Union Democrat staff

Sierra Pacific jobs

To the editor:

When and if Sierra Pacific hires 130 workers, according to (Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Larry) Cope, "for every one job the mill creates, six more supporting jobs will pop up, including independent truckers, equipment providers and additional labor."

I like that: pop up. Magic! Total gain, according to our resident wizard: 910 jobs. Let's celebrate!

Somehow lost in the excitement seem to be last year's job cuts. In 2009, SPI closed the mill for alleged "lack of work" and announced it would eliminate 146 jobs.

Now, if I do my math, or rather Cope's math, if six times as many jobs will "pop up" with every new hire this year, six times the number of workers laid off last year, 6 time 146 jobs for a total loss of 1,022 must have been lost in 2009.

Or should I say, they just "popped out"? The balance, using our taxes-paid expert's numbers, is a loss of 112 jobs from one year to the next.

Fine job, SPI and county wizards. Turn a loss of 146 into a gain of 910 – and get rid of the unions, too, if Don Stowell's prediction (letter in July 7 issue) turns out to be correct.

Klaus Kraemer


Include Fox News

To the editor:

Next time you have a poll on news anchors, why don't you include Fox TV News anchors?

Dennis Gomes

Angels Camp

Tourist tax

To the editor:

Taxation without representation. Ridiculous.

As a frequent traveler, I bristle at the imposition of "itinerant visitor taxes." They are an easy way for local governments to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the tourists that they court as as a major part of their economy.

Biting the hand that feeds you is never a sound policy. The he fact that your (pre-election) article said there was "no significant opposition" to the measure tells all.

Brian Wynne


A Tuolumne County resident until two years ago, Wynne is still a frequent visitor.

The down side

To the editor:

Just as I was retreating back into average citizen mode, having lost a bid for another term on the Sonora City Council, a radio interview pulled me up short.

George Segarini, executive director of the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that the organization would continue to endorse candidates in local elections, even through several businesses have quit the chamber because of it.

That struck a nerve. Now that I'm out of the mix, allow me to relate my experience:

Although I was sure the chamber would support the businessman candidate, I went to its interview out of curiosity and wishful thinking.

I was OK with its endorsement of the other incumbent until I was asked by several voters why I didn't support business. That was unexpected, and I realized that the uninformed perception by many was that the chamber deemed me bad for business.

I found that perception insulting and demeaning to my service on the City Council.

Here's the deal; Fifty percent or more of local government's budget is generated by sales tax. The more successful local businesses are, the better your police, fire and public works service is. Any public official who is anti-business is doing a disservice to the public and is a fool.

Now its one thing for the chamber to interview a candidate to get a feel how to best work with him, but now you know the down side.

Gary Anderson


Anderson served on the Sonora City Council for five and a half years.

Blown away

To the editor:

Anyone who thinks nothing is perfect should see "The Marvelous Wonderettes," now playing at Sierra Repertory Theatre in East Sonora.

This was not a show I particularly wanted to see, but when friends suggested we go, we said yes. What a great decision - we were absolutely blown away.

It's one of those shows that starts you laughing immediately, then never lets up. The four young ladies were truly marvelous, playing with an energy that professional athletes might envy and with voices that could easily handle the wide variety of songs that described their hopes and dreams and, later, the realities of their life.

Mark Seiver's wonderful band, situated on-stage, evoked a longing for the "real" music that has mostly disappeared. Of course, any show is only as good as its director, and there is none better than Scott Viets. He is truly a treasure.

Thank you so much, SRT, for such a delightful, funny, joyful, enjoyable, uplifting, nostalgic experience. I could probably come up with a dozen more adjectives, but they still wouldn't describe the fun you'll have watching this show. Go. You won't be sorry.

Iris Gardner