To Mary Jane Riva, CEO and president of Pizza Factory, who donated a buddy bench to Tenaya Elementary School in Groveland to give children a visible reminder that they should strive to be kind each and every day.

To the legacy of Jack Cassinetto, who died earlier this month, for all he did for the benefit of Tuolumne County, as a mayor and councilman, as a teacher, artist, father, friend. He made a deep and lasting impression on all who knew him, especially the children he taught.

To Big Dreams Universally Accessible Parks and Playgrounds, a local nonprofit that will build a playground accessible to everyone. The group raised more than $300,000 over the past five years, a heroic effort to be sure everyone can play.

To all those who will meet the call of the Red Cross for blood donations. Which dropped precipitously over the holidays.

To the people who work on our deteriorating roads. They get a lot of guff from citizens when they are doing their very best to fix roads without a lot of money.

To Amanda Folendorf, who was named mayor of Angels Camp by her peers, for dedicating herself to public service. She is 31, the youngest member of the Angels Camp City Council.


To Groveland Community Services District Board of Directors for yet more drama from its members. This week, director Scott Wemmer quit because people in the community were criticizing his family members.

To the Sonora Union High School District for more hand-wringing on the fate of the 138-acre Wildcat Ranch and to board members who watched one of their teachers beg them to do something. Agriculture teacher Stacey Ingalls said she has been unable to move forward in her program for lack of a decision from the board. Perhaps district leaders should begin to think of what it can do and not what it can't. It could be that no one will be truly happy with whatever they decide but at least the issue is put to rest.

To this week's dumb actions and crooks:

To whoever stole laptops from an agency that only seeks to help people in need.

To whoever is stealing road signs – so dangerous, an accident waiting to happen.

To whoever left their wheelchair and tool box on the side of the road in Angels Camp.

And seriously, trying to yank a cash machine from a carwash with a Toyota pickup after doing burnouts through the property? And in a stolen truck no less? With surveillance video rolling?