I am a happy taxpayer. I had the opportunity to attend the meeting on flood control and road closures on Monday, Aug. 27, at Idyllwild School.

A panel of experts from the offices of many governmental agencies were in attendance. They shared information about the impact of the Cranston Fire on our mountain, and the implications for flooding and consequent road closures in its aftermath.

I was impressed with the thoughtfulness, professional skill and concern exhibited by these public servants in seeking to protect our community and its residents. I was really touched by how much research they have done on the potential impact locally through on-site investigation and aerial monitoring.

I left much better educated on many levels, and also with a feeling of sincere caring that was demonstrated in their presentations and delivery.

I am grateful that through centralized government, we are able to pool our resources as a community, state and nation to address common concerns, risks and services; often it seems we don’t appreciate this enough.

I think the term “public servant” in reference to a life devoted to the common good, as these agencies display, is really quite noble. Despite the challenges that have been brought to the forefront by the fire and each of our responses to it, I felt honored to be part of this local community, and proud to be a citizen in this democracy.

Valerie Velez



  1. Subject” More guardrails

    I visited The Hill last Wednesday and was heartbroken! Pulled over at the second pull off from Cranston Station and cried.
    But, I needed some “Hill time”. 😉
    There needs to be more guardrails installed to replace the “natural” guardrails that were burned. With rain,black ice, snow and fog heading our way, we need to provide more safety for locals, visitors, snow plow drivers and others. It would especially be easy to drive off the road at night.
    Please check with the Forest Service and Caltrans to see if more protection can be added to the road. Especiallly between Blue Bird Hill and Mountain Center. It would make a great article!

    Thank you,
    Terry Cobb Hemet (former Pine Cover)