To the folks from Veterans Services who spent their own time helping one of their clients who lost everything in a house fire. Also to Lorie Gianelli, owner of Gianelli Vineyards in Jamestown, for donating a replacement travel trailer.

To the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau for continuing to think up new ways of promoting the area as a tourism destination. Tourism is our No. 1 industry.

To the Red Cross for establishing a platelet program here.

To the Mother Lode Martin Luther King Committee for bringing Carmen Perez to the community on Jan. 14. She was the national co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March.

To the two new volunteers for the Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Calaveras County and those already volunteering to work with children who have been abused or neglected and often removed from unworthy homes. Their efforts go farther than most imagine in keeping our community safe and healthy.

To the volunteers who step in the breach between elderly patients and the operators of long-term care facilities to help sort out complaints and problems. A difficult job, but so important.


To the seven people — and the others who got away with it — who are now accused of driving under the influence during the New Years Eve weekend. Please stop driving.

Also to the dozens of people ticketed for not wearing seat belts. Really? California has had a seat belt law since 1986.

In the same vein let’s throw a barb at the people who decided it was a good idea to shoot fireworks or guns on New Years Eve. It may be winter, but fireworks can start fires and bullets fired into the sky do come down. Not only that but fireworks are illegal here.

To whoever stole the mail from the mailbox at the post office. Brazen. It’s horrendous to steal from people’s mailboxes, but the Post Office? How much good stuff could be in there on New Year’s Day, anyway?

To the guy accused of burning pallets behind the Walmart. It is bizarre if it was a thrill thing, sad if it was for warmth. We can add this to the list of people arrested for unusual crimes recently, like the guy accused of breaking into a bar and pouring himself a beer, a serial bank robber known for wearing khakis, and the toothbrush thief, baby formula thief and the cigarette thief. Before long we’ll be living in the world of British author Terry Pratchett who wrote in “Sourcery,” “The thief, as will become apparent, was a special type of thief. This thief was an artist of theft. Other thieves merely stole everything that was not nailed down, but this thief stole the nails as well.”