Community News for 7/18/13 edition

July 16, 2013 

Wheeler Town Hall Meeting July 25

Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler will host a Town Hall Meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25 at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road Fresno Flats Road (425B).

Subjects for discussion will include a 2013/14 budget update; the reorganization of county administration, human resources and county counsel; building department update on the county's ADA outreach efforts to help local businesses; and a $3,000 check to be presented to the Oakhurst Community Center from Pacific Gas & Electric Company for upgrades and retrofits to their parking lot lights as part of their energy efficiency projects.

S'Mores Festival Aug. 10 at Fresno Flats

The Girl Scouts of Central California South will host a S'Mores Festival 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10, at Fresno Flats Historical Village and Park.

The festival will include instruction on making your own marshmallow roaster, learning the history of S'Mores, and eating the popular treat.

The cost to participate in the festival is $17 for Girl Scouts and $37 for girls that are non-scouts (fee includes Girl Scout membership). Deadline for registration is Friday, July 26. Registration can be done online at Details: (800) 490-8653.

American Legion awards

The following eighth grade graduates were recently presented "Certificates of Distinguished Achievement" by American Legion Post 110 for leadership, patriotism, courage and service:

North Fork: Savannah Shipp and Micah Mosier. Oak Creek Intermediate: Peter McLean and Tori Nelson. Spring Valley: Brennen Ryan and Jordyn Samper. Raymond/Knowls: Chase Piercy and MaryAnn Dudley. Wasuma: Robert Crabtree. Chawanakee Academy: Heidi Farris and Joel Bradshaw. Rivergold: Glen Martin and Victoria Bodine. Coarsegold: Kael Miazzola and Evan Morton.

Free event for home gardeners

Madera County Master Gardeners will host a free workshop, "Lavendar and Herbs — So Easy to Grow and Use," for home gardeners from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 20 at the Madera Community College Center, 30277 Avenue 12. No reservations are required. Details: (559) 675-7879, ext. 7210, email,

Prevent vehicle related wildfires

Fire danger in the state of California is above normal. Significantly dry conditions are present due to historically low precipitation and high temperatures. The U.S. Forest Service is asking to help prevent destructive fires by following simple guidelines:

Be prepared — Carry a shovel and a fire extinguisher in your vehicle and off-highway vehicle.

Follow all public-use restrictions and access closures. Check with local agencies about any closures before venturing off road.

Keep vehicles off dry grass — Exhaust systems can heat up to 1,000 degrees and ignite grasses and shrubs.

Check your spark arrester — Before heading out, clean your off-highway vehicle spark arrester. This will reduce the chance of a spark starting a wildfire.

Nothing dragging — Make sure vehicles are maintained with nothing dragging on the ground.

For more information on the 'One Less Spark' campaign, visit

Station 10 30th anniversary celebration

Firefighters and auxiliary members of Station 10, past and present, along with members of the public, are invited to attend the Yosemite Lakes Park Volunteer Fire Department's 30th anniversary celebration.

The free event begins at 6 p.m. Friday July 19 at the YLP Clubhouse, 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway, Coarsegold. The event will be part of the Yosemite Lakes Park Owners Association's "Friday Night at the Lake" with live music by Dave Henderson and food available for purchase. A silent and live auction will be held, with all proceeds going to support Station 10.

Attendees will be recognized for their service and contribution to the foundation and history of the volunteer station. The celebration is a fun event for adults and children to meet local firefighters and check out Station 10's fire engines.

Photo mounting workshops

The Mariposa Photo Club will host two free photo-mounting workshops in August to help photographers prepare their photos for exhibit at the Mariposa County Fair, to be held Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.

The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 3, and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Mariposa fairgrounds. The deadline to submit entry forms for the fair's photography exhibit is Aug. 3.

Mariposa Photo Club members will assist photographers with mounting and will have mounting boards available for purchase. Details: (949) 233-8881,

Mariposa concerts

Cousin Jack's Mariposa Evenings — sponsored by the Mariposa County Arts Council — presents Nicholas Lefler at 7 p.m. Friday and The Mountain Men at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mariposa County Art Park, located on Highway 140 between 4th and 5th Street, along the Creek Walkway. The shows are free.

Lefler will be performing innovative Spanish, gypsy and classical guitar pieces. The Mountain Men perform bluegrass/Americana music singing and playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and upright bass.

Wawona reception for artist Eve Davidson

The Wawona Friends of the Bassett Memorial Library are hosting a reception for artist Eve Davidson at 7 p.m Sunday, July 28 at the Wawona library, located at 7971 Chilnualna Falls Road.

A painter since her teen years, Davidson is inspired by people and nature. For Davidson, art is a visual story of things that gladden or worry the heart, an expression of self, ones surroundings, hopes, and possibilities. The show, which runs through the end of August, is the first public exhibit of her work. Details: Pat Sischo, (209) 375-6273.

Smokey Bear Run/Walk sign-ups and sponsors sought for September event

Sponsors and event sign-ups are available for the 26th Annual Smokey Bear Run/Walk in Bass Lake, a fundraiser for many local organizations, that will be held Sept. 28 in Bass Lake.

The event includes a children's race, a two-mile walk, two-mile run, and a 10K run. The event is hosted by the Mountain Area Runners organization, a non-profit 501(c)(3) group. All donations are tax-deductible. Platinum, gold, silver and bronze sponsorships are available — with donations ranging from $4,000 to $250 — along with "Friends of Smokey" sponsorships, available for donations of less than $250.

Proceeds from this year's event will go to Cal Fire and the United States Forest Service Fire Prevention Programs, Madera County Search & Rescue, Madera County Sheriff Explorer's Post 104, Citizens on Patrol, and the Yosemite High School Cross Country Teams.

Last year's event raised close to $10,000 for community organizations, with more than 525 runners/walkers participating. The Smokey Bear Run/Walk is one of 15 races with the elite title of "Valley Runner of the Year Series." Details: To participate, or for more information about the benefits of becoming a sponsor, contact Mountain Area Runners at (559) 683-1770, or email

Free police practices guide available

The Central California Criminal Justice Committee is offering a free booklet titled, "A Student's Guide to Police Practices" that offers general guidelines about police practices and what to do if a person is stopped and questioned by a law enforcement officer. Details: To obtain a copy, contact Ellie Bluestein at (559) 229-9807, or Ray Ensher at (559) 439-8140.

Disaster loans available for area residents

Small, non-farm businesses in 15 California counties, including Madera County, are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that occurred from May 7 to July 1, 2013," said Alfred E. Judd, director of SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available. In drought disasters, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's secure website at Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA's Customer Service Center by calling SBA toll-free at (800) 659-2955. The deadline to apply is March 3, 2014.

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