Letters to the Editor June 15, 2018
Get ready for fire seasonDear Editor,
It is that time of year again, wildland fire season is upon us. I can only hope all of us are slowly trying to get back to some type of new normal for all of our communities.
As we know, excessive weeds and brush can be a threat to people and structures. Having many vacant lots due to last year’s fires is a major concern for our community. Please, if you have high weeds, mow and/or weed whack them now. Ask your neighbors to mow and/or weed whack; we need to work together and give a helping hand to each other. If you own any equipment, offer to lend a hand or if you know someone who can help with this service, ask them for a favor. If we all work together we can make this year’s fire season a much safer one.
Mow before 10 a.m., but never when it’s windy or excessively dry. Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns, not weeds or dry grass. Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires. Please use extreme caution this year.
Trim trees and shrubs away from buildings and chimneys. Remove dead leaves, branches and needles from roofs and rain gutters. Keep your property free of combustibles, such as dried vegetation and prunings. Keep access roads and driveways trimmed to allow for fire department access (minimum of 12 feet wide and 15 feet tall). Make sure your address is clearly visible from the roadway.
Create a defensible space around your home of at least 100 feet. Remove all flammable vegetation within 30 feet immediately surrounding your home.
Property owners who do not clear their property in accordance with requirements may be responsible for all damage to the person and/or property of others as a result of a fire that starts in the uncleared areas, and the total cost incurred by any/all emergency responders dispatched to put the fire out and provide medical and/or law enforcement assistance.
Thank you for your cooperation in helping each other and making this a safer fire season for all of us. We truly have an amazing community.
Please be safe.
For more information on fire prevention and vegetation management, please visit calfire.ca.gov or kenwoodfire.com.
Daren Bellach, Fire Chief
Kenwood Fire Department
Pay up on promised pickleball fundsDear Editor,
The cost of the original CAC Pickleball Project in Oakmont would have been close to $468,000, including $138,000 spent prior to the project being stopped, plus an estimated $330,000 to complete that project.
Since 2014, certain members of Oakmont’s Pickleball Club (OPC) helped drag this community through conflict, threats, and assaults. These behaviors, as well as inappropriate committee appointments, politicking, and misinformation were not only permitted, but encouraged and supported by previous boards.
As predicted in 2015, by those opposing the cost and location of the CAC Project, accommodating pickleball in Oakmont could be easily accomplished at about one-tenth of cost, at the East Recreation underutilized tennis courts. Thus, the accurate and true course of “due diligence” spending $49,000 vs. $468,000.
The board elected in 2017 acquired a professional sound study refuting the myths and proving the East Rec site was the most appropriate site. They created more courts, reduced costs to one-tenth of the original CAC Project and reimbursed the OPC $16,131, with the commitment from the club [that] those funds would be re-donated when the final project began.
On May 2, 2017 (video@ 1:39:45), OPC President Peter Copen stated: “...The Pickleball Club respectfully requests the money previously donated be returned ... However, upon completion of the ... permanent pickleball courts, the OCP will issue another check to the OVA in the same amount ... to help offset costs, as a gesture of goodwill and gratitude... a first step to a new period of harmony and cooperation ... we... guarantee that $16,131… “
This donation contributed to the demolition of the CAC area that appalled the stunned community, forcing the newly elected Board to spend another $50,000 plus of OVA funds to rectify the vengeful and wanton waste of that action. Sadly, the above unconscionable actions, plus the sports court conversion costs brings the financial burden to nearly a quarter of a million dollars to accommodate bringing this sport in Oakmont.
The issue is accountability. The donation was returned based on the OPC commitment that the $16,131 would be returned as a step towards harmony and cooperation. This act, which should have been initiated by the Oakmont Pickleball Club, now falls to the OVA Board. To honor their duties of due diligence and loyalty, they must ensure that this money is re-donated as initial step to end the divisiveness that has plagued our community. For without accountability there is no transparency.