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The Union Democrat welcomes letters for publication on any subject as long as they are tasteful and responsible, and are signed with the full name of the writer (include a phone number and address, for verification purposes only). Letters should not exceed 300 words. A maximum of one letter per writer can be published every two weeks. The newspaper reserves the right to edit for brevity, clarity, taste and style. Please, no business thank-you’s, business endorsements, or poetry. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks.

Letters may be submitted by email at letters@uniondemocrat.com or by mail, 84 S. Washington St., Sonora 95370 and by FAX, 209-532-6451. Guest opinions, columns and editorial cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Union Democrat editorial board.



Letters to the editor for June 7, 2012

Bravo Summerville Elementary School

To the Editor, 

Congrats to Summerville El. Just wanted to say thank you, for Steve Artzer bringing back the bell tradition for the kids at Summerville El. 

Also, as someone who goes to all the grammar schools to watch sporting events, Summerville El’s campus is always the cleanest, and best kept in the whole county, another accomplishment of Mr. Artzer’s. 

Thanks for your dedication. 

Mark Aquilino

Sonora

Planning difficulties

 

To the Editor,

I am very pessimistic about our Calaveras County General Plan Update. Individual choice and property rights are not included in that grand vision of our future. 

Getting a permit from any planning department is an expensive and daunting process for even tiny, mundane projects.

My experience with planning tells me that land planning in California is not about planning. It is about control dictated from Sacramento, Washington D.C. and ultimately the U.N.  

For example, an organization of planners and “experts” called the Local Government Commission (LGC) met at the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite and compiled a document called, The Ahwahnee Principles.

Ahwahnee Principles say we are impairing our way of life by intruding on open space and polluting the air with our cars. It would rescue us with strict government controls over how we live and develop our property.  LGC promises Livable Communities, meaning high density Agenda 21 Smart Growth communes. 

In effect, we will live as the planner wishes rather than how we, ourselves choose to live. What a rotten bill of goods. They deem us incompetent to make our own life decisions without strict, overreaching government oversight.

If you own land where you hope to build or develop, I strongly recommend that you visit the planning department soon to get a list of the requirements, restrictions and fees before you proceed. 

Otherwise you might spend thousands of dollars just for the privilege of hearing “no.”  

Even if you do clear all the hurdles, the process could take years. Be warned.

Robert Mulvaney 

Murphys

Mother Lode
fish planting

To the Editor,

I’ve heard a few negative remarks from some very disgruntled fisherman whose comments and accusations lack knowledge and substance. 

I want to send my thank you’s out to all who work at Moccasin Trout Hatchery. I see them working their butts off almost every week. Their dedication and commitment to our communities is amazing. 

Thanks to them my 4-year-old caught his first fish. They also let him throw some fish in the river. For the man who was complaining — shame on you for trying to educate others on things you know nothing about. 

Thank you Moccasin Hatchery-Dept. of Fish and Game for everything you do! 

Larry Stewart

Sonora


Letters to the editor for June 6, 2012

Hurrah for U.S. Justice system 

To the Editor,

Yes, we should be happy that Mr. Edwards is not going to prison. A large gift given to him by a friend for sleazy use to hide a lover should not be considered criminal.  

Keep the federal and all levels of government out of our personal lives. Federal funds used for prosecuting private acts from Clinton to Edwards is money misspent.  

The media loves this drama; but don’t allow them to mislead and merge the difference between illegal and immoral actions.

But be aware of good looking politicians with great smiles with law degrees, and success in bilking millions from the court system.  

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp

More concerts
at Frogtown

To the Editor,

Frogtown needs more concerts.

I recently worked for Rock Med at the First Aid Station at the Reggae in the Hills concert this past weekend. It was a wonderful event. 

The music was great and a lot of people had fun. 

We need more concerts at our Fairgrounds. Calaveras County has a treasure at that venue and it should be used more. 

I would love to see Mountain Aire revived and air shows, horse shows, rodeos, country western concerts and more at our Fairgrounds. 

Why not? 

Rodger Orman, MD 

Murphys

Health risks of sugar in beverages

To the Editor,

The issue of sugar sweetened beverages has been getting quite a bit of media coverage lately, including the opinion piece that appeared in The Union Democrat last Friday. That article took issue with New York’s proposed ban on selling soft drinks in jumbo sizes. 

While that policy proposal has its own strengths and weaknesses and is certainly not one being pursued here, the issue at the heart of the ban is definitely worth a look. 

Obesity rates are rising dramatically across the nation. The percentage of Tuolumne County residents who are overweight or obese is 65 percent, well above the state average of 56 percent. 

Because obesity is linked to serious and life threatening conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, the obesity epidemic is a major public health issue. 

We all know that sugar intake is a major contributor to weight gain. But did you know that the largest source of sugar in the diets of most Americans comes in the form of beverages: soda, sports drinks, sweetened teas and coffees and the like? 

Limiting our consumption of these makes a great deal of sense. 

So in the coming warm weather months when we all need to stay hydrated everyone should rethink their drinks and choose water or other beverages without added sugar. 

And while there is no soda ban in the works here, folks are encouraged to use the information they have to make healthy choices for themselves.

Carlene Maggio

Sonora


Letters to the editor for June 5, 2012

Extend the tax cuts

To the Editor,

Unless Congress and the President act to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, they will expire Dec. 31. President Obama plans to let them expire. He insists that his aim is just to assure that the rich pay their “fair share”, and that you won’t have to worry unless you make over $250,000.

President Obama doesn’t disclose that the expiration will raise taxes on a whole lot of people who aren’t “rich.”

Prior to the Bush-era, all married couples suffered under a so-called “marriage penalty.” Two single people living together paid notably less tax than a married couple. The Bush-era tax cuts righted this wrong.

Today, the bottom two tax brackets for married joint-filing couples are twice as wide as those for singles. This helps keep the marriage penalty from biting lower- and middle-income couples. If the tax cuts are allowed to expire December 31, the joint-filer tax brackets will contract, causing higher tax bills for many couples.

Currently, the standard deduction for married joint-filing couples is double the amount for singles. Starting next year, the joint-filer standard deduction will fall back to about 167 percent of the amount for singles.

All this means that many lower-and middle-income couples are facing higher tax bills due to a harsher marriage penalty.

Higher capital gains, dividend and several other taxes will also sock the middle class.

Mr. Romney and the Republicans in Congress want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts indefinitely. Contrary to what Mr. Obama says, they are not “just trying to protect the rich.” They are trying to protect your family and mine!

George Kellerman

Sonora

Against cutting taxes

To the Editor:

America’s “progressive tax system” taxes you more the wealthier you get. This is because the wealthy benefit most from our nation’s infrastructure, incentives and resources. However, cutting taxes returns most to the wealthy. The Bush tax cuts return $8 of every $10 to the wealthiest 10 percent. Since these tax cuts are unfunded, they increase our national debt $6 trillion each decade.

Cutting federal, state and local taxes redistributes our share of the national economy to the wealthy. We lose much more than we gain. Conservatives criticize the “nanny state” entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education. They ignore the annual $1 trillion entitlements benefiting the wealthy; tax breaks, no bid contracts, subsidies. Even tax evasion has been encouraged since downsizing the IRS allows $300 billion a year to escape collection from the wealthy — Barlett’s Great American Tax Dodge. Fifteen years of Bush tax cuts plus tax evasion equals our national debt. The Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Committee recommended cuts to programs as well as tax increases. Obama and Boehner agreed. The Democratic leadership supported Obama, Boehner received no Republican support. Why? Because the Norquist “No Tax Pledge” doesn’t allow compromise. Norquist’s organization will unseat any Republican who compromises. Republicans elect representatives but it’s Norquist’s vote that counts. 

Conservatives claim to be patriots but continually bash our government. Would anyone give up our government for any other? Norquist says his goal is “to reduce the size of our government so he can drown it in a bathtub.” In pursuit of “small government” we deregulated the banks. Was that good for America? Likewise, cutting taxes rewards the few at the expense of the many. 

Robert Carabas

Sonora

Positive hospital experience

To the Editor,

I just wanted to let people who have reservations about going to Sonora Regional Medical Center about my experience there.

Recently I had major surgery there and an eight day stay. 

I received absolutely wonderful care there; from financial help to doctors, nurses and therapy and all responsible for my recovery. 

I cannot praise them enough, or thank them all enough.

Sue Canto

Sonora


Letters to the editor for June 5, 2012

Extend the tax cuts

To the Editor,

Unless Congress and the President act to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, they will expire Dec. 31. President Obama plans to let them expire. He insists that his aim is just to assure that the rich pay their “fair share”, and that you won’t have to worry unless you make over $250,000.

President Obama doesn’t disclose that the expiration will raise taxes on a whole lot of people who aren’t “rich.”

Prior to the Bush-era, all married couples suffered under a so-called “marriage penalty.” Two single people living together paid notably less tax than a married couple. The Bush-era tax cuts righted this wrong.

Today, the bottom two tax brackets for married joint-filing couples are twice as wide as those for singles. This helps keep the marriage penalty from biting lower- and middle-income couples. If the tax cuts are allowed to expire December 31, the joint-filer tax brackets will contract, causing higher tax bills for many couples.

Currently, the standard deduction for married joint-filing couples is double the amount for singles. Starting next year, the joint-filer standard deduction will fall back to about 167 percent of the amount for singles.

All this means that many lower-and middle-income couples are facing higher tax bills due to a harsher marriage penalty.

Higher capital gains, dividend and several other taxes will also sock the middle class.

Mr. Romney and the Republicans in Congress want to extend the Bush-era tax cuts indefinitely. Contrary to what Mr. Obama says, they are not “just trying to protect the rich.” They are trying to protect your family and mine!

George Kellerman

Sonora

Against cutting taxes

To the Editor:

America’s “progressive tax system” taxes you more the wealthier you get. This is because the wealthy benefit most from our nation’s infrastructure, incentives and resources. However, cutting taxes returns most to the wealthy. The Bush tax cuts return $8 of every $10 to the wealthiest 10 percent. Since these tax cuts are unfunded, they increase our national debt $6 trillion each decade.

Cutting federal, state and local taxes redistributes our share of the national economy to the wealthy. We lose much more than we gain. Conservatives criticize the “nanny state” entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education. They ignore the annual $1 trillion entitlements benefiting the wealthy; tax breaks, no bid contracts, subsidies. Even tax evasion has been encouraged since downsizing the IRS allows $300 billion a year to escape collection from the wealthy — Barlett’s Great American Tax Dodge. Fifteen years of Bush tax cuts plus tax evasion equals our national debt. The Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Committee recommended cuts to programs as well as tax increases. Obama and Boehner agreed. The Democratic leadership supported Obama, Boehner received no Republican support. Why? Because the Norquist “No Tax Pledge” doesn’t allow compromise. Norquist’s organization will unseat any Republican who compromises. Republicans elect representatives but it’s Norquist’s vote that counts. 

Conservatives claim to be patriots but continually bash our government. Would anyone give up our government for any other? Norquist says his goal is “to reduce the size of our government so he can drown it in a bathtub.” In pursuit of “small government” we deregulated the banks. Was that good for America? Likewise, cutting taxes rewards the few at the expense of the many. 

Robert Carabas

Sonora

Positive hospital experience

To the Editor,

I just wanted to let people who have reservations about going to Sonora Regional Medical Center about my experience there.

Recently I had major surgery there and an eight day stay. 

I received absolutely wonderful care there; from financial help to doctors, nurses and therapy and all responsible for my recovery. 

I cannot praise them enough, or thank them all enough.

Sue Canto

Sonora


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