Union Democrat staff

California's Legislature

To the Editor:

Mr. John S. Robinson's letter of Sept. 2 took a step in the right direction by putting many of California's problems at the feet of the California legislature, the Democrats being in the majority. However, the blame is not only the legislature's but of those Californians who voted them into office.

Are we too lazy to find out what a candidate for political office stands for or are we brainwashed to think that only more money thrown at a problem will solve it? Having "incumbent" after a candidate's name on the ballot does not guarantee that he or she has the best interest at heart for us, the electorate. Often the legislature leaves it up to unelected bureaucrats to write rules that burden us and make it more difficult to do business in California. Case in point is a $100 plus fee for water rights holders, even so they do not receive any service from the Department of Water Resources. The electorate of you and me have by majority voted for high speed rail bonds which is just another boondoggle contrived by who? Valuable agricultural land is planned to be used for that purpose and the Commission in charge are unelected officials and hard to be held accountable.

I have a dream that one day the California Constitution will be changed to reflect the US Constitution in this way, that in California each county is being represented by a State Senator rather than rural areas having an uphill battle against the big cities who do not reflect the needs and wants of areas like Tuolumne County.

Peter Jelito


Bay Bridge steel questioned

To the Editor:

I've been in the steel business for 35 years. I often wonder who is doing the quality control on the manufacturing of the steel used on the new Bay Bridge.

My grandson is working on the bridge. He tells me when they drill holes in the metal, that sometimes the drill will go through the metal like its made of butter, then hit a hard spot and almost brakes the drill, a sign of bad metal and good metal. Is there any proof of quality control?

And why is this bridge made in China? Who planned this project? And who gets the big payoff? Anybody have any answers?

P.S. Don't want to be on it during an earthquake.

Bob Fernandez


9/11 Memorial Service

To the Editor:

I have just returned home for the most moving service I have ever witnessed. The Tuolumne County Pastorial Association is amazing. I have a list of heroes and have added several tonight. The first added is Jennifer Rapp, mother of fallen soldier Sgt. Bobby Rapp. What an inspiration she was tonight. Then came Sargent Daniel Porter, who served in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Star. Daniel was asked to pray for the families of fallen soldiers in the War on Terror. As Daniel began the prayer he became emotional. His brother, Jordan Porter, also a veteran of the War on Terror, joined Daniel to comfort and stand by his fellow serviceman. I was moved beyond anything I have ever felt.

These young men and women of today's volunteer military are the backbone of our nation and I so appreciate their selfless efforts to defend the U.S. and our God given right to freedom. Thanks to all the pastors, veterans, Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, and everyone else involved in this memorial. God Bless America.

Chris Luckie


Columbia sign restrictions

To the Editor:

I might have to close my business, mainly because no one knows I am even open because of the rules of Columbia. I can't have a lit open sign in my window because they say it takes away from "Columbia." I am in the old Pickle Barrel building, past the elementary school, outside of "Old Town," and I still have to get approval on everything I do to this building: paint, fencing, signs, etc.

While I agree with what they are trying to do, I feel as though they really step over some boundaries and are on a bit of a power trip. I need to let the public know that I am open to bring in business to survive and make a living. I think there should be some kind of compromise to this problem, such as don't allow blinking lights, the signs can't be bigger then a certain size, no bright neon colors, allow only open signs no closed signs, allow only two colors. There is a solution to every problem which means that both parties will have to give and take a little. Hmmm, maybe I should hire someone to throw and twirl a sign out front, of course getting the sign approved first, to let people know I'm open.

Cathy Flynn