Community News - week of April 14

April showers

A powerful storm system that moved through the Mountain Area over the weekend dropped more than two inches of rain in some communities.

Scott Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, said the Oakhurst Sheriff’s Station received 1.7 inches of rain, along with 2.14 inches in Mariposa and 2.03 in Coarsegold. The Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork received 2.1 inches of rain.

With the storm, Bass Lake surpassed 38 inches for the rain season (July 1 to June 30), adding to its highest surface level in seven years.

Shredding fundraiser

The Third Annual College Scholarship Shredding Fundraiser will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at the North Fork Mill Site.

Sponsored by the North Fork Chamber of Commerce, each banker box of documents to be shredded costs $5.

Details: (559) 415-8002,

A Walk in the Garden

The Mountain Community Women are sponsoring a garden tour, 10 a.m. - 3p .m., May 7. Five gardens will be featured. Included in the $15 ticket will be a salad bar/sandwich luncheon served 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., at the Oakhurst Community Center. Following lunch, attendees can browse through the outdoor flea market and plant sale, also at the community center.

Everyone with a garden tour ticket will be entered in a drawing for a piece of garden art.

Details/tickets: Diane Kraft, (559) 683-3901.

Fundraiser for Elpida

A rummage sale, hot dog barbecue, bake sale, along with music and prizes - all a fundraiser for Elpida (who was attacked by another dog in early March) - will take place 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., April 17, at the Coarsegold Veterinary Hospital parking lot.

All proceeds benefit Elpida’s medical expenses (already $7,000 plus). Donations are welcome.

Details: (559) 683-4991.

Steelyard Blues

The North Fork Studio will host a showing of Steelyard Blues, one of the funniest movies of the 1970s, 6:30 p.m., April 15, at The Studio. Watch as a group of misfits (such as Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Peter Boyle) decide to refurbish a plane and use it to fly to a deserted island where they can live free of societal judgments and rules.

During intermission, the movie poster, embellished by area Fine Art Watercolorist, Marcia Abram, will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

The movie is free, and popcorn and sodas will be sold at a nominal price. A donation in support of The Studio would also be appreciated.

Details: North Fork Studio, (559) 877-2487.

Help our sheriffs

Sullivan’s Tire Pros will offer tires at $10 over cost through April 30 to benefit the Madera County Sheriff’s fund for new K-9 officers. When you purchase new Continental or Bridgestone tires for $10 over cost, and that $10 goes to the sheriff’s fund.

In return, you will receive a free tire protection plan (valued at 12% of retail price) and a $70 mail-in rebate.

Details: Sullivan’s, (559) 683-5900.

Cal Fire volunteers needed

Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit is seeking volunteers for its Volunteer in Prevention program (VIP), where they’ll help deliver information on fire and life safety, take part in arson patrols, and more.

Volunteers are required only to have time for their work, as well as a goal of helping prevent fires throughout their area.

Details: Jaime Williams, (209) 966-3622, ext. 228,

Tourism volunteers needed

Do you like people? Are you familiar with the Mountain Area, and would you like to share its beauty with visitors around the world? Then volunteering with the Visit Yosemite | Madera County visitor center in Oakhurst may be for you.

Potential volunteers are asked to call Judi Hussain at (559) 683-4636 for more information.

Valley Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Rite Aid Pharmacy and Captain America are teaming up to raise funds for Valley Children’s Hospital. From 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., April 30, Captain America and Valley Children’s mascot George the Giraffe, will appear at Rite Aid in Oakhurst for photos (at a nominal fee) with children and adults.

Everyone is asked to dress as their favorite superhero for a memorable photo with both George and Captain America. A bake sale and raffle prizes from area businesses and work by area artists, will be offered, with 100% of all donations going to the hospital.

Free entrance

Yosemite National Park will celebrate National Park Week, Earth Day, and National Junior Ranger Day from April 16-24. Park entrance fees will be waived for Yosemite during that period. Camping fees and all other fees will still be applicable. The park will host many special events throughout the week culminating in the Earth Day festival, which will be held 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday, April 23, in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.

There will be several family friendly events, all free of charge, during the Earth Day Festival. There will also be free rides into the park from Fresno and Merced on Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) for the event.


Earth Day

“Ranger Baldy,” a 6-foot-tall bald eagle and critically acclaimed author will appear at Branches Books & Gifts in Oakhurst on Earth Day, April 22.

Ranger Baldy, who authored “Ranger Baldy and the Disappearing Waterfall: A Yosemite National Park Adventure,” will read stories from his book, give signatures, and pose for photos starting at 3 p.m.

The Ranger Baldy series combines paintings of animals and natural backgrounds with stories about Baldy finding his appreciation for the woods and nature.

Details: Branches Books & Gifts, (559) 641-2019; or