Union Democrat staff

Broken system

To the editor:

I lived in Sonora and Jamestown for 12 years. I truly believe those were the happiest years of my life.

I am now living in a country where shootings happen almost every night. Last month, a 14-year-old boy got shot twice in the head. This happened a block away from my home.

I live in Mexico now because of the broken immigration system we have. I am a citizen of the U.S., but I fell in love with an illegal alien from Mexico and married him. We have two boys and a girl they are 4, 2, and 7 months old.

After this little bio, I would like to share, especially with Mr. Frank Blanco (letter, June 17), that I, too, want new residents to be legal.

I tried to fix my husband's illegality, but he was denied his residency and was given a 10-year ban from being in the U.S.

As I said, I agree with trying to be legal, but the system makes it impossible to go with the law. I live in terror everyday, fearing for my children. But I can do nothing.

Ten years. Two down, eight to go.

Sandra Casillas

Santa Maria


Planning monkey

To the editor:

Re: Cathy Mason's June 30 letter to the editor about planning issues in Calaveras County.

Cathy's observations are 100 percent correct. All too often our elected officials have no concept of the complex matters being presented to them by staff. You have to dig very deep to understand what is happening to our property rights and liberties provided by our constitution.

For example, the terms "Smart Growth" and "Blue Print Plan" are euphemisms for more government control.

The Blue Print Plan is an integral part of AB 32, California's Cap and Trade (tax) law. Local agencies blindly go along because a financial carrot is hung before their noses and they take the bait, not realizing they have walked into a giant trap.

Cap and Trade alone is a job killer and will decimate California's already disastrous economy. However, these are just current concerns.

The entire planning industry is out of control. It's time to look closely at what California's planning laws have done for and to our communities. The real power to plan must be given back to the people at the local level.

All these commissions are just window dressing to give the impression of local control when in reality they act as agents for the state and federal governments.

One small step at a time, we can get the planning monkey off our backs. One determined step at a time, we will take our country back. You go Cathy.

David Wynne


Take action

To the editor:

On Monday (June 28), I perused the paper and smiled when I came to the Slices of Life section.

There we are, captured so artfully in pictures of our town, our people, our events. We are a community. We all know each other within just a few degrees of separation.

For many of us, this is why we live here. I may not be able to find everything I want right now for the price I'd like, but I can know that the guy fixing my car, whose daughter is going to school with my son, will have a hot meal on his plate and my car will get me home.

This is what small town is about. Often, we trade convenience for extended family.

That said, I am troubled by the continuing cutbacks across our county. Also, across our region, state, country and world.

I can't affect much of that - not just me. But I can affect my community. And in doing so, I can affect my county, my region, my state, my country and my world. So can you.

It is up to us to decide if we are leaving this place to our children, and therefore investing in our community, Or leaving this place altogether - and therefore leaving it as a vacant, aging tourist attraction.

So you, whatever your belief, please take action. Vote. Inform yourself. Consider your opinions. Be open to collaboration, compromise and new ways of looking at age-old issues. Help those in need. Appreciate yourself.

Reach out to your family and friends and neighbors and, in doing so, know you are an integral part of our community, our state, our nation and our world.

Willow Thorpe


Weather, power

To the editor:

Re: William Bergmann's letter of June 28 with reference to Tom Wilson's letter of June 25, in which he detailed plans to install his own certified electricity meter to check PG&E's Smart Meter.

I am also looking forward to what he finds out. My metered usage has gone up as high as 6500 watts per day with no actual change to our use.

PG&E has told us the weather determines how much power we consume. Ha! Ha!

Frank Meckler