Union Democrat staff

New power a dim prospect

To the Editor:

Huzzah! Congratulations to the Calaveras utilities who have finally been given access to a few kilowatts of New Melones power production! (I bet no one's bill will go down). Of course, some Tuolumne County governmental agencies have been getting this version of "hush money" for about 35 years. The feds wheel the rest of the juice off to the open market. These allotments represent the sum of the benefit for spending about 100 million taxpayer's dollars for this boondoggle project!

No new flood control or irrigation capacity was created - Tulloch has always handled that. True - there is good recreation, but I count no less than a dozen flatwater sites within 30 miles of Melones. For a hundred million bucks, that feds could have bought a motorboat for every family in our counties and given us all gas money to boot!

It's amazing to see that one of them main arguments against Melones still holds water: There is no justifiable benefit for spending so much. No benefit at all when you add in the loss of some 25 miles of the best river rapids in the state and the local commerce that came with it!

If you are concerned about wasteful government spending, just point out Melones to your kids as you pass over the lake. It's our very own "Bridge to Nowhere!"

Brian Ferrell


Make civil rights education a priority

To the Editor:

The myopic guest opinion of Roger Simon makes me sick. It must be an allergic reaction to an infection disease epidemic to the far left.

The recent shooting in Connecticut is utterly appalling. And this from one of the top states with the most stringent gun laws. This should make it painfully obvious that additional law will not stop anyone bent on breaking them. There is a possible solution to this and other such incidents we've suffered over the past several years. The real solution is a subject I have never heard discussed much if at all - education. Personally, I have to blame the public education system because it has steadfastly refused to educate "we the people" to appreciate and respect certain constitutional rights. If we are to continue to deprive future generations of an understanding of these rights and the incumbent responsibilities that go with them I am afraid our constitutional form of government will soon crumble, and the alternatives are scary.

Tim Flanagan