News Briefs - week of July 9

Christmas in July

Grace Community Church in North Fork will hold a Christmas in July event, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., July 18, where booths will be inside and outside the church. There will be crafts, art, jewelry, clothing, baked goods, pulled pork sliders, and more. This is a fundraiser, and all proceeds benefit the church (located at 56442 Road 200).

Details: reserve a booth or information, Donna Fisher, (559) 877-2014.

Donations needed

A rummage sale fundraiser for Doc’s Dogs for vets is in need of donations, which can be picked up if within the area. No large appliances, furniture, or computer items. The sale will be held 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, at 40820 Winding Way off Highway 41.

For donated items: Keri Hills, (559) 676-2784, or

Cooling centers

* Coarsegold Community Center, 35540 Highway 41, Coarsegold, (559) 683-7953, open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

* Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse, 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway, Coarsegold, (559) 658-7466, open daily 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., water available Monday - Friday; clubhouse office hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

* Sierra Senior Center, 49111 Cinder Lane, Oakhurst, (559) 658-2200, open Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

* Grace Community Church, 56442 Road 200, North Fork, (559) 877-2346, open Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Hazardous waste event

A hazardous waste event will take place, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, July 25, at Yosemite High School.

Ribbon cutting

The Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce will host an open house/ribbon cutting, 5-7 p.m., Friday, July 10, at “Got Hair.” Food, raffles, and live music by Ace & Roxy Rock and Blues will be offered. Got Hair is located at 40291 Junction Drive in Oakhurst.

Wildflower tour

The Sierra Istanbul Scenic Byway’s Wildflower of Mountain Meadows Tour, led by USFS Botanist Joanna Clines, will take place 9 a.m., July 11, at the USFS Bass Lake Ranger District Office in North Fork. Bring lunch, cameras, water, and hiking boots. The tour covers visiting meadows in the 6,000-7,000 foot elevation range on the upper section of the scenic byway.

Details: (559) 877-2760.

Krizan presentation

Sierra Star columnist, author, and avid hiker Tony Krizan continues his Sierra Nevada Mountains Series 7:30-8:30 p.m., July 11, in the lobby of the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites. Krizan will take you on a spectacular photo journey of hiking trails and High Sierra passes. This event is free to the public.

Shrimp Feast

The Oakhurst Senior Center will hold its first annual Shrimp Feast, July 18. Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner beginning at 6. Cost for non-members, $20; for Senior Society members, $15. The center is located at 49111 Cinder Lane, behind the Oakhurst Community Center.

Tickets: (559) 658-2200.

Veterans fundraiser

Marine Corps League Griswold Mt. Det. #1121 will hold a Flags & Roses fundraiser, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., July 18, at True Value, the Grocery Outlet, and Vons. Funds will be used for scholarships and area veterans needs.

PG&E rate increases

Recently, the Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a plan that will increase rates on more efficient energy users, while giving a break to the bigger users.

According to the Associated Press, this new plan reduces the current four-tier rate structure to two tiers. For years, utility companies have complained that the present system gives an unfair advantage to the lower energy households, which are subsidized by the bigger users. These companies contend that the lower-energy users are not even paying for the cost of supplying electricity.

An analysis determined that at least 71% of PG&E users would see their monthly bills increase by about 10%.

Women’s Conference

The 28th Annual Central California Women’s Conference will be held 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center.

The theme is Ignite Your Body and Spirit. FOX Sports broadcaster and Dancing with the Stars co-host, Erin Andrews, is this year’s keynote speaker. She joins more than two dozen other national and local speakers who will discuss important topics for women at the daylong event. Topics include business and entrepreneurship, health and fitness, money and finance, family and parenting, and spirituality and courage.

Admission includes continental breakfast, all seminars, the celebrity keynote speaker luncheon and the afternoon reception. Early registration is encouraged.

For tickets, see