Union Democrat staff

What a deal

To the editor:

I want to thank the Angels Camp City Council for its generous act of reducing our water rate by $10.65 per month.

If I understand this correctly, the city has been overcharging every household and business $10.65 per month since the mid-1990s. So let's take 1995 as the starting point. That means for 14 years we have been overpaying for our base water rate. For each household, at S10.65 per month (the amount of the overcharge), times 168 months (14 years) that would equal $1,785.84.

If there are at least 1,000 households and businesses in the city, we overpaid $1,785,840. What a deal. And we still have the highest water rates in the county.

Mark Jones

Angels Camp

Read the bill

To the editor:

Bill Hansen's Aug. 18 letter ("Read the Bill") is a prime example of just how liberals react when faced with facts. They put their own spin on it and try to discredit their opponents.

Mr. Hansen strongly suggests that my Aug. 3 letter to the editor was filled with misinformation provided by "unsubstantiated Internet articles and radical talk show guests." This is not true. I have better things to do with my time.

Unlike, Mr. Hansen - whose reply that came directly from an Aug. 2 Internet article written by Charles Babington of the Associated Press (and we all know the Associated Press is part of our biased media) I chose to actually read parts of the 1,000-page bill. Health care rationing is laden throughout this bill beginning from Page 29 on, and calls for appointed government committees to determine benefits, restrict enrollment and eliminate choice.

Spin it like you want, that's still rationing! This bill also includes a mandatory consult for "Advance Care Planning" every 5 years or sooner as determined by government standards set forth in this bill (Pages 425 on) and "end of life orders" that include how, what and when. That's euthanasia. So again, I urge everyone, including Mr. Hansen and Mr. Babington, to read the bill. I did.

Barb Birks


Bill doubled

To the editor:

In response to PG&E's SmartMeter program, I personally think the company needs to look at this again unless it doesn't care about the residents of the counties they serve.

We had our meter changed in the middle of July only to find that the next bill we received was doubled what we had been paying. We never changed any of our habits, so we called PG&E. The only response we received was a rude, "Sorry but it's not our meter."

The people of Calaveras and Tuolumne counties need to check their bills and make some calls. It isn't right that PG&E can do whatever it wants just to increase their profits. This needs to be stopped now.

Harry Proctor

San Andreas

No 'entitlement'

To the editor:

In an article in the Aug. 21 Union Democrat, Walt Cook referred to Medicare as a federal "entitlement program" for seniors. I would like to take exception to Mr. Cook's description by pointing out a few pertinent facts:

First, in the 10 years I worked between the time I was eligible for Medicare and the time I retired and enrolled, I paid Medicare a total of $16,405 and received no benefits. This was a pre-payment for my future coverage.

Secondly, a Medicare recipient pays $1,200 per person every year as a premium. In addition, my wife and I each pay $3,800 to Blue Shield for supplemental coverage. This is medical insurance paid for by the individual and should not be described as "entitlement" any more than should Social Security.

Entitlement should be reserved for welfare, itself a worthy societal benefit.

Ira Uslander