Union Democrat staff

Outrage over fairground fee

To the Editor:

With everyone in the Sonora and Tuolumne area working together, so much generosity pouring out to help each other, I was simply appalled to find out that Mother Lode Fairgrounds charged the outrageous price of $30 a night for camper hookups for those who were fortunate enough to have a recreational vehicle for shelter during the horrific Rim Fire disaster.

Anne Stevens

Mi-Wuk Village

Why should the U.S. attack Syria?

To the Editor:

Our president, who campaigned as anti-war and promised to end the war if elected, now wants to attack Syria! What's the real reason behind this military action? Why would he compromise his pre-election principles? Do we have to be fighting with someone all of the time?

As a country, sometime we have to mind our own business and take care of our citizens first, like veterans, the disabled, elderly, homeless, etc.

Roy Jueal

Twain Harte

America lacks the moral highground

To the Editor:

Our political leaders are once more convening an "open" meeting to "debate" the question of military action against Syria because of the use of chemical weapons on civilians.

Isn't it ironic that the nation that has used more chemical weapons over the past 50 years is now crying "wolf" about another government's (who we do not recognize as a "government," but a "regime") use of those weapons?

Remember Agent Orange in Vietnam?

Remember Fallujah and the brutal use of white phosphorous?

Remember the fiery use of Napalm in Korea and Vietnam?

Remember the use of depleted uranium in the Balkans and Iraq?

We, the United States of America are attempting to condemn (without true definitive evidence, because it's a "secret" to reveal that "evidence") another "regime" for that which we have prolifically used ourselves.

And, what about our "allies" whom we arm twist at every turn of our attempt to get them to follow our "lead" in condemning those "regimes" who defy us?

Israel used chemical weapons in "Operation Cast Lead" (2009) which constitutes a war crime.

Are we asking Congress for permission to attack Israel?

Why not?

The U.S. literally defines terrorism as other people doing what we ourselves consider our right to do. The U.S. and the rest of the "civilized world" exclude themselves from any culpabilities when they do what they condemn others doing … and we bleat, "terrorism!"

How much longer can we play this dastardly game?

Once more we are being fed falsehoods, ambiguities and shady "evidence" so as the Congress and the US administration, in my opinion, can cover its collective rear end.

Haven't we heard this sonata before?

Bert Canepa


Frog plan threatens Emigrant Wilderness

To the Editor:

A sad day is approaching for those who love to visit the Emigrant Wilderness of the Stanislaus National Forest.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a proposed rule up for discussion. They propose the Yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad be placed on the Endangered and Threatened Species lists, respectively. The result of these listings would be the closure of the areas designated as critical habitat for these animals. When the maps of the habitats of these two amphibians are viewed together, they encompass about 90 percent of the Emigrant Wilderness.

The studies cited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggest that the populations of the Yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad were diminishing due to a number of circumstances. Some of these are: predatory fish (most likely cause, and reversible), fungus, climate change, pesticides, fire retardant, PCB's, bullfrogs, Garter snakes, UV-B radiation, cattle on stream banks, birds,evolution, drought, chemicals in snowmelt, and diseases.

In the 26 pages of reference material provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service, there is no scientific evidence the recreational use of the habitat areas has contributed to the decline in the populations of the Yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad.

I urge you to fight this proposed rule. The Fish and Wildlife Service will be hearing arguments on this subject until Nov. 18, 2013. If this rule passes, it will go in effect in April 2014. The proposal and habitat maps are located at www.regulations.gov Docket Numbers FWS-R8-ES-2012-0100-0557 and FWS-R8-ES-2012-0074-0554.

Gail Jamieson