Union Democrat staff

Teachable moment

To the editor:

Re: Marian Wolf's letter, (Dec. 16, "Apology issued"), was (I hope) graciously received by those of us who were not in favor of the recall petition in the first place. In the almost 80 years of my lifetime, I cannot recall receiving such a "mea culpa"! It is often talked about by the media, but never actually done. My sincere admiration and respect to Ms. Wolf!

It seemed to me that the whole recall thing started as a classroom project, developed by a teacher at Tioga High, which then took on a life of it's own when parents became involved. Comments and opinions of students during the petition-signature gathering process became the subject of coffee-time and cocktail-hour discussions and ended up with neighbors and communities not speaking to each other.

A saving grace might be the possible illustration, by the teacher, of the fact that "elections have consequences," and a teachable moment on the rule of "unintended consequences."

Al Brizard


Stuck in God's Country

To the editor:

Over the past 49 years I have lived in and out of Tuolumne County - from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Paris, France. It is only in recent years that it has become very apparent to me that this county does not want individuals moving about.

While it is terrific that we now have Tuolumne County Transit, with stigma attached, its schedules are horrific. If you live in the Jamestown area and need to go into Sonora during the day it can take four to five hours for a round trip - almost an entire day.

The constant theme here is the lack of private pubic transportation, i.e. taxi cabs. Over the past years I remember Greyhound Bus Lines, Vintage Cab and Mother Lode Cab, all companies which have come and gone. Now 49er Cab is facing challenges, as its request for a rezoning was denied and there may be no other viable economic place for the company to park its vehicles.

I can only assume our county feels it is much healthier for our local economy to have people drive "under the influence," fine them, impound their vehicles and add the fines to the future county revenues.

Unless you have a valid license, own your own car, or know someone with a valid licensed vehicle, or are a "designated driver," you are stuck in God's Country forever.

William E. Freeze


Scientific truths

To the editor:

A Dec. 16 letter to the editor from Mike Albrecht, president of TuCARE, was quick to say "gotcha" when he believed he had all the necessary data to support his guest speaker Myron Ebell's position and apparently his belief that global warming is in fact reversing and entering a cooling period.

Wrong. Had the writer dug a little deeper before jumping to that conclusion, he would have found that data from NOAA, NASA, the British meteorological office, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for starters, have concluded that over the last 10 years the world's temperatures are the warmest 10-year period of the modern record. In addition, in a blind test, statisticians given information from NASA of 130 years of ground temperatures and 30 years of satellite-measured temperatures, found no significant drop of temperatures in the last 10 years.

The huge development Mr. Albrecht alludes to in "Climategate" are the stolen emails of a research institute. After the hysterics had subsided, a team of reporters from the Associated Press scrutinized them all. Its conclusion - and that of other scientists - was that there was no substantial evidence to change the undeniable fact of man's contribution to a warming planet with all its harmful ramifications.

Ironically, Mr. Albrecht is guilty of accepting "junk science" he claims is on solid ground when he stands alongside those who choose to ignore the far greater record of world scientists, respected for their search for scientific truths, and not "truths" that fit a political agenda.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte

Suspend their plan

To the editor:

At age 62 I had to cancel my health insurance after it climbed from $200 to $1,000 per month. Now, I have no health care plan at all, when it's most needed in my life.

The cost increases took place over a 9-year period, after having no substantial claims other than regular checkups and a few prescriptions.

Frankly, I would like the opportunity to buy into the same plan as our Congress, which seems bent on denying the rest of us. In fact, I'm all for suspending their plan until the rest of us are offered a similar opportunity.

Gary Phillips

La Grange