Union Democrat staff

Bypass has

lovely scenery

To the Editor,

Some readers are complaining about the new Sonora Bypass that is being constructed. I used to enjoy driving the old road through the Business District of East Sonora. That will all change soon when the new Bypass opens.

This is in distinction to the Angels Camp Bypass that I have the pleasure of driving on to and from my work in San Andreas. The views from that Bypass are some of the most beautiful in the foothills.

I find it relaxing looking at the ranches that line the bypass and imagining what they were like in the days of horse transportation.

I feel fortunate that we have such a nice road in Calaveras County. Thank you Caltrans.

We have a lot to be thankful living in the foothills.

Rodger Orman, MD


Columbia should talk about degree

The defiant and inept Columbia Unified School District Board of Trustees majority arrogantly believe they have ground down the board critics to dust in their attempt to save the job of their leader, Superintendent John Pendley.

Over my dead body, they will. The injustices and malfeasance of this board in protecting Pendley's job is a grievous injustice of such magnitude it calls for more strenuous means to correct it. The latest trick by the so-called "Dr. Pendley" was to skirt my request to put the issue of his dubious doctorate degree on the board's May 8 regular meeting. This would have opened the issue to public discussion and questions from board members. I received a May 3 letter from the district's attorney, saying that Pendley and Board President Clark Segerstrom had denied my request because a superintendent is not required to have a doctorate degree and does not get extra compensation for it.

Pendley says he received his doctorate in 1998 but declines to say what year he enrolled at the school. An online search shows that numerous high-ranking public and school officials have either been fired or forced to resign for padding their resumes with LaSalle diplomas. Though my request was denied, Pendley addressed concerns about his diploma at the May 8 meeting anyway without it being agendized. It was a thinly-veiled attempt to give his spin on the issue without it being open to board and public discussion.

Pendley and school board majority Segerstrom, Jeff Wittman, Laura Phelan and Jeff Costello are all culpable for their cowardly and shameful conduct over the course of the Columbia School sex scandal in which Pendley's son, Brennan, was convicted of committing sex crimes with an underage student in a school classroom. It's a disgrace and a grave injustice.

Robert Dorroh