Union Democrat staff

Kudos on 'Trashing the Habit' story

To the Editor:

Thank you so very much for running the article "Trashing a Habit" (Jan. 31, page B1) regarding Beth Terry and her work to reduce the use of disposable plastics. That is so crucial, for birds and other animals, the ocean, and all the environment. Her tips and plans (myplasticfreelife.com) can help anyone reduce their plastic purchases, to whatever degree is possible for them.

Another excellent resource is plasticpollutioncoalition.org. There are so many plastic products that can be reused, and bringing one's own containers to grocery stores and restaurants is a great help. You did a real service to the community by publishing this story.

Helen Engledow


Mele's stance causes confusion

To the Editor:

I'm confused about the purpose of the recent letter by Sheriff Mele. He states he will not enforce any federal bans on assault rifles. Yet as a county sheriff he does not have the authority to enforce federal laws unless deputized as a federal agent. And, as best I can tell, the proposed federal laws would not be any more restrictive than current California state laws.

The California Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 prohibits "assault rifles" and clips holding more than 10 rounds, and places stricter requirements on gun purchases and transfers. Some may remember that this law was passed after a sicko killed 5 children and wounded dozens more on a Stockton school ground in 1989, spraying more than 100 rounds with an AK-47.

It appears the Sheriff would refuse to do what he is not allowed to do. And, he has had the duty to enforce state laws for the past 24 years that are as restrictive as anything being proposed in Washington. California's gun laws are among the toughest in the U.S.

It seems there is no shortage of constitutional "experts" with opinions but there are only nine whose opinions count. It is interesting to note that the NRA was afraid to challenge the 1994 federal assault rifle ban, and the California statute has stood for 24 years without Supreme Court challenge.

Gun laws and gun definitions have become very complicated. The Sheriff could perform a real public service by printing a summary of California gun laws and definitions, as well as which laws he enforces. As a gun owner I would like to know.

Thomas Beck


Cats needed more consideration

To the Editor:

Your article, "Pet Dental Health Month," The Union Democrat, Feb. 14, Page B1, was good for dogs but not for cats. There was only a single mention of cats in the article. Cats have caught up with dogs numerically as pets but data shows that their veterinary care is not as good as that afforded dogs. You thereby missed an opportunity to educate the public on the need of cats for veterinary care. I am a lover of both species but have a cat due to my lifestyle (as many do) and therefore I think this is an important consideration.

Jean Howard