To the Mother Lode Martin Luther King Jr. committee for an important conversation on poverty, a hidden yet debilitating problem for the entire community.

In a similar vein, Tuolumne County Sheriff Bill Pooley deserves recognition for his plan to expand his department’s work with the homeless. Their work in Jamestown is still reaping rewards after many months and likely will do the same for other areas such as Columbia.

To the Yosemite Community College District and the faculty union for being able to come to an agreement on faculty pay and class sizes. They needed a nudge from a mediator but in the end they appear to be working collegially.

To 11-year-old Jessica Reiben, who wrote to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office to ask them to do cocoa with a cop, instead of coffee, to provide a special day for children to meet with officers. Sonora Police and Sheriff’s officers showed up and had some great conversations with kids, many of whom said they wanted to be cops when they grow up.


To the Sonora City Council for what appears to be beating a dead horse with the development of a bus stop where no one seems to want it. The regulars who oppose the overall Vision Sonora plan, which this project stems from, are, of course against it, but so are many other downtown boosters who just don’t see the need. Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug.

To the Farm Bureau for its continued opposition to the sale of Wildcat Ranch, Sonora High’s farm. We perhaps would feel differently if the bureau had a plan of its own for the 113 acres, and we do look kindly on the idea of a wholesale, robust farm on that site. But no one has been able to pull it off. The school administration has never been fully behind it and without that support it’s a non-starter. A barb to them, too. There are so many people responsible for this loss — and it is a loss to the community — but as the adage goes, that ship has sailed. Now it’s up to The Park Foundation to come up with the first payment: half a million dollars in roughly two months.

And finally, to the people who are accused of breaking into a Valley Springs house just before Christmas and rearranging the furniture and decorating for the holiday, you have just joined the weird crime news hall of fame. Wonder if the presents they wrapped belonged to the homeowner.