Free YARTS rides to Yosemite April 23
As you know, Yosemite National Park experienced an all-time record number of visitors in 2015. At Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS), we want to do our part to help visitors be good stewards of the park and enhance their Yosemite experience by encouraging them to take public transportation.
YARTS will be providing free rides to Yosemite on Earth Day, April 23. There is no admission fee for the park when riding YARTS.
YARTS will begin accepting reservations on April 4 and the cut-off date is April 19, or until the buses have been filled. All reservations must be made via email and are accepted on a first come, first served basis and must be for same day round-trip passengers.
All of our regularly scheduled runs will operate as normal, with the exception that all children, age 16 and under, ride free on any YARTS bus all days.
Cindy Kelly, YARTS
Look for more appropriate place for OHV park
Sure it’s frustrating that we spend our lives baking bread only to have it confiscated by Sacramento which gratuitously deals us back crumbs.
I get that it’s hard to resist and easy to become addicted to their benevolent grants which always come with sufficient strings to assure a compliant populace.
I get it, we all want our slice. But, at what cost?
Remember these basics of freedom?
* A constitutionally limited government (Federal, State and local).
* Fiscal and personal responsibility (not government grant subsidized).
* Free market economics (not competing with the private sector).
I agree that the green and red tag Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) fees should be abolished and the unused funds returned to the people. Much like the illegal Rural Fire Fee.
We all know that the County of Madera has no business going into the private entertainment business. If an off-road vehicle entertainment park is really a “moneymaker,” as at least one supervisor and his team are hoping voters will believe, encourage the private sector to develop one.
Just not on a culturally, environmentally and situationally sensitive (for the proposed activity) site like Black Hawk Mountain (next to Minarets High School) and across from the entrance to Yosemite Lakes Park.
How much of our beauty, heritage, authenticity and soul are we willing to trade for money or the promise thereof?
Let’s look for a more appropriate place, involve the public this time, and don’t be so eager to over-pay.
Ray Krause, O’Neals
Best democracy money can buy
I read Peter Cavanaugh’s opinion on “Taking the Cannoli” about the debate between Sanders and H.R. Clinton in the Feb. 11 issue of the Sierra Star.
Goldman Sachs was saved from bankruptcy by the TARP, the $700 billion bank rescue signed into law by G.W. Bush on Oct. 3, 2008. The Great Recession lasted 18 months, 14 under G.W. Bush, and four under Obama.
Wikipedia says that $67.8 billion went to AIG, and they transferred $12.9 billion to Goldman Sachs, according to a New York Times article of March 15, 2009.
The Wikipedia article on TARP says that, quoting another Times article, “few [banks] cited lending as a priority. Further, an overwhelming majority saw the program as a no-strings-attached windfall that could be used to pay down debt, acquire other businesses or invest for the future.”
Another article mentioned said, “during 2008, companies that received $295 billion in bailout money had spent $114 million on lobbying and campaign contributions.”
This is Cannoli, the Sicilian dessert pastry just for politicians who claim they’re very tough on financial corporations.
Hillary received $675,000 for just three speeches she made? Not bad. Why did the banks all fail at once? Because they all over-lent, and the total “outstanding debt” of “domestic financial sector” was 125% of GDP, a record high. They borrowed to have funds that they then loaned to pump up a bubble that exploded.
Millions of lives were disrupted unnecessarily because bankers insisted that they needed no regulations. Our Congressman McClintock believes that government should de-regulate everything. He is an anarchist or libertarian. He would eliminate the minimum wage law entirely. He advises us all to pack a firearm whenever we attend any meeting to prevent mass shootings such as the one in San Bernadino recently. In fact, capitalism self-destructs without good rules which is a proper function of government.
We could instead revert to cavemen and cavewomen - that’s real libertarianism. Instead we might raise taxes on millionaires and fund elections publicly instead of this circus that assures us of the best democracy money can buy.
Taking the Cannoli - good job Mr. Cavanaugh.
Ben Leet, Mariposa
Setting the record straight
I would like to set the record straight with respect to an erroneous statement regarding the Golden Chain Theatre in the Jan. 28, 2016, edition of the Sierra Star: that “for the first time in the history of GCT, the board of directors have announced the appointment of paid staff members.”
The facts are that from its inception in 1968 until the late 1980s, stage directors at the Golden Chain Theatre were trained theater professionals who were hired by the board of directors and paid as independent contractors.
The board of directors then created the position of artistic/managing director, the only paid position in the all-volunteer organization, which remained in effect through 1994. Although GCT’s original mission has been changed, an organization as long-lasting as GCT deserves to have its history honored and preserved.
Candace Hoffman, Oakhurst
For the last few years, every Thursday I stopped at the Sierra Star office with my dog, Sierra, to purchase a paper. We enjoyed this weekly routine. The ladies there always took the time to be kind to us.
Recently, Sierra experienced some health issues, and we were forced to put her to sleep. On our way to the vet, we stopped by the office so Sierra could say “goodbye.” At this point, she could barely walk and could not get out of the car, so the ladies came out to see her. We were so moved with their obvious caring of her.
I just wanted to say thank you to these ladies for being a part of Sierra’s life. Thursdays will never be the same.
Wally Wolf, Oakhurst
In my Sierra Star column (Feb. 11) about the new recycling program manager at EMADCO, I stated that it seemed most people had worked out the issue of getting their toters (garbage containers) out to the street on trash pickup day.
Many residents have long driveways and/or physical limitations that can make it challenging. The solution at my house is to keep the toters tucked behind a large water tank that is closer to the road, and we take our recyclables and trash up to the toters a couple of times per week. On trash day, we don’t have far to go.
I have noticed in my neighborhood, however, that a number of toters are being left on the street all week long. This not only puts the containers at risk of being damaged, stolen or vandalized, but it detracts from the attractiveness of our properties and community.
I just learned updated information about our recycling efforts in Eastern Madera County that was most encouraging. About 75% - to 80% of EMADCO’s customers are utilizing the blue toters for recyclables and, get this - through our efforts, 150 tons of recyclables per month are being diverted from the landfill. That means that 300,000 pounds of refuse that previously would have ended up in the landfill each month is being recycled. That’s an amazing figure.
I hope we can all feel proud that we are doing something positive for our communities, both local and global. Perhaps that pride can extend to our local neighborhoods as we all take our toters off the street after trash pick up day.
Sandee Scott, Coarsegold
Thank you, Wasuma
I wanted to take a moment and extend a thank you to the Wasuma Elementary School 8th grade class and also the school’s PTA for the Family Valentines Dinner held on Feb. 11.
I had purchased tickets from a co-worker whose son is in the class and didn’t know what to expect. It was such a pleasure talking to some of the young enthusiastic ladies while waiting in line and learning about their 8th grade trip to San Francisco in June. I could tell that they were really excited and looking forward to the trip.
The young men selling raffle tickets did a good job. It was a treat to be around such enthusiastic, young members of our mountain community as well as getting a tasty spaghetti dinner.
Nancy Baker, Oakhurst
Ben Leet, Mariposa
Caring for God’s smallest creatures
This is to the people who abandoned a family of cats in the Goldside subdivsion last October. They were all rescued, but one of them had to be put down.
It was a long and expensive journey taking care of these poor creatures, but we were finally able to get the last two adopted out recently.
Come judgment day, God will save a special place for people like you.
Mike and Debbie Norris, Oakhurst
State of extortion
What became of relief in sight for homeowners insurance? Sounds like Cal Fire dropped the ball.
And now Madera County wants to raise the sales tax to help an over-funded waste of tax payers services.
What about our fire fee (illegal tax)? They say if you did not file an appeal you will not be refunded if the fee is overturned by the courts. What did it cost to change the name to Cal Fire from CDF years ago?
Our state government at its finest to make Californians want to leave this state of extortion.
Bud Singh, Oakhurst
In response to burning
In response to the “Almost Choked” letter to the editor in the Feb. 18 issue of the Sierra Star, this will be short and sweet.
You obviously are a flat lander and enjoy breathing the smog and exhaust of the city. Where do you live, in a cement fortress? Just exactly where do you put your yard foliage, legally?
The dump won’t accept the foliage and household trash to be dumped together. The forestry service wants 100 feet of defensible space cleared around homes - that’s called fire prevention.
So if you’re not burning you must not care about your neighbors or the town. With all of the dead trees around it’s just kindling waiting for a fire.
Also, the fires weren’t started by burn piles, they were started by unattended campfires, arson, and kids playing with matches and paint spray cans. Ignorance is not always bliss.
Cindi Hayes, Oakhurst