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December 28, 2016

Sonora High announces candidate for business chief



By GIUSEPPE RICAPITO The Union Democrat Dana Vaccarezza, business manager at the Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency, has been offered the position of chief business official of the Sonora Union School District, according to the agenda for a meeting scheduled for Jan. 3. Former CBO Kim Burr retired on Dec. 15. Vaccarezza and Superintendent Pat Chabot could not be reached


for comment.


According to a Organizational Chart from the Tuolumne County Community Resources Agency 2014 annual report, in her

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current position Vaccarezza has supervised at least eight employees, two from the Business Division and six from Fleet Services. In that position, her division was tasked with performing ?accounting and financial functions? to around ?to 81 CRA




across 12 divisions representing eight separate county budget units.? For the fiscal year 2012-13, the


CRA reported almost $11.6 million in revenue and

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more than $12.9 in total expenditures. For the fiscal year 2013-14, the CRA reported about $12 million in


revenue and

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$13.2 million in total expenditures. In the previous meeting on Dec. 20, Chief Business Officer candidate Kevin Edwards,

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who works for a school district near Fresno, opted to turn down the position


after reviewing the compensation package for the

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job. As an incentive to Edwards, the Board


offered a $1,874 master?s degree stipend to


certificated salaries. According to the agenda for the upcoming meeting, there is no financial incentive

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included with the hiring of Vaccarezza.

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The board did not consider the two agenda items regarding the stipend or Edwards? hiring during the meeting, as they received

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word just prior to the meeting that he would not take the position.

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?Hopefully at our next board meeting we will be able to bring someone forward,? said Superintendent Pat Chabot at the conclusion of the Dec. 20 meeting.

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The new chief business officer will help

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guide the district through a fiscal recovery plan that will include more than $1 million in cuts in the coming years, largely



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layoffs of teachers and support personnel. Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588- 4526 or Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.

Calaveras County

By JASON COWAN The Union Democrat The Calaveras County Planning Commission denied an appeal for a cannabis cultivation operation at the old airport in San Andreas that was the subject of an October raid during which authorities confiscated 2.5 tons of marijuana. The appeal, heard at a recent commission meeting, upheld a recommendation by the Calaveras County Planning Department, which denied the application for a 10,000-square-foot grow in early November, just days after the incident. As reasons for the denial, the department cited insufficient evidence of cultivation activity prior to the May deadline, code violations in state and federal sectors and false or misleading information. The cultivation site at the airport has been highly scrutinized between law enforcement and the cultivators

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Columbia State Historic Park Ranger Jeff Davis will guide a half-mile walk on the Karen Bakerville Smith Memorial Trail New Year?s Day

involved since the raid. The grower has been accused of employing undocumented workers, while the grower claimed the seizure was illegal and the operation was legitimate. During the meeting the location was identified as a hangar divided up into units A, B and C and leased on May 1 from Smith Thompson Property Holdings of Washington to Ralph Calderon, of Mountain Farms Inc. in San Andreas. Calderon declined to comment Tuesday. According to archived video footage of the meeting, Calderon said he spent time prior to and after the May cut-off date renovating infrastructure at the site to prepare for indoor cannabis cultivation. He said it constituted an intention to cultivate. Calaveras County Planning Director Peter Maurer disagreed. He said because no evi- Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat Mark Zee and Amy Smith, both of Oakland (top steps), came to the Old Columbia Schoolhouse Tuesday with their friends Avery, age 4, and her parents, Zoya and Nathan.


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airport cannabis appeal

See APPEAL / Back Page By GUY McCARTHY The Union Democrat


Zee and Amy Smith came with friends from Oakland to the Old Columbia Schoolhouse on Tuesday. They wanted to see the 156-year-old building that?s billed as California?s first two-story brick schoolhouse. State parks staff say the school was built in 1860 of locally made, sun-dried bricks at a cost of $5,000. Historians say the school opened in November 1860 with 368 students, two teachers and a principal. ?She and I have been here to Columbia many times,? Zee said Tuesday afternoon under a clear blue sky outside the red brick building. ?It?s amazing.? Inside the schoolhouse on display are wooden desks with inkwells, slate blackboards, teaching tools like flash cards, books and maps, and a dunce cap. There are also two wood-burning stoves, which the boys used to keep supplied with wood. State parks staff say children in the school either roasted or froze each winter, depending on where they sat in proximity to the stoves. Zee and Smith showed their friends Nathan, Zoya and their 4-year-old daughter, Avery, inside the old schoolhouse classroom area. Outside, Zoya said it was Avery?s idea to come. ?She really wanted to see it because she?s in preschool now,? Zoya said. ?It?s awesome. I love the old desks. The whole town here is pretty amazing.? Staff at Columbia State Historic Park this week want people to know about a half-mile walk planned this Sunday that begins and ends near the old schoolhouse. See HIKE / Back Page Calaveras County Sheriff Rick DiBasilio inspects a bag of marijuana bud during an October bust near San Andreas. File photo / Union Democrat Reach us online at Business......................................B1 Obituaries....................................A3


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Comics.........................................C4 Sports..........................................C1 Page AA4 Crime...........................................A3 TV..............................................AA4 Today: High 57, Low 36 Thursday: High 63, Low 39 Friday: High 57, Low 34 I care for you like I care for my nephew. As a laboratory assistant I understand my patients may be scared and uncomfortable coming in to have their blood drawn and I make every effort to calm them and make sure their experience is positive and they are leaving with a smile. I care for you like family. Heather Bayless, Lab Assistant Clinical Laboratory Heather?s Nephew 1000 Greenley Road, Sonora 172752 122816

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