Gary Girard

Gary Girard.

“Christmas Around the World” is the theme of the annual Delano Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade which is scheduled the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The chamber is still determining if the start time will be moved up or left at 6 p.m.

Entry forms will soon be available at the chamber office for the parade.


“Trunk or Treat Celebration” is the title of the Monday, Oct. 29, Halloween program sponsored by the Delano Police and Recreation departments.

The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Park at 925 Ellington St.

There will be candy, games, contests and prizes.

Costume contest times are 4:15 p.m., infants and toddlers; 4:30 p.m., pre-kindergarten; 4:45 p.m., first through third grades; 5 p.m., fourth through sixth grades; 5:15 p.m., seventh and eight grades; 5:30 p.m., high school; 5:45 p.m., adults; and 6 p.m., pets.

For more information regarding vendor registration and donations, call Rosa Lugo at 661-721-3335, ext. 2606.


The Delano City Council has selected JKA Architecture to provide architectural and engineering design services for the development of a master plan and schematic design of the proposed Delano Regional Aquatic Center at the 11th Avenue Community Center campus.

Recommendations for the facility were made in response to the need for community facilities, particularly those targeted to youth, to support neighborhood revitalization efforts and to provide needed services to the community.

The city plans to develop an aquatic center and park, a public facility that would include a lap pool, a recreational pool, a slide and a park jogging trail.

The facilities would be at the regional aquatic center and park on a city owned, five-acre site at 200 W. 11th Ave.

The project in total is estimated at $9 million. The breakdown is $1.3 million for site work, $1.7 million for a lap pool, $2.8 million for the recreational pool, $500,000 for a slide, and $2.7 million for the buildings.

City staff requested that the current budget be amended for the account, increasing the budget from $5 million to $9 million, funding the subject task order from the current tax measure. Staff is applying for a parks grant to fund $8 million.

The city is to receive a $2.5 million grant and hopes to gain another grant before the city takes the remaining costs from its general fund.

The pool will not be of the type that could handle competitive swim meets. One city source said that adapting plans to include a competitive pool would add a great expense and is not in line with the needs detailed by a survey of people in the community.


At Delano High School, instructor Eden Gabriel is the September recipient for “Teacher of the Month” award instituted this school year.

She receives a plaque and a special one-month reserved parking place for being selected for the honor, said Principal Rene Ayon.


Recently, I received a call from Jeanne Yonaki that the Japanese Community of Delano was disbanding and that the remaining two members were looking for a group deserving of the final portion of the club treasury.

For many years the group was a sponsor of the Delano Sports Dinner and at one time funded a youth baseball team in addition to giving scholarships.

“We are down to just two members now,” said Mrs. Yonaki. The other member is Takashi Kono, a gentleman who was one year ahead of me at Delano High School and one I used to track down at lunch time to help me with my math and science classwork.


At the Harvest Holidays Junior Livestock awards luncheon at the Delano High cafeteria, I was waiting near the cafeteria wall to take photos at the end of the awards when a young lady next to met said my name.

I did not recognize her, even when she mentioned that she had graduated a certain year and told of several former cheerleaders whose names I recognized.

When I asked her name, she said in high school it was Maria Herrera, and then I finally recalled that she had been a freshman cheerleader at DHS. I asked her why she did not try out after that and was told she moved into the theater arts area, something she could not do nowadays because there is no drama offered in the district.

I did make some “points” with Maria when I recalled that she lived on Jefferson Street. She has stepped in to help out the McFarland High FFA and from the tears I spotted she appreciated their appreciation of her services.


Recently I asked Delano High Principal Rene Ayon and athletic director, Albino Duran, if there was any plan for Delano High to exit the East Yosemite League in athletics.

Ayon informed me that this is the first of a four-year cycle and that any realignment of leagues would not come up for another two years.

“Nobody wants our spot in the EYL,” Ayon said.

Once jokingly called the Easy Yosemite League, the EYL in recent years has had football powers in Tulare Union and Tulare Western and this year, five of the league schools had winning records entering league football play and even Porterville was ranked 16th among the some 100 central section schools. After non-league action the EYL schools in football were 13-1 versus West Yosemite League schools.

Ayon said that Dinuba was a school contacted, but that they were not interested in moving from the Sequoia League, even though Dinuba has an enrollment approaching 2,000.

Neither Ayon nor Duran saw the South Sequoia League as wanting to expand to eight schools.

When Bakersfield Christian exited the SSL to be in a Bakersfield league, McFarland stepped in. Taft is one of the far-off schools but has the league’s smallest enrollment but no prospect of joining any other league in the approximate area.

My suggestion is that Arvin be encouraged to move into a Bakersfield league with maybe Mira Monte, Foothill, Highland and North. Arvin would be similar in its athletic capabilities and much closer to that area for travel than the SSL.

Within the last year the figures for enrollment of EYL schools were Tulare Western, 2,073; Monache 1,969; Porterville 1,925; Tulare Union 1,675; Mission Oak 1,550; and Delano 1,415. That Delano figure is now at 1,390.

When Cesar Chavez and Robert F. Kennedy high schools opened, they were in the EYL but after the 2011 football season, Chavez and Kennedy both left the EYL to join the SSL.

Even in the SSL, Delano would be in the middle of the pack in the enrollment category.

At last report Arvin had 2,629 students; Wasco 1,800; Shafter 1,648; Cesar Chavez 1,515; Kennedy 1,240; Taft 954; and McFarland 929. IF Delano were admitted to the league, DHS would be between Chavez and Kennedy in enrollment.

When Kennedy became the third high school in the district, it was projected that each of the three high schools in Delano would have something like 1,425. That growth has not occurred, and a sizeable number of students have moved to Wonderful Prep Academy in Delano.

In varsity football, starting in the fall of 2012, Delano High has had a combined varsity football record of 6 wins and 24 losses in the EYL. With the strength of the EYL this season, it is possible that Delano could close the season with an 0-5 record or a record over seven years of 6-29.

In the EYL, Delano has been strongly encouraged to field a swim team as well as a water polo team. Delano has had a swim team but one that is unable to compete successfully with EYL schools since there is no summer or year-round swim program in Delano.

Delano tennis boys have been league champs one year and co-champs another, but the girls’ team has not been successful as a team. DHS is also void of championships and even high EYL standing positions in boys or girls golf, boys or girls basketball, boys or girls soccer, wrestling, baseball, softball, track and volleyball. Even in the SSL, the Delano teams would have to be at their best in order to compete with SSL schools which are supposedly slightly weaker than the EYL schools.

Hopefully when the matter comes before the CIF again, the CIF will do what’s best for Delano High rather than “plug” them back in to the EYL or another league needing another school to fill a slot.


One of the many TV advertisements that I have viewed recently was of a candidate for the state Senate. The candidate had about six excellent ideas in what needed to be done. Unfortunately, every single idea would cost big bucks, and she never mentioned how that idea could be funded.

There are so many election fliers coming out that my garbage can is filled every day. It must be great for the printing business, but I wonder how many people even read these fliers.

It irks me every time I hear of the NEED and PLAN for registering more voters and making it easier for them to vote.

Most have not registered because they have no interest in voting. When they do register, most have done no “homework” to learn about candidates or measures. All that has been created is an uniformed electorate that makes important decisions with no solid basis on which to vote.

With the voting age 21, I asked a high school class of seniors one day — ages 17 and 18 — who certain government officials were, and none knew the names of the two U.S. senators from California and only one knew the governor of California by name!

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.