It happens every once in a while – a tragedy on the railroad tracks involving a young pedestrian. 

A teenager was killed a couple years ago on the tracks in Marysville. It happened again this past week on tracks in Olivehurst. 

I get that it’s not the railroad’s fault that people use the tracks as a path and don’t heed warning signs and lack the common sense that it’s a dangerous place to be. And I get how it’s tragic for railroad workers who are trapped into watching the terrible thing happen and for the emergency services people who have to deal with the aftermath.

But I also get how kids are. The smartest of them can be utterly dumb. The most cautious of them have to take some risks ... because they’re kids.

The child killed just recently was evidently hiking the tracks with earphones in place, unaware of  the train approaching from behind. We’re sorry for everyone involved. 


We’d just say this: Trains and train tracks predate most western population centers. We’ve built up everything around them. We don’t think of them ... they’re practically a part of nature. Yet, if dangerous machinery and activity were occurring at a construction site, it would all be fenced off pretty well. Railroad tracks ... we don’t even think about them.

Maybe we as a community can take a look for areas where the access to train tracks as paths is too accessible to kids. And maybe some special enforcement or precautions can be put in place in areas where it’s evident that foot traffic is happening on a regular basis.

And maybe we can talk to our kids ... every now and then about how people die on railroad tracks.


Thumbs Down:  To reports that water use is rising. The recent report we published mostly concerned southern California. But you know it’s happening here, too. Maybe not as lavishly as down there ... but, still.

Our drought emergency status was lifted a year ago after last year’s wet winter broke a years-long drought. It felt good to get that rain and the snow in the hills ... yay, the drought was over. But it’s not. There was a respite, but now it’s back. That’s what it looks like.

Might as well start planning on how to save water again. You know the emergency drought status is going to return sooner or later.


Thumbs Up: Our thanks to advertisers who have sponsored our “Olympic Moments” pages. It’s fun to see full-page art of the super-athletes taking part in the winter games. We’re seeing some amazing feats; and we’re printing pictures of the people doing them. The poster-sized photos probably wouldn’t be making it into print if it wasn’t for those sponsors. Much appreciated. (The next one will be in the Sunday edition, as shown below)


Thumbs Up: And a tip of the hat to the folks who donned “We Give A Dam” shirts and showed up Monday at the state capitol.

They celebrated a legislative bill authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher and state Sen. Jim Nielsen – it had passed the Assembly and Senate and is on the governor’s desk. It will require the Department of Water Resources to inspect high hazard dams such as the one at Oroville annually and sets tougher standards.

It sure doesn’t hurt for folks at the capitol to see groups of real, live people who live out and about the state. 


Ugh: Mike and George were standing in a bank when a pair of robbers entered. Not only did the thieves clean out the tills, but they walked around with bags and ordered everyone to throw their money and valuables in.

Just before the robbers got to the pair, Mike turned to George and handed him a bill.

“Here’s that hundred bucks I owe you, buddy.”

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