Union Democrat staff

Ideas for new blacktop sidewalk

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Sonora City Council for some old fashioned wisdom in patching some damaged spots in the sidewalks of Sonora with cheaper material until there is more money available to buy the expensive covering.

My mother advised us seven children during Hoover's and FDR's administration to "not buy anything until you have the money to pay for it". I am so grateful for that advice!

Here's a thought: The edges of the black patches don't look very good. How about having some of our great artists in the county volunteer to paint some beautiful borders around the patches? People will come from all over to see the "beautiful sidewalks of Sonora" and spend enough money to pay for the final covering material for the patches. Just an idea!

Dorothy Sylwester

Twain Harte

Is High Court's new law constitutional?

To the Editor:

The highest court in our land determined this week that First Amendment free speech (verbal or visual) has no place on "their" property. The Supremes now ban any activities outside their building involving "the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd of onlookers."

This is the body that recently upheld the right of a fringe church to demonstrate en masse at burials of our fallen soldiers; and the one allowing the American Nazis to march through a mainly Jewish community in 1978.

The Court's plaza is a traditional place of peaceful demonstration. It is America's highest order of a public square - a place of petition to redress - a place where Americans must never fear repression.

Sandra Richardson


TUD board taking care of business

To the Editor,

After eleven years of service on the TUD board, last summer I resigned in protest because I was getting no support from other board members on reducing spending at TUD. In most government agencies, when the money runs out, salaries are cut, positions are eliminated, and furlough days are imposed. None of this happened at TUD. In fact, at the height of the recession TUD employees and management were given a cost-of-living raise.

Fed up ratepayers voted in a new board last November, one whose new members vowed to do some long-overdue belt-tightening at TUD. Now that we have some strong, savvy board members who are looking closely at the district's financial statements and challenging the business-as-usual water district culture, we shouldn't be surprised that some sparks are flying. Some have accused them of micromanaging. I would call it doing what they were elected to do. The board has directed general manager Kampa to reduce spending. If he is unable or unwilling to do it, we need a new general manager.

Ralph Retherford