Power shutoffs and fire damage

To the Editor:

I am hoping to get some feedback so I can understand how shutting off our power keeps us safe from fire danger. As I understand it, most fires started by PG&E lines have been because of equipment that was not monitored or maintained or by wildlife that have come into contact with transformers or power lines.

I called PG&E today hoping to get a reasonable explanation and was told that the safety factor is in case a fire starts, any falling lines would not be a danger to the community. So, let me get this straight: It is not to prevent a fire, it is to provide safety after a fire has already started? If they have the resources to shut off my power if I don't pay my bill, can't they just shut off the power in the area of an actual fire? I think there is some other motive here than public safety, but, cannot imagine what that could possibly be. Just hoping to get some feedback before I file my complaint with the CPUC.

Myrna Doering


Contradicting the facts

To the Editor:

So, Mueller testified that there was no "hoax," no "witch hunt" nor "total exoneration," yet the Lyin King declares, as he often does in direct contradiction to the facts, that he was vindicated. And his party immediately backs him up and declares "case closed" while blocking legislation designed to increase voting security.

How can this be normal? How can this behavior be acceptable? Have Republicans lost their minds? Please explain this to me. Thank you in advance, I really can't understand how you can buy into this.

Terril Spitze

Twain Harte

No thanks

State-run PG&E? Well, just look at how the state manages the Department of Motor Vehicles, welfare, road repairs, illegal immigration, the high-speed rail project and our tax money. Then you decide.

Is it a case of better than nothing? And ask yourself, how did we survive all these years without intentional power shutoffs?

Roy Jueal

Twain Harte


To the Editor:

Robert Mueller is the newest victim of the Democrat’s unfettered hatred for Trump and the perpetuation of the Russia collusion lie. Their heartless misuse of Mueller was very difficult to watch.

I cannot believe this man was the sharpest tack in the special counsel’s box of biased so-called defenders of our constitution. As it turns out Mueller was scarcely involved in the gathering of “evidence” and the actual writing of his report.

Russia has and always will do anything to undermine our democracy and the hate-filled Democrats are the unwitting shills of their scam. The special counsel never looked at the Clinton’s campaign involvement with Russia. Why? Because this was a get-Trump fiasco not a get the Russians investigation. The DNC and Clinton with the aid of our “trustworthy” FBI attempted on more than one occasion to infiltrate the Trump campaign with Russian operatives and failed.

The FBI also failed to adequately inform Trump that he was being targeted by Russia operatives. Why? {See above} Hillary, the entitled one, continues to claim multiple reasons for losing. She needs to look no further than herself and her own political party. Hilary did not put in the time and work necessary to win.

Obama, Biden, Clapper, Lynch, Brennen, Comey and their entire staffs were aware of the Russian activity and did nothing about it. Obama dismissed and ignored the Russians capabilities of influencing our elections. Fortunately for once he was right. Not one ballot was cast by a Russian. Trump did not obstruct the law. However, he did obstruct the Democrats attempt at an unjustifiable political assassination. If you have not had anyone try to destroy your life with falsehoods, innuendos, and mean-minded characterizations you will not be able to totally understand this point.

Thomas Neiderer


Moon tips

To the Editor:

Regarding the “Moon Party” at the Sonora library, I have ideas beyond virtual reality headgear, crafts and moon edibles.

Look at the moon. Finding it is not as easy as it sounds. The moon might not be in its usual spot. That's because the moon orbits the earth. Also the moon might be sneakily hiding behind a tree or a building. And the earth rotates. Not only does the sun rise and set; so does the moon.

You can observe its position in the sky from night to night (particularly when observing at around the same time each evening) and its phases. Draw the phase from night to night. In the days after the “full moon,” the moon is seen later in the evening, and then in the morning

Draw the moon’s features. An inexpensive pair of binoculars can help. You’ll get the view that Galileo had when he observed the moon in the early 1600s and wrote that “it appears covered with spots.”

Which direction is the moon going around the earth? East to west or west to east? You can figure this out with your eyes and brain, without internet.

How many days does it take for the moon to go around the earth? You can determine this fairly closely just by observing.

The phases have cool names: waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, waning gibbous, waning crescent.

When the moon is a crescent in the western sky after sunset, can you observe “earthshine” on the surface of the moon, on the part that is not lit up by the sun Earthshine is the sun reflecting off the earth and on to the moon.

When the moon looks full, is it really the full moon? Or is it a day or two before or after?

Try it.

Michael Maiman MD


Insurance commissioner wants to help

To the Editor:

Tuolumne County, like other rural areas across California, is facing increasing non-renewals and rising insurance premiums due to wildfire risk.

Complaints to the Department of Insurance about non-renewals are up nearly 600 percent since 2010 in high-risk areas of the state.

As the state insurance commissioner, I look forward to continuing to work with Tuolumne County leaders, other county and local government leaders, state policymakers, and the industry to keep insurance available for all.

I believe we need a clear, effective, and achievable bar for homeowners to meet on home-and community-hardening and defensible spaces, something that is currently lacking at the statewide level. And if people meet these standards, they should be able to get and keep their home insurance.

We are already taking steps to protect people for this fire season. Last year, I authored a law that will prevent non-renewals for one year for all people in a declared wildfire disaster area or adjacent zip codes.

And my department stands ready to help all those facing non-renewals, so you can understand your options. Please contact us at 800-927-4357.

That is a start. But there is much more we can do. I look forward to working with our rural leaders and residents to protect the places we love.

Ricardo Lara


Do Your Job!

Our president made many promises. We would get tired of winning. Now, his entire focus is himself, and winning re-election. Re-elections tout accomplishments, but Trump has none. To win, he must cover up his failures, distract us, divide us, and stoke our fears.

President Trump promised to bring back good jobs. His tariffs have failed. Car companies are moving production off-shore to avoid tariffs. Imports from China remain strong. Exports, especially farm products, have been decimated.

Our economy is not great. GDP growth is slowing and job growth is slower than when he took office. We are creating minimum-wage jobs, not good-paying jobs.

President Trump promised a “greatest ever” healthcare plan. t would cover pre-existing conditions, insure everyone, and cost much less. Where is it?

President Trump promised a great infrastructure plan that would fix our roads and create good jobs. Where is it?

President Trump promised an end to our “forever" wars. Troop levels in Afghanistan and the Middle East are the same. North Korea is building more nuclear weapons and advancing their missile program.

President Trump reneged on our nuclear agreement with Iran. He promised a much better deal. Now, faced with a potential war in the Middle East, he’s backing away.

Europeans, Russia and China strongly support the original Iran nuclear agreement. They’re angry. Over their strong objections, we’ve abused our dominant position in the world’s banking system to unilaterally impose sanctions. Now, our allies are working against us, against U.S. banks, and against U.S. sanctions.

President Trump is lashing out at everyone who criticizes him. “They’re attacking our country.” “Go back to your country.” Stop! This is their country, too! Attacking the President for his policies is not treason. It’s democracy! Stop bullying, stop stoking fear, and stop creating division. Do your job!

Marvin Keshner


Who should leave?

To the Editor:

“Go back where you came from!” Of course, three of the four people toward whom that advice (couldn’t be an “order,” since Trump doesn’t have that authority, at least not yet), was directed were from American. But he never let facts get in the way of a good twitter rant. So we can infer that to him democracy means “if you don’t agree with me, you have to leave.” What is he afraid of? Well, not hard to guess.

But I do have some advice for him. As a second generation German immigrant, he might do well to go back to his country of family origin. Not to fix it, they are actually doing quite well all on their own (and neither need nor would be benefitted by anything he could tell them). But Trump could learn a lot from Germany and her people.

Eighty some years ago they experimented with the kind of violent, racist, fascist policies and practices Trump is foisting on the United States. It didn’t work out well for them. They are in the position of showing him how and why fascism is the wrong way to go. And if he is open to learning (a big stretch of the imagination, but I will indulge a bit of optimism here), he could see how a country can overcome its past, learn from it and use their national experience to become a vibrant modern society living in peace with their neighbors around the world. And with him out of the United States, we might have a chance of being spared the painful experience of following this fascist path in our own country.

Phil Nichols