Union Democrat staff

Thanks for

the memories

To the Editor:

We have lived in the Twain Harte area of Tuolumne County for 27 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We have met many, many people in different circles and have made many friends.

We did a lot of volunteer work when we moved here from San Jose after my retirement from IBM:

• Members of the Sonora Moose Lodge for 27 years

• Helped form a social club for newcomers to Tuolumne County

• Worked at Interfaith for 22 years

• The annual Christmas Eve dinner for 10 years. Chaired it for several years

• Members of St. Patrick's Church where we published a newsletter for four years

• Volunteered in three community theaters for many years. Served on the Board of one

• Met and made many friends and hiked the high country for years with the Sierra Club

However due to our health we have to move from this beautiful area to be closer to our family.

We will miss the beautiful mountains with its crystal clear lakes, the snow-clad mountains and beautiful snow-covered tall pines in winter, the hills and countryside covered with wildflowers in spring and summer and the changing color of the leaves in the fall, but most of all we will miss the beautiful friendships we developed over the years. Especially one 3-year-old named Dahlia that captured our hearts the moment we met her.

But don't feel too sorry for us. Yes, we have left the scenic mountains but we have moved to a beautiful seashore area where we can see the ocean from our temporary place in Seaside in Monterey County.

We have left you Tuolumne County but we will never forget you.

Phil and Lala Sandoval


Scar project

lacks imagination

To the Editor:

Was Ms. Curtis planning to erect a second O'Shaughnessy Dam on Big Oak Flat?

The demise of her project on "The Scar" is an indicator of the absence of imagination which, at times, prevails in Tuolumne County. Where is the fearlessness, the vision, the willingness to standby those who wish to invest in our communities?

As with all major projects, there is always the need for negotiated vision, for courage and foresight to rise above any expected obstacles and considerations. Ms. Curtis' vision would have only served the "traffic" already passing on Highway 120 without adding to it. Are we that afraid of politicians and NGOs who invent ERI regulations from the stale air stifling Sacramento and San Francisco?

Don't talk to me about invented costs. Over the 30-40 lifespan of the project the revenue to the County would have far exceeded any costs. The quality-of-life enhancements to the community would have been palpable.

Yes, EIRs are primarily mandated from Sacramento; and yes, the Supervisors do the best within the constrictions imposed. But the County should have been sending protest letters, weekly, to Sacramento pointing out the economic and human-flourishing damage EIRs inflict. The County should have shouted out: "We've got your back, Mary Curtis."

Oh how the political powers keep strangling dreamers, inventors, investors and givers. After losing Ironstone Vineyards to Calaveras County thought the County had learned that lesson. Foot stomping mad, I am. Enough to take one's dreaming, inventing, investing self and stage a demonstration. Think I'll do just that. I'm a painter in oils. On my easel is a large canvass, squirming to shout. Have a mind to call it "The Guardian Angel of Hetch-Hetchy: One Damn Beautiful Dam. Hands Off."

God bless you, Mary Curtis.

Steve Golay