Union Democrat staff

Leaders need to learn basic economics

To the Editor:

When caught red-handed, a large proportion of children immediately begin pointing their sullied fingers elsewhere, anywhere but at themselves, to assign blame. Apparently these kids grow older to become County Supervisors, building industry mouthpieces and waste dumpers. The truth is - we all want economic growth, or at least stability. There is no secret agenda to bring this region to ruin by environmentalists - that's the job of whoever is protecting the Rim Fire-starter, our mega-developers and their sponsored politicians.

What I hope can be accomplished is simply retain what makes this area a mecca for people from near and far; natural beauty, clean air, starry skies, and escape from border to border strip-malls, asphalt, congestion and the "build at any cost - as long as we get paid to do it" mentality.

I support and thank heaven for courageous, small non-profit citizen groups like Central Sierra Envionmental Resource Center and Citizens For Responsible Growth! CSERC spends countless hours bringing free nature education to classrooms throughout the foothill and valley regions - when they're not forced to use limited resources to preserve our natural beauty from becoming dumping grounds. CFRG only ensured a big-box chain actually mitigated some of their impact when they moved in - and saved Columbia from a boondoggle that our "leaders" rubberstamped (after dissolving the pesky area planning commission that disapproved it). Remember, this 80 unit compound was nearly thrown a 50 percent discount on water hookups by our water-rich TUD less than a year ago! TUD stated they should subsidize Stonewood to spur 'economic growth' because they apparently had a handle on their real purpose. Economic success in this area is dependent on preserving our attractiveness, not mutilating it with botched grandiose quick fixes.

The vilifying of CFRG and CSERC is classic bullying. Tell Goliath to pick on someone their own size.

Richard Haratani


Efforts yield serious water conservation

To the Editor:

I read a lot of suggestions and ideas for water conservation but have yet to see the most commonly overlooked effort of all and it doesn't cost money. We have a bucket in our shower - you can't believe the amount of wasted water waiting for the hot water! We use that water to flush the toilet - yes it does work. You pour it directly into the bowl and about every third or fourth time – we actually flush. Last month our water usage went from 2,460 gallons to 1,510 gallons - a reduction of 950 gallons! That's a 37 percent reduction! We also use the water for our house plants and/or patio plants. Anyone and everyone can use this to conserve water!

Claudia Day