Will the KRV be the next Paradise?
The images coming out of what once was the community of Paradise in northern California’s Butte County are tragic. In addition to the enclaves of Malibu, Agoura, West Hills, Calabasas, Simi Valley and surrounding areas of L.A. and Ventura County, they also serve as fair warning to Kern County and the residents of the KRV.
Anywhere you look along Hwy 178 are signs of dead trees and decaying vegetation that lay rotting in the hills and valleys surrounding Lake Isabella. Most have been weakened by drought or killed by invasive bugs. They all serve as fuel for the next major conflagration in search of an open flame, or errant spark caused by ignorant individuals.
It’s only a matter of time before ashen-filled skies clear for the finger pointing to begin. Many will ask how these events could have been prevented in the first place, and who is to blame for the latest, seasonal calamity.
If you’re still reading this, now is an excellent time to question your elected county officials, including CalFire, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Sierra Club, Keepers of the Kern or Sequoia ForestKeeper. Ask them what are they doing to remove and remediate the next “natural” disaster just waiting to happen, and how can you help them? Haven’t enough lessons been learned from the Erskine Fire in 2016? How many bodies will have to be recovered among the burnt out ruins of someone’s property before we say, “Enough is enough”?
Let’s change existing laws and regulations to allow better land stewardship that doesn’t pave paradise to put up a parking lot. We need to make our communities less susceptible to wildfires through responsible removal of potential fuel loading sources on both public and private lands.
Jail Isn’t Jolly
Be merry! It’s time for people to gather for their holiday parties. For some, it is a time to overindulge with food and drinks.
Despite numerous driving distractions, like cell phone usage, I must remind people to not drive drunk. A drunken driver hit me head-on when I was 16 in 1992. My injuries trouble me daily.
I had a 100 day coma with several severe injuries. For 7 months, I stayed in hospitals in Stockton and San Ramon and then had 17 months of therapy.
My speech is not clear, and my gait is abnormal. Along with that, I cannot drive, and my hearing is damaged.
An open bar is often a big perk of a holiday bash. Partygoers enjoying bizarre drinks, like mistletoe punch, must read my words.
If you had fine spirits and are not slurring words, you still can be drunk. Driving skills are damaged before intoxication signs are seen.
Few know just exactly how many drinks equal “one too many.” Therefore, a driver who drank no alcohol must give drinkers a ride.
Driving drunk on roads like State Route 99 can lead to an arrest, crash or death. You can never replace a person or the lifelong pain of injuries. Take it from one who knows.
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