Beginning of a change?
NOTE: This is an edited copy of a letter recently sent to Madera County District Supervisor Tom Wheeler:
I am corresponding in regards to the accident in which a minor child was killed due to a negligent skier at Bass Lake on June 27.
My wife and I have been going to Bass Lake and boating for 30-plus years and now spend almost every weekend at our cabin in Cedar Valley, which we have owned for 20 years or so. The above topic deeply saddens my heart. Unfortunately for us familiar with the lake activities, it comes as no surprise that this has happened.
The lake rules clearly state: PWC (jet skies) are restricted to three designated areas. They are allowed to travel to and from each area, and zig zagging and spins are not allowed. Furthermore, they are not allowed to cruse the lake, stop in the middle, change direction, and crossing the lake should be done the same as making a left-hand turn.
The speed limit of 40 mph is always disregarded and causes extreme discomfort to those trying to properly use the lake. The lake level, at its lowest in years, is a hazard in itself, and the unsafe use of jet skis has become a growing concern among the frequent users of the lake.
On any given summer day, the PWC users, whether rented or personally owned, avoid complying with the rules. This most recent tragedy should be the beginning of a change that will not allow such an unfortunate event to take place.
It would be my suggestion, as well as others, that however extreme it may be or sound, that if this abuse continues, PWC users be either excluded from using the lake, or more deputies be hired to enforce the rules.
The cost of this can easily be added to the current boat/registration fees, and would certainly be less than what the county and others could more than likely be facing with a lawsuit. The safety and lives of those who appreciate the lake, and the recreation it offers, should be a top priority.
Stuart Gentry, Bakersfield
Thanking the community
I want to reach as many of you as I can to thank you all for your wonderful and healing prayers and cards. My life was changed so drastically in an instant from the April 15 auto accident I was in ... the fact that I am here and healing is in a large part due to your love.
I have left the Healthcare and Wellness Center. Brad and Patrice Jensen have lovingly opened their home and their hearts to care for me. I am still confined to a wheelchair, but I am putting all my efforts to progress to walking. Unfortunately, healing bones is a slow process.
Life is a challenge and a struggle, but the love and support I have had from the community has helped immensely on my pathway. My gratitude is unbounding.
I also want to thank reporter Morgan Voorhis and the Sierra Star for their support in my attempts to reach you - my family of friends. Morgan wrote a wonderful article about my recovery.
I send my blessings and my love to you all, and wish for the very best in your health and your lives.
Robin Blossom, Oakhurst
I was very grateful to have read the brief notice in your online publication (sierrastar.com) of the July 23 meeting at the Oakhurst library regarding the possibility of consolidating Bass Lake, Marina View, and Lakeshore water systems.
I encourage Bass Lake folks pay close attention to this issue. This may not be a benefit to us. Do your homework before voting on this because we do have a say in this. Ballots will be going out and if it not returned, equals a yes vote. There are many residents completely in the dark about this. There were only three or four of us at the meeting.
Cheryl Hoskinson, Bass Lake
Water company customers beware
I learned of a meeting held July 23 in Oakhurst concerning an apparently well developed proposal to merge three Bass Lake area water systems: the Bass Lake Water Co., Marina View, and Lakeshore. While the latter two have non-potable water, B.L.W.C. offers quality drinking water.
Steve Welch, owner of the private B.L.W.C., recently advised me that due to decreased tourism and increased awareness of the acute water shortage, usage is down and he is hopeful that there will be no need this year to use the single well with unacceptably high levels of uranium.
Please carefully consider of what benefit this costly interconnection of the three water systems (with miles of pipes, etc.) could possibly be to B.L.W.C. customers? While customers of the two smaller water systems were notified by mail of this “Project Update,” with high level planners and presenters, we in the much larger B.L.W.C. system were not.
Brian Wilkinson, editor of the Sierra Star, was informed of the meeting only 2 days prior, allowing an on-line notice, but nothing in the print edition. When I questioned the lack of notification, Tom Wheeler quickly responded “B.L.W.C. is privately owned and not required to notify its users.”
Could it be that this proposed merger will not, in fact, benefit the B.L.W.C. customers?
Terri Anderson, Bass Lake
We need help
Last week, Mr. Schweickert wrote about his concern for getting the TOTES to the road for pickup. His driveway is 900 feet and he is 77 and disabled; my gravel driveway is 800 feet and I am 84 and need my cane most the time.
A TOTE holds twice what the barrels most of us use. My two barrels can be swung into the trunk of my car, not so with a TOTE. Per EMADCOs advice, I called Tom Wheeler who simply said sorting the trash into garbage separately from recyclables was becoming the law of the land. EMADCOs responsibilities evidently become ours. So, do we get a big reduction in pickup costs? Maybe that will cover hiring someone to drag the TOTES down to the road every week.
I live in Ahwahnee which has many steep driveways. Perhaps EMADCO could help us out somehow.
Trump is a fresh face
I am writing to expose the misstatements, falsehoods and the high bias content of Peter Cavanaugh’s opinion page hit piece on Mr. Donald Trump. What’s amazing to me is that not only does Trump have the rank-and-file Republicans running for cover but the Democrats like Cavanaugh are petrified of Trump’s popular appeal to the masses.
I and a great many others on both sides of the aisle are fed up with career politicians and the good old boy political networks that forget all about the citizens of this country they were elected to serve as soon as the ballots are counted. For us a citizen candidate who reflects the ideals and the concerns of the average patriot are a welcome breath of fresh air. A candidate that owes allegiance to no one and needs to repay no favors to wealthy contributors once elected is a true peoples candidate.
While Mr. Trump’s comments regarding Mexico and the 30 million illegal entries into this country may have lacked polish and political savvy, his ideas were dead on. America will be $18 trillion in debt by the time the community organizer in chief leaves the White House.
The day of reckoning will soon be upon us and while we most certainly need a robust economy, who better than a successful business professional to lead us over the hurdles and through the challenges of debt reduction and economic prosperity. Trump himself was struggling and burdened with debt at one point but has since had a remarkable recovery.
As Cavanaugh bloviates about his party’s socialist candidates that he prefers to label, “progressive,” he is clearly concerned that his party’s “fair lady,” Mrs. Clinton, has no credible accomplishments to drive her campaign forward.
Oh, and by way, I turned in my Macy’s card with a brief explanation of the consequences of political involvement from a business prospective. And while my annual expenditures will certainly not cripple the Macy’s bottom line, perhaps the similar actions of other American patriots who despise big business attempts to control the political system will have a greater effect.
As all three branches of government - the executive, the legislative and the judicial - repeatedly ignore the will of the people, it’s time for an outsider to step in and effect change.
Eric N. Loos, Oakhurst
Successful art exhibit at Timberline
It has been a joy working with the Sierra Star in the promotion of the “Celebration of Tasteful Art” exhibit at Timberline Gallery. There were lots of complements of appreciation from the restaurants, artists, and Star readers over the great promotion of the exhibit. The Star captured the essence of what we are trying to accomplish - the community of local restaurants shown through the eyes of our artists in various mediums.
The Star’s photos caught the attention of the readers, and Timberline is grateful for The Star’s attention to this art project.
On July 18, the gallery hosted more than 80 Mountain Area residents, and some travelers on vacation, to the exhibit’s first reception, with food provided by six restaurants, and the chance to meet the artists and the owners of the restaurants. Everyone enjoyed the music by Terry Robinson, and the beautiful Japanese Floral arrangements by Patti Hummel. We had lots of positive input from everyone that came to the reception.
When we started this project, it was as a community project to show there are many self -owned, locally managed restaurants in the Oakhurst area, and to have people see them through the eyes of the arts. It has been a success. Many people we told were surprised that there were that many non-franchised restaurants in the area.
Our third and last reception is 2-4 p.m. this Saturday at the gallery, and we hope that members of the community who have not had the opportunity to see the exhibit, will come out to meet the artists.
Vivian Helena & Jacqueline Kurtt, coordinators, Celebration of Tasteful Art
Generous community support
Thanks to all the terrific high school coaches and professional volunteers who supported the recent Yosemite High School Sport Physicals Night. The event was a huge success.
Coaches from every sport at YHS were on hand to help the process run smoothly. They are the backbone of our athletic programs.
The school and the athletics department wish to thank the following community professionals who volunteered their time to complete physical exams for nearly 100 student athletes as they prepare for the 2015-2016 school year:
Health Providers: Kaiser - Dr. Chastain and Dr. O’Meara; Camarena Health - Tammy Frost; Valley Children’s - Dr. Bayt; Oakhurst Medical Group - Phil Morin and Dr. Bohigian; Eye Doctor John Peterson; Oakhurst Physical Therapy - Tony and Lori McLean; San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Oakhurst Outpatient Center - Carolyn Summers, and Lori Van Zant; Sierra Physical Therapy- Joy Kagawa; EMT/Paramedics - Bill and Gina Hartley and assistants.
Without the generous help of our coaching staff and community professionals, this event could not happen. Their unselfish commitment of time, energy, and professional skills has been on display year after year as they serve Yosemite High on Sport Physicals Night. They receive our deepest gratitude for another job well done.
Cari Rumohr, YHS athletic trainer
We would like to thank the Vision Academy of Arts for another wonderful season of summer camp.
Our boys look forward to each day of camp where they get to experience art, band, dance, guitar and writing. Thank you so much to all the great instructors, the wonderful student assistants, and everyone who helped make this camp such a fun experience for our youth.
We are fortunate to have talented, dedicated teachers in the mountains who generously enrich our children’s lives with the arts.
Donna Barker & Shanan Metzger, Ahwahnee