Union Democrat staff

Well done city

tree trimmers

To the Editor

Kudos to our city tree trimmin' crew. I happened to be in Coffill Park in downtown Sonora just yesterday, and oh my, what a pleasant difference. It was spectacular - the openness and spaciousness - a friendly feelin'...Thanks to the extensive tree trimmin' effort.

Well done!

Paul Fairfield


Leave no trace and be responsible

To the Editor,

My wife and I recently moved here from the Bay Area. The main reason was to be close to all the places we enjoy - lakes, rivers, creeks and trails.

We recently had friends come to spend the weekend with us with the intention of enjoying one our favorite spots along one of our beautiful rivers.

When we arrived we were shocked to find many empty water bottles and empty beer bottles. We took the responsibility of carrying this garbage out and disposing of it, quite a bag full I might add.

The rule of thumb is to take out what you bring in (it will be lighter on the way out than it was on the way in). Leave nothing but footprints - that's what my father taught me.

If you can't do this, we who love and respect these wonderful areas wish you would just stay home.

Dennis Hale


Thanks to a

good samaritan

To the Editor,

To the person who found my purse and returned it to Save Mart on Mono Way on July 7: Whomever you are, you are one of the good people!

May good fortune rain on you for your honesty.

I truly, thank you so kindly.

Louise Nay


Kingdom of animals

To the Editor,

In reply to Canepa's and Childers' letters: they may be missing the real point.

Perhaps cannibalism is the most ethical method of sustenance, you don't prey on the Kingdom of Animals nor do you prey on the Kingdom of Plants!

It gives new meaning to "having your neighbor for lunch!"

J.W. Smith


Conservatives are anti-union

To the Editor,

The conservative agenda is anti-union. Apparently we're better off when workers have no voice. Our government could foster labor and business cooperation, but it doesn't. Since 1970s, union membership declined from 40 percent to 9 percent. Graph the decline in union membership and the decline in middle class wages since the 1970s, they nearly match.

American workers are more productive but profits aren't shared. Busting unions keeps your wages low. In "Upward Mobility," America ranks 47th among the 47 industrialized economies - so much for the

American dream.

If worker wages had grown at post World War II rates, wages would be 30 percent higher today. Healthy unions fight wage gouging that funds excessive executive pay, and exports jobs overseas.

We deregulated the banks (another conservative idea), creating the recession. The bankers got off - what had been illegal was deregulated. It costs money to create jobs but we hate stimulus.

The Tea Party thinks we create jobs by making the "recession creators" wealthier but there's no evidence this happens.

The top 20 percent of Americans hold 84 percent of the nation's wealth - so where are those jobs?

And who's paying for this recession? Who's losing their homes, jobs, benefits, and pensions…the wealthy? "The recession creators" get tax cuts, while they're claiming huge wage increases, and bonuses…why? Who's there to stop them? American workers are paying for this recession. In Scranton, Penn., the wages of the public workers including police and firemen were cut to minimum wage of $7.25.

Wages, benefits and pensions are declining.

You're next. And the recession creators are just laughing, saying, "No new taxes… unions are bad."

And when wages are low enough, "You can shine my shoes!"

Robert Carabas