Union Democrat staff

Restore Hetch Hetchy

To the editor:

Re: Jan. 21 letter from Jan Canavan, of Sonora.

The quote: "Happiness is the ability to make a bouquet with the flowers within reach" (author unknown) was used to oppose those that want to restore Hetch Hetchy.

It should be just the opposite unless you happen to be one of the lucky employees of San Francisco's water company or an elected official allowed to use the existing lake. No one else can. It is essentially a private reserve. You cannot put a boat in the water, you cannot swim in it. You can only look at it.

Hetch Hetchy should be restored because all of us need it, nature made it, and the good citizens of San Francisco will do what is right.

William Bergmann


Rowdy's story

To the editor:

Thank you for the wonderful coverage on my second chance dog, Rowdy (Jan. 22). It gives us such great satisfaction in knowing we were a part of Rowdy's rescue. Although Rowdy never made it to Haiti, we know he would have been a willing partner in locating victims of the earthquake.

Reporter Michael Kay made the statement that I have trained more than 130 dogs for law enforcement, rescue and therapy work. That figure is actually for how many dogs that have been saved through our Second Chance Program and placed in caring and loving homes.

A few of those dogs have gone on to become therapy dogs and search dogs. As a professional trainer, I have trained dogs for law enforcement, search and rescue, therapy work as well as competitive obedience and solving behavioral problems.

Once again, thank you so much for the heartwarming story about Rowdy.

Margaret Blair

Twin Cedar K9


States' rights

To the editor:

The purpose of the federal government, as founded, is to manage those things the states individually can not. We are, after all, a federation of states and governed as a representative republic.

Among the Constitutional federal powers are national defense, immigration policy, commerce between the states and the settling of disputes between the states. The intent of the founders was that each state has significant freedom to make laws, educate its citizens, and support industrial, agricultural and commercial activities. Only when one state's activities impact other states would the federal government need to get involved.

The beauty of the founders establishing independent states was, while each state developed its own laws and policies, the American people could move freely between them. No state could get too oppressive, because the people could simply move if they could not vote out the scoundrels. This is called freedom.

The states and their elected leaders, then, had an incentive to make their citizens happy.

The federal government, since its founding, has violated the principle of states' rights. It is now involved in health care, social services, labor, education, energy, commerce and much more. All of these were intended to be left to the states.

The power, arrogance and cost of the federal government is stifling. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is a loss of freedom issue.

It is time for we, the people, to push back. Seek out and vote for candidates that support a strong national defense, fair, equitable and legal immigration, states' rights and individual responsibility.

Jim Costello


Editorial cartoon

To the editor:

Just how short is your memory?

Your Jan. 25 editorial cartoon ("It's All W's Fault It Won't Fly") implies - because Obama has not, in less than one year: 1) reversed eight years of economic assault on the middle class and a W-caused recession following deregulation of the banking industry. 2) ended two W-caused wars; and, this just in, 3) lowered the now increasing teen pregnancy and abortion rate, a direct result of W's disastrous abstinence-only sex education program - that the president is somehow entirely responsible for us being where we are today. Where were you during the W years? A cave?

George Durkee

Twain Harte