Union Democrat staff

Private sector not treated any better

To the Editor:

Whereas I can appreciate Suzanne Cruz's frustration with the ongoing water main problem at the college, I am not sure the problem would be any better if it was addressed by the private sector.

I have never had a government job, yet I have experienced all the situations to which she speaks: bureaucracy (maybe less of this ),overpaid ineffective managers, and wastes of time, money, and resources. The lowest paid workers are demoralized, especially as they realize they are the first to go if costs must be cut. Mindless meetings with no clear solutions to problems abound. If heads rolled, they were frequently the wrong heads.

Also, as popular as it is to compare government and corporate jobs as if they were apples and oranges, I think more and more they overlap as the power of lobbyists and their money make the separation very fuzzy. Who gets the government contracts and why? Who fought in the Iraq war and who made money from it ?

I wish it weren't so, but this is what I see.

Stefani Reichle


Global warming is cyclical in nature

To the Editor:

Considering global warming and the squealing panic it seems to induce in some individuals:

The earth is warming. It has been warming for the past 15,000 years. However, temperatures wax and wane. For example, it became really warm in the 10th and into the 13th centuries. Then we had a "Little Ice Age" from the 13th and into the 19th centuries.

The human life span is short, yet we are apt to think changes we see in that short span have never occurred before. But probably they have.

Combine our egocentric tendencies with the toxic blend of fudged science and manipulative politics displayed in recent years and you can get the kind of hair-tearing, wailing and gnashing of teeth exhibited in a recent letter to this page.

Climate change is real, it is ongoing, it is impermanent. We should take reasonable measures to adapt to it. However, we should not indulge an apocalyptic vision that causes us to destroy the systems and institutions that have brought our nation its freedom and prosperity.

Michael Ackley


More osprey nests needed from PG&E

To the Editor:

We beg for PG&E support for an osprey in the southern Tuolumne County. Please!

According to the Democrat article, they do it in the eastern edge of Tuolumne County. For years we've been observing an osprey nesting atop a utility pole just beyond the Don Pedro Jacksonville Road bridge coming north. We've watched her build her nest, attract a mate, tend the eggs, feed the babies, and eventually nudge them out to fly. Until this year.

PG&E put a rounded dome over that platform, so she tried to build on the next pole, with an area too narrow. They pulled it down and put something over that one, so she went back to an area at one end of the first pole. She hauls the twigs up, and they pull them down. This has been going on for months. Sometimes we see her. Once this spring I saw a male osprey with her, but still she struggles for a nest.

If PG&E can save some osprey near Copperopolis with platforms for nests, how about just one in over our way? It's June, and she's still trying to build her nest. There are a lot of Groveland and Moccasin residents who have been witnessing this drama daily on their way to and from Sonora, twice each trip.

Barbara Broad


The water crisis

is over

To the Editor:

Recent articles in The Union Democrat on our water supply situation have stated repeatedly that 'the water in Lyons Reservoir has to last us until Labor Day.' This statement is not accurate. Historically, TUD has had to bring water down to Lyons from Pinecrest Lake prior to Labor Day in roughly 60 percent of years. This used to be accomplished with a phone call to PG&E, but now TUD has to apply to the state water board for special permission. We did this two years ago and were granted an exemption without any fuss. TUD staff acknowledged in Water Committee last week that as long as the state grants our request for an exemption this year, "we have plenty of water." Our water crisis was in January when Pinecrest Lake had been emptied to generate power and we had no rain. Now we have 23,000 acre feet of water sitting up there in Pinecrest and Lyons. The crisis is over.

Ralph Retherford,

Former member TUD Board of Directors