Union Democrat staff

God and Caesar

To the editor:

Jan Higgins says in her letter of April 6: "Resistance to this tyranny of government control and manipulation is obedience to God."

I suggest that Higgins review the United States Constitution and the first words in the Bill of Rights. What we really need is a pledge of allegiance that says American law has priority over any other laws, teachings, beliefs, religions, etc.

Religious beliefs that foster uncompromising attitudes toward differing beliefs are at the root of most of the world's conflicts. The founders knew this and were adamant that religion should be completely separate from government.

We have mistakenly allowed it to creep into some areas of government (money, pledges, etc.), but it is our duty to support the founders' guidance or we risk all that so many have sacrificed for.

God must mind God's business and Caesar must mind his.

William Bergmann


Unprecedented combination

To the editor:

On April 8, an unprecedented combination of cooperating leaders from Copperopolis Area Business Association, Calaveras County Taxpayers Association, and the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce Chamber provided more than 120 citizens a chance to meet candidates at Saddle Creek Resort.

Local candidates were introduced and allowed to speak prior to opening the floor to the panel of three District 5 Supervisor candidates. Written questions were collected from the audience, and despite the jampacked program, none were excluded.

Never before has CCTA, CABA, or the Chamber put on such an extensive event in the Copper area. Certainly there is strength in our combined leadership in bringing this important public awareness evening to success.

Kyran Enzi, president

Copperopolis Area

Business Association


Stadium seats

To the editor:

I am one of the "elitists" referred to in the high school stadium seat article. My wife and I moved to Sonora 10 years ago when I retired. I follow high school sports in the paper, but I have never been to a Sonora football game. I am 71 and my wife is 70. At our age there is little chance we will start now. I purchased the seats solely for the benefit of the student athletes.

I noticed that Bob Gibson has been involved with the Sonora High School sports program for some time. I saw no mention of how the dissenters contribute their time or finances to the program in a positive manner - other than to say they support Sonora High athletics "in general".

Jerry Cradduck


Easy benefits?

To the editor:

One of the benefits military veterans receive is a 90-day prescribed medication from their VA pharmacy with a co-pay of $24.

However don't expect the VA to honor this benefit when you present them with a local cardiologist's prescription, a prescription honored at pharmacies all over the world.

The VA says to receive his or her prescription; the veteran must make an appointment with a cardiologist at the VA Clinic at Livermore.

Sound familiar?

Vern Froehlich


Take action to help

To the editor:

At Indian Rock Commercial Center there have been abandoned and stray cats for many years. The tenant that complained about the cats could have trapped them and taken them to the animal shelter over the years, but chose to ignore the problem.

That is until another tenant, Prompt Care, took action to reduce the problem.

Prompt Care employees collected money and had eight of the cats altered to prevent more feral kittens. They fed them away from the complex on private property, far enough away to avoid problems.

Yes, there probably are still homeless cats in the area that are not altered. I urge the tenants that complained to trap these if they wish and take them to be euthanized if that is their choice.

But, please, don't complain about the heroes who tried to help the situation with an alternative solution and spent their money and time getting them fixed.

Bottom line: Take action to help with this community problem instead of complaining about others who are already trying.

Bonnie Perreira


Bonnie Perreira is the president of Sonora Cat Rescue.

Trinitas enforcement

To the editor:

Trinitas is open and hosting tournaments, in defiance of Calaveras County regulations and Board of Supervisors' resolutions. It's not operating legally, and people are asking why the county hasn't shut it down.

The Nemees built an unpermitted golf course in an agricultural zone. Since 2005, applications, appeals, lawsuits and bankruptcy protections have temporarily suspended or prevented code enforcement.

County policy provides property owners of noncompliant structures or uses the opportunity to correct violations before enforcement. In 2005, the Nemees applied for a recreational zoning amendment to make the golf course legal. Pending final board action, enforcement was stayed.

Last May, following a lengthy state-mandated environmental review and public hearing process, supervisors denied the zone change and the project. The Nemees were told to cease golfing or face legal action.

They appealed, claiming the golf course was "agritourism," and filed three lawsuits to overturn the board's decision. County code stays enforcement during appeals; county policy stays enforcement during lawsuits.

Supervisors denied their appeals Oct. 6, and the Nemees filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court on Oct. 7, triggering an "automatic stay" of legal actions affecting their property.

County Counsel is seeking judicial rulings in both courts to enforce county zoning codes against an illegal use. Until the lawsuits are dismissed or the federal judge allows an injunction closing the golf course, the county can't enforce its laws.

Meanwhile, continued operation violates county ordinances. Every day golfing occurs is a misdemeanor, subject to fines, penalties, abatement and possible incarceration - once the county is legally freed to take appropriate enforcement actions.

Kathy Mayhew


All show

To the editor:

On April 8 at Saddle Creek I attended a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored meet-the-candidates forum. Index cards were used to submit questions.

I asked the people that sponsored it if questions could be asked from the floor? They said no.

I believe if I take the time to be there, that I should be allowed to have one minute to ask a question.

I now believe they only wanted me there to hear only what they wanted to say. I do not think that will earn my vote.

It is all show. That is sad.

Arthur Roberts


Internet access

To the editor:

I am writing to express my disappointment in the lack of high-speed Internet available in the Crystal Falls area.

In a nation as advanced as our own each and every U.S. citizen should be able to have high-speed Internet

access. India and China have better access than the U.S.

First of all, some jobs require the use of Internet. If people live in an area with none, how are they supposed to work?

Second, students need the Internet to conduct research for various school assignments and projects.

Third ( being the least important), you can get downloads and games on the Internet. Plus, you

can shop on eBay, Amazon, Craig's List etc.

Everyone should have access to high-speed Internet.

Michael French

Boy Scout Troop 570


More solvent

To the editor:

I'm 72 years of age. Been healthy all my life. On Feb. 1, I had a benign tumor removed from my forehead at Mercy-San Juan Hospital in Sacramento.

After seeing the bills that my insurance company and Medicare paid, I am sure that my wife and I would have had to declare bankruptcy if we were not covered by insurance.

Bankruptcies are a plague on our society. The new health reform bill will help to keep our society a lot more solvent.

John Vasquez