Union Democrat staff

Support Measure J

To the Editor,

The character of a community, I believe, is reflected in how it educates its young people.

In the late 1930s, Sonora High School trustees made excellence in the classroom a priority, paying more than $100,000 to construct the Centennial Building and auditorium. The school board and community renewed their commitment to education in the late 1960s, when proceeds from a voter-approved tax override built the campus library, cafeteria, and Humanities building.

Trustees of those eras should be commended. The classroom buildings they approved have served tens of thousands of students. They were sound investments that have paid handsome dividends over multiple generations. But time has taken its inevitable toll and these venerable landmarks need help.

It is now our turn to step forward and vote yes on Measure J, a $23 million bond issue aimed at renovating and modernizing Sonora High School's campus and classrooms. If passed, J's proceeds will assure that our 21st Century students will have every advantage, ranging from state-of-the-art computers and technological access to energy-efficient heating, cooling and plumbing systems that will last for decades.

Sonora High trustees have a long record of fiscal responsibility. Measure J is the first bond issue they have ever put before district voters, and it deserves our support. Monthly costs for the average homeowner are estimated at about $4 - less than a Big Mac with fries, a movie ticket, or one of those fancy gourmet coffees.

Please join me in voting yes on Measure J, thus assuring that decades hence Sonora High School parents, students and graduates will look back on what we did on Nov. 6, and agree that our priorities were in line and that we had our community's best interests in mind.

Chris Bateman


Ballot propositions

To the Editor,

The proponents of Propositions 32 and 30 predict dire results if their proposition is defeated.

Personally, I am tired of hearing about how schools will suffer with overcrowded classrooms, fewer or no extra-curricular activities and a general decline in educational standards.

We have heard it all before and we voted for higher taxes and bond measures - ad nauseum - with no change in the status quo!

Yet, the increased revenue was collected and went ... where?

Remember the cigarette tax that was supposed to benefit Head Start?

The record shows little difference in children entering Kindergarten from a Head Start program to those coming in from home without any pre-school experience.

Meanwhile, the tax revenue is still collected.

Schools are in need of basic supplies - I know my grandchildren's parents supply such things as anti-bacterial wipes, tissues (Kleenex), pencils, paper, etc.

Schools cannot afford to purge well-worn textbooks because there are no funds to replace them.

What is most upsetting, is the constant threat to cut out enrichment programs, such as music, drama, visual arts and even sports.

We have excellent, dedicated teachers in Tuolumne County who are bound by so many politically correct restrictions that I marvel at their steadfastness to teach in today's environment.

Californians are taxed enough!

Neither Proposition 32 nor 30 will produce the utopian fantasy the ads proclaim, nor will schools suffer any more than they already do.

I say, re-evaluate where the money is going from the lottery, cigarette tax and other funds supposedly dedicated to education.

Millions of dollars expended on something - and from the hue and cry, it is not the schools for which they were intended.

Grace M. Alvarez

Twain Harte


To the Editor,

Re: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 15, in "Tipping Point," Ray Anderson says, "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are empiricists."

Hilarious is closer to the truth.

Anderson's letter made sense all the way until he finally came clean and made his absurd claim. He then went on to cite all of the old, tired Tea Party dogma as though they were facts.

It is this kind of thinking that got us into this fix, eight years of "asleep at the wheel" Bush results in a choice of a man who is trying to restore some sanity, all while facing opposition that pledges their support to a political operative instead of the American people.

If you want to vote for reality, you cannot vote for Romney.

William Bergmann