Union Democrat staff

Warden Clay

To the editor:

I worked off and on with Warden Ivan Clay for 20 years. He is one of the finest men I have ever worked with. I want to wish him well in his future endeavors. The Department of Corrections is losing a great person.

Janet Tennison

Twain Harte

Consolidation backed

To the editor:

Imagine my surprise to see the front page of the July 20 Union Democrat quoting the Sonora Elementary School District superintendent, Margie Bulkin, as critical of the Tuolumne County Grand Jury's recent report, which urged local school districts to consider consolidation.

Of course she is critical, because this means really putting everything on the table to balance our schools' budgets, not just the teachers, aides and support staff.

I have always believed that this county is in the dark ages in regards to paying each school to have a superintendent and a principal. Just a take a look at other counties, Monterey for example: The Peninsula Unified School District, which has 21 schools, is overseen by Dr. Marilyn Shepherd, superintendent. Each school has a principal, but not a superintendent.

What a waste of funding that should go to students, not extreme administration. The Grand Jury is what it is, "The Grand Jury." I'm so proud that, finally, we have an outlet that is unbiased and really looks at how we can save money, save jobs and save our children's education.

Doesn't sharing resources include administration? What is the difference! I stand up with the group, "Multi-district Parents," and hope it keeps the momentum. It is possible to consolidate, and it is not unreasonable. It just requires an open mind to change.

I realize that it is easy to write and complain about this atrocity, but not only am I willing to write, I'm willing to stand up and do the work for what is best for the children of this wonderful county.

Jackie Mills


Misleading data

To the editor:

"Interior Department Withdraws 2008 Critical Habitat Designation for the Northern Spotted Owl, July 16, 2009. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Department will ask a federal district court to vacate the Fish and Wildlife Service's 2008 revision of designated critical habitat for the spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act, because Interior's Inspector General determined that the decision-making process for the owl's recovery plan was potentially jeopardized by improper political influence."

The above statement was taken from the U.S. National Wildlife Service Web page. California Loggers and Logging industries of other states have suffered financially for years due to misleading wildlife data propagated by radical groups which prefer to gain financial and political power through playing on the emotions of good Americans with false or exaggerated information.

Patrick H Luepke


Speak the language

To the editor:

I'm getting a little bit tired of documents being printed in many languages. For instance, I keep getting letters from Blue Cross with multiple languages, I have one with 13 different ones: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Armenian, Russian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Khmer, Arabic and Hmong.

If these people have chosen to live in the United States and accept all of the benefits of our society, then they should read and speak AMERICAN. If they want our documents in their tongue they can pay for the printing costs. Wake up America. Let's get this stopped.

Gary van Den Bergh


Health care

To the editor:

Having lived in countries where single payer health care works very efficiently, covers everyone (rich and poor alike), and where co-pays are affordable, I am convinced that what is holding up Americans from getting that kind of coverage is pure greed on the part of insurance companies and the money they support legislators with.

Since Washington legislators have their coverage quite nicely affordable (thank you very much), they feel no urgency to make it available to the rest of Americans. Only firm protests and outcries from the public is ever going to change the status quo.

Janet Maffei