Twain Harte, CA -- The Twain Harte Long Barn School District is facing difficult decisions due to projected budget cuts. According to District Superintendent, John Keiter, the entire district is "approaching bankruptcy by the 2016-17 school year if we don't bring spending and income inline with each other."
Dr. Keiter says, "Closing Pinecrest School has been discussed as a possible way to eliminate some significant expenses." Pinecrest School has three classes and declining enrollment at the K-8 school. Dr. Keiter noted the district has closed Black Oak and South Fork schools.
Dr. Keiter says that lots of parent comments have been made to the budget advisory committee and a number of board meetings. He says, "Those have all been heard by me and the school board." Back in December the district's board of trustees voted to keep the school open but not to fill a teaching position created by a teacher who is retiring at the end of this school year.
Dr. Keiter stated that the biggest expense for the district is transportation. "The school district pays $500 more per child above the grant money that the state provides."
The school district calculated based on Governor Brown's newest budget proposal that their transportation budget will be cut by approximately $200,000 in the 2013- 2014 school year.
The school district also heard from Tuolumne County Tax Assessor, Ken Caetano, to expect further declines in revenue from property taxes.
Another board meeting tomorrow evening will discuss the future of the school district's schools.
Groveland, CA -- When Highway 120 closed because of a rock slide the Tuolumne County visitors bureau, Yosemite Chamber of Commerce and merchants along Highway 120 came up with a campaign to promote the north end of the park that was still accessible.
The highway reopened well ahead of schedule on March 10th. The campaign information about the "Secret Yosemite" emphasizes the many activities and sites available outside Yosemite Valley.
Highway 120 is the primary entry route for visitors from the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and the Bay Area. According to the campaign, many of those visitors bypass sites and activities because they're not aware of them. Some of the often over-looked sites promoted are the Tuolumne Grove, Rainbow Pool, Hetch Hetchy and the town of Groveland.
When the road was closed 120 was the only way to get to "the other Yosemite Valley" Hetch Hetchy. The campaign stated that Hetch Hetchy offers, "amazing sights not found in its more famous neighbor, such as a walk-through tunnel and its own spectacular waterfalls."
Rainbow Pools are the natural swimming holes along the south fork of the Tuolumne River just off Highway 120. The area is said to be popular for hiking, picnicking and bird watching as well as swimming in the warmer months.
Bruce Tepper, Marketing Consultant for Yosemite Gold Country, Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau writes more in his blog "Highway 120"
An Arnold man was arrested for allegedly setting fire to a home.
The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies responded to 776 Summit View Road earlier this week for a reported arson fire. The homeowners claimed that 28-year-old Robert Lars Farmer was seen walking away from the house carrying a gas can.
The deputies soon located Farmer walking along Manuel Road. The Sheriff's Office says Farmer immediately surrendered and admitted that he had set three different fires early that morning. They were at the residence, in the middle of a road and in a ditch. He told the deputies he set the fires because he was upset about seeing a video of his mother on the internet. The Sheriff's Office reports that it is unknown if such a video exists, or if the victims were involved with said video. The case is under investigation.
The fire did damage to the front porch of the home, and it was extinguished before spreading to other areas. Deputies also located a small fire in a nearby ditch that was extinguished by using the surrounding snow.
Farmer was booked into Calaveras County Jail.
White Pines, CA -- Stanislaus National Forest officials will host an open house next week to talk about a controversial plan to limit target shooting at the Candy Rock Quarry.
Candy Rock Quarry, in the Calaveras Ranger District, is located in an area off Highway 4. Some residential neighbors have complained about the shooting over the past several years. Target shooting at the quarry has been taking place since the 1960's and predates many of the housing developments. Complaints have generally centered around safety and noise.
The Forest Service is finalizing a proposal that could result in less access for target shooters at the quarry. The tentative notice states, among other things, hours for target shooting be 10 am to 6 pm Monday-Friday; 10 am to 3 pm on Saturdays; and closed on Sundays. It also proposes to prohibit the use of firearms larger than 0.50 caliber and prohibit trap and skeet shooting. It does provide that the Forest Road 4N73Y be opened to allow year round access instead of just from April 15 to December 15.
The open house will be March 19 from 5-8pm at the Independence Hall on Blagen Road in White Pines.
To read more about the issue from the Forest Service, click here.
Yosemite, CA -- A Yosemite National Park Ranger was honored for rescuing two park visitors from a burning truck.
On May 26, 2009 Ranger Dan Abbe was flagged down on Wawona Road while on his way to work in Yosemite Valley. He was informed that a vehicle went over the side of the road and was on fire. Ranger Abbe rushed down 30 ft. below the road surface and found a full size pickup truck on its side with a travel trailer behind it.
Abbe wrestled to get a door open and helped the two people out of the truck. They told Abbe that the truck was filled with 70 gallons of gasoline, and had an extra 50 gallon gas container. In addition there were two full propane tanks. Upon learning this, he quickly escorted the visitors through thick brush up towards the roadway. Within minutes the truck and trailer were fully engulfed with fire and it spread to ╝ acre of vegetation.
Fire crews later arrived to put out the blaze and Ranger Abbe and the visitors were taken to Yosemite Medical Clinic to treat smoke inhalation. The truck and trailer were a total loss.
Abbe and his wife, and their daughter, traveled to Washington, DC last week to receive a Valor Award from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Governor Brown inaugurated carbonLITE's 220,000 square foot plant in Riverside, California, the largest bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in the world.
Brown was Tuesday's KVML "Newmaker of the Day".
The recycling plant will recycle more than two billion plastic bottles a year.
"Companies like carbonLITE are revolutionizing the recycling industry and dramatically reducing the huge amount of plastic dumped in California landfills every year," said Brown.
Governor Brown was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by executives from PepsiCo and NestlÚ Waters, along with representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Riverside County and the City of Riverside.
"We're committed to being the leading bottle-to-bottle recycler, preserving resources and reducing the carbon footprint from PET bottle production," said Leon Farahnik, carbonLITE's chairman. "We're honored to have the support of Governor Brown and U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, among the many others who came out to our grand opening and experienced our state-of-the-art recycling facility."
In October 2011, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 1149, which provided subsidies, known as "market development payments," to manufacturers who use recycled plastic and to processors-such as carbonLITE-who fabricate it.
Today, most plastic bottles collected in California are exported to China, where they are used to make polyester for clothes and other commodities. carbonLITE takes Californians' used plastic bottles and turns them back into bottles here in California, using a pellet technology that preserves natural resources and reduces landfill waste.
The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the Sierra Nevada through Wednesday 11 AM.
The snow levels range from 5000 through 6500 feet.
Winds of fifteen to thirty mph are likely, with gusts up to sixty mph over the ridges.
A smaller disturbance is expected Wednesday afternoon.
A third system will arrive Thursday.
Snow levels with both of those systems will be around 7000 feet with a few inches to a foot of snow accumulation above 8000 feet.
A fourth and much colder storm system is expected from Friday through Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service, snow levels will lower to 3000 feet. A couple of feet of snow is expected in the higher elevations.
Gusty winds are expected Friday and Saturday and thunderstorms are possible on Sunday.
For the latest road conditions, click http://www.mymotherlode.com/traffic