Thankfulness for vets, community spirit

Happy Thanksgiving! This Thursday and every day, I am thankful for you and for our veterans who gave more than we know for country and community. I was out of the state on Veterans Day, but hear that Supervisor Pland filled in quite ably and well for me. Second, I am thankful for folks who see things from which others will benefit and forward the information to me so I can distribute it. Finally, I am especially thankful for the incredible community spirit that resides here and rises up to meet multiple needs. This time we need to help repair an historic stained glass window at the Red Church.

Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall update

I attended a meeting of the Tuolumne County Veterans Committee last week where members of Tuolumne’s VFW post 4748 asked the Committee to eliminate other groups’ use of the vet’s traditional meeting room in the Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall. Not only have the vets lost items and relics they cherish due to public access to the room, but they felt not all users demonstrate respect for them or honor the room and its importance to the vets.

Ultimately, the Committee decided to give it 6 months to see if some changes will alleviate the vets’ concerns and encourage careful and respectful usage of the room. At the end of 6 months, the Committee will hear how things have gone and make the final decision. In the meantime:

  • Tuolumne Parks and Recreation District (TPRD) will continue to schedule public use of the room. They will, however, adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for groups and individuals that abuse the privilege.
  • Tuolumne County Facilities Management will replace the entry doors with ones that can be locked to prohibit unauthorized access and will make sure storage areas can be securely locked. The county will also update its facilities usage policy during the first part of 2009 to address a lack of clarity and confusion and to officially establish usage and rental terms.
  • A VFW Post 4748 member will go through the storage areas and remove items that don’t belong to them and TPRD will remove items stored in a closet in the room. If you have items stored there, please contact Rusty Jones to arrange for their removal.
  • Post members will give TPRD a schedule of times they want the room and will have a key and on-demand access to the room at all times (except when it is scheduled by TPRD in advance).

I am thankful that many vets showed up to voice their concerns and support for Post 4748 and that the Committee honored them. We’ll see how it goes. I am pleased that the vets will receive the honor they are due!

USDA Rural Housing Program to  help homeowners and potential homeowners

Thanks to an alert friend, I recently learned that the Rural Housing Program is helping low income and the elderly make necessary repairs to their homes. For more info, contact:

Tonja K. Galentine
Area Technician
3800 Cornucopia Way, Ste. E
Modesto, CA  95258
Phone: (209) 491-9320 ext. 101
Fax:   (209) 491-9331
e-mail tonja.galentine@ca.usda.gov


www.rurdev.usda.gov/

Vandals strike Red Church… again

Vandals have struck the Red Church in Sonora for a second time, according to Laurie Sylwester. Laurie writes:

“A second stained glass window was vandalized this week. The window is the “Virgin & Child” window – a photograph of this is in my current rotunda exhibition. I have donated three framed photos of the window and am holding a fundraiser to repair it.

The window has historical and cultural significance in our county, and it is for that reason that I will encourage the community to help pay for the repair. You might not be religious and you might be. It doesn’t matter how you think – your donation will be used directly for the repair. The last window cost $1800 to repair.

I hope to raise enough so that the current protection can be reinforced. If you are interested in donating $5 or more, your name will be entered in a drawing for one of the three photos. The drawing will be held before Christmas (one entry per each $5contribution).

If you can help, make your check payable to: “St. James Anglican Church” and on the memo line write “for stained glass repair.”

Donations are tax deductible and should be mailed directly to: St. James Anglican Church; P.O. Box 1145; Sonora, Ca. 95370. They will make sure your name is entered into the drawing.

The repair artist is the famed Peter DeMartini. He needed an archival photo for the restoration which I have provided. This is one of the reasons that I wanted to inventory the windows of the county – when there is a problem, there are photographic records and the collective will to help with repairs and protection of our cultural resources.”

This is a very worthy cause. For more info, contact Laurie at 928-3423.

Thank you for all you do and for your support. And have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family!

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I like going places: out West, west of the West, and all the way around the back of the globe to the East. I like to go by train, plane, automobile, horseback. Whatever. And I like writing about what I see, feel, hear, smell, and touch all along the way and once I get there.

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