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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for December 23, 2008

Letters to the Editor for December 23, 2008

Giving thanks
To the editor:

Thank goodness for snow maggots. There aren’t any. There also aren’t magic genies taking away what we throw away. We have garbage men, who cannot provide service in winter like summer. In mountainous Sonora, garbage men aren’t robotic arms coming out of trucks like Transformers, lifting hundreds of pounds off flat land daily. They are husbands and fathers keeping neighborhoods clean.

Consumers have power, but unless we recognize the waste of our consumption, we won’t escape a garbage crisis. It has to go somewhere and hauled somehow. Though we think about garbage about as long as it takes to toss Kleenex away, it doesn’t just disappear. It takes manual labor working in freezing weather, while we stay warm by the fire, and innovative ways of keeping garbage at a minimum — such as composting, recycling and re-using, to keep our streets pollution-free.

Tuolumne County’s recycling program is at best limited and costly, but nothing worth something comes easy. Patience, diligence and the belief that one person really makes a difference is key. After all, the ocean isn’t one drop of water alone- — it is a body of water. And a community is a body of people who depend upon each other and our public servants, such as garbage men. Giving thanks should be year-round, by maintaining a healthy environment for the planet we live on and appreciating more what we take for granted.

Cristina Long,  Sonora
Protecting youth?

To the Editor,

In an article from the Dec. 12 Union Democrat entitled “Juvenile lockup needed ... ” Shirlee Juhl, Tuolumne County’s chief probation officer, sounds the alarm for the construction of a “juvenile detention facility” in our county. Supposedly this facility is needed to keep our criminal youth from being sent to other counties for incarceration, where they are negatively influenced by gang elements. As a solution to the supposed problem, however, this proposal is a failure.

It is stated in the story that the facility would be built with 30 beds, currently more than necessary to meet Tuolumne County’s needs. How would these beds be filled until these supposed future needs materialize? They would be filled with juveniles from other counties, according to the article.

The only assurance we receive that our youths would not be exposed to gang activity via the youths being transported in from other counties, is the pallid hope of Ms. Juhl that only youths from other “foothill counties” would fill these beds. What assurance do we receive that this would be the case, or that the youths from other foothill counties who would be incarcerated here are not involved in gang activity? None.

It seems to me that constructing a juvenile detention facility for the reason of protecting our criminal youth from gangland influence, while not offering any reasonable assurance that the facility will accomplish its stated objective, would make that proposed facility a waste of taxpayer money.

Shane Proctor, Sonora

Bad business practice

To the Editor:

Has it struck anyone odd that, a few years ago, at the urging of credit card lobbyists, our bipartisan Congress revamped laws so private citizens couldn’t use bankruptcy to dump debt they had incurred? Now Senate Republicans are advocating that GM file bankruptcy in order to do just that.

Three Republican Senators — McConnell, R-Ky., Corker, R-Tenn., Shelby, R-Ala. — all advocate that GM cut wages, benefits and pensions. or use bankruptcy to do it. Under their goal, to drop manufacturing wages to a lower level, workers and pensioners lose.

Last month the Bush administration urged a bipartisan vote to pass the bailout as fast as possible, and it was done. Paulson then cherry picked firms to be saved.

Lehman Brother was allowed to fail — no restrictions on CEOs, golden parachutes, wages or bonuses. No Republicans screaming wages and benefits were too high. Wall Street firms, Freddie, Fannie, and banks, all failing due to bad business practices.

No conditions from Republicans when TARP funds were passed out. After years in Congress, no senator wants to lose pensions or medical, but they can’t balance our budget. Bad business practice! I want my children and grandchildren to have pension and medical benefits, and I’ll bet we all do.

Pensions have gone to 401Ks, and hows that working? Do your working children have medical? City, county, state and federal workers are the only ones with pensions and medical any longer.

Will these same Republican Senators demand wages to compete with Mexico next? When the GM thing is done, I’ll bet GM workers can’t buy cars they built with the new, lower wage rate.

Dennis Del Corno, Sonora

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