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Woman beats cancer, starts new career

By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat

    After nearly four years recovering from breast cancer, Cathy Flynn, of Crystal Falls, has taken back control of her professional life.
    Flynn recently  opened her own business and massage practice, Sierra Naturals Bath and Spa Specialties, and Sierra Spa and Massage, at 22500 Parrotts Ferry Road, in Columbia.
    Flynn, 48, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 while working as a landscaper around Tuolumne County.
    She says she struggled with depression for many years. The cancer diagnosis exacerbated her depression.
    Following the advice of her doctor, Flynn quit her job landscaping while undergoing rounds of chemotherapy. She focused on treatment and healing, she said.
  

Offered services help small businesses


    The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority opened the doors to its Small Business Development Center on Friday.
    The center, located in the TCEDA offices on North Washington Street, will provide private meeting and conference space to its Business Alliance partners to provide counseling and services to small-business owners.
    The move will allow counselors from the two partners — the Small Business Development Center and the Service Corps of Retired Executives — to meet privately with business owners to discuss confidential plans.
   

Twain Harte residents can top off their tanks in town



    Twain Harte’s only gas station has working pumps again, and will shortly have a new name.
    Wayne and Lori Smith still own the station at 22890 Twain Harte Drive, which they bought in April 1986. They are in the process of changing the name from Wayne’s Twain Harte Shell to Wayne’s Twain Harte Gas and Service.
    It is an unbranded gas station now, which means the Smiths can shop around for the best price of gas. On Saturday, they were charging $3.37 per gallon for unleaded, with a 5-cent discount to $3.32 per gallon for cash.
   

Economic development board names chairmen

    The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority board appointed its chairmen at its January retreat.
    Hank Russell and Dick Pland were reappointed to their positions as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Beth Hartline also retained her position as the board secretary.
    At the meeting, Executive Director Larry Cope presented the results of the 2010 work plan, focusing on the successes in filling large retail spaces including Kohl's and the old Mervyns building as well as the reopening of the Standard Mill, set for May 2011.
    The board also convened to revisit the direction of Cope's work, and emphasized the importance of business retention and attraction.
    The meeting took place at the Tuolumne Trails camp in Groveland.


Extensive renovations planned for Ahwahnee Hotel

    The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park will shut down for three weeks to allow renovation work on several projects.
    From Feb. 22 through March 17, work will be conducted to upgrade the fire detection, alarm, and suppression system throughout the historic hotel. This work includes guest rooms, restaurants, shops and public spaces at the hotel.
    Other work includes stabilization of the kitchen floor, replacement of the entry boardwalks, replacement of the service yard fence, and upgrades and replacements of furnishings throughout the hotel.
    This includes new carpets, drapes, and bedspreads in many of the rooms, painting of guest rooms and public areas, and renovation of many of the artifacts in the hotel.
   

Vineyard takes gold and silver

    Gianelli Vineyards of Jamestown took home a gold medal at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world with more than 5,000 entries.
    Gianelli’s 2008 Dolcetto was awarded the prize. Its 2008 Sangiovese Super Tuscan also won a silver medal.
    The Gianiellis will pour their 2008 Dolcetto at the San Francisco Wine Competition’s public tasting Feb. 29 at Fort Mason.
    “We are thrilled about winning these awards at this prestigious wine competition,” said Lorie Gianelli, the vineyards’ co-owner with her husband, Ron. “We knew all along that our wines were good and could stand up to the best of them. All of us work so hard in the vineyard, and we have a highly respected Sierra foothill winemaker, Chuck Hovey.”
    Gianelli Vineyards is at 12581 Algerine Road, Jamestown. The tasting room at 18263 Main St. in downtown Jamestown is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
    For more information, call Gianelli Vineyards at 532-0414, the tasting room at 984-1500 or visit online at gianellivineyards.com.

Online community launches for twins

By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat

    Sierra Communications Public Relations Inc., of Twain Harte, is seeing double with the creation of its new Twins Media Group, an online community for twins and multiples set to launch this spring.
    Sierra Communications President Susan Kohl and her husband, Doug,  say their experience raising twins inspired the idea.
 

Yosemite: A dream place for travelers

By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat

    National parks rank high as a dream destination for 66 percent of active leisure travelers surveyed in the 2010 Portrait of the American Traveler Survey, meeting key traveler goals such as beauty and safety.
    The purpose of the first Park Visitor Research Summit — held Jan. 7 and 8 in Yosemite National Park — was to assist the National Park Service with new ideas and help promote the national park industry by providing them survey results, according to Greg Dunn, executive vice president of YPartnership, a Florida-based advertising and public relations agency that conducted the traveler survey.
   

Construction at Avalon under way



    Construction is making progress on a new skilled-nursing facility expected to take in county patients atop Greenley Road.
    “Everything is going according to plan,” said Kathleen Rustrum, of the Tuolumne County Administrator’s Office. “It’s going to be something to look forward to at the end of the year.”
    Construction will likely be complete at the end of September, she said.
    Plans call for the project — an addition of the 120-bed Avalon Care Center at 19929 Greenley Road — to serve county skilled nursing clients now housed in the campus of the former county hospital in Sonora.
  

Founder of KleenSlate Concepts celebrates anniversary


   
    Julia Rhodes is at it again.
    The founder of KleenSlate Concepts, a Sonora company that specializes in dry-erase products for the classroom, will celebrate her company’s 10th anniversary, its first American manufacturing partnership and a new hiring wave.
    The past decade was a crash course in the mechanics of business, Rhodes said, which boils down to making a quality product that fills a niche, making relationships in the business community and pushing until you come out on top.
   

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