Community News for 4/25/13 edition

April 24, 2013 

Minor privatization of districts proposed

The Madera County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to follow the recommendations of the Utilities Special Committee, created last fall, for minimal outsourcing of the county's special water and wastewater districts.

The supervisors made a motion to continue the committee and directed it to work with staff on internal improvements, including developing policies and procedures for outsourcing district billing, collections and meter reading services.

"I don't see anyone losing their job," said county engineer Kheng Vang -- adding that outsourcing would just eliminate work for some county staff, who could then use that time to work on other more pressing issues. "I'm very proud and happy about the board's decision and we look forward to addressing all of these (special district) issues and making the special districts more viable."

Fire fee town hall

The public is invited to join Board of Equalization member George Runner, State Senator Ted Gaines and Assemblymembers Frank Bigelow and Beth Gaines for a teleconference townhall regarding the confusing and controversial "California Fire Prevention Fee."

The tele-townhall will be 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7. During the call, the elected officials will discuss the latest fire tax news and answer questions from callers. To participate you must register by May 6 at, or by calling (916) 445-3032.

Interested participants who pre-register will receive a telephone call at the start of the event inviting them to connect to the townhall.

"Many of my constituents have expressed concern about the fairness and cost of this new tax," said Runner. "As their elected taxpayer advocate, it's important for me to hear their concerns and keep them apprised of the latest developments."

For the latest news and information about the fire tax, visit

Bass Lake Arts & Crafts Fair May 3-5

The Seventh Annual Bass Lake Arts & Crafts Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, May 3-5 at The Pines Village, 54449 Road 432 at Bass Lake.

There will be arts and crafts, including jewelry, beadwork, kaleidoscopes, pottery, candles, woodworking, yard items, photography and hand-sown items.

Music will be performed by Jean Butterfield, the Morgan Canyon Band, and by Uncle Ephus. Admission and parking are free.

Details: (559) 288-6614,

Bridal Show April 28

The Fourth Annual Bridal Show at Paradise Springs will be held from 12 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 28 at Paradise Springs, 52770 Road 632, above Oakhurst.

There will be food tasting, vendors, prizes, drawings and music.

Details: Debby, (559) 642-2613.

FFA Boosters tri-tip dinner May 11

The Yosemite High School FFA Boosters are inviting the public to their eighth annual tri-tip dinner and auction, which will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at Evergreen Conference Center, 43803 Highway 41 in Oakhurst.

Doors open at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a no host bar.

Tickets cost $25 per person or $200 for a table for eight.

Tickets are available at Oakhurst Feed and Mountain Feed in Coarsegold.

Details: Michelle at (559) 683-4667 or Bridgette at (559) 240-9674.

Drunk driving awareness event

A free drunk driving awareness event will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28 at the Coarsegold Community Center. The event is put on by Delaney Mitchell as her senior project for Yosemite High School, and for her Girl Scout Gold Award.

The event will include a candlelight vigil, guest speakers, CHP officer, firefighters, a slideshow showing statistics about drunk driving, and refreshments.

"I chose this particular project because on May 18, 2012, my grandpa and grandma were killed at the hands of a drunk driver," Mitchell said. "It not only affected me greatly, but the family of the drunk driver as well ... This project not only benefits me, but also teaches other people the affects and hardship that drunk driving can have on families and friends ... I'm challenging myself by speaking out on something that is very difficult for me to speak in public about."

Details: (559) 760-0460.

Family/wildflower hike Saturday

A family/wildflower hike and scavenger hunt, put on by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, will be held Saturday -- a tour of wildlife, native plants and wildflowers on the conservancy's Von der Ahe Conservation Easement in the Mariposa area.

The hike is being led by Wendy Fisher of Oakhurst. Those interested in attending should meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at Tip Top Road and Highway 49CHECK. Hikes are free for SFC members, with a suggested $5 donation for non-members.

Details:, (209) 742-5556.

Car wash for Poplarchick family

A car wash will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4 at The Hitching Post, 42592 Highway 41 in Ahwahnee. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Poplarchick family.

Annette Poplarchick, 41, was in a head-on collision Easter Sunday, March 31 near Yosemite Lakes Park. Poplarchick suffered a broken arm and broken hip and underwent surgery. She is home recuperating now, but her husband, Rod, is unable to work in order to care for his wife.

Car wash tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at The Produce Place in Oakhurst or at the event.

Defense Awareness Class May 4

Soroptimist International of The Sierras is sponsoring a "Defense Awareness Class" for junior high age girls and their mothers from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at Oak Creek Intermediate School, 40094 Indian Springs, Oakhurst.

Retired Los Angles Police Department Officer Mike Vaughn will be the class instructor. There is no cost to attend, but class size is limited to 40. Comfortable clothing is suggested.

Sign up by calling Rhonda Dewey at (559) 683-8816.

Luncheon for Children's Hospital

The La Sierra Guild of Children's Hospital, Central California will host their 14th Annual 'Cinco de Mayo' Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 3.

Free delivery will be provided to Oakhurst establishments.

A $12 lunch provided by El Cid's Mexican Cuisine of Oakhurst will include enchiladas and chili rellenos, along with rice and beans, black olives and garnish, and chips and salsa.

Call (559) 641-7823 for order forms and more information about meals. All proceeds from the luncheon go to the The Guild's Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Endowment for Children's Hospital.

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