Union Democrat staff

Checks, balances

To the editor:

All evil dictators ruled countries that had no checks and balances to stop them. In time all opposition was eliminated and the people had no voice in the way they were ruled. The U.S.A. is dangerously close to that condition, as the party in power wants to enact laws in a hurry so that most will not know what the adverse effects those laws will have on the country.

The enactment of checks and balances is what has made the U.S.A. the finest nation in all history. It is now up to the lesser political parties to vote to save the U.S.A. by voting out any overbearing party that does not respect the will of the people. The best way to reduce the power now in the hands of one party is for all other parties to vote in one election for one best party to restore the checks and balances, then in the following election return to their own party.

William Challas


Expand Connections

To the editor:

As parents that were eagerly awaiting the possible and hopeful expansion of Connections Academy to the fifth and sixth grade, we were disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm shown by the Summerville High School Board and other attending elementary school principals.

When Connections opened several years ago, it faced much of the same criticism and skepticism voiced by the school board.

What is surprising about the school board's current opinion is that, in the meantime, Connections has far surpassed anyone's expectations. It is a California Distinguished school - no small feat. It has not only provided art, band, choir, drama, film making, ballet and dance to eager minds, but has distinguished itself as an academic powerhouse.

When Tuolumne County is jumping up and down about any STAR test results in the 60th percentile, an achievement like last year's English STAR result for seventh graders in the 90s is unprecedented, and something you are not finding in any other school.

In a time where art, band and PE are being cut to find more time to improve test scores, Connections is proof that academic excellence can thrive alongside the arts. Is it possible that one enriches the other?

The school district was rewarded one hundred fold when it allowed Connections Academy to be formed, and will be so again by letting it expand. It is our sincere hope the board will return to the issue of the academy expansion at its January meeting, where we will all show up in support.

Steve and Rachel Jones

Mark and Janet Petersen

Erika Giambruno

Twain Harte

Chill out

To the editor:

Please chill out, Mr. Freeze.

This is in regard to your Dec. 24 letter to the editor, "Stuck in God's Country." I want to commend Tuolumne County Transit and its drivers for the fine job they do, busing us around.

Have you perhaps called the bus line to see if there's a better route for you? There must be some reason you and I live here in God's Country!

Be patient. Bus, plane and train schedules are never perfect. Please take a chance and try again. The other riders are full of good suggestions. I, too, hope 49er Cab can stay here.

Judy Molloy

Twain Harte

Media hype

To the editor:

Regarding a Dec. 24 letter from Wayne Kirkbride, in which he claims that the Climategate exposure of over 1,000 e-mails that surfaced on the Internet exposing a strong possibility of fraud was not true.

He said "a team of reporters and other scientists found that there was no evidence to change the undeniable fact of man's contribution to planet warming." It seems that the Associated Press "investigated" and sought out "three moderate scientists" to conclude that there was "no evidence of falsification or fabrication of data."

AP studied all the e-mails with five reporters reading and rereading them. They concluded that it wasn't clear if any data were "destroyed." However, these scientists have refused over and over to furnish data to be checked by other scientists. In fact, more that 30,000 scientists are unconvinced that climate fluctuations are man made. Why would Mr. Kirkbride take the findings of five AP reporters as gospel?

A study outlined how the media, including the New York Times, Newsweek and Time, have warned about impending climate doom four different times in the past 100 years. Note: since it has been getting colder the last few years, that they're now calling it "climate change."

It would appear to me that media hype is as cyclical as the climate.

For the record, here's the history of climate change back to 1940 and projected through 2015: 1940-1974 (34 years), global cooling; 1975-1998 (23 years), global warming; 1999-2015 (17 years), temperatures level then cooling.

I remember the 70s, with the reported coming ice age. This "science" could cost this country billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

Polly Wright