Bravos to:

The Twain Harte community members who built a new sign to mark one of the entrances to their town. The old sign was destroyed in what’s being called a gustnado.

Firefighters who so far have quickly stifled the fires occurring just about every day.

The folks who are looking for creative ways to use all the wood from trees killed by drought and bark beetles.

The Mother Lode Fair Board for looking for new events and activities to liven up a moribund annual county fair, but we have to say someone should have anticipated the interest or lack thereof for the bull riding event — $1,700 in tickets for an event that cost the fair $12,000. Not good.

Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Facility Superintendent Mike Arndt for his impassioned speech to the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors about the work being done to help troubled kids. He took everyone to church to advocate for children who need it most.

Wildlife cameras, so entertaining, especially the one of the huge bear a Tuolumne County woman saw in her kitchen and then showed us all through her backyard camera. It looked like a man in a bear suit.

The company that built the new Sonora pool. It’s beautiful. And it’s like the juvenile hall. We’ve got it now. Let’s move past the controversy.

Barbs to:

Members of the committee charged with recommending what to do with the unused Dome property and the underused Wildcat Ranch should be applauded for their dedication to the task. But we wish for them the ability to mediate. Too many of the members came with their own agendas when their responsibility is to the community at large.

Another task force, the city of Sonora’s task force on homelessness, we offer the same wish for listening, learning and thinking of the community at large. No members other than city councilmen have been named, but it remains to be seen just how effective this group can be. It appears the two councilmen already have distinct opinions on what to do about homeless people.

Whoever was responsible for the emergency alerts that went out to people all over the county during the Jacksonville Fire that said simply emergency evacuation. The innocuous alert led to unnecessary fear when the actual number who needed to flee was quite small.

The Calaveras County Sheriff who deserves praise for staying on task about stomping out illegal marijuana grows but needs to be sure he’s using money from the right funding sources.

The people wherever they may be who are dumping their trash wherever they please. Come on, people, nobody wants to clean up your stuff. Don’t be so lazy and disrespectful.

And finally, to whoever is calling letter writers of The Union Democrat to “discuss” their opinions, please stop.