Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor - week of July 23

I don’t want lip service

NOTE: The following letter was recently sent to Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler.

I am a property owner in Oakhurst and Cedar Valley. I have witnessed the horror that wildfires have wrecked on this community.

Some were caused by accident, some by arson, some by plain stupidity or by drugged out/drunk non-thinking people.

Last Sunday at about 4 a.m., there was a fire in Cedar Valley apparently caused by people in a homeless camp along Lewis Creek.

By the grace of God, Oakhurst fire engines caught it quickly. as the Cedar Valley engine was at the fire near Auberry. My point is something must be done about the homeless situation before another catastrophe happens. This quote is taken from your Madera County Board of Supervisor District 5 summary webpage:

“I have also continuously supported county policies that promote property rights, conservation and common sense solutions to our county’s problems. At every opportunity, I have made it a point to work collaboratively with my fellow supervisors to ensure that no part of Madera County is ignored.”

Mr. Wheeler, what common sense solutions are you going to apply to conserve your constituents’ property rights to be safe from squatters who abuse the law? We, the people, are counting on you and your fellow supervisors - along with fire and sheriff departments - to come up with solutions, to apply pressure to state representatives, and to administer “the plan” to rid our area of the homeless population.

I don’t want lip service or to be ignored and neither do the other frustrated citizens of this community. We want it now, before it happens again.

Joanie Madaus, Oakhurst

A mere pittance

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to Bill Atwood’s opinion column published July 9, as again I am confronted with an Anglo-Saxon Judeo Christian belief system that has done more harm than good.

Let me explain. Mr. Atwood, it seems you would like to return us to some nostalgic place where all people were God-fearing churchgoers and the word of God was taught in school. A lovely place where any other belief system was scorned and ridiculed. People were put in prison for homosexuality, by God.

Drug users who may have fallen on hard times due to emotional problems were locked up in government rape cages with ‘real’ violent criminals.

Women who fell in love and got pregnant out of wedlock would be thrown before the Hierarchy of the Church and pay dearly for their sins. A place where only shame was used to ‘help’ someone who was poor for no other reason than their social environment.

I would urge you Dr. Bill, to get off your high horse of piety and look at the causes of our society’s ills and work towards solutions.

The welfare system that feeds the poor and those who cheat it are a mere pittance compared to the 1% of the wealthiest who cheat the system out of 10 times that much.

Railing against our perpetual war machine hell-bent on destroying brown/poor people globally while depleting their resources is a great place for you to answer the question, WWJD?

Joe Sweat, Oakhurst

We need Trump

Dear Editor,

For a long time I have been reading Mr. Cavanaugh’s ‘For Your Consideration’ opinion columns in the Sierra Star.

After reading his contribution in the July 6 edition of the Star, I felt it was time for me to comment. Mr. Cavanaugh clearly is exercising his right to voice his opinion and freedom of speech, and now I feel it is my turn to do the same.

According to Mr. Cavanaugh, Mr. Donald Trump does not speak or comment, but instead he blurbs, trumpets and spouts despicable diatribe, besides being a narcissist, crazy and a nut. Whenever I read Cavanaugh’s columns, Congressmen Henry Hyde’s famous quote comes to mind “This man has been educated beyond his intelligence.”

Personally, I wish there was more outspoken candidates like Trump running for office. We need someone in the Oval Office that is serious about cleaning up the mess created by the present administration.

Cavanaugh said he is looking forward to chuckle when the GOP debate is broadcast on Aug. 6. I don’t understand why he would watch the debate as he does not like any of the Republicans and will not be voting for any one of them.

Mr. Cavanaugh, please explain to us with facts why all the scandals created by Obama, Hillary, Lois Lerner, Jonathan Gruber, etc. are, according to you, phony?

I’d like to close today by thanking Mr. Mark Sobel for stopping our supervisors from breaking the law. The county was forcing some of our neighbors to pay for trash pickup by a preferred company chosen by the county. Let’s remember this case when they run for re-election, and in the meantime keep an eye on them while they are still in office.

Hank Vansloten, Coarsegold


Dear Editor,

I am 77-years-old, disabled, with limited lift capability, and a 900-foot driveway uphill to the street. I realize that EMADCO is conservation oriented and concerned for the backs of their drivers. But there is no way that I can handle two 90-gallon trash containers.

So I called them to ask for an exemption. I was told that I had to take it up with the county knowing that there are a lot of people up here with the same circumstances. Who knows how long the county will take to decide? So I suggest that others call EMADCO to ask for an exemption.

William E. Schweickert, Oakhurst

Sewer advisory group

Dear Editor,

Much like many facilities in rural communities, the Oakhurst sewer system, run as a special district (MD 22A) by Madera County, is managed by a board of directors that do not live in the area, do not use the system, and do not pay any of the costs of operation.

To their credit, they have appointed an advisory group of volunteers who meet monthly to discuss budgets and rates.

I would like to invite members of the public to join this group of dedicated citizens. It doesn’t take much time, just an hour once a month. By being involved and sharing your time and talent with us, you can make a big difference in the way things are run.

If interested, contact Jim Watkins, sewer board chairman, (559) 683-5757, barrister@sti.net.

Dave Wolin, Oakhurst

Drip Irrigation

Dear Editor,

People should not tear out all of their landscaping in our drought conditions. Instead think drip irrigation.

Do the math, spray irrigation puts out water in gallons per minute, while drip irrigation puts out water in gallons per hour.

A well-installed drip system waters only the plant and not the space in between the plant, plus drips leaches slowly into the soil allowing the plant to absorb the water better.

Be sure you have a filter and pressure regulator before the system starts. An automatic timer installed before the system is even better.

A drip system installed around your trees is great. Even if you just run it for an hour once a week, one can save the Ponderosa Pines this way and other trees. Install the drip hose just inside the drip line of the tree, with five to six one-gallon-per-hour emitters.

Mulching your trees well with anything, leaves, straw, pine needles, if they are not too close to your house of course, further conserves water.

I read in one of the fire department manuals that drip-irrigated shrubs can be more fire resistant than plain dirt, except in the case of an inferno, of course.

Ronna Adler, Oakhurst