Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society
Twenty-five years ago about 15 Maderans held a peaceful demonstration in front of the Planned Parenthood office on Almond Avenue, marking the 19th anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision. Shown here from left to right are Teresa Martinez, Veronica Espinoza, Christopher, Dan, and Patti Holbrook.
25 years ago in the week of Jan. 22, 1992
CITY COUNCIL HIKES GARBAGE BILLS — City residents will pay more for their trash pickup starting in February after a 3-2 vote by the City Council Tuesday. Rates will be $9.95 per month, up 30 cents from the current $9.65. Assistant City Manager Ron Manfredi said Browning-Ferris Industry had requested a 5 percent increase. After analyzing the costs for BFI to do business, Manfredi felt 3 percent was fair to the city’s residents. Councilman Margaret Medellin expressed concern when she heard the city was not considering other companies. “I feel it is healthy for a city to go out to bid,” she said. Medellin and councilman John Wells voted against the increase.
COSTA SAYS MEDIA ACCOUNTS WERE FALSE — A Fresno Assemblyman was quoted as saying Madera County opponents of the San Joaquin Valley Parkway plan are being selfish and not reflecting the views of most county residents. Democrat Jim Costa said Tuesday that some Madera landowners are trying to sidetrack the Parkway. Costa said that even though he was misquoted in a Fresno newspaper, he does not believe the majority of Madera County residents share the concerns of the landowners. “I truly want to work with these people, and I get frustrated when I read misstatements,” Costa said.
PRO-LIFE SUPPORTERS PICKET MADERA PLANNED PARENTHOOD — Pro-life advocates picketed the local Planned Parenthood office Wednesday. They wanted to make it clear to Madera officials that they were opposed to abortion and the Roe vs. Wade decision made19 years ago. But more than that, they were concerned an abortion clinic in Madera is the next step following a Planned Parenthood office. “It is the only motive to come into an area. We want them to know we won’t stand idly by and let it happen,” said Gary Espinoza, one of the organizers. Local Planned Parenthood officials said, “There are no plans, whatsoever, to open an abortion clinic in Madera.”
MUSD AND TEACHERS ATTACK PROPOSED VOUCHER PLAN — A ballot initiative to make all schools eligible for state-funded vouchers as payment for educating elementary and secondary pupils is being staunchly opposed by the local teacher’s union and MUSD’s school superintendent. “What will happen to our poor, handicapped, and non-English speaking students?” asked MUTA president Catherine Aguirre. “Most likely they will be excluded from the schools of choice,” she said. Superintendent Tom Riley said his concern is how the voucher system will be funded without hurting public education. “That’s a major concern in a large district like this one,” Riley said.
MARTIN, MOFFAT FACE NO RE-ELECTION COMPETITION — Unless there is a groundswell of public support for a write-in candidate, current Superior Court judges Edward Moffat and Paul Martin will remain on the bench for the next six years. According to a county election official, only Moffat and Martin met the deadline for declaring their intention to run for office. Moffat declared his intention to run for the Department 1 opening, and Martin declared his intent for the Department 2 position. All the judges have to do to continue their terms is to gather a minimum of 20 nominating signatures and turn them in by March 6.
50 Years Ago in the Week of Jan. 22, 1967
MUSD ORDERS LARGER SCHOOL BUS TAILLIGHTS — School bus taillights were the center of discussions at Thursday night’s meeting of the board of trustees. Jerry Butler, transportation director, was instructed to revamp taillights to make them bigger, brighter, and more noticeable. Board member Buck Melikian complained that the taillights are “only 3 ½ inches across, the size of a coffee cup and barely visible in fog.” He said this isn’t enough for buses with 80 children inside. He suggested running with the lights on at all time, but Butler said constant use, especially with waits for elementary school children to cross the road would draw down batteries.
MADERA AIR BASE CONVERSION EXPLAINED — William H. Wakley of the Bureau of Indian Affairs gave the Kiwanis Club a view of plans for converting the former Madera Air Force Station into a training center for American Indians. Wakely said 26 Indian families with 55 children will be moving into the houses that once were homes for Air Force personnel. Three months later an estimated 200 single men will arrive at the center to live in the five barracks, which have been turned into dormitories. The Indians will be composed of different tribes from throughout the nation, including Alaska. Wakely said a small staff is already converting other buildings into classrooms.
ANOTHER MADERA SOLDIER EARNS HERO’S MEDAL — Specialist 4th Class William Whitman, former Maderan, has been awarded the Bronze Star medal for valor in connection with infantry operations against the Viet Cong in Vietnam. According to a military release, “Whitman was leading his fire team on a search and destroy mission through a thickly overgrown rubber plantation. Suddenly he was taken under intense fire. He immediately deployed his team against the bunker. Leading his team, Specialist Whitman moved to within point blank range, hurling grenades, pouring an intense stream of fire into the bunker and encouraging his men to do the same. The action took place Sept. 21.
NO MONEY TO MOVE OLD STORE — The Madera County Historical Society was told Wednesday that financial assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move the old Chinese Store from its present site will not be forthcoming. Although the Corps is moving the grave and monument of Major Jim Savage before the lake created by Hidden Dam covers them, it has been determined that the old adobe building near it has no connection to Savage. The store has no foundation and would have to be dismantled and reassembled at a new site. The old store was once the mercantile establishment of local pioneer Man Wah Chan.
COUNCIL TURNS DOWN MOONLIGHTING REQUEST — A moonlighting proposal for city employees went down to defeat in a special meeting of the City Council Monday night. The council voted 3-2 to disallow city employees from taking on extra jobs. Earlier in the year the Madera City Employees Association had asked the council to allow employees to work at other jobs during vacation. The council turned that proposal down as well. The present policy is that employees may not take on extra jobs unless a dire emergency exists. In that case the employee may ask permission of City Administrator Phil Brown to take on the additional job.