MADERA COUNTY February—April 2012
GHOSTS OF FRESNO FLATS
High School Sports
1 Local History
Economic Issues &
er C Badg
2011-2012 Yosemite High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team
Jensen Eames 5’ 7” Sophomore
Jade Bain 5’ 5” Senior
Kaylee Goodman 5’ 6” Junior
Kaley Mumm 5’ 8” Sophomore
Rylien McConnell 5’ 6” Sophomore
Sierra Dominici 5’ 6” Sophomore
Veronica Miller 5’ 7” Freshman
Mattaya Brown 5’ 7” Freshman
Julia Walsh 5’ 4” Sophomore
DDahlia Lopez 5’ 11” Junior
COUNTY LINE MADERA MAGAZINE The County Line—Madera, Magazine, is not a political publication with a liberal or conservative agenda. We are a quarterly publication which provides accurate, up-to-date, and important information relevant to citizens of Madera County and the Sierra Mountain communities.
We welcome your comments, suggestions, letters to the editor, and articles centered upon important community issues and historical stories which readers will find of interest.
WOOD, GAS & PELLET
Contributor Submission Information:*
STOVES, INSERTS & FIREPLACES
Mr. William Whitehead (559) 676-0587 email@example.com
49190 Road 426, Oakhurst, CA 93644
Mr. James Chappel
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Fax (559) 642-6740
*Note: We reserve the right to edit or reject any submitted materials
including but not limited to offensive, racist, or politically biased content. All statistics, or statements of fact used within a submitted article must be supported and substantiated by reliable sources & referenced. Copyrighted materials must have attached reprint authorization from author and or publisher.
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Cover– YHS Girls Basketball Team Meet YHS Girls Basketball Team
Table Of Contents
Wood & Pellet Burning Stoves
MOC– Action Report
Developers Running Over Rights
Refinance Relief HARP
Random Drug Screens
The Bad Guys Are Coming…
Local Artist Publish Stories
What Is Magic Mojo
Great Wall Update
The Mallard & The Malamute
Letter to the Editor
Homeless Mans Funeral
Pines Market Starbucks Liquor Store Peet’s Coffee - Raleys Mountain Comfort Taste Of China Sports Den Hair Cutters Willow Bridge Books Out Patient Hospital Casa Valasco Regent Insurance Shear Magic & Company Matthews Fine Furniture Woody’s New Orleans Sierra Meadow Golf Eagle Quick Lube Kathouse Tattoo's The Produce Place Yosemite High School Bass Fork Mini Mart Quickie Mart North Fork Market Buckhorn Scott’s Koffee Shak BootJack Body Works Coarsegold Emporium
Bass Lake Oakhurst Oakhust Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst Oakhurst North Fork North Fork North Fork North Fork North Fork Mariposa Coarsegold
Mountain Comfort 2 Scuderia Black Forest Automotive 3 Patience Milrod—Attorney At Law 4 Shear Magic & Company 5 Cami Cipolla Nail Artist 5 Madera Oversight Coalition 7 W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital 8 Taste of China 9 Sportsmen’s Den 11 Willow Bridge Books 14 Matthews Fine Furniture 15 Coarsegold Emporium 15 Casa Valasco Mexican Restaurant 15 Magic Mojo 15 Regent Insurance-State Farm 16 Monogramming Memories 16 Woody’s New Orleans Restaurant 18 Eagle Quick Lube 18 A Writer’s Resource 20 Taste Of China 20 The Kathouse Tattoo’s 23 County Fair Cinnamon Rolls 23 BootJack Body Works & Massage 23 The Produce Place Restaurant 24 Sportsmen’s Den 24
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Written By Norma Rogers, Owner-Mountain Comfort
When you turn on your TV and watch any Fresno television channel this winter and the news announcer states, “Tomorrow is a non burn day for all wood burning devices,” you can relax. He is talking about the regulations of the San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Control Board which monitors the air of the Valley and tries to keep the air as healthy for humans as is possible.
However, we are affected by state EPA regulations that state: “Houses can not be sold with a non EPA certified wood burner.” The EPA started regulating the exhaust of wood burners in 1990. So, if the stove you use was purchased prior to 1990, you can continue to use it, but be aware you must remove it before selling your home.
A portion of Madera County lies in the Valley, and therefore our whole county is subject to these regulations. However, what the TV news man does not add to his pronouncement is the rest of the regulation states: “ except where natural gas is not available.” Because here, in the foothills and mountains we do not have access to natural gas and have to rely on propane, we are exempt from the no burn days that affect the Valley.
If you are not the original purchaser, you can tell if your stove is EPA approved by looking at the tag on the back of the stove. This tag gives you a lot of information: manufacturer, date of manufacture, serial number, safety installation clearances and at the bottom, the EPA certification if it has it.
844 North Van Ness Ave. Fresno, California 93728
Attorney At Law
(559) 442-3111 Patience Milrod, Bi-lingual attorney for the Central Valley area. Representing both Plaintiffs and defendants in: Criminal Justice Issues Civil Rights Contracts & Civil Actions Discrimination in Housing & Employment Planning, Development & Environmental Issues Trial Court Litigation Noted Television, Radio and Newspaper Commentator; Author of several law reviews; Member of the Fresno Superior Court Mediation Panel; “Citizen Planner”, working with developers for community friendly projects. Available to help you with any of your legal needs. . . . Se Habla Espanol
EDITORIAL Written by:
Mr. William Whitehead—Publisher
It appears that many of our readers share a common interest. A curiosity as to how the Madera Oversight Coalition has been so successful in working with the Madera Planning Department and Board of Supervisors. You will find on pages 6-7 of this publication an example of our efforts. For the purpose of this publication we have titled this section: “Action Report”. This you will find is a reprint of a response letter that was submitted to the Madera County Board of Supervisors. The subject matter relates to the proposed modification and acceptance of changes to Parcel Maps in Oakhurst. This letter was submitted by the Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC) and relates to the old Wright Ranch, north and west of the Raley’s Market in Oakhurst. The primary “Mission” of the Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC), is to promote development within the County, but do so within the State and County laws. You will notice by the items discussed, many
requests that go to the County seem to fall outside these regulations. The impact of these requests are, often missed at various levels within the County. Please note that MOC is not an anti-growth, adversarial organization but rather a pro-growth and development committee who works pro-actively with all concerned. We hope you enjoy and appreciate the quality and decorum of how we approach issues within our presentation. Finally I wish to point out that the “Action Report” letter made a huge difference. Board of Supervisors did not approve the request in whole, but did modify the request. They did require environmental report data be presented prior to approving a portion of the request. More to the point, each of us, as citizens and tax paying residents of Madera County have a right to stand up and have our voices heard. The Madera Oversight Coalition is your platform and your voice. We welcome your suggestions and participation.
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MADERA OVERSIGHT COALITION—ACTION REPORT OUR MISSION: “Our primary objective is to encourage responsible growth through adherence to California Land Use Law, Madera County General Plan and promote the Health, Safety and Welfare of the public within Madera County. The following is an example of how our nonprofit community based organization interacts with the Madera County Planning Department to accomplish our mission objectives. ”
November 28,2011 Norman Allinder, Madera County Planning Department 2037 West Cleveland Ave., Madera, CA 93637
Subject: Parcel Map #4157, GP #2011-003, CZ #2011-004, W.C.C. #2011-002 and MND #2011-13 Applicant: Brad Ditton Owner: Marie C. Lane Madera Oversight Coalition has reviewed the subject items as submitted to the Madera Planning Commission dated October 4, 2011. The Project Description discussed on page 3 of the Staff Report addresses the desired changes that are requested within Parcel Map #4157 but it should also include reference to the supporting Parcel Map #4150 identified on page 5, figure 3. Parcel Map #4150 and past parcel splits within the Wright Ranch holding begs the question of creating a full subdivision rather than the currant Parcel Map process. The number of parcels created on Parcel Map #4150 (4) and requested PM 4157 (3) for the benefit of the Rowena Wright Estate and Trust goes beyond the four parcel limit and can be considered Quartering per Map Act Govt. Code 66499.31. The continuum of Parcel Maps, transfers for services rendered along with other agreements to expedite land division without benefit of subdivision, supporting Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and supporting cumulative impact analysis appears to be in conflict with California Land Use and Planning Law. It is acknowledged that the parcel map requesting 3 lots on a separate APN is contiguous and dependent on acceptance of Parcel Map #4150 Attachment "D". The development of these parcels and other APN’s has a long history of distribution between family members and the Trust. To support the concerns of creating an equivalent of a major subdivision with cumulative impacts is attachment “A”, reflecting 684 total acres of potential growth. The word “potential” is supported by the requested zoning use changes included in Parcel Map #4157. Suggest reviewing: Bright v. Board of Supervisors, 66 Cal. App. 3d 191 (1977). The Staff Report leaves one to question the true plans for various parcels within the Parcel Map
given the discussion reflected on Page 4 titled “In public interest”. The noble discussion regarding a future site for the proposed Oakhurst State Center Community College District is not reflected in the Parcel Map requested changes. An appropriate zone for the indicated school is IA – Institution Area District as reflected in Chapter 18.48 Madera County Zoning Ordinance 525. Using a parcel map for maybe uses is not adequate planning. The cumulative impact on roads needs to address all of the planned usage of 684 Acres and it should be reviewed by CalTrans for impact on Highway 49. The staff report for Parcel Map #4157 does not reflect a response from CalTrans and there is no staff report for Parcel Map #4150 in as much as it was approved by the Development Review Committee. A project with the "indicated potential of growth and cumulative impacts" must have total public review. Cumulative impacts should encompass past, present and probable future projects as defined in attachment “B”. The Environmental Check List that resulted in the recommendation of a Mitigated Negative Declaration appears to be subjective conclusions by the author. The Biological Resources evaluation relied heavily on the County and Fish and Game database instead of a qualified survey of the total Wright Ranch. Previous requests for land division adjacent to the North West end of the subject parcel map had been considered and mitigated to Open Space. The area at the top of Miami Highlands and Upper Rosasco Ranch continues to be designated as Open Space in response to Fish and Games request to keep open a corridor as a migration for herds of wildlife. Page 5 states “Future development may have impacts to sensitive species in the area: mitigation measures have been put into place to make these impacts less than significant.” This should be evaluated as part of an EIR by a qualified Biologist to support the magnitude of the requested change. Hydrology and Water Quality Page 13 (b)
The Integrated Water Management Plan recommends a Hydrological evaluation for groundwater supplies for new development” in the Oakhurst Area. 6
MADERA OVERSIGHT COALITION—ACTION REPORT—Continued
The project (PM 4157) is served by Hillview Water Company for water service. The applicant will be provided a “Will Serve” letter as proof of service. The review of Hillview OSL Water System Improvement Project water resources shows adequate supply for the contracted hookups and a limited quantity for future hookups, ref attachment “C”. This is more cause for requiring a Hydrological Study for the proposed Parcel Map that includes entitlements beyond the three parcels and Parcel Map 4150.
The earthen dam holding the pond above the County Center was an exercise of concern during the storms that caused the Ahwahnee Park dam to fail. During the follow-up actions in the Ahwahnee dam, the RMA Director expressed concern with the safety of the Wright Ranch pond dam and possible impact on the construction of the Center. The future alteration of the subject land through exercising the right of entitlements will call into question of the dam safety in a major rain event. A qualified Engineer should calculate the watershed at various levels of build out and provide the risk factor findings.
Does the “Will Serve” apply to the three parcel split including all of the area with new entitlements as requested under the umbrella of PM 4157?
Conclusion: The requested Parcel Map 4157 with changes in land use is part of a total development of the Wright Ranch (including the Westlake Village) and it should be evaluated as past, current and future growth within an EIR. There is a fair argument that continuing the parcel map process is avoiding the Subdivision Map Act must have Environmental Impact data provided by qualified professional disciplines. Avoiding cumulative impact is critical to the quality of life in the Oakhurst Area.
Will the 40 acre and 285 acre parcels require Hillview to provide water? Stand alone 40 acre parcels can provide adequate well water for a single family home but the future parcels resulting from the zone changes will need water delivery. This does expand Hillview’s service area and calls into question if the “”Will Serve” letter is backed with an adequate water supply? The questions can be adequately answered in an EIR study by a qualified Hydrologist.
Growth is important to the viability of the community but it must be orderly, according to Land Use Law and meet CEQA requirements.
Water and Service Systems (a-g) page 20. Both PM 4157 and PM 4150 along with small parcel zoning (RRS-2) plus the indicated college are within the MD 22A Waste Water Plant infrastructure. The sewer line for MD 22A was extended across Highway 49 to the County Center and is within the requested zoning changes on PM 4157. Future growth of the proposed changes will require sewer hookup and should be addressed in the continuum of parcel maps.
Respectfully: Bruce Gray, Chairman-Madera Oversight Coalition
To learn more about the Madera Oversight Coalition and how you can get involved, please visit our website: www.moc1.org
Page 14 (g-j) No Impact
“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful." --Edward R. Murrow, American broadcast journalist
These are the times that test the metal of our elected officials and it appears we the residents are being victimized in the battle between developers and our County Board of Supervisors. If our County government was run with the same checks and balances of a business they would be forced into bankruptcy. “You can’t spend what you don’t have”, is such a simple principle and yet it seems our Supervisors can’t seem to grasp the concept. Rather than address the fact that there simply is not enough money to support all their social programs and cut back, they’ve become the pawns to developers who promise new property taxes and business taxes if their little developments are approved. Rather than demand compliance with existing CEQA law designed to protect a wide range of environmental issues including adequate water supplies, traffic safety issues, air quality, schools, fire prevention and much more, they’ve been rubber stamping approval of developments without proper EIR’s. Many of you might agree with our Supervisors
and their planning commission recommendations but when a developer fails to mitigate important issues eventually someone will end up paying the bill. And it is always the taxpayers of the County either through increased property taxes, special assessments or the reduction or elimination of County services. Meanwhile the developer has left the building with enormous profits born on the backs of you and me. The Madera Oversight Coalition (MOC) challenged Madera County in court and won a major victory for residents across the state of California. While developers will continue to ramrod their plans through financially distraught county governments, we the people have case history and the judicial system on our side. The Madera Oversight Coalition is more than just a band of concerned citizens– We are the mouse that roared! Madera Oversight Coal., Inc., v. County of Madera,
Real Refinance Relief For Many Underwater Home Owners Is Here! The original HARP program helped thousands of home owners refinance into lower interest rates, but was unable to help a majority of home owners due to the Value (LTV) cap of 125%. Home values that dropped by more that 25%, did not qualify. Under the new HARP program the loan to value cap has been removed. This means, no matter how underwater you are on your home, you can still take advantage of the current historically low interest rates. The hope is that this new program will both stabilize the housing market and boost the overall economy by putting extra dollars in the pockets of consumers who are likely to invest them back into the economy.
The general eligibility guidelines for the HARP 2.0 program are as follows:
Other important changes include the following: Lender fees have been dropped and savings passed on to the consumer making your loan cheaper. 15-year and 20year loan fees are cut even further. Credit Scores and Income Requirements Relaxed Underwriting Requirements Relaxed Occupancy Requirements Relaxed Lenders Must Show that a Borrower Benefits Relaxed Condominium Requirements
To learn more about the new HARP 2.0 refinance program contact Andrew Pence at W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC, in Oakhurst.
Your current loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. (Even if you make payments to a different servicer, your loan may still be owned by Fannie or Freddie.)
Your loan originated prior to June 1, 2009. and you did not Andrew Pence Branch Manager NMLS# 200726
already refinance under the previous HARP program Loan to value must be over 80%, but there is no limit to the LTV above 80%. At the time you apply, you are current on your mortgage payments. You can have one 30-day late payment in the past 12 months, but none within the last 6 months. Minimum credit score of 620 and still must meet debt to income requirements.
W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capitol, LLC 41729 Highway 41, Oakhurst, California Free Seminar, March 24th, 10am—For More Info & Registration: email@example.com
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Written by: Tammy Thacker, Yosemite High School Athletic/Activity Director
The Yosemite Unified School District Board of Trustees has a policy to establish a non-voluntary, random drug testing program for all students in the district’s high schools who are participating in athletics and other competitive extra curricular activities.
be encouraged to participate in an assistance program.
The policy was adopted in 2009 as a result of strong interest from parents, the community and the staff in having such a policy in place.
“This program was not brought about to “catch” kids, it was brought about to help kids. It gives students a way out….they can use athletics and the drug testing program as a good reason to NOT be involved in drugs.”
Parents or guardians will be notified after a positive test is confirmed. The test results will be kept separate from other educational records and law enforcement will not be notified.
The testing program is funded through donations. Procedures for the program were developed with input from students, staff, parents or guardians, community leaders and representatives of local health care agencies, community service agencies, and businesses as well as the district’s legal counsel.
Students are truly tested on a random basis, we could test anywhere from 5-20 students a week. We have tested over 200 students with over a 90% success rate.
Prior to a student participating in any competitive activity, a drug testing consent form has to be signed by the student and his or her parent or guardian.
Note From The Editor We should all applaud the efforts of Tammy Thacker, the Yosemite High School Athletic and Activity Director as well as everyone involved in this program. If more educators across the country would implement similar programs the problem of drug dependence and addiction would no longer be an issue in our country.
The district’s policy says that no disciplinary or punitive action will be taken against a student who tests positive, other than removing him or her from participation in their activity. The student will also
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Written by: JF Chappel
A three-judge judicial panel has forced California to reJF Chappel with Instructor-Front Sight lease over 40,000 bad guys from our prison system due to over-crowding. When you add into the equations one of the highest unemployment rates in the history of the state, I can’t help but ask a couple of question: “Just how are all these bad guys going to feed themselves and their habits?” Answer: Rob, Steal, Home Invasions, Bank Robberies, ATM attacks, along with stabbings, beatings, and shootings, and any other crime including aggravated assaults & murders that will help feed their habits. “What kind of deterrent does our justice system offer when the bad guys are set free due to a liberal motivated judicial panel’s decision that relieving over-crowded prisons is more humane than placing our families in danger?” Answer: None! It seems that crime really does pay. Finally, the last question is the one you really do need to be concerned about: “What will the bad guys do to their victims with the possibility of ‘Three Strikes’ and a life sentence hanging over their heads?” Answer: Leave no witnesses behind, alive! If you do not have a gun, GET ONE, because with tens of thousands of criminals being freed from prisons and the unemployment rate at record highs, these bad guys will do whatever it takes to feed themselves and their habits. When you add into the equation the three-strike law these bad-guys won’t be leaving behind any live witnesses. You’re going to need a gun, and most importantly, training to know how to adequately defend and protect yourself, your family, and your property. Keep in mind just having a gun is not enough. You need to be trained. Training needs to include the mental preparation involved in making the proper decision when (and when not) to shoot AND the gun
handling, marksmanship, and tactics to give you the ability to hit your opponent with your first shot to stop him in his tracks should you be under attack. Gun handling, marksmanship, and tactics are essential skills when you are confronted by a criminal or criminals who are either too crazy or too drugged to recognize they have been shot and keep coming back for more. Your training also needs to move you mentally to a point of understanding that there is no shame or remorse in defending your life against anybody, whether you know them or not, should you be faced with someone breaking into your home especially after you present a weapon, and demand they leave. This is where I highly suggest and recommend that you and your entire family attend Front Sight's four-day handgun training program PRIOR to a potentially lethal confrontation. You have no idea just how much you don’t know and how much you need to learn. While many handgun owners attend local firearms training and practice target shooting with some limited accuracy, when you are confronted by a would-be attacker intent on doing you and your family harm, the rush of adrenalin and the rattling of nerves without the proper training can increase your risk factor a thousand fold. “Murphy’s Law” (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) and most importantly not knowing what to do instinctively to remedy the problem can make you dead in less than a heartbeat. So you ask yourself, “What can possibly go wrong? I have a loaded weapon and I’m not afraid to pull the trigger.” There are dozens of scenarios that can occur from misfired weapons, jams, and more. Being trained to respond instinctively and seamlessly is key to your survival. These scenarios are all taught at Front Sight, not in a classroom but by trained professional instructors on the firing range. 10
The fact is, I recommend EVERY responsible American gun owner attend this handgun training program. I just returned from this four day handgun training program and I can say without any hesitation it was the best four days I have every spent. The classes consisted of men, women, husbands and their wives and not one person left this program without being thoroughly trained and confident as to their ability to defend themselves and protect their families. The Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is a 340 acre multi-million dollar, state of the art, training facility located near Pahrump, Nevada, about 35 miles outside of Las Vegas. You can find out more by going online to: www.frontsight.com Dr. Ignatius Piazza, the creator of Front Sight has developed a dozen free online informational videos and informational packages that are well worth investigating. Finally, it is important to mention that owning a weapon and defending yourself, your family, and your property are guaranteed rights within the United States Constitution. When you consider that state, county and city governments are reducing po-
lice and sheriff department personnel due to an upside down economy and a declining tax base, and that tens of thousands of bad guys are being let lose on our streets with little or no supervision, you and your family are in grave danger. Not only will the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute teach you and your family the skills you need to know, the program will also help you qualify for a concealed weapons permit. You never know when or where you might be accosted by a strung out, 240 pound, prison hardened bad guy intent on killing you for his $20 fix. You could try calling 911 as he’s stabbing you to death or you could step back and place two tightly placed rounds into the center of his thoracic cavity. The choice is yours. We do have a fantastic local resource for purchasing the right handgun for your particular needs along with local handgun training and courses for your concealed weapons permit. Stop by: Sportsmen’s Den (Von’s Shopping Center) Oakhurst, California The Sportsmen’s Den provides a well trained professional staff and offers extremely competitive prices. What more could you ask for?
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YOUR INVITATION Come visit our all new 6,500+ sq. ft. “Sportsmen’s Den,” located at the Von’s Shopping Center in Oakhurst. We offer a full range of hand guns, shot guns and rifles along with reloading supplies, ammunition, archery supplies and an indoor archery range with instructors. Additional products include Liberty Safes, off-road vehicles, fishing tackle and accessories, reels, rods and lures, as well as a huge selection of recreational and hunting apparel for the whole family. Whether you’re a hunter, fisherman, or outdoor enthusiast our staff are seasoned hunters and fishermen, knowledgeable, friendly and service oriented. “Sportsmen’s Den” offers competitive prices on a full range of merchandise and open seven days a week to serve all your recreational needs. Sportsmen’s Den, 40032 Hwy 49, Oakhurst, CA (559) 683-2900
PO Box 451 Oakhurst, CA 93644
For Reservations call: 559-658-2019 Written by: Phyllis Campbell
You will discover within the little mountain community called Oakhurst, CA, there is a Historic Point of Interest site that tourists come to visit named Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park. Fresno Flats Historic Park recaptures the flavor of 19th century life in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of Central California. Eastern Madera County is the southern end of the historic Mother Lode gold fields, but the people who settled here came not so much for gold but more to build their lives and raise their families, utilizing the rich natural resources of the mountains. They made their living as farmers, merchants and loggers in the lumber industry. The museum complex is built around two restored and furnished homes dating back to the 1870’s. Both have been designated by the State of California as Points of Historic Interest for their unique construction styles once common throughout Northern California, but are virtually unknown today. They are the Laramore-
Lyman House and the Taylor Log House. They were saved from demolition and moved to Fresno Flats Historic Park and restored by the volunteers of the Sierra Historic Sites Association. The other buildings and artifacts in the collection were also moved to this site from other locations in order to preserve them for future generations.” (Information from Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park Brochure.) We offer, on the second Friday night of each month, a program of local interest and history with a light supper before the program. The community and tourists are invited to attend these informative and entertaining programs which start on March 9th with a program given by Tony Krizan, a well known columnist and speaker who will speak on the topic “Mountain Secrets.” Fresno Flats is a non-profit association that depends entirely on public donations. Tours are available by reservation and docents guides are available. The Vintage Gift shop is popular with the shoppers who visit Fresno Flats Village.
Those interested in research, the personal stories of the people who settled in the foothills and mountains of Central California may be found among the archives of the Fresno Flats Historic Research Center and Library, the newest addition of the museum complex. With adequate archival space and work area for researchers, the Center is a depository for a wide collection of journalists, early day photographs, old maps, oral history recording of the interviews with members of pioneer families, and books relating to the history of the region. Among the materials available are many old Madera County court documents, local mining claim records, early Sierra National Forest papers, a complete and indexed file of the local Sierra Star newspaper, a collection of the Harry Pidgeon early day lumber industry photos, the past and present Yosemite Valley Master Plans, and much more. (Fresno Flats Village and Park Brochure). When visiting Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park in Oakhurst turn off Highway 41 onto Road 426. At School Road (427) and Indian Springs Road, you will see the Park and Historic Village. For visitors picnic tables and restrooms are provided. A self-guided tour of the buildings is available if no docent is available. We welcome you to our programs each month and recommend that you come to Mountain Heritage Days the first week in September where family fun, music and good food help to create the pioneer days. Christmas comes to Fresno Flats early in December when Father Christmas journeys over the mountains in his Flivver to brighten the spirits of all children in the Park, young and old. Again music and celebration take center stage with the added bonus of soup tasting and Christmas cookies. For the children, there are horse rides offered by Sue Weinert, owner of the Miniature Horses. Fresno Flats has an appealing and interesting program for children in the Oakhurst area. School Tour season occurs in the spring when busses arrive with school children eager to learn how to make rope, how to make candles, how to learn how life was lived one hundred years ago when Oakhurst was named Fresno Flats. This Centennial year will be packed with surprises. A visit to the Park will be remembered by all. ď Ż
Several local authors have written short stories and poems that appear in Hot Chocolate for Seniors, an anthology compiled by author/editor Jan Fowler. The book was released in November. Hot Chocolate for Seniors features more than 100 heartwarming, humorous, inspiring stories written by seniors, for seniors and about seniors. Contributing authors represent the east coast, west coast, middle America, Israel and Canada. Stories and poems written by Ruth Rosenthal (North Fork), Tony Krizan (Oakhurst), Klaus Penning (Oakhurst), Shirley Lamb (Nippenewasee), Mary Stage, (Coarsegold) and Barbara Whitehead (Coarsegold) are included in this anthology. The local authors featured are part of a Memoirs Class that has been held in the mountain area for many years. The class is being held at the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, 39629 Hwy 41, Oakhurst. The next semester of class begins on January 20 at 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This no-fee class is open to all. Several members have published their work and many have written their life stories for their families to enjoy. Hot Chocolate for Seniors is available in chain bookstores or may be ordered online a www.hotchocolateforseniors.com. To attend the class and meet with other aspiring authors, visit the class on Friday, January 20, at 9:30 a.m. Shirley Lamb is a retired medical transcriptionist, mother of nine, grandmother of nine and lives with her husband Jim on “Lamb’s Roost in the foothills of Yosemite National Park. The Lambs have a small boysenberry farm. Shirley enjoys writing, being active in community theatre, painting rocks, and serving on the Board of the women’s guild in her church. Klaus Penning was born in Germany, served in the German Army during World War II, and was a POW in the
Left to Right: Klaus Penning, Barbara Whitehead, Shirley Lamb, Mary Stage, Ruth Rosenthal, Tony Krizan
Ukraine until 1949. In 1957, he emigrated to the U.S. where he worked as a farm laborer, operated his own sign business, and served on the Chamber of Commerce board. After retirement he worked as a ski instructor and tour guide in Yosemite. Mary Stage is a retired teacher who enjoys writing about her teaching experiences, skydiving activities and travels in the Pacific Northwest. Today, she works on her thirteen-acre parcel in Coarsegold with her Queensland heeler, Penny. Ruth Rosenthal established a poetry group for psychiatric patients at Marin General Hospital, California, where amazing changes were noted as patients – some of whom had never written before – expressed their deepest feelings and discovered their hidden joys, Ruth has authored “Like Fallen Snow” and “Maybe Shirts are Easier: A Path Back to Life.” Anthony (Tony) Krizan writes stories for his local newspaper about his thirty-plus years hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He is an active member of Kiwanis that helps serve children of the world. Barbara Whitehead is a retired businesswoman, mother of six, grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of six. She and her husband William live in the foothills of the Sierras where she is fulfilling her life’s dream of live the life of a “country girl”.
Willow Bridge Books is the mountain community’s independent bookstore. Our new location is across from the Days Inn Hotel on Highway 41 in Oakhurst. We stock a large selection of new books, gifts, educational toys, and greeting cards. We welcome special orders which are delivered usually within two days to the bookstore with no shipping charges. If you would like to order your book from home, you can place your order by going to the bookstore website:
www.willowbridgebooks.com If you have questions about our special events schedule or special orders Call Willow Bridge bookstore:
Open 7-Days A Week For Your Convenience
Come Visit Us At Our New Location: 14
40671 Highway 41, Suite A, Oakhurst, CA
David & Reita Bennett Local Owners
“We’ve Been Making Quality Affordable For Over 25 Years”
Sofas, Recliners, Sectionals, Dining Sets, Entertainment Centers, Bedroom Sets, Mattresses, Coffee Tables, End Tables, Lamps, And All Priced To Beat The Competition!
42255 Highway 41, Oakhurst, California (1/4 Mile Before The Bass Lake Turn-Off)
What Is MAGIC MOJO?
Coarsegold Emporium (559)
A Motherlode of Treasures by Local Artisans Downtown Coarsegold
info@CoarsegoldEmporium.com www.facebook.com/Coarsegold.Emporium www.CoarsegoldChamber.com/events.html www.coarsegold-emporium.com
Gold Creek Center: 35335 Highway 41, #6
Magic Mojo, is our mountain communities truly eclectic boutique offering a wide range of the interesting, beautiful, strange, utilitarian and collectable. Owner, David Quigley is a self-taught artist, art historian and all around fascinating individual who’s passion for his work can be found throughout his store. It can be said, with conviction, if you can’t find what you are looking for anywhere else you probably will find it at Magic Mojo.
Rich Regert Sharon Regert Owner/Broker
Experience, Concern & Service
559-683-4260 Lic# 0446146 firstname.lastname@example.org
I N S U R A N C E HOME AUTO LIFE HEALTH COMMERCIAL
24 Hour Claim 1-800-435-7764 40291 Junction Drive, #102, P.O. Box 2015, Oakhurst, CA 93644
“Say It With Embroidery Make A Memorable Statement” Call JoAnn For All Your Embroidery Needs
One of the more interesting items showcased is a potentially priceless collection of ancient, intricately designed, royal crowns dating back thousands of years. Researched extensively, David is well versed in the crowns’ potential origins, graphic meanings and value. The crowns are not always on display. But, if asked in advance, he can make them available for viewing and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the historical relevance and graphic meanings behind the various icons embedded or engraved on the crowns. David is a wonderfully, soft spoken, easy-going young man who grew up here in our community, attended Coarsegold Elementary and Graduated Yosemite High School. He is very committed to helping other local artists by displaying their works of art for consignment sale. The next time you are out and about in Oakhurst, stop by and visit with David Quigley at his Magic Mojo. You won’t be disappointed.
Magic Mojo is located at 40120 Suite ‘E’, Highway 41 in Oakhurst, California. (behind McDonalds)
Email: email@example.com 16
Longtime resident Margit Friedlander Stuart died August 29, 2011, at age 81. Her husband of 50 years, Marvin H. Stuart died May 17, 2011, at age 83. They are survived by children: Alex, a lawyer in San Jose with two children; Carol, investigator for the San Francisco Department of Justice; and, Erica, Public Relations Officer and Spokesperson for the Madera County Sheriff’s Department. Marvin was a Navy Vet from Philadelphia, and Margit was a native of Hamburg, Germany. She and her family were among the last refugees to escape Germany in 1939. Marvin and Margit were proud to be Americans and worked relentlessly for the betterment of their communities. This remarkable couple enthusiastically donated much of their time in later years to active participation in civil affairs of Eastern Madera Mountain Community. Margit excelled at her achievements for youth by serving as high school English teacher, Regional President of the PTA, active in youth theatre and arts in both New Canaan, CT, and Santa Barbara, CA. She attended the University of Cincinnati, graduated from Ohio State University in economics and continued graduate work at the University of Connecticut. Here in Easter Madera County, she served twice as Foreperson of the Madera County Grand Jury and was appointed Juvenile Justice Commissioner for seven years through 2007. Margit was the first female officer of the New Canaan Bank & Trust, New Canaan, CT. Later, in Eastern Madera Mountain Community, she was a respected local realtor. Margit supported programs for dental health and understanding dyslectic children in local school systems. In juvenile justice, she worked hard for the new Juvenile Hall “Boot Camp” and for the interests of those troubled youngsters. Throughout these activities, Margit was a mother, housewife and charming hostess. Marvin, WWII Navy veteran, was a graduate of Georgia Tech in industrial management and public relations. His professional life spent with General Electric culminated as Manager of Advertising and 17
Public Relations for GE’s Santa Barbara think tank TEMPO. Marvin was prominent in the Indian Lakes Civic Association and is responsible for protecting and safeguarding Indian Lakes water from unauthorized attempts to tap their water for use outside the Indian Lakes development. He helped organize the Coarsegold Area Planning Association and participated in various environmental efforts in Santa Barbara and here. He contributed numerous articles to the media to publicize local planning activities. He summarized reports of investigative activities of civil grand juries and authored briefs which highlighted and recognized the contributions of community leaders. Marvin was always ready to give of his skills and experience in effective writing, bonsai, or fly-fishing. Much more could be said about both of the Stuarts. Madera County officials may have found them tenacious adversaries but they were always active citizens working hard for our community and fair local governance. They fought many battles for us with success and always with outstanding integrity. Margit Friedlander Stuart and husband Marvin H. Stuart were friends to our community and will be greatly missed.
MEMORIAM SUBMISSION INFORMATION If you know of some special member of our mountain community who passed recently and you would like to submit a ‘Memoriam’, on their behalf, please feel free to contact our publisher.
The Great Wall Of Coarsegold—News Update The latest information on the “Great Wall of Coarsegold” offers little in the way of securing a meaningful solution to a dangerous situation. The liability insurance company paid damage fees to the owners, and these funds were used to research, engineer and design a workable solution. The issue now is that the owners have filed for bankruptcy protection and there are no available funds to repair the failing wall. The County of Madera does not wish to assume the financial risk in repairing the wall. Consequently, when the wall does collapse, it will block highway 41 causing Caltrans to intervene, invest state resources and ultimately file suit against Madera County. Like turning on the warning sirens after the tornado strikes.
40179 Enterprise Drive #G Oakhurst, CA 93644 (559) 658-2300 www.geocities.com/eaglelube 18
THE MALLARD AND THE MALAMUTE Written by: Ruth
Rosenthal—Resident of North Fork
North Fork isn’t on many maps. It’s the last place on earth I’d ever expect to find or live in. It was once a thriving mountain town in the foothills of the Sierras. When the active lumberyard had to close its doors, North Fork lost most of its other businesses. Even the infamous bawdyhouse, not too many years before, had closed down, along with the disappearance of gun-happy cowboys. By the time I’d heard of the place, years away from that era, the colorful history remained and not much else was left. What was left – simply the warmth of the people. Some who were born here and some from nearby places unknown. There are many Mono Indians, some retired folk – like me – many artist and writers. From north and south some lost souls wandered in, to find this little funky town that also won my heart. Not just because of its trees that stood like gods amongst us, or its peaceful elevation in the thousands. IT is the people. They are unlike the many kind and likable I’ve known in cities and larger communities. One can’t help wondering what makes the difference. It reminds me of the old yarn about a person, new to a town, who asks what the people there are like. The questions are answered with a question, “ What were the people like where you came from?” The tale goes that they were miserable. “You’ll find that the people here are miserable too,” was the response. So, unlike that unfortunate newcomer, I’ve had a different experience. In this seeming “ghost town” is life, more evolved than my fondest dreams. Welcomed by all, gatherings are joyous sharing of conversation, with many varieties of foods, including vegetarian. People from all over the world arrive to do ten-day meditations at the Vipassanaa Medication Center. Guitars come out of their bags, flutes, sometimes a sitar, a harmonica, whatever anybody plays or sings. These are the moments that tie the happy, the lonely, the witty, the worn.
I love the quirks and companionship that make the flavor of our community so delicious. To add to an almost barren little town, where people have to drive twelve miles to the nearest pharmacy, medical center, or theatre, came a guy named Scott. One cold February morning he opened a small coffee shop in the middle of town. It’s between two hardware stores, across the road from the Buckhorn, an over one hundred year old restaurant and bar. There are only two other restaurants in town, The Pizza Factory and La Cabana. People mourn when Patricia and Miguel close La Cabana to go back to Mexico for about a month each December. They visit family and bring back new, exciting recipes. Scott named his coffee shop Slim’s Koffee Shak. He painted the inside bright red, matching the outside he painted his old house next door. In seven years, I thought I’d met a lot of North Forkians. But the first time at Scott’s, people kept coming up to Jen, my housemate, and me, saying, “How come I never met you before”” I wondered for awhile why Scott named the place Slim’s since his name is Scott. Then, one summer evening, amongst bales of hay for seating, and a bench or two, where musicians play for the price of a tip jar, and Scott’s made-to-order food, I saw a small dachshund wandering around like he owned the place. That’s Slim. Slim’s became iconic as people came out of the woods (literally) to sip and sup and socialize. It does a heart good to enjoy the change that Scott made. In this town of no interest in fashion, where clothing is typically for comfort, warmth and legality, Scott threw a formal red-carpet art event (formed with North Fork principles of informality). Photos filled his website: Bow ties with “long shorts” were for the natural man. Women wore wonderful dresses, rarely seen in “our part of the woods,” A wall full of paintings were purchased and the Fresno Bee printed: “If you want to find a great place off the 19
THE MALLARD AND THE MALAMUTE - Continued
beaten track, go to Scott’s Koffee Shak in North Fork.” Who knows where all these innovations will lead? I like to chat with Scott every time I go there because his mind and actions work together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. When he shares what he thinks up next, it happens. On the east coast where I grew up, there’s a phrase that goes like this, either as a high compliment or to make a statement of the incredulous “Only in America.” Today, just as I was about to leave Slim’s after a leisurely two-hour lunch with a friend, someone said something that got my attention. “There’s a duck in
that jeep.” A red wrangler was parked perpendicular to Slim’s right in front. I looked and, sure enough, a large, handsome duck stood in that open backed jeep, waiting. Waiting with him was a husky malamute. Izzy the duck, I learned was the “incumbent” with a few months seniority over Tule the dog. Scott laughed. “When Gilbert takes them to the lake, Tule gets jealous when Izzy goes in to the water.” Gilbert paid his bill and drove off with his mallard and his malamute. To paraphrase a phrase: “Only in North Fork.” Except for trips now and then to the real world, I’m not leaving.
FOR ALL YOUR MANUSCRIPT NEEDS Proof Reading Editing
Post Office Box 484
Publishing Resources & Recommendations
Bass Lake, CA 93604
Penny S. Park
Dine In or Take-Out Whether for lunch or dinner The Taste Of China Is Always The Perfect Choice With family and friends IN VON’S SHOPPING CENTER
40034 Hwy 49, Suite A-1, Oakhurst, CA
(559) 760 - 3122
Brian H. Ouzounian
Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition www.yosemitevalleycampers.org 310-466-7960
I am a California resident living in Orange County and have camped in Yosemite Valley since 1955; I am the third of four generations of Yosemite Valley Campers, my grandparents started in the 1930's. I have been active for over 30 years in attempting to preserve affordable family friendly auto-based drive-in camping in Yosemite Valley since the 1980 Yosemite General Management Plan was issued and it was discovered that campers were excluded from the planning process and campsites were reduced. I have attended a multitude of meetings outside and inside the Park over the years. I traveled to Washington DC in October of 1997 to personally meet with the Dept. of Interior concerning this subject, all on my own dime. Over the last 30 years, it has become ever clear that those I represent have no representation and are disenfranchised. Family camping in Yosemite Valley is an endangered activity, diminished at every opportunity by the YNPS (Yosemite National Park Service). The real upshot of the situation occurred when Superintendent B.J. Griffin closed all the flood damaged campgrounds after the great flood of 1997 without public notice nor a public process, even though 180 million dollars was given to the Park for repair, 17 million specifically for campground repair. Now, the money has all been spent and not on any repair of the flood damage campgrounds that are closed to the public. Taking this to Senator Dianne Feinstein, her Fresno Deputy, recommended that I generate a petition to show support for the cause, which I did with foot soldiers in the Park who took the petitions home and into schools and homes of family campers. We reached 500 of these and then transitioned from hand-type petitions to an e-petition on line. To date we have 1500 signatures. Petition signers are from as far away as South Africa who visit the Park and there is a space for comments, which many signers tell of their passion for family camping in Yosemite Valley and make note of their dislike for the idea of visitation on a bus! All were delivered to the superintendents and the planners at every opportunity. I encourage you to go to the petition site via our home page: www.yosemitevalleycampers.org and clicking on the top left corner or going directly to this link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-yosemite-valley-campgrounds/ Scroll down the petition to read signers' comments and you will get the sense of the passion campers have. There is no age limit for signers and we encouraged young campers to tell their story. Some are very passionate. The home page offers more links and information, which I trust you will explore more. We are currently adding more "News" items from my library of transmittals. FYI, we take no donations; it is our passion for our cause that motivate us and the feeling that "right is might." The YNPS continually ignores the public outcry for more camping and day use parking. We appreciate your interest and welcome your participation. If we can answer any of your questions, please contact us. ď Ż
Our teacher asked what my favorite animal was, and I said, "Fried chicken." She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right, because everyone else laughed. My parents told me to always tell the truth. I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef. Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again. The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal's office. He laughed, and told me not to do it again. I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn't like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most. I told her, "Colonel Sanders." ď Ż
Guess where I am nowâ€Ś 21
Homeless Man's Funeral A recent study found that the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that golfers drink, on Average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. This means that, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon! Kind of makes you proud. Almost makes you feel like a hybrid.
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Kentucky back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played my heart and soul out for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played 'Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Farmer John was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets,' and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.
To John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.
He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.
John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Madera County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.
This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing.
The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the "No Bell Piece Prize," but they also awarded him the "Pulletsurprise" as well.
Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out a report by just listening to the bells.
Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.
John's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all! When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-aringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.
Vote carefully in the next Presidential election, the bells are not always audible and hidden political agenda’s are most often masked in feel good rhetoric and cleverly written propaganda.
Tattoo's, Piercings & More
Custom Tattoo Studio (559) 683-KATS
40680 Highway 41, Suite D, Oakhurst, California
“ S e a s o n a l L o c a t i o n O p e n N o v - M a y a t H W Y 4 9 N e x t T o T h e T r u e V a l u e H o m e C e n t e r I n O a k h u r s t”
SERVING LUNCHES, FRESH BREADS & FULL ESPRESSO BAR Hours: Wed—Sat 7:30am-5:30pm Sunday 9am-2pm Closed Monday & Tuesday
Michael Freibott Certified Massage Therapist
Bootjack BODY WORKS 23
(559) 676-2814 SPECIAL COUPON PURCHASE TEN (10) FULL BODY MASSAGES AND RECEIVE YOUR ELEVENTH FULL BODY MASSAGE FOR FREE.
Bootjack BODY WORKS OFFER ENDS 12/1/12
THE PRODUCE PLACE Dine In—Call In—Take Out Mon—Fri: 11 am to 5:30 pm Sat:11 am to 3 pm Closed Sunday
Phone: (559) 641-6167 49333 Road 426- #E Oakhurst, California
Review: If you haven’t experienced “The Produce Place” you are missing one of our mountain community’s finest locally owned restaurants. John & Kandie Stier offer a wide assortment of culinary delights including delicious deli sandwiches, salad bar and baked potato bar and an assortment of home made soups sure to please the most discerning tastes. Their Italian vegetable Ribolotti soup is “vegan friendly” and beyond awesome. The split pea and tomato soups are ideal for those cold winter days. They use only the freshest ingredients and offer large portions. The atmosphere is comfortable, clean, and the service friendly and fast. “The Produce Place” is the perfect example why we chose to live here in the mountains. -Editor-
40032 Hwy 49, Ste. 01 (Von’s Shopping Center) Oakhurst, California
Review: If you are fed up shopping valley sports stores where sales staff haven't a clue then you finally have an alternative, the all new 5000+ sq. ft. “Sportsmen’s Den,” located at the Von’s Shopping Center in Oakhurst. They offer a full range of hand guns, shot guns and rifles along with reloading supplies, ammunition, archery supplies and an indoor archery range with instructors. You will find Liberty Safes, off-road vehicles, fishing tackle and accessories, reels, rods and lures, as well as a huge selection of boots and both recreational and hunting apparel for the whole family. The employees are seasoned hunters and fishermen , knowledgeable, friendly and service oriented . Whatever your outdoor recreational needs, the “Sportsmen’s Den” should be your first stop. You definitely won’t be disappointed. -Editor24