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Beginning 2017 with the growth of 2016

First, let me say how much we at The Madera Tribune appreciate your readership, as well as the business from our advertisers, who use our pages to tell you about the best the city has to offer in places to shop and where to obtain services.

Without readers and advertisers, we could not exist, and we know that, and appreciate you to no end.

The year 2016 was an improving year economically for our city and county, giving many people optimism to get out and shop. People were buying cars, houses, appliances and other hard goods after almost a decade of soft markets in those items.

That commerce gave rise to other commerce, and as a result, the local economy is beginning to come out of the doldrums.

But the upward nudge in the city’s and county’s economic activity was not the biggest story of 2016.

Bigger stories were the continuing legal battles between the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino and the proposed casino of the North Fork Rancheria, that would be built north of Madera along Avenue 17 just west of the State Route 99 freeway. The Chukchansi hotel and casino, in Coarsegold, was reopened after a year of being closed due to legal problems and disputes over tribal governance. Still it moved forward with its lawsuit against the North Fork plans and also managed to donate more than $1 million to community charitable organizations.

Madera got a new mayor, with the election of City Councilman Andrew J. Medellin. He fills the mayoral spot vacated by Mayor Robert Poythress, who ran for the District 3 county supervisor’s seat, and won.

And finally, another big, continuing story is that of water. Yes, we got some rain, but it wasn’t enough. Yes, farmers received some stored irrigation water from local reservoirs, but still found themselves having to drill more and deeper wells to keep their crops alive. Although there has been slight improvement, we remain in a drought.

Enjoy this special section and reminisce about about a news-filled year.

And, again, thanks for being our readers.

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