Guard exceeded authority

To the Editor:

On Monday Nov. 26, I was denied entry to the County Courthouse by the security guards. I deposited the contents of my pockets in the screening box and the guard picked out a small bottle which contained some small pills and asked what they were.

I told him it was my heart medication and he started to open it and I asked him not to, that it was more convenient to carry than a large prescription bottle. He said it was against the law for me to carry an unmarked bottle with no name of prescription number on it.

He then went into a long dissertation about how I was breaking the law, how he was a former police officer and how he watched for illegal drugs, and said how could I prove they were mine. I explained that I knew many elderly citizens who carried Day Minders reminding them when to take their meds, instead of carrying a large prescription bottle in their pockets or purses.

It is hard to imagine a whole generation of elderly citizens breaking the law in this way. I know that sounds a little over the top, but I don’t think a small bottle of small pills will endanger the employees of the courthouse, who probably in some cases carry their own meds on their person or in a purse who are probably not challenged by the guards due to their familiarity to each other.

I did not yield to the temptation to tell them I as a county commissioner, which would have opened a new can of worms. I’m very upset and stressed about having to walk the steep streets by the courthouse to return my meds to the car, as I am handicapped and it was very difficult for me.

I feel the security guard exceeded his authority in my case.

Bill Edwards


Wildfires: New situation, new solutions

To the Editor:

Wildfires have become deadly. We must put our old ideas aside and create new solutions. The situation is critical. Smoke-filled air threatens our health. Fire danger has made home insurance unaffordable. Explosive fires, driven by high winds and dry timber, are killing people.

Conservationists want to protect the beauty of our wild forests, but 300,000 acres a year of burned forest are not beautiful. In the past, profitable logging paid for some forest management. Now, we have price competition from old growth lumber out of Canada. Logging of easily accessible timber in California is barely profitable. Logging in remote areas and forest thinning will not pay for itself. Maintaining fire breaks will not pay for itself.

Controlled burns used to be effective for thinning forests, especially in remote areas. Now, the trees are tinder dry and controlled burns are too risky. Droughts and warmer temperatures have killed 120 million trees. Delays in the first rains have made the month of November, with its high, dry winds, particularly deadly.

Fire prevention needs a broad range of solutions.

We must thin the forests. This will not pay for itself. It will cost money.

We need fire breaks in the forests, brush, and grasslands around our populated areas with yearly maintenance to keep the grass and brush low.

We need 100-foot defensible space around our homes, not just to the property boundaries.

To protect our homes from wind-blown cinders, homeowners can install sprinklers that water their roofs and decks, plus a generator to pump water during a PG&E power cut-off. 3000 gallons of water, used over 12 hours can save a home. Watering saved several homes in Paradise, CA.

It’s time to act. Let’s put our loggers to work and reduce our fire danger.

Marvin Keshner


We need civility

To the Editor:

It isn’t a military parade sought after by one very vain personality that exemplifies the strength and character of a nation, but rather the dignity and tradition of honoring a remarkable leader who has departed from among us.

I was moved as I am sure many fellow Americans were by the eulogies given by several who knew President George H.W. Bush as they remembered a man dedicated to service to his country in many capacities including the presidency.

The honor we as a country choose to bestow upon those special men and women who have left their mark in our collective history, is rightly apportioned to their contributions that have enhanced and furthered the beliefs and ideals we hold dear as Americans.

History will continue to evaluate our 41st president with the successes and shortcomings that all presidents share after they leave the office.

The political differences aside, what we crave and currently lack is the respect and admiration for the office of president that President Bush believed in.

We must restore our values that should be exemplified by a president that leads the nation in honesty, character and an unselfish desire to put country before personal pursuits.

The nation wants and deserves a rebirth of civility and dedication by our elected representatives to emulate those leaders and presidents of the past who put country first and strove to build bridges rather than walls to separate mankind and sought ways to improve humanity.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte

Remember Pearl Harbor

To the Editor:

No mention of this day that was supposed to “live in infamy?” More interest in sedition and bringing down the current presidential administration? Oh well, what does it matter? Only to those of us whose family members experienced it first hand, I guess. So, who’s deplorable now?

Judy Olson