Union Democrat staff

Grateful for latex-safe medical care

To the Editor:

My husband, my family and I want to thank local medical providers for their recent actions on my behalf. I have a work acquired allergy to natural rubber latex proteins. October 6-12 was Latex Allergy Awareness Week. I couldn't think of a better time to thank everyone. I have been treated with respect, compassion and understanding every step of the way.

I met my doctor when she took excellent care of my husband. She understood the need to keep my husband latex safe so I could be with him after he broke his hip.

From start to finish each and every person I came in contact with seemed to have been more aware of latex allergy than they were four years ago.

I usually have to make four round trips to Stanford Medical Center to get latex safe medical care. Not any more.

It is with great pride that I say "Hooray, for latex safe hospitals!"

One can dream that this ripple in the pond is just the beginning for latex safe medical care in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Peggy Rourke-Nichols

Registered Nurse


Republicans not compromising

To the Editor:

Congressman Tom McClintock claims endless efforts were made seeking compromise on the Obamacare, nonsense. Obamacare is a healthcare plan designed by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Liberals sought a single payer system, which incidentally costs 40 percent less than our current healthcare system. Democrats for the sake of 40 million uninsured Americans compromised bringing this "conservative program" to life. This cynical Republican shutdown demands no healthcare for our fellow Americans. Imagine raising a family without healthcare.

Then McClintock claims that Republicans called for a "Conference Committee" to resolve differences between House and Senate. The Senate repeatedly requested such meetings since January to resolve budget differences. The Senate was ignored. Conference Committee meetings take a week to arrange. The House's request for a Conference Committee was made purely for political theater two hours before the shutdown. McClintock is fabricating.

Further, McClintock claims the House worked to avoid the shutdown "throughout the weekend," but where has the House been all year? The NY Times reports that conservatives planning this shutdown since the election, promising no compromise. Compromise was ever intended.

Then McClintock pretends Congress has not followed the rules of deliberation. Obamacare was debated, passed both houses of Congress, signed into law, reaffirmed by the Supreme Court and the election. McClintock's claims have no merit.

Compare McClintock's "deliberative" method: shutting down the government. If Americans want a functioning government then give up Obamacare. We're being bullied. Democracy, be damned.

If the Senate and the President succumb to bullying to end the shutdown, then shutdowns are legitimized, potentially becoming annual events. Let's turn this shutdown around politically, what if the issue was gun control or else a shutdown? It all depends on who is calling the shots. That's why we tether ourselves to democracy. McClintock has a reckless contempt for democracy and compromise.

Robert Carabas


Fire damage seen on TuCARE tour

To the Editor:

I went to the TuCARE Natural Resource Tour to the damaged forest area of the Rim Fire on Sept. 26.

I was shocked at the devastation to the forest. Even though TV news, newspapers, etc. kept us informed, until you've seen the damage in person, you don't get the full picture.

Representatives from SPI and U.S. Forest Service were on the tour and answered our questions and were very informative. They showed us where fire lines has been cut and what could be done to improve them for future fire prevention to homes and the forest.

We heard from a rancher, who uses forest land for grazing and about the difficult time he had rounding up his cattle in the time allotted to him. He and other ranchers will continue to round up any of their stray cattle until they know how many cows they have actually lost. He and others told of the cattle, deer, bears, etc. seriously burned trying to flee the fire.

SPI showed us an area of their property that burned that they now were starting to harvest the burnt trees - cut down, pile them up for de-limbing and then transport them to the mill. SPI expects to have 10 logging operations on their burn sites, leveling out at 200 loads a day to the mill. Also I toured SPI standard mill and saw the operation from start to finish. The entire tree is used - for lumber, chips, mulch and fuel to power the mill at Chinese Camp. Nothing will be wasted.

There will be seedlings planted, some this fall and then more planted in the spring. Already plans are in action on both SPI and Forest Service lands to bring back nature and the animals that thrive there.

Patty Griffith