April 3, 2024, Letters to the Editor

A protection racket?


Recent health issues have made our detached garage two flights of stairs below our residence a little difficult. With the assistance of Gary Thurm at Three Castles Engineering and Contractor Quintin Booth a plan started coming together for a new garage on the same level as our home. Shortly, Mr. Thurm called me and said the plans were sent to Douglas County’s Planning Department and, when I have time, to run by a pay the $200 for their services. I did so right away.

A couple of weeks later I received emails from both Mr. Thurm and Mr. Booth telling me a recent change in Douglas County code required that I now had to pay $1,200 to East Fork Fire for them to examine the plans. 

In addition, because there is no fire hydrant within 1,000 feet, I would be required to install a sprinkler system inside the 1,080 square foot garage along with a stand alone water tank on the property. However, I could avoid this if I just paid East Fork Fire $5,000. This $5,000 would be just in case, at some time, “I needed a fire Truck.” That is what, I was told, it would cost for a truck to come.

Several things came to mind here. I don’t live near a Sheriff’s Substation so do I need to pay DCSO money in case, at some time in the future, I need a Deputy? Since East Fork Fire charges SIX TIMES the fee to look at my plans does that mean they are six times better than our Planning Department? If that is the case, why does Douglas County need a Planning Department? For that matter, why do we pay property taxes? (I checked my tax bill and found the third largest amount of my taxes goes to East Fork Fire.) I’ve asked where my $5,000 goes and have just been told “into the East Fork Fire budget, nothing more. Also, If I, or my estate were to sell my home does the money come back if I never (hopefully) needed a Fire Truck? Does the new owner have to put up a fee for the possibility of needing an East Fork Fire truck?

Please do not misunderstand me. No one works closer to firefighters than the xops and I enjoyed a very rewarding, fulfilling and satisfying 25 year career with DCSO. Over the years I have been involved in numerous fire callouts including numerous structure and wildfires. (I and a partner tried to burn the stars off the sides of our Patrol Car during the Acorn Fire.) I have made many friends and have great respect for our firefighters.  

I do, however, feel that this sprinkler system for a detached private vehicle garage or a $5,000 fee feels like “protection money” from Chicago in many years past. If East Fork needs a larger budget then lets go to the voters for a tax adjustment or other proper means.

I have great respect for our East Fork Firefighters and have worked closely with them over the years. We’ve had tense times together but also enjoyed the steady teasing back and forth. I do, however, feel this required fee in case you need a fire truck “sometime in the future” is a misuse of authority, an attempt to pad the East Fork Fire coffers and intimidate the public. 

Jim Richardson


King Biden


Joe Biden thinks and acts like a dictator king.

His attack on the U.S. Supreme Court justices was insulting, arrogant and embarrassing, which showed his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution.

Giving the decision to legalize abortion back to the states is the correct interpretation of our Constitution.

Saying that Israel and Palestine should be a two-state solution is wrong for our president to tell another country what to do. A two-state condition would be the end of Israel.

I watched his State of the Union speech in amazement as the Democratic senators and representatives stood up and clapped at his many lies. These so-called leaders of our country have lost their virtues replaced with their virtues replaced with their quest for power. I believe the lost cocaine at the White House has found its owner.

Eileen Cohen


Do the abortion yourself


Do you believe God is going to honor an infant killing country. If a girl wants an abortion she must do it herself.

Thomas Kephart

Antelope Valley


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