Union Democrat staff

Heart of mission

To the editor:

During this time of economic struggle, budget cuts are an unavoidable reality.

Tough decisions must be made when resources are limited. Businesses and organizations do face the "bottom line," so it is essential in such times for priorities to be and remain very clear.

It is with these sentiments that I write about the children's librarian at the Sonora branch library.

My 4-year-old daughter has been attending various story-time programs since infancy. She loves books, language and stories. She often sits down and "reads" her story books. I am grateful for the part the Sonora branch children's librarian has played in this.

With endless patience, enthusiasm and a true heart for children, she has not only exposed my daughter to the gifts of language and books, but has inspired her love for them as well.

To me this is the purpose of a children's s reading program.

My daughter will go on to learn the mechanics of literacy, and it will be her love for books that will carry her through that learning process, and far beyond.

While developing a budget for the coming year, I encourage the administration of the Tuolumne County Library to consider what programs and which staff members are essential in preserving the heart of its mission.

Mary Benicki


Coffee and tea

To the editor:

Hey, coffee and tea partiers, remember when coffee and tea were served on the same silver tray? I'll take cream and lemon please. Both beverages should be served hot, but take a breath and blow. How nice. Let's have a real party together.

Patricia Spruner


At a crossroads

To the editor:

The real price of a gallon of gas is not reflected by what we pay at the pump.

Quantifying externalities, like environmental destruction and two useless, imperial wars that continue their murderousness against not only our own young but others who know not what they have done to be victims, take a toll.

In real terms, that gallon of gas is "out of reach" for the ordinary American.

Squeezing the life out of Mother Nature's creatures to satisfy our decrepit, selfish, narcissistic, profit-sodden system is shameless. Our world stands at a crossroads of environmental and economic erosion brought about by, in too many ways, outright greed and herd behavior.

"If I don't do it, someone else will." It's a system that feeds on the "Greater Fool Theory." This persistent pursuit is surely a direct contributor to the eco-bomb that has been lit in the Gulf of Mexico. Feeding the insatiable demand for "cheap energy" is always the proffered reasoning.

As we view the pathetic, oil soaked creatures like birds and pelicans, we are blinded to the enormous destruction wrought on the deep sea itself. As individuals, we should be ashamed. As a society, we should be collectively outraged that the laws that protect our children from predator crimes are not applicable to the corporations (and their government minions) that rape our economy and our beautiful, beautiful Mother Earth. What, no lost corporate charters? The two recent massively destructive events, Katrina and BP, along with those two savage, useless wars and economic swindles, must be a wake up call for the whole globe.

Where is our conscience?

Bert Canepa


Media coverage

To the editor:

Recently, President Obama met with executives of BP Oil regarding BP's leaking oil well. After the meeting, it was announced that BP would place $20 billion in an escrow account to be administered by the federal government to help compensate people damaged by BP's negligence.

Left wing politicians, media and talk radio shows spun the event as a great example of the president properly using his authority to help everyday Americans recover from damages caused by BP. Right wing politicians, media and talk radio hosts spun the event as a shakedown and abuse of executive authority to pillage the coffers of a private corporation without proper legal steps being followed.

No one spun the event as BP taking responsibility for their actions and reaching out to help those damaged by their spill as well as taking some of the heat off the President for his administration's failure to adequately respond to this economic and environmental catastrophe in a timely manner. BP could have refused to put the money in an escrow account and told the President they would settle the matter later in court which would take a very long time to resolve as it did with the Exxon Valdez disaster. This scenario would have been a PR mess for both the President and BP.

It's no wonder the country is so politically divided with biased media coverage like this and no one caring about the truth. It's all about the right and the left catering to their myopic followers and building distrust and disrespect of the other side. We see plenty of this divisiveness in your letters to the editor section.

Mike Schmitz

Mountain Ranch