Community News for 12/26/13 edition of the Sierra Star

December 23, 2013 

California population hits 38.2 million

California's population grew by 332,000 people between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, bringing the total population to more than 38.2 million, according to a report recently released by the Department of Finance.

Ten rural counties experienced natural decrease (more deaths than births during the year), including Nevada, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Lake, Plumas, Modoc, Trinity, Sierra, and Siskiyou.

Madera County's population grew .48% from 151,329 to 152,049. Mariposa County saw a 1.18% reduction in population from 18,195 to 17,981. Fresno County's population grew .76% from 932,392 to 939,447.

The five most populated counties in the state are Los Angeles (10 million), San Diego (3.2 million), Orange (3.1), Riverside (2.3 million), and San Bernardino (2.1 million).

The full report can be seen at dof.ca.gov. click on "state responsibilities" at top of page — click on "research" — click on "Demographic Research" — "What's New," go to Dec. 12, "Population Estimates."


Edward Jones ranks No. 1 in national survey

For the 19th time, the financial-services firm Edward Jones ranked No. 1 in the WealthManagement.com./ REP. magazine annual survey of the nation's six largest financial services firms, according to Darren W. Stearns, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Oakhurst.

Edward Jones' overall score was 9.5 out of 10 possible points. The firm scored top marks across the board, earning near perfect scores in overall ethics (9.8) and public image (9.7), according to WealthManagment.com.

Edward Jones financial advisors gave the firm some of the highest scores in the technology and training category, scoring high above the other five firms in every sub-category which includes the quality of technology, clarity and online access of client account statements and ongoing training.

"This honor is a testament to the enduring strength of our firm values, our trade-offs and our partnership," Stearns said. "We are guided by a clear mission to serve the serious, long-term individual investor and to provide the best career-long opportunity for financial advisors who take pride in their work and appreciate the importance of the work we do."

For more information about Edward Jones, please contact Darren W Stearns, Edward Jones in Oakhurst, located at 49063 Road 426 Suite B, at (559) 642-4513 or visit www.edwardjones.com.


Sheriff candidate gets endorsement

Greg Noll, candidate for Madera County Sheriff, has received the endorsement of the Fresno Police Officers' Association.

In October, representatives from the Fresno Police Officers' Association attended a candidate's night in Madera. The candidate's night was videotaped and distributed to members of the Fresno Police Officers' Political Action Committee for review. Once the video was reviewed, the PAC committee unanimously chose to endorse Noll for Madera County Sheriff.

The association's endorsement represents more than 1,000 police officers, both active and retired, with many of its membership living in Madera County.


Ayala named to advisory board

Joseph I. Castro, California State University, Fresno, president, has announced the appointment of Nancy Ayala to the University Advisory Board, a panel of community members who provide him advice regarding the improvement and development of the university.

Ayala is the tribal council chairwoman of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians.

"I am pleased and honored that Ms. Ayala has agreed to serve on the University Advisory Board," Castro said. "She will bring a unique and valuable perspective."


New Year's Day horse-ride

The 2014 California Backcountry Horsemen's Sierra Freepackers New Year's Day Ride, hosted by trail boss Cathy Miller, will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Hensley Lake. Those interested are asked to meet at 10 a.m. at the Buck Ridge parking area. The ride will be for about two-and-1/2 hours, with a potluck lunch following.

The ride is open to members only and membership applications will be available at the ride.

Please RSVP by Sunday, Dec. 29, to Cathy Miller, mlrmob10@gmail.com.

Details: Linda Sadler, (559) 760-7718, sadlergraphics@sti.net, bchcalifornia.org.


Supervisors pass on salary increase

In light of the sacrifices made by county employees during difficult fiscal times, the Madera County Board of Supervisors will forego an automatic 1.4% salary increase.

The automatic increase stems from county policy that ties the Supervisors' salaries to those of state Superior Court Judges. Last month, the Judicial Council of California announced that judges would receive the 1.4% salary increase, effective July 1, 2013.

"Our board has an obligation to lead by example," said Supervisor Max Rodriguez, Chairman of the Board. "Finances remain tight and it's simply not the right time."

The five members of the board of supervisors currently receive an annual salary of $71,515. If the board elected to take the automatic increase, their annual salary would have been $72,516.

Rodriguez said foregoing the increase is not only a fiscally-prudent decision by the board, but an act of appreciation for Madera County employees who have made numerous concessions to keep the county solvent.

"Challenging budget cycles over the years have resulted in no cost-of-living increases for county employees, as well as a three-and ½ year furlough program," Rodriguez said. "I am hopeful that things will turn around in the future, but until then, our board remains committed to making the same sacrifices as our staff."

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