Union Democrat staff

Burn day rules?

To the editor:

We went to play tennis in Twain Harte on Feb. 4, the first burn day in a while. The smoke was horrible and filled the whole valley by the courts and Twain Harte Drive. The smoke was coming from a house behind the tennis courts where at least 20 burn piles were smoldering. I asked the man burning to put them out, but he would not. We called Twain Harte Fire and Air Pollution, and got no results.

They should know that California Air Resources Board rules on open burning provide that:

• Material to be burned shall be arranged so that it will burn with a minimum of smoke.

• Mitigating measures shall be taken when smoke is drifting into a nearby populated area or creating a public nuisance.

• A person shall not discharge from any source whatsoever such qualities of air contaminants or other material which cause injury, detriment, nuisance or annoyance to any considerable number of persons, or to the public, or which endanger the comfort, repose, health or safety of any such persons, or the public, or which cause to have a natural tendency to cause injury or damage to business property.

What are our rights as citizens of Twain Harte?

Maureen and James P. Nolan

Twain Harte

Miracle by text

To the editor:

This is a proud father's story about how his cell phone brought about a miracle and changed the lives of his entire family and beyond.

Imagine the bittersweet world in which I've lived with my youngest daughter and her communication barrier. That precious daughter has selective mutism. With exception of her immediate family sharing emotionally limited conversations, she doesn't speak directly to anyone. She has not talked directly even with her two sisters.

I'd always hoped she would eventually talk to our family and friends, but the direct connection has never been made. Last week my middle daughter texted me good morning. My youngest, now adolescent, daughter asked who texted me, and I told her. She asked me to text my middle daughter back and I said, "Why don't you text her?" She then asked, "How do I do it?" So I showed her. She picked up on texting like any adolescent would.

The next day my middle daughter, overcome with emotion, told me, "Dad do you know what you've done? My sister is talking to me for the first time." Imagine how much I cried when I realized at that moment that the communication barrier had been broken, the wall of silence was torn down.

That's when I realized a miracle had just happened. I wanted to tell the whole world, my daughter had found a way to talk. For the first time in her life, my daughter can reach into her heart and text the words I have never been able to hear her say, "I love you, Dad!"

Danny Davis


Real hardship

To the editor:

I heard on the news that they have reached an accord in regard to a new state budget in Sacramento.

The sales tax is going up one cent, and auto registration is going up, along with the income tax. At least the 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax got booted. We are already paying the highest price in the country for gasoline.

The sales tax will be one of the highest in the country, and so will the vehicle registration. We are in a depression right now and to raise any tax is inexcusable! I think the legislators should repeal their per diem pay, stop the leasing of cars at our expense and turn in their gasoline credit cards. Also they should reduce their staff by 20 percent.

I called Assemblyman Tom Berryhill last week to voice my displeasure with this tax bill and got an answering machine. I left my phone number and I am still waiting for a return call. I wanted him to know that I am not going to vote for any fool that votes for this increase come next election. I am also not going to vote for anyone who voted for the "stimulus" fiasco, including the present senators. I am just getting by and I do not foresee an increase in my Social Security.

This tax increase is going to present a real hardship on the senior citizens and any other limited income families. In fact, I heard it will cost every family in California between $1,000 and $1,400 this year.

Maybe we should recall all of them and start over with some people with common sense.

John Kinest