THUMBS DOWN: For the fact that local Ohlone Indians were not even brought into the loop by the Miwok Indians who are floating a proposal to build an Indian casino on Highway 25 close to the intersection with U.S. 101. That shows a lack of respect and, regardless of how early in the process this idea is, the local Native Americans should have been consulted.

THUMBS UP: For District Attorney John Sarsfield who has assigned a special prosecutor to find out who is responsible for the poisoning of San Carlos Creek in New Idria and to try to get them on the hook to pay the clean up bill. The county estimates that the clean up from the abandoned mercury mine could cost between $1.5 million to $2.5 million. The pollution has turned the creek a ghastly orange color and made a five-mile stretch unlivable for animals. Sarsfield was right when he said the pollution has caused the area to look like something out of a horror movie. And he’s right to try and get those responsible for the environmental disaster to clean it up.

THUMBS DOWN: For the County Board of Supervisors who called for Chief Administrative Officer Dan Vrtis’s resignation in a closed-door session on Tuesday without offering any rational to Vrtis or the public. Without an explanation from the supervisors, we have to agree with head elections official John Hodges – who also found his job in peril after the same closed-door meeting. He said it appears that the board used Vrtis, who assembled this year’s county budget, and then put him back on the shelf. It doesn’t bode well for the county that the board has gone through three administrators in eight months. The county has enough turmoil as it is. How can we ever hope to steady the ship without consistent leadership? For that matter, why would anyone qualified want to take a job here with the board’s recent track record of churning through administrators? County administrators seem to have a shorter life expectancy than a dollar in an Indian casino.

THUMBS UP: For the Hollister Independence Rally Committee, which reported it made more money from this year’s event than expected. The rally brought in more than $650,000, according to HIRC Vice President Dave Ventura. That should be enough to pay the city for its expenses and still give a healthy chunk of change to local nonprofit groups. That’s great news for the rally, the future of which was in doubt early this year when the city told organizers they would need to be compensated for policing the event. Even more promising, Ventura says organizers have signed T-shirt and beverage sponsorship contracts for next year that are the biggest yet. The rally is Hollister’s marquee event. If it can be successful financially, it will continue to draw bikers and their dollars to town, which will do the local economy a world of good.

THUMBS UP: For the United Narcotics Enforcement Team and San Benito County Sheriff’s officers who last week busted 1,550 pot plants worth an estimated $3.7 million. The officers gave reporter Erin Musgrave and photographer Nick Lovejoy an inside look at the hard work they do in the far reaches of South County to keep drugs off the street. The team of officers rose at dawn and hiked through the rugged back country to bust several pot gardens they say were likely being grown by Mexican drug cartels. It’s undoubtedly hot, hard and dangerous work, but it has paid off. So far this summer, officers have seized more than 17,000 plants. Job well done.

THUMBS UP: For former Gavilan professor Tony Ruiz and his five-member task force which is searching for ways to revitalize downtown Hollister. While the group is just getting down to business, the job it aims to do is much needed. Hollister has a downtown with the potential to be as unique and charming as Morgan Hill’s, but there is a lot of work to be done.

We hope Ruiz’s group comes up with some creative solutions, and that it finds the support in the government and the community it will need to be successful.

To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, The Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 or e-mail to [email protected].

Previous articleInvestigator admits to ordering drinks in Morgan Hill affair scandal
Next articleHighway 25 is the wrong location for a casino
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here