Community News for 1/9/14 edition of the Sierra Star

January 7, 2014 

Women in Business luncheon

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Women in Business luncheon at noon, Thursday, Jan. 9, at Crab Cakes Restaurant.

The cost of the luncheon is $16 and attendees have a choice of fish and chips, garden pasta, or chicken Cesar salad for lunch.

Guest speaker will be Linda Preceado-Weaver, artist.

Reservations: Michaela Edwards, Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, (559) 683-7766.

Oakhurst Garden Club workshop

The Oakhurst Garden Club will be hosting a "Dare to Replace Your Lawn" workshop at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12 at True Value.

The workshop will include information on alternatives to lawns in the Foothills, information on frost protection, creating paths in the garden, and hardy winter containers for winter wildlife.

Women in Business luncheon

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Women in Business luncheon at noon, Thursday, Jan. 9, at Crab Cakes Restaurant.

The cost of the luncheon is $16 and attendees have a choice of fish and chips, garden pasta, or chicken Cesar salad for lunch.

Guest speaker will be Linda Preceado-Weaver, artist.

Reservations: Michaela Edwards, Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, (559) 683-7766.


Oakhurst Garden Club workshop

The Oakhurst Garden Club will be hosting a "Dare to Replace Your Lawn" workshop at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12 at True Value.

The workshop will include information on alternatives to lawns in the Foothills, information on frost protection, creating paths in the garden, and hardy winter containers for winter wildlife.

The cost of the workshop is free.


Relay for Life

The Eastern Madera County Relay for Life committee will hold its first team captain meeting of the new year at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13 at Oakhurst Medical Group. Immediately following that meeting (at 6:30 p.m.), a committee meeting will be held.

This year's event will be held on May 17 and 18 at Yosemite High School.

Six relay teams are already signed up, but many more are needed.

To register: relayforlife.org/easternmaderacountyca.


New behavioral health director

Dennis Koch was officially named director of Madera County's Department of Behavioral Health Services in late November. A long-time veteran in the mental health field and president of the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrator's Association of California, Koch said that this is more than just a job, that he's passionate about helping others — going all the way back to 1978 when he served in the U.S. Army and was trained as a behavioral health specialist.

Koch was employed as the drug and alcohol administrator for Fresno County before taking the position as director in Madera County.


Sample ballot opt-out

Rebecca Martinez, Madera County clerk-recorder and registrar of voters announced that voters now have the choice in how they receive their sample ballots.

In all elections, a sample ballot booklet is printed for each registered voter. In an effort to reduce costs in county budgets, state law now allows voters to "go green" by choosing to "opt out" of receiving their sample ballot booklet by mail and accessing it online instead.

"It's convenient, it's paperless and it's free," said Martinez. "Reducing the number of sample ballot booklets printed will save the county thousands of tax-payer dollars."

To sign up, visit the County Clerk-Elections Division website and provide the required information. For voters that prefer to receive their sample ballot by mail, no action is required. Your sample ballot booklet will continue to arrive by mail approximately 29 days before each election. Details: (800) 435-0509, madera-county.com.


Child immunization clinic Jan. 24

A child immunization clinic will be held 9 a.m. - noon, Friday, Jan. 24, at the Madera County Health Clinic, 40325 Highway 41, Oakhurst.

A Tuberculosis skin testing clinic will be held 2-4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 27, at the same location. Details: (559) 658-7456.


Collectible Book Sale

The Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library will host a collectible book sale 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday Jan. 18, at the Library in the community room.

The sale will include new and classic book, cookbooks and coffee table books all in excellent condition. Details: (559) 658-5639


Proposed water rate increase

Hillview Water Company (HWC) has requested authority from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to increase its water rates by $77,845 or 5% more than present rates for a temporary period of 36 months. The last general rate increase became affective Oct. 6, 2009. The purposed increase will allow HWC to recover revenues that were not billed to customers between Jan. 1, 2009 and Oct. 6, 2009 as allowed by law.

Increases are as follows:

3/4-inch meter — from $28.93 to $32.58

1-inch meter — from $48.05 to $54.13

1-1/2-inch meter — from $96.11 to $108.26

2-inch meter — from $153.77 to $173.21

3-inch meter — from $288.32 to $324.77

4-inch meter — from $480.53 to $541.28

6-inch meter — from $961.07 to $1,082.57

The commission staff will make a thorough investigation of the utility's request and may grant the utility's request in whole or in part or may deny it all together. It may also order the utility to charge rates different from those shown requested.

Protests must be mailed within 20 days of the initial notice (Dec. 19, 2013) and must state facts constituting the grounds for protest. Protests and responses must be sent to the CPUC and a copy of protest must be sent to the utility.

All protests and responses must be sent to both CPUC Water Utilities Division, Room 3106, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 and HWC 40312 Greenwood Way, P.O. Box 2269, Oakhurst, CA 93644. Responses should mention that they pertain to Hillview Water Company, Advice letter No. 99.

The cost of the workshop is free.

Relay for Life

The Eastern Madera County Relay for Life committee will hold its first team captain meeting of the new year at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13 at Oakhurst Medical Group. Immediately following that meeting (at 6:30 p.m.), a committee meeting will be held.

This year's event will be held on May 17 and 18 at Yosemite High School.

Six relay teams are already signed up, but many more are needed.

To register: relayforlife.org/easternmaderacountyca.

New behavioral health director

Dennis Koch was officially named director of Madera County's Department of Behavioral Health Services in late November. A long-time veteran in the mental health field and president of the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrator's Association of California, Koch said that this is more than just a job, that he's passionate about helping others — going all the way back to 1978 when he served in the U.S. Army and was trained as a behavioral health specialist.

Koch was employed as the drug and alcohol administrator for Fresno County before taking the position as director in Madera County.

Sample ballot opt-out

Rebecca Martinez, Madera County clerk-recorder and registrar of voters announced that voters now have the choice in how they receive their sample ballots.

In all elections, a sample ballot booklet is printed for each registered voter. In an effort to reduce costs in county budgets, state law now allows voters to "go green" by choosing to "opt out" of receiving their sample ballot booklet by mail and accessing it online instead.

"It's convenient, it's paperless and it's free," said Martinez. "Reducing the number of sample ballot booklets printed will save the county thousands of tax-payer dollars."

To sign up, visit the County Clerk-Elections Division website and provide the required information. For voters that prefer to receive their sample ballot by mail, no action is required. Your sample ballot booklet will continue to arrive by mail approximately 29 days before each election.

Details: (800) 435-0509, madera-county.com.

Child immunization clinic Jan. 24

A child immunization clinic will be held 9 a.m. - noon, Friday, Jan. 24, at the Madera County Health Clinic, 40325 Highway 41, Oakhurst.

A Tuberculosis skin testing clinic will be held 2-4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 27, at the same location.

Details: (559) 658-7456.

Collectible Book Sale

The Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library will host a collectible book sale 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday Jan. 18, at the Library in the community room.

The sale will include new and classic book, cookbooks and coffee table books all in excellent condition.

Details: (559) 658-5639

Proposed water rate increase

Hillview Water Company (HWC) has requested authority from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to increase its water rates by $77,845 or 5% more than present rates for a temporary period of 36 months. The last general rate increase became affective Oct. 6, 2009. The purposed increase will allow HWC to recover revenues that were not billed to customers between Jan. 1, 2009 and Oct. 6, 2009 as allowed by law.

Increases are as follows:

3/4-inch meter — from $28.93 to $32.58

1-inch meter — from $48.05 to $54.13

1-1/2-inch meter — from $96.11 to $108.26

2-inch meter — from $153.77 to $173.21

3-inch meter — from $288.32 to $324.77

4-inch meter — from $480.53 to $541.28

6-inch meter — from $961.07 to $1,082.57

The commission staff will make a thorough investigation of the utility's request and may grant the utility's request in whole or in part or may deny it all together. It may also order the utility to charge rates different from those shown requested.

Protests must be mailed within 20 days of the initial notice (Dec. 19, 2013) and must state facts constituting the grounds for protest. Protests and responses must be sent to the CPUC and a copy of protest must be sent to the utility.

All protests and responses must be sent to both CPUC Water Utilities Division, Room 3106, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 and HWC 40312 Greenwood Way, P.O. Box 2269, Oakhurst, CA 93644. Responses should mention that they pertain to Hillview Water Company, Advice letter No. 99.

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service