Union Democrat staff

TUD water waste is unacceptable

To the Editor::

The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) wants to control the water level at Pinecrest Lake. Because each year TUD wastes up to 40 percent of the South Fork Stanislaus water that comes from Pinecrest, this shouldn't be allowed. Just imagine a gas tanker bringing his load to Sonora and 40 percent of the gasoline disappearing. A company like that would not stay in business. Yet for TUD it is business as usual.The recently elected TUD board is intent on keeping rates low, so there may be little hope for TUD investing large amounts into major fixes of the leaky ditch system. Instead TUD wants to grab more Pinecrest water. This easy solution might be alright if TUD didn't lose up to 40 percent of its product and have no serious conservation programs. Responsibility must be earned! The TUD must protect and conserve the water it now gets before being given more. We know up to 40 percent of any new Pinecrest water will never see a customer so leave it in the lake to give the tourism a boost. A plan already exists so that in a true emergency water can be provided from Pinecrest. Today TUD makes it seem the sky is falling but remember with Mountain Springs TUD claimed there was plenty of water until 2035. Does TUD know which story is true or do they just want to grab all the water they can? Waste not, want not, should guide the TUD.

Jon Sturtevant


Deputies don't deserve cuts

To the Editor:

An open letter to the Board of Supervisors:

I am very concerned with the cuts you want to make to our Sheriff's department. Those men and women are the most underpaid civil servants in our community! How dare you even think of cutting that department even more than you have already done! The state is saying the prisons are over populated so they are doing early release! That means more criminals on the streets, They are understaffed as it is and will probably just get worst if you take more away from your Sheriff's department.

UPS truck drivers make more money per hour than our deputies make. Wow if that doesn't open your eyes! AT&T outside crews make more hourly wages and have much better benefits than our deputies do and they don't have to wear 20 pounds of gear and wonder if they are going to arrive home safe to their families each night.

It's really scary to think if I need to call the Sheriff's department that the deputy could be on a call in Columbia or Groveland and it would take them over 30 minutes to get to my emergency. As it is, they are already covering 550 square miles per deputy. What good would that do if I had a home invasion?

If you cut their pay and more deputies leave the county for higher paying jobs, what would it be like for the deputies we have left not having back up when they need it? Would we still have enough men on our SWAT team?

I hope you think about your family and friends before you decide to make any more cuts to our Sheriff's department. How can you think you would get reelected if you were willing to sacrifice your friends, family and communities safety?

Laura Thomas

Crystal Falls