Union Democrat staff

Gun laws

To the editor:

In response to "Guns Revisited" by John Quartarolo (letter, April 17):

My hat's off to you. It takes a big man to poke at a sleeping giant. I'm not sure you understand the facts, but I am sure you're about to hear them from a lot of people.

Gun laws are for law-abiding people. Only honest citizens, who follow such laws, would be without guns. Criminals will still find ways to get guns, just as they find ways to get drugs. Which, if you're not familiar, are an epidemic, even though there are many laws that forbid their sale, purchase or use.

As for hunting, either you don't eat meat or you're a hypocrite. A roast in the crockpot is a roast in the crockpot, whether raised for consumption or hunted in the wild. Most hunters would agree that hunting is more humane.

If you do your research, you'll find that in states where the number of legal gun owners is up, crime is down. Good luck to you, Mr. Quartarolo. You're going to need it.

Todd Cangiamilla


Save water

To the editor:

Instead of increasing the base water and sewer rates as proposed, I urge the Tuolumne Utilities District to consider adjusting the consumption rates. Only a fraction of my current bill is based on the amount of water I use. This leaves me little financial incentive to conserve water.

TUD should use the rate hikes to address this situation. To do so, TUD could adjust the consumption rate formula so that customers who use an average amount of water would see an increase equal to the proposed base increase. Meanwhile, customers who use less water than average would benefit from a slightly smaller increase and those who use more than average would face a somewhat larger increase. (Provisions should be made so that agricultural customers are not priced out of business.)

Instituting rate increases in such a progressive manner would boost the financial incentive to conserve water and help TUD meet its conservation goals. It might also make the rate hikes more palatable, as thrifty customers could avoid much of the increase by employing additional water-saving measures in their lives.

Brian Greene


Tax Iraq

To the editor:

There are mingling reports existing that the United States has spent trillions of dollars on the war in Iraq. I believe this has had an enormous impact on the declining U.S. economy; despite what the national media has proclaimed. I spent nearly twenty years as a quality engineering contractor; under which I provided a direly needed service to a client (aerospace, Department of Defense and military), in return for monetary compensation.

Why, in the world, are we not "taxing" the Iraqi government for services rendered? It has cost us dearly.

Despite the presence of threatening circumstances, shouldn't the people of Iraq be accountable for the extreme services provided by us, the people and forces of the United States of America? We are and have been paying for their security, protection, training and humanitarian aid for many years.

So, where in the world is our compensation? As oil rich as Iraq is, it seems they should be able to stand some substantial "payback" to the provider of such valuable services. Am I wrong? Saddam had billions of dollars of financial worth! What happened to those monies?

Anyway, just a thought from a suffering and concerned American (also a veteran).

Wally George