Congressional enablers

To the Editor:

What is it going to take?

Obviously, participating in felonious campaign crimes is not doing it. (But upcoming Grand

Jury indictments, NY Grand Jury charges, and upcoming House investigations might do it.)

Dozens of indictments and five to seven felony convictions of his closest campaign team members — not enough for many.

His hundreds of unscrupulous business dealings; his violations of the emoluments clause; his many acts of sexual perversion and incestuous rantings; his thousands of lies; his inciting violence to the point of causing harm and death to others; doubling our annual deficit in his first three years; adding $2 trillion to our national debt, ad nausea — all ignored by his base and Congressional enablers.

Now comes this: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” — Donald J. Trump

As tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes leaving everything they own behind; over 6,000 homes and businesses are gone; dozens of our neighbors burned alive, and this threat is the best the poser and Tom McClintock have to offer: “It is all your fault — pay up suckers.”

Has any one told those two that nearly half of all the land and three-quarters of the land in Tuolumne County is government owned.

But let us not forget, “Mexico will pay for the wall” and “We got a middle class tax break on Nov. 1,” and “15,000 U. S. troops will be at the border to shoot any rock thrower who tries to come in.”

What is it going to take?

Domenic Torchia


Could Sonora
be Paradise?

To the Editor:

This question is on the minds of many county residents. Are we as prepared as we could/should be? What can we learn from Paradise? Where would you go? How would you get there? Many of us live in subdivisions with one narrow road in and out. Would we be able to leave? Is the car battery good? The gas tank full?

Readiness means individuals are responsible to clear their own property of potential fire fuel. This is also true for businesses and county owned property. CalFire needs to enforce clearing regulations. As you drive around, notice how much dead wood, dry grasses can be seen on properties.

Our county leaders are responsible for having a good county emergency plan addressing a possible firestorm like the Camp Fire. The county emergency plan dates from 2012. It does not cover fast moving firestorms. The Camp Fire burned 88 acres per minute. Almost 100 dead; 700 missing. Why is a new plan dependent on grant funding?

Public awareness and education are key pieces to a plan. Everyone needs to know what the county emergency plan is. For example, how will agencies communicate with residents in an emergency? There is not time nor sufficient staff for door to door notification. Phone lines and cell towers could be down.

What about our school children? Bus drivers commonly are not on campus during the school day. How would students be evacuated? Parents need to know the school’s emergency plan in advance of an emergency.

Preparation is the key. County leaders and fire officials are responsible for public safety. The current plan needs to be revised to include clear evacuation routes and safety zones near residential areas and require developers to make fuel brakes and multiple exits. This cannot be postponed.

Ellen Beck


Plan needs revision for fire issues

To the Editor:

The Board of Supervisors appears to be planning to move forward to vote to finalize approval of the General Plan Update — with the two outgoing supervisors voting four days before Ryan Campbell and Anaiah Kirk are sworn in. Yes, the plan has been in the works for many years but some of it was written before the fire disasters of the past few years. At a minimum those sections need to be re-addressed.

The Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on the General Plan Update will occur during the Jan. 3, 4 p.m. special meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

There is no open oral communications public comment period at the beginning of a BOS special meeting; the only public comments allowed are on the specific agenda items as each is addressed. The community needs to attend this meeting and express concerns. We are in the same vulnerable position as Paradise.

Hopefully concerned and informed citizens will step up to organize and voice their opposition.

The General Plan Update inadequately addresses the impacts and consequences of increased human activity in the wildland urban interface with the rapidly changing climatic and wildfire hazard conditions in Tuolumne County (and throughout much of the neighboring Sierra foothills).

In my frequent conversations with local fire, forestry and environmental professionals our county is not prepared for a fire like Camp Fire. As we have seen, it is no longer if but when the next fire disaster occurs. This is not a partisan issue, this affects every one of us of any political preference. The time for planning is now.

Debi Baron

Twain Harte