Dear Editor,

With a looming deadline, I was in Hawthorne this past week to advance the install of the geothermal job.  Around 3 p.m. yesterday [Thursday, July 19], clouds – much to my amazement – appeared in the desert of Nevada.  We left the jobsite after 4 p.m. and was traveling north on Highway 95, on the west side of Walker Lake, when significant wind suddenly appeared.  There were no vehicles in front of us heading north, but there was traffic heading south.  While the wind just shook our work truck, it blew over a semi-tractor trailer traveling south and we had a front row seat.

First, you saw the tail end of the trailer get lifted off of the road and then it slowly rolled onto its side.  We were about 100 yards in front of the truck when the blow over began.  By the time everyone stopped, about 20 yards separated our truck from the semi.  Chantz, two to my left in the photo, is a trained first responder.  When we came to a stop, we immediately ran from our work truck to the semi while another employee called 911.  Chantz jumped on top of the truck, got the passenger door open which I held until rope appeared and we tied the door open.  The driver of the truck soon crawled out of the truck and Chantz jumped into the cab.  That’s when we learned that another person was in the back of the cab asleep in the sleeper.  Whoa, talk about a wake-up call!.

We had fire extinguishers ready to combat any flames that could arise, especially with leaking oil and diesel fuel.  While the truck windshield was already shattered, it was still stuck in its frame.  With a couple of whacks with a hammer, Chantz was able to free up the windshield and then I pulled it off of the truck.  This was the first time I’ve ever pulled a shattered windshield from any vehicle and it was interesting to lean how light it actually was while how its design actually sticks glass layers together for safety reasons.  Once the windshield was removed, the guy sleeping in the back slowly walked out.  Now, imagine with me, you’re sleeping, wake up to a screeching stop eventually regain your faculties and then walk out of the semi through the windshield. That’s quite the experience.

The photo captures the truck on its side, on our side of the road.  It’s a good thing we stopped for ice cream before we departed because we would have missed the whole incident completely.  Why ice cream?  One teammate suggested ice cream was in order after installing two 60 foot lengths of high density poly ethylene piping.  So, I bought the team ice cream for a group treat.

When you’re looking at the attached photo, you’ll see the entire team as well as a volunteer fireman.  Who is this person?  Well, he’s none other than the local legend Brandon West who was just on the job site with us.  Brandon was on the boys high school basketball team that won the state championship team in 2017.  He works with Sierra Eco Systems by day and volunteers with the community first responders by night, or whenever needed.  When we departed Hawthorne, never did any expect to see each other again a few miles up the road from the city.  Brandon is also the one who suggested ice cream for everyone.

However, that’s what Sierra Eco Systems does.  We serve the community.  We do what we can to improve the lives of everyone with the most environmentally friendly-cost effective-most energy efficient heating and cooling system on the market.  The installation of the system in Mineral County Schools will save the school district tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Overall, there were no other vehicles involved.  While the driver was fine, the “sleeper” was complaining about pain in his head and lower back.  Things could have been much worse, but everyone is thankful for the outcome.  Special thanks to Nathaniel who captured this photo for us. Nathaniel works for the US Navy and is on vacation.  He was on his way to Yosemite National Park and saw the incident from his rear view mirror.  He was directly in front of the truck.

It’s really amazing what 3-5 seconds actually is.  For us, if we were 3-5 seconds ahead of where we were, we would have crashed into the semi.  However, all is well and we get to return to continue the geothermal installation next week!  Sierra Eco Systems – geothermal installers during the work day, rescuers after the work day.

Have a great weekend.

Todd J. McIntyre


Dear Editor,

President Trump simply could not have nominated anyone more qualified to assume Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat than Judge Brett Kavanaugh. A former law clerk for Justice Kennedy with an impeccable legal background, sterling academic credentials, and great integrity, Judge Kavanaugh is the exact type of constitutional jurist that President Trump promised to nominate. This is another one of the President’s many promises kept.

Judge Kavanaugh has devoted 25 years to serving the American people in a number of positions, most notably as associate independent counsel, associate White House counsel, assistant and staff secretary to former President George W. Bush, and, currently, as a judge on the D.C. Circuit, known as the second highest court in the land. He is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and will be a strong conservative voice on the Supreme Court.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is also a community-oriented family man who remains active in his church, volunteers to help disadvantaged families, coaches his daughter’s basketball team, and tutors children at local schools. He has an exemplary judiciary temperament that the Founding Fathers would have taken great pride in, and he is the exactly the kind of person Americans can trust to interpret the Constitution based on the letter of the law and protect the rights of all Americans.

Cindy Nixon

Mineral County Republican Committee