Letter to the Editor - March 5, 2015 edition

Dear Editor,

I attended Tom Wheeler’s Town Hall meeting in YLP last Thursday, Feb. 26.

A few different subjects were discussed, but I would like to comment on the Vulcan Quarry only.

There were a number of questions and concerns about the quarry, which came out of the Oakhurst Town Hall meeting on Jan. 22, and none of them were answered. I did not think the “White House brand” of transparency, which I described in my last letter, found its way to our representatives in Madera County, but apparently it did.

Here is what we learned at the YLP meeting on Feb. 26:

1. According to Mr. Wheeler, the truck traffic will not be a problem as some lanes will be added to Highway 41, and Road 145.

2. Mr. Wheeler stated he is very knowledgeable about water resources, aquifers etc., so we should not be worried about our wells going dry. I guess he expects us to take his word on it.

3. When asked about the 300 letters he received from the public, he stated he had not read all of them but only a handful were in favor of the quarry, paralytically all were against it.

Several people in the audience also questioned Mr. Wheeler on what his position was. He refused to say where he stood, stating he was not allowed to have an opinion at this time. I requested that Mr. Wheeler inform us publicly of how he intends to vote, prior to casting; he responded he was not going to do that. What happened to “Of the People, for the People and by the People?”

I wonder if Mr. Wheeler reads the Sierra Star. Some very knowledgeable people have written guest commentaries about the quarry and their stance, which are all very strongly against giving Vulcan the permit to operate. If I am wrong, Mr. Wheeler, and you do read the Sierra Star, please comment on your involvement in YARD, which was mentioned in the Dec. 3, 2014 issue. You may find that Vulcan isn’t the only project tied to where people strongly disagree with you.

To the people of Madera County, specifically the residents in Oakhurst and surrounding communities, I’m writing again today to encourage you to voice your concerns to Mr. Wheeler now, letting him know if you are for or against the quarry. If you speak up after the vote, it’s too late.

Hank VanSloten, Oakhurst