Union Democrat staff

A good start

To the editor:

The Business Page story in the Jan. 13 Union Democrat about a possible second McDonald's fast-food restaurant caused us to think, yay and nay.

Yay for developing the corner of Mono Way and Sanguinetti Loop into something that will improve that corner's looks. Nay for the business to be another McDonald's. The existing McDonald's is only about a mile away. We can't see how another one so close makes business sense.

In a city of 50,000 or more it might be justified. But not in Sonora. If the property owners (Patterson and Reibin) want to locate a fast-food restaurant there, consider a company that isn't already in town. How about In-and-Out Burger, Wendy's or any other that's been a success?

We realize that it's the owners of the existing McDonald's that apparently got this ball rolling. But the city can now take it to the next level by working with Patterson and Reibin to get a new business into town, which can benefit both the city and residents. And it doesn't have to be a fast-food restaurant.

David and Irene Perry


A better America

To the editor:

Jan. 20, 2009 - one of the saddest and happiest days of my life.

My mother, Kathleen Frey (who lived in Vallecito from 1964 to 1990) died this morning. An immigrant from England, a naturalized citizen, a caring nurse and wonderful person who encountered and overcame many obstacles, she was a force to be reckoned with. As I grew up, she was a taskmaster, a supporter, an encourager and severe critic and a great cook. She worked hard on the farm, made beautiful knitted sweaters and, no matter where she lived, always had a beautiful garden.

The day dawned with the news of my mother's passing, then proceeded to the inauguration of our 44th President, leaving me greatly uplifted by his message for all Americans to work together in this time of crisis. I was apprehensive about his choice of the Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation, but that delivery too was of compassion, enthusiasm and support.

What a different world we live in since my mother and I came to the United States, having overcome the deprivations of the Depression and World War II. Now we are eight years into a new millennium amid a severe economic crisis and world trouble. I truly believe that people come along at a time when needed. With the American people behind President Barack Obama, we can definitely overcome the obstacles this country faces, giving hope for my children and grandchildren and a much better America.

Rosemary Sawyer


Ill prepared

To the editor:

The time for digital conversion is upon us and it would seem that our local cable provider is ill prepared for the transition. For the last two to three weeks, every evening, we have lost the signal for several minutes, several times.

The final straw for me was Saturday during the evening news. They ran a test to see if your television was ready for the change. Every other time, my TV was ready. This time, in large red letters, I was informed that my three-year-old T.V. was not ready.

The reason was, to get decent reception, our cable company had switched to an analog signal temporarily. In numerous conversations with the cable company, I have been assured (for several years now) that our system would be rebuilt and upgraded ... like the Calaveras County area has been. We have been overcharged and under-serviced by this corporation. We are a small county which really doesn't matter.

To all of you who use this cable provider, I urge you to contact your congressman regarding this blatant disregard for who should be valuable customers. Unfortunately, some of us cannot get satellite TV, and are stuck with cable. If we complain enough, something will be done. Call or write your congressman today.

Jule Fernandes

Twain Harte

Course of democracy

To the editor:

On Jan. 19, I sent the following e-mail letter to John Pendley, superintendent of the Columbia Elementary School District in Columbia:

It has come to my attention that the students and teachers of Columbia Elementary School will not be given the opportunity of watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama live. As the parent of a graduate of Columbia School, I would encourage you to give the students this opportunity. I know that my daughter, Elizabeth, will be watching this event live.

In 1963, I graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu. In 1979, Barack Obama graduated from Punahou. I quote the following excerpt from "Giving to Punahou, Making it Happen," a letter from James K. Scott, president of Punahou School, and Warren K.K. Luke, chairman of the Board.

"As we write, we are braced for more uncertainty within a challenging economic environment. At the same time, we are understandably thrilled and proud that a Punahou graduate has been elected the next president of the United States. Barack Obama's accomplishment reaffirms Punahou's mission to create and foster the conditions for students to achieve their full promise and to reach their highest aspirations."

In past elections, I voted to support the bond measure to fund the upgrading of Columbia Elementary School. As a registered voter of the Columbia District I will continue to take an active interest in the course of democracy in this area.

David Wiig


(According to Superintendent Pendley, fifth- and eighth-grade students whose coursework included American history and government watched the inauguration in their classes. Teachers in other grades followed their normal coursework).

An honest opinion

To the editor:

Regarding Mr. Olson's letter (Jan. 22) charging Mr. Del Corno with "falling into the trap of believing editorials," I wonder if he also has "fallen into the trap" of reading books as well. If so, shame on him; we don't want to become too enlightened, do we?

Also, the writer states that he does not know how a trio of experienced journalists could come up with such a one-sided editorial. Could one possibility be that they have researched, investigated and studied the data and come up with an honest opinion that is different from his own? Nah... not a chance.

Gene Patterson