Union Democrat staff

Feral cats

To the editor:

My husband and I live in a wonderful manufactured home senior park. We are overrun with feral cats. All parks have the same problem. We have spent hundreds of dollars out of our own pockets when organizations ran out of funding.

Recently, some residents moved and abandoned two cats. One just had babies and there are babies somewhere else in this park. There are complaints that we feed the cats. We aren't the only ones in here feeding them. It seems that a bunch of residents do nothing but complain about feeding the cats, but nobody will make an effort to form a group to help me and my husband try to fix this situation of ferrel cats. My husband now has three bulging disks after his rods and screws from a previous back surgery. There is a lot he can't do. We have a trap pointed to the deck of the empty house. The mama and babies can't get out right now. If the trap was set, the babies are too little. If the lid came down on them, It would kill them. It's too bad we couldn't have a holding pen on the back deck. The animal control said you have to make an appointment, and it could take a week or more to get in.

If anyone hurts these animals, I will either call in the animal control or the animal rights people. We will turn the cats loose if we can't get help. Remember folks, these cats do not ask to be abandoned or born. It's our responsibility to help them. Don't just sit around and complain.

Carolyn Prindle


Trashy subject

To the editor:

I'm going to clean up some of the trashy mess dropped by Laurel Utecht in her letter to the editor about the new recycling program. But, first I want to commend the Utechts for the dedicated recycling program they took on to keep their refuse out of the landfill. I understand her displeasure with the new recycling program.

The "blue bag" program was almost a complete failure, and was costing the county a lot of money without really accomplishing much. Those blue bags that people diligently filled with recyclables and strained to get to the curb on collection day were picked up by the refuse company and thrown into the back of the garbage truck right along with the regular' garbage. The full load, compressed numerous times by the ram, was then trucked to and dumped on the floor of the transfer station. If, and only if, the bag was not split open and the recyclables were not contaminated by garbage from the rest of the load, the bag would be pulled to the side for the contents to be separated and recycled. What's your guess as to how many bags could have made it through treatment like that? Most went to the landfill anyway.

There was much in-depth discussion between the Solid Waste Department, the Board of Supervisors and the refuse companies before the new plan was settled on as the best option, even if it still wasn't a great plan. The additional cost comes from the dedicated truck, additional pick up and the containers that now assure the recyclables will actually be recycled. I hope that trashy subject is cleaned up some.

Ron W. Ringen


Jubilee thanks

To the editor:

The Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee board and our various event people want to thank you, your business and staff for the support you have given to our annual event. This activity touches so many people in our community and it could not be done without your assistance, no matter how big or small part you played in it.

We were happy to have the Soap Box Derby added to our weekend and look forward to its participation again.

Each year, after our event, we look onto the next year with ideas on having another successful parade, car

We hope you will be there to support us again.

Virginia Van Bolt

Van Bolt is a Jubilee board member.


Beekeeper's view

To the editor:

Thank you for publishing the article, "Bees on the brink" (June 21, Travel & Leisure).

Most people have a vague recollection of hearing about that mysterious syndrome affecting honey bees called Colony Collapse Disorder.

What somehow isn't often communicated is just how critical this is for us humans as well. As the article mentions, bees and other pollinators have a direct impact on one-third of all of the food we eat. Pesticide use, lack of natural habitat and some hive management practices are direct contributors to the decline of these valuable pollinators.

Since 1945, data on honey bee populations have been collected and graphed. In 1945 there were six million honey bee colonies in the U.S. Today we have only 2.5 million. If this trend continues, by 2035 there will be no more honey bees.

This means some of the food we take for granted will be either no longer available or only afforded by the very wealthy. We have recently established the Sierra Foothill Beekeepers Association in order to provide education and mentoring resources about honey bees, other native pollinators and the native and non-native plant life they need to survive.

I highly recommend folks begin assuming the attitude of being a steward for our planet, even in some small way such as reducing or eliminating insecticide/pesticide use, adding native pollinator-loving plants to your garden ... and, maybe even consider becoming a beekeeper yourself.

Discover more by checking out our new (still developing) website www.sierrafoothillbeekeepers.org.

Lorinda Forrest


Pleasant surprise

To the editor:

I would like to thank the Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee committee for selecting me to be the Grand Marshal. It was a pleasant surprise and very much unexpected. It is true I don't have the time spent in the lumber industry as the Grand Marshals before me, but I can safely say I cut, sawed and hauled a heck of a lot of timber in The Club and The Loggers Club.

I also wish to thank all those who helped me achieve this Honor. In fact, had I known I would be treated so royally, I would have wanted to be the Grand Marshal years ago. So thanks again, and remember, T-I-M-B-E-R.

William Nabers