Union Democrat staff

Ethereal truth

To the editor:

Thanks for the sketch in your Jan. 20 edition, showing Rex Babin's interpretation of the Miracle on the Hudson. It brought a lump in my throat and an appreciation of his capturing the ethereal truth of how humanity is protected by the Almighty.

Pat Turner


Savings account

To the editor:

When do we all accept the fact that government isn't the answer? Both the state and federal government live on the credit of today's taxpayer and tomorrow's. Isn't it time for all of us to admit we can't have every program, every want and even every need met by government?

The governor has done what he must do in these times, and that is propose spending cuts. They're not popular, as everyone wants their programs protected, but that isn't reality. With the unwillingness of the people to accept cuts in their favorite program, need or want, the solution is across-the-board cuts to all programs - not popular, perhaps not even fair, but necessary.

We can't afford as a people, state or nation to continue to live outside of our means and burden our generation and those to come with the financial irresponsibility that has become institutionalized in our society and government over the last 60 years.

To my government representatives, consider this my greatest concern as a voter: For every dollar you take of the money I've earned, I want you to authorize only spending 90 cents of it. Start a savings account for future generations so that they won't be burdened with our overindulgence!

Daniel Nicolaysen



To the editor:

I am just voicing frustration regarding our state health care system. I have been a health-care provider for 25 years, the last 10 with Community Hospital (now Sonora Regional Medical Center). Working in long term care is hard, back-breaking work. Following my days there, I continued to work at home caring for my terminally ill husband.

My back had been going out for years, but I kept going, as most of us do. I am now approaching 60, and my back is completely gone. I have been on Medi-Cal for three years, and just this January was put on Medicare. The first thing they did to assist me was to change my pain meds. This put me into horrible withdrawals, and the new med they want me to take will help some, but not as much as the other had. But it's much cheaper.

I am now living each day in so much pain it hurts to breathe. My doctor did his best to fight for me with no luck. Oh, another thing, the new med has only one side effect: It builds up in your system and sometimes people have been known to feel good when they go to bed and just not wake up.

I just wanted to tell California that I'm doing my part to help with the budget, and I can't thank them enough for what the state has put me and my family through. Thank you for allowing me to vent.

Judy Soares


Charge for bags

To the editor:

I'm sending this letter as a warning for those who put out blue recycle bags with your regular trash pick-up. You will get charged for those bags as extra trash if they are not the blue bags distributed by Tuolumne County.

I found this out when I got my bill. My blue bags were bought from a store and obviously filled with recyclables. The issue was resolved, but I would like to let other people know of this.

I've seen many times these free bags intended for recycling used for regular trash. So my question is: Are those bags picked up assumed to be filled with recyclables?

Nancy Carr


Stop tear down

To the editor:

'Twas sad to read of the possible tear-down of the buildings on Old Mono Highway. Those buildings represent an era when folks traveled up and down Mono Way going to Pinecrest Lake, Kennedy Meadows, hunting in the high country, journeying over Sonora Pass - the motoring era of America.

It was a time when Tuolumne County had fewer than 10,000 people, and the only franchise business was the A&W on Washington Street, which is gone now. Maybe the owners could recognize the potential to create unique, distinctive destinations for our modern visitors and locals.

Look at how the "Preserve Route 66" folks have restored that American motorway. With thoughtful, smart planning, that corner could be a great calling card for our town. It's got amazing visibility from Highway 108! Perfect for charming shops and a roadhouse-style eatery.

Really, who needs another McDonald's, even one faked up to look like it belongs here? Aren't we supposed to be a cultural heritage destination? Our history is much more than the 30-odd years of the Gold Rush! Save those buildings. Fix them up to have a new life while preserving our history of the mid-20th century.

Remember when they wanted to tear down Columbia for used bricks? And who remembers what happened to Sonora's Chinatown? It's now a parking lot with a shrimpy monument.

Please don't be in a hurry to raze our history. Surely there's a way to save these buildings and still make a buck. I trust the City of Sonora has the vision to protect our past while planning for our future. And I know Scott Patterson cares about his hometown.

B.Z. Smith



To the editor:

I'm perplexed why George Bush would even consider a farewell address. His father didn't have one.

It's not like he can talk about peace and prosperity. The bumper sticker says it all: "1-20-09 - the end of an error."

Otis Brickley