Union Democrat staff

School board issues

To the editor:

In regards to Chris Bateman's column of Aug 28 on "What you need to know" regarding the new Groveland school board:

1. I am not a mind reader, so why Tonya (Midget) quit is an unknown to me ... but I can guess as did you. (Less stress and more money might factor in.)

2. Mike Malloy made a serious mistake. I will let the court decide the outcome of that. But I will say I truly feel he is not a danger to anyone, except maybe to himself.

3. The new board is having so many closed session meetings and items because of the old board. It and the previous district leader, who is on leave, left our district in a huge mess.

4. If the previous board had done what 99 percent of districts on basic aid have done the first year on it, we would not be in as big a mess as we are. Seems another district in our county on basic aid did the same thing we did to survive, and stopped transfers in. It is necessary.

Give the new board time to sort out the mess it was left and the additional lawsuits either previous trustees caused or that some of their "good friends" are filing.

Also, I hear we are paying for a superintendent on "leave" who never worked one day under the new board and now no longer resides in our state. Does that seem right to you?

Marian Wolf


Embrace change

To the editor:

In response to Constance Dresbach's letter titled "Right to Dissent" (Sept. 11):

You stated that the Citizens for Responsible Growth are citizens, yet, no one seems to be able to return an e-mail or phone call from this group.

Yes, this is a group of citizens, an elite group that no one can contact or has a right to join. You say their goals are to keep this "little town" little.

Well, the new generation feels different. Maybe you and your group can think of more than your elite selves and canvass what the under-60 group thinks, because it sure isn't what your group stands for.

Your goals and projects are ridiculous, and this is why the younger generation is forced to find good paying jobs in other counties. You restrict growth and economic stability in our county with your stupid projects.

Mountain Springs would have brought some badly needed affordable housing. Lowe's will bring some badly needed jobs. Look around you, Constance, and embrace change.

Loren Woodall


Where it hurts

To the editor:

Mirror, mirror on the wall: Is Sonora really historic, sweet, cute? Or rather what "Vance" wrote in a Wikipedia entry on the Internet: a backwater place, racist, dominated by the rich?

Vayne was wrong when he, according to The Union Democrat, wrote: "Many (Sonorans) are of higher economic standing and tend to be unwelcoming to visitors without money," and visitors should go where they "are less likely to be judged due to economic standing, skin color, or a linguistic barrier."

Aside from a few, most people here are not rich. In fact, if that were true, our per-capita income would be a lot higher than the piddling $19,248 that it is. But were his judgments really wrong?

Sorry, Vayne, that you had negative experiences but thanks anyway. Because you put your finger where it hurts. Proof of the hurt: Our glorious county supervisor, Liz Bass, rebuffed his accusations by proudly declaring that we do have "the bypass and people of color" in the county. Great. 91.36 percent white, and mostly poor.

What we don't have: Jobs. Why? No industry. And without significant change, I see no change ahead. The most blatant example: A formerly strong industry - logging - is dying or, more precisely, dead.

Do you see any new industries on the county's horizon? I don't. A Lowe's store is not an industry. And it will not generate $600,000 in sales taxes, as the city doggedly keeps telling us. Lowe's only takes away from existing businesses, jobs and sales taxes.

What we do have: Sunshine - and our largest employer is a prison with 6,000 inmates. Truly an economic base to be proud of!

Klaus Kraemer


Fine example

To the editor:

This past week Summerville High/Connections Academy had the privilege of hosting The Young Americans at our school. What a truly fine upstanding example they are to all of us.

Thanks to Michael and Louise Gibson, Dave and Teree Urquhart, Madeline Young, Jeanette Johnson, Michelle Perreira and all our wonderful janitors (Kip, Gary, Kevin and John) for making this wonderful event possible.

Thanks so much to all the host families for opening up your hearts and homes to these fine young people. The parent volunteers who helped feed this small army and all the parents who allowed their children to participate in this joyous, memorable event.

Also, a big thank you to Dr. Stacey Hoffmann, Peggy Spangler and Toni Butler of the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indian Health Clinic, who took the time during their lunch break to assist one of the Young Americans who had a minor medical problem.

In theater, as in life, everyone plays an important role in making a production outstanding! We are all so proud of our hard working,wonderful community for taking the time to help our local "Young Americans".

Van, Catherine and Colin Gordon


Rapacious business

To the editor:

"Patriotism is defending your country always, and government only when it deserves it." - Mark Twain.

Political ideology aside, I think most would agree. So why fight amongst ourselves? With facts in front and history behind, we should be united peoples demanding truth told and accountability held against government malfeasance, no matter whose "truth" is questioned.

Think about it: If we're mad at each other, eating our own, protesting with eyes wide shut, we're not paying attention to how we're being robbed of inalienable rights and "the pursuit of happiness."

There's only one way to unmask the real enemies in America - follow the money. Like cheese on a trap, money always leads to the fattest rat in town. Greed will never disappear in American oligarchy; it's rampant, grotesque and we sit on the precipice of Roman self -destruction.

Investigate who's rich from legislation and who's lobbying for it. When the Union Label went overseas and "Made in the USA" married "Made in China," who benefited - the boardroom or the break-room? If you're like me, always working to keep the tank full to always work, don't listen to media talking heads or torch-bearing villagers in Salem. Their employers, corporate media, are sponsored by elitists who stay rich keeping the working poor in debt and inundate them with fear to vote against their better interests.

Are politicians calling national health care "socialism" canceling their tax-funded insurance to reimburse teabaggers? Health care in America is a rapacious business many rats want left alone, and there's no such thing as coincidence.

Swine flu anyone?

Maria Cristina Long


Dawn's Light

To the editor:

I was born and raised in Tuolumne County.

In 2006, my daughter was murdered. Here it is three years later and we are still going to court. We would like to invite people to sponsor a child. For a powerful and wonderful tool for grieving a terrific loss that can feel like you are going insane, contact Dawn's Light. I just want to let our community know what great work Dawn's Light does.

I appeal to the business community in Tuolumne County to make a monthly pledge, or a one-time pledge to Dawn's Light Center for Children and Adults in Grief.

Debbie Serrano-Shaw

Twain Harte

Frightening combination

To the editor:

Cutting education and substance abuse programs in prison at a time when 40,000 inmates will be leaving prison ahead of schedule in the next two years is a frightening combination for me.

I would much rather release prisoners who have completed their GED and had an opportunity for support in going sober, than prisoners who have seen life get harder on the yard before they are released.

Cutting education and substance abuse programs at this time is very short-sighted. What further challenges will we have two years from now if we follow this path?

Margaret Willits