Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor - week of July 2

Lack of mental illness assistance

Dear Editor,

Everyone has noticed the mentally ill, the drug and alcohol homeless population living in our community, and have thought what can be done.

Well, think no more because according to Madera County Probation, and the district attorney’s office, there is nothing you can do about it.

Due to a situation I recently experienced, I had reason to call both departments. The district attorney’s office told me they don’t have any place to put these people.

California no longer has institutions for the mentally ill. The best law enforcement can do is put them in jail, but they can’t get long-term care there. I was told California has voted out having institutions where the mentally ill can receive the proper treatment they need in a safe environment for them and our communities.

They are working on possibly getting a Mentally Ill Court (similar to Drug Court) where the judges will order the mentally ill to take their medications, but of course, since they won’t be in an institution where professionals can help them with their medications, they won’t take them.

Probation also said the judges often tell inmates if the break probation conditions, they will serve their full sentences in prison, but it rarely happens.

We have money to build a bullet train to nowhere that a handful of people will use. At last count, the government has spent $20 billion, and needs $20 billion more to build the tract to cover 500 miles, but we do not have money to help the mentally ill, so we leave them on the streets - a danger to themselves and us.

Karen Hamilton, Ahwahnee,

Shocked horror

Dear Editor,

Imagine my shocked horror when, driving around Bass Lake recently after dinner, I noticed not one, not two, but many campfires. Not small campfires either, but huge, roaring, flame-throwing fires with four to five foot flames shooting into the night air.

I came home, called Cal Fire, only to be informed that campfires are legal in campgrounds.

Insanity, during this raging fire season? The season hasn’t even really begun, but the fires have ... three fires in North Fork area including the Corrinne Fire, and the Sky Fire above Oakhurst. There were several other fires in the Oakhurst area over the past weeks, all of which devastated acreage and threatened homes.

What is it going to take for someone to wake up and cause common-sense regulations for campfires and anything else that can cause the kind of devastation we all witnessed, some of us all too “up close and personal” with the Courtney Fire last year?

On one of the websites I visited, I noticed this link: “One less spark ... One less wildfire.” It’s on a website, but the reality, I believe, has yet to hit home. So, what exactly will it take for regulations to be put in place to really safeguard our towns and homes, and lives?

We tell people where they can walk their pets, and where they can do a million other things. Why don’t we get smart and start telling people that they’re welcome to visit our towns and lakes during the summer (or any other time for that matter), but you can not burn us down. Keep your fires to yourself and keep them away from our beautiful mountain communities.

Everybody be vigilant. Report suspicious activity.

Kevin Jonas, Oakhurst