the jail. City Manager Nick Pavlovich says the quarterly payment should be used to hire more police officers rather than to pad county coffers. Madera has joined other California cities in a class action suit that challenges a 1990 state law requiring cities to pay for jail bookings. Already the 1990 law has forced police in Madera to greatly reduce arrests of people for misdemeanor crimes. Instead, the suspects are simply issued citations ordering them to appear in court.
LEGISLATION COULD PUT CERTAINTEED OUT OF BUSINESS — Passage of Assembly Bill 2219, set for a committee hearing next week, would force the closure of Certainteed and the loss of 325 jobs in the county according to George Warshel manager of the fiberglass installation plant in Chowchilla. If the bill becomes law, manufacturing, producing, selling, or installing of insulation material made of fiberglass would be prohibited. In addition to the 325 jobs, the bill would mean the loss of a $12 million annual payroll. County Assessor Dick Gordon said the county receives about $600,000 annually in property taxes from the Chowchilla plant.
OAKHURST TO GET FIRST TRAFFIC SIGNAL — Motorists driving through Oakhurst will soon view something new to the Eastern Madera County foothills: a traffic light. The board of supervisors Tuesday awarded a $450,853 contract to Tiger Construction Company of Fresno to construct a traffic signal at the intersection of Road 426 and Highway 41, home of the famous Talking Bear. Supervisor Harry Baker said Oakhurst business owners had urged the county to have the stoplight constructed before the months of May and June. Thirty-nine companies took out bids for the project and 11 were submitted to the county.
50 years ago in the week of Jan. 8, 1967
HERMAN NEUFELD ELECTED NEW BOARD CHAIRMAN — Herman Neufeld, District 4 mountain area representative on the Board of Supervisors, was elected 1967 board chairman Tuesday after a closed session. The board spent 10 minutes behind closed doors in a “personnel” session called by 1966 chairman Jack Schmitz before voting on a 1967 chairman. The motion to elect Neufeld was made by L.C. Thompson of Madera, who noted the Neufeld has two years experience as a board member and that no mountain area representative has held the chairmanship for several years.
LYNN MONTEL APPEARING IN LAS VEGAS — Mr. and Mrs. Fred Montel have been taking in three shows every night at the Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas where their daughter, Lynne, is appearing with the Chadron Trio for a two-week engagement. Miss Montel was graduated from Madera High School where she served as cheerleader, president of the Girls’ League and the Horizon Club. In her senior year, she played the title role in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” While attending Fresno State College, she appeared as an early morning emcee on the television show, “This Morning in Fresno.”
REAGAN HANGED; FRESNO STATE STUDENTS PROTEST — Gov. Ronald Reagan was hanged in effigy on the Fresno State College Campus Sunday in an apparent protest against proposed tuition charges at California state colleges. About 100 students gathered at the new administration building and strung up a cloth dummy on a scaffold. The dummy hanged for about 30 minutes before campus police pulled it down and carried it off. A college spokesman said no disciplinary action would be taken. The Reagan administration is considering a tuition fee of $200 per semester for students paying no tuition.
WELLS FARGO BANK WILL OPEN FACILITIES HERE — Wells Fargo Bank today announced it will establish its first banking office in Madera County at Madera this spring. Although its history in Madera goes back to the express era, Madera was then part of Fresno County. The firm opened an agency office in town in 1879, and M.C. Landrum was agent-in-charge. Edwin Moore served from 1880 to 1883. Today’s agreement calls for 3,000 square feet in a one-story building at the southeast corner of West Yosemite and South I Street. The Madera branch will offer customers a complete line of banking services.
MADERA’S SISTER CITY EFFORTS UNPRODUCTIVE — Madera’s City Friendship Commission decided Thursday to try again to re-establish contacts with Castellamonte, Italy, Madera’s sister city. No response has been received to a number of letters and gifts sent to Castellamonte. Joe Cappelluti, commission chairman and Sylvio Masante, both of whom have visited Castellamonte, said they found the people there hospitable and enthused about the sister city program and appreciative of Madera’s efforts. Once home again, however, they noted they receive no communication. The commission has no intention at the present of dropping Castellamonte.