A Winters Express op-ed column
By Charley Wallace When you put on an event for the first time it is tempting to call it the “First Annual,” but unless the event is successful and you put it on the next year, it is just the first. I was thinking about what to call this Saturday’s pancake breakfast and remembered the Fire Department putting on a Fourth of July breakfast many years ago. That was before we started launching our fireworks on the Third. Years have passed since the volunteers burnt the bacon, so I’ll have to settle for calling it the First Third of July Pancake Breakfast, at the Community Center. Of course the local Rotary Club has been putting on the Youth Day Pancake Breakfast for decades, maybe as long as 50 years. I’ll have to look it up as soon as the Winters Express is online and searchable, which is happening soon, thanks to local donations and the Historical Society of Winters. I’ll let you know when and where you can find it. A big problem with a first anything is knowing how many people to expect. With the Youth Day breakfast, we know within 50 people how much food to cook. Usually around 625 show up for the sausage and another 25 for the pancakes and eggs. If 300 people show up on Saturday, I’ll consider it a success. If more than that show up and we run out of food, it will be even better and we’ll be better prepared for next year. If only a handful of people show up, it will be known as the first and last Third of July Pancake Breakfast. Cross your fingers. Tickets are available from Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters or at First Northern Bank. If you buy your ticket in advance, you won’t have to wait in line to pay behind hundreds of people. The fireworks are going to be set off at Hugh Randolph Baseball Field, which will present problems protecting the new synthetic track at the high school. You would think that people would know not to light anything on the new track, but people never cease to surprise me. On another topic, there are more housing plans being submitted to the city, covering the area between Lorenzo’s and the Chevron Station. Our council and planning commission need to take a hard look at developers and decide if we want to continue to build to the minimum. We need a better selection of housing sizes and lot density. Every new lot should not be 6,000 square feet, which should be the minimum, not the average. I would like to see another trailer park, preferably on city-owned land. I would also like to see some executive housing that isn’t in Golden Bear Estates. While I’m making a wish list, how about finishing our sports park? With the new additions to Winters High School, we can probably cross off a new high school site from our general plan, unless the school board has a long range plan for another one. With housing selling as fast as they can build them, there are plenty of developers trying to build in Winters. We need to believe that we are in charge of our own destiny and act accordingly. Our planners and councilmen need to decide what we want built, not just rubber stamp another cookie-cutter development. See you on Saturday and have a good week.