Reedley Expodent 12-21-17 e-edition
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Vol. 128, No. 51 | Thursday, December 21, 2017 Reedley (Fresno County) CA 93654 | 50 cents Two new developments to come before council
Planning Commission OKs
action on 2 Reedley projects
By Jon Earnest
The Reedley Planning Commission on Dec. 14 approved action to start the process on a pair of residential developments — one in northwest Reedley and the other in the south- western area — that could bring more than 200 new single-family homes to the city.
The commission unanimously approved
both projects, highlighted by a resolution green-lighting a conditional use permit along with an environmental assessment and tenta- tive subdivision map for the Reed and Aspen project. The development at the northeast cor- ner of the two avenues would mean the con- struction of up to 161 single-family houses.
“It’s a project that we are excited to see,” said Rob Terry, Community Development di- rector. “This is the first larger subdivision to come in to Reedley in almost a decade. We’re excited to present this to the planning commis- sion.”
The other proposed development is the Almond Grove project, located on almost 10 acres between Frankwood and Cyrier avenues to the east and west and Shoemake and Olson avenues to the north and south. The commis- sion gave the go-ahead to an environmental assessment and tentative subdivision map for what would be 45 single-family homes.
Both projects have moved closer to frui- tion because of the July 12 legal settlement between the city and Consolidated Irrigation District. The two sides had been in litigation for three years, with CID threatening lawsuits
against the city for a number of proposed de- velopments.
The settlement, which resulted in Reed- ley paying the district a one-recharge fee of $300,000, meant CID dropped four lawsuits against the city and can take no legal action on future projects until the 2020-21 fiscal year.
The commission’s action now goes to the City Council for final approval. That could come as soon as the council’s next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
See PROJECTS on page A3
code on
Staff Report
The Reedley City Council unanimously has amended word- ing in the city’s municipal code to change the definition of medi- cal and adult use of cannabis, or marijuana, to align with new state law.
The council’s action on Dec. 12 puts the municipal code text in conjunction with the state’s Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
The law was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in June.
The wording in the city’s code changes from “medical or recreational use marijuana and marijuana products from a dis- pensary” to “cannabis, medicinal cannabis, or cannabis products to a customer.”
It also changes “recreation- al” use to “adult” use.
Just before the action, the City Council approved chang- ing the city’s municipal code to amend the definition of smoking and prohibited smoking.
Those changes were to up- date and broaden the definitions of a “tobacco product” to include electronic smoking devices, their parts and accessories and future emerging products that may or may not contain tobacco leaf.
In other matters, the meeting included two workshops.
The first was about the city’s underfunded landscape and light- ing maintenance district zones. The second reviewed Reedley’s current retiree healthcare plan.
City Manager Nicole Zieba said that Reedley has done a good job of fending off increas- ingly soaring healthcare cost hits to its budget, but is not yet out of the woods.
“We need to stay financially prudent with our city’s choices,” she said.
The City Council’s next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.
The council chambers at City Hall, 845 G St.
Wreaths of remembrance
Fourth annual event pays tribute to veterans buried at Reedley Cemetery
By Jon Earnest
Residents and visitors on Dec. 16 offered a Christmas season tribute and remembrance to military vet- erans buried in Reedley Cemetery.
About 200 people — many of them volunteers — attended the fourth annual Wreaths for Reed- ley Veterans event. After a brief mid-morning ceremony, people laid more than 1,400 ribbon-decorated wreaths at gravesites marked with a white star. A growing number of the wreaths were elevated on metal display stands that have been pur- chased with money raised through a Go Fund Me page.
Wreath-laying volunteers in- cluded first-time participants Cathy Warmerdam of Reedley and her friend, Laurie Wong of Kingsburg. The two women worked the north end of the cemetery, placing wreaths at older gravesites. Warmerdam said her son, Steve Warmerdam, was a classmate of Joe F. Lusk II. Lusk died in a 2005 helicopter crash in Kuwait, and his mother, Susan Lusk, is a Gold Star Mom and organizer of the wreath event.
“Susan and I also have connect- ed through Catholic Daughters,” Warmerdam said. “We came out and decided to help. It’s important.”
Wong also has a Reedley connec- tion. Her father, Taro Asami, was a Reedley native who served in the Korean conflict in the early 1950s and now lives in Fresno.
“It’s very touching to see this,” she said.
The two women set wreaths at the base of gravesites, then said a few words of remembrance for each veteran — “thank you for your ser- vice. May you rest in peace.”
It was an act conducted by the dozens of volunteers who laid wreaths throughout the cemetery.
See WREATHS on page A8
ABOVE: From left, Laurie Wong of Kingsburg and Cathy Warmerdam of Reedley say words of ap- preciation while standing over the gravesite of a veteran at the Reedley Cemetery on Dec. 16. Vol- unteers placed about 1,400 wreaths at veterans’ gravesites at the event. The wreaths will remain on display until Saturday, Jan. 6.
RIGHT: Gary Barsoom plays taps during the Dec. 16 Wreaths for Reedley Veterans ceremony at Reedley Cemetery. The fourth annual event dur- ing the Christmas season honors veterans buried at the cemetery.
Photos by Jon Earnest / The Exponent
Gnardog, CYM buy toys for teen moms, children
Mariah Betancourt, left, of Community Youth Ministries on Dec. 15 is seen with Gnardog co-owner Matthew Tuttle next to a tree with donated toys. The toys will go to teen mothers and their children from Reedley, Dinuba and Orange Cove.
Classified - A6-7 Directory - A5 Legals - B7-8
See GNARDOG on page A8
Sports - B4-5 Lights & Sirens - A3 Obituaries - A2-3 Opinion - A4
Jon Earnest / The Exponent
By Jon Earnest
Gnardog Crossfit and Communi- ty Youth Ministries have combined their efforts to bring holiday happi- ness to 17 teenage mothers and their children in three local cities.
The gym in downtown Reedley is putting on its third Christmas holiday fundraiser since opening in 2015. One of the gym’s members, Mariah Betancourt, works part-time for Community Youth Ministries in downtown Reedley. She serves as director for the organization’s Teen Moms program helping serve teen mothers in Reedley, Orange Cove and Dinuba.
Betancourt suggested helping her program to Gnardog co-owner Matthew Tuttle. The gym previous-
ly assisted a family displaced from their home by a fire in 2015 and then helped a single mother out in 2016.
“Matt had mentioned that they were looking for a family,” Betan- court said. “I asked him ‘How about 17 families?’ Because we have all the girls with this need.
“I’m a new member here but the atmosphere is so welcoming, caring and supportive. I feel like I married my two passions together.”
Tuttle and Betancourt said the gym expects to have 70 to 80 toys to give out, basically two each for ev- ery mother and child. Gifts will be passed out at am open house gather- ing in the gym on Saturday, Dec. 23.
Tuttle said the gym hung gift tags on the gym’s Christmas tree
Exponent office
closed on Dec. 25
The business office of The Exponent will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25, in observance of Christmas.
There will be early dead- lines this week. Classified liner ads and legal notices are due by 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 21. Regular and classified display ads are due at noon on Thurs- day, Dec. 21
The office will reopen for business at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26. The Exponent office also will be closed on New Year’s Day on Monday, Jan. 1.

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