To Tuolumne County for spending $3.5 million on software and other technology to enable our public servants to do their jobs more efficiently and without unending frustration.

To the state for granting Tuolumne County $800,000 for money spent removing dead trees.

To Amazon for donating $76,000 in merchandise to Amador Tuolumne County Action Agency Food Bank because the company fouled up redemption of gift cards given to homeless people.

To the huge number of local agencies collecting money, food and gifts to ensure children have a merry Christmas.

To Hazel and Dick Mitchell for their unwavering support of homeless people and the hard work they did getting and refurbishing a bus so homeless people can take showers.

To Julie Cowell for buying an acre of land in Twain Harte for a park.

To the inmates at Sierra Conservation Center for building a new Santa’s House to be located in Coffill Park, which the city of Sonora smartly selected for folks to talk to Santa.

To Tuolumne County for hiring a library director with a vast amount of experience in other much-larger communities after the position was eliminated seven years ago.

To AT&T and other providers for erecting more cell towers, improving coverage in a time when people are turning away from landlines in favor of cell phones.

To those willing to stand up in a peaceful way to voice their opinions in public – this week alone has seen events for gun violence victims, against the federal tax reform effort and today on repealing the gas tax and keeping net neutrality.

To Sonora Area Foundation for providing 114 children and their parents with free rides on the amazing Polar Express train at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

To the U.S. Forest Service for sending a superintendent with previous experience in combatting tree mortality, a lingering problem even though the drought has ended.


To the people who are taking their unusable garbage and dumping it at area thrift stores.

To Groveland Community Services District, which doesn’t seem to be able to pull itself together.

To the City of Sonora for inaction in the ailing Truckenmiller neighborhood, where this week fire consumed a room in a house, threatening the community.

To the Sonora High School Board of Trustees and those who are interested in saving the dome for yet more talk and no action on how to actually save the dome.

To whoever failed to do a cultural resources survey on a construction site in Calaveras County, where a human skull, believed to be Native American, was found.

To the Khaki Bandit, a serial bank robber who robbed a bank in Groveland, which added to the list of strange crimes of recent days, including thefts of huge quantities of toothbrushes, baby formula, cigarettes and a guy who purportedly broke into a pizzeria and poured himself a beer.