O'Neals fire Sept. 18
A seven-acre wildfire on North Fork Road (200) off Walker grade in O'Neals started at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and was 100% contained by 3:15, said Cal Fire spokesperson Karen Guillemin. No structures were threatened thanks to 76 firefighters from Cal Fire, the Madera County Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and crews from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. A bulldozer, two helicopters and an air attack plane were also used to help battle the blaze, and California Highway Patrol helped direct traffic, Guillemin said.
Deadline nears for "Angel" nominations
The nomination deadline, Oct. 8, is approaching for The Mountain Bear Fan Club's annual Angels Amongst Us awards, to be presented an awards dinner Nov. 4 at Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst.
The awards are given to thank community members who help make the area a better place.
Nomination forms can be picked up at the Sierra Star, Dorsey's Hallmark, Yosemite Bank and Ameriprise Financial and can be mailed to the Mountain Bear Fan Club, P.O. Box 2071, Oakhurst, CA 93644.
Details: Marlene Thomas, Angels Committee, (559) 683-5592.
Defend Rural America event
Madera County Sheriff John Anderson will be on the panel at the Defend Rural America event at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building, 808 4th Street.
The event, sponsored by the Defend Rural America movement, will bring attention to the problems that face rural counties across California and the nation.
"Unprecedented government regulations, endless lawsuits, environmental extremism, asssaults on property,water, timber, mining and fishing rights, public land closures, destruction of dams and reservoirs and assaults on energy production combine to threaten to turn rural communities into ghost towns," said Kirk MacKenzie, movement founder and keynote speaker for the event.
Other panelists includeFresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims; Gail Jenner, wife of a fifth-generation rancher in Siskiyou County; Steve Brink, vice president of the California Forestry Association and Eric Eisenhammer, with the Coalition of Energy Users.
Yosemite fees to be waived & major "Facelift" cleanup
On Saturday, Sept. 29, Yosemite National Park will celebrate National Public Lands Day by waiving its park entrance fees for all park visitors.
National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer day to improve and enhance public lands.
Yosemite National Park's major volunteer effort in honor of this day is the Yosemite Facelift event. Last year, over 1,300 volunteers helped with this massive cleanup effort that yielded 4,295 pounds of small trash, and 411,447 pounds of old asphalt and concrete.
Volunteer efforts will begin Sept. 26 and continue through Sept. 30.
The cleanup event is organized and sponsored in partnership with the National Park Service by the non-profit Yosemite Climbing Association. The association will also host evening programs from Sept. 20 to Sept. 25 at Yosemite Village's East Auditorium, behind the Visitor's Center.
For more information about the evening programs and check-in stations for the clean-up, visit yosemiteclimbing.org.
On Sept. 29, only the park's entry fees are waived. All other fees associated with camping, lodging, etc. still apply.
Other federal agencies participating in National Public Lands Day include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.
Disaster planning: Needs of the deaf
The Madera County Public Health Department's Emergency Preparedness Program is offering training intended for first responders, volunteers, emergency management agencies and anyone associated with emergency preparedness planning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Sierra Ambulance in Oakhurst.
The training, facilitated by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, will cover topics including sub-populations within the deaf community, methods and mediums of communication, shelter needs and cultural issues
Details: RSVP by Sept. 20 to Marisol Torres at (559) 675-7893 or marisol.torres@mader -county.com
Oakhurst Elks Lodge BBQ and roundup
A "Santa Maria BBQ" Elks fundraiser will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at Oakhurst Elks Lodge #2724, 42484 Highway 41 across from the Bass Lake turnoff. No-host cocktails will begin at 4 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Cost is $18. Music and dancing to DJ Henry Espino and entertainment by the winners of "Seniors' Got Talent."
There will be a drawing for $500, 50/50 tickets and door prizes.
RSVP by Thursday, Sept. 20 by calling the Oakhurst Elks Lodge at (559) 683-2717.
On Sunday, Sept. 23, the Elks will host a membership roundup themed, "Gold Rush Days."
The doors open at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast at 8 a.m., turkey shoot at 10 a.m., booth-theme judging at 10:30 a.m., and games at 11 a.m., including horse shoes, pool and darts. Jerky and wild game food judging will be held at 12:45 p.m., lunch at 1 p.m., pig races at 2 p.m. and competition results and awards will be announced and given at 3 p.m.
Event judges and volunteers are still being sought, along with decorative items from the Gold Rush era.Proceeds from the various competitions will be split half and half with the winner of the events and our Lodge's Major Project "the Purple Pig."
Public invited to help cleanup area lakes
Park rangers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Hensley and Eastman Lakes are inviting the public to a National Public Lands Day event at Hensley Lake on Saturday Sept. 29.
Hensley and Eastman Lake park rangers are seeking volunteers for this year's event to perform facility improvements and park beautification at Hensley Lake by planting trees, painting, cleaning up litter, and trail maintenance.
The event will begin at 8 a.m. at Buck Ridge Recreation Area at Hensley Lake. Volunteers will work a few hours before returning to the staging area at noon for a free lunch.
Details:Questions can be emailed to Park Ranger Nick Figueroa at Nick.R.Figueroa@usace.army.mil, or by phone at(559) 673-5151. Hensley Lake park headquarters is located at 25207 Road 407, Raymond.
Minarets principal to be Google certified
Minarets High School Principal Michael Niehoff was recently selected to participate in the Google Teacher Academy in October in New York. Niehoff is one of 50 teachers/administrators selected out of about 600 applicants.
Niehoff's invitation said he was selected for his experience and passion which is necessary to positively impact education.
"It's fun and exciting to be part of that group (and) to get more involved with Google," Niehoff said. "I only have this opportunity because of Minarets."
At the conference, Niehoff will learn innovative instructional strategies and resources.
Student art contest
The San Joaquin Valley Air District is accepting artwork from students through Oct. 8 for the Healthy Air Living Kids' Calendar contest.
Those who wish to enter the contest to be featured in the calendar should submit artwork that is in color on an 8-1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper rotated sideways (landscape orientation) and should include a message about how to live a healthy air life. Past examples include things like "Clean air rocks" and "We can all help clean the air." Bilingual and Spanish messages are encouraged.
Artists must include their name, address, phone number and/or email, age, grade and school on the back of the artwork. Please mail art flat, not folded, to 2013 Kids Calendar, Valley Air District, 1990 E. Gettysburg Ave., Fresno, CA 93726 or turn in to the nearest district office.
Details: Fresno district air office, (559) 230-6000.
Area roadside cleanups Oct. 13
Keep Our Mountain Beautiful is seeking volunteers to help with roadside cleanups across the Mountain Area from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 13.
All volunteers will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a six-hour outing on a 13-passenger patio boat, donated by Miller's Landing Resort in Bass Lake. Subway gift certificates will also go to some volunteers.
"If someone can only spare an hour to help out, that would be greatly appreciated," said Sandee Scott, co-founder and treasurer of KOMB.
Volunteers are asked to pick up and return trash bags at the following locations:
Oakhurst/Ahwahnee -- Oakhurst Library parking lot.
Bass Lake Village -- Bass Lake Realty, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
North Fork -- North Fork Post Office.
Coarsegold -- Near the tepee at Highway 41 and Road 415.
O'Neals -- Bags available from 8 to 9 a.m. at Road 200 and Highway 41 Park 'n Ride.
Details: Sandee Scott, (559) 760-1058, Judy Linda, (559) 877-2361.
Car wash to help with memorial costs
A car wash will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Miller's Mountain Sports parking lot in Oakhurst to help raise funds for memorial and cemetery costs for Kayleigh Janell Wood-Gracia, who was born deceased Sept. 7 to parents Karen Wood and Toby Gracia of Oakhurst.
Hornitos Annual Flea Market Oct. 7
The 26th Annual Hornitos Patron's Club Flea Market will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Historic Hornitos Park.
For information about selling at the market, call (209) 376-2320 to reserve a space. No dogs are allowed.
All proceeds from the flea market booth sales go to support the Hornitos Patron's Club which helps with numerous projects and activities in Hornitos and Mariposa County.
Details: (209) 376-2320 or online at hornitosspc.com.
In the Sept. 13 Sierra Star story titled, "Congressman McClintock speaks out," President George W. Bush put the country $5 trillion in debt in eight years, not $8 trillion in debt in five years, as reported.