Union Democrat staff

Write to Congress

To the editor:

I am on dialysis in Sonora three days a week. This involves sitting there, hooked up to a machine, four hours or more each time, with feet elevated. The machine filters my blood.

Satellite Dialysis patients are as young as 32 and as old as 96. They come from Sonora, Columbia, Copperopolis, Groveland, Pine Mountain Lake, Murphys, Angels Camp and Twain Harte, just to mention a few. Gender-wise, we are about even.

Kidney failure affects a lot of you. It might be grandparents, parents, children, a relative, neighbors, or just a friend.

There is room in Sonora for 54 patients a week. Everyone else must go to Modesto, Stockton, Merced or Turlock. Our hospital is not equipped for any kind of dialysis. Since Satellite Dialysis is non-profit and has a limited budget, a lot of people who need help are sent elsewhere.

This is where you come in. Write or call your representatives, or go to town meetings. Tell our representatives we need more coverage for this problem.

Write to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, to Senator Dianne Feintein or to Rep. George Radanovich.

J.A. Cole


Climate change

To the editor:

Melinda Fleming's Nov. 13 letter defended Myron Ebell, the keynote speaker at TuCARE's resources summit. As quoted in the newspaper, Mr. Ebell attacked scientific models about climate change as "junk" and said we should want more carbon emissions, not less.

Fleming's letter suggested that I misrepresented the facts because I did not attend the summit. If she had read carefully The Union Democrat article where I was quoted, she would have seen that "Buckley submitted a written statement to The Union Democrat ahead of Ebell's speech."

I made no claim to have attended yet another one-sided "summit" since, as I shared with the reporter, last year the entire summit was another attack on environmental regulations and environmentalists. Based on Union Democrat coverage of this year's event, it was even more of a pro-industry, anti-environmentalist event.

What is sad is that TuCARE's Fleming and Ebell (whose organization receives huge donations from oil, gas, and chemical companies) both claim that climate change poses no risk, despite the fact that illustrious scientific bodies such as the United Nations scientific panel have declared that climatic warming is "unequivocal" and that human activities are a key cause.

People can have differing views, but the TuCARE summit featured an attack on global warming just weeks after the media reported that Sierra Pacific Industries will accept millions of dollars in carbon credits for planting trees and taking other steps to supposedly sequester carbon to reduce global warming.

Since SPI and TuCARE are so closely aligned, it was hypocritical to publicly feature attacks on climate change while at the same time SPI is taking money to supposedly reduce the impacts of climate change.

John Buckley, executive director

Central Sierra Environmental

Resource Center

Twain Harte

Being fair

To the editor:

I saw Julie Fernandes' letter requesting an explanation ("Dog food donation," Nov. 18). Ms. Fernandes asked why accepting free dog food is showing favoritism.

Simply put, the voucher that was supplied by Breeders Choice stated "Free Bag" and "Offer only valid at Dusty's Den." All of those who adopted dogs from the Humane Society (as many as 285 a year) were going to Dusty's. A few local businesses did not feel that Breeders Choice or the Humane Society was being fair to all of the pet food suppliers in Tuolumne County. Companies that sold the same food were not included on the Breeders Choice voucher. The Humane Society was purchasing the "free" food for $150 a month. Our cost for food has not changed since we altered how we purchase dog food.

We read The Democrat's Nov. 16 article, "Change in dog food deal has some people howling," and we feel the article was fair. If anyone has any questions, they could refer to the article. We felt that reporter Walt Cook did a good job researching the article, he spoke to everyone involved and, as far as we know, it was factual.

Walt even pointed out that we were purchasing the food at a discounted rate. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me at the Humane Society and I will be happy to answer questions.

We sincerely apologize if there was any misunderstanding. Our concern was treating all of the businesses in Tuolumne County the same.

Randy McNurlin,

shelter manager and director

Humane Society of

Tuolumne County


Two-cart recycling

To the editor:

My 13 cents: I am not in favor of Tuolumne County's new two-cart recycling program.

My wife and I are retired, fixed income and barely fill up one 35-gallon container a week, even when it contains so-called recyclable material.

Having an additional 96-gallon monstrosity on the premises is ludicrous. It's sheer folly for us in particular, or anyone in general, to pay an additional $48 a year so that the customer can do a local company's job of sorting garbage.

How can that make sense? I will happily do the job of sorting if I am paid $48 a year - no question.

Bottom line: We are going to pay a company to do a job, then force the customer to do the company's work in addition to paying a fee for the privilege of doing so? Duh.

Gerald L. Keller