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Runners to stampede through Hanford Sunday

HANFORD — Hundreds of local runners will hoof it around town this weekend during the fourth annual Hanford Cow Run.

The half marathon and 5K race are scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 3. Proceeds from the event benefit Valley Children’s Hospital.

“It motivates you to try something different and better yourself as a person and to better your body, health and mind,” Cow Run co-founder Eunice Rosas said, adding that being around so many people that are motivated to complete a marathon for the first time or to beat their previous time can be quite inspirational.

In addition to owning AAA Mufflers and Radiators in Hanford, Rosas and her husband, Cesar Rodriguez, founded the nonprofit organization Run for All to promote healthy living and physical activity in the form of the Cow Run.

Registration for the Cow Run is $95 for the half marathon, $55 for the 5K and $20 for the children’s 5K, available to ages 5-12.

Speaking to the Sentinel before last year’s event, Rosas said that if 500 runners signed up, the race would be a success. That race outdid expectations, drawing around 650 runners, walkers and joggers into the foggy morning air for the good cause and the exercise.

This year’s registration looks a little thin compared to last year, Rosas said, but she’s hoping say-of sign-ups will boost the numbers.

“I think the shutdown has affected sign-ups.  Some of my runners work for the Federal government and I think everybody’s just watching their money because you just never know nowadays,” she said.

About 130 of the race’s participants are employees of Adventist Health, who have been sponsors of the event since the inaugural race

“We’re gaining recognition in the community, but some people still don’t know about us,” she said.

Going into its fourth year, the Cow Run draws in many return runners year after year, Rosas said.

“Every year, I get participants who come up to me saying they’re thankful that the Cow Run has opened them up to the opportunity for a healthier lifestyle,” she said. “I have a sponsor who has been participating since the first year and she has lost so much weight and has increased the activity in her life in so many ways. She’s very active now and has said that it started with the Cow Run.”

The participants, who hail from all over the Valley, will receive a post-run breakfast, prizes and gifts.

The 13.1-mile race begins on N. Mustang Dr., near Frontier Elementary School before making its way down 13th Ave., eventually looping back around the rural route.

Rosas said that in our digital age where many relationships and experiences exist solely on a computer screen, it’s good to experience a “real” community event like the Cow Run.

“Events like the Cow Run and other events in the area – they’re real, they’re not fake. When you come out here, it’s a different experience. You get to meet people, everyone is laughing and everyone is happy. That’s satisfaction,” she said.

Rosas regrets that she has yet to experience the Cow Run as a runner, being too busy with organizing to lace up her running shoes and joining the community herd.

“I’d love to run it. Hopefully I can one day,” she said, adding that the organization of the event is very hands-on and the majority of the volunteers who get the event past the finish line are family and friends. Other volunteers are always welcome, she said.

Even though the checkered flag hasn’t yet waved for the 2019 Cow Run, Rosas said she’s already looking into ways to make the 2020 event even bigger and better.

“We want to make the fifth year very memorable for everybody,” she said.

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January storms boost snowpack

The Department of Water Resources conducted the second snow survey of 2019 on Thursday and the snowpack is looking good.

The manual survey — taken at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada just off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe — recorded 50 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 18 inches, which is 98 percent of average for this location.

Snow water equivalent is the depth of water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously. Officials said that measurement allows for a more accurate forecast of spring runoff.

Statewide, officials said the Sierra snowpack is 100 percent of average.

By comparison, on Feb. 1, 2018, measurements at Phillips Station revealed a snow water equivalent of 2.6 inches, only 14 percent of the early-February average. And last year at this time, measurements at this location were at 30 percent of average.

DWR conducts five snow surveys each winter – near the first of January, February, March, April and May.

The Phillips snow course is one of hundreds that will be surveyed manually throughout the winter. Manual measurements augment the electronic readings from about 100 snow pillows in the Sierra Nevada that provide a current snapshot of the water content in the snowpack.

The first measurement taken this year at the beginning of January recorded 25.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 9 inches at Phillips Station, which is 80 percent of average for the location. Statewide, the Sierra snowpack was 67 percent of average at that time.

DWR Director Karla Nemeth said the snowpack across California is on par with the historical average for this time of year, thanks to an atmospheric river that brought heavy snowstorms to the Sierra Nevada.

“Typically, California relies on a handful of large storms like we saw earlier this year,” Nemeth said in a released statement. “It’s a start, but the next two or three months will determine what it means for our reservoirs and overall water supply.”

There is a winter storm warning for the Sierra Nevada through Monday night, according to the National Weather Service Hanford office. Heavy snow is expected as two storms move across the area with total snow amounts possibly getting as high as 6 feet.

Results from snow surveys like the one conducted Thursday at Phillips Station are critical to the management of California’s water. Officials said more than 50 local, state and federal agencies work together as part of the Cooperative Snow Surveys Program to collect data from more than 300 snow courses throughout California.

“The data we collect allows us to forecast how much snowmelt will run off into our streams and reservoirs,” said John Paasch, Chief of DWR’s Hydrology and Flood office. “Snowpack is an important factor in determining how DWR manages California’s water resources each year to sustainably meet demands.”

On average, the Sierra snowpack supplies about 30 percent of California’s water needs as it melts in the spring and early summer to meet water demands in the summer and fall.

The melted snowpack provides most of Kings County’s summer water supply.

City manager raise on Lemoore agenda

LEMOORE — The Lemoore City Council will meet Tuesday and discuss a raise for the city manager, among several other items of new business.

The first item of new business Council will discuss is an amendment to City Manager Nathan Olson’s employment agreement.

The City Council appointed Olson as the City Manager in February 2018 and his annual salary was set to $145,800.

According to the staff report, Council provided Olson with a standard/above standard evaluation in December.

The report also states that it is common practice of the city to provide employees with a merit increase of 5 percent, which Olson is asking for based on his evaluated performance.

If the increase is approved by Council, Olson’s salary would be amended to $153,090 — an increase of approximately $7,290 per year.

According to the staff report, the current salary range for the position of City Manager is $121,297-$154,809. This proposed 5 percent increase would fall within the Council-approved range for the position.

Other items of business that will be discussed include:

  • Creation of a rate stabilization fund.
  • Adopting tax-advantaged bonds post-issuance compliance procedures.
  • Issuance, sale and delivery of water revenue bonds.
  • Council member liaison appointments to regional boards and committees.

There will also be a public hearing about the annexation of Zone 9 of the Public Facilities Maintenance District No. 1, the services and the first annual levy of assessments in the added territory.

During the study session before the regular meeting, Council will also receive an update on the progress of water and wastewater master plans, enterprise fleet management and water bond projects.

Council to get update on city leases

HANFORD — At the Hanford City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Council will get updates on the status of some of the city’s leases, including the Hanford Carnegie Museum and Our Heroes Dreams.

The City Council will review reports of financials and activities for both of the organizations.

The city entered into a lease with the Hanford Carnegie Museum in October 1996 and it was agreed by the Museum to submit an annual activity report and detailed financial report during each year of the lease.

A similar agreement was made with Our Heroes Dreams, which is leasing space in the Train Depot building from the city.

Staff reports indicate that both of these organizations have not submitted all of the documents that the agreements required of them.

Under general business, Council will also talk about the impact of state cannabis regulations and provide direction to staff, including initiating changes to the city’s own cannabis regulations.

During the study session before the regular meeting, Council will receive a presentation on “Communities of Excellence 2026” from Adventist Health.