Union Democrat staff

Wasting water

not acceptable

To the Editor:

Our water shortage is a dire situation. The Union Democrat reports that we will run out of water in 120 to 150 days. Any responsible citizen is doing their to conserve water, my wife and I included. We are using every trick in the book to do our part to conserve what precious water is left.

However, there are others who have absolutely no concept or a hint of the reality of the situation. Case in point, the Sonora High School sponsored Future Farms of America event that took place Feb. 18. The Future Farmers of America celebrated their organization by having a water balloon fight! What? That's right, a water balloon fight! As Future Farmers of America they should be learning the importance of conserving water especially in a drought situation. Instead they are shown wasting water in a fun game.

What is wrong with you people? What kind of lesson does this teach our young future farmers about conservation? I'm sure some would argue that they did not use all that much water. But that is not the point here. Any waste is too much waste. As future farmers they could have had a raw egg toss or some other type of farm-related game that does not promote wasting precious water.

Then to make matters worse, The Union Democrat glamorized this ill-conceived event by putting the story and pictures on the front page right under the headline article that talked about the seriousness of the drought. I ask again, what is wrong with people?

Barry Boricchio


Catholics versus Obamacare

To the Editor:

I recently received a survey on Obamacare from Catholicvoters.org. The lies and misinformation in this survey about our president remind me that we are no longer a two party system. We are Democrats, Republicans and Catholicvoters.org, seeking recognition. Catholicvoters.org is trying to drag down those Catholics who are not insulted by their lack of authenticity. The survey is highly political and aligned with the hatred and slander of our president by most of the Republican Party.

In the survey there are key words to catch the attention of Catholics: abortion, contraception, choice in voting, and IRS checking of tax exemptions of nonprofit organizations. They imply that Obama is a baby killer by following the law. If that is true, then all presidents since Roe vs. Wade (40 years and counting) are baby killers. I don't believe it. The only way to stop abortion on demand is to repeal Roe vs. Wade. Catholic politicians are more interested in gaining votes than repealing the law.

If you are pro-choice, you are also pro-abortion is another of their misconceptions. I am a pro-life, pro-choice Catholic. My wife and I have 11 children (by choice). We understand the sacredness and value of life and are happy with our decision. We consider the choice for abortion an evil, and the person responsible is the woman who chooses it and the person who performs it, not the president. Sadly, they are within the law.

Pro-choice is a gift of free will from God. Believing that, one has choices in matters of good or evil. Belief is a choice, and most importantly, pro-life is everyone's responsibility and must not be politicized.

Tom Besmer

Angels Camp

Arthritis diagnosis changed life

To the Editor:

November 2010. I remember it well. "You have fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis." I finally had a diagnosis that explained my crippling fatigue, intense pain, swollen, stiff joints and persistent flu-like symptoms. I am 27 years old and facing a life of, not one, but two painful autoimmune disorders. But I had never heard of psoriatic arthritis.

Later, I discovered the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF). Approximately 456,000 people are living with psoriatic diseases in Northern California - 7.5 million nationwide. I was impressed by the foundation's passion. In part, because of their work, my current treatments are possible.

Last summer, I was honored to be asked to join the foundation as a volunteer. Currently, I run the NPF's Northern California Division Facebook page and am on the 2014 Walk to Cure Psoriasis planning committee. My mission? To spread awareness. I don't want others to be blindsided by a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, like I was. Arthritis is often thought of as a disease that only targets the elderly - this is a big misconception.

Chronic pain/disease is life changing. It is often invisible, making it hard for others to understand. But most frustrating, is its unpredictability. One minute I'm "OK." The next, I feel like I've been hit by a truck and have trouble walking or brushing my hair. I was initially stripped of my control, routine and purpose. I felt lost, trapped inside my body. Volunteering has helped me regain these things. I'm feeling empowered. I've seen how strong I really am. I remain grateful.

I'd like to invite those in our community to join us at this year's Walk to Cure Psoriasis in San Francisco on May 17. (http://psoriasis.org/walk/san-francisco ) For more information, or to make a donation to our team, Mission Possible, contact teammissionpossible@hotmail.com

Deanna Alarcon

Twain Harte