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On the merits of brevity


Bravos and barbs once was a bunch of one-liners, often said with slight edge, the skepticism known to all the best journalists.

It’s an interesting exercise to try to sum up a story in one line.

Let’s play. Here are some rapid-fire bravos and barbs for the week.

Bravos to:

• The undeterred firefighters fighting not only the mammoth blaze to our south but also the smaller fires they put out with ease.

• The Sonora High Advisory Committee, which will recommend whether to sell the Dome and Wildcat ranch, for getting an agenda online just in the knick of time before they held another illegal meeting.

• The men and women volunteering at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds this week who are tending to the needs of anxious people pushed out of their homes by the Detwiler Fire.

• Sonora Repertory Theatre’s $40,000 grant from the Irving J. Symons Foundation and Sonora Area Foundation for bringing decades
of live theater to a small town.

• The Tuolumne County swimmers — called masters, which means of a certain age — who brought home some solid wins in a regional competition.

• Tuolumne Board of Supervisors for at least trying to do something for the homeless even if it means trying to get yet another grant to develop a plan for something like low-barrier housing.

• Sonora Police Chief Turu VanderWiel for taking down an out-of-control man without shooting him.

• To members of the Tuolumne County Search and Rescue team for their unrelenting commitment to find, and most times save, people who don’t make the best choices.

Barbs to:

• Yet more money sunk into the Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Facility (maybe we should take out the regional part out of the name), this time because the cooling system does not keep the security electronics cool enough, and no security could be a big problem.

• Sonora City Council for calling a proposed ordinance that would criminalize homelessness a camping ban, as if the homeless feel like they are camping.

• The person who drove a Vic’s Towing truck through the company’s fence and made off with a shocking blue and yellow tow truck in the middle of the night.

• The National Park Service for hiring someone to make sure they include all manner of people in their hiring after numerous people complained they had been working for years in a hostile environment, but never tying the two events together.

• The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service for the not-me game over who was responsible to check a break-in at a Pinecrest Lake house that ultimately burned down.

• To Sonora High School District for not ensuring someone was on hand to rebalance the chemicals in the old pool so little kids could take swimming lessons.

• To the people who called law enforcement because a generator was too loud, a woman sat in a truck for too long and someone was playing a harmonica.

• And could whoever stole the potted plant from the house on South Stewart please take it back?