To the U.S. Forest Service for realizing that the answer to deadly wildfires can only be found by bringing people together to work it out. They’ve even got a catchy phrase, “All lands, all hands.” This bravo comes with a caveat. This must be a real effort with ideas and cash and not just an open door to timber sales. Our area figured out that everyone must work together when the YSS partnership was formed. Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions brought together groups as disparate as environmentalists, sportsmen and business to solve forest problems.

To the folks in Moccasin and Groveland who have been given a huge challenge – millions of dollars in flood damage – and met it in dramatic fashion. They are working through it to make the community whole. Especially good to see the fish hatchery restored and the efforts of the workers there to get fish from other locations to ensure our local streams and lakes are restocked.

To Sonora High School for hiring a second agriculture teacher, who will teach ag mechanics. Agriculture education is important, not only for students embracing one of our traditional industries but also for those looking to become business owners or lawyers or accountants or any other profession that requires responsibility, critical thinking and perseverance.

And to the possums of Water Oak Drive. Way to go in learning a new skill, getting into a house through the cat door. But the real question is, where was the cat while these babies were invading?


To state Legislators who even as they were holding hearings on why wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles are so long, they were skipping over to their private DMV for all their car and license needs. Past and current lawmakers, their staff and some other state government workers can use this office that the DMV justifies by saying it’s for lawmakers’ constituent services. That’s not any better – if you know a legislator you don’t even have to go to the DMV. The office staff will do it.

To Tuolumne County Counsel’s office for its response to the Grand Jury, which raised the question of whether members of the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority Board have conflicts of interest because they work for or are on other boards that benefit form the TCEDA. The counsel’s office responded that they were looking into it but the results of the investigation would not be made public because of attorney client privilege. Should we avert our eyes if someone is no longer a board member?

To whoever stole the water truck from the Calaveras County Water District. Stealing a truck emblazoned with the name of an organization or business is never a good idea, but you were one-upped by the person who stole the brightly painted Vic’s tow truck a while back.