Community News for 5/16/13 edition

May 15, 2013 

YLP 30-acre fire

A 30-acre wildfire that started about 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon off of Ranger Circle Drive in Yosemite Lakes Park was extinguished by mid-afternoon thanks to the response of firefighters manning 14 engines, along with an aircraft, fire officials said. No structures were lost.

Two Tesoro Viejo lawsuits dropped

The City of Fresno has dropped its lawsuit against Madera County over the proposed 5,200-home Tesoro Viejo development north of the Fresno River along Highway 41.

A settlement was reached last week between Fresno and Madera County that Tesoro Viejo's developer, McCaffrey Homes, will pay the city $1,600 for every house built.

In Fresno's lawsuit, the city cited costs associated with the proposed new development, including air pollution, increased traffic and use of city services.

According to the settlement agreement, Fresno and Madera County will convene discussions, moderated by state officials, about where future development should go and how associated expenses will be paid.

Madera County and McCaffrey settled another lawsuit against the Department of Transportation, agreeing to do more traffic studies after Caltrans sued, alleging traffic forecasts had been understated.

Madera County also remains in litigation with Fresno over a proposed development along Highway 99 in Fresno, alleging it could cause many of the same problems the city fears would happen with Tesoro Viejo.

The Tesoro Viejo development still faces two lawsuits from environmental groups.

Bass Lake certified farmers market

The weekly Bass Lake Certified Farmer's Market at the Pines Village in Bass Lake opens for the season 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22.

Returning as anchor vendors for the market for the fourth consecutive year are Shasky Farms of LeGrand and Sunny Farms of Clovis.

"These are two of the most coveted farmer's market vendors in the state and they deliver quality produce," Chuck Nugent, market manager said. "Bass Lake is one of their favorite markets and they feel welcomed as a part of the community."

Other returning vendors are Blossom Trail Honey, Yosemite Sierra Specialties, Jammin Jams and Bluebird Trail Farm and Three Springs Flower Garden.

Music will be provided weekly by Marcia Weimar.

The market, sponsored by the Bass Lake Chamber of Commerce, is held every Wednesday through September.

Details: Chuck Nugent, (559) 642-8163,

Coarsegold Peddlers Market May 24-27

The 30th annual Coarsegold Peddlers Market will again be hosted by the Coarsegold Historic Village over Memorial Day weekend -- Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27.

The Coarsegold Village will be filled with vendors offering a wide variety of antiques and collectibles. There will also be food and craft booths. Admission is free.

Parking is $4 per vehicle with a portion of the proceeds going to the Oakhurst Elks Club.

Vendors will be available from noon to dusk Friday, dawn to dusk over the weekend, and dawn to 5 p.m. Monday.

Details: (559) 683-3900

Spring garden tour

The Mariposa Master Gardener annual Spring Garden Tour starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1.

The event begins at the creek-side garden with a short celebration of the garden's 10th anniversary and native-plant giveaway. The home-garden tours begin at 9:30 a.m. at any of the seven gardens.

Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 June 1, and are available at the farm advisor's office, 5009 Fairgrounds Drive, Mariposa, or online at

Details: (209) 966-2417.

Coarsegold classic car show June 15

Registration is open for the 6th Annual Coarsegold Classic Car Show that will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at the Coarsegold Historic Village on Highway 41.

All funds raised from the show will benefit Oakhurst's Manna House, an outreach and assistance center for families in need.

The show is limited to 120 classic cars, trucks and motorcycles from 1900 to 1976 in nine trophy classes. Registration is $15 and forms can be found at

The committee is also seeking raffle prize donations. All sponsors will received a free ad in the event program.

Details: Carolyn Mather, (559) 642-3084,

Valley business receives Crystal Tower award

Round Table Pizza of Madera received the Crystal Tower Award May 8 at the 10th Annual Business and Education Shareholders' Luncheon in Madera.

The business was recognized for their partnerships with Madera County schools in front of more than 150 business and community leaders.

Accepting the award for Round Table Pizza were owners Bill and Brenda Dawson.

Yosemite High School's Cadet Corps presented colors at the event followed by the Star Spangled Banner performed by Madera South High School's Brass Ensemble.

Past recipients of the Crystal Tower Award include Delaware North (Tenaya Lodge), Ponderosa Telephone, Sierra Ambulance and Sierra Telephone.

Documentary on sexual assault in the military to be shown

The public is invited to join the Mariposa American Association of University Women Branch and the Social Issues Film Forum at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the Miner's Inn, 5181 Highway 49 in Mariposa for a free viewing of the 90-minute film, "The Invisible War."

The film focuses on the timely topic of sexual harassment in the military. Following the viewing, discussion will be led by a member of the Women's Studies Program at California State University, Fresno.

"The Invisible War" is an investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best kept secrets -- the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem. Today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

The Department of Defense estimates there were 22,800 violent sex crimes in the military in 2011.


Tioga Road now open

The Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park, the popular east-west passage across the Sierra Nevada on Highway 120, opened for the season last Saturday, May 11 for all vehicular traffic.

Vault toilets are available in several locations along the road.

Due to a light snowpack this past winter, the Tioga Road was able to be cleared of snow early.

All campgrounds along the Tioga Road are currently closed. All commercial services, including the gas station, store and village grill, are also closed. There are no anticipated opening dates for any of these facilities at this time.

Presentation on how to win local elections

A presentation on how to win local elections will be held at the Oakhurst/Coarsegold Tea Party Action Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the Best Western Yosemite Gateway Inn Restaurant, 40530 Highway 41 in Oakhurst. Topics of discussion will include: finding and electing good candidates, community involvement, effective volunteering, fundraising and using social media.

Three speakers will be giving their firsthand experience.

Details: or 866-565-1379.

Taiko drummers in Mariposa Saturday

San Jose Taiko, featuring Japanese drumming, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mariposa High School.

San Jose Taiko was founded in 1973 by young Asian Americans searching for an outlet to convey their experiences as "sansei," or third-generation, Japanese Americans. Looking to Japan for inspiration, they were drawn to the empowering sounds of the taiko, the Japanese drum.

Since then, San Jose Taiko has become a world-class ensemble, performing extensively both nationally and internationally, reaching more than 100,000 audience members each year.

Tickets costs are from $10 to $40 for families up to four.

Details: Mariposa County Arts Council, (209) 966-3155.

LAFCO seeks new member

Applications are available for an alternate public member position on the Madera County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

The position is open for any resident of Madera County who has a desire to provide civic services to their community.

Alternate commissioners are encouraged to participate and provide comments during regular meetings on all agenda items and have voting rights in the absence of the regular member.

Madera LAFCO has jurisdiction over changes in local government organization occurring within Madera County, such as annexations and incorporations of cities and special districts. LAFCOs are created by state law and encourage the orderly formation of local government agencies, to preserve agricultural and open space land, and to discourage urban sprawl.

The position pays $100 per meeting.

Details: Jerome Keene or Dave Herb, (559) 675-7821,

Children's museum Crab Cakes dinner

Crab Cakes Restaurant is hosting a special benefit dinner for the Steve 4 Mayor campaign supporting Steve Montalto, running for Oakhurst's honorary mayor to raise funds for Children's Museum of the Sierra in Oakhurst.

The dinner is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 22. Dinner is $30, with $15 from every plate going to Montalto's mayor campaign for the museum. Children can order off the kids menu.

The menu will include a choice of a pork chops, broiled salmon or chicken, with a variety of sides and a non-alcoholic beverage.

Details: Reservations, (559) 317-2643.

Crab Feed

The 10th Annual Crab Feed to benefit Yosemite Youth Football will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Oakhurst Community Center.

Tickets are $35 at the door.

Details: Erik Peterson, (559) 760-3331.

Fundraising dinner

A fundraising dinner for the Coarsegold Resource Conservation District will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at North Fork Town Hall. Music will be provided by The All Star Band.

Tickets cost $20 per person.

Details: Jeannie Habben, (559) 642-3263.

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