Restore the public’s faith
Over the last several months, I have been following the articles, ads, letters, and information regarding the proposed Austin Quarry in the vicinity of Highways 41 and 145. I have been appalled by the lack of interest by the Madera County Board of Supervisors and the Madera County Planning Commission in the opinions of the citizens of Madera County.
I understand the Madera County Board of Supervisors intend to take action on this issue at their meeting on Sept. 12 in the Board Chambers at the Madera County Government Center at 9 a.m.
I understand that a large number of residents want to attend and speak at this meeting.
Also, the Board of Supervisors have been asked to change the meeting to 6 p.m. so that those who work can attend and voice their opinion.
The usual arrogance has prevailed, so far, and the Board of Supervisors is still planning to hold the meeting on this particular item at 9 a.m.
I request that they not only change the meeting to 6 p.m., Sept. 12, but change the venue, also. I don’t believe the board chambers is adequate to accommodate all the people who want to be heard.
I believe this gesture would go a long way in restoring the public’s faith and confidence that the board represents us and wants to hear us.
Barbara Bigelow, O’Neals
Where are the volunteers?
I wonder if you, like me, have noticed a sad theme in our Mountain Area community. Two of our museums are suffering from a lack of interest and funds. Fresno Flats Historic Village & Park is a special asset to Oakhurst, but they are so short of volunteers they can’t even fill empty positions on their Board of Directors.
The Mono Museum in North Fork is in desperate need of funds to keep their doors open. This display of Indian artifacts is one of the best around and it is in our back yard.
So what can be done?
It seems to me that we should have plenty of retired senior citizens who have some extra time to volunteer for their community. Also, we have retired professionals who can research and write grants. Museums are often funded by grants - they just need grant writers.
Where are the volunteers?
Some help in most communities would be a museum district for funding, or maybe a city park fund, only we are not a city, which is another part of the problem.
When both of these museums were created, our community was smaller. Everyone was friends and pulled together to get things done. Now people don’t always know their neighbor as they may work in the Valley, or are busy raising their children, which is why less seniors are available because they are also helping raise their grandchildren.
I would urge every family in the Mountain Area to have a membership to Fresno Flats and the Mono Museum. Both have very low membership fees.
Volunteering just one day a month would make a big difference. You would see the result of that time because the organization would thrive, and you could be proud of the results.
I care about these educational and historical places in our community. I hope we all can do a small part to keep them open so we can all benefit from them.
Sandy Brinley, Oakhurst
No thank you Vulcan
An Alabama-based company, Vulcan Materials, wants to put a new 2.5-million ton quarry at the intersection of Highways 145 and 41 in Madera County. The Madera County Planning Department has helped the proposal along, pushing it through the planning commission on July 19. The Madera County Board of Supervisors will take a final vote on Sept. 12.
Quarries are for places where the demand for materials is great, where the groundwater aquifer is adequate, where public views are blocked by hills and trees, and where the roads can handle thousands of new daily truck trips. None of which is true for the proposed Austin.
Our county’s demand for quarry products is already fully satisfied by the operating Madera Quarry on Road 209, so why devastate the environment with another un-needed quarry?
Our groundwater aquifer is extremely fragile and rapidly shrinking. Routes 145 and 41 are, in most places, just two lanes wide and they can’t stand up to a daily procession of hundreds of large, slow-moving quarry trucks. The quarry site is as flat as a pancake, so aggregate piles, machinery, and quarry dust would be right in our face as we drive along these roads. Visitors to Yosemite will get a rude awakening on their drive to the Sierra.
Vulcan wants us to disregard all of this and give them a 100-year quarrying permit.
Instead, maybe Vulcan should heed the advice of another famous Vulcan, Mr. Spock. The insightful first officer of the Starship Enterprise reminded us that “logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
As in: The needs of 152,000 Madera County residents outweigh the needs of a single mining company.
No thank you, Vulcan. Please take your quarry somewhere else.
Julie Hale, Madera