Union Democrat staff

Dire need to unify school districts

To the Editor:

The dire need to unify our school districts is no more apparent than the nepotism, malfeasance and outright contempt for transparency demonstrated by Superintendent John Pendley and his board of cronies at the Columbia Unified School District over the past several years.

Pendley received his doctorate degree from a notorious online diploma mill. He was given a $175,00 yearly salary from his cronies on the school board: current members Laura Phelan and Jeff Wittman and former board members Clark Segerstrom and Jeff Costello. Phelan, Wittman and Segerstrom saved Pendley's job after he refused to resign after a sex scandal involving his son, Brennan, rocked the district.

Though Brennan was unqualified, Pendley got him a job as an after-school aide after which he was convicted of having sex several times with a 14-year-old student in a school classroom. John Pendley asked staff members to write letters to the judge on behalf of Brennan and collaborated with his board cronies to hide public records, censure public comment about the sex scandal, stonewall the press and other efforts to save his skin. He has refused to resign despite calls for his resignation from notable leaders from the community.

Pendley's contract also includes $3,500 for cell phone use and transportation. His contract was initially set for a 210-day work year, but his cronies on the previous board reduced it to 190 per year. Despite these glaring perks, Segerstrom, Wittman and Phelan refused to renegotiate his contract.

This is a glaring example among many of why we need to unify the school districts. It would save millions of dollars in superintendent salaries, unify school curriculums, specialists could be shared by schools, and educational field trips could be combined.

Please add our signature to petitions calling for school unification!

Robert Dorroh


If Obama kills coal, good for him

To the Editor:

I recently read a Republican address by Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming entitled, "Obama is out to kill coal." The title of the article is deceiving in that the lengthy article only has one small paragraph in which coal is mentioned. The remainder of the article is devoted to other matters such as taking on the Affordable Care Act and taking issue with Pres. Obama's efforts to reduce student debt.

But if Pres. Obama does wish to "kill coal," then I say good for him. Coal adds a significant amount of carbon dioxide to the environment which is not only a major source of climate change but which also affects agriculture and human health. According to Bernard L. Cohen, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh "The pleasure we derive from breathing fresh air, drinking pure water and enjoying the beauty that nature has provided in priceless and must not be sacrificed. Moreover, losing them will lead directly or indirectly to incalculable economic losses. We have come to appreciate the importance of our environment."

RuthAnn Leonard


Norman Reed's comments offensive

To the Editor:

Norman Reed's comments of June 3, about T.Y. Atkins quote for everyone to pray to God for water.

Mr. Reed, I don't know how to make you that don't believe to believe, but you don't have the right to talk us down because you don't.

You think Mr. Atkins is offensive, maybe you should read what you wrote.

I am tired of people like you dictating when we can even mention our Lord God.

Even to pray for rain? Really?

Beverly Fryer