Union Democrat staff

Food insecurity in unlikely places

To the Editor:

I'd like to introduce my friend. We'll call her Ms. L. Ms. L is a college graduate. She has a full time job with the county; 40 hours per week, with benefits. She shows up for work. She does not miss work. She pays her rent and bills each month on time, every time. She is more fortunate than most. Two weeks ago she had to swallow her pride and apply for emergency food assistance.

Why does this warrant a letter to the Editor? Because I want the people of Sonora to know that this is the face of food insecurity. Although my friend is more fortunate than most, she lives paycheck to paycheck and the checks don't stretch quite far enough to keep food on the table. My friend, "Ms. L," does not go to the movies, eat out, take trips or spend frivolously. She made the decision to ask for help when her 14 year old son opened the fridge and said, "Mom, when are you going to the store? We don't have any food!" It was one thing for my friend to go without, but she could not accept her son going without food.

So this is my message. Ms. L works. She pays her bills. She pays taxes. She votes. She volunteers in this community and is involved in the community. She cares about her family and she needed help so she reached out for it. It was one of the hardest things she's ever done. She's not ashamed of it, but she is so very grateful. My friend, Ms. L could be your coworker, your neighbor, your friend, your son or daughter, your customer or the person sitting next to you at any number of meetings around town. Please keep an open heart and an open mind because she is only one of many.

Megan Mills


Let's get to work on Rim Fire recovery

To the Editor:

Have you noticed all the burned logs traveling to our local sawmills from the Rim Fire? Most of the burned logs are from private lands. We live in the most regulated state in the nation, but California timber practice regulations allow private timber owners to immediately harvest dead trees and start to heal the devastated landscape.

Why can't the federal government begin harvesting the devastated forest of dead trees as the state allows on private lands?

Maybe by late spring the government can harvest roadside dead trees from the Rim Fire if no environmental organization protests to stop it. Seems like a no-brainer to me to cut any dead tree that can reach the road for public safety.

If the government can get approval to cut roadside dead trees, they will proceed with the NEPA document process to allow harvesting dead trees elsewhere in the burn. This process could take years because of lawsuits from environmental organizations making the dead timber worthless because of decay.

Why would anyone be against the harvesting of dead trees in the devastated forest? Harvesting a dead tree saves a live tree. Disturbing the soil by harvesting will help the coming moisture be absorbed through ash. Removal of dead trees will reduce the future fire hazard. Harvesting the dead trees will create jobs that our local economy needs.

The healing of the destruction from the Rim Fire needs to start now. Let's get to work.

Steven Crook