Union Democrat staff

Love of music

Dear Editor,

To add to the history of Rusty and Sharon Jones' 50th anniversary is their love of music. Rusty has also been known for his guitar playing and singing. He organized the Rail Riders Band and Foothills Senior Band. He and Major Kelly of Sonora are the only two musicians left from those bands.

His bands entertained all around the county including at senior centers, hospitals, and long-term care rooms. His love for music and generosity to share it has always been backed by Sharon's, although I'm sure there is a different story between them when he ran over his historical guitar in his driveway.

Flo Griggs

Sierra Village


To the editor:

Citizens for Responsible Growth, who are you? What gives you the right to run the City of Sonora? We have the council, also the planning commission, to take care of the city. As a taxpayer, I did not like paying lawyers' fees for your folly.

Personally I think your group should have paid for all fees. You are not good citizens, keeping people from having jobs to feed their families.

You should be rejoicing for new housing in our town. Your group has really made a name for yourselves: busybodies. You are too late trying to stop growth. It should have been done 50 years ago. I am looking forward to more big businesses coming in. Then I won't have to travel to Modesto.

Aileen Johnston


Seize ill-gotten gains

Letter to the editor:

I have a suggestion for a California stimulus package. If you are caught dealing drugs, the money and the car in your possession while committing this crime are seized. The thought I have could possibly bring California out of the red.

Any and all illegal immigrants should be arrested and any property they have acquired while in California illegally, or actually anywhere in the United States illegally, could be and should be seized. The money could be used for multiple purposes, and the rest of their property could be auctioned off.

We need to make the United States less appealing for illegals.

Once they cross the border illegally they literally have it made. We pay for their medical and their food in the way of food stamps. The rich give them jobs so they can get richer. Fine the employers heavily and use the money wisely. A complete United States round-up of illegals would be beneficial for US citizens.

Kathy Symonds


Willing to pay

To the editor:

Would you please pass this on to whom it may concern. I, as a grandparent, would be willing to pay more for my grandsons to use the pools. I would also pay more for swimming lessons. There are probably more grandparents and parents who feel the same. Our kids need something to do that is fun and safe. The pools are one of the few things Sonora can offer them.

Barbara Brakefield


Forest management rebuttal

To the editor:

The July 15 letter, "Forest Management" by Rob Schaeffer, M.D., included incorrect statements. One, "That during the past decade, not a single environmental group has litigated against any timber sale or attempted to block any fuel reduction project on the Stanislaus National Forest," is definitely not accurate.

On the U.S. Forest Service Web site are multiple litigations filed against sales on the Stanislaus in the past decade. Projects were tied up for years, costing the Forest Service (aka, the public) and private companies millions.

Two current projects may be litigated by Sierra Forest Legacy and John Muir Project (Earth Island Institute), two groups that work with John Buckley's Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center.

Dr. Schaeffer also accused Sierra Pacific Industries of clear-cutting thousands of acres.

SPI does clear cut on their land when it is the appropriate harvest method. SPI follows over 1,000 rules laid down by the California Board of Forestry and Cal Fire. They must write, file and have approved their harvest plan before one tree is cut. Also, SPI does not leave land barren after a clear-cut. Like all lumber companies, it is required to replant between five and seven seedlings for every tree harvested.

A fire is burning in our forest as I write. You can bet burned SPI lands that are "clear-cut" by nature will be salvaged and replanted rapidly. We can't say the same about Forest Service land. What might have been a forest may be a brush field in the future, as has been the case time and again.

Get your facts straight, Dr. Schaeffer. Do your research.

Gil Fryer