Bill Rozak

Church is generous

To the Editor:

I want to let our community know of the downtown Sonora United Methodist Church and the generous Thanksgiving Day lunch they provided for anyone, especially for those alone, or not wanting to prepare their own special meal. They served a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings, in an environment of love and warmth, donated by alot of caring local people.

My husband and I had celebrated with our family the previous Sunday, so we called to help out.

We really met some lovely people and would like to help with cooking food and attending next year to help out whereever needed.

JoAnne and Gene Reed

Mi-Wuk Village

Point was clear

To the Editor:

Regarding my Nov. 17 Union Democrat letter contrasting the history of polygamy to the history of same-sex marriage, I thought my point was clear to all. My intention was to contrast the long term histories of polygamy and same-sex marriage. I think we are all aware of the short-term events of the last few years. It is incredibly arrogant for Kim Malavey and Terrie Schultz to assume that I was oblivious to both Massachusetts' and California's recent same-sex marriages.

The gay/lesbian community is its own worst enemy. For a relatively small minority, it enjoys large support, possibly a majority. When Prop. 8 made the ballot, pundits predicted its defeat. Then, as the campaign wore on and the supporters of Prop 8 were subjected to the most arrogant, elitist, hate-filled speech, belittling churches and those with religious beliefs as misinformed idiots, opinions changed. Certainly, the gay/lesbian community has been the victim of hate speech and crimes. I guess we expected you to take the high road in this campaign.

Personally, my vote was to the agenda-driven teacher who, hearing my children discuss my opinion of Prop. 8 told them, in front of the whole class, that their "Dad must be a religious type." I wonder how many other votes you lost for the same reasons.

We are not your enemies. We are your friends, relatives, coworkers who wish you the same happiness in life as all.

Personally, I believe that the gay/lesbian community will eventually prevail. I would wish you Godspeed, but then I would be a "religious nut."

Mark Schnell


Forest threatened

To the Editor;

Thank you for the Nov. 21 article, "Falling in Love with the Forest."

The collective love we all share is inspiring, but it brings to mind the threats our Stanislaus Forest faces as destructive uses expand and protection is lacking. Our American forests are our living treasures, sustaining us and the wildlife with oxygen production, shade, warmth, and shelter. In order to preserve the Stanislaus Forest, additional protections are needed now.

We have a very lax stewardship with the Forest Service in Tuolumne County. Our public lands are being abused and degraded by off highway vehicles that have little in the way of boundaries. A tiny percentage of us actually drive these polluting and noisy vehicles, yet the rules protecting sensitive area are weak. The unspoiled wilderness the rest of us appreciate suffers greatly for it. Citizens should speak up to create tight controls over this unbridled degradation.

Clear cutting is a practice for harvesting trees that destroys large parts of our forests with no habitat recovery for many decades. Profits can be made and employees retained using a method called selective harvest, which harvests many of the trees and clears fire-prone undergrowth, then leaves a healthy canopy and habitat. This method is very successful in other counties, but our county's leadership has never been critical of the industry, so the assault has continued despite ongoing devastation.

Tell your supervisor to get serious now about implementing necessary protections for the forest we love, and direct your Forest Service to become the stewards they're supposed to be. Let's be intelligent and responsible and no longer naîve and trusting. When the people lead, "leaders" have to follow.

Judith Magill

Twain Harte