Lewis Griswold

January 25, 2014

Lewis Griswold: Yokohl Ranch project moving, albeit slowly

The controversial Yokohl Ranch Co. "new town" project for scenic Yokohl Valley east of Visalia is coming back to life after disappearing in the recession -- but not as quickly as originally expected.

Dave Bryant, special projects planner at Tulare County, said last weekthat the county recently received word from company officials that a draft environment impact report will be delivered next year instead of early this year.

"They are completing technical studies," Bryant said.

A traffic report, noise studies, air quality estimates, biological studies and water supply assessment are being done, he said.

Much of Yokohl Valley, site of Yokohl cattle ranch, is owned by J.G. Boswell Co.

Unveiled seven years ago, the housing project envisions a 36,000-acre town of 10,000 homes and 30,000 people that would be built in phases over 25 to 30 years.

According to the company, much of the land would remain undeveloped, but environmentalists say development in the foothills would cause loss of habitat and air pollution from cars.

POTTER'S FIELD: Sometimes a family can't afford to bury or cremate a loved one.

In Tulare County, about 30 "indigent" cremations take place yearly at county expense and the ashes are stored for eventual burial.

The family can claim them if they reimburse the county for the $700 cremation cost and a $60 burial permit fee, according to Kingsburg Cemetery District, which is storing 214 boxes of ashes, or cremains.

Every several years, a mass burial takes place at Potter's Field next to Traver Pioneer Cemetery in northern Tulare County.

The next mass burial, the first since 2006, will take place Feb. 26.

Anyone wishing to claim the ashes of a loved one has until Feb. 25 to act, said Supervisor Steve Worthley, whose district includes Traver cemetery.

A memorial service will be held two days later.

"Every person is entitled to a respectful burial," Worthley said.

While plain, the cemetery is kept tidy by a juvenile work program, said county spokesman Jed Chernabaeff.

In response to a grand jury report, Potter's Field now has a bench for family members to rest on while visiting, and a headstone that reads "Here lies the sons and daughters of Tulare County. May they forever rest in peace."

Here's the list of names of those whose ashes will be buried (starting at line 418). Any family member wishing to retrieve ashes should call Tulare County at (559) 624-8313.

SO CAL ED: Bill DeLain, region manager for Southern California Edison in Visalia, Tulare, Tulare County, Shaver Lake and east Fresno County, has a new title and responsibilities.

He is now interim deputy director of local public affairs for the northern region, which includes most of SCE territory north of the Grapevine.

Brian Thoburn, region manager for Hanford, Exeter, Farmersville and Woodlake, is also serving as region manager for Visalia, Tulare and Tulare County.

Cal Rossi, region manager for Porterville, Lindsay, Delano and Kern County, is picking up Shaver Lake and the Fresno County foothills.

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About Lewis Griswold

Lew Griswold

@fb_lewgriswold

A 29-year resident of Visalia, Lewis Griswold is thoroughly in touch with his community. His South Valley columns shed light on the quirky and quaint, the light-hearted and the heart-rending. Contact him with your ideas. Phone: (559) 441-6104. Twitter: @fb_lewgriswold. Email: lgriswold@fresnobee.com

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