With all the snow challenges this week, we thought it appropriate to highlight only the good stuff in this week’s Bravos and Barbs. We can all use some uplifting thoughts, especially with the next round of storms on their way.
So, we send bravos to:
• Everyone who worked in the cold and snow to restore power, internet and most especially to those who reached out to help others like Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Benson, who drove a woman to the hospital for surgery, and Black Oak Casino, which offered reduced-price meals as lots of folks up that way were without power. There are likely scores of people who thought of others before themselves. A reader told us about a snowplow driver who stopped to help a woman carrying a load of wood down the street.
• To the Tuolumne County government, Discover Life Seventh-day Adventist Church and Word of Life Fellowship for opening warming shelters for people without power and the homeless. This was truly selfless and kind.
• To Mark and Bear Dyken for sharing the story of their 28-year philanthropic effort with the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Their story is captured in the book, “When the Creator Moves Me,” by Soulsbyville author Shelly Muniz and is an inspiring message of strength and hope.
• To Tuolumne County Arts executive director Lisette Sweetland for working some magic to get a high-profile home for the organization at the Sonora Inn. Like many good things, the deal came about through a friendship between children that brought the parents together. Sweetland’s child goes to school with the child of the new owners of the inn. While it’s sad to see one of the few tenants of the Sonora Dome property move out, this new location will bring increasing vitality to the arts organization and arts community as a whole. All vibrant cities have an equally lively arts community.
• To the state courts system and its local judicial officers for seeing through delays and money woes to get a new courthouse for Tuolumne County. The old courthouse is majestic, to be sure, but it is also a building whose time has passed. Grading has begun for the courthouse at the Law and Justice Center off Old Wards Ferry Road. It will join the already completed Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Center and the under construction Tuolumne County Jail.
• To the Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California for investing in Jamestown and in the youth of the greater community. They bought the Jamestown Hotel and are hoping to work with Columbia College to provide opportunities at the hotel for students in the school’s hospitality management program. This is the same program that has been a boon to Rush Creek Lodge near Yosemite. The tribe is also expanding its casino and is working with California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo to plan agricultural uses for about 600 acres the tribe owns across from the casino. This is a multi-pronged action plan that puts the tribe on a sure path toward growth, for themselves and the community as a whole.