Community News for 4/18/13 edition

April 17, 2013 

Volunteers sought for health insurance counseling in Madera and Fresno counties

The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) for Madera and Fresno counties will hold a training session for volunteers at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30, at the Valley Caregiver Resource Center, 3845 N. Clark Street, Fresno.

HICAP volunteers receive extensive training in all aspects of Medicare and the skills needed to provide one to one counseling. HICAP volunteers help people solve problems and save significant money.

For those requiring assistance, help is available by calling (800) 434-0222. Details: Patti Bower, program manager, (800) 434-0222,

Singer Creed Bratton to perform Saturday

Actor/musician Creed Bratton, originally of Coarsegold, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold.

Bratton is a former member of The Grass Roots with hits including "Let's Live for Today" and "Midnight Confessions." He is also well-known for playing a fictional version of himself on the hit television show, "The Office."

Bratton will play a selection of songs from his beginnings in folk with the "Young Californians," complete with his comic tales of hitch hiking through Europe and Africa in the 1960s. He will also give a candid account of his time with the "Grass Roots," his down and out days before he made it on "The Office," all the while playing songs from his six solo albums. Tickets cost $20.

Rivergold Preschool registration deadline

Rivergold Preschool is accepting registrations. Applications packets are available at the office, located at 31800 Road 400 Coarsegold.

All paperwork needs to be submitted by April 30. Once families qualify, they can come in to complete enrollment forms and do an orientation. Children need to be 4 by Oct. 2 and potty trained. Parents must fill out the national lunch program application for free or reduced cost. Details: (559) 642-2052

Ember State to perform this weekend

Mountain Area folk/ bluegrass band Ember State will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at StangFest at Minarets High School in O'Neals.

This six-member band is comprised of Stephen Spies (fiddle), Charles Oter (mandolin), lead vocals Sean Cooper (guitar), Jacob Johnson (bass), Robyn Navarro, and Paziely Jackson. Besides playing at StangFest, Ember State will also perform at 11 a.m., Saturday at the North Fork Earth Day Festival, 57839 Road 225. . Details:

Flea market/rummage sale for center

Mountain Community Women's 31st Annual Flea Market Boutique & Rummage Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at the Oakhurst Community Center. Proceeds benefit the Oakhurst Community Center. There will be furniture, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, wreaths and food. Anyone interested in renting space can call (559) 658-6192. Space rental costs $30 inside or $25 outside.

Day of prayer breakfast May 2

A National Day of Prayer Breakfast will be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Yosemite Lakes Community Church of the Sierra. The church has been hosting the breakfast since 1996 and this year's guest speaker is Jack Hibbs, founder and senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills. This year's theme is "Pray for America."

Hibbs' ministry reaches thousands who attend his church weekly, as well as an international radio audience in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Hawaii.

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress' proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer.

Christian Science church speaker Saturday

International presenter Chet Manchester will speak about the Sermon on the Mount at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Oakhurst Christian Science Church, 40447 Redbud Drive. Manchester was moved after he visited the hills of Galilee where Jesus first gave his teachings.

"He taught that love was the very essence and nature of God and that if you wanted to get closer to your creator, you had to lean to love more," Manchester said.

Manchester is a Christian Science practitioner, teacher and lecturer living in the St. Louis area. He has worked professionally as an artist, creative director, and video producer in Kenya, France and the United States. He is currently serving as president of The Mother Church, and his lectures, podcasts, and blogs can be found regularly on Details: (559) 683-7447.

Dog show and bake sale SPCA fundraisers

The Oakhurst Mountain Lions Club is hosting an "Oakminster" Dog Show as a fundraiser for the Eastern Madera County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' planned no-kill animal shelter in Ahwahnee.

The dog show will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at the Oakhurst Community Park. The event will include lots of awards -- including Best of Show -- classes for all breeds, and an obedience competition.

Pre-registration is $10 per dog and forms are available at Day of the event registration is $15 per dog and check-in and registration is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

A fundraiser bake sale for the SPCA will be held Saturday in front of True Value Home Center in Oakhurst off of Highway 49.

North Fork fire station ribbon cutting

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently completed North Fork Volunteer Fire Station will be held at 11 a.m. May 10. The station is located on the old North Fork mill property, 33400 Douglas Ranger Station Road.

Public comment periods continue for Merced River Plan and Mariposa grove

The public comment period for Yosemite National Park's Merced River Plan, what includes proposals to removal many popular commercial services in Yosemite Valley, has been extended to April 30.

A copy of the plan with all alternatives is available online at

The public comment period for a new plan outlining the future of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias within Yosemite's south entrance will continue through May 7. The preferred alternative includes the removal of the commercial tram within the grove and a new parking area at the park's south gate and shuttle system to the grove from that location.

The full plan with all alternatives is available online at Stories about both plans and how to comment on the plans are also available online at

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