To the school leaders who are retiring this summer at Sonora, Summerville, Big Oak Flat/Groveland, a hearty thank you for your service. We may not always have agreed but leading a school district is a tough job, one with hundreds of bosses. You have made a difference in the lives of young people, the most noblest of missions.

To the visitors flocking to Groveland after smoke and the closure of Yosemite National Park kept them away, welcome to Tuolumne County. Thank you for visiting.

To Laurelin Lewis, who with her husband, Jim, bought Dardanelle Resort earlier this year for her optimistic response to the destruction of the resort in the Donnell Fire. Her composure and strength in a time of utter sadness is a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.

To the California Department of Public Health for licensing the Diana J. White Cancer Center so it can open for business. The $36 million facility’s open house – the date for all intents and purposes it was finished — was April 30. The license was granted on Aug. 3. Perhaps in the world of state government, that is considered timely.

To the families of the 200 kids who attended science camp and the teachers who spent some of their summer working it, your efforts point us all toward a better future.

To those who went to the Elections Office — many this week — and filed to run in the most local of levels — our school boards. Legendary Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.” Well, school board is local-est, and an argument could be made that it is by far the one government agency that makes the most difference in our lives. Not only in the most obvious way – what our children are learning – but also in making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely. Not surprisingly, the one board that filled early with a full slate was Sonora Union High School District, which has roiled with conflict for years. But it shouldn’t take turmoil to make people realize they have a role to play. Happy to see people who agreed to get in there and mix it up to ensure turmoil never takes place.


To Sierra Conservation Center for refusing to install additional monitoring of temperature in the non-air conditioned prison that houses more than 4,000 men, just because it’s not required doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

To Sonora City Council for agreeing to pursue a bus stop on Stockton Road after most of the speakers at Monday’s meeting said they didn’t like that spot or the one on Washington Street. Stockton was the lesser of two evils, they said, but why pick an evil?As one person said, why were there only two choices? Why pick a stop that’s going to impede the business of a multi-million-dollar beer garden that at one time was heralded as the savior of downtown? Why pick a location without a crosswalk?

To the people who thought painting graffiti at the beautiful Rainbow Pool was a good idea, why? It is inconceivable that people would go out of their way to spend time enjoying nature and then deface the very thing they sought to enjoy. And then leave their alcohol bottles and cans behind. This happens all too often in our beautiful Sierra.