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Our 2 cents on the dollar store-nado

A lot’s been written and said lately about the proliferation of “dollar stores” in Tuolumne County.


Guest opinion: Arts Alliance chalks up successes

By mid-­July many of us are thinking that summer’s just beginning.

At the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance (TCAA), we think our summer is, for the most part, complete with the last of five Arts Camps having ended on July 10.


Wagon a reminder of filmís golden era

A story in Friday’s Union Democrat discussed the exciting news that a wagon featured prominently in the movie “High Noon” is returning to Tuolumne County for display.


Q-and-A: Cal Fire responds to criticisms

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott, Communications Director Janet Upton and Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Chief Josh White visited The Union Democrat on Tuesday to talk with Editor Lyn Riddle and Opinion Page Editor Craig Cassidy about a pair of editorials calling for White’s resignation which they felt were unfair.
 
Undergirding the pieces was a Plumas County Superior Court judge’s 2014 order in which White, other Cal Fire employees, and lawyers with the state Attorney General’s Office were accused lying and obstruction in an effort to frame Sierra Pacific Industries and its contractor for the 2007 Moonlight Fire. The two-part order signed by Judge Leslie C. Nichols also awarded SPI $32 million in attorneys fees.
 
Pimlott and Upton said they were unable to discuss the matter in detail, because it is being appealed.
 
We invited White and/or Cal Fire to outline their positions in an editorial for this Saturday’s paper.
 
Tuesday’s discussion later turned to a controversial, now-frozen Cal Fire Wildland Fire Investigation Training and Equipment Fund — WiFiter, described by critics as an of-the-books “slush fund” — and troubles last year at the Ione Fire Academy — where 16 employees were fired or disciplined for a variety of alleged infractions including drinking on duty, misusing a state-owned truck and cell phone, and cheating on promotional exams. Within weeks, two of the demoted firefighters were re-promoted. Two others appealed their demotions and won a settlement under which their demotions last only two years.


SB 411 clarifies camera, cop clash

Thumbs up to state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, for their yes votes on an important bill clarifying the rights of news media and citizens to photograph and record law enforcement officers and their activities while in public.


SB 411 clarifies camera, cop clash


Thumbs up to state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, for their yes votes on an important bill clarifying the rights of news media and citizens to photograph and record law enforcement officers and their activities while in public.

 

Senate Bill 411, by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Garden Grove, passed the Assembly on a 74-2 vote last week and awaits the governor’s signature.


Cars, heat: Be a friend to man's best friend

The dogs days of summer are upon us, so what better time to talk about dogs and summer.

 

Specifically, leaving dogs in cars during the summer.

 


Capt. Positivity unmasked

If you attended in the past few months the Mother Lode Roundup Parade, Twain Harte Crapper Derby, Special Olympics Torch Run, Jamestown Elementary Superhero Day or maybe other events we failed to mention here, you may have encountered “Captain Positivity” and wondered — huh?


Reservoir treasures: Enjoy, donít destroy

Local reservoir levels are dropping fast in many places.

At New Melones — the area’s biggest lake, bisecting Calaveras and Tuolumne counties — the water level is declining a foot a day as a result of releases for downstream farmers and evaporation.


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