Letters to the Editor for February 19, 2014

Union Democrat staff /

Telegraph Hill project done well

To the Editor:

Those of us who live in the Covington, Columbia Crest and Ridgemont areas cannot express enough appreciation for the work being done by CalFire under the direction of Barry Rudolph, the Baseline fire crews, and Ed Woolery and his crew to remove the overgrown vegetation from the difficult terrain surrounding us. Barry's communication is excellent, and Ed has been extremely concerned and cooperative as to our preferences in the work we wish to have done on our property.

The landscape has been transformed, and while the larger trees remain undisturbed, with the underbrush (and particularly the manzanita) removed, we can now see what our land actually looks like. The most important thing, of course, is that the ladder fuels are now gone, so the likelihood of a major fire consuming our area is now greatly diminished. This has been a real worry in the past, and we are all very relieved that this threat has been largely mitigated.

Great job, guys!

Phil E. VanSwoll


Liberals attack Tea Party, cite no facts

To the Editor:

Recent letters to this page have reflected a kind of panic on the Left. Attacks on the Tea Party are verging on the hysterical. I was particularly struck by the missive that referred to "lies" about Obamacare. Of course, no prevarications were cited, because our Socialist friends prefer name-calling to specifics, which are subject to reasoned argument or outright refutation.

However, those of us in the middle of the road (we only appear "right wing" to those so far to the Left they're in the ditch) are more than willing to cite actual lies from the Obama administration:

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."

"The Affordable Care Act will save the average family $2,500 on medical insurance premiums."

"The Benghazi attack resulted from an offensive video."

"We're going to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious."

"NSA data collection isn't spying on American citizens."

"There isn't a smidgen of corruption in the IRS targeting of conservative groups."

"I've cut the deficit by over 50 percent."

Let us stop here in the interest of brevity, but we could go on, and on, and on. Then let us look forward to citations of Tea Party "lies" so actual debate can take place.

Michael Ackley


Anti-government sentiments not new

To the Editor:

The president of the Tuolumne County Business Council's complaint that state regulations inhibit economic growth is a familiar refrain in the Mother Lode. It reflects an enduring anti-government attitude that can be traced at least as far back as the creation of our national forests in the late 19th century. The national forests, let us recall, were established when Congress finally took action to halt the reckless exploitation of our public lands.

This anti-government phobia, and that's what it is, is perfectly reflected in our local congressman, Tom McClintock, whose own recklessness helped lead to the recent government shutdown and the closure of Yosemite National Park.

As for regulations inhibiting growth the facts speak otherwise. Look at the census figures that show the tremendous economic and population growth California has experienced, a growth slowed and even halted during the latter part of the Bush administration by lack of proper financial and business regulation. So, please stop whining about government regulations; it doesn't get us anywhere. And for you complainers can you explain the phenomenal economic success of an area just a couple of hours' drive to the west of us? It's called Silicon Valley.

Daniel Connell


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