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Innovation in foothills alive, well

In an age of consumerism, it’s heartening to see a grassroots trend toward actually creating things.

This is evidenced in a national “movement” of inventing, now commonly referred to as “making.”

Q&A with Sheriff Jim Mele

Opinion Page Editor Craig Cassidy last week sat down with Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele to discuss a range of topics including the planned new Tuolumne County Jail, off Old Wards Ferry Road, Proposition 47, a November initiative which reduced several drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors, and deputy recruiting. Here’s a condensed transcript of the hour-long conversation.

Clarifying our Columbia reporting

The Union Democrat for the past four years has reported on the arrogance and abuses of a handful of public officials at Columbia Elementary.

Sadly, a few readers on the sidelines still take personally our scrutiny of a public institution and a few bad actors within — including retiring Superintendent John Pendley, a few members of the Board of Trustees, and a small handful of staffers.

Microbead brouhaha hits home

Apparently, little plastic beads commonly used in cosmetic products are rubbing a lot of people the wrong way.

These so-called “microbeads” — found in everything from facial scrubs and soaps, to toothpaste — have been all but banned in a half-dozen states. Several California lawmakers want ours to be next in line.

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