Union Democrat staff

Our hero

To the editor:

Thank you for allowing me to use this media to express my extreme appreciation to the wonderful gentleman who found our bank deposit.

Bob "the Broker" Manesajian found our deposit of more than $4,800 in the parking lot at the senior center. As a very small non-profit, the museum in Coulterville cannot afford to lose such a large amount of money.

So after 24 agonizing hours, to have this angel swoop down and save the day for us is very heartwarming. Thank you Mr. Manesajian for being our hero.

Gail Tyler, secretary

Northern Mariposa County

History Center


Politics of fear

To the editor:

The Patriot Act actually went against the Constitution, removing many of our civil liberties. Its implementation was only made possible during the period of skeptical legality under Bush/Cheney, by stacking Justice Department officials and shamelessly using the politics of fear against the American people.

Gary Phillips

La Grange

County's charms

To the editor:

I live part of the year away from Tuolumne County. When I return I am struck by what we have here. The people who've chosen to move to this county came for several reasons. Those that grew up here and stayed obviously enjoy being here.

No matter the reason, we are lucky. New businesses are planning to open. The cost of homes is down and rent is more affordable. But there is more to our county that draws people than jobs and housing. It is the unique offerings we have.

Within an hour's drive we have many outdoor opportunities. The air quality is healthier than counties in the Valley. Crime is lower than surrounding areas and gangs have yet to be a major problem. Parents are comfortable letting their children walk in their neighborhoods.

Tuolumne County is rich in history. Along with the Gold Rush we have the early Native Americans. We also have a wonderful group of artists. Three theaters are active. Our library is thriving. The Central Sierra Arts Council just held a successful writing contest called the "Cat in the Attic."

There are old hotels and bed and breakfasts that have kept the feeling of the turn of the century. According to the Central Sierra Arts Council Web site, centralsierraarts.org, several of the hotels are to be featured in an upcoming Historic Tuolumne Hotels to be held Oct. 10 and 11. The culmination of this tour will be a one person show, "The Immigrant's Table," by nationally known artist May Lou Sanelli, at the National Hotel in Jamestown. Take time to enjoy activities within our county.

Lane Willey


Creeping socialism

To the editor:

This has to stop.

I have read the stories in The Democrat of the creeping socialism here in Sonora. The constant accolades given the to the vets clinic are just promoting government intervention into health care. We just heard from Rep. Radanovich how the government must limit its role in health care. The vets clinic is another limit on the free market. We are taking money out of the pockets of the insurance companies and their executives. How will they be able to contribute millions to politicians and defeating the health care plan?

How much did construction of the clinic add to the national debt? Certainly sick people can drive for an hour or two to get this government largesse at some existing facility. As Rep. Radanovich said, entitlement programs (Medicare and veterans' care) are burdensome on federal spending. What does it matter GI's are taken from their normal lives and made subject to danger?

I even read an article that liberals are trying to recover some of the civil freedoms we surrendered to President Bush to stop terrorist incursion. I recall my mother saying, "Better dead than Red" and hiding under my desk during another time we lost other freedoms during government-promoted fear.

Since my disability in 1996, I have had to depend on Medicare to provide my medical needs. Before that, the company I worked for allocated approximately $5,800 dollars for medical insurance benefits and I contributed approximately $1,900 to add my wife to the coverage.

Insurance premiums have risen 3 to 5 times what the cost was then. I sure liked the coverage, but then, I had a job.

Sanford Conley


Happy 100th

To the editor:

I was scanning my online page from The Union Democrat a few moments ago and there was this wonderful article about Lurline Bird. I worked with Lurline for many years at Sonora Community Hospital. She and Ted and my family were the best of friends.

I'm so glad that my former hospital staff continues to celebrate milestones with her. I only wish I could be there to share in the 100th! Congratulations Lurline! Congratulations Sonora - you have in your midst a pioneer and a most giving person one could ever know. We miss all of you in Sonora.

Paul and Jean Tharp

Asheville, N.C.

(Paul and Jean Tharp lived in Sonora from 1991 to 2000. Before retiring, Paul worked for Adventist Health as head of community relations for Sonora Community Hospital).