Union Democrat staff

Desalination a viable water option

To the Editor:

We Californians are not short of water. The Pacific Ocean will never run dry. What we are short of is politicians with a commitment to never letting out state run catastrophically low on water again! Desalination is a fully-proven technology that has been successfully used for decades. The nation of Saudi Arabia has been using it as their main water supply for many years. Challenging and funding our scientists and engineers to further improve the technology, as was done with our space program, needs to happen now!

One idea to provide power for desalination and pumping is harnessing ocean tidal energy. This is another proven technology in need of further refinement. Desalinated water could be pumped into reservoirs, many yet to be built. As the water leaves the reservoirs, it could generate power onto our electrical grid, helping to solve another urgent need. If we are concerned about funding an effort such as this, let's reassign all the funding committed to the high speed rail project, something nice to have, but totally unnecessary.

I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers to our water problem, but I do have a love of our great state, and very strong desire to encourage a prompt, long-rage, functionally-sound and economically-feasible solution to our water problem. I encourage all who read this letter to be a part of the solution with your ideas and your vote to support our legislators who have these same goals.

Meanwhile, the time for action is now. A team of scientists and engineers needs to be selected and put to work immediately. The welfare of our state is at stake. There is no time left for recriminations, or protracted, public debate. We Californians should be able to confidently look forward to an abundant water supply.

Clifford J. Simpson


Setting McClintock's record straight

To the Editor:

Congressman Tom McClintock isn't as stupid as his guest opinion suggests, but he thinks his constituents are. Well, Tom, I'll bet more than half of us in your district - including Democrats, Republicans and Independents - don't have the Tea Party mentality you are being paid to assuage.

But to those who do, let's set the record straight.

McClintock espouses that less government regulations and lower taxes on big business would boost the middle class, when in fact this is the primary cause of middle class decline.The percentage of income held by the richest 1 percent in America has grown nearly 150 percent since 1982, when Ronald Reagan eliminated many regulations and reduced taxes for business, declaring:"Government is not the solution … government is the problem." Income inequality was accelerated by Bill Clinton, who abolished many remaining regulations on big business and greatly reduced capital gains taxes.

The U.S. now leads the developed world in wealth concentration and income disparity. CEOs here now make 20 times the wages of average workers. The highest marginal tax rate on the super rich has gone from 91 percent in 1963 under Kennedy to 39.6 percent today, and the 1 percent are still moaning.

A Gallup poll found two-thirds of Americans unhappy with income and wealth distribution. It's way past time to stop beating the dead horse of "too much government" and call it what it is. Too much corruption and corporate welfare in government. Tom McClintock and many more in Congress are paid stooges for the richest 1 percent, whose limitless greed knows no bounds.

The two-thirds of us (and mounting) who see through their lies must vote them out of office. Let's all join the battle ahead to reclaim our sense of progress and what counts as common sense.

Beverly Lovejoy


Community key to successful business

To the Editor:

Regarding the local Business Council's complaints about citizens stopping economic progress, it seems odd that Citizens for Responsible Growth's two successful lawsuits since 2005 have had such an impact on the local economy. Maybe this group could pull together all their energy to work for a successful future rather than continuing to live in the past. CFRG proudly represents citizens who are not being listened to by business people who choose to ignore California law. These laws were legislated through the California Environmental Quality Act, signed by Governor Reagan, and are designed to protect citizens from land use decisions impacting their quality of life. The key to a successful business venture in a community, is collaboration and problem solving at the beginning stages of any project or plan. The Development community has chosen to streamline approvals and to manipulate County government by removing and ignoring citizen input up to the last required Public Hearing. Much time and cost would be saved if the collaborative process came first and response to community input worked to find solutions to impacts. The term "property rights" goes both ways.

This wonderful community of Tuolumne County is only viable by recognition of its valuable assets. The landscapes, arts, schools, small businesses, and the added opportunity to participate in the democratic process through CFRG, all contribute to our attractiveness and success as a community. CFRG supports community capital because it sustains and contributes to economic progress as added value. Members of the Business Council need to work with all citizens and collaborate instead of dwelling on the past. Only by working together as a community to create successful solutions, will they realize their much longed for economic progress.

Barbara J. Farkas

President, Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc.