Within a month, we went from the bottom to the top.
In late January, a vandal did nearly $90,000 in damage to Sonora’s Odd Fellows Cemetery, upending and breaking numerous century-old marble tombstones.
But just two weeks later more than 130 volunteers, many of them high school students, came out for a cemetery cleanup organized by the Odd Fellows. If anything could restore our faith in mankind, this community effort was it.
They are the heart of local control.
With their elected boards and largely local funding, Tuolumne County’s fire districts are the essence of taxation with representation. Board members and constituents are often friends or neighbors and, at least ideally, trust and communication prevail.
So you can understand why leaders of a few of our districts are skittish about being part of a joint powers agreement aimed at improving fire protection countywide.
“It’s not going to work,” said Charles Wagner, a Mi-Wuk-Sugar-Pine Fire District board member. “It’s going to be a failure from the get go.”
Faced with a state budget deficit of $25 billion, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed cuts are deep, wide and ever closer to home.
Among the most potentially painful here is a plan to slash all state funding from California’s 80 county and district fairs. Yes, the move would save the state $32 million. But it could financially hamstring more than two dozen fairs, including Sonora’s.
If Brown’s cuts are enacted, the Mother Lode Fair would take a $200,000 hit.
Although funding for this year’s July 7-10 fair is safe, beginning in 2012 the event could lose about a third of its $600,000 budget.
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