Union Democrat staff

Grateful for fire safety measures

To the Editor:

I would like to acknowledge the important, valuable and necessary fuel reduction work being performed in the neighborhood of Montgomery and Yerba Santa roads in Sonora. Many thousands of tons of flammable understory vegetation and old dead wood lying in the ground has been removed and thus prevented from adding fuel to catastrophic wildland fires. Much of this work has been performed during inclement weather such as rain, sleet and snow. This work is very much appreciated by my neighbors and myself.

The fuel break projects are being organized, coordinated and executed by the Highway 108 Fire Safe Council Inc. manager Glenn Gottschall, president Jerry Tannehauser and grant manager Iiron Galliano. PG & E vegetation manager Paul Maben, Cal Fire Battalion Chief 15 Barry Rudolph, California Dept. of Corrections, Baseline Conservation Camp, and Administrative Captain Sam Cousins.

The Baseline Conservation Camp labor crews have worked diligently and consistently to make our area safer from fire and have done a fantastic job.

Thank you firefighters,

James Duff


Trendy or not, Pilates keeps you fit

To the Editor:

The American College of Sports Medicine as referenced in "Fitness in the New Year" (Dec. 31) revealed that "Pilates and stability balls are out" but it doesn't mean that even if Pilates is not a "trend," there is still much to be gained by doing Pilates.When I was 55 and lived in New York, I began taking Pilates classes at a gym, then moved into leading sessions at the gym when I was 60, and three years later I earned my credentials to be a Pilates Mat Instructor.When I moved to Sonora last summer, I began teaching mat Pilates and chair Pilates for people 55 and over. One student in my chair Pilates class told me, "In only six weeks of gentle chair Pilates, I've noticed improvements in my posture and balance."A male taking my Mat Pilates class told me that Pilates is an "excellent alternative to weights."Pilates may not be a "trend" in the fitness world but mastering the positions Joseph Pilates created is a wonderfulopportunity to be fit and flexible.

Leigh Henderson