The Madera County Board of Supervisors does not seem to have made any progress in addressing the danger of unmaintained, fire-hazardous land abutting residential developments in our area.
Homeowners are not always able to clear 100 feet and are basically sitting ducks for a fire. To those who say "government can’t tell people what to do with their property, of course it can and does: Government told us to clear 100 feet, liens can be put on our property if we don’t pay property taxes, use of properties and even eminent domain.
California property owners’ home insurance costs have gone up sky high, some have had their policies canceled due to the fire status in the state and our area. This should be a top priority for the Supervisors.
It appears according to the Madera County Wildfire Protection Plan, Public Resource Code (PRC) 4291, something can be done to protect our homes from a fire. PRC 4291 states that property owners need to clear 100 feet around their homes or to the property line.
Currently, if the owner of the unmaintained property that falls within that 100 feet chooses not to clear their land to make a fire break, there is nothing one can do to protect their home. However, it further states in paragraph (2) “A greater distance than that required under paragraph (1) may be required by state law, local ordinance, rule, or regulation.
Clearance beyond the property line may only be required if the state law, local ordinance, rule or regulation includes findings that the clearing is necessary to significantly reduce the risk of transmission of flame.”
Mary Hermann, Oakhurst
We’ll be fooled again
Eight years ago I attended some ebullient, optimistic parties celebrating Barack Obama’s obtaining the office of president. Most wondered why I was shaking my head while they were shedding tears of joy. I wonder if they now understand my demeanor, after all the drones, the torture, the jailing of whistle-blowers, the savaging of the Constitution, the giveaway of resources to the banks.
At the time I really made myself persona non grata by suggesting seriously that military manufacturers of airplanes, tanks, guns and bombs could show their patriotism by relinquishing all their profits and CEO bonuses. After all, thousands of young Americans had given their very lives to bring “democracy” to the Middle East.
The suggestion was met with a kind of frightened silence, as if I had defamed the Bible. Silly me. I thought human life was sacrosanct, not profits.
Well, not to worry about arms sales and the flow of profit. From Mother Jones Magazine - and others - we learn that before Hillary became secretary of state, the Saudis gave $10 million to the Clinton Foundation - atonement for all the beheadings and human rights violations, I wonder?
Hardly. The Saudis were brokering a deal for $29 billion worth of Boeing fighter jets, no doubt put to good use lately against civilian Yemeni children, women and men.
Recently, an International Business Times investigation revealed that Boeing had donated $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation just two months before the jet deal was closed.
All in all, foreign governments and military contractors (Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Lockheed and others) have given between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation.
I’m ready once again to contribute my presence to a pre-election party, but as yet I haven’t detected any ebullience.
Carl Bosco, Coarsegold
A dangerous pass
The other day while driving home from Oakhurst on Highway 41, a car traveling behind our vehicle sped up and passed us, crossing a double yellow line. This annoyed me for a couple reasons. Number one; it’s illegal.
A double yellow line down the center of a curvy road like Highway 41 means there are areas ahead where you can’t see oncoming traffic. It means stay in the appropriate lane until it is safe to pass.
It is criminal to put other people’s lives in jeopardy because you didn’t give yourself enough time to get from where you started to where you were going. Or, maybe that’s not the problem at all. Maybe you’re just a jerk who doesn’t think about the consequences of your actions.
Number two; as I sat in my car thinking about what I had just witnessed, your carelessness began to affect me personally. If you had met oncoming traffic on your journey forward, I can only imagine the carnage that would have ensued. If you and the person or persons you hit didn’t die outright, you would all be convalescing for months in local hospitals. And remember, my husband and I were behind you traveling 50-55 mph. We would have found ourselves right in the middle of the mayhem you could have prevented if you hadn’t been in such a hurry. And that thought made me angry.
Please folks, I know a two-lane road through the mountains is not an ideal situation for the thousands of people who live here and travel Highway 41 daily. Maybe our story will serve to remind people to be more conscientious when they’re out and about on local roads.
Celeste M. Wheeler, Coarsegold