Community News for 1/2/14 edition of the Sierra Star

December 31, 2013 

Sierra amphibian protections

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a meeting Jan. 13 at the Fresno County Courthouse in Fresno from 1-3 p.m. to discuss proposals to list and designate habitat for two species of frogs and a species of toads.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will propose to list the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the northern population segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog as endangered species in April. The wildlife service will also propose to list the Yosemite toad as a threatened species.

At the same time, the service will propose to designate more than 1.8 million acres of habitat for the three amphibians in California. Of the proposed habitat, 97% is federal lands.

At the meeting, the service will provide information and address questions and concerns about the proposals, as well as the economic analysis, if it is available.

Chamber Installation Dinner

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Woman of the Year, Man of the Year, and Business of the Year Awards. The 2013 awards for the 2013 Woman of th Year, Man of the Year and Business of the Year will be presented at the 2014 Annual Chamber Installation Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Friday, Jan. 17 at The Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp from 6 -10:30 p.m..

Details: (559) 683-7766, Chamber of Commerce or

Paul Asbell, the "musician's musician"

Blues musician Paul Asbell will entertain audience members at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19 at Coolwater Ranch in Ahwahnee. Asbell has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Lightnin' Slim, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay, Pops Staples, Donny Hathaway, and numerous others while in his hometown of Chicago, Ill.

His two solo acoustic CDs, "Steel-String Americana" and "Roots and Branches," received numerous rave reviews for its highly individualized twists on blues and jazz standards, old-time country-based themes and original pieces from the "American roots" tradition.

Advance passes are now available at Oakhurst Feed and Mountain Feed and Nursery in Coarsegold.

Yosemite public service award

The California Speech-Language-Hearing Association has awarded Yosemite National Park with a Public Service Award for creating the brochure Visual Guide to Yosemite Valley, Aphasia Friendly. This is the highest honor that the Association bestows.

With the help and support of the Yosemite Conservancy and the Cal State Hayward Aphasia Treatment Program, Yosemite staff were able to complete a visual guide to Yosemite Valley providing information on getting to the park, as well as activities within Yosemite Valley for visitors with Aphasia (language center difficulties) from stroke or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

"As more and more people come back from war or traffic accidents with Aphasia related to traumatic brain injury and for those struggling with stroke and its associated aphasia this brochure will be increasingly useful," Mary Kline, the creator of the project said. Trees from Arbor Day Foundation

Celebrate the New Year in California with five free Crapemyrtles by joining the Arbor Day Foundation any time during January 2014.

"These small flowering trees will provide any landscape in California with a splash of color for much of the year," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Members will experience pink and red flowers in the spring, green foliage in the summer and a mix of red, orange and yellow during autumn."

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation's Trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between Feb.1 and April 30, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch tall trees are guaranteed to grow, or they will be replaced free of charge.

Members will also receive a subscription to the foundation's colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care.

To receive the free trees, send a $10 membership contribution to 5 Crapemmyrtles, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by Jan. 31, or

Yosemite Area Audubon Society program

Conservation Project Manager Kristen Boysen of the Sierra Foothill Conservancy will present a slide program, "My Life with Penguins at the Bottom of the World," at 7:00 p.m. at the Oakhurst Methodist Church on Crane ValleyRoad (426). Free, Details: (209) 742-5579 or

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