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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 29, 2012

In defense of our
local hunters

To the Editor,

I have watched the letters roll in about dogs used for hunting bears and the possibility of that coming to an end if government has its way again. 

The latest letter that really fired me up was Ms. Beauchel’s from June 27. 

I am a hunter, though I do not hunt bears and I’m not particularly fond of the idea of treeing a bear with dogs, however, I do know how hard it is to hunt any animal. 

While there are “sport hunters,” Ms. Beauchel, there are far more hunters who use the meat from the animals they harvest to feed their families. 

It is not fair or intelligent to assume that all hunters whether using dogs or not are “sport hunters” just “out for the thrill.” 

I take harvesting an animal very seriously and find no “thrill” in killing anything. In fact, I have taught my kids that if they shoot something, be prepared to eat it, because we don’t shoot just to kill. 

If I thought you were informed on this subject I might take offense to your opinion, but clearly you are not!

Barbara Childers 


Hunting an
ages-old activity

To the Editor,

This in response to the article on bear hunting with dogs and SB1221.

The “Humane” Society of the United States (HSUS) is pushing this bill. They are basically a political organization with the stated goal of outlawing all animal use including grandma’s lap dog. 

The facts: Animals killing animals has been going on since the very beginning. If you have watched any of the nature programs on TV you will have witnessed the “cruelty” of nature: God’s design. 

Man domesticated dogs thousands of years ago to help them hunt other animals, copying God’s design.

Is it cruel and unethical to coon hunt with dogs, wild pigs with dogs, birds with dogs, set a falcon on a pigeon, set out decoys and use duck calls, use guns or bows?   

Wonder if it’s cruel to boil crabs and lobsters to death, snag a fish with a hook and battle it to the boat and have it suffocate to death in the air? Wonder if slaughter houses are cruel? 

If these aren’t included in SB1221 then the bill is in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

It is the HSUS’s opinion that all hunting is cruel and they would deprive you of your right to hunt based on their belief. Why is their opinion and belief able to trump your belief?

They have archaic methods that predate America where the ones with the gold rule. America is a constitutional republic that protects the minority from the oppression of the majority.

Agri-business and hunters had better get their act together and present a united front or you will die the death of a 1,000 cuts at the hands of the HSUS.

 John F. Harless


Letters to the editor for June 27

Backward human progress

To the Editor,

The bar sinks lower!  Three Alaska governors authorized aerial shooting of wolves so hunters can kill more game (reports since of starving Caribou due to larger numbers) a travesty now metastasized to Idaho!  

“But I wanna do it —  Now! So what if it causes negative consequences!”  

Fussing over gold dredging regs — there are reasons for them. The activity disrupts ecosystems, taking much recovery time!

Critics bemoaned the few dollars more a box for steel shot than lead. Yes, it means lead shot will continue its collateral damage to millions of birds and animals each year but, gee whiz, a few bucks more to remedy that is just unacceptable to the “sportsmen.”

Now here’s a “traditional” way of “sport-entertainment:” hounding bears!  

My native state is now the very deep south where “coon-hunting and such” is acceptable?  Of course, the ludicrous moniker “Bible Belt” where self-proclaimed Christians raise tobacco to export cancer to other countries can continue their “tradition,” though amoral!

It must be some kind of life highlight to run baying hounds in the woods, tree a terrified bear, kill it, do whatever you do with a dead bear, have a few beers and tell all about your big adventure!  

How little progress humans have made from the caves! We go backwards as much as forward!

Jeanne Beauchel


Support neutral centers for youth

To the Editor,

Re: “Angels teen center is a go,” story that ran on June 21.

I was absolutely thrilled when I read this story. I spent some of my most acute teenage years in Angels Camp as a 25-year resident of the tri-county area. 

When I was in my late teens, there was a community center of sorts located in Altaville, and was the only alternative to going out and getting ourselves into trouble. Some still chose to, but it kept most of us busy and allowed us to find creative outlets in the simplest of ways. 

When it went under, it wasn’t long before half the people I knew were getting themselves onto dangerous paths, with a portion of those no longer living as an after effect of their choices. 

This may not seem like a big deal to some, but fortunately it does to those involved in the ground breaking of this vital project. I urge consistent and constant support of this project by community members and business owners alike. Having an “agenda neutral” place for teens to go to is crucial, and an important outlet in any economically challenged environment. 

This is but one of many signs of a healthy community that is in the process of regenerating, despite the growing pains of a long, economic winter. 

What makes this even more valuable is in its ability to introduce technologies and hobbies that many might not normally have an opportunity to touch, taste, or sense without such an outlet. As a long-time volunteer in both Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, and involved in programs that directly benefited our local youth, I have seen what little effort can do that directly impacted their adult years. Kudos!  

Cryss BlackWolf 

Redmond, Wash.

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