Union Democrat staff

Distraught over Bilotti's departure

To the Editor:

When I first moved to this community 11 years ago, one of the deciding factors was the vibrant theater available. The productions at Stage 3 and Sierra Repertory theaters were professional and imaginative. Over the years, SRT became less interesting as it moved mostly into musicals. I turned more and more to Stage 3.

For several years, I have bought two sets of season tickets to Stage 3, both to support it and to turn my friends on to its charms. I did so again this year. However I was distraught over the news of Don Bilotti's retirement. His passion and risk taking were a large part of the vibrancy I enjoyed. The more I learned of his leaving, the more questions I have concerning the Board's involvement. Our small community (and this small theater) was blessed to retain a man of Bilotti's caliber. The thought that the board interfered with his artistic vision and decision making is deeply disturbing to me.

It would be appropriate and right that you shed light on this transition and tell the truth to your friends and supporters. Transparency is key to trust in relationships, and yours is a relationship business.

It was the quality of the artists and the variety of the endeavors that kept me coming back for more at Stage 3. If these are to be sacrificed or inhibited secondary to decisions by a Board of Directors, I, for one, will not continue to invest in season tickets. Please respond either to me, or better yet, the community at large who has grown to love the high quality performances of Stage 3 theater company - we deserve to know the truth.

Stefani Reichle


In dark of winter, spring is on horizon

To the Editor:

The other day I saw a pair of robins, my first sighting of the season. It brought back memories of growing up in Vermont during the 1930s and winters that were long and cold and where one seldom saw a robin until April and "cabin fever" would be at high pitch for a kid.

I recall my mother reciting an Irish poem mean to put an optimistic outlook on things:

You must remember that buds will blow,

That grass is green beneath the snow,

Ah, that's the reason the robin sings,

For in the dark of winter he knows there is spring.

Charles Norton


Rest in peace, Pete Seeger

To the Editor:

If I may I'd like to make a toast to Pete Seeger, whom I never knew, or met, but liked his music.

I was born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y. It is north of the Bronx on the Hudson River. It's there in the Hudson that my brothers taught me to swim. When ships were travelling in the water, their wakes would create "rollers." My brothers and I would stand in the shallows and wait for them "rollers" to come in. Whereupon my brothers would hold my hand while we all jumped into them.

The Hudson became badly polluted and the shad, famous for their roe, disappeared among other fish. Mr. Seeger started a program to clean up the water and save the river. It is my understanding that shad have returned.

Thank you, Mr. Seeger, for serving that beautiful river. You've made an old lady happy and I'd like to think there's another little girl standing in the shallows waiting for the "rollers" to come.

Nancy Czito


Water is the new gold in California

To the Editor:

Water has surpassed gold as our most valuable asset in our state.

Through the year we have endured many droughts. In 1975 and 1976, we had back-to-back drought years. Again in 1991. Now we are in the midst of a catastrophic three-year drought culminating with this year being the worst.

Fortunately we have had years with an abundance of rain and snow like in 1986, 1995, 2005 and 2010. These wet years replenished our lakes, streams, groundwater and wells.

Today we face the inherent danger of climate change and global warming.

Now if all you liberal Democrats adhere to this apocalyptic mindset then you must admit we will see less moisture in the form of snow.

Being a native Californian, I am well aware of the importance of an abundant snowpack in our Sierra Nevada.

The melting of the existing snowpack sustains our lakes and rivers throughout the year. Without this water supply we are destitute. Our farms suffer and our biggest economy of agriculture suffers.

What I am advocating is to raise the capacity of our existing dams to hold back water when we have years of abundant rain and snow.

We could halt the work on the bullet train and use that money in retrofitting these dams. By doing this we could generate thousands of good paying jobs and restore our agriculture business. This would in turn give the state billions in revenue and taxes. It is a win-win situation.

Also the state could create tax credits for installing rain collecting devices. These devices would connect to your rain gutters. The rain coming off your roof would be stored in large storage units. The water then could be used later.

There are many ways to conserve water, but building up our existing dams should have high priority.

Bill Guenza

Cedar Ridge