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Years ago in the week of Feb. 5

Courtesy of The Madera County Historical Society

Taking a bite out of crime — The Madera District Chamber of Commerce held an employers’ safety seminar 25 years ago. Police Capt. Charles Dickison, left, Sheriff Glenn Seymour and Naomi Salvidar were among those taking part.


25 years ago in the week of Feb. 5, 1992 HOULDING LAUDED AS SCHOOL’S DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE — Louise Houlding, a woman who has for years fought to keep St. Joachim School alive financially, was named the school’s distinguished graduate by the National Catholic Education Association last week. Houlding graduated from St. Joachim and Madera High School and went on to earn bachelor’s degrees in economics and history. Houlding has been active in St. Joachim’s economic revitalization since 1985, helping to form St. Joachim’s Trust with 90 percent of the interest from the account, more than $10,000, going to the school every year. Houlding praised the staff of St. Joachim and stressed the school’s demonstrated success.

SCALIA CALLS SENATE HEARINGS ‘ABSURD SPECTACLES’ — Senate hearings on Supreme Court appointments are “an absurd spectacle,” with nominees asked to choose their favorite constitutional rights, Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday night. “You have a process in which the Senate takes nominees and asks them a whole list of questions such as, ‘Judge so-and-so, do you think this right is in the Constitution? This is of course inevitable once people come to believe the Constitution is an evolving document — an empty bottle that you fill up as you please,’” Scalia said “I fear that’s where we are headed or have already arrived.”

CATALANO LATEST TO LEAVE ST. JOACHIM ON REASSIGNMENT — Changes at St. Joachim Catholic Church continued with the departure of the Rev. James Catalano, reassigned as rector of St. Joseph’s Shrine in Santa Cruz and pastor of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Davenport. Catalano’s departure comes on the heels of similar moves by the Rev. Gus Severin and the Rev. John Warburton, both transferred out of Madera in recent months. Catalano first came to Madera as associate pastor at St. Joachim in 1977. In 1980, he was named St. Joachim pastor. Catalano said he will miss all of the friends he has made in Madera and will also miss the town he describes as a “quiet place on the conservative side.”

MHS ADMINISTRATION TO TACKLE RACIAL DIVISIONS — Recent tensions among students have caused Madera High to implement a policy to control disruptive behavior at the school, according to Principal Beau Carter. The policy deals with strained relations between certain members of different racial groups trying to co-exist in a crowded school setting. Carter assured the board that innocent bystanders are safe from violence on campus for the most part. Board President Carolyn Nolan said students must be assured of their safety. Trustee B.J. Robinson said the number and types of weapons confiscated during the fighting were frightening.

O’ROURKE ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR 25TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT — Madera City Council Member Patrick O’Rourke announced he has thrown his hat into the Democratic race for the new 25th Assembly District seat. A native of Michigan, O’Rourke has been a resident of Madera for 26 years. He was elected to the City Council in 1986. In 1990, he was reelected with the highest vote any council member has received. O’Rourke points out that the new district offers Madera its first chance to send a representative to Sacramento since 1893, the year the county was created. O’Rourke is the coordinator of field services for the Madera Irrigation District.

50 years ago in the week of Feb. 5, 1967 IT JUST WASN’T HIS DAY — City Administrator Phillip J. Brown had intended for Saturday to be a day to remember, and certainly it was, but not in the way he had imagined. What was supposed to be the highlight of a day at Lake Millerton turned out to be a disaster when his only car sank slowly into the murky waters of the lake. It all began when Brown and a friend decided to put his boat into the water. With the friend behind the wheel and Brown directing the maneuver, the car was backed down the ramp and the boat was unhooked. Unfortunately, the car continued to roll toward the water and before anything could be done, Brown’s auto floated out about 35 feet from the bank and settled into 9 feet of water. The vehicle was hooked to a tow truck and retrieved. Brown is now using a city car.

COYOTES RUNNING LOOSE AT CITY AIRPORT — Believe it or not, coyotes (not the Madera High kind) are running loose at the municipal airport. The California Bureau of Sports, Fish, and Wildlife has informed the city that an undetermined number of coyotes are living in coverts on the north end of the airport. Residents of the area have complained of the wild animals chasing cows up and down the nearby fields. The bureau has requested permission to set huge steel traps near the coverts. Warnings of the placement of the traps would be posted. The bureau says it will catch the coyotes at no expense to the city.

ELMER N. RAU HONORED WITH SCOUT SILVER BEAVER AWARD — Elmer N. Rau, prominent Madera civic leader, received the Silver Beaver award at Tuesday night’s Sequoia Council recognition dinner in Fresno. Rau’s work in scouting traces back to 1947 when he began as a committeeman with Troop 114 sponsored by the Madera Rotary Club. A civic leader for many years, Rau is a past director of the Madera County Chamber of Commerce, a director of the Madera Industrial Development Committee, and is a past president of Madera Rotary Club. For more than 24 years, he has been a Sunday School teacher at the Kerman Evangelical United Brethren Church.

DAVID LOQUACI WINNER OF FFA SPEECH CONTEST — David Loquaci, senior vocational agricultural student at Madera High School, won the Fresno-Madera Section Public speaking contest last night when speaking against participants from the 18 schools in the section. David, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Loquaci, chose as his topic, “Is Agriculture Really a Business?” He denoted the small margin of profit on which farmers must operate. He specifically cited the grape and raisin prices received during the last two years as examples. His solutions to the problems were in the area of marketing, advertising, and research.

MAYOR’S SAFE HIT BY BURGLARS — A team of leisurely burglars hit two South D Street businesses Friday and walked off with close to $800 in cash and checks. The money and checks were in a safe owned by D.B. (Bud) Stephenson of Stephenson Plumbing. Police said the burglars entered the building by prying off the back door. Once inside, they rolled the large safe into a back office, borrowed tools from the mayor’s shop, and pried open the safe. The mayor said, “Maybe it was such a handy place to rob because all of the tools were right there.” After leaving Stephenson’s the burglars performed a similar operation at Boyle’s Electric.

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