Letters to the Editor

How much do we need to spend on Highway 41 paving? Plus two views on McClintock-Morse

This orange fencing alongside Highway 41 has caught Marc Sobel’s attention.
This orange fencing alongside Highway 41 has caught Marc Sobel’s attention. Special to the Sierra Star

Caltrans wasting our money

It is said the cost of highway construction is double in California. Here is one reason why. Orange fencing has been erected along Highway 41 to keep workers from disturbing the bushes or maybe some toad hiding in the weeds that has been declared a sensitive area. There are miles of this fencing as you go north on Highway 41 at the north end of Oakhurst in preparation for an upcoming paving job. I can only guess a biologist had to determine these wild bushes must be protected. Then it had to be mapped and surveyed and added to the contract bid. I’m feeling Uncle Sam’s hand in my pocket going for my wallet again. Here you go, our state gas tax money at work. You must realize a crew had to erect the fence and will have to take it down. I am sure they did not trample on any bushes or toads. They should have put up fences to keep the fires from burning right up to the road. What about all the tree guys that cleared dead trees along the road? Tens of thousands of dollars had to be spent on the orange fences. The mitigation could have been simple, just remind workers each shift to not venture from the roadside and stay out of the bushes. Supervisors should monitor operations, right?

I have no doubt this policy is driven by environmentalists, but they forgot about all the harm to the environment caused by the manufacturing of the plastic fence and steel posts along with the rest of the process to transport the material and people to install and remove it.

You will have an opportunity to reverse the so-called gas tax in November. A yes vote will kill the tax. Don’t be fooled by the advertising to keep it. Most of the tax money is supporting non-road projects like high-speed rail.

Marc Sobel, Oakhurst

Morse understands mountain needs

Aug. 5 a limb fell on a power line and started a fire on my road, just two houses away from my home. I live under the Miami Mountain Lookout and by the time we saw smoke Cal Fire was on the way with dozer and air support ordered.

This spring Cal Fire was up and down our road getting familiar with the area. Fortunately, the road to Miami Lookout had been repaired and Miami Lookout was manned with volunteers. Cal Fire knew in advance where they could unload the dozers and put in the firebreak that contained the grass fire which had already caught an old unoccupied house on fire. With the all the support they were able to protect and save the nearby homes including mine.

We need as much funding as possible for Cal Fire to use for the fire preventive actions, as prevention saves homes just like it saved our neighborhood.

Tom McClintock, my representative in Congress, has voted against this type of funding from the federal government for the U.S. Forest Service, so Cal Fire often uses much of its budget on fires, like the Ferguson Fire, on federal land while funding for protection for us local taxpayers suffers.

This November I will be voting to replace Tom with Jessica Morse, a fifth-generation Californian who lives in Pollock Pines and knows our needs and will vote for solutions that work.

Norma Rogers, Ahwahnee

McClintock choice for support of vets

It’s lazy and unfair to criticize another person without looking into what he has or has not done, just because he has different philosophies than you. That happens a lot in politics today.

So, when I heard others say our Congressional representative, Tom McClintock, wasn’t doing enough for veterans, I looked into it.

Congressman McClintock’s office presently is working on the cases of 108 veterans. Since January of last year, his office opened 296 cases and closed 323. And, that’s just in the past year. These cases involve helping men and women from all military branches get the financial, educational and medical benefits they earned by their service and sacrifices.

A few years ago, during the period when the VA was getting slammed for not taking proper and responsive care of veterans, Congressman McClintock’s office asked to meet with local veterans to hear first-hand what they were experiencing. I helped set up and attended that meeting.

The congressman’s chief of staff (a former aircraft carrier CO) and his veterans representative took part, listening intently to what the young veterans had to say, then acting decisively to help them.

Tom McClintock comes off as a tough guy, because he’s tough on big government. He wants the federal government to work efficiently and effectively for the people and he’s demonstrated that in what he and his staff have done to help, honor and remember our veterans. His record shows that he is compassionate to veterans and passionate about working hard for us.

Capt. John Poimiroo, U.S. Navy ret., El Dorado Hills