Carelessly left ember is a fire season warning for us

To the person who left a burning ember of some kind at the lower end of Blackhawk Bar: When we got there on Saturday there was a 15-foot-round hot spot of burning dirt. The wind was howling, and before our eyes we saw flames come to life.

We did what we could with water bottles and the ice chest, humping water from the river. We called 911 at the first available phone service, and the trucks were coming up as we came down. Had we not gone there yesterday, today may have been too late.

Remember this, people: We are stewards of this land, and all it takes is a careless spark to burn down the forest.

Patricia Tiso,Crescent City

Pro-Jefferson movement should have had answers

About Measure A, I think that the vote on it voices the opinion of the people of Del Norte but not necessarily in the way most people would think. It is true that there was a large anti-Jefferson (or whatever) movement that helped sway the minds of many voters. But I think that it also shows that the pro-Jefferson movement did not do a good enough job answering some of the questions that the people were asking. Because of that, people would not vote for something that they did not fully understand, and that is completely understandable.

Quite often when a citizen asked a question about basic concerns, the movement leadership - local and from Yreka - would answer with "We won't know that until we know how many counties are involved," or "We're not at that stage yet." That is not the way to win over voters.

I support the Jefferson movement, and it is far from being over, but the leadership needs to do a better about job of educating people then it did this time around.

Steven Bevier, Crescent City

Bonnie Finley, dedicated to teaching, leaves legacy

With the closing of the school year also comes the departure of one of Del Norte Unified's greatest blessings, Bonnie Finley.

Bonnie, for the past three years, has dedicated her time and energy to ensuring our young children can read. During her retirement, Bonnie formed the Del Norte County Schools of Hope; a program that focuses on finding adult volunteers to spend one hour a week with youth from grades 1st through 3rd who are struggling to read.

Bonnie has recognized for years that our children just need a little more one-on-one attention. Through this dedication, Bonnie has ensured that countless numbers of children will read and succeed in life. As the Schools of Hope program continues to grow and move forward in the coming years to help our community's most valuable assets, we will always remember the hard work and dedication of Bonnie Finley.

Please be sure to recognize Bonnie and her dedicated volunteers if ever the opportunity arises.

Chris Howard,Hiouchi

Words of encouragement and warning to graduates

With graduation day just around the bend, I'd like to take a moment to honor our class of 2014.

While I can't say I know any of our local students personally, there is a dear friend of mine whose graduation falls upon this very day (June 7). Such an event comes but once in our lifetime, and I regret that I couldn't be there to witness my friend as she's handed her diploma and this chapter of her life reaches its climax.

It's an enormous milestone; however, it certainly won't be the last. As one chapter comes to an end, another takes its place; a chapter with its own exciting adventures, daunting challenges and demanding trials, with its experiences of growth, love and enrichment, and its unique part in the story of life. I only pray that she and her fellow graduates write a story of fulfillment and blessings.

Too often we see such narratives become cautionary tales, accounts of loss and pain. I pray theirs would be subjects of grandeur and delight, highlighting truth, honor, justice, purity, beauty, credibility and excellence in all they put themselves forward to achieve. May their futures be bright, and their stories come to a happy conclusion.

A final word to my dear friend and those graduating along with her: Don't be satisfied with simple existence. Truly live! Pursue what brings true joy. Search for the beauty of true love. Seek truth and cling to it with all your strength. Strive for wisdom and value it above all the wealth of this finite world. Desire nothing less than a life worth living. Congratulations, and God bless you all.

Donald Clarence,

Crescent City

Thought on saving water and political bullying

I have a few thoughts running through my mind that I would like to share.

My husband and I traveled to the Salton Sea on one of our journeys. As I recall, we were able to take a 7-minute shower for a fee. Since we are in the middle of a drought that is reported to be the driest on record, for two nights I have turned on the shower, lathered up, then turned off the water while hair washing and shaving, then turned it back on to rinse off. Since the weather has warmed up, this is something we can all do to preserve water.

Another water-saving trick is to use a bowl in the sink for rinsing dishes that do not go into the dishwasher, just as we did when camping in my younger years. Running water down the drain seems wasteful. I have old wheelbarrows that collect rainwater for watering plants.

My second subject concerns the last Board of Supervisors meeting where Roger Gitlin insisted on having a prayer before the meeting and was rather outspoken about it.

I don't know if others have been observing how the Tea Party and conservatives have taken on Wisconsin, eliminating the unions and trying to privatize schools. You may read about this atbill And there's North Carolina, where they bought their way into control of the Legislature.

And there's Michigan, having Detroit declare bankruptcy while discussing selling off its drinking water system to a conglomerate who may then sell it out of the country or anywhere they wish. The poor in Michigan have had their access to water cut off.

I feel as though this is what happened in Del Norte County with Measure A calling for a new state of Jefferson.

These actions were brought about by bullying, and, well, it reminds me of the McCarthy Era in the 1950s. You may read about his reign of terror at Is this really what we want for Del Norte County and our country? Beware of these wolves in sheep's clothing holding up religion as their shield.

Crystal Griffin,Crescent City