This is the Thanksgiving weekend edition of Bravos and Barbs, which means it’s all about the good things happening in our community.
Let’s start with the Christmas Parade, held Friday night, and all the other parades that bring so much wonder and joy to our towns in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. In Sonora, there were 10 more entries this year compared to last year, a good sign.
The turnout for the election was one of the highest recorded — almost 76 percent, compared to the rest of the state’s 65 percent. Democracy in action.
And speaking of the election, we must thank all the supervisors who are leaving office for their dedicated service. Serving the public is a time-consuming, sometimes difficult, sometimes joyous undertaking. They deserve respect and thanks.
How about all the people who have left their homes and jobs to help the victims of the Camp Fire? The schools, the businesses, the organizations that are raising money and necessities for people who have lost everything. The essence of who we are and strive to be shines through each one.
Tuolumne County Assistant Administrator Maureen Frank deserves praise for rejuvenating the idea of another park across Standard Road from the baseball complex — and finding a way to pay for it. Let’s hope the state approves the grant request.
Calaveras County Office of Education recently held a dinner for students to spend time with scientists and talk about the wonders of science. The students could see first-hand how a math, science and/or technology education translates into important and good jobs. A fifth-grader said, “This was the best night ever!”
Work is continuing on the roof of the Red Church with the heavy lifting — replacing the roof tiles — expected to begin next summer. And it’s paid for. A donor who wanted to remain anonymous stepped up to help the iconic church.
Adventist Health Sonora raised its score on a national assessment, largely by making sure its reporting mechanisms were aligned with what the organization was assessing.
Pat Perry, the city of Sonora’s historian, spent two years tracing the histories of Tuolumne County men who served in World War I. Her efforts are now on display at the Tuolumne County Museum, ensuring that even though they are long gone, they won’t be forgotten.
The first season of the Westside Pavilion, which staged nine concerts this season, was a success, and the best news is it will be back next summer with more acts.
Jerry Baker’s Tuolumne Trails, a camp for disabled kids and adults outside Groveland, has offered thousands of days of camping experience that would have been impossible otherwise. He was a part-time resident of Groveland until he retired, moved there and built this first-rate facility. A true assist to families.
Police chiefs and other officers have been working diligently to ensure the public’s safety in the face of limited staffing. Also to their credit, new officers are in training and are expected to be in the field next year.
Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers are receiving training so they can offer medical assistance over the phone in those precious minutes after something has happened and before help arrives. This will save lives.
Aaron Rasmussen has reawakened Vets Helping Vets thrift store and reopened the recreation center. Both are vital services for those who served our country.
And finally, a little girl sat in the back of a pickup truck on Stewart Street the other day with a sign that said simply, “Be Kind.” Yes and yes. Thank you. We hear your message.