The city of Delano is applying for state grant funds to bring a “Magical Bridge Playground” to Delano.

An email from Sumeet Batth-Chavez, city recreation manager, describes the playground as innovative and inclusive.

The suggestion to the Delano City Council came from a Bay Area person who carried out such a project in Palo Alto and is a friend of San Francisco resident Marla Clark, a 1975 Delano High graduate.

The Batth-Chavez email reported, “Our chances for success increase dramatically with a high level of community engagement, and so your voices are very important,” she said of the public.

Delanoans are encouraged to complete a five-minute survey and “join our community input meetings, all of which are virtual except for the Thursday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. meeting at Jefferson Center which is both by Zoom and in-person.”

Zoom-only meetings are scheduled Saturday, Nov.7, at 11 a.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m.

To join online, persons should download the free zoom app and use the link to enter the meeting. To submit questions or comments in advance, persons may email olenka@magicalbridge.org.

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The Delano Community Thanksgiving Luncheon, whose committee is meeting each Wednesday morning to finalize plans, dates back to its start in 1986.

Anthony Martinez Jr., who owns several Kern County locations of Tony’s Firehouse Grill, says his dad, the late Anthony (Tony) Martinez, and former Delano auto dealer Dalip Singh headed the first such Thanksgiving luncheons in Delano.

At the Tony Martinez funeral two summers ago, Singh and Anthony, Jr., came across each other and agreed to reinstate the event, which had a three-year hiatus when sponsors and a location could not be found. “My dad had committed before he died, and I just carried on the plan,” said Martinez Jr., who has already arranged for 50 turkeys in boxes weighing 800 pounds for this year’s luncheon.

Local elementary and high school districts have committed to furnishing much of the meal. Still needed are donations of bottled water and dinner rolls. Delano Community Alliance will furnish pies for the luncheon.

Claribel Gutierrez is arranging for delivery to serve the homeless and senior citizens at pre-determined sites.

Anyone wishing to attend may enter from Glenwood Street off Cecil Avenue next to the Starbuck’s location and head north to Tony’s Firehouse Grill on County Line Road where serving to vehicles will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Persons then can exit in either direction on County Line Road. Martinez said his crew of cooks will be cooking for 800 servings.

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As drive-in St. Mary’s Catholic Church services continue Sundays at the St. Mary’s School site, Rev. Loji Pilones has announced, “The well-attended 7 a.m. ‘drive-in’ Mass is now followed by the 9 a.m. Spanish Mass.

“As we continue to abide with the Center for Disease Control and the Diocesan guidelines in terms of celebrating outdoor Mass with the assembly, our only viable option at St. Mary’s is to celebrate a drive-in Mass at St. Mary’s School grounds where parishioners and families can stay safely inside their cars, listen to the liturgy transmitted to their FM car radio, and receive communion without getting off from their cars. Every Sunday we average 130 cars in attendance. This pandemic that we are all experiencing can’t stop our community’s faith journey. COVID-19 has killed thousands of lives, but it can’t kill our faith.”

Since he made the announcement, he reported at an outdoor Mass that the 5:30 p.m. Saturday Mass at the church would be resumed but following limits of people and other requirements.

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Claribel Gutierrez has been installed as new president of the Delano Kiwanis Club.

Arnold Morrison is the new vice-president with Steve Kinsey the secretary-treasurer. Anthony Lara is immediate past president and directors are Jim Koontz and Dorsey Driggs.

Other members are Suzanne Villaruz, Cindy Kinsey, Colton Kinsey, Ginda Adkins and Dan Madrigal.

Guests and new members are always welcomed, said Claribel, at the noon Friday meetings.

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The Delano Lions Club is also continuing to serve the community.

New president Henrietta Ruiz is aided by Jessie Fragoso, vice-president and treasurer, and Jim Bartleson, secretary.

The organization, which always welcomes new members, meets the third Monday of each month at the General (formerly Perko’s) in Delano at 6 p.m., observing social distancing guidelines and wearing masks when not eating. Persons may join or make dinner reservations by calling 370-6709.

On Oct. 24 the club held a sip and paint event at the Richgrove Memorial Hall.

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Delano Elks Lodge continues its regular Wednesday lunches that may be picked up at the lodge at Cecil Avenue and Glenwood Street, for a $10 fee.

Persons should call ahead to reserve a lunch to Joan Collins at 725-1549, or Anthony (Tonky) Zaninovich, 805-8010. The menu may be seen in advance on the Elks Facebook page.

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Two casualties of the pandemic are the Caricias dress shop on 12th Avenue off of Main Street and another dress shop, I think for young children, that was at the corner of Main and 12th Avenue.

I believe that Sunday, Oct. 18, was the last day that J.C. Penney in Delano was to be open. I drove in the downtown area about noon that day and saw many people in the downtown, and I think all were wearing masks.

I also drove by Kong’s Chinese restaurant, which has been sold and will be replaced, but I have heard it will be a restaurant and before that I heard a rumor that it would become a 99-cent store. Still don’t know which rumor is correct.

Not far off of Girard Street and on County Line Road is the old Kmart building, whose entrance area has become a homeless hangout.

Putting together rumors that I have heard, it may have Filipino food and other items in half the building and a fitness center in the other half. That’s just rumor, so don’t put your money on it!

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I am still hopeful of receiving a phone call from Zaninovich in regard to Elks Lodge news and to learn if there has been a decision made on the Elks Lodge scholarship winner and the December Elks Hoop Shoot.

My phone number for any news tips is 725-8803.

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At the October meeting of the trustees of the Delano Joint Union High School District, several donations were accepted by trustees.

Babe Ruth League baseball gave $1,000 to Cesar Chavez cheerleaders; Wonderful Giving gave $500 to Mrs. Gutierrez’s English class at Cesar Chavez High; and Valley Strong presented $1,000 to Delano High athletics.

The board approved Cynthia Rivera-Martinez as band director and color guard director at Cesar Chavez High for the 2020-21 school year and Jim Beltran as advisor for the school yearbook and newspaper at Valley High. Approved as PE department chairs were Luis Quintanan for boys PE and Roxanne Salinas for girls PE at Robert F. Kennedy High.

The board also approved a resolution in support of the Superintendent’s Interleague Council CIF position statement.