Union Democrat staff

Concerned over bicycle safety

To the Editor:

I am very concerned about bicycle riders on Phoenix Lake Road. Cars are swerving over the double center line to avoid running bikers down. I recently had to swerve nearly off the road to miss sideswiping an oncoming car that was about a foot over the center line in my lane. The white line on my right side was barely visible before it drops off into a ditch. There are no bicycle lanes on Phoenix Lake Road and very often there is nothing more than a white lane with no extra space off the side of the road.

It is very unnerving to come around a corner and find a biker in my lane. I can understand that they are probably training for a race, but the possible danger is not worth the risk. I am hoping the proper authorities will make some kind of ruling for bikers on Phoenix Lake Road in East Sonora. Let's not wait for a biker to get hurt … or worse!

Jean Bullman

Phoenix Lake

Volunteer Center needs help

To the Editor:

The Volunteer Center belongs to everyone!

We need your help. Individually and collectively, we are the key to a sense of community that allows us to all feel safe, connected and valued.

For 22 years, volunteers from across the county have been insuring that our frail and otherwise vulnerable neighbors have a way to get to needed medical appointments. It is critical that we maintain a list of volunteers from each community - and we need your help. If requested, reimbursement is made for mileage. What you donate is your time, your attention and a piece of your heart.

This safety-net transportation program is not like a bowling league where you are committed to being there every Tuesday. When a request is made, we call and if you are available and motivated to drive on a specified date and time, great. If not, we go on down the list…which is why it is critical that we expand and keep adding program partners.

We all have busy lives, families, vacations and health issues of our own. However, when all the stars align and you can lend a hand, you help to diminish feelings of depression, restore hope, and enhance that sense of community - all by sharing a ride.

Our seniors have amazing stories, and are ever-so grateful for the help and the precious time we spend with them. Each is someone's grandmother, grandfather, sister or uncle.

More help is always needed. Tell your friends. Please call today 754-1699.

Keep paying it forward!

Marti Crane

Director, the Volunteer Center of Calaveras County

Valley Springs

Put cameras in Columbia school

To the Editor:

I am just sickened by the latest abuse allegations at Columbia Elementary. Certainly, we have reached the point at which security cameras in our schools are an imperative in each classroom and other space where a student might become a victim of abuse. Just to head off the more prone to hysterics among us, I am not suggesting including the bathrooms; but I certainly think a camera recording those entering and leaving is appropriate. It is clear that the culture at the school has become incredibly warped such that we can no longer rely on the "adults" to keep children safe. For too many at that school, the children are nothing but cash cows leading to a generous paycheck and pension. It is only the paychecks and pensions that they will fiercely protect. Security cameras have become incredibly cheap and easy to install.

Today, Costco has a system with 16 cameras for $800.00. Four or five of such systems should be enough to cover all areas of the school to which students have access. I'm sure that there would be more than enough parent volunteers to help install the cameras. Any attempt to break or block the cameras or take a child outside of the view of the cameras should be cause for immediate expulsion or firing. No one should have an expectation of privacy in a school. If you want privacy, go into a different profession. Additionally, these cameras (I have some) can be setup to allow for remote viewing so every parent could, and should, have the ability to check up on his or her kid during the day. With the $100,000 in "bonuses" that the school gave out last year, a system could have been already professionally installed and implemented.

Heidi Fuller