Community News for 1/16/14 edition of the Sierra Star

January 14, 2014 

Chamber installation and awards dinner

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce installation dinner and awards ceremony will be held from 6 - 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, at Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp.

Dale Miller will be named 2013 Man of the Year; Sue Graham will be named Woman of the Year; Dorsey's Hallmark will be named Business of the Year. Sherry Colgate will receive the chamber's Executive Director's Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be announced.

Cost of the dinner is $40 per person. Round trip shuttle service is available from the Oakhurst Community College, departing at 5 p.m. and returning at 9:30 p.m. Cost of the shuttle is $15 per person. A special room rate of $115 (plus tax) is being offered by Tenaya for the evening. Details: dinner and shuttle reservations, (559) 683-7766. Those interested in a room should also call the chamber for the special room rate code.

Tom Wheeler fundraiser

A re-elect Tom Wheeler for supervisor event will be held at the Oakhurst Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 18. Doors open at 5:30 with dinner beginning at 7 p.m. with a no host bar.

There will be a live auction, special drawings, entertainment, gift certificates, Western art and old time photos where costumes will be provided. Dress up in your favorite duds for some good old western fun.

Tickets are $25. Details: (559) 676-2486, J. Carol Graham; or (559) 760-0806, Laura Young.

Yosemite will waive entrance fees Jan. 20

Yosemite National Park will offer free admission into the park on Monday, Jan. 20, in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The fee free waiver is for all visitors in honor of the holiday.

Fees being waived for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day include the fees associated with entrance into the park only. All other fees associated with camping, lodging, or activities within the park are not waived.

Although the weather has been extremely mild, visitors coming to the park are urged to be aware of ice on the roadway. Additionally, if weather changes, chain restrictions may apply on all roads within the park. For updated weather and road information, call (209) 372-0200.

Volunteers sought to monitor park

The Friends of the Park, a volunteer group who monitored the Oakhurst Community Park, but disbanded for safety reasons last year, is attempting to reorganize.

"With spring approaching, we want to get this up and running as soon as we can to make the park as safe as possible for the community," said community volunteer Dennis Fairbanks. "Once we get a group willing to participate, we will announce a meeting to set up policies and procedures. Details: ,Dennis Fairbanks, (559) 642-7263, or Flint Tompkins (559) 760-0167.

Garden Club

Cathy Garner, from Fresno Wildlife Rescue, will be the speaker 9:30 - 10 a.m., Jan. 20, at the Green Thumbs meeting, at the Oakhurst Community Center Pavilion building. Garner will be bringing hawks and falcons to discuss her topic of Birds of Prey. Details: (559) 642-2766.

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings

Mountain Area residents can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture,, Monday, Jan. 20, at the Oakhurst Lutheran Church, 39255 Black Road.

The church will host Life Line Screening on Jan. 20, 2014. The site is located at in Oakhurst. Richard Bennet from Woodland Hills, participated in a Life Line Screening event in March 2008 and learned he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He writes, "I feel as though Life Line Screening saved my life and can't thank you enough."

Key points about strokes and ultra sound screenings:

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability

80% of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their stroke

Preventive ultrasound screenings can help you avoid a stroke

Screenings are fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient

Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women.

Screening packages start at $149. All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete and pre-registration is required. Details: Life Line Screenings, (877) 237-1287,

Meet the Candidate event Jan. 28

Greg Knoll, candidate for Madera County Sheriff, will host his first "Meet the Candidate," event 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Fresno flats Road (425B). This is an opportunity to ask questions of the candidate and listen to him explain his vision and plans for the Madera County Sheriff's Department. Details:,

Tea Party meeting

The next monthly Oakhurst/Coarsegold Tea Party Action meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m on Tuesday, Jan. 21 at the Best Western Yosemite Inn Gateway Restaurant, 40530 Hwy 41, Oakhurst. Speakers will be Steve Frank and Marcie Hall.

Steve Frank is a longtime political consultant and human rights activist, a Viet Nam veteran, popular speaker, and frequent radio talk show guest, including weekly spots with Brian Sussman of KSFO in San Francisco. He is the publisher of 'California Political News and Views', and also the campaign manager of various candidates, with an extensive political background including working on campaigns for Nixon and Reagan. He will be speaking about the California Tea Party Caucus and plans for 2014 elections.

Marcie Hall has been our Madera County auditor-controller for the past two years. She will be discussing the functions of the Auditor's office, changes that have been made during her tenure, plans for the future, and how these changes will benefit the taxpayers of Madera Country. Details: (866) 565-1379 or

Fiesta for a Future fundraiser

A fundraiser dinner with door prizes will be offered to support kidney donor, Eric Wynne, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Coarsegold Community Center. He will be donating his kidney to Sheila Moreno, co-owner of Robert's Frosty in Coarsegold next month, and is in need of help to cover travel and room expenses.

The menu includes chips and salsa, ground beef enchiladas, rice and beans. There will be a silent auction, including a donated trip to La Paz, Mexico, craft booths and music provided by disc jockey Albert Figueroa.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 per person at Robert's Frosty or A Village Hair & Nails. Details: Sheila Moreno (559) 683-5022; or Tina Wynne (559) 683-5522.

California veteran license plates available

California veterans can proudly display their status with veteran license plates which are again available. A new law brought the California specialty license plates back at the request of veterans who were disappointed when veteran plates, which had been available, were replaced by an "Honoring Veterans" version. Veteran plates can be customized with the distinctive military branch or veterans service organization logo of choice. Proceeds from the sale of these plates help support efforts of CalVet and 56 county veteran service offices to connect veterans and their families with the benefits and services they have earned through military service.

Veteran plates can be reserved now, but they are not immediately available.

According to the new law, CalVet must collect and hold pre-paid veteran license plate applications until 7,500 are received before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will actually produce the plates. For more information or to reserve your license plates, go to to download the application. You may also call CalVet at (877) 741-8532 toll free to request a veteran license plate application be mailed to you. Honoring Veterans license plates can be ordered by following that same link. Details: CalVet advisories and newsletter archives are available at

Service Club update

Katherine Gallagher, with the Marine Mammal Center at Monterey Bay, will be the guest speaker at 10:45 a.m., Monday, Feb. 3, at the Mountain Community Women meeting, at the Oakhurst Community Center. Details: (559) 642-3615.

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