Union Democrat staff

Outsmarting voters not a smart move

To the Editor:

To no one's surprise, the $23 million bond money that the voters approved as Measure J in last year's election and which you and I will have to pay off, will be used not for improving class rooms at Sonora High School, as had been stated in the ballot information. I believed it, others probably too, and that's what was approved. Afterwards, when Measure J was passed, the school board had the money in their pockets and let the true plans become known (thanks to the Union Democrat), massive public protest arose. But protests be damned; instead the school board decided by a 3-2 vote to go ahead with the formerly secret plan and spend the money on tearing down the existing swimming pool and create an "aquatic center," probably just a more grandiose swimming pool by another name.

Short of sueing, the disregarded voters may still have a chance at getting even - and doing so much quicker. As reported in the Oct.16 issue of The Union Democrat. "Bond sales are scheduled for May 2014 and May 2015. " I hope you get the hint: Let's boycott any and all future bond sales of Sonora High until we get clear, unambiguous and, most of all, binding statements so that we won't get blindsided again by snake oil salesmen who think they are clever when they mislead the voting public.

Outsmarting the voter is not very smart.

Klaus Kraemer


Give local derby girls a chance

To the Editor:

The High Country Mountain Derby Girls are a local group of roller skating enthusiasts, both adults and juniors, from Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. The program is offered at High Country Sports Arena which is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization made up completely of volunteers. We take pride in being a part of our community, volunteering and appearing at community events throughout the year.

A large part of promoting for our local home bouts is by hitting the streets, hanging up fliers and posters at local businesses. We are so grateful that many businesses allow us to hang our fliers and we are generally well received. It saddens us to then see our posters and flyers torn down and vandalized. We pay for these flyers and posters ourselves through fundraising and sometimes donations.

After contributing back to our community and supporting our Junior Roller Derby team, we are left wondering why we continue to be ill-received by people who choose to vandalize our signs. Roller derby may have once been that theatrical, brutal sport that we remember on television, but it has changed drastically. We are a group of athletes. We are sisters, mothers, grandmothers, nurses, students, teachers and waitresses. We do not promote fighting or brutality. We promote a sport we devote countless hours of our life too. We promote confidence, fitness and empowerment to women and our group of junior skaters.

As a member of this organization I am asking for our community to give us a chance. You are welcome to stop by a practice and get to know a group of amazing people who love our community. I hope that by watching a game, you may change your view on a sport I care so much about.

Thank you Tuolumne and surrounding counties for your continued support.

Allison Wilson