||College science building
in the works
Rapid progress is being made on the addition of a science building for the Oakhurst College Center.
Richard Hoffman, center coordinator, said this week that work ought to be completed by the end of July, making the facility ready for the fall semester.
Dr. Hoffman told the center’s advisory committee at its Tuesday meeting that the science facility will likely cause more Eastern Madera County students to also utilize the Oakhurst Center — students who now must travel to out-of-area college campuses to complete required science credits. While at those locations, it is more convenient for students to also take other classes, rather than dividing the day here and there.
“This will have a direct relationship with growth of the center,” Dr. Hoffman believes.
There are nearly 500 students enrolled at the Oakhurst Center, part of the State Center Community College District.
Don Yeager, the new vice chancellor in charge of centers at Oakhurst, Madera and Clovis, also participated in this week’s discussion with the advisory board that includes a group of Eastern Madera County residents. Bank official Kathy Craw chairs the committee.
Discussion also included a review of the hospitality management course offered through the Oakhurst Center for students employed in hotel-motel, food-service and tourism and travel courses. Dr. Hoffman hopes to find more interest in the course, an offering he says provides “a good major.” Six or seven students are currently enrolled.
The College Center is located along Civic Circle Drive in Oakhurst.
Forest revenue-sharing plan awaits Senate
Legislation before Congress that would restore some of the funds counties have lost because logging has decreased in national forests is crucial for Madera County.
That’s the view of Supervisor Gary Gilbert [District 5-Mountain Area], who was in Washington, D.C. as part of the Natural Resources Committee of the National Association of Counties.
Mr. Gilbert and others on the committee literally went door-to-door, explaining the merits they see in the bill to all 100 U.S. senators or key aides.
Here’s the background:
A 1908 law provided that 25% of the revenues from national forests would be shared with counties that include forests, such as Sierra National Forest as part of Madera County.
Those funds were to be shared between county government and schools, since the land within the forests were not subject to taxation.
In the early 1990s, timber sales were more than 13 million board-feet from national forests across the country — a figure that has dropped to below 3 billion board-feet.
The Clinton Administration is blamed for the decline, along with environmental groups insisting on tougher controls on timber harvesting.