Union Democrat staff

What's next?

To the editor:

I was saddened to visit my father's gravesite on Christmas Eve to find it had been stripped of flowers and an item that was of special memory to me.

I feel it is wrong to remove personal items without notifying family first. When I contacted the cemetery spokesperson, Bill Seldon, I was told nothing had been removed from any site. I find this hard to believe and feel the families have been disrespected.

Not only are we grieving the deaths of our loved ones, but now have individuals dictating how we are to memorialize them.

What's next?

Sherry Luecke



To the editor:

I have never seen a headline "Overpopulation is destroying our civilization." I am 78, and have never known an in-office politician to say anything negative about birthing too many offspring. It isn't commercially or politically correct. Many people think too much of the here-and-now and not much about a future for our progeny.

Human overpopulation adds to our school crowding, our lack of prison space and depletion of resources including water and oil, traffic congestion, climate warming, etc. The last sample of clean, fresh air in the U.S. was taken in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1972. Most of the air we now breathe is a hazard to our lungs.

I have lived to witness three occasions when we added another billion to our number. Churches that grow their flock by birthing are immoral. As remedy, I seek no laws - just a sound education and rational thinking. Two children per family is about right, as are the pill, condoms, RU486, Plan B, the morning-after pill, and patches.

Some people (MOMS and those holding up signs around Sonora asking for prayers to stop abortion) are asking that we save embryos and forgo the 2,000 children who die every day from starvation and common diseases. Prayers are about as effective as wishing. Never sustain an offspring that you're not enthusiastic to bear.

There are nearly 7 billion of us now and we are adding a billion more people every 13 years. Some of the good reasons for abortion are parental youthfulness, disease, slum conditions, congenital defects, criminality, drug use, AIDS, severe physical/mental defects. I would not want to see a headline "Ignorance is destroying our civilization."

J. C. Bernard


Despicable, dishonest

To the editor:

Barbara Farkas' Jan. 15 letter was filled with lies and distortions.

TuCARE received a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service, not from the Sonora Area Foundation. Farkas also got it wrong when she said that the film she saw at our summit had speakers dressed in "quasi-Forest Service-type uniforms" implying that actors were portraying "officials."

If Farkas had paid better attention, she would have noticed the credentials listed on the screen. The speakers, actual federal and state employees, included California's State Fire Marshal Kate Dargan, Forest Service Soil Scientist Carol Kennedy and the South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief. Other speakers included professors from U.C. Berkeley, Cal Poly, the universities of Washington and Minnesota, and Texas A&M. Nothing "quasi" about any of them.

When Farkas attempted to discuss the "Tuolumne County Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Federal and State Lands and Regulated Resources," she misspoke again.

The plan was not funded by the SAF. A modest $4,000 was donated by specific donors within the foundation to cover costs incurred to print materials. Volunteers completed the plan. No individual, business or organization profited from the creation of the plan.

Furthermore, the plan is not a "political" document. It is a guiding document which allows federal and state agencies to meet requirements within existing laws requiring them to be consistent with local land use policy, culture, custom and values.

The plan does not exert authority over existing laws and regulations.

Farkas' level of irresponsibility and her blatant attempt to discredit Sonora Area Foundation and TuCARE is despicable and dishonest. Shame on you.

Melinda Fleming,

executive director, TuCARE


Protect the earth

To the editor:

I realize that politics may not interest many of our citizens, who may just want to go on with their day-to-day lives and believe that is respectable. But what happens in the political world is important.

Laws and Congress do affect you, because these people are appointed to represent you and you would hope that they do a good job in the process. That is why we need to take control of our lives and stand up for what we believe in.

Future generations need to know that wildlife is very important in our ecosystem and for our survival. We belong to the earth; the earth doesn't belongs to us. We are lucky to be a part of a beautiful earth and we must protect her like we would a family member or our mother.

Lisa White