Bravos

To those willing to step up and run for Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors. Elections are fraught with all sorts of possibilities, good and horrible. This election is coming sooner than in previous years — March 31 — due to the state moving up the date of California’s presidential primary. An eclectic group of candidates has expressed interest so far with varied amounts of experience, both in work life and civil service, and it remains to be seen whether any of the incumbents will run again. Let’s hope this group shows the way toward civility in politics.

To those fighting for the rights and respect of homeless people. They took some major steps recently, not the least of which is the county accepting a $500,000 grant to develop housing for those who are homeless and those suffering from mental illness. Also, the first tiny house was donated for the Resiliency Village. An effort to get toilets to the camps is underway and we discovered the kindness of Dr. Jeff Whitman, a veterinarian who donates services to the pets of homeless people.

To the Jamestown Family Resources Center and California Highway Patrol for their yearly backpack and school supplies collection. Every child should go back to school with confidence as well as the tools they need to succeed.

To the The Women’s Improvement Society of Tuolumne, first for their great name, and second for taking on the care of the community’s majestic sycamore trees, which needed scraping and painting to protect them from invasive bugs. They cared for about 180 trees. The importance of trees to a community cannot be overestimated.

And it was interesting to learn that almost a third of the $300,000 cost to maintain Standard Park is paid for by organizations renting the facility. Is there room for revenue growth to get closer to a break-even point?

Barbs

So, the historic names on Yosemite landmarks are back. The silly Majestic Yosemite Hotel is no more. Ahwahnee reigns. The campground established 120 years ago is once again Curry Village, honoring one of the first families associated with guest services. And what about Wawona Hotel? Yep no more Big Trees Lodge. Sad, though, the National Park Service was remiss in writing its concessions contract and had to pay $12 million to get the names back.

Sad to see after decades the end of the Twain Harte Summer Arts and Wine Festival and the Sonora Christmas Craft Fair and Music Festival. This weekend will be the final one for the Twain Harte Fair and the final Christmas fair will be Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. Declining attendance and rising costs caused the promoters to end the events.

And to our new public defender Scott Gross for not turning over the results of his investigation into the case of his former client Karl Karlsen, who is on trial for the murder of his wife, further delaying a trial 20-plus years in the making. Karlsen’s new lawyers are now forced to start over. The anguish of Christina Karlsen’s mother was palpable in the courtroom as the judge announced a delay until after the new year. This compounds the delay caused when Gross suddenly determined — on the eve of the trial start — that he had a conflict of interest and could not continue as counsel. His reason is under seal by court order.

Good luck, Tuolumne County, in getting $2.7 million in fines and fees from an organization called the Budfather Collective. It’s be nice for a county hurting for money and thinking about taking recreation programs and cutting library services but seems like an uphill battle.

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