Union Democrat staff

The last day to submit letters relating to the June 3 primary will be Wednesday.

Defensible space is not rocket science

To the Editor:

I passed through the ranchland of J59 up from Merced and was blown away by the amount of dry grass brush and all manner of wildfire fuel immediately adjacent to the road. I believe Tuolumne County is one smoke away from a fire that could potentially put us back on the map. I saw no evidence of preventative or preparatory activity. Turn some dirt, mow some grass, post some signs. git er done! before its too late. Where is the leadership ? Find the money, find the people this is not rocket science.

Dennis Boylan


Vote Mark Ferreira for City Council

To the Editor:

I have known Mark Ferreira in both a personal and professional capacity for the last 10 years, and it has become obvious to me over this time that he is an ideal City Council member.

Mark understands what it means to be an advocate, to represent our city with the ethics and leadership we deserve. Mark Ferreira has extensive experience serving the public as a firefighter and paramedic and he is a thirty plus years resident of Tuolumne County. He is not a politician, he is a public servant with an eye towards Sonora's future. I have faith that a vote for Mark Ferreira is a vote for the kind of positive change this city needs to move forward.

Tyler Piché


Unification will benefit students

To the Editor:

As a former educator I am a strong advocate of unification. Anyone who follows the trends in the county knows the school population in public schools is shrinking. One district lost 30 percent; families moved, students enrolled in charter or private schools and parents chose to homeschool. No matter the reason, that district lost the ability to provide as many programs.

Small public schools, no matter how knowledgeable their teachers, are unable to offer the range of programs found in larger schools. In our county few schools have art or music teachers and if they do they often are shared with other districts. Research has proven the arts provide intellectual stimulation. With an organized music program within a county there could even be a county wide elementary school orchestra!

Our county must look outside our individual schools and petty concerns and ask: What do we want for our students? We want the best schools, not ones that are struggling to make ends meet and unable to provide top notch programs in every area.

By thinking outside the box we can partner with businesses and have an artist in residence for a year, intramural sports back in schools and visiting scientists. We need to make better use of our excellent community college and offer more to high school students. How about a vocational school shared by all high schools that offer opportunities in fields that are still in the dream stage?

We have to dream big! Our district needs to be seen throughout the state as one made up of outstanding schools, not an outstanding school or two. By becoming unified we can offer all students the best. Each school would still have its own identity but the same opportunity to learn will be at every school.

Lane Willey