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Ich Bin Ein Münster: Fresno, German Sister City Get Re-Acquainted



Münster Mayor Markus Lewe shakes hands with Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi after signing an economic marketing alliance. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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A delegation from one of Fresno’s oldest sister cities, Münster, Germany, is visiting town this week.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

Monday, the two cities signed an economic marketing alliance.

Münster mayor Markus Lewe said the two cities have several problems in common — climate change, transportation, and homelessness. Meetings this week will discuss common solutions.

“We have a lot of different ideas. And so we connect together and we do it more and more between the administration,” Lewe said.

The signing took place during a Fresno Economic Development Corp. meeting. Other events this week include a proclamation at Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting and attending a Grizzlies baseball game.

“I never before have (attended) a baseball game … but I’m very happy that I have the chance to visit with the game,” Lewe said.

And, no, munster cheese does not come from Münster, Germany — it is actually named for Munster, France.

“The cheese is from a monastery, but Münster is not from a cheese,” Lewe explained.

Münster and Fresno have been sister cities since 1983.

Other Fresno sister cities:

  • Etchmiadzin, Armenia;
  • Taishan, China;
  • Châteauroux, France;
  • Verona, Italy;
  • Kochi, Japan;
  • and most recently Guadalajara, Mexico.

The cities of Fresno and Munster, Germany signed an economic alliance. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Also in Politics 101:

  • A labor strike at Fresno County jail pushed back for a month.
  • City meets with Hmong volleyball community.
  • Visalia leader named to a federal post.

Jail Strike Delayed

A strike threatened by local jail workers has been pushed back a month. The Fresno County Public Safety Association planned to walk out on Monday but has now set a new strike date of June 20.

Money is driving the labor strife.

“The Association does not want to endanger the public as we are dedicated public servants who simply want to use our legally protected activity (a strike) to draw attention to the fact that we are paid 41% less than a similarly classified (deputies),” the union said in a news release.

Fresno County went to court last week and earned a partial victory, limiting how many correctional officers could strike.

The county says they have offered base pay increases of 11% as well as improvements in healthcare and retention bonuses.

City Meets With Hmong Volleyball Community

City leaders met with the Hmong volleyball community about lingering tensions over court time.

When the city placed signs in April at public tennis courts that volleyball was not allowed, Hmong community members felt they were targeted. The signs quickly came down, but hurt feelings remained.

Fresno City Councilmember Tyler Maxwell said improvements are coming to Vinland Park. These include two grass volleyball nets, lighting upgrades, and court improvements — multi-use nets, resurfacing, and restriping.

The city will also upgrade its electronic-based reservation system.

Last Thursday, Maxwell, Mayor Jerry Dyer, and city staff talked to the community at Vinland Park.

Visalia Native Named to Federal Post

Maria Gallegos Herrera

Maria Gallegos Herrera, who has held leadership roles in state government and the private sector, has been named to a federal post.

Last week, the Biden Administration named Gallegos Herrera as USDA State Director, Rural Development. The Visalia Democrat previously served as the Central California Regional Director for Gov. Gavin Newsom, and before that as a manager at Self-Help Enterprises.

“USDA’s Rural Development mission area is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. State Directors lead offices that offer grants, loans, and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services,” the White House said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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