Bravos

To the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office for funding certification of all its dispatchers to enable them to provide medical information to people who call 911. It’s long overdue, but at least it will soon be in place and lives will be saved. Calaveras County has required this training since 1986.

To all those organizations who are sponsoring forums and debates for candidates in the Nov. 6 election. There are many (and we’ll soon be providing a list). It is a true public service to provide the chance to hear from people who want to represent us.

To Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office for obtaining a large grant to do deep-water diving by machine. The apparatus will enable them to easily search the bottom of the lakes they patrol as well as to find people who go missing.

To the U.S. Army for finally recognizing the service of Alan Leeman, one of thousands of soldiers in the late 1970s who were told they would receive a humanitarian medal for cleaning up radioactive waste at former nuclear testing sites in the Marshall Islands. Sadly, though, a barb must go to federal officials, including U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, for not presenting it to him personally. Leeman got it out of his post office box.

To the various groups who walked lakes and rivers last weekend to clean up the trash others have left behind.

To the state of California for memorializing local fire captain Paul J. Waite Jr. of Twain Harte Fire on the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento. Waite died of work-related eye cancer in 2016.

To hero bus driver Janette Elsey for her quick action in getting her bus off train tracks as a zooming Amtrak train neared. Undoubtedly, she saved the lives of Sonora High junior varsity football players and coaches. An extra well-done for that.

To the Twain Harte Homeowners Association for paying for the restoration of a downtown icon, the Twain Harte mug. Private investment is essential in the improvement of any community.

Barbs

To Sonora Union High School District’s board for resurrecting the idea of building tennis courts. So many things wrong here. Three of the five members on the board are not running for re-election, so why would they discuss this most controversial subject now? The board has no money to put toward any $500,000 project. The district does not have enough land and somehow expects the city of Sonora to just hand over its nearby property. We’re not saying tennis courts are not a good idea, but this sounds more like seat-of-the-pants stream of consciousness than a proposal from a reasonable elected official.

To PG&E and its contractors for what seems to be another example of running roughshod over people without serious planning by marking trees willy-nilly to cut down to comply with state law. More careful assessment of hazard trees is clearly needed.

To the city of Sonora for yet another drawn-out conversation about something that should be, well, quite simple. Where will Santa’s Workshop be this year? While careful consideration and planning is important in all government, as we’ve just said, this conversation has gone on for too long. The community wants it in Courthouse Square, which is owned by Tuolumne County. Are elected officials not able to talk to one another to work out an agreement? Sad state if the answer is no.

To school districts, parents, the arts community and any other music lover for not making music instruction a priority. Studies have shown the benefit of music education to a child’s brain development. Find a way to get these children the band instruments they deserve. A beginning is to support The Band Stand fundraiser on Oct. 13 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Sonora Opera Hall. The money raised there goes directly to schools for new instruments.

To Yosemite Community College District, which includes Columbia College, and the faculty union that are on the verge of a strike due to the inability of the two to agree on pay increases and class size. Both sides have valid concerns but the people who will lose most if this strike happens are the students. Perhaps putting the focus on them will engender compromise.

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