Union Democrat staff

State Assembly District 5 Race

To the Editor:

There are two conservative Republicans vying for our votes in newly configured State Assembly District 5, Rico Oller, of San Andreas, and Frank Bigelow, of O'Neals in Madera County. Mr. Oller is clearly the best choice. Because of his excellent record in previous service in the legislature, we know precisely what we'll get from Mr. Oller if he's elected: a strong, consistent conservative. While Mr. Bigelow might prove to be such a voice, there's simply no way to know for sure. Perhaps his lack of understanding of Sacramento helps explain Bigelow's initial support for Gov. Brown's high speed rail project. This had boondoggle written all over it from the start, but Bigelow drank the Kool-Aid along with a lot of other well meaning but naive people. Because of his depth of experience in the ways of our capitol, Rico Oller saw through this folly from the start. We can count on him to forcefully represent our interests, and our values, in Sacramento.

Fritz Pettyjohn


Editor's Note: In a Jan. 27, Union Democrat article, Frank Bigelow said he once supported the high speed rail project but now staunchly opposes that plan.

Fight to keep Railtown open

To the Editor:

Railtown: Showcasing the railroad that was a favorite of movie companies, featured in over 100 motion pictures and television programs. Built in 1897, this historic California short line railroad is considered to be one of the most famous in America. The roundhouse in Jamestown is one of the most well preserved facilities of its kind in the American West.

Say good-bye, it's going very soon along with old engine number 3. That's right, the same engine that many of us in Tuolumne County raised thousands of dollars for. It will however look nice at its new home location, the California State Railroad Museum. Old town Sacramento will be very thankful that Tuolumne County gave away its historic treasure, and they will be taking full advantage of the potential movie and television business this engine could bring them. This action will also kill off any hope for future Tuolumne County movie projects.

Say good-bye Jamestown and Sonora merchants, one of the most unique attractions in the county will be leaving in just a few months. Now you can concentrate more on your California Gold History, just like the dozens and dozens of other towns up and down the Mother Lode.

Do we citizens in Tuolumne County want to keep Railtown 1897 alive, or are we all willing to see our heritage leave forever?

I say let's fight to keep it running, and let's band together for one large Save Railtown 1897 event soon. I am working on one right now.

Patrick Karnahan