Union Democrat staff

More questions

To the editor:

I've got more questions for Ellen Beck ("Answers wanted," Jan. 18).

Why isn't it OK to put together a plan that might help to protect jobs and the economy in Tuolumne County?

Beck never had to worry about her job. She worked for the state, so I guess she doesn't understand what it means to make a living working with natural resources so others can enjoy things like a house to live in, food to eat and a car to drive.

Maybe she doesn't know that some of us in Tuolumne County won't be getting a government retirement plan. Maybe she doesn't know that those of us who work with resources live under so many regulations and restrictions. It's a wonder we all don't throw in the towel and join the ranks of those who draw a check without bustin' a sweat.

And who the heck cares who puts the plan together? Won't it get the same scrutiny, legally and publicly as any other document that goes to our supervisors? If it can help protect jobs and keep families from having to move away from Tuolumne County, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Why didn't Beck ask her questions to those who had the answers, like Mike Albrecht and Melinda Fleming, the Sonora Area Foundation and American Stewards of Liberty? Why did she choose to ask questions in The Union Democrat?

Feels duplicitous - which means just plain tricky to us common folks.

Kay Crook


Read the legislation

To the editor:

Re: "State Dems revive single-payer health care" (Jan. 22).

Don't they, the Democratic legislators in California, hear and see the public priorities? The state is $20 billion-plus in the hole, and they want to expand the entitlements with a new health care plan SB810 (www.sen.ca.gov?)

Our legislative leaders need to look at ways to make cuts in the budget, balance it and still work on expanding the California economy with new technologies. Or create an environment that produces new jobs. This is one of the main ways to reduce the unemployment numbers - more jobs that aren't local government, state, federal or special districts. This health care proposal will cost each individual more tax money, expand the state debt, and lead this state into bankruptcy.

Fellow Californians, we need to tell all legislators to stop with the entitlements and work on reducing unemployment. We need to remember this action in November, when many come up for reelection. We need new blood in running this state.

These professional politicians don't have the citizens of California as a priority. We need to remove these individuals from office and we have the power to do so through voting. The main people pushing this new health care budget drain are:

Senators Leno, Alquist, Cedillo, Corbett, DeSaulmer, Florez, Hancock, Lonenthal, Oropeza, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Romero, Steinberg, Wiggins and Yee.

Assembly members Ammiano, Huffman, Yamada, Bass, Bean, Block, Blumenfield,Bradford, Brownley, Chesbro, Coto, Davis, Delatorre, Eng, Evans, Fener, Fong, Hayashi, Jones, Lieu, Bonnie, Lowenthal, Mendoza, Monning, Nava, Ruskin, Salas, Skinner, Solorio, Swanson, Torrico and Torlakson

If they muster enough votes to send it to the governor, hopefully he will veto it.

Read the legislation. It's scary.

John Maciel

Twain Harte

Reasonable compromise

To the editor:

Wal-Mart has become so powerful it's scary. And now it wants to expand into a Supercenter in Sonora.

Last year the giant chain refused to stock the band Green Day's CD "21st Breakdown," because it wanted the album edited for language and content. The band refused. The album contains curses and some references considered adult.

Community activists often oppose new Wal-Mart stores, citing concerns such as traffic, congestion, environmental problems, absentee landlordism, and low wages and benefits. Competitors have accused it of selling a product at low cost to drive competitors out of the market.

A draft environmental impact report points to some serious drawbacks in establishing a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Sonora. This includes about $3 million in lost sales to local businesses, according to a Jan. 14 story in The Union Democrat.

It would be unfair to demonize Wal-Mart, for it offers low pricing and abundant merchandise. And - let's face it - the Sonora City Council is going to approve the expansion. The draft EIR says the first of three alternative plans would add 28,366-square-feet of additional space and 85 entry-level jobs.

Let's urge the City Council to instead endorse the 14,183-square-foot second alternative as a reasonable compromise. The report says this is the environmentally superior alternative.

Robert Dorroh