Community News for 5/1/14 edition

April 29, 2014 

Chamber sponsored debate tonight

A debate will be held tonight, Thursday, May 1, at the Elks Lodge in Oakhurst. The candidates for Madera County Assessor, Auditor-Controller and District 5 Supervisor will debate. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with debates beginning at 6 p.m.

Sample ballots mailed

Sample Ballots for all registered voters in Madera County were mailed on or after April 24. Sample ballots are also available at

Sample Ballots contain important information relating to the election, state candidates, measures, and indicate the voter's polling place location. Using the sample ballot to pre-mark choices helps save you time at the polls on election day.

Details: Madera County Elections Division, toll free (800) 435-0509.

Relay for Life fundraiser

Diane Ramirez, Julie Ahrens and Janet Wheeler — famous for their bartending at North Fork Booster events — will be celebrity bartenders, 6-9 p.m., Friday, May 2, at Roman's Bar above Crab Cakes Restaurant.

Ten % of beer, wine and alcohol sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society in support of Eastern Madera County Relay for life.

Details: Theresa Barry, (559) 970-1056.

Wasuma Kindergarten registration May 8

Wasuma Elementary School will be holding its' annual Kindergarten Round-Up starting at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, May 8, at the school. Parents are reminded to bring child's birth certificate, immunization records, and proof of residency.

Details: (559) 642-1585.

History tour May 17

A tour, based on the book "Willow Creek History," by Marcia Freedman, will be held 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, May 17. Freedman will lead the tour.

Cost of the tour is $40 and includes lunch at Manzanita Lake.

Details: Karen Morris, Coarsegold Historical Society, (559) 683-8877.

Photography exhibit seeks exhibitors

The Madera County Arts Council (MCAC) is currently seeking entries to a juried photography exhibition "A Different Look at Yosemite's Treasures." The exhibition will take place May 13 to May 27, with a reception 4-7 p.m., Saturday, May 17,at the Circle Gallery, 1653 N. Schnoor, Madera.

The deadline to submit a photo or digital file of a Yosemite "treasure" is May 2, whether e-mailed (, or delivered to the Circle Gallery. Framed images should be delivered to the Circle Gallery by May 9.

There is no fee to enter. Images should not have been previously professionally exhibited or published.


Farmers Market begins tonight, May 1

The fourth annual Oakhurst Farmers Market will be held 4-7 p.m. every Thursday at True Value Home Center on Highway 49 beginning May 1 through early fall.

The market will feature vegetables, stone fruit, berries, flowers, eggs, honey, artisan goods, grass-fed beef, and preserves. The market has expanded to 29 booths this year. New features include Italian ice, organic loose-leaf tea, and goats milk cheeses.

Details: Danielle, (559) 683-7117.

Special Sierra Art Trails event this Saturday

Sierra Art Trails will hold a very special performance event culminating the current exhibit at Stellar Gallery "Valley View."

Valley View Tales is a live performance featuring storytelling, poetry, and music celebrating the 150th anniversary of Yosemite at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 3, and 3 p.m., Sunday, May 4, at Stellar Gallery, located at Gallery Row in Oakhurst on Highway 41.

Cost is $10 per person, with a limited audience of 30. Reservations are required.

The Valley View exhibit is on display through May 4. The exhibit combines works by 40 contemporary artists with historical works of art, celebrating the past, present and future of Yosemite.

Details/reservations: (559) 658-8844,

Audubon Society

A slide show presentation by international birder and bird photographer, Matthew Matthiessen, "Unexpected Ethiopia: A Birder's Dream," will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 8, at the Oakhurst Methodist Church on Crane Valley Road (426). This event is free to the public.

Honorary Mayor event

Meet "celebrity" bartenders while celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Roman's Bar from 5-8 p.m., Monday, May 5. This is a fundraiser for Honorary Mayor candidate Michael Costa, who is raising funds for the The Little Church on the Hill. Fifty % of the gratuities and 10% of the liquor and beer sales at the bar will go to The Little Church on the Hill.

Details: Len McKenzie, (209) 742-5579,

Deadline for voter registration

The last day to register to vote is May 19, 20 days before the election. Voter registration must be postmarked by that date, or you can register online before midnight on May 19, at

Madera County elections division is looking of poll workers and supervisors, paid positions at $8 per hour, plus mileage. The hours you would be expected to work at 6 a.m. to about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3. Training is required for some positions, with your time (about two hours the week before Election Day) plus mileage paid. Mountain Area training will be held Thursday, May 29, at 2 p.m.

Details: Angelica Ameza, (559) 675-7720, or ameza@mader, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free preschool

The Madera/Mariposa Regional Head Start preschool program is accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year. Head Start provides a free, comprehensive, high quality preschool program designed to foster healthy development for income eligible children and families.

The program focuses on increasing the social competence of young children three to four years of age in Madera and Mariposa counties. Services include early childhood education, medical and dental screening and follow up, services to children with disabilities, social skills, nutrition and family services.

For the 2014-2015 program year, your child must turn three years old by Sept. 1.

Income eligibility is based on the 2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Details: Oakhurst Head Start, (559) 658-8171, Mountain Head Start, North Fork, (559) 877-2352.

Prescribed burn rescheduled for May

Yosemite National Park Fire Managers have rescheduled a prescribed fire in the Bishop Creek area for early May. The prescribed fire, originally scheduled for the end of April, was postponed because of forecasted rain in the area. The prescribed fire area, 1,447 acres, is located near the community of Yosemite West in the Bishop Creek area, and is designed to protect Yosemite West from potential wildfires.

Ignition will take approximately five days with active burning, and about two weeks to monitor burn-down activity. The Wawona Road will remain open during the prescribed fire, however, traffic control may be instituted if conditions require. Firefighters, fire equipment, and smoke may be present on and around the roadway.

North Fork melodrama

It will be time to hiss the villain at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday night in North Fork as the original production "Silvalinda" is performed at Kennedy Hall at North Fork Elementary School.

North Fork's Squirrel Cage Theater is joining with the seventh grade class at the school to present this original melodrama as a fundraiser for the students to go to the Catalina Island Marine Institute next year. The field trip is traditionally done by the eighth grade class at North Fork School.

Princess Silvalinda will be played by Natalie Schick with North Fork musician Jeff Gurule as her straight-laced prince. The villain will be portrayed by Dave Novell. The melodrama, written by Squirrel Cage Director Terry Butler, promises music and dance, with a host of personalities including fairies and witches. The large cast of actors and actresses range in age from eight to 64.

Tickets cost $8 for adults, $4 for children age 12 and under, and $20 for an immediate family.

Details: (559) 877-2129.

Oakhurst business owner honored

Allstate Insurance agency owner, Dave Thomas, was designated an Allstate Premier Agency for 2014. This honor was presented to Thomas for outstanding business performance and commitment to putting customers at the center of his agency's work.

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