Page 8 - Dinuba Sentinel 10-25-18 E-edition
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A8 | Thursday, October 25, 2018
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sites to allow more people from throughout the community to attend the meetings.
“It’s a small town,” said Rojas. “But you’d be amazed how easy it is for some people to get to Wilson School but not be able to go across town.”
Though Rojas says he is comfortable with the way the city is growing, he also said he would like to see more affordable housing and more companies coming to town that pay good wages.
“I’ve lived here for a long time,” said Rojas. “I don’t plan to move. My kids are here. My grandkids are here. I want to be part of that process that creates opportunities for the city to grow.”
District 3
This is the ward that will be vacated by current Dinuba City Mayor Scott Harness. The district is the northeast ward of the city and, demographically, may be Dinuba’s most diverse district. It extends north from East Park Way to East Nebraska Avenue and includes the area west of North Sycamore Avenue and North Eaton Drive, north of East Saginaw Avenue. It shares the neighborhood north of East Davis Drive with District 5.
Running in this district are Armando Longoria and Sal Medina, Jr.
Armando Longoria – Could a third time be a charm? This is Longoria’s third time running for Dinuba City Council. He ran in previous races against former Dinuba City Mayor Mark Wallace and current Dinuba City Mayor Scott Harness.
Longoria is also a lifelong resident of Dinuba and has run a Karate Dojo for the past 36 years. Many of those years were spent here in Dinuba, where he gave classes on North Alta Avenue. However, when the rent on the building he was renting climbed from $900 to $2,500 it forced him to relocate. He now instructs out of Reedley.
Though he received the majority of his education in Dinuba, he actually graduated from Parlier High School in 1991 after returning to school to finish his education.
“Before I got married my wife told me to finish my education,” said Longoria. “It was the greatest feeling ever to graduate on stage.”
Longoria credits Measure F with getting him involved in the community. He noticed a need for more police in his neighborhood and pressed then Police Chief Jimmy Olvera for more officers. Measure F allowed him to get behind something he felt passionate about.
In his first run for office, he lost to Mark Wallace. The loss, Longoria said, was a learning experience.
“Mark actually helped point
me in the right direction,” said Longoria of his first campaign.
It was Wallace who recommended that Longoria enroll in Leadership Northern Tulare County. After completing the program, he said the biggest things he learned was how to better communicate and organize.
“When we first stated we were all like chickens with their heads cut off,” said Longoria. “But in the end, even though we had our differences, it all came together.”
He has served on the Police Advisory Commission, LNTC and is a member of Knights of Columbus. Longoria has the endorsement of the Dinuba Police Department.
He takes pride in having grown throughout his life, learning from both mistakes and success.
“When I first started I was very green,” said Longoria. “But now I think I’m a good candidate.”
Public safety in his district is Longoria’s biggest concern. He also thinks there needs to be something done to alleviate the traffic congestion around 8 a.m. at the now four-way stop at Crawford and Saginaw.
Sal Medina Jr. – Medina is the youngest candidate running for Dinuba City Council. Also a businessman, Medina manages The Island, and event center in the east side of town, also in District 3.
He graduated from Dinuba High School in 2006 and helped open the Island in 2008.
He has served on numerous boards in the community, including the Dinuba Police Advisory Board, Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Relay for Life. He is also a member of the Dinuba Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.
Some of Medina's most pressing concerns for his district and town are the revitalization of the Merchantile Row on the east side and increasing foot traffic in downtown.
Medina said he chose to run to further serve his community. "Having a business in Dinuba gives him an edge to help bring new business to town," said Medina.
District 4
By area, this is the largest district in Dinuba. It covers the western portion of the city and includes everything west of Alta Avenue and south of West Nebraska Avenue. It is also the fastest growing district with two housing developments in the area, including the new Woodside Homes at Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Course.
Running in District 4 are incumbent Dr. Kuldip Thusu, the city’s current Vice-Mayor, and challenger Tish Perez.
Dr. Kuldip Thusu – This is also Thusu’s first reelection campaign.
Thusu was born in Kashmir,
India. He lived there until he was 17 years old, studying in Punjab. Then in November of 1990 terrorists began slaughtering his fellow countrymen, killing half a million Indians.
“We ran away in one night,” said Thusu of his exodus.
He moved to Punjab, where he met his wife. It was his wife’s medical career that brought them to the United States. They first lived in Buffalo, New York, while his wife did her residency. However, her visa would only allow her to stay in the United States for her training, unless she went on to work in a health field that served adverse areas. That brought them to Dinuba in 1996.
Since, Thusu has been very involved with the community, serving as the CEO for Alta Family Health Care and giving back to the community he says has a special place in his heart.
“It’s not only about falling in love with the city,” said Thusu. “I was running away from trauma and this place gave me a refuge.”
He has lived in Dinuba for over 20 years of his life, the longest he has lived anywhere. He speaks seven languages and says he would like to learn Spanish as well.
Thusu went into politics after a business transaction went bad with the city of Dinuba. According to Thusu, before taking office in 2014 he leased the Dinuba Vocational Building with the understanding that the city would sell him the property after 60 days.
Thusu argues that when the city negated on the purchase end of the deal the lease agreement became null and void. After being sued by the city for the remainder of the lease, a sum of around $1.3 million, a jury agreed with Thusu and also found the lease agreement null and void.
However, because there was a guarantee clause in the lease agreement, Thusu was held liable for that portion ($47,000), but was considered the prevailing party in the case. An appeals panel for the city’s attorney’s fees was ruled 2-1 in favor of the city, making him also accountable for approximately $100,000 in attorney fees.
The case pushed Thusu to get involved with city politics because he felt he was unfairly persecuted by the city, especially considering he had done much in the way of contributing to the city, like bailing out the Hospital for bankruptcy, paying off the remaining $10,000 of Dinuba’s Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall, and many other contributions to both the schools and community.
Even the recent acquisition of Alta Family Health Care, according to Thusu, was done for the benefit of the city. The change not only guaranteed everyone
working there a job, but also was able to provide three to four additional physicians to better serve Dinuba.
He currently serves as the Vice Mayor of Dinuba.
Tish Perez – Perez as born and raised in Dinuba and graduated from Dinuba High School in 1976. While attending Reedley College, she worked for Producers Dairy as the office manager. After a few years working for Producers she moved to the Los Angeles area where she worked for a commercial insurance company.
Though she enjoyed the work and the company she worked for, the traffic was a little too much for her liking and she returned home to pursue a career in cosmetology. She has been a self-employed beautician in Dinuba for more than 30 years.
Working at the same salon for over 20 years, Perez said she has met a lot of people from throughout the community. Her volunteer work began at Grand View Elementary School, where her daughter, who is now 24, went to school. She also volunteered for over 10 years with Relay for Life and now spends time volunteering at her church and Open Gate Ministries.
“I really like volunteering,” said Perez. “It’s a big deal to me. I think more people should do it.”
Her spirit for volunteering comes from her passion for her city.
“This is not a political stepping stone for me,” she explained. “I just want to do this for our city.”
Perez said she feels there are several issues that concern her in District 4, like speeding vehicles in residential areas, but says the biggest issue is the influx of transients in the area. Particularly, an increasing number of transients who gather at Dickey Park are what concern her the most.
“That’s a drop of zone for school kids,” Perez stressed. “And they don’t have any business being there.”
She said the transient issue would garner her biggest attention if elected. As for speeding vehicles, Perez feels the solution could be as simple as posting more speed limit signs in residential areas. One intersection that Perez feels could use some attention is the one at North Alta and Lindara avenues.
“A lot of kids cross the street there,” said Perez. “If we can’t put a signal light there then maybe we could put a pedestrian crosswalk with blinking lights.”
As a city as a whole, Perez said she would like to see the downtown area rejuvenated and see more development on the east side of town.
“I just want to help contributed to the future of Dinuba,” said Perez.
Photo contributed
Dinuba High FFA's Steven Jimenez and his prize winning steer.
Continued from Page A5
face lamb market class Dafne Pamplona-Quiroz placed in 5th, Liz Bonds placed 4th, Jamison Bonds placed 5th, Jesus Gutierrez placed 4th, Brandon Avilez placed 3rd, Felicity Hajjaj placed 1st place, and Caleb Barba’s lamb was the Champion Commercial Crossbred lamb. When asked about her experience, junior Dafne Pamplona-Quiroz responded, “Fair, was a very fun experience. I got to see people giving their best and maintaining their animal over the past months. I grew close with my lamb, Melody. In this project I made new friends, had the chance to be in an environment where kids love showing animals, and I felt we grew closer to the FFA as a family.”
For the blackface cross sheep showmanship, Amaya Carillo’s lamb placed 7th, Guadalupe Brito placed 8th, Vanessa Avendano placed 10th, Gloria Martinez placed 10th, Darlene Cuellar placed 12th, Ricardo Diaz placed 12th, Jesus Aguilera placed in 12, Ulices Alvarado placed 13th, Jocelyn Ochoa placed 10th place, and Chase Demasters was 4th.
As for the market show for pigs, Lucero Villagomez placed 4th in the Yorkshire class and Nate Martin placed 5th in his Berkshire class, moving into the Crossbred market classes, Shania Cardenas placed 10th, Adriana Ledesma placed 6th, and Roma Gallardo placed 5th place. The Showmanship for hogs in the Novice division resulted with Adriana placing 7th overall and Lucero placing 5th overall. Lucero says, “The fair was great. It was stressful, but I’m glad I got to experience it. I got the opportunity to raise a pig and present it. This was my first time and I can’t wait for next year!”
In the beef showring was exhibitor, Steven Jimenez. He placed in 3rd in the Colored class and placed 8th overall in Experienced beef showmanship. When asked about the fair, Junior classmen Steven responded, “It was a great experience, I learned how to maintain cattle. This was my first time, I got reserved grand champion carcass. This sparked a motivation to never give up for next year’s steer project.”
For breeding and market goats it was a great second year. Melissa Corona placed 2nd in her breeding doe class and made it to the final drive in goat showmanship. In this final round, she placed 6th overall in the Novice Division. Melissa also exhibited a market goat in which her goat placed 3rd in its class. Our second exhibitor, Angelica Mondragon’s goat ranked 5th in its market class. Angelica also advanced to the final drive in which she earned 5th overall in showmanship.
The Tulare County Fair is not all about animals, for the first time ever, Dinuba FFA participated
in the Student Landscape plots. Two teams from the Ornamental Horticulture class took part in this new event. The first team included Itzel Carbajal, Jose Flores, and Marlyn Carbajal. The second team consisted of Arely Ruiz, Marlen Perez, Brandon Avilez, and Jocelyn Ochoa. Competitors began to research ideas plot designs and what materials were needed.
Watson’s Nursery and Landscape in Reedley played a big role in helping students in this process as they provided advice, materials, and tips that these students took with them to the fairgrounds. At the nursery, Rhonda Watson gave suggestions that challenged students to critically evaluate their landscapes as a landscape contractor would. After teams laid out their designs and mapped out their plants, they were able to use plants borrowed from Watson’s Nursery, and additional materials that were purchased, to set up final designs.
On Saturday September 8th, two days before the Tulare Fair started, both teams went to the fairgrounds to set up. Member, Itzel Carbajal shared “I honestly really enjoyed participating in the landscape plots because it gave me a hands-on experience with plants. This opportunity made me want to explore more of the horticulture careers like Landscape Architecture. This project was not at all easy. I would get really frustrated, but the overall outcome was so worth it.” With the first year competing in this division, Dinuba FFA’s landscape plots finished 2nd and 3rd overall.
Talking about plants, we also had two students for the first time in the Dinuba FFA enter their own homegrown plants into the Tulare County Fair. Itzel Carbajal entered 5 different plants into separate categories, receiving 1st place wins in every category. Marlyn Carbajal also entered one plant and also won 1st place for her category. Itzel Carbajal stated “We certainly left that day with our heads held high as we took a chance entering our plants not knowing what we were going to leave with, but in the end I think it was worth it. I will definitely be entering plants next year again.”
The Dinuba FFA exhibitors gained a lot of experience that they brought back from the fair. They made countless memories that will be forever cherished. In addition, students learned time management, responsibility, plant and animal care, marketing, project exhibition, all while having fun and earning money to reinvest into next year’s project or to pay for educational expenses. Dinuba FFA is very proud of all of the students who participated and look forward to another successful fair next year.
Sandra Williams
Cutler-Orosi JUSD School Board
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