Bill Rozak

Gross waste

To the editor:

I've written the following to Senators Boxer and Feinstein concerning what I see as waste:

In these times of financial difficulties I am compelled to question what appears to be a gross waste of taxpayers' money. Our local Social Security office in Sonora, population 4,500, has for some time now had a full-time armed security guard on duty in the lobby. Quite some time ago, I accompanied my wife on a visit to that office.

The security guard approached me and asked if I had any weapons on me, including a pocket knife. I have carried a pocket knife every day since I was in about the fourth-grade as did every other boy I knew.

The security guard insisted that I take my pocket knife out to my car and leave it there. I was astounded, but complied. I am 69 years old and hardly fit any possible profile for a terrorist. I am retired from a 33 year career as a California peace officer.

I am unaware of any incidents in the local Social Security office that would call for a security guard, full or part time. The security guard is, I believe, a part of the Homeland Security Department.

Assuming an average wage and benefits are being paid, this position is costing the taxpayer at least $45,000 per year, including wages and benefits.

The real question is, for what? Is this waste going on nationwide? It appears that the Homeland Security Department is a huge black hole for uncontrolled spending. I seriously question the justification for this Social Security office security guard. I also ask that the Homeland Security Department be regulated and controlled in its spending. I believe it is out of control.

James Hoback


An issue of respect

To the editor:

In response to Rene Mayo's letter Dec. 12: I believe everyone has the right to believe whatever they want. But just like someone's right to swing their fist ends where your nose begins, someone's right to practice their religion ends when it affects those who don't want to hear it.

For example, I was especially annoyed during the elections, when 90 percent of Proposition 8 supporters backed it for religious reasons, which hold no ground in our nation's laws.

You have the right to believe homosexuality is a sin, but you do not have the right to force your religious views into law or onto others. Besides, anyone that voted for Prop 8 for religious reasons is a hypocrite anyway. The Bible preaches you to give "gentle correction" to sinners, then turn the other cheek if they don't listen.

Take the Bible for all it contains, or don't take it at all. I think most of these half-hearted Christians that voted Yes on 8 because of religious beliefs or are as selective about the Bible and need to visit their local Jehovah's Witness hall and learn what being a Christian really means.

Here on the hill, it is located near Greeley Hill. What also bugs me is people associating Christmas with Jesus. He wasn't born in December! Shepherds don't have thier flocks out in deep winter. It's a covered-up Pagan holiday, just like Easter. Do a little bit of honest research.

To those of faith: I respect your beliefs. Please respect our lack thereof.

Michael Herman


Support needed

To the editor:

I am a student at Bret Harte High School and for my senior project I am trying to get the varsity baseball field at Bret Harte named after a former student, Charles Betts, who died of cancer in 2004. I had put petitions in Arnold, Murphys and Angels Camp, and got 1,000 signatures.

I went before the Bret Harte School Board and presented my project. The board could not make a decision at the meeting and will make a decision at their next board meeting on January 5, 2009 at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at the district office on the Bret Harte campus in Angels Camp.

I need to have more community support, and if you can make the meeting or write a letter of support to the Bret Harte School Board I would be very grateful. The mailing address is: Bret Harte District Office, P.O. Box 7000, Angels Camp, CA 95221.

Eric Coggins


Reasons for mess

To the editor:

Two reason for our financial mess:

1. Citizens and the government try to live on too much credit. Citizens in debt go down, while the government just raises taxes and cuts our services.

2. We give too much foreign aid to countries that don't like us and won't pay us back. We think we can buy friendship and loyality. We should take care of our own problems first. The Dec. 14 Parade section detailed our aid: Israel $2.4 billion, Egypt $1.7 billion, Pakistan $798 million, Jordan $688 million, Kenya $586 million and South Africa $574 million!

It is sad when the only good news is the price of gas - but we still pay more than other areas in our country. Happy holidays.

Roy Jueal

Twain Harte