New Equestrian Center chair

This month we say farewell to Sharra Kelley as she relocates. We thank her for her service as chair of the Equestrian Center Committee.

Now in that position, we welcome Sarah Jackson.  Sarah and her husband, Ethan Jackson (you may have seen him at previous Town Hall events in uniform, representing our local California Highway Patrol) moved to Yosemite Lakes Park in October from the Wishon/Bass Lake area.  They chose to move their family to YLP for the Equestrian Center and Rivergold School, and have been enjoying the community here.

Sarah recently resigned from CHP after 10 years to care for their four children.  Prior to serving as a CHP officer, Sarah was a cost accountant for Flory Industries in Salida, and an editor for the American University of the Caribbean.  You might see Sarah at the barn, riding her palomino mare, Vitesse (pronouced Vee-TESS, after the Bugatti) with her 4-year-old daughter and her pony, Morning Glory.  Sarah has been barrel racing since she was 7 years old, and still competes today.

Let’s welcome the Jackson family to YLP and Sarah to the chair position on the Equestrian Committee!

Back row left to right: Ethan, Sarah, Brett (22), Promise (15). Front row: Kelly (4), Seth (8)

February topics

Highlights of the Feb. 19 meetings of the YLOA and YSPUC Boards of Directors:

YLP will be replacing its eight public phone numbers with new numbers in the near future, General Manager Jonathan Penrose explained. After an exhaustive effort to keep the current numbers failed, management decided to make the changes in order to fix multiple problems with the aging Sierra Tel phone system. YLP residents will be getting more information on the new numbers and what happens when the old numbers are called.

General Manager Penrose’s monthly financial forecast is delayed until the end of the month because of absences in the accounting office last month. It was reported that YLOA’s finances are in good shape, but operating on a tight budget. The association’s financial reserves will be the topic of the third Town Hall scheduled for next Tuesday, and a budget workshop is planned for March.

At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, just before the Town Hall on financial reserves, Executive Chef David Pol will premiere the new pizza oven with a $9.95 pizza buffet.

Ken Sartain, chair of the Communications Committee, announced that YLP will take over maintenance of the big green-and-white wooden sign at Highway 41 and Yosemite Springs Parkway. In a deal with the owner of that parcel, YLOA will maintain the grounds around the sign. Plans are to paint it and make repairs and replace the “Real Estate — Sales” text at bottom with a left-pointing arrow and “Public Golf and Dining.”

The Engineering Committee announced that it had received bids for partial rebuilds of the horse stalls at the Equestrian Center, but recommended more research with the objective of completely replacing the stalls with all-steel construction.

The YLOA Board voted to approve:
• An updated code of conduct for directors
• An ethics policy for directors
• A packet to provide rules and guidelines for potential board candidates

The board also named an Election Committee for 2019 consisting of President Rebecca Brannon, Ken Sartain and Michelle Piotrowski, who are not up for re-election this year.

Return to sender!

YLOA members all have been sent an envelope labeled “Urgent-Please Return.”

Inside are four sheets — an explanatory letter from YLOA/YSPUC General Manager Jonathan Penrose, along with these forms:

• Member Contact Information
• Electronic Mail Consent Form
• YLOA Voting Proxy Form

Each are very important for different reasons, which are explained.

Please return according to the instructions at the bottom of each form.

Thank you for helping keep Yosemite Lakes Park a wonderful place to belong!

Town Hall Tuesday

Following the successful January Town Hall comparing YLP to three other similar-sized California HOAs, General Manager Jonathan Penrose will present a Town Hall this coming Tuesday, Feb. 26, looking at our financial reserves. It will begin with a pizza buffet, fresh from our new pizza oven, at just $9.95 a person. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Town Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Great turnout

We had the best turnout in months at the Feb. 23rd Tournament  …… 36 players.

Support the YLGA 

The Tournament Committee

Meet YLP’s bird man

Meet YLP’s bird man



If you see a fellow on one of YLP’s trails carrying a camera and looking up into the trees, there’s a good chance it’s Robert Groos. And chances are he can tell you in detail what has caught his attention. Stop and listen, and you’ll learn something you didn’t know about our wonderful mountain home.

So why does he do it? “There’s the obvious aspect of exercise being outside. I like nature but there’s a challenge involved in the photography and that really drives me.”

Groos and his wife, Patty, live in a home on the side of Revis Mountain with one of those gorgeous views of distant hills. He’s out and about frequently, taking photos of birds outside his window as well as on distant hiking trails.

” I go for the smaller birds because number one they’re hard to see, they’re hard to find…. and they’re hard to photograph because they’re moving so fast and that is a real prime drive to my interest. Just like anybody who does sports — you want to get better at what you do.”

Groos speaks in a soft, steady tone that bespeaks his background starting as a former college professor with a Ph.D. in French who later spent most of his career in computer technology and sales. He says he’s self-taught in photography.

His equipment, of course, is professional as well — Canon 5D and 7D SLRs, with a Canon 100-400mm telephoto among his lenses.

Many people in YLP take pictures of birds and animals, and many of them are quite good. What makes Groos’ work stand out is its almost portrait quality — extremely sharp and almost of story-telling quality. An avian moment in time, chasing an insect or guarding a nest.

On the coffee table in the middle of their home’s central great room, the Grooses keep three professionally bound books of Robert’s photos — one titled “Birds of Deer Canyon Preserve,” from where the couple formerly had lived in New Mexico, and others on their trips to Egypt and Peru.

Starting today, you’ll get to enjoy many of Robert’s photos and learn about the scores of bird species that inhabit YLP. He begins a periodic blog on yosemitelakespark.org with some of his photos, focusing each time on a different bird or topic. We hope you enjoy it!

YLP on the wing


Hello.  My name is Robert.  I’m a bird photographer here in YLP.  In this blog, I will introduce you to some of my avian friends, who also are your neighbors here in the park.

You will frequently see me walking Blue Heron Lake Trail with a really big camera in my hands.  Say “hello” and I’ll try to answer any questions you may have about our birds.

Today I showcase a bird that I consider to be the voice of YLP:  The Acorn Woodpecker.  Oak woodlands, such as we have here in YLP, is where they live year-around.  If you spend time outdoors, you can’t miss hearing their raucous calls throughout the day.

In spite of the name, Acorn Woodpeckers feed primarily on insects.  During winter months, when insects are less prevalent, they rely upon communal acorn granaries that clan members have assiduously stocked throughout the year.  Many of our utility poles have hundreds of holes drilled into them for this purpose.

The Acorn Woodpecker is a gregarious bird, performing aerial acrobatics as it flies openly from tree to tree, utility pole to utility pole.  Pause a moment, look closely at its lovely clown face, and try not to smile.

(Gallery of five photos)