Community News 11/1/12 Edition

November 1, 2012 

Time change this weekend

Don't forget to turn your clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night, Nov. 3. Time changes at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, so move the time on your clock back one hour.

Harry Baker hearing Dec. 3

The settlement hearing phase of the Harry Baker trial Oct. 25 resulted in another continuance. His next court appearance will be a settlement conference at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 3 in Fresno Superior Court.

During last week's hearing, Judge Houry Sanderson recused herself from the case because she is part of a recently formed committee with Becky Gong, the prosecutor in the case. Baker's case is being transferred from Department 30 to Department 31, presided over by Judge Alvin Harrell, III.

Baker, 85, owner of Sierra Telephone, was arrested Oct. 5, 2009 for allegedly committing a lewd act with a 13-year-old girl in May 2007 in a Fresno hotel room.

Baker has maintained his innocence since his arrest.

Rides to the Poles Nov. 6 if needed

The Oakhurst/Coarsegold Tea Party is offering rides to anyone who needs help getting to the poles to vote on Nov. 6. If you can't walk, polling locations offer curbside help. They will bring the ballot to the car for you to complete.

Details: For rides, call (866) 565-1379 or email:

Chamber awards dinner Nov. 8

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Appreciation and Awards Dinner will be Thursday, Nov. 8 at Sierra Sky Ranch. Reception at 5:30 p.m., program 6 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. Details: (559) 683-7766

Bill Coate at Fresno Flats Nov. 9

Educator/historian/author Bill Coates will speak at Fresno Flats Friday, Nov. 9, about the rowdy days in Oakhurst 100 years ago when lumbermen, farmers and miners moved into the area and along with Native Americans, began to leave their footprint on local history.

The program begins with dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the Cunningham School at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park on School Road (427). This evening will be the last in the Friday at Fresno Flats series of programs for this year. Cost is $10 per person and includes dinner.

The final Oakhurst Centennial event at Fresno Flats will be "Christmas Comes to Fresno Flats" on Dec. 2, a musical celebration for young and old with soup tasting and Christmas treats.

Annual Christmas Tree Auction

The 11th Annual Christmas Tree Auction and Holiday Event is once again being hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst Saturday, Dec. 2, at Bass Lake Event Center's Lake View Room. Doors open for the silent auction, raffle, hors d'oeuvres and complimentary champagne at 3 p.m. with bidding for the live auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 per person or four for $100.

Each live auction item is created by a different organization or business and the Boys & Girls Club receives 25% of the winning bid and the contributing organization's choice of charity receives the remainder.

Sponsors are currently being sought for the event, which will give the sponsor many publicity opportunities. Sponsorships range from a $350 bronze level to a $2,500 platinum level.

Details: (559) 642-0313 or

Visit the online auction at:

Vote by mail drop-off locations

Rebecca Martinez, county clerk-recorder and registrar of voters, announced that the county clerk's office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, for the issuance and acceptance of vote by mail ballots.

The county clerk's office is located in the County Government Center, First Floor, 200 W. 4th Street, Madera.

Mountain Area residents can also drop off vote by mail ballots from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Sheriff's Substation in Oakhurst, 48267 Liberty Drive.

Details: Elections Division, (559) 675-7720 or toll free at (800) 435-0509.

Free dental day in Coarsegold

Doctors Travis Kendall, Jacob Geyer, and Eric Francom will host Coarsegold's first annual Dentistry From The Heart event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at their newly expanded office located at 35344 Highway 41, Suite F.

The doctors and their team of assistants and volunteers will provide patients first come, first serve service with a free extraction, filling or cleaning.

"It all comes down to wanting to provide something greater to our community," Dr. Kendall said. "The services provided by Dentistry From The Heart helps more than just a patient's teeth, it gives them a renewed reason to smile."


First 5 Fall Festival Saturday

Children ages 0 to 5 and their families are encouraged to attend Oakhurst's First 5 Family Resource Center's Fall Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the First 5 office, 49169 Crane Valley Road (426), adjacent to the Sierra Star.

Free flu shots will also be offered by the Dr. John L. Maffeo Memorial Grant.

Family activities include a petting zoo and pony rides. Advance sign-ups are preferred.

Details: (559) 664-4198.

Yosemite High grad performs on Dancing with the Stars

Michelle Hafle, who attended Coarsegold Elementary School and graduated from Yosemite High School in 1992, performed on ABC's Dancing with the Stars Oct. 16 along with her partner Sergey Korshunov and other dance professionals from her studio. She is currently an instructor at Studio 22 in Dallas, Texas.

Hafle's mother, Ann Wight, has been beaming with pride since she heard the news from her daughter about the primetime performance.

"Her dad and I were very proud to see her on the popular TV show and happy for her," Ann said. "She has worked very hard and has come a long way in her chosen career."

Yosemite program receives award

The Historic Preservation Program in Yosemite National Park was recently awarded the 2011 Appleman-Judd-Lewis Award. The award recognizes expertise and outstanding contributions to cultural resource stewardship and management by permanent full-time employees of the National Park Service.

The Yosemite Historic Preservation Program received this award for developing relationships with partners in order to ensure that historic structure preservation issues are addressed in a timely manner in the park. In 2011, the preservation crew completed an effort on the fountain of the historic Wawona Hotel in Wawona. The project was done in collaboration with the park's primary concessionaire, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite Inc., and the Yosemite Conservancy.

Decathletes visit Madera

Academic decathletes from throughout California attended Madera County Office of Education's Russia Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 25. Valley experts lectured on six subject areas to more than 450 students from throughout the state.

"This event has become very popular in the past few years," said Cyndy Dolph, associate superintendent, Madera County Office of Education. "Our sessions were full and we had to turn some teams away. Teams appreciate having experts in the different areas of study all under one roof as they prepare for the Academic Decathlon."

Decathletes attended four of six sessions throughout the day. Sessions included: Economics, presented by Dr. Gil Kim, Fresno State professor; Literature, Doctor Zhivago, presented by Dr. Bruce Boeckel, Fresno Pacific University Division of Humanities chair; Music of Russia, presented by Dr. Dieter Wulfhorst, Fresno Pacific University professor; Russia, presented by Dr. Michelle DenBeste, Fresno State professor; Space Exploration, taught by Dr. Don Williams, Fresno State professor; and Speech, presented by Dr. Brad Millar, State Center Community College, Madera Center professor.

Each session was geared toward the topics and areas of study for the 2012 Academic Decathlon. This year's Decathlon theme is Russia. Students will take tests in art, economics, language and literature, math, music, science and social science.

Writers workshop returns to Chowchilla

Central Valley Writers' Workshop, the read and critique non-profit organization, will return to Chowchilla library for the winter.

The workshop hosts its critique sessions in Chowchilla November through March and at the Madera County Library April through October. The Chowchilla library is on the corner of North Third Street and Kings Avenue.

The first Chowchilla workshop will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7. Membership is $25 yearly. In addition to the weekly workshop, the group hosts yearly conferences and in 2013 the group will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Details: Glenna Jarvis, CVWW president, (559) 665-7381,

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service