A couple of items:
· Positas and Golden Bear Estates are re-opened from the evacuation which occurred from the fire last night. Enough cannot be said for the public safety folks who facilitated the notification and the patience of the folks who live there. It is not easy for anyone.
· The fire last night showed that doing something four years in a row aids in the effectiveness of response. Winters Fire, Cal Fire and our neighboring jurisdictions got on to a fast moving fire and did an amazing job of protecting homes and residents of Positas and Golden Bear Estates. The Napa-Sonoma Unit for Cal Fire moved in and did an incredible job with the help of a lot of aircraft, bulldozers and personnel.
· Winters Fire worked through the night. As the first unit on the blaze, Grass 26 spent almost 24 hours on the hill dealing with some of the most significant aspects. Engine 26 took the lead in protecting structures in Golden Bear. I know our crews were exhausted, but, again, they protected and represented our community well.
· We are told they will start moving dirt on the Downtown Hotel next week. Keep your fingers crossed.
· Starbucks has their building permit, the Chevron sign is coming down and grading has commenced, so things are moving.
· Look for a lot of grading next week for the Callahan and Winters Highlands subdivisions in the northwest section of town.
· If you are watching the Major League Baseball All Star Game next week, look for Brad Mills, the brother in law of our own Nanci Mills who will be coaching the American League All Stars. Brad is the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians and will be sitting in for Terry Francona, the Indians Head Coach who is out with an injury.
Finally, thoughts and prayers need to go out to Howard Hupe who has been laid up in the hospital for the past week.
Howard and Germaine Hupe are absolute icons of the Winters Community and will go down in the history of our town as two of its greatest citizens! Few have contributed as much to Winters as Howard and Germaine. Ironically, they live in Davis.
Both were long time staff at Winters High School, with Howard in the counseling office and Germaine teaching literature. Their impact on literally generations of Winters students in positioning them for life and success is amazing. They were also the long time coordinators of the AFS student exchange program, where they worked with another Winters icon, Bobbie Greenwood, in sharing our community with the world.
Howard and Germaine are founding members of the Winters Theatre Company and were integral players in the development of the Community Center and its stage. The hundreds of plays, actors and actresses and the thousands of attendees have benefitted immensely from what they have brought us. One can only imagine the thousands of days and hours spent in the preparation and performance all in the name of entertaining us.
Howard is a long time member of the Chamber of Commerce Board and is arguably the #1 advocate for Winters business. He is someone to always be counted upon to represent the Chamber and town within the region. Few have worked even a fraction as hard as Howard in “making things happen” to advance the Winters brand. I can personally attest that Howard is a key player in the renaissance of Downtown Winters and the current vitality it is experiencing. Howard and Germaine are authors of the Walking Tour Guide to Historic Winters!
Howard and Germaine are past Citizens of the Year. They both have served many years as the “masters of ceremony” in the presentations to many other citizens of the year. They always provide an entertaining biography of the recipient through an often comical and mostly self effacing presentation. Always kind and generous, but funny, always funny!
Howard is an active member of the Rotary Club of Winters.
When Huell Howser came to town, we picked Howard to be the spokesperson for the City in the interview. Huell eventually interviewed a bunch of folks (including me, Dave Fleming and John Pickerel), but Howard is the star of the video. His baritone voice talking about the history of Winters made us relevant and special. To see Howard and Huell (and the rest of us) click HERE.
Writing any type of testimonial for people like Howard and Germaine is a risk because I know I am leaving so much out. So I apologize for all which is missing!
When you consider the legacy that people may want to make of their lives, Howard and Germaine Hupe have certainly made a mark on Winters. From educating our children and guiding their success, sharing us with the world and enriching the lives of many families, to entertaining us and then leading the renaissance of our businesses and Downtown Winters, few can claim what Howard and Germaine have done for our town. They are genuinely two of the most unselfish and giving people I think I have ever met in my life.
Let’s root for Howard to gain his health. He’s a pretty tough guy, so keep good thoughts for him.
John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager