Union Democrat staff

Tea Party integrity

To the Editor:

Regarding Domenic Torchia's letter published Oct. 18.

What do you mean by "false ideology"? And please explain how you reached your conclusions regarding "bigotry" and "hate" and that the Tea Party intends to destroy "our government and our American way of life?"

According to teaparty.org several of their core beliefs would affect the government.

They believe (No. 6) Government must be downsized; (No. 7) The national budget must be balanced; (No. 8) Deficit spending must end; and (No. 13) Intrusive government must be stopped. How do you conclude that they are "blinded by bigotry, hate and false ideology?"

In response to Jerry Hatcher's letter published Oct. 23.

The Tea Party candidates (as well as Tom McClintock) have more integrity in their little fingers than the rest of the politicians have, combined. As you stated, they ran on a platform of "fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market economic policies." The difference is they are standing by these principles expressed by their constituents.

It is not the Republicans' (including Tom McClintock) fault that someone in government decided to shutter the parks. As one forestry employee said, they were to make it as uncomfortable as possible, so that we would all cry "uncle" (no pun intended). The Republicans submitted five different bills to the Senate in an effort to address their concerns. Harry Reid did not bring even one to the floor of the Senate. Why? Could it be that even some in his party might have agreed on some of the stated positions? What else could it be?

It's not the Republicans that wouldn't compromise. The Democrats as well as the president don't know the meaning of the word.

Joan C. Kern


Don't let Rim Fire timber go to waste

To the Editor:

The long-term economic effects of the Rim Fire on Tuolumne County should concern everyone. The wood products industry has a proud heritage and has been a major source of income to our county. The Rim Fire has decimated our resources and clouded the county's future.

The volume of timber burned on public lands has been conservatively estimated at a billion board feet. As a point of reference it would have taken the Forest Service over 20 years to harvest and sell this much volume. Adding the smaller biomass material the time frame is longer. If we intend to continue to be producers and not merely customers for Canadian lumber at Lowe's we need to act.

First, salvage the useable material delaying the inevitable resource shortage. This will delay the need to harvest green timber for at least two years. There is no way we can get it all, the volume is too vast. I heard a comment the other day that it would be alright to salvage but we should not "clearcut." It's all dead. You can drive for 15 miles and only see a handful of live trees. Others are worried that all the trees will be cut and nothing will be left for the wild critters. There are not enough woodpeckers to come close to using the available trees.

Second we need our local, state, and federal leaders to lift the ban on exporting logs. Usually I agree we should keep the jobs at home and use our resources here. This is the exception, there is too much, not enough manufacturing facilities, and not a bright enough future to build more. Lifting the restriction will allow local businesses to hire people bringing money to our local business and utilize more of the dead trees.

257,000 acres we need to change.

Leon J. Manich