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04 March 2008


Scott Obermuller

There are so many thoughts swirling in my head as I read this commentary that I can only touch on a few brief points without spinning out into a thousand rabbit trails. We Americans still possess the power to choose our leaders. We still possess the power of the purse. (If we don't like GM products, they go under)
The problem is that a goodly amount (most?) of Americans have become a spoiled and pampered creature that have become divorced from the reality of (in no particular order) physical exertion, production of usable goods, continued accumulation of knowledge, logical thought, ability to take reasonable risks, acknowledgment of responsibility, and the concept of gratefulness. If this should offend any of you reading this, then I would respond by saying that you either cannot read and comprehend English, or that you - as Billy Shakespeare would say, "Doth protest too much".
We expect guv'ment to issue edicts, wave their hand and lo! GOOD has been accomplished. The devilments spoken of in this blog are very real, yet I see no way out unless we citizens change our personal attitudes about the purpose of govt. Trying to encourage a general awareness of, and call to action for the prevention of wildfires in our county is an admirable goal. But it is so loaded with personal agendas, mis-information, conflicting rules, and petty tyrants that I'm afraid it will become just another morass of strictures that will cost us all a load of after-tax dollars, please no one, and be of little use in it's original intended goal. Please! Just go out and clear what ever brush and vegetation you can bear to part with. Ask for guidance from the Sierra Club, the fire marshal, the Dept of Forestry, or your neighbors. The county govt. is useless or worse in this matter. The road I live on is a county maintained death-trap. Our family and some neighbors tried to engage the county in a project to widen and pave the road to at least the standards they require for a new private driveway. We would pay out of our pockets the actual cost of the asphalt. They refused, as they claimed they had no legal right to cut down trees on their own right-of-way. Now, this same govt. is claiming they don't know where they will find the funds for providing safe roads for evacuation routes.
We must do what we can, and at some point accept that we live in an area that is prone to devastating fires that are part and parcel with the forest that attracted us here in the first place.

Mike McD

Scott (and George), I agree wholeheartedly. I would also add the following thoughts: How many lives were lost in 49'er fire? The easiest path for more regulation (less personal liberty) is behind the guise of "public safety." Give me a break. We live in the trees, get some homeowners insurance, not more gov regulation.

Douglas Keachie

Get a chain saw, a hedger, and a DR Mower, and as much water storage as you can possibly buy. Add in a pump from Honda at $700 and 2" mains. Take down every tree that isn't absolutely necessary for shade or aesthetics. For large areas, use a tractor ith a brush hog. Did i mention RoundUp?

[Therefore every dollar that comes back has attached an instruction book for how to spend it – the do’s and don’ts – after which we sometimes hire more government workers to make sure that the instructions are properly followed.]

Actually, on my first job with Richmond Unified was in part filling out government forms. I literally typed the desired results from their guidebook, and then pasted them into the forms, giving the answers desired. It bore almost no relation to the results of the on-going studies, but Dr Conway thought I was so smart. He was paid three times as much as I, and fired me and the other two, three months later. Good way to cover tracks, I later concluded.

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