Author: Chuck Desmond


Stornetta has a passion for his job On a warm October day, City Manager Tom Frutchy swore in Jonathan Stornetta as the new Interim Fire Chief in Paso. 55 people in attendance listened closely to Mr. Frutchy’s comments about Jonathan as he spoke about his duty, honor, service-above-self, values and community. Clearly, there was great respect for Mr. Stornetta —“Fire Chief” may be the title but the position is so much more than that. The sign outside the building says Department of Emergency Services. Let’s take a look.. Jonathan’s age puts him right in the prime-time of when a career becomes defined...

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Kate McKinley — Paso’s Newest 9-1-1 Dispatcher

“I REALLY LOVE MY CAREER” “It’s better to know me and not need me than to need me and not know me.” This holds true for that time when you need to call 9-1-1 and have that gut-wrenching and sinking feeling of wondering if someone will actually answer and really be able to help in time. It’s been awhile since we’ve looked at the Dispatch Department in the Emergency Services building and this is a perfect time to get refreshed, with the arrival of KATE McKINLEY. Firstly, remember, NEVER BE AFRAID you are “bothering someone” by calling 9-1-1. They are here for our safety! Let’s start with a couple of the good-news facts. The Dispatch Department is in really good shape. There are eight highly-trained and dedicated employees in the department that is on the 2nd floor of 900 Park Street — just 30 feet away from Police Chief Robert Burton’s and Mary Sponhaltz’s offices. The dispatchers report to Mary (whom we all secretly know runs the department) even though the title on her desk translates to “Uber Assistant!” Dispatchers are in position every hour of every day. When you need them, they are there. They are not even allowed to hold a second job without special permission and approval to insure they are available for us Roblans as needed. The dispatchers receive about 120 service-calls each day. Service-calls are those...

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Camp Roberts is celebrating its seventy-sixth anniversary this year. We know the story but if you somehow don’t, it’s time to learn it. Camp Roberts is massively important to Paso and San Miguel for many reasons 
including the boost it gives our local economy, which is often overlooked. Half-million troops took their basic training there for WW2 and 200,000 for the 
Korean War. Thousands of men and women from America and our allies still train there each year under the direction of the California National Guard managed by Col. Nicole 
Balliet and Lt. Col Kevin Bender. It was in...

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CHAPTER 2: SURVIVE TO THRIVE Last month in PASO Magazine, we explored the foundation of a relatively new program called RESTORATIVE PARTNERS. We’ll now look at this important work being specifically done in Paso to help women suffering from addiction to rebuild their lives. I know you still have last month’s issue so might I suggest you read (or re-read) that chapter beginning on page 40 before starting this one. Addiction doesn’t play favorites. It’s ruthless and it’ll take whomever it can snare. Here in our county, it’s hard to imagine there are women who are trafficked. It happens....

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THE 87TH ANNUAL PIONEER DAY PARADE Harry Ovitt and I were the announcers this year at the 14th and Spring St. station. From our announcers’ table during the Pioneer Day Parade, and then afterward in City Park and later at the Pioneer Museum Campus, we saw plenty of happy and smiling people taking pictures. There were great photo-ops and memory makers that passed us to the delight of the sidewalk viewers. Here are a few parade entries that stuck out for me. The brand new half-million dollar John Deere tractor is No. 2. The awesome fleet of crawlers, tractors...

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