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Prisoner early release plan is terribly flawed

Would the early release of about a third of Calfornia’s more than 150,000 prison inmates affect public safety?

That is the question before a three-judge federal panel now weighing a lawsuit claiming that conditions in the state’s 33-facility prison system are unconstitutionally dangerous. Filed on behalf of sick and mentally ill inmates, the suit contends that overcrowding means inmates are not getting the care they desperately need and to which they are legally entitled.

PT clinic save was cooperation over confrontation

To the casual reader, saving the Groveland Physical Therapy clinic might have seemed like an effortless, fortuitous combination of luck and coincidence: A private provider came forward to assume operation from Tuolumne County, and the Board of Supervisors found enough cash to keep the clinic running until she could take over.

So one more bullet dodged, a sigh of relief, and life south of the river goes on?


Hiring a housing coordinator a welcome move

Tuolumne County supervisors last week voted to hire a housing coordinator to oversee a new Community Development Department division dedicated to bringing more affordable housing to the community.

The board should be commended for its decision, one of the final steps in a long and often frustrating process that has spanned many years. Although the board vote was, no doubt, gratifying for those who have worked tirelessly to assure that low- and moderate-income residents Tuolumne County have a chance at finding reasonably-priced homes, it didn’t come without a scare.

Yosemite not your ordinary walk in the park

Yosemite National Park last month permanently closed 233 Curry Village cabins in the wake of October rock slides that hit the popular lodging and camping spot. The two slides damaged eight cabins, injured three park visitors and sent dozens scrambling for safety.

Vision for Jamestown mine site could ‘blossom’

Now comes a Modesto developer with the latest plan for Tuolumne County’s 450-acre Jamestown Mine property: Gold Rush Gardens, a botanical wonderland that would be the centerpiece of a major tourist attraction including a convention center, campground, hotel, shops and athletic fields.

So is developer Vincent Estell’s plan just as fanciful as a half dozen ill-fated projects proposed over the years for the played-out terrain? Or, this time, is it for real?

During hard times we need to stay positive

On Nov. 21, 1931, when The Union Democrat ran the pre-Thanksgiving editorial below, debate over whether the stock market crash of 1929 had spurred a slump, a recession or a depression had long since been resolved. The Great Depression was grinding on the nation in earnest, and the Mother Lode was hardly immune.

Among “Notes and Comments” on the paper’s editorial page:

• If you want to know whether there is a depression or not, try borrowing $100.

• Famous last words: The depression is only psychological.

Curbing illegal dumping is worth the effort

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