Union Democrat staff

Vote 'no' bond issue

To the editor:

Your Jan. 8 editorial ("Key water decisions remain on tap for 2010") includes surprising unqualified praise for the $11.1 billion (That's "billion" with a "B") bond issue that voters may have the chance to vote on this coming November.

It seems cavalier for The Union Democrat to be so complimentary about a measure that may be the final straw that breaks California's financial back. Tuolumne County residents are generally pretty fiscally conservative, and one has to wonder how they will feel about adding about $800 million annually in debt service to a state budget that is already about $21 billion in the red.

Where does that $800 million a year come from? Law enforcement, education, health benefits for the middle class and poor, prisons like our Sierra Conservation Center?

What do we get if the $11.1 billion bond measure passes? The bond legislation provides that Schwarzenegger appoints all the members of the arcane commission that decides where new storage projects (i.e. dams and reservoirs) are built.

Where does the Governor's heart and allegiance lie? We know it's in Southern California, where real estate developers are drooling at the prospect of getting their hands on Northern and Central California water.

The Legislature should withdraw the bond from the November ballot and get back to the drawing board and do it right. Otherwise, citizens should vote the bond down.

Jerry Cadagan


Economic suicide

To the editor:

The CHP has announced that over the last two weekends they've given between 60 and 70 parking tickets to users of the Little Sweden snow play area, at $100 each.

I have often passed the area on very high-use days in past years. Although people had parked on the roadside of both directions of the divided highway at Little Sweden, it's a long straight section of highway with excellent visibility. I saw no evidence, at that level of use, that visitors could not be safely managed with temporary reduced speed signs, and random checks by Highway Patrol personnel for appropriate activity.

I passed Little Sweden last Friday, which was a beautiful day for snow play. The signs prohibiting parking faced 90 degrees from the direction of traffic, so they were unreadable approaching the area. The signs were immediately in front of the snow play area, requiring those who parked legally to walk along the highway to the snow play area - a much more dangerous scenario than parking directly in front of it.

The CHP officer said that the signs were placed due to merging traffic in that spot, but the signs that prohibit parking spread much further than that area.

In this economy, and with so many families on very tight budgets, is it not possible to continue providing this wonderful resource to families who have very few options to enjoy the mountains and snow? It is economic suicide for our mountain community to discourage any visitors, let alone upwards of 70 families and counting - unless the CHP receives community input for a better plan.

Barbara Dresslar