Union Democrat staff

Wishing Sean Janssen the best

To the Editor,

As Union Democrat reporter Sean Janssen embarks on his new career, we would like to thank him for all that he has done to keep the people of Calaveras County informed of what is going on in our community. Whether it is explaining the actions of our various governing bodies (not an easy task) or giving insight into the people and events that make this area so special, Sean has performed as a consummate professional. In addition, he is a really nice guy.

He and his lovely family are leaving the area to pursue his goal to become a Lutheran pastor. Wherever they end up, they will be an asset for any congregation.

We wish them well.

Bob Reagan


Fact check on frog protection issue

To the Editor:

John Harless' Aug. 20 letter criticizes the government official who testified at Congressman McClintock's meeting about endangered species protection for two species of Sierra amphibians. Since that meeting there has been public debate about the merits of the proposed designation of critical habitat for frogs and toads, and equal debate about the balance of McClintock's meeting. Mr. Harless has chosen to enter those debates.

The credibility of one who engages in a public policy debate is in large part measured by the participant's knowledge and grasp of basic facts. Mr. Harless fails that credibility test. His letter castigates the testimony of the "Fish & Game representative." There was no "Fish and Game" representative at the meeting. "Fish and Game" was once a state agency, now officially named Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The testimony that Mr. Harless complains about came from an employee of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the principal federal agency responsible for administering the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). One wonders whether Mr. Harless knows, or cares, about the difference. Or that he would know or care that ESA passed the U.S. House in 1973 on a 355 to 4 vote, passed the US Senate unanimously on a voice vote, and was then signed by GOP President Nixon. But Mr. Harless accomplished his purpose of smearing any government agency responsible for protection of the environment and its diverse web of critically important species. He obviously misses the point that as we allow other species to become extinct we are setting the stage for the same fate for our descendants. Species depend upon each other, regardless of the number of their legs. Those who today care only about two-legged human species, are doing a disservice to future generations.

Future generations deserve better.

Jerry Cadagan


Tea Party advocate not out of order

To the Editor:

My dear neighbors…I have watched with you as the blood letting in Washington, D.C. turn into a bloodbath - now faced with Affordable Health Care fast approaching a final deadline, handguns responsible for even more senseless and pointless killing, and the Cold War mess leading to the chaos in the middle East still unresolved after over 60 years under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.

There have been times this summer when I felt like writing to you advocating an end to political influence of 'Citizen's United,' the Tea Party Patriots, and the deep divisions that are dividing our nation in a terror torn world of mischief and badly misunderstood grievances left as harbingers to imperial colonialism governed by the West prior to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and an end to the madness of the nuclear standoff fresh in the memory of seniors like myself, and mature adults in this nation and around the world.

But all is not rotten within the ranks of the Grand Old Party as it seeks a glitter of light from a time long past its usefulness. Governor Christie, Donald Trump, and even our own Frank Bigelow show at least some sense of purpose and sanity in our public and private democratic affairs.

Tea Party advocate Levin's new book arguing for constitutional reform and calling for a convention of the states is not out of order - though in places a bit draconian, in the wake of the Ron Paul's and Rick Santorum's moving argument for social constraint. They deserve a national airing and hearing.

Timothy K. Fitzgerald