Union Democrat staff

Cause for pride

To the editor:

During a time in which there is so much global stress exacerbated by extreme fiscal challenges, I would like to focus on the generosity of our own Tuolumne County.

Don Merchant, one of our county's residents is in need of surgery for which he and his family have to come up with a significant amount of "up front" money. On Friday, July 24, the community held a fund raiser to help Don and his family with this great financial burden.

The response was heart warming. This little community, in which there have seen significant job losses and pay cuts for many, rose to the occasion. As has happened time and time again in Tuolumne County, residents were able to for a time put aside their own hardships to help out someone else in need.

We deserve to be proud!

Susan Balcarcel


Angels Camp PD

To the editor:

I find the Angels Police Department disturbing. They seem to enjoy being bullies.

The first six months after my husband and I moved to Angels Camp, we were pulled over several times. One of those times we were cited for a broken windshield. Before we had the chance to replace it, we were pulled over again. The officer said he could write us another ticket but he'd give us a break. It was replaced within the time allowed.

Another incident happened about 8:30 p.m., as my husband drove me home from work. An Angels PD parked the opposite direction made a U-turn and tailgated us. As we entered the driveway, the officer hit the siren. We stopped. He didn't ask for my husband's information. I was shocked when he asked for mine. It was in the house.

I asked if I'd done anything wrong. He said no. He said he could write us a ticket because our rear license plate was obstructed by the ball hitch. I thought, "Whatever!" We're not the only people who've been harassed for this. These are standard ball hitches! How many cops have trucks with the same type of hitch?

I was on my way to work at 2:50 a.m. I pulled out of my driveway. A pair of bright headlights were coming fast behind me, tailgating. I was scared to death. It was an Angels PD. I've had this letter written for a few months but was afraid to send it. We've moved to a different county. I feel safe now.

Vicki Schnoor


Reach out

To the editor:

Are you against Obama's health plan? Then you probably have health insurance and imagine, as I did, that those without it are aliens, people without jobs, those who want to take advantage of the system, and that, in an emergency, anyone can receive medical help. I thought the same thing.

Then, 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Terrified and alone, I went to our local hospital where I was told, "No insurance, no admittance." My stereotypes were shattered. I was, after all, a conscientious tax-paying citizen.

As a single mother, I had supported my children without leaning on any government program. I had just returned to America from working in the UK and Ireland and had forgotten that the health care I took for granted there was not a given in my own country.

Sure, some of those people who need help are indigents or aliens. But many of them, like me, are simply self employed and can't swing the cost of a monthly premium. Or they have been hit by something major like cancer and no company will touch them.

Now, thank God, I have Medicare and for me it is miraculous. When I hear people criticizing the way the government runs that program, I want to shout in protest. I couldn't be more pleased.

Please be willing to take the broad view and to reach out to the 47 million men, women, and children who have no insurance and who live in fear of a major illness. Don't fall for the hype. Health care is not available for the uninsured.

Jennifer Reese


Deeply moved

To the editor:

Many thanks to Marcie Wells. I read your letter to the editor (July 30) and immediately rented the DVD, "Taking Chance." You were right. Every American should watch this movie. My husband and I were deeply moved by this HBO film and I, too, wondered why this wonderful film did not get the notoriety that it deserved. Our fallen soldiers deserve this final tribute for the service they have given for all of us. As you said, Marcie, watch it and be a proud American.

Sandi Gillespie