Community News for 1/30/14 edition of the Sierra Star

January 28, 2014 

Central California Blood Center

The Central California Blood Center has three important blood drives scheduled at Sierra Telephone Feb. 6. Starbucks on Highway 41, Feb. 8, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.; and at Yosemite Lakes Park, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Heavy blood usage and reduced donations due to the flu season have caused a severe drop in our Valley blood supply.

We are critically low on all blood types, particularly O-negative and O-positive.Thank you in advance for any promotion you can give this drive. Every drop counts. Details: Carol Besselievre, (559) 683-0214 or Rafael Cabrera, (559) 905-4817.

Story telling

Diane Ferlatte is one of six stellar performers headlining Mariposa County Arts Council's 27th Storytelling Festival, March 7-9. Ferlatte has wowed audiences across the globe with her African American, African folktales, historical, personal and ghostly tales.

The Mariposa County Arts Council is funded in part by Mariposa County, the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Details/tickets: Mariposa County Arts Council, (209) 966-3155 or (800) 903-9936; or visit

Donations sought

The Yosemite High School Music Department is currently seeking monetary and merchandise donations to be used for a silent auction at the March 1 "Nite on the Town" fundraiser concert. Details: Virginia Lazar, (559) 760-0481.

New face at the Visitors Bureau

Following an extensive application and interview process, the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau has announced that Christi Long has been hired as the new Public Relations/Communications Manager. She makes the move from her current position in the Sales and Marketing division of Tenaya Lodge. Long will begin her new employment on Feb. 10.

Polar Plunge: Freezin' for a Reason

Minarets High School will host a polar bear plunge in an effort to raise funds for Helping Orphans Worldwide (HOW) and children suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare and sometimes fatal tissue disease.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 1, at the Yosemite Lakes Park clubhouse.

Sign-up forms are available at the clubhouse and in the Minarets High School Office, although walk-in's are welcome the day of the event.

Cost of the plunge is $25 and includes a t-shirt, breakfast and raffle tickets.

Proceeds will go to benefit Helping Orphans Worldwide. Details: Destiny Anger, (559)760-7098, email:

Cowbelle of the Year

Cori Meyers was recently selected as the 2013 Cowbelle of the Year by Madera County Cattle Women. She has been a member of the organization for more than 10 years and has served as treasurer for the group since January 2007. She received her silver bracelet at the California Cattle Women's annual Cowbelle of the Year Luncheon in Sparks, Nev. and her special cowbell, picture board and flowers at a recent Madera County Cattle Women's meeting from outgoing Cowbelle of the Year, Barbara Spillane of Coarsegold. As treasurer for the group, she has presented checks to the first and second place winners of the Junior Beef Showmanship Classes and Commercial Heifer Classes at both the Madera and Chowchilla Fairs that Madera County Cattle Women sponsor each year.

New general manager of Yosemite operations named

Yosemite Conservancy has named Adonia Ripple, a dedicated conservationist whose career protecting and improving wildlands began nearly two decades ago in the park, as its new general manager of Yosemite operations.

"Adonia has experience in land conservation, nonprofit operations and fundraising that is ideal for the position," said Yosemite Conservancy President Mike Tollefson. "She has a unique ability to inspire people of all ages to preserve and protect our natural lands for future generations."

Ripple will oversee Conservancy operations in Yosemite, including its expansive line-up of educational programs and its retail operations, which are important to enhancing the visitor experience and raising funds for grants used to preserve and protect Yosemite.

Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. The work funded by Yosemite Conservancy is visible throughout the park, from trail rehabilitation to wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering and wilderness services. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $81 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Details: or (800) 469-7275.

Five-Star award

Oakhurst's Chateau du Sureau is one of just 11 properties in California and 54 nationwide to receive the prestigious Five-Star Hotel and Resort award for excellence from Forbes Travel Guide. Erna Kubin-Clanin and her husband Rene Clanin accepted the award Jan. 22, at the 55th Annual Star Awards held in Las Vegas.

"My staff and I are overjoyed to be receiving the Five-Star award for the 18th consecutive year," Kubin-Clainin said. "We are deeply honored to be a part of this esteemed group and we wholeheartedly thank our team of hospitality professionals for their tireless dedication in once more achieving this goal."

FOX gives Met trial run

Fox has agreed to grant showing rights of three movies at Met Cinema in a trial run which will allow the acquisition of "Son of God," "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," and "Rio 2."

If these movies show demand and FOX is pleased with the showings, the Met will receive future FOX movies.

The Met Cinema runs a one-of-a-kind membership-style viewing which involves a low cost monthly fee, allowing the member to view as many showings as he/she wishes during that entire month.

To become a Met Hero by purchasing a membership online at

"aBEARham Lincoln"

The Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau invites you to use your imagination to create an "aBEARham Lincoln" artwork on canvas, quilting, paper and scissor projects, pencil drawings, sticks, rocks, paints — your imagination is unlimited.

School are also invited to participate, as well as community artists, organizations, woodcarvers, and quilter's groups.

This will be a roving exhibit in commemoration of the Yosemite Grant 150th Anniversary, and a final judging will take place June 28 at the Yosemite Festival in Oakhurst Community Park (or at the Met Cinema Gala).

The winners will remain on exhibit through 2014 in the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Center or in Yosemite National Park. Details: (559) 683-4636.

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.

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