Union Democrat staff

Vietnam Veterans parade

To the editor:

Thank you, Tuolumne County.

If you missed the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Parade on Sunday, March 28, you missed one helluva show. I am not referring to the parade, which I am sure was impressive. But I could not view it, as I was part of it.

I am referring to the way the people of Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties and, especially, those of Sonora turned out with their support for Vietnam vets. There were many teary eyes that day, and many of them were those of Vietnam vets who saw you spectators crowding Washington Street and Stockton Road. You citizens performed above and beyond the call of duty. You gave us the welcome home we have been needing.

I have lived 43 of my 60 years in Tuolumne County, and yet you people never cease to amaze me.

God bless you.

Douglas Heseman


Connections Academy

To the editor:

Hurray for Connections Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, an outstanding success story in the Mother Lode.

Connections, a charter school, opened in 2001 on the Summerville High School campus with about 70 students. In 2010-11, enrollment is down to about 410, and the revenue generated by Connections is a significant factor in Summerville's budget.

Academically, Connections consistently scores at the top of all public schools in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. It has received the California Distinguished School Award. U.S. News and World Report magazine recognized Connections as one of the best 200 schools in the United States.

Providing opportunities for seventh through 12th grade students, Connections is renowned for its performing and visual arts programs, and for students passionate about filmmaking, animation, theater, voice, dance and instrumental music.

So well-recognized have the benefits of Connections become, that many families from all over the area, including homeschoolers, have asked Connections to expand to include fifth and sixth grades and, eventually, lower grades.

Summerville High School is Connections charter agent. Connections has proposed expanding to include sixth-grade classes. Connections staff estimates that, if successful, the program expansion would generate an additional $25,000 in revenue to Summerville.

Acknowledging economically challenging times, staff told the Summerville Board it would forgo the expansion if enrollment or finances were inadequate to succeed. Sounds like a win-win!

The Summerville Board said "No."

My family and many others were shocked and deeply disappointed. What program could possibly be more deserving?

We respectfully ask the board to reconsider

Jody Kellerman


Resist tyranny

To the editor:

We perish for lack of knowledge. There has been much deception behind global warming and the proposed cap-and-trade bill. From 1960 to 1980 there were 6,000 stations tracking surface temperatures worldwide. By 1990, the number was down to 1,500 - most lost were in the colder regions. Their loss was never adjusted for in temperature calculations.

From Walter Williams comes more revelation of mans' conniving inside deals to steal from the public. Auto companies have invested billions in research to produce "green cars." Government interference in the market, their subsides for developing green, ignore the fact that Americans have not taken to electric cars. General Electric has spent millions lobbying to outlaw incandescent bulbs, so we will buy costly fluorescent bulbs.

The Chicago Climate Futures Exchange plans to trade in billions of dollars of greenhouse gas emissions allowances, when they can lobby Congress to pass cap-and-trade. This would make millionaires out of insiders and oppress small business to the point of death.

Farmers and ethanol manufacturers have gotten Congress to enact laws mandating greater use of their product, not to mention receiving massive subsidies. This manipulation of the market is all with our hard-earned money.

Also, we have allowed the environmental lobby to oppressively shut down our logging (jobs) and limit our valley farmers to 10 percent of the water they need to grow our food and employ our workers.

Resistance to this tyranny of government control and manipulation is obedience to God.

Jan Higgins