Union Democrat staff

Lt. Governor's visit

To the Editor:

I was truly amazed when such a high-ranking state official as Lt.

Governor Gavin Newsom came to Tuolumne County and generously shared his

views on how to make our state great again, the absence of city council

members and county supervisors was glaringly evident. We do not live in

a vacuum and when the Lt. Governor sees the total indifference to his

visit by county and city officials one might conclude that we will not

be first on his list of counties for which he will go to bat. I

personally was embarrassed for our county.

I know that SPI was inaugurating the re-opening of their plant, but

being aware that the Lt. Governor was going to be in Sonora for only

two hours, it would have made sense for the officials of our county to

arrange with SPI to work around the visit so that they could attend.

The Lt. Governor's visit had been announced for a long time so not

knowing about it seems a feeble excuse.

The visit was a huge success and the Opera Hall was standing room

only. We were so proud to have the Lt. Governor0 visit and were

impressed with his knowledge of our problems and difficulties. It was a

wonderful day.

Janet Maffei


Tired of being

a zombie

To the Editor:

I'm tired of being a zombie. I'm tired of my eyes glazing over bank

statements, waning job opportunities, and the issues that face my

community. I'm tired of watching unemployment fan the flames of the

elder community who have lost their pensions and are now living off the

food banks. I'm tired of drug use getting severe because other people

are taking desperate measures to go numb (like zombies do) or feed

themselves by selling. I'm tired of trying to numb myself from the

issues that face my generation because our right to a basic prosperity

is threatened.

I am thankful for the community support of Sonora and all the

people who realize that Wall Street affects small street. Occupy Sonora

doesn't want any more for rent signs in the windows of their small

business, and want their kids to grow up with a pride that comes from

providing for themselves. That can only come when the dollar is strong.

I know that even in my small Sierra Nevada community, Wall Street

steals the tourist dollar from us as Bay Area residents lose their jobs

and choose not to spend their summers boating and winters skiing. I

realize that even as a zombie, I must do my part. Zombies are not the

brainless ones, our lobbyists and Wall Street executives are. As a

zombie, I hope that all those who choose to corrupt our capitalist

system to make a quick buck will eat each other alive and then they

will know what it feels to be the 99 percent. Let's bring brains back

to the big banks.

Liz Kelley

Mi-Wuk Village

Establishing a Draft

To the Editor:

On April 25, Time Magazine reported that "60 members of the crew of

the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln pocketed $3.4 million in bonuses - $57,000

each, tax-free, simply to re-enlist." This action was the result of the

two Bush/Cheney administrations refusing to authorize a forced

enlistment when they started two wars, both still ongoing.

As a result of the malfeasance and incompetence of the

Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld trio in preparing for and engaging in two wars,

our troops were sent into battle without sufficient personnel, armor

and protective uniforms resulting in the deaths and maiming of

thousands of our brave men and women. The trio eventually had to send

the National Guard units of several states resulting in their

re-deployment, along with our U.S. Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force


Inasmuch as President Obama has been unable, or unwilling, to end

the wars he inherited, now is the time for a draft to be established to

avoid having to bribe our warriors to serve.

A dollar a day is the amount we veterans of Word War II were paid when we were drafted in 1941,

Ray Mellana


Tuolumne County Water Party

To the Editor:

In Washington there is a Tea Party, which stubbornly refuses to

fund Government and demands cuts regardless of consequences. And in our

quaint county there is the Water Party, known as the Tuolumne Utilities

District (TUD), which demands, with equal obstinacy, more income to pay

for its growing expenses. TUD proposes to raise the monthly cost for

the average customer, by TUD's definition, by a mere 23.41 percent

(Union Democrat, Oct. 18). The difference between the two "parties" is

that the Tea Party can shut the Government down if it wants to, while

the Water Party automatically gets what it wants because, effectively,

nobody controls it.

Klaus Kraemer