Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor - week of May 14, 2015

Don’t miss it

Dear Editor,

If you have not visited the Golden Chain Theatre lately, you are missing out on some fabulous entertainment. Gone are the melodramas of yesterday. Instead the amazing talent that can be found in these foothills are performing at the Golden Chain.

We had the fortune of seeing “The Wardrobe” recently. Not only was the story so moving and emotional, the acting was terrific, (especially the two lead characters). The performance plays until May 17, and I encourage everyone to go and see this play. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

There are other plays coming up throughout the year and if they are any where as good as this one was, I will not be going down to Fresno (Second Space), as we have great performers right here in Oakhurst. Thank you Golden Chain for bringing “Broadway” here to our town.

Sandi Forsberg, Coarsegold

Wildfire preparedness

After reading the recent Sierra Star articles on ISO rates, Cal Fire Preparations for Disastrous Fire Season, and Firewise Communities, I had the opportunity to drive through the community of Timberview this past weekend. It appears to me that “Timberview Area Firewise Improvement Council” has worked very closely with all residents to make their community more fire safe.

During my drive through, I observed many community members working in their neighborhood chipping the brush (fuel) that was removed from many residential properties and the roadside to reduce the wildfire risk and to create defensible space for their community and the fire department emergency responders.

Defensible space is the area between the structure and the oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been removed or modified to reduce fuel loading. A structure will ignite or burn because of its relationship with everything in it’s surroundings (vegetation, fuel, landscaping, wood piles, etc.). To avoid this ignition of the structure, the homeowner must eliminate the potential relationship a wildfire can have on their home by the removal and reduction of vegetation and fuels.

The Timberview Community has made great strides in this area, but much more fuel reduction still needs to be done throughout Eastern Madera County.

As Cal Fire representative Karen Guilleman-Kanawyer recently stated in the Sierra Star, “It’s a choice to live in wildland areas, but along with that choice comes responsibility to provide your home with defensible space, it could be catastrophic not to.”

We all know how the 2014 fire season affected our mountain communities with the Junction and Courtney Fires. The 2015 fire season is off to a rapid start as California enters the fourth year of the worst drought in our state’s recorded history.

We need to recognize the threat of fires in our area, and this is a great time to take action to protect our families, homes, businesses, and our fire fighters from a catastrophic wild fire. You can’t ignore the problem. We all live in the same tinderbox - please create defensible space, there is no excuse for putting others at risk. Please consider organizing your own neighborhood to become a Firewise community.

This is about the power of teamwork as shown by the Timberview Firewise Community and it’s resident’s working together to make their neighborhood safer.

Our local fire fighters will continue to meet the challenge posed by this drought - we all must do our part to ensure we are prepared for wild fire, and we all need to take extreme caution to avoid starting a wild fire.

Please, for your own protection, visit the following websites: readyforwildfire.org - firewise.org - firewise Madera County.org.

Gary Gilbert, North Fork, former Madera County Fire Chief

Hillview’s ‘spin doctor’

Dear Editor,

Hillview Water Company sent its Oakhurst/Sierra Lakes customers a Notice dated May 1, 2015 regarding the 2014 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). We were directed to a .pdf file via a web link. If my memory serves me right, previous CCRs reported only uranium and arsenic as exceeding the highest levels allowed in our drinking water. Now, in addition to those two contaminants, we also have a problem with iron and manganese.

Ironically, the notice proudly used the term “drinking water” four times. Their shameless ‘spin doctor’ is hard at work. But, in the six years I have lived here, I have yet to receive a notice from Hillview that their “drinking water” is finally potable. That’;s why Hillview’s customers have to buy drinking water from local stores. If we drank from the tap, I’d be saying to my wife, “You look radianttonight.”

Richard Lofsted, Oakhurst