Union Democrat staff


To the editor:

I would like to see The Union Democrat make a policy to not allow Letters to the Editor to reflect people's opinion about individual candidates. We are bombarded with campaign signs, political brochures in the mail, radio, TV, etc. Enough!

There are plenty of opportunities to learn about individual candidates by attending the candidate forums, their fund-raisers, meet-and-greets, etc.

As a former candidate for public office, a campaign manager and political trench worker, I do not believe the Letters to the Editor venue is very effective in the first place.

Let's leave the Letters to the Editor open for people, like me for instance, to vent their spleen on the issues of the day.

Frank M. Smart


Treacherous seas

To the editor:

I'd like to give my take on the young girl recently rescued from a 40-foot sailing vessel in the Indian Ocean, on her attempt to sail single-handed around the world.

Am I happy she is safely and well? Yes!

Do I think she should have been out there in the first place? No!

When one takes on a venture of this type, one should expect the worst and be prepared to make the most of what's left. Although dismasted, the boat was still afloat, reportedly with a "ton" of food on board.

Jury-rigging the mast is something one should be prepared to do in the event of a dismasting. The boat won't sail as fast as it did when fully rigged, but it will eventually get one to a destination where repairs can be made.

Will one be out of touch with the rest of the world with this temporary rig in place? Probably, but that goes along with taking on a feat of this type. If this was done, the expense and the risk to others to save her could have been avoided.

Since a radio beacon was used to attain rescue, the vessel should have been scuttled. Leaving the boat to drift aimlessly makes it a menace to navigation.

Obviously the girl was a good single handed sailor. I just think she should have known other options available to her.

For an accounting of a similar emergency where a jury-rigged mast was used by a young female sailor, I suggest reading "Red Sky in Mourning," a true story of love, loss and survival at sea.

Bill Steel

retired marine surveyor

Twain Harte

Meter complaints

To the editor:

I'd like to respond to Gene Salvetti (letter, June 8) on his opinion of Smart Meters.

Sir, I noticed an increase in my bill from PG&E immediately upon installation of the Smart Meter. I filed a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, and a PG&E rep named Nick called. He sent Scott from service out to test the meter.

Both were very polite, professional, but their language was scripted. When I asked Scott where the Weights and Measure certificate was on his test equipment was, he stated his equipment was not certified to test anything. Nick did a follow up call and I asked him the same question. There is no certified unit of measure.

I communicated my finds and PG&E documents to the PUC office in Los Angeles.

In short, I registered to keep the complaint open. I plan on inserting a certified mechanical meter behind the Smart Meter. There is no way PG&E can fight that.

Operate outside the box. This is too collusive for PG&E or government action. One other thing, PUC President Michael Peevy told PG&E it must hand over reports on the matter upon request, when requested. Nick refused to comply.

Mine is PUC file No. 97942. Check it out for yourself.

Tom Wilson