Union Democrat staff

Protect Medicare

To the editor:

I am a firm believer that everyone should be entitled to health care. But I do not think it should be at the expense of our seniors that have worked all their life to be able to get SSI and Medicare.

Medicare was first designed to take care of people when they reach a certain age. Now ask a senior about the Medicare and I'm pretty sure they'll tell you that when their doctor puts an order in for blood work or surgery there is a waiting period to be approved or denied by the government.

I have been told stories that people had to wait six to eight weeks for the government to get back to their doctors for any type of treatment. Also, our government has cut dental and eye benefits from our seniors. Now President Obama wants to cut Medicare further.

Where has the respect for our elders gone to, people? I don't want to have to wait for our government's approval to see a doctor, do you?

Wake up America. We need to know what health care will be put into place for our seniors, because one day you and I will be seniors, and I don't want someone telling me that my life is not worth living.

Kathy Rubinstein


Copper hijinks

To the editor:

I'm a retired firefighter from Southern California. Throughout my career, I've seen this kind of problem occasionally crop up. It's usually nothing more than an ego conflict between those involved. Someone with overbearing desires from one agency tries to cross district boundaries and boss the other department around. Of course, the other department will have a chief that thinks the other guy is meddling - which in my opinion he is.

It is my opinion that if the Cal Fire Captain sees something wrong in another district, go ahead and bring it up with the chief. But it is up to that chief to take any necessary action. If that chief OKed it and it didn't break any laws, no harm, no foul.

All the stations and the departments I've been in had their share of hijinks. The public doesn't lose out on anything. Fire service hijinks can build bonds among the crew. Without this camaraderie, tensions would become too tight.

Our way of thinking was that if the engine was somewhere else and within the boundaries of its response area, no big deal. The crew can respond from that location. It would only mean that someone for a short period will probably have the good fortune of a shorter response time, while for a change the guy living near the station will have to wait a little longer.

If the engine was somewhere else and someone walks into the station with a problem, he would have to dial 911 just like everyone else. This is done whether the engine is involved in hijinks, training, errands, a store run or another call.

George J. Zay


Caring community

To the editor:

I have had the privilege of getting to know Sonora Police Officer Jeff Aitken. He explained to me what he could remember of his accident, then told me that he would do it again if needed.

I admit that I have thought at times that part of the reason officers are so strict with DUIs was making cities more money. Jeff put it in perspective by asking how I would feel if he let drunk drivers go and my 4-year-old got hit by one. I realized how serious he takes his job.

In his hotel room are signs that schools have made for him and stacks of cards and letters. A company provides free bottled water and people often bring meals. Usually a patrol car or fire truck is parked in front, meaning friends are checking on Jeff. Everywhere we go there are handshakes, opened doors and smiles.

I feel honored to be from a town that cares. If you are like me and sometimes feel this county is small and has nothing to offer, reconsider. We live in a community of people who care about each other.

Next time you see someone in law enforcement, think about telling them thanks for all their hard work. They are a group of men and women who care about us and care about their own.

I hope I see Officer Aitken patrolling the streets again, but while he isn't, we are in good hands. I'd like to thank this community for its generosity and thank law enforcement for protecting us all.

Beth Rogers


Stupendous program

To the editor:

Connections Academy and Summerville High School recently hosted the Young Americans and participated in the three days of workshops.

After long hours of working together (some 12 hour days), the entire group of over 200 students along with the Young Americans presented a stupendous program. We were happy to see the pictures and articles prior to the performance, but wonder why there was nothing in your paper regarding the terrific result of all of the hard work and effort.

Our thanks to Mr. Gibson, principal of Connections Academy, and everyone else who was instrumental in bringing such a wonderful experience to our children. Anyone who had the privilege of attending the performance was surely blown out of their seats.

Linda and Jerry Glenn