Photo contributed Wedding ceremony setups like this one at Pageo Lavender Farm in Turlock are on hold for a while as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Local weddings on hold amid pandemic BY … Read Full Article about ‘I do’ — but not yet
BY ANGELINA MARTIN
With this month’s arrival of the city’s newest retail addition, Turlockers now have a one-stop shop for all things tools.
Harbor Freight Tools opened its doors last week as an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic, bringing approximately 35 new jobs to the community. The new, 15,000 square-foot Turlock Harbor Freight is the company’s 112th store in California, bringing with it a fully-stocked selection of tools and accessories for the community’s needs: automotive, air and power, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools (which come with a lifetime warranty) and much more.
The store is the second tool provider to roll into town in the last five months, with Ace Hardware opening on Geer Road in December after moving into the former Orchard Supply Hardware location. A grand opening ceremony for Harbor Freight is planned for May 16.
The company believes that Harbor Freight’s smaller size provides an easy shopping environment compared to larger, warehouse retailers.
“We’re ready to serve and deliver value to customers in Turlock and all of Stanislaus County,” store manager Garth Reinhardt said. “At Harbor Freight, we recognize that now, more than ever, our customers depend on Harbor Freight for the tools they need to get the job done at an affordable price. We are the place for quality tools at the lowest prices for mechanics, contractors, homeowners and hobbyists — any tool user who cares about value.”
While Harbor Freight Tools’ prices are already affordable, the business offers customers even deeper discounts with special coupon pricing. Customers can sign up to receive a monthly coupon book by mail or email with dozens of product coupons and additional discounts. To sign up, visit HarborFreightSignUp.com.
In addition to making sure their customers are able to find the best deals on the tools they need; Harbor Freight is also taking care of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to help protect healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients, Harbor Freight recently donated its entire stock of nitrile gloves, N-95 masks and face shields to hospitals in every community served by a Harbor Freight Tools store.
Harbor Freight Tools is also a major supporter of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, an initiative of The Smidt Foundation, established by company’s founder Eric Smidt, to advance excellent skilled trades education in public high schools America. The program’s flagship initiative is the annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which honors 18 public high school skilled trades teachers and their programs with $1 million in cash awards.
Local skilled trades educators are encouraged to apply for this year’s prize at hftforschoolsprize.org. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. May 20 and winners will be announced in October 2020.
Harbor Freight Tools also supports non-profit organizations that serve K-12 public education, first responders and veterans. For more information on the gift card donations program, visit harborfreightgivingback.org.
During the COVID-19 crisis, all Harbor Freight stores have implemented more frequent cleaning and are following the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, including social distancing to protect the health and safety of our customers and associates. Any individual who has any COVID-19 symptoms is asked to shop on the store’s website, www.harborfreight.com rather than in the store.
Location: 2800 N Tegner Rd., Turlock
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday;
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday,
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Contact information: 209-250-7071
BY ANGELINA MARTIN
Whether Republican or Democrat, the six candidates vying to replace Rep. Jeff Denham in Congress all agreed on one thing during a recent debate: It’s time for a change.
The Central Valley race is listed as one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s initial targets in their mission of flipping Republican-controlled districts over to Democrats, and what began with a competition that saw 13 challengers ready to face Denham has now fallen to six. With less than two months until the June 5 Primary Election, Democrats Mike Barkley, Michael Eggman, Josh Harder, Virginia Madueño and Sue Zwahlen and Republican Ted Howze on Wednesday answered voter questions and shared why they believe they are the best candidate to represent California’s 10th District.
The candidates were forced to think logically rather than politically thanks to the first question of the night, which asked if Congress is irrelevant now. Congress isn’t irrelevant, they all agreed, but Eggman wondered if the concept has become irrelevant for the working people of the country as big corporations fill the pockets of representatives with campaign money. He and the others took the opportunity – and many more throughout the event – to criticize Denham, who was not present at the event, for taking money from corporations and for voting against the wishes of many of his constituents.
“I don’t think (Congress) has become irrelevant, but I certainly think it’s become ineffective in the issues that matter most,” Harder said, pointing to Denham’s “yes” vote on the American Health Care Act, which would have stripped health care from many District 10 residents including his younger brother, who was born with a preexisting condition.
Howze agreed with Harder, stating that Congress has become irresponsible and Denham unreachable.
“I’m a fellow Republican and when you can’t have a conversation with your representative about what you feel are hotbed issues and what you need to work on, it’s become completely irresponsible,” Howze said.
Issues like water, immigration and gun control were hot topics during the discussion, and the candidate’s similarities in these areas were made evident through their similar answers. All would like to increase access to safe and reliable water in the district, and all agree that comprehensive immigration reform is needed.
While the Democratic candidates agreed on other issues like accepting refugees and commonsense gun control, the lone Republican Howze made his differing opinions known, stating law-abiding gun owners should have the right to bear arms and that refugees of “young, fighting age” coming from Syria should be screened.
More differences between all of the candidates came to light when they were asked to name legislation that would most benefit the area.
For Madueño, the daughter of immigrants, immigration reform is her top legislative priority.
“How many people are being adversely affected right now? Knowing that farmers right now in the community, employers in the community, can’t find enough workers…right now our economy is on the brink of suffering some major, major repercussions that we’re not going to be able to repair,” she said. “We also have over 800,000 youth – rising star kids – that should be and need to be allowed in this country.”
Both Zwahlen and Eggman believe that our health care system is in great need of a fix.
“The costs are exorbitant and out of hand for most of us in this room, I’m sure,” Zwahlen said, adding that she would like to see “Medicare for all” turn from a slogan into a reality. “After 40 years in the emergency room, I have seen a lot through my window of the world and I have a heart and have empathy for the patients that I see everyday and their pressing needs.”
Barkley’s first move, if elected, would be to repeal the GOP tax bill, while Harder hopes to work for better-paying jobs in the Valley through investment in infrastructure and Career Technical Education.
“Part of that program is federally-funded and it’s getting zeroed out in the Trump budget,” Harder said. “Those are the sorts of solutions that we need a Congressman who’s going to invest in them, not just somebody focused on creating more tax cuts for a handful of wealthy corporations.”
Howze said that fundamentally, the most important thing that Congress will do next is restructure “entitlements,” like Social Security, to “ensure their longevity.” If elected, he would like to work to see Medicare and Medicaid split completely, with Medicare working at the federal level to cover elderly and Medicaid becoming a state program to cover poor children and the disabled.
“America is headed on a path of bankruptcy whether we like it or not, and no one wants to touch it or talk about it because it’s a political hot potato,” Howze said. “I will.”
Valley Builders Exchange announces three new board members.
VBE announced the appointment of three new board members to the organization, with their terms starting in April.
VBE welcomed Denae Lawrence (Project Manager for JL Bray & Son, Inc.), Nick Leal (Construction Manager for Haggerty Construction Inc) and Jake Lynn (Safety Manager for Ross F. Carroll, Inc).
“VBE is fortunate to have such a diverse group of board members who have the expertise and the passion to help us reach our future goals,” the organization said in a news release.
The 2020 changes to the VBE Executive Board are as follows: Kara Leonard, President joined by Delwyn Falk Vice President, and Dimitri Guzman as the Sec-Treasurer.
“Congratulations to each of these board members on their new roles. A huge thank you to our outgoing President Melani Rickett for her leadership and dedication, Melani will now hold the position of Past President,” the organization said.
Valley Builders Exchange was established in 1947 to provide valuable services to the construction industry as a member-based organization. Providing members access to projects statewide as well as updates on current bidding projects and bid results. VBE primarily works in the commercial and industrial industries.
Society for disABILITIES hires new leader
Society for disABILITIES is pleased to announce Cathy Mendoza as their new Executive Director. Mendoza has over 10 years of experience in the non-profit field, most recently serving as the Executive Director for The First Tee of Central Valley. She is active in community service as a member of the Community Hospice Foundation Board of Directors and Modesto Rotary, where she was recently named the “Quiet Rotarian” for service behind the scenes and her “can do” attitude.
“We are pleased that Cathy has joined our team,” said Board Chair Richard O’Brien. “She brings strong qualities that will help us fulfill our mission of service to the disabled community. We look forward to her leadership as we execute our strategic vision over the next few years.”
Since 1947, the Society for disABILITIES has enhanced the quality of life for people with disabilities in the Central Valley. The Society also offers the largest durable medical equipment loan closet in Northern California along with a variety of recreational, social and educational programs.
California Milk Advisory Board announces officers
The newly elected members of the Advisory Board are: David Vander Schaaf, Renae DeJager, Essie Bootsma, Josh Zonneveld, Kirsten Areias, and Tony Louters.
San Joaquin County dairy producer, David Vander Schaaf, has been elected to serve as treasurer to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board, the promotional arm of the state’s dairy farmers.
Vander Schaaf is a fourth-generation dairy farmer at Vander Schaaf Dairy, which was established in 1929. Vander Schaaf joined the family business in partnership with brothers Joey and James, as well as father John Vander Schaaf in 2013. He is a member of the Milk Producers Council.
Dairy producer Renae DeJager of Merced County has been re-elected as Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board.
DeJager and husband Art are owners of 1500-acre Vista Verde Dairy, which was established in 1977 and where they currently milk 3,200 Holsteins. She is an active member of her community and serves a variety of community groups including California Women for AG, Stone Ridge Christian School Board and Cornerstone Community Church in Chowchilla. She previously served on the board for the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board where she traveled extensively to promote dairy in domestic and international markets.
Lakeview dairy producer Essie Bootsma has elected to serve as Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board.
Bootsma milks 2,000 Holsteins with her son Jason at the John Bootsma Dairy that she started with her husband, John, in 1979. She is a member of a variety of community groups, including the Western Riverside Ag Coalition, where she serves as secretary, the Eastern Municipal Water District Advisory Committee and the Eastern Municipal Dairy Water Supply, where she serves as chair. She previously served as Secretary to the CMAB’s Executive Committee.
Fresno County dairy producer Josh Zonneveld has been re-elected to serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board.
Zonneveld and his wife Cassie along with other family members currently milk 8,500 Holsteins at the 7,000-acre Zonneveld Dairies that his grandfather founded in 1968. He joined the family business in 2005. He is a member of the Ag Executive Council for Land O’ Lakes and also serves on the board for the California Dairy Research Foundation.
Dairy producer Kirsten Areias of Los Banos in Merced County, has been re-elected to serve as Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board. Areias has been a dairy producer since 1980 and currently milks 320 Holsteins with husband Dennis at the 360-acre Den-K Holsteins, Inc. She is a member of a variety of industry groups, including Western United Dairyman, serves as an advisor for the California Holstein Association and Merced County Junior Holstein Association, and is a Dairy Bowl Coach.
Dairy producer Megan Silva of Escalon in San Joaquin County has been elected to serve as Secretary to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board. Silva graduated from Cal Poly in 2006 and is a 4th generation dairy farmer. Silva and her husband Johnny Silva, along with her father Frank Rocha, currently milk 2100 Holsteins at the 900-acre Frank N. Rocha Dairy L.P., where she has worked since 2006. The couple started their own dairy, R & S Dairy LLC. in May of last year. She is also extremely passionate about the fitness and wellness industries, and shares these passions through her two businesses in Escalon; EscalonFIT and Wellness by EscalonFIT.
Merced dairy producer Tony Louters has been re-elected to serve as Vice Chairman to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board. Louters and his wife Corinna own T & C Louters Dairy in Merced where they currently milk 600 Holsteins. They have been in business since 2003 and have four children: Alexis, Bryce, Tyler and Breann. Tony is a member of Western United Dairymen.
Oak Valley Community Bank director retires
Oak Valley Bancorp, the bank holding company for Oak Valley Community Bank, announced the retirement of Michael Q. Jones from the Bank and Company’s Boards of Directors, effective May 31.
Jones has served as director of the bank since 2004 and the Bancorp since its formation in 2008. He has been involved in land development and commercial real estate for over 40 years. Jones is a retired Chairman of California Gold Development Corporation and Prudential California Realty in Sonora.
Prior to joining the board, Jones played an instrumental role in helping the bank establish a foothold in the Sonora region. Throughout his directorship, he provided substantial insight regarding land development and commercial real estate growth opportunities in Tuolumne County as well as other parts of the bank’s footprint.
“We are happy for Mike in his retirement. His governance and support through the years is deeply appreciated and we wish him all the best,” stated President and CEO, Chris Courtney.
California’s 2017 walnut acreage is estimated at 400,000 acres, up 10 percent from 2015. Of the total acreage, 335,000 were bearing and 65,000 were non-bearing.
Of the walnut acreage reported, Chandler continues as the leading variety with 121,524 bearing acres, followed by Hartley with 30,172 bearing acres. Chandler also accounted for 59 percent of the non-bearing acreage.
Butte County shows the largest acreage with 16 percent of the total, followed by San Joaquin with 14 percent and Tulare with 10 percent each.
The Pacific Regional Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts an acreage survey of California walnut growers. The purpose of this survey is to provide walnut acreage information on new plantings and removals. It is a continuation of a long series of industry-funded walnut acreage surveys.
The major source of the walnut detailed data was a questionnaire mailed to all walnut growers included in the NASS database. The mailing was made to approximately 4,900 walnut growers in early November. The questionnaire contained previously reported crop, variety, and acreage information preprinted. Producers were asked to update the information with new plantings, removals, and any other corrections; new growers were mailed a blank questionnaire. Producers were given six weeks to respond by mail. A telephone follow-up was then undertaken. Field personnel personally visited large growers who did not respond by mail or telephone.
To arrive at the estimated walnut acreage, the NASS walnut acreage database was compared with pesticide application data maintained by County Agricultural Commissioners and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. In addition, NASS looked at data collected on the Walnut Nursery Sales Reports.
Local weddings on hold amid pandemic BY ANGELINA MARTIN Like most engaged couples, Turlock residents Natasha Anderson and Joseph Silva painstakingly planned every last detail of their upcoming wedding so that their special day would be perfect. The pair thought June 13 would be their anniversary for years to come, but their plans to celebrate […]
Bay Valley Tech is looking to start a tech boom in the 209 region BY SABRA STAFFORD In the agricultural rich Central Valley, Phillip Lan is ready to grow a new crop. It’s not almonds, peaches or the emerging field of cannabis. Lan is looking to produce a crop of coders and in doing so, […]
A look at Stanislaus County BY SABRA STAFFORD Stanislaus County has long been an agricultural powerhouse in the state, country and the world, and while the region remains a global food supplier, county leaders are seeking to bolster the area’s economy by bringing in developing industries that offer new opportunities to the residents. More than […]
Great Wolf sets Aug. 1 opening BY DENNIS WYATT Great Wolf Lodge will open the doors to its $180 million Manteca resort on Saturday, Aug. 1. The 95,000-square-foot indoor waterpark is kept heated at 84 degrees year round. The waterpark will include a variety of body slides, tube slides, raft rides, activity pools, and splash […]
New laws for 2020 address guns, gig economy and more BY ANGELINA MARTIN In the midst of all the top hats, party horns and confetti that helped ring in the New Year, hundreds of new state laws also went into effect in California when the world welcomed 2020. The Legislature’s largely-liberal viewpoint is made apparent […]