LOL new-member luncheon

Ladies of the Lakes held their May meeting and annual new-member luncheon Monday, as members showed up in stylish hats with a garden party theme. All had a great time with lunch provided by Executive Chef David Pol and his team.

Here are some photos courtesy of LOL historian Jan Beavers.

Financial packets go out


The Financial Packet and Annual Disclosures for 2019-2020 are now on their way to members.

• If you chose to receive material digitally by signing the Electronic Mail Consent Form mailed in January, you should receive a pdf file of the entire packet at the email address you provided. If not, please check your junk mail folder first. Sometimes there are delays when sending out large numbers of emails, so it may take a few days for all of them to process.

We are tracking deliveries and will resend to any recipients with an unsuccessful delivery. If you don’t have it by Wednesday (May 22), please call the YLOA office at 559-658-7466 so we can verify your email address..

• If you didn’t choose digital delivery, the packet will be arriving by postal mail in coming days. It was sent to our bulk mail vendor for printing, processing and mailing on Thursday.

The annual packet contains the president’s letter and financial information including the revised list of fees, important notes, policy changes and the application form for a pool pass.


The YLOA Board of Directors in March voted on a schedule for release of documents in 2019. That included a date of April 12 for the annual packet. But since then, it was discovered that:

• To comply with the California Davis-Stirling laws covering HOAs, the packets can go out no earlier than 60 days before annual assessments (dues) are due — July 1.

• Language and information that has been used in previous packets, which we had intended to reuse this year, needed to be updated to fully comply with current Davis-Stirling disclosure requirements. This took extra time as virtually the entire packet had to be rewritten and assembled. As a result, the packet you are receiving is more factual and should be much more useful.

In June, an election packet will be sent out with material just for the 2019 YLOA Board of Directors election, including candidates’ statements and ballots.

Pizza-gazebo project revs up

“When is that doggone pizza oven going to be up and running?” seems to be a favorite question these days among some YLP members.

After all, Executive Chef David Pol gave us all a tantalizing preview of the pies at one of the Town Halls earlier this year.

Well, turns out that in order to crank out great big pizzas on an everyday basis for dine-in and pickup customers, the oven area needs to be enclosed to protect the food and ingredients, keep out bees, etc.

Chef Dave pulls a pie for Town Hall

With an eye on limiting the expense of this project — which is expected to pay for itself within the first year of operation — YLOA Director Ken Sartain stepped up to lead a volunteer project to design and build a gazebo-like, screened enclosure. He’s getting help from five or six others.

In recent weeks, he discovered that a section of joists holding up the deck near the oven had rotted, apparently because of water dripping out of hanging baskets over time. He had to replace and strengthen that section first. Now, he has placed 4×4 posts upon which the gazebo will stand, and construction should proceed more rapidly.

No promises are being made about an opening date, but it should come within a few weeks, and the pizza oven will definitely be serving up savory delights for a long time to come. We’ll keep you posted!

Station 10 strengthens

We are truly fortunate to have a paid-call firefighter station smack dab in the heart of Yosemite Lakes Park. But it’s not only because of location — it’s also one of the best in the state and now is even stronger.

As we reported not long ago in YLP Life, Fire Station 10 has added a structure to house an additional engine and water tender that will soon come on duty. The building’s up, and water and electric are being added, along with an access ramp to the big front doors.

This week, SierraNewsOnline.com published a story announcing that Madera County was closing two fire stations in the region — #17 at O’Neals and #16 at Ahwahnee. That may have frightened some in YLP afraid we might lose ours, too. But that is anything but the case.

You can read the story here: Two County Fire Stations To Be Closed In The Mountain Area

According to Madera County Assistant Fire Chief Matt Watson, the story says, “with Station 10 in YLP being the largest PCF company in the county, they can staff multiple engines and a water tender seven days a week.”

Fire Station 10 Capt. Jack Fulcher said of the expansion: “this is a giant step” for the facility. The firefighters have been preparing for this for a year to respond to an expanded territory left open by the nearby closures. 

“What we’ve done in the past two years….  to move forward has greatly improved.” But, he said, “People in Yosemite Lakes should rest easy — we can have engines responding to their house, timewise, within probably five or six minutes.”

Community involvement continues, he added, with a car wash and bake sale 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, in the Hillside Supermarket shopping center. Later there will be a Father’s Day pancake breakfast at the Blue Heron Restaurant and an ice cream social at the fire station.

DIY products for horses

Let’s face it… horses are expensive, completely worth the expense but expensive none the less. 

I love reading the Savvy Horsewoman blog and came across this post about DIY horse stuff.  She made some great points about how our horse’s don’t care how expensive their products are, so why not save a few pennies and make some of it ourselves? 

In most cases I prefer a natural product to something full of extra, unnecessary junk.  Natural products tend to be more expensive so making them myself seems like a win, especially the horse shampoo since I have two gray horses who hate to stay clean. 

I would love to hear if any of you give some of these recipes or projects a try!  

White-breasted nuthatch

On one of my morning walks, I witnessed a home invasion.

It seems that a pair of violet-green swallows had selected a cozy oak tree cavity for their nest. They went in and out, but so did an acorn woodpecker, a starling, and and pair of white-breasted nuthatches. Since I’d frequently seen these swallows in the same tree the year before, I assumed that the tree cavity was theirs.

Not so fast. While this pair of swallows sat on a limb enjoying the morning sun, the nuthatches repeatedly entered the cavity and pulled out all the previous nesting material. After a day or so of this activity, and without any apparent objection on the part of the swallows, the nuthatches completely took over the nest site. They brought in the requisite tree fluff for a comfy nest, along with several chunks of tree bark, including one about 1 by 4 inches in size. I think the lady of the house was building a two story townhome.

The white-breasted nuthatch is a joy to watch as it moves quickly along tree branches, frequently hanging upside-down on the underside of a limb like a rock climber. A backward-facing toe allows them to scramble facing straight down, which they do adroitly, pausing along the way, head up and beak pointing outward.

Nuthatches love black oiled sunflower seeds. This I know from observing them empty my feeder. They don’t eat the seeds right away, however. They cache them in tree bark for winter nourishment when other food is scarce.

Keep Birding….

Robert Groos

Previous posts:

Acorn woodpecker YLP Life #188 Feb 22, 2019

The oak titmouse YLP Life #191 March 15, 2019

Return of the swallows. YLP Life #195 April 12, 2019

YLP volunteers at work

Aerating greens

A small army of volunteers gathered Tuesday at the YLP Golf Course to help aerate the nine greens and the putting green. Hats off to them! Richard Hunsbarger, Mark Jordana, Bryan Smith, Ken Conley, Steve Sunseri, Bob Young, Steve Rettig, Roger Ellis, Darrel Dietrich, Jeff Faturos, Alan Dugovic, Gene Holt, Wayne Kelly, Vito Angiuli, Ken Souza and Bill Bob Pippen.

Aerating greens is a four-hour, twice-a-year volunteer operation. Sierra Golf Management uses its equipment to punch out small holes in the green and spit out soil plugs. Volunteers then gather up the plugs in carts and deposit the rich soil in other areas.

Ladies of the Lakes Scholarships

 The scholarship program is a cornerstone of the YLP Ladies of the Lakes 501(c3) organization. This year, program chair Judy Moore said that LOL will award scholarships totaling $10,000 to six graduates of Minarets High School.

“These are all high-achieving, good students,” she said. The awards will be given out the evening of May 22 at the high school.

LOL conducts many fund raisers through the year for scholarships and also to aid Madera County Fire Station No. 10. Their objectives are illustrated in the LOL logo above. The YLP Librarians also donated to the scholarships.

Some $190,000 in scholarships have been awarded since the program began decades ago.  

Gala-Golf Tourney a hit

The Yosemite Lakes 2019 volunteer fundraising committee had its annual Gala and Golf Tournament on May 3rd and 4th.   Proceeds from the two events benefited our local Yosemite Lakes Fire Station #10.

The Gala was attended by more than 125 people, who enjoyed appetizers provided by the Blue Heron Restaurant.  As usual Chef Pol, Kassie and the entire staff did a fantastic job taking care of the food and service.  Albert from Fig Productions kept the evening lively and was our Auctioneer Extraordinaire.

We had close to 70 companies and individuals who donated items and services for our door prizes, raffles and silent and live auctions.  The committee thanks the donors and bidders for their contributions.  A special thank you goes out to Steve and Becky Brannon for their very generous donation.

We are also very appreciative of the additional support of Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, Eddie Reed of Superior Pool Care (The live auction of the life-sized carved bear was one of the evening’s highlights) and Kamps Propane.  

The golf tournament was held on Saturday May 4th.  We had 68 players that participated in the event.  For the 1st time, we had all 18 tees (White and Blues) sponsored by companies and individual golfers.  

These events could not happen without people who dedicate hours of organizing, planning and setup.  The committee thanks Neil and Belinda Ordway, Roger Hoff, Noel and Mary Reimers, Mel Shapiro, Steve Sunseri and Bill Eigenman.   We would also like to recognize Maria Ciccarelli and Terri Fulcher for handling all the duties of checking everyone in the night of the Gala.
The Yosemite Lakes Golf Association and Station 10 thank everyone who attended and appreciate your ongoing support.

John Wandler – YLGA President 

A lot of fun and dancing at the 2019 Firemen’s Gala.

Fire Station #10 would like to thank the following donors:

Tee Sponsors: AMC Sprayers, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, Coarsegold Kenpo Karate, Coarsegold Physical Therapy, Collins Electric, Derek @ Executive Realty Associates, The Dietrich Family, The Frederick Family, Graybar, Joseph Whitcomb – Golden Valley Restoration, Kamps Propane, Mel Shapiro, The Rettig Family, SmithWorx, Superior Pool Care, Vasquez and Art Gerow, Yosemite Drugs, The Wandler Family.   

Gala Event: Auto Zone, Beauty and the Beast Pet Grooming, Brian Allen Chainsaw Carvings, Bryan Smith, Choppers, Chukchansi Casino & Resort, Coarsegold Car Care, Coarsegold Kenpo Karate, DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant, Eagle Quick Lube, Eddie Reed – Superior Pool Care, Emadco Disposal, Forever Fitness, Harriet Gallion, Hillside Market, Joe’s Sew & Vac, Kamps Propane, Katie’s Country Kitchen, Lance Garfoot, Mychal Burkett, Napa Auto Parts, Oakhurst Grill, Oakhurst Spirits, Papa Murphy’s Take N’ Bake, Patty Dietrich, Pete’s Place, Plazuelas Mexican Taqueria, Raley’s, Reimer’s Candies, Robert’s Frosty, Russell Leeworthy, SGM Golf (Airways, Madera Muni, Pheasant Run, RidgeMark, Salinas Fairways), Shear Inspiration,    Shirley Iverson, Sierra Mercantile, Sierra Nevada Trading Company, Smithworx, Station 10 Ladies Auxiliary, Steve Rettig, Sun Mountain Gun Club, Sweet Water Steakhouse, Trading Post, Vons, Waggin’ Tails Grooming, Wild Fig Kitchen, Yosemite Drugs, Yosemite Smog & Electric.  Our apologies to anyone that was left off, there were many other items dropped off without names on them.  THANK YOU TO ALL DONORS…

About YLP Cares

Jonathan Penrose
YLOA-YSPUC General Manager

YLP Cares is a new, not for profit, charitable organization that was authorized by the board last year. It is independent from YLOA and was established to help our community qualify for grants, encourage volunteerism and provide financial assistance to local residents.

Various YLOA employees and board members have committed to personally donate at least $5,000 in initial funding. Other members of our community will be given the opportunity to contribute and to participate in various projects as well.

Some of these funds will be used to help those on fixed incomes with current and future dues increases. These are not funds from YLOA, but funds from caring residents who wish to help others in our community who are experiencing financial difficulties.

The initial Articles of Incorporation have been completed, to be followed by an application for status as a federally approved 501c3. Once approved, YLP Cares will be able to accept tax-deductible donations.

Additional details regarding YLP Cares will be made available in the coming weeks, including: meeting times, board appointments and how to apply for financial assistance if this year’s increase in assessments will cause economic hardship.

Look into bell boots

The farrier who shoes my horses recently asked me to invest in bell boots.

For those of  you who may be unfamiliar, bell boots attach at the bottom of the horse’s foot and around the hoof to protect their front shoes from being ripped off by over tracking — if one of the hind feet step on the back of the front shoe. 

It can also help prevent injuries that can be caused by the hind feet stepping on the “heel” of the front foot.  They get their name because they are bell shaped.

The farrier I use lives over an hour away and he (and I) would both prefer not to have him make a special trip if my horse(s) over track and rip off a front shoe. 

Both of my horses require shoes to keep them sound and their feet protected and purchasing bell boots is much more economical than an extra farrier visit. 

I did some research into what kind to buy and like anything I was torn between saving and splurging.  I have found that the saying “you get what you pay for” is accurate in most cases.  I ended up somewhere in the middle and am so far very happy with my purchase. 

Here is an article from SmartPak that talks a little more about the topic of bell boots and gives a couple of recommendations: