Union Democrat staff

Blue Chair, Part II

To the Editor:

On Friday Aug. 26, I dropped off a letter to the editor about the blue chair and its disappearance. For me, writing is a good way to deal with some of life's frustrations. I felt better after expressing my feelings.

But nothing compares with what happened the day after the letter's publication.

We returned home after being gone for a few hours. We spent some time on the deck. As it was getting dark, I walked around the front to check on our dog. I saw something leaning against the front door. I recognized it as a chair carry-bag. I took it inside to get a better look. It was a blue bag with a blue chair. Where did it come from?

I went back out and sure enough there was a note I missed. It was torn from a small notebook. Printed across it was the message: "This is from someone who wants you to have your blue chair for your grandchildren's games."

Wow. I was overwhelmed and I still am.

I may never know who did this wonderful, thoughtful, generous deed for me, but I hope someone will know that you really touched my heart and reminded me that kindness and goodness overcomes meanness and badness.

What a truly lovely act of kindness.

Your spirit will be with me every time I use my new blue chair.

Thank you very much.

Patricia Loring


Job Attraction in

Tuolumne County

To the Editor:

Civic leaders are understandably troubled by the lack of population growth in Tuolumne County in recent years. Some, including Supervisor Dick Pland, are rightly saying that what's needed are sizable new firms that would provide good jobs with good pay and benefits. New people would move in, competent young people would take good jobs here rather than moving away. So why haven't companies -― high tech, let's say -― been attracted to the county?

My sense is that the problem lies in the prevailing social and political culture of the area.

Certainly, a company planning to relocate or establish a branch would look carefully at potential move sites. Beyond financial incentives, a firm would want a community that is comfortable for its management, scientific, and other professional staff - most university educated and liberal in outlook ―- and their families.

Company planners, in visits, would be charmed by the physical setting, lively art and theater scene, and friendly people. But they may be disturbed by daily headlines about murders, beatings, and other crimes; by reports of alcoholism and illegal drug use (and attendant driving fatalities); by evidence of racism; by the apparent low regard for city beautification (why no trees downtown?) and by the feeling that local governing bodies seem more concerned about preserving a provincial status quo than with seeking solutions to the sorts of problems just cited.

May I suggest, then, that it's mainly the culture of the county that would keep a new firm ―- an info-tech firm, for example - with highly educated top staff from coming to Tuolumne County.

If this is indeed the situation, what can be done? Coming up with the necessary range of solutions will require minds more insightful than mine, or of most of our current political leaders.

Dick Peterson


Protect,enforce the

Wilderness Act

To the Editor:

The Yellowhammer Camp, located in a wilderness area, on the Stanislaus NF needs to be removed as should the Monte Wolf Cabin in the Mokulumne Wilderness (El Dorado NF).

The present history of these sites has documented that select groups of individuals keep these buildings in use for their own personal use.

Tear them down, remove the trash and debris. Restore the area to what it should be - wilderness.

USFS archeologists can assess the site and remove 99.9 percent of the debris leaving something (an old fencepost or part of a foundation) to show a passerby that there was past history at that site. You can also allow the building to slowly dissolve into the earth without continued maintenance.

Recently, Yosemite National Park removed an abandoned road, corral, watering troughs, and tack shed, in wilderness, at Harden Lake (north of White Wolf). The site is left with a few historic memories marked by several wood corral posts. The area is now viewed unobstructed with unnecessary historic debris, for a pleasant visitor hiking and viewing experience.

There are many volunteers and groups willing to remove "wilderness garbage." Yosemite National Park has its annual "Facelift" work week in September where up to 1,000 volunteers sweep the park of unwanted litter and wilderness garbage under the watchful National Park Service archaeologists supervision. All potential historic garbage that gets removed is first reviewed (months before the event) through an internal compliance process.

The Wilderness Act was created to keep our wilderness pristine and protected for future generations.

The public needs to be educated on why the Wilderness Act was created. Its law should not be broken.

Noreen Trombley

Yosemite National Park

The American Jobs Act

To the Editor:

President Obama is right to challenge Eric Cantor on the American Jobs Act.

It's been three weeks since the President called on Congress to take meaningful action on the economy, but the Republican majority is blocking the bill from even coming up for a vote in the House.

So we deserve to know: What exactly in the bill is Cantor opposed to?

Is it tax cuts for small businesses, measures to help veterans and teachers, or investments to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges?

The American Jobs Act is fully paid for. It puts teachers, firefighters, first responders, and veterans back to work. It invests in schools and infrastructure, modernizing tens of thousands of classrooms and hiring construction workers for critical jobs right away. It cuts payroll taxes in half, allowing workers to keep more of their hard-earned money - up to $1,500 per family per year.

These are not Democratic or Republican ideas. They're common-sense measures that are desperately needed to put people back to work.

We deserve to know where our representatives in Congress - the people we elected to serve us - stand on the Jobs Act. And if Rep. Cantor refuses to answer the President's questions on jobs, schools, veterans, or our national infrastructure, we'll have to assume his priorities lie elsewhere.

Linda Jane

Angels Camp