Community News for 11/22/12 edition

November 21, 2012 

Women's guild selling See's candy

Our Lady of the Sierra Women's Guild will be selling See's Candy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays beginning Monday, Nov. 26 at the Jack in the Box parking lot.

Details: (559) 658-8587.

J. Doss new Sierra Star advertising rep

The Sierra Star has announced that J. Doss has joined the the staff as an advertising sales representative. Doss, who has 15 years of design and sales experience, recently served as the director at the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst. He and his wife Chrissie have three children, Vanessa, Joel and, Dillon and are the grandparents of Alexiz and Lily Bee Dang of Oakhurst. Family remains a priority in their lives which includes supporting their church and community. Doss says he enjoys working with the business people of the Mountain Area to assist them in growing their business.

Privatizing water and sewer meeting

A community meeting on privatization of water and sewer will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at the Pines Resort Lakeview Room, 54449 Road 432. The meeting is sponsored by the Bass Lake Homeowners Association.

Madera County is considering privatizing all county operated special districts for water and sewer. In the Bass Lake area that includes:

Sewer district in the Pines Village area including Ridgeline, The Forks and Millers Landing.

Water and sewer districts at Lakeshore and Marine View.

Water districts at Fawn Point and Wishon.

Not included is the privately owned Bass Lake Water Company or owner owned wells and septic systems.

Gas prices continue to go down

After months of volatility in California gas prices, the Golden State is now experiencing a drop in the price of gas according to the latest report from AAA Northern California, which tracks gas prices as a service to consumers.

Every metro area in Northern California saw a decrease of at least 69 cents a gallon over the past month.

California's average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.85, down 82 cents since the AAA report on Oct. 9. For perspective, that's two cents more than California's average price on this date last year. Among all 50 states, Hawaii has the highest average price for regular, unleaded gasoline at $4.41. New York has the highest price, $3.99, in the lower 48 states.

The least expensive average price in Northern California was in Modesto, where regular is $3.65 per gallon. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Yreka has the highest average price of $3.99.

To get the best mileage possible, AAA recommends keeping tires at the proper pressure suggested by the vehicle manufacturer, performing routine maintenance and making sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are in good repair. The way you drive can also impact fuel economy. Smooth driving to avoid sudden stops and starts, combining trips and lightening your load also help conserve gasoline.

Cal Fire stations at winter staffing

Cooler weather and recent rains has prompted the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit to reduce staffing levels as of Nov. 19.

The transition to winter preparedness allows Cal Fire to release some seasonal firefighters, reduce staffing on fire engines and close certain wildland fire stations.

This transition coincides with the permitting of residential hazard reduction burning in the area with a valid burn permit between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m..

Permits can be obtained from Cal Fire stations within the county.

Details: 1 (877) 429-2876, and

The Sierra National Forest has also ended the fire season and is beginning winter operations.

The end of fire season means that seasonal firefighters are released for the winter, fire lookout towers are unstaffed and high country fire stations are closed until next spring.

The Sierra National Forest experienced light-to-moderate fire activity this season with 48 human and 28 lightning caused fires, burning a total of 897 acres. All fires were quickly controlled by forest service firefighting resources.

California and much of the Western United States experienced heavy fire activity in 2012 due to drought conditions. Firefighting resources from the Sierra National Forest stayed very active assisting with suppression efforts. Sierra National Forest personnel have just returned from assisting with recovery efforts on the east coast due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Details: North Fork (559) 877-2218.

Majestic Mountain Loop promotes three area national parks

The Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau in Oakhurst is announcing a new promotional partnership -- the "Majestic Mountain Loop" which markets Yosemite National Park to visitors as part of a three-day vacation that includes Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park.

The promotional website is

"Our goal is to associate the three parks and make this a must-do for travelers worldwide," said Rhonda Salisbury of the bureau. "With travel times being shorter than they have been in the past, it's nice to be able to do this in three days, and if you have some extra days, you can do more. Once visitors come through our areas and see all there is to do, we hope they come back and stay longer."

Details: (559) 683-4636.

Chowchilla Mountain Road closed

Due to recent weather and road conditions, the Chowchilla Mountain Road was closed Nov. 15 and is inaccessible for the season from the park boundary to the Wawona Golf Course.

Ladies Night Out

The Women's Council of Realtors will hold their annual fundraiser for the organization called "Ladies Night Out," 6-9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Yosemite Gateway Association of Realtors office near Sears.

Attendees pay one fee at the door of $25 and includes food, wine and shopping and swapping for the night. Bring gently used women's accessories and children's toys and baby gear for swapping.

All Items left over will be donated to local charity.

Details: Katie Miller, (559) 760-8867

Lions Club district meeting

On Nov. 9 Lions Clubs International District 4-A1 held their quarterly meeting at Camp Pacifica in Ahwahnee and at Oakhurst Elementary School on Saturday, Nov. 10. More than 100 district club members were in attendance for the two days of meetings. Anyone interested in joining the Oakhurst Lions Club should call Chris Baker, (559) 760-0279.

College campus spring registration

It's almost time for spring semester registration at the Oakhurst College campus. Registration opens to all students Nov. 29 and the Spring semester begins Jan. 7.

To accommodate students registering for spring classes the college campus will be open:

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 26 through Dec. 14 (Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays).

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 through Dec. 24 (Monday through Friday).

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 2 and 3.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5.

The college campus will closed Tuesday, Dec. 25 and will re-open Wednesday, Jan. 2. Beginning with the start of classes Jan. 7, the office will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Placement tests will be given each week for those who need them. An academic counselor will be on-site to assist with college planning. To make an appointment for a placement test or to see an academic counselor, call (559) 683-3940.

To assist students in obtaining their textbooks and supplies, items can be pre-ordered from the college bookstore between Dec. 3 and Jan. 10. The books will be available for pick-up at the Oakhurst college campus on Saturday, Jan. 12. Payment is due upon receipt. Please see the campus office for further details.

The cost for classes is $46 per unit plus a $9 health fee. Registration can be completed at the school or online at

The Oakhurst College is located on Civic Circle Drive behind Rite Aid. Details: (559) 683-3940.

Art Trails Exhibit

"Pathways" is a Sierra Art Trails Special Exhibit focused on the choices we make and the paths we take.

The exhibit is on display through Dec. 9, at Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.

A special performance will be held 7-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, featuring an evening of music, dance and spoken word inspired by the "Pathways" theme. $5 admission at the door. Seating is limited.


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