Union Democrat staff

East Sonora

To the editor:

There's nothing wrong with East Sonora that can't be made better by complementing and enhancing what's right with East Sonora, but it's important to let the Board of Supervisors know.

Ideally, we would have consistent design guidelines (including sign standards) for all businesses as well as residences visible from the main roads. Having better internet access, more trails, an equestrian center, and preserving the remaining open space between communities, as called for in the county General Plan, would help to attract more young professionals.

The following details are recommended: rustic and rural architectural styles, green, gray or brown roofing; landscaping, including native and heritage trees; real wood and stone on exterior facades or high-quality imitations, earth-tone stains and paints and simple, few and low-profile signs.

What detracts from the beauty and value of the area are: too many signs, bright and light colors, faux materials, out-of-place architectural styles, including the current stucco towers, and red roofs.

Linda Dick Bissonnette


Sports threatened

To the editor:

Local schools are pushing to remove girls' basketball and boys' wrestling from the fourth- and fifth-grade students. The change has already been approved at one local school.

No matter how many questions I ask, no one can show how this saves money. I have spoken to our superintendent and our athletic director, and only the superintendent is in favor of this. My husband coaches boys' wrestling, and has offered to forfeit his stipend. The booster club has offered help. There are ways to avoid this.

We already charge each child $20 for transportation, so where is the cost? How much are we saving? Since each school is its own district, each board has its own vote.

Superintendents want to show on paper a list of cuts, a list of what "they" did. Last time I checked, budget cuts were about saving money not saving face. Cuts that affect our children directly should be carefully considered, especially when parents are offering ways to help with funding.

It's time for each board to stand up and take notice, making choices that are both financially responsible and in the best interest of the children they represent. Don't simply follow suit based on a secret handshake that the superintendents of this community have. We still have time. Attend your school's board meeting and voice your opinion. It only takes a couple schools to keep these programs available to our kids. Why take something away from our kids when it solves and saves nothing?

Heather Davis

Curtis Creek School parent


Facts straight

To the editor:

Re: Francine Lettmann's letter (May 6).

Francine, let us get the facts straight. Tioga is still a distinguished high school, and will be until 2010. Most current board members were not even on the board when that accolade was bestowed on Tioga, so they deserve no credit for that achievement. That is reserved to the students and staff at Tioga, by improving their API test scores.

What the board members are responsible for is removing our math teacher on unfounded and fallacious charges, which they never corrected. They are responsible for allowing an incredible Spanish teacher (who had lived in Mexico City for the last dozen years before coming here) go last year by simply not reassuring him that the position would still be there this year, which it was.

They are responsible for creating an environment of fear and distrust, among students, teachers and parents. They are responsible for tens of thousands dollars of unnecessary attorney's fees. They are responsible for my portable classroom slowly falling apart, because there is no bond money left for it. They are responsible for the boys and girls locker rooms in our new multi-million dollar gym having only one shower each.

They are responsible for the Don Pedro principal allowing election material to be printed on the school's gym grand opening program. They are responsible for allowing Don Pedro to be out of compliance with falsified STAR testing last year.

No, Francine, they are responsible for much and for nothing, and that is why over one-third of the voters in the district had this recall election called on all five board members.

Tim King

civics teacher, Tioga High School