2017-06-01 / Front Page

The votes are in ... Best of the Best selections made by County citizens

And the winners are ...


As voted by local citizens, “Ms. Mariposa County” Courtney Twiss, left, and “Mr. Mariposa County” Doug Binnewies, right, are shown at Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe with Steve Knauf, owner, whose business won two “Best of the Best 2016” awards. Also shown are Jarrod Twiss and Laurie Binnewies with their spouses. See below the complete list of winners from the contest. 
Photo by Nicole W. Little As voted by local citizens, “Ms. Mariposa County” Courtney Twiss, left, and “Mr. Mariposa County” Doug Binnewies, right, are shown at Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe with Steve Knauf, owner, whose business won two “Best of the Best 2016” awards. Also shown are Jarrod Twiss and Laurie Binnewies with their spouses. See below the complete list of winners from the contest. Photo by Nicole W. Little The people of Mariposa County have spoken.

In the annual “Best of the Best” competition by the Mariposa Gazette, the public has chosen their top picks in various categories.

This year, we included some new categories, including “Mr. Mariposa County” and “Ms. Mariposa County.”

The winner of Mr. Mariposa County is Sheriff Doug Binnewies and Ms. Mariposa County is realtor Courtney Twiss.

Binnewies was also chosen as the best elected official, out-pacing Supervisor Kevin Cann in second and Supervisor Miles Menetrey in third.

Twiss was voted as the Best Real Estate Agent and Twiss Realty was voted the Best Real Estate Company.

Daily and Co. was second in the voting for real estate company while Century 21 was third.

In the real estate agent category Mia Gloor was second and Rebecca Hatcher was third.

“I’m very honored to be recognized by our community as ‘Mr. Mariposa,’” said Binnewies. “It’s a little overwhelming as I can immediately think of many others who deserve this honor. But as a product of Mariposa County, it’s really cool to be recognized by the community that you believe in.”

The sheriff called Mariposa County a “special place.”

He added: “Of course, I want to recognize my beautiful wife, Laurie. She keeps me grounded and headed in the right direction. A big thank you to all the voters out there; this is a very kind gesture.”

Binnewies also congratulated Twiss.

“Courtney is very deserving of this recognition and more,” he said. “Courtney, coupled with her husband, Jarrod, and his successful business, both do a lot of work for our community. Much of it is behind the scenes. They are supportive of many community events, sponsor and participate in most causes. Good people, good family. Congratulations.”

“First,” said Twiss, “I would like to congratulate Doug on being named Mr. Mariposa County. He is such an example of leadership and strength in the community.”

As for herself being named Ms. Mariposa County, she said, “I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition. Mariposa is such a wonderful community and I throughly enjoy being a small business owner and raising our three daughters in such a great place.”

She added: “I feel so lucky and proud to call Mariposa home!”

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the voting:

• Best Breakfast — Steve’s Sportsman Cafe was the top vote getter, followed closely by Sugar Pine in second and Happy Burger in third.

• Best Restaurant — Savoury’s was the top vote-getter in a close race with Charles Street Dinner House, which was second. 1850 Restaurant came in third.

• Best Burger — In this popular category, 1850 Restaurant was the clear winner with Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe second and Charles Street Dinner House third.

• Best Catering — BB’s Catering was the runaway winner in this category. 1850 Restaurant was second followed by Charles Street Dinner House.

• Best Dessert — Jantz Bakery was the winner in this delicious category. Yosemite Treats placed second and Savoury’s was third.

• Best Lunch — High Country Health Foods & Cafe was the top vote getter followed by Charles Street Dinner House and a tie for third between 1850 Restaurant and Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe.

• Best Family Restaurant — Pizza Factory was the clear choice in this category, followed by Happy Burger in second and another tie for third between 1850 Restaurant and Steve’s Sporstmans Cafe.

• Best Economical Dining — Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe topped the charts in this category, followed closely by Taco Sonora in second and a tie for third between Pizza Factory and Happy Burger.

• Best Local Wine — Casto Oaks Fine Art & Wine was the winner in this category, followed closely by Butterfly Creek Winery. There was a tie for third between 1000 Vines and Silver Fox Vineyards.

• Best Bar — The Alley was the runaway winner followed by Gold Coin in second and Miner’s Roadhouse Inn in third.

• Best Coffee — The top cup of joe went to Pony Expresso in a landslide win. Second was Moonbow Express followed by Mariposa Coffee.

• Best Local Band — Cottonwood Creek, which debuted its first album this year, was the top vote getter in this category, followed by Bootstrap Circus in second and Trespassers in third.

• Best Local Annual Event — The Mariposa County Fair kept its rein on this category by outpacing the Mariposa Butterfly Festival and the annual FFA dinner and auction.

• Best Non-Profit Fundraiser — The FFA dinner and auction was the winner in this category, followed by the Rotary Art & Wine Festival in second and Kids First in third.

• Best Pharmacy — This was a close race, with Pioneer Market coming in first followed closely by Rite Aid Pharmacy.

• Best Attorney — It was a Starchman sweep as Anita Starchman-Bryant was the top vote getter followed by Don Starchman and Anita Starchman-Bryant together in second. Don Starchman was also third.

• Best Auto Service/Repair — Brand Automotive was the clear winner in this group, followed by Lou’s Speedy Lube and Auto Repair in second and Bob Blackburn’s Mountain Automotive and RV Center in third.

• Best Gas Station — Grizzly Gas filled up this category in first place, followed by Chase’s Foothill Petroleum in second and Stage Stop in third.

• Best Bank/Credit Union — Yosemite Bank cashed in for first place, followed by MERCO Credit Union in second and Westamerica Bank in third.

• Best Chiropractor — Tony Roberts of Mariposa Family Chiropractic cracked the top of this category, followed by Lisa Carisio in second and Chris Hutcheson in third.

• Best Country Store — Bootjack Market took top honors followed by Triangle Market in second and High Country Health Foods & Cafe in third.

• Best Dentist — Dr. Thomas Wieg of Yosemite Dental Care cleaned up in first with Dr. Phillip De Bry in second and Dr. Timothy Barnes in third.

• Best Doctor — The diagnosis is in and Dr. Mimi Carter was the clear winner. Melissa Heyer was second followed by Dr. Carolyn Rose.

• Best Medical Clinic — John C. Fremont Healthcare District topped the charts in this category, followed by Mariposa Indian Health Clinic in second and Yosemite Medical Clinic in third.

• Best Tree Service — Bob Evans felled the competition followed closely by D’s Trees in second with All Around Tree Service and Cole Tree Service tied for third.

• Best Electrician — R. Hambleton Electric shocked the competition with a first place win, followed closely by S&S Electric in second and Brentwood Electric in third.

• Best Feed Store — Mariposa Feed ran away from the competition in this category for first place. Second was Bootjack Feed and Gallaway Feed was third.

• Best Hardware Store — Foster Ace Hardware hammered away to take the top honors followed by Coast Hardware.

• Best Insurance Agency — Roger Brunelle State Farm Insurance took top honors followed closely by Farmers Insurance in second and Arrowhead Insurance was third.

• Best Lumber Yard — H&L Lumber boarded up the competition for first place followed by Bootjack Lumber in second and Motherlode Lumber in third.

• Best Contractor — Lawson Construction was the top vote getter in this category, followed by Randy Brower Construction in second and Natural Environments in third.

• Best Nursery/Garden Store — You can plant first place with Creekside Nursery, the only business to get votes in this category.

• Best Gift Shop — Chocolate Soup was a big winner in this group, followed by Mariposa Marketplace in second and Creekside Nursery in third.

• Best Clothing Shop — Fremont House was fitted for the first place honors, followed by The Brick Wall Boutique in second and Bling N Things in third.

• Best Hairstylist — Lindsay McClure cut it close in edging out Natalya Babinseva at A Cut Above in second and Bill Shelton who came in third.

• Best Plumbing Company — Jim Allen Plumbing turned the tap to take first, followed by William Smith Plumbing in second and Horseshoe Plumbing in third.

• Best Pump Company — Yosemite Falls Well Drilling was primed for the win in this category, followed by Gowdy Engineering and Pump Service in second and Bevington’s Yosemite Falls Pump in third.

• Best Tow Truck Company — Above All Towing hauled in the top prize with Ponderosa Towing finishing second.

• Best Veterinarian — Dr. Gregory Ritter of Ritter Animal Hospital was the winner in this category followed by Dr. Eileen Wise at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in second.

• Best Well Driller — Yosemite Falls Well Drilling gushed to a runaway first place win while Gowdy Engineering and Pump Service was second.

• Best Sheriff ’s Deputy — Jeremy Briese topped the list followed by Chris Ramirez in second and Joe Williams in third.

• Best California Highway Patrol Officer — Lt. Commander Becky Hagen was the winner followed by Officer Adrian Perez in second and Officer Aaron Fouch in third.

• Best Pre-School/Daycare — Mariposa Cooperative Preschool came in first in this category, followed by Marie Pretzer in second and Jan Paige in third.

• Best School — Woodland Elementary scored the highest grade and earned first place, followed by Mariposa County High School in second and Mariposa Elementary School, in third.

• Best Teacher — Sally Stitt, a kindergarten teacher at Woodland Elementary, was at the head of the class in earning first place. Second was Mariposa County High School teacher Bryan Starchman, who teaches English and Drama while Brooke Dobson, the high school French/AP English teacher was third.

• Best Service/Civic Club — The Mariposa Yosemite Rotary Club topped the voting in this category, followed by the Mariposa Lions Club in second and Soroptimist International of Mariposa was third.

• Best Church — St. Joseph’s Catholic Church kept the faith to win this category, followed by New Life Christian Fellowship in second and the Mariposa Lutheran Church in third.

• Best Fitness Club — Mountain Fitness was the heavy lifter in this category taking first place followed by Pure in second and Jazzercise in third.

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