Bravos

To Tuolumne County students who showed us the way to have a civil conversation about gun violence. Not only those who favor enhanced gun laws walked out of classes on Wednesday to take part in a nationwide protest. Some students expressed the widely held concern that new laws would restrict their second amendment right to bear arms. And everyone listened and showed respect. Compare that to the comments made on Facebook when we posted our story about the walk out. Students were called ignorant; their motives for attending were questioned. And on the street, people driving by the adults gathered at Courthouse Park yelled obscenities and homophobic slurs. We should let the children show us the way.

To the group of Robert “Fat Rob” Howard’s friends who spent four days overhauling a classic car so he could hear it purr before he died. What a testament to friendship. Howard, an auto mechanic, had promised his wife he would restore a 1966 Chevelle for her, but as we all so often do things get put aside for another day. When his friends learned he had days to live, they did the heavy lifting and hours before he died, Howard was able to sit in the driver’s seat of a running car.

To the owners of the Hotel Charlotte for buying and restoring another historic property in Groveland, the Groveland Hotel. Doug and Jenn Edwards spent a half a million dollars on the project. Their commitment to the town and its history is not only admirable but it will boost an economy that has been shaken in recent years by the closure of the road into Yosemite, the Rim Fire and the 2013 federal government shutdown.

Barbs

To the Calaveras County Water District for proposing to increase rates, in part, because people conserved water during the drought, reducing the district’s income. While it’s understandable that their cost to do business increases every year and it’s been seven years since they increased rates to pay for operations, it just feels wrong to hang that on customers when they did what they were asked. Customers did the right thing when water was so scarce and now they are, in essence, having to pay for the water they didn’t use. The district cut its expenses by 20 percent, but officials did not spell out what they cut. The board will meet on March 28 to decide whether to move forward with the proposal. If they do, a final decision will be made in May.

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