Letter: Help earns court
To the editor:
What is this world coming to when you try to help your neighbor and they, in turn, take you to court? Such is the case of Bornholdt vs. Ann Bryant; El Dorado County Case No. 500CRM-1205. In the first place, the Bornholdt family invited bears to their home in early spring 2000 by leaving garbage in the basement. A couple of months went by and a very rewarding smell was produced that attracted the bears; a temptation too good to pass by. As a result, the bears broke through the side of their house to get their reward. The bears made a mess, but their appetites were satisfied.
In the meantime, Ann Bryant, executive director of the Bear League, was called. She is the courageous woman who tries to educate people and save our wonderful bears. Ann went to work helping the Bornholdts, giving them the needed advice and information to prevent this situation from happening again. “Yes,” she said, “I will check your house for you, if necessary, inside and out.”
An agreement was made!
Early fall arrives, most summer residents are gone, and bears are getting ready for hibernation. They are hungry and they remember!
The bears pay a visit to the Bornholdt home again in anticipation of a good meal. Who comes along but Ann on a mission to another home in the Rubicon area. As she is passing the Bornholdt house she stops to do her job, as agreed upon. She walks around the house. She is surprised to see smashed windows in the rear. She wonders, are bears still inside? What is the damage? Did the bears turn the water or stove on by mistake with their massive bodies? (This has happened in the Rubicon area before with the threat of fire or flooding.)
Ann checked their home and her reward: Criminal court for trespassing! Can this be true? What is wrong with this picture? Aren’t we supposed to love our neighbors as we do ourselves, honor our agreements and help out when needed? Ann did.
Do the Bornholdts realize that their stove, whether gas or electric, could have caused a fire if turned on? Would they rather have an ash pile?
This could have been my story; I am a neighbor. I watch out for our neighborhood homes as some of us do in this area; however, I am not always here. I could have done exactly what Ann did, as I too respect my neighbors, honor my agreements and love my neighborhood.
Guess what, since the holidays there are two full garbage cans sitting in front of the Bornholdt home. It makes you wonder what this is really all about and what does it take to be a responsible citizen?
If there is a moral to this story, it would be, please don’t feed the bears!
I would also conclude, if you want to help your neighbor, get a signed contract. This lawsuit is costing you and me a lot of money. Couldn’t our tax dollars be spent in a better way?
What a sad world we live in!
(Please write the district attorney and let him know how you feel.) His address is: Gary Lacey; El Dorado County District Attorney; 515 Main St.; Placerville, Calif. 95667.
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