History in the Week of Feb. 11

Madera County Historical Society

Twenty-five years ago, Audrey Pool, foreground, held an old news story and photo about former Maderan Susan Peregoy, co-author of 14 English-as-a-Second Language textbooks. Peregoy was a bilingual teacher for several years.


25 Years Ago

Week of Feb. 11, 1993

COMMITTEE COMES OUT AGAINST SCHOOL BOND — The Madera Citizens’ Committee for Better Government thinks there are better ways to fund schools than passing a local school bond. The bond election for Madera Unified School District will be held March 2. The problem the committee sees is that the community now relies on the district administrators, local builders, developers, and special interests groups to make decisions on which facilities to build and how to build them. The committee sees its first obligation to be the defeat of the bond. After that, a committee made up of a cross-section of the community should be formed and given authority to help the district plan and build responsibly.

FRESNO CHRISTIAN SCHOOL WANTS TO MOVE TO AVE. 12 & HWY 41 — Fresno Christian School is hoping to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday for a new $22 million, K-12 school that would hold 3,000 students at the intersection of Ave. 12 and Hwy. 41. FCS Educational Foundation President Lynn Eilefson said his institution has been interested in the site for several years. “We believe Madera could accommodate a private school without impacting public schools,” he said. “Our need is for 50 contiguous acres so we can put a k-12 school on one site and have adjacent land for recreational areas. Currently, FCS has 792 elementary and high school students on three separate campuses.

TRIALS AND PROGRESS OF BLACKS RECALLED SUNDAY — About 100 people turned out at the Millview Community Center Sunday to retrace the history of a culture. The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held its annual Black History Program Feb. 14 to recall the successes, failures, and trials of the African-American people. “We’d like you to keep in mind that no matter how good a program we put on today, it’s still only the tip of the iceberg because Black History is a full course,” said NAACP member George McCrady. “It’s just like any course in school. Black history goes way back.”

98-YEAR-OLD SAYS MADERA HAS CHANGED — When 98-year-old Tennessee native Ivon Tubb moved here in 1919, Madera was a nice place to live. “Madera is not the same place,” he said. “Back then you didn’t even have to lock your doors.” Only six “colored” people lived in Madera, “and we all came here together,” Tubb said. Even years later, there were so few Blacks in town he could name them all. But although he was part of a small minority, “We were treated well,” he said. Black people today sadly cannot say the same thing, Tubb said. “Back then, everyone knew you,” he recalls. “People did not have to think in stereotypes.” Also, back then “Black people were only employed as shoe shines, custodians, or ranch hands. There was nothing to discriminate over,” Tubb said.

MADERA HIGH AUDIT RELEASE POSTPONED — The Madera Unified School District Board of Trustees has canceled a special meeting this week where it was expected to release the results of its investigation into charges facing Madera High School Principal Beau Carter and Vice-Principal Perry Harper. The meeting has been postponed pending the interview of two more witnesses, according to MUSD Superintendent Tom Riley. “We’re really close,” Riley said. Carter and Harper were both placed on administrative leave Jan. 27 because of “questions that have arisen recently with regards to the use of student body funds,” according to Riley. The Fresno auditing firm, Silva, Harden, and Adolph had been contracted to look into the reported discrepancies. 50 Years Ago

Week of Feb. 11, 1968

MADERAN TO HEAD HOOVER GROUP — D.W. (Bill) Holmes of Madera has been elected chairman of the California Little Hoover Commission on state governmental organization. Holmes won the chairmanship in the first election ever conducted for the position, which has been filled by appointment of the governor in past years. The Maderan, named to the commission last summer, outdrew State Senator Milton Marks, R-San Francisco, in the voting. The commission is composed of two senators, two assemblymen, four legislative and four gubernatorial appointees. Commenting on the election today, Holmes said he feels that the vote for him, a governor’s appointee, shows that the commission is non-partisan in its outlook.

FOUR TO CONTEST TWO SEATS ON MADERA CITY COUNCIL — Four candidates will run for two city positions in the April 9 city election. Filing closed Thursday. Official candidates are Councilman John Wells, school teacher; Kenneth Gill, TECO co-owner; Bob Kahn, partner in the Firestone dealership; and William Venturi of the Veterans Service Office. Councilman Charles Marsh is not running. Running unopposed for her position of city clerk is Mrs. Willa Sawyer. Two measures will also appear on the city ballot. Voters will decide whether Madera should have a dog leash law and whether the position of city clerk should be appointive. Approximately 6,000 voters are expected to cast their ballots in April.

SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE SEEKS JUNE ELECTION — Superior Court Judge Jack Hammerberg has filed a notice of intention to seek election in June to the judgeship which he was appointed Dec. 22, 1966. The incumbent judge is the only candidate thus far for the $25,000 per year position in the county’s highest court. The period in which notices may be filed closes Wednesday. Hammerberg was tapped by former Gov. Edmund G. Brown to succeed Everett Coffee on the bench. Age 45 at the time of his installation, he is one of the youngest judges named to the court here. He has been a Madera resident for 16 years, and was in private practice for most of that time. He first came to Madera as a deputy district attorney.

COUNCIL’S 3-2 VOTE DENIES PERMIT FOR NEW CAR WASH — The granting of a use permit for the establishment of a self service car wash at 618 West Olive Ave. was denied after a three to two vote by the city council Monday night. The City Planning Commission granted the use permit, but a protest was filed by John Copeland, a property owner in the area, urging the city council to rescind the use permit. Ron Snipes, director of planning, indicated the construction of the car wash in the area would represent a commercial intrusion into a residential area. Copeland said, “I don’t think there should be any more commercial industry around the high school.”

BOARD GIVES FARMERS A BREAK; OPENS SCHOOL LATE — A Monday Sept. 16 starting date for the fall term in the Madera Unified School District was set Tuesday night. The board of education voted for the date to “give the farmers an extra week” beyond the calendar offered by the administration, which would have started school on Sept. 10. Buck Melikian pushed through the later starting date, aided by a report from Andy Williams, secretary-manager of the Madera County Farm Bureau, that from 800 to 1000 children worked in the grape harvest in mid-September last year. Trustee Paul Martin grumbled that while 1000 students worked during the week schools were closed last fall, “another 7,000 stayed home.”