Union Democrat staff

Sonora High bond and property taxes

To the Editor,

Sonora Union High School District Board wants to borrow $23 Million for facility repairs and technology upgrades. Of course, $23 Million turns into $46 Million with interest over time.

Let's review past bonds: Sonora Elementary School Bond, $7.8 Million (around $15.6 Million with interest) 2011; Columbia College Bond, $326.1 Million (around $550 Million with interest) 2004.

So, let the public relations games begin. SUHS will line up bond sales consultants, school administrators, local politicians as well as teachers, coaches, etc. They will be coming out of the woodwork to sell this bond to district citizens - offering speed, dazzle and dreams (over substance) with no acknowledgement of the dire straights of the local economy.

I don't oppose any of the improvements these bonds would support. I do oppose the unnecessary incurrence of additional debt when there is such uncertainty regarding international markets, federal debt and leadership, and the substantial economic adversity that average families in Sonora currently face.

In addition, we will see a personal massive tax hike come Jan. 1, 2013 when the Bush tax cuts end. That is going to send a lot of our ever-shrinking disposable income to Washington for the (mis)use of the federal government.

Rejecting these bonds now doesn't mean we can't re-visit the issue when things improve.

This would be the third bond added to base district property taxes.

Piggish-spending statist educators are behind this borrowing binge.

Does the $23 million scale back, to the bare minimum, what is absolutely needed to keep this district working?

It's doubtful that needs and wants have been sorted out. Therefore, we'll end up with a "Trust Me Slush Fund of 2012" that will deserve a No vote.

Ray Anderson


Not against hunting; here's my story

To the Editor,

In response to my original letter, "Hound Hunting of bears is unethical," on June 26, the reader who replied to my letter, Christine Leers, missed the point.

I am not against hunting, as it is sometimes necessary to balance nature and control the population of certain animals. I have hunted and been around firearms for over thirty years and I am a licensed California Concealed Weapon permit holder.

I have trained and handled K-9's for 25 years and won numerous K-9 competitions and awards. I have handled a search dog and several police dogs. I know that there are many other activities for you and your dogs to have fun at other than torturing a bear.

As part of a K-9 search team I have been in the woods with my partner searching for missing persons and have confronted mountain lions and bears on a number of occasions. Several times within 20 feet.

I am educated on how to handle these situations and have been startled but never afraid of these animals as I'm trained and knowledgeable in their behavior and always armed.

And finally, I live my life as an ethical person with morals and to suggest anything else when you don't know me is just plain ignorant.

Joe Riva


Health care act is 'heavy handed'

To the Editor,

This is in response to the article "Health care next step" in the June 29 paper.

The article states that the Affordable Care Act is expected to extend coverage to "but 90 percent" of Americans. That means that about 10 percent of people will still not have health insurance.

In 2008 (the year Obama began his campaign to take over health care) Gallup reported that 14.8 percent of Americans were without medical insurance. Amazing!

All the this gut wrenching, expensive, painful reorganization of our society is for a 4.8 percent gain! There must have been a better way to address this problem. The heavy handed take over of this huge aspect of our economy and our lives (for a relatively small improvement in the number of people insured) does beg the question as to what this was really all about.

Lana Simning