Community News for 6/6/13 edition

June 5, 2013 

Teenager swept over Nevada Fall in Yosemite Saturday

A Yosemite visitor was witnessed June 1 being swept over Nevada Fall in Yosemite National Park. The body of Aleh Kalman, 19, from Sacramento, had not been recovered as of Tuesday afternoon.

Kalman came to the park with a church group and was hiking the Mist Trail when the accident occurred.

Kalman was witnessed swimming above Nevada Fall, approximately 150 feet from the precipice, when he was swept away by the current. Witnesses reported to park officials that he was swimming back from a rock in the middle of the river when the current swept him downstream to the edge of the waterfall.

Visitors are urged to exercise extreme caution around all water in Yosemite National Park. Although the park received only 50% of normal snow pack, rivers within the park continue to run at high levels this time of the year. Additionally, the water remains extremely cold and will be throughout the year.

Rock climber dies on El Capitan, Yosemite

A 28-year-old climber died in a rock climbing accident on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park Sunday, June 2. Felix Joseph Kiernan, from London, England, was climbing on the East Buttress of El Capitan, a popular climbing route in Yosemite Valley, when he was struck by a rock.

Kiernan and his climbing partner were approximately 600 feet up the climbing route when a loose block of granite was dislodged. The block, estimated to be one foot by two feet, fell approximately 150 feet before striking Kiernan and causing fatal injuries. The incident occurred at about 2 p.m.

Park rangers reached Kiernan around 4 p.m. and pronounced him deceased. A California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter, H-40, and the park's helicopter, Helicopter 551, assisted in the incident by inserting park rangers and rescue equipment onto the wall and hoisting the victim to Yosemite Valley.

Oakhurst River Parkway cleanup Saturday

Community volunteers are being sought to assist with an Oakhurst River Parkway cleanup 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. Those interested can meet in the Sierra Star parking lot, 49165 Crane Valley Road (426).

Snacks, water, gloves and tools will be provided.

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

Friday at Fresno Flats June 14

The 5:30 p.m. June 14 "Friday at Fresno Flats" event will feature a pizza dinner and guest speaker Ed Guzman, general manager of Sierra Ambulance.

Cost is $10 per person and the event will be held in the historic Cunningham School located at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park located on School Road (427).

Sierra Ambulance has provided life saving services to residents of Eastern Madera County since 1964. Guzman will speak about the paramedic services provided by Sierra Ambulance and the improvements in service over the past nearly 50 years.

Details: (559) 683-6570

Rib Fest June 22

The 14th Annual Oakhurst Rib Fest will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday, June 22 at the Oakhurst Community Center. As in years past, five Oakhurst service clubs will be competing for the title of "Best Ribs." Defending their title will be members of the Oakhurst Sierra Kiwanis Club.

Cost for the all-you-can-eat event is $20 and tickets can be purchased at Dorsey's Hallmark or Yosemite Bank.

Proceeds from the event are used for the operation and upkeep of the community center.

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

Forest Service releases draft region assessment

The Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service has released a draft Bio-Regional Assessment of the Sierra Cascade region. The draft assessment focuses on existing conditions and trends for the entire Sierra Cascades region.

Each of the 10 National Forests in the Sierra Cascade region will be able to use the assessment as a foundation for revising their forest plans. Forest plan revision is already underway on the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests.

The deadline for providing feedback to be considered in the final report is June 15. Feedback can be sent to the following email address:

Further information on the draft Bio-Regional Assessment and providing feedback can be found at: .

Details: Deb Whitall, (707) 562-8823 or

Free comedy show June 14 at Bass Lake's Pines Village

A free "Comedy in Bass Lake" show featuring Joe Klocek, Kevin Tienken, William Lushbough and Torio Van Grol will be held at 8 p.m. June 14 in the Lakeview Room located in the Pines Village.

Klocek,raised a midwesterner, does two things, tells stories and talks to the crowd.

Klocek has appeared on Comedy Centrals, "Live at Gotham" and NBC's "Last Comic Standing." He was voted Best Comic in the 2011 SF Weekly Readers Poll and finished second in both the Seattle and San Francisco comedy competitions.

Tienken was the host of Nantucket Avenue Podcast and was voted "most likely to become the next Adam Sandler" by his peers in the Bullard High School graduating class of 1999.

Lushbough has performed at numerous clubs around California. The Business San Francisco has referred to Lushbough as "The Pride of Fresno."

Host and comedian Torio Van Grol is a former resident of Bass Lake who now resides in San Francisco.

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