From the emails, voice mails and other sources:
RAISING AWARENESS Ive written several columns over the past few years about Henry Johnson, a little boy in Turlock born with Aperts syndrome and craniofacial problems. Hes had numerous surgeries to rebuild his facial bone structure and to separate webbed fingers.
When he arrived for his first day of kindergarten, he met Derek Coleman, who also was born with cranial issues that required operations. They became best friends immediately and remain so today.
Henrys mother, Rachel, saw how many children are affected by craniofacial problems. So she organized Henrys March as a fundraiser for the Childrens Craniofacial Association. The event has generated more than $100,000 since the first event in 2008.
Fast forward to last week, when I received an email from Erina Mauffray Talley of Modesto. Her son, 11-month-old Caleb, also had a similar cranial surgery a few months ago, although he doesnt have Aperts syndrome. He has Lambdoid Craniosynostosis, a very rare condition.
When I was trying to get my son diagnosed, it was very hard, Talley wrote. He does not have a genetic issue or syndrome like Henry does, so he looked fairly normal to most people. I kept getting brushed off and had to fight to get my sons diagnosis. A neurologist in Modesto never even gave me the result of his CT scan. I had to go to the radiology office and pick up the scans myself. So I am very passionate about trying to educate mothers and for them to fight for their child.
Caleb now wears a helmet to help his head form properly, which is another motivation for her to publicize the condition.
We get a lot of stares, she wrote.
As if the young mother needed any other concerns, Erina Talley was diagnosed with a type of heart failure caused by pregnancy.
So with that for myself and my sons very rare cranio, I have become an advocate for people taking their medical care into their own hands, she wrote, urging people to demand more from their physicians.
Like Rachel Johnson, Talley gained an insight into the needs of children with cranial issues. She and Johnson have talked, comparing their experiences with their childrens conditions. Talley, too, is embarking on a fundraising effort by staging a pajama collection drive for Cranio Care Bears, an organization that assembles packages for babies needing the surgery.
This organization has been a blessing to my family during this difficult time, so I am trying to help them collect pajamas to go into the packages for the babies, wrote in an email. The pajamas must be new, and anything size 3 months and up with button snaps or zippers, since the babies cannot have anything pulled over their heads after surgery.
There are collection boxes at Ragamuffin in McHenry Village, Hollywood Princess on North Carpenter Road and Once Upon A Child in Modesto, in the Plaza Parkway in north Modesto.
FIRE AND FAME Former Bee photographer Al Golub is keeping busy in his so-called retirement. Among his hobbies: He photographs wildfires for Cal Fire, and his work during the Rim fire has been its usual outstanding stuff.
Monday, he was featured in a piece during a show titled The Story With Dick Gordon, produced by North Carolina Public Radio station WUNC. In the 13-minute, 24-second segment, Golub discusses in great detail how he photographed the fire from its first day, Aug. 17, when it burned 200 acres, to its explosion into the states third-largest wildfire on record at 256,169 acres and counting. A shortened version of the show could be aired on National Public Radio in the next few days, an NPR representative said. But it wont be picked up by Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. So the best way to hear it is through WUNCs website.
Golub worked at The Bee from April 1966 until retiring in January 2005. And with his baritone pipes, hed be well-suited for a second career, this one in radio, based upon the way he sounds in the segment.
AND FINALLY Because of the Rim fire, a sizable chunk of the Stanislaus National Forest in and around the burn area remains closed. Same goes for the 1,070 acres charred by the Power fire near Beardsley Reservoir early in August.
Deer hunters who bought tags for Zone D-6, which includes all of Tuolumne County, cant turn them in for refunds despite the reduced hunting areas. Tags cost $30.50 for the first and $37.80 for the second, plus $45.93 for a hunting license. This, from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife: Deer hunters deal with wildfires and their impacts on hunting access nearly every year. Fish and Game Commission regulations prohibit CDFW from allowing a hunter to exchange a deer tag after the earliest season (archery or rifle) has opened or if the tag quota for the zone has filled; and prohibits CDFW from issuing a refund to hunters after a season has started.
Archery deer season was under way when the fire started and so exchanges or refunds cannot be issued, the release continued. CDFW staff will be reviewing our regulations to assess whether in 2014 we can recommend an approach to the FGC that would not inadvertently penalize hunters when such events occur.
Indeed, the Rim fire began Aug. 17, the first day of archery deer season. Although no one has been charged, U.S. Forest Service investigators blame a hunter for starting the fire.
Visit www.thestory.org/stories/2013-09/photos-fire-line to view the segment featuring former Bee photographer Al Golub on WUNC. Bee columnist Jeff Jardine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2383. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJardine57.