Union Democrat staff

Tuolumne River water and SF

To the Editor:

Your Oct. 10 story about the proposed sale by Modesto Irrigation District of water to San Francisco quotes three very knowledgeable local people (John Buckley, Patrick Koepele and Pete Kampa) laying out various good reasons for watching the matter very closely, and ultimately probably opposing a sale. The water in question is from our Tuolumne River, a hard-working river that is already providing water to SF and to Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts for urban and agricultural uses.

San Francisco probably claims that it needs more water to take care of the growing population in SF and the nearby cities that buy water from it. The fact is that very little water used in urban settings is actually consumed by humans. Therefore, it need not be of the pristine quality of Tuolumne River water. Municipal golf courses and parks, manufacturing and other businesses, and SF's Golden Gate Park could get along just fine with recycled water. But guess which is the only major county in the state that does absolutely no water recycling. Yep, it's SF. Let them start serious water recycling before taking another drop of Tuolumne River water. The river, all the way down to the confluence with the San Joaquin, needs the water for the benefit of wildlife, fisheries, habitat, recreation and water quality.

Jerry Cadagan


Education paying well

To the Editor:

Regarding the article, "YCCD board inks $254K contract with Smith," by Lacey Peterson.

Thank you for this article. It is so refreshing to see where someone who is paid an extraordinary salary is praised by a trustee (Lynn Martin) as "being worth it because the things that she has done for this district have saved us more money than her salary is. She is worth every penny." Lynn Martin obviously has knowledge of things that would be important to share with the readers. The specifics of disclosing this knowledge to the public could provide a basis for holding other educators, government officials, and elected officials accountable for their performance and justification of their pay. Further in the article, the presentation of other salaries seems to show extremely generous levels of compensation in this field. I would venture to say that these salaries rival private company CEO salaries. It is hard to understand the attack some political factions seem to think is happening on education when you see this. Looks like the attack on education pays well.

Chuck Hewitt