Union Democrat staff

Standard Mill

To the editor:

Re: April 22 letter by John Buckley of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center.

I think instead of nitpicking at what was and wasn't said by people about the closing of Sierra Pacific Industries' Standard Mill, we all need to remember that isn't important any more.

The closing of this mill is going to devastate the community. People will be forced to make difficult decisions. Over a 100 people will be out of jobs, and when many of them can't find work, local shops will be hit.

It isn't important what was said. What is important is that the mill that employs so many in the community is closing and this might begin a domino affect. People moving, spending less and taking business outside the community. My family members work for the Standard Mill and it's scary to know it's closing and already there is lack of employment. They will have to fight 100-plus people for jobs.

I think instead of focusing on what was said, we need to focus on what this means for all the people affected by the closure of the mill.

Rickie Fletcher


Insult to volunteers

To the editor:

Re: the Barn Fire letter written by Wayne Kirkbride (April 23). Surely he jests. I don't know Mr. Kirkbride. I don't know his age, how long he has lived in Twain Harte or where he was born and raised. However, his analogy of referring to the "bucket brigade of firefighters who finally woke up from too much partying" is an insult to all the volunteers from the beginning of our nation.

Evidently, Mr. Kirkbride is not aware of how dangerous a bucket brigade must have been during their use. If volunteer firefighters had responded during or after a party, so what? They weren't getting paid. They were there when needed. That wasn't a party. They trained on their own time and risked their lives - maybe for relatives of Mr. Kirkbride.

At the present time there is a shortage of volunteer firefighters due to the training that is required. This isn't l776 or l970. This is now. Would you rather we returned to the bucket brigades? Do you realize how close to flames you must stand to throw a bucket of water on a fire?

The cost of fire protection is high. Trained volunteers lessen our costs - a lot. I wonder who you would call if you had a fire or medical emergency. Next time, please pick another analogy for your political diatribe.

Harper A. Petersen

Twain Harte

Market must be regulated

To the editor:

Jesus Christ was nearly perfect in his commitment to non-violence. In all the Biblical stories I believe the only time Jesus is said to have become outraged and violent was in response to the money changers who set up their tables in Herod's Temple in Jerusalem. He overturned the tables of these practioners of usury (the charging of large fees to borrow or exchange money) and drove them from the temple.

Today we have capitalists proclaiming that they have the right in a supposedly free market to charge whatever the market will bear. Whether it's the price to borrow on your credit card to cover essential costs of living or the price you are charged in the health-care-for-profit world we Americans currently live in.

Whatever the market will bear? I don't think Jesus would have found this acceptable. We shouldn't either. Profit gained at undue or excessive cost to others is not ethical, moral or acceptable... The market must be regulated to keep it ethical.

I'm quite sure Jesus would agree that we need to pay taxes to fund a strong, ethical, regulatory government. I also know where he'd say to get the money: "Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8.Put) another way, "Tax the filthy rich."

Bob Wetzel