Letters to the editor for June 22, 2009

Union Democrat staff

Unfair comparison

To the editor:

Re: Lacey Peterson's June 4 article covering the new Big Oak Flat-Groveland School Board. Surprisingly, the article compares the complaints of one former board member apparently trying to find fault over trivia to the outrage of well over a thousand individuals from every walk in a community at the mismanagement of their schools.

Aside from the biased coverage, how is that deja vu? How is that worthy of front page news? How can the largest local newspaper be so unaware of the nuances of a story that's made national news?

In an earlier editorial, The Union Democrat made the observation that people in L.A. were amused by our high jinks, or words to that effect.

Perhaps you might be interested in the schools and teachers who have contacted us for advice in beginning their own recall campaigns. One might expect that a paper so named as yours might have more respect for populist, democratic, grassroots politics.

Emily Hanchett

Coulterville

Tax bashing

To the editor:

A lot of folks lately are bashing taxes. Whether in tea parties, talk shows, or testy editorials, the mantra suggests that we citizens are overtaxed. The governor says it, state and national representatives say it, and worst of all, the public has embraced it.

I challenge that fanaticism. Don't get me wrong, I dislike taxes as much as the next guy. But the purpose of taxes is to supply desperately needed services and spread the costs as widely as possible. If you are a tax basher, consider the costs of personally supplying those services for your family - filling potholes, safety and consumer protection, and education of your children.

Lately, however, a more egregious phenomenon has occurred. While insisting on lower taxes and greater services for themselves, the bashers are demanding that "taxes" be raised on a select few.

When public employees are forced to accept no cost-of-living increases, or salary and benefits cuts (with inflation rate at 3.8 percent), or unpaid furlough days (while their services are more utilized), these people are having their "taxes" effectively raised. A smaller net salary is the equivalent of a tax increase. They are contributing a disproportionate amount to the effort to save the state and national economy.

Balancing the California budget will take shrewd creativity. But scapegoating and victimizing public employees is not the way to do it. We all have a duty to find the methods for paying for government. Making it smaller and starving out its most dedicated servants is not the way. We all must share in the cost. If that means higher taxes, let them apply to all of us.

Rick Mogg

Sonora

Breakfast treat

To the editor:

Re: "Fried Egg Blooms" (Union Democrat, June 12).

The plant that grabbed the attention of many passersby is known as the "Matilija poppy." This pretty flower sure turned out to be the "toast" of the town! Breakfast anyone?

Debra Wilson

Long Barn

Community thanks

To the editor:

As my high school days have come to an end, senior projects have been judged and final portfolios completed, I find myself doing quite a bit of reflection and feel possessed with the need to publicly deliver the gratitude I feel towards the people of this community.

The thanks that I am presenting is in reference to my senior project. For my project, I accepted the task of raising awareness throughout our community for autism. In addition, I also asked for donations for the foundation Autism Speaks.

The first person I would like to thank is my sister, April Nolte. Without without her help I highly doubt that I would have obtained the level of success I did during the course of my project.

I would also like to thank the people who so graciously reached into their pockets in these times of financial hardships. The kindness and generosity amazed me and diminished my cynical predictions. On a final note, I must thank the man who donated $100. This display of charity was so amazing and my gratitude is so immense to you. In the end I was able to raise $2,110. Thank you all so much, citizens of Tuolumne County.

Alex Barrows

Twain Harte

Proposition 13

To the editor:

I would like to point out to Liz Bass that Proposition 13 passed in the 1970s and, if she did not know, this is 2009.

She can blame her own kind (politicians) for the spend-now-pay-later attitude. The people are taxed out of their shorts right now, and will be expecting more taxes. The politicians want to cut every government employee's wages, however our bills don't get cut.

If she wants to blame Prop. 13, why are all the rest of the non-Prop. 13 states having the same problem?

Bernie Roberts

Modesto

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