Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor - week of August 27

No fool-proof solution

I found the Aug. 13 guest commentary on the growing problems with the drought, bark beetles, and forest fires by retired U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Paul Rich historically informative, accurately descriptive, and definitively challenging for all of us living in the Sierras.

Despite the threat of a destructive El Niño rain and snow event this winner, I can’t wait for it to get here before we are all burned out of our homes, businesses, and Yosemite/Sierra area resorts.

Mr. Rich’s comments on the need to thin out the forest both on private and public lands, including the 12 million trees that have already died so far due to the drought and bark beetles, is tremendously needed.

Much of the fires have been caused by human activity in some form, including arsonists, and we citizens of the Sierras need to be more careful, watchful, and active purveyors of preventive practices to curtail the number of fires breaking out all over the state and West.

It’s unfortunate that we no longer have any sawmills in the foothills to process lumber from the trees that are rotting away in the forest. If we don’t get rain and snow soon, forestry officials believe 50% of the forest will die. And I think we should be concerned about recent attempts to cut down the dead trees. A lot have been left on the ground to rot or burn in the next fire.

One thing you can say about the fires that have been put out is that they serve as a fire break for the next one. Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof solution to this disaster, except from Mother Nature and her offspring El Niño.

But we citizens can help prevent forest fires. Don’t smoke and don’t throw cigarettes and cigars out the car window. Thin out the forest, and be alert to the fire danger that exists every day. Specifically, we need to stop fires where and whenever possible, before Cal Fire and the Forest Service get called out to do something that is almost impossible to do once the flames get started.

Stewart Case, Oakhurst

Brilliant column

Dear Editor,

I want to congratulate you for publishing Peter Cavanaugh’s writings on a regular basis. His recent July 23 column, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” was one of the best I have ever read - extraordinary intelligence and insight; masterfully written; solidly based in factual information rather than regressive ideology.

His muscular attack on the Republican’s opposition to every one of Obama’s proposals was as accurate as it was colorful. His marshaling of the facts in support of the recent Iranian accord was brilliant.

His concluding paragraph about how war is simply not an option anymore, for it leads only to potential planetary annihilation, was equally brilliant.

I heartily agree with Mr. Cavanaugh’s perceptive and well-written commentaries, and congratulate you once again for publishing his writings.

Lee Underwood, Oakhurst

Short of Rocky Cut

Dear Editor,

It’s nice to read that Madera County is now going to improve Highway 41, but wait, there’s more. In seven years of planning, they are not going to blast out Rocky Cut. But, they are making a passing lane that ends just short of Rocky Cut, so we can get going really fast before entering the cut.

Just watch for flying car parts. Congrats to Madera County.

Joyce Stuhr, Coasegold

Many thanks

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to Sierra Star and your Facebook page for keeping us better informed about the Willow Fire.

We own a home in Cascadel Woods, but live outside the area in Watsonville, and staying abreast of what was going on with the Willow Fire was difficult from over here.

We have been monitoring the Firewise Madera County website and the other links there, but your Facebook posts have been a lifesaver for us. Many thanks again, for being our eyes and ears as we deal with the fear and frustrations in regards to this fire.

Thanks also to the firefighters for their dedication and resolve.

Walt Scott, Watsonville

Spectacular event

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Lois and Doug Betty for the “loan” of their building, the old Sierra Video Store in downtown North Fork, during the Aug. 8 Hot August Nights car show. Area artists displayed their work there as part of the car show. The event was a spectacular success enjoyed by hundreds.

Thanks also to the North Fork Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center for putting it all together, The Studio for providing the favorite delight on a hot Summer night - ice cream - to the N.F. Women’s Club for providing another Summer must, hot dogs and delicious home-made desserts.

But mostly I want to thank all those that attended, locals and visitors, for making the evening so special. Here’s hoping we can all pull it off again next and every year.

Marcia Abrahm, North Fork

Giving community

Dear Editor,

The employees and management at Vons would like to thank the communities of Oakhurst, Coarsegold, North Fork and Mariposa for their generosity in helping us raise funds for our co-worker Carolyn Pinion.

Carolyn was involved in a single car accident last month and although she is still hospitalized, she is showing signs of improvement daily.

We cannot thank the community enough for the outpouring of donations which helped us raise nearly $6,000 to help with her expenses. It is another great example of the giving community that we are all part of.

Bob Lagle, Tiffany Ralph, Oakhurst