Community News for 2/14/13 edition

February 13, 2013 

Donations sought for band Disneyland trip

The Minarets High School Marching Mustangs have had an exciting season, starting with the Heritage Days Parade in Oakhurst, back in September, and ending up at Main Street USA, in Disneyland, on March 25.

According to Bill Samuelson, music department chairman, The band has had an exceptional year bringing home honors from the 42nd Annual Santa Cruz Band Review and the 34th Annual Pismo Beach Band Review where the band and percussion both placed first in their division.

These successes prompted the band to apply for the Disney Performing Arts Showcase, a program where school groups have featured performances at Disneyland in Anaheim. The band was recently notified they have been selected for the showcase and the group is scheduled to march down Main Street on Monday, March 25.

The 50-member band is seeking community donations for the trip which will cost about $200 per student which includes a ticket to the park and two nights lodging. Transportation will provided by parent chaperones.

Those interested in donating can send checks to Minarets Music Department, Minarets High School, P.O. Box 186, O'Neals, Calif., 93645.

Details: Bill Samuelson, (559) 658-5199,

Oakhurst businesses 'educated' on sign ordinance

As promised, Madera County Planning Department's head of code enforcement, Matt Treber, along with planner Jamie Bax, were in Oakhurst Feb. 5 to meet with business owners over tall feather signs, banners and A-frame sidewalk signs that are not in compliance with the Oakhurst Area Sign Ordinance.

Treber said he met with about 20 business in Oakhurst to "educate" them on the ordinance and to assist them in conforming with the ordinance.

Treber said he is hopeful his department will receive complete cooperation from all the businesses to take down any illegal advertising signs to be in compliance with the ordinance and not be forced to issue anyone a Notice of Violation that can carry fines up to $1,000 per violation.

Treber was expected to return to Oakhurst this week to confirm compliance from the businesses he had contact with on Feb. 5.

Presidents' Day early deadlines for Star

The Sierra Star office will be closed for Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 18. Early deadlines for the Feb. 21 paper are:

Display advertising, noon Thursday.

Classified advertising, 4 p.m. Friday.

Town Hall in Raymond Feb. 28

District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler will hold a Town Hall meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Raymond-Knowles Elementary School Cafeteria, 31828 Road 600, Raymond.

Cajun Fest April 6

The Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary Club will be holding their 18th Annual Cajun-Creole Festival on Saturday, April 6, at the Oakhurst Community Center.

Tickets are $35 per person and seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased from any morning Rotarian, Dorsey's Hallmark or Yosemite Bank.

The Cajun menu consists of all-you-can-eat ribs and shrimp plus dirty rice, macho corn, cole slaw and bread pudding.

Details: Bernie McGoldrick, (559) 683-4130, Dale Miller, (559) 683-0819.

Comfort food night

The Oakhurst Senior Center, located behind the Oakhurst Community Center, is hosting a Comfort Food Night at 5 p.m Friday, Feb. 15. The menu will be meat loaf and all the trimmings. Cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children. Funds from the dinner benefit the center's energy bills. Reservations suggested: (559) 683-3811.

Library seeking construction project volunteers

The Oakhurst Branch Library continues to seek volunteers to assist with ongoing construction projects. We can find a way for any person who wants to help to do so. Volunteers must be approved by the County of Madera. Applications can be found at the library and online at Oakhurst

Work days for the three phase project are April 4-6, April 11-13, and April 25-27. The library will be closed on each of these days.

Details: Oakhurst Branch Library, (559) 683-4838.

College Financial Aid Workshop Feb. 20

Money is available to help you attend college and at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20, the Oakhurst College Campus will host a FAFSA workshop for high school seniors and for returning college students. The meeting will be held on campus in room 4. The priority deadline for filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic school year is March 2.

Those interested should bring their 2012 tax returns and their parents tax returns, W-2s and any records of untaxed income such as workers compensation, state disability or child support payments. Financial Aid assistants from Reedley College and the Madera Center will be on hand to assist participants.

The Oakhurst Campus is located on Civic Circle Drive at the corner of Crane Valley Road (426) behind Rite Aid.

Details: (559) 683-3940.

Deadline nears for Chukchansi grants

Madera County agencies, schools and non-profit organizations have until March 1 to submit applications for the 2013 Community Grant Program of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians and Madera County.

Now in its seventh year, the grant program will ultimately span 10 years and filter $10 million throughout the county. The program is funded by the Picayune Rancheria through a cooperative agreement with the county.

Previous projects supported by the program include Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, Holy Family Table Capital Improvements, Madera Community Food Bank, Toys for Tots, SLS Foundation (tutoring for low income students) and the Chowchilla Fair Improvement Project.

Grant applications are available at the offices of the Madera County Board of Supervisors, 200 West Fourth St., Madera, or online at

Details: Madera County Board of Supervisors, (559) 675-7700,">supervisors@mader

Relay For Life fundraising teams

The annual Relay For Life of Eastern Madera County event at Wasuma Elementary School will be held May 18-19, from 9 a.m. to 9 a.m., and teams are now forming to help raise money to fight cancer at the fundraiser event.

The goal this year is to have more than 30 teams, (the event had 25 in 2012).

Team captains can go to to register a team. Then, they can encourage everyone they know to join the teams.

Teams can have up to 24 members, and there is no team registration fee. Individuals pay $10 to register online. Cancer survivors are always free and celebrated at Relay For Life, given a free t-shirt and other goodies.

Below is the list of upcoming team captain meetings at Oakhurst Medical Group conference room, 40232 Junction Drive at Highway 49 (1-2 team representatives attend to hear what to expect at Relay and what other teams are doing):

Monday, March 11, 5:30 p.m.

Monday, April 8, 5:30 p.m.

Monday, May 13, 5:30 a.m.

Team captain packets are distributed at the first meeting the new team attends.

The Relay is 24 hours of non-stop activities, food, entertainment, walking, camping out under the stars with hundreds of other people, fundraising and fun.

Donations sought for YHS sober grad party

Plans are currently underway for the 2013 Sober Graduation party for seniors at Yosemite High School. Donations are being sought from the community for the annual event that follows the YHS graduation ceremony.

Dena Boortz, co-chair for the event, says they are looking for such items as: cash, gift cards, gift certificates, recreational items, electronics, tools, car care products, food items, household and dorm supplies, electronics and small appliances.

She notes that this is a very special event for seniors. It gives them a last opportunity to be together as a class, and it provides a safe environment for them on graduation night.

There are drawings throughout the night along with games, entertainment and food at no cost to the graduates. Donations from the community are necessary to make the event possible, Boortz said.

Donations can be sent to Sober Grad Committee, c/o Yosemite High School, 50200 Road 427, Oakhurst, Calif., 93644.

Details: Dena Boortz, (559) 683-8801 ext. 304.

Increased fees at landfills

The Madera County Board of Supervisors will hold a 10 a.m. public hearing on Feb. 26, at the Madera County Government Center, regarding increased fees at the North Fork and Fairmead Landfills.

The rate for three cans in currently $4.25 and is proposed to increase to $5 for the same three cans.

Details: Madera-countyboardofsupervisors, click on 'agendas' for Feb. 5, 2013.

Golden Chain Theatre auditions

Auditions have been set for the Golden Chain Theatre's spring production of "Harvey" by Mary Chase. This classic story of Elwood P. Dowd and his best friend, a 6-foot tall white rabbit named Harvey. A family tries to convince Elwood that Harvey isn't real -- or is he?

The production will be directed by Dr. Richard Hoffman, who has returned to The Golden Chain for this production after almost 20 years.

Auditions are at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 at the Golden Chain Theatre, two miles north of Oakhurst on Highway 41 across from the Hounds Tooth Inn. Call backs will be at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21. If you are unable to make the auditions on Nov. 19, but are able on Nov. 21, call Jenny Turner, (559) 760-5337 for arrangements.

Finding Inner Peace After Loss retreat

A "Finding Inner Peace After Loss" one-day retreat will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9 in Coarsegold.

The retreat at Riversong Ranch in Coarsegold focuses on steps necessary for self-renewal and healing after a person has experienced the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, or other significant losses.

Cost is $89 (early bird fee -- requires postmark two weeks in advance) or $109 (which includes lunch and a workbook).

The retreat is facilitated by Sandra Lee Scott, an author, artist and licensed marriage and family therapist. She believes that "our intrinsic nature is to move toward health and wholeness, and that seeking inspiration and support is essential for the healing journey."

Details: For registration and more information, call (559) 760-1058 or email

Pastoria no longer at Boys & Girls Club

Richard Pastoria, who was hired as director of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst Oct. 29, 2012, was terminated Feb. 2 after a board meeting. The club has begun looking for a new director. Due to the termination being a personnel issue, the club has declined to comment as to the reason why Pastoria was dismissed.

Oakhurst sales woman recognized

Charlene Klinger of Oakhurst recently earned top honors from lia sophia's fashion jewelry business in its Excellent Beginnings Program Achievers for outstanding sales accomplishments and professionalism.

For more information about lia sophia, contact Charlene Klinger at, (800)-487-3323.

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