Letters to the editor for Sept. 7, 2011

Union Democrat staff

Resources, solutions needed in our county

To the Editor:

We recently lost a member of our community, a member who needed resources to help her survive. We failed her. What more is it going to take? How many more lives lost?

We have a responsibility to all of our community members, regardless of their age, economic background, religious beliefs, culture, skin color, physical or mental illnesses. What is it going to take to fix this huge issue, made even bigger with the closure of the Psyche Unit at Tuolumne General Hospital? How many more community members are we going to lose? My point is not to place blame, but rather to get us thinking about solutions and to put those solutions to work before we lose more community members.

In Marlo Chadwick's memory, in honor of Troy Wilson and all of the others that we, as a community, have failed let's stop ignoring the issue, let's face it together, let's work together.

To join a team of qualified and caring individuals and to learn about suicide prevention contact the Center for a Non-Violent Community at 588-9305 and inquire about the Question, Persuade, Refer Training (QPR) and the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). And, if you are feeling suicidal or know of someone that is, please reach out and call 533-7000 or 1-800-273-8255. We do care about you.

Catherine Driver


Driver is an engagement coordinator for Older Adult Outreach & Engagement Program, Catholic Charities.

Juniper Uranium

Mine issues

To the Editor:

The mine is not in some area so remote it poses no danger as headlined by this newspaper. It is in the middle of a very popular year round recreation area. Fifty some cabins on private property are within 2 miles of the mine pit. The closest cabin is a thousand yards away. I live full-time within a mile of project boundaries for four months a year and there are mining generated radiation exposure conduits a 1,000 feet from my residence. Mining impacts involve many thousands of acres.

Do not presume the Forest Service has followed any of its own normal rules and procedures in developing this closure project. This project has been secretly exempted by the FS from all of its own regulations since the early 90s. The project falls under the aegis of the National Contingency Plan, which covers hazardous materials releases. The FS has also chosen to ignore most of the public participation and notification requirements of that law, too. It did not even get around to involving the public until the closure project had already gone out to bid for the first time. A public meeting was finally held and project officials didn't bother attending. A formal public comment period was established (summer 2005) which didn't end until the closure of first time bidding. The FS has had six years to respond to that public comment. Instead, it ignores all public comment and significant issues raised therein and secretly negotiates a closure contract which isn't even announced until the contractor had already started work. See a problem? I'll address specific issues subsequently.

Ken Brunges


The Real Reagan

To the Editor:

Dominic Torchia's letter on Aug. 29 attacking Ronald Reagan is such a risible collection of distortions, fabrications and foolishness that it's hard to know where to start in refuting it.

Yes, under Reagan the unemployment rate reached 10.8 percent in 1982. This was because the Federal Reserve, under Paul Volcker and supported by Reagan, deliberately created an economic contraction in order to kill the ruinous inflation which was crippling our economy. It was bitter medicine, but it worked. Interest rates plummeted, the economy boomed and tens of millions of jobs were created. Yes, the stock market nose-dived on Oct.19, 1987, but it had nothing to do with Reagan and the market recovered completely within a year. In fact, as Reagan's tax-cuts and Volcker's monetary austerity took effect in 1982, the stock market began a 19 year rise, the greatest bull market in history.

As to the assertion that Reagan imposed "possibly the largest tax increase in history," this is pure bunk. Actually, as Reagan's tax-cuts took effect, there was an enormous increase in economic activity, resulting in a vast expansion of tax revenue. When you cut rates and expand revenue, you are not imposing a tax increase. Yes, Reagan did fail in his efforts to shrink the size and scope of the federal government. The Democrats who ran Congress stopped him in his tracks. As to the idea that breaking the PATCO strike in 1981 led to the "virtual extinction" of America's middle class, one can only ask, Mr. Torchia, "what are you smoking?"

There was an aspect of Reagan's Presidency which Torchia chose to ignore - foreign policy. There was this little thing called the Cold War. Reagan won it.

Fritz Pettyjohn


The Union Democrat
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