Union Democrat staff

Keep shutdown in mind next election

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Congressman Tom McClintock and his unflagging support of the Tea Party leading to the Oct. 1, shutdown of the federal government.

It is my deepest hope that all of his constituents never forget the impact his leadership has had upon the lives and livelihoods of those voters who reside in Mariposa, Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

After suffering the economic disaster of the Rim Fire, watching revenue from their small businesses for the month of August fall to zero, Yosemite National Park will now be closed indefinitely.

It is of paramount importance that business owners, small and large, remind their employees, their professional colleagues, and their customers that Congressman McClintock's actions during this sordid chapter is irresponsible. He has placed political theater above the needs of his own constituents.

Congressman McClintock will be up for reelection next year.

Let us remember what he has done to our neighbors.

David Vassar


Turn about fair play on stock pond

To the Editor:

See that the county supervisors are crying about having to protect the stock pound at the Justice Center boondoggle. Welcome to your constituents' world, we have to deal with this every time we have any dealings with the Community un-Development Department. They come up with some lame brain requirement or decide a rock, bush or tree is a national treasure and you people just rubber stamp it without any thought or question. Maybe the next project that comes along you might question if the requirement is justified or just one of staffs personal hang-ups or maybe a condition from the stink tank in Twain Harte, they appear to be on the county's speed dial as to planning issues. But then government is notoriously two-faced, example Sacramento wants to build a new stadium and they ask for and get an exemption from a full environmental review of the project.

Steve Hayes


Hemp would revive Tuolumne economy

To the Editor:

For many years I have believed that if we could grow "industrial hemp" in Tuolumne County, it would help to stop our fiscal tailspin and loss of jobs. Finally, I see California State Senator Mark Leno has introduced legislation that actually has a chance.

Here is what we have to do to get our piece of this multi billion dollar California agriculture business. Let your Supervisor know that adding the growing of industrial hemp to our list of agricultural products would mean huge revenue increases for Tuolumne County, many good jobs, absolutely no threat of a drug problem (you would have to smoke a pound of industrial hemp an hour, and probably still not get a buzz), no increase in law enforcement because crops will be monitored and inspected by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The products that can be produced from industrial hemp range from paper, to backpacks, to automobile bodies - the only agriculture product that might have more uses is soy. Hemp is a weed, and it requires 50 percent less water than cotton. The list of advantages is very long.

Folks, you would be hard pressed to find a single downside to this. The "reefer madness" that put hemp on the list of Schedule 1 drugs was created by a greedy, self serving billionaire timber and newspaper tyrant. No, not Red Emmerson, but he probably will do what he can to keep the faux hysteria alive.

The timber industry in Tuolumne County has been dying for years - basically, the few sucking the last breath of life from our forest. Recent reports show that less than 1 percent or our local economy is from timber.

Let our supervisors know that we support SB-566.

Domenic Torchia