Union Democrat staff

Grateful for Rim Fire firefighters

To the Editor:

I would like to thank all of the firefighters who are battling the Rim fire. Many of our local men and women are often out on fires away from home, even out of state, for weeks at a time. This fire has shown us the devastation that they see on a regular basis, and it opens our eyes to their reality. Firefighters who respond to an accident or fire see some horrific images, and we often do not give them credit for the physical and mental challenges that they endure.

We also tend to forget that they have spouses and children who sacrifice time with their loved ones for our safety. So to the families of our firefighters... thank you as well. Without your loved one many people would not have a home to return to.

Patty Luoto


Political cartoon not very fair

To the Editor:

I see in your mission statement that you will maintain fair and ethical reporting.

In your Opinion Page of Aug. 19, your paper depicted Rush, Sarah, Beck and O'Reilly as clowns that needed sensitivity training.

I wonder how you would see Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi would be depicted.

Frank Matranga


Humans are the endangered species

To the Editor:

Thank you Yellow legged frog and Yosemite toad for being our living laboratory.

Yes, we should all be on guard for the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to limit land use of another 500,000 acres in Tuolumne County. Eliminating trout which have been in the high country lakes for about 100 years are being blamed for the reduction in frog and toad population. I bet that in another 100 years, the frogs and toads will still be there even if they left the trout in the lakes. Our government that is there to protect us is again missing the mark and dodging the real problem because they have to do something called enforce the law. The real problem is that these threatened amphibians are dying from a fungus. This threat and what to do about it was not mentioned at the recent "Hopping Mad" forum held at the fairgrounds. I once read that a native tribe did something to achieve the feeling of being satisfied. When a person became extremely ill, they would hold the victim on the ground and stuff dirt and grass in all the body openings. Most of the time the victim died but they felt good about it because they did something.

Scientists tell us that frogs and toads are dying because of a fungus. This is because of the pesticides that accumulate in these amphibians weakens their immune system. Pesticides drift from the valley farms and vineyards to the high county. This has been known for years. Folks, it is not the limited land use or the unnecessary trout elimination that has already started what we need to worry about. How many of us need to have a fungus growth which will weaken our immune system due to the drifting pesticides that have known about for years before we are recognized as the endangered species? The US Fish and Wildlife Service is acting in a crisis management mode. I find them doing something to appear satisfied is nonsense. Responsible organizations normally have a sound plan and implement a solution.

Jim Gormely