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Guest Columns

Ode To The Daypack

Written by Michael Olwyler — Flung, dropped and dragged, the daypack has risen throughout the world to be the everyday carrier. Schoolboys, travelers, pregnant moms, and businessmen can’t do without them bumping along on their backs, arms or chests. They carry our essentials, get crushed in subway doors, float down rivers after being carelessly dropped overboard, settle with a sigh ...

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Four Women, Six Days, 53 Miles Backpacking

Written by Wendy Fisher — As a lifelong wilderness enthusiast at heart, I have been exploring the Sierra on foot for well over 20 years. When I am not out exploring, gardening, or parenting my lovely twin girls, I am proud of my day job working as a plant/wetland ecologist with Live Oak Associates. Live Oak is an Oakhurst based ecological ...

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Madera County Quietly Loses A Fire Station

Guest Column written by Bill Ritchey — COARSEGOLD – As Madera County struggles to recruit and retain Paid Call Firefighters (PCF), and the Board of Supervisors considers the feasibility of a public safety tax to help fund the fire department, we noticed that Coarsegold’s Station 13 had not been called out for some time. A call to Cal Fire confirmed ...

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More Than Just a Name Change

Guest column by Marcia Penner Freedman — What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet — William Shakespeare Juliet stands on her balcony speaking into the night. She wants Romeo to deny thy father and replace thy name. She offers to no longer be a Capulet. Juliet is a naïve ...

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Grey Water Recycling: Simple, Practical, and Legal

Submitted by Marcia Penner Freedman – The Madera County Board of Supervisors, in an effort to encourage water conservation throughout the county, has adopted a plan to assist Madera County residents in implementing grey water recycling in their homes. Yes, grey water recycling is legal, and has been for some time. But prior to the revisions to the California Plumbing ...

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Pay Now Or Pay Later – Fire Department In Crisis

To The Editor: On June 9, 2014, the reality of near non-existent fire protection in Madera County was on full display in Bonadelle Ranchos. The unimaginable happened… a family’s home burned just six lots away from County Fire Station 19. A single career firefighter, aided by two “paid call” firefighters, quickly responded. An aggressive attack on the fire was initiated; ...

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The Sewer Board Is Looking For A Few Good Men Or Women

Written by Dave Wolin – OAKHURST – You probably don’t often consider all that happens when you flush your toilet or throw the dinner remains down the garbage disposal. Well, if you live in the part of Oakhurst connected to the sewer plant, a very complicated system of pipes, pumps and machinery eventually transports all that to our sewer plant, ...

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Mikey Ward Goes To “World Series”

By Robin Ward – OAKHURST – The South County Colts is a travel baseball team managed by Mike Molina, Steve Gallegos and Pete Ramirez coaching. They were #1 in the nation as an AAA team and were moved to Majors this year. Since the move they are #6, but are working their way up quickly. The team is comprised mainly ...

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Hope from the Ashes

Story by AnnaRose Chaney OAKHURST – At the start of summer 2014, fires began plaguing the land and people of our community. For some, the flames were no more than distant spirals of smoke and ash that blackened the air and left the sky a bitter red. To others, the flames were omens of fear and chaos, and with them ...

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