Union Democrat staff

Enormous cuts

To the editor:

Due to the current budget crisis our political leaders have gotten us into, Curtis Creek Elementary School, like most other area schools, is facing enormous cuts.

On the chopping block are eight, yes eight, teaching positions. Eight teachers who are passionate about their jobs and the students they teach stand to be let go.

Those lucky enough to keep their jobs will pick up at least 50 percent more work for zero percent more pay.

If we think those in charge now are incompetent, what will things be like when the products of a truly substandard public education system are running things?

As voting citizens our actions, or lack thereof, are showing our children that we do not value them enough to provide them with the very best.

I'm thinking it is time to teach my kids to lie, cheat and steal. At least then I know they will be well taken care of.

Christine Dibble


Not free money

To the editor:

The Federal government has a deficit of over $12 trillion; California, $20 billion; Tuolumne County budget, shortfall in the millions, with local schools in the same tight spot.

Here's an idea: Let's complete the second phase of the Sonora Bypass project at a cost of $65 million, including $17 million for right-of-way acquisitions. By the way, the $65 million isn't free money, it's tax money coming back to the county along with Obama stimulus money thrown in - future tax money.

In other words: Phase 2 Bypass - $65 million to bypass two traffic lights, saving around two minutes on a trip up the hill.

Let's get real: Mono Way from Standard Road goes up the same hill with traffic relatively light compared to Mono Way near Greenley, including tourist traffic.

I can't imagine that there are a dozen local taxpayers that support this expenditure (except those on the receiving end of the $17 million and the Board of Supervisors). And I can't imagine that there are tourists that simply will not visit the high country due to inconvenient traffic lights along the way.

According to The Union Democrat article of March 4 the Board of Supervisors was updated on this project with no dissenting views expressed, except one supervisor didn't appear to want cuts made based on the project being $10 million over budget. Therefore, it looks like its full speed ahead over a financial cliff.

Once again, $65 million tax dollars. What's wrong with this picture?

Ray Anderson


PG&E smart meter

To the editor:

I would like to question PG&E's ability to raise its prices as they wish.

This concerns its new "smart meter." Or, as I call it, "screw the consumer meter."

I thought the Public Utilities Commission was responsible for keeping this type of thing from happening.

PG&E is a monopoly. When did we the people give this monopoly the right to make its own policy?

The average consumer has no other source to purchase electricity except PG&E. It is illegal for the company to increase the cost to its consumers without going through the PUC for approval.

Yet, it is allowed to design to its own specifications a meter that has increased the cost to the consumer by as much as 300 to 600 percent a month.

And if you dispute the bill, the "smart meter" is never wrong.

All this was done without the PUC first studying the overall outcome.

There must be a legal firm out there that is willing to bring a class action lawsuit against PG&E and its bedmate, the Public Utilities Commission.

We need to bring this rape of the consumer to a halt and reimburse what they have stolen.

If there are more of you that feel this way, start writing letters and maybe we can do something to change what's happening.

Nicholas Cangiamilla


Stolen pass?

To the editor:

Tuolume County, did you lose your pass?

I was looking at Google Earth, wondering how long it will be until Sonora Pass opens, and noticed that it shows Highway 108 going into Alpine County, not Tuolumne County. Mapquest shows the same thing.

Last time I drove over the pass from Bridgeport, there was a sign that clearly said "Tuolumne County."

I am wondering if while the road was closed for winter, Alpine County stole Sonora Pass?

Scott Sherratt

Morgan Hill

(Scott Sherratt owns a cabin in the Long Barn area).