Union Democrat staff

Proud to see schools teach awareness

To the Editor:

As a former chairman of a North Carolina task force on disability, and someone who has been challenged by Multiple Sclerosis for 25 years, I applaud the Michelson Elementary School for its "day of understanding."

Children who are exposed to individuals with disabilities, like my grandchildren who have never known me without a cane, walker or scooter, readily accept challenges as "normal." Allowing them to experience personally what it's like to deal with certain disabilities on a daily basis makes them appreciate what others go through and not judge them as "different."

I wish that more adults could be exposed to similar type educational programs.

Lauren G. Hoffman


Words not enough to fix government

To the Editor:

While I appreciate Mr. Tom McClintock's remarks on the House floor yesterday on the importance of Yosemite National Park on our local economy, words are not enough. We need action. We need leadership. As a small-business owner dependent on tourism from Yosemite I cannot sit idly by and allow politics and DC posturing to ruin my business and the lives of my employees. Whether you agree or disagree with Obamacare, this should not be on the table when discussing the government shutdown. Mr. McClintock needs to put political gamesmanship aside and fund the federal government. Our community is suffering without this beautiful park open, but a patchwork fix is not the answer. Open the entire government and the vital services that help our economy and fellow Americans. More importantly act like responsible leaders and do the people's work as we sent you to Washington to do.

If you agree, call Mr. McClintock's office at (202) 225-2511 and tell him.

Douglas Shaw &

Caroline McGrath

Owners of the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort,


Can't get straight answer on TUD fees

To the Editor:

Regarding hookup fees for the proposed 80 unit Columbia apartment complex, Mike Sarno, TUD board president, stated in a "Guest Opinion" article June 19 that the fee of $800,000 - proposed by TUD staff - "...is both punitive and a deal breaker" and that "$400,000 would be more than required."

I asked him at the next TUD meeting (and two after that) if he would provide a list of charges he considered unnecessary - he said he would. Other than a small note Aug. 7 saying the average water consumption of an apartment compared to a single family residence is closer to 65 percent rather than the 80 percent used now, he has not disclosed any of the $400,000 he considers punitive and a deal breaker.

Mr. Sarno owes it to the public and ratepayers to back up his claim of the excessive charges by TUD staff.

I know who I would trust to determine how much it costs for a new hookup. If we reduce fees to help a developer guess who picks up the tab?

Glenn Caroll


Republicans holding Obamacare hostage

To the Editor:

Rep. McClintock and his ilk are trying hard to spin it, but it is obvious that they are holding a popular and much needed law (the Affordable Care Act) hostage.

This is nothing less than extortion.

Melissa Holcomb