Community News for 3/7/13 edition

March 6, 2013 

Time change Saturday night

A reminder to set your clocks ahead one hour when you go to bed Saturday night. Daylight Savings time will begin at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, springing time ahead one hour.

County utilities meeting Friday

A Madera County Utilities Special Committee meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, March 8, in the planning commission conference room, 2037 W. Cleveland Ave., Madera.

The public will be able to comment about recent proposals by the county to outsource portions, or all, of the operations and maintenance services of the 34 county sewer and water special districts.

Friday's meeting agenda includes discussion and consideration of recently gathered survey results that asked county residents about their satisfaction with current sewer and water services. Also on the agenda is a discussion and consideration of approval of the draft request for a letter of interest, soliciting companies to bid for work normally performed by the county's special district employees.

Copies of county staff reports can be obtained by contacting the board clerks office at (559) 675-7700, or online at

Yosemite park plan public meeting in Oakhurst March 14

A public meeting about Yosemite National Park's recently released Merced River Plan will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Sierra Senior Center in Oakhurst, located behind Oakhurst Community Center.

The plan highlights the Park Service's preferred alternatives to protect the river that flows through Yosemite Valley, including the removal of some popular commercial services such as the ice skating rink and bike rentals.

A public meeting about the plan will also be held in Wawona at 1 p.m. Friday, March 15, at the Wawona Community Center.

A list of all upcoming public meetings and online webinars for the MRP and Tuolumne River Plan is listed online at

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

Forest fire lookout volunteers needed

Miami Mountain forest fire lookout of the Sierra National Forest is currently recruiting lookout volunteers.

Training and orientation as a Forest Fire Lookout and storm spotter is provided.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer can contact Jeffrey May, Miami Mountain Forest Fire Lookout Coordinator, (559) 658-5287 (office); (209) 352-6389 (cell); or


Crab Cakes to donate proceeds

Crab Cakes Restaurant will donate $6 of every plate sold on St. Patty's Day, Sunday, March 17 to the Squirrel Cage Theatre in North Fork. The corned beef and cabbage dinner costs $12.

There will be live music from noon to 6 p.m. featuring Sugar Pine Singers, Amy Duke and Dave Novell.

Half Dome cables permits available

Half Dome cables day-use permits for the 2013 hiking season became available for reservation March 1, and will continue to be available through Sunday, March 31. Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week and reservations will be distributed via a lottery system. A maximum of 300 hikers will be allowed on the Half Dome cables per day.

Reservations for the permits can be made online at or by calling (877) 444-6777.

Approximately 50 subsequent daily permits will be available each day by lottery during the hiking season. The permits must be applied for two days in advance of the desired hiking date.

The Half Dome cables are typically in place from mid-May through mid-October.


Pancake breakfast for Boy Scouts

Four Boy Scouts from troop 341, Zane Dufresne, Jaden Malcom, Peter McLean and Ty Peterson, that are going to the national Scout Jamboree are holding a fundraising pancake breakfast, 7:30 - 11 a.m. Sunday at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Fresno Flats Road (425B).

The breakfast is sponsored by the Scouts chartering organization, the Oakhurst Kiwanis Club.

Soroptimist soup & salad luncheon

The Soroptimist's Annual Soup & Salad Luncheon will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425B.

The luncheon includes homemade soups, salad bar, rolls, beverages and dessert. Takeout is available.

Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

There will also be a raffle, which will promptly begin at 1 p.m.

Details: Dannie Forbes, (559) 760-7335.

Dinner will benefit youth mission

A dinner and silent auction to benefit an April mission to Seattle by 10 high school youths from Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, March 15, at the church, 39696 Highway 41.

Individuals and businesses are being asked to donate items or services for the silent auction. Tickets for the dinner are $10.

Details: Steve Wetzel, (559) 683-6742.

OHV grant open house March 14

The Sierra National Forest is hosting an open house, requesting public input on the forest's 2013 state off-highway motor vehicle grant application from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at 1600 Tollhouse Road in Clovis.

This year the State has funds available for education, operation and maintenance, law enforcement and restoration projects, and the Sierra National Forest will submit an OHV grant application for this funding.

All grant applications will be available for review at: The comment period ends April 1.

Written comments can be submitted to the OHV Division's website or mailed to: Sierra National Forest, Attn. Susan Burkindine, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis, CA 93611 or

Supervisors terminate contract with CWPOA

The Madera County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday, Feb. 26, to terminate the county's maintenance and operations agreement with the Cascadel Woods Property Owners Association for the recreational area of County Service Area 21 (Cascadel Woods' recreational facilities, which include the clubhouse and grounds).

A Municipal Advisory Committee has been established that will advise the supervisors acting as the board of directors on the maintenance and operations issues of the recreational area.

Madera County auditor-controller Marcia Hall said that the CWPOA did not truly represent all 151 Cascadel parcels, but said that the advisory committee would.

New date for Baker

The "settlement conference/motion regarding discovery" phase of the Harry Baker trial has been continued from Feb. 28 to 8:30 a.m., March 28, in Department 31 of Fresno County Superior Court before Judge Alvin Harrell, III.

Baker was arrested on Oct. 5, 2009, for allegedly committing a lewd act with a 13-year-old girl in May of 2007. Baker has said he is innocent since his arrest.


In a three vehicle accident photo in the Feb. 28 edition of the Sierra Star, the caption stated the Thomas Ziegler of Oakhurst clipped a vehicle. However Ziegler did not clip anyone. Instead, his vehicle was clipped.

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