Union Democrat staff

Third floor remembered

To the editor:

You published an article ("Task Force coordinator's goal is suicide prevention," Dec. 11) on an organization focused on stopping suicide here in Tuolumne County. At one time we had a very good place that did just this, and its staff actually did prevent suicides. It was our mental health facility ("the third floor") at Tuolumne General Hospital.

This place prevented 12 suicides that I know of personally. It doesn't sound like many, 12 in 20 years, but those 12 times were mine. Many mental patients miss that facility too - so much that they would rather go ahead and die than be shipped out of town. It saved so many lives.

What do we have now? Not much. I guess a life saved doesn't mean as much as it used to.

It would if it was your life, or that of someone you loved. But it's not - it's mine, or it was a friend of mine.

What is going on here in my little town? Why are we trying to save all this money and not save lives? Are we trying to save the money for this big law and justice center? That's not it, is it? Please tell me that's not the reason.

Karen Maciejewski


SCC thanks

To the editor:

Now that the holidays are over, I would like to thank all the employees at Sierra Conservation Center and local area businesses for donations to the fund-raising activities at SCC.

Even with the current economic climate and the loss of almost 15 percent of income due to furloughs, our staff and local businesses came through to help others in need in the community.

More than 20 Tuolumne County businesses contributed to this cause.

Lt. R. K. Wise

Public Information Officer

Sierra Conservation Center


Ignore the hype

To the editor:

The year 2009 ended just like the decade started, around Sept. 11, 2001, with American fear about airline safety. Don't get caught up in the anxiety of fear.

Every day American airlines fly over 50,000 flights. If every few years or even every year there is an attempt to undermine our sense of airplane security; ignore it. Bombing attempts make great headlines but let us assess the risk in a realistic manner. It is still safer to fly than drive your personal vehicle on any highway.

If the media started giving headlines of the worse car accidents of the day, we would take notice for a while and eventually ignore it because its repetition can become boring.

The bombing attempt on the Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit reveals al-Qaida is very weak, since the attempt was perpetrated by an immature amateur. If the Pakistani intelligence service ever gets merged with al-Qaida, get worried. But for now ignore the hype and enjoy your flight to see Grandma and Grandpa.

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp