Union Democrat staff

Trashy plan

To the editor:

Let's talk trash.

In today's world, my husband and I generate 33 gallons of trash every four to six weeks. It costs $7 (using a Cal-Sierra prepaid bag) to have it picked up. All CRV containers are saved and taken to the Cal-Sierra Recycling for a cash refund. It takes me three months to make $21, thus it rarely costs me anything to dispose of my trash.

I also take my cardboard, junk mail and newspapers to Cal-Sierra, so I am out a bit for gas. I use the blue bag system for plastic No. 1s and 2s, tin and glass. Wet waste goes in my garden or down the disposal.

I realize it takes some effort on my part to be as astute as I am to not generate trash.

How? Buy products in glass, tin and CRV containers. Don't buy more than you really need. How many cleaning products do you have under your sink in plastic containers that cannot be recycled? Just because it has a recycle triangle doesn't mean it will be recycled.

Under the new city plan, the blue bags will be eliminated. It is rumored (I don't believe it's a rumor) that the pre-paid bag will also be eliminated. I will have two huge containers, that I don't have any room for, standing out in the street in front of my house taking up a parking space. And, to top it off I will have to pay $28 or more a month.

It just doesn't seem fair that there isn't a plan for those of us who care enough to reduce, reuse and recycle. That's trashy.

Laurel Utecht


Campaign litter

To the letter:

The election is over. Unfortunately, the billboards that the candidates placed all over Tuolumne County are still littering our green hills. It is somewhat ironic that the men and women who wanted our votes so badly have so little regard for their own environment. Their goal is clear: Get our votes and to heck with the litter they leave behind.

Is this the same message that the people in the Gulf of Mexico are dealing with so tragically? Please Americans – care about your environment. If you want the jobs you are filling on our behalf, then keep the hills free of rubbish.

Jan Atkinson


Still waving

To the editor:

Sixty five years after the end of World War II, the same beautiful flag still waves - unfettered. Thanks to our veterans.

Happy Fourth of July!

Bettie Ries


Do it legally

To the editor:

Regarding the letter "Being invaded" (Mark Leyva, June 9).

I agree with this letter and also the new law in Arizona regarding immigration.

My family migrated here from Nicaragua back in the late 50's (legally). I was a year old when I came. I'm Hispanic, and since then I have become a citizen. I'm a veteran, served in the Marines, and now I work serving another government agency here in Sonora.

I keep hearing in the news and TV, the complaints and marches they're doing here. First of all, they can't vote or pay taxes because they are illegal here.

The president of Mexico and its people criticize this country, when their nation is worse off. Corruption is rampant in their government, and people are dying over the drug wars.

They have come into this country illegally, so that makes it a crime. If we Americans did that in their country, we would be thrown in jail.

And last, we all come from somewhere. If you are going to come to this country, do it legally and stop riding on discrimination as a scapegoat. The rights and freedoms and the Constitution belong to the (legal) American citizens of this country.

Frank Blanco


Drug addiction

To the editor:

While I am no longer a resident of a place I used to call home, my concerns for the youth there still concern me.

I have sisters, brother, nieces, and nephews there. The last couple of months I have been reading The Union Democrat online, because I have been to sea so often. I find it disturbing to read that just young adults "passing in their homes," somewhere in Tuolumne County.

While some find it personal not to post the reason or cause of death, other parents, friends, and peers beg to differ. This epidemic is something that needs to be addressed.

A high number of young adults are not being given the proper resources, and/or attention for their addictions. I have heard from my younger siblings, who themselves have battled the demons of addictions, about the popular pill popping binge of numerous death-defying concoctions.

Why, as a society, are we throwing these problems under the rug? Why are people not being educated on what to do and who to tell?

Two people under the age of 25 that I personally knew, overdosed in the last 12 months and were immediately released without advisory to go to rehab. One was given methadone to wean him off of oxycontin. How does this seem like the right solution?

Why are such dangerous pills being given to people who have obviously no care for their own well being?

My concern is that a town I used to love because of its small town feel is now a ghostly town where adults are being forced to bury their children.

I hope to one day see this problem addressed.

Randelle Jelneck, USN

USS Abraham Lincoln

Everett, Wash.

Randelle Jelneck is a Summerville High School graduate who lived in Tuolumne County from 1988 to 2004.