Lewis Griswold

Farmersville is finally getting a library. Here’s how the city did it

A new library will open in the Farmersville Community Center.
A new library will open in the Farmersville Community Center. City of Farmersville

Farmersville is about to open a public library after several years without one.

Using money from a federal Community Development Block Grant, the city is contracting with the Tulare County Library for a librarian. Last week, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors agreed to the plan.

For Farmersville, population 11,000 and largely Latino, it’s a welcome development.

“Everybody is very excited,” said city manager John Jansons. “They’ve been waiting for a long time.”

The city is budgeting $90,000 over three years from the $1.4 million grant. How the library will be funded after the grant runs out still must be determined.

The library will be in the Farmersville Community Center at 623 N. Avery St. in central Farmersville. It will be open three days a week in the afternoons, with days and hours to be established.

A grand opening is planned for April 22.

Rare national park photos

The Tulare County branch library in Visalia is showing a new exhibit of rarely seen photos from the Annie R. Mitchell History Room.

Titled “Sierra Splendor,” the exhibit showcases Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks.

The photos were chosen by librarian Jonathan Waltmire. One notable photo shows John Muir in August 1902 during a Sierra Club trip to Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park.

Taken by photographer George David Smith, the photo was reproduced from the original glass negative by local historian Jeff Edwards of Porterville, who donated it to the history room.

Muir spent 10 days with the Sierra Club exploring Kings Canyon, Giant Forest and Mount Whitney.

Other photos in the exhibit show Moro rock, the General Sherman tree, the General Grant tree and Yosemite Valley.

“Sierra Splendor” runs through March on the second floor of the library.

Ticket amnesty ending

The one-time amnesty program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets ends soon – March 31.

Those with unpaid tickets whose fines were due to be paid or had a court date on or before Jan. 1, 2013, are eligible to have their debt reduced by 50 or 80 percent, depending on income, and may have their driver’s license reinstated.

Those currently making payments for unpaid tickets both before and after Jan. 1, 2013, are eligible to have their driver’s license reinstated but are not eligible for a reduction in the amount owed.

Parking tickets, driving under the influence and reckless driving cases are not eligible.

In Tulare County, 6,722 people had participated as of Jan. 31. Of those, 5,354 had their ticket fines reduced, while 1,368 received driver’s license reinstatement.

To apply, Tulare County residents should call the Tulare County Superior Court Collections Division at 559-730-5000 option 1, then option 3, or go to Room G28 at the Visalia courthouse.

In Fresno County, 16,391 people had participated as of Dec. 31. Of those, 13,700 had their fines reduced and 2,691 had their license reinstated.

To apply, Fresno County residents should go to the amnesty window from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the courthouse in Fresno, 1100 Van Ness Ave.

Lewis Griswold covers the news of the South Valley for The Bee: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold