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50 years ago in the week of May 8, 1966

Fifty years ago, before political correctness put Chowchilla’s Tommyhawk contest in the center of controversy, Greg Chidlaw, the city’s mascot for 1965 posed with the Chowchilla Junior Fair’s theme character. A search was under way for a new Tommyhawk for 1966. (Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society)


NEW SCHOOL UNION SLATES ENCHILADA DINNER SATURDAY — The unification of the area’s city and country schools with Madera Union High School District to form the new Madera Unified School District has resulted in the creation of the newly formed California School Employees Association, Chapter 169. The organization is having its first public fundraiser Saturday night — a delicious homemade enchilada dinner at the Madera High School cafeteria. Tickets can be obtained from President Joe Flores or at the door for $1.25 for adults and $.75 for children. Volunteer members of the new CSEA chapter will take charge of the cooking and serve the dinner from 6 to 9 p.m.

LAND BEING “DENUDED,” SAYS COUNTY PLANNER — The county planning director complained to his planning commission Monday night that “We’re decimating every tree” on the Valley floor. “The county,” Robert Wall protested, “is being denuded.” Wall has made the complaint on several occasions as new developments involved uprooting trees. The latest flattening of the landscape to which he referred was removal of a line of trees south of Parkwood. Some persons argue, Wall said, that eliminating trees saves water. He believes, however, that probably as much water as the trees use is lost after they are cut through evaporation from the areas they previously shaded.

REMOVAL OF DAMAGED RAIL CARS UNDERWAY — Removal of the derailed Southern Pacific Railroad cars four miles north of Madera was slated to start this morning. The Gordo Bunn firm of Mojave began breaking up the box cars lying beside the road and expected to haul away all the train’s remains within a few days. A coach, three cars, and a tank car which spilled out noxious sulphur dioxide when it tipped over are on the site to be removed. The train cars, which are now covered with election campaign posters, have been lying beside the tracks since the derailment Aug. 25 while insurance disputes were aired. A special junk license for the clearing operation was issued in Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

GARBAGE MAGGOTS BOTHER HEALTH OFFICIALS — The City of Madera’s announced plans to cut garbage collection from twice to once a week has disturbed the County and City health departments. Dr. Claude Stafford, county health director who also is health officer for the city, said today he “takes a dim view of the plan.” He said the reason for his opposition is that maggots are created and migrate widely from garbage cans in four days. Dr. Stafford said that he or chief sanitarian James Mankin or both of them will present evidence on this to the Madera City Council next week...

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