Community News - week of Sept. 10

Patriot Day

Patriot Day 2015 will be held 9 a.m., Sept. 11, at Oakhurst Community Park. The keynote speaker will be Lt. Colonel David Hall. Other activities include a 21 rifle salute, taps, flag raising, and presentation of colors.

Sponsored by Sierra Tel, this event is held to show appreciation and gratitude to all veterans, active duty military and emergency services personnel for their dedication, and to honor the memory who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Gardening workshop

The Oakhurst Garden Club at True Value will offer a free workshop, “Late Summer Gardening for Drought,” 1 p.m., Sept. 13. Topics include perennial pruning tips, plant choices for fall containers, trees in trouble, best native plants, and preparing to grow a wildflower meadow. Participants will receive a 20% coupon good for any plants.

Details: Sue Langley,

Grand opening

The Body Pastiche will hold a grand opening 5:30-7:30 p.m., Sept. 11. The new fitness and wellness facility is located in the Von’s shopping center, below Round Table Pizza. Owner Virginia Eaton has been a life-long health and fitness advocate, holds a Masters of Kinesiology, is a certified personal trainer, and behavior change specialist.


Blazin’ Hog

The 9th annual Blazin’ Hog BBQ Competition will take place Sept 19 at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. Gates open at noon. The BluesBox Baylou Band will be featured. This is a benefit for John C. Fremont Hospital Foundation. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors, $5 for ages 5-17, and for those under 5, free.

Tickets and details:

Tea Party meetings

Michael Cox will be the keynote speaker at the Tea Party Action Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 10, at Best Western Yosemite Gateway Inn Restaurant in Oakhurst. Cox, the director of Western Sierra Charter Schools, will talk on parental rights and jurisdiction.

On Sept. 13, 1:30-3 p.m., a discussion on getting churches involved in civil responsibilities - “40 days to a more Godly nation” - will be held at the Oakhurst Library. A potluck will begin at 1 p.m.

Kim Buck, who will attend the Sept. 10 meeting, plans on selling tickets to hear Benghazi hero, Kris Tanto Paronto, talk on “13 hours in Benghazi,” 10 a.m. - noon, Nov. 14 in Bass Lake. Tickets are $25 each, and must be purchased by Oct. 14. A private lunch, 1-2 p.m., will follow, at $20 each.

Details: (559) 642-4921, or

Tony Krizan’s Forgotten Trails

Tony Krizan, area adventurer, author, photographer, and Sierra Star columnist, will share his 30-plus years of hiking experiences and photos of adventures into Kings Canyon National Park, including attempting to locate the last remaining Curtis Wright P40 aircraft. Four aircraft have been located, but after 73 years, one still remains a mystery.

A presentation will be held 7:30-8:30 in the Yosemite Southgate Hotel & Suites. On Sept. 19, the topic is “Lost in Kings Canyon). Crab Cakes will offer a complimentary variety of hors-d’oeuvres. A second presentation will be held Sept. 29, at REI in Fresno, the topic “Minaret Mountains.”

All presentations are open to the public and free.


Community Expo

Applications for booths are now being taken for the Oct. 24 Second Annual Community Expo at the Oakhurst Community Center. Dottie Lee, president of the Oakhurst Community Center Board of Directors, and chairperson of the event said this year’s event will focus on families, starting with a 7:30 - 11 a.m. pancake breakfast hosted by the Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis Club.

“Plan on bringing the family to breakfast and come to the free 9 a.m. - noon Expo next door,” Lee said. “You and your family will meet members of the many Mountain Area clubs and organizations that bring great opportunities and services to people of all ages.”

The Sierra Lions and Bass Lake Lions will provide free eye exams to all family members, in an effort to address children’s eye problems.

Details: Dottie Lee, (559) 683-5110.

Art preview

The Sierra Art Trails Preview Exhibit is now underway through Oct. 4 at the Stellar Gallery, 40982 Highway 41, Suite 1, in Oakhurst.

The exhibit features representative works by all artists participating in the Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour. Viewing the exhibit is a great way to plan your Art Trails weekend, discover the work that you most want to see, and plan your route to the artists studios.

The Gala Reception is 4-9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 12. The reception features a pot-luck buffet, kick-off for the annual silent auction, presentation of annual awards, live music, good company and great art. Live music begins at 5 p.m. with Patrick Contreras and Steve Ono. Presentation of student sponsorship, keeper of the flame, and community awards at 6 p.m.

The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Monday, closed Tuesdays.


H.O.W. Dinner

The community is invited to The Forks Resort at Bass Lake at 6 p.m. Sept. 16 to help support Stefany Pilliar-Ratcliffe, whose husband was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in February. Both Pilliar-Ratcliffe’s daughter and son were diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in previous years, and are fortunately in remission.

A suggested $10 donation is recommended, alongside dinner and prize raffle drawings to be held that night.


Unwanted meds

People who want to properly dispose of medications they no longer need can come to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office free Medication Take-Back event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26. Drop offs will be taken from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. either at the Madera County Sheriff’s Oakhurst office, located at 48267 Liberty Drive, or at the main office at 2725 Falcon Drive in Madera. There is no fee or other charge for dropping off unwanted meds.

Home tour canceled

The 2015 Bass Lake Home Tour, sponsored by Bass Lake Realty and the Bass Lake Lions Club, scheduled for Sept. 12, has been canceled.

The Bass Lake homeowners who planned to participate feel that with the low lake level and other issues that their homes are not as presentable as they would hope. The home tour was originally proposed as a way for the Lions Club to continue funding its charitable activities. Proceeds from the Sept. 10, 2016, tour will benefit a deserving Mountain Area non-profit organization.


A story last week about the Sept. 12 Kiwanis Car Show in the Oakhurst Community Park, said the pancake breakfast prior to the show would be held at the Oakhurst Community Center. That was an error. The 7-10 a.m. breakfast, along with the car show, will be held at the community park. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused. Details: Bob Spinelli, (559) 683-4452.