To the outpouring of support for Marlin and Erline Heldstab, longtime Tuolumne educators who lost everything in a house fire.
To those who raised money to extend Dragoon Gulch, the city of Sonora’s crown jewel walking trail.
To George Segarini, who announced he will not seek re-election, for his work on Sonora City Council and to all others who remain dedicated to public service. We may not always agree, but they deserve respect for putting themselves out there to work on keeping our community vibrant and strong.
To Shelley Piech for her 25 years in public service, especially as Tuolumne County tax collector and treasurer.
To Mike McDaniel who picks up cigarette butts and other trash in downtown Sonora and to shopkeepers who do the same.
To the Sonora Area Foundation for a record amount of grants for scholarships and for focusing many of the other grants on programs combating the opioid crisis. This understated charity with $43 million in assets does a lot of good in our community.
To the hundreds of people who worked to provide meals for families and toys for kids during this holiday season.
To the administrators of the Curtis Creek School District who have worked so hard to keep going since a mudslide and fire damaged their buildings as they are begin rebuilding.
To Tuolumne County for pushing ahead on the resilience centers to be built with a federal grant awarded in the aftermath of the Rim Fire.
To Galen “Mut” Mutzner, who has fed anyone who showed up for his annual bean feed for 30 years. He’s retiring and looking for someone to take on the annual holiday-time event.
Here are a few wishes for 2018
That the Sonora Union High School Board of Trustees finds a well-heeled, committed person, non-profit or company to take on the renovation and revitalization of the Sonora Dome, that majestic structure towering over downtown.
That the community finds a true path for helping the huge number of homeless people. Handing out tents, stocking food pantries and preparing meals is a beginning but not enough.
That the Mother Lode Fairgrounds continues to work toward financial stability by finding new and innovative activities to host and to add to the annual county fair.
That some of the traditional events of the Mother Lode find renewed involvement from residents such as the rodeo queen contests and Christmas parades.
That the community — not just the Sonora High district — comes together to find new life and meaning for Wildcat Ranch. The agriculture industry has a long past and hopefully a sure future in this area, but saving this ranch is a project for us all.
That Calaveras County finds a Solomon-like way to work through the issue of cannabis cultivation.
And that we all find our way toward true civil discourse despite disparate views. As they say in the South, you can disagree but you don’t have to be ugly about it.