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Whatever appliance repair issue you're stressed over, there's no problem too big or small for our team to handle. At Appliance Service Plus, we offer a total package of quality service, fair prices, friendly customer service, and effective fixes. Unlike some appliance companies in Crows Landing, our technicians are trained rigorously and undergo extensive background checks. We work with all major appliances and are capable of GE appliance repair, Maytag appliance repair, Frigidaire appliance repair, and more.

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Latest News in Crows Landing, CA

Farmer favorite Crows Landing restaurant finds new owners who vow to keep traditions

Monique Costa’s accomplishments for her age keep getting more impressive.She started working at the Farmers’ Den at age 15. She has kept working since then at the popular ag-community restaurant. And now, at age 20, she is the owner of the Crows Landing Road establishment.Costa, and her mother, Evelyn, took over as co-owners of the popular farmers hangout at the start of April. The women previously both worked as staff at the small rural eatery. Then last year, the Green family, which founded the restaurant, asked i...

Monique Costa’s accomplishments for her age keep getting more impressive.

She started working at the Farmers’ Den at age 15. She has kept working since then at the popular ag-community restaurant. And now, at age 20, she is the owner of the Crows Landing Road establishment.

Costa, and her mother, Evelyn, took over as co-owners of the popular farmers hangout at the start of April. The women previously both worked as staff at the small rural eatery. Then last year, the Green family, which founded the restaurant, asked if Costa might be interested in buying the place.

Costa said she had previously spoken with the owner about taking over if he wanted to sell. But the pandemic accelerated the timeline. After coming to an agreement last year, the 2018 Turlock High graduate has been largely managing the day-to-day operation. With the full transfer of ownership this spring, she has made a few small changes and personal touches.

“I love this place. The people who come in here are like family to me,” she said. “I’ve been coming here since I was little. I want this place to feel like home for everyone.”

Costa is determined to keep the restaurant’s traditions alive. That means giving keys to longtime loyal customers who want their coffee before the place opens for the day. Keeping all of the menu items the same, but adding a couple of new dishes. And allowing the farm clientele to keep a tab they have to pay only once a month for their meals.

It’s those little things that have helped turn the roadside restaurant into a fixture for many who live in the area, amid the dairy farms and nut orchards. First opened in 2005 by the Green family, the restaurant has become an oasis for many as it sits kitty-corner from Mountain View Middle School at the intersection of Crows Landing Road and Main Street.

Many of its unique aspects, including giving around half a dozen farmers the keys to the restaurant so they can open at 4:30 a.m. before staff arrives, will continue under the Costas.

The restaurant serves a hearty breakfast and lunch daily, and you can find country classics like chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy, a linguica scramble and a breakfast burrito on its menu. The restaurant also serves around two dozen different burgers and sandwiches. Most items run between $10.99 and $12.99.

Since taking over, Costa has added a couple of items to the menu, including a tri-tip sandwich and pork chops, and started using sunny plastic tablecloths in the 65-person-capacity dining room. Down the road, she might consider extending its hours to include dinner service or expanding the eatery’s Thursday night prime rib and ribeye specials, which will return this month.

Costa and her mother have a long history with the restaurant. Having grown up on a dairy farm, the younger Costa started going to the Farmer’s Den when she was 5 years old, and she regularly stopped by before school to get something to eat or drink. Evelyn Costa, who works as a bus driver for Turlock Unified School District, joined the staff after her daughter, on her recommendation. The elder Costa also has some other restaurant experience, briefly owning a spot in Gustine over a decade ago.

Monique Costa works at the site daily, while her mother helps out during weekends and when school isn’t in session. Besides being a full-time business owner, Costa is studying for her communications degree at nearby California State University, Stanislaus.

Last year, the Costas and the Greens had to contend with the ongoing COVID-19 safety restrictions and shutdowns. The restaurant closed for a while, then pivoted to takeout like so many eateries across the Valley and country.

Since returning to full service and inside dining, Costa estimates a good 85% of their customers have returned. Some, particularly the older regulars, still are wary, she said. Still, she has managed to keep all the same about 10-person staff, including some who have worked there since it first opened. Comparatively, she is one of the relative short-timers at the restaurant, with “newer” servers averaging about eight years at the Den.

But Monique Costa said even though she’s younger and newer than some, she wants to keep the restaurant a stable presence for the rural community.

“Personally, I think if it’s working, don’t change it,” she said. “I hope people see the care we take with this place.”

Farmers’ Den, at 9952 Crows Landing Road, is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. For more information, call 209-669-6541 or visit www.facebook.com/FarmersDenCA.

This story was originally published June 3, 2021 4:00 AM.

Northern California city turns to lasers in attempt to chase off crows

The city of Sunnyvale in Northern California recently employed a secret weapon to shoo away thousands of nesting crows from its popular downtown area: lasers.It appears to be working. The crows are disturbed and dispersed by the intense beam of light.But it turns out the Federal Aviation Administration also doesn’t like lasers.In a recent letter, the FAA reminded city officials that Sunnyvale is located near four airports: Mineta San Jose International, Moffett Field, Palo Alto and San Carlos airports. Planes landi...

The city of Sunnyvale in Northern California recently employed a secret weapon to shoo away thousands of nesting crows from its popular downtown area: lasers.

It appears to be working. The crows are disturbed and dispersed by the intense beam of light.

But it turns out the Federal Aviation Administration also doesn’t like lasers.

In a recent letter, the FAA reminded city officials that Sunnyvale is located near four airports: Mineta San Jose International, Moffett Field, Palo Alto and San Carlos airports. Planes landing and taking off fly at low altitudes near the Silicon Valley community.

“Lasers are an aviation safety hazard to flight crews,” FAA regional administrator Raquel Girvin wrote in a letter last month to city officials. “Lasers may blind a pilot. Our office alone receives approximately one laser complaint daily solely regarding hazards to flight crews.”

City officials said they were aware of the FAA guidelines, and noted that there is only one city employee on crow patrol armed with a single $20 hand-held laser pointer. Each day around dusk, the worker briefly shines a green light into the canopy of trees.

They said the city followed guidelines from the Humane Society of the United States, the Audubon Society of Portland, Ore., and officials in Rochester, Minn., which has a similar crow patrol program. Sunnyvale’s pilot program is slated to end next week, after which time the city will review its success. The FAA in a statement said they will be “closely monitoring for laser-strike reports” from pilots flying around the city over the next few months.

In the last few years, roosting crows have massed in the thousands around Plaza del Sol in Sunnyvale, the city square that houses cafes, restaurants and a few software companies.

Outdoor eating during the pandemic has become the norm, but so have bird droppings fouling sidewalks, Mayor Larry Klein said.

“Crows roosting overnight in trees creates quite a bit of a mess in downtown,” Klein said. “We’ve had to spray wash over the last year and a half: the sidewalks, the parks, the streets downtown.”

Not to mention the cawing.

The city has tried other novel approaches to chasing away the crows. Previously, it installed reflectors and hired a trained falconer to try to banish the birds. Neither of those really did the trick, Klein said. Then came the crow effigies and boomboxes that play the sound of crows in distress.

“Just seeing what the streets look like, what the sidewalks look like, and hearing from some of our residents, all of it has definitely helped,” Klein said.

The spectacle of thousands of crows returning to their roosts around dusk is a noisy affair, but also a marvel of nature to some.

“It’s like clockwork, every day,” Briah Falmoe, general manager at Philz Coffee near Plaza del Sol said. “Huge swarms of them pass through. Customers think it’s kind of cool to watch.”

Sunnyvale’s crow saga was first reported by the Mercury News, but the city is not alone in its struggle.

Large swarms of crows blot out the sun across the San Francisco Bay Area and in the Central Valley, said Steven Beissinger, a professor of ecology and conservation biology at UC Berkeley. Crows amass in most major urban location where there is an abundance of food, he said.

Nearly 20 years ago, Californians witnessed a mass die-off of crows, magpies and jays due to the West Nile virus. The mosquito-borne virus had spread across the United States with infected migrating birds. But the impact to crows was short-lived, Beissinger said.

“They have just really come back,” Beissinger said. “And I think they’re probably more abundant than they were before. That’s just my sense.”

Sunnyvale’s laser approach might be effective, Beissinger said, but eventually the crows become someone else’s problem as they leave to roost elsewhere.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson Jane Hendron said green lasers do not violate any federal laws. But some point out there are other possible deterrents, such as using trained dogs to chase away birds from airports or the careful placement of strips of bird spikes to discourage congregating.

There are also concerns that a laser could blind a crow, said Matthew Dodder with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society.

“We have provided a good habitat for the crows and they’re now making use of it,” Dodder said. “Lasers could very well be hurting this widespread species.”

Dodder thinks Sunnyvale’s approach goes too far. He said the problem should fly away with mating season, sometime around March.

Plans advance for new Seventh Street Bridge in Modesto. When might you drive on it?

Plans are coming together for a new Seventh Street Bridge over the Tuolumne River in Modesto, replacing one dating to 1916.Construction could start in the summer of next year and take until fall 2025, under the latest timeline from the city and Stanislaus County Public Works. Detailed engineering and right-of-way purchases are happening this year.The current bridge provides just two lanes for motor vehicles and narrow sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists. It has had a 4-ton limit since 1979 because of its condition, about a...

Plans are coming together for a new Seventh Street Bridge over the Tuolumne River in Modesto, replacing one dating to 1916.

Construction could start in the summer of next year and take until fall 2025, under the latest timeline from the city and Stanislaus County Public Works. Detailed engineering and right-of-way purchases are happening this year.

The current bridge provides just two lanes for motor vehicles and narrow sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists. It has had a 4-ton limit since 1979 because of its condition, about a 10th of a typical semi-truck load.

The new bridge will have four lanes for cars and trucks, and more room for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project also includes improved connections to Crows Landing Road on the south and B Street and Tuolumne Boulevard on the north.

A federal bridge program will cover most of the $64.5 million cost, county Public Works Director David Leamon said by email Friday.

The construction will require detours from the current bridge, which will be demolished when its replacement is done. Some residents had urged restoration of the landmark instead, but the planners said that was not practical.

The north end also will have a plaza overlooking the Tuolumne River Regional Park. It will feature two of the lion sculptures that long graced the original span but are now crumbling.

The new bridge will be made of concrete and have eight arches across its 1,238 feet. The old one is a design known as “cantilevered concrete,” which was innovative a century ago.

More details on the project’s estimated cost and funding:

The right-of-way purchases will be aided by Nossaman LLP, a national law firm with a few offices in California. The county Board of Supervisors approved a $718,765 contract with the firm Tuesday, Jan. 11.

The project has support from Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock. He mentioned it in a Jan. 13 letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“Until this bridge is fixed, the majority-Latino community of south Modesto will continue to lack a convenient and safe route for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles to the rest of the city,” Harder wrote.

He also said the next Highway 132 project near Modesto would be a good use of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package enacted in November.

A two-lane 132 bypass is nearing completion between Highway 99 and Dakota Road. Future phases would make it four lanes as far west as Gates Road.

Supervisors choose new electoral map

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors on Monday selected a new electoral map which will preserve long-standing boundaries while ensuring a strong Latino voter majority in one district.The Board considered six different alternate maps during a special meeting this week, which came following an analysis submitted by California Common Cause to the county in November. The group argued that a previously-proposed map, which brought little changes to the current boundary lines, watered down the Latino vote in violation of the Voting Rig...

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors on Monday selected a new electoral map which will preserve long-standing boundaries while ensuring a strong Latino voter majority in one district.

The Board considered six different alternate maps during a special meeting this week, which came following an analysis submitted by California Common Cause to the county in November. The group argued that a previously-proposed map, which brought little changes to the current boundary lines, watered down the Latino vote in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Stanislaus County was told it could face legal action over the issue.

“We have done quite a bit of analysis and have determined that we have the potential for a Voting Rights Act issue,” County Council Thomas Boze told the Board on Monday in regards to the previous map. “...We have determined that after looking at that, we have one district currently that has a Hispanic majority, but that majority is under-performing.”

In selecting Map No. 3 on Monday, Supervisors chose a layout which increases District 5’s Latino voting population to 54.09%, removing both Empire and Keyes from Vito Chiesa’s District 2 and incorporating them into the area represented by Channce Condit. This improves upon the status-quo of 53.93% Latino voters from District 5 and creates one high-performing district rather than two under-performing districts of about 50% Latino voters, Boze explained.

“We could draw two districts with 50.1%...however, those would be under-performing districts. After looking at it, we’ve determined that in order to protect the Hispanic voting rights, it would be more beneficial to have a performing district that has a higher majority of the minority,” Boze said.

The map was recommended by the redistricting advisory commission, many of whom spoke in support of the boundaries during Monday’s meeting.

“[Map No. 3] reflects a tremendous amount of time the commission spent studying the various census data and helping draw them out…At the end of the day, it was obvious that this is a highly complex legal question that we all knew was very important as we try to draw the maps, but leaves me and other commissioners with many questions,” Keyes resident and commission member Mark Looker said.

Latino voting populations in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 on Map No. 3 would be 26.49%, 28.19%, 36.37% and 32.48%, respectively. In Stanislaus County, Latino voters comprise about 35% of the total voting population while white residents make up almost 53% of voters.

District 5 deviates from the targeted population of 110,946 total residents by a surplus of 5,452 and is the only district to include more than that target; District 2, which includes Turlock, will feature the third-highest population at 110,374.

Chiesa said he didn’t want to see Keyes and Turlock separated as part of the new map, but understood why things needed to be moved. He also advocated against a different map option which would have split Patterson from Newman. Condit stated he supported Map No. 3 because it kept Newman and Patterson together, but preferred 4 since it also did the same and had a higher Latino voting population.

“I would hate to personally lose the West Side and the consolidation of Grayson, Westley, Crows Landing, Patterson and Newman. It’s been great representing them thus far throughout this year,” Condit said. “I love those communities; I love the West Side and I do think just representation-wise they would be stronger together.”

Supervisors will vote on whether or not to approve the new map they selected on Dec. 13, and final boundaries must be submitted by Dec. 15.

Sealpro® Forage Contest Winners Announced

This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.Eighty-two entries vied for cash prizes totaling $2,550 in the third annual Sealpro® Forage Contest during World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA. Three categories were placed by an independent nutrition consultant: Alfalfa Haylage, Winter Forage, and Corn Silage. Results were based 60% on a Rock River Laboratory, Inc. complete lab analysis, 30% on actual sample inspection, and 10% on drive over shape, f...

This item has been supplied by a forage marketer and has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hay & Forage Grower.

Eighty-two entries vied for cash prizes totaling $2,550 in the third annual Sealpro® Forage Contest during World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA. Three categories were placed by an independent nutrition consultant: Alfalfa Haylage, Winter Forage, and Corn Silage. Results were based 60% on a Rock River Laboratory, Inc. complete lab analysis, 30% on actual sample inspection, and 10% on drive over shape, face management, and safety.

“Our goal for the contest was to engage everyone through sight, smell, touch, and science,” said Connie Kuber, Connor Agriscience. “There is always something new to learn about forage, no matter how long you’ve been making it. Every year Mother Nature presents a different harvest scenario. The better prepared we are to meet that challenge through planning, communicating with our harvest crews, and keeping an eye on harvest method, the more dry matter and nutrients we’ll have. Our winners are great examples of that kind of care and attention to detail.”

Contest results were announced February 8 at a ceremony in the Sealpro® display just west of the show’s Dairy Center. Winners received a plaque and prize money in each category: First place $500, Second place $250, Third place $100.

ALFALFA HAYLAGE

First place: Chowchilla North Dairy, Chowchilla, CA

Second place: Moonshine Dairy, Crows Landing, CA

Third place: RuAnn Dairy, Riverdale, CA

Honorable Mention: Bar E Dairy, Kingsburg, CA; Chowchilla South Dairy, Chowchilla, CA

WINTER FORAGE

First place: Rollin Valley Farm, Riverdale, CA

Second place: Grand View Dairy, LeGrand, CA

Third place: Maddox Dairy, Riverdale, CA

Honorable Mention: Chowchilla South Dairy, Chowchilla, CA; Moonshine Dairy, Crows Landing, CA

CORN SILAGE

First place: Morning Star Dairy, Riverdale, CA

Second place: Tri Bak Dairy, Dinuba, CA

Third place: Fresno State Dairy, Fresno, CA

Honorable Mention: RuAnn Dairy, Riverdale, CA; Chowchilla South Dairy, Chowchilla, CA

The Sealpro® You Be the Judge Contest was also held during Expo in the Sealpro® display. Entrants placed four corn silage samples using the same criteria as the Sealpro® Forage Contest. Twenty-two entries competed for prize money at each level: First place $250, Second place $100, Third place $50.

FFA CHAPTER TEAM

First place: Porterville FFA, Porterville, CA

Second place: Livingstone FFA, Livingstone, CA

Third place: Strathmore FFA, Strathmore, CA

COLLEGIATE TEAM

First Place: CSUFresno Animal Science Quadrathlon, Fresno, CA

INDIVIDUAL

First place: Tony Lopes, Gustine, CA

Second place: Phillip Jardon, Exeter, CA

Third place: Christopher Young, Kingsburg, CA

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