Our society has over the past 20 years or so finally started acknowledging and discussing the causes and prevention of bullying.
It’s not because it’s a new problem. We’ve had bullies since the beginning of civilization. The difference now is the Internet and social media, which make it easy to be cruel, persistent, often anonymous and overlooked by parents. Sadly, children who bully grow up to become adult bullies. Both talk the loudest and say mean things about people with no regard for the truth or the ability to feel any empathy for others. Usually there are mental health issues or a tragic life story, often both.
Bullies live in our community, making loud accusations with no standing in truth. I’ve owned my home in Alta Sierra for more than 30 years. It’s always been a beautiful and serene place to live. Unfortunately, we now have a few very loud bullies who want to recall the Alta Sierra Property Owners Association’s board of directors.
The board is made up of volunteers who donate their time to help maintain our quality of life and property values. They are accomplished, honest people who have no need or desire to steal from the members or their neighbors. They follow the laws governing our nonprofit and are bound by them. ASPOA volunteers provide Neighborhood Watch. Working together with the Sheriff’s office, we’ve identified local thieves and criminals from out of our area, resulting in arrests and convictions. Recently, two burglars were sentenced to serve four and a half years in prison.
ASPOA also made a commitment of time and effort, drafting and helping pass the county’s marijuana cultivation ordinance. A commercial grow a block down from Alta Sierra School was not acceptable. The lot was left with trees cut and land graded all pushed down the hillside into Wolf Creek. Once harvested, the non-residents went back to wherever they came from with their valuable crop. Some of the loud bullies are against the ordinance and are angry about the law. Others have personal vendettas against people on the board.
The membership of ASPOA pay $40 per year so that everyone in Alta Sierra can enjoy our local paper, have a discount on propane, yard waste collection, fire awareness and prevention, maintenance of trails as well as Neighborhood Watch. They also sponsor and organize yearly events, including a summer barbecue, Halloween “Trick or Trunk” and a Christmas party, which includes people decorating their golf carts and driving on some of the golf paths so the neighborhoods can enjoy the Christmas parade.
Isn’t it sad that a few bullies want to rain on our parade? Somehow they can always justify spreading their unsubstantiated and false accusations, wanting to cause confusion and conflict in our peaceful oasis. They were probably bullies as kids; too bad no one intervened then.
Ellen Owen lives in Alta Sierra.