Community Calendar for 1/31/13 edition

February 1, 2013 

Pence accepts park president position

The Oakhurst Park Committee and the Oakhurst Community Fund, Inc., has announced the selection and the election of Andrew P. Pence, as the charitable organizations top officer. Pence, who is the Oakhurst manager for WJ Bradley Company, succeeds Oakhurst Attorney David A. Linn, who recently resigned the positions after serving for more than 28 years.

Linn will stay with the organizations in an ex-officio capacity as president and chairman emeritus.

"Andrew is an outstanding selection," said Linn. "The Pence family has deep roots in community service in Eastern Madera County and everyone on the committee believes that Andrew will bring a new wave of youthful exuberance to the parks' operation."

The Pence name has long been associated with the Oakhurst Community Park, in that Andrews' parents (Gary and Mary) were very involved with the park committee and the park during its early days in the 1980s.

Mary Pence partnered with Linn to develop the Elegant Auction fundraising concept and she has continued to serve as part of the Oakhurst Community Fund, Inc. board of directors since the park's opening in 1988.

Rotary Crab Feed Saturday

The noon Rotary Club will host its 27th Annual Crab Feed at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Oakhurst Community Center. Tickets cost $40 per person. Funds from the dinner, raffle and auction will be used to support scholarships, Manna House and the Rotary wheel chair program. Details: Dale Miller, (559) 683-0819.

2013 county fair pageant applications

Applications for the 2013 Chowchilla-Madera County Fair Pageant May 15 will be available beginning Feb. 1. Winners will represent Madera County at Chowchilla-Madera County Fair and other community events throughout the year, including the mandatory Chowchilla Spring Festival parade May 18.

Applications are available at the Chowchilla Fairgrounds office at 1000 S. 3rd Street and online at, and must be submitted to the office by 5 p.m. March 8.Miss Madera County contestants must be females between 16-20 years of age, and the Little Miss Madera County and Tommyhawk contestants must be females and males between 6-9. The ages for all contestants are determined by their age as of May 15.Details: (559) 665-3728.

Applications for Rotary summer exchange

Applications are available for the summer Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) program in Germany, England, Italy, Spain and Brazil. Applications are due Feb. 28, except for applications for exchanges to Germany and Brazil, due April 15. Students must be 15 to 19 years old and do not have to have a family member in Rotary to be selected. Details: For applications and information, visit the youth exchange website at, or contact Rotarian Sam Wheeler at, (209) 536-1218.

Free movie about veterans Saturday

A free movie about the true story of veterans' heroism, "The Four Chaplains: A Sacrifice at Sea" will be shown at noon Saturday, Feb. 2 at First Baptist Church, 49547 School Road (427).

Details:, Pastor Marc Unger, (559) 683-6101.

Public meetings for Yosemite river plans

Public meetings and webinars have been scheduled regarding Yosemite National Park's Merced River Plan and Tuolumne River Plan that must be submitted for final approval in July. The plans highlight the Park Service's preferred alternatives, which include the removal of some popular commercial services.

A meeting about the Merced River Plan will be held in Oakhurst from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at Sierra Senior Center. A list of all upcoming public meetings and online webinars is listed online, tagged at the end of the Sierra Star's Jan. 24 Yosemite story:

The public comment period for the MRP will continue through April 18, and through March 18 for the TRP. The plan can be viewed online at

RSVP for Forest Service meetings by Feb. 1

The Forest Service has scheduled public meetings and webinars about updating their existing forest plan by the end of 2013. RSVP for the meetings and webinars by Friday, Feb. 1 to Veronica Garcia,, (559) 297-0706 ext. 4966.

Fresno meeting: 1-4 p.m. Feb. 9, Holiday Inn -- Fresno Airport.

Online webinar: 9 a.m. - noon Feb. 20. Webinar registration Link: https:/ Meeting ID: GZ77N2 and click "Join."

Technical in-person/webinar: 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Feb.12, Sierra National Forest Supervisor's Office, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis. Webinar registration link: https:/ Meeting ID: HSS2PD and click "Join."

Details: Rebecca Garcia, (559) 297-0706, ext. 4804,

County water/sewer survey due Saturday

The last day to participate in a customer satisfaction survey of Madera County's sewer and water services is Saturday, Feb. 2. Results of the survey will be used to determine if the county should go forward with the possibility of outsourcing portions, or all, of the operations and maintenance services of the 34 county sewer and water special districts in an effort to improve services and reduce cost, said county engineer Kheng Vang.

The survey is available online at: A dial-in automated phone survey, that takes about 10-15 minutes, can also be taken by calling (559) 664-3525. More information is available at:

New Stroke Survivors Group

A new Stroke Survivors Group will hold its first meeting Friday, Feb. 15 at Yosemite Bank. The group -- created by Ray Castro, a pastor at Oakhurst Evangelical Free Church for stroke survivors and care givers -- will be led by two nurses from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every third Friday of the month.

Details: Ray Castro, (559) 658-8166.

New Harry Baker court date Feb. 28

The settlement conference phase of the Harry Baker trial Jan. 24 before Judge Alvin Harrell, III resulted in another continuance. The new court date is 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28 in Department 31 of Fresno Superior Court.Baker, 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 the Jan. 24 edition of the Sierra Star, a guest commentary about the proposed Madera County Road Maintenance District in North Fork's Cascadel Woods subdivision had the byline of Mark Starias. The byline should have read Mark Stamas. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.

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