Union Democrat staff

Kept in the dark

To the editor:

I am a sophomore at Tioga High School. I have been to multiple board meetings and am a member of Students for a Better School District. I have heard multiple times that this whole recall has been based on the firing of Mr. Dutton. I would like the opportunity to set that straight. The firing of Mr. Dutton was the last straw, but nowhere close to the first.

In the beginning of this year, I had Mr. Dutton for my Algebra 2 class. He was a great teacher and exceeded all expectations. He taught math in a way that was easy to understand. When he was fired, it caused chaos within the school.

Research was done. The documentation piled up, and we were surprised by how in the dark we had been kept. With the new information that had come to light, we didn't feel that our school and our future was safe in the hands of these board members and superintendent. So we gathered over 1,000 signatures in our small community and went to work. Now the recall is full blown and we will soon have new board members.

Dana Marler


Respect the foothills

To the editor:

Re: Jan. 13 story, "Abandoned horse euthanized":

Since I have moved to the foothills a little less than a year ago, I have seen so many deer, fawns, raccoons, foxes, and other animals slaughtered on the roadways. Some of this is unavoidable, but if people were to just slow down, especially during dawn and dusk when the animals are more active, maybe we would see less of the slaughter.

It is also very upsetting to see that someone would abandon an animal to starve to death. This horse was estimated to be 27-30 years old and did not deserve to have such a sad ending to its life. I do understand that euthanasia was the humane thing to do to stop this beautiful animal's suffering and I thank the Tuolumne County Animal Control for the outstanding and sometimes unrecognized work they do everyday.

I applaud The Union Democrat for using the unfortunate circumstances of this animal to put the word out to people owning horses or other animals who may not have the resources in these bad economic times to find a solution other than starvation and abandonment.

I encourage everyone to show your respect to our foothills by slowing down for the animals, and maybe you will avoid a traffic collision or a citation in the process. I also encourage you to show respect by turning your car radios down and fixing those loud car and motorcycle exhausts.

And to the person or persons responsible for starving and abandoning the horse or anyone thinking about doing the same, "Karma is a wonderful thing."

Joe Riva


Sensible conservation

To the editor:

As I was taking a walk on this fine spring (Oops! I mean winter) day, it occurred to me that it'd be great if the Tuolumne Utilities District started to encourage us to conserve water now, before we get into a crisis situation. Water is a precious community resource that we all share, and I'm sure with enough education and awareness, people would come up with a lot of creative ways to use it wisely. If it does get to the point where we have to mandate restrictions, we need to be sure we are rewarding the right behaviors. When a straight percentage restriction is imposed, it rewards past wastefulness and punishes people who are already being careful with water.

Rather, everyone should be given the same allotment at the same price. Use over this amount would be expensive. In fact, as an additional incentive to conserve, those not using their full allotment could sell back their extra to those wanting more. Conservation would be rewarded, consciousness would be developed, and water would be treated as the vital asset it is.

Stefani Reichle