Union Democrat staff

Consolidation urged

To the editor:

There is not a valid reason for Tuolumne County to have 12 school districts with superintendents, principals, assistant principals, business officers, school board members and numerous support staff. In addition, we also have a county superintendent of achools with support staff along with its own board of education representatives. This is wasteful and takes funding away from the classroom.

The recent article about Chinese Camp considering a consolidation with the Jamestown District is the tip of the iceberg. With student population so low, why do we allow this to continue? Granted that some measures have been taken to reduce staff and combine some of the duties, but the district still has a deficit.

Consolidation of this district should have been considered five years ago due to declining enrollment. The local school board and school administrators are at fault for not taking immediate action on this issue.

Consolidating our school districts countywide would reduce wasteful spending and provide more support to the classroom, where it is needed. The county superintendent of schools should call for an immediate proposal to consider consolidation and follow through with appropriate actions. If not, I would think that a ballot measure would be well received among informed county voters.

Ed Anderson


Americans can disagree

To the editor:

In Bob Wetzel's open letter to Congressman Radanovich (March 2), he accused the congressman of "treason" for not getting in line step behind the president.

Why stop there? Why not "heretic"? Maybe they should bring back the inquisition for people like the congressman. Put him on the rack until he agrees with the president.

Get a clue people - this is the United States of America. Even though we often differ on politics, we have the right to express our differences. We vote our representatives in (and out) of office. If you don't agree with Congressman Radanovich's vote, then remember that at the next election.

In regards to Mr. Wetzel's statement "respected economists all agree that we need government investments now to pull our country out of economic disaster that the Republicans have created" - not "all" respected economists agree, especially the ones who also study history.

Government spending didn't work in the 1930s and it was an absolute failure for Japan in the 1990s. Many think that it will not work now.

Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This economic mess was caused equally by both parties.

George Greenfield


Tokyo Rose?

To the editor:

For about an hour a week, I listen to the Rush Limbaugh Show. I used to think his rantings were just "mind nourishment" to feed his cerebrally challenged followers. However, recently Limbaugh has taken on the title "Leader of the Republican Party." Therefore, we all must now take what he says as public policy being set by and for the Republican Party.

Limbaugh has called for the failure of America. He is calling for the catastrophic collapse of our banking system, the automobile manufacturers, the financial/insurance industries, the states, cities and counties throughout America. This is fact and no longer debatable.

The other day, I heard him pontificating his "failure for America" platform. He was trying to make it sound like a populist movement. During a commercial break I heard him read a paid ad urging his listeners to buy Chevrolets. This of course is a product of General Motors, the same company to which Americans just gave billions of dollars.

Rush "Tokyo Rose" Limbaugh, is exhorting his listeners to support his call for the failure of the president, Congress and America. This massive bailout program originated with the Bush administration, and was furthered by the Obama administration with each step of the way acted upon by a vote of both houses of Congress.

Limbaugh, no matter how he tries to spin it, is calling for the failure of America. My only question is, where does one's First Amendment Rights end and sedition begin? Join me in imploring the Congress of the United States to immediately force General Motors, and any other publicly supported company, to stop using taxpayers money to sponsor the overthrow of America.

Dominic Torchia


Stand firm, teachers

To the editor:

Have you ever organized an event for 30 people? It takes a lot of preparation, money, nice clothes, an unruffled attitude, and cleanup. This is exactly what I do 180 days of the year, 10 hours per day, as a teacher. I also put in 12 to 15 extra days, when I decorate the classroom, order supplies (about $700 for which I am not reimbursed), attend seminars, and close up the classroom. It is a tough job that requires at least five years of college, includes about 20 decisions on safety and discipline each day, and involves homework each night. Every teacher puts in a hard day's work.

I will be receiving a pink slip. A common opinion seems to be that if teachers would take a cut in pay, then layoffs wouldn't be necessary. My job loss is devastating. I may lose my house. But I say, "Stand firm, teachers! Say no to cuts."

This problem was created by corporate greed and lousy political decisions. The solution should not be carried on our shoulders. What will it take before citizens rise up and make their representatives accountable? We should demand that they be the ones to take a pay cut. And back it up by voting them out of office if it doesn't happen.

I've sent out about 90 e-mails to legislators, newspapers, the governor, etc. Not a single politician has responded! But I'm just one small voice. Maybe if families experience crowded, unsafe classrooms and loss of programs they'll finally demand a decent day's work from their representatives. I am hoping that a change for the better will be our silver lining.

Marita Dietz, teacher

Don Pedro Elementary School

La Grange

Pressing questions

To the editor:

Things to think about:

• If your household or government is in debt is more spending the answer?

• If big business and banks get bailout money for failing. what does small business get ?

• If Citizens are low on money, do higher taxes make sense?

• If we can't take care of our own citizens (elderly, disabled, homeless, veterans, etc.), should we take care of non-citizens, illegals and people in foreign countries?

• If people can't or don't pay their loans, should taxpayers bail them out ?

• If global warming is real and it lowers our heating bills, is it bad?

• If we conserve water, is it right for the water company to sell it to new customers?

• Is it because vehicle turn signals are too hard to use that most people don't use them?

• In good and bad times, why do we pay 15 to 20 cents more per gallon of gas in Sonora?

Roy Jueal

Twain Harte

Share the pain

To the editor:

It pains me to see how many people are being affected by the economy. I am watching people being laid off, taking furloughs and retirement funds depleted. What I don't see is our legislators reducing their pay, housing allowance or turning down the gas card and the car.

I think we should all help, including those who have gotten us to this point. Instead of playing politics with the budget, they could have gotten to work and fixed this problem. Our legislators are deducting millions of dollars from schools, county and city governments, and programs for the elderly and disabled, but we haven't seen one dollar taken from them or their expense accounts. We might be surprised how much we can save from them.

Angela Brown