To the editor:
Thank goodness for snow maggots. There aren't any. There also
aren't magic genies taking away what we throw away. We have garbage
men, who cannot provide service in winter like summer. In mountainous
Sonora, garbage men aren't robotic arms coming out of trucks like
Transformers, lifting hundreds of pounds off flat land daily. They are
husbands and fathers keeping neighborhoods clean.
Consumers have power, but unless we recognize the waste of our
consumption, we won't escape a garbage crisis. It has to go somewhere
and hauled somehow. Though we think about garbage about as long as it
takes to toss Kleenex away, it doesn't just disappear. It takes manual
labor working in freezing weather, while we stay warm by the fire, and
innovative ways of keeping garbage at a minimum - such as composting,
recycling and re-using, to keep our streets pollution-free.
Tuolumne County's recycling program is at best limited and costly,
but nothing worth something comes easy. Patience, diligence and the
belief that one person really makes a difference is key. After all, the
ocean isn't one drop of water alone- - it is a body of water. And a
community is a body of people who depend upon each other and our public
servants, such as garbage men. Giving thanks should be year-round, by
maintaining a healthy environment for the planet we live on and
appreciating more what we take for granted.
Cristina Long, Sonora
To the Editor,
In an article from the Dec. 12 Union Democrat entitled "Juvenile
lockup needed ... " Shirlee Juhl, Tuolumne County's chief probation
officer, sounds the alarm for the construction of a "juvenile detention
facility" in our county. Supposedly this facility is needed to keep our
criminal youth from being sent to other counties for incarceration,
where they are negatively influenced by gang elements. As a solution to
the supposed problem, however, this proposal is a failure.
It is stated in the story that the facility would be built with 30
beds, currently more than necessary to meet Tuolumne County's needs.
How would these beds be filled until these supposed future needs
materialize? They would be filled with juveniles from other counties,
according to the article.
The only assurance we receive that our youths would not be exposed
to gang activity via the youths being transported in from other
counties, is the pallid hope of Ms. Juhl that only youths from other
"foothill counties" would fill these beds. What assurance do we receive
that this would be the case, or that the youths from other foothill
counties who would be incarcerated here are not involved in gang
It seems to me that constructing a juvenile detention facility for
the reason of protecting our criminal youth from gangland influence,
while not offering any reasonable assurance that the facility will
accomplish its stated objective, would make that proposed facility a
waste of taxpayer money.
Shane Proctor, Sonora
Bad business practice
To the Editor:
Has it struck anyone odd that, a few years ago, at the urging of
credit card lobbyists, our bipartisan Congress revamped laws so private
citizens couldn't use bankruptcy to dump debt they had incurred? Now
Senate Republicans are advocating that GM file bankruptcy in order to
do just that.
Three Republican Senators - McConnell, R-Ky., Corker, R-Tenn.,
Shelby, R-Ala. - all advocate that GM cut wages, benefits and pensions.
or use bankruptcy to do it. Under their goal, to drop manufacturing
wages to a lower level, workers and pensioners lose.
Last month the Bush administration urged a bipartisan vote to pass
the bailout as fast as possible, and it was done. Paulson then cherry
picked firms to be saved.
Lehman Brother was allowed to fail - no restrictions on CEOs,
golden parachutes, wages or bonuses. No Republicans screaming wages and
benefits were too high. Wall Street firms, Freddie, Fannie, and banks,
all failing due to bad business practices.
No conditions from Republicans when TARP funds were passed out.
After years in Congress, no senator wants to lose pensions or medical,
but they can't balance our budget. Bad business practice! I want my
children and grandchildren to have pension and medical benefits, and
I'll bet we all do.
Pensions have gone to 401Ks, and hows that working? Do your working
children have medical? City, county, state and federal workers are the
only ones with pensions and medical any longer.
Will these same Republican Senators demand wages to compete with
Mexico next? When the GM thing is done, I'll bet GM workers can't buy
cars they built with the new, lower wage rate.
Dennis Del Corno, Sonora