Union Democrat staff

Opposed to Moke River designation

To the Editor:

I must admit that I wasn't surprised to see the slew of letters condemning a few high school kids for having a water balloon fight during a drought. I am equally unsurprised to notice that there has not been one letter in regards to the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decision to support wild and scenic designation for the Mokelumne River. Have we learned nothing? The water situation in California is not something that we can conserve our way out of. Additional storage, whether on stream or off stream, not only has to be part of the conversation, it must lead the conversation. We must be able to capture additional water from any available source. Wild and scenic designation will render a river useless for human consumption. Some like to argue that our current reservoirs are empty, so more reservoirs would just mean more empty reservoirs and do nothing to provide more water. It seems more prudent to have more reservoirs to store water in surplus rainfall years and be able to save that water for a year such as this. But no, the local government of Calaveras County doesn't seem to think that they may need any more water. Tuolumne County seems to be a little worried about the water situation this year. If only we would have had the forethought to maybe do something like, dare I say, dam the Clavey River? Instead, we are left to ridicule a few high school kids for having a little fun. Don't we all feel like a bunch of grown ups now?

Shaun Crook


Copeland trio a musical delight

To the Editor:

May I direct this letter to all the older folks hereabouts who remember the good music, jazz music especially, from the '40s and '50s.

At last Saturday's Art Night about 40 of us sat listening attentively, tapping our feet and smiling in recognition of long-ago favorites. The Alan Copeland Trio played more than two hours of music from, among many others, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, and recordings by Frank Sinatra.

Copeland's daughter, Sheila Ross, inspired, she said, by a cowboy singer across the street, jauntily sang the witty "Cow-Cow Boogie" (a hit by Ella Mae Morse and Ella Fitzgerald).

The trio, dubbed "Now You Hazz Jazz" (Louis Armstrong's phrase), has Copeland on keyboard, Bob Lehman on drums and John Kikagawa on bass. Copeland, who lives in Twain Harte, is a marvel with his rhythmic embellishments on the melodies. Throughout, the group swings, a style pretty much gone from today's music scene.

The Tuolumne County Arts Alliance, to its credit, facilitated the trio's April performance. We geezers and geezerettes hope the group will be back for the May Art Night, and in other venues as well.

Dick Peterson


Race, prejudice, politics and policy

To the Editor:

Kathleen Parker's opinion piece "Erasing the race card" (Union Democrat, April 18) offers Fox News' correspondent Brit Hume's' idea that President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder have been given a "pass" because they are African American. But a "pass" is not the same as "respect", and such an idea implies those inherent prejudices, biases and inequalities of being a minority person in White America. The biggest "pass", if there is such a thing, is being born white in this country; and that "pass" gets sweeter as a birth occurs higher on the socioeconomic ladder. The irony of the idea of "playing a race card" is that it makes for a good hiding place for prejudice as well. One can easily hide prejudice behind the statement "I just disagree with that policy." Who is to say that such a position is genuinely a disagreement, or inherently prejudicial?

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9.

Donn Hohengarten